With the abundance of law practitioners in the legal marketplace it can be difficult for a law firm to really differentiate themselves from their competitors. Many lawyers are looking at social media as a new way to gain greater visibility for their firm but what marketing opportunities can online video content provide? In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, host Jared Correia talks with Crisp Video Group CEO Michael Mogill about creating video content for law firms, how to effectively market through video, and the benefits this type of marketing can bring to your business.
Special thanks to our sponsors Amicus Attorney and Scorpion.
The Legal Toolkit
Video Marketing for Law Firms
Intro: Welcome to ‘The Legal Toolkit’, bringing you the latest legal trends and business initiatives to help you manage your law firm. Here are your hosts, experienced lawyers, writers and entrepreneurs, Heidi Alexander and Jared Correia. You’re listening to Legal Talk Network.
Jared Correia: Welcome to another episode of ‘The Legal Toolkit’ on Legal Talk Network. If you’re looking for stranger things, that’s a show on Netflix. This podcast is only a little bit wearier than that. If you are a returning listener, welcome back. If you’re a first-time listener, hopefully you’ll become a longtime listener, and if your Fox Mulder, literally everyone is lying to you.
I’m your host, Jared Correia, and in addition to casting this pod, I’m the founder and CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law practice management consulting and technology implementations for law firms. Check us out at HYPERLINK “http://www.redcavelegal.com” redcavelegal.com to find out why call it that.
You can buy my book, ‘Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers’, from the American Bar Association on iTunes, at Amazon and probably at Wicked Good Books in Salem Massachusetts.
Here on ‘The Legal Toolkit’ we provide you each month with a new tool to add to your own legal toolkit so that your practices will become more-and-more like best practices. In this episode we’re going to talk about video marketing for law firms, but, before we do that I’d like to take a moment to thank our sponsors.
This podcast is brought to you by Amicus Attorney, developers of legal practice management software. Let Amicus help you run your practice so you can focus on what you do best, practice law. Visit HYPERLINK “http://www.amicusattorney.com” amicusattorney.com and get started today.
Thanks also to our sponsor Scorpion, which delivers award-winning law firm web design and online marketing programs to get you more cases. Scorpion has helped thousands of law firms, just like yours, to attract new cases and grow their practices. For more information, visit HYPERLINK “http://www.scorpionlegal.com/podcast” scorpionlegal.com/podcast.
Our guest today is Michael Mogill, who is the President of Crisp Video Group, a national legal video marketing company that produces high quality and engaging videos for attorneys. Crisp bridges the gap between video production and video implementation, taking a comprehensive approach that helps attorneys get noticed, build their brands, and attract higher-value cases.
In addition to producing video content for law firms Crisp has worked with major international brands like Coca-Cola, Verizon and Redbull. Michael has been featured by Forbes, the Huffington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Bar Association and 02:55, and while you can’t tell this just by listening to his voice, let me assure you that Michael is just like a young Joel McHale.
Michael, welcome to the show my friend.
Michael Mogill: Thank you for having me.
Jared Correia: This is great, we’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I think the videos you do are really great, so I want to dive into some of these questions. So let’s begin with what’s probably the most obvious question here, which is what lawyers are going to be asking when they listen to this podcast. Why should lawyers be using video for their marketing?
Michael Mogill: Sure, yeah, that’s a question that comes up a lot, although I would say in a light way it’s been coming up a lot less just because we now see video everywhere, but to give you an idea there’s about 1.3 million attorneys in the US, I mean, that’s coming out to roughly one for every 265 people, every man, woman and child. I even did a search earlier today in New York and found that there is 4,200 personal injury lawyers. So how is a prospective client to tell attorneys apart, right? How do you really differentiate yourself and set yourself apart? And video is a great marketing tool to do just that.
Jared Correia: Yeah, absolutely. Video is a tremendous marketing tool for attorneys I think, and it’s good to see that attorneys are charging into a full steam really.
So video is compelling, it’s a thoroughly modern marketing tactic I think. And now that that’s out of the way, let’s spend the first half of this show talking about some of the elements of video production.
