How to Brand Your Business Like a Lawyer Featuring Tamsen Horton
May 15, 2018
You never wanna expose your assets. There are so many things to think about when it comes to running an online business. One area that you really don't wanna overlook is the legal aspect. In particular, when it comes to branding your business. I have been on the earful side of way too many biz buddies getting the rug ripped out from under them because they overlooked or blissfully unaware of how unscrupulous some people could be.
Since I'm away on maternity leave right now, I wanted to bring on one of my go-to legal buddies, Tamsen Horton of Vacationing Life. She's a licensed attorney and genius when it comes to all things good job-y. She's also a fellow organizer and planner like me, so we get along great and we nerd out all the time on systems, planning, and organizing. I'm excited to have Tamsen here sharing with you how to brand like a lawyer.
4 Quick & Easy Steps For How to Brand Like a Lawyer
It is so incredibly important because as you are building your business around a name or a logo or a tagline, you're gonna be using video, you're gonna be building websites, and you need to make sure that you don't run head first without knowing it, into trademark infringement.
- Silence - What this means is, please don't conduct any polls in entrepreneurial Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups saying, hey what do you think about this name? Or please vote on this logo. Or please help me figure out this tagline. What you don't know is that there are people that purposely join these groups just to find the names that you're going to use. They quickly buy up the domain names, they cause all kinds of unnecessary stress, and in certain instances, they take the name, and they start building a business around it.
So please step number one is be quiet, remain silent. And you can share your name with people that you trust. Now a good frame of mind is even though you've known them a week or a month if you've just met someone, regard them as a stranger, okay? When it comes to your branding, it's super important.
So I tell, especially entrepreneurs, if you have known someone and interacted with them for at least three years, meaning you've been in masterminds together, you talk frequently, and you really have the foundation of trust built up. They're probably a good person that you can bounce ideas off of. But if you haven't known the person, if they're not acting as your attorney, please keep quiet in the initial stages of figuring out if you're going to use this name, this logo or this tagline.
- Searching - You need to run standard, basic, trademark searches. If the name, the logo, or the tagline is what you're building your business around, you have to make sure that you are searching the legal databases for that. In the United States, it's the USPTO which stands for United Patent and Trademark Office. So there are various resources to help you perform those searches. You could hire someone in the legal field to help you run that search. But it's really important to make sure that you are not trying to use a name that someone else already has legal protection for.
That is very important and with the abundance of people that are now starting their own businesses and therefore, registering trademarks, you really have to make sure that it's not just an exact match, but it's a name that could be likely to be confusing to a consumer which means, the reaches are much broader than just searching for your specific name. But that is step two, is searching to make sure that what you wanna use, someone else doesn't already have the legal protection for.
- Securing - Now what this means is you need to reach a decision about do you need legal protection regarding the name, the logo, the tagline? Trademarks can also be colors and smells, but we're not gonna go that broad in this video. But know that it's any identifier that setting your business apart. So Tiffany blue, yes it's trademarked. Home Depot orange, is trademarked. That when you're deciding for your business, it's after you've stayed silent, you've done your searching, now you take a step back, and you say, okay, do I need legal protection for this? And that really will come down to are you building a business around this brand? Is it a name that can be eligible for trademark protection?
Not all names or logos or colors or smells or taglines are eligible. So it's really important to at this stage, to talk with someone in the legal field to figure out do you, does this brand need legal protection? And the fourth step, once you reach the decision of yes, I need legal protection for my name. Or you know what, I actually don't need it. There are lots of ways to achieve the business result that you want without needing to register a trademark legally.
- Sharing - And this is when you let people know, this is my name, this is my website, this is my channel. Whatever, you know, platform you're using, you can shout it from the rooftops.
Quick review, when you are branding like a lawyer, first is we stay silent, second, we do our due diligence, and we search to make sure that we are not using a name that someone else already had the good idea and did in fact, register for legal protection. Number three is deciding if what you are doing really does need formal legal protection. And the fourth is to share.
I hope that really gives you just a quick, easy action list that you can take when you are building your business around a brand. I wish you all the success in the world.
Tamsen has tons more where that came from so make sure you go on over to her channel and subscribe.
Q: Let us know in the comments, what was your biggest takeaway? Did you have any aha moments? What was the biggest thing that you learned?
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