Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk (like rustic without the “t”) is the founder and owner of bbr marketing. More accurately, she is a client whisperer, marketing strategist, business growth catalyst and the undisputed queen of interesting, down-to-earth presentations. Since the firm’s beginning in 2009, Bonnie has led the company to become widely recognized and respected within the professional services marketing niche. Twitter: @bbrmarketing
What are you most often asked to speak about at conferences and trade shows?
I’m fortunate that I get asked to speak on a variety of marketing-related topics. Lately, I seem to be talking about more strategic issues, like creating a marketing plan for your firm or how to identify and develop a niche marketing strategy. The most popular speech I ever gave was at the 2014 Association for Accounting Marketing Summit entitled, “Elevate Your Role and Get the Respect Your Deserve.” Even now, two years later, I still have people that come up to me and say that it had a big impact on them and how they do their jobs. It’s incredibly humbling and exciting to know that my words can make a difference.
If you could give just one piece of advice to others in your field, what would it be?
Be patient but don’t let anyone treat you like you don’t matter. Marketing is vitally important in any industry, law firms included. And while you aren’t an attorney (most of you), you are trained and experienced in marketing which is why you were hired to do the job you do. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and share your input. It is often a balancing act, but never forget that you play an important role and should be respected for what you bring to the table.
What was your favorite college class? Was it related to your current career?
Ironically, my favorite college class was not in marketing, but political philosophy. And while I’ve always had a passing interest in politics, it wasn’t the content of the course that I loved as much as how it was taught. This professor taught each political theory (capitalism, communism, socialism, etc.) as if he believed it to be the best and only way to manage a country and its people. For example, he taught about Nazism as if he believed Hitler was right. It was often uncomfortable and even shocking, but it required us to think about what we believe and also demonstrated how regimes that we find appalling could come to power. It was truly fascinating and still influences the way I think and approach others with different beliefs today.