When you've put everything into aiming for an achieving a ridiculous goal it's a big deal. Most people never achieve that. For those that do, two things happen. They settle where they are, or they discover new goals.
This week my guest is Emily D Baker, former assistant district attorney turned Youtuber. This interview was one of the most fun - ever - and the only one where I've had to click the button on my podcast to activate the parental advisory notice. So much fun
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When you put everything into aiming for and achieving a ridiculous goal, it's a big deal. Most people never achieve ridiculous goals. And for those that do, two things can happen. They settle where they are or they discover new goals. This week, my guest is Emily Baker, former assistant district attorney, turned to YouTube. This interview was one of the most fun, if not the most fun ever. And it's the only one where I've had to click the button on my podcast host to activate the parental control notice.
So be warned. But also, this was so much fun. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle, and every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. If you're new to the show, take a second right now to subscribers who don't miss new episodes and get some older ones. When you're done with this one, don't forget as well. You can join my Facebook group, just visit, Amplify Me FM forward, slash insiders and you'll be taken right there.
So welcome along. And let's meet Emily. This week, I am thrilled to welcome the Emily DeBacker to the podcast, there's not many people I introduce as the and not many people get a middle initial, but literally the Emily Baker from Emily DeBacker dot com and they get logit a lot and shit podcast. Welcome to the show. Thank you so much, Bob.
I'm so happy that we get to sit down and have this chat finally.
I know it's been so difficult with you in our preacher not asking all the questions that I wouldn't actually want to ask you when I met you having to hold, because I know I'm interested, but it's going to make for an amazing podcast episode as well. So thank you. Thank you for making the time. Obviously lovely to speak to you.
So I know it's been a year since we've gotten to see each other. And I'm it's I'm just thrilled that we get to sit down and catch up and chat and talk about all the things.
So let's do that. So first of all, for the the listener who doesn't know who you are, what you do, can you maybe just tell us a little bit about who you are, where you are on what it is you do?
Absolutely. I am the Emily Baker and I will get to the story about why I changed it to the Emily G.P.A., but I am a legal commentator. I've been a licensed attorney for over 15 years. I'm host of the Get Logit launched podcast and I do legal consulting for online and entrepreneurial businesses in addition to kind of common sense legal commentary. The thing that's true about the US, particularly now, is that we have a very complex set of laws that are really hard to understand in context with the things that are going on around us.
And I have really found my energy and my stride and my audience and pulling back the veil on that and explaining why things are happening the way that they're happening, be it pop culture or, you know, right now politics as it intersects with law and the stories in the news that people want to talk about naturally, just bringing that legal side to it without bias and without making it hard to approach, which is something a lot of lawyers will do, is kind of speak down, I think, to people.
And that's not that's not what we do.
So I think certain everything you do is very, very accessible, sort of very, very down to earth. But on point, I really like that for for the listener. Obviously, you haven't just sprung out of the ground as a lawyer. You've had quite an interesting career and it's a great story. So I can't let you skip past that. So how did you practice?
I started so I went to law school with one intention. By the way, that's a terrible plan. Don't don't do that. Don't spend hundreds of thousands of dollars going, I want to do this one very particular thing that's hard to do. But I went to law school wanting to be a deputy district attorney, which is a criminal prosecutor.
And, um, I got hired as a deputy district attorney for the county of Los Angeles, largest prosecutorial agency in the world. And I worked as a D.A. for over ten years. I loved that job. I loved my colleagues. I became very, very burnt out. And it took me a long time to unpack why I was so burnt out and to realize that what I needed to do was step away from that career and step into entrepreneurship. And that's what I did.
I'm coming up on four years ago. But it was a very hard decision because, as I said, I went to law school with a singular focus and then battled through three rounds of interviews with thousands of people for just one hundred and twenty five jobs the year I was hired.
So it really is a career job that I saw myself in until I retired or died.
It was really that was really my goal. And so when I was burnt out sick, I ended up having two back surgeries inside of one year. I started really evaluating what the stress was doing to me and learning more about myself and how much the stress of that job and me not knowing how to properly deal with that had had really damaged my health.
So, you know, what's weird about that is most people, if they run their own business, they would think that's really, really stressful. And when they do burn out that they think, you know, maybe they're just going to get a normal job. You've gone completely the opposite way around. What was it that was the attraction to entrepreneurship or running your own business? Because a lot of people think it just seems so risky. Risk is what people instinctively attach to starting your own business.
For me, um, I was willing to take on the risk, knowing that, you know, pre covered, if worse, came to wear something like if worse comes to worse. I have a. Car can drive Uber like I'm not, I'm not. Married to any one way to make money, and I was willing to figure out how to heal myself and then figure out how to make money. I'm like, there's lots of things we can do to make money.
And I was not worried about figuring that piece out. I was more worried about my health. And I had in sight of the year that before I left the district attorney's office, I lost two friends, um, that were days with me to stress related illnesses, I believe both very rare forms and unusual forms of cancer.
My mentor got diagnosed, gosh, two months before he passed away.
He was just getting ready to retire. And then my friend Rebecca was in her very early 30s and it was a year long battle before she passed. But I was looking around at the illness in that work environment. And it's not just stress. As a district attorney, you're also taking on what the victims have been through. You're taking on what people have done to one another. You're taking on the criminality of it and a system that is difficult to work within because a lot of times there's no right solution within criminal law.
There is just the law says this, but it doesn't really fit this. And so you're constantly trying to make things fit to try to do the just thing. And it was a very it's a very, very hard job. Um, if I was better at managing the stress, maybe I would have stayed. But I had an incident where we had police protection on my house when I was pregnant with my now eight year old and my young. My oldest, who was then four, was asleep upstairs.
