7 Mistakes Creators Make with Brand Deals and Sponsored Content

brand deals content creators creator economy monetization sponsored content sponsorship youtube youtube monetization Apr 25, 2023


When it comes to monetizing content, sponsored content and brand deals are an increasingly popular avenue for content creators to earn revenue. However, it's easy to make mistakes when entering into these types of agreements. In this article, we'll cover the 7 most common mistakes content creators make when doing sponsored content and brand deals, and provide some best practices for avoiding them. 

Mistake #1: Not Disclosing Sponsored Content

One of the most significant mistakes that content creators make is not disclosing when content is sponsored. It's essential to be transparent with your audience about any brand deals or sponsored content, and failing to do so can lead to a loss of trust with your viewers.

Best Practice: Always disclose sponsored content. This can be done in the video or post itself, as well as in the description or caption.

Example: "This video is sponsored by [Brand]."

Mistake #2: Not Reading Contracts Thoroughly

Another mistake content creators make is not reading contracts thoroughly before signing them. This can lead to misunderstandings and potential legal issues down the road.

Best Practice: Read contracts thoroughly and consult a lawyer if needed. Make sure you understand all of the terms and conditions before signing.

Example: A content creator signs a contract with a brand, only to find out later that they're unable to post any competing content for six months.

Mistake #3: Overpromising Deliverables

Content creators can also make the mistake of overpromising deliverables to brands. This can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment on both sides.

Best Practice: Be honest about what you can deliver and set realistic expectations.

Example: A content creator agrees to create a video and multiple social media posts for a brand, but they're unable to meet the deadline due to other commitments.

Mistake #4: Not Negotiating Properly

Not negotiating properly is another mistake content creators make when entering into brand deals. This can result in the content creator being underpaid or overworked.

Best Practice: Negotiate properly, and don't be afraid to ask for what you're worth.

Example: A content creator agrees to a brand deal without negotiating, only to find out that they're being paid significantly less than other creators with similar followings.

Mistake #5: Not Aligning with Your Brand

Another common mistake is not aligning with your brand. This can lead to inauthentic content and a loss of trust with your audience.

Best Practice: Only work with brands that align with your values and content.

Example: A vegan content creator agrees to promote a meat-based product, which goes against their brand and causes backlash from their audience.

Mistake #6: Not Disclosing Affiliate Links

Not disclosing affiliate links is another mistake content creators make. This can lead to a loss of trust with your audience, as well as potential legal issues.

Best Practice: Always disclose affiliate links in the description or caption.

Example: "This post contains affiliate links."

Mistake #7: Not Understanding FTC Guidelines

Finally, content creators can make the mistake of not understanding FTC guidelines. The FTC requires disclosure of any material connection between an endorser and the company whose product they're promoting.

Best Practice: Understand and follow FTC guidelines for sponsored content.

Example: A content creator promotes a product without disclosing that it's sponsored, violating FTC guidelines.


FTC guidelines and disclosures:

  1. FTC Endorsement Guides: What People Are Asking: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

  2. FTC Guidelines for Disclosure in Digital Advertising: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

  3. FTC's FAQs on Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

Content creators can and should avoid making these mistakes by being transparent, reading contracts thoroughly, negotiating properly, and aligning with their brand. It's also important to disclose sponsored content and affiliate links and to understand and follow FTC guidelines.

By following these best practices, content creators can ensure that their sponsored content and brand deals are successful and in line with their brand and values.


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