0:00:00 - Betsy Jordyn
Well, hey there and welcome to the Enough Already podcast, the podcast that empowers consultants and coaches to forge their own paths to success. I'm your host, betsy Jordan, and today we're talking about my favorite part of building a thriving consulting or coaching business, which is all about intellectual property. There's so many things I love about content creation, but the biggest is that content creation for me, is what has allowed me to attract clients from all around the world. So this is why content creation support is such a big thing. I offer my clients and I help them one-on-one, in a VIP day or through my Purpose to Profits Academy.
And whenever I work with my clients on intellectual property, they often have really important questions, such as you know, how do I draw the line between free content and paid content? How do I actually make money from my content? And, the big is, how do I keep other people from ripping off my content? And as for these reasons, i'm so excited to have Erin Austin on the show today. She's an attorney and a business strategist, and she helps entrepreneurs create, protect and monetize their intellectual property. So if you're ready to take your content creation game to the next level and unlock the full potential of all your great ideas. Stay tuned and let's get started. So, without further ado, let's welcome Erin to the show.
0:01:16 - Erin Austin
I'm very excited. Thank you, Betsy, for having me.
0:01:20 - Betsy Jordyn
So before we get into a whole bunch of conversation about intellectual property and how you create it, protect it, monetize it, i want to go back in time a little bit where, from what I understand, you started your career as an attorney. Is that where your first starting point was?
0:01:34 - Erin Austin
Yeah, and I still am, believe it or not, but yes, i yeah, but but I had a traditional start at a large corporate law firm. So, doing kind of that hourly thing you know on the, on the escalator in a law firm.
0:01:48 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, So then, did you start off with a specialization in intellectual property, or how did you get drawn into the whole world of intellectual property?
0:01:57 - Erin Austin
Yeah, oh no, i did not start there. I started as a corporate securities lawyer, again at a big firm, doing public company work, doing public offerings and M&A work, and I was in San Francisco at the time and I'm from the East coast and I'd never been to Los Angeles. And so one weekend a friend of mine who's from LA said, hey, let's go down to LA. I'm like, okay, sure. And first let me just say that San Francisco was in the middle of like a record breaking number of days of rain and a row like just you know, like, oh my God, am I ever going to see the sun again? So we go down to LA, we land, we flew, and it was sunshine and palm trees and we rented a convertible and we're like, oh, this is it. I went back, i quit my job, moved to LA, and you know when. In Rome, you know, i got a job in the film business working at Warner Brothers, so that was the beginning of my IP career there.
0:02:57 - Betsy Jordyn
Wow, that's very impressive. So what did you do for Warner Brothers then?
0:03:02 - Erin Austin
Film. So when your you know, film is intellectual property, so there's all sorts of rights you have to acquire. You've got to acquire the rights in the script, or if it's a book you're making into the film all of the deals with the talent, the directors, producers, actors, there's music that goes into it, all sorts of things that need to be cleared. If you're going to record, you know, at the Hollywood Bowl, then there are things that you need to have rights to, and then the distribution of it, when you're actually getting it into theaters or at the time it would have been in videos, you know, at Blackbuster. Those are all agreements that are IP-related agreements, to get those rights in or just distribute those rights out.
0:03:42 - Betsy Jordyn
So a lot of people would be wondering, like well, so why wouldn't you not just stay? That sounds like a cool, sexy job. Like why wouldn't you just stay at Warner Brothers and continue doing that type of work? Like what made you decide to leave that type of career and start a business of your own?
0:03:56 - Erin Austin
Yeah, Well, i did that for a while. Then I went to a smaller independent what we call the independent company that Blair, which project was our claim to fame. And there just came a time where I was ready to do something else, to leave LA. When I was there, i was childless And I got pulled back to the East Coast, which is where I'm from I'm from outside of Washington DC And then the decision was what do I want to do? And so for many years I continue to work with those same people, just as outside counsel. So I'm still helping them with rights acquisition and rights distribution. But I also have worked with other what I'll call large clients, like large corporate clients, helping them with their IP based businesses. So I work on lots of commercial transactions for companies in like publishing and market research and data And so all in that IP space.
And then came a time where you know, like can I? you know, instead of helping big companies get bigger, like, can I work with a different population that are close to my heart? You know it is important to me. You know I believe that wealth in the hands of women can change the world. And you know, to work with a population to help more people get access to wealth building. You know we can create a fair amount of income and have a very comfortable life that is income driven. But in order to create wealth, we really have to have assets.
And then I'm looking at okay, what's my skill set? My skill set is an intellectual property. Who is the population who is needs me? That's not a big company that needs me to help them build intellectual assets and use that to create wealth, and that is expertise based service businesses. And so that became. It took me a lot of, frankly, to figure it out. Once I figured out like, ah, it was just so obvious to me like this is who I should be working with. And so you know, there's been a transition for me, because my the language that I use is is, you know, big company language And it's the assumption that everyone knows they have IP and they want to protect it. Like that's where all my big clients come from. They 100% are there. And so now there's a fair amount of education that's been involved with making helping people understand that your IP is everywhere. When you're an expert, you're creating IP all day, every day, And we need to make sure that we're controlling it so we can help build assets with our, with our expertise.
