Job Title: Marketing Consultant To Law Firms
Type of Company: As an independent marketing consultant, I work with attorneys and law firms.
Education: BA, English/Political Science, Hartwick College (Oneonta, NY) MA, English, Mills College (Oakland, CA)
Previous Experience: Since graduating from college, I have worked in marketing, anything from sales and management to media and advertising.
Job Tasks: My key responsibilities as a hired gun include assessing marketing needs, identifying business development opportunities, and recommending results-oriented action steps.
My work day is a blend of electronic communication, meeting with clients, and prospecting; as a consultant, it is critical to keep getting new clients. A typical project may involve reviewing a website, editing the copy, meeting with key people about strategies for the website, and making agreed-upon changes. Another project, in contrast, could involve working with a graphic designer to assess needs for marketing materials, writing copy, getting together with a photographer about photos for the material, working with the graphic designer and photographer to put together a mock layout, and then presenting the layout to the client. What is critical is to listen to the client first and then make reasonable recommendations, some of which may surprise the client. I keep a notepad and pen handy wherever I am to jot down creative ideas since those ideas can appear suddenly (and disappear just as quickly).
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: I love my job and enjoy the work, the clients, and the challenges. There is creativity, ever-emerging problems, and flexibility. Being extremely motivated, I find my biggest challenge is to stop working each day. Successful, independent consultants need to be self-motivated and undismayed and unfazed by rejection. The best is the same as the worst: being a consultant means that I'm thinking about the job most waking hours. I am my own boss so I always know where I am. There is no escape!
1. Learn from mentors. If you are interested in a specific field, contact someone you respect in the field and ask if you can get together for a 10-minute informational interview.
2. Subscribe to and read publications that interest your clients and prospects. For instance, I subscribe to and read the American Bar Association Journal which gives me insight into the issues that are important to my client base: attorneys and law firms.
3. Get experience in as many aspects of your field as you can.
Additional Thoughts: To be a valued consultant, you must know more than your client about your own field. Be consistent, reliable, and trustworthy. Always protect the client and have the integrity and courage to tell the client what is in his or her best interest. Cultivate a sense of humor!
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