Exploring the Opportunities that Come with Operating Your Business Online

In this captivating finale of our three-part series on safeguarding your brand online, Attorney Murray shifts our focus to the exciting opportunities that await entrepreneurs in the digital landscape. With her relatable storytelling and genuine passion, she reveals the untapped potential of running an online business. 

Drawing from her own journey as a trademark attorney based in a small city, Attorney Murray shares how the internet became a game-changer. She vividly describes how it empowered her to break free from the confines of her local area and connect with a global audience. The mere click of a button unlocked a whole new world of possibilities, allowing her to expand her reach beyond her wildest dreams.  

Listen to the final chapter of this three-part series, as Attorney Murray underlines the impact this newfound market reach has on entrepreneurs who can now connect with customers worldwide, leveraging the internet’s vast resources to drive growth and meet the soaring demand on an international scale. Throughout her insightful episode, she stresses the importance of implementing effective intellectual property strategies to protect and maximize these opportunities.

Key TakeAways

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

About the Own Your Genius Podcast

The Own Your Genius podcast is the perfect mix of business, law, and mindset to help black entrepreneurs succeed in business and life.

Join Attorney LaConya Murray each month as she and guest share their entrepreneurial journey, tricks of the trade, and their secrets to getting out of their own way to succeed.

Inspired by her grandmother, the community bootlegger Attorney Murray‘s passion for helping entrepreneurs started early. Today she helps entrepreneurs throughout the country protect their brand, content, and ideas through trademarks, copyrights, and business development.


Until next week, keep building your business, growing your brand, and owning your genius!


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Episode Transcript

Can you believe that we are seven months into 2023, I can’t believe it. It really feels like the year just started and I am one month away from my 11th month business anniversary. Super excited. Last year I talked about doing something. I didn’t really talk about it. I thought about doing something to celebrate 10 years in business, but in typical faction, I did not. I didn’t do anything. It was just a normal day that I got to deserve and do what I love doing. But I will tell you that I don’t think that I would be able to be as successful as I am doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for the internet. And so I’m very grateful for technology. And I know that over the last couple of weeks, it sounded like doom and gloom when it came to operating your business online, because we talked about the challenges that come along with having a business that’s online. We talked about people counterfeiting your products. We talked about people stealing your content. We talked about how people will see that you’re doing something, right? And then they will go and take the domain name so that you can’t be on brand across board. We talked about cyber squatting and things of that nature. But like I told you, it’s not all doom and gloom.  We also talked about some solutions to those challenges. And you can go back to episodes 124 and 125 to listen to those things. But like I said, in episode 124, it was technology that got me here. I thought that I was supposed to be an attorney years before I was actually an attorney, cause that was my goal. But I’m grateful for the delay that that occurred in my life, because if not, then I wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of this when I did. So today, as promised, we’re going to wrap up this three part series on protecting your brand online, operating your business in this digital world. And we’re going to end it on a positive note. We’re going to end it by exploring the opportunities that working online has created for business owners throughout not just the United States, but really across the world. Welcome back to the Own Your Genius podcast, where we discuss building businesses, growing brands, and what else? Own your genius. 

I’m your host Attorney LaConya Murray, owner of Off The Mark IP Solutions. Off The Mark is a boutique, intellectual property firm representing innovative entrepreneurs, aka geniuses, who are looking to protect their brand and grow their business with ongoing legal support and business leadership. We have a good one for you today, so let’s get started. 