0:06:45 - Betsy Jordyn
This is so, so fascinating. I have so many directions I want to go here. So it sounds like, on the whole, like. so in your careers you started off as more of a like a general attorney. When you moved to LA you fell into Warner Brothers and working with this these big organizations where you have a lot of the legal stuff is around ex, you know, getting intellectual property, protecting it. Then, when you move back to the East coast, it was seems like that was sort of like a reflection time period. You know you became a parent and then you started really dialing into who you want to help and it's really more of the smaller type of business or individuals And that's what got you to move into this space that you're in now. Is that? am I hearing you accurately?
0:07:25 - Erin Austin
Yeah, yeah, and it was surprising to me that so many people don't think intellectual property is for them. So I've been really enjoying like having lots of conversations like this one, creating lots of content around, kind of making intellectual property seem accessible. Because it is accessible, i want to just make sure that everyone understands that it is and it's and the importance that it plays in your businesses And so yeah, so that's, that's kind of part of the evolution.
0:07:56 - Betsy Jordyn
So I want to ask you a couple of questions before we really dive into the whole world of really what's your intellectual property and how you create that body of work. I want to get clear on two things. One is you were talking about the wealth creation different from income. So what is your definition of wealth creation versus income?
0:08:16 - Erin Austin
Well, i look at it as if you, so long as you're working and billing your, creating income. But at some point, if you wanna decouple that either the income generation from your time, or you want to stop working altogether, then there has to be some asset there that can work without you. And when you're an expert, that asset is going to be intellectual property. So is it something that either another person, such as a team member, an employee, could execute, or that a buyer could execute?
So it can't just be, it can't reside in your head, it can't just be your personal personality. It has to be something that you have created an intellectual property asset about, regardless of methodology if it's training materials, if it is a course, if it is some sort of software. So there has to be something. It doesn't have to be something that's kind of sold on the market, but it has to be something that another person can use to create value without requiring you. And so until we do that, we are just going to have income. So long as we're doing it, if we wanna have something that we can sell and therefore create wealth with, we have to create some sort of asset, which would be IP.
0:09:37 - Betsy Jordyn
So it sounds like, then, from a wealth creation difference between income generation is it's decoupling from time. It's something that you can sell that is not connected to your time With intellectual property. it's getting whatever's in your head manifested in some sort of body that you could sell in a different way rather than just within yourself. I think this is gonna be the bulk of our conversation, but I wanna establish one other thing before we get into that one. You mentioned that wealth creation in the hands of women is going to change the world. So that seems like a big why for you that drives you. Why is that an important belief that you have? Why do you believe that women, wealth in the hands of women, will change the world?
0:10:20 - Erin Austin
Yeah, so I don't have my stats with me, but I do have them on my website. That basically, but just looking at the research, is that women give a greater percent of their wealth to charitable causes than men do. Even when they make less. They share it with their communities more. They support their families with it more. They care more about the impacts of their investments, like are the investments from things that are doing working sustainably versus things that might be detrimental. They talk to their children about philanthropy and the importance of philanthropy more, and so there is a magnifying aspect of, like me, help. There's only so much I can do as an individual, but the more people I help create wealth and therefore spread that wealth, that there's a magnifying aspect to it, and so that's why that is important to me.
0:11:16 - Betsy Jordyn
That is so fascinating. So I love with your business that you got clear on a couple of things right away. Is you got clear that you wanted to go from big firms to smaller firms and you wanted to work with individuals and help them. Experts, and it sounds like your big why, too, is also working with women, and it seems like you took those couple of things and it's like okay, now that's your foundation of your business model And that's what you're all about.
0:11:38 - Erin Austin
So I love that.
0:11:39 - Betsy Jordyn
Love that I definitely want to. I would love to explore more with you at a different time of, like, how you came to that clarity, cause that's a big thing when I work with my clients on their brand messaging that it's so hard for them to see. But I'm so fascinated by all of this stuff with IP and I want to pick your brand on all of this stuff. So what would be the difference between somebody who just creates content and intellectual property? So, for example, i have like a hundred plus blogs, i have 60 something podcasts at this point in time. I have courses. Do I have you know? like, am I monetizing my body of work? or what's the difference between having an asset that I could actually use? Like, how do you understand the difference?
0:12:19 - Erin Austin
Yeah, so I'll start with the definition of intellectual property. And so that is basically an intangible asset that is protected by intellectual property laws that give the owner certain rights regarding the use, exploitation of that asset. And so we have four basic categories under US law. And so we have copyright, trademark, patents and trade secrets, and so for this audience, we're going to just focus on copyrights. Mostly Everything that you mentioned is copyright. You know patents, you know that's like pharmaceuticals, that kind of stuff Probably not this audience. Trade secrets, you know the Google algorithm, the kind of chicken fried chicken thing That's not this audience either.
But whenever we are creating something under US copyright law, when we take something from our original ideas and we put it in concrete form, we create a podcast, we write a blog post, we create some copy for our website, we send an email to our list When we put our ideas, our original ideas, into concrete form, we have created a copyright asset. So that is intellectual property. So when I say IP is everywhere, it is everywhere. And, by the way, if you're a consultant and you're creating deliverables for your clients, those are probably IP assets as well. If you're doing research for them or you're designing a website for them or if you're doing a strategy for them and it's original. Those are IP assets as well. Granted, your client may probably owns them, but you're still creating that intellectual property. So our intellectual property is there, we own it before the creator, and it's original.
