Sharing that viral post on social media is all fun and games until the lawyers start calling!
While you’re trying to keep the social part of social media alive by sharing the latest meme or remixing someone else’s content, as a business, you can’t ignore the potential risk of using someone’s content without their permission.
But when is the time right? When is it safe? Should you stick to original content only?
That’s what we’re exploring in today’s episode with Autumn Witt Boyd, who runs a law firm for coaches and online educators.
Autumn is giving us a lawyer's perspective on the complexities surrounding viral videos, memes, and remix culture and how businesses can begin to think differently before reposting without permission.
Learn the importance of understanding your rights and responsibilities when using viral videos and memes, and if you've ever wondered about the ins and outs of copyright law as a creator and business owner, we've got you covered in today’s episode.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about:
- How Facebook Groups launched Autumn’s business
- Why we don’t see lawsuits over memes and remix culture
- A simple DM strategy to avoid copyright infringement
- Showing the original creator some love in the reposts
- The future of protecting your online content
- Why certain niches need to be careful in the comments
- The flexibility of keeping marketing in-house
This Episode Was Made Possible By:
Riverside All-in-One Podcast & Video Platform
Visit Riverside and use the code DREA to get 15% off any Riverside individual plan. We use it to record all our podcast interviews!
About the Guest:
Autumn Witt Boyd brings over 18 years of legal experience to the million dollar coaches and online educators she serves today. Together with her team at The AWB Firm, Autumn works side-by-side with some of the top names in the online industry to protect and grow their courses, memberships, masterminds, digital products, and more. Her firm offers full-service legal support to mission-driven online businesses.
Autumn loves helping coaches and online business owners grow their team legally, lock down their brand with trademarks, and protect their content with copyrights. She writes and negotiates airtight contracts in plain English, and problem-solves to resolve disputes without going to court. But most of all Autumn and her team are trusted advisors whom entrepreneurs can rely on for practical advice when they need it.
Autumn lives in Chattanooga, TN with her husband Dave, twin boys Sam and Tyson, and daughter Vivian.
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Watch the Episode Below:
Andréa Jones (00:00):
Should we use trends, memes? Is remix culture even? Okay? As a business and a brand. We're going to dive into all of those questions and more today with our guest, Autumn Witt Boyd, who runs the law firm for coaches and online educators. Let's get into it.
Welcome to The Savvy Social Podcast, the show that blends stories and strategies to help businesses create engaged and profitable online communities using the unique power of social media. And now, your host, Andréa Jones.
Andréa Jones (00:49):
Oh, before we get into it, I have a little treat for y'all. We use Riverside as our virtual digital studio for recording our podcast, and you can use them today as well with 15% off. They gave everyone a little coupon. Use the code Drea, DREA at checkout, and you'll get 15. That's one, 5% off any plan that you choose. Pretty sweet. I like using Riverside because it's super clean, professional. They have tons of features built right in the app. It's very nice. So check it out for yourself. I'll put the link in the show notes. And with that, let's welcome Autumn to the show. Autumn. Hi. Hello, how are you?
Autumn Witt Boyd (01:28):
Hi, Andrea. I'm fantastic. Thank you for having me today. I'm excited to chat with you because I have been, I've known of you for years, and then it wasn't until recently that we have a conversation. I was like, oh, I need to know you more.
So this is partially, selfishly, and also I want to just bring your expertise on the podcast, but I'd like to get a little bit about your background as well, because you've been in the legal field for over 18 years, correct? Yes, yes. We're coming up on 20 now.
Andréa Jones (01:58):
Wild. That's awesome. So talk to me about the journey. Did you always work with coaches in the online space or what was the beginning like?
Autumn Witt Boyd (02:08):
No, not at all. So I had a very normal, boring legal career to start. I thought I was going to be like a superstar trial courtroom lawyer. That's what I went to law school wanting to do. So I worked for a judge. I worked at a couple different law firms, but I was always really interested in intellectual property. So music is, I was a theater kid. I just always have loved creative work.
