Improving Your On-Line Videos with a Smile!

Smile for your on-line videos

Why would I need to write about improving video with a smile?

I recently did an experiment which may surprise you! I searched Youtube for “Chicago Law Firms” to see what on-line videos I would find. I only looked at videos that were from firm websites or were designed as business development tools.

It took five videos before I found one smile! This is rather tragic if the video is meant to bring in business. Why would I hire a lawyer who doesn’t seem personable?

Lawyers have the reputation for being skeptical, detached, competitive, and socially awkward. These traits generally go against the idea of relationship building, which is what the video is supposed to do. A random person searches “divorce lawyers” and goes to your site where they see a video of a frowning person, speaking in a monotone voice about your practice and how wonderful you are. Is this random internet user convinced? Probably not. Next! They move on and forget you exist.

Don’t let this happen to you and your firm! What are you to do?

Start by smiling!

Anyone looking to hire a lawyer will “ask around.” They undoubtedly receive multiple names and start their internet search at your website. Most matters  are personal to some degree. Before sharing personal information, most people feel they need to like and trust the other person. The #1 signal for trust is to SMILE!

Why am I hammering on smiling so much for website videos?

  1. You will stand out. Since the norm is not smiling, instantly set your firm apart as someone easier to work with and more trustworthy.
  2. You will instantly have more energy and be more vibrant on video. Video take something 3-D and makes it 2-D. On-line videos by enlarge need more energy. It takes more energy to smile, so smiling can help the “flat” effect of video. Whatever energy you normally give, double it for your on-line videos. It feels like too much but won’t be- watch yourself and see!
  3. You will match your in-person personality. You don’t want to hear, “Wow. You are so different in person!” If you have heard this remark, your on-line persona is less than stellar. People should like you more in person, but you shouldn’t seem so different they need to comment on it. Most people smile when meeting someone. If you smile on video, you will look more like you!

Lawyers tell me they don’t smile because their law practice is serious business and they don’t want to seem trite. They also tell me they are nervous and feel awkward being filmed and smiling doesn’t feel natural.

Here is how you make your smile genuine:

Have a reason! This sounds so simple, but it truly is the best tip.

  1. Use a personal client story where you won for a deserving client. You will probably smile since this is a feel-good memory for you.
  2. If you introduce yourself on video, “Hi, I’m _______ from ________firm.” SMILE! (You would if you were really shaking someone’s hand and introducing yourself.)
  3. Say, “I’m glad you asked that question.” Smile and mean it! Many videos are set up as question response videos where you are responding to a silent interviewer. Have the question come up as text in the video and then answer it, starting with a smile.
  4. End with a smile. Invite the viewer to give you a call and smile before showing the slide with contact information.

If all else fails, voice record the information you want to get across (with energy or hire a professional) and show B-roll of you in the office and meetings with clients. Make sure you smile and someone else smiles back! Tell your video company to take LOTS of B-roll so you have time to relax and look as natural as you can. Consumers are savvy and don’t believe the canned handshake by the receptionist anymore. You need to look genuine and not rehearsed.

And those testimonials…

If you use live testimonials, the same rules work for them. They need to have energy and smile when they say how great you are to work with. Boring testimonials are a turn off.

It’s worth it!

The burden seems great, and you may be rethinking your choice to create a on-line videos if it will be so difficult. However, stats are overwhelmingly positive when video is done right. Shop around for a video company who goes after your story and what makes your firm unique. Tell them authenticity and believability are important to you. If their portfolio video examples are boring and wouldn’t convince you to hire their clients, find someone else! There are many companies out there that do good work.

Stay tuned for more blogs on video for business development and how to make them stellar!

If you want your video reviewed or need an outside communication expert to help you create a genuine smile, call Moving Image Consulting. We will smile…! Contact us.