The difference, i think, where people get hung up, is does it need to be registered for it to be intellectual property? Is it really a copyright if I haven't registered it? And the answer is, it is intellectual property at the time of its creation And so. But the value of getting it registered is that if somebody else steals it, then you're able to go after them, or if, in the future, you want to sell it, they're going to expect it to be registered. But don't let the fact that it's not registered stop you from creating it and treating it like the asset that it is, because it is from the moment you create it.
0:15:01 - Betsy Jordyn
So let's say I just have a lot of different kind of frameworks and things like that I create. Do I want to register them all? Like the meaning, like I get a trademark of some kind, do I want to register them all? Or do I just want to register, like my important ones, that wouldn't keep me up at night? if somebody adapted to their own purposes.
0:15:21 - Erin Austin
Yeah, so just we talked about the copyright, so we mentioned trademark. So the trademark is the thing that designates, like the origin of a good or service. So if we go to Kentucky Fried Chicken, for instance, like KFC is their trademark? that's not their formula. Formula is different, that's a different IP asset than their brand name, fedex. The logo with the colors, that's their trademark. That's not the same thing as the system that they use to get packages around the world.
So for your trademark it may make sense to register it. It has to be very unique. There's lots of. It's harder to get trademarks registered these days than it used to be. It has to really kind of be unique, can't be confusing with anything else. It can't just be descriptive. But a trademark is only as good as the asset that it represents. So the reason the FedEx trademark is valuable is because they have this great system for getting packages all over the place. It could be called anything and it would be fine because they still have that system for getting packages anywhere in the world overnight. And so KFC could be called anything because they still got that recipe.
But for your copyright registrations, if you're creating content every day, like many of us are, the registration again is about enforcement mostly. So if you have something that you would say I want somebody stole this, i would spend the money to go after them, then absolutely register that thing. So if you're writing books, you have trainings, you have something really unique, the thing that really adds unique value to your business or to your clients, then you want to register those. Are you going to register your website content? Maybe, maybe not. Your every blog post you write no. Every newsletter you send out, no. So it really is about the value that it holds in your business, because that would tell you whether or not you're going to go after somebody if they steal it.
0:17:36 - Betsy Jordyn
So some people trademark their slogans. I have this concept and they trademark that. Is that important to trademark those as well? And how do you know where that tipping point is, even on those things? So it sounds like the big thing of how you know the difference between here's my everyday content and here's the stuff I want to really register are the things that I'd be very upset if somebody just kind of ripped off versus like a little myth, like seriously, you just kind of like use this one. For example, i have a blog post that I rank really well for on the five steps to the consulting engagement cycle. Somebody sort of like took my concept and they modified it and it's like, oh well, that's kind of annoying but I don't really care. It's not like I want to be known for the five steps of the consulting engagement cycle. So is that the litmus test is like, well, i'm just a little annoyed, but I don't, it's not keeping me up at night, or versus the things that will keep you up at night, like, how do you know?
0:18:33 - Erin Austin
Well, again, how important is it to your business? It's hard to kind of have a black and white kind of line, but for some people what keeps them up will change depending on who they are. There's another creator who might really care about the five-step process that you mentioned And maybe that's part of their framework that they use with their clients and they really want to protect it. And but again, when it comes to enforcing, we send cease and desist letters or something and don't do that anymore. And most people are responsive, Like they know they stole it and they're like ah, they don't want to be sued and they take stuff down. But if they don't, certainly non-US entities will kind of go good luck, Then you roll on with it. But it will depend on the value that you perceive that is in your business and your willingness to put your money or your mouth is about that importance, to enforce those rights.
0:19:43 - Betsy Jordyn
Is that to?
0:19:43 - Erin Austin
require hiring lawyers and going to court.
0:19:46 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, so you mentioned also, like with people who are listening, a lot of them are corporate consultants, and so how do you know the difference between, like, this is my intellectual property versus the stuff I'm creating for my clients?
0:19:59 - Erin Austin
Yeah, so there are rules about ownership around creation. So I am going to assume that and this is not the case, and we need to talk that all of your corporate clients are using agreements when they are entering relationships with their clients I should say all your consultants And so those agreements will have provisions in them that explicitly address who owns the deliverables. And this is where those consultants need to really make sure they understand what they're signing. So the default rules are and I'm talking about a copy right here is that the creator is also the owner, unless one. They are a W2 employee. So they are in-house, not as a consultant, not a 1099, but an actual W2 employee.
When that person creates something, their employer owns it automatically as if they were the author, and then the other is if there is something in writing and that must be something signed as well. So if they are creating something for a client and, for whatever reason, there's absolutely no written agreement regarding it, then the consultant owns it. The likelihood of that happening if someone's paying them a significant amount of money is almost none. So there's going to be an agreement in place And it will have a provision it will say either ownership or intellectual property or work for hire, and that will spell out exactly how those ownership rights will flow.
