Digital marketing is essential to every small business these days — and that means making contracts between your business and a marketing firm and, quite possibly, a few online influencers.
In order to craft a solid contract there are several important rules to keep in mind:
1. Spend time thinking about the future potential problems and situations you may face.
The essence of a good contract is that it eliminates ambiguity and gives you a contingency plan for when things go wrong. Contracts should make both parties comfortable that their interests will be protected in the event of a problem.
2. Have all your agreements in writing.
Oral agreements are valid — but difficult to enforce. If the other party's statements are sincere, there's no reason not to get everything in writing. In addition, writing something down eliminates the possibility that two people will remember the agreement they made in different ways.
3. Make sure the language of the contract is easy to understand.
A contract doesn't have to be written in "legalese" in order to be valid. In fact, language that's hard to understand can actually lead to problems because it may obscure the plain meaning of a contract and leave it open to interpretation.
4. Include specific details.
When you negotiate the details of a contract, it's important to be specific. If you aren't, you're leaving holes in your agreement that can create significant problems. For example, if you anticipate a social media influencer making four posts a month on your behalf, you may automatically assume that those posts will go out once a week. The social influencer, on the other hand, may think — absent any specifics — that it's okay to post four at the beginning of the month and none the rest.
5. Pay attention the local and state laws.
You have to make certain that your contract doesn't violate the law — or it might be invalid entirely. If there's a question about what laws will govern the issues in a dispute, which often happens in contracts that involve parties in more than one state, you need to make sure your contract specifies which rules have to be followed.
It's difficult to protect your company's interests without a good understanding of the basics you need to have in a contract. Many people rely on templates — which is a mistake. An attorney who provides business transaction law services can help.