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Harnessing the Power of YouTube

Most of your prospective clients will not read the text on your website. After 5 seconds of reading the boring text, your prospective clients will move onto another website. And you’re quickly forgotten.

Video is a game changer. With video (live or recorded), you are bringing your prospective clients and fans into the courtroom with you and sharing testimonials and success stories of your clients.  Prospective clients from across the country will recognize you as the authority in your practice area.  Yes, my friend, this is the power of YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine.


How to Get 40% of Your Clients from YouTube

Still don’t believe?  St. Louis immigration lawyer, Jim Hacking, Esq. gets 40% of his clients from YouTube. Jim is recognized by complete strangers throughout the country as a result of his videos about his immigration practice.  At a court appearance in immigration court in New York City, Jim was approached by a stranger and asked “Hey, aren’t you the immigration lawyer on YouTube?” Pretty cool and you can bet that Jim shared this experience (moments later) on his YouTube channel.

“The most important rule is be original.”

–Casey Neistat

There’s only one question: why aren’t you harnessing the power of YouTube to expand your influence and client base?  Embrace video and you might become the next “Jim Hacking, Esq.” on YouTube.


12 Tips to Make a Lawyer Video that Doesn’t Suck

Tip #1:   Use Interesting Backgrounds: Don’t use a generic background, e.g., bookshelf or wall. Use an interesting background for the video, hold the camera steady and look into the lens.

Social media guru/lawyer, Mitch Jackson, Esq., shoots video on the beach with the backdrop of the ocean. If you’re about to enter court for a hearing, record the video with the entrance of the courtroom in the background.

Tip #2:   Start with a Question or Story:  Provide as much value as possible so viewers will keep watching.  “Are you curious about how to get referrals from other lawyers? In this video, I will break down 3 Examples of best referral practices IN DETAIL.”

Tell a personal story that illustrates the key point of the video. Rather than telling lawyers to write a book, share a quick story of how you got a big case because of you are the lawyer who “wrote the book”.

Tip #3:   Cut to the Chase: Don’t waste a second—you have 5 seconds to hook the viewer. Get to the point right at the beginning of the video. If you ramble for 5-10 seconds, you will lose viewers.

Tip #4:   Use a Prop:  Make things eye-catching.  Props get and keep people’s attention. Anything that will get the viewer’s attention, e.g., clapboard adds a little noise and humor. How can you visually capture people’s attention? Hold up the prop.

Walking makes the video more compelling, rather than just sitting there, e.g., begin by opening a door and entering the room with the camera on a tripod.

Tip #5:   Share Client Success Stories:  Share your client’s success stories with a video.   Jim Hacking, Esq. records video with his clients outside of the courthouse when he wins an immigration case. Jim tells the story of his client’s struggle, what he did for his client and the end result, e.g., a green card or citizenship. The stories are heartwarming and captivate your attention.

Tip #6:   Niche Down: Go narrow with your niche, e.g., lawyer-to-lawyer referral based marketing.  What are you passionate about and do better than anyone else? That should be your niche.

Do stuff that artistically turns you on.  Variety does not work. Explain your focus in just a few words.  Buy a unique URL for your YouTube channel.

Tip #7:   Cross Promote Your Channel on Other Channels:  Share your videos with your email subscribers. Sunny Leonardo, of YouTubeBoss, shares every new video with her email subscriber list. You can post your video on multiple social media platforms with Hootsuite.

Tip #8:   Consistency is Everything:  Jim Hacking, Esq. posts video 3x/week, e.g, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Aim for a minimum of one video per week.

Tip #9:   Use Annotations: You need to have captions for your video. Some people will listen, but many prefer reading the captions.

Annotations are text overlays that you place over your video. With annotations, you can add links to your video, e.g., “Subscribe to our YouTube channel” or encourage viewers to “like” or comment on your video.  Create a video “end slate” that appears at the end of the video that directs viewers to your website, e.g., “If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up or comment.”

Tip #10:  Thumbnail Images, Descriptions and Tags: Focus on the thumbnail image—what looks the best and has the nicest style. Be more aesthetic with your thumbnail, and create an enticing title and description, to grab your audience’s attention and interest.

Descriptions and tags will help people find your videos.  CNN adds a logo for CNN on every thumbnail or you can use your face shot on the thumbnail, e.g., Neil Patel’s thumbnail image.   There are websites that show you how to make thumbnail images for free.

Tip #11:   Collaborate with YouTubers: Do not do this alone. Find others who do the same type of content on YouTube and become their friends; someone who is at the same level as you, who you can grow with. Lean on them when you’re struggling . You will learn from each other and have a ton of fun.

Tip #12:  Make Art Now: Embrace the fear and just make the first video regardless of the quality. Enjoy the process of creating video, have fun and don’t worry about the analytics or the ranking system.  Just focus on creating awesome content.


Video is a Marathon, not a Sprint

Don’t get bogged down by the number of viewers.  It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Speak to an audience of one and keep improving your channel and content.

Leave a comment below telling me what surprised, inspired or taught you the most (I personally respond to every comment). And if you disagree with my take on running a personal injury law firm, or have a specific, actionable tip, I’d love to hear from you.