Get my new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media For Business Owners, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs” (Jan 2019)
For those of you planning on using social media and digital to market your business or practice and build your brand in 2019, understand this one concept. Appreciating what I’m about to tell you and then actually executing on this approach will be critical to your success.
If this resonated with you, then you may also be interested in what we share and do in my LegalMinds mastermind https://LegalMinds.lawyer
Also, my new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media For Business Owners, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs” (January 2019) is here http://socialmediabook.info
Many of you know I have a global mastermind that helps professionals build their online brands. I think we’re doing things unlike any other legal mastermind on the planet. But don’t take my word for it. Turn up the volume and watch the short two minute video and listen to what product strategist, public speaker and blogger extraordinaire, Chris Lema, has to say about the community.
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Save THOUSANDS off my Gold and Platinum memberships! Get additional benefits with my monthly and annual plans. This is a limited offer that ends Friday at 8 pm ET, so make sure to get all the details here https://LegalMinds.lawyer/BlackFriday
For me, Thanksgiving is about appreciating our families, friends, and what we all have and do together. It’s a day to relax, enjoy, laugh, and just spend quality time with those we care about.
I think that for the most part, how we engage on social media should be the same thing. In fact, I believe that every day on social media can and should be just like Thanksgiving.
I try to do the following 7 things when posting and engaging on social media. Writing this post reminded me to do all of these things more often.
Take a look. Maybe you’ll see something that will spark an idea and change how you’re communicating interacting on social media.
1. The first thing I try to do is become genuinely interested in other people, their platforms and what they share on social. I try to spend about 70% of my time on social media focusing on others rather than on my own business, products or services.
2. I try to smile, be kind, and have empathy for others. Again, when it comes to politics, this isn’t always the case, but I try. Remember the ancient Chinese proverb, “A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.”
3. I try to acknowledge and personalize my social media by taking the time to use other people’s names and social media handles.
4. I try to be a good listener, encourage others to talk about themselves and share their content. I do this because I’m genuinely interested in others. Asking open-ended questions is a good way to do this.
5. I try to direct the online conversation around other people’s interests.
6. I try to be sincere and keep in mind, what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every man I meet is my superior in some way. In that, I learn from him.”
7. I try always to say and do the right thing. Sure, just like everyone else, I make mistakes, but I try to learn from these mistakes and move forward.
For many of us, our social media communities play a big part in our personal and professional lives. Because of this, why not treat our friends on social media just like we would as though they were sitting across the table from us on Thanksgiving Day?
“Choice, not circumstances, determines your success.” — Anonymous
Before social media, the typical business in America was sued an average of three times during its lifetime. Now that we have people and companies doing business on social media, I believe that number will probably double.
Why do I say this? Because what I’m seeing more often than not, are new business owners balancing elephants on their shoulders while walking on tightropes over shark-infested waters with their eyes closed. And here’s the kicker- they don’t even know they’re doing this.
The truth is, social media and related tools make it easy to “start a business,” and that’s great. But the reality is that many people are beginning this journey without any formal business experience. Even with the best intentions, they don’t understand or appreciate the importance of complying with mandatory rules, regulations, and laws. They’re completely unaware of the elephants and sharks in their lives.
Be Smart. Make Good Choices.
I’m a lawyer, and when it comes to doing business on social media, I want you to make good choices. To give you some context as to what I’ll be recommending, please know that over the last 32 years, I’ve helped hundreds of people start their business. I’ve also represented hundreds, and maybe even thousands of clients, with business-related claims and litigation matters.
I’ve been there, and done that, and know what landmines you need to be aware of.
Now before I dive too far into this post, I’d like to remind you that while I am a pretty good California lawyer, I’m not your lawyer. No legal advice is being given in this article. Reach out to an experienced lawyer in your state with questions or legal needs. If you need a good lawyer but don’t know where to start, I’m a big fan of the inexpensive LegalShield business model (it’s kind of like Uber for the law) which offers small to medium size business owners access to affordable legal services.
See what I just did? That’s called a disclaimer. I do try and walk my talk when sharing online 😉
With the above in mind, let’s get started. The first thing I recommend that you do when doing business online is to following these six suggestions:
#1: Do Business as a Corporation or Limited Liability Company.
A great way to maximize profits and minimize your personal liability exposure is to do business as a legal entity. The advantages include:
Reduce Personal Liability — these entities can shield you from liability for business debt or lawsuits. There’s a protective wall between your personal and business life. This wall helps protect your personal assets such as your home, cars, savings, and investments.
Reduce Taxes — these entities allow you to deduct expenses that a sole-proprietorship or partnership may not let you do. This includes healthcare, entertainment and travel expenses.
Maximize Retirement and Pension Plans– these plans can be grown more effectively and maximized faster using these entities. Additional tax benefits are also available, and these benefits result in increased profits.
Add Credibility to Your Business– these entities show that you’re serious about your business which is now registered in your state. Factors like credibility, prestige, and permanence are all byproducts of doing business as an entity.
Raise Money and Build Credit– these entities allow you more options to raise money through the sale of stock or transfer ownership via the transfer or sale of stock. You’ll also be able to establish and build a new credit profile distinct from your personal situation.
Manage Your Company– these entities allow you to use agreements that define how you will run your company and resolve disputes. Laws also control what you and other people involved in your business can and should do to run the business each day. This protects everyone involved.
Pro Tip: Most online business owners make this big mistake- They do business as a sole proprietor or general partnership. You never want to do this. There is just too much liability exposure.
I’m a big fan of AgoraPulse. I also happen to be the trial lawyer mentioned in the title to this post. If you follow me on social, this shouldn’t be a big surprise. I’m a fan– a big fan 😉
My buddy, Mike Allton, turned me on to AgoraPulse. It’s allowed me to market my firm and build my brand easily and conveniently. This powerful platform not only saves my team and I an enormous amount of time, but AgoraPulse also works while I’m in court, paddleboarding out of Dana Point Harbor, or sound asleep in the middle of the night. It’s my 24/7 perpetual marketing and relationship building tool that’s quickly becoming a favorite and essential asset in the firm.