Do influencers usually complete W-9 forms? Also, do brands usually send/email contracts for influencers to sign? How do brands expense influencer marketing expenses?
Influencers in the US need W9 Forms once they reach the minimum earning threshold of $600 (set by the IRS in 2016.)The “Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification”, or W-9 form required by the IRS, can become a struggle for brands trying to manage larger campaigns. That’s why we decided to integrate the form directly into the payment platform at Upfluence (the influencer software I helped co-found.) Here’s what it looks like:User friendly, brands easily keep track of expenses and make secure payments: Upfluence software comes with an integrated payment platform adapted to influencer marketing. After campaign completion, brands may pay by Paypal or bank transfer with auto-generated invoices that can be specified to ‘Company, Individual, or Other’. For US influencers, a integrated W9 form can be downloaded, filled out, and attached.Part 2: Do brands usually send/email contracts for influencers to sign?2. Influencer contracts are used less and less but are imperative for certain campaign types, such as events.If a campaign is paid, usually a simple collaboration quote will be agreed upon by the brand or agency. These quotes briefly outline the date and details of publication (dedicated hash tags, sharing instructions, etc) as well as the price per post. Practically public, quotes like these are used to solicit influencer participation and often don’t require signatures.Though if the campaign features an event, it is strongly advised to create a specific contract. Due to the fact that it is difficult to replace an influencer at the last minute, this serves as a guarantee that the campaign won’t be jeopardized by no-shows.What does a professional Influencer contract look like? Examples here.To conclude, it is advised to use contracts when the partnership circumstances require it: either for brand safety (confidential information) or to confirm the presence of an Influencer at an event.It’s important to keep in mind though that imposing too many restrictions on creativity can be counterproductive and ultimately degrade campaign performance.Answer based on my experience with Upfluence. (You can try out our influencer search engine for free here.)Hope this helps!Vivien