Most likely it will say that all the deliverables are owned by the client, and so if you are putting some of your own ideas into those deliverables, you're going to want to make sure that you are holding those rights back. So in those circumstances you'll have a provision that says all of my pre-existing materials I continue to own. You have a license to own them so that you can use my deliverables, but you don't own them, and you can't then go on and sell them to other people. You just get to use them for your internal purposes. With that deliverable. I continue to own my framework and maybe I have some trainings that are part of the deliverables. I continue to own those because I need to be able to use them with other clients, and so a lot of times that first agreement that comes across to you from the client will say just that they own everything, and so you need to make sure that you're reading those and then you understand what rights you are actually transferring to them.
0:22:36 - Betsy Jordyn
So if I were going to work, let's say, with a corporate client and I have my own competency model, let's say, but I'm using it with the client as part of a group coaching program, i would say in my proposal or my legal agreement to the beginning is this model is mine, this training I'm creating for you is could they take that training and use it with other groups outside of you, like they could just do they own that? or making sure that you have that delineation somewhere in there of what you feel comfortable with.
0:23:07 - Erin Austin
Yeah, and that should be in the agreement.
So let's say it's a very large multi-department organization and you have been brought in just to work with the marketing team and maybe it's team building, and then they want to use it with other departments too. You should have in that agreement that says but is this just for this cohort or is it for the year and they can use it with as many people as they like? Is it something that you're creating specifically for them because there's something very unique about them and that therefore, they are going to own it, with the exception of, maybe, some of the underlying materials? So you I mean that will depend on the nature of the business. But that's why you I mean agreements are for both parties. They're not just for the client. We think of them because they send over the 50 page MSA. That it's for them, but it's also for you, because that is the place where you're going to make sure that it's very clear the limits of what you're delivering to them and what they can use with those, how they can use those deliverables afterwards. So very important.
0:24:18 - Betsy Jordyn
Fascinating. Okay, so let's talk about the like. One of the questions that people ask all the time is like where's that line between free content and paid content, you know? and how? like how do I know what's out there? Because if I want to monetize, like my intellectual property, like how do I know where that line is? Like, how much is too much? Like a lot of people give me crap all the time. It's like oh my God, you're giving so much away. I'm like, well, that's not like my main stuff, like my main stuff's behind the gate, you know, kind of thing Right.
0:24:45 - Erin Austin
Right. Well, i mean, it's a business decision, what you want to give away versus what you want to sell, It's all. Just because you're giving something away for free Does not mean you're giving away the intellectual property rights. So when we think about the intellectual property rights, that basically tells the world that you own it And the IP rights say that only you have the permission to create copies of it, make derivatives from it, perform it, you know, sell it, license it. So you have the exclusive right to that.
And if you say I am going to give permission for free for other people to use that, they just have a non-exclusive right to use it. That does not give them any other rights. It doesn't give them rights to copy it, it doesn't give them rights to make derivatives of it, doesn't give them rights to create teachings from it. It just means they get to read it and use it and learn from it. And so whether you decide to give that away for free or you give it away as paid content, then you you know, if it's paid, then you may have actual agreement around it, if you're paying for it And that may have different use provisions in it, but you're never giving away the copyright just because you're letting someone use it for free.
0:26:06 - Betsy Jordyn
So would it make sense, like, if I were going to put a blog post and I have a framework, should I just always put the copyright on that framework And should I put a copyright on my blog?
0:26:15 - Erin Austin
Yeah, you should have you know probably every website and will have that footer. You want to have that, you know. The C in a circle the year of creation and whoever the owner is. It may be used as an individual, it may be your company, depending on how you work And just have it on there Just puts the world on notice that you are claiming copyright ownership of that material. It doesn't have to be on every blog post because it's going to be at the bottom, the footer in your website, and so just, you know, reader, beware that everything on the site someone's claiming ownership, well, there's nothing here that's, you know, in the public domain. You know, we know that might be.
0:26:58 - Betsy Jordyn
So if you're working with a corporate client and you didn't really detail it out, let's just say, like you have a PowerPoint for training, you could put your copyright at the bottom of everything and that will just put the client on notice And then if there's an issue, then you could talk about it later. But if you have your copyright everywhere, then you're probably protected. I assume at that point, kind of.
0:27:18 - Erin Austin
Yeah, but I'm going to still assume that if you're, if you've been engaged by a corporate client, that you will have signed some sort of agreement And that that agreement All my years I've never had a client.
0:27:29 - Betsy Jordyn
I've maybe like once when it was like a public company. I mean not a public like a government. I've never signed one of those big agreements.
0:27:36 - Erin Austin
You if there's on an SOW or anything, you're just kind of.
0:27:41 - Betsy Jordyn
I put my proposal and then they signed my proposal. Or I say in lieu of signing your first payment shows agreement. Yeah, i don't know if I do, maybe I'm not doing that right. No, that's fine, that is fine.
0:27:52 - Erin Austin
I mean that's. I mean to have someone you know sign your SOW and not negotiate. It is a fabulous thing, and so in those circumstances, you'll want to have in there that you own. You know that you own the rights and all the materials that you're sharing with them.
0:28:10 - Betsy Jordyn
So like I just kind of throw it in the joint accountabilities. But I don't like it's not. I don't sign the big legalese documents And I don't present them. I know that other people insist and say I'm being crazy, but that's just the way I've been doing it for the past 30 years, 20 years.
