We’ve been seeing a lot Gerry Oginski lately. He is a practicing lawyer but is also a frequent lecturer on lawyer videos and he has recently written Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube. We were curious to read the book because we know something about videos and have our own Sensei YouTube channel with dozens of videos.
Clearly, anyone who is a video novice would benefit from reading Gerry’s book, but we found things in his book that we didn’t know. If you are a lawyer who has not yet embarked on lawyer videos, you are very late to the party. This is definitely a book you should read.
There are testimonials in this book (fair warning) but we found even those helpful as they gave a sense of what it was like to go through the “make a lot of videos at once” process. With proper preparation, it is not unusual to shoot 50 videos a day. And that’s actually a very effective use of time since you’ve compressed it into one marathon day.
The “trick” of a video that will work for you is to find out (through Google or elsewhere) how people are searching for the services you offer. Or – better yet – something related to your services. You must always give away useful information. But if give away information about a specific kind of injury or illness to someone searching for them, you’ve helped them. And very often, those folks need a lawyer. Gerry offers some excellent tips on how to locate and “give away” the right kind of information in his book.
When we grilled Gerry via e-mail with various questions, he was incredibly responsive and generous with his time, even allowing us to discuss costs – something we rarely see videographers do.
So how much does it cost? Let’s start with Findlaw – which offers its services at what seems like an exorbitant price. According to Gerry, Findlaw creates 12 minutes of edited video from a 1 ½ day shoot. You must be a premium member of Findlaw to participate, at a cost of $3,700 over a two year period. The cost to shoot your 12 minutes of edited video is $26,000 – and you are restricted to putting your video on YouTube, your website and Findlaw for two years. The terms won’t allow you to place your video to any other marketing distribution system.
By way of contrast, Gerry has multiple programs where he flies to any law office in the country, with all travel costs included in the pricing. The total price will range between $16,000-$40,000.
Here’s what you get:
50+ video program plan -100-150 minutes of edited video.
100+ video program plan -200-300 minutes of edited video.
The content belongs to you and you can put it anywhere. Gerry also has a program where you can fly to N.Y., stay in a luxury hotel and have dinner with Gerry the night before the shoot, which allows you to pick his brain about marketing. This tends to be considerably cheaper since Gerry doesn’t have to shut down his office for three days. You also receive spotlight annotations in your video program along with an interactive transcript and a blog post to accompany each video.
So what’s an interactive transcript? It allows search engines to index your transcript, not just the title of your video. You create a transcript in a Word document and then convert it to a .txt file. In your control panel in YouTube, click on captions. Upload the transcript, give it a name and let the search engines return results based on your words. Good stuff that we didn’t know.
Every lawyer needs to know about how to make effective videos. We can tell you that a single video of ours generates an average of three e-mail queries and three phone calls per day. That video has made us quite a pot of money.
Can you DIY it? Not a chance unless you’re willing to make a sizeable money investment in technology and a sizeable time investment in learning how to use it. Even if you put that home video camera on a tripod, you won’t have the lighting or sound equipment to make your video look like something more than an amateur smartphone capture complete with grainy video and sound quality like you’re talking in a cave. In our minds, this is clearly something to be left to a trusted expert.
If you’re hesitant, remember that paper ads line bird cages and train puppies after they are read. Videos, unless they become obsolete, are ongoing marketing for you. We’ve never seen such a high return on investment. As an added bonus, when Google acquired YouTube, it changed its algorithm to give videos more weight in the search results.
This is a train that has left the station, but if you run a bit, you may still be able to hop aboard.