13 May 5 minutes with… Fi Nguyen of Girl Friday IP
Fi Nguyen is the Founder and Principal of Girl Friday IP. Realising that intellectual property was a foreign concept for many business owners and start-ups, the Perth-based attorney founded Girl Friday IP in March 2017 (and recently celebrated the firm’s 2nd birthday!).
More than just an intellectual property expert, Nguyen is a creative thinker and marketing whiz. She was also a quarter-finalist on The Great Australian Bake Off (!) – but that’s a story for another day.
We chatted to Fi Nguyen about her brilliant approach to marketing Girl Friday IP and her advice for fellow lawyers.
(1) Tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
I think I’m a creative nerd at heart, so being a Patent and Trade Mark Attorney is actually the best of both worlds! I’ve got a science degree (Chemistry) and background, which led me into the intellectual property field. When most people think of IP, understandably they think it’s quite boring. But it really is the opposite. I can honestly say I’ve never been bored with my work.
(2) What’s your favourite thing about your job?
Creating strategies and problem solving for clients. It’s a really creative part of my job and helps me get to know my client’s business wants and needs. It’s always great when I see my client’s out there in the marketplace kicking goals and knowing that I played a small role to help their business.
(3) Take us through your typical work day.
There’s really no typical day. I can be working on a range of different matters at any given time. From putting together an IP filing strategy for a client, to assisting a client with a potential copycat matter. Then there’s the business development side of things including creating educational and engaging content for our online audience.
(4) How important is marketing for your law firm?
Marketing has been crucial to the business. Prior to starting Girl Friday IP, I had an in-house role, which meant that I didn’t have an existing client base. With my in-house role, I worked with clients in a very different capacity. So I had to grow the business and my client base from scratch. The only way to do that was to have a clear message and marketing plan to communicate that message effectively.
(5) How did you first learn about marketing strategies for your firm?
I’ve always had an interest in branding and marketing. It’s a mix of art and science to effective branding. I made sure to look outside the legal industry to other industries such as creative agencies, consumer brands, to identify principles and practices that I could apply to my business.
(6) How do you continue to stay on top of new marketing trends?
I’m a serious news hound. I subscribe to a lot of branding news sites and magazines. I also can’t walk past a bookshop without having a look at any branding, advertising books. They’re often really helpful but also entertaining reads!
(7) What online platform or practice do you focus most of your marketing efforts, and why?
I love photography so I’m partial to Instagram because of it’s visual nature. I’ve curated my Insta account for the business like a visual moodboard for the business. But it’s not just visual alone, I’ve worked hard to pair the visuals with engaging and educational captions. The purpose is to get people thinking positively and differently about IP.
(8) What area of marketing do you find most challenging or want to know more about?
The most challenging thing about marketing professional services, and in particular, legal related services, has been educating prospective clients about the business and the nature of the services. Services aren’t tangible or don’t give an immediate sense of buyer satisfaction the way consumer products do. It’s been a long journey so far and is still a work in progress but through the marketing I have done, I’ve been fortunate to build a great community around Girl Friday IP.
(9) If you could give one piece of advice to other lawyers wanting to market their firms, what would it be?
Be yourself. Legal services require a huge level of trust so allowing people to get to know the people behind the firms is a great way to build trust in the brand and business. Having a personality doesn’t make you any less professional.
Thank you, Fi! Fi has not only visually shown us, through her amazing Instagram account and website, the impact of marketing, she has explained it so well. Girl Friday IP has a strong and loyal following on Instagram. We always look forward to reading the posts and watching the Insta stories.
Having a marketing strategy absolutely is ‘crucial to the business’, we agree, Fi. It will help you clearly set out your objectives and the pathway to get you there. Ad hoc tactics and a scatter gun approach won’t provide you with the clear direction you need when starting out.
We will happily talk about marketing and its importance to any law firm, all day. But, if you still don’t see why a marketing plan is necessary, simply look at Girl Friday IP’s Instagram account.
Hi, lovely people! I’m Simran, and I’m here to help savvy new service-based business owners grow a solid online business and be business smart. Marketing is key to growing a business with long term vision. So, I am here to unlock the secrets to making marketing easy and simple to action.