"Everything you've been told about building
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Livestreaming Your Ass Off

There is nothing lawyers do worse than social media. Trial lawyers boast about their big settlement or verdict and their 5k Facebook friends collectively roll their eyes. Here’s the problem: no one cares about you (except possibly your spouse). Bragging is boring, so how do you build a herd of raving fans who will crave everything you say?

There’s one lawyer who gets it: Mitch Jackson, Esq., a trial lawyer and livestreaming/social media guru in Southern California. Mitch is authentic, real and livestreams his ass off. But what about the payoff? Through the power of his social media engagement (yes, this takes hustle and elbow grease), Mitch gets seven figure injury cases, but the payoff is far more than financial. Mitch has built relationships with some of the top celebrities, thought leaders and marketers…anywhere.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Livestreaming levels the playing field. And the statistics don’t lie:

  • People comment and engage on live video 10x more than regular video,
  • The Facebook algorithm prioritizes live video,
  • Video will be 80% of internet traffic by 2019

Livestreaming costs nothing and helps build relationships and your status as a thought leader. The downside? Just a few minutes of your time.

The 10 Commandments of Livestreaming

Don’t wait for anyone to appoint you as a thought leader—grab your smart phone and start the live broadcast. But before you do, here are a few ideas to get started.

#1: Smile, Damn It!

Begin every livestream with a HUGE smile. No one likes a sourpuss. No one has a bigger smile than Chicago trademark lawyer, Joey Vitale, Esq.

#2: Look at the Lens

Focus on the lens of your laptop/desktop and don’t take your eye off it. Eye contact conveys honesty. Keep your hands away from your face.

Change your voice inflection and flow of your speech to emphasize key points. Pausing will have your audience anxiously anticipating your next word.

#3: Tell Personal Stories

Be real and personal. The story brings your audience into your living room and creates a powerful bond. You have great stories—you’re just not sharing them.

I share the story of the day that I discovered that my mother had been diagnosed with colon cancer (“A Story of Hope”). After spending hours questioning why God would let this happen, I decided to place my trust in God. My willingness to trust in God’s plan helped me get through some anxious hours and become a source of strength and hope for my mother, sisters and father.

I truly believe that you can change the world one livestream at a time.

Jennifer Quinn, “Leverage Livestreaming to Build Your Brand

St. Louis immigration lawyer, Jim Hacking, Esq., shares the compelling stories of his clients when they receive their green cards or citizenship. There’s nothing better than seeing Jim outside court with his client celebrating their win after years of struggle. Jim’s audience is sharing his success with him.

#4: Share Your Fears, Faults and Failures

Credibility is earned through the self-revelation of your biggest fears and failures. There is nothing more powerful or difficult.

Give yourself permission to be real and be yourself.

Mitch Jackson

I tell the story of being fired from a partnership (after 14 years with the firm) and being shown the door with no idea how to run a law firm. Scared? Hell yes. But with this story of failure, perhaps you realize that I’m just like you: flawed and imperfect. And in the process, trust and our relationship grows stronger.

#5: Welcome People by Name

What is your favorite word? Your name. That’s because you (and everyone else) loves to hear your name and if you are going to livestream, you better engage with your audience. Just two words will suffice, “Hey, Frank”, when someone joins your livestream.

Remember this basic truth about human beings and your livestreams will be magical: people want to be seen, recognized and validated.

Jennifer Quinn, “Leverage Livestreaming to Build Your Brand

Can’t focus on the topic of your speech and engage with your audience at the same time? Have a co-worker or friend prompt you whenever someone joins your broadcast, i.e., have them hold up a note card, “Say, hi, to Charlie”. With this little gesture, you did the most important thing of livestreaming: ENGAGEMENT.

#6: Let Your Hair Down

Going for a jog on the beach? Perfect time to livestream. Who cares that your hair is sticking up and you look like Grizzly Adams? Let the world see the real you.

When you take the focus off yourself and focus on the viewers, that’s where the magic happens.