0:28:26 - Erin Austin
Well, an agreement does not have to be the 50 pager that we get from. it can be two pages. You really can have everything that you need in a two page SOW. Again, you know agreements are not our enemies, they're our friends. So I don't want to suggest that you know there's some virtue in not having agreements because there's not. you know, i mean, you really want one, but it doesn't have to be a monster. It can be two pages. You can get everything that you need that makes sure that everyone is on the same page at the end of the day. That's what it's about making sure you're on the same page about the win, the where, the how much, and then also about the ownership of any of the materials that are being shared, and that you can get all that in two pages, and that is fantastic.
0:29:16 - Betsy Jordyn
Cool, okay, all right. So then what other big question I have And I want to move into? I feel like we're almost really well established on intellectual property. I want to get more into details on how you work with your clients, but the one big question I have that I've been wondering about is this whole monetization thing So it's obvious of how do I monetize a course. I put a course together, i get money for it. That seems like an obvious thing. How do you monetize all the other stuff? How do I monetize a blog, a YouTube channel, a podcast, like how do you create this into a monetizable body of work?
0:29:53 - Erin Austin
Yeah, not everything will be. I mean it has to have value to someone who's willing to pay for it. I mean anything that you know. So you may not be able to monetize directly a blog post other than you know, indirectly, through building your thought leadership, which then you know has those residual benefits, but for most of us, we will use it to create a business that is scalable, and by that we use it to create leverage in our businesses. So we do things like create frameworks so that we can very efficiently create results for our clients that can either be delivered by us or by our team members, or some parts of it can be outsourced. Therefore, we're able to grow without just working more hours, or be able to create a more profitable business.
Through that could be an internal SOP or internal methodologies that you're using, or an internal database, maybe research that you're using to help inform the advice that you're giving your clients, but it doesn't have to be a product. So intellectual property can be a product. It can be, of course, or a book, but it can also be things that we use internally to create value for our clients. So those are the ways that we can do that, so, but externally, ways that we can monetize our intellectual property are through not just you know the courses and things, but also licensing our intellectual property to other people.
So maybe we are an expert, you know a DEI expert, and there are other DEI experts that go like you know, you have this, you know assessment that you use. That is just awesome. Can I use your assessment with my clients as well, and then you can license that to them? Or maybe you have you do DEI training for corporate clients And your corporate client says you know, we love having you here, but we've got you know, million employees all over the world. Can we just license your, your system and then have our HR team deliver it, and so that's another way that you can monetize it.
0:32:12 - Betsy Jordyn
So So that's interesting, so it sounds like okay. the order is is like first, i have to get from unconsciously competent to consciously competent. I need to get from I have stuff on my head into like wait, what am I actually doing?
0:32:25 - Erin Austin
0:32:26 - Betsy Jordyn
I need to manifest it into like a framework or an assessment or something like that. So one way I monetize it is like I use it with my clients and that's like a way to make money off of it. Or I can create materials that I could license to other people, you know, or obviously like create books or e courses or that kind of thing. But all of it is is like this frame it sounds like frame you're. It sounds like you're all about efficiency. You talked about standard operating procedures quite a bit. That there's just one part of monetization is just like by I create a repeatable process that others can follow, And that just itself as a monetization path because I could scale from there.
0:33:05 - Erin Austin
Exactly, that's exactly right. Yeah, and that's the way it generally works out with the expertise based business. Is that a lot of people? they don't want to create products. you know, if you have a very high level, one on one business, you don't have an audience of thousands to sell courses to, but you have. You know, you have your niche, that everyone's that you're known for you work with. You know maybe one or two clients a year, depending on the size of those engagements, but to have a process in place that you can deliver it and you know how it's going to go.
Like you, obviously there's differences among every client, but you have your beats so you don't miss anything. You don't. Nothing gets dropped. You make sure that all the teas across the eyes are dotted and that helps make sure that you are building a business that you know continues to to iterate in a way that that's positive, that gets better. With every iteration it gets a little bit better and you and you're documenting that. You know that's.
It could be just as simple as documenting what you're doing so you can get better every time and get more efficient every time, and and one of the things that you mentioned is not just about getting it down. I mean one of the things that some consultants have a dependency on certifications, like on third party certifications, and I'm not anti certification, but if you're using other people's property, other people's IP, then you're not creating your own And that's and that's. You know we can make very good livings that way and I'm not, like you know, recommended someone kind of become someone that they aren't. But if you're not creating your own and that's if it is a goal to create your own assets and to be able to create derivatives from it, such as trainings or writing books or something like that, or to be able to sell it someday, you have to own it, and so in order to own it, it has to be your original work.
0:35:02 - Betsy Jordyn
So so let me walk you through, like what I've done with the client recently, and can you help me identify where this client could tighten up and improve how they monetize this particular body of work?
Okay, so one of the things I did with one of my clients in a VIP day which was really fun is we got into she has, like she helps her clients develop these relational, political savvy kind of skills And we created a whole framework where we use an acronym and we turn that framework into a competency model, and then we took that competency model and we turned it into a self assessment And then some of the plans that we've been talking about is turning that self assess, that whole, this whole framework, into like maybe a foundational e course that she could then use and sell individually if she wanted to, or she could upgrade it where I could use that for mentoring and then I could use the same foundation and I could use it for group coaching and other kinds of corporate kind of work. Where what would you say to, what would you say to improve this process or where would she need to protect herself or what would be the important things that she should be considering in order to make this as monetizable and as protected as possible.