I was worried that people were going to go to my husband's business because our names are linked and public records because they couldn't get to me or to my house. And I had that moment of my family didn't sign up for this. And I don't I don't think I'm still comfortable moving forward in this career. And I was also not comfortable to just shrink into the background of that career.
Um, I like to you know, if I have a purpose, I'm going to to do that with boldness. And so hiding inside of a career that I loved didn't feel right either. So taking on the risk of entrepreneurship felt safer to me than taking on additional police protection on the house and the other risks associated for me with being a D.A. and I have done all different things. What my business started as and what my business is now are totally different.
But along the way there are different ways to make money.
And I'm I'm still like, well, if we need to drive up or we'll drive over. But each each year has been better than the last. I have control over how I spend my days. I have the ability to stop, which isn't always easy as an entrepreneur because there's always more to do. But when you're like, no, this is when I stop for the day, for the week, you are in control of that. And the only person you're really going to disappoint is yourself.
And through personal growth, you can be like, no, this is where I need to be spending my time. So the freedom for me has been unbelievable. And it allowed us to move out of California into Tennessee. And that's been incredible as well.
So I love I love the risk, but I don't I don't feel like it's at risk.
There's a lot of ways to make money. I mean, if everything goes south, I'll probably sell flop pictures on only fans. Like, let's be totally honest.
I have no idea what you're talking about. Good. Um, don't Google it if you don't want it.
I'm just saying there are lots and lots of ways and weird ways to make money on the Internet.
We're going to talk about that in a minute. I think what's interesting is you had such a clear vocation, you knew what you wanted to do. And then there came a day when there was that wasn't what you wanted to do anymore. And I think that's something a lot of people skirt past. That vocation is really what fires you. It's where enthusiasm lives and a lot of people keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going, because that's what they've always done.
But they lose sight of vocation, vacations gone somewhere else. And I think that's often where our burnout can creep in our elements of it. So looking at what you're doing now, you've you've really focused in on the online business owner. That's, I guess, what fires you now as an online business owner who is by nature somebody who flies by the seat of his pants.
The law is not really at the top of my agenda. So I guess what I would ask you is for somebody like me and there are probably hundreds of thousands of mes, what could go wrong?
You know, what couldn't go wrong there? There are a lot. Of opportunities for stuff to go wrong and where I see this being problematic for online business owners the most is fear of growth, knowing that there's this component of their business that's not dialed in. So I see people kind of skirting the line of holding themselves back because they know their legal stuff is not together.
You can lose your Google AdWords account, you can lose Amazon affiliate revenue. So those are like the immediate things, not even getting into client lawsuits, intellectual property lawsuits. And I've had entrepreneurs spend a tremendous amount of money in exploring branding and product branding and then to find that they didn't do a trademark search at the beginning. But what they're building is squarely in somebody else's trademark and they've had to back down. Rachel Hollis, who I talk smack about on the regular on my content, is Holli's CO is being sued for clearly violating somebody's trademark.
They filed a competing trademark and didn't get it in there. Like, well, just go ahead anyway. And for them, though, the money in that lawsuit might not be a huge deal in the overall scheme of their business. The damage to reputation is something that is is really hard in the online space, especially for someone like Rachel Hollis, who holds herself out as an authentic kind of wellness business influencer. It's like, yeah, but you knew this was somebody else's trademark and you just didn't give a shit.
So are you really authentic?
Are you are you really doing what you say you're doing? I don't think so. So that loss of trust can be very damaging and that just comes from not doing your research. So there are a lot of avenues where the law can go wrong, but there's a lot of things that can go right when you protect yourself. Having a good agreement with clients gives a lot of entrepreneurs the freedom to set boundaries. And without clear legal contracts, it's much harder to set boundaries.
I also tell my clients and the entrepreneurs that work with me to just be like, look, this is the client agreement. I don't want Emily to yell at me. So I just I need you to sign it. Like passing the buck on the lawyer is is really a nice way to bring a third party into it, even if there isn't one there. And saying, my lawyer says I have to get this signed. I know it feels weird, but just it's cool.
So it gives people room to talk about their boundaries, to hold their clients to it, which I see with designers and web developers when their clients are like, oh, we've got this three month project, but then they delay turning over the things the designer needs for like two months. And then we're still on deadline, right?
No, no, you're not. You you've delayed this project. So this project is delayed, but without a good contract. A lot of entrepreneurs feel that they're required to work the extra time to make up for their client's delay. And that doesn't have to be that way. So there's a lot that can go wrong, but a lot that can go right.
Yeah, I think that particular case in point is a very, very good one because I've been that developer, um, the biggest, biggest part of my career was spent designing and building some big complicated websites. And the customer would say something along the lines of, well, let's just let's just stop and we'll come back to it maybe in a month or two months. But what they don't appreciate is that the knowledge in that project will fade. You're going to have to build up that knowledge blank again.
That takes time, equals money. So protecting yourself from that is fantastic because the client, they won't mess with it if they know that it's protected or they'll pay you more for it.
Yeah, because I've seen people say, well, in the contract it's this. If you want to pay me this, then I'm happy to do it. And then they will end up having more money out of a project because of their time. I also put a pause clause in my contracts when clients don't turn over property the right way or at the right time, especially in the website and design world. And it's it's a this pauses. But then I get back to it when I have time because I'm not bumping my other clients for you.
So when I can get back to your project, I'll get back to it. That might be six months from now. And that will protect entrepreneurs from burnout, because if you have good boundaries, you will not get burnt out. But if you can. Can't enforce your boundaries, burnout in entrepreneurship is is very easy to come by, so contracts are one area. Another area I'm curious about is it's almost intellectual property. You'll probably tell me it is intellectual property or copyright or trademark.
