A Law Firm Marketing Blog Series: Edition #12
Welcome back to our blog series, in which we talk legal marketing with real law professionals. In this edition, we continue our conversation with attorney and video marketing expert, Gerry Oginski.
Missed part one of our conversation? Read it here
We hope hearing the thoughts and ideas shared by the people in these blog posts, will inspire you to make positive changes to your marketing strategies. We also know that marketing legal services these days is more complex and challenging now than ever before, and hope that some of our readers may identify with some of the marketing struggles presented here, and perhaps be able to offer solutions.
The biggest goal of this blog series is to get the conversation going, so let’s dive in.
Continuing Our Marketing Conversation With Gerry Oginski
In our below chat with Gerry Oginski, we discuss choosing interesting topics for videos, getting comfortable speaking on camera, and why entertainment shouldn’t be a lawyer’s goal when creating legal videos.
Answering Legal: You’ve already produced thousands of videos for your firm. What motivates you to keep making videos?
Gerry: As of October 21, 2018, I have created 2,939 videos. They are all on my YouTube channel.
My motivation for continuing to create interesting and educational videos is twofold.
The first reason is that I love helping consumers understand how lawsuits work in New York. I get calls, emails and comments every day from people across the United States thanking me for creating such useful information. In every video I create I tell my viewer that I am a NEW YORK medical malpractice attorney. Despite knowing I only practice in New York, I still get calls from people across the country asking if I can handle their medical malpractice matter. Why? Because they think I’m the right lawyer for them.
Keep in mind they have never met me before. They have never spoken to me before yet they have determined after watching some of my videos that I am the right attorney for them! That to me is amazing.
The second reason is that by continuing to create great educational video, I literally have continued to dominate my niche in the online video space. My competitors and colleagues don’t stand a remote chance in getting the same visibility as I have been able to achieve.
Answering Legal: How do you go about choosing interesting topics for your video?
- Open the newspaper and think how topics in the news could affect your potential client.
- Create a detailed timeline of every single thing that happens in the cases you handle on a daily basis. Your ideal client often has no idea what really goes on and what is involved in this process.
- Look to see what other attorneys are creating for their topics and make sure you do NOT talk about the crap they’re discussing.
Answering Legal: You come across as very natural and engaging in your videos. Was speaking on camera easy for you right from the start? Has your on-camera personality evolved over the years?
Gerry: Nobody is born knowing how to speak naturally in front of a camera or an audience. It takes practice. Consistent practice. When I’m helping an attorney create 50 videos for their video shoot one of the key pieces of advice I give them is to practice over and over again.
Just like going into court and making an oral argument or going to trial, you NEVER go in unprepared. Same thing with your marketing videos. You must always practice over and over again.
A good way to visualize it is to think of yourself and your best friend sitting down at your kitchen table on a Sunday morning. Your best friend starts to tell you of a terrible story and then asks for your advice. In response, you don’t start telling him about your great credentials. You don’t start telling him why you became an attorney.
Instead, you say “Hey, I handle these cases all the time. Let me tell you what you need to know and what you need to do.” You’re just having a great conversation with a great friend in a casual environment. Once you realize you’re just talking (to the lens of your camera) to one person, then just have an enthusiastic and energetic conversation to help them understand a little bit about their type of case. If they want more information, simply tell them how to reach you.
My presentation on camera has certainly evolved. In the beginning I was stiff and formal. Now I often shoot videos in a t-shirt and shorts. I shoot video on the beach. I shoot video walking around my neighborhood. I shoot video on vacation. Anywhere really. My ideal clients don’t care if I’m wearing a baseball hat and a t-shirt. They don’t care where I’m shooting my video (as long as it’s not in front of a stuffy legal bookcase).
They only want to know one thing… “How can you help me solve my legal problem?” I look right into the camera and tell them the answer. If I ask a question in the title of my video, I don’t tease them for four minutes with the answer. I immediately answer it and then take time to explain the answer.
I have had the privilege of speaking to thousands of lawyers each year about the benefits of video marketing for lawyers. When I first started talking to lawyers from the stage, it was awkward and uncomfortable. Now, my presentations are highly energetic, motivating and compel attorneys to get up off their butts and start creating educational video to market their law firms.
Answering Legal: Should lawyers attempt to inject humor into their marketing videos?
Gerry: NO. NO. NO. Your ideal consumer doesn’t want to be entertained. There are plenty of entertaining kitten and puppy videos online to distract them forever. Instead, they want answers. They’re searching for answers. They don’t know an attorney who can help them. They don’t know someone who can recommend a trusted attorney. So they go online to search for answers. If you start telling jokes or funny stories, you will fail to gain their respect and their trust which means they will never call you.
Answering Legal: I would imagine some clients you meet feel like they already know you after having watched your videos beforehand. Does that make the process of getting started with their case any easier?
Gerry: 100% correct. I have had clients come into my office, look around and say “I feel like I already know you after watching so many of your videos. I already know your office. You feel like a trusted friend even though I have never met you before!”
That’s the key! They already trust me before ever meeting me. Now it’s no longer the client saying “I’m trying to select between you and two other lawyers. Tell me why I should hire you and not the other two.” Instead, they have stopped their search and call me literally saying “You’re the one I want. I liked what you had to say. I liked how you said it. I liked how you present yourself. I want to hire YOU!”
That’s what you want your marketing videos to accomplish. You become not just the logical choice but the ONLY choice for your viewer. That won’t happen overnight. It takes time. But if you haven’t started creating these helpful videos, now is the time to start.
Answering Legal: What content creation advice would you give an attorney just starting out in 2018?
Gerry: Pull out your phone, open your Facebook app, click the Facebook Live Video button and start talking. It’s that simple. Or is it?
I’ve been telling my brother-in-law to start creating videos for the past 11 years. He knows my video marketing stories. He sees every video I publish to YouTube. He hears me describe the benefits of video marketing. He’s a matrimonial attorney here in New York.
He never expressed any interest in creating video. Suddenly this year he got interested. He took my advice about creating Facebook live videos and now he has a following of people who are actually INTERESTED in what he has to say about his area of law. Isn’t that remarkable?
Two questions I have for you:
- “What’s holding you back?” and
- “Why haven’t you started already?”
My advice… grab your camera and press the record button. Do it now. You’ll thank me later.