April 4, 2023

Blockchain Attorney ♾️ LC Cole

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📺Attorney LC (Laura) Cole, Esq, is a tech-law maven with International Blockchain Legal. She counsels & educates those in the process of adopting the technologies associated with #blockchain. 🎧 We discuss her niche, and the myriad of partners, and solutions providers who might have a lot to say on a podcast.

In my exuberance I may come off like a crackhead. Specifically so, during the final 10 minutes of the chat. But it really is a fascinating market. 📺

Raw content summary:

- For more advanced audiences, try to tailor the content to be more specific to the audience, and for beginner audiences, try to make the content more accessible by defining terms and providing examples.:

Start recording your conversations with potential clients and other suppliers, and aim to have at least one episode per month featuring a guest with expertise in what you'd like to sell.:

A lawyer who specializes in blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies, who also consults for a lobbyist firm and does speaking engagements, says that most businesses are unfamiliar with the terminology and definitions that exist in the field

-Failure to develop a comprehensive legal strategy for blockchain technologies increases the risks and implications of these implementations.

AI Episode Art for Blockchain Lawyer, LC Cole:
A collage representing the intersections of law and the business of blockchain technology. The theme is "complexity awareness". 


I mostly just talk about the regulatory landscape that blockchain and crypto companies face. That dau space and nft projects. Anyone really in the distributed ledger technology space, I'll get on a podcast or a Twitter space or a panel. I was just at Miami Nft Week speaking on a few panels there, just talking legal updates, the pulse of the industry, the policies that are kind of coming down from the top, how different jurisdictions are looking at things, what we're doing in the US. Versus what they're doing in Europe with Mika, versus what creative solutions different island countries or nations are creating for addressing these blockchain issues that people face. And so is that in your consulting role? Correct me if I'm wrong. I think when I picked up your LinkedIn, you're working as part of an organization, and then you're also doing legal work. 1s That description, which does that apply to? Well, I tie it all into my legal work, so I don't do that much consulting. At the end of the day, it's like a lot of just being an attorney, but I roll all the talks that I do. I just do that under my law firm's name so that they get more clients out of it and I get more work. Got you. So whenever I speak, I'm like, oh, I'm LC with International Blockchain legal. We're a distributed ledger technology firm, so we exclusively serve clients in the space. And that's kind of like our niche expertise that allows us to really hone in on clients that want an attorney that understands the tech as well as the law. 2s And then I am consulting a little bit lobbyist firm in Florida, Block One, it does blockchain specific lobbying, and it does other telecom lobbying. But my role there is really just to help facilitate blockchain companies to get a voice in the government ear because the governments are just behind on listening and paying attention to this stuff and utilizing it. So when you say a company in that space. 2s Could that is that necessarily a company whose business model is 1s implementing these technologies for other businesses? Or might this be a business for whom implementing these technologies opens new legal questions? And they're a bank, but because yeah, exactly. It's anybody that wants to touch anything in the distributed ledger technology space. So if it's emerging web two companies as they're breaching bridging into web three, that's one thing. If they're straight up web three company, that's like trying to do a token raise or trying to do a regular fundraise with equity or leverage blockchain technology with what they're building or something on that space. They don't have to be a platform or a network or a layer one. They could be a wallet company or an NFT project or a Dow that's utilizing aspects of the technology. So you really have to understand the nuance of the arena that you're in. But it's a lot of, like I mean, it's startup. I'm a startup attorney specializing in this emerging tech. Right. So there's going to be bleeding AI issues that come in. There's going to be bleeding data privacy issues that come in. And that's Web two problem that's not unique to Web Three. It's just something that web three is going to have to address also along with all these other considerations. 