I'm not sure you'll help me here, but something that I hear quite often is entrepreneurs, especially online entrepreneurs. If they're in the the knowledge space, they should really communicate what they do at the hand of a a bespoke or unique framework. And they give that framework a name. And that framework is really what they become known for. How can you or should you protect that kind of idea?
So I talk about name it and claim it all the time, because the one thing that intellectual property can't protect well is ideas, but it can protect words. So when you have a framework that is unique to you, not only can you copyright it, there are parts of it you can absolutely trademark, but it also becomes ingrained with you. So when people hear the thing, they're like, Oh, that's so-and-so. The number one refer of traffic to my website is bad ass lawyer because a people who meet me before I had it is a tag line to my business.
We're like, No, no, I liked her. She's that bad ass lawyer check. She was fun. I know her. And so I actually just stepped into that saying, no, that is exactly exactly who I am.
I, you know, came into college most likely to get in a bar fight. So that's that's just a part of my personality. But another any other lawyer can call themselves that. It's just within the sphere that I work in. People know that it's me. So it almost doesn't need to be trademarked for me because it's me and somebody else can try to use those words. But now it's so branded around my personality that you can't really step on that without seeming like you're trying to just be me.
So with Framework's, it's the same thing. When it becomes your thing, it's like, oh, you know, you and I both met through. You prefer. Oh, you prefer. That's Chris Ducker's thing. So even if people don't know him, they know you prefer and it ties back to him. If if anyone that is familiar with him or his branding started saying, oh, I'm a I mean you Perner would be like, well, that's Chris's thing.
You can't really teach that. And then your audience and your community starts crowdsourcing intellectual property problems for you and saying, this person's talking about your thing, tell them to stop.
So while ideas can't necessarily be protected in that way, the words you use to convey those ideas can absolutely be protected as they relate to you.
So I have two questions come off of that, because I think a lot of people will probably be quite interested in this area, especially my audience. One is the name it and claim it in practice. What does that look like before you've gone to a lawyer and spent some money to protect the trademark? What does name and claimant look like? What's legit from that perspective?
Making sure. And in most areas you can look at the trademark office that governs where you are and see if anybody else has something in that space using those words. So picking a unique name for your thing and unique titles for your process. So if it's a framework and you're doing four words and you're going to name them all CS, just look at what else is out there and then start using it in the States, you can start using the team, the small little team logo after a title or phrase, provided that it's not somebody else's intellectual property to indicate that you were going to be using that as a trademark and then you are going to be moving forward with that.
Those are claiming your trademark rights, putting your stake in the ground. I also recommend as people are doing this, though, it's not legal protection per say. I say take up the real estate. So if you are naming and claiming something, get the domain, um, get the social media handles or the Facebook group title or Facebook page handle, even if you just sit on them, because when somebody else wants to compete with you for those words, if they can't get the you out, the Instagram handle, the LinkedIn link, the the Facebook link, they're less likely to go after that specific thing because you've already taken up the real estate there.
That's not saying you can never take up a business that that doesn't have that you are available because there are names that cross over different kind of.
Areas of work, like if you have a name in an entrepreneurial space that's the same as a medical practice somewhere, it's not really going to be a problem. But when you find something unique, take up that space online. And that starts with like the you are on the social handles for me is what name it and claim it includes. And then if you haven't spent all the money to trademark it and you're new in your business and in a year, that's not even the thing you're using anymore, it's OK to let those properties then go.
So it's a great way to experiment with is this going to be your thing? I can't tell you how many trademarks I've done. And by the time the trademarks back from the U.S. Trademark Office, the business owner is not even using it anymore because so many online entrepreneurs move.
Yeah, and they move fast. But I think that framework idea is really important and an extension of that. And this applies to lots of areas of law, not just protecting intellectual property, but there's the question of jurisdiction. So I'm just going to use the example of the English speaking world to keep it simple, because as an as a business owner, that's really all I'm going to be engaging with unless people want to come to me. That's but in terms of protection, that's all I need to worry about.
If you're in the U.S. and you're listening to this, you think, actually, I really don't need to worry about the U.S. However, you've got Canada. So if I'm looking at growth areas from your growth markets, I'm probably going to think I know I'm in the UK. But it's actually most important that I protect in the U.S. If you're in the U.S., then you've got a lot of states to worry about and you have that guy in Canada has got his eyes on you.
What do I do? So it depends on how big the thing is because there is international trademark protection that can be applied for that covers. There are different regional trademarks. And I am not a trademark expert by any means, but there are different regional trademarks where you can protect like things in the greater UK area that covers not just, you know, England, but will also cover other other kind of EU countries.
I think they're still doing that post Brexit, where you can cover in kind of most of the EU countries, um, Canadians can obviously apply for one in Canada and then in the U.S. if it's available. So if you know that there's markets you want to go into, I would look there. But if you're looking at a dot com, that's a great place to start with seeing. Is somebody already using this and then deciding because if somebody only has a U.S. trademark, you can have that trademark in Canada, in the online space, it becomes much more worth a look because we do cross over borders so much easier than a brick and mortar.
So it really just depends on what you want that framework to look like. And that's also where branding it so it's inextricably linked with yourself can come in as part of your strategy. Because if you look at someone like Hal Elrod with American Morning, he still hasn't, I don't think trademarked it.
I would have to go back and double check. He might have done now, but he had multiple books that spun off of the series from The American Morning.
