Want to make the most of your business development time? Enlist some help in the form of your marketing director.

This week we asked: Does your law firm have a dedicated marketing or business development professional? 

Yes – 68%

No – 18%

No, but we are considering hiring one – 14%

My Thoughts: It seems that having a dedicated marketing or business development professional is still a growing trend within firms across the country. It’s great that 68% of you have access to professional help, and another 14% are considering it.

Over the past decade the idea of a law firm marketing director has become more and more popular. Not only are most marketing directors experienced in creating marketing strategy and copy, they often bring with them connections to organizations, writers, reporters and editors. Here are a few ways to further your relationship…

  • Let Them Get To Know You.  
Rather than treating a marketing director as just another firm member you pass in the hallway, find the time to sit down and develop a relationship. Speaking with you and hearing about your goals and accomplishments can help spark ideas that a resume cannot.
  • Get To Know Them
.  You’re more likely to go out of your way for someone you have a personal connection to. Nurture your relationship. Send them interesting articles you come across, stop by their office and say hello, and return their calls and emails in a prompt manner.
  • Ask For Help
.  Don’t forget that a marketing director’s job is to help you so don’t be afraid to ask. Need help re-writing your biography? Ask. Need to polish up an article for publication? Ask. Wondering how your speech for next week’s conference sounds? Ask. 
  • Be clear about what you want. 
Marketing directors aren’t mind readers…they can’t help you unless they know exactly what you want out of your marketing time. The more specific you are about your goals, knowledge and strengths, the easier it will be for your marketing director to work on your behalf.
  • Let them do their job. 
You would never send your marketing director into the courtroom, so don’t tread in their territory either. Seeking their advice should be at the top of your mind when marketing opportunities arise. If you don’t want or need their help with a project, at least inform them of what you’re working on. A simple email can do wonders to nurture your relationship and build respect between you both.

Your relationship with your firm marketing director can be one of the most fruitful partnerships in business development. By working together you can maximize your time and energy while furthering both the firm’s marketing agenda and your own.

Still don’t think it is worth the time commitment?  Jay Courie of McAngus Goudelock & Courie has a warning for you:

I think people have a tendency to get caught up in the day-to-day business of practicing law and they forget what got them to the party.  If you quite marketing and get complacent, you will fail.

Black Pearl: Interested in business development’s evolution? Here’s an article about the history of law firm marketing.