Size matters, right? How long is too long for marketing video? What’s too short, and kind of what’s the sweet spot?
Michael Mogill: Yes, so the length of a video really comes down to where it’s being used, and I think for the most part, most law firms are using the videos online. So if you’re using them on your website or on Facebook, social, traditionally it also depends on how engaging a video is. So if it’s a video about you and your firm, you can get away with a slightly longer video, something around 2 to 3 minutes; if it’s an educational video or a short FAQ, those tend to do best and they are about 60 to 90 seconds. So ideally you’ll want to keep it under five minutes.
The reality is that if someone was searching for a specific topic or a question that they had and they’ve got, one video pops up from one law firm that’s a minute 30 seconds and there’s another video that pops up that’s 25 minutes, which one do you think they’ll click on and the shorter videos typically prevail.
Jared Correia: So is there any place for a sort of long-form video marketing that you’ve seen? Do people use that in going beyond five minutes at all and have you seen it as effective or no? Because I think most attorneys like to talk and I think they would prefer to do longer videos if they could.
Michael Mogill: So you can get away with it if you are — let’s say you’ve already qualified that person, let’s say you have an online course, for example, or a webinar or you’ve got a video series and educational series, you can get away with it that way, but even so those we find that it’s typically best to even break those up into shorter chunks, it’s just hard to command someone’s attention online for that longer period of time. We’re finding now that most people are viewing video content on their mobile devices and on their phone as opposed to even at their desktop. So the content really does need to be digestible and bite-sized.
Jared Corriea: How about music for videos? When and how should lawyers be using music to supplement their video content? I have seen some videos that your folks have done where you’ve done sort of dramatic music elements. What if I wanted to add like Lido Shuffle to my law firm video, how do I incorporate music and this is a good idea?
Michael Mogill: Yes, so music plays a very important role and any type of a video that you produce, I mean, it’s — oftentimes the real value of a video is that you’re able to connect with somebody emotionally. Many times it is subconscious, and the music is typically, you want it online that with whatever the messaging is behind your video, your brand, we’ve produced videos that are much more epic and cinematic and dramatic, but there’s also ones that are much more conservative.
So in terms of using something like “Staying Alive” or the “Lido Shuffle”, I mean, I am sure you could find something like that, you probably want to stay away from some of the commercial tracks just because YouTube and some of the other sites, they tend to mute those, but it really just — again it comes down to your brand and what type of emotion that you’re looking to evoke from your video content.
Jared Correia: And there is probably enough stock music out there I would imagine that you could purchase music and not have it be insanely costly, and I am sure there are routes to go to do that, right?
Michael Mogill: Absolutely, I mean, it’s very manageable, I mean, there’s a lot of sites that allow for music licensing so we license music for every video that we produce. So our attorneys are able to use their video anywhere they like, whether it’s on the web, if they want to use it on TV, wherever that might be, and if they have the licensing rights to that music track, but this can be fairly affordable I mean, you’re seeing music licensing rates go down now to where you can get a track for, I’d say, even under $500.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s really good. Now, how about scripting of these videos? Lawyers are perfectionists, they want to have control over just about everything they do, do you find that lawyers prefer to write their own video scripts, do you find that they would let you do it because you’re the experts, and for lawyers who want to produce law firm videos, do they want to be featured in these videos, are they looking to have actors do this or voiceover people, what’s been your experience as far as that is concerned, with the control of a final product?
Michael Mogill: Yes, so we found for the most effective legal videos, it’s something that does feature the attorney. We try to stay away from using any types of actors or even any type of scripts so with us there’s no tele-prompters. We found that that doesn’t. The videos don’t come across as genuine and authentic that way, what we do provide is obviously, we put together a story-board, so what’s important to figure out is what is your unique value proposition, what sets you apart, why do clients choose you? You are not just listing out here the services that I offer, but more importantly, why would someone choose to work with you as opposed to another firm? So when you’re able to focus on that value proposition, you can really come up with a very compelling story.
