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Podcast Ep. 64: Paula Zirinsky on Moving from Big Law to Small Firm Marketing

by Kevin Vermeulen • September 25th, 2018 • Podcast

In this episode of Legal Marketing 2.0, Paula Zirinsky of K2 Intelligence discusses the differences between Big Law and boutique law marketing, how to move from different types of firms, and the future of legal marketing.

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Podcast Show Notes

Paula Zirinsky is Global Chief Marketing Officer for K2 Intelligence. She is responsible for driving the development and execution of marketing, communications, and business development strategy, and programming on a global basis. She also participates in the identification of growth and expansion opportunities for K2 Intelligence across its offices.  

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The difference between Big Law and boutique law marketing

There are tremendous differences when marketing these types of firms as size really counts in law. In Big Law you have a lot of people doing small tasks whereas in a small law firm you have to do a lot more on your own and sometimes bring in outside resources. Other than that, you’re still ultimately connecting with lawyers in the same way and developing similar plans, but you have a much smaller team.

How does the size of the marketing team impact legal marketing?

With a large team you’re able to separate different tasks, and individuals are able to specialize in different areas. On a small team, one person has to do a large variety of marketing tasks. It’s important to have a team of people who have an intense curiosity in the work that they do, who independently read about it and study it. When you’re doing so many aspects of a job, it’s important to be nimble and understand the business.

Even at Big Law, to add true value you need to understand what your lawyers or practitioners do. You should be familiar with who their clients are and why what you do as a marketer is important. It takes a lot of time to learn the substantive steps of solving lawyers’ problems. When lawyers know that you know what they do, they’re able to trust you more.

What is the biggest challenge that marketers face?

Marketers sometimes create their own challenges by trying to do everything at once. You need to figure out what you want to accomplish in your first year and try to accomplish one thing really well. Then, you can add on new projects after that. Prioritize what needs to be done and how your firm would like to spend money.

How do you make the move from different types of firms?

Legal marketers often work for their lawyers by identifying new businesses and practices that they should add on. They’re keeping up with what’s happening in the marketplace. You have to do your own business development and know what value you can bring to a company. You also need to continuously keep up with the new market you’re trying to move into.

Do you have any advice for legal marketers?

Stay connected to your colleagues and be generous with your time and knowledge. Don’t lose relationships when you move companies, instead constantly build your network. Also, don’t be afraid to share your knowledge of marketing trends or articles relevant to their roles. Marketers should open themselves up to unexpected opportunities in order to cultivate a fulfilling career.

What is the future of legal marketing?

Content is incredibly important as is technology. You have to understand technology and stay on top of emerging trends. Competitive law firms have realized that marketing and business development is increasingly important when it comes to generating new clients.

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