Editor's note: We've partnered with technology company Atticus AI to provide insights on complex topics such as brand rights and contracts to benefit the Polywork community.
The thrill of landing your first brand deal can be overwhelming. Yet, knowing what to look out for is crucial. Here's a guide to three common mistakes we've encountered in brand deals, why they're problematic, and what you can do to avoid them now and in the future.
1. Giving brands unlimited usage rights
What it means: Unlimited usage rights mean a brand can use your content wherever and however they wish without any limitations or restrictions.
Why it is a mistake: This can lead to your content being overused or misrepresented, diluting your brand's value. The wider the usage rights you give, the more you should be compensated.
What to do about it: Be specific about the rights you are granting. Set limitations on platforms, duration, regions, and contexts in which it can be used. If you're willing to give up broad and lengthy usage rights, make sure you negotiate for more money.
2. Not understanding approval rights
What it means: A sponsor company typically must give a final approval before content is submitted and a contract considered complete. Not understanding these rights can lead to conflict if the content created does not align with the company's interests or guidelines.
Why it is a mistake: If the creator doesn't know what the sponsor company can approve or reject, they might invest time and resources into content that ultimately gets turned down. This can lead to wasted efforts and potential disagreements.
What to do about it: The solution is to submit a concept proposal for the sponsored content ahead of time. This allows both parties to agree on the direction and align their expectations, resulting in a higher likelihood of producing content that is compatible with the company's interests.
3. Not asking for more money
What it means in practice: Accepting the first offer without negotiation may lead to compensation that doesn't reflect the true value of your work.
Why it is a mistake: Creators are often overly fearful when it comes to negotiating contracts. Everything is negotiable, and it is unlikely you will scare away a sponsor by negotiating.
What to do about it: Research comparable deals, understand your value, and negotiate. Do not hesitate to ask for what you deserve.
Final thoughts: Making brand deals work for you
Remember, a well-negotiated deal doesn't only benefit you today; it sets a precedent for your future collaborations. It starts with understanding the rights you're giving up, being clear about what you're offering, and recognizing the influence and value of your creative work.
Atticus helps creators navigate the legal landscape by analyzing contracts with AI. We detect potential pitfalls and explain your rights in simple terms, empowering you to make informed decisions about your collaborations.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. Consult with a qualified attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.