It's published in Fifteen or something languages, but it's also the ideas so connected to him now that it's it's almost impervious from some of these some of these things because people know and his audience knows it's his not to say don't trademark, but there are options for international trademarks. And then that branding bit comes in really helpful to make sure that, you know, that you're sticking your claim in the ground and you're linking it to yourself.
Then as you go through the formal processes that protects it, if you want to license it, sell it and do all those other things. But yes, Canadians can hold U.S. trademarks. You can hold a U.S. trademark, you can have an international trademark. They get harder to enforce. When you get into like India and China, international trademarks get more difficult to enforce if you don't have trademarks specifically there. That comes up a lot with patents and intellectual property.
But if that's also not your target market, then there's not really going to be brand confusion between your brand and whatever is happening in China.
Well, you're in the U.K., in the U.K., but in real terms, what should I be thinking about there?
So this is a growing area of concern. And I think we're going to see different courts fighting over this because businesses in the U.S. that do not want to be compliant are like, now come get me like, what do you feel?
How are you going to enforce your law here in the U.S.? So I always tell the business owner to first be concerned with where their butt sits. Like, first you've got to be concerned with where your butt actually is because that is where your seat of business is tied to. This includes the wanderlust entrepreneurs that travel the world. If they have a corporate formation in one area, then they need to be concerned with that place and where their both sets.
But for the average entrepreneur, that is not a traveling nomad where you are first. It's easier for everybody in the U.K. because the regulations are more strict. So if you are compliant, you're going to be good for what's going on in the States. The states is now trying to catch up with those GDP regulations. The California Consumer Privacy Act is very similar in a lot of regards to GDP. And so a business owner in Kansas will have to now apply their website regulations to what's going on in California, which is why the U.S. is now considering a national regulation, because U.S. business owners are like, well, how am I supposed to know what they're doing in, you know, Iowa?
I'm in New York.
So we're seeing this across the U.S. as well, where different states have different regulations. If you default to the strictest one, you're going to be the most covered. And for the Canadians and and the you know, the people I work with that are in the UK just being GDP, our complaint really covers you for all the stuff that's going on in the US right now because the U.S. is still more lenient. So going stricter is never going to be a problem with that.
That's really helpful. I mean, these are things that I often I think a lot of people put off thinking about because there's always other things to worry about. But there's one thing I know about the law is by the time it's too late, it's really too late.
There's a phrase I use for that that I actually stole from one of my husband's professors who used to say it all the time because when something was bad, my husband's a dentist. And this professor, when something was really terrible, he would smash it so he would smash the models and the students would be like, you can't just smash it. He's like, it's beyond fixable. There's there's nothing more you can do with this other than start over. And he would always say, you just can't put the shit back in the horse and that's what it is.
That's what it is with law. You once it's a mess, it's very, very much harder.
You can't you just you can't put the shit back in the horse on that. And so for particularly for the UK and Canada, complying with these stricter protections in those two regions is going to cover you for any business you do with the U.S.. Also having it very clear on your website where your business is based will help protect you, too, because there is still some responsibility on the user to the site to understand those rules, if that helps.
No, I really get that. That's that's very, very helpful. So maybe shifting our focus a little bit, I'd quite like to understand, what does a typical client look like for you or what is an ideal client look like for you? How do people come to you? Yeah, what is what is how do you engage with your clients?
So I don't think anybody's typical. The thing I do the most of right now is consulting to help business owners figure out either where their missing protection or where they're going next. So I'll consult with people who are getting ready to hire for the first time to figure out all the pieces that they're going to need for that. Or I'll consult with the business owner trying to launch a new product or a new branch or a new offering of their business to talk through all of the different issues that could come up with it and make sure that they're covered from kind of a 360 because you can't legally problem solve yourself if you don't have the knowledge base.
I work with clients in such different industries and I work with people who are crafters.
I work with businesses who are making their first couple thousand a month to businesses that are in the hundred thousand a month, because my ideal client is somebody who just really is used to doing it themselves and just needs those questions answered and wants to have the conversation about what do I need to do, where can I improve, where can I add protection and is this the right choice? This is not the right choice. So I'm really just a decision making partner for most of my clients also, because it's what I love the most.
There are a lot of attorneys that I work with. Who loved to write contracts and I have contracts that I do write, the ones that come up all the time, but that type of strict paperwork, legal is not my zone of genius in that it's not where I have the most fun spending my workday. I'm really good at it, but I love connecting with people. I love making content. I love doing the consulting work. And that's really where my clients are, from crafters to Pilates instructors to, you know, coaches for pregnant crosthwaite athletes to the adult film industry in Los Angeles.
Like, my clients are everywhere, but they all want to learn how to do it right. And they know I'm not going to judge them on their like. So I have never done any of this before. And I'm like, but we're here now. We can't undo what's been done. Let's just fix it going forward.
Yeah. There's no point having protection if it doesn't actually protect you. Right. That's um.
So I just, I just I was about to spring into a rather right wing analogy talking about guns, but I'm not going to go there in one area I'm curious to ask about. I probably should have asked about this previously, but remote working is quite a big thing now, and especially in the online space. And there's all kinds of differences between when you've got people in an office and when you have remote workers, they might be in a different state.
They might be in a different country. How do you contract differently for that?
Oh, that's such a big question. It I hate it. I try not to give lawyer answers like I give legally correct answers, but not lawyer answers. But it's really going to depend on where the business is. What is going on in the US right now is there was a huge split over the laws governing independent contractors. So hiring in the US has become quite a hot button issue. California is like at war with with gag workers, with Zoome, with Uber and with, um, I'm trying to think of the other one.
