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Blogs > Fast Company | You Are Your References

January 5, 2004

Interesting article in Fast Company by Seth Grodin, author of Permission Marketing, a classic on marketing via the Internet, and now Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, about how your references for others are not something that live on a resume any longer but are something you create or fail to create through your online presence. Seth tells us us blogs are one way to create a positive public record that can be seen by potential customers and that we cannot be afraid to go out and create this record for fear we will be exposed later on…

Addressing the issue of whether we should be concerned that everything we put online can be be found by others, Seth says to be bold:

So what should we do? Should we fret and live in fear of our past actions and words coming back to haunt us? I don’t think so. There’s a bright new opportunity just sitting here, waiting for organizations and individuals to take advantage of it: Spend your future creating your past, starting right now. Live your life out loud, well aware that everything you say can (and will) be used against you (or for you). Treat every customer as though he could turn into a testimonial. Treat every vendor as if she could give you a recommendation. And then, when the time comes, the seeds you’ve sown will pay off.
Blogs, newsgroups, professional organizations, and all the rest are perfect for someone who wants to leave a vivid, positive trail. You can choose to use the new tools or to become a victim of them.

I have read in a number of places that lawyers say to be very careful about blogs because of the permanent record they leave and the fact that something a lawyer says could be used against them later. Could it happen? Sure. But it’s high time lawyers got off their asses and got out and communicated with the public.

Lawyers have an awful reputation resulting in most people not even contacting a lawyer when they need help. Much of the reason for this is because lawyers do not get out and communicate with the public on the public’s terms. It’s a breadth of fresh air to see a lawyer on the net speaking to real people in a way real people can relate to. Those lawyers are going to be rewarding by having people call the lawyer when they need help.

So lawyers can continue to hide under their shells not telling the public what they do or how they do it, saying they need to protect themselves as a lawyer or they can get and use a tool like a blog and begin to communicate and relate to people. Those lawyers who do the later are going to leave a positive trail for potential clients to follow.

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