By Nicole S. Daniel
The Birmingham Times
Becoming a social media influencer is possible for anyone with an online presence but one aspect is often overlooked – having an ironclad contract.
Enter Kameron Monet Buckner a Birmingham lawyer, Influencer Marketing Consultant, Lifestyle Content Creator and owner of Kameron Monet LLC, which covers all of her businesses.
“We help our clients review, edit, draft and consult contracts when it comes to brand deals, modeling opportunities, digital media opportunities, management and more. The goal is to make sure that they understand what they are signing,” said Buckner.
Contracts are new for many in the influencer space, she said. “While I was working at [a Birmingham law firm] I started reviewing my own contracts” when companies would send her products to promote on her YouTube channel, said Buckner, who became a YouTuber in 2014.
While at Cumberland School of Law between 2016 and 2017 she learned how to read and draft contracts. “Some of my friends that were creators would ask me to review their contracts and asked me how much I charged to review contracts and I said, ‘I don’t.’ That’s when a friend of mine said, ‘I should’ and I learned there was a demand.”
Buckner said a lot of creators complain online about not getting paid and “I said all of this could be solved if you all would just review and negotiate your contracts.”
She added, “Tik Tok creators are going viral every day promoting other brands but can’t pay their rent. People don’t understand the importance of contracts and protecting themselves — that’s where I come in.”
In addition to helping creators with contracts, Buckner remains an influencer and a lifestyle content creator who covers topics such as fashion, beauty and self-care.
Being a lifestyle lawyer allows her to show the behind the scenes of what a non-traditional lawyer does on a daily basis, Buckner said. “It could look like showing work from home outfits oppose to working in an office outfits. It just depends on where I am in life.”
Currently she is on a self-care journey that she shares with her audience where she vlogs places she travels to, workout and productivity routines to nearly 140,000 followers, 52,000 on Instagram and 87,000 on YouTube. “That’s the phase I’m in right now. Next year it may be something totally different and that’s the flexibility of doing lifestyle.”
Buckner says her day-to-day routine varies and has changed since becoming an entrepreneur. She wakes up around 6:30 a.m. and works out at True40 Fitness Studio in downtown Birmingham.
“My mornings are mine. I have to have time to fuel for the day. I don’t speak to anybody until after 10 a.m. I review my to do list for the week to see what needs to be done. I prepare to shoot for YouTube and that preparation consists of preparing my clothes and doing my makeup. At some point afterwards, I review my emails. From 10 a.m. until 12 I’m shooting content for YouTube or Instagram. Grab lunch alone or with friends and the rest of the day I am on calls.”
Asked what keeps her inspired daily she replied “I would say two things. First thing that come to mind is my audience, there’s no better feeling than getting a direct message or a comment that somebody says, ‘I’m 35 and I applied to law school because you showed me that I could, I thought it was too late.’ Or people that are like, ‘I did a solo date night and I can’t remember last time I took myself anywhere. I love my husband but I needed a break.’
“Comments like those just remind me why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m doing this because my goal is to always to inspire and motivate others that they can work hard and style and prioritize self-care, that’s it. Second is financial stability. There will always be a salary bar set. There is always a ceiling at a job … But as an entrepreneur, seeing the amount of money that people can make, it was just inspiring to me. It sounded impossible but I’m making more money. And then of course my goal would be to like to retire my mom because who doesn’t want to do that?”
Buckner was born in New York and raised in Flint, Michigan in a single parent household with her mother Michelle. Throughout her childhood Buckner’s mother had her involved in theatre programs. She was involved in Flint Youth Theatre, local community theatres and she was a part of her middle and high school theatres.
Being in theatre “just felt right,” Buckner said.
“Behind the scenes, in front of the camera, and learning about camera equipment was so much fun. It’s something about being filmed versus performing arts. If something goes wrong, you have to figure it out. I love the thrill of not knowing how the performance would go but, it always went good; it was always fun, and it was always different,” Buckner said.
“I’ve been in theatre since I could walk. I just loved being on stage. I did mostly musical theatre like Shakespeare,” said Buckner, who attended Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Ga where she was assigned an academic advisor name Kenneth White.
“He so happens to be a lawyer and he said, ‘I think you would do good in law.’ I told him, ‘absolutely not, that’s boring,’” Buckner recalled.
White reminded her that she loved to read and write plays and that she was also persuasive while on stage. “I said to him, ‘wow you’re right, so I’ll give it a try.’”
Buckner enrolled in mock trial classes and fell in love which led her to joining the school’s mock trial team where students could imitate a real trial throughout their course of studies. “I actually end up writing my personal statements on the same feeling I had on stage in theatre when I was in the courtroom advocating for my clients.”
Buckner graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in criminology.
She took a year off from school and interned at a debt collection firm. “It was awful, but I loved the people. It was a great learning experience,” she said
At the time Buckner didn’t know many lawyers and judges therefor she used that opportunity to build her network. “I learned the structure of what law firm practices actually do and it’s not like [the television show] Law & Order. It’s literally head down doing research and working with a group of people t service clients.”
Buckner was able to obtain several internships as it relates to debt collections and personal injuries. She knew it would make her resume stand out and she soon obtained a full-time job working at a law firm as a legal assistant and receptionist.
“The lawyers there knew I wanted to go to law school. They would let me shadow them and sit on depositions, do legal research and writing, editing and proofreading complaints and different drafts, while studying for the LSAT, a standardized law school admission test, she said.
“Studying for the LSAT was challenging for me because I think I underestimated it a little bit. I was never really good at standardized tests. The first time I took it I just wanted to see what it was like. I don’t know why I did that, but the second time I was better prepared.”
Buckner says she wasn’t good with timing herself. She felt she was taking too long to read through and answer questions.
Cumberland School of Law
Eventually, while working she applied to 11 law schools and was accepted to seven including Cumberland School of Law in Homewood, AL and the school invited her and other students to an admitted student’s weekend.
Buckner describes her first day on campus for a tour as a family feel. “I just loved the feel of community,” she said.
Although Buckner had no family in Alabama she packed up her belongings in Georgia and moved into a community just 15 minutes away from Cumberland and began her studies in fall 2016.
“Honestly I didn’t get to see how beautiful the city was because I spent a lot of time studying on campus in the library. It was a great study environment, and I knew I was there for one reason, to focus,” she said.
In her second year of law school she worked with the Lynniece Washington, who had just been elected as the DA in the Bessemer cutoff.
“That was the best experience of my life. I love her. I also worked at the DA office in Birmingham just so I could see both sides. At the time I wanted to become a DA but, maybe in another life” Buckner laughed.
She graduated from law school in May 2019 and passed the bar in July of that year. In 2020, during the pandemic Buckner quit a 9-5 to be a full-time content creator while using her law degree to help other content creators to navigate the legalities of brand deals.
“That’s another one of my proudest moments. Just having so much faith to do that. I was one year in the game as a lawyer, but I had to trust myself. I was never a risk taker but quitting my job and betting on myself in that capacity is still crazy to me.”
One of Buckner’s goals is to do a Ted Talk, an event that consist a series of short prepared talks, demonstrations, and performances on a wide range of subjects. “I love speaking and presenting. It brings me back to performing arts. I love being on stage and getting the audience involved.”
One of her ultimate goals is to create a case law book on influencer marketing and social media. “There’s not one out there so this is the best time to write one,” she said.