And she joins us to answer all of your solopreneur-related legal questions, and give you the lowdown on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do on your own to protect your business, Ms. Jo-na Williams.
On the 212th episode of The Solopreneur Hour Jo-na shares her background as a vocal artist, how it led her to become today’s most in-demand internet marketing attorney and so much more.
More About This Show
Jo-na’s foray into entertainment law actually began when was a studio singer in Detroit. Her mom was a music promoter in their hometown of Detroit during the Motown days of the 70s and 80s. Jo-na was bitten by the singing bug and was eventually introduced to a producer and engineers. They loved her voice and brought her in to sing and sing various songs, all the while promising her credit.
As happens to many vocalists, she never got credit for her work. Her voice was stolen and used for songs she never agreed to and she wasn’t given credit for her other work. She explains what a mess it was for her.
The silver lining was she found her niche: she loved the entertainment industry and tried on various hats in that field, until she found the law. She was looking for the common thread in that world of entertainment that would uniformly help any and all artists trying to make it. And the law was that common thread, so she went to law school and fell in love with business law.
More About This Show:
- How has her art evolved?
- What are some of the commonalities between solopreneurs and musicians?
- Does she recommend having an online company set up your business for you?
- What is ASCAP and why should you care?
- What's the difference between the TM and the copyright R?
- And so much more!
Her next big “ah-ha” moment came when she took Marie Forleo’s B School. Taking this course opened up the world of internet marketing for her and she was hooked. She began giving away legal advice to her fellow B Schoolers and she stood out for it. There were only a few other lawyers participating, but she set herself apart by helping as many others as she could.
And people took notice, one of her first big serial entrepreneur clients loved her work so much that she wrote a piece about how great Jo-na’s legal help had been. That piece had a snowball effect on Jo-na’s client list, and she’s been growing ever since.
On today’s episode Jo-na also shares how to pick a lawyer (no matter your budget), some of the common solopreneur pitfalls she sees and how to avoid them and simple steps we can all take right now to cover your business bases.
You’ll have to listen to hear the details on all of these topics, but one glimpse you can have now are her simple steps to take to cover your business’ bases.
First get a consultation with a lawyer (a business lawyer, preferably an online business savvy one) and an accountant. Tell them where you are at with your business and where you want to go. They can recommend the proper business entity for you.
If you’re mainly looking for a lifestyle of time, location and financial freedom Jo-na says you’re okay to start with a sole proprietorship until you’re generating higher revenue and you have a larger reach, your lawyer and accountant will help you figure out what entity is right for you when you do reach that next level.
After that you’ll want to create a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This will protect you and all of your ideas when you’re building your company and your teams. Everyone who works for you, with you or creates something for your business should sign this (like graphic designers, web developers, etc). And you always want to have final copyright ownership of all of your designs created for you, make sure this is stipulated.
One key piece of advice Jo-na offers is to ask your lawyer how much it will cost to revise your version of an NDA or any other legal document. You can pull something together on your own and then have your lawyer revise it, this will save you on fees.
There are plenty more concrete tips and suggestions Jo-na has for you on this show. Be sure to download the episode and get your Evernote handy, you’ll want to refer back to your notes! After you do, join me in thanking her for being here and give yourselves a pat on the back too. As always thanks for listening and we’ll see you next time on The Solopreneur Hour!
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