9 Legal, Business and Entrepreneurial Tips to Help You Start and Build Your Online Business

jon mitchell jackson 400While facts tell and emotional stories sell, incorporating these into a digital footprint and unique brand will help you build a dynasty!” -Mitch Jackson, Esq.

If you’re going to take your offline business online or, start a new business on the digital platforms, there are 9 things I think you need to know, understand and do. My recommendations are based on 33 years of practicing law, starting and running my own successful businesses, and helping clients start hundreds of new companies. Many insights are also premised around my own experiences relating to our firm’s online presence since 1996.

Before we get started, please remember that although I am a California trial attorney, and a pretty good one at that, I’m not your attorney. This is not legal advice. Also, the laws in each state are different so please contact an experienced attorney in your state to discuss questions, legal needs and options (need help finding a good lawyer? Here’s an easy and inexpensive way that I recommend to help you get legal advice and help in all 50 states)


DO BUSINESS AS A CORPORATION OR LLC

Whether you know it or not, the real question in today’s business world isn’t if you’ll be sued? It’s when will you be sued? According to recent statistics, the average small business owner will be sued at least 3 times during his or her business lifetime. Knowing this, I encourage you to please be smart, plan ahead, and take steps to protect yourself and your business before something bad happens.

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLC) allow you to put a protective shield between your business liabilities and personal assets. If you correctly set up, run and manage your company (and that’s a big if), your personal assets will be protected if a claim or lawsuit is ever brought against your business.

Most people don’t set up their corporations and LLCs correctly. Those who do often times drop the ball down the line when it comes to managing the entity. Their are numerous filing, registration, legal, tax and insurance requirements that all must be setup and managed correctly over the long-term. The point of this article is to make you aware of the business entity options and that these requirements exist. An experienced professional in your city and state can hold your hand and make sure you do everything correctly.

One more thing. In my opinion you should never do business as a sole proprietor (an individual) or general partnership. For the above reasons (and many more), there’s just too much liability attached to doing so. Doing business as a sole proprietor is by far the biggest mistake I see people make when doing business online. Instead, form a corporation or LLC and do business as a legal business entity. Continue reading “9 Legal, Business and Entrepreneurial Tips to Help You Start and Build Your Online Business”

10 Ways to Start Your Next Speech, Presentation or Livestream

10 Ways to Start Your Next Live Stream

Experts claim that 100 years ago, the average attention span was 20 minutes. Today, it’s about 9 seconds, the same attention span of a goldfish.

While I’m not sure that attention spans are actually shorter in today’s world, I do know all of us are being pushed and pulled into more directions at the same time unlike ever before. As such, it’s never been more important to immediately capture the attention of your audience.

When speaking or creating content, here are 10 very effective ways to do just that.

Let’s say the topic of your speech, presentation or livestream is “The Power of Communication”

You can start with…

1. A quote: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw

2. A statistic: “The next time you deliver a speech, keep in mind that 90% of what you’re about to say will be forgotten within 60 minutes.”

3. A question: “Do you know what the biggest communication challenge is in today’s noisy and busy world? It’s probably not what you think!”

4. A current new item:  “Becoming an effective communicator got me on CNN last night to discuss the Presidential election. During the show, you all saw what happened. I think it just might change the world. Would you like to know the communication steps I did to get the invite?”

5. A story that relates directly to your message: “I watched opposing counsel give his closing argument. He stumbled through the whole thing. It was a mess. Using 4 of the tips that I’ll be sharing with you today, I stood, walked over to the jury, and gave a closing argument that resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict. Want to know what those 4 steps are?”

6. A sincere thank you or acknowledgment: “Rotary International is truly one of the top community service organizations in the world. I’d like to thank Bob Smith for including me in the event and sharing several communication tips with you.”

7. Have them write something down: “There are five steps that exceptional communicators use to share their message. Grab a pen and paper because you’ll want to write them down.”

8. Humor: “The mind is a wonderful thing. It starts working the minute you are born and never stops until you get up to speak in public.”

9. Make a prediction: “By the time we finish this presentation, I predict that you will increase your ability to persuade others by 25 to 50%.

10. A poem or rhyme:

“Communication is the key, but my hands are shaking as I start the ignition. How many of you feel this way every time you stand to deliver a speech or presentation?”

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If you found these ten tips useful, please share with your audience.

I’ve updated this post to share my new book, “The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs.” The third section of the book shares communication tips, just like this post, from 15+ top communication experts on the planet. You can use this information to create compelling new content for social media or, offline to persuade your audience to take action when speaking on stage or giving a closing argument in trial 😉

How to Tell if Someone is Lying (Tips from a Savvy Trial Lawyer)

Every single day we struggle with trying to figure out who’s telling the truth. Social media posts, the evening news, and our daily business conversations all often revolve around each of us searching for accuracy and the true facts and story.

