Katie Rutter is a Boston-based marketing and business development consultant who partners with clients to develop strategies that ensure they are well-positioned in the marketplace, and are focused on initiatives that help them grow their business and promote stellar client service. A longtime LMA volunteer, Katie most recently served on the LMA Board of Directors in 2017 and as the 2016 President of the LMA New England Chapter.
As part of our ongoing Q&A series with leaders in the LMA Northeast region, we asked her to tell us about her career path, how to build a strong professional brand, the best career advice she ever received and how to be successful as a legal marketer today. Read on for her wise tips.
Any advice for legal marketers who are looking to build their professional brands?
Join the LMA and volunteer. In my first legal marketing position my boss had me join the LMA and brought me to monthly meetings and introduced me to other legal marketers. Being part of the LMA not only helped me learn about the industry and the role of a legal marketer, but also helped me build my professional network. I moved from Chicago to Boston and it was through my LMA relationships that I quickly got a job in Boston. I’ve been an LMA volunteer on and off over the past 20 years serving in a range of board and committee roles at the national and local levels, and the experience has been invaluable to my career. Other important ways to build your brand are writing and speaking on legal marketing related topics and promoting your content through social media.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
There are so many keys to being a successful legal marketer today – here are a few that come to mind immediately:
- Being proactive;
- Learning as much as you can as fast as you can about your job function, the practice areas/ industry focus of your firm;
- Coaching lawyers to see things from the clients’ perspective;
- Being honest and not afraid to share your ideas; and
- Don’t take things people say to you so personally – have a thick skin
What is the best career advice that you ever received?
This isn’t necessarily career advice, but it is advice that was given to me by one of my first bosses that has served me well throughout my career. I was complaining about something in the office that wasn’t working and he said, “don’t bring me problems, unless you have a solution.” This point was well taken and to this day I always have a solution at the ready before raising an issue/problem.
How did you get started in legal marketing?
I answered a classified ad for a marketing coordinator at a 100-lawyer law firm in Chicago. My background at that time was in traditional agency marketing where major retailers were my clients and I had no familiarity with how “marketing a law firm” worked. I went on the interview anyway, got the job and it was the best career move I ever made! Professional services marketing turned out to be right where I belonged.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
Achieving a work-life balance is an ongoing process that constantly ebbs and flows. Having my own consultancy provides flexibility that is key to maintaining a work-life balance that works for my family.
What is your greatest personal achievement?
My greatest achievement is being able to balance a career that I love with raising my kids – Sam (17), Marina (14) and Matthew (11) – who are my greatest personal achievements.
What do you wish you could tell your younger professional self?
“Things will work out – have faith in yourself.” In hindsight, I worried a lot early on in my career about all sorts of things, many of which were out of my control.