Combating the Rise of Commoditization: 3 Ways Legal Video Allows You to Stand Out From the Competition

Guest blog post by Michael Mogill, President and CEO of Crisp Video


With 1.3 million attorneys currently practicing in the United States and 35,000 hopeful law students graduating annually, to say that the legal industry is crowded is a gross understatement. The legal industry has an overabundance of attorneys all marketing themselves for similar skills, and while their background and education may differ, their end goal is the same: to run a successful business, represent clients, and practice law.


When you couple this overcrowding with the urgent need to drive business, many attorneys run the risk of commoditizing themselves. In a world where potential clients want answers immediately (and at a 25% discount, no less) it can be appealing to market yourself as an affordable and immediate solution to their problems.


But when you do that, you’re marketing yourself solely based on your ability to provide legal services rather than the value you provide. This not only dehumanizes your firm, but seriously devalues your abilities as an attorney and as a human.


With this in mind, it may seem daunting to promote yourself as the top choice in your market and stand out from the pack. And for many attorneys, promoting yourself as the top choice isn’t just daunting – it’s almost impossible. This is especially true when small firm attorneys try to go toe to toe against goliath firms with infinitely deep pockets and a never ending marketing budget.


So, what do you do? Do you throw in the towel? Do you retreat back to your desk and wait for the phones to ring, all the while wondering whether or not you’ll be able to keep your firm’s doors open?


The answer lies in the power of legal video marketing.


Legal video marketing, when done right, allows you to differentiate your law firm from the competition in three key ways:


  • Legal video allows you to humanize your firm through emotional storytelling


When potential clients are searching for an attorney, they’re not filtering their search results based on how many combined years of experience you have. And when they come to your office for a consultation, they’re not drawn to the law degree hanging on your wall – they’re drawn to the human behind the desk.


The vast majority of people seeking legal representation are not in those situations voluntarily. They’re scared, frustrated, confused, and they need answers. In these situations, scrolling through attorney biographies on legal websites that all look identical will not provide them what they desperately need: the comfort provided by someone who genuinely understands what they’re going through.


Here’s what this means for your video marketing strategy:


If you can work to create a legal brand video that introduces you as a person, not just as an attorney, and encapsulates your firm’s unique value proposition – what makes your firm different than your competition – you will be able to take advantage of a powerful persuasion technique that will establish an immediate connection with potential clients that compels them to convert.


Emotion is a powerful psychological phenomenon, and it has a larger impact on decision making than you’d think. In fact, scientists have found that 90% of our decisions are driven by emotion. This contradicts the common assumption that smart, informed decisions come from a “cool head” — relying on logic alone is not the best way to make a decision, so it also isn’t the best way to encourage people to make decisions.


Instead, if you incorporate emotional messaging into your video marketing strategy, you’ll make it easier for potential clients to make a decision.


Rachel Gillett of Fast Company has this to say about processing emotional stories and arguments: “When we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well. What this means is that it’s far easier for us to remember stories than the cold hard facts because our brains make little distinction between an experience we are reading about and one that is actually happening.”



  • Legal video establishes and enhances social proof through client testimonials


Social proof is a powerful buzzword in the marketing industry. In layman’s terms, social proof is what happens when our decisions are influenced by the actions of others. When you’re standing in a room full of people who are all looking at the ceiling, chances are, you’re going to look too.


Social proof is the reason why online reviews on Google or Amazon are such a powerful selling tool, and why sites like Yelp play a huge role in deciding where we’re going out to dinner this weekend. In fact, 70% of Americans will trust a review from someone they don’t even know, and 63% of Americans are more likely to purchase something from a website that includes customer reviews.


For attorneys, social proof is packaged in the form of client testimonials and online reviews. Every time a client reviews you on Avvo, Google, Facebook, or your website, they’re adding social proof to your online presence.


Here’s a fact to consider: social proof is proven to be more convincing with pictures and videos. That means we’re more likely to believe something is true if there is an image associated with it.


They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but what about video? Potential clients want to put a face to a testimonial. It solidifies the truth behind the claim and personalizes their story, so they’re not just reading text on a website.


Testimonial videos can be a powerful strategy to enhance your firm’s social proof online and differentiate your firm from the competition.


