There’s little doubt you’re getting the real deal from a lawyer who starts an Instagram post by saying “A couple weeks ago, I started to see a therapist. I’m trying to work through some shit y’all.”
But as her Lawyer Mommy website says, trademark and business lawyer Lerae Funderburg “wants you to see the version of herself that supersedes what she does and who she serves both in her personal life and in her business.”
And that means she’s casting off the staid and somber cloak of traditional lawyer life, sliding into a sleek red dress, and opening a vein for 12.4K followers on Instagram, many of whom respond with likes, declarations of love, personal stories of their own, and a startling number of heart emojis.
Funderburg connects with friends and fans under the Instagram handle lawyermommylerae. Lerae explained the meaning behind her “Lawyer Mommy” handle in a repost from @brandprenuer, saying she “has a passion for helping Black women and their children who are in business and about their business. She wants to fight to help protect their BRANDS and their businesses so that they may leave a legacy to their children for years to come. She will fight just as hard as any man to protect her clients and their kids, because she may be a lawyer, but she’s a Mommy first.”
That passion is on full display in Lerae’s Instagram feed. She shares inspirational stories with painful details and beautiful endings. She offers toolkits, programs and courses under the #ProtectYourBrand hashtag to help business owners protect their intellectual property. She posts content and advice to educate business owners on legal issues in areas such as trademark and copyright infringement.
Lerae Funderburg is also a business marketing maven. She’s proven that by building a personal brand for herself by sharing frank and deeply personal details about her experiences on the “path to self-discovery and realization.”
Building a Brand on Social Media
Lerae finds her social media success a surprise, saying it is “very weird to me as an attorney because I personally don’t think I would use social media to find a professional.” And while people may not intentionally search social media when they need to hire an attorney, there’s no denying that social media platforms help small businesses spread awareness of their services and gain name recognition.
“The draw was the fact that even without using social media as a business tool, many people always told me that was how they found me. At that point, as a solopreneur, I had no choice but to get with it,” Lerae says.
And get with it, she did, sharing updates on everything from entrepreneurship and parenthood to self-love with her actively engaged followers.
“I’m transparent and unapologetically me. My guess is that helps. People follow me because they like me, find value in my content, think I’m funny, like my kids, or liked my hair one day. And they probably stuck around because what you see is what you get. And I think people appreciate that.”
Social Media is Free Advertising for Your Business
While staying true to herself, Lerea still makes smart use of Instagram marketing techniques. She’s mastered the art of using popular hashtags to increase her exposure to new audiences. She uses commonly used legal industry hashtags such as #lawyerlife and #businesslawyer to expand her reach.
She also advertises her business and promotes discounts for services, and her promotions land in front of thousands of people (who’ve already expressed interest in Lerae by following her) for FREE.
Check out her “Accepting New Clients” post in which she reminds followers that she’ll honor discounts off certain services throughout the month of August in honor of #NationalBlackBusinessMonth.
View this post on Instagram
The last few weeks have been something else… I've lost loved ones, nursed myself back to health, took some mental health days, birthed my brand, minimized my circle, completed some much overdue projects, spent some necessary quality time with my little ones, and got to know me a little bit more. In doing so, I had to take a little time away from my business, just so I could get clear on some things before pushing forward. But, I'm back in the trenches and am taking new business and trademark clients. Annnnd I am still honoring discounts off certain services for all of my #blackbusinessowners throughout the month of August in honor of #NationalBlackBusinessMonth. #mompreneur #girlboss #girlgang #womeninbusiness #growyourbusiness #protectyourbrand #lawyermommy #trademarklawyer #businesslawyer #businesschicks #girlboss #browngirlblogger #brandstrategy #lawyer #powerfulwomen #businesstips #sahm #workfromhome #digitalentrepreneur #creativebusiness #liveyourpassion #bossup #startabusiness #bossbabe #womenwhohustle #hustleandheart #selfemployed #mommymagic
“Instagram is free advertising and promotions,” Lerae says. “When other people like me and my content, they share it with their followers, and it goes on and on. I even get interns that way.”
The Impact of Effective Visual Branding
Done well, visual impact can garner attention that results in increasing an attorney’s exposure to new audiences. Lerae’s digital marketing includes vivid imagery. Bright reds and yellows, eye-catching patterns, intriguing backgrounds, and great big smiles attract attention and interest from others. Her visual aesthetic on social media is consistent with her personal website Lawyer Mommy as well and her professional law firm website for the Funderburg Law Firm.
Many photos of Lerae are clearly professionally sourced, which is important for effective visual branding. It was just such a post (shown below) that Lawyers+ (@lawyersplusco) commented on, saying: “Loving this photo & caption! Do you mind if we feature this photo on our Instagram?”
And just like that, Lerae’s smiling face is positioned to appear in the feeds of a couple thousand people following Lawyers+. That’s free advertising in action.
View this post on Instagram
Don’t get so caught up in work that you forget to have fun. Fun is free!! And very necessary for a happy life. Contrary to popular belief, you were not put on this earth to work, pay bills, and die. Live a little and have some fun while doing it. Do you even remember what fun looks like anymore? Do you even know how to have fun? As a kid, fun is a requirement. In fact, that’s how kids learn – through play and having fun. If it works for the likkle yout dem, it must work for us to. Have some fun, you might learn something about yourself. What are some of your favorite toys? Me – I love office supplies. 🤦🏾♀️Don’t judge me. Now it probably makes sense that I’m an attorney, right? Being a lawyer allows me to play with all my favorite things on the daily. But today, imma have some fun with it. Taking a trip to Office Depot and splurging on some of my favorite toys and using them on some of my new clients’ work😬 * * #mompreneur #momlife #lawyermommy #blackbiz #legallydope #lawyerbae #bourgiebrowngirl #girlsjustwannahavefun #funday #brickwork #mindsetmatters #legalzoom #lawyeredup #growyourbusiness #protectyourbrand #buildalegacy #familymatters #bossmom #mombosses #womeninbiz #blackwomen #blackgirlmagic #blackqueens #creativeentrepreneur #trademarks #businesslawyer #trademarklawyer
Find Digital Marketing Success Being You
Lerae’s marketing advice is simple: “Be present,” she says. “Be consistent. Be engaging. Be you!” Seems too simple, right? But it really isn’t. Lerae doesn’t waste time agonizing over things like how long her captions should be or the best times to post.
“I haven’t spent much time trying to figure out the Instagram algorithm or when I should be engaging more, etc. because I actually have a law firm to run,” says Lerae.
“It’s a cycle that’s been kind to me, especially given how little time I actually put into social media,” Lerae says. “I must admit, it’s been pretty good to me. I mean it’s fickle, don’t get me wrong. And as an attorney, the lines are thin, but it’s a free source of advertising and most people are on here, so it was just a no brainer.”
As Lerae points out, “I’m not a marketing machine. I’m a lawyer.” Interested in trademark registration, entity formation, or other legal services for your business? Then you probably want the “lawyer” in Lawyer Mommy. If she can do it for herself, you know she can help your business grow too.
Leah Presser is a legal marketing brand journalist and freelance copywriter who previously worked in the legal field for two decades. While she writes about many legal industry aspects, her freelance services focus mainly on promoting the products and services of legal technology vendors and legal support providers. With keen insights into the latest marketing and legal tech industry concepts, Leah delivers research-backed, conversational content that helps businesses build engaged audiences and earn the trust of potential clients. Find Leah at LeahPresser.com and stay in touch with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.