Automation & EfficiencyPodcast

How to ACTUALLY Use Video to Connect with Clients and Grow Your Practice

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Episode Description

Learn how to capitalize on the exploding trend of video content. In this episode, Lauren discusses why video is only growing in popularity and the tangible benefits lawyers can gain by incorporating more video into their practice.

You’ll discover over a dozen actionable ways to use video for client communication, marketing, legal products, and staff training. From welcome videos to testimonials to video SOPs, Lauren provides creative ideas to help you stand out and connect with potential clients.

Video content makes legal concepts more digestible and allows lawyers to convey empathy and compassion. Don’t get swept away by this tidal wave of video – start riding the wave now. Tune in to pick up video tips that are guaranteed to grow your business.

Listen now!

Episode Resources

Adobe: Exploring TikTok’s hidden search engine powers

Ep 9: Why Sleeping on TikTok is Costing You Money

Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller

Episode Transcript 

LAUREN: [00:00:00] This is where the market is going. Whether you like it or not, we have to face some facts here. If you want your business to continue to compete in the market, you’re going to have to give the market what it wants. Welcome to a different practice. I’m your host, Lauren Lester, and I’m obsessed with all things business well being and optimizing the practice of law for solo and small firm lawyers.

I started my solo practice right out of law school, built it from the ground up. And now work four days a week while earning well over six figures. I’m here to share tangible concrete tips and resources for ditching the legal professions, antiquated approach, and building a law practice that optimizes growth and enjoyment.

Think of this as grabbing coffee with your work bestie mixed with all the stuff they didn’t teach you in law school about how to run a business. Pull up a seat, grab a cup, and get ready to be encouraged and challenged. This is a different practice.[00:01:00]

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of A Different Practice. This might surprise you. Adobe recently did a study that showed that just over 40 percent of Americans are using, get this, TikTok as a search engine. Now, this certainly skews towards younger generations. Gen Z was at 64% and millennials were at 49%, but it starts to show a trend that’s emerging.

And when Adobe asked, What are users using TikTok as a search engine for? Why are they gravitating towards that versus say Google? What they found is that what users most liked about video content was the short format that it made information more digestible. So they’re moving away from plain text. Now, this is just the start of this trend.

The vast majority of users still found Google to be the most helpful when searching for info followed by YouTube, again, video content, [00:02:00] but there was a trend emerging here. And I wouldn’t be surprised if because of this upcoming trend, Google continues to adjust what it displays in its search results to show more and more video.

So you might be thinking. Why the heck should I care about this as a solo or small firm lawyer? It’s important because this is where the market is going. Whether you like it or not, we have to face some facts here. If you want your business to continue to compete in the market, you’re going to have to give the market what it wants.

And I know that it’s super uncomfortable because you may not know much about it, or you might feel really silly making videos. And I totally understand because I’ve been there. I also can’t deny though what the data is telling us and where the market is going. So we can either choose to bury our head in the sand and for some time you’ll likely be okay.

This is not going to be something that changes tomorrow, but at some point you will feel the wave coming. And so you have to ask [00:03:00] yourself, do you want to be in front of it or be swept away by it. The reason that video is so powerful and is where the market is moving is found right in those data results from Adobe.

When they asked users, why are you gravitating towards TikTok or YouTube for getting information, consumers like how it’s just easier to digest information through video. Certainly for something like making a new recipe, it’s helpful to actually watch the person make it. And this is true when talking about legal issues.

The legal industry is so complex. Every practice area has so much nuance to it. But if you can create short videos that make some of that information digestible, you will begin to set yourself apart and immediately stand out as a trustworthy authority. In addition to the tangible info that folks get from video, video can also help you convey intangibles as well.

If you’re in a practice area let’s say that requires more compassion and [00:04:00] empathy, you’ll be able to convey that far more easily through video than you would through text and maybe say a blog post. It’s just hard to convey compassion and empathy through text because we’re reliant on the reader’s interpretation.