It totally Lyft and with things like Fiverr and eBay even and Amazon. So California has gone to war over independent contractors. So hiring is going to get quite different for U.S. based businesses. They need to be aware of where their business is and where the person they're hiring is. And then there are regulations if they're hiring out of the country, um, I would imagine for each other country there are regulations for who you can work with in country and then what it looks like to work with someone out of country.
I always recommend if you're working with someone out of country, going through an agency can help deal with the legal stuff. So if you're finding VCs in the Philippines, going through an agency that can help kind of parse what that relationship looks like, puts you in a good position. So does you know something like Fiverr? If you're just starting to explore hiring out on a project basis, you can really work through them and then your company's paying another company and it's a business to business, not a hiring relationship, but with remote work, it has been a big shift for what's it look like?
How do people get paid? Do they get stipends? If what happens if they move? When do we want them to come into office? And that's, I think, as much to do with law as it is to do with corporate culture. For my clients, it has really freed people up and allowed them to reevaluate their hiring needs. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs that will do like a marketing agency, a PR agency, and will work with different business to business relationships and not have as many direct employees.
So they find their sweet spot to be like five employees and less. And then we'll project basis the other things they need in their business. But for larger businesses, H.R. is essential, H.R. is essential.
I think for me that was a great answer because yeah, there are so many variations and going through another organization to keep you legit is is a great way to do it. So we have to talk about content, content marketing, because honestly, that's where you stand out for the listener. You will not find a more flamboyant online personality than Emily you are. Killing it on YouTube. You have a very entertaining podcast, I'm curious to know what that journey was like for you, because most lawyers don't do that.
Yeah, it was it was a difficult it was a difficult journey and self exploration to really allow myself to go there. But I and I had worked with a couple different business coaches who had told me, stop messing around on YouTube. What are you doing? Like, this is not where your ideal client lives, who's your avatar?
And all this other stuff that I was just like, you know what, I like it, though. I like being on YouTube. I like my community there.
And people are like, stop messing with it. You don't need all this. But what was missing was the what I wanted to do with my business, not just how I was good at making money.
And I don't want to run a law firm. If I wanted to run a law firm, I'd run a law firm. I don't I don't particularly like working with other lawyers all that much. I don't want to be negotiating with other lawyers all day long.
It makes me want to rip my own eyes out. So when I left doing litigation and I was in court day in and day out, which gives me a great perspective for my clients because I can tell them how things are going to play out. I don't want to still do that. My ego doesn't need to go to court and scream at a defense attorney and scream at a judge and be like, ha, I did so well today.
I'd rather get on to my podcast and talk shit about Rachel was plagiarizing stuff or explaining the Britney Spears conservatorship.
And what I realized through, you know, meeting Chris, working with him and then being a new partner is that I really wanted to be more of a superstar. Like I really wanted to be a personal brand content creator and not a lawyer per say. That's where I was happiest. It's what I like doing. And the reason I became a D.A. at the very core of it was to give a voice to the victims who came to court. That was how I saw my purpose.
I am allowed. I am distinct.
And I was that kid who would stand up for other kids and then end up getting bullied myself because I always felt confident lending.
My voice is like a shield to help others and kind of pull us all in together. And I found that my content is still the way for me to do that is to lend my voice to hate. This is why this is happening this way, or this is the law that's requiring this result. So if you are mad, you can be mad, but go be mad over here because that's the rule that you're mad about. Don't you know, being mad over in this direction isn't going to get you anywhere.
So let's like, direct it so that people understand what kind of governing, how we interact. And that's really where I get to be myself. And I'm not really worried about people liking it or not liking it.
Those who don't like me will go and move away from my content. I am not for everyone, but the people who are like, I want to work with you, particularly since consulting is my favorite part of my work. It's so easy to say. Yeah, let's let's get on an hour, call and break this down and do it. And so my content has opened up opportunity and my business, and that's opened me up into different realms of clients because they're able to get to know me before they even have to book a call with me.
They can listen to my podcast or see my YouTube videos and go, Oh, she's 100 percent for me, I love her, or this woman's insane. And and she's going to just yell curse words at me.
And I don't I don't even want to deal with it.
So content just lets people know you and then they can choose if they want to work with you. But I'm I'm having these conversations in my head anyway, like when this whole.
Did you see all the news, Bob, regarding CNN's legal analyst in the states, Jeffrey Toobin didn't.
So one of the many scandals in the last two days in the U.S., U.S. Twitter was trending with hashtag Zoome Dick because he was doing that on a Zoome call with work at The New Yorker. And so that kind of blew up in this big scandal. And I, I am having this conversation in my head about like this is hilarious, but this is also really inappropriate. This is also on Zoome. This is like a convergence of like workplace behavior gone awry.
Plus like mobile and remote work meets complete impropriety in the workplace, meets, you know, the Metoo movement from a few years back.
And all I wanted to do was talk about it. If I had still been following the other advice I'd been given, it's like, but that's not driving into your business. Like, how is you talking about the CNN legal analyst having all of this craziness go on? Because he didn't realize that you can't whip it out on a Zoome call. Um, how does that connect to your clients? And I'm like, but this is the stuff I want to talk about, so.
Once I really dove into this is what I want to talk about and this is the purpose behind it and the purpose is pulling back the laws and making them clear the work comes and the the consulting clients come. And I know that the paid content creation opportunities will also come because I really shifted into I want to be a content creator like a month ago, even though you told me a year ago, look, Emily, I know that you're doing the law stuff, but I feel like not everyone's going to be your legal client.
And you there's more there that's broader and more accessible because not everybody is going to be a legal client. And I really did take that in. I was like, how how do I pass that? Because it's true. I want to be able to connect and work with and have conversations with people who wouldn't just be a legal client. And broadening out my content into commentary has been a game changer. Mhm.
