Today I want to write a bit about Video Gone Wrong -- and why you should be very picky about hiring a videographer to shoot your web video. I'd like you to take a few moments and give some thought as to what kind of damage can be done when you cut corners to save a few dollars.
Mark Twain said, “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.” When you consider utilizing video in your marketing, the concept of Something Is Better Than Nothing is a thought you need to eliminate from your head completely. Don’t cut corners; in this case Sometimes Nothing is actually better than Something.
The (cheap) AMATEUR.
So many times we find video of attorneys shot with their web cam. The audio may be choppy or laced with distracting echo; the attorney is sitting at their desk sometimes blatantly reading their script off of the monitor in front of them. There is no brand recognition, no personal connection or comfortable presence on camera and the video overall looks amateurish.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m looking for someone to trust with a plan that will take care of all of the things and people I love in my life, I am not going to settle for an amateur.
You might have all the best intentions in the world, but it is obvious you’re cutting a corner here and misrepresenting yourself and your firm in general. That, or the representation of this video is spot on. Regardless you simply can not afford the time it took you to throw this together just to tarnish your professional image.
The Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home
Another corner you could cut is just to hire a local videographer that specializes in light design, audio recording and general camera work. You could end up with a video that is appealing to the eye, but the substance of your message is off. The camera man knows nothing of your firm, the type of law you practice or the correct message you need to communicate to your viewer. In this instance you’re going off of what you think is best.
A few possibilities occur with great video that has no guidance on the correct message to communicate…
- Used Car Salesman: You get a great video shot that consists of you trying to sell an estate plan like a used car salesmen. This turns viewers off or it attracts customers only looking for the best price…
- LawyerSpeak. You get a great video that is way too long and way too technical for a typical viewer to even understand what you’re talking about. Diving into the nuts and bolts of how to avoid probate is simply not interesting.
- Free Legal Advice. You get a great video that spills all the beans. It is really easy to give away too much in your video. Your videos should not be set up so you can give legal advice for free, that is what your consultations are for.
- The Wrong (Depressing) Message. You get a great video that simply depresses your viewer to the point that you’re the last person they want to see. Let’s face it, a lot of the planning you do is not if the sky falls but when the sky falls.
I personally enjoy a TV series on Biography called I Survived (watch full episodes here). It is sometimes a very harsh show to watch, but you’re always comforted by the fact that these people survive their close encounter with death. Please be sure not to push your own series by your law firm called I Died! This is not entertaining; it is extremely depressing and uses scare tactics to bring a person into your office.
You may have great video shot locally, but you probably won't get the proper coaching to guide you through this daunting task of communicating the correct message to your viewer. Sorry, but your local videographer likely knows nothing of these concerns and will record whatever sits in front of them.
Search Engine Optimization ... or ... Lost in CyberSpace
One last concern to consider is in optimizing your videos for web search. Quite frankly nobody that I’ve seen so far is doing this to the degree that we are. Properly optimized video gets ranked on Google for your key search terms. So many videos are just uploaded to YouTube and may as well be thrown into CyberSpace never to be found again. We constantly find great videos that have been up for months or even years with only a few views to their name.
Avoid these pitfalls. When the time is right, make the move, but do not try to cut corners and harm your practice.