“When we make truly life-changing decisions, we don’t use search; we rely on the people we trust.” That from Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s Senior VP of Products and User Experience, in a Los Angeles Times story by Jessica Guynn on LinkedIn’s launch of its social news service, LinkedIn Today.

LinkedIn Today allows LinkedIn users to see articles, blog posts, and Tweets that are being shared by their connections and by people in their industries. In other words, from people they’re apt to trust.

What’s the value in this? As people, especially as legal professionals, we rely on people we trust for information. No question, search, via Google, has been a God send. It’s changed where and how we look for information like nothing before it.

But as social media evolves — as people learn to follow people they trust and more people share information via social media — we’re going to go with people we trust over search.

Google knows this. As I blogged last month, social media is receiving higher priority in Google search results. LinkedIn knows this. That’s why they’re launching LinkedIn Today.

As a lawyer or law firm, you need to get over all things search. Out of ignorance and being told by legal marketing companies that your clients come via search, you’re heading down the road.

The Internet is not a giant search tool. It’s not we get seen in search as a law firm and we’ll get hired.

That’s the billboard and yellow pages philosophy. Put the biggest and shiniest billboard with our logo on I-95 and people and companies will call to hire us. Put my picture in a full page yellow page ad with purple and green ink and I’ll get hired.

You need to build trust in order to get hired as an attorney or law firm. You need to conduct yourself on the Internet in a way that builds trust with others who read what you share. You need to build trust with the influencers who frame people’s opinions. You need to build trust with referral sources.

You build trust on the Internet by sharing insight and commentary via blogging. You develop followers who trust you as source of good info in your area of practice and the industries you represent by using Twitter in a thoughtful way. You build further trust by networking on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Don’t look at blogging and social media as a means to push your ‘stuff’ at people. That’s as short sighted as thinking if you get seen in search you’ll get hired by good clients. Look at blogging and social media as a means of building trust.

At the end of the day, it’s as Deep Nishar put it, When we make truly life-changing decisions, which selecting a lawyer can be, we don’t use search. We rely on the people we trust.