Jared Correia: And so the storyboarding concept I think is pretty interesting. How do lawyers and businesspeople generally adjust to that, is that sort of a mindset change for them? Do they want to sort of have things written down and be able to read off a teleprompter or do you find that they get comfortable with the notion of making it authentic pretty quickly once explained to them?
Michael Mogill: I think now after having done so many of these that it’s easier to do one that isn’t scripted then for something that is scripted. With a teleprompter, you’re having to read off these lines, but instead, what we focus on is actually creating leading questions, so asking the types of questions, what sets you apart even when we’re doing client testimonials and videos even asking clients some leading questions so that they would answer in a complete sense, why do they choose the firm, what was their experience like, what was going on in their life at the time where they reached out to the law firm?
So those tend to be much more natural, people can speak true to their experience, and to be completely honest, we find that that — there’s attorneys who will want to come off a certain way, like they’ll see one of our videos and they’ll think, I want to be like the one, the dramatic attorney who’s coming out of the burning building with cars blowing up, like that’s me, right?
But what we often find is that that’s not that, right? And it’s really not why clients choose them, clients may choose that specific attorney because of the one-on-one level of client experience they have, maybe not because they’re so aggressive in the courtroom because they provide a one-on-one client relationship that’s just superior to what they’ve experienced in the past with other lawyers.
So it’s important to be authentic. It’s everyone’s brand, it’s a little bit different, but just be true to you and we find that those videos are the most effective.
Jared Correia: And that brings up an interesting point too. I am sure you’ve seen these videos that lawyers have started doing now that appear in Super Bowl commercials in States like Texas. Is there a time where it’s appropriate for a lawyer to come out like brandishing a flamethrower or a sledgehammer? Do you ever find that to be effective or do you think it really relates to what is this person trying to convey as part of their brand?
Michael Mogill: Yeah, again, it ties into their brand and the types of clients they’re looking to attract. So we’ve seen like the Texas Law Hawk and Jamie Casino and those guys, and if that’s what you are looking for —
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s what I was referencing.
Michael Mogill: — if those are the clients that you want, oftentimes we find that those attorneys are focusing more on a volume-based approach rather than kind of the quality level of those clients so they’re not trying to attract like that certain client, high case values got a very specific type of case, but rather they’re just trying to operate on volume, and if that’s your firm, that’s okay, but again, consider the types of clients that would reach out to Texas Law Hawk. I think its marketing campaign is brilliant, but if you have somebody who’s got a very serious type of criminal case, are they going to want to turn to him?
Jared Correia: Yes maybe, maybe. I sometimes stylize myself as a Massachusetts Law Hawk but I had to drop that. So let’s talk a little bit about video quality, because I don’t think this is something that’s necessarily understood really well by the majority of lawyers, how important is it to have a high quality video, and then, what are the levels of quality that people should be looking at, like, if they wanted to do a video by themselves, for example?
Michael Mogill: Sure! so video quality — this one comes up a lot because when we talk about video quality, there’s filming the video yourself, let’s say you’ve got an iPhone or then having the video professionally produced, and then even sometimes we see some of the videos that are professionally produced may not be the highest estimate of quality, but your video is a reflection of your firm. That could either be a good thing or it could be a potentially harmful thing. Just consider the fact that especially for things like brand videos that tell your story that that’s how someone is perceiving you. It’s the first thing they see whether it’s on Facebook or YouTube or on your website, that’s how they’ll really kind of decide if you’re right for them.
And if it’s a poor quality video, it’s more often that their mind is going to reflect the poor quality firm and an inexperienced or ineffective attorney and potentially vice versa. But, at the same time when we talk about quality I actually think messaging oftentimes is even more important.
We had an attorney several years ago who’d reached out to us and she had some videos produced for her and when she got those videos online on her website she actually found the conversion rate to drop significantly, phone calls had dropped. So she calls us and asked if we could go in an audit, figure out what’s going on here, and when we took a look at those videos we found that her law firm, they were specializing in divorce law to all female firm but 95% of their clients were male, but the videos themselves were very female-focused, so she was essentially alienating her audience there.