So I always kind of in the back of my mind had hoped to do that kind of work. Where I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, there is not a lot of it, and I'm kind of planted here. I didn't really want to move to one of the larger cities that has more of an entertainment industry. So my last job before I started my own firm, I was working, I was doing copyright law, working with a lot of photographers, and we helped them enforce their copyrights. We were suing different companies that were using their images without permission. And so I learned a lot doing that about working with creatives and just about copyright law, which is very tricky and complicated. So when I kind of hit my wall at that job and left to start my own thing, I just wanted to keep doing that work, but I didn't really have a grand plan of who I would be doing it for.
And you are one of the first podcasts I listened to Andrea, this was like 2015, and I was just trying to learn how to run a business because they don't teach you that in law school. So I was trying to learn marketing and sales and all the things, and I kind of fell into the online industry because a lot of those podcasts that I was listening to and learning from had Facebook groups or had an online course that went with them. So I started learning about this digital marketing. I call our little corner of the internet, and I found it was really a blue ocean, not on purpose, but I found there were really no other lawyers or very few who were helping these types of businesses. And I started getting to know people. I started just offering to be helpful in some of the Facebook groups and started getting clients.
And one thing led to another. It's been many, many steps since then, but as the firm has grown and as our expertise has grown, we really like working with these kinds of businesses and the owners. So we have narrowed down to this one area since then. Oh, that's so fascinating. I bet too. It's got to be challenging because I know I deal with this running a business that works in both the US and Canada. And 20 years ago that wasn't really heard of, right? If you had, say the photography business, you did photography in your area, or people came to you, maybe occasionally you travel, but it was mostly local to you. And now it's like when we think about online business, we're not just protecting our rights statewide or even nationwide. It's international. It's got to be very complicated. It can be, yes. And the more complicating factors that in every country, the lawyers are really, you only really know the laws of your own state or your own country, or in Canada, I'm going to say it wrong, not territory.
Andréa Jones (05:09):
Autumn Witt Boyd (05:11):
Andréa Jones (05:12):
We have some territories too.
Autumn Witt Boyd (05:13):
Yes, yes. I know when I've tried to find Canadian lawyers for some of our clients, they're like, Nope, wrong province. So law is very territorial. And so it can be very complicated when you have an online business serving customers around the world, and now all of a sudden you've got to figure out all these laws of all these different places. And the internet doesn't make that any more challenging. And especially recently, there's this understanding online that we have this remix culture. Someone creates a piece of content and then the rest of the internet just copies it. How do we draw the line between what's ours as a online creator and what's publicly available for other people to copy? Yeah. So I'll give you the legal copyright lawyer answer and then I'll give you kind of the practical answer.
We're very practical here at the AWB firm. So under copyright law, if you create something, so let's say a movie studio creates a movie or a TV studio creates a television show, or you create a graphic or a photo you own, or the company that creates it owns that copyright. So they really control what you get with a copyright is you get the right to control how it's used, if it can be copied, if it can be displayed for a song or a play, whether it can be performed. And copyright law in the United States is very strict. So if someone else, if Andrea sees a clip from Schitt's Creek and wants to borrow it, and you didn't ask permission, technically that could be copyright infringement. So the kind of base rule to keep in mind is if you don't have permission or if the person who produced the work has not explicitly said that it can be used in whatever way you're wanting to use it, that could be copyright infringement.
Now, we do have this thing in the United States called Fair Use, which you may have heard of. It's written into our copyright law, and there's different versions of it in different countries. But I will say legally it's very risky, especially if you are using it for a business purpose. It's a very gray area. So I typically say if you're wanting to use it, especially in some sort of paid product. Now, I know we're mostly talking about social media, so you're not making money off of a post generally. But I would just say that's kind of the very strict legal answer. And another area to think about, you may have heard the word derivative work, so that's a big fancy word for basically just a work based on another work. So a meme can be considered a derivative work because usually you're adding words or you're adding some sort of context to the clip from a TV show or a song.