So one of the first opportunities that we’re gonna talk about, and this is one that I personally know about, and this is one that I was like, yes, especially with what I do. So as you’re aware, maybe not, maybe you’re new to the podcast, but I am a trademark attorney, and I help clients throughout the United States protect their brands through trademarks, copyrights, and contracts, as well as ongoing legal support. I live in a smaller city. It’s not a small city, but it’s a city where the medium income is not that high and there’s not a lot of opportunity to serve people in doing what I do. And so it was important for me to be able to have a business that reached outside of the city, which is one of the reasons that I narrowed it down to intellectual property in the first place, because I knew I wanted to work with business owners and I can do that here, but I wanted to make sure that I was able to build the type of lifestyle that I wanted to be able to provide for my family like I wanted to. Having the internet allowed me to increase my market reach with a push of a button, I was able to reach hundreds of thousands of people. And I remember the first time I hit that button, and this is again, going back to Periscope that because that’s where I got my start. That’s why I connected with a lot of people, even to the people that are listening to this podcast know me from the Periscope days. Yes, when I launched my business, I wrote letters to the colleagues that I knew, the attorneys that I knew, the judges and just people here and let them know what I was doing for tees, it would have taken me longer to grow my business. And so what I love is that the internet provides like an enormous opportunity for businesses to reach a global audience. And with the proper intellectual property strategies, businesses can expand their market and capitalize on the global demand for their products and services. And I see it all the time. That’s why so many people need federal trade more. Because people are no longer just operating from their location in the dark. Even if you have a retail store, a brick and mortar store, with the internet, you now have the opportunity to serve people all over. And so you can take pictures of your merchandise and put it online. I went to a marketing, not a marketing, a networking event last week. Was it last week? What’s the week? See, listen, the time is moving too fast. It was Monday. I went to a networking event on Monday. So I peopled this week. You guys will be proud of me. And I met a former attorney. She now has a tourist shop here in Montgomery where she sells great slogan tees and other things in her store. And she says when the tourists come in, she said she had one tourist come in and then they went back home and she emailed her and she says, like in one day, 10 people asked her about that shirt. Unfortunately, this business owner is not online, so she doesn’t get to take advantage of being able to serve those people and get those customers. But I told her that, hey, we’ll set up a time and I can get you online. There’s nothing to get you online because with that comes the opportunity to serve more people. And now that you’re serving more people outside of your area, you want to make sure that that brand that you built, that business that you have is protected use your name, your tagline, your slogan, right, and do the same thing that you’re doing. So that’s opportunity number one. Like the increased market reach is mind-blowing. Like it’s amazing. So amazing. The second opportunity is because of this market reach, right, we have this opportunity to build our brands and reputations. And also because of this increased market reach, we have this opportunity to build our brands and our reputation because online platforms, they offer us business owners a platform to establish and promote our brand identity. 

 That’s why the big deal is, you know, make sure you have a social media platform. Make sure that you show up. Make sure that you’re consistent. Make sure that you stay on brand, right? And that’s another thing I can attest to. I mean, it’s so great. One of the things that I did, so when I first started my business, I was a threshold attorney. If it walked over the threshold, I did it. When I decided to niche down, I rebranded. So my original colors were like burnt orange and black. When I niched down, when I became off the mark, we incorporated, it was purple and like gray and like off white. And so every time I showed up online, I showed up to it. I showed up with those same colors and then I showed up the same way with small business attorney. And it always said trademarks, copyright, business development over and over and over and over and over again. And by doing that, people began to recognize me for what I do. They began to recognize me as the expert. And people began to, like all the positive buzz that was going on was being associated with that brand that I was creating. And so one of the things that we did off the bat was, of course, protect off the mark. I didn’t protect off the mark IP solutions because that’s not how I brand myself. You look at my branding, you see mostly off the mark. And so that’s what we have a trademark for owners, I encourage you to do the same thing. If you’re showing up online, if you’re taking the time to build this brand and you’re showing up on TikTok, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, or podcast, like whatever platform you choose, make sure that your brand’s reputation is protected. And that’s what the trademarks do, because we talked about this when we were talking about the challenges that come along with operating in this digital world, right? If someone were to copy your brand and start selling inferior services, you know, or not even providing the service, stuff right? How would that affect your business? 

 And so what you want to do is just make sure that as you take an advantage of these opportunities, that you’re also taking advantage of the opportunity to protect your brand. It’s not reserved for just big businesses. Like people think it is, like people thought that it was in the past. Nowadays, and I had this conversation yesterday, I had this conversation yesterday with someone who started a brand, a business years ago, and they were advised by an attorney not to file a trademark. Oh, you’re small. You don’t need that. And I didn’t know that that was the conversation that they had. So when I talked to them yesterday, I was like, 