0:36:12 - Erin Austin
Well, the first place should have been with you. So if she is using a third party to help her create, something is.
0:36:22 - Betsy Jordyn
Oh me, yeah, Oh, okay, this is going to be interesting.
0:36:27 - Speaker 2
I'm getting feedback right now, okay, that would be me. Okay, go on. Is that she should make sure that she owns everything? because now you know again, like people don't document things and nothing goes wrong because nobody makes any claims to own a ownership right, things go wrong only you know when someone makes a claim that you didn't anticipate. But if we're kind of just with inside the lines, then me.
0:37:03 - Betsy Jordyn
I need to be explicit, as if we're having this VIP day, who owns the intellectual property at the end of it? Right, And we needed to clarify that because I could actually state claim to her her intellectual property Because I co created it. Oh my gosh, I never thought about that. Okay, so then if I, if she makes money off of it, I could I could at some point say, Hey, wait a minute. If she writes a book, okay, that's really important for me. We need to clarify who owns what and the coaching experience, Okay thank you Yeah.
0:37:33 - Erin Austin
I got my one person Whenever there is someone involved with creation of an asset, you want to make sure the ownership is really clarified. You know there's a lot of. you know some people come join ventures, collaborations are happening in the expertise base base where you know we do like a joint training, or you do something or you have a mastermind and someone contributes a module to it or something like that, and a lot of those are done without any documentation And for I think, for the vast majority of the time it's a small world, everything works out. But if somebody turns into Tony Robbins based on one of these things, you know probably you know we have issues right And so we do want to make sure those things are documented. So she has her framework that came out of this And so now when she uses it, when she's using it with her corporate clients, she's going to have her SOW that is going to make clear that she's bringing this framework to bear and that she will retain the ownership. You know there may be like, let's say, the recording, some of the trainings, and it will say that you know you own the recordings and you can show them to anyone else, but you can't do a live training without me, like some you know, and you just need to make sure that that works with your business model. And then if she's going to let other consultants use her framework, then she wants to make sure that she has an agreement in place with them that talks about the limits of their use, what they're going to pay her to use it. you know that they can't make kind of derivatives and kind of claim it as their own. You can't change stuff and then say it's yours And so she'll want to make sure she does that.
If she is going to, you know, hope to sell it someday, then she'll absolutely want to have it. you know all of her ideas registered. I mean it wouldn't imagine there would be some text that goes along with this framework. It's not just a graphic, it's like there's a whole kind of system behind it that you know, when we put things in a book form, even if the book doesn't sell particularly well, it establishes us as the go-to person for this type of framework. And so people will steal your stuff. you know, because they can change the names, they can change enough to. but when you are the person who is known for creating this type of framework, then people who want the creator, who want, the person who's known for it will come to you. The person who wants to go to the ripoff, they'll go to the ripoff. That you know. like I like to talk about the difference between a chef and a cook. you know, a chef will put their recipes like in a book, right, anyone can see their recipe. But if they want it done, by the chef.
They go to the restaurant. They go to the restaurant. They don't. You know. So any you know, and so we should think that way, also about our frameworks. If we are the expert and we are, you know there's a difference between getting that experience with us versus getting it with other people. We don't have to obsess about whether or not someone is trying to use our frameworks or not. I mean, they shouldn't be ripping off literally our copyrights, but our ideas are free. Like you can't stop people from using our ideas. But you know, becoming the thought leader, becoming the go-to person, becoming the, you know, the known expert in that field, is what, really? what protects us from that?
0:41:14 - Betsy Jordyn
Because I'm sure a lot of people like use Bernay Brown's materials in whatever they do, not even necessarily if they've gone through her program. But they inspired her but no one sat with her content that created it in the beginning. People say all the time like, oh, you give away for free. I'm like, well, there's a lot more where that came from. Like I'm more interested in my next idea than the ideas.
0:41:33 - Erin Austin
I had like 10 years ago.
0:41:35 - Betsy Jordyn
That is so interesting. So for this particular client and whenever I do stuff in my VIP days, we need to make it very clear on who's owning what and what the scope is of the partnership. And then for this particular client, she really needs to make sure that everything is copyrighted. She's very clear when she works with her clients around the terms and conditions and then be very serious as she's creating this, because ultimately other people who are her competitors might say, hey, this is super cool, i'd love to license it, and that's another way she can monetize it. So she's got the actual client work that she can make money off of it. She has a book that she could write about it, she has a course that she could make money off of it And she could license it not just to clients but other practitioners. So now there's like many different streams.
0:42:20 - Erin Austin
So again, and thinking about any third party materials that might have got into it, such as something she got off the internet or something that she got from a certification program or training that she did, So a lot of those things if you're doing the work one-on-one, using third party materials that you don't have rights to like, no one's gonna notice, right, You're just doing it with your clients. But once you start licensing it to third parties, selling it in books, putting it in trainings, then you really need to make sure that you own everything in there or you have the right to use everything that's in there.
0:42:54 - Betsy Jordyn
Yeah, and so she and I need to have a conversation about it, because some of the things that contributed was my intellectual property of things that I use with clients And I gave her like, hey, use this as inspiration. We lifted actual words and phrases. We just need to make it clear Like it's cool, you can use it, i'm fine.