At Crisp Video Group, we avoid producing legal videos without testimonials at all costs. We would prefer to let the client tell your story, because it’s more believable and usually more compelling (this ties back into the power of emotional storytelling).


To put this in perspective, check out the video we produced for NTL Attorney Christopher Brough, a Criminal Defense Attorney in Spartanburg, SC. The client testimonial featured in Christopher’s video described Christopher’s courtroom demeanor, in his exact words, by saying this: “The second we stand in that courtroom, it’s like taking your attack dogs and cutting the leash loose. He’s there for you 100%.”


Now, imagine if Christopher had used those words to describe himself – would they have been as believable?




  • Increase perceived brand authority through high-quality video content


You’re probably not the only attorney in your market who will incorporate legal video into their content strategy. But, for better or worse, many attorneys who produce legal videos don’t create or distribute them effectively, which means they won’t see the results that are possible with high-quality legal video.


Many attorneys are under the false assumption that all it takes to see results from legal video is to have the video produced. While that is certainly part of the equation, most of the results you’ll see from your video will come long after you stop filming. Results rely not only on ensuring you’re producing high-quality content, but also distributing that content in the right places.


You’ll notice we mentioned the term ‘high-quality’ three times in this section, and that was intentional.


Google recently rolled out an algorithm update that transforms the way they measure SEO quality content. Whereas before many people may pursue first page rankings through keyword stuffing and ‘link juicing’, today’s SEO algorithm depends largely on the customer experience.


Google is likely to index websites that people spend more time on, and video helps with that factor. But, if you include a low-quality video on your site that isn’t enjoyable to watch, it impacts the time spent on site, which will hurt your SEO rankings.



So what does that have to do with brand authority? More than you’d think.

While it can be hard to quantify perceived brand authority, it’s easy to make the connection between quality content and perceived competence. If you were to visit the site of a new case management software you were hoping to implement, and the product overview video was poorly shot and didn’t provide you with a valuable experience, would you still purchase it?


Now, consider that same experience in a high-stakes situation like searching for the attorney who will be in charge of protecting your constitutional rights.


If you produce a series of high-quality, engaging videos that provide value, answer their questions, and ease their concerns, it will boost your overall brand authority and differentiate your firm from the competition.  It will also give you a nice organic SEO boost, which improves your chances of achieving higher search placement.


Bringing it All Together: Combating the Rise of Commoditization


At the end of the day, the best way to bring in new clients is to introduce them to who you are, not just what you do. If you form your entire content strategy around the services you offer rather than the problems you can help them solve, potential clients will begin to view you as a commodity rather than a person.


Don’t make the mistake of dehumanizing yourself in order to appeal to a broader audience. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and leveraging legal video to tell your story may cost you a few leads, but the clients you’ll gain from these efforts will be all the more valuable (both literally and figuratively) because they truly want to work with you due to the connection your video helped to establish. In the process, you will put leagues between your firm and your competitors and you will find yourself becoming the obvious choice in your market.


If you want to learn more about how you can leverage legal video to grow your law firm, you can download our free eBook here.


Michael Mogill is the Founder and CEO of Crisp Video Group (, a national legal video marketing company that produces high-quality and engaging legal videos for attorneys all over the country. Crisp Video is consistently recognized for creating engaging legal videos that help attorneys see a 2 to 10 times increase in average case values. By simply bringing in higher-value cases, attorneys who produce videos with Crisp Video see an average return on investment of 300% and routinely double and triple their revenue — sometimes within just 6 months. He has been featured in Forbes, The National Trial Lawyers, Avvo, ABA, PILMMA, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.


Beasley Allen files 2nd opioid lawsuit

Beasley Allen has filed the second lawsuit in as many days against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The complaint filed on behalf of Houston County, Alabama, alleges the marketing of these drugs contributed to the creation of the opioid epidemic, a public health and safety crisis. Responding to the opioid crisis has required Houston County to sustain economic damages and to continue to bear a significant financial burden. On Dec. 13, Beasley Allen filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of the City of Greenville, Alabama. Houston County is represented by Beasley Allen lawyers and National Trial Lawyers member Rhon E. Jones, who is head of the firm’s Toxic Torts Section, Rick Stratton, Will Sutton and Ryan Kral.

