Lawyernomics blog

Should I Monetize My Law Firm Marketing Videos?

Should I Monetize My Law Firm Marketing Videos?


Legal Marketing VideosI bought my son a video camcorder for Hanukkah last December (he’s put it to good use by making many videos and it’s not collecting dust in the closet, as I had feared). Inspired by his new passion for making movies, I decided to retire my 10-year-old tape-eating Sony camcorder and buy a brand-new Vixia Canon camcorder. It arrived from and I excitedly tore open the packaging. Once the excitement wore off, I realized I had no idea what to do with this new toy because I didn’t want to make videos of fictional stories or documentaries.

It Dawned on Me: I Could Record Law Firm Marketing Videos

Of course I had no clue how to go about doing that, so I Googled “lawyer marketing videos” and discovered Gerry Oginski and his lawyers video studio. Gerry is a New York state medical malpractice attorney who has an ambitious sideline creating videos for attorneys looking to market their firms.

Gerry has been making his own videos since 2007 and now has hundreds of videos in his library. I read about a half dozen of his lawyer video blogs and then watched about 10 of his videos. Gerry’s approach is to educate his audience on specific issues of his practice and keep the messages down to roughly three minutes or less. I decided that I could make my own videos and post them on YouTube.

I set up the camcorder in my office and recorded several videos on such topics as bankruptcy discharge, exemptions, and Chapter 7 lien avoidance. I edited the videos and bought a book for my iPad Kindle called “YouTube Marketing Handbook.” I uploaded the videos to my brand new YouTube channel.

It’s Hard to Describe the Anxiety I Felt Broadcasting Myself to the Public

Besides being self-conscious, I worried about appearing foolish to my colleagues and business clients. I also worried that no one would ever view my videos. I made my wife, my friends, and my children subscribe to my YouTube channel so that I could get some traction with search engines.

I uploaded my first video on April 11, 2012. By the end of July, I had over 2500 views, 18 subscribers and almost 50 videos. Clients have hired me after viewing my videos. And on July 28, 2012 a small miracle happened: YouTube sent me an email telling me that one of my videos was collecting a lot of views and do I want to monetize it? Once I agree to that status, a small banner ad will pop up onscreen whenever anyone begins to watch the video and I will receive a modest revenue stream.

I quickly clicked over to my YouTube channel to find out which video was generating all of this attention. I discovered that it was a video I wasn’t even sure I wanted to make, Is There a Stigma to Filing for Bankruptcy? As of today, the video had 247 views, a number far exceeding the amount I ever dreamed it would receive.

I created that video, and a series of similar videos, to help troubled debtors who are grappling with some of the psychological aspects of filing for bankruptcy. I have come to realize that many people avoid taking the highly beneficial step of filing for bankruptcy because they become overwhelmed with anxiety and feelings of guilt, shame and failure. This is the video, I believe, that YouTube would like me to monetize.

As Attorneys, Our Livelihoods Are Often Based upon the Misfortune of Others

People make significant livings by writing self-help books for readers overcome with depression, obesity, overwhelming shyness and a host of other maladies. Plenty of TV programs—sincerely aimed at helping viewers—sell commercial advertising that interrupt the flow of the program each 12 minutes. Nevertheless, I think it would cheapen my message to have an ad pop up when viewers click on the videos I made to help them overcome a psychological barrier.

Am I overreacting? Are my views hopelessly 20th-century? Or are YouTube viewers sufficiently numbed by the endless advertisements that barrage them? Should I just go ahead and monetize my videos?

Please tell Ron what to do. Leave a message in the comments box or reach him one of the many ways he publishes in his incredibly long email signature:

Ronald J. Drescher
Drescher & Associates, P.A
4 Reservoir Circle, Suite 107
Baltimore, MD 21208
(410) 484-9000
Fax (410) 484-8120
Delaware Office – 1 Commerce Center1201 North Orange Street, Suite 722Wilmington, Delaware 19801
 YouTube: MDBankruptcyLawyer – YouTube
Practicing in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania

4 Responses

  1. Don’t monetize. I think it would cheapen the message. Plus, people call you from your videos because you have established trust by giving away valuable information for free. Once you monetize, people know you are advertising and it cheapens the message and trust you have otherwise deserved.

    I say, be a Go Giver–which is a book written by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It is a great philosophy to follow, especially for lawyers where we are so often viewed as not giving at all.

Leave a Reply