2. CREATE CONTRACTS WITH EVERY CLIENT (Get respect and get paid)
You might be surprised at how many small marketing agencies operate without contracts with their clients, but frankly, it’s a huge mistake to do business without them.
A contract is an agreement between a marketing agency and a client/company. It can contain standard language and clauses, and can further be customized to make sure all areas of concern are covered. It establishes the basis for rights, responsibilities and expectations for both sides, signed by both parties.
Agencies who use contracts with their clients convey legitimacy and professionalism – clients will take you more seriously and it ensures that your agency is covered if things go awry. *Contracts can be simple or as detailed as you wish.
Common elements of a contract between a marketing agency and client generally include:
Appointment – Here’s where the client appoints your agency as their representative agency for the desired term.
Scope of Services – This portion is usually spelled out in a separate schedule and includes a list of services the agency agrees to be responsible for, including research, writing, design work, illustrations, layout, messaging and more.
Ownership – Spells out that all work products produced by your agency are the property of the client, provided certain conditions are met, including acceptance date and payment.
Term – This area defines the length of the contract including start date, end date and termination details regarding possession of work products and assets.
Compensation and Billing Procedures – Since this portion is generally quite detailed, many agencies attach a schedule to the agreement to spell out all the terms. It can cover payment amounts, timetables, taxes, expenses, advances, billing methods, invoices and more.
Confidentiality and Safeguard of Property – Here’s where the client and your agency agree to keep in confidence any information, documents, or materials that are reasonably considered confidential.
Indemnities – This helps to protect both sides: your agency agrees to hold client harmless with respect to any claims by third parties against the client, and the client agrees to hold your agency harmless where material created by your organization is substantially changed by the client and with respect to any death or personal injury claims arising from the use of client’s products or services.
Commitments to Third Parties – ALWAYS include this segment – it’s crucial, especially because it ensures that your client will cover the monthly cost of the marketing automation platform that you’ve contracted for use on their account. It can also include a line that the client’s prior approval is required before purchases are made on their behalf by your agency.
Amendments – This is just a formality to make sure you both agree that any changes made to the contract need to be in writing, signed by the agency and client.
Notices – It’s a good idea to determine acceptable types of notices and terms for both parties, including timing.
Governing Law – A standard practice is to agree to abide by state laws, jurisdiction and venues.
There are lots of sample agreements and contracts available online. Google it and check some of them out to find one that best fits your needs.
*Disclaimer: This is not intended as legal advice. Consult with a legal professional to create your agency’s contracts.
3. INTERACTIVE CONTENT (Invite audiences to play along!)