2s Right. And so I'm guessing 1s no, I'm not guessing. What I should say is 2s that's a pretty 1s different set of vocabulary than even exists somewhere in generic business. Like, for example, LinkedIn. You've used enough words and phrases already that legitimate atley I'm dumbfounded about, and I've produced hours of podcast about the Dow Space or blockchain 2s I've sat through, but I don't apply it. It has no and so that's six months ago. I'm not even asking you to convert me or educate me. I'm just wondering how much is your audience or the people you're doing business with? I mean, there's either got to be somebody in these organizations who even has that vocabulary, or they're probably not in your universe. They're not going to the events you're speaking at 2s if they're completely and I feel like there has to be a significant percentage out there, which, hey, great for you, by the way, that's job security for the next two decades. But it seems to me there would still be an overwhelming majority in business decision making. Fear. 2s Levels all across industry of all sizes who are completely and utterly baffled by that terminology, maybe more germane to the conversation, don't know that terminology exists. While they may be vaguely aware of blockchain, so they don't know where to pursue sort of deep dive or truly connected industry conversations, because I generally don't, unless it's somebody who's coming in from your world as a guest on a podcast. Oh, for sure. 1s A lot of what I do when I speak is like, it depends on the panel that I'm speaking on. So, like, Miami and Ft week is a mixture of people that are new to the space versus people that are ingrained in the space. So depending on the title of the panel, you would have an advanced audience versus kind of a more beginner audience, I guess. So I always try and tailor whatever I'm speaking about to understanding who my audience is. If this is all newbies, I'll define terms as I use them. If it's more advanced people in the space, then I'll really try and dive deep into the more nuanced issues that they're facing thing that they actually probably have questions about. So for example, I spoke at the St. Thomas School of Law, their journal on complex litigation symposium. So I had to publish an article to be considered a speaker, and that was obviously a little bit more of a sophisticated panel in the legal respect. So I ended up defining a lot of. 2s Blockchain terms or distributed ledger technology terms, but I didn't have to define a lot of legal terms because I was talking to a room full of lawyers. So I would get up there and I would define the blockchain side and then I would give an example of a case that they might be familiar with as it applies to the blockchain stuff. So that's kind of how I try and walk people through this garden of education. As you enter such an emerging field, the barriers are the terminologies, the barriers are the ease of use. There are absolute things that I can talk about all day long that I don't use because it is a bitch to use. And I just like I don't want to take the time to sit down there and use it. Can I talk about it? And have I witnessed it, have I seen it, can I explain it? Yeah, but do I want to sit down and click those buttons and get frustrated and do it myself? Absolutely not. So I just haven't. But I understand it in concept. So there are significant barriers, especially when it comes to ease of use in this space that you have to be cognizant of when you're talking to people about this, that I try and be very considerate of when I do speak about these things. But sometimes I just get on a tangent and I'm just talking about something that I care about and I forget to tailor it to my audience completely and I'm just talking without defining. I try not to, but it gets the best of us sometimes. Well, and then 2s they get exposed to what another layer or two deeper in the onion sounds like, and it probably just reinforces that they need help. 1s I got a little peek behind the curtain there when she went off on that tangent and holy shit, now I'm really confused. Yeah, and then hopefully they call me and just pay me to do whatever to educate. I'm really trying to pivot into 1s doing speaker series for law firms. I would love to go on a road tour where I just jump from major firm like Acreman to 2s some of the other big names that are escaping. I'd love to do like a tour where I go into these firms that are clearly their clients are asking questions and they just don't even know how to begin. So I would come in and just do like a CLE, which is like continuing legal education credits for lawyers who need to learn this up or at least act like they know these terms and aren't immediately freaked out or turned off by them. So that's one of the things I'm trying to be pivoting into is like, I've really enjoyed speaking and educating about these things. I'd like to add more of that to my practice. I mean, I love practicing the law aspect of things, but. 1s This is like a passion project to just be more of an engaged speaker at businesses, go into Google and explain to their division what blockchain is and how Google could utilize it. Or law firms, this is the term. Or CPAs, like, hey guys, this is how the tech works. This is the legal application of it, your nuanced tax calcul, regulations, this is how to think about them. Kind of when you said CLA, 1s it opened the floodgates in terms of because 2s obviously that's got sort of a legal ring to it. But the first thing I thought was, well, that same format, essentially, and you went into some further examples that weren't necessarily talking to a room full of lawyers, but just FYI, that's the kind of thing where, I mean, that could be a private podcast. There's companies like Wisinco, like the accounting firm, there's 1s Panasonic, all kinds of huge corporations that are using private podcasts to educate a particular audience either within their own organization or a particular customer group. So that might be the kind of thing that you could offer them a full multimedia like, hey, you've got this division. 