Article & Content Writing Terms of Service & Contract Agreement
Between us, Larry G. Maguire and you, [customer name]
We are serious and sincere about the work and commitment we provide to you, that’s why we give the level of detail we do up front. Services are not products and we like to stress that it is vital you understand all parts of our offer before making a commitment. we’ll always do our best to fulfil your needs and meet your expectations, but it’s important to have things written down so that we both know what’s what, who should do what and when, and what will happen if something goes wrong.
In this contract, you won’t find any complicated legal terms or long passages of misleading text. I’ve no desire to hide conditions under legal jargon or coerce you into signing something that you might later regret. What I want is to create a mutually beneficial arrangement that serves us both equally, now and in the future. SO PLEASE READ ALL OF THIS INFORMATION in its entirety and revert with questions.
OK, so here goes;
You ([customer name]), located at [customer address] are hiring us (Larry G. Maguire) located at 42 Conor Clune Road, Navan Road, Ashtown, Dublin 7, Ireland to provide [services] for the total price of [total inc VAT] as outlined in our quotation [quotation number]. Of course, there’s a little more to it, so let’s get to that.
What do both parties agree to do?
You: You have the authority to enter into this contract on behalf of yourself, your company or your organisation. You’ll give us everything we need to complete the project as and when and in the format we need it including images, text and video where applicable. If you do not have the resources to produce and provide the content required for your website we can do that for you at an additional cost. You’ll review our work, provide feedback and approval in a timely manner too. Deadlines work both ways, so we both will be bound by dates we set and agree together. You also agree to stick to the payment schedule set out in the project quotation and at the end of this contract.
Us: My small team of skilled professionals and I have the experience and ability to deliver everything we’ve agreed with you in a timely manner and we endeavour to meet every deadline that’s set and on top of that we’ll maintain the confidentiality of everything you give us. We will deliver everything we have agreed to for the price quoted and usually with some extras because we like to make you happy. If you need something, not in the quotation then please ask that we clarify rather than assume it’s included, as it’s likely not.
The Nitty Gritty
Before commencing work on your project we require three things; your acceptance of our quotation by return confirmation email outlining any questions you may have which we will endeavour to answer to the best of our ability, your deposit and co-signed terms of service agreement (this document). In doing so you accept our proposal/quotation in full including the three fundamental and mutually inclusive elements;
- Technical Details
- Payment Terms
We strongly encourage you to read all the documents we send you relating to your project quotation and ask as many questions as necessary so to be clear about the offer. When you co-sign this document you are stating that you understand and agree to the offer in full.
You are spending your hard earned cash with us and I want you to receive the greatest value possible so it’s essential we are on the same page. After you accept you are agreeing to pay in full for the service details as per the quotation & terms unless that is we for some reason fail to deliver on our commitment to you as per the same terms.
The Content Marketing services we provide are designed to do one thing; find you new leads. After that, it’s up to you to convert them. Converting them into sales is something out of our control and as such we don’t make any guarantees there.
What we will do is offer you a systematic, tried and tested approach of content creation based on who your customer is, where they are, what they desire, what makes them buy, how much they are worth to you on an ongoing basis and how many of these clients you want to secure in any given month.
We would ask that you be completely open to the advice we offer. It is generally a good idea to leave aside whatever system you have been using to date in order that we can start from the right place, using marketing strategies we have heavily researched and have seen work well.
The systems we build may include any one or a combination of email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, sales funnels, tools, tactics, strategies and analytics specifically designed to yields results. Note that this process takes time to develop and refine and results are rarely seen immediately.
Small budgets are generally unlikely to allow you to build out an effective system of content marketing lead generation in the short term, so please be sure you have the patients and ongoing budget to make it happen.
We also provide training so we can show you and your staff the ropes on a one-off or ongoing basis if you require it. Just ask and we can provide a cost for content marketing training.
We agree to produce written materials such as web page content, articles, ebook content, brochures, sales pages and social media content at a frequency you require for fees agreed upon in advance. We agree to turn in or deliver the work by an agreed upon deadline.
We will be the sole author of the work, which will be original and free of plagiarism. Reasonable care will be ensured that all facts and statements in the Work are true and that the Work does not infringe upon any copyright, right of privacy, proprietary right, the right of publicity or any other right of a third party.
We agree that you the client has the right to edit the work as it is deemed appropriate for publication and that we will cooperate with you in editing and otherwise reviewing the work prior to publication as per revisions agreed. We agree to cooperate fully if any complaints, claims or litigation should arise regarding the work.
We manage your project and communicate using Basecamp. Files are stored on a client Google Drive folder.
Photographs, Video & Other Digital Media
Where agreed, you should supply graphics files in an editable, vector digital format. You should supply photographs in a high-resolution digital format and add to our shared common Google Drive folder. If you choose to buy stock photographs, we can suggest suitable stock libraries.
You should note that taking photos from Google search is a risky business and should be avoided or risk copyright infringement. If you’d like us to search for photographs for you, we can provide a separate estimate for that. We can provide this service in full at an additional cost.
You should provide all video content or links to video content required for publication with written content. We do not agree to provide photographic or video recording services. However, we can refer you to suitable third parties.