So you're technically violating one of the rights that people get with a copyright that they get to control what works are made out of their works. So that's the really strict legal version. As a practical matter, we now do have this remix culture, this meme culture, and I did some spot research before we hopped on. We are not seeing lawsuits being filed over memes in general. Now, that's not to say there haven't been any, but it's not this huge problem that we're seeing. So I think what has happened, and this is true of a lot of things on social media, is whoever owns the rights to Schitt's Creek, it's kind of publicity for them to have memes being shared. So there's been a, yeah, it might technically be violating their copyright, but they're kind of getting a benefit from it. So they're not really enforcing that, if that makes sense. That doesn't mean they couldn't start enforcing it at some point. And some of these things you'll see with Saturday Night Live and other popular very pop culture type things. Some of them are on platforms that are easy to make memes from or where even you can grab memes, you can grab images and video. So I think in some of those cases, there is almost like a consent or a permission that is given, Hey, this thing is free for you to use. I would want to read the fine print and look at that carefully.
The other thing I will mention, and I'll stop talking, is anytime that you are just sharing something that someone else has posted and you're just sharing a link to their YouTube or a link to where the meme lives on another platform, that's not infringement because all you're doing is kind of putting up a road sign. Here's how you go find the thing. You're not technically using it, you're just sharing a way to access it, if that makes sense. So that was a lot of different ways to think about it, but I would say this is a low risk activity for most businesses who are using social media marketing.
Andréa Jones (09:51):
Got it. Oh, that's so fascinating. I think it'll be curious to see how this develops over the years, because right now it's kind of like everyone's going along. It's fine. You can use it. And even I see this happen a lot with resharing posts. So there are accounts that take viral videos and basically reshare them and for the most part, it's all positive. This original creator is getting hopefully credited and they're reaching a new audience and expanding all of those things. And I think at some point somebody may get upset by this and file a lawsuit and be like, y'all use my stuff.
Autumn Witt Boyd (10:32):
And I would say the one area where we have seen some legal action is with a regular person who has a video made of them, whether it was theirs or someone else took it of them. And then that goes viral and people start memifying it where they never intended to be in all of these memes in several states. Not every state in the United States called the right of publicity. And so that means you get to control how your face or your name is used to advertise other people's stuff. And so I could see some action happening there, but especially if it were used commercially. Now, again, if you're just sharing with your friend or posting it on your personal feed, who caress. But if Proctor and Gamble is using a meme and they did not get permission to promote a toothpaste or something, I could see the person in that meme having a pretty good claim under some of these state laws for the rite of publicity. So kind of keep that in mind.
Andréa Jones (11:33):
Yeah, I always think that about the memes and stuff that have kids in them, I'm always like, oh yes, they're adorable and they're making the cutest little faces. And also did they want that? I don't know. I don't know.
Autumn Witt Boyd (11:45):
Did their parents even give permission? Probably not.
Andréa Jones (11:48):
Yeah, It is so sticky. And so I think as business owners, we got to use a little common sense to figure out what works for us. And I've heard that, like you said, when you're using memes, trending songs or sounds and things like that, in a general sense, it's okay. Where the rules start tightening up is with paid advertising digitally.
Autumn Witt Boyd (12:13):
Andréa Jones (12:14):
So am I correct in that assumption? Especially for songs and things, you have to have rights. You have to have the rights to use that as paid advertising.
Autumn Witt Boyd (12:24):
And most of the social platforms have built in kind robot monitors that will keep you from using things that you don't have permission to use because they actually will get licenses and then have those available for people to use. So if you notice, I think I have a creator account or a business account, I can't remember. I have one of those. And so there are certain songs that are not available for my use that if I had a personal account, they might be, and that's because Instagram or whatever platform has taken care of the licensing. And so if you see them on the native app, those are fine to use because they've already taken care of that. But if you're trying to add it on your own and then upload it to the platform, sometimes you will have problems there.
