TAKEAWAYS FROM… A Convo With My Lawyer About Making Money Online

21 April 2020

I’ve gotten so many messages from many of you (since you’re spending a lot of time at home now!) about how to make money while you’re home, get paid to ‘gram, and even post on a mental health or parents blog. This is a unique time in the world, especially the “influencer” industry, as Girls’ Life quoted me in today, because you must learn to be innovative. I think I’m a bit lucky in this scenario because I’m not limited to posting on Instagram or my site: I started the summit program, I have my podcast, along with my site and social media (etc.) which are all ways for me to bring in consistent revenue. I’m thankful I have multiple revenue streams ESPECIALLY during a time like this!

 COVID is a great example of a reason I say it’s CRUCIAL you find a way to make your company able to make money offline.

Last week I talked with my lawyer Andrea on IG Live (Alexa & Friends will be back soon!) about everything in legal terms surrounding running a business. When I signed with Radio Disney, I had a separate lawyer who helped negotiate that deal with me. So technically I have 2 lawyers: if I’m working on a bigger deal like a book deal or a TV show, *I like to call Erik my Hollywood lawyer* because he steps in.

My day to day lawyer is Andrea. She’s the one that reviews a contract for me if it’s relating to stuff about social media, blog posts, or podcast ads. For the Be Fearless Summit, those contracts are much bigger and have terms that I’m not super used to, so I always have my manager or lawyer review them. You never want to be put in a situation where (for example) Sephora is paying you for an Instagram post and they’ve put a clause in the contract that states you can’t post about any other makeup brand for 190 days. Brands usually include a clause like that, and you simply have to ask for them to remove it from your contract.

Now, lawyers aren’t cheap. During the episode, Andrea and I talked about when to know you need a lawyer (similar to when you need a manager, managers take a percentage of everything you make) and for the most part, you probably don’t need one. If you’re doing small Instagram post deals for under $300, or maybe you’re getting a few podcast ads for $50 here and there, you CAN have a lawyer brief a contract but it’s not necessary. “Approval” in an email with the brand stating your payment terms is good enough, at the beginning of your career.

Andrea suggested that if you plan to eventually get paid from social media, you should establish yourself as an LLC. I’ve been an LLC since (2015) I believe, which is how I file my taxes. Since I run my company full-time, I had to establish it as a business to have a business bank account and get paid properly.

BUT, had I only decided to focus on Instagram and I didn’t have a website, I’m not sure I’d establish myself as a company. I say, wait until you really know what you want before you start filing yourself as a company and getting a lawyer involved. You may get sick of being your own brand 2 days later, but then you already filed the paperwork! I’m working on getting the summit trademarked, but I want to host 5-10 summits before doing that. The cost to trademark a company is 5X more than establishing yourself as an LLC. So, the summit is protected under my personal company for the time being.

I hope this helps all of you eager aspiring entrepreneur’s. Go get ’em!

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