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What does your contract really mean?

What does your contract really mean?

What do content creation and legal advice have in common? An awful lot. And far too often we shy away from all “the legal stuff” and don’t properly check what we are signing up for. Not to worry, help is at hand. Lucy Legal offers her tips and tricks to make sure you stay one step ahead.

Lucy Legal provides template legal contracts and policies to female entrepreneurs. She has experience supporting business coaches, health and wellness coaches including nutritionists and life coaches and social media managers. By taking an education-based approach, Lucy helps her clients to feel confident when taking on new projects or signing agreements. In sharing tips and guidance Lucy is empowering others to create business opportunities on their own terms.

Lucy is disrupting the legal industry by offering specialist template legal documents for online businesses at affordable prices. Join Lucy for daily business motivation on Instagram @lucy_legal.

It’s finally happened!

You’ve been growing your Instagram account for almost a year now; your community feels like a family and your engagement is growing consistently. You check your emails and there’s one that looks super exciting, you hold your breath as you open it and read that one of your favourite brands is looking to partner with you on their upcoming campaign. Within the next couple of hours, you’ve agreed in principle to join the campaign, there are more details to finalise but the agent plans to be in touch next week with a contract.

Your heart drops into your stomach. A contract? Of course, there’s a contract this is a household brand, you suddenly begin to doubt yourself. What will the contract say? Do you agree with the terms and conditions in the contract? What are the key contract terms for a contract between a blogger and a brand that you need to be looking out for? Will the PR agency be able to tell you’ve never done this before?

Where to start with a contract

Take a deep breath lovely, that’s where I come in. I’m Lucy and as well as working as a lawyer in London I support entrepreneurs in the health and wellness industry with their legal needs. I work as a lawyer full-time and I also blog about fitness, running and adventures which has led me to work with some huge brands such as The North Face, New Balance and Red Bull. This mix of experience puts me in a unique position to be able to help bloggers just like you.

For almost a year I was helping friends who blog with contracts they received to explain what specific wording meant, which clauses they needed to look out for and how to ensure they got paid. In doing so I realised that there wasn’t much support out there for bloggers who can’t afford to invest in legal advice, so I set up @lucy_legal.

To get you started, here are three things that every blogger should be considering before they sign a contract with a brand:

1. The contract you are receiving may not have been drafted by a lawyer

In my experience (often PR agencies tell me) there is a high chance that someone in the PR agency has “combined a few recent contracts” together, before sending over the contract to you. That doesn’t mean to say that the contract isn’t any good, far from it, PR companies are experienced. It means that if something doesn’t read quite right in the contract then you can have the courage to question it, as it may not actually be correct.

2. Check the contract term

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The contract will set out the performance dates of when you need to deliver your content. It will also have a contract term which is the duration over which the contract applies. If a brand is looking for exclusivity then the term of the contract may be for an extended period, such as a month, which, depending on the other clauses in the contract, may prevent you from working with other brands during that time.

3. You won’t always get a contract

Contracts are only supplied in about 50% of campaigns. In situations where you aren’t given a contract, you could put forward your own contract, setting out the terms and conditions. If you’re starting out then you may not feel confident to do that. Instead, you can look to make sure the terms are clear and agreed.

There can be a lot of back and forth over the phone and/or email fixing the key terms, once that has come to an end, take the time to summarise the key points in one email and send it over and ask the agency to agree that those terms are correct. It is important to have the terms in writing in an attempt to avoid any uncertainty later on.

If you’ve found this helpful, then you’re going to love my checklist: 5 Key Contract Terms for Bloggers which you can download for free at https://www.lucylegal.co.uk/resources and have a look at the Blogger Bundle.

Read more about how to create trustworthy content, too, and why it is important.

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