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If you offer social media management services to your clients, you need a solid contract in place. Why? Well, when you take over a brand’s social media presence, you hold their reputation in your hands. In a world where one ill-judged hashtag could spell disaster, it pays to be protected!
It also helps to make sure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to goals, objectives, and expectations — and a social media contract template can guide a strong and successful client/freelancer relationship from start to finish.
So, to keep everyone happy and your campaign on track, here’s what you need to include in your next social media agreement:
Before you drill down into the project details, you need to clarify who the contract is between and the nature of the relationship. A polished and legally-binding social media contract will also give your client confidence that they’re dealing with a professional.
Next, you need to outline the social media services you’re being asked to provide. If you’ve discussed and agreed upon something as part of the project (either verbally or via email), make sure it’s in the contract. And don’t be vague. Use numbers and dates when talking about timeframes, posting frequency, or availability — otherwise, the scope could be open to interpretation and lead to friction.
You should also clarify what’s out of scope here. For example, if you’ve not explicitly agreed to design graphics for the social media posts, make this clear. That way there’s no confusion between you and your client.
Now that you’ve established who you are and what you’re going to do, you need to be clear about what it is you’re aiming to achieve. Again, leave nothing to chance here.
For example, if the goal is to increase follower numbers, post engagement percentages, or organic mentions, you should explicitly state by how much and by when. You should also mention how frequently you’ll be reporting these metrics, and in what format.
The foundation of every good contract, you must list the resources and information you require to successfully launch and run your social media campaign. You should also name who’s responsible for delivering this info, and when you need it by.
For instance, you’ll need the logins to the respective social platforms, your client’s Google Analytics account to track KPIs, and any other third-party software they may use.
Next, you’ll want to outline the key milestones, dates and deadlines associated with the project. Be clear around when something is due and what might affect this.
For example, if your client is late in delivering those logins mentioned above this could alter your timelines and impact your ability to achieve your stated goals.
If you fail to highlight this, you could be held to the original deadline and target without any wiggle room.
Finally, the reason why the best social media freelancers won’t write a single tweet without having a contract in place, you need to agree on how much, how, and when you’ll be paid.
The amount you quote and the method of payment you accept is up to you, but you may wish to structure the payment schedule differently depending on the scope and length of the project.
For example, if you’re working on a long-term social media campaign spread over several months, you should ask for a deposit upfront, with further payments contingent on the delivery of certain milestones to safeguard your cash flow.
Writing a good social media contract template from scratch takes time, effort, and know-how. And because each campaign you run is likely to be different from the last in terms of scope and budget, the ability to customize your contract with brand-specific detail is essential.
Now, you could use a standard contract template from the web, but they’re often difficult to customize and format — especially when time’s a factor. So, what’s the alternative? One word: Bonsai.
Vetted by thousands of freelancers and experienced contract lawyers, Bonsai covers everything we’ve mentioned above, and so much more. Simply select our marketing contract template, add your personal and project details, and sign & send with just a few clicks.
And if you’re happy with the finished contract, you can click “SIGN CONTRACT” to digitally sign it with a legally-binding e-signature, before sending it to your client to do likewise.
Now you can return to your personalized Freelance Dashboard to track when the contract has been delivered, opened, and signed.
Get to work — and get paid — faster with Bonsai: Make a social media contract
This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Marketer").
The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].
1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Marketer to do the following: The Marketer will assist the Client with social media services.
1.2 Schedule. The Marketer will begin work on August 22, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Marketer at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.
1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Marketer a rate of $75.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Marketer $400.00 (USD) before work begins.
1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Marketer's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.
1.5 Invoices. The Marketer will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.
1.6 Support. The Marketer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Marketer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Marketer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Marketer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Marketer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.
2.2 Marketer's Use Of Work Product. Once the Marketer gives the work product to the Client, the Marketer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Marketer here. The Client gives the Marketer permission to use the work product as part of the Marketer's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Marketer's work and not for any other purpose. The Marketer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.
2.3 Marketer's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Marketer's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Marketer agrees to help with that. For example, the Marketer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Marketer, the Marketer agrees that the Client can act on the Marketer's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Marketer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Marketer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Marketer's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Marketer and on the Marketer's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).
2.4 Marketer's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Marketer might use intellectual property that the Marketer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Marketer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Marketer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Marketer cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.
2.5 Marketer's Right To Use Client IP. The Marketer may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Marketer to build a website, the Marketer may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Marketer use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Marketer's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Marketer any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.
3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Marketer won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Marketer asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Marketer uses employees or subcontractors, the Marketer must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.
4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Marketer won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Marketer puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Marketer may hire that candidate. The Marketer promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.
5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.
5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.
5.3 Marketer Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Marketer promises that it owns the work product, that the Marketer is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Marketer uses employees or subcontractors, the Marketer also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Marketer giving the Marketer any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Marketer's background IP and work product.
5.4 Marketer Will Comply With Laws. The Marketer promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.
5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Marketer promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Marketer has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Marketer has entered into or will enter into with someone else.
5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Marketer if the Marketer has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.
5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Marketer with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.
6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Marketer. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Marketer must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Marketer for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Marketer for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).
7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Marketer as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:
- The Marketer will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Marketer is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Marketer with any training.- The Client and the Marketer do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Marketer cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Marketer is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Marketer is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Marketer or any of the Marketer's employees or subcontractors.
8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Marketer must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.
8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Marketer may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Marketer promises to treat this information as if it is the Marketer's own confidential information. The Marketer may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Marketer use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Marketer cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Marketer written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Marketer may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Marketer must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Marketer promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Marketer written permission first. The Marketer must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Marketer's responsibilities only stop if the Marketer can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Marketer came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Marketer came across it, but not because of anything the Marketer did or didn’t do; (iii) the Marketer already knew the information when the Marketer came across it and the Marketer didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Marketer with the information without requiring that the Marketer keep it a secret; or (v) the Marketer created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.
8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Marketer each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Marketer each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Marketer is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.
9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.
10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Marketer or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Marketer did, then the Marketer may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.
10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Marketer agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Marketer has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Marketer of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Marketer of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).
10.3 Marketer Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Marketer (and its affiliates and its and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.
11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Marketer. The Marketer cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Marketer's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.
11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.
11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Marketer must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.
(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.
(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.
11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.
11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Marketer must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.
11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Nebraska govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Marketer under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.
11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.