Is your marketing strategy best described as ambulance chasing? If there ever was an industry that needed to drag its marketing efforts out of the dark ages, it’s the legal industry.

So why not try something modern and highly impactful? A well-made video will tell people what you’re all about, and the difference you can make when they’re in need. Read on for tips on how to produce an authentic, targeted video.

What you’re trying to avoid – according to SNL

Old school approaches, like the parody from Saturday Night Live below, just won’t fly. Cheesy, staged testimonials touting large payouts simply won’t ring true.

Consumers are looking for authenticity, and seek value from each stage in their interactions with your firm. Here’s how to make videos that showcase your expertise and help build your business.

How is your law firm different from the others?

Video is a platform for you to express your law firm’s ethos, both implicitly and explicitly. Are you a small family firm where clients will be dealing with the founder? Or perhaps you’ve got several branches, each one specializing in a particular area?

This is where video comes in – it allows you to not just tell people more, but show it to them. Above all, make it clear how what you offer will help your audience.

For example, the pace of this video is a little slow, but, the type of law this firm handles is complex. They do a great job of walking the viewer through their areas of expertise in a calm and clear manner.

Even better, they make a solid case for why they are worth choosing over other types of law firms without being sales-y or pushy.

Whatever you do, make it easy for your audience.

Every video must include a clear call to action – even better if it’s repeated at different points throughout the video.

Make it easy for viewers to start working with you by using a custom post-play screen which will display after your video concludes. You can link to a landing page, a contact form, or a survey to get key information about your viewers. Here are four more inspiring ways to use post-play screens for your business.

Who’s the boss?

Even if they’re not dealing with the founder, many people like to know about them. After all, it’s this individual who sets the agenda and ethos of the attorney’s office.

Although this video is technically not an ad for the attorney it’s featuring, the first 1:20 is a great example of the type of personal introduction you could make to lots of viewers using video.

Hold an interview with the founder, where they share a little about their background and set out their values. If your lead attorney is on the shy side, then take a look at our blog post Six Tips to Help You Relax on Camera. If you have a number of offices, this is an opportunity to get to know the lead attorney in each office.

Don’t forget the rest of the team!

Every member of the team has a role to play, from the office manager, to the managing attorney. Use video to show your viewers who might be helping them if they choose your law firm. A video bio is undeniably far more compelling than a photo and a few words.

Getting the script right is important – it should strike the right balance between polished and authentic. Practice with the interviewees to ensure they can express themselves on camera succinctly, accurately and confidently. Learn how to script with our blog 8 Scriptwriting Tips for Online Video.

Share some legal advice… for free.

A video marketing strategy that focuses on helping potential clients will be the most successful. Create a video series answering basic legal questions. Why not produce a series of FAQs such as “I can’t meet my mortgage payment this month. Will I lose my home?”, and “I’m wondering if I need a living will. What should I do?”

Divorce is all too common in this day and age. It is an intimidating and emotional process. This video from a divorce lawyer runs through five steps anyone contemplating filing for divorce should take. By focusing on providing value to the viewer, she ensures her video might be shared to a very targeted audience, while also showcasing her expertise.

The goal is to demonstrate your knowledge by focusing on the needs of your viewers. Most consumers start seeking answers to legal questions by researching online. If you can use video to start assisting them before your competitors, you will have already started to build a relationship with them.

What’s more, a series like this doesn’t require complex scripting or editing. In comparison to a storytelling video, it’s straightforward to produce.

Be professional AND approachable.

Clients tend to need legal assistance at stressful times. This means you need to communicate that you’re a good listener who will do whatever it takes to help them. They also want to be sure that their representative is knowledgeable and tenacious enough to get them the results they deserve.

Pay attention to the language you use. Don’t overuse legal jargon – most people won’t understand it and they’ll disengage from your video.

Equally important is the avoidance of informal language. Although you should aim to show that you are approachable, you’re still a legal professional.

The production values are just as important as the message.

I’ve lost count of the number of attorney videos I’ve seen that have low quality production (and that’s a generous description!). It doesn’t take much money to produce a video that’s as high quality as the legal services you offer. If you plan to produce videos regularly, we recommend seeking training in the follow areas:

  • Lighting
  • Sound
  • Editing
  • Scriptwriting

We share our expertise on all things video through our regular SproutVideo blog posts. We recommend starting with two posts that deal with the important elements of production, lighting and sound: 7 Quick Steps for Simple Affordable Lighting and Video Production 101: Audio.

Attract new employees, not just customers.

If your firm is growing, you’ll need to attract highly qualified lawyers to work for you. That’s a challenge for any industry!

Video can help humanize your law firm, and showcase the unexpected pluses of working there. By using real employees to talk about what they love about their jobs, you’ll wind up with a highly effective and authentic recruiting video. Mix in some shots of your beautiful offices, neighborhood, or recent company retreat, and you’re done.

Starting right around 1:30, the video below really gives a clear idea of the kind of case work the firm handles, and what the day-to-day for its employees looks like. Her natural enthusiasm really shines through, and helps paint a nice picture for prospective employees who might come across this video.

See a return on your investment in video.

A good video will let people know that your law firm is ready, willing and able to assist them with their legal issues. A bad video could damage your brand and your reputation. Before starting to film, decide how much time and money you want to commit to video marketing. It’s important to be consistent with your approach, so plan a realistic strategy.

A successful video is one that shares educational content. In other words, it assists the viewer. Potential clients want to be sure that you will secure the result they want. Video is a golden opportunity to show everyone your expertise and ultimately expand your practice.

Have you anything to add to our advice on video marketing for law firms? We’d love to hear it! Share with the SproutVideo community below or on Twitter.