As President of RubensteinTech, NYC-based Jaron Rubenstein leads the growth and development of the business while also setting the strategic vision. Since founding the company in 2002, he has seen his small startup expand beyond consulting services into a 30-person, best-in-class enterprise software firm that works with clients like Bloomberg, Boston Consulting Group, UBS, Citi, Harvard University, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, Winston & Strawn, Akin Gump, Steptoe, Milbank and others.
In addition to his leadership responsibilities, Jaron takes an active role in client relationships and product innovation. Trained as a software engineer, his expertise runs from advising C-suite officers on information technology strategy to managing the details of complex code in modern development languages and systems. Before founding RubensteinTech, Jaron was a software engineer at Lockheed Martin and Reuters.
We asked Jaron to tell us about his career path, his tips on building a strong professional brand and how the LMA has benefited him.
Any advice for legal marketers who are new to the field and looking to build their brand?
Build your network. When you’re starting out this is as simple as get out there, meet people and contribute. The LMA is full of opportunities to give presentations, to volunteer, to help run events and to take on leadership roles. All of these ensure that your network grows and also provides for interesting conversation fodder as it does.
Stay visible. Most people have their social media outlet of choice, whether it is LinkedIn, Twitter, a blog or something else and regularly publishing to that channel is a good way to keep your personal brand visible to your peers and your network.
Set professional goals for yourself (and your team). I subscribe to what particular motivational leaders like Tony Robbins preach. In his case, the notion of S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, in a Timeframe). These may even dovetail with business requirements or employee metrics you need to meet. Like your college education, some of the best lessons are learned from the work you do above and beyond the requirements. Set goals for who you will meet and network with professionally. Attend marketing events completely out of the sector (e.g., a talk on marketing a consumer product or an e-commerce website). You’ll walk away with new ideas you hadn’t thought of before and give yourself new goals toward which to strive.
Don’t be afraid to specialize. Spend the time to figure out on what you enjoy working and become an expert in it. Rather than a limitation, it can be a strategic professional advantage for your network to think of you as “that email marketing expert with whom I connected,” rather than “that junior marketer I met the other day.”
How has the LMA benefited your professional development?
LMA is an amazing community of professionals and friends – there really is nothing like it. I’m a member of several professional organizations that encompass my career (software engineering, entrepreneurship, design and legal marketing among them), and the LMA is unique for the continuous opportunities to network with others in the sector and at every level.
I attended my first LMA event about five years ago, and I knew only three people (two of which I had never met in person). Today, I can’t attend an event without running into a dozen people I know.
What do you think is the key for success as a legal marketer today?
Perhaps I’m a bit biased in saying this, but I believe an understanding of technology is essential. The most successful legal marketers I know have taken the time to understand and embrace technology to power their respective marketing and business development strategies.
More, even, than understanding and using technology, it’s about integrating technology into the overall marketing strategy. At RubyLaw, we have our own view of how the marketing technology ecosystem should be structured and interrelated to maximize business outcomes. Our perspective aside, we believe that it’s critical to have a clear vision that incorporates the MarTech stack into strategy and execution, regardless of which specific tools are utilized.
Digital natives are at an advantage here. If you’re just joining the legal marketing sector, this a terrific opportunity to bring value and much-needed insight to the conversation from day 1. Don’t be afraid to dig into some of the tech details so you can push the envelope for your colleagues and your firm.
What is the best career advice that you ever received?
One of the earliest jobs in my career was as a software engineer for Lockheed Martin. Our division CEO was a frequent speaker in our management training curriculum, and one of his pearls of management wisdom was that “Money is not a motivator.” At the time, as a recent grad with student loans and rent to pay, it didn’t really resonate with me. But, as I’ve progressed in my career, having started my own company that builds cutting-edge marketing technology, it’s one of the basic tenets that guides my professional life.
Many of us are after something greater—a sense of accomplishment, being part of an awesome team and doing groundbreaking work every day. For most, money isn’t going to change that. Don’t pass on opportunities to learn and grow and really challenge yourself for what might be a short-term return.
How did you get started in legal marketing?
I stumbled into it somewhat accidentally. About six years ago, our company found itself working with a few large law firms on their content management and related website initiatives. Our clients were wonderful people, which got us even more excited to work further in the sector, and they were grappling with challenges unique to legal marketers.
We created RubyLaw, an industry-focused content management platform, to help our clients overcome pain points and increase their marketing productivity. From there, as our client list has grown exponentially, we’ve gotten more involved with organizations like LMA to gain greater insight, to keep our software products ahead of the curve, and to make meaningful connections with fellow marketers, technologists and industry leaders.