Welcome to the blog

A place where busy entrepreneurs find quick & valuable education.

Rachel Brenke Keynotes Destination Wedding Planners Congress in Dubai

In March 2019, I traveled to Dubai to present at the Destination Wedding Planners Congress at the Atlantis The Palm.  Not just anyone gets to attend…it’s a “luxury closed-door by-invitation only business platform that brings together 500 attendees from over 70 countries” (from Epic Luxury Weddings & Events). I joined a line-up of speakers all across the wedding industry…one of which planned a $31 million wedding in China!  It was such an incredible time and highly recommend their conferences! Below you can find some photographs from the event!     The DWP Congress wasn’t just all about the presentations and networking events.  Attendees got to experience some of the local culture through parties and events planned throughout the conference. Annnndddd….there may have just been some 24K gold water.   My presentation on Day 1 was all about Intellectual Property.  I talked about what copyright and trademarks are and why they...
Continue Reading
Outlier HQ Podfest Festival Austin TX

Join Me: Outlier PodFest – Austin TX!

  Come join me in Austin, TX – May 18, 2019 I’ll be speaking about niching your marketing so that you can cut through the noise, maximize your money and attract numbers. See more info here!
Continue Reading
Top 10 Business Bites podcast episodes

Top 10 Business Bites podcast episodes

Are you just getting started listening to the Business Bites podcast and are a little overwhelmed with where to start?   Or are you regular listener but want a quick refresher?   We hear you!  We have put together this quick list of the top 10 episodes from iTunes for you.   The quick list: Episode 5:  Layers of protection Episode 32:  How to set up LLC (and keep your liability protection) Episode 70:  5 Strategic (and EASY) ways to get brand sponsorships Episode 3:  Not having to say no Episode 71:  Using free stock photography sites can kill your business Episode 7:  A bite of SEO with Zach Prez Episode 45:  Hiring others – employee versus independent contractor Episode 62:  Choosing a biz name, trademarks and more with Autumn Boyd Episode 2:  Crowd sourcing for content creation Episode 1:  Filling the rocks first   Episode summary #1.  Episode 5:...
Continue Reading
Lawyer, photographer and business consultant helps creatives initiate and implement strategic plans

AS SEEN: I am CEO Podcast + Rachel Brenke \\ Lawyer, photographer and business consultant helps creatives initiate and implement strategic plans

Running a successful business means learning to strategize your actions and protect what you have. Join Rachel as she discusses this with Gresh Harkless, Jr from the I AM CEO podcast.   Key points to listen for: Rachel discusses 3 things you must do as a business:  Get your liability protection under control. Understand what your intellectual property is, how you can use it strategically, and how to respect others’ IP. Further protect your business through the use of contracts to help set client expectations.   Learn what you can include in your business strategy: Be proactive Develop your brand Identify your unique selling proposition Identify who you are talking to Be strategic in legal protection   Gresh asked Rachel what her “secret sauce” is. Learn what her 3 to 1 approach towards decisions is and why it can help you make your own strategic decisions. “Being busy does not...
Continue Reading
Top 3 ways to protect yourself when going into business

Top 3 ways to protect yourself when going into business

Setting up your own business takes a lot of time and hard work. Setting it up the right way to protect that hard work takes even more thought but doesn’t have to be hard.  Join Rachel as she talks to Amy Woods Butler from The Life Story Coach podcast about the things to consider when setting up your business and how to protect it.   Rachel discusses three ways to protect your business: Forming the right business structure for you (and why she recommends LLC over Sole Proprietorship) Having the proper legal documents in place (contracts/service agreements, website terms, etc.) Having the proper insurance for your business (liability, equipment, etc.) She also talks about how each of them by themselves is not foolproof and why all three can work together to better protect your personal assets should the need arise.   Other key points to listen for: The difference between...
Continue Reading
Rachel Brenke + Military Influencer Conference 2018 (Orlando, FL)

Rachel Brenke + Military Influencer Conference 2018 (Orlando, FL)

Rachel Brenke was joined with other amazing speakers such as Mat Best from Black Rifle Coffee, Jim Koch from Sam Adams, and JJ Pinter from Team RWB  at Military Influencer Conference in Orlando, Florida September 23-25, 2018.  You can view the whole speaker roster here. Brenke presented on the following topics: #1 Moving with the Military – VIP Session Moving a business is something many military-connected business owners need to undertake during the life of their business, but do you know how to do it legally and efficiently? This session will discuss how to make a decision about what type of legal entity is best for your situation, when to use foreign entity registration, and how to make sure your contracts and marketing are legal before and after the move! Key takeaways: The considerations for moving your business and how to do it legally. This session will be jam-packed with information...
Continue Reading
Why you might need SSL security on your blog

