Video Marketing Tip for Attorneys – Offer Honest, Useful Information

Video Marketing Tip for Attorneys – Offer Honest, Useful InformationImagine that you needed to hire an attorney and you decided to search out one online.  For those attorney's that have web video, which one would you choose if you were to base your decision off their video?  Would you choose the lawyer who tells you how great they are and what a fantastic law school they went to?

On the other hand, maybe you'd prefer a lawyer who tells you how wonderful their firm is and how much money they've obtained for their clients over the last ten years? Better yet, would you prefer a lawyer who does nothing more than say "Come to me because I'm a lawyer and I'm here?”

There is a recurring theme when you watch attorney video; most attorneys' videos are quite poor. I don't mean technically bad, I mean their content is bad. What's so terrible about their content? Let me count the ways:

  1. They offer no useful information,
  2. They don't explain anything,
  3. They don't understand what their online viewer is looking for.

Why would anyone look for a lawyer online?  The answer is simple. They don't know a lawyer and they don't know someone who knows a lawyer. They'd rather search online to see if someone can help solve their legal problem. That's where 99.9% of lawyers miss the boat. This also applies to other professionals who use the Internet to market their services. People going online and searching attorney videos are people who have a problem. They are looking for someone to fix their problem.

How can you be the one that resonates with them and compels them to pick up the phone to call?

When an attorney creates an online video to market his or her services, he does so hoping that an online viewer will:

  1. Find the video
  2. Press play
  3. Watch the full video
  4. Be so compelled by that video that the viewer will request more information.

Let's go through these one at a time.

1) Searchers Must First Find the Video

Many attorneys rely on their video production company to optimize their video for the search engines. Some producers know how, others don't. You can see which ones 'get it' by reading the description of any attorney video on YouTube.

Those do-it-yourselfers may not fully understand why it is so critical to have a compelling headline, a summary of the video in the description and relevant keywords.

It goes without saying that even with a technically perfect video, if nobody can find your video, you've wasted a lot of time and money creating your video.

2) They Must Press Play

Just because a video is listed on page one of YouTube in the search results, does not mean it will be watched. Unless you have a compelling headline and content, nobody will care about your video.

Think about it again. Why would anyone beside your spouse, mother and best friend watch your video? Unless it's a hilarious viral video, most people will not be interested in watching your attorney video. Then who will watch it? People who have a legal problem. People who need help. People who are searching for an attorney to solve their particular problem. Unless your viewer has a legal problem like the one you handle, your video will not be watched. It's that simple. That's why most lawyer videos never go viral. If you follow REELSEO's Jeremy Scott's viral video roundup every Friday, you see detailed reasons why video goes viral. Attorney videos never fit the pattern for widespread viewing of their video.

Why Attorney Videos are Never Viral

Attorney video is never funny, unless it's a parody or a spoof. Lawyer video is pretty boring and never 'cutesy' in the way you might see in a viral video.

"Objection! Judge...that video has no information. The lawyer just talks about himself.”

"Objection sustained. You're right. Next video please, and make it snappy, I want to go to lunch...”

A video doesn't need to go viral in order to be watched.  In fact, for an attorney, if it does go viral, it's likely a mistake.  But, a video that's unwatched is wasted marketing dollars.

3) They Need to Watch the Full Message

That seems easy right? You spend your time making a good video. You think you have content that people want to watch. You upload your video and then watch your analytics. You can't understand why your videos are not watched till the end. Most people are leaving after 15 seconds. Huh? Some stay to watch a full minute. One or two linger for 2 1/2 minutes. Yet nobody got to the five minute mark. "What's up with that?”

Do you know why you must evaluate your analytics? So you know what you're doing right, and more importantly, what you're doing wrong! If nobody is watching your video till the end, you need to ditch that video and start over. You need to edit and trim your content and fix your description and headline.

Here's a little secret that most online viewers inherently know but attorneys do not. Many lawyers talk way too much and don't listen enough. If that's how you come across on your video, you've lost your viewer forever. Lawyers talk for a living. Lawyers give advice on a daily basis. Yet, it is the video producer's job to control the attorney by guiding him and focus what he's trying to say.

