2000: Formerly partner with Fross Zelnick. made 48-hour foray into internet space. Then, decided to start own firm.
He was familiar with ICANN blog, and in May 2002 he started the trademark blog.
His clients are mid-cap to large-cap companies. Most of his clients have met him face-to-face or were referred to him. So how does his blog matter?
David Maister breaks prof’l services work into 3 categories: Routine (trademark filing), experienced (combating counterfeit products), and expert work (specialized, high-end)
Without any SEO, his blog usually comes up #1 or #2 on ‘trademark’, or ‘trademark lawyer’
His blog does create business for him, but not in the way you think.
Wrote well-linked post: “Dear Abby, should I hire a trademark lawyer”
The blog is very useful for people who need very specialized help in an area he’s an expert, e.g., sports trademark law.
Another example: he wrote about impending potential sale in one-letter domain names. An old client called him out of the blue because they saw his signal that he was knowledgeable about/interested in that area.
One of his colleagues, Dennis Kennedy, frequently writes about NASCAR in his blog. He got criticized for that, but Marty thinks it’s fine to work in these personal items.
In his recent post about counterfeit drugs, he illustrated it with a shot from “The Third Man”, a film in which Orson Welles deals counterfeit drugs.
He has made friends as a result of his blog.
Where did his current clients come from:
1) inherited from his old firm
2) trade organizations/conferences
3) dot-com era
(some overlap between categories)
He’s very conscious about his blog being cited, and about not being retained. Ex: he wrote that the Redskins’ logo is racist. That probably means the NFL won’t be a client.
On issue of blogging about personal issues: think about how your clients make decisions about hiring people.