Jared Correia: It’s really interesting.
Michael Mogill: Than the quality – and than the quality and there’s times where a high quality video can be very effective. So things like your brand videos, even things like education and FAQ videos, things that are going to stick around for a while and are going to be essential part of your lead nurturing or marketing process, but let’s say you’ve got something comes up, there’s something in the media or current event and you want to be able to blog about this quickly or you want to be able to address it right away and it’s relevant to your practice area, in those instances you can get away with a much more candid video. People find that much more acceptable because you can get those videos out.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So before we end the first half of the podcast, during which I wanted to talk about like, production elements, production values of video, is there anything that we haven’t addressed yet, that you think is important to talk about on that end?
Michael Mogill: Oh man! We could probably talk about for hours but what I wish —
Jared Correia: Just go, I am going to take a nap.
Michael Mogill: What I would say after having done enough of these and worked with enough firms, we’ve worked with hundreds of firms at this point and what I could say is it’s more often than not you really do get what you pay for and when it’s concerning your brand it’s concerning your business, if you’re not able to invest in doing video right, it’s probably better to wait until you can than to go for some sort of half measure because what we always find is we see firms that are going to work with one, two, three different vendors, try it themselves, buy a bunch of equipment, try themselves again, and then finally years later they’ll reach out and they’ll say, I should have done it this way the first time.
So you could save yourself a lot of time and money there and just focus on doing it right, because again, it is your brand, it’s your business.
Jared Correia: All right, thanks Michael. It’s a lot for attorneys to think about obviously. We will be back before you know it with more from Michael Mogill of Crisp Video Group. But, before you get a snack, I’d like to take some time to thank our sponsors once again.
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Jared Correia: Thanks for coming back. How was your wheat grass shake? So we are continuing with a crash course in video marketing from Michael Mogill of Crisp Video Group and we are going to jump right back into it.
So Michael, I know you know, this is true, but actually producing a video, putting the content together, certainly a big step, but really it only becomes the first item in a longer to-do list. So the question becomes once a lawyer has produced a video or had a video produced for them, how should that lawyer then disseminate that video?
Michael Mogill: You are absolutely right. Producing the video content probably won half the battle and you can have the best video, the most engaging content, but if nobody sees it, and more importantly, if the right people don’t see it then you’re not going to see much of a result. So the best way to take advantage of video content, for one, get it on your website, on the website homepage without a doubt. Of course any legal directories that allow you to upload video as part of your profile, that’s another free way to do it.
Email signatures, we find that that’s very effective, so actually linking to your video and your email signature if you are corresponding with prospective clients or people in your office are corresponding, it’s a great way to syndicate that content.
Of course, YouTube as well but one gold mine that is absolutely I think is the gold rush today for attorneys, which may not be the case a year or two from now, but it is today.
Is Facebook is really taking advantage of video on Facebook, so uploading your video directly to Facebook from your business page and then running a page Facebook ad to specific audience, to specific age range, zip code, you can get so specific with this stuff, like I’ll tell you, privacy is gone. When you see Facebook ads like what you can do, you can target based on interest like NASCAR, you can target based on household income, where they work, associations they are part of, let’s say family law, you can target by recently separated life events, right?
If you’re doing a state planning you can say, recently engaged and things like that, so you can get really specific with it, and if you can dial down to your target demographic, the specific types of people you’re trying to reach, it can be a very cost-effective way to get your video in front of them.
Jared Correia: I can tell you are down in Atlanta, you’ve got a lost of NASCAR running through your blood there. No offense, of course.
So let’s talk a little bit about YouTube, because obviously YouTube is a great place to disseminate content and it seems like it’s probably the most obvious place to put a video outside of your own website if you are a lawyer. So do you think lawyers out there should be building and managing their own YouTube channels, and do you think they are capable of doing that with all the other things they have buzzing around as far as practice management is concerned?