Remember, anyone can create a technically excellent video once you learn how. However, it takes an experienced video producer to know what your online viewer is looking for and how to get your talent, in this case the attorney, to convey that message in a way that the viewer will want to watch.

4) They Should be Compelled to Act

Why would someone want to call you after seeing your video? Do you tell them something they don't already know? Do you explain something to them that shows you're an expert without coming out and saying "I'm the expert!" Or, do you tell them about your credentials; where you went to school; that you graduated in the top of your class at Harvard law school; that you clerked for a Federal judge for a few years, and that if they're lucky, you might just talk (down) to them?

Guess what? If you're a professional offering your services and using video to market your services, do you really think a viewer cares about you? They don't. 99% of attorneys using video online today don't understand that. A viewer who is taking the time to search for a lawyer doesn't know a lawyer and is looking for someone to help solve their problem. Talking about yourself too much simply gives them a reason to look elsewhere. Ironically, the fault lies not with the attorney for talking about themselves, but rather his video producer, who should know better and understand what a viewer wants and needs to watch.

The only way to get a viewer to pick up the phone and call, is to create a compelling video that a viewer needs to watch. If you can learn how to do that, you'll be way ahead of your competition.

Conclusion - How to Create A Compelling Attorney Video

So, how do you create a compelling video that a viewer will want to watch? Simple. Don't talk about yourself; explain how you can help solve a viewer's problem (without giving any legal advice); give information that nobody else is providing online; give the information away for free. Why do that? So that you are viewed as the wise man on the totem pole, and viewers will want to call you for more information.

About our Guest Expert: Gerry Oginski, Esq.

Video Marketing Tip for Attorneys – Offer Honest, Useful InformationGerry is a veteran New York medical malpractice and personal injury trial lawyer and is the only video producer who is also a seasoned medical malpractice trial lawyer. He has produced and created over 250 educational videos to promote his own law firm using his New York Medical Malpractice Video Blog. Gerry has also created the Lawyers' Video Studio, to help get other lawyers get onto video.  You can reach Gerry personally at 516-487-8207 or by e-mail at Gerry AT lawyersvideostudio DOT com. He welcomes your call.


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What do you think? ▼
  • Chuck

    Great information! You are right on!

  • http://Greengorillavideo.com/ GreenGorillaVideo

    You are right about the need for a skilled video producer needed to get the information out of the lawyer that the viewer wants! So many people just don't realize this crucial point

  • http://Greengorillavideo.com/ GreenGorillaVideo

    I am reposting this article on my Facebook page for sure! Thanks again!

  • Craig Mullins

    So do you have some examples of great videos that worked for attorneys?

    • gerryoginski

      Hi Craig. Actually I do have examples of video that works. Take a look at my video blog, http://nymedicalmalpracticevideoblog.com to see just one way I use video to market my practice. These videos work, but you have to know what goes on behind the scenes in order to make it work. Behind the scenes, I mean it's crucial to know how to optimize the videos and to learn what will convert a viewer to a caller.

      You must know that you cannot simply copy an attorney's content and believe that it will work for you. It won't. You must learn the inner workings to truly understand how to make it happen.

  • Valerie Jones

    Hi Gerry,

    Great story! Lots of valuable information. As a producer for a prime time, weekly live legal talk feature legal program for a major market news affiliate, I can say that _short_ cllps of attorneys who appear on our 30 or 60 minute programs _do_ go viral, from either our website (www.lawjournaltv.com), or the law firm's YouTube channel, Facebook page, iTunes, etc.

    Being news and public affairs that's been broadcast, there's a different value for this video than proprietary production. Potential clients like to see attorneys going head to head with their adversaries, elected officials, Judges, etc.--they get a sense of the attorney in action instead of seeing them talk about who they are and how great they are. Other attorneys size up their competition and opposing counsel, too. Although our prime mission is the television show, we do produce video in the field for law firms, but they're always news or documentary style 'cause that's our "thing."

    Many of your points in this article are crucial to proprietary or in-house video production, not only for business development. For maximum exposure to potential clients and colleagues, we recommend lawyers look for opportunities including being the resident expert for news organizations and listed on newswires, and possibly hiring a PR firm.

    Just signed up for your blog and videos--your blog and website are great. You give people useful, interesting content in short, meaningful videos. Look forward to seeing more!

    Valerie