Welcome back, tribe! I hope you’re having a wonderful day and thank you so much for stopping by!
I’m sure you’ve seen it by now — online businesses are huge these days. The internet has expanded the horizons for entrepreneurs in unprecedented ways, and it has been incredible to watch as people step into their potential online!
But have you ever wondered how all of these online businesses are protected? With so many different businesses and brands, there needs to be some way to protect intellectual property. That’s where today’s amazing guest, Andrea Sager, comes in!
Andrea is my brand protection attorney, a fellow mom, and an all-around incredible human being. She has a virtual law firm specializing in copyrights and trademarks for small businesses, and she is passionate about helping people protect their intellectual property.
Today is a killer episode, and I’m so excited to share it with you guys! Andrea was kind enough to join us and share how she helps people protect their businesses. I know you are going to love this one as much as I did, so let’s get into it!
Who Is Andrea Sager?
While in law school, Andrea started her first business — a women’s clothing boutique. After she sold her store and began her career as a lawyer, she quickly realized that she wouldn’t be able to assist fellow small business owners, which is her passion!
Realizing this led her to leave the big-name law firm life and start her own virtual law firm, Andrea Sager Law PLLC. She now works daily to help small businesses embrace and protect their intellectual property. Andrea is quickly becoming the “go-to” protection attorney for modern-day entrepreneurs, protecting everything from their brand names to their courses and blog posts.
With her unique experience running multiple businesses, Andrea is not just an attorney but also a business partner, guiding her clients through all business growth stages. She is offering an incredible deal on all of the contracts that you need to protect your brand and online business, so be sure to check that out if that’s something you are looking for!
Andrea is a mom, but she still finds the time to travel all around the country to speak at events and help people! I love this woman’s energy so much — she is super laid back, and you would never guess what a brilliant attorney she is. She has the wonderful talent of helping people understand the legal intricacies of an online business in a simple way. I can’t wait for you to learn all that she had to share in today’s episode!
Embracing Her Passion: Andrea’s Journey to Entrepreneurship
Life isn’t a straight line from one place to another. It’s more like a bunch of squiggles with random turns along the way. I’m sure you’ve probably experienced this at some point in your life. Sometimes finding your passion takes a few detours to end up where you are supposed to be.
For Andrea, this was the case in her journey to starting her own virtual law firm. When she landed a job at a large and prestigious firm after law school, she thought she would be fulfilled. But when does life really turn out exactly how we think it will? It’s usually full of surprises, and that can be a beautiful thing! For Andrea, a surprise came when she realized she hated her job:
“[When] I scored the big law job, I thought I was set for life. As soon as I got that job, I just remember talking to my husband just saying, ‘This is it. We’re set for life … this is great.’ And then I started the job, and it was absolutely miserable … I think I actually scared myself by opening my own business before having my first real job because that gave me the taste of freedom and a taste of the good life. And then I went to work for somebody, and it just didn’t work out” – Andrea Sager
By opening an online boutique while she was in law school, Andrea realized how much she enjoyed entrepreneurship and gained a passion for small businesses. She wanted to help her boutique clients from a legal standpoint, but her law firm wouldn’t let her do that. So she decided to do it herself by quitting her job and starting her own business.
That’s a scary shift to make! Andrea and her husband packed up their life, sold their house, and moved across the country from Cincinnati to Houston. Although she was scared of the massive life change, she made sure to stay true to her purpose of helping small business owners and live life on her own terms. She knew she needed to dream bigger to be happy, so that’s exactly what she did.
Not only did Andrea move across the country and quit her job to embrace her passion, but she also taught herself a new skill! Since law school doesn’t require specialization, she was trained solely for litigation (which is what most attorneys do). Andrea needed to know the laws of intellectual property protection, so she taught herself what she needed to know:
“The only reason I actually started practicing trademarks and intellectual property is because of the boutique owners that constantly came to me asking for help because I just honestly filled their hole in the marketplace … So when I was at the big firm, and they would contact me, they wanted help with trademarks and copyrights. When I went out on my own, I knew that’s what they needed help with the most. So I honestly just taught myself trademarks and copyrights, and luckily I’ve had plenty of mentors along the way.” – Andrea Sager
Andrea was able to find her passion by being flexible and embracing change, and she is now using her newfound skills to help people every day! Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we are bold enough to dream bigger?
By now, you’re probably wondering about those nifty legal skills that Andrea taught herself. There’s so much to know about the world of online business copyrights and trademarks, and Andrea was kind enough to share some of them with us today! First, it’s essential to understand some of the key terms regarding the legal world of protecting a business, and Andrea explained them perfectly.
The Basics of Protecting Your Business
Much like the world of medicine, the legal world has its own special language full of terms like “intellectual property,” “copyrights,” “trademarks,” and “infringement.” It’s important to understand what these terms mean if you are looking to protect your online business. Andrea explained them way better than I could:
“Intellectual property is, most likely, your brand’s most valuable asset. And it’s all the things that aren’t tangible. So your trademarks, copyrights, patents — those are really the big three forms of intellectual property, and they’re things that are not tangible.” – Andrea Sager
It’s pretty intuitive to think about protecting physical property such as your house or car, but it’s not as common to think about protecting the “property” created in your brain! But that doesn’t mean it’s any less important — intellectual property is the backbone of a brand and the key to success in any online business.
