How To Negotiate Blogger Contracts

How To Negotiate Blogger Contracts

Influencer marketing has gotten super popular! It’s a type of marketing where brands pay bloggers and social media influencers to showcase their products instead of running traditional ads. Every year, companies take more money away from old advertising methods and push it instead toward influencers, because the results are so much better!

The connections and influence you have over your target audience are super valuable to brands. Your followers trust you more than people trust random TV commercials and magazine ads, so companies want you to market their products and services. This is a great opportunity for you, because it means you can get paid to blog about your favorite brands! 

The best part? You don’t need 10,000 followers to land brand collabs. More and more companies are seeing value in micro influencers who have a lot of engagement with their small audience. So, don’t think you can’t get in on this! You can learn more here about how brand collaborations work and how to contact brands for collaboration

Whether you’re new to influencer marketing or you’ve done a hundred collabs, contract negotiations are always intimidating. No one likes confrontation, and negotiating can definitely feel like confrontation. However, it’s a normal part of the blogging and influencing world, and nothing to be afraid of! So, we’re dedicating our post today to blogger contract negotiation to help you develop your negotiation skills, establish a strategy, and get the best deal! 

Here’s how you can get the best contract when negotiating brand partnerships:

How To Negotiate Blogger Contracts

How To Negotiate Blogger Contracts 

Make sure you completely understand the contract terms. 

Before you start negotiating your contract, make sure you totally understand what the proposed contract says. It’ll be hard to negotiate confidently if you’re unsure of the terms. So, read everything super carefully, ask questions, and even seek legal advice if you need some extra assistance. 

Personally define your terms and non-negotiables.

Next, think about what you don’t like about the current contract terms and determine what your non-negotiable changes are. If you know your non-negotiables from the get-go, it’ll be easier to know when you walk away! Here are things you need to have figured out: 

  • Payment terms and payment schedule
  • Duration and renewals
  • Creative control and brand representation
  • Performance metrics and reporting
  • Termination and cancellation clauses

Create your own proposal in advance. 

Now that you know the difference between your needs and the brand’s wishes, craft a revised contract. Don’t forget to keep the brand’s campaign goals in mind! The goal is to mutually benefit from the partnership, so everyone’s goals should be considered. 

If you’re nervous about writing your own contract, find a lawyer that specializes in influencer law, or use a contract template you find online. You could also use the contract originally delivered to you as a blueprint! 

Be prepared with data to back your proposal. 

If you really feel like your new contract is fair, make sure you have data to back your worth! Your media kit should already include things like engagement rates, performance data, past collab success, and audience demographics, but make sure you have all those numbers handy for negotiation. 

How To Negotiate Blogger Contracts

Expect some back-and-forth negotiating. 

Don’t expect the brand to accept your returned contract right away. It’s normal to have some back-and-forth negotiating! Embrace it and respectfully try to resolve the negotiation in a way that’s satisfying for everyone. 

Read the new contract just as carefully.

Whether they accept your terms or have another proposal, read their new contract carefully. Don’t take the brand at their word: make sure the new contract says what they claim. As mentioned earlier, have a lawyer who specializes in influencer law read it if you need more help breaking down the details. 

Finalize the agreement or return to negotiating. 

Either finalize and sign the agreement, or return to negotiating until you come to an agreement. Don’t be afraid to walk away at any point if you can’t reach a compromise or you get bad vibes.

Seek legal advice if needed. 

If you want help with the whole negotiation and contract drafting process, consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in influencer law to be with you through each step. They can likely facilitate negotiation for you and make sure you get the best deal. 

Blogger Contract Negotiation Strategies

Blogger Contract Negotiation Strategies

Collaboration Goal

The whole idea of brand collaboration is that it’s mutually beneficial. You get paid to feature a brand you actually love on your blog, and the company gets to sell to your audience in a way that’s way more profitable than targeted ads. 

With that in mind, consider the “collaborative” negotiation process, which basically just means you look for a win-win scenario if at all possible. You go into negotiating, wanting the best for you and the brand for mutual success. This is a smart strategy, because it’s the most likely to generate future collabs and a long-term partnership with this brand! 

Competitive Goal 

A “competitive” negotiation goal is the opposite of a collaborative strategy. Basically, you’re looking for your best only and you’re willing to push until you get it. The perspective is that the brand’s goals and success are their problem, and your problem is getting the best pay and contract terms for you. 

This isn’t a bad thing at all. Maybe the company walks in with this same strategy when they negotiate influencer rates and brand collab details! You might be pushed into this negation process anyway if the brand’s goal is to “win” and get their contract through. It’s important not to sell yourself short, so be prepared to get a little more aggressive with your strategy if it serves you or you’re pushed to go there! 

Active Listening 

A smart strategy for anyone in a negotiation is active listening. Active listening is a way of listening that deepens mutual understanding. You can do this by paying close attention to what the other party is saying, looking them in the eyes, showing with your body language you’re listening, providing regular feedback, and avoiding interruptions. Assuming that you’re in a video negotiation or even on the phone, show the brand respect and help everyone better understand each other by active listening.  

Trade-Offs

Understand that to get what you want, it’s possible that trade-offs may be necessary. That means you need to know what kinds of things you’re willing to give up in order to come to an agreement. Maybe they pay you what you ask for, but you create content for social channels and your blog. Or, maybe they allow you to use photos that reflect your brand, but they maintain creative control of the written text. The point is, be ready to give and take! 

Authority

Brands don’t always come in with respect when negotiating with influencers. They assume authority and may try to steamroll you through the whole process especially if you’re a smaller blogger and this is one of your first collaborations. Because of this, it’s important to come in with confidence and authority!

That can be difficult if you’re still rusty on your negotiating skills and you really want this brand deal! So, consider bringing in a lawyer or neutral third party experts who can speak to the promise of your influence, engagement, and overall ability to convert. 

Secret Alternative Options

This one is about being creative! Enter the negotiation with a secret alternative contract that you’re content with. Only bring it out if you can’t come to an agreement on your current contract! Make it somewhat outside of the box: maybe you create some user-generated content for their platform, maybe you get some pay in products, or maybe they extend the deadline but you extend the overall promotion. 

Whatever it is, come with it drafted up and ready to go as a back-up! 

Walk Away with Grace

No matter how much you want a brand sponsorship to work out, sometimes it just doesn’t. Always be willing to walk away with grace and respect. If the collab isn’t in the cards right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t come to an agreement later!

Be smart about your brand collaboration contracts using these tips and strategies! 

Once you get into the world of brand partnerships and collabs, you cultivate SO MUCH potential for your blog. This monetization stream is an incredible opportunity and pretty sustainable too! But don’t get wrapped up in the excitement make sure you actually get the best deal too. Get the contract that you deserve using these tactics!
For more blogger and influencer know how, definitely check out the InfluencerSEO blog where we break down everything from monetization and social media to SEO and writing! We’re a blog for bloggers and we have all the need to know expert information. Don’t miss out!

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