2s Why don't we plug in a customized private podcast? Because then it can be a thought leadership thing. If it's not directly a CLE, if there's no certification type credits involved. What it can be at that point is you could customize it to an organization by bringing in some possibly their thought leadership and cross pollinating that with examples. Some of the organization I've used for you. They'll do crazy stuff like have their head of technology development spend 40 minutes chatting with a tattoo artist or an executive chef. But around the topic that lets the audience wrap. Their head around how this affects process or how this affects systemization or even how it affects teamwork, that kind of thing 1s in a human place. But if you've got doors open to you that were legal or even not legal sales, heck, you could probably go in organizations and just give them the ABCs of speaking the language like you could do for Dummies in business on blockchain on dow on I don't know. There's probably four or five other things that I'm too silly to even think of, but that's in terms of, forgive me, but if we're at happy hour 1s and you were my college friend, I'd be like, holy cow. There's no rules now. And you can like all these platforms let you put out really high quality product and the idea that you might have Fortune 500 or even smaller 1s mom and pop shops but who have an expertise or a focus where it really matters to them. You could be the conduit to essentially getting thought leadership up to speed, then getting this group to wrap their heads around it in this way, then getting this group to wrap their heads around it in that way. And having laid all the groundwork in terms of vocabulary and resources and newsletters people should subscribe to and great YouTube videos that you see. Guys, go check this out. Like, all the a sudden you're the damn oracle. On the way that these applications plug into their business and possibly their different business groups, possibly even their client groups. 3s There's people out there spending tons of money on stuff like that right now, for sure. But. 1s It. Yeah, I mean, I could, but it sounds like that would be a full time job in itself, and I wouldn't want anything to take away from my actual day job of practice. My assumption would be is that you're having these conversations every day anyway, you're just not recording them. Yeah, there you go. You're already doing this podcast. You're just not capitalizing on it. I'm just not recording it, yeah. 1s Don't know how to do that. 2s I have, like, ten posts on Instagram. I'm just not the most, like, social media adept person. 1s It's never been my forte. It's probably not what your clients care about either, to be honest. Yeah, 3s it's a little out of my 2s not comfort zone because obviously I speak on this stuff on panels, but to do like a video where I'm here recording myself and seeing myself, that would definitely be a little more out of my comfort zone. But something that's probably the next thing on the pike as I'm trying to build out a speaker series that I can sell the law firms or stuff. In that vein. One thing I would say is if you end up doing any experimenting in this realm, them don't sit there and talk to yourself. You always involve someone from the type of law firms that you want to target. Because if you record a handful of conversations with your client prototype. 2s And 2s let them shine a light on themselves and potentially give them a real reason to want to put this in their newsletter or on their internal sort of whatever, or feed it to everybody in their organization. Really allow them a platform and be a resource to them as much as you can without being preachy. Because the last thing that is going to really sell well in terms of engaging media 2s is a monologue, 1s is a presentation. But if you're the problem solver and all that takes is then bringing in somebody who's got street credit in whatever industry you'd like to sell to. And it's a sales tool, by the way. Podcasts aren't about marketing. It's about like make a list of the 15 people you don't have a text buddy relationship with who if you did, you triple your income. There's your first ten guests, and if you get five of them to say yes, they'll say yes to all bullshit with you for an hour and a half about the market because you're so smart and I'd love to have you on my podcast versus man. I just know we would do a ton of business together. We should chat. That's the goofiest open. And I'm not accusing you, I'm just saying. But take the biggest names you can think of and you'll get half of them to say, yeah, I'll come on a podcast. Sure. Like, aim for the ridiculous sky of people who have big newsletters, big instagrams, big social, big followings. They have some sort of tribe as a guru that overlaps with your market or they're your potential customer type. But even if you were bringing solutions providers to then talk to these law firms, it still makes you the hub of credibility. And when people search for those solutions on Google by name, your podcast is going to pop up on the first page of Google. That's the same effect for any guest. You have their business name, any lawyer you have on your podcast. 