Andréa Jones (13:05):
Yeah, and I've seen anywhere from they'll take your video down or mute your video all the way to your whole account will be shut down. So they take it pretty seriously.
Autumn Witt Boyd (13:16):
The people who own those songs, they could sue Instagram for not enforcing their rights. They're always looking out for their own backs rather than yours.
Andréa Jones (13:27):
Yeah, yeah. Their own interests there. Yes. So I'm curious about product review. So I used to work with a product-based company that was fairly large, and we would have people tagging us in products all the time. And when I kind of was brought onto that team, we would just repost it. Now, this was like five, six years ago on Instagram, so it was still very new to have influencer culture, but these regular people would post the product and then we would repost it to our feed. Is that okay?
Autumn Witt Boyd (14:07):
So that's one of those technically could be copyright infringement. If you don't have permission 99 times out of 100, the person will probably not care, especially if they're tagged or credited. But especially if you are a business and a large business that looks like you might have resources, if you were sued to pay out a settlement, always a great idea to just shoot a DM. Or if it's something you find on a website, shoot an email, however you want to contact that person is the most easily and just say, Hey, loved this piece. Do you mind if I reshare it? It's as simple as that. And then just take a screenshot and save it so that if there's questions later
And that way for that one out of 100 that might not want you to share it, they'll say no. And then you'll that problem because you'll know, oh, okay, they're not okay with that.
Andréa Jones (14:54):
Oh yeah, get it in writing y'all. So on that project, I started working with influencers, especially in the paid capacity. And so we had a contract that we would have to send to them that said, we going to be, we're going to use this. We're going to use this in our paid advertising, so if you agree to work with us, you're agreeing for us to use this. And then near the end of working on that project, we even had to start putting time limits to how long we could use it as well. So it wasn't just like we could use this forever. It was like we could use this video for the next year, and then we got to sign another contract. It's so interesting to me, and I'm guessing that's normal in the entertainment industry, but how it's being applied to influencers as well is absolutely fascinating to me.
Autumn Witt Boyd (15:43):
And that's actually when I talked about representing photographers and suing people who were using their images without permission, it was almost always what you talked about where we were suing mostly textbook publishers who were using their images, so they would get a limited license.
That's what that's called. The influencer who puts some guardrails around how long you can use their content. So it might have a time period, it might have languages or territory, but when you have those contracts, the trick, and I'm sure the company you worked with had some sort of system, you have to monitor that so that at that year mark, you stop using it or technically you're infringing their copyrights. So that then is just like a whole rights management contract management. It is a big hassle. So just be aware, if you're a smaller company working with these influencers, you need to have some sort of system set up so an alert pops up like, oh, time has run out. I need to stop. Stop or renew the contract because, or renew the contract. Either way, if it's a great piece of content and it works for you, make it mutually beneficial if you're making money from it, absolutely. But so much content I feel like is ephemeral. What was in last year is not going to be effective this year. So just important to kind of think about that.
Andréa Jones (16:58):
Yeah, that is so true. Okay, we're going to take a quick break and when we come back, I have one more question, generally speaking, and then I want to get nosy about your own strategy as well. So we'll be right back.
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Alright, we're back. So I want to talk about reposting things with giving credit as well. And we do this specifically for companies in my agency who they don't know the original creator, but the content will serve both audiences and we want to kind of give them a little bit of a signal boost. So my rule of thumb for long, I've been running this business for almost 10 years, has always been just repost it and give them credit. And you're right, 99% of people are excited. I've only ever had one person who's like, Hey, can you take that down? And we took it down and we made a note in our file to never repost their stuff. But now 2023, Andrea is like, wait a second. I probably should ask first. But then in my mind I'm like, this is going to take so long. And there's so much content from larger agencies than mine about how their legal department has to approve a post. And I saw this one the other day that was approved post about the coronation of the king in England, and that was way earlier this year, but the post finally got approved by legal. So it's just now going out. That's how I feel. I'm like, this is going to take forever.