Michael Mogill: So yeah, I guess, it’s really two questions, right? So should attorneys be on YouTube? Absolutely! The one thing that always amazes people, believe it or not, is that there are people out there, a lot of people out there that actually use YouTube as a search engine. Like they will go to YouTube and they will type-in, they’ll treat it like Google, and they will actually type-in things and they watch videos all day long, it’s amazing, and YouTube which happens to be owned by Google, so YouTube is the number two search engine on the web. It’s significant and it’s free. So it’s a no-brainer if you are producing video content to be on YouTube.
As far as actively managing and building up a channel I would say YouTube is important in terms of getting found, so if you’re using certain types of keywords, getting your videos found just through Google Search, that’s important and betting that content of your website, that’s important, but as far as really trying to build up a large subscriber base or YouTube channel, you just don’t see a whole lot of that for attorneys or in the legal space. Becoming a YouTube sensation I am sure it sounds appealing, but the amount of content that you would have to produce consistently, you’d spend more time doing that than you would probably practicing law which would outweigh the value of that.
So I would say that it’s important on YouTube to have the videos there, but I would say that if you have somebody in your office whether it’s somebody involved in marketing that can manage the channel, that’s probably the best way to approach that.
Jared Correia: Yeah, I think you’re right. There’s probably not a solo lawyer in Peoria, Illinois, who is going to become the next Justin Bieber by using YouTube to sort of market their law practice.
All right, I’m glad we covered that. Let’s broaden this topic a little bit, because I think you’ve answered some of these questions already or at least a portion of it, but just more broadly, how can video content be used to achieve better results in search, because I think most lawyers out there will still say, okay, how do I get to Page 1 of Google, that’s still a question I hear a lot from attorneys. What’s your take on that?
Michael Mogill: Yeah, everybody wants to be on Page 1, it’s amazing, right?
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Michael Mogill: It’s funny when you think about it like what we were talking about earlier, there’s 4,200 plus PI attorneys in New York and how many can fit on Page 1-10, right?
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Michael Mogill: So you see this battle raging on. How do we all show up on Page 1, there’s only room for 10, and it’s usually the same guys on there twice at least. So in terms of video and using video to get results in search, it depends on the types of content you produce.
So if you’re looking to show up in Google Search for let’s say Miami Criminal Defense, well, you’re going to compete against every Miami Criminal Defense Attorney. Let’s just say, you say criminal defense, now you’re competing with everybody nationally. But when you’re using things like the education on FAQ videos because those are a long-tail, so to kind of draw an example here, it’s the difference between typing in shoes into Search and then Niké shoes, and then men’s Niké shoes and then men’s Niké running shoes, right? So as you get more specific you’re more apt to rank for those specific terms, because there’s not as much competition, but then also the people who are searching for those topics are much more qualified.
So the person who is searching for something relating to a traumatic brain injury, or slip and fall, anything along those lines is going to be much more qualified than it’s someone searching for injury in general. So the best way to leverage video is to produce topics based on what people are searching for in your market for your practice area. And there’s a number of ways to figure that out and it involves keyword research, but it’s always better to produce content that people are already searching for as opposed to producing a video and then figuring out how you want to rank it later.
Jared Correia: And that’s a good point I think about the long-tail search as well, which is something that a lot of attorneys don’t necessarily think about.
Let’s get back to this question of personality and authenticity which we sort of addressed a little bit before. I’m trying to think of a nice way to say this, but there are a lot of lawyers who are super-boring, and previously we talked about like guys like Jamie Casino, the Texas Law Hawk, those guys appeared at personality despair. But if you’re a boring lawyer and you kind of know you’re a boring lawyer, because some lawyers do, how should a lawyer who’s decided to feature himself in a law firm video try to make that video at least interesting?
Now I know there’s this point of being authentic, but what else could a lawyer do who is not necessarily the most exciting person in the world, nevertheless sort of star in a video? Because I think that’s the way to think about it and be able to get a message out there that’s still compelling.
