Stephen: Hey guys, welcome to another episode of the Digital Masters Podcast. Today we have Elizabeth Pickle. She is a lawyer and she runs an estate planning and trademark law practice.
We’re going to be talking about why you should be on TikToK, what it’s done for her business, and how you might go about it if that’s something that you’re interested in.
So let’s get into it.
Thanks for being on the show today. I really appreciate it.
Elisabeth Pickle: Hi, Stephen. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate that.
Stephen: It’s my pleasure. I originally found you on LinkedIn. I was scrolling through the feed and I think you were the first person I saw that repurposed their TikTok video and pushed it on LinkedIn.
You were fully invested. You were doing the dancing, the singing, you were going all out. I said, that’s the person I need to know. Because I was actually thinking about going on TikTok myself.
So when I saw you there, I thought, I really want to connect with you and hear your story. So that’s how we got here.
Elisabeth: I actually remember seeing you on LinkedIn. I believe I started following you first because you had been posting some really inspirational content.
Stephen: Cool. Yeah. Thanks.
I do a mixture of inspirational and marketing stuff and go back and forth. I’ve always wanted to support people on their journeys. So I appreciate that.
Starting from the beginning, have you always been comfortable on camera or is that something that you learned?
Tell me a little bit about that.
Elisabeth: It’s a really good question. And I’ll say the answer is no. I haven’t always been comfortable on camera.
But I think that prior to the pandemic, many of us attorneys were starting to offer webinars and seminars online.
We had really no choice but to become comfortable on camera. At first, when I would create webinars they would really come off very stuffy and impersonal because I was trying to act like a lawyer, which is okay since I am one.
But I got some great coaching from some really wonderful people in marketing.
It’s really quite simple, be yourself. But also it’s difficult to be yourself sometimes. And then it took a lot of practice before I became really comfortable with being on camera.
Stephen: I’ll tell you, I’m the same way. If you look back to my first LinkedIn video, I was super stressed out. I think I must have recorded it 300 times.
Yes. It’s interesting that you say that, too, because I do remember before the pandemic, I would schedule calls with people on zoom and they wouldn’t have their camera on.
Now it’s, of course you have your camera on. So video obviously is becoming more vital.
I think it already was. It’s that this is accelerating everything.
Elisabeth: I agree. 100%. Yes.
Stephen: And it is interesting, I was talking to another lawyer who runs a podcast and she was talking about how a lot of lawyers are always trying to copy other lawyers in terms of that real professional look.
They’ve got the balance in the background, the laws of justice and all that kind of stuff.
So, I think you’re going in the right direction by being yourself, because that’s the way to stand out. People are always copying everybody else and then you don’t stand out.
Elisabeth: Absolutely. And once you realize that you are not going to be the attorney, or whatever profession you’re in, you’re not going to be the professional for everyone.
You shouldn’t be. And you really want to establish that ‘know and trust’ factor. I think the only way to do that is to be who you are.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s what came through in your videos. I was, man, that is so awesome. You look totally committed to it and that inspired me.
I was thinking, I could be doing more on my own, really letting it all out. I know there’s some sort of balance. But I think you push it. I think that’s awesome.
I didn’t actually go back to your very first TikToks. I don’t even know if they’re still there but, how have they evolved?
Elisabeth: I think, gosh, it’s coming up on probably about a year at this point that we’ve been restricted from movement and pursuing our daily lives. But I think it was back in April of last year that I was probably killing time on Facebook.
I remember coming across these very unique, short videos and thinking, gosh, these people are hilarious. They’re very talented. What is this? It was very different from what I’d ever seen before.
I approached my son, who at the time was, oh, maybe 17 or 18? I can’t quite remember, but in any event I said, “Cam, what is this TikTok?”
And he said, “It’s nothing you need to concern yourself with, Mom.” Of course I was immediately concerned and so I started diving into it.
At first, I was playing around like everyone else does. I wasn’t using it as a professional. I was learning the platform and that’s really the first thing you have to do is spend time on TikTok to understand how to use it and what types of videos are interesting and will catch people’s eyes.
Stephen: Yeah, go ahead.
Elisabeth: I was gonna say, and then as I watched TikTok, it has an interesting algorithm where it will recognize the different types of videos that you like, and it’ll start showing you those videos. So I started stumbling across all kinds of lawyers, doctors, financial professionals.
So I mimicked what they did. And that’s how I got started.
Stephen: Yeah. I’ve seen a lot of lawyers there. We’ve probably seen, I don’t remember the name, but there’s a really popular one that I see often. I’ve seen more lawyers on there. I’m sure there are other professionals but I’ve seen a lot of lawyers.
