Don’t Call It A Contract — How to Work With Instagram Influencers

How to do amazing brand deals with Instagram Influencers

Contracts Suck

Just the process of signing and getting back digital copies or heck, even harder, hard copies of contracts is a big pain the butt. And if you want to contract a dozen, or twenty or thirty influencers. You need to hirer someone. Don’t. Don’t even think that you have to use contracts.

The Contract Isn’t The Deal

Get the entire deal agreed to in an email first. Then you can get a contract signed. Just because you get someone to sign a contract doesn’t mean they are going to hold up their end of the deal. Most of the work of getting them to agree happens before the contract is signed. Heck I’ve done influencer deals where content is made before a contract is done. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to make a contract. I’m just saying to do all the deal negotiation before hand.

Create Trust In Small Ways

It’s important to not just trust the influencers but also be trustful yourself. Create appointments that you live up to. Make them able to trust you and give them small things to be able to gain your trust too

Ask For Analytics

Ask them for screenshots of analytics that you can’t get from outside sources. This isn’t to undermine their analysis or stop them from doing a deal with you because you ask too much. Don’t ask too much, just a little. If they don’t follow through in a timely manner (it takes 10 seconds to take a screenshot) or don’t at all. They can’t gain your trust.

Be On Time

No matter what, make sure you’re on time for calls or have prompt replies to emails. There are 10 other brands trying to woo this influencer, if they are good, this week. If you can’t get them on the phone, get their management. If you can’t get their management, you’re not worth their time. Either find another approach or find another influencer.

Pay Upfront

A good way to “gain trust” is to pay, at least a portion, up front. Many times if I’m doing a deal for more than $1k with an influencer for the first time, I’ll do a percentage of the payment up front to gain their trust. Never have I had to pay 100% up front or even more than 50%. Many times I’ll even get it down to 20% or 25% up front. Most of the time though, I’d rather go to influencers I’ve worked with before and have already gained their trust. In that case, No upfront payment is needed. UNLESS….

Asking Too Much

Many times a deal will go down the drain, if you ask too much. Too many talking points. Too much red tape. I’ve seen deals go nowhere because the brand wants to have everything. No need to ask for IP rights, just ask for use of the final creation in other advertisements. Don’t ask for elaborate productions

Good Deals Don’t Need Contracts

The only thing you need is a win-win situation.

You’ll need a good deal to offer and a great energy for working with an influencer. Many times a great campaign that offers a unique experience can get deal done quickly and almost effortlessly. When you have the right creator matched with the right idea for the right brand, it just works. Seems to just happen. But let’s be real. You need to be explicit and honest. Good deals need honesty.

Email Is All You Need

When working with influencers we need to execute a deal. When the time comes an email exchange will honestly suffice. You’re probably thinking, “Is That It?” Yes that is it. Just be very very clear and keep repeating a ton of information. Maybe even say “Just to summarize”. It’s better to have too much info than not enough. Be clear about dates and have clear email exchanges that show that they agree.

What happens if you want to just protect yourself. As a company. You want to. So here it is. A Template to save you hundreds of lawyer fees. Seriously you can now download a template Talent Agreement right here.

And you want to know more? Let’s talk to a Lawyer. In the book I go deep into a conversation with a lawyer who has worked on both sides of these types of deals. He walks through all the pitfalls that might happen and how to avoid them while also avoiding a big bill from lawyers. Yes a lawyer tells you how to save money by not hiring lawyers and not getting yourself into a situation that you’ll need lawyers.

Next Chapter

Just go on and read the next chapter: Curate and Create(edit: coming out Friday) In it I describe great methods of creating a cohesive account that not only creates original content, also curates a lifestyle, style and influencers.

No Bots About It! All Chapters

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Thank you for reading!

Any and all edits, suggestions, critiques are welcome.

Final draft of this essay, along with 11 more are to be published as “No Bots About It!”. Each essay hyper focuses on a single aspect of Instagram. Learn what it takes to build and grow an audience on Instagram.

Originally meant to teach e-commerce stores how to Instagram, topics covered have been a huge help to my private clients who include: Actors, Models, Pro Athletes, TV Hosts, Moms, and more. If you have passion, Instagram has your audience. for more info.

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