I can actually I have your YouTube open in front of me just now and you can actually see when you make that sort of angle change. Hmm. How do you decide what to talk about on YouTube. I'm really curious because it's something I really struggle with how multidimensional to actually be because I focus on one little thing and it doesn't really feel like I'm bringing all of me to that. But if I were to bring more, I would think, well, how interesting would that be?
Yeah, it's a real puzzle for me.
It's so it's worth it's always worth an exploration. I about a month ago, there was crazy stuff going on with Kanye West on Twitter.
And he I mean, there's always crazy stuff going on with Kanye West on Twitter, but he released a hundred pages of his record industry contracts like his legal contracts.
And I was at a mastermind and I was like, I can't sit here and focus with y'all. I need to go read these contracts like I'm burning with curiosity. I can't I've never seen because I'm not a record industry insider. I've never seen these types of contracts. And for us to have access to that peek behind the curtain, that was fast. I was fascinated. And so I sat down on Instagram.
I was like, you guys, Kanye West is leaking all of his contracts on Twitter and now he's like pissing on a Grammy. This is really crazy. And I don't even know what 20-20 is anymore, but I'm dying like I'm dying.
And he got hundreds of millions of dollars to do this. And it looks like hundreds of millions of dollars to do this other thing. And I'm fascinating. We have to talk. And one of the individuals at the mastermind is like, put that shit on YouTube. I'm like, no, it's a vertical video. It's an Instagram video.
It was alive. So I'm answering questions. He's like, give me your phone. And he took my phone and put it on YouTube. That video has over fifteen thousand views.
And what that taught me was that my own I'd gotten in the way with YouTube a lot of oh, it needs to be this way. It needs to be edited. It needs to be polished. The people who want to talk about the things I want to talk about are out there searching for somebody, talking about them. And so for me, it's really news cycle stuff because it's commentary. And so it's the Britney Spears conservatorship. And my pop culture videos do better than my straight up like legal illegal videos because people want to talk about pop culture and they want to understand the law behind culture.
There was another rapper in the U.S. that got arrested and charged for shooting Megan the stallion in the foot. And there's all these conspiracy theories and controversy surrounding it. And I wanted to talk about it, too. I want to talk about why the police pulled them over with the windows down, because people don't know that the police will often make you put the windows down and stick your hands out when there's been a shooting involved before you get out of the car to show that you don't have a gun and things like that.
So I found that my experience as a D.A. plus my legal experience, plus the fact that I'm just a basic nerd and love pop culture too, lets me bridge all of those things. And then my inbox fills up with people going, do you also cover this? Can I also work with you for this? So then the clients come from that. So I go with my gut on the things I want to talk about. Sometimes if I'm really afraid to talk about something I know I have to like, I get nervous.
There are certain topics I get very nervous around.
If you're nervous about it, you can almost guarantee it's going to get a reaction as well.
Yeah, and it's going to get a big reaction. Yelp just announced in the US they were going to put a racist business label on businesses. And so I had a lot to say about that. But it's also a difficult topic to be respectful, but also say Yelp, this is bullshit.
So that's where I find my unique kind of skill set from being a lawyer who tried cases in front of a jury. I'm used to looking at both sides of an issue. I'm used to being able to find the middle ground and then being able to say, and then these people are saying this and these people are saying this, and you get to decide for yourself, because my purpose is not to persuade my audience. One way or the other, my purpose is to help them understand so they can make a decision for themselves and for me with my content, I know if I stay within that purpose, like, am I helping people understand?
Sometimes it's just entertaining. Like talking about Jeffrey Toobin, I don't need you to understand. I just need to talk about this guy whipping it out on a Zoome call. Like, we just need to have that conversation about business and laws. And I'm not trying to, like, break that down. I'm just trying to comment on it.
But with more difficult and sensitive topics, I really do take that. This is where the facts are. And then this is what one side is saying and this is what the other side is saying. And you need to understand where you fit in that so you can make a decision for yourself. And I find that lacking in the online space right now, it's a lot of screaming and not a lot of figure out where you stand. And so your purpose, Bob, is where you find the content.
So what's the purpose? And then you can talk about that purpose in any context whatsoever. I find that context and news.
And I think as well, because you're talking about things other people are talking about, you're joining a bigger conversation and you're bringing authority and impact to that. That's what's working. I really like that. Yeah.
And it has been it's it's really news. Jacking is really the term that people use for making content on the back of other content. But what I found is that when I have videos up like the Kanye video, the reason it has 15000 views is because it was ranking in Google search because people were Googling Kanye West pissers on on Grammy.
And I was like, yep, yep.
He sure did. He sure did. I'm going to talk about it.
It's not as simple as News-gathering, though, because News-gathering is something that anybody can do. But you brought expertise and experience and insight into that situation. I mean, it's a place where people actually cared about it.
But yes, it's not. I mean, yes, but thank you. It brings it brings context. And if there stories I want to talk about that really don't necessarily fit into their own video, I kind of save them. I go live twice a week and answer questions and I'm accessible. The thing that's really blown me away about being live, particularly on YouTube, is how many people will come to my videos and be like, I've never had a conversation with a lawyer and I've never felt comfortable to ask questions of an attorney.
And I feel like I can just ask you whatever I'm like out to you to I mean, your name is like queen user seven, six.
Like, you can ask me whatever you want, ask me because YouTube still has this anonymity to it. If you want it to be anonymous, you can pick whatever name you want on YouTube, unlike Facebook. So that anonymity brings a whole nother dimension to people having very honest conversations, sometimes more honest than I need them to be.
