What Should an Influencer Management Contract Include?
What needs to be included in a social media influencer management contract? First, a management contract for an influencer is going to be between the influencer and whoever is managing you. It could be an individual agent, a marketing agency, or a manager, they’re all thought of as the same thing. When you do establish a relationship with that person, their job is going to be to go out and bring the influencer potential sponsorship opportunities and a contract needs to be in place so that there are no ambiguities about the relationship. And I’m going to go over what needs to be in any influencer management contract.
First, the term of the agreement. A term refers to the length. And in almost any contract, it’s going to list how long it lasts, and then whether it automatically renews after the end of the initial term. For most social media influencer management contracts, it’s somewhere between three to five years, and then it may or may not have a language that states it will automatically renew for successive one-year terms after the initial term ends. There will also be a section called termination, which will then dictate how the agreement can be terminated. The last thing you want as an influencer is to get into a management contract with someone that is not doing their job or you’re unhappy with the sponsorship opportunities they’re bringing you, so you absolutely need some mechanism to terminate the contract and move on.
And you would do that through what’s called without cause termination. In the contract, there’ll be , as I stated before, ways to terminate the contract, and usually, those will include four ways. One, if the initial contract just ends, and it’s not renewed, the contract is terminated. You can terminate a contract through mutual agreement. Either party, at any point, feels like this isn’t working out. They both agree, you know what, you’re right. And we’re going to just ignore the rest of the terms of the contract. You can mutually agree to terminate the agreement. You can terminate the contract for cause. Meaning, if one of the parties is in breach of contract, then you would give them written notice. Then they’d have a period to fix whatever the breach is. And if they don’t fix it, you can terminate the agreement. And then the last thing as I just said is without cause termination. This is easily the most important thing that needs to be in any influencer management contract. And this allows either party to terminate the agreement for any reason, at any point, with a certain amount of notice to the other. Normally, it’s going to be somewhere between 30 to 120 days’ notice. Other topics of interest include:
- Can an Influencer Break Their Management Contract?
- What is the Purpose of an Influencer Management Contract?
Let’s just say you’re an influencer, your manager is doing a terrible job, you want to find someone else. Then if you had 60-day notice, you would give them written notice saying that I’m going to terminate the agreement. And then there’d be a 60-day period where the relationship would end. And then after that 60-day period, the contract is terminated and then the influencer can go off and find a new manager or agent. If it’s not in the contract, it’s an enormous red flag because, one, I guess the leverage in being able to terminate the contract at any point, keeps people on their toes, and the agent will work harder. If someone knows that they have an influencer locked in, they simply might not work. Logically, an agent’s goal is to make money for you and themselves.
And so, they’re going to try to bring as many deals as possible, but it’s just human nature if there isn’t the specter of losing someone, they’re just not going to work as hard. And then if they’re doing a terrible job and you want to get out and you can’t, and it’s an exclusive management contract, you are stuck unless they are in breach of contract. So, it absolutely needs to be in there. Compensation, so how much are you going to pay the manager or agent? It will be a percentage of whatever deals are struck. A normal percentage is around 20%. And then another very important thing is what happens after the contract ends. In almost any contract, it’s going to state that the manager will continue to get a percentage of any deals that they brought to you and that you’ve signed up for and have begun for a period.
Usually, that’s a year. For instance, let’s say you’re in fitness and someone brought you an apparel marketing sponsorship, and the influencer decides to terminate the agreement. Well, the manager is still going to get 20% of that apparel marketing or apparel fitness opportunity for a year after the contract is terminated. So, you’re going to still must pay your old manager for any deals that they brought you for a year. Now, that’s certainly something that can be negotiated. You can either negotiate the amount of time you must pay them or maybe reduce the percentage over time as well. But that is something that every influencer should be aware of and it likely will be in the agreement. What happens if there’s a dispute? Where can you sue them if it gets to that? Is there some arbitration clause? You need to know what the dispute resolution process will be and then where that will take place. And then last, the responsibilities of the parties. What does the influencer have to do? And then what does the management company have to do? That will be spelled out in detail as well. This is an important first step for most influencers.
Now to be clear, these are different from just sponsorship contracts. You likely will sign a sponsorship agreement with the people that you’re working with and creating videos for, or Instagram content or TikTok or whatever it is. This contract is just between you and your agent. And then if that starts off on the wrong foot, it can cascade and certainly can cripple an influencer’s career going forward. So, this base contract is extremely important to get right the first time.
Influencer Management Contract Questions?
Contract Review, Termination Issues, and more!