Think of the number of different ways, if you were to get a text that says, what are you doing? How many ways you could hear that in your head? It could certainly be, what are you doing? Or what are you doing? Right? Depending on our mood, where we’re at, we’re going to read those four simple words very differently.

And so when a If a consumer comes across a blog post where maybe you were intending to show some compassion and empathy, they might read it differently, where that’s a lot harder when the consumer hears your voice, sees your intonations, watches your gestures. They really don’t have to rely so much on their interpretation.

They can see it in real time where you’re coming from. And this goes for folks that you’re trying to attract to your [00:05:00] firm as new clients, as well as your existing customers. We don’t just want to show compassion to get someone in the door and then totally forget about it and not be empathetic towards them during our entire representation.

Their legal issue is It’s still ongoing. So using video throughout the representation is a great tool to continue to show that compassion and empathy. Along these same lines, videos are just simply more personable. I’ll talk about ideas for creating individual videos for clients here in a moment because doing so is such an easy way to make the experience of working with a lawyer more personable.

But just remember, no client wants to feel like they’re a number in a mill, put on a conveyor belt, and just an interchangeable client at any time. We’re talking about human beings here and often human beings that are dealing with really difficult events. So we need to remember to show up first as a human for our clients and a lawyer second, and video can be such a great tool for doing that.

All right, [00:06:00] so let’s go through some ideas for how to incorporate more video into your practice. We’re going to focus first on ways that fall under the umbrella of client communication. So the first idea is you can record an introductory video to put on your website that introduces yourself. I’ve done this through a video that’s titled Three Ways to Know if Leicester Law is Right for You.

In this video, the consumer not only gets an idea of how I approach family law in particular, but they can self select to see if they might be a good fit for my firm. I discuss how my clients Don’t want to deplete their savings to break up. They want to keep control of their case and stay out of court.

And they don’t want to use the court system to fight. The video itself is less than two minutes. And since I’ve posted it, I have seen an increase in folks coming to schedule a consultation with me that actually fit the type of client that I want often because they’ve already watched that video and self selected that those are goals that they also [00:07:00] have.

So they already align with the way that I want to practice. You might consider doing something similar for your firm. Remember, the focus is always on the client. My video doesn’t say, this is how I work and it’s all about me and look at all my accomplishments. Instead it says, if this is what you’re looking for client, I can help you.

I’m getting at the same thing here, telling my clients that I have a solution to their problem, but I’m doing so through the lens of what’s important to the client. Really, I’m trying to find clients in my target market, but I’m doing so by not focusing it on me. There’s a very subtle difference here, but it really does matter when you’re trying to connect with a potential client.

So consider doing a quick two minute video, posting it on your website that just introduces you and your firm and how you’re going to solve the client’s problem and in what way you’re going to approach that solution. Another way that I use video in my practice, that’s an easy one you can implement, is a [00:08:00] welcome video that gets sent out in my onboarding email.

This is the email that gets sent out when someone signs up, they’ve signed an engagement agreement, they’ve paid their deposit, they’re now a client, they get a welcome email from me and the firm. And so the video that’s linked in that welcome email provides a warm welcome, it reminds the client that I’m here to provide them support, and it tells them about the next steps and what to expect.

Again, the video is less than a minute, but it gives just a personal touch without me having to do anything. This email goes out automatically once the lead is converted to a client, but the client gets that personal touch by seeing me on the screen. Some other topics that you might want to include in a welcome video are maybe around the timeline, either for the case that the person has.

Or just the timeline in terms of working with your firm. And then also if you have any homework for the client to start working on, if there’s documents that they need to start gathering, um, or information that you’re going to need pretty quickly, [00:09:00] give them some homework in addition to your welcome so that they can start working on that.

And that’ll make the process even more efficient. Of course, if each type of case that you have requires something different, you can create slightly different videos for each and send them out as appropriate. One thing I will mention here is about the privacy of the video and who has access to it. My three ways to know if Leicester law is right for you video is on YouTube because I want anyone looking for a family attorney in Colorado to find it.

