Blogging as marketing can be one of a lawyer’s highest callings.

Marketing and business development for lawyers changed with the advent of the Internet. The best online marketing for lawyers is time spent helping others, not themselves.

As Seth Godin writes in the introduction of his book, ‘This Is Marketing,’

“Marketing has changed, but our understanding of what we’re supposed to do next hasn’t kept up. When in doubt we selfishly shout. When in a corner, we play small ball, stealing from the competition instead of broadening the market. When pressed, we assume that everyone is just like us, but uniformed.”

We can’t help it.

“Mostly, we remember growing up in a mass market world, where TV and the Top 40 defined us. As marketers, we seek to repeat the old-fashioned tricks that don’t work anymore.”

But the marketing compass now points towards earned trust, per Godin.

“The truth north, the method that works best, has flipped. Instead of selfish mass, effective marketing relies on empathy and service.”

Man, I couldn’t help but reflect on my conversation with Jeff Nowak in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon.

Ten years of blogging on the FMLA, always with the focus of helping others. Never does he blog for himself as a means of generating business.

Service to others his life time calling, and he’s found it in being a lawyer – and in blogging with others’ problems on his mind.

Work eventually came because people trusted him. He was a trusted advisor, a thought leader for the people he helped through his blogging.

Godin might as well have been talking of Nowak here.

“Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem.

It‘s a chance to change the culture for the better.

Marketing involves very little in the way of shouting, hustling or coercion.

It’s a chance to serve, instead.”

For Nowak and a heck of a lot of other lawyers I know who bust their tail helping others by blogging, they’ve seized the opportunity to serve.

As Godin says, ”Marketing is one our greatest callings. It’s the work of positive change.”