Teaching a class on legal blogging this week, I realized nothing has really changed in the world of lawyer marketing since I was practicing back in the ‘80’s and 90’s.
There were those lawyers who never had to worry about where their work was coming from. They had a name and relationships. Work came by word of mouth and referrals.
These lawyers worked to build a reputation and relationships by networking within the community and among referral sources and peers.
Lawyers who did not have the name and network needed to market or advertise in some nature.
Yellow pages, radio, television and billboards come to mind.
Nothing wrong with such advertising and marketing, it was a fact of life. I spent plenty on yellow pages and television advertising.
Fast forward thirty or forty years, and, I explained to the class, not much has changed.
A substantial number of lawyers, probably a majority get their work via relationships and a strong reputation. Lawyers in this group use the Internet to network and build a name.
A minority of lawyers advertise through traffic motivated websites, SEO, paid search, paid for content to draw traffic to their websites and blogs, and other tactics.
Nothing wrong with online advertising, it’s needed when reputations and relationships are not bringing in the needed work. And networking and reputation through the Internet are not something you are inclined to do.
My point to the group was to treat their blog as a leading publication on a niche, something that would build a name and that is used as a vehicle for networking through the Internet. Not as an advertisement to draw attention.
We may have the Internet, but nothing has really changed as far as advertising versus relationships and reputation.