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In the New Normal, simply "getting your name out there" isn't going to get it done. The expression smacks of random, desultory activity with no foundation strategy, clear purpose or method. Lawyers have long engaged in such random business development activity, jokingly referred to as "random acts of golf and lunch." During the 20-year boom, it was relatively harmless because the swell of legal service demand assured that lawyers would get business despite aimless marketing, not because of it.

Now, the proliferation of social media and other tools to create an Internet "presence" means that everybody's name is "out there." It's not about getting your name out there, but getting your relevant ideas out there, commonly called "thought leadership." The discussions you see in LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, Twitter, Quora and other channels are good examples.

Of those participating or lurking, a percentage won't care about the topic at all, at least right now, so it doesn't matter what you may have said. Others will disagree strongly with how you think about the topic and tune you out. Others will agree, and they'll choose to pay attention to you. They may even look at your profile and visit your website, or subscribe to one or more of your blogs or other idea feeds. Over time, some will feel like they're getting to know you -- at least, how you think about topics relevant to their world. They may begin to trust your judgment in this respect. When the time comes to address one of the problems that they've concluded you might have some useful thinking about, they may contact you. Or, they may mention your name to others facing such challenges.

It's an additive process of making relevant contributions. Your comments had better be directed at helping the group members, or nobody has any reason to pay attention. If you talk about you, everyone will tune out. Nobody wants to know about you or me; they might want to know what "what you know" can do for them.

Your comment lens must always be the community's interest.

Mike O'Horo

Want to learn proven ways to establish and build on thought leadership -- from the convenience of your computer. Take a look at Becoming a Thought Leader: Uncover a Business Issue that Will Open Doors for You.