I’m not sure what’s really behind that. It sounds like you’re saying you’re seeing a lot of other types of professionals as well. I dunno what you’ve seen in terms of the proportions. Do you see more lawyers than you see other types of professions on there?
Elisabeth: I think that I do.
I think it’s interesting because I’m not sure if we see more lawyers because the algorithm is pushing us that way or if there are more lawyers. But I’m going to get on my soapbox for a split second and say that lawyers are the most stressed out professionals in the world.
I think that TikTok is appealing to many of us because it most certainly is stress-relief and it allows us to demonstrate our very creative side. So, many attorneys do get on TikTok and kick up their feet and want to be human.
We want to be recognized as human beings because we are, and we’re imperfect. But we really do want to connect with people.
Stephen: Interesting you say ‘imperfect.’ I remember I saw one of yours and you were talking about when the patent or trademark agency rejects your trademark. And I think that’s cool. We all try to come across as perfect. Especially with social media.
So I think that it’s cool that you have that approach because it’s that personal side of things that I think really ends up attracting people ultimately.
And then the other thing that you mentioned, too, that I really resonate with is that it’s a unique platform. There are all kinds of interesting things going on there. So what I’m telling a lot of people on LinkedIn is, “Hey, if you only spend time on LinkedIn, you get indoctrinated with how LinkedIn is.” There’s a lot of very similar content.
What I noticed is by consuming a little bit of information on TikTok, or creating a few videos over there, I could come over to LinkedIn and repost that and really stand out.
So, my TikTok videos usually get quite a bit more traction than some of the other stuff that I do on there, I think because it looks different. It’s that vertical look. It’s got some editing in there that’s different. It’s different.
Elisabeth: It is very different. It’s very, it has a ‘whole different vibe,’ as the kids say.
For me, especially with my type of the law I practice, traditionally estate planning is really targeted towards the older generation, 50, 60, 70 up ages.
And it’s been absolutely astonishing to me how I’m now reaching those youngsters because they can relate to that 15 second video of a lawyer making fun of themselves.
Stephen: That’s interesting. So you’re getting, so you’re actually targeting younger generations on purpose.
Elisabeth: Yes I am. Absolutely. Now are there 50, 60, 70 year olds on TikTok? There absolutely are. Absolutely. But yes, my trademark practice has grown tremendously over the past few months because of TikTok.
Stephen: Yeah, that’s amazing. Yeah, those are two things I wanted to actually chat with you about, how has it actually affected your business?
Elisabeth: So, once you establish a significant amount of followers, I really don’t know the number, but TikTok will then grant you permission to put a link in your bio.
And as long as you stay active on there, you have a link. And you can, I have a link tree where you can attach all of your social media and your websites and your scheduling calendar. And so, again, you can imagine how TikTok draws in younger people, a lot of entrepreneurs, and then we use hashtags to attract certain people by topic, by interest. So I have people commenting directly on my TikTok videos. “I’m interested in a trademark. Can you give me more information?” Absolutely. Schedule a consult.
Stephen: It’s funny too, because now, yeah, I have you top of mind as well. I’m starting all these podcasts for people and I’m thinking, Hey, it’s not something that I offer, but if any of these people need to trademark something, then I know exactly who I would call.
And here’s an interesting thing that I would say, too, is that I had somebody else do my trademark for a different business that I was starting. And then I decided not to do it. And so I know that person, I could call that same person, but I think I would rather call you because I know more about you through this process than I ever knew about the person I actually worked with. And I think that’s pretty interesting.
Elisabeth: You’re absolutely right. We are vulnerable when we get on camera and we show people who we are, but, I have to say that TikTok is acting, it’s, I am being myself, but there’s a real cool creative element to it.
I still have moments where I think, am I doing the right thing by being a professional here on TikTok? Truth be told, the only people that have ever given me any grief are other lawyers, right? What are you doing, Liz? What are you doing to our profession?
Stephen: Here’s what I think, that you’re going through something that you can only figure out by doing it.
What I find is I‘ve talked to a lot of professionals who’ve thought about going on social media. They’ve thought about going on video. They might be posting a video here or something on YouTube or something. They know what TikTok is. Most of them say it’s only for kids. But there’s all these things that they want to have answers for.
But I don’t think you can. I think people can help you accelerate some of those answers and help you get on camera, help you figure some of these things out. But I don’t think you can learn some of these things. Where is that line? I don’t know. You have to figure it out.
You’ll cross it a couple of times. Feel uncomfortable and then maybe pull it back, or you’ll say, I’m really glad I did that and go further. But too many people stay on the sidelines trying to get advice from people. Hey, tell me how you did this too. And they’ll never be able to figure that out unless they jump in and do it
Elisabeth: Well said.