But it sounds like based on what you're saying, technically yes, but generally speaking, the company's so small they're not probably going to be sued, but technically they could be. Am I right in thinking this way?
Autumn Witt Boyd (20:47):
You are right. Yes. So I would say this is going to somewhat depend on the clients you're working with. What is their level of risk tolerance and how big are they? Does it look like that they have enough assets, enough revenue that they would be a good target for a lawsuit? Someone like a small agency, a small online company is very unlikely to be sued because the juice is not worth the squeeze. There's not enough there. But if you look at a larger, especially a big mega corporation, I mean, like you said, their approval timelines, I mean, they're incredibly careful and they might be planning content six months out. So that does take away your ability to hop on trends that pop up really quickly because they just might be too risky for those kind of clients to be open to getting the benefit out of sharing something that is viral and happen very quickly versus the potential for something going wrong. But I would say with most small and mid-sized companies, the risk is not huge. So they might be more willing to do that.
Now, I will mention we work with some agencies, it's really important that your contract is clear about, let's say something goes wrong and you share something you shouldn't have. Whose fault is that? Is it your agency's fault or is your client on the hook? Because I've seen some contracts where for my clients who are online businesses where they were hiring an ads agency and the ads agency was basically like, we can do whatever we want and you are the one who has to pay for it if something goes wrong. And I was like, that is not fair. If the business are not even touching what the agency is doing, that's not fair. And same thing, vice versa, putting the agency on the hook if the business is actually providing them the content. So I think it depends on the relationship, it depends on who's creating what.
Andréa Jones (22:35):
Yeah. Oh, that's interesting. I'm thinking through what does our contract say? Yeah, and I know we have insurance too as well, because
Autumn Witt Boyd (22:42):
Yeah, I was about to say, and yeah, you should have insurance for sure.
Andréa Jones (22:45):
Yeah, yeah. You never know. Oh my gosh, I'm going to go immediately look at my contracts after. I hate to be the boogeyman. Okay, let's review our contract.
No, that's so interesting because what we've done now is we have just a pool of creators that we source from where we already have relationships with them, and it makes it a lot easier to
Autumn Witt Boyd (23:09):
Oh, that's great,
Andréa Jones (23:09):
cross post content. And then for certain memes and things, it just depends on the meme and on the client. So recently Taylor Swift was memified for dating a football player. Most of our clients, that's safe territory, but the Barbie movie was like, oh, that Barbie is a pretty big copyrighted thing. So most of my clients were like, we're just going to stay away from that one.
Autumn Witt Boyd (23:37):
Well, and they had, I don't know if you heard, they had a whole campaign, a whole PR campaign where they were licensing the rights to use Barbie in so I could see them because they did try and monetize that. I could see them being a little more aggressive in their enforcement.
Andréa Jones (23:52):
And you're right, it just depends on the client too. We do have some clients that they're too big to just do whatever. It's like, we got to be careful cos people may want to sue you. Whereas smaller companies or even my own personal accounts, I feel comfortable posting that kind of stuff. This is so interesting to me because I love the duality of here's what's legally what could happen, and then the chances of something happening and your own risk tolerance because there is this world that we plan online, it's evolving so quickly. I'm curious to see what do you predict happening in the future with some of the people trying to protect their own image or protect their content? Do you see people starting to hire lawyers to pursue some of these potential cases?
Autumn Witt Boyd (24:48):
I would say that, yeah, the bigger your profile gets, it goes both ways. You want to protect your own stuff more, and you also want to go after other people who are using your stuff without permission. But I do think you're right, it's evolving. And we've had this really almost like an ironclad grip on copyrighted work for a long time. There's this fence built around it, and for creators that's great, unless you're a creator that creates by borrowing from other people. So there is this real tension right now in the law, and our last copyright update was in like 2000. So the law is not keeping up with reality. So it's evolving bit by bit.
