In this installment of Women Who Wow, get to know Rebecca Edwards Hnatowski, the Senior Marketing and Business Development Manager at Williams Mullen. Rebecca helps attorneys grow relationships with their clients and works to streamline opportunities to build and enhance their practices. Rebecca leads the business development efforts for Williams Mullen’s corporate, mergers and acquisitions, emerging companies, international trade, tax, private client & fiduciary services and economic development teams, as well as the firm’s local marketing efforts in Richmond and Charlottesville.

Rebecca is a longtime volunteer of the Legal Marketing Association where she has served as Co-Chair of the Strategies & Voices International Editorial Committee, a member of the Mid-Atlantic Region Board of Directors and the Chair of the Virginias Local Steering Committee.

Why did you choose your profession?

I fell into it – a temp position that stuck in 2006. However, I feel very fortunate to have landed in an industry that has treated me well and where I have had the opportunity to be mentored and trained by talented women, and to be challenged by very smart attorneys. Both have turned me into the professional I am today.

What do you love most about what you do?

Demystifying marketing and business development for attorneys. It can seem like this nebulous thing to attorneys who go to school to learn about the practice of law and then all of the sudden have to generate busines. Seeing that light bulb come on when the tactics start to make sense –even moreso when there is a conversion of new business – is such a rewarding experience.

How has social media helped you build your business/brand?

Learning how to use LinkedIn for business development has been a hobby of mine for a few years now. I’ve been able to introduce the concept to my attorneys who have gotten some real traction from it. LinkedIn is the professional services online networking platform. Not using the platform to its fullest is like leaving money on the table.

Not to mention, like any other social network, it’s fun using LinkedIn to build connections and gain insights. I have met so many people on the platform that I am now connected to and have learned so much from. It’s a wonderful place to build relationships and share your own expertise.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Know your value. It is simple, but nothing is more important. No one will advocate on your behalf – it’s up to you to make an argument that illustrates your worth.

It’s something I even counsel my lawyers on. You may be surprised that some attorneys are uncomfortable charging what they view as exorbitant rates. There are times when those fears are warranted, but more often than not, they aren’t. Coaching them to remember that their expertise is unique, and their experience is valuable only further drives that message home.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

What advice would you give to women in your field?

Embrace your inherent attributes. As women, I think we are more inclined to be empathetic team members, to listen intently, and be amazing multitaskers. These are also key characteristics of a successful marketing and business development professional. Leaning into your abilities to understand where your attorneys are coming from will help you calm their concerns. By listening fully, you will learn more about their practice, their goals, and you’ll be able to ask thoughtful questions to provide an educated approach for moving forward. And, finally, in these jobs, it seems like things can come at you 90 miles an hour. Being able to multitask (and prioritize) will help you keep everything moving and on track.

What is a surprising/fun fact about you?

I am a massive sports fan. Miami Dolphins all the way! I grew up cheerleading and just love competitive sports. I think that cheerleader mindset is still with me – I get joy from seeing other people succeed.