And isn’t that the same with everything in life, if you stay on the sidelines? But the other thing that I love about TikTok is, you can use it in different ways. You can use it in a way where you create a short video and you’re speaking. You would have a conversation like we’re having a conversation, and you can educate people on certain issues.
Or you can do more of what I like to do, and that’s be a goofball and sing and dance. Mimic someone else’s voice, the more creative way to do it. That’s what I focus on. I treat it like it’s a real marketing gig.
So once a week, when I’m working on all my marketing, TikTok is one of those things that I include.
Stephen: What I like about your approach, too, is that because it’s creative and fun, I think you can talk more specifically about what you do. I noticed that about you, you’re doing something fun and then you’re basically saying, Hey, this is what I do.
Whereas I think if you take the more educational route, you have to be thinking a little bit more like giving tips and tricks and stuff like that. And so there’s an interesting balance there, like you’re saying there’s multiple ways of going about it. I agree with you.
I think TikTok is an interesting place, because the creativity level is way higher. I don’t mean this with any disrespect and it’s probably a little bit too much of a broad stroke, but it feels to me more creative than something like LinkedIn where it feels a little more, I don’t know, there’s a big echo chamber there of people pushing out very similar thoughts and structures and videos and all that kind of thing.
Elisabeth: Again, I couldn’t agree with you more. LinkedIn was the last platform that I actually decided to post the TikTok videos on and I obsessed over it for a long time, whether or not I should do it. It’s a different platform.
And I don’t know that it’s even really appropriate for TikTok videos, but again, I want my colleagues to know, who they are potentially working with and who they are potentially referring to, what type of an attorney?
Stephen: Yeah, and this is one single person’s opinion. I think it works fine for someone that might hire someone like you. So when I interacted with it, I thought it was very cool, but maybe I’m the kind of person that you’d want to work with and maybe it’ll push away the types of people that you actually wouldn’t want to work with.
Elisabeth: Absolutely. Back to the whole ‘you’re not the professional for everybody on the planet.’
Stephen: So let’s pretend I’m brand new. What kind of advice would you have for someone that wanted to jump into something like TikTok, which might feel really scary because you do feel like it’s only for kids.
Elisabeth: Yeah. So the first thing to do is very simple. You need to get onto the app and watch it. So sign into the app, create an account. You don’t even have to put your real name in there. It’ll generate or populate numbers and letters. But sit there and you need to watch it. You need to watch what other people are doing, and that’s the only way to learn.
And as you begin to see videos pop up, you can decide whether you like it or not. And if you like it, TikTok will continue to show you more of that type of video. And this is truly a type of social media platform where the only way to learn how to use it is to watch it. And I still dedicate time, as I said before, I dedicate time to sit and watch TikTok videos from other colleagues of mine and other creative people.
And that’s where I glean all of my ideas and inspiration.
Stephen: Yeah. And so, do you have a dedicated time where you sit down and watch it for 10 or 15 minutes or something like that? I do.
Elisabeth: At first, of course, I was sitting down in the evening, mindlessly. It’s gross, and it’s not good for your health.
And I’m really trying not to do that. So once a week, when I focus on my marketing plan I dedicate 10 to 15 minutes to scroll through. When I’m waiting in line or when I’m hanging out, I’ll scroll through it.
Stephen: It’s entertaining. Every once in a while I’ll be with my wife and I’ll burst out laughing. Because it’ll be somebody, something that’s awesome. But I’m trying to do more of what you’re doing, even on LinkedIn. I try to stay out of the feed unless I engage my brain.
I’m trying to use it as opposed to consuming it, because I find if you’re consuming social media, it can twist you up as much as it could help you. You could, if you’re not really paying attention, you could see something where you could end up doing things that you don’t really want to do. Cause you’re, “Oh, that person did that. I need to do that. That’s the only way to do it.”
But if you’re more purposeful and you’re saying, what are people doing? What might I do? Because if people are listening to this and they don’t know, there’s often trends on TikTok where people are all doing the same things, but with their twist on it. And what I found is that some of those trends I would never do. But there’s a few that I jumped on.
Cause I’m, ‘Oh, I could apply myself to that. And it wouldn’t feel weird.’ And so I think I’m saying that it’s smart, that you’re very intentional about how you use these platforms.
Elisabeth: As a professional, I think you need to be. Certainly I am not going to mimic anything that a 17 or 18 year old young lady is doing there.
There are certain dance challenges that only in my dreams could I imagine being able to do the dance moves. I can do the Russian squats. That’s about it.
Stephen: I think I made a comment on that. I’ve always wanted to be able to do that.
Elisabeth: And with that particular TikTok video, I feel I did push the limits on that one because I was pretending to take a shot of vodka, which is, there was nothing in it.
