The entertainment industry has grown exponentially over the last few decades to include many different forms of creativity and platforms. With the popularity of social media, influencers are one area that has seen incredible expansion. Influencing has become one of the highest-earning categories of the entertainment realm. Top Los Angeles entertainment and business lawyer Jennine Nwoko, the founder of the CJN Law Group, explains why it is so important for influencers to have a lawyer and one that is trustworthy.
The list of platforms that influencers can gain a following on is constantly expanding. From Instagram, YouTube, Tik Tok, Only Fans, and more to fitness tech influencers, there are a lot of ways influencers can connect with their target audience and gain a large following. Some people will reach so many followers that they hire an agent or manager. Influencers that are in the beginning stages often find themselves in situations where they need legal protection but cannot afford to pay for a full-time agent or manager. This is where consulting with an entertainment attorney who specializes in the industry is of great benefit. Even if you haven’t run into a situation that calls for legal help, it’s always a good idea to find a lawyer you can trust to have on your team.
Often, because people are new to the business and do not know the value of their talent, they are unaware of how much they can potentially earn.
Nwoko strongly encourages influencers to refer to an entertainment attorney to ensure they do not get taken advantage of. “I see it happen all the time, and it’s really unfortunate, ” says Nwoko. A lot of entities out there are on the prowl for up-and-coming influencers that are rapidly gaining followers and making a lot of money. Often, because people are new to the business and do not know the value of their talent, they are unaware of how much they can potentially earn. These people are prime targets for representatives who will come in, negotiate higher-paying deals that look good at face value, and then take up to 30 percent of their monthly earnings. These contracts take away a lot of power from influencers and are nearly impossible to get out of. An entertainment lawyer will help the influencer determine their true value and make sure they stay in control of their own creative process.
An entertainment attorney protects the influencer from getting taken advantage of and works as a buffer with other parties. This means that the attorney can negotiate better terms and higher fees for the influencer, and make sure no one agrees to anything they will regret later. It is easy to get excited when a big name or number suddenly comes calling, and the fine print is often overlooked. Lawyers read all the fine print before anyone agrees to anything, and that buffer allows influencers to focus on their creativity and content.
In the influencer and entertainment world, there are constant stories of someone involved in a scandal. A prominent influencer can see their entire persona destroyed and find themselves the center of a scandal that gets out of control incredibly quickly. There are so many ways this can happen; be it old content resurfacing, accusations of improper or illegal acts, having their character judged or ripped apart online, and more. Watching your success get torn down in an instant because of a scandal can be a terrifying, dark place to be, especially when the same people who lifted the influencer up are now attacking them. Having a lawyer on hand to help navigate and diffuse a scandal can literally save an influencer's career and be a preventive measure that stops scandals from ever becoming a concern. Nwoko supports entertainers, musicians, visual artists, people in fashion, entrepreneurs, and other creative individuals with their legal needs through her law firm, CJN Law Group. Learn more about her on Instagram and see how she can support and protect you on her firm’s website.