1s If you do it right, a week later, anybody who Googles them, your Spotify is like number four, or your podcast website is like number seven, or you're like five out of the first ten results for most of the guests you have, unless they've got a huge media presence already, especially if they haven't been on podcasts. Your episodes of Spotify, YouTube, Apple, they're going to fly right to the top of every guest you have the Google results for their name and specialty or their name and firm name or their name and solution, 1s and that's all signposts back to you as the sort of the hub of info and application and understanding. 2s Hell, you could that's an interesting way to think of it, but that still requires me to pump out a podcast each week or each, whatever. Well, no, it would require you definitely record a couple of conversations a month with anybody on that list, but it should be well, first of all, it should be the kind of thing after you put out a couple, the people who are around you are like, okay, well, why didn't I get an invite? And I literally mean you shouldn't invite a single person you have a relationship with and then you should dazzle them with the production. And when you throw it down, you shouldn't have done a soft launch. No, hey, this is coming. Just throw down a ridiculous podcast and everybody's going to be like, what? And it's so easy to get big guests when you're saying it. You're so smart, I'd love to have you on my show. You don't get a lot of nose to that. But vendors, solution providers, they might even underwrite what they think is you doing a huge production where ultimately it's you just recording what are this is more or less a zoom to the participant. And you can have as long as you scheduled in advance. I'm just saying now it's on base sickly pitching. But these are conversations I'm having with people who are, like, hubs of information like you. I've got a guy who's an expert wallpaper hanger. Since digital printing came out, apparently art galleries and mansions and very contemporary applications. It's not old timey wallpaper. It's crazy digital printing that creates, like, a theme. And so apparently it's really difficult to put up, but the people who make it really expensive. So we're going to the people who make the wallpaper for him to make an educational series that people who are in the paper business can go from, like being a B or a C 1s craftsman to an A plus, which will triple the sales of this type of wallpaper because the shit won't sell if anybody does a mediocre job. It's got to be artisan level craftsmanship. And so we're approaching the people who manufacture wallpaper to say, we know you can't sell this stuff anywhere near. You can produce it because you've got nobody to hang it. 1s Why don't eight of you give us X amount of dollars every month? We'll create the educational course that has people talking about your products, and it's not you selling, which gives you probably even more credibility in the product that we put out. Like, nobody's going to be pitching themselves, but we're just saying how awesome this wallpaper is. We'll put education behind getting these people up to speed in terms of this guy's got like a $20,000 course. But in the meantime, if we can generate activity and awareness for everybody and you guys who can't sell enough redirect a little bit of your marketing budget as a group to us, we don't want to you. We want everybody talking about it. Like everybody wins if you get a bunch of installers out there who can handle it. So that's how creative you can get in terms of finding the people in your market who have deep pockets. 1s Literally all you have to do is bridge a little gap for them. 2s So this sounds like a service you provide. What I just described would be so very bespoke based on how many people you had in that food chain of participation. So I won't lie, that's totally different. And I only went off on that tangent because my guess is I know law firms have deep pockets. I know somebody providing solutions, consulting, specific, even applications, hardware installation. Somebody in your market has a couple of bucks to put towards a creative look at awareness and essentially what amounts to not marketing again, but it's referral marketing as it turns into digital marketing. Like I said, all this stuff will show up unbelievable on Google. But the rubber really meets the road with the fact that if it always involves bringing in somebody else's circle of influence and always giving them a little bit of media candy, that makes them look like a genius to put in their newsletter, to put on their blog, to put in their instagram. Then they're all working for everybody who's putting in has all these guests since. 