As Andrea mentioned, a primary example of intellectual property is copyright, which is essentially just another word for content. Think of the content that goes into an online business — photos, videos, blog posts, Instagram captions, long form — you name it. It all needs to be considered copyright for your business to be protected.
The other main type of intellectual property that Andrea mentioned is a trademark. So what’s the difference between a copyright and a trademark? The main difference is that trademarks are specific to the identification of your branding:
“Think brand name, logo, slogan, your podcast name — anything in your business that has a unique name can most likely be protected with a trademark … with trademarks, there are 45 different classes of goods and services. This is why ‘Delta Airlines’ can have the same exact name and trademark as ‘Delta,’ the kitchen sink-faucet company. They both have federally registered trademarks, but they are in completely different industries.” – Andrea Sager
It gets way more complicated than you might think, and that’s why Andrea’s virtual law firm helps so many small business owners. She knows all of the “ins-and-outs” of protecting intellectual property, and she has been so incredible in helping me protect mine.
That includes the Millennial Doc podcast! Today, Andrea shared the details about how to protect your podcast from any undesired legal trouble.
How to Protect Your Podcast
You know it as much as I do — podcasts are the best. They are such a fun way for people to share their message, and they are also an incredible resource for anyone with an online business. But whether a podcast is a hobby or a full-time job, there are still plenty of legal considerations.
Andrea noted that when it comes to podcasts, a considerable thing to be aware of is trademarks. Let’s say you are starting a podcast, and you come up with a name you love. But what if another podcast already has that name? You’re going to find yourself in a legal mess that you don’t want to be a part of:
“[For example], if you have the same name of a podcast by Google … Google is going to come knocking and tell you to change the name. And that’s because you’re infringing on their trademark. Whether it’s registered or not, you need to be aware of contracts … there’s a lot of legal protection that goes into podcasting. If you’re a hobby podcaster, you don’t necessarily realize what goes into it … but as long as you protect yourself, you’ll be taken care of.” –Andrea Sager
According to Andrea, there are several different contracts that podcasters need. If you have a podcast, do you have a co-host? Are you going to have guests? Do you have voiceover acting? All of these things need to be written up in a legal contract. It’s also important to consider copyrights in a podcast because using unlicensed music or recordings from other people will leave you in a world of legal trouble!
When I was starting my podcast, something that surprised me was that you don’t have to have the exact same name as another podcast to have a trademark infringement! Sometimes, it just has to be similar for there to be a problem. That’s why a quick Google search doesn’t always cut it when looking into trademarks — you need a legal expert like Andrea to really cover your bases:
“When you are concerned with trademarks, you’re not infringing on somebody just when it’s the same exact name. You can be infringing on somebody when it’s a similar name … So I always suggest doing an official trademark search, which is done with the trademark attorneys, such as myself. And we look for all those similarities that could be trademark infringement.” – Andrea Sager
It’s amazing how much goes into making a podcast, and the last thing you want is for a legal issue to prevent you from spreading your message and inspiring others! That’s why it is so important to know your podcast is protected, and Andrea is amazing at ensuring that protection. If you want to learn more, check out Andrea’s signature The Trademark Course, where you can learn more about trademarks and how to submit your first trademark application within 24 hours of taking her course! I highly recommend it!
Step Out with Confidence® with Andrea Sager
I want to take a moment to acknowledge Andrea for all of the wisdom she shared with us today and for her passion to help small business owners protect their businesses. Although life threw her a curveball when she found out that she hated her “dream job,” she embraced the challenge and decided to pursue her real dream instead!
I asked Andrea what piece of wisdom she would leave us with, and this was her answer:
“Don’t be afraid of the legal stuff. I get it that people always think it’s scary, but it doesn’t have to be. If you tackle it head-on, it doesn’t have to be.” – Andrea Sager
Andrea is a great resource to tackle those legal concerns head-on, and she is easy to find! You can catch her on Instagram @andreasagerlaw, and she is just recently launching the “Contract Vault,” which gives you all the contracts you need for your online business. You can find more on that by checking out her website!
If you enjoyed this interview and learned something new, tag Andrea, @andreasagerlaw, and me, @drnikoleta, with a screenshot of the episode and your greatest takeaways! And if you enjoy the Millennial Doc podcast, it would also mean so much to me if you could give it a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts so we can spread the word.
I hope this conversation helped you learn about the basics of protecting your business and inspired you to live life on your own terms, just like Andrea did!
I’m so grateful for all of you. As always, Step Out with Confidence® and go rock your life!
Disclaimer: The Millennial Doc® Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not medical advice. Please consult with your doctor on these topics. Copyright Dr. Nikoleta 2020.