Web Development & Maintenance
We do not provide web development per se, however, we may be able to advise or refer you. We may write content from your CMS backend and publish live on your website subject to your agreement. However, we will not be responsible for the upkeep, maintenance or backup of your website content. The safety of your web property is at all times with you.
Search Engine Optimisation
We provide on-page SEO for all articles, web page content, brochures and other digital content. In order that we perform this to your benefit, you will need to have in place a structured and documented SEO strategy. You will also need to identify keywords for content to be created. If your website does not have SEO functionality or you do not have an SEO strategy we can assist with this at an additional cost as per Schedule of Rates.
A structured SEO strategy plays a significant foundation in successful content creation, and, without it you may find your content marketing efforts see little improvement in traffic volumes and conversions.
Changes & Revisions
If you want to change your mind or add anything new, that won’t be a problem, just let us know via email what you need, however there will likely be an additional cost for which we’ll provide a separate quotation. Where a quotation is not issued by us, costs will be applied as per Schedule of Rates.
Any verbal or written changes made by you to the scope of the work following its initiation by us, are subject to additional charges as per our Schedule of Rates. Should such changes negate any part of the work already completed at the time of the changes, you accept responsibility for payment of the completed work and all services related to it, in addition to charges for the change itself.
We work hard to ensure we deliver the best end result possible, however we can’t guarantee that our work will be 100% free of errors all the time. Whatever corrections are discovered we will endeavor to correct these as soon as soon as possible even after handover.
In addition it should be noted that we will not be held liable to you or any third-party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings or other incidental, consequential or special damages as a direct or indirect result of errors, even if you’ve advised us of them.
If any provision of this contract shall be unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then that provision shall be deemed severable from this contract and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.
We guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork we provide are either owned by us, or that we’ve permission to use them from the legal owners. You guarantee that all elements of text, images or other artwork you provide are either owned by you, or that you’ve permission to use them from the legal owners. When your final payment has cleared, copyright will be automatically assigned as follows:
You’ll own all visual and text elements that we create for this project. We’ll give you source files and finished files and you should keep them somewhere safe as we’re not required to keep a copy. You own all elements of text, images and data you provided, unless someone else owns them.
We’ll own the unique combination of these elements that may constitute a complete design and we’ll license its use to you, exclusively and in perpetuity for this project only, unless we agree otherwise.
We love to show off our work and share what we’ve learned with other people, so we reserve the right to display and link to your project as part of our portfolio and to write about it on websites, in magazine articles and in books.
We acknowledge that we may be furnished or may otherwise receive or have access to information which relates to your past, present or future products, vendor lists, creative works, marketing strategies, pending projects and proposals, and other confidential proprietary information.
As such we agree to preserve and protect the confidentiality of the Proprietary Information and all physical forms thereof, whether disclosed to us before this Agreement is signed or afterward.
In addition, we agree not disclose or disseminate the Proprietary Information to any third party and shall not use the Proprietary Information for our own benefit or for the benefit of any third party.
Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, we agree not discuss you or the work we produce for you with a representative of the press or media, either directly or indirectly, without your express prior written approval.
When you want a newspaper you pay the shopkeeper, and you walk out with the newspaper. We’re not a physical store but we operate the same way. You pay us for our skills and time, we give you the service. This is how we work and it’s non negotiable.
We’re sure you understand how important it is for a small business like ours to continue to deliver our services to the best of our ability. Therefore we require that you pay the invoices that we send you in advance or on completion as agreed herein. We’re also sure you want to maintain a mutually respectful relationship on an ongoing basis, as we do. So as part of this contract you agree to stick tightly to the following payment schedule.
100% upfront with your order. Minor revisions & modifications will be honoured up to 7 days from delivery of your project and payment of any additional costs will not be subject to these modifications. Additional costs over and above original quote will be advised where applicable in advance of changes being made.
All invoices are payable on receipt unless otherwise agreed. For clarity that means the day you receive it, or latest the following day. After payment hits our bank we start work.
Where payment is not received for any reason, after 14 days we will withdraw our services until payment is received. After 30 days of non receipt of payment, our work and services will be withdrawn completely. Any content we’ve created will be withdrawn. This is permanent and content will be irretrievable.
This might sound very harsh, but you know what? We’ve learned the hard way that this policy is required for us to protect our business and work we provide our existing clients.
Where’s all the horrible small print?
There isn’t any, everything is straight up. But just like a parking ticket, you can’t transfer this contract to anyone else without our permission. This contract stays in place and need not be renewed.
If for some reason one part of this contract becomes invalid or unenforceable, the remaining parts of it remain in place. Although the language is simple, the intentions are that both parties are serious and sincere in their engagement. This contract is a legally binding document under exclusive jurisdiction of Irish, European and International courts.
The Dotted Line
By signing this document both parties agree to deliver on commitments as per the project quotation price, technical details, payment terms and above contract agreement.
If you are unsure of any element please get clarity before signing.
I the undersigned agree to the full terms of the above contract and project quotation. Now let’s get cracking!
Signed by and on behalf of Larry G. Maguire
Signed by and on behalf of [customer name]
Everyone signing above should keep a copy for their records.