The Internet Creators Guild, formed by Hank Green and longtime VidCon exec Laura Chernikoff to champion the digital creator community, provides a wealth of resources for digital content creators – whether you are just starting out, or have millions of followers.

Two recent posts are of particular value and highlight the importance of understanding what is involved in creating sponsored content – The State of the Brand Deal and Confronting Creator Contract Concerns.

In The State of the Brand Deal, ICG interviewed over 100 creators, investigating the types of deals, the range of fees paid, and best practices. From a fully integrated sponsorship to a simple brand mention – do you know what fees you can or should be charging?

Understanding the value of what you are bringing to the table is key in this equation. Do you have a unique skill like high video production values? Is your audience a hard-to-reach desireable demographic for that advertiser? There is no set rate card in this space, so you need to understand what the brand is looking for and how you can work with them.

The list of best practices is a good guideline for thinking through what is entailed in creating content for a brand – how much work is involved, how many revisions, the amount of creative freedom etc.

Strikingly, seventy-five percent of the respondents said they had made a brand deal for less than they thought was fair.

Confronting Creator Contract Concerns segues from “operational” concerns over brand sponsored content deals to providing useful high-level legal advice. One particular piece of advice rings especially true: It’s pretty safe to assume that if you didn’t draft a sentence, then it’s not in your favor. There are two ways to manage that: (1) have a form of agreement prepared FOR YOU that makes sure you are protected, and you send that proactively to the brand; or (2) make sure you understand what the contract means to you.

With “Negotiating Terms” as the hardest part of a brand deal – you’ll be better off the more you know.

A contract between a brand and a content creator should clearly spell out:

  • what are your obligations (type of content, number of posts, number of revisions/comments etc.)
  • the brand’s obligations
  • the fee and when and how payment is due (for example, ask for a meaningful percentage up front rather than wait for it all at the end)
  • timing – when does the contract begin, when are deliverables due, when (and how) does the contract terminate
  • specifics on how the brand can use the content and for how long
  • ownership of the intellectual property created
  • compliance with FTC guidelines on sponsored posts is important to you and the brand – you should insist on it

The article covers important concerns if you are thinking of signing a Multi Channel Network agreement and provides a handy 3 page overview of key legal terms.

Knowing your rights is important. I’m happy to help interpret.