32: The GDPR and U.S. Based Businesses

Privacy has been a hot topic lately, and with good reason. While Facebook’s use of user data has taken center stage, there’s another important piece of privacy news influencers and businesses need to know about— and take action on, soon.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) takes effect on May 25, 2018, and non-compliance can carry sizable fees: up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million. Are you ready?

The GDPR is an European Union law that expands protection for an individual’s personal information by:

  • placing more stringent requirements onto companies that possess personal data of EU data subjects
  • giving these data subjects more control over how their personal information is collected, stored, and used.

Even if you are not located in the EU or specifically marketing to EU citizens, the GDPR’s strict consent requirements have implications for U.S. based businesses. If you collect any sort of personal information through your website— think email addresses, Google Analytics, names on comments, IP addresses, etc.— you’ll want to listen in on this week’s episode of the Businesses Influencer Marketing Podcast. We provide an overview of what the GDPR entails, and what website owners need to do to become compliant.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • how and why the GDPR applies to businesses in the United States
  • exactly what is considered to be personal data, protected by the GDPR
  • what businesses need to do for compliance, step by step
  • how this new regulation affects businesses in the online marketing space
  • about our downloadable GDPR Checklist for Influencers (which includes plugins to simplify the process).

It’s a pretty sexy subject, so enjoy!

We’re anticipating follow-up questions, so don’t hesitate to share those with us in Businessese HQ. That’s our private Facebook group for influencers and online entrepreneurs, and we’d love to have you join in.

And don’t forget, if you need to purchase a privacy policy that has been updated for GDPR, you can get one in the Businessese store.


GDPR Checklist for Influencers
The EU public resource page for the General Data Protection Regulation

15: Ask Us Anything: Influencer Marketing Legal Q&A

influencer marketing legal questions

When we began this podcast, we wanted to make sure we addressed the issues we typically see— and questions we’re frequently asked— when it comes to influencer marketing and the legalities that surround it. Soon after launch, we did a series covering a broad range of legal topics that affect influencers:

6 common legal mistakes made in the influencer marketing world
Essential elements of influencer marketing contracts
Intellectual property: trademarks and copyright
Disclosure and the FTC

For this pre-holiday episode, we wanted to get a little more specific. We invited the members of our private Facebook group for influencers and online entrepreneurs, Businessese HQ, to ask us anything— any lingering questions they might have about the legalities of their online business that we hadn’t addressed thus far.

As a result, we’re really excited to bring you this week’s episode of the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast! It’s chock full of the timely questions and influencer marketing legal concerns that you wanted answered.

We drill down to the nitty gritty and talk about:

  • the Facebook sponsored content tool and when influencers need to use it
  • whether disclosures are necessary on old sponsored posts
  • the extent you can be held liable for information and advice given in a Facebook group which is related to your business
  • how different contract clauses impact what you can do with your content
  • whether you are licensing your content to brands when you use certain hashtags
  • what a cease and desist letter is, and when you might send one.

Bookmark these for further reading:
FTC Disclosures: How to Stay Compliant
How to License Your Content for Republication
How to Negotiate Exclusivity in Blogger Contracts
Intellectual Property: All about Copyright

Listen in and drop any more questions you have in Businessese HQ! We’d love to do more Ask Us Anything episodes.

Sites referenced:
Girl in Healing
Plano Moms
Food Blogger Pro

5: Essential Elements of Influencer Marketing Contracts

This episode is sponsored by Hashtag Legal. Contact Hashtag Legal to set up a consult to assist with your questions about influencer marketing contracts. 

If there is one thing we want influencers (and all freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners) to take away from this podcast episode, this is it:

Get it in writing. Every single time.

Every. Single. Time.

If the other party doesn’t offer you a contract to sign, it’s perfectly appropriate to request one or to be proactive and volunteer a contract of your own. You can download our Content Sponsorship Contract or Independent Contractor Contract to get started.

Easier said than done, you may be thinking. We understand that legalese can sometimes feel like a different language, one that is designed to confuse and ensnare. And what is omitted from a contract can be just as important as what has been included— a daunting realization for someone who doesn’t have the experience to know what they should be looking for.

Contracts are far too important to be intimidated by. Let’s work on translating that legalese so that you understand what you’re signing, before you sign.

In this episode of the Businessese Influencer Marketing podcast, we detail what influencers, brands, networks and agencies need to know when drafting or reading influencer marketing contracts. Any such contract should address, at minimum, these components:

  • specific payment terms
  • provisions for termination
  • confidentiality
  • ownership of deliverables
  • exclusivity

Want a written list to refer back to? Bookmark these posts for later:

Five Must-Have Terms for Your Independent Contractor Agreement
Five Must-Haves in Your Sponsored Content Contract

Don’t ever just sign a contract that you’re uncertain about or unhappy with, hoping for the best. Contracts are intended to protect both parties, and you can be confident the other party already has their interests covered. Why would you not ensure your interests, your content and your business are similarly protected?

When in doubt, we strongly recommend hiring a lawyer to review a contract for you (yes, this is a service that we offer through our firm, Hashtag Legal) or to negotiate better terms.

Listen in as we deconstruct the essential elements of influencer marketing contracts. What further questions do you have? Drop them in our private Facebook group, Businessese HQ.

4: Legal Mistakes in the Influencer Marketing World

legal mistakes in the influencer marketing world

There’s a lot on your mind when you’re getting your business off the ground. And even after a successful launch, there’s plenty to keep you occupied as you maintain or begin to grow that business.

The last thing you probably want to think about is the legal side of your business. For many this is intimidating ground to tread at any time, let alone when you’re dealing with all the moving pieces of entrepreneurship. You may think that your business is still so small, no one is going to notice your legal corner cutting.

In reality, dealing with the legal side of your business is the last thing you want to put off until some “more convenient” time. Legal mistakes can be costly, time consuming, and confidence shaking. One thing that we absolutely hate is that they can be devastating to a small business.

There are some legal concerns that all businesses have in common, and there are some legal mistakes in the influencer marketing world that we see with regularity (and it’s not just the influencers that are making them).

In this week’s episode of the Businessese Influencer Marketing Podcast, we’re discussing the six most common mistakes we see in the world of influencer marketing and how to avoid or fix them:

  • not forming the right entity at the right time
  • not having the appropriate website policies in place
  • not getting it in writing
  • not disclosing
  • not understanding intellectual property rights
  • ignoring the legal side of your business

Give us a listen and subscribe on iTunes to ensure you don’t miss future episodes. We’d also love to hear what topics you want to know more about in our Businessese HQ group on Facebook— next week, we’re tackling contracts.