Why you might need SSL security on your blog

We’re getting our tech on and discussing why you might need SSL security on your blog! Website security is a particularly hot button issue at the moment with several high profile security breaches which have led to usernames, passwords, credit card information, and even social security numbers being plastered all over the web.   What is SSL? You know the little green padlock on the address bar of your search engine? That is the evidence of SSL on a website. It’s also the reason why the beginning of your web address might read https:// rather than http://. In more technical terms, SSL means “Secure Sockets Layer”, and it is a technology that encrypts communications to and from your website.   Why might you need SSL on your website? When a SSL certificate is installed on a website, it provides encryption of sensitive data and communicates that your site is trustworthy...
Continue Reading

Rachel Brenke to be featured on NBC Sports/ Ironman World Championships

Rachel Brenke will be featured during the live and rebroadcast feature with NBC Sports and Ironman Triathlon during Oct 13, 2018’s Ironman World Championship Race in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Brenke received a special invitation from Ironman to attend the 40th anniversary world championship race. [See video here] She was exclusively selected as one of two age-group athletes to be featured on both broadcasts – Live and    Formal Broadcast.  Her story of adversity in the face of cancer, raising five kids and a constantly deployed husband all bring her to this race. You can follow along on Brenke’s adventure on the FitLegally Instagram and Rachel Brenke Instagram. We will update this post and social media with the live broadcast links when available. For media inquiries – please email rachel@rachelbrenke.com Enjoy the behind-the-scenes from NBCSports/Ironman Tri production crew’s visit to Brenke’s home:      
Continue Reading
Rachel Brenke Keynotes BloggyCon18 + Cedar Point Family Trip Pics

BloggyCon 2018: A Recap with Rachel Brenke

This past weekend was our yearly conference/family trip to Cedar Point, Ohio for BloggyCon.  This has been a long-standing tradition with our family and I personally love it because I rarely get to take family on work trips with me!  So we rented a “church van”, loaded up and took off on an 8 hour road trip!     Run by Tiffany Noth of Bloggy Moms, this is a fantastic beginner blogging conference.  With topics on legalities (ahem..yours truly), social media platforms, search engine optimization and more – there is something for every type of blogger.     I had the pleasure of being the keynote speaker this year on the topic of “Protecting Your Piece of the Entrepreneurial Pie” – I went over topics of protecting your brand, your time and doing the proper legal things. Feedback from my presentation: I love how REAL @RachelBrenke is. None of us have...
Continue Reading
2019 Speaking Schedule Is Filling Up!

2019 Speaking Schedule Is Filling Up!

2019 speaking schedule is filling up. I’m available on these topics: legal protections of business balancing family and biz growing multiple successful brands managing virtual teams launching new podcast at #6 on Apple podcasts charts growing biz as a #milspouse publishing books: self, house and otherwise consumer psychology misc – pitch me! All speaking and sponsorship inquiries can submit through here.  
Continue Reading
The Top 4 Legal Mistakes Every Small Business Owner Makes

The top 4 legal mistakes every small business owner makes

Everyone makes mistakes. Every new small business owner makes mistakes. However, some of those mistakes can very easily avoided with a little bit knowledge. Help avoid some common pitfalls by learning from the four biggest legal mistakes that every small business owner makes.   1. Wearing Too Many Hats & Not Seeking Legal Help When you are starting your business it may feel like you are supposed to, should be, or even forced to, wear ALL of the hats. Your hands are full juggling designing your product, customer service, business plans, advertising initiatives, marketing strategies, legal concerns, and so much more. Obviously no one is equipped to be perfect in all of those positions and mistakes are easily made. When that mistake is of a legal nature the consequences can be huge. Taking off the “legal advice” hat and hiring an attorney to consult may be the top way, as...
Continue Reading
Rachel Brenke to present at Military Influencer Conference - Orlando 2018

Rachel Brenke to present at Military Influencer Conference – Orlando 2018

Rachel Brenke will be joined with other amazing speakers such as Mat Best from Black Rifle Coffee, Jim Koch from Sam Adams, and JJ Pinter from Team RWB  at Military Influencer Conference in Orlando, Florida September 23-25, 2018.  You can view the whole speaker roster here. Brenke will have 2 sessions. #1 Moving with the Military – VIP Session Moving a business is something many military-connected business owners need to undertake during the life of their business, but do you know how to do it legally and efficiently? This session will discuss how to make a decision about what type of legal entity is best for your situation, when to use foreign entity registration, and how to make sure your contracts and marketing are legal before and after the move! Key takeaways: The considerations for moving your business and how to do it legally. This session will be jampacked with...
Continue Reading
Licensed Professions and the Digital World

