Having a contract in place as a digital marketing freelancer is essential to make sure that you’re aligned with your client and protected in case anything goes wrong.
Contracts can be really challenging to understand, but we’re going to break it down so you better understand what needs to be included as a digital marketing freelancer.
Outside of the legal terminology, there are a few things that you should know, that are commonly included within digital marketing contracts.
Breaking Down What Needs to be Included in a Digital Marketing Contract
What will be done and when
One of the main purposes of contracts is to dictate what work will be accomplished and on what time frame. Having this laid out for digital marketers can help prevent scope creep and ensure that you and your client are aligned on what will be done and when.
Services: Services are what actions are going to be performed by the consultant for the client. There is typically a section on ‘description of services’ that lays out the specific actions or deliverables that will come from the contract.
Term: The amount of time the agreement will be in effect. This is often a length of time and can be renewable per the terms.
All about money
Outside of just compensation, there are a lot of things around money that should be specified in the contracts.
Compensation: The consultant’s compensation should be outlined within the contract specifying how much the consultant will make. This can be an hourly amount or project based and may include a specific amount of hours.
Expenses: This lays out who is responsible for paying for expenses related to this project. Is it the client or the consultant’s responsibility? Different expenses in digital marketing contracts can include tools, advertising costs, website associated costs, etc.
Invoices: This includes what the process for invoicing is. Is it submitted to the client on a certain cadence? Is there a biweekly or bimonthly payment schedule, or is the payment due upon completion of the project?
Considerations: Including what to do in the case of late fees, delayed payment, or who’s responsible for taxes
Yours, mine, and ours
Intellectual Property: Understanding who owns what’s being created. This is especially important for writers, designers, and other artistic components of digital marketing who want to understand if they can use what was written within their portfolio
What happens if something goes wrong?
Sometimes, things happen that are outside of our control as digital marketing freelancers. You deliver your client an analysis and they decide to cancel your contract. Or they don’t want to continue forward. If this happens you want to make sure you’re covered and will be paid for the work done. Or if you need to cancel the contract, you want to make sure you’ll be paid as well.
Cancellation: This includes information of what would need to occur for a contract to be cancelled. What fees would need to be paid, and what are the other repercussions?
Dispute Resolution: The dispute resolution details what happens if something goes wrong during your contract and the steps that will be taken. This can include which third party may be utilized for resolution or any additional processes pre-determined.
What do we do once the task is completed?
The last area we’ll mention are renewals. You need to ensure that once a contract is completed there is a clear determination of what steps would take place to renew the contract, or if it is automatically renewed after a period of time.
Renewals: Renewals is the information that is outlined to determine what happens when a contract ends. If the contract is renewable and the processes for continuing forward with the existing contract.
What to look for when choosing a template
If your client isn’t providing the contract for review, there are a few things to consider when choosing a digital marketing contract template. First of all, you need to ensure that you have the rights to use the contract and it’s not previously copyrighted.
We suggested going through a tool or service to download a contract to ensure that a larger organization has done the research and is backing the contract.
We provide a free contract template that you can customize based on your specific needs. To learn more about contracts, click here.