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YouTube has been around since 2005. We’ve all become familiar with it, and most of you have watched a video on it this week. YouTube is everywhere you turn. You can watch it on your computer, most mobile devices, and, increasingly, on your television. YouTube is owned by Google and makes many of its services available free. You need to put YouTube to work to help you with your practice. Here are 11 ways to do just that.
1. Upload educational videos. YouTube allows you to upload videos to its site for others to view. Get a camcorder and create some educational videos on family law. Answer common questions and provide an overview of the law. Give a tour of your local courthouse. Explain the process in your county. YouTube gets an amazing volume of traffic. It’s one of the most visited websites in the world, and it’s useful for you to come up in the search results when someone goes hunting for divorce information in your jurisdiction.
2. Find illustrative exhibits. YouTube is a great source of video on just about anything. If you need video to illustrate some testimony, you’ll likely find it on YouTube. You’ll find everything from anatomy demonstrations to video of nearly every location on the site. Do some searching and see what you can find. Of course, you might have admissibility issues with the video, but you can argue that it’s offered only for illustrative purposes if that helps.
3. Add funny videos to your blog. I put a funny YouTube video up on this site nearly every Sunday. I get great feedback from visitors. I’m serving as the curator and saving my readers the time required to find something amusing. You’ll find a wealth of humor on the site, and your visitors will appreciate something short and funny every so often.
4. Find relevant material for referral sources. To stay top of mind with referral sources, you’ve got to stay in touch. A quick e-mail every month is helpful to remind them that you exist. Send a video sometimes if it’s relevant and useful. Consider your audience and do some searching. You’ll have a range of options within minutes.
5. Locate videos for PowerPoint. When you prepare your next PowerPoint, skip the words and use videos exclusively. I’ve got a talk where I encourage lawyers to experiment at one point. While I’m talking about experimenting, the video in the background features something exploding in a test tube. When I start talking about the ups and downs of family law, the video of a roller-coaster ride comes on.
6. Search opposing parties and witnesses. YouTube has a great search engine. Search on the names, business names, and so forth of opposing expert witnesses, parties, and others involved in your case. You never know what you might find on YouTube.
7. Find firm meeting illustrations. Hopefully you’re holding firm meetings. Sometimes showing a quick video at the meeting will illustrate your point better than you can say it with words. We were talking about getting people in alignment at a recent meeting and played a video of a crew team rowing in unison. It took about 30 seconds to find the video on YouTube.
8. Subscribe to educational stuff. You can subscribe to videos on YouTube. The site has resources for everyone. I find some business books incredibly helpful in building our practice. I keep a close eye on the YouTube channel featuring Google Authors. These videos are filmed at Google and feature authors speaking about their latest books. Business books are prominently featured, as are many other genres.
9. Check out travel destinations. When I’m planning a vacation, I like to know what I’m getting into. You can’t always trust the videos provided by visitors’ bureau, tourism groups, or hotels. YouTube videos of a destination posted by real people show the reality of the situation. For instance, I stayed at a beautiful resort in Jamaica. If you viewed the hotel videos, you saw nothing but the spectacular rooms, restaurants, and resorts. My video posted on YouTube reveals the shantytown next door that leans up against the resort’s barbed wire fence. My video presents a much more realistic sense of the resort and the visitor experience.
10. Advertise. You can place advertisements on YouTube just like on Google Adwords. YouTube is the second most used search engine, and it’s worth exploring and testing the advertising possibilities.
11. Learn something. There are tens of thousands of how-to videos on YouTube. When you’re having a problem, search YouTube for the answer. Need to know how to change the battery on your cell phone or how to insert footnotes in a Microsoft Word document? Do a quick search and you’ll find a bunch of demonstrations providing an answer. Need to know how to play the guitar or how to speak Spanish? Again, you’ll find the answer on YouTube.
YouTube is more than just a place to go watch someone fall off a skateboard or mix Mentos with Coke. It has tremendous potential for your practice. Spend some time exploring it, and you’ll discover many more possibilities.