Why I Chose to Upload an Hour and a Half Attorney Video to YouTube


Gerry lecturing at the NYC Bar Association in Manhattan

You know I have always advocated creating video 2-3 minutes long.

Not less, and usually not much more.

Creating attorney video for less than two or three minutes does not give you enough time to explain and establish a bond with your viewer.

Remember, we as lawyers are attempting to develop trust with our online viewers. There is no way to effectively do that with a 30 second attorney video or a one minute video. None.

From time to time, I’ve created video that has hit the 3 1/2 minute mark, four-minute and occasionally five-minute mark. Those are very rare though.

What the heck was I thinking uploading a video that was an hour and a half long to YouTube? Who would ever watch something like that? I wouldn’t. 99% of my viewers wouldn’t, so why would I do that?

I did it to test a theory.

I did it so I could have actual hard data of how many watched my attorney video and for how long they were watched. YouTube’s algorithm has dramatically changed over the past few months. YouTube has focused more on the length of time that the video has been watched rather than video views.


I will share with you a little insight into my thinking. This video is not simply a talking head of me, talking for an hour and a half. That would be dreadful. I wouldn’t even be able to watch myself for more than a few minutes that way.

Instead, this was a lecture I gave to the New York City Bar Association as part of their Bridge the Gap CLE Program. I’ve been privileged to be asked to lecture there many times to lawyers in different specialties about medical malpractice law. It’s a lot of fun, and it gives attorneys the ability to learn new information about subjects that they don’t hear about on a daily basis.

The New York City Bar Association has a fantastic lecture hall on the second floor of their  historic building on 44th Street in NYC. The only drawback, from a technical video standpoint here, is that the lighting in the room is awful.

As I played the video back, I kept thinking “I’m putting an hour and a half video online with terrible lighting. Who would ever watch this video?” “Will a viewer watch for the content and forgive the fact that the lighting was awful?”

Will a viewer who wants to learn about medical malpractice law in New York focus on me walking around the room and ignore the poor lighting conditions?” I don’t think so.

This is a test in progress. As part of my test I also did a few other things I can’t yet share with you with this particular video.

The first interesting statistic I can share with you is that people are actually watching the video. The real question is how long do they stay engaged before dropping off? I’ll try and report back in a blog post soon. Take a look at the video and tell me what you REALLY think. Don’t hold back. I want to know…and yes, I know that the lighting stinks and destroys my viewer’s concentration about what’s really important in the video.

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Gerry, I've read your book and watched at least 100 of your videos, and follow your blog, so "I feel like I know you already!".

I wanted to introduce myself, I work for an attorney, David Aylor, in the Charleston, SC area. I do all his in house marketing, and most recently have focused on video marketing, using your approach.

We started exploring the strategy last July, started filming by September, and published the first video to YouTube Nov. 1. I am now publishing 2 videos per week and the response had been great.

I want to share with you how we have be utilizing the material on Facebook, to build a community of "friends" of the law firm. These are previous clients, referral sources, friends of the staff, other attorneys, new media (radio, TV, and print) as well as other prominent folks in the community.

I really was against the idea of Facebook marketing at first (because I think there's alot of hacks and snake oil salesmen in the "social media/SEO marketing" world). But I was very wrong, the content we are creating is being liked, shared, and commented on, and Facebook's strong community platform (and it's EdgeRank algorithm) is giving us a great way to keep our "inner circle" close to the office, and relevant in the minds of them and their friends.

This was the first video we posted to Facebook-
"Can My Facebook Profile Be Used As Evidence In Court?"
95 likes, 25 comments, 27 shares

The local NBC anchor actually saw it in his Facebook feed from a friend sharing it, and interviewed David Aylor for a 6 o'clock news story on Social Media and Privacy in the legal system. (you can see here if you'd like http://bit.ly/VyALj4)

I would love to show you more about how I'm strategizing these videos for YouTube use as well as Facebook now. I think there are definitely some areas of practice and law firms that it wouldn't work for, but I'm sure there are a bunch that would benefit from it.

Thanks for all you do, and I hope I get the pleasure of meeting you soon!

David Haskins