Social media has become integral to many digital marketing campaigns.
As the demand for social media managers grows, many newcomers enter the scene without clearly understanding how to establish a professional relationship with their clients. This leads to misunderstandings and, in extreme cases, legal conflicts.
To prevent such issues from happening, it’s crucial to establish clear expectations and agreements between you and your client through a professional contract. In this blog post, we’ll educate you about the importance of contracts and what should be included.
Do Social Media Managers Need a Contract?
Absolutely! Every professional relationship is built upon contracts, and this legally-binding document sets your scope and limitations and helps create expectations of how you will manage the social media campaign.
Here are some reasons why you need a contract before jumpstarting your social media career:
Having a contract establishes your authority and reputation as a legitimate social media manager. This document tells your client that you take this job seriously and that they can trust in your expertise. Moreover, a contract creates a clear line between what falls under your scope of responsibilities and what doesn’t.
With a contract, you avoid running into disputes down the road. It’s essential to create a document that defines the expectations of both parties and spells out precisely what is expected from you as a social media manager and what’s expected from your clients. This gives both parties clarity, which helps foster a productive working relationship.
Ensures You’re Getting Paid Correctly and Promptly
It’s common for many talents working without a contract to face payment issues with their clients. A contract ensures an agreement on how much you’ll be paid and when you should expect to receive it. This can save time, money, and effort in the long run. If your client refuses or fails to pay you, your contract can back up your claim in court.
Limits Your Legal Responsibilities
This aligns with our second point. With a contract, you can safely and legally set boundaries for what your client can and can’t expect from you. They might demand more revisions, increased workload, or anything beyond your scope. If they decide to use your limitations against you, you can use your legally-binding contract to counter their claims and prove you’re acting within the agreement.
What Should You Include in Your Contract?
Now that you know why creating a contract is essential for social media managers, let’s look at what should be included in your contract.
Responsibilities and Expectations
First, you should clearly and accurately define the responsibilities of both yourself and your client. This can include the scope of work, deadlines, deliverables, payment terms, revisions or modifications to the project scope, and any other conditions you wish to set.
For example, you might say you’re responsible for publishing one social media post daily or creating a social media strategy every quarter during the campaign to promote a new product. The key here is to be as specific as possible.
Not all partnerships work — having a valid document to pull you out of any unwanted partnerships or collaborations is critical. The termination clause should detail how and when either party can terminate the contract, with a mutual agreement or without.
For example, you can include a clause that states the contract can be terminated if both parties fail to agree on any changes or modifications made to the scope of work or if the client fails to pay for three consecutive payment terms. It’s critical to stand your ground in this clause.
Creative Control Clause
As the social media manager, you’re responsible for the entire creative outlook of the campaign. However, the client might have a different idea of the visual and creative aspects of the campaign.
Differences in creative perspective are a long and enduring disagreement between many creatives and their clients.
With a creative control clause, you outline who has the final say in the final output of creative materials. You can include what would happen if both parties disagree on a particular end product under this clause.
For example, you can include a clause that obligates your clients to provide input or feedback only when asked and not to interfere in the creative aspect of the campaign.
Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property refers to original works created during the campaign, such as logos, slogans, or literary and artistic works. As the creator of this work, you own the intellectual property rights and should include a clause that states all works belong to you unless otherwise specified.
However, your client might ask to have some intellectual rights transferred to them once the project ends. It’s vital to find a middle ground here. For example, a client can only claim intellectual property rights on the works they approve, and any samples or prototypes provided belong to you.
Prevailing Party Clause
If legal disputes arise, you want to avoid the other party having the upper hand. Including a prevailing clause can help protect your rights and interests. This clause states that the losing party shoulder the costs for the winning party’s legal fees and other damages.
Many lawyers and insurance professionals often recommend that professionals or freelancers include a prevailing party clause in their contracts. With this clause in effect, you and your client would try to resolve disputes before they hit the courtrooms.
Get Your Legally-binding Social Media Contract Template at DraftedLegal
Contracts are essential to set definite boundaries and expectations between your clients and you. However, the challenge lies in creating an absolute and legally-binding professional contract.
Understanding every word you put in your contract is critical because it’ll be used as legal evidence should any disputes arise.
DraftedLegal offers a social media manager contract template to help you create a contract that’ll protect your rights and interests while upholding the boundaries of the collaboration with your client.
Our customizable and comprehensive templates use plain language and include all necessary clauses to protect you holistically. Get your social media manager contract template today at DraftedLegal.