So I don’t care that that’s out there on the internet. However, my welcome video for the onboarding email is only for my clients. So that one I actually have hosted on Vimeo, which does allow you to make videos private. On YouTube, while you can make videos unlisted, if anyone comes across that URL, they can still have access to the video.

So Vimeo certainly has more in terms of security. So if you are making a video that is Only going to be for your [00:10:00] client’s eyes only. And you don’t want anyone on the internet potentially stumbling across it. You’ll likely want to post and host those on Vimeo. Any other videos that can be seen by anyone, maybe they’re a little bit more in terms of marketing.

Those are great for YouTube.

All right. So a third way to use more video for client communication is when you’re sending out a drafted document. I personally use this for my marital agreements since they are a contract and they can be a bit overwhelming to the client when they first open them up. I create a video to walk the client through the draft.

For this, I use zoom so that I can screen share the draft itself and record my review of it. I actually got this idea from our home lender. He did something similar to this. For the value of our home years ago, and he was showing different reports and explaining how to interpret them. And I thought this is just such a wonderful touch.

I could see our lender on the screen, [00:11:00] but I could also see the data that he was referring to. So I incorporated it into my business. Certainly if you’re out there as a consumer and you see a other company use video in a really great way, think about how you can incorporate it into your law firm. So of course, because this video is particular to the client in my case, right, it’s about their specific marital agreement, I too host these on Vimeo and I also password protect them so that only the client has access to their particular video.

If you draft any kind of contract, estate plan, or even just more involved pleadings, You might want to consider creating a video to send along with the initial draft, so that the client can do a comprehensive review. It may also save you some time, because you can answer common questions in the video in a way that’s distinct and clear.

And that way, if you have a call with the client, they’re asking more nuanced questions rather than, can you show me where that provision is that we’ve talked [00:12:00] about? You can point those kinds of things out in the video and save yourself a good amount of time. Another way to use video for client communication is to send updates through video instead of email.

This can be particularly helpful when the update is a bit more detailed and requires explanation, or when the update is maybe not the best of news for the client. Sending the information or the update as a video message, again, will allow you to express that empathy and compassion much more effectively than if you were to send the same language in writing.

Now, of course, you don’t need to do a video for every update. Simple things like, this is when our next hearing is scheduled, don’t need a video, that would be a little bit overkill, but If you really want to dive into video, have at it. I would only use this maybe once or twice during the representation, but when used correctly, it can be really effective and enhance the customer experience.

So the last idea when thinking about using videos for client communication is to follow up after a meeting with a video [00:13:00] message. Again, this message could Summarize the meeting and spell out next steps, both for you and the client. If you don’t want to make these videos individualized for each meeting, which I can understand that could be a good amount of work, you could create a generalized meeting recap video that you send out at specific points in the process that you know are going to happen in most of your cases.

So maybe after you have an initial meeting with a client about the strategy for their particular case. You would send out a generalized meeting recap video that says something like, Now that we’ve got a plan regarding the strategy of your case, our office is going to get to work over the next few weeks on identifying all of the discovery requests that we’ll need to send out.

Or if you had a meeting about drafting someone’s estate plan, you could send out a video. A recap that says something like, now that we’ve met to discuss the specific details of your estate plan and how you want your gifts to be made, I’ll be working on drafting the documents that put your plan in place.

Look out [00:14:00] for an update from me in the next few weeks with the drafts to review. Again, these are more generic videos that you can use for all of your clients, but it still gives your clients a nice touch that you’re following up with a video. All right, so let’s shift the focus to using video in your marketing efforts because I’ve made a whole episode about the benefits of using video platforms like TikTok for your business.

