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Top 5 Reasons Creating Attorney Videos is So Expensive

1. TIME

The biggest problem most attorneys have in creating video to market their services is “Where will I find the time to do this?” That is a valid point. Most attorneys are busy trying to run a law practice, handle files, appear in court, and answer client concerns on the phone. Answering e-mail and paperwork continues to infringe on your daily activity. How then do you find the time to create your video?

I have found the best time is in the late evening after my kids are asleep, and to work on it religiously and regularly. Unless you are willing to make a commitment on a regular basis, my recommendation is not to do-it-yourself.

The biggest cost for attorneys to create video on their own is the enormous amount of time necessary to learn how to do it well and complete the process for each particular video.

2. PRE-PRODUCTION

Pre-production takes the least amount of time in the entire process. Why? Because this is the time for you to strategize and determine what your content will be when you create your video. As a practicing attorney, you already know what potential clients need to hear and want to hear. You simply have to write those frequently asked questions down together with an outline of the answers.

3. VIDEO SHOOT

The actual video shoot is is not that long. Typically you’ll want to shoot an hour of video. From that video you can expect to get about 4-5 usable video clips lasting 2-3 minutes each.

4. POST-PRODUCTION

The reason creating video is so expensive is because of the incredible amount of technical expertise you must learn in order to create an edited video suitable for public consumption. This part of the video production process is the most time consuming. Even if you use basic editing software, this will take up the majority of your time. Unless you have a considerable amount of free time to devote to this post-production process, again my suggestion is to let a professional do it for you instead of getting bogged down in all of the technical details.

To do this well, you need to know how to transfer the video from your camera to your computer. Once uploaded, you then must learn how to edit your raw video into short, concise, directed video that creates a compelling message and does not ramble on. You need to create transitions between each edited scene. You need to create an introduction and an exit graphic, as well as other graphics that display your name, your website, your law firm and your phone number. You need to know how to color correct your video and compensate for light and dark. For the very adventuresome, if you want customized backgrounds you need to learn how to use a green screen, and then learn how to create the green screen effects during the post-production process in your editing software. This is not an easy task.

Then, you may decide you want to add some background music or intro or exit music. Some attorneys like to have B-roll footage interspersed into their video to show scenes of them walking in their office, or holding open a law book, or talking to a client. For the do-it-yourselfer, this is a long, drawn out process. For the attorney who leaves it to a professional, it becomes a simple process of showing up for the video shoot, taping your content, and waiting for completed video to be sent to you for approval. Some attorneys have said it’s like a guy showing up for his wedding. Just show up in a tuxedo, and let the bride handle everything.

If you thought that simply editing your video was enough to get it uploaded to the Web, you are wrong. Once you have completely edited your video you must now compress it to get it into the proper format for the next phase of this process. The larger your video, the longer it takes your computer to process or “render” the video. A three-minute video can take 30 minutes to one hour to render depending upon whether it was shot in standard definition video or high definition video. Hi-def video takes 3-4 times longer to render than standard definition video. If you do not have sufficient memory, graphics card and computer resources, expect your ‘render’ time to take even longer.

You’re still not done. Once you have rendered the video you will likely have a large file that is unsuitable to be uploaded to the Web. You must now use another program to compress the video and make it small enough so it will be accepted on all video sharing sites. This will also allow you to minimize your bandwidth usage when you host it on your own website. The time to compress a rendered video file is a fraction of time compared to rendering the original video file. Now you’re ready to go to the next step.

5. UPLOAD TO THE WEB

You now have your web-ready video sitting on your computer hard drive and the world awaits you. You upload your video to the various video sharing sites, you create search optimized keywords and descriptions that help the video search engines recognize your videos, and then you also have to put it on your website and your blog.

Some attorneys might think they are done at this point. Again, they would be wrong. Optimizing your videos for the search engines is crucial if you want your videos to be found. This is extremely time consuming since each video is unique and requires individual attention. Lawyers who skip this step, or fail to do it properly, will have wasted all of their time creating a video that is never watched. Failing to create a compelling headline that makes the viewer want to watch it will also ruin an otherwise informative video.

If you think you’re done at this point, you’d still be wrong. Once you have uploaded your video to the sharing sites and your blog, you still have more work to do. Now you have to tell the world, your friends and your social network all about your video without sounding like a braggart. There are ways to do this that make you look like an expert. The key is learning how.

CONCLUSION:

Creating attorney video to market your services is, in my opinion, the most effective and comprehensive way to create a bond with your viewer. At the present time, there is no simple, easy or inexpensive way for attorneys to do this.

Your two options are (1) Learn to do it all yourself by devoting tremendous amounts of time to the video process, or (2) Hire a professional to do it for you.

One final tip if you choose to hire a professional to do it for you: Most video producers are not attorneys. They don’t know what potential clients look for when looking online for an attorney. Anyone can cobble together an attorney video. The key is remembering your potential client’s viewpoint and what they are looking for. A video producer who is also an attorney will know this immediately.