Founder of Great Legal Marketing and a practicing personal injury trial attorney in Fairfax, VA
There’s only one reason to hire that film student to shoot your lawyer video:
You want to save money.
You think that anybody can press the record button. That’s true. You think that video guys are a dime a dozen. That is also true. You think that there is nothing special about creating a great quality video. On that point, I’m going to have to disagree with you.
Here’s the important point that was reinforced in a book I’m currently reading called “Changing the Channel” by Michael Masterson and MaryEllen Tribby and was again reinforced by marketing guru Dan Kennedy recently at a marketing seminar I attended in Atlanta. They all confirm that the media is not the key. I absolutely agree with one caveat.
The media is simply a portal through which our message is seen or heard. Every advertising media is a portal. The reason I raised a caveat is because video happens to be one of the best ways to interact with your potential client, all other things being equal. Viewers have an opportunity to see you, hear you and begin to trust you from a video message.
A TV ad gives you that opportunity but cuts you off after 30 to 60 seconds. A radio spot typically only gives you 15-30 seconds to get that same message across. A display ad loses the ability to get a viewer to see and hear you. A video with a compelling message creates far more trust than a static message that does not allow you the opportunity to explain and educate.
Some attorneys have told me that my video marketing services are too much of an investment and they are going to look for the lowest cost denominator, which is a film student or a graduate film student. “Surely they will be able to create good quality video,” they say.
If the student has any experience creating video, I’m sure they will be technically proficient and know how to make a technically good video. They may even know how to optimize your video when publishing it online. If they are worth their salt, they will also know how to syndicate your video online.
What I can guarantee however is that this film student will not know who your ideal client is. He will not know when you have stepped over your ethical boundaries and will not know whether to stop you and reshoot that video.
A PERFECT EXAMPLE
Last week I was shooting video with an attorney in Manhattan who inadvertently mentioned that his law firm specialized in a particular area of law. I immediately stopped him and told him to re-do that video without mentioning the fact that he specialized in that particular area of law.
Because in New York, an attorney is ethically prohibited from mentioning that he or she is an expert or specializes in a particular field of law. You can argue the merits of that distinction all you want, but the fact remains that there are ethical rules on the books that a film student simply would not know.
If an attorney created a video and inadvertently included information that stepped over the ethical boundaries, he might subject himself to a grievance. Having a practicing trial attorney as your video producer prevents such errors from occurring.
More importantly, if your film student has no idea who your ideal clients are and what information they are looking for, how then can he help you create content to create compelling educational messages for your viewer?