I’m not going to go into that aspect of video marketing here. Go back and listen to episode nine. If you want a whole crash course on why sleeping on TikTok is costing your business money. Here, what I want to talk about are some other ways that you can use video to market your business. First, think about recording videos of client testimonials and reviews to put on your website and social media channels.

Word of mouth and testimonials are still the number one influential marketing tool out there. That hasn’t changed probably since. The beginning of time, having someone else say, this law firm is amazing. Lauren helped me so much. I wouldn’t go work with [00:15:00] anyone else. We’ll immediately give your business credibility and make others want to work with you.

So if you have clients who are willing to record a video testimonial or a review, take advantage of that opportunity. If you do, it’s helpful to have a list of questions to ask the client off screen. So then you can edit the video together to remove your questions and stitch together the client’s answers.

Years ago, I read Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller and it fundamentally changed the way that I approach marketing in my business. In this book in particular, while there are many nuggets of gold, he did talk about five questions to use to help to create a powerful testimonial. These would be the questions that you would want to ask your client off screen to get their responses to create that really powerful testimonial.

So the five questions are, what was the problem you were having before you discovered our service? What did the frustration feel like as you tried to sell? Solve that [00:16:00] problem. What was different about our service or law firm? Take us to the moment when you realized that our service was actually working to solve your problem and tell us what life looks like now that your problem is solved or being solved.

So you can see that if the client answers those questions and you put that all together. You can create a really powerful testimonial. Now, certainly you could have a client do this in writing, and that’s going to have a very powerful effect still if you put those on your website, but a video is going to only ratchet it up even more.

And so if you can get a few clients to be willing to provide video testimonials, either they can talk about their experience off the cuff, or if it would be helpful for your client or you use these five questions to be able to craft a really great testimonial video. Another way to get your business out there is to use the live stream features that a lot of video platforms offer.

You can either schedule these and promote them as a free webinar, or [00:17:00] you can simply hop on Impromptu and hit go live. Whether you plan the event or you do one unannounced, you’ll want to have a plan in place for what you’re going to talk about. Oftentimes, viewers will log on and ask questions, but it may take a few minutes for them to get going.

So, during that time, you don’t just want to be sitting there staring at the camera. That doesn’t make for great video content. You’ve got to get the dialogue going. I like to choose a topic related to my practice and have three to five questions lined up that I answer. Of course, I always give the disclaimer that this is not legal advice.

I’m just providing information and I always make sure to speak in really generic terms. But I’ll pick a topic like probate and start talking about what is probate? Why is it needed? What are the common misconceptions about it? And so on. And after about five to 10 minutes, I usually start to see questions pop up.

And then of course, I’ll start to answer those. Of course, you’re always in control of the content that you’re providing, [00:18:00] so you’re not obligated to answer every single question that comes through. Just pick the ones that you’re comfortable with. And remember, the purpose is to show that you are an authority in the area, and that you can help explain legal concepts in a way that’s understandable and helpful.

Plus, if you record the live session, you can also repurpose that video by chopping it up into smaller clips and sharing them on social media, your website or your email list. Which brings us to the final idea of incorporating video into marketing.

So in addition to using clips that you’ve created, either through live streams or just maybe other videos that you’ve put together, providing information, you can send those out through email to answer common questions that your. email marketing list might have, but you can also use video to send an update to that email list.

So maybe this is something that you do once a month or once a quarter just to provide an update about you and your [00:19:00] practice. Of course, you always want to ensure that you’re also giving your readers something of value. You don’t just want to sit there and talk about yourself. Instead, you want to give them some information that they would find valuable.

So has there maybe been an update in the area of law that you practice? that your email list might want to know about. Can you talk about a recent case that maybe has been in the media and give your take on it? Are there housekeeping tasks your client should be doing throughout the year to keep their legal affairs up to date and in order?

