In my recent article for ABA’s Law Practice Today, I spoke about blogs as a tool of marketing, not an end unto itself.

Joel Shoenmeyer takes issue with me, suggesting that I said others should write your blog … and that, if that is the case, “… prospective clients aren’t learning anything about your legal knowledge or your personality. And if you use a ghostblogger and don’t disclose this fact to your blog’s visitors, then you are also a liar.”

To set the record straight, what I said was: “The logical way to control the expense (of blogging) is hire someone to manage your blog. The expense is far less than the time spent updating (no matter how easy with TypePad or other blogging tools), which will take you away from other marketing activities or even from your practice. Delegation is a principle by which I live. I want to do those things that only I can do, like coaching, consulting and marketing for more work.”

I further said that “(b)logging may be worthwhile once you know how, but it is certainly not “easy” in the sense that it takes commitment to be consistent and meaningful in the posting. I suspect it’s a commitment worth making for many lawyers, but a commitment nevertheless, as are all marketing efforts. If you can’t do it yourself and do it right, then have it done for you.”

And, most importantly, I concluded this thought by saying that “… delegating the work doesn’t mean abdicating the responsibility.”

Joel suggests, no states, that it is wrong to have help with your blog. Said directly, I respectfully disagree.

If we had to do everything ourselves, we all would be sole practitioners. When a rainmaker brings new business into the firm, the work is often done by other lawyers. When lawyers write briefs, frequently those briefs are edited by other lawyers, by secretaries and others. When clients pay bills, accounting folks make the deposits. When a lawyer or law firm creates a marketing brochure, it is often a professional marketing person or copy writer who develops it — not the lawyer, but for the approval of the principal lawyer.

Nothing is wrong with getting help — delegating. After everything is said and done, however, the principal (lawyer/owner) is responsible for the work the public sees!

Thank you, Joel, for your thoughts. This puts the issues of growth, marketing, and delegation clearly on the table. We see the benefits and the process from different perspectives.


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