EP 143: Licensing Your Signature Work With Momtography® Creator Beryl Ayn Young

Jul 31, 2018 | Business Models, Growth, Podcast

Tara McMullin is a writer, podcaster, and producer who explores what it takes to navigate the 21st-century economy with your humanity intact. Click here to support this work.

The Nitty Gritty

  • How Beryl runs the Momtography® training program, how she landed on the price point, and how she promotes her teachers once they’ve successfully completed the initial training program
  • Why Beryl’s first step to licensing her work included hiring Autumn Witt Boyd, an intellectual property lawyer, to legally prep Momtography® for distribution
  • How she finds qualified people to work with, how many teachers she’s currently working with, and her vision for the future of Momtography®

Today’s guest, Beryl Young, returns to the podcast — and this time, she’s sharing everything behind licensing her signature work, Momtography®. So far, Beryl’s licensed twelve teachers, with plans to expand to all 50 states in the U.S. in the future.

In this conversation, Beryl talks about how she started Momtography®, how she prepared her content for licensing (including hiring a lawyer!), and what it felt like to transition from the creator to the leader.

If you’ve ever considered licensing your work — or want to hear more of the nitty gritty details on how it can work — this episode is for you.

We release new episodes of What Works every week. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode.

Prepping to license your work

“The first step was hiring a lawyer because I hadn’t trademarked the name. I knew that if I was going to percolate this on a national level, that was the first bow I needed to tie up. I also wanted to make sure that all my legal ducks were in a row. I wanted to speak to someone who worked with other licensing programs who could give me guidance.” — Beryl Young

Getting your work ready to license is no small feat. Besides creating the content and finding people to train, you also need to ensure your work is legally ready for distributing.

How do you protect the integrity of your work? How do you ensure that people don’t steal your idea? Those were some of the questions Beryl had — and why she hired

Intellectual property lawyer Autumn Witt Boyd to help her do just that.

Together, they parsed out the contracts and trademarks associated with the program as well as non-compete clauses. If you choose to license your signature work, take Beryl’s lead and contact a lawyer to set strong foundations to protect you and your creations.

Giving up control to move from creator to leader

“I asked myself: can I trust other people with this? I started building my team out over the last 2-3 years and this felt totally different. If somebody teaches this class in a way that’s different than me or in a way that I don’t agree with, am I going to be able to take that manager/CEO role and apply it? Can I let go of control and allow this to happen and allow Momtography® to spread?” — Beryl Young

As an infinitely creative individual and the one-woman show behind Momtography® for so long, it was difficult for Beryl to shift identities from creator to leader. But to allow Momtography® to expand, she needed to give up that control… and trust.

Giving up that creative control doesn’t mean you give up structure or rules. Instead, Beryl’s implemented a training and coaching program to show her teachers what’s expected. Part of that includes guidelines on what teachers can charge for the classes they teach.

While licensing your work requires shifting up to a leadership role, it doesn’t mean that you are divorced from the creative aspect of it. Rather, it means that you’re in a position to set your teachers or trainers up for success so that the brand experience is consistent, no matter the teacher or the location.

Finding teachers to license within the Momtography® Online Facebook group

“It was like having a built-in focus group that was so willing to soak it up, learn, and try anything. They were a big part in helping to frame out how the training details came together.” — Beryl Young

Sometimes, the answer to sharing and licensing your work goes back to tapping into your existing network of customers or fans. And that’s exactly what Beryl did. “I went into my Momtography® Online alumni Facebook group and I wrote a heart-to-heart post,” she says.

In her post, she told them her plans for a beta launch and asked if any of them were interested. Out of the alumni group, four women went through the first training cohort. That’s when Beryl knew that this could work… and now twelve teachers later, Beryl’s aiming for a Momtography® teacher in every U.S. state.

Hear more from Beryl Young on what it takes to license your signature work, why you should hire a lawyer before you do anything, and how she found people to work with.

What Works offers in-depth, well-researched content that strips away the hype of the 21st-century economy. Whether you love the podcast, the articles, or the Instagram content, we’d love your support