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Keep those brains off the Web?

January 15, 2005

Bet the the Scobleizer did not realize he was publishing for law firms these days. But Robert Scoble posted something right up the alley of a lot of backward thinking law firms called Keep those brains off of the Web!

Turns out a reader of his is being head hunted by a company and asked whether he would be able to continue writing on the Web. They said “no.” Why not? Because the execs there say that they’re selling brains and that they don’t want knowledge shared with people outside the company who won’t be paying for it.

The Scobleizer nailed it: “One little problem: how will I know you have a big brain if you aren’t willing to display your talents in public once in a while?” A lot of law firms are kings of this small thinking philosophy of not sharing your intellectual capital on the Internet.

What’s wild is that these same firms love to have their lawyers share their intellectual capital via the ‘traditional lawyer marketing’ of writing articles, doing presentations and getting quoted as experts by the media. But the second this same ‘traditional marketing’ works too well via the Internet it’s “Wow Nellie,” we can’t tell people what we know.

Law firms and other professional service firms must understand they brand themselves through the intellectual capital of their employees – their lawyers who are experts on niche areas of the law. People hire the law firm because they believe the firm has some smart and talented folks.

To establish your law firm’s brand, you must get your lawyers in front of your target audience (consumers, in-house counsel, corporate officers, civic leaders, editors, program coordinators etc.) as often as possible.

Why not 24/7 on the Internet? Why not a blog to enhance a lawyers reputation as a trusted and reliable authority? Why not use the Internet and establish this reputation in months as opposed to years as would be the case offline?

Law firms’ fear that they will lose paying work when they tell the world what they know is crazy. It’s exactly the opposite. The number one rule of Internet marketing is that “You can everything you want so long as you help everyone else get everything they want.”

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