The problem we all face is this: How do we know if people are telling us the truth?

A decision based upon someone’s lie can harm relationships, put you out of business, and destroy your reputation in the community. When it comes to politics, a lie can turn love into hate and peace into war.

As a trial lawyer, I’m always challenged to try and figure out if my jurors, witnesses, and opposing counsel are being honest. In high-profile cases, it’s tough to determine if reporters are truthful with why they want to do an interview or have me on a panel.

It’s never easy but, over the past three decades of using the approaches I’ve outlined below, I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring our who is telling me the truth and who is lying. After you apply and practice what I share in this post, I think you’ll also have a much better handle on who’s a straight shooter and who’s trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

Some of the approaches I share with you in this post are based upon things I’ve learned from personal experience while fighting my client’s legal battles in court. Others are concepts and approaches I’ve learned from judges and from studying decades of research by talented psychologist, psychiatrist and other professionals. While you’ll never be 100% sure if the person you’re talking to or watching on television or a livestream is telling you the truth, the use of these techniques should help you get better at making this determination.

Three-Step Approach (When You Can Plan Ahead)

The easiest way for me to tell if someone is exaggerating a fact, misleading me, or straight out lying, is when I’m able to use what I call the “Three-Step” approach. Before talking with someone, I determine specific facts that are true and then when we meet, I naturally and comfortably incorporate questions about those established facts into the conversation.

I then listen to and watch how the other person responds to my questions and how he acts during the conversation. It’s a easy to follow process and you can do the same thing.

Continue reading “How to Tell if Someone is Lying (Tips from a Savvy Trial Lawyer)”

Legal Issues When Recording Conversations, Live Videos and Podcasts

Can you legally monitor (listen in) or record someone else during a telephone call, podcast or live video show? I share my thoughts, and tips, in the above 2 minute video.

My advice for my fellow livestreamers is to always get the express permission of your guest(s) to record and use the podcast or live video conversation. Sure, you can always argue that it was implied that you had permission to record the private or public interview or conversation but written permission (text or email confirmation) is the best way to document consent, especially in a two-party state.

After watching this video, see if you know the answer to the following question: “You are in California and you interview a guest located in New York on your podcast or live video show. Do the laws of a one-party or two-party state apply?”

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Related Issues Involving Audio

Fake News, Adobe VoCo and Authenticating Evidence

When It Comes To Social Media, Just Do It!

When I was six years old, my parents put a tennis racket in my hand and told me to hit the ball over the net. For the next 12 months, that’s what I did.

It wasn’t until a year later that I had my first private lesson. Eight years later I was a nationally ranked high school freshman tennis player holding down the #1 spot on the varsity team.

Also during my freshman year in high school, a bunch of us showed up to play football. None of us had played before, but we put on the pads, hit people, and caught balls. By the time our senior season rolled around, we had a very good team.

I’ve had the same experience with motocross, hang gliding, scuba diving, windsurfing and even trying cases in court. The first step was always a bit scary but I just “did it,” and everything worked out. Over time and with the help of others, I always seemed to figure things out.

Without Taking Action, Nothing Happens

The same approach applies to social media and live video. Nothing happens until you jump on a platform and start engaging.

Get one of the books I mention below, or go to Google or Youtube and spend a few minutes studying up on the use and dynamics of a specific platform. If you’re a professional in my LegalMinds mastermind, go to our private resource page, select the platform you’re interested in, and follow the instructions. Regardless of how you go about it, the important thing is to take action and just do it.

Once you start using a social media or live video platform, you’ll learn more and figure things out as you go. As time goes by, you’ll get better at sharing your message and engaging with others.

The mistakes you make will be learning lessons. Just like I use to hit the ball into the net, run the wrong pass pattern, or crash my motocross bike in the whoops at high speed (hey, it’s hard), it’s doing the tasks, over and over, that makes us better.

Each week, add a new social media or live video platform to your efforts. Be real, consistent, and add value to the lives of your audience. Do this on a daily basis and by this time next year, you’ll be glad you decided to “just do it” and get on social media and live video.

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Resources:

“The New Rules of Marketing & PR” by David Meerman Scott

“Known” by Mark Schaefer

“Shareology: How Sharing Powers the Human Economy” by Bryan Kramer

“Leverage Livestreaming to Build Your Brand: Start, Master, and Monetize Live Video” by Jennifer Quinn

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Mitch Jackson enjoys combining law, social media, and technology to disrupt, hack, and improve his clients’ companies, causes, and professional relationships. Click here to get Mitch to speak at your event in 2018.