I just support you, and if you come the next Tony Robbins, i'll just have the pride that you are The next Tony Robbins and I contributed to it. So walk me through a typical client engagement. So you work. Do you work with men and women, or primarily women experts?
0:43:26 - Erin Austin
Yeah, well, mostly women come to me, but I do work with men and women And the engagement on the cause, like two sides. I have the where I still do legal services for some people, but mostly I'm developing education products so I can help more people. But on the legal side I like to stay in the lane of creating intellectual property and making sure you own what you think you own. So I always start with the legal due diligence process, cause we don't always know, especially if we haven't been using agreements. We've been getting stuff from here and there. So making sure that you own what you think you own And then looking at based on that and what you want to achieve, what type of market do you have? So if we go back to that DEI consultant example, they'll be in a lot of times they come because they have these big clients who they just can't even serve them all And so they want to do the train, the trainer model, where they're taking their trainings and licensing to their corporate clients so that they can train internally, and I like that. Sometimes they come because there's a third party provider who wants to license it from them. Typically, when that one happens, there's just like one person And maybe it makes sense to do it, maybe it doesn't. But I like the train, the trainer model, like licensing your methodologies to your corporate clients, because they're not. You're not creating competitors, right, they're pre-vetted. These are people you already have a relationship with. You know that they're not gonna like take it and go off and do something with it. You know you're gonna get paid. Like having to audit them is not that much of a burden. So doing licensing to other providers, you know if you have it's a completely different market. You know Like you're already marketing to your corporate clients, like now you're marketing to a different group of people. So, but it can work still if that's something that's really attractive.
But we, so we work on the legal decisions part What do you wanna do? What market are you going after? And then we determine what that IP based revenue stream will look like, whether it's a certification program or a licensing program. And but if it's something like courses or books, i mean like you don't need me to, you know, write your book. So we always make sure we have that firm foundation.
I like to say that you know the foundation that worked. You know if you have for one floor might not be strong enough for two floors, and when we're adding kind of these other layers to our IP, then we wanna make sure that foundation is strong enough to hold that second floor. And then, of course, if the very first level of not having your own contracts isn't there, then we also put those in place as well, making sure you have your own custom templates as well And that you understand how to react when you receive one from the client. So we don't always get to use our templates. Sometimes we have to use third parties, and so what to do in those cases?
0:46:43 - Betsy Jordyn
So big thing. what you do with your clients is like this legal due diligence around, like how to like just the basics of like let's just make sure we're clarifying ownership. And then if I have an idea of something that I want to, i want to leverage in a certain way, you'll help them figure out like okay, this would be better as a certification, this would be better as a train, the trainer or licensing kind of agreement. you'll help them kind of figure out like what's the smartest, most monetizable path with the content. Yes, correct, i know that when we connected, like I think a year ago or so, i remember you have like a free membership site. Do you still have that? or what is it that like when people first want to get into your world and get in your tribe and get to know you, like what is it that they are? what's their first way of getting in and getting to know you?
0:47:31 - Erin Austin
Yeah, well, this podcast is one, so I do have a podcast. I'll hourly to exit and you can find that wherever you get your favorite podcast. And then I also have a email marketing list, could you say that again with more strength.
0:47:44 - Betsy Jordyn
I don't know why. You just said it like you could check it out, can you be?
0:47:47 - Erin Austin
like oh, you must check it out.
0:47:50 - Betsy Jordyn
It's really great, and this is what my podcast is all about.
0:47:55 - Erin Austin
So I do have a podcast. It is hourly to exit, where we talk about the journey from that unscalable hourly model to building a business, service-based business that can hopefully be sold someday, and so and you can find that wherever you find podcasts. And then I also have a YouTube. All of them are all of them are recorded and you can find them on my YouTube channel as well. And then I have an email marketing list, email list that comes out every week where I talk about different issues that interest me honestly.
And then I do I love for people to hang or find me on LinkedIn. I do a monthly LinkedIn live where I talk about answering your questions, basically so anything, any questions you have about intellectual property, about services agreements, about, you know, monetizing intellectual property. So I, you know, do that the last Wednesday of every the last Wednesday of every month at noon eastern. And then I have a website that has a ton of free resources on it, including, at the moment, just a couple of paid resources as well, and I do have that at hourly to exitcom where you can also access all the things.
0:49:17 - Betsy Jordyn
So So your website is hourly to exitcom and your LinkedIn profile is just I assume just your name, aaron Austin.
0:49:25 - Erin Austin
Yeah, it is Aaron Austin. I'm the OG, aaron Austin, i've been on it for like 20 years. I don't know how long it's been around, but I've been there for a very long time and and so I have. Are we winding up now because I have an offer for? your audience We can.
0:49:44 - Betsy Jordyn
If you have more stuff to talk about, we can, but we could wind up as well. I'd love to just share your offer. Okay, all right, so yeah.
0:49:51 - Erin Austin
So I'm really excited about right now. I've just added an NDA primer offer and basically it is one a plug and play NDA, mutual NDA. It's kind of my favorite version of it. I reviewed a lot of NDAs in my in my career and so this one really protects both parties. It's very fair and easy to use.