1s Participants working for them for free on the back end after the episode. So it just becomes sort of like a very mushrooming effect in terms of visibility for the product. And it begins to sound a little like I got to stop making this joke. But it's like a pyramid scheme where it's like the host gets the most benefit, the guest gets guest feels like they're getting a ton of benefit but really the host is getting like that guest name is going to point to the host for the next for the rest of their career for Pete's sake. And the same with all those solutions things when we do it just for a lawyer, like picture a standalone lawyer, personal injury or criminal law. If they want to do a good video podcast, they're going to spend and they want to have a full blown website for it. They're going to spend like 15 grand the first year minimum. That's the least you're going to launch a professional clean 1s Fortune 500 look and feel for. 1s And that's going to include probably spending a couple of weeks working with people on lights and testing this and testing this and testing this so that when people come on your show you've got such an unbelievable glossy feel that they're convinced you're spending three times what you are. And that includes anybody who joins as sort of a sponsor. 2s It sounds like a fascinating market to consider. Any option you ever want to throw at me as a sounding board, I'd be lying if I said I had a specific pitch because I'm just too ignorant about who's driving value, who's got deep pockets, who wants their message loud and proud, who wants to be sneaky behind the scenes, pulling the strings kind of thing. So I'm sure those exist and I wouldn't be intelligent enough to speak to them but if state 1s yeah, I'm sure they are too. I just don't know if I have the bandwidth. I just don't know anything. I mean, I've been on podcasts but. 1s I've never really thought about launching my own, to be honest. There are some I'd love to get on and be a guest on, 1s but you gave me a lot to think about, so I appreciate yeah, it's always a fun conversation, but you're in a super cool not only is your niche cool, and you've got all the buzzwords like that, you could get generic traffic for just educating Joe Schmo. Like me when I get off this call or when I rewatch this to pull out some gems for you. And I'm googling words just so I know where to end the clip. 1s That's all great stuff, but also sort of where you occupy, I think, is a tremendous position of power, if not only legal, but if you can be that conduit. The only thing I would say to address your concerns and I'll only spend, like, 30 seconds on it because I really want to pitch you. I learned a lot, and this is a good combo. And the real pitch happens when you have ideas and bring them to me. So that's like, I so prefer to wait for that. 4s If you look at it as, I have to produce a podcast this month, it's set up all wrong. If it's more to you than, oh, yeah, oh, I've got two really cool people I'm talking to this month, or three. But if you're not looking at it like that because that means we did a bunch of things wrong, it means we didn't shoot for a big enough guest. Because if you're not kind of like, oh, shit, they're coming on my show. They're basically working for me for free this week, this big shot, because that's how it works. If you're not like, oh, I can't wait, because all it is, is like, the best versions of podcasts end up being just unplanned. Don't ever share questions. Everybody's a subject matter expert. And if somebody makes a mistake, I would just say, oh, shoot, that was wrong. I'll need the guides to cut that. What I meant to say was this, and in the finished product, guess what's not there. Yeah. And if you tell your guests, Listen, you can't make a mistake because you get to edit yourself. Just say, hey, cut. That it's. And I just want to talk to you about some of these things. In fact, I'm already recording, so you sound good. I sound good. And I was wondering, did you make it to that conference? Next thing, you're off having a regular conversation. That's a great podcast, but it shouldn't be work. If it takes more than just getting them to agree to plan a show, it's all wrong, 1s and that won't last. Like, you would never do that for the next three years. It's literally got to be just plugged in. Oh, my God. Cool call today. Can't wait till 130. Knock it out. Your responsibilities are literally done. No. Hey, this. Hey, that. You got to focus on this. I need you to cut that. No, you just get to finish product, like, three days later, and your guest gets a media kit that says, please feel free to share this with your marketing department. The tall ones are under a minute, and they're usable here. That's square ones or wide ones. Next thing you know, they're working for you for free, but it shouldn't be a job for the host. Yeah, that's because anybody who's got time to have a podcast, frankly, probably doesn't deserve to have a podcast. 2s Right? Yeah. 1s My day to day is like, 1s I've got to run to another meeting, but my day to day is so insane. But you did give me a lot to think about. I'll probably circle back. And don't be surprised if I reach out to you, because I've got somewhere for you to guess. 2s It'll be a very niche little show, but I'll be happy to help you get out there. 3s Absolutely. I would be a guest on anything. I can talk legal. Cool. All right. Thank you so much. Take care. Bye bye. Cool. Yeah, pleasure. Have a good one. Bye.