Let’s discuss one very big elephant in the room: contracts. As a social media marketer, you may be used to getting jobs through your clients’ and family’s word-of-mouth recommendations. That’s especially common for freelancing marketers who offer their services for multiple clients at once or who are still looking to land their first client.
It’s strange to hear most of these marketers say that they don’t need a contract – that they’re not famous, experienced, or established enough to sign a contract. Let’s set one thing clear: if it’s the professionalism you’re after, you need to start with your first job, and all professionals bind their clients with contracts.
That said, creating a contract doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. Here are 6 simple tips every social media marketer can follow to create a contract.
Describe Clear Scope of Work
You may think managing a social media account is simple. After all, you’re applying for this job expecting to work as a social media marketer. However, your expectations and your clients’ expectations are often very different. Although they’re asking for a social media marketer, they might be looking for someone to take over the marketing department all at once.
If you don’t want to find them requesting video editing, photography, SEO, and event coverage as a part of the package, you have to outline a clear scope of work. Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you have to.
Clearly Set Pricing and Payment
In case you do want to offer additional services outside the scope of your original work, you certainly can. However, they should be clear on the fact that you’re providing additional services, and that means they have to pay additional fees for it. Make sure to set clear pricing for everything you provide inside and outside your scope of work. Moreover, discuss with them the payment method, downpayment, and milestones ahead of time. Once the negotiations are settled, add everything in the form of clauses.
Set a Good Duration
When it comes to amateur social media marketers especially, they can shy away from asking for an extended duration. However, even if they’re not so confident in their skills or they just want to test the waters, they should ask for, at least, a 3 to 6 month period. For experienced social media marketers, managing multiple accounts for different clients can quickly get out of hand.
To keep things under control, click here to learn the benefits of using contract management software applications. Such a simple tool can help remind them of upcoming contract expirations, which can save them a lot of hassle.
Add an “End of Contract” Clause
There will come times when you want or need to end a contract ahead of time. Perhaps the client is troublesome or you have personal issues that leave you unable to finalize your work.
Perhaps the client decides to default on the payment or wants to end the contract prematurely. These are all possible scenarios, but that doesn’t mean that either party has to carry the ramifications of ending the contract earlier than agreed upon. As such, adding an “end of contract” clause that sets clear rules and restrictions will protect both parties and limit the damage.
Agree on Communication Channels
Will you communicate through emails, communication apps, or social media platforms? You have to reach a mutual agreement about the official and primary communication channel used and limit your contact to this channel. Moreover, set clear rules about the time of contact and delivery deadlines, especially if you’re both living in different time zones.
Sign an NDA
While a lot of freelancers neglect to sign an NDA, it’s actually an important part of the contract. NDA stands for a Non-Disclosure Agreement: a legally binding contract that states that all business exchanges are confidential. Under this agreement, you can rest assured that both your and your clients’ rights are protected by law.
An NDA helps you realize the kind of information that’s sensitive and confidential so you’re more careful with how you use it. However, be sure to read its clauses well and understand everything in the contract to avoid facing unexpected liability.
Although there are a lot of reasons to establish a contract before getting started on work, it’s surprising how a lot of social media marketers neglect this step. A contract will help them legally protect their rights in case anything goes south. Moreover, a contract will organize the workflow and set clear expectations for both parties so everyone is on the same page.