But I think we as professionals do have to be cognizant of using alcohol in the video, or anything of a really sexual nature. But there is a dark side to TikTok and you may come across it.
Stephen: Yeah. You come across all kinds of interesting things. My feed is starting to be a lot about content creation.
Because that’s what I help people with. A lot of marketing stuff, which I think is awesome. But yeah, I do come across some things and I’m , Whoa, I definitely am not going to go down that route. And I do take the opportunity to say don’t show me any more, that kind of thing.
Yeah. Cool. And then real quick, how do you plan your content out? How do you get inspiration for something on TikTok?
Elisabeth: Again, for TikTok especially, it’s still a matter of watching videos. And I really truly feel that my inspiration is derived from other professionals on TikTok.
In fact, there was one TikTok I did a while back that I took from a high school math teacher. I was able to take my content and use it, or make it work with the way that she used it with that particular song. And I follow her. With TikTok, you can follow certain individuals too, like any other social media.
So I keep scrolling through all my lawyers and my doctors and my accountants and see what they’re doing. And then there’s no need to recreate the wheel, I always say.
Stephen: So will you save a couple of things and then when it’s your time in the week to create something, you’ll pull up a couple things and on the spot, do something?
Elisabeth: Exactly. You can download… some video users on TikTok will let you download their videos to your phone. And so for those folks, you can download it right to your phone. And then I make a note of the video and the song and my idea, my current thoughts.
And you really do need to put pen to paper. Because in the past, I have not written it down, made notes about. Then what I was thinking at the time I saw the video completely escaped me.
Stephen: Yeah. I do the same thing. I have a long list of ideas. I actually have too many ideas. It bogs me down a little bit. I’ll go back and I’m, man, I’ve got to sort through this for the stuff I want.
But yeah, that’s an interesting point. You have to start to write these ideas out. You become a better communicator by going through this process. One thing, not only on TikTok,but even on LinkedIn, one of the things that I’ve walked away with, and people always ask me, what’s the ROI of content marketing in it?
And I’m always saying, yeah, you can get customers. That’s awesome. It can happen pretty quickly, but even more than that, you learn to get on video. You learn to articulate yourself really well. I used to be afraid of going on video and now I’m very comfortable.
I think learning those skills as a professional is huge. Especially if you’re more on the introverted side. There is no way to over value that. It’s huge!
Elisabeth: Absolutely. You may not believe this, but I am most definitely an introvert. INFJ, I believe.
Stephen: INFJ. Yeah, I’m an INTJ.
Elisabeth: Okay. Yes. That’s a whole other topic for discussion.
Stephen: Yeah. I love that topic too, though. The personality stuff is cool.
Elisabeth: Because we’re introverts doesn’t mean we’re socially inept. It means we need to rest and recover in a different way. Yeah, but I don’t know. It’s been fun and like anything in life, it will pass. It is a trend right now and we will see it, I believe, dissipate at some point.
And so I’m gonna enjoy the ride and use it while we can.
Stephen: Yeah, no, that’s cool. And you triggered another thought, which is, a lot of the time people ask me on LinkedIn, is it too late? Is it too late to get on TikTok? And my response is always, ‘maybe, maybe not.’
I dunno, it depends on your ability, but don’t forget again, with these skills, there’s going to be the next platform. And the next one. Think about how much more prepared you’re going to be to jump on the next one and be who you are, being more creative than all the people that sat on the sidelines and were always questioning, is this the right thing?
Is it too late? Everyone’s going to be so much further ahead of them.
Elisabeth: Very true. You’ve got to be yourself. You can’t continue to mimic and copy other people. You’re not going to get the results that you need and you deserve, and it is truly terrifying at first.
Stephen: It is. But I don’t know. Like with most things that you’re not good at, you’ve got to jump in and do it, hit the record button, push it out there and it’s over. And nobody will see the first one anyway. So that’s what I tell anyone, except your friends and family, and it doesn’t matter what they say.
I really appreciate you being on. It’s been an honor to chat with you about this stuff, and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. Do you want to tell people a little bit about what you do specifically and where they can get a hold of you?
Elisabeth: Sure. So I’m an estate planning and intellectual property attorney.
I’m in Scottsdale, Arizona. And so I help people here in Arizona with their estate planning and asset protection. And as far as my trademark practice, I can practice nationwide so I can help anyone. In the United States, we have a trademark.
My website is www.ElizabethPickleLaw.com. And my handle on almost all my social media is @mindfulcounsel.
That is my brand and trademark.
Stephen: Very cool. I appreciate you being on and I’ll link to everything in the show notes as well. So thank you very much. I look forward to interacting with you more on social media and seeing where things go. So I appreciate you being on.
Elisabeth: Thank you, Stephen.
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