Licensed professions and the digital world

Today, more and more of our lives are playing out online. You pay your bills online, you order groceries online, and you look up lots and lots of advice online. Many business that were once traditionally brick-and-mortar are now transitioning to the digital world bringing with them countless legal questions. If you own an online business, then you know there are legal issues to consider when you have clients or customers in other states or even other countries. For example, you must know what taxes have to be collected and remitted to which jurisdictions. These considerations are even greater if your business deals with a profession that requires a license.   Licensed Professions What is a license? Essentially a license is the way a state says to the public that the license-holder has met certain requirements that allow them to practice their profession. Further, the state determines the manner in...
Continue Reading

Defamation in the age of Yelp!

Today, information is literally at our fingertips at the touch of a button. You can find all the closest custom coffee cup makers in a 15-mile radius, how to clean your whole house with baking soda, or even reviews for that new gadget you were eyeing. Some of this information is even true! Most business owners ask their customers to leave reviews…and then worry what effect a possible negative review will have. So what will happen if there is a negative review, and is that even legal for a customer to do? What if the review comes from someone who never even used your product? The first concept to tackle here is what are people able to say or post online about your business?   The First Amendment The First Amendment reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging...
Continue Reading
Copyright infringement or work for hire?

Copyright infringement or work for hire?

A potential client reached out to you and asked if you could create a product video review. You shot and produced the video, delivered your work, received payment, and even provided a copy of the original video you shot for the client’s use at trade shows. You believed that all was well, but then you saw your original video that you had provided for trade shows on the client’s YouTube channel. Your client had uploaded it and held it out to the public as her own. Now, you are thinking COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT, but is it really??   The Copyright Is uploading the original video onto YouTube a case of copyright infringement? Maybe, maybe not! Isn’t the law fun? Let’s start with the basics. A copyright is the bundle of exclusive rights that the owner of the copyright holds. These rights are immediate upon creation of the original work and are...
Continue Reading

Copyright infringement: providing free webinars, summaries, and guides on copyrighted works

A question from one of our followers: Would I be infringing on copyright if I were to do free webinars (mini course style) on popular business books? I imagine providing chapter x chapter walkthroughs, infographics and study guides around the current books that I’m diggin– ALL FREE! I’m hoping to create a community around folks that love biz books but struggle with finding the time to read + don’t enjoy reading in isolation. There are a few aspects to explore when looking into this question, but first and foremost let’s look at copyright infringement:   Copyright Infringement Providing Free Webinars, Summaries, and Guides on Copyrighted Works The easy accessibility of various copyrighted works online has lead to a lot of confusion about what is and what is not copyright infringement. While some copyright infringement issues are very simple, most walk the line of “maybe, maybe not.” So how do you...
Continue Reading
The confusing world of copyright ownership

The confusing world of copyright ownership

You produced a product review video. You are the original author, so you own the copyright…right? What if the work was commissioned? What if several pieces included in your video (i.e., music, special effects) were licensed by you for the video? Do you still hold the copyright? Does everyone have some rights? Let’s dive into the confusing world of copyright ownership!   Ownership of Original Content In the most basic case, copyright is easy peasy. If you made it, you hold the copyright. But life is rarely THAT easy, right? However, let’s go over what the easiest case would be: You are the author of an original work (e.g., a piece of music, a photograph, a video, etc.). You hold the copyright. Holding the copyright gives you a bundle of rights over that work. For example, you control any reproduction, any derivative works, any public performances of the work, any...
Continue Reading
Military spouse business setup checklist

Military spouse business setup checklist

So you want to setup a business?  Everyone is telling you entrepreneurship is great and you absolutely love the sound of being able to set your own work hours and be your own boss. There’s some serious momentum around owning and growing your own business, and you’re excited.  But as with the rest of your life, there’s a complicating factor that has you scratching your head at some of the advice being offered. Because, you, my friend, are a military spouse, and you already know you’re going to be facing some business owner challenges that not every business owner deals with during the life of their business. We’re going to assume you haven’t started any formal paperwork, or even started your business yet (we know you might have, so bear with us), because we want to make sure we cover all our bases. Even if you are in business, this can serves as a...
Continue Reading
When to call in the forces: A quick guide to when you need an attorney in your business start-up

