BusinessInfluencer MarketingMarketing

The Legal Issues of Being an Influencer and How to Protect Yourself

2 Mins read

Nowadays, having social media platforms isn’t just a hobby anymore. Social media marketing can be a full-time business that pays your bills. Many businesses work with influencers to grow their brand and pay handsomely for it.

But, as good as it may sound to post pictures and write blogs all day, there’s more to being an influencer than just that, especially if you want to make a living out of it. So here are the legal issues of being an influencer and how to protect yourself!

legal issues for social media influencers
Shutterstock Photo License – By G-Stock Studio

Paying taxes

Many of well-known influencers are quick to show their lavish lifestyles, properties and expensive items like it was that are easily attainable. But a lot of people think that being an influencer is all that there is. They think that you can simply earn lots of money doing almost no work. Sure, that could be the case but you are still a citizen of your state and you have certain laws and regulations you need to follow like normal working people. Since influencers aren’t tied to one company, it’s best to create a limited liability company. An LLC is a business structure that helps the influencer pay their taxes on the profit they have earned through their individual tax return. This way the person would avoid double taxing!

Non-disclosure agreements

Sometimes, influencers will get sneak peaks and extended information about certain product releases. This can be anything, from the type of product to the date of the release. Some of these companies insist on making the influencer sign a non-disclosure agreement. An NDA is essentially something that could get you sued for certain, if you end up breaking it. All the information is highly confidential, so if an influencer decides to leak it, regardless if on purpose or by accident – they can get sued for lots and lots of money! So read every contract multiple times and make sure what info you can spread and what you can’t!

Authenticity of the influencer

Influencers usually make their profit by promoting certain brands and products, but oftentimes they are doing it solely because of the money and not because they like the products. It’s actually not that uncommon for someone to promote a bad product, that they haven’t even tried before. But since people were extremely mad about that, the FTC have made it clear that influencers need to disclose their partnerships with the brand in question. This way the followers are aware of the promotion!

Breaking the contract

Since influencers work closely with all sorts and kinds of brands and companies, they are obliged to promote the product properly. Not too often, an influencer gets sued for not making videos or posts about the product in question, even if they got paid in advance. This can be pretty tricky, firstly no one wants to get sued, and secondly you don-t want to get blacklisted and ruin your chances with other brands and companies. Being an influencer might seem easy and quick, but it’s still a job at the end of the day!

Don’t Overlook the Legal Challenges of Running a Business

In order to be successful at anything you do, you need to be well informed and to take certain precautions. There is a legal side to everything, even in Instagram posts – so keep those things in mind!

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Ryan Kh is a big data and analytic expert, marketing digital products on Amazon's Envato. He is not just passionate about latest buzz and tech stuff but in fact he's totally into it. Follow Ryan’s daily posts on Catalyst For Business.
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