Part V in a continuing series on improving your firm’s website
Part I: 7 Tips to Improve Your Bio Page
Part II: 5 Best Practices for your Practice Areas
Part III: Video is a Game Changer
Part IV: 4 Reasons You Should Blog
Part V: 3 Videos You Need to Have
Part VI: 4 Reasons to Ignore SEO
Part VII: 4 Steps to Know (and Track) Your Audience
Recently, I wrote a post on improving your firm’s website about how video in a website is becoming a game changer for law firms looking to stand out in a crowded field. Videos offer a sense of engagement with the potential client that a bio, or even a blog, just cannot offer. Moreover, videos personalize you and allow the user develop a level of comfort and trust that increases the likelihood they will hire you. Always a winner, right?
I recently ran across this article by the ABA’s Law Technology Section taking that suggestion a step further, offering their suggestion of the 3 videos every lawyer should have. The article focuses on three videos for potential client engagement, with a focus on making a good first impression. While keeping your clients informed through video may be helpful, I agree with the article that the real strength of video on your firm’s website is the effect it has on potential clients.
Here are the three videos you need to have on your firm’s website:
1) “Hello, my name is…”
No, I don’t necessarily recommend starting your video this way, but this is your introduction. Remember everything I said about putting the information that potential clients want to know front and center on your website? That’s what the first 30 seconds of this introduction must be. Who are you, and why should I care? Let them know how you practice, and how you handle your cases. Let them know how you treat your clients and how you approach the practice of law.
The interesting thing about video is that it’s much more likely that a potential client will remain engaged longer than if they were just reading text. That means you can tell them a LOT more than they would have been patient to learn if they had to read it on your bio. This is about personalizing you, getting them to trust and understand you. Tell them about yourself, and not just in a professional sense. Let them know that you’re active in local civic groups, and that you enjoy running marathons to keep healthy. Tell them about where you went to school and how your early experiences shaped your practice.
They’re not going to stay forever, but you probably have 60-90 seconds where most first-time viewers will stick around for if you’re not boring or irritating. Like anything online, you don’t want to go too long (I’d recommend not having any video of you that is more than 2 minutes, unless you absolutely have to) and you definitely need to script in advance. Keep it interesting, keep it light. Most importantly, keep it warm and informative, and your prospective client will get the sense that they know you before you’ve even met!
2) Teach them something!
In your second video, give a little free advice (while sticking to the ethical rules, of course)! Make a video informing your website’s visitors about something that they will find useful! (Yes, if you’ve read my other posts on this topic, you’ll notice that it’s a theme I keep returning to: THIS SITE IS FOR THEM, NOT YOU!) Know a little something that can help people? Tell them about it!
This video doesn’t have to be static or permanent either! When there’s an important change in the law that you can summarize in 2-3 minutes, put up a new video. The more current the information is, the more engaged with your practice you will appear. Just make sure that your video ties your legal tip in with your practice. Make sure they understand that you know about this because it’s what you do. Also, find a way to tie in the advice to how your firm handles cases or deals with particular issues. Just because you’re talking about the law means that suddenly the video stops being about advertising your law firm.
3) Demonstrate your passion!
This video lets your potential clients in on your reasons for being so personally devoted to the law. Why do you do what you do? As the ABA article suggests, don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve! The Model Rules for professional conduct require that you be your client’s advocate. You don’t need to weep on camera or flail your arms wildly, but make sure that your potential clients understand that you will represent their interests with passion and zeal.
This is really the section where you get to truly advertise yourself. Talk about your personal experiences, what your favorite part of a jury trial is, or how you felt in a particularly important moment. Stick to the facts, and remember not to promise anything, but don’t hold back.
Use the right type of video (this one is mine!)
One of the biggest things that can make your videos soar (or fall flat) is the method you decide to present them. While writing a good script (and sticking to it) and telling the right story is important, make sure it doesn’t look like you made a home video and threw it on the web. There are a number of inexpensive video editing software packages available that can work absolute wonders! My personal favorite (although not really “inexpensive” – I bought mine because editing basketball highlight videos is one of my hobbies) is Final Cut for Mac. Toss in a couple transitions. Record the speech a couple times from a couple angles so that you can edit the clips together and show a different perspective. Do something to make your video stand out.
This is how you make a first impression! With video, you offer your potential clients a face AND a voice to go with your name. People will look on your bio page for a matter of seconds, but they’ll stay MUCH longer, for the same information, if it’s provided in video form.
Why pass up an opportunity to develop a connection with your future clients, particularly when you don’t have to put in much work to do it?!? Adding video to you website can be a game changer. With these three videos, you’ve introduced yourself to prospective clients in style. As a part of a top-rate website, your videos will definitely help you stand out from the crowd.