I've tried to convince you that you should be thinking about a “video first” strategy unless you've got a good reason to avoid it.
One of the big reasons for this is that it's the best opportunity to leverage your time effectively. Here I'll show you what I mean.
Quick Note – this article isn't a lesson in how to make videos, produce a podcast or the like – it's about the content process.
Your Time is Valuable
I get it – for many lawyers time is quite literally money.
And even if it isn't – one of the things that lawyers find very difficult is finding time to produce good quality content for their marketing efforts.
Here I'm going to show you a simple way to produce a lot of content in a shorter space of time than you might be used to.
More content in less time = increased ROI on your content marketing strategy.
It's All About Re-purposing
Perhaps it's because re-purposing has a bit of stigma attached to it? So let's clarify something up front: I'm not just talking about digging up old articles, changing the date, and resharing them. I'm also not talking about content syndication, where you might publish first to your site's blog, but then share to LinkedIn, Medium or the like.
What I'm talking about is producing your content with a view to producing more content from it, in a way that will expand the reach of your original piece, but also provide value to your audience who might prefer content in different formats.
If you didn't catch the first part of this (and the video version!) then you can check the article here.
Let's Improve your Content Marketing ROI – Starting Now
The first thing you're going to do is you're going to come up with a topic. So you've come up with a topic – it's a good topic, you've got a headline, you know roughly what you want to say. Perhaps jot down a few subheadings, but generally you have a good idea of what your topic is about.
You can go two ways at this point.
- If you're more naturally able to write something down, then start by writing an article
- If you're comfortable on camera (or are hoping to become comfortable on camera) then start with video.
Start with Video
95% of the time, if you're a partner in a law firm and want to leverage your time – video first is going to be faster so far as your personal time is concerned. After a bit of practice it will be better too.
So let's go down the video first path for this breakdown.
The number 1 complaint about videos produced by lawyers is that they are wooden, boring and unengaging. In the interests of giving you a little nudge in the right direction, let's take a minor detour to Video 101.
Video 101 – be yourself, and chat to the camera as if you're having a conversation with someone. If you struggle with that, get someone to sit in the room with you and just chat to them while recording – it will be 100% more human, more approachable, and more natural.
Even if you have some notes, you don't necessarily want to read it from a script because it will make your video pretty dull.
Once you've produced your video then upload it to YouTube.
Get a Transcript
The next phase of our cunning plan involves getting your words onto paper, if you haven't already.
So you need to get a transcript. It's going to cost you a whopping $1 USD per minute of footage. A 5 minute video will ordinarily give you a transcript that is around 1000 to 1250 words, depending on how fast you speak.
Let's Pause a Moment
Yes – I've just told you that with 5 minutes of your time to produce a video, and someone on your team arranging a transcript for $5, that you will have a 1000 to 1250 draft article. How's that ROI looking for ya?
Head over to rev.com and sign up for an account. You'll want to hook up your YouTube channel to Rev and order “captions” – the good people at Rev will then produce the captions and upload them to YouTube for you.
Why bother with captions? Because YouTube is the second biggest search engine, and getting an accurate set of words attached to your video helps it understand what your video is about, and show it to the right people.
Once your captions are ready, you can then download a text file with the transcript. It will be in “wall of text” format…
Turn your Transcript Into an Article
We don't talk the way we write. Somebody needs to take your spoken words and turn them into a form suitable for an article. If you've planned well, this can take less time than you think, but at first it's going to take a bit of work to get it right.
Here are the basics:
- add headings and subheadings
- add lots of paragraphs
- in my case, delete many uses of the word “and”
- remove repetition (we often say things over and over in videos, but for articles that makes them bloated)
- check the order makes sense (hopefully it does, but sometimes you might want to switch it around)
- consider adding images, dot points, quotes and points of interest to your article to break it up.
Extract the Audio from your Video
Ever wanted to start a podcast? Well you just have!
Provided your audio quality isn't terrible, all you need to do is load up your video, export your sound to an .mp3 file and voila – instant podcast.
Even if you don't want to go the iTunes route (and I'm not sure why you wouldn't) having audio means people can listen to your content in their car, on the bus, at work, or other places where video might not be the ideal form of consumption.
Next – Quotable Quotes
Now that you've done your article, there's a good chance that inside it are some lovely one line quotes that would be fantastic to put on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (and anywhere else you might think of).
Why bother with quotes? I mean, surely we can't be too helpful with a quote compared to a full article, right? Quotes on nice images are good for two main reasons:
- They are easily consumed – people don't need to set aside 10 minutes to read them. They just flash up, are immediately helpful/inspiring/funny/whatever and we click the like button and move on;
- Quotes get shared around a bit and “liked” more, so are good for building brand awareness.
Here's how to do it easily. Head over to:
If it's Canva, then sign up for a free account. On Pablo you don't have to.
Create an 800×800 (square) image (this is a nice enough size for image sharing on all of the platforms, although you'll lose some edges on Twitter probably).
Pick a free image. Pick a style that you like. Cut and paste the quote.
Then do it again.
Until you have done all the quotes that come up from your article.
Pieces of Video
If you're making a five-to-10-minute video the chances are pretty good that you are going to have some 30-to-59-second snippets that you can take out of that video, and you can create “mini-videos” to share around separately. Over time, you might start planning these in advance as you prepare to shoot your video so that extracting them later becomes easier.
Why 30 to 59 seconds? It's because of Instagram. Instagram has a 59-second limit on videos you can upload.
But there's no reason you can't make a separate series in your YouTube channel.
So create your short snippets, then put them on:
Leverage your Existing Staff
If you're lucky to be working with a team, then don't forget: you don't have to do all this yourself!
You might, for example:
- Shoot the video yourself – it's your knowledge, your face, your content – this is the most important part for you to participate in;
- Outsource the transcribing, as I've recommended above;
- Get a junior lawyer or law clerk to prepare the article
- Get a secretary or marketing person to prepare the quote cards and potentially the video snippets.
It Gets Easier
This probably all sounds like a lot of work, and at first it might be. But you will figure out a good workflow that makes it faster. You'll improve your videos. You and your team will get better at knowing what works and what doesn't.
Here's my top tip for using this strategy: know what you want to do in advance. Know your quotes, know what you want to say. Appreciate that it will become a written piece. This way you minimise editing the videos and the article, which is by far the most time consuming part.
As a rule of thumb, if you're focused on what you're doing and not still learning the tech side, then here's the rough time commitment involved:
- 0 minutes planning your topic, because you've already done that in advance as part of your content strategy;
- 10 minutes to set up, record your video, and set down
- 10 minutes to edit, render and upload the video (during which time you can get a cup of coffee)
- 1 minute to order captions
- 20 minutes to turn your transcript into an article
- 5 minutes to create quote cards
- 15 minutes to create video snippets.
Which is a shade over 1 hour.
Big Fat Disclaimer: There are lots of variables. Sometimes it takes longer. Sometimes it takes less. But you'll get faster as you go.
But Consider the Output
Let's say you've invested 90 minutes between you and your team. You could easily have then produced the following assets:
- long video
- long podcast
- long article
- 4 quotes on images
- 3 short form handy tips videos
Share them out progressively, and all of a sudden you've got two to four weeks worth of content to help your clients and prospects and to expand your reach among a variety of social media platforms.
In around an hour, hopefully some of which you had a chance to delegate.
Grab your Camera
It's your turn.
And Happy Lawyering!