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The Legal Marketer’s Guide to Building Influence with Lawyers
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Navigating the particulars of law firm marketing requires not just expertise in marketing but a keen understanding of the legal landscape and the professionals who operate within it.

Legal marketers face the unique challenge of aligning their strategies with the vision of lawyers who may have differing views on the direction of marketing efforts.

Success in this environment hinges on the marketer’s ability to position themselves as trusted advisors, capable of guiding lawyers towards effective marketing strategies while also being open to learning from the legal expertise around them.

This guide outlines strategies for junior, mid-level and senior legal marketers on how to successfully collaborate with lawyers and foster a productive relationship that benefits the firm as a whole.

Junior Marketers: Laying the Foundation for Trust and Influence

  • Embrace Continuous Learning: Understand the legal industry, its jargon, key players and recent trends. This knowledge not only enhances your credibility but also equips you to make more informed marketing decisions.
  • Active Listening and Observation: Pay close attention to the concerns and suggestions of lawyers. Being genuinely interested in their perspective can help you tailor your marketing proposals in a way that aligns with their priorities.
  • Seek Feedback and Act on It: Show your eagerness to improve by asking for feedback on your strategies and adjusting based on the lawyers’ insights. This demonstrates respect for their expertise and a commitment to collaborative growth.

Junior Marketers: How to Build Trust and Learn the Ropes

  • Understand the Legal Field: Regularly read legal publications and follow industry news. Familiarize yourself with the types of cases your firm handles, the language used and the overall landscape of the legal sector.
  • Improve Listening Skills: Practice active listening in meetings and one-on-one conversations. Take notes, ask follow-up questions for clarity and summarize what you’ve heard to ensure understanding.
  • Seek and Apply Feedback: After executing a marketing campaign or project, ask for feedback from lawyers and colleagues. Use this feedback to refine your approach, demonstrating your adaptability and commitment to improvement.

Mid-Level Marketers: Strengthening Your Role as a Trusted Advisor

  • Data-Driven Discussions: Use analytics, case studies and industry benchmarks to support your marketing suggestions, demonstrating the effectiveness of proposed strategies with tangible results.
  • Mastering the Art of Listening: Deeply understand the lawyers’ intentions and concerns. This allows for the development of marketing strategies that respect their insights and integrate seamlessly with their vision.
  • Offer Constructive Alternatives: When lawyers propose ideas that may not align with best marketing practices, suggest alternatives that achieve their goals in a more effective manner. This shows respect for their input while steering the strategy towards success.

Mid-Level Marketers: How to Advance Your Influence and Expertise

  • Leverage Data in Discussions: Develop proficiency in analytics tools specific to marketing and legal industries. Prepare case studies and reports that highlight the success of past marketing efforts, making sure to tie these successes to tangible outcomes like client acquisition or engagement.
  • Enhance Your Listening and Empathy Skills: Engage in deeper conversations with lawyers to understand their views and concerns. Practice empathy by considering their goals and pressures, and reflect this understanding in your marketing proposals.
  • Develop Constructive Solutions: When faced with resistance, use your marketing knowledge to offer alternative solutions. Frame these alternatives in a way that shows you’ve considered the lawyer’s objectives, ensuring your proposals are both innovative and aligned with their vision.

Senior Marketers: Leading with Vision and Influence

  • Showcase Your Insight: Utilize your experience to educate through thought leadership, explaining the rationale behind marketing methods and how they contribute to the firm’s goals.
  • Narrative Persuasion: Use storytelling to make the value of strategic marketing narratives relatable and compelling, bridging the gap between legal and marketing perspectives.
  • Network for Consensus: Build relationships within the firm to create a supportive coalition for your marketing vision, lending credibility and weight to your recommendations.
  • Strategic Flexibility: Embrace compromise when necessary, integrating the lawyers’ suggestions into your strategy to foster a sense of ownership and collaboration.

Senior Marketers: How to Lead and Shape the Firm’s Marketing Vision

  • Cultivate Thought Leadership: Write articles or internal newsletters that share insights into the marketing strategies and trends that can benefit the firm. Host workshops or informal sessions to discuss these ideas in more depth.
  • Master Narrative Persuasion: Create compelling stories around successful marketing campaigns, emphasizing how they align with the firm’s goals and values. Use these narratives in presentations to make your case for strategic initiatives.
  • Build Internal Networks: Identify and connect with key influencers within the firm. Regularly engage with them to share your vision and gather support. These relationships can be crucial when advocating for new marketing strategies.
  • Practice Strategic Flexibility: When collaborating with lawyers on marketing strategies, be open to their input. Find ways to incorporate their ideas into your plans, ensuring they feel heard and valued. This approach can lead to more cohesive and supported marketing efforts.

How Legal Marketers At Each Level Can Implement These Tips

  • Set Goals for Each Area: For each of the areas discussed, set specific, measurable goals. For instance, junior marketers might aim to increase their legal knowledge by dedicating a set number of hours each week to reading industry content.
  • Create a Development Plan: Outline steps to achieve these goals, including resources you’ll need and milestones to track progress. This plan can include attending workshops, scheduling regular feedback sessions and setting aside time for networking within the firm.
  • Seek Mentorship and Collaboration: Regardless of your level, find mentors who can provide guidance and feedback. Collaboration with colleagues, both within the marketing department and the legal team, can offer new perspectives and opportunities for growth.
  • Reflect and Adjust Regularly: Periodically review your progress towards the goals and adjust your strategies as needed. Be flexible and open to changing tactics based on results and feedback from lawyers and peers.

By following these steps, legal marketers at any stage of their career can enhance their influence within their firms, foster productive relationships with lawyers and contribute to the success of their marketing initiatives.

Mutual Learning: Closing the Loop

A crucial aspect of building influence with lawyers is recognizing the value of mutual learning. Legal marketers should not only seek to advise but also to learn from the legal expertise within their firms. This two-way exchange enriches the marketing strategy with a deeper understanding of legal intricacies and enhances the marketer’s ability to craft messages that resonate with both lawyers and their clients.

The career growth of a legal marketer is one of continuous adaptation and learning – trust me I know firsthand after working in this industry for more than 20 years!

By positioning yourself as trusted advisors who respect and integrate the insights of lawyers, marketers can navigate the complexities of legal marketing with greater success. Whether you’re a junior marketer laying the foundational stones of trust, a mid-level marketer forging deeper advisory relationships or a senior marketer leading with vision, the key lies in balancing assertive marketing expertise with a genuine respect for legal wisdom. Through this collaborative approach, legal marketers can drive strategies that not only align with but amplify your firm’s legal prowess, leading to a cohesive and impactful brand presence.

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