“These lawsuits demonstrate how communities are struggling under the burden of the opioid epidemic,” Jones said. “This is a crisis created by the pharmaceutical industry, which instead of investigating suspicious orders of prescription opiates, turned a blind eye in favor of making a profit. They intentionally misled doctors and the public about the risks of these dangerous drugs, and municipal governments are left struggling to cope with the consequences.”

Economic damages resulting from the opioid epidemic include costs for providing medical care, therapeutic care and treatments for patients suffering from opioid-related addiction or disease, including overdoses and deaths; costs for providing counseling and rehabilitation services; costs for treating infants born with opioid-related medical conditions; public safety and law enforcement expenses; and care for children whose parents suffer from opioid-related disability or incapacitation.

Defendants include Purdue Pharma L.P.; Purdue Pharma, Inc.; The Purdue Frederick Company, Inc.; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, LTD.; Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Cephalon, Inc.; Johnson & Johnson; Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. n/k/a Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc. n/k/a Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Noramco, Inc.; Endo Health Solutions Inc.; Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Allergan PLC f/k/a Actavis PLS; Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. n/k/a Actavis, Inc.; Watson Laboratories, Inc.; Actavis, LLC; Actavis Pharm a, Inc. f/k/a Watson Pharma, Inc.; Mallinckrodt plc; Mallinckrodt LLC; McKesson Corporation; Cardinal Health, Inc.; and AmerisourceBergen Drug Corporation.

The complaint is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

Free webinar on client acquisition Wednesday, Dec. 13

The National Trial Lawyers is excited to invite you to register for a FREE legal webinar training hosted by Michael Mogill, CEO of Crisp Video Group, the exclusively endorsed video partner of The National Trial Lawyers.

With 1.3 million attorneys today (the most ever in U.S. history), what separates your firm from your competition?

You know the answer, but do potential clients? If you can’t communicate your clear differentiator, you’re leaving money on the table for competing firms to grab.

In tomorrow’s webinar, you will discover:

  • How to create, differentiate, and communicate your firm’s unique value proposition
  • How to use storytelling to land better cases and increase new client conversions by up to 300%
  • A simple strategy to convert 70% more cases, on average, from the traffic your website already gets
  • How to turn social media into a revenue driver for your practice

The Future of Client Acquisition for Law Firms (Webinar)

Wednesday, December 13 at 1pm EST / 10am PST

Register Now!

See you there!

Win a new Tesla from Crisp Video at the Trial Lawyers Summit!

How would you like to win a Tesla Model X 100D worth $130,000 from Crisp Video at the 2018 Trial Lawyers Summit? If you’re a Crisp client who is in frequent contact with other (non-competing) attorneys who would benefit from a Crisp Video, you could be the owner of the new Tesla Model X come February. If you haven’t done so already, register now to attend the Trial Lawyers Summit in South Miami Beach, Florida February 4-7, 2018. Crisp Video will be giving away the Tesla Model X on the last day of the Summit, February 7.

Click here for the eligibility rules and regulations and to enter for your chance to win a Tesla at the Trial Lawyers Summit!

NTL for Women’s Rights President Gloria Allred joins forces with SAG-AFTRA

gloria allread, legal news, law news, verdict, settlement

“I am a constant warrior,” says Allred.

NTL for Women’s Rights President Gloria Allred has joined with Hollywood performer’s union SAG-AFTRA to continue her fight against sexual harassment. “We have reached the tipping point,” Allred told a standing room-only crowd of more than 200, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The tipping point Allred is referring to is the post-Harvey Weinstein era, where more women feel comfortable coming forth and talking about incidents of sexual harassment. Allred filed a new lawsuit against Weinstein on behalf of an anonymous actress who accuses the former movie mogul of sexual battery and assault.

Allred moderated a panel at SAG-AFTRA’s “teach-in, speak-out” event, called “A Conversation on Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Entertainment Industry.”