But it's really a beautiful space. And once I understood for me where what platform my content was best suited on, and it really helped having other people to talk this through with saying, look, Facebook is going to throttle your content because you say fuck all the time. Like Facebook is not a platform that's going to push your content. Instagram is not going to push commentary content. It's longer format. It's not little sound bytes. Yes, I do realise about my coffee on Instagram, but that's not where the heart of my content lives.
That's where my like behind the scenes silly content lives because that's what Instagram for.
So once I understood oh, I've been trying to build the content I like in the wrong space. YouTube is where people are searching for conversation. And what I had been wanting to have was conversations.
So YouTube is where people are searching for the how to the why the commentary, the comedy and and the conspiracy theories and like conversations. They're not finding more mainstream. That's the community on YouTube. And those are absolutely like my people. And YouTube doesn't always throttle me for using the curse words. They do sometimes.
Um, but most of the time, YouTube is a much more open place for thought freedom.
So I'm curious to know because you have the podcast before I come to the podcast, actually, I have to ask a different question, and I'm talking about subscriber count and subscriber count is such a subjective thing for some people. A hundred subscribers is a big deal for another person. One hundred and fifty thousand subscribers is tiny for me. You have a good subscriber count. You're sitting somewhere over 4000. And I'm curious to know what that journey looked like.
At what point did you go, wow, something's happened? And do you remember what made that happen?
So I started YouTube when I was just thinking about leaving the district attorney's office. It's been almost six years now since I put up my first YouTube video. And at the beginning it grew really slow. There are a few videos that's.
Still get comments weekly, and those are videos from three years ago, a video about personal journeys, one about my back surgery, one about like an iPhone six. But there are some of these little videos that I don't think I look great.
I just I had to say something and I had to get on camera and say it and share it.
Three years later, those videos are still turning subscribers and pushing engagement, which is different than any other platform out there.
So my channel grew steadily with my negligence, from my journey from being a district attorney, leaving my job, being a beginning entrepreneur and sticking to really the tech kind of space on YouTube, which is where I started, because as a day I couldn't speak about legal issues because it was my job.
I also shouldn't have been on YouTube, but there were no strict provisions against it. It was just a bad idea to connect your name and your face on video when you've already had issues with personal safety.
At that point, when I was going through my back surgery, I knew I was going to either have to leave or have to move into a much smaller position, much less visible position as a district attorney.
So I didn't care anymore. And I was like, I want to I want to share this message that I just want to put the video out there.
And if you tag it so that people can find the conversation they're looking to have, it doesn't matter what your video is about for me, subscriber count shows me how many people are being driven.
But on any given video, 70 percent of the people watching aren't subscribers.
So I really pay attention for my growth to watch time, not to subscribers. I know that since YouTube has changed, the way you get paid more subscribers helps because that metric helps for sponsorship and you have to have over a thousand to monetize your channel. But for me, it's the watch time. And seeing that people will watch on average 12 to 13 minutes of my videos blows me away because I think the average watch time on YouTube is somewhere around three or four minutes.
So, um, that's when I know the content is right. And I also know I put up my podcast on YouTube to they get much less views than the really topical news stuff, but it's there is a reference library. So again, it's purpose. The podcasts are on all the podcast players because podcast people love podcasts, YouTube. People don't always love podcast, but some do. So I'll pick up an extra three, four or five hundred views on the podcast episode because it's on YouTube and YouTube.
People don't go to a podcast player.
So it's there is reference and then the timely topical videos are there to really drive that search and that Kanye West video. When I said no, I'm going to show up on YouTube regularly, I don't care how it ties in. I don't care what the model looks like. I'll figure out the monetization of it later. I just I'm done hiding from the way I want to make content. And that drove almost two thousand subscribers in a little over a month.
At this point.
I think what I love about all of this is most lawyers don't get online business owners. And you're not just a lawyer for only business owners. You're an online business owner who's walking the walk as well. I really, really like that. Yeah. So when people come with their issues, these are issues you've got as well. Yeah.
And have had and have worked through and understand and I understand content creators because at the core of it I'm a content creator and that's where my happy space is.
I also have a legal degree. I don't that's OK.
It's a lot of money.
I'm tempted to say you don't need to be a lawyer to be a lawyer, but I probably do it legally.
You're still required to be a lawyer. I just I think a lot of people and I advise a lot of people against because I got a lot of questions about should I go to law school, should I not? People who want to make an impact can make an impact without a law degree. If you really want to file patents with the U.S. Patent Office, if that is your calling him, I get your law degree.
Go get it. But it's there are so many ways to make impact. And I think that the Internet has opened up people to share their voice. You don't have to be a lawyer to be in politics. You don't have to be a lawyer to make impact and change. You just have to have a knowledge base. But you can obtain that anywhere now. So do you need a law degree? Only if you really, really want to practice law.
And you need to understand what practicing law looks like because most people hate it. So everything seems to be just humming along right now. I really avoid using the phrase on fire for legal reasons, uh, but it's kind of what it looks like.
So I'm really interested to know, where do you struggle most in your business? Which part of that is it that you really think? I just I'm not doing what I want to do. We're all friends here. My back end systems are a hot mess. They are a hot mess because it's the one area I don't always take the time, but like, I don't take the time to do it.
But I'm also a control freak, so it's a hard thing for me to hire out. And I am also growing in a different direction right now.
So it's it's a shift to make sure that my content creation kind of plan or roadmap or repurpose or whatever, whatever is in mine, I often feel like I'm not intentional in my business. Bob, when you said I'm flying by the seat of my pants, I feel like that all the time. My husband's like, what are you doing today? I'm like, I don't know what's trending on Twitter. We're going to talk about it. He's like, What?
