Lawyers Are Discovering Video - and Still Getting It Wrong

I’ll bet you didn’t know that after our fourth child was born, I decided that the four kids and a dog made for “enough.” So, not knowing what to do with myself, I took up two new avocations: golf and piano. I had never played either as a youngster and was starting from scratch (really). I’d go out at dawn and play by myself on a course so that I wouldn’t (1) embarrass myself or (2) kill someone should I actually hit the ball. In piano, I did embarrass myself playing several recitals where I was the only one older than 15. In both golf and piano, I took lessons, read books and bought and watched DVDs to get better.

I actually tracked down books and articles about the science of learning and performing. I wanted the formula for success. (Hopefully, now that you know me, that does not surprise you.) When Matt (now 13) came along, both the golf and the piano went by the wayside. As most of you know, we then went on to adopt four from China. One of them picks at the piano now and then.  But I still like listening to the piano, so my attention was drawn to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal about a popular classical pianist, Valentina Lisitsa.

It seems that Ms. Lisitsa has become very famous through her YouTube videos. Fifty-five million views famous! Playing in sold-out concerts, famous because of her videos.

Lawyers sometimes tell me either that (1) they don’t want to give away too many answers to questions out of fear that people won’t hire them and pay them to answer questions or that (2) they can’t think of what to say. In a typical week, I get into my very own video studio at least once. Just recently, I went into the studio and, in less than one hour, produced 10 videos designed to market one of my 13 satellite offices, three other med/mal and three more disability videos. I also shot three episodes of my LiveLifeBig TV program.

This has been huge for my law practice. In case you haven’t noticed, YouTube is a search engine.

Now, here’s something cool: most lawyer videos on YouTube are crappy. The crappiest ones are not the “homemade” in the office, bad lighting and poor audio ones. No. They are bad, but the crappiest videos on the planet are those where you can tell the lawyer spent a bundle with some big web firm to “do videos”…you know the ones I’m talking about: They are taken in front of the stack of books in the library and they follow this script:

  • “We handle a wide variety of personal injury cases. This includes motor vehicle* accidents, slip and fall cases and premises liability* cases”
  • “If your case is compensable* it means that someone else caused the harm”
  • “What we do at the [name] law firm is to make sure that our clients get the best possible results.”
  • “We can do this because we have been practicing for a combined 25 years.”
  • “We treat each client like they are our only client”
  • “It’s important to hire a law firm like ours.”

I cringe every time I see an expensive video done using THAT script. It’s awful because it’s what everyone says and there’s no reason for a consumer to use anything other than a dart board to choose who to call first. (*Really – who talks like that for real?)

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