Jennifer Quinn, “Leverage Livestreaming to Build Your Brand

Perfection is the enemy of success. Even if your broadcast is full of mistakes, just remember: no one else is doing this. You’re still way ahead of the game.

#7: Add Value

Always think, what can I say that will ADD VALUE for your audience. Don’t hesitate to share your unique spin on a controversial topic. When you’ve got a value to add to a news story, share your broadcast with members of the news media (or just send them a Tweet).

Confidential settlements cover up the crimes in sexual harassment claims, but are the victims partly at fault for taking hush money? (Hell, yes!). Don’t shy away from sharing your unique view on a controversial subject.

#8: Become the Host of Your Own Show

Alabama injury lawyer, Morris “Mo” Lilienthal, Esq. has his own Facebook Live show (“The Mo Show”), where he interviews prominent members of his community. The interviews have little to do with the law and focus more on newsworthy topics. A recent show featured the problem of football-related concussions and as a former college football player, Mo offered his own unique insights.

Missouri lawyers, Tyson Mutrux, Esq. and Jim Hacking, Esq. livestream their podcast shows for their podcast, Maximum Lawyer (highly recommended, btw) The livestream makes the podcast far more personal and engaging, even with the occasional technical hiccup. The results? The Maximum Lawyer is one of the American Bar Association’s Top 100 Blogs for 2017.

#9: Show Love for Your Community

The “Wheel of Charity” is a weekly Facebook Live show for New Jersey injury lawyers, Rich Grungo, Jr., Esq. and Bill Colarulo, Esq. The favorite charities of the firm’s clients are listed on clicker spots on a spinning prize wheel and a team member spins the wheel to randomly pick a winner (sort of “Wheel of Fortune” for lawyers). The winning charity gets $250 and Rich and Bill get a heavy dose of Facebook goodwill.

Mo Lilienthal, Esq. used a Facebook Live show to announce the winner of a drawing for Alabama football tickets. The scheduled announcement on Facebook Live resulted in over 700 “likes” for the law firm’s Facebook page.

#10: Consistency is King

The key to any form of marketing/relationship-building is consistency. Livestreaming on a consistent basis will build your audience. Legendary marketer/business guru, Gary Vaynerchuk, has a video crew following him seemingly all day and he posts video twice a day. As long as you have something valuable to share, there’s no reason you can’t follow Gary Vee’s lead.

Livestream whenever you have anything of value to share with your audience. When you don’t want to go live, feel the fear and do it anyway.

Once You’ve Mastered the Basics

Want to become known with bloggers and members of the media? When you like their articles, send them a tweet, i.e., “Love your article about Laverne’s Law” and retweet and share their posts on your social media channels. Nick Rishwain, J.D., of Experts.com, generously shares and retweets valuable articles—the authors love this and his influence grows.

Georgia injury lawyer, Rebecca Kay Sapp, Esq., uses Facebook Live to show her law firm’s holiday parties and announcements of new hires. Rebecca’s live video is funny, off-the wall and gives you real-time access to the inner workings of her firm. How many lawyers are willing to do this? Exactly why you should.

The Best Way to Grow Your Digital Footprint

Let’s face a brutal reality: you can’t do this alone. Sure, you might be okay for a few weeks, but eventually, other commitments will get in the way and before long, livestreaming will be long forgotten. You (and I) need accountability—a group of peers who will make sure you do what you say you’ll do.

There is no better place than Mitch Jackson, Esq.’s online mastermind, LegalMinds (LegalMinds.lawyer). I’ve been a member since Mitch created LegalMinds and I can’t think of any reason to leave. LegalMinds has online meetings twice a week and has interviews with special guests, such as H2H’s Bryan Kramer, in the world of social media. The members share best practices and each other’s posts, and continually challenge each other to “Go Live”.

If you are serious about growing your law firm’s digital footprint (and you should be), joining LegalMinds is a no-brainer.


photo credit: Visual Content Facebook Live Audience via photopin (license)

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.