When to call in the forces: A quick guide to when you need an attorney in your business start-up

When you are starting a business there are a hundred things on your to-do list and seemingly endless expenses. There are business plans to develop, business licenses to obtain, copyrights and trademarks to consider, taxes to research, and on and on. It may seem like the majority of these steps are legal in nature and you might be wondering if you need to contact an attorney for help. Starting a business is already expensive, and hiring attorney can be costly, but it may be well worth it. How can you tell?   How Can an Attorney Help You? Whether or not you will want to utilize an attorney in starting your business will vastly depend on your specific circumstances, including what your business is, the type of business structure you will use, and your comfort level dealing with things on your own. Some of the most common ways an attorney...
Continue Reading
How to deal with non-payment and under-payment

How to deal with non-payment and under-payment

You received an order from a new client, produced the requested product, sent the product off to them, and then waited patiently for the money to roll in. But, it never did! Or it did, but wasn’t the full amount. Or it did, but you realized that you charged too little by accident. What do you do?   Receipt Versus Invoice A little reminder to start off with…a lot of people confuse the terms ‘receipt’ and ‘invoice’, so let’s make that distinction. Basically, an invoice is a bill or a request that the client pays for the good or service, and a receipt is documentation that the good or service has been paid for.   Non-Payment or Under-Payment There are a variety of ways to handle a non-payment or under-payment. You can start with an easy option and escalate your response based on the client’s actions…or rather, inaction. Some options...
Continue Reading
Global marketplace, global problems: international copyright enforcement

Global marketplace, global problems: international copyright enforcement

Global marketplace, global problems! You thought you had a handle on copyright and then you realized someone was infringing on your copyright halfway across the world. How can you enforce your rights in another country?   Copyright Basics Before we get to international enforcement, let’s refresh quickly about copyright in general. The U.S. Copyright Office defines a copyright as, “a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for ‘original works of authorship’, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations“. The copyright attaches as soon as the work is created; registration is not a requirement for protection within the United States. Whoever the copyright holder is controls all future uses of the work within the United States and anywhere else.   Copyright Enforcement Within the United States If your copyright is being infringed within the United States, you have several...
Continue Reading
Blogging 101: how to set up a blog quickly

Blogging 101: how to set up a blog quickly

Setting up a blog or website can be overwhelming.  Here is a quick breakdown with recommendations of resources, products, and services to help you figure out how to set up your blog (and/or ecommerce website) the best way possible!   Set Up Hosting The first step is to set up an area to host your website. This will be where your website (or blog) will be hosted (parked or sitting).   It is important to find a reliable host to ensure that your website is accessible to your clients.   Choose a Domain Name A domain name is the address of the website or blog.  This is where you can choose the fun www .______.com name! (Or .org, .net, or any other variety out there!) The key is to look for something easy to remember but reflects your brand and business.   Domain names can range from a couple dollars and...
Continue Reading
Protecting your online intellectual property

Protecting your online intellectual property

You’ve probably noticed a little copyright symbol – © – at the bottom of most blogs that you read. Maybe you have one on your blog too. But have you thought about what that little symbol means, or what it actually does? Let’s talk about copyrighting your online work, what that means, and how to protect it.   Copyright A copyright is a legal construct that protects your original work from being used by others for their gain. In the United States, your copyright is automatic once your creation is “fixed in a tangible medium of expression.” You can register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office for further legal protections. The good news, however, is the basic protections exist without any additional action on your part. According to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, when you create something original and publish it online, it is automatically copyrighted – whether you post...
Continue Reading
Running an affiliate program legally and efficiently

Running an affiliate program legally and efficiently

Having others to promote your products and services is one of the easiest and most effective ways to grow your business.  Thanks to the Internet, influencers and trusted brands in industries have voices that far surpass the most extensive marketing budgets typically including line items for advertisements and customer satisfaction programs. Affiliate marketing takes these influencers and expands your business by offering compensation to the affiliate when the affiliate generates traffic, either leads or sales for you. For example, here at RachelBrenke, we have an affiliate program that pays 30% of sales for each sale on our contract template forms and educational courses.  In order for affiliate programs, like ours, to work legally and efficiently, we need to protect our brand, set terms in place, stay within tax laws, and provide the right tools to our affiliates.   Protect Your Brand With Standards Using RachelBrenke’s affiliate program as an example, in...
Continue Reading
1 2 3 4