Legal Marketers Extraordinaire

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Alex Schenk, Elvis, Brenda Christmas Marlowe (L-R)

After almost six years in legal marketing, I attended the LMA Annual Conference in Las Vegas as one of two recipients of the Midwest Region’s Presidential Scholarship.

What an experience! So many new legal marketing connections. So many good sessions. So much to think about.

Here are a few reflections as a first-timer and a small-firm marketer:

Networking is key

  • I decided to take advantage of as much as I could at the conference, so I went a day early to attend a few mixers and a pre-conference session. I also participated in a lunch networking session with the Small Firm/Solo Marketers SIG. Through the networking events, I met many people IRL who I previous only knew virtually through LME (Legal Marketers Extraordinaire on Facebook), my lifeline. These include Hall of Fame members, former board members of LMA, and conference presenters. They are approachable and willing to help other legal marketers at any time. Throughout the conference, I ran into them repeatedly and they always chatted with me to see how things were going (and they give hugs).
  • If you’re part of team who are at the conference, connect with people outside of your firm. It’s what we tell our attorneys, right?
  • Look people in the eye. Say hello. Invite others into your “groups” at mixers – don’t just leave it up to others to approach you or ask to join your group.

Continue Reading Thoughts from a First-Time LMA Attendee | Guest Post

I caught a post today from Jaimie Field, one of my Legal Marketing Extraordinaires, Rainmaking Recommendation #91: The Mathematics of Time for Rainmaking where she breaks down the myth that you don’t have time to make rain. She’s right. I don’t care how busy your practice is, you can find the time to make some rain.

We are going to start with a few assumptions:

  1. That you are required to bill 2000 hours per year, and
  2. That you like to sleep.

That means you have to average 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of billable time (I’m giving you two weeks of vacation a year – am I nice or what?) or 160 hours per month. So let’s talk about just one month of time (and we aren’t even going to discuss working weekends): On average, there are 20 business days per month. 20 business days x 24 hours per day = 480 hours total hours. 480 hours – 160 hours (8 hours of sleep per night for 20 nights) = 320 hours left 320 hours – 160 hours of billable time per month = 160 hours left Even if you work out 1 hour per day for those 20 working days you have 140 hours remaining per month.  Those 140 hours per month (and remember, this is only during the working week, this does not include weekends) equals 7 hours per business day to use any way you want.

Fine. You’re busy. I get it. Plus you have to add in a commute, the gym, watching a TV show or game. But even with all that, you still have a good three hours a day in which to market, or goof off around the office, hang out on Facebook, or play video games. Which one’s going to make you money? Here are some suggestions on what to do with some of those three hours: Continue Reading Rainmaking Math … You have the time

An interesting conversation is taking place in my Legal Marketers Extraordinaire group on Facebook (PM me via the LWC Facebook page for an invite).

An LME asked about a relevant salary survey for in-house marketing professionals. Key word here being relevant.

Honestly, I’ve looked at a lot of the salary surveys out there, and there isn’t one that is truly accurate and valuable that I can recommend, and here’s one reason why:

Not all marketing directors/CMOs are created equal.

Anyone can be hired and given the title of marketing director, or CMO, but what does that mean?

I know MDs who are nothing more than glorified managers; managers who are really directors and running the department; directors who are strategic business advisers; and CMOs who are either running the firm’s business operations, or are in name only and just glorified MDs.

Some are given a lofty title in lieu of a salary bump. Some firms hire low. Some firms understand that no matter the title, you pay for the experience and knowledge of the individual and the value they provide the organization.

Salaries are hard to peg down for senior marketing professionals as they really are individualized to the ROLE that specific person will be holding in that specific firm.

The key differentiator that separates the high and low of a salary survey, no matter what the title, is the marketing professional’s strategic influence and adviser role in the business operations of the firm.

If you ask a marketing professional what their key strategic initiatives are for 2014 and they reply, “We’re getting ready to launch a new website,” you might not be looking at a strategic adviser.

If they say, “We’re realigning our practice groups to better meet new market demands,” you have a strategic business adviser. You can call them director or CMO. Their job is the same. Strategic.

And then there is the other layer of business development professional who is literally out in the community, developing new relationships, and driving new business into the firm. You can expect a premium for that role as well, no matter the title.

So when you take that salary survey off the shelf and try to measure the candidate before you, or the professional in your office, you will see the salaries for a marketing director going for $75-$300,000+, and a CMO from $150,000 – ??? And that is 100% accurate.

But salaries surveys are like statistics. They are for populations and not individuals.

Dig a little deeper, and you will see that specialty, years of experience, a seat at the table v. a VOICE at the table of the individual marketing professional all play into those numbers. Not to mention their ability to work well with lawyers.

For the past 11+ years my title hasn’t changed from “director,” but my role has evolved from tactical to strategic; from having a seat at the table to a voice at the table; from confidant to trusted adviser. Why would my salary not evolve with my role as well?