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On the legal blogs and LinkedIn groups, I’ve noticed a lot of discussion over which marketing tactic is more important to lawyers: social media or SEO.

I say, “neither.”

One can argue about the relative merits of each strategy, but neither makes any significant impact, however, if the given lawyer’s content is generic or repetitive. Google search now discerns, and penalizes, content that doesn't add value, that's posted mostly for SEO purposes.

When lawyers focus on the legal issues of the day, they end up writing virtually the same article or blog post as thousands of other lawyers across the country. Instead, write about the business problems being discussed daily by thought leaders inside the company.  These are the problems that will become billable legal issues in a few years. 

That’s how a lawyer becomes a true “thought leader” in a particular space. 

I described this process in a 2009 article for the New York Law Journal entitled, “Differentiate Yourself!.” It describes how two key concepts, the "Door-Opener" and the "Demand Trigger," enable thought leadership and assure relevance. I could easily have written that article today; it's as relevant today as it was then. While I was asked to position it for new lawyers, the process of carving a niche using business issues is critical for lawyers at every level.

Mike O'Horo

RainmakerVT will teach you how to Become a Thought Leader: Uncover a Business Issue that Will Open Doors for Youquickly, effectively, and affordably.