The Lawyers' Definitive Guide to Video Marketing

Saturday, November 17, 2012

You've made the choice to jump right into video to market your legal services. The move is a good one. It will help you distinguish yourself from everyone else. Here now, never before released, is my definitive guide to video marketing for lawyers.


1. Viewers get to see you 2. Viewers get to hear you 3. Viewers get to know you 4. Viewers begin to trust you before they ever walk in your door 5. You become the wise man at the top of the mountain 6. You are viewed as the legal expert 7. You are giving away information in order to gain an audience 8. Viewers see that you are a real human being 9. The image of a grumpy stuffy lawyer dissipates when a viewer sees you on video


What do I mean?

Do not use online video the same way lawyers have used TV commercials since 1973. A 30 second commercial on YouTube does nothing to help you get new clients in your door. The same is true for 60 second commercials too. Take advantage of the unlimited capacity for as much video as you can create. (There are some important caveats you need to know. More on that later.)


Explain the last case you successfully handled for a client. Tell your viewer why your client came into your office. Explain the legal issue in layman's terms; tell the viewer what you did to help your client solve their legal problem. Then, and here's the million dollar tip, explain to your viewer that if they have a similar problem, they should call you for more information.


Give the information away. It's free anyway (for most consumer-level attorney specialties). If you are a personal injury attorney, or workers compensation attorney or divorce attorney, explain how things work. Your potential clients will get this information from you when they come into your office anyway. Why not give it away and allow your viewer to become a better informed and educated consumer of legal services? The internet is the ideal place to give away your information. The more you give, the more calls you should get. (There's a lot of psychology involved in that reasoning that I will not go into here.)


When creating video, do not expect a viewer to watch you ramble endlessly. You must make your video long enough but also short enough. (How's that for a double-sided lawyerly answer?) You want to be concise, but you do not want a short commercial. You want to explain, but you don't want your viewer to lose attention and go elsewhere. What's the ideal length for a relevant video? Approximately 2-3 minutes. Yes, there are always exceptions, just as in law. Some will be shorter; some will be longer.


"Can I use my webcam or little flip video camera to make these educational videos?" You could. But then you'd be wasting your time wondering why not many people are watching your videos. Your webcam is great for a quick hello to a friend or relative. The video quality is generally poor, as is the audio quality. The new generation of flip video cameras are great little hi-def video tools that were unheard of five years ago. The major drawback is that they do not work well in low-light situations and none of them have the ability to use an external microphone, which is an absolute must when creating quality video to post online.


You have two options to create attorney video:

(1) Do it yourself, or (2) Hire an experienced video company to do it for you.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, like me, you need tons of time and dedication to creating strategy, lighting, audio, video, calibrating your equipment, shooting video of you- yourself, uploading the video footage to the computer, learning how to edit, insert transitions between scenes, correct color, add stereo sound, add graphics, add intro and exit music along with any background music, shoot b-roll footage to insert into video, render the video to a quicktime or flash file, then compress that file to make it compatible to upload online. Then, you have to upload the edited video to video sharing sites, put it on your blog and website, and there's more! You now have to optimize the text so that your videos will be found in the search engines. You must give the videos 'tags' and 'keywords' for the search engines. But there's still more to do! Then you have to let the world know about what you've just created.

How? Simple. Use all of your available social media to do that. "Ugh," you think. "All that, just for one video?" That's right...if you want to do it properly. You've got to Tweet about it. You've got to put your video on Facebook and MySpace. You've got to tell your friends, relatives and acquaintances about it. "Is that all?" No. There's more! (I feel like this is an infomercial where they say, "Wait...there's more! For only $12.95 you get...")

Then it's time to start your next video...and the cycle continues. If you do not have the time or desire to learn the technical details of creating, editing and uploading your video, I strongly recommend that you skip option #1 and to directly to option #2: Hire a reputable video company to create your videos for you.

What should you look for when deciding to hire a video production company?

1. A firm with experience producing attorney videos. Do not use a video company that just finished a wedding shoot that weekend. I would also hesitate using those video companies that create video depositions. Why? Because they usually do not have experience knowing what an online viewer looking for an attorney wants in an attorney video.

2. Ask whether the video producer is a lawyer. Why is that important? A practicing lawyer has a pretty good insight into what consumers need to see, or want to see in an attorney video. A lawyer brings a particular type of experience when creating attorney video; especially an attorney video producer who has created hundreds of educational videos for use in their own marketing of their legal services.