“Every minute you spend thinking about marketing is a minute that could be spent being a good lawyer.”

This from Florida Attorney and long time blogger, Rick Georges (@rickgeorges) on Saturday.

Rick was commenting on Danial Jameel’s post on why millennials don’t want to be talked at as part of marketing.

Rick carried Jameel’s thinking over to our profession.

There are many companies that want to tell lawyers how to market themselves on the Internet. This article about how a particular demographic (millennials) looks at marketers says a lot about why lawyers should just concentrate on being great lawyers, and staying authentic and connected, and let the marketing take care of itself. Every minute you spend thinking about marketing is a minute that could be spent being a good lawyer. My best teacher once gave me the best advice about public speaking: “Just be yourself. “That advice applies to Internet public speaking as well. Be who you are. If you are good, they will come. If you aren’t, work on getting better, not on increasing the number of people who will find out you aren’t.

When I shared word of Rick’s post over on Facebook a total donybrook broke out.

Some folks thought I was nuts – a good lawyer would go broke if they didn’t market themselves. Others, including Rick, believed that if a lawyer would work at their craft and share their knowledge, passion and experience publically, they’d be fine.

My point was that I didn’t think blogging always  had to be about marketing.

Couldn’t you, as lawyer, blog for purposes of professional development? Share what you read? Offer your take? Openly network with leaders in your field and those who cover the field through blogging?

Wouldn’t you become a better lawyer? Wouldn’t you have a greater network to call upon as part of your practice?

Every city and town across this country has preminent lawyers in niche areas of the law. The public may not know who these lawyers are because they don’t market themselves per se. Ask the good lawyers in the community who these preminent lawyers are and you’ll get the names.

These lawyers have no shortage of work, they turn work away. These lawyers did not market themselves to success. They read, they networked with leading lawyers at conferences and the like, they authored articles, they joined associations and they presented at conferences.

Getting referrals was a byproduct of their professional development efforts. Word of mouth came from the quality of work they delivered.

Imagine clients, prospective clients and referral sources witnessing this professional development in real time. It surely didnt happen with a snippet in the local business section saying you went to D.C. to attend a national association of trial lawyers.

Well today, clients, prospective clients and referral sources can witness this professional development. While researching a lawyer (most get a name from someone they trust), people can observe and take in a lawyer’s professional development through a lawyer’s blogging.

Is this blogging marketing? I don’t know. Historically we called it professional dvelopment. Professional development that resulted in a growing book of business.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Grant Hutchinson