I don't think we've mentioned AI yet, but there's some lawsuits starting with how the AI companies are compiling other people's works to make their engines. This is evolving in real time and there are a lot of questions, but I think we're going to see there's probably going to be a shift with now how much protection you get around a creative work now that there is this much more loosey goosey kind of culture around using other people's stuff, among memes, among resharing, things going viral, all of that. I just don't see how it can stay the way it has been.
Andréa Jones (26:02):
Yeah, it's got to evolve. And you're right, especially with AI, I read a news story recently about Mr. Beast, someone created an AI version of him, made a TikTok ad,
Autumn Witt Boyd (26:13):
Andréa Jones (26:14):
And they were like, give us $20 and we'll give you an iPhone. And logically you go, nobody's doing that, but that's Mr. Beast's style. He makes videos like that. And so people bought into it and then he had to reach out or his company had to reach out to their company to take it down. I think that's where I'm like, oh, this is a clear no-no zone. We should not be doing this.
Autumn Witt Boyd (26:36):
If you heard some of the music where they can basically AI can write a song in the style of a person and you hear it and you're like, oh, that is song by that person. It is almost indistinguishable now. It's very, very tricky. So that will just, as a copyright lawyer, I'm very interested to see how all this starts to play out. And then you've got judges who are often older white gentlemen who don't understand this technology, trying to sort this all out.
Andréa Jones (27:01):
The people who are
Autumn Witt Boyd (27:02):
We live in interesting times.
Andréa Jones (27:05):
The people who are trying to interpret the law don't even understand how all of this works. Oh my. We're in for it. We're in for it.
Okay. So I'm curious about your approach to social media as well, because we have a number of lawyers, law firms, people in the legal space, paralegals who listen to the show, and even marketers who work with those categories. So you mentioned that in the early days of your business you would kind of jump into Facebook groups. And I think the biggest question that a lot of people have about that is you have to be very clear, this is not legal advice. How did you go about providing solutions without the assumption that you're representing someone?
Autumn Witt Boyd (27:51):
Yeah, I think the longer that social media is around, if you think that someone is your lawyer because they post a Facebook comment, I just don't see that as an actual problem anymore. It's pretty clear. Unless you hire me, I'm not your lawyer. So I mean, will see, this happens more on LinkedIn. I feel like LinkedIn is just a more formal atmosphere. I'll see this three sentence disclaimer that people put on every single comment, and I'm like, is that really necessary? I don't think it's necessary. Now, I'll say occasionally
I'll back up. I try and keep my comments really general. So I try not to give advice If it's not an actual client, I might say, I've seen such and such, or you might consider such and such, or I recommend to our clients that they do X, Y, Z. So I try and make it kind of general so that it's clear. But every now and then I will try and jump in and be a little more specific. And so I will sometimes say, I will add, this is obviously not legal advice, and I feel like that kind of gets you where you need to go.
Now I have a podcast and on every episode I give a disclaimer. And if I do a video or a Facebook Live or any kind of content or a blog post, I do include that quick disclaimer. I don't think it's, again, I'm not seeing any action here around people suing law firms. They took their advice even though they weren't really a client. That's just not a thing. But I think it's always helpful. I say the same things to our doctor clients go ahead and throw on, it should be obvious. This is not medical advice, but just to be safe doesn't hurt to throw that on there.
Andréa Jones (29:23):
And there's so many fields that this is applicable to. We have some therapists and the groups that we work with, we have to be careful about
Autumn Witt Boyd (29:31):
Accountants. Yes. Tax advice, that kind of thing.
Andréa Jones (29:33):
Yeah, we can give very generalized observations.
Autumn Witt Boyd (29:39):
If you want individualized advice, you got to hire the person.
Andréa Jones (29:42):
Yes, yes. So how do you navigate your own social strategy? You have a successful company. I know you have a team working with you, but you're the face of the company, so how do you navigate for better or worse?
