Today we’d like to introduce you to Austin Jackson.
Austin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I set my sights on a goal, I have a tendency to become a bit myopic – for lack of a better term – until it’s been accomplished; and becoming an attorney was one such goal.
Since I was a senior in high school, I knew the legal profession was for me, but what changed the most over the years was the type of law I would ultimately practice. What started as a fascination with criminal defense, then transformed into an interest in securities fraud litigation, and one relocation to Los Angeles later, has culminated in influencer marketing contract negotiation, development, and oversight on behalf of both influencers and brands. The common thread has always been to offer a unique perspective in either an industry that had become dead set in its ways but maybe needed a bit of a revamp, or was an entirely fresh frontier. The latter was most exciting to me because it was an opportunity to not only have a hand in crafting an industry but to offer support to the players that truly needed my expertise – influencers navigating the Wild Wild West of brand endorsements and FTC compliance.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all. With that being said, so many of my struggles were self-inflicted and a direct result of my failure to understand the value of traditional education. Once I reached university and through my second year of law school, I honestly never put the time or effort to graduate with many accolades, and that inhibited my ability to land a position most attorneys dream of – a prestigious international law firm. But life sometimes has a strange way of tugging you in the right direction. Without many of my initial struggles, which – depending on your perspective – turned out to be blessings in disguise, ALJ Legal may not be here today and I wouldn’t have the self-fulfillment that comes from helping shape the frontier of influencer marketing and working for myself.
ALJ Legal – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am the founder and managing partner of ALJ Legal, a consultancy that specializes in preparing and negotiating marketing agreements between content creators and brands, as well as ensuring my clients are in compliance with the latest FTC regulations. We’re uniquely positioned to champion David against Goliath in these deals, and my biggest pride and joy is reallocating the power from companies and conglomerates taking advantage of creators, back into the hands of the influencers. It seems crazy, but no matter the following and influence they may have amassed, these creators get the short end of the stick in these deals more often than not, and without knowing what to look for, they’re oftentimes swindled out of money, recognition, and even ownership over the very content they’ve poured their blood, sweat, and tears into creating. My job is ensuring that doesn’t happen, and that they, their interests, and their content are protected each step of the way.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I’ll try not to get too philosophical here, but in my eyes, success is built on the foundation of self-fulfillment and, ultimately, having the flexibility to live a life that aligns with your values and goals. What’s fascinating is how our definitions of success seem to evolve with our self-development. If you were to ask me the same question years ago, my answer likely would’ve been that success is measured by your tangible assets or finances, but I’ve come to realize that just isn’t true; rather, they may be a byproduct of success.
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: AustinLJackson11