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To think I have a feminist mandate to make lots of money even if that involves compromise

(21 Posts)
Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 10:26:38

I am a business lawyer with 20years'experience.

I'm at the point where I genuinely have something to say/something to offer to technology companies as they start and grow. To sum up, I can not only tell them the geeky legal implications of a deal, I can tell them if it is the right deal or not.

Now the kids are older I am transitioning from a word-of-mouth, part-time model earning relatively little to an active growth model.

The problem is that my strong instincts to help clients and warn them not to overspend on legal stuff are very hard to communicate in marketing materials. My efforts so far (according to feedback)come across as suggesting I am somehow not the best. That's frustrating!

A friendly reviewer said I'm presenting mysef as if my audience already knew all the nuances but they don't. She suggesting more simple marketing -a bit more me me me if you like -and suggested I consider myself to have a feminist mandate to move the money to my pocket where it will do more good than in the pockets of my male rivals.

I have a friend with the same problem. Most business owners feel a bit thrilled at the idea of having lots of patents. She tells them the truth about this (some of the money would be better spent elsewhere). But then she doesn't win the business -they give the business to men who exaggerate what a certain patent can do for them - and so never gets to help them.

I would be very glad to hear from anyone who has had a similar dilemma.

I do appreciate that many men have similar dilemmas but think most unscrupulous business people are men IYSWIM.

Trills Sun 19-Mar-17 10:35:43

Could you make marketing materials that say:

Other firms will promise things that they cannot deliver
I will be realistic
You want me

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 10:37:17

I would like to do that Trills but am finding it very hard.

Trills Sun 19-Mar-17 10:42:54

I think considering it a feminist mandate is secondary to the fact that you and your colleague are honest about your work and what you can do for people.

Backingvocals Sun 19-Mar-17 10:49:02

I don't know if it's a feminist mandate or not. But I would just say don't over complicate it for your clients or try to be subtle or nuanced in your marketing. Your clients need to know you are the best choice and you will help them be successful. You need to be the aspirational choice, not the responsible, healthy eating choice iyswim.

I also run a business that has struggled with its messaging. We were being too intellectually pure and needed to add more aspiration.

EastMidsMummy Sun 19-Mar-17 11:00:08

You may be a shit-hot lawyer, but it's clear from your post that you're not great at explaining yourself clearly. For example, I have no idea what AIBU to think I have a feminist mandate to make lots of money even if that involves compromise means.

You just need a good marketing copywriter. It's their job to translate complex ideas into simple language.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:08:14

That's a job?

Ooh....

"You just need a good marketing copywriter. It's their job to translate complex ideas into simple language."

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:10:57

East Midlands, I think the problem here is that there is still muddle in my own head .....I am very clear about other people's problems IYSWIM.

Hamiltoes Sun 19-Mar-17 11:11:26

Yeah isn't that what a marketer is for? Have you engaged in that type of service previously? I think you are missing a trick if not.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:11:59

" You need to be the aspirational choice, not the responsible, healthy eating choice "

Brilliant!

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:13:33

Hamiltons no I have never engaged -I had a network in a very tight-knit town that recommended me to each other, but that network is ageing.

EastMidsMummy Sun 19-Mar-17 11:13:56

East Midlands, I think the problem here is that there is still muddle in my own head .....I am very clear about other people's problems IYSWIM.

Yep - that's very common. A good copywriter has the skills to cut through the muddle, clarify your thinking and express it clearly.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:18:10

What would you guys advise?

Study the websites of peers I admire and know to be successful?

Then go to a copywriter with that?

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:21:37

Trills yes, the feminist issue is there, but I think I'm over that bit now IYSWIM.

The feminist issue is "can I?","should I"

Now it's "how do I?"

The ethics tend to be more valuable to clients "in the moment" i.e. They call you and you reassure them, earning their loyalty instead of money.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:22:42

smile v happy with your advice.

Thanks all!

EastMidsMummy Sun 19-Mar-17 11:23:56

When you brief a copywriter, it can be useful to show them work that you like but, more importantly, a skilled copywriter will quiz you on your own business and find out as much as they can about what you want to say.

If you're offering something different to rest of the market, it's sensible to express it in a different way to the rest of the market.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:28:37

.... but without the nuances, right?

See I'm getting there.smile

EastMidsMummy Sun 19-Mar-17 11:35:51

The trick may be in positioning what you are calling "nuances" as real business advantages.

Don't ignore them. Express them in ways that make clients want them.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:40:12

<ponders>

<takes this excellent advice on board>

I sometimes find that clients tell me my business model i.e.they tell me why they are choosing to use me.
E.g. the last time one of them said "so you have had very long term close relationships with several players in this sector"

and I thought "why didn't I say that?"

LastnightaDJ Sun 19-Mar-17 11:45:04

We lawyers tend to overthink. So I know what you mean. Try the copywriter. Good luck.

Smashedinductionhob Sun 19-Mar-17 11:51:10

"tend to overthink"

Yeah I've been told that...

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