Robert Scoble and Shel Israel at Red Couch disagreed passionately to a reader's suggestion that blogging was not appropriate for small businesses. Interestingly for lawyers, Robert and Shel believe blogs have it all over yellow page ads:

We are strong advocates that blogging presents a huge opportunity for small businesses to become closer with community constituencies who have very few options open to them for marketing—a Yellow Pages ad, perhaps being the best of them. But Yellow Pages are very limited. You can see who has the larger ad or more compelling logo, but you learn nothing about the texture of a company or its reputation.

But suppose, a local plumber, started a blog that revealed his knowledge and passion for his profession. Suppose he posted, tips on how to avoid having to call in a plumber—tips for keeping those pipes clean, examples of problems he has seen that could be avoided.

First off, in reading his or her posting—you'd know this person infinitely better than you would someone from the Yellow Pages. Second, when you typed in 'Plumbers, in Hometown' guess whose name would come up first and foremost?

Oh yeah, the blog is cheaper than the Yellow Pages insertion, as well. We have few examples of these sort of companies–fewer than we would like, but the list is getting fatter every day. We think small businesses, as always will be late to adopt in droves, but those who do so earlier, will find very gratifying results.

Small firm lawyers are still running to yellow pages. It's more out of being naive and what they have always done than what will work for marketing. Law blogs have it all over yellow pages.

  • I can agree with your point on being able to better acquaint potential clients with your beliefs, philosophy and such however this has its limits. Internet marketing, blogs in this case, are only of value if people can readily access the site. There lies the distinct advantage of yellow pages advertising. One must remember that today “yellow pages” means print directories and internet yellow pages (IYP), a.k.a. local search. With these mediums any business can list their site address in a medium where people can consistently go for choice. Studies continually show that consumers prefer choice and that is what yellow pages offers. From the ad content, web links and such, consumers can move forward with further research towards making a buying decision. To disregard yellow pages is to be naive on advertising or simply arrogant in thinking that a JD makes one knowledgable on marketing in general.