Autumn Witt Boyd (29:55):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean it started out as very much a personal brand. And then as we started growing, we're now four lawyers. I have a team of 10. It is definitely not just the Autumn show anymore, but I feel like I enjoy doing this part of it, the being out in front part. And most of the team just wants to do their job. They don't really want to be out in public. They will do it if I ask them, but it is not their favorite thing. So I've kind of maintained that being the face. But we did a couple of years ago, gosh, it's been probably five or six years, we changed from the name of the company being my name to now, we use my initials, the AWB firm. And actually I was at a dinner last week in Nashville and a bunch of my clients were there, and there was one person there that I hadn't met who wasn't a client, and I introduced myself and I said, hi, I'm Autumn. And somebody said, yeah, she's our lawyer. And she looks at me, she goes, oh, AWB firm. And I was like, yes, it's working. Accomplish my goal.
So as far as how we do our marketing, we've tried lots of different things, but I really like having marketing, and you and I have talked about this a little bit. We just like to be flexible and nimble and try different things. We sell contract templates, but that's not our main source of revenue. So at any given time, we may be doing promotions around that, which look very different than promotions for our one-on-one services, which is more kind of referral and relationship based. So we actually have a new marketing specialist who started this month and she's awesome. So she's kind of working on our overall strategy. But this was the year that we were really, probably 80% of our new clients come from relationships, connections, referrals. So we are really shifting our strategy to focus on that. And then it's like how can our social support that so that if someone refers us, of course they're going to go check us out. Does what they see line up with what they would expect? Or does it establish our expertise and make it look like we're a group that they would want to work with? So we're shifting a little bit. It's exciting.
Andréa Jones (31:59):
And I want y'all to underline that, especially those of you listening who are service providers or work for service providers. This is our strategy too, when it comes to social media for my company for instance, most people don't find us on social media, but they do check us out and they want to see that we know what we're doing. And so the social strategy is more of, for companies like ours, it's an expertise showcase. Here's what we, here's why we know what we know, here's what you should trust us. So yes, having the followers and engagement and having posts is great, but they serve a different role and I'm so glad that you've done that as well. So how do you divvy up what comes from the brain of Autumn and what comes from the collective of AWB?
Autumn Witt Boyd (32:52):
So it used to all be me in my brain. We have now 170 podcasts, and I've been in business eight years. We've put out so much content that now we're in a bit of a, how can we repurpose? I actually stopped releasing new episodes, the podcast called the Legal Roadmap Podcast. You can go check it out. But I stopped releasing new episodes because I felt like I was just repeating myself. I felt like I had nothing else to say. Legal is not like social media. There's not new and fun things to talk about all the time. So we have a huge library of things. So that's really what we're working on now is Autumn's brain doesn't have to come up with new things, hopefully.
But we started a new system last year of where we, any team member, if they see something interesting pop up legally, it's often with pop culture or celebrities around intellectual property, which is what we do a lot of that they can submit an idea and then it just goes into a content bank. And then when I'm looking for a topic for a video or our marketing specialist is looking for a topic, they can go in there and it might have a link to an article or just like, Hey, this popped up with a client. I think this is interesting. We might talk about that. So that's been really helpful. I feel like in the time when you're just looking at a blank page, you're like, I got to post something or I got to write an email, that's the worst time to try and be thinking of ideas. So we're always kind of gathering interesting little tidbits.
Andréa Jones (34:16):
Yeah, I love the submission process as well, especially as your team grows, I think it's going to be even more important to have that touch point with your clients as well, without having to individually talk to everybody.
Autumn Witt Boyd (34:29):
Andréa Jones (34:31):
Oh my gosh. So is there anything new that you're going to try in the new year? Are you exploring new platforms, anything like that?
Autumn Witt Boyd (34:39):
We're so boring. I would say the big thing that I have never really been big on LinkedIn. I know it exists, but I even rarely even go on there. But I've been talking to folks that I think that could be an area to just get in front of new people. We've done a really good job with our little corner of the internet. We work with a lot of people and their friends, but it's like you run out of people's friends. So if we want to keep growing, we need to get into new corners of the internet. So I, I'm looking into LinkedIn as a potential area to do that, so we'll see.