They were telling me about some of the challenges they were having as relates to people using their trademark And I was like, yeah you get a trademark and you don’t have to wait She said I saw that I saw your content where you said you don’t have to wait and this I was advised By someone else that I should wait and I told them about the video that I saw of Pinky Co And that video was that Pinky Co has an interview with the earn your leisure podcast, where she’s talking about trademark protection. And she said that when she came up with the concept of slutty vegan, she knew, she knew it was gonna hit, right? So she made sure that she protected it.  To trademark and she said to this day, every part of her brand is trademarked. And that’s one of the things I would say, like you don’t have to wait, you have to know that your business is a big deal before it is a big deal. Because if you wait until it’s a big deal to trademark it, it can be more expensive, you can have more challenges and you’ll be fighting more copycats. Let people know off the rip that this is not a brand to play with. And that just goes to the reputation. The other opportunity that comes along with operating your business online is the same thing that is a challenge, you know, the technology. That technology is also an opportunity because now you have technology solutions such as DRM, which is digital rights management, which can help you protect your digital content from unauthorized access, copying, and distribution. These systems, what they do is they provide opportunities for business owners to monetize the digital products while preventing people from pirating their content. So it’s behind a wall. And if people don’t have access to their wall, they can’t see it. And then if they do have it, they have measures in place so that they can’t copy and share and download it without authorization. So I think that’s pretty cool. And y’all have to excuse me if I sound like, like, all over the place and kind of funny is because Lilo, my dog, just decided that she wanted to get up and hop in my lap. But mind you, Lilo is not a lap dog, right? She just thinks she’s a lap dog. So that’s why I’m, if I sound like I’m out of breath, I’m like trying to wrangle this big old dog out of my lap. Anywho, listen, one of the greatest things that come with operating your business online, like one of the biggest opportunities, because of the reach, right? Because the brand reputation, guess what comes along with that? Collaboration and license. I love, love, love, love, love owners and content creators who have created this lane for themselves and now the big brands are starting to recognize it. The big brands are starting to recognize it. So I think about what’s her name? Mimi Jean. She started off with DIY sewing classes and now she has a brand deal with Simplicity of the sewing, what do you call those things? Like the sewing pattern company. I don’t sew so I probably just did not say the right terminology but that’s the name of the company. But what are they called? Patterns. Yeah, they’re called patterns. Right. So she has a brand. She has like her own line with them. 

I have a client, Erin, she does a lot of collaborations with brands and that’s because of her brand reach, right? I want to say the biggest opportunity that’s out there for business owners because of the online is the opportunity to make more money than you would have in traditional ways. Because of the internet and because you’re able to reach so many people and because they’re able to see your brand and they can discern your reputation, they’re willing to give you money. So I’m thinking about communities like TSP, Traffic Sales and Profit with Lamar and Ronnie of African-American entrepreneurs that are doing multiple six figures, seven figures, working their way up to eight figures, not just one or two, but like a whole community, hundreds of business owners. That would not be possible. Like that collaboration wouldn’t be possible without the internet, because how would we even know without the internet? And how would it, and maybe we would know, but it would have taken longer, right? Communities like the E-brand Club with Erin On Demand, who’s doing the same thing, helping entrepreneurs and being able to help them reach their earning potential. I’m just very grateful for technology and I know it definitely comes with you know buy everywhere signs and stickers on there which if you go into it with your eyes open and knowing what you know then you know what you need to do in order to protect yourself and then as you’re protected you can take advantage of all these opportunities that are out there. I don’t want anyone to be like well I don’t want to have a business online because I don’t want people stealing my stuff. No, no. Don’t let that stop you or deter you from making this money that’s out here because this money is out here. There are people outside of where you are physically that want to support you. One of the easiest ways to get in front of those people is the internet. There are other ways too. One of the things that I did in the beginning of my business was attend. You know what? I attended the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Conference, which was a great conference. Let me tell you this, going to the conference was one thing, but going to the conference and sharing my experience online through Periscope, I reach further because when people see that you are doing things, they see like, okay, she’s just not talking She’s actually doing the work and this is what she does and again, they want to support you So even if you’re doing offline marketing activities, which you absolutely should unless the conversation for another day But if you’re doing offline marketing activities, you still want to make sure that your online presence is solidified You want to showcase those opportunities online so that the people outside of where you are see that? Oh, this is not just a talking head anyway I don’t want to go into rambling everything. I just really wanted to take all the doom and gloom out of working online because it’s not it’s just I feel like that’s a small part and that the opportunities that are out there definitely outweigh the consequences that come along with operating your business online. But if you are worried about some of those consequences that we talked about earlier, then you definitely wanna make sure that you implement a great IP protection strategy, which includes copyright registration, trademark registration. If you have inventions, you wanna make sure that your patents are filed. And then you also wanna make sure that you use your technology solutions that we talked about in episode 125. And you should have an attorney on your team so you can stay updated legal landscape because it’s always changing and so you want to make sure that you are staying on top of it and if you are that person call us call me I’ll leave my contact information in the show notes. Let me ask you this question what opportunities have you gotten in your business that are specifically related to operating online like if you weren’t online you would not have had that opportunity let me know. You know what to do before you go, make sure you hit that subscribe button and rate the podcast. Until next week, I want you to keep building your business, growing your brand, and owning your genius.