With the growing popularity of live streaming video applications and platforms like Periscope, Blab, and Facebook Live, consumers (aka potential clients) are turning their attention to these platforms to find answers to their legal issues and to find an attorney to hire. Of course, as a lawyer looking to grow your practice, you should be tracking where people’s attention is turning and you too should shift your marketing efforts to meet the potential clients where they are.
Gone are the days where only lawyers with big marketing budgets or endless amounts of free time were able to play around with video as a marketing tool for their law practice. Now that live streaming platforms have become user-friendly and right in the palm of our hands, every lawyer looking to grow his or her practice can take advantage of these new avenues to create live videos.
Live streaming platforms will magnify your marketing efforts by allowing you to attract clients, grow your practice, and best of all, establish and nurture deeper relationships with colleagues and community members. Here are 5 ways you can use live streaming apps to maximize your efforts and grow your law practice:
Share Your Knowledge
Imagine spending a few minutes each day, a few days a week educating your viewers about what you do, what you know, and how you can help. Pick a topic based on your practice area and create a mini-lesson teaching your viewers all about that subject. Sharing your knowledge in a specific practice area will help build your reputation as an authority and thought leader in that practice area. For example, if you practice Business Law, you can initiate a live stream broadcast where you discuss the various types of business entities a person can form. By consistently sharing your knowledge and delivering value, you’ll begin to build rapport with your viewers, and when it comes time for your viewers to hire an attorney, guess whom they’ll think of?
Picture being able to discuss with your online community the latest in case law developments in your practice area or commenting on breaking legal news as soon as it happens. Better yet, imagine being able to market your firm and your services without having to pay for expensive advertisements. Live streaming can offer you this type of instant, digital access and influence.
Using live streaming platforms to educate and influence is free (not counting the cost of your time) and does not demand much of your time, although it does require that you be comfortable speaking in front of a camera. While other social media platforms might be great for short, quick interactions like on Twitter or lengthy, legalese-filled posts like on blogs, live streaming platforms like Periscope and Blab are for casual, engaging interactions in real time.
Answer FAQ’s and Host Live Q&A Sessions
As lawyers, we receive dozens of inquiries on the daily. Consider using live streaming to organize a live Q&A session where followers can pick your brain about your specific practice area. This shows that you care about helping others and that you know your stuff.
Aside from answering questions* that you receive live from your viewers during the broadcast, you can treat your broadcasting time as an opportunity to address other commonly asked questions that you receive from clients or friends. You might already have a FAQ’s page on your website, so why not reuse that content and present it in real time? The more value you can provide to your viewers, the more top-of-mind you will remain and you will begin to build your authority and expertise in your practice area.
*Of course, be mindful of and comply with your state’s ethical rules regarding social media use, advertising, and communications. Be sure not to offer specific legal advice while you’re broadcasting. Keep the content of your broadcasts general.
Engage, Connect, and Grow Your Network
The most powerful feature that all live streaming platforms share is their ability to connect us with each other. Live streaming turns an otherwise one-sided conversation into a two-way street between you and your online community members. Unlike the static nature of other forms of content creation such as blog posts, live video is dynamic and invites viewers to offer commentary and engage in conversation. Furthermore, being on camera in real time makes it difficult to be anything but your true self, thus making live broadcasting all that more effective in building authentic relationships with others.
The key to building meaningful relationships is connecting and engaging with like-minded individuals, including fellow attorneys. With more and more attorneys utilizing live streaming apps like Blab and Periscope, the online legal community has grown and expanded. It is remarkable to see the level of participation and the sense of comradery that lawyers feel when they encounter a fellow lawyer on these platforms. It is even more remarkable to count the amount of relationships that began online and then eventually turned into meaningful, in-person friendships.
Grant Behind-the-Scenes Access
Many people would love to be able to see attorneys in their natural habitat – either at the office, on the way to the courthouse, walking around town, or even winding down at the end of the day. You can use live streaming to give your viewers and online community members a glimpse into your human side. You can also showcase your hobbies and extracurricular involvements aside from being a lawyer, such as your bar association involvements or weekend volunteer work.
While many lawyers struggle with the need to appear perfectly polished and poised at all times, it is becoming acceptable and even expected for lawyers to showcase their authentic and raw selves on live streaming. In order to build meaningful relationships with potential clients and fellow lawyers, they must first get to know you, decide they like you, and eventually trust you. Therefore, they have to engage with your personality and experience your human side. Live streaming apps will do that for you.
Repurpose Your Broadcasts
Once you’re done recording your live broadcast, in order to get the most bang for your buck (while continuously working on providing value), you can extend the shelf-life of your video content by repurposing the content. You can extract the content from the video and turn it into a blog post. You can create a free ebook or pamphlet based on the Q&A’s you responded to live and offer that to your existing clients. You can even post the recorded video on your website directly or upload it to Youtube to attract more viewers.
Although live streaming broadcasting might seem overwhelming, scary, and almost like learning a new language, the benefits of being able to authentically engage and provide value to your viewers should outweigh any reservations you might have. I hope you have a better sense of what live streaming can do for you and your practice and feel ready to jump into your first broadcast.