Creator brand deal red flags and green flags
Paid brand deals and partnerships are an exciting marker of your channel taking the next step up - but how do you know if they’re the right fit for your channel?
Good partnerships are a two-way street, and while it’s exciting to add another revenue stream to your channel, it’s important to make sure that the deal on offer is worth it.
For a deeper dive into one creator’s story - check out the Creator Generation podcast ep with Sylvia Jade about her first brand deal, and her experience of working in brand partnerships.
1. Ownership of content
If a company wants ongoing ownership of your IP and content, tread with caution.
Signing away the rights to your video means the brand can use your content for as long as agreed upon. Watch out for the word ‘perpetuity’ - that’s forever. Take into account what your own ambitions are likely to be a year from now, or even beyond.
Fixed-term agreements on how long they can use your content is a good way to negotiate around this. You can always renew or renegotiate if you would like the partnership to continue.
1. Ownership of content If a company wants ongoing ownership of your IP and content, tread with caution. Signing away the rights to your video means the brand can use your content for as long as agreed upon. Watch out for the word ‘perpetuity’ - that’s forever. Take into account what your own ambitions are likely to be a year from now, or even beyond. Fixed-term agreements on how long they can use your content is a good way to negotiate around this. You can always renew or renegotiate if you would like the partnership to continue.
2. Excessive brand exclusivity When collaborating with brands, it’s reasonable to expect that the brand will ask you to refrain from paid deals with their direct competitors. However, it’s unrealistic for them to expect that you’ll stop engaging with brands or products in your content niche entirely. Imagine if you were a tech reviewer and a sponsor asked you to not feature any other tech brands? Or a beauty creator and a brand says you couldn’t discuss any other beauty brands ever, other than the sponsor? Not a chance! Sylvia mentions this in the podcast - creators need to maintain authenticity for their audience to believe in their endorsements, and being able to move freely within your niche is crucial to this.
3. Overly complex contract The key to a good partnership is clear communication, and your contract is quite literally the cornerstone of your agreement. If areas are unclear or too confusing, don’t be afraid to ask them to explain what sections mean in simpler terms - it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure expectations are clear on both sides. Also, a 100 page contract full of legal jargon for a typical creator brand deal is unnecessary and potentially hiding contractual landmines. Definitely a red flag.
1. Good communication
As mentioned above, clear communication is key to a successful partnership. From the initial outreach or reply through to the conclusion of your arrangement, both sides should expect professional and prompt communication.
In the initial messages, keep an eye out for details that show the brand truly values you as an individual creator, as opposed to blanket outreach that is too vague.
2. Good track record with other creators
A good indicator of a brand's reputation is how many other creators they’ve worked with. Reaching out to other creators who have worked with them in the past can give you an insight into the experience you might be signing up for.
It’s an invaluable asset to have access to other creators. Not only are they people who can relate to, but they have an understanding of what it’s like being a content creator. In the Creator Generation Community server (subtle plug, we know!) we have an incredible and diverse community across a range of niches. If you’re curious, click here to check it out and meet your people!
3. Appropriate pay rate
Last but definitely not least, the financial element of a brand deal is obviously an important factor to consider. In our experience, creators often undercharge companies compared to what they’re worth.
Check out this rate card from our friends at Scrunch for a good starting point.
A good brand deal will bring great revenue opportunities to you as a creator, as well as bring a valuable and relevant endorsement to your viewers. Keep clear communication at the forefront, consider the deal itself thoroughly, and you’ll be on your way to some great brand deals.