When Bob Brewer first started as head of marketing at Braumiller Law Group he agreed to work for free for the first year. He admits he had a lot to prove, and his boss was a tough cookie – especially as she’s also his wife, Adrienne Braumiller.
Since then, he’s morphed into the marketing director for Braumiller Law Group, Braumiller Consulting Group and the firm’s lobbying arm, Reigncore. To say the least, it keeps him busy.
Meanwhile, in the evenings and on various weekends he sings rock covers in his band (he’s big on ‘80s tunes, but had been fronting a Led Zeppelin tribute over the last decade). Such a punishing schedule of 24/7 work and play would sap the energy of even the most dedicated marketing professional, but not Bob.
“Singing is my first love,” he smiles. “That’s how I relax. I’ll always be first and foremost a musician followed by a marketeer, but even with marketing, I don’t see that as a job. I love utilizing my creative and writing skills, and I’ve actually gotten pretty good at it over the years. So, I guess may hobbies are also my work.”
Bob’s background as a VP of sales and marketing in corporate America was a long way from the niche professional services sector, he now operates in. He has a refreshing, say-it-as-it-is approach to professional services work that is at odds with the sometimes-impenetrable detail served up in the sector in magazines, blogs, and websites.
Bob always tries to use one word where 10 would normally be used by many legal writers: “I want people to read what I write and we’re getting a lot of eyes looking at the information we’re putting out online. I’m proud of that. We’re a small firm in Dallas, but we’ve got a big reach across the U.S. and overseas in part because of the articles we’re publishing.” (The other part is good SEO)
As well as being one of the firm’s top authors, Bob also likes to talk – a lot. (I mostly just listened in our interview) He says it’s because he works remote, and misses that “human” interaction, but I think he just has a lot to say. In a sector where talking is regulated by much preamble and procrastination, Bob’s heart is most definitely on his sleeve and that’s the way he likes it.
He believes that honest discussions and clear, concise prose are needed more than ever in the professional services sector: “It needs more honest marketeers and writers who cut through the nonsense, and sometimes overbearing legalese, to demystify the legal and financial sector for their clients. If that makes me different, if it makes Braumiller Law Group and Braumiller Consulting Group different, then that’s good with me.” I never wanted to portray us as the atypical stuffy law firm, and I think that’s come through quite obviously over the years.”
“If that makes me different, if it makes Braumiller Law Group and Braumiller Consulting Group different, then that’s good with me.”
Square peg in a round hole? To a certain degree, but he does pretty much work autonomously, without any red tape regarding daily decisions. Is what he does (support the lawyers and trade advisors) totally understood by all when connecting the dots to salaries, bonuses, and the bottom line? Well, Bob doesn’t think so, but he’s O.K. with that too. He knows he’s well prepared for the challenges ahead and wants to keep Braumiller Law Group on the world map as legal advisors that view the world through a prism – a multifaceted approach to working in the legal sector that the partners and clients alike appreciate.
It’s clear Bob thrives in the rather odd position he finds himself in – the husband of the lead partner overseeing all the communications of the three different firms, as previously mentioned. I wanted to dig a little deeper and ask him how he first got into this unique position – apart from offering free work, that is.
“Nepotism,” Bob laughs. “My wife, Adrienne Braumiller is the Founder & Partner of Braumiller Law Group. Yes, I am her 2nd, and I also have a red-headed-freckle-face step child, and no, I don’t beat him. He’s 22 now, and recently graduated with a degree in International Business from San Diego State University. His last name is Sierra. Sorry, I digress, the marketing position for the firms, was not just handed to me. As mentioned, as a side gig, I had to work for free back in 2002 just to prove to her that I knew what the hell I was doing.
“I’m still here 20 years later (proving myself daily)…so I must be doing something right. Basically, I left a role as VP of sales and marketing in a Fortune 500 firm to do this, and I’ve never looked back. I was never a good fit in corporate America anyway.” Besides, I said to myself, if I am going to put 100% into using my marketing skills for a company, it made total sense to build “our house” instead of someone else’s. I can assure you, if I sucked at it, she would have fired me a long time ago.” She has no problem making sure she is surrounded by the right people.”