I'm like, no, seriously, the Justice Department just sued Google for a monopoly. Like, we're going to talk about it. It's fine. It's going to be fun.
But I love it so much more than waking up and doing contracts. But my my systems could be dialed in. I'm actually looking at switching into using click ups, so I have some more organized systems so that I can bring on team members because I do quite a lot in my business myself.
And I am ready to start taking some of that off of my plate. But I've also been hesitant to take it off my plate because I know I can't just cleanly hand it over to anyone because they're not in my brain. So putting those systems in place is definitely where I've struggled and I'm going to do much better.
And I have clients who do systems work and I'm like they're like, Emily, we emailed you like four days ago. I'm like, yeah, I know.
Sorry, I'm on it, I swear.
So systems, that's kind of the same issue I think a lot of people have when they're shifting direction and they've they've just discovered where the where the magic is that you can't systematise what you haven't really solidified yet. So that makes perfect sense.
I mean, then like a new puppy phase of my business where like, it's all exciting and a lot of fun. I mean, there are days I have two videos up and then I I'm researching the podcast for the next week because my podcasts are really heavily researched, um, mostly because I'm interested and I fall down rabbit holes on stuff and I'm like, oh.
And then there's, um, the I did an episode about those Kanye West contracts, so I read all the contracts and then went and looked back at kind of famous controversies between artists and the record industry. And I had completely forgotten that Prince changed his name to a symbol because Sony owned the intellectual property rights to the name Prince. So when he wanted to leave Sony, they wouldn't let him use his name anymore. I was like, oh my God, I had forgotten about all this so that I'm poring through old information to give context and I love it.
But when I'm stuck into researching and content, I am not stuck into my email.
So yes, the shifting I the shifting has been great and I'm so excited about it. But I need to build in that foundation. I need to do what I tell my clients to do and build in that foundation so that I don't burn myself out in a different way just from being overexcited.
So for the listener who might be thinking that Emily sounds like she's got her shit nailed down, I need some help. How would you like them to get in touch with you so you can?
There are tons of ways to get in touch with me. The easiest ways just to email me hello at Emily DeBacker Dotcom. And if you're sitting there going woman, you just told me you were terrible at email. I set up hello at Emily DeBacker Dotcom because that is the one email address I go into daily because that's where I tell people to contact me for business. You can also do me on Instagram. People are always shocked when I go on to podcasts and I'm like, notice Demi on Instagram.
It's totally fine. They're like, seriously? I'm like, yes, seriously. I'm in my DMS all the time. I You're fully invited to Demi on Instagram. I've also added community texting. So if you're in the U.S. and you want to text me, you can actually text me. I feel like I'm Gary V, like I have the same invite only texting that he has and I feel very special about it. So you're welcome to text me too.
Um, and we'll put that in the show notes, but it's also six one five four five five three six one two.
And it lets me connect with my audience in this whole other way because I'm pretty confident one of these days I'm going to put out a YouTube video like the one about the Netflix special Cutie's almost did me in. And one day that they're going to just pull me off a social and be like, you can't say that shit. So the texting has been really helpful for the inevitable day that comes when something goes terribly wrong with the the tech powers that be.
I don't even know what community texting is. It's so great. I don't know if they're U.S. only they might be Gary V, you know how long all of his content.
It says, text me. I tend to not watch very much content that is totally fair.
All of this content text me and it is a right now an invite only platform that allows for person to person texting, but it's also through an app for the creator. So it's very easy for me to streamline it. And it goes right into my communities texting. So because the stuff I cover is changing daily and because I do have two times a week that I go live. But I also have videos going up at random times, depending on what's happened in the day.
I can shoot a text saying, hey, new video going up about this or I'm researching a video about this. Do you have questions? And my community will flood me back with questions about the topic so I can put up a video the same day answering their questions about the news that they see breaking. And then as things are happening, they're actually starting to source content back to me and sending me links, going, what's going on with this?
Did you see that? So now it's become this really circular community where I'm getting a lot of I want to know your opinion about this, and it's helping me narrow down exactly what my community wants to hear about, because they're telling me exactly what they want to hear about in real time over text so they don't even have to wait for an email. And I'm finding most people aren't in their email as much as they used to be.
They'd rather get a text on their phone and spam folders. Hate me. Mm hmm. Emily DeBacker, You have been an awesome guest. And before I go, I need to remember to ask you my regular question. And that's what's one thing you do know that you wish you'd started five years ago.
I wish I had had better boundaries when I first started my business and prioritized rest and recovery, I didn't. And so now it is still a struggle.
I still default to overwork, but it is the most important part of my business, especially if you bring thought work. You need to rest and recover to give you space to actually think.
And I wish I had done that better five years ago. That's a fantastic answer. The Emily DeBacker, thank you so much for your time. It's been lovely to speak to you. I've had great fun, and I can't wait to see you again sometime. I know we've talked forever, so thank you for hanging with us and thank you for the wonderful conversation. Bob, I appreciate it. The Internet is huge. Whoever you are and whatever you do, there's a community and an audience for you in a road that you can build a business.
It just takes the decision to start showing up for them. And Emily is a great role model of this because she had more than most of us to lose. Before we go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't joined our Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or visit, amplify meetup forward slash insiders. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. You'll find me wherever you hang out.
Just search a pop gentle. And if you do message me, let me know and I can follow you back. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review on iTunes. It means a lot to me and it's the best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name is Bob Gentil. Thanks again to Emily for giving us her time this week and to you for listening and see you next week.