And then, in addition to the template, i have one that is fully annotated. So goes provision by provision, where it explains like what exactly it is, why it's important, what it does for you. And then there's another one that is a sample client NDA, so one that might come from a client. That's a little bit client biased, and I have redlined it and explained why I redlined each provision. And then, finally, a if then chart. That kind of just takes you through, like if you see this, then you need to do this and this is why, and a video that goes along with that. So you can find that at my, at ourlitexascom, and for any of your audience who goes there, they can grab a 10 discount with a code that I will provide to you.
0:51:07 - Betsy Jordyn
That is awesome. Okay, so for those who are listening, who don't may not know exactly what an NDA is, can you explain briefly, like, what an NDA is and why it's so important to have the right NDA?
0:51:18 - Erin Austin
Yeah, so NDA, sorry for not making that clear. It's a non-disclosure agreement, also called a confidentiality agreement, and for many of us you know that first step in the relationship with the client will be to enter a non-disclosure agreement. So perhaps they want you to come in and they want to tell you about their project and then, based on that, you will put together a proposal and so the before we start sharing confidential information, which is any non-public information about either your business or the client's business, you want to have that NDA in place, and so your NDA will say one you won't disclose, whatever I tell you, you're not going to disclose to another party. And the other thing about a non-disclosure agreement it's also a non-use agreement. So not only will you not disclose it, but you won't use it like for yourself, except in connection with a service that we're going to provide. So that that is important to have in place.
And you know, if you're working with corporate clients, i imagine they're requiring you to design these. I like this as a product because a lot of times there's no revenue attached to signing that NDA, and so sometimes, you know, having a lawyer review it when there's no revenue attached can be tough for people. Not that I'm saying you shouldn't go to a lawyer should, but if for some reason you can or it doesn't make sense, then the resource is there that's awesome.
0:52:43 - Betsy Jordyn
So is that, and that's on your website. So yes, then do you want to share the code, or should we just have the code in the show notes?
0:52:50 - Erin Austin
I'll turn the show notes, because I don't have it with me, and I'll have to have someone make one for us that's awesome.
0:52:56 - Betsy Jordyn
So there, so people can get 10% off of this particular kit. I can't tell you how important that would be, because you don't want to get blindsided when a client puts something and it is going to be client bias and so it's sort of nice if you have with your proposal the NDA and that you initiate it so that you can take control over that conversation from the get go, because then if you have it, then they're going to be forced to do their own redlining and with your redlining, that would help to understand like, well, wait, why are they saying that and why is that really important?
that's a that's a wonderful gift. I cannot emphasize enough like that's awesome because you do not want to have. But just from my experience as a consultant, you don't want to let the client take charge of those things I take charge of. This is why I don't sign those big agreements, is I don't let the clients take charge of my contracting. I take charge of the contracting, so this would build an extra tool in your toolbox, so I think that's awesome. Thank you so much for that. So is there, is there anything you'd want to tell me about? you know, just kind of your journey into entrepreneurship or about intellectual property, what you're doing, and I'm just not asking you the right question well, i will first say that you know, i am my own avatar, like I am someone who you know.
0:54:06 - Erin Austin
People ask me, like, how long have you been in business? and that's almost a trick question, because for many years I can honestly say I wasn't really in business, right, i was kind of a freelancer and I wasn't building assets and creating assets, which is something that I'm busy doing now and and so you know, going from that you know person who's selling their time to going to the person who is creating assets is a journey that I'm on, along with my clients.
0:54:38 - Betsy Jordyn
So that's awesome. I love that whole idea too is that you know, you don't have to be like super far ahead to make a difference. You just have to be a couple steps ahead and actually own your expertise. So I think that that's great, and I love that humility of saying, hey, i'm learning along with you. I don't, i'm not going to be like Miss Guru, but you are a guru when it comes to the protection on the legal side and understanding you know what you need to do, like.
There's so many insights that I got out of this conversation that you know for content creation, i've been doing this for 15 years, plus, plus, and I don't think I've really thought about, like, how do you really protect what you have properly and when you just you could be lax, but how to really protect even when I go on a client. So this has been extremely helpful. Thank you so much.
0:55:23 - Erin Austin
Thank you so much for being on the show great, it's been wonderful to be here and I yes, i welcome anyone connecting with me on LinkedIn and asking those questions awesome.
0:55:33 - Betsy Jordyn
Well, definitely reach out to Erin if you are looking to protect your property and monetize and get yourself free from that paid for time trap. Thank you so much for being on the show, Erin thank you so that's it for today's episode of the enough already podcast.
Definitely connect with Erin on her website or on LinkedIn if you're ready to turn your ideas into a monetizable body of work. And if you're really confused and stuck and you're like I have no idea what to talk about, what to write about or how do I position my content to attract and engage future clients, definitely check out my services at www.bettsyjordyn.com for each last services. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of enough already. If you enjoyed this conversation, please leave me a review and share it with your colleagues and friends. And until next time, thanks for listening. Thank you for tuning in. If today's episode lit a fire in you, please rate and review enough already on apple podcast or subscribe wherever you listen. And if you're looking for your next step, visit me on my website at bettsyjordyn.com and it's bettsyjordyn.com with a y and you'll learn all about our end to end services that are custom designed to accelerate your success. Don't wait, start today.