Podcast: Bharara reads Mueller’s tea leaves

Donald J. TrumpFormer US Attorney Preet Bharara knows a thing or two when it comes to deciphering plea deals and indictments, and he tells Politico that he sees much more coming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign. “Hard to tell, but the George Papadopoulos guilty plea tells us (a) Mueller is moving fast, (b) the Mueller team keeps secrets well, (c) more charges should be expected and (d) this team takes obstruction and lying very, very seriously,” Bharara told Politico.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

Podcast: Why sending defendants to religious work camps could be illegal

A nonprofit group is asking 24 Oklahoma courts to stop sending defendants to a Christian drug rehabilitation center that forces them to attend church and work for free at a chicken plant. According to Reveal by The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Freedom From Religion Foundation says sending people to Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery violates religious liberties established by the First Amendment. Three men who were sent there have filed a class action lawsuit against the rehab center, claiming they were forced into slave labor by having to work in the chicken plant without getting paid. A podcast by the reporters who investigated the case is available here.

NTL President-Elect Mark Lanier among National Law Journal’s 2017 Winning Litigators

The National Trial Lawyers 2018 President-Elect and Lanier Law Firm founder Mark Lanier is honored among the National Law Journal’s 2017 Winning Litigators based on his courtroom victories on behalf of people injured by Johnson & Johnson’s defective Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implants.

In December 2016, Mr. Lanier and his trial team secured a verdict of more than $1 billion for six plaintiffs harmed by the defective implant. Jurors agreed that the implants failed prematurely, leaving victims to face additional surgeries, pain and debilitating conditions.

“My mission, and what we ultimately accomplished, along with our amazing trial team, was to clearly present the complex evidence that proved to the jurors that the devices were defective and that company officials knew about the flaws but failed to warn patients and doctors of the risks,” Mr. Lanier told the National Law Journal. “The jury saw hard evidence and was rightly angry. Their verdict demanded change.”

Asked by the NLJ for trial tips that are key to his success, Mr. Lanier responded: “Work yourself to death in preparation! Talent is nice. Actually, talent is great! But hard work trumps talent over and over again.”

Earlier in 2016, the Lanier team secured a $500 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a separate lawsuit over defective Pinnacle hip implants.

Recognized as one of the Most Influential Attorneys of the Decade by the National Law Journal and as one of the 25 Greatest Lawyers of the Past Quarter Century by Texas Lawyer, Mr. Lanier was named the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year by The National Trial Lawyers. In 2015, he received the American Association of Justice’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He also is the founder of the Christian Trial Lawyers Association and the Lanier Theological Library.

With offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles, The Lanier Law Firm is committed to addressing client concerns with effective and innovative solutions in courtrooms across the country. The firm is composed of outstanding trial attorneys with decades of experience handling cases involving pharmaceutical liability, asbestos exposure, commercial litigation, product liability, maritime law, and sports and entertainment law. Visit

Video: Lisa Bloom on different side defending Weinstein

Lisa BloomCalifornia attorney Lisa Bloom has made a career out of defending women who have been victimized by sexual assault and violence. But now she’s defending Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer accused of sexual misconduct. “He wanted to be respectful to women and he still wants to be respectful to women. And he’s asked me, of all people, to help guide him in that direction, to explain to him the laws of sexual harassment and why this is important,” Bloom told the Associated Press. The New York Times reports Weinstein has settled with at least eight women over alleged harassment. While Bloom has long represented women in high profile cases against celebrities like Bill Cosby and former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, she said she confronted Weinstein about the accusations he faces in a “frank, blunt way.” The AP reports Bloom’s mother, National Trial Lawyers Executive Committee member Gloria Allred, says she wouldn’t have taken on Weinstein as a client. Video of the Associated Press interview with Bloom is available here.

NTL Executive Committee member Tom Mesereau on documentary screening panel

Tom Mesereau

National Trial Lawyers Criminal Defense Executive Committee member Tom Mesereau

The National Trial Lawyers Criminal Defense Executive Committee member Tom Mesereau will be a featured panel speaker following the screening of a new documentary, “When Justice Isn’t Just,” on September 30th in Los Angeles. The film, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker David Massey and produced by Dawn Massey, will be shown as part of a program that begins at 4:00 pm at Norris Cinema Theatre, Frank Sinatra Hall at 3507 Trousdale Parkway in LA. Mesereau and other panel members will discuss the film and its impact immediately following the film at 5:00 pm. For more information about the event, contact Dawn Alexander at 818-830-4818 or go to