Michael Mogill: Yeah, it’s interesting because I would say that there are a lot of clients out there that want a boring lawyer. So I don’t know that I would view it as a pure negative because he may not be flashy, he may not be stepping out of a Ferrari or Lamborghini but he maybe experienced and he may be communicative and responsive and just he may care, right? So all those benefits.
So again, it comes back to authenticity. Everybody has a different value proposition. Sometimes the guys who try to be very flashy are trying to cover a lack of experience, and there are attorneys who offer other benefits, so it comes down to why the clients choose you, and then really communicating that throughout your video. And one of the best ways to figure this out by the way is not to answer that question yourself, but to rather call five clients and ask them why they chose you, because what you believe the reason is may be very different from what your clients thinking and this is like an amazing thought experiment. But every time we do this we hear what attorneys say, well, they hire me because I’m the best and because I’m so amazing at trial and all those things.
And when we ask the clients, clients are saying things like, you know what, he was very responsive and this was somebody that I saw through a Facebook ad and I trusted him. So really make sure that the value proposition that you are marketing is the same reason clients are actually choosing you.
Jared Correia: Yeah. So I think you underscored the point you made before which is that it’s not necessarily flashiness, it’s what is your client base looking for. And yeah, experience may be sexy to potential client basis.
All right, so we’ve got time for one more question and we’re going to do this. Obviously, law firms could regularly produce videos and could set up a YouTube channel especially if that’s somebody in their office as you noted who’s willing to help out with that sort of thing. But, if I’m a lawyer and I had — say I was a small firm lawyer and I had a budget for like one video that I could do, and now let’s say for the foreseeable future, what kind of video should I focus on producing?
Michael Mogill: Yeah, if you could only do one video, if you’ve got to kind of scrap together every penny to do just one, I would say you would see the biggest impact and probably the most immediate impact from doing a brand video. A video that really tells your story, introduces people to who you are, talks about your why, has client testimonials, it’s typically two to three-minute video, those we have seen and I really don’t want to understate this, but just the level of impact that those have had for attorneys, it turns the invisible visible.
And, we just actually put out a case study of a criminal defense attorney that we work with, he saw a 10x ROI on his brand video in 3 months, literally you get it up on your website, you get it in your email signature, and that’s it, and you’re going to see a huge response especially if it’s effective, because more often than not, those videos are the ones that really set you apart in your market and there’s nobody else who has a video like that, so it definitely draws in a lot of attention.
And for the people who are already visiting your website, it gets those people to take action, gets them to book a consultation, schedule an appointment, whatever that call-to-action is on your site. So if you can just get more of those guys to convert then you don’t have to chase down traffic, you don’t have to figure out how do I get more people to my site?
Jared Correia: We’ve got very metaphysical there at the end making the invisible visible. I like that, that’s good stuff. I feel like you were meant to work at Disney maybe you can do that as a second career. This has been a really fun discussion. So Michael, thanks for coming on and that’s going to do it sadly for another episode of ‘The Legal Toolkit’.
I will be back next month with further insights into my soul, the soul of America. It still has a soul after the presidential election and the legal market. If you’re feeling nostalgic for my dulcet tones however, you can check out our entire show archive anytime you want at HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com.
So thanks to Michael Mogill of Crisp Video Group, for spending some time with us to talk about video marketing for law firms today.
Michael, can you tell folks a little bit more about how to get information on you and about Crisp?
Michael Mogill: Sure, absolutely. You can visit our website HYPERLINK “http://www.crisplegalvideo.com” crisplegalvideo.com or — and I don’t know if I’m going to regret this, but you can shoot me an email directly [email protected] If you mention the Legal Talk Network, I’m sure we can give you some sort of gift or discount or something along those lines, as I have mentioned Jared sent you of course, but those two are probably the best ways, we are going to put out a lot of educational content soon, so if you’re interested in learning more about video marketing, yeah, we certainly are putting out webinars, blog-posts and just ways to best leverage video for your firm. We’re putting out on almost every single week.
Jared Correia: Thanks Michael. This has been really fun, and thanks to you out there for listening, and especially you, my second-favorite Crisp, Coco Crisp. We will talk to you next time.
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