“I’m still here 20 years later (proving myself daily)…so I must be doing something right.”
Some 20 years on and Bob has kept his job and then some, as the bottom line has improved year after year. His main aim is to ensure all three companies are getting the right visibility online, by making the right noise to attract the right clients as well as audience in the professional services sector.
“The service Adrienne and her colleagues expect is a constant undercurrent of visibility throughout the world, professional level production on everything that leaves the virtual building with our name on it, and constant incoming new business opportunities, and that really is the bottom line on ROI,” Bob says.
“Success is determined through various factors, like the invitations continuously being extended to our attorneys and trade advisors to speak at various conferences around the globe. If I had to pick one thing to gauge our success on any given day, week, month, or year it would be the incoming flow of new business opportunities, as everything I do is tied to that.
“I am never satisfied with the number of project submissions and RFP’s, even though we are doing just fine in this department. I always prepare us for a rainy day, so to speak, and strive to keep the pipeline filled.”
This exacting series of assignments he gives himself ensures Bob is able to rise to the challenges he meets most days.
“Yes, challenges are daily, especially given the pandemic, but we were well prepared and had some of the best months in the history of the firm during this time. An example of a challenge (caused by the pandemic) would be my database of international trade professionals taking a hit via a 30% bounce rate due to the job losses, company closures, mergers, acquisitions, etc.”
“International Trade has been in the forefront for quite a while now and was given a substantial boost from former President Trump’s tariff war. We are still dealing with that to this day, and there is no real end in sight. It’s good for our business (putting out fires), but bad for those economies affected.”
For Bob some of the biggest challenges during the next decade will be to expand the business and plan for any unforeseeable issues that might occur off the back of Covid-19, the US-China trade war and protectionism across the globe.
“I always have a plan in place and find that many times I need to adapt, as it just goes with the territory working in international trade,” Bob continues. “Every year brings new challenges from new opportunities as we grow our business. After all, a goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish. I keep the undercurrents of marketing flowing through building content and getting our capabilities out to the various platforms. Out of sight is out of mind to me, so I like to keep the firms visible at all times.”
Considering the sheer volume of marketing material that Bob posts online and into magazines and journals, most people are often surprised to find that he’s not running a huge marketing operation for the three companies. In fact, the team pumping out all this information is comprised of just Bob himself.
“There is no team in my case,” he laughs. “I have always worked autonomously and, quite frankly, I prefer it that way. But I surround myself with top-notch contractors who can assist me. My biggest obstacle is that I am pretty much on my own as our attorneys and trade advisors are very busy, and there is little time, if any, for discussing marketing. (Even if they cared to) My job is to support them, and make them well known, so I just make it happen as a result, based on my knowledge within international trade.”
“I always have a plan in place”
So as a team of one, how does he do it?
His work life balance is built into just getting things done, preferably ahead of schedule, and then doing whatever it is, outside of business, at whatever time suits his deadlines: “Many of the attorneys have received emails from me at 2am, or some other crazy time, but that’s just me making sure I have a project finished because I want to get a 2-hour massage from 11:30-1:30 the next day and don’t want to feel guilty about taking a long lunch break.
“Actually, I never feel guilty about my built-in flex time. There are no bankers’ hours in what we do for a living, and nobody is watching the clock. Deadlines are met, regardless of what hours in the day it takes…. or doesn’t.”
And when he’s not working 24/7 on writing, editing, emailing, posting and the like, Bob always goes back to his first love – singing.
‘My true passion is singing and (quick plug) you will find a link to my artist page on Facebook, where I have downloaded samples of my work, originals and covers. As I said, I’m a huge fan of ‘80s music and I guess one of my favourites of that era is Tears for Fears. Roland Orzabal is a huge talent; brilliant songwriter, brilliant singer and producer.”
For Bob, his 24/7 whirligig of a world can indeed be a bit mad. (A Mad World)
For a quick look at the firm(s), here is a link to the June 2021 digital magazine that Bob put together: https://www.flipsnack.com/braumillerlaw2021/ braumiller-law-consulting-group-digital-magazine-june/full-view.html (His page includes a link to his FB artist page)