For many entrepreneurs and small businesses, social media can be an absolute game-changer! All it takes is one viral post and a business can suddenly take off.
At Like A Voss Social Media, we’re highlighting local businesses and entrepreneurs who are killing the online game. This week’s spotlight is on Laura Wilson-Lewis, Owner of Wilson-Lewis Law!
Wilson-Lewis Law is a law firm based in downtown Toronto which provides services in the area of entertainment law.
Our CEO Mandi interviewed Laura about her secret to success in business and in life. We also got some awesome insights into what they think makes social media such an effective tool in business.
A Little Bit About Being a Female Entrepreneur
1: How long have you been in business?
I am currently in my second year of sole practice. I started my firm in June 2019, but I have been practicing law since 2016.
2: What made you decide to start your own Law Firm?
I started my firm because I wanted to help creatives, particularly Black artists within the music industry in Toronto, to protect and monetize their intellectual property. As Toronto talent continues to make positive contributions to music and culture, and catch the attention of international audiences and industry leaders, there are opportunities for professionals, like entertainment lawyers, to support emerging artists and contribute to the local infrastructure. However, there are few entry points into this niche practice area. My previous roles were outside of the music industry, though I briefly worked at an intellectual property law firm, and I did not have the experience to confidently apply for a job at an entertainment law firm. But more importantly, I saw very few job postings. I needed a change from my corporate environment and I wanted to be very intentional about my next move. I wanted to develop an entertainment law practice, because I found this practice area to be as challenging as it was exciting, and my friends in the industry were encouraging me to take the plunge. With my limited experience and at that stage in my career, I knew that if I wanted to have a seat at the table, I’d have to build the table.
3: What do you love most about being a female entrepreneur?
I absolutely love connecting with other women-identifying entrepreneurs, within the industry and in different industries. I enjoy learning about the intimate details of the successes and lessons of my peers who are at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. I love being able to be my fullest, most authentic self at work, because I’m the boss. As a female entrepreneur, I get to take advantage of different programs and resources, specifically available to women, to improve access and outcomes in business. For example, I am a participant in a one-year, cohort-based mentorship program, Girl Connected (@beagirlconnected), where I have developed skills and understanding in various aspects of the music industry under the mentorship of some incredible industry leaders. The flexibility that entrepreneurship affords has allowed me to fully engage in the program and the experience has been invaluable. From an intersectional perspective, I am proud to be a part of a community of enterprising Black women who support each others’ events, products and services, and hold one another to account in loving and uplifting ways. As the world continues to experience the pandemics of COVID and anti-Black racism, I appreciate the Black, women-identifying entrepreneurs who occasionally and deliberately pause their hustle to actively take the time to rest, reminding others to give ourselves the grace to work humanely, despite constant pressure to improve the bottom line.
4: What is the hardest thing you have had to overcome as a female entrepreneur? Something you did not foresee when you decided to start your own practice?
I knew that entertainment was a male-dominated industry, but I was surprised when a number of potential clients, especially in my first few months of practice, told me outright that they would prefer to be represented by a male lawyer. I would understand if they said they wanted a more experienced lawyer, because my practice was so new, but they specifically said they wanted their lawyer to be a man. I have seen these perceptions play out in movies and in songs, and I think it is unfortunate that these notions have permeated some people’s conscious thinking. I am forever grateful for my clients who give me the opportunity to work hard on their behalf and for my mentors who guide me to ensure that I can provide high quality service to any client who wants to retain me.
5: What is one thing about working as a lawyer that people would be surprised to learn?
People may be surprised to learn that being a lawyer is not all glitz and glamour like you might see on TV. In pre-COVID times, there were some additional social perks, but my practice mainly consists of long hours and lots of paperwork. As an entrepreneur, you are running a business AND you are running a practice. The business is the administrative things that need to be done to maintain compliance and keep the lights on. The practice is the actual legal work and keeping up with case law, industry trends and best practices. When you have multiple clients who have urgencies and emergencies that all need to be resolved, you still have to find a way to provide good service and sound legal advice.
And Now Onto The Social Media Questions!
6: Do you have a favorite social media platform? Why?
Most of the time that I spend on social media is spent on Instagram, and I like that it is a picture/video based platform.
7: What made you decide to start using social media as a way to promote your company?
Many people use social media before they use Google to find out more about people, services or products that they may want to engage with, and I often use social media in this way as well. I decided to start using social media as a way to promote my firm, because my socials were one of the first things that potential clients would ask me to follow up or keep in touch. Every time I replied by saying that I didn’t have a firm account, it felt like a missed opportunity.
8: How has social media impacted your business? Would you say that it’s an effective marketing tool?
Social media has had a positive impact on my business, because when meeting people at a concert or conference, sometimes it’s easier to exchange usernames than business cards. Most of my client relationships have initiated from word-of-mouth referrals, and social media allows these referrals to happen with ease and in real-time. People reach out to me on Instagram mainly, through my DMs or by tagging me in posts of people or organizations looking for entertainment lawyers, and I have been able to follow up or respond organically before formalizing a lawyer-client relationship.
9: What advice would you give to other businesses and entrepreneurs who want to use social media as a way to connect with customers?
Simple: be consistent and be authentic.
A Little More About Laura
Starting my practice is one of my proudest accomplishments. I love what I do and many days, it doesn’t even feel like work. When I am not working, I love watching true crime documentaries and TV shows (which remind me that I’m not cut out to be a criminal lawyer). I am a proud Scarborough native with Jamaican roots, and I am in my happy place when I’m spending quality time with family and friends, having a good laugh and eating good food (which has been hard to do during COVID). Before COVID, you could probably find me at a concert, festival or Toronto Raptors game. My only collection that’s bigger than shoes is lipstick, and if I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would be on a beach in Jamaica (eating a mango).
Connect with Laura
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Do you know a female entrepreneur who loves social media as much as we do? Contact us today – we’d love to tell her story!