Instead of just writing these things out, although doing that is better than doing nothing, consider writing out a summary, but encouraging your readers to watch the video for the full information. This will provide more engagement, it will continue to show you as an authority, it will be able to show your empathy and compassion, have your personality come across, and will just make the reader feel more connected to you so that the next time they feel like they need some help, you’re going to be immediately top of mind in who [00:20:00] they call, and additionally, Anytime their friend, family member, co worker says they need help in that particular area, that person is immediately going to recommend you.

All right, so let’s move on to using videos as legal products. Incorporating a legal product into your business is a great way to create passive revenue. Once you build it, It makes money while you sleep. So here are some ways that you can use video to do that. I’ve touched on it already, but creating short videos explaining common legal issues can be posted to your website or social media channels, which then invite viewers to check out your paid content or products that takes a deeper dive into those issues or gives the customer a tool that they can use to solve their legal problem on their own.

You could develop a video FAQ library addressing legal questions. Maybe there’s a few free videos that you give to folks so that they get a taste of the value you’re providing. And then there are some videos that are behind a paywall. Maybe the videos behind the paywall [00:21:00] walk the customer through exactly how to complete a discrete task like creating an NDA or filing for a name change.

Along these same lines, you could also take the approach of creating video courses that customers can access to learn about various legal processes. I did this in my business with Law Guides, which is a DIY guide for folks in Colorado who don’t want to hire a lawyer for their divorce or custody case, but they also don’t want to miss anything.

The course I put together walks them through all of the steps of a divorce or custody case, including the forms that they’ll need and when they need them. I incorporated a lot of videos throughout that to explain more complicated forms or to just discuss legal topics like the best interest of the children and how the court uses those to determine custody arrangements.

While it takes an investment for sure to get a product like this set up, once you do it, you can let it ride for a while, really only going back to it when an update is needed because something in the law has changed. So the last area I’ll touch on when it comes [00:22:00] to incorporating more video into your practice relates to staff and training.

If you have staff, video is a fantastic way to create instructional training. on processes and systems. You can easily create an SOP using a video system like Tango. It records you as you complete a task, which you can then include in your SOP manual. It’s so much easier to record a video of a process than trying to write it down in a way that’s going to be super clear and avoids misunderstanding.

And then when the staff person literally watches you do it on the screen, it reduces the learning curve significantly and really helps eliminate any errors. Additionally, if you have less experienced associates, video can also be a really great tool to help them learn lawyering skills. So whether you use real client situations or create fictional ones, you can record practice videos to help an associate learn by observing.

The video could be of a client meeting, a deposition, or even a court [00:23:00] appearance. I know when I first started going to court and just observing taught me so much. I probably spent the first six months of being in practice when I didn’t have a very big client base, just going to the local courthouse and sitting in the back and watching the hearing that would unfold.

Being able to integrate something like that into your own practice to teach your staff is going to be highly effective. And again, because you can do it once and put the investment in time in once, and then use it for years to come, it’s going to make a really efficient way to help train your staff.

There’s no denying that video is where the market is going. So instead of being swept away by the tidal wave. Jump into the water now. I promise it is nice and warm. The market is going in this direction for good reason, and it’s because of the tremendous value that video provides over basic text. You can communicate so much more with video, from information to intangibles like personality and compassion.

It also allows you to be more [00:24:00] personal with both your clients and potential clients, which will in turn only grow your business. So today we talked about more than a dozen different ways to incorporate video into your practice. I hope that you feel inspired and ready to try out at least one. Thanks so much for spending your time with me.

I appreciate you, and I’m rooting for you. Until next time, keep building.

I’m over here giving you a virtual high five because you just finished another episode of A Different Practice. For more from this episode, head over to adifferentpractice. com slash podcast for show notes and links to resources. If you found this episode helpful, let me know by leaving a rating wherever you listen to your podcasts.

And don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss an episode. If you’re looking for even more practical tools to optimize your law practice for growth and enjoyment, be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter. The link is waiting for you at adifferentpractice. com slash [00:25:00] subscribe. I can’t wait for you to tune in next time.

Until then, keep building a different practice.