In this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Jeanne Hammerstrom. Jeanne is responsible for all client-focused experiences for the firm as well as business development, marketing communications, and market-driven initiatives. She has over 33 years of experience in law firm marketing and is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at the Benesch firm.
1. How did you get a sense of which firms were a good fit for you, and maybe which were not?
Each firm gave me something different. At the firm I started at, the recruiting partner and other partners at that firm taught me so much about the field of the legal industry itself. They’re the ones who introduced me to accounting firms and others that were doing this stuff already. The second firm was a great place to say, “Okay, I can fly now. I’m going to try this on my own”, to a smaller firm. And then the Buchanan experience really gave me the international and the national experience to know I could do this. And then my current firm was in need of somebody to build the program there, and that was a perfect time for my career. So every part has been great. I can honestly say I have not had one bad experience. They’ve all been perfect for the time in my career. I’ve had great managing partners. Every one of them has been great.
2. What do you think have been the biggest changes when it comes to legal marketing?
A lot of change is absolutely in technology. What also has changed is that the firm was so internally focused on the attorneys themselves. Now that is the client. They’ve learned from every other industry, knowing they do not exist without clients. It’s a real client focus now, not just an internal focus. But what’s really interesting is that it all has come back around. People kept saying, as we get along in our career, that sales and business development are where it’s at, which is true. But people are realizing now, especially because of social media how important the communication part of our job is.
3. What would you say you’re most proud of in your career, and who has been your biggest influencer?
I’m most proud of my team. I have a phenomenal team, and you’ll hear me say that time and time again wherever I am. My biggest influence was probably my mom. Her mantra is to always be kind to everyone. Then my second biggest influencer probably was some of the managing partners I worked for at different times. I think they all influenced who and what I became in my roles for different reasons. Like right now, Greg is very young, aggressive, and business development-focused. I say they’re probably my biggest influence as it comes professionally.
Surround yourself with people smarter than you. Don’t be insecure about that, because it’ll help you with your career. You gotta have fun doing what you do. I don’t care if it’s legal marketing or anything you have to. You have to like what you do because we’re there so often. From a very young age, I got a very small group of what we call “brain trust people”, my sort of board of directors. I met them through LMA, and they to this day are some of my best friends, so get to know people in the industry. People who can be your peer, your brain trust, and your board.
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