1 = Lowest Possible Score; 5 = Highest Possible Score
The other day on Twitter someone commented on this video by Lee Rosen of the Rosen Law Firm about whether your posts on Twitter and Facebook can be used against you in a divorce proceeding. Having become an avid fan of Twitter and Facebook I was intrigued.
I have to say I was very impressed. The initial graphic of his law firm's logo, subtle introductory music, and stark black background made this video stand out from most other attorney videos I've seen.
"Can your Facebook, Twitter, and email communications be used against you in a divorce?" he says to start the video. Direct. To the point. Clearly an educational message that his intended audience wants to learn about.
He then does exactly what should be done in an attorney video. He introduces himself. "Hi, I'm Lee Rosen from the Rosen Law Firm." Importantly, he then thanks the viewer for watching. "Thanks for watching." From that point, I expect an answer to the initial question. I'm not disappointed. Rosen starts answering his own question immediately after his introduction. Good move. As a viewer, I'm hooked.
However, I glance over at the scrubber bar, which tells me that this video runs for 4:55. Ugh. I hold off making any judgment about the length of the video until I watch it completely. I then happen to glance at the number of views this video has received and I'm shocked to see more than 89,000 views over the past 6 weeks!
Kudos to Rosen for his educational message. He actually provides information in his video unlike 99% of attorney videos. He's not trying to sell you anything. He's clearly establishing himself as the expert with his educational message, without ever having to say, "Come to me because I'm the expert."
Tip #1: Create a Catchy Headline
Rosen has clearly attracted viewers who use Twitter and Facebook not only to talk about his video (viral buzz) but to click on his video to learn whether the information they post online can later be used against them. I won't give away the punchline in his video message. You should watch it to learn how the title captures your attention and make you want to watch the video to learn the answer. An excellent headline.
Tip #2: Think Different
Rosen's video looks different. How? He uses a totally black background. He's well lit in the front and the stark contrast makes him visually stand apart from most other attorney videos.
Being creative in this case involved nothing more than saying "Let's try a different background. Everyone else uses these light colored backgrounds. Let's create a different look."
Being different is eye catching and creates more intrigue just as you are deciding whether to click play on this video.
Tip #3: Ask and Answer a Realistic Question
Ask a question that is on the minds of your prospective clients. Then, in a simple, straight-forward way, answer the question. Seems simple right? Not exactly. Let's talk about technique first, then content.
Rosen talks right to you — the viewer. He looks at you straight on as if you're in his kitchen and he's giving you the answer in person. I like that style and I like his down to earth reply. Calm, pleasant, and knowledgeable. Many lawyers prefer the interview style in which they pretend they're being interviewed and the camera catches them at an angle. They believe the interview style gives them more credibility because they're viewed as the expert being asked questions.
I will tell you that when I watch a video clip, if I have a burning question I want answered, I like it when the viewer looks me in the eye and gives me an answer.
If you can't decide which style you want in your video, ask yourself this question. "When I'm talking to someone in the office, or at a party, do I prefer when they answer me while looking somewhere else, or when they look directly at me?"
Let's move onto content. Rosen talks the talk. He gives realistic and useful answers. He does not pull punches, and doesn't tease you by saying "I'll give you the answer only if you call me." It's a great educational message and a model for lawyer videos.
An excellent video with excellent content. My hat is off to Lee Rosen. However, as much as I wanted to give him a perfect score, I couldn't get out of my mind the length of his video clip — almost 5 minutes.
Many attorneys love to talk and Rosen is no exception. Even though his message is 100% on target, his video drags on beyond the attention span of many viewers, myself included. For the excess verbiage and his lack of a phone number in his search engine box, I deducted a 1/2 point. Still, a well-deserved high score.
Despite the verbose clip, I was eager to see more of his videos to see what he's done with other topics. I was not disappointed. He is a natural in front of the camera and this attorney video clearly sets him apart from his colleagues in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Back Bench
Certified Family Law Specialist and online video producer Kelly Chang Rickert says: "Toooooooo Longggggggg! And to add insult to injury, he shamelessly reads from the teleprompter! The information he is providing is actually quite helpful. However, I can't seem to get beyond the dullness of it all. I find myself zoning after 10 seconds. Remember the saying is, "Lights, Camera, Action!" Well, at least Rosen has mastered the first two."
TechnoLawyer publisher and online video producer Neil Squillante says: "Excellent information, but the video runs too long, especially since the background never changes. How about a real life example? I like the moving logo that opens and closes the video. The Max Headroom effect looks interesting, but there's probably a reason TV producers don't use a black background."
YouTube offers law firms a free advertising platform with tens of millions of potential clients. But a poor video can hurt more than help. In this column, lawyer and online video expert Gerry Oginski reviews and rates the latest law firm videos. A panel of fellow experts (The Back Bench) add to Gerry's reviews with pithy remarks. We link to each new YouLaw column and all other noteworthy law firm marketing articles in our weekly BlawgWorld newsletter, which is free. Please subscribe now.
About Gerry Oginski
New York trial lawyer Gerry Oginski has created more than 150 informational online videos for his medical malpractice and personal injury practice. Realizing that most video producers don't have a deep understanding of the practice of law and what potential clients look for, Gerry launched The Lawyers' Video Studio, which provides free tutorials and video production services. If you need help producing a video, please contact Gerry now.
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