Hiring YOU is the most important decision a client will make in their lives. You already know this. But do they? Think of everything that can come between a potential client and your law firm. The roadblocks, the insecurities, the competition. What matters most to a person who is hurt, scared, and looking for guidance?
Over the course of my career, I have come across two types of brands: The first is forced to constantly pursue prospective clients, always struggling to replenish lost business. This could be due to a turn-and-burn culture, or simply a misunderstanding of how to build and maintain a client base. They don’t necessarily provide a bad service…. but they’re not hyper-focused on letting the world know who they are. Then there is the business that can’t scale quickly enough. The market wants what they have, and their biggest challenge is managing growth. They provide excellent service, sure, but most of this success can be attributed to the brand they’ve established. The image that they’ve cultivated for themselves is one of honesty and excellence.
The same is true for law firms: Image is everything. I recently consulted with an attorney who spent 20 years working small cases until he finally landed his first multi-million-dollar settlement. A year later he was litigating for six different seven-figure clients. Why the sudden change?
His clients established his brand.
Do your clients sing your praises?
Will they tell everyone to call you if they are injured in an accident?
Will they take time out of their busy schedule to tell their story?
Are you documenting the journey you’ve made with them?
Your clients are your best resource for new business. Are you letting that go to waste?
Let me be clear; I am NOT referencing testimonials. Sure, testimonials are necessary. You should have a few on your website. But hiring an attorney is all about trust. And, the chances of someone choosing to trust their future to you based on a text blurb are slim to none. No one trusts a text blurb because anyone can fake a text blurb. A new client’s health and well-being deserves more than a text blurb.
Your image deserves more, too.
You need a documentary. A mini-documentary. Bringing your clients to life by telling their stories makes you relatable. It demonstrates trust. And, in an area of law where you simply MUST convey your client’s faith in you, there can be no substitute.
Personal Injury Attorneys offer a unique proposition. With little-to-no risk on behalf of the injured, you can provide them with compensation for the most traumatic event of their lives. Yet there are so many to choose from. So many reviews, websites, and text blurbs. Someone seeking intimate counsel for a situation as personal as a life-changing injury will make the decision to retain you based on their gut feelings.
You have the opportunity to influence that decision-making process by utilizing your best assets: The people who have been through the trenches with you. You took on the Big Bad Insurance Company together, and you won. You are bonded through the experience. Telling that story not only lets clients help YOU, but also provides them with validation and closure. To sit down with a camera crew may be intimidating to some, but for most, it’s a cathartic ending to the most difficult time in their lives.
You now have a living, breathing, documented evidence of your success. A piece where your legal prowess shines through. If the case was newsworthy, you have the opportunity to turn paid media into earned media by sending it out to every local news station who might take an interest in a David vs Goliath story. It can be used to build your brand as a hero or guru on social media. But most of all, a mini-doc influences new clients.
I suspect the reason most lawyers don’t attempt such an undertaking is because of the risk involved. How do you know which client to choose? What if the client isn’t believable? What if it comes across as scripted or cheesy?
All valid and vital questions. So, when you’re evaluating a production company and their approach to mini-documentary storytelling, look at their work and pay attention to a few factors:
1. Does the story seem scripted or does it flow naturally?
2. How do the interviews come across? Does it seem like they are rehearsing lines, or telling their story honestly and organically?
3. Do the interviews look good? You might not know lighting and composition, but everyone can tell when something was filmed with care.
4. Is the non-interview footage original, or does it seem like stock B-roll?
You can learn so much about a production company by using these quick tools. Find a group who will take the time to understand you, your firm, and the client you want to feature.
It may seem like just another marketing tool. But if you want clients to jump at the chance to hire you, to understand that YOU are the best fit for their lives, a mini-documentary is the one way to set you apart from every other firm. Your clients deserve more because hiring you is the most important decision they will ever make.