10 Minutes With Content Developer Leigh Ebrom
Leigh Ebrom is a writer, researcher, and marketing strategist extraordinaire at LaFleur. Leigh earned a B.A. in international relations from Michigan State University and a J.D. from Valparaiso University, then worked for several years as an attorney practicing disability-related law. She later decided to transition into a career as a digital marketing professional, working as a freelancer for several companies before joining the LaFleur team as a full-time content developer in early 2018.
We sat down to talk with Leigh about her unusual journey from law to marketing, the seminal work of fiction that inspired her to start writing at a young age, and the last great rock and roll show she saw with her five-year-old.
LaFleur: I know you had kind of an interesting journey from being a practicing personal injury and disability attorney to a digital marketer. Can you tell me a little bit about how that happened?
Leigh Ebrom: So, I had for a very long time done digital marketing work for my old law firm, and I found I liked doing that. I didn’t have any formal training in marketing, but I was the youngest attorney there, and I think they probably thought I knew more about how digital media worked than most of my colleagues.
I’ve always really liked writing and storytelling and explaining things to people, and I found marketing really appealed to me on that level. So, when I had an opportunity to reassess my career, I decided to explore the digital marketing world — and it’s been a blast.
LF: That’s very cool. What do you enjoy most about working in digital marketing with the LaFleur team?
LE: I’ve always liked taking complicated concepts and really parsing them down, and we work with a lot of legal and healthcare clients who have a real need on that level — where people need help and don’t understand these environments. And when you can go in and not just market products and services but actually engage someone and educate them and give them a richer, deeper experience, it’s really gratifying. That was my favorite thing about practicing law, and now I get to continue that in a different way.
LF: And from here, where do you see yourself going? What do you still want to learn and accomplish in your marketing career?
LE: I am learning so much every day with the folks here who are incredibly smart and willing to share and collaborate. Just workshopping ideas and having that great synthesis of criticism and collaboration and all the things that make everyone a better person and marketing professional — it’s been great. So, part of me doesn’t know where this is all going to go, but I’m just enjoying this deep dive into the marketing profession, and I’ll see where it’s leading when I come back up for air.
LF: Sounds like you’re feeling good about where you’re heading in terms of your career. What’s your life outside of work like? I know you have a young son, so I imagine that keeps you pretty busy.
LE: Yes, you guessed right. That does keep me busy, but besides that I love music, and I love to travel…
LF: Your whole family loves music, right?
LE: Yes. My little one is obsessed with rock and roll. We maybe aren’t the best parents in that regard — he knows some lyrics he probably shouldn’t.
LF: Hey, he has to learn those words eventually. I grew up listening to ‘90s hip-hop, and I still knew when to be careful with my language.
LE: That’s true. We do talk about how words have power, and how sometimes grown-ups forget about that. But yeah, we go to a lot of concerts with him.
LF: What’s the last great concert you guys went to?
LE: Queens of the Stone Age at 20 Monroe Live [in Grand Rapids] with Royal Blood opening. Seeing them at a smaller venue like that was amazing.
LF: What about an all-time favorite concert? Or, do you have a bucket list band you really want to see?
LE: I got to see the original Beastie Boys lineup, and it was probably kind of wrapped up in the mystique of that moment, but it always comes up when I talk about great concerts I’ve seen. I was studying abroad in Europe and managed to catch them, and I look back and it’s one of those things — just kind of the combination of youth and nostalgia and really great music.
LF: You’re a writer, which I hope means you’re a reader too.
LF: What do you like to read?
LE: I like to read really weird, diverse stuff, like nerdy books about geopolitics, because I studied that for a long time in college. I’m just wrapping up The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, which is about a Vietnamese refugee who has this very complicated history and unusual life. It’s kind of hard to summarize, but it’s dark and weird and interesting, and I love stuff like that.
LF: Do you remember a particular book or work that made you realize you wanted to write?
LE: That’s easy. Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis.
LF: Interesting. Not a popular choice among — I was going to say readers of your age, but maybe just among anyone. I think of that as a story that kids get assigned to read in high school or college and groan through.
LE: That was the first story that made me realize a piece of literature could make you think in ways that weren’t so obvious. And I do remember reading it the first time and being so angry with the book because I thought it didn’t make sense, and I was upset that this guy woke up as a bug one day, and he never questioned why he’s a bug, and it doesn’t even exactly say he’s a bug — and then I found that all of that irritation just made me stop and think about the aspects of it that are a commentary on human existence and all of this other interesting stuff.
I think that was the first moment when I was like, “Oh — just because a book is about something doesn’t mean it’s about that thing.” And it really just made me fall in love with complicated narratives and thoughts.
LF: Anything else you really enjoy, in whatever precious few minutes you have when you’re not working and reading and writing and going to concerts and raising a child?
LE: I love to travel, and I love wine — we’re really big wine nerds in our family.
LF: What’s your recommendation for a great affordable wine to bring to a dinner party or a friend’s house?
LE: Barbera d’Alba from Italy. It’s medium-bodied and not super fruit-forward but still an interesting everyday drinking wine. Italians would say it’s a “spaghetti wine.” You can’t go wrong.