Andréa Jones (35:11):
Oh, I love it. Yeah, LinkedIn is having its little moment right now because of everyone's mad at X, formerly known as Twitter, and the Meta conglomerate feels interesting sometimes.
Autumn Witt Boyd (35:24):
Yeah, and I mean, you tell me what you're hearing, Andréa, but my sense is that there's kind of a lower bar to entry on LinkedIn because it's not as busy, and so maybe your stuff can be seen a little more easily than on the other platforms. The algorithm is favoring video, which is like, I love video. That's easy and great. So if I'm going to get more eyeballs over there for the same amount of effort as on Instagram or Facebook, maybe that's where we'll kind of switch some of our attention.
Andréa Jones (35:50):
Yeah, I will say LinkedIn is, you don't have to have as much content, so right away it feels like a release, like a little weight off your shoulders. I will say the vibe is different, so reading the room may take a second to figure it out, but I love it. LinkedIn is one of my top platforms as well. I find that it's easy for me to engage there. When I think about Instagram and the massive amounts of types of content that you can create, is it a reel, is it a post? Is it a carousel? You know what I mean? Is it a story LinkedIn? It just feels more straightforward.
Autumn Witt Boyd (36:26):
Yes, it's a simpler time on LinkedIn,.
Andréa Jones (36:29):
But I do find it is a little stuffier, like you said, Instagram's definitely more relaxed or even Threads. I'm having a lot of fun on Threads right now. Way more relaxed, and I find I get more business done on LinkedIn.
Autumn Witt Boyd (36:41):
Yeah. Yeah. So it's like if I'm sharing pictures of my kids, that's different than do I want to get in front of people who might hire us.
Andréa Jones (36:48):
Yeah. Well, good luck. I'm going to keep my eyes peeled for your LinkedIn strategy. I'm excited about it.
Autumn Witt Boyd (36:54):
Thank you. Thank you.
Andréa Jones (36:55):
And for those folks who are listening who want to dive into your world, I know you've got this amazing resource. It is the 2023 Legal Trends Report. Tell us about it.
Autumn Witt Boyd (37:05):
Yeah, so we put this together, we started in 2022, and we're updating it every year. And this is really, we work with mostly high 6, 7, 8 figure online businesses. So this is taking, what are we seeing in those businesses that may be coming for smaller businesses. So we talk about things like trends with employment law, with building your team the right way, trends, I don't know if you're using text message marketing, but that is an area where we're seeing a lot of new laws popping up that people may not be aware of. So we're really just trying to let people know what's coming, what they need to be aware of. I find I get on my soapbox sometimes.
I find that a lot of people are, there's just things that I see going wrong behind the scenes that no one's talking about. And so the legal trends report is full of those kinds of things like peel back the curtain. We don't share any names of course, or share anything we shouldn't be, but these are things we're seeing across our clients, either problems that they're having or new things that you can take advantage of to protect your business proactively.
Andréa Jones (38:04):
Oh yeah. I'm going to download this too, so y'all better check it out. I'll put the link in the show notes. It's going to be onlinedrea.com/ 2 7 8, so this is episode 2 7 8. You can find it there as well as the links for all the ways to connect with Autumn and her company at AWB firm. I'll put all of those in the show notes as well. Autumn, thank you so much for being on the show.
Autumn Witt Boyd (38:27):
This was so fun. Thank you for this great conversation.
Andréa Jones (38:29):
And thank you, dear listener, for tuning into another episode of The Savvy Social Podcast. Please rate us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify helps keep us in the top 100 marketing podcasts. We've hung out there all year because of your listenership, so keep up the great work. Next week I'm coming back with one of my most popular episodes, predictions for 2024. Tune in to get all of that goodness next week. I'll see you then. Bye for now.