Today, Sam Glover appeared in a couple of promo videos for the upcoming Lawyernomics conference. The key message of his videos? If your blogging is motivated by marketing, instead of a desire to provide enjoyable and informative content, it’s going to suck. He did this, of course, in videos that are actually nothing but marketing for the Lawyernomics conference.

The first video, for example, runs for 99 seconds. There’s a second video of similar length, discussing basically the same thing and shot at the same time, but no explanation is offered as to why two videos were needed. Of the first, 45 seconds were actually devoted to Sam talking about the subject. 54 seconds promote the conference and the sponsors. That’s right – in a pair of videos where Sam actually says one should “respect the reader” and focus on meaningful content – more time is devoted to marketing than to substance.

The mind boggles.

I think Sam Glover and Kevin O’Keefe inadvertently pointed out another way to make your blog post suck: including two poorly lit videos with terrible audio¹.

I enjoy working with colleagues on document review projects who are working to build their own practices. It can be exciting to hear about their adventures and they tend to have a good attitude toward their work. Starting a law firm in today’s market is difficult. It’s hard to know what advice to take; the siren song of the marketing crowd is certainly attractive. However, I have a hard time trusting people who offer to solve all my problems if I sign up for their program, buy their book, or subscribe to their newsletter, if they don’t also show a track record of success at anything other than selling their program.  Transparent marketing like these videos turn me off completely.

¹ If you are going to try and create a series of videos, though, don’t try and superimpose yourself onto a computer generated wall of logos. Instead, spend a few minutes to arrange some decent lighting. Find an attractive background. If you’re using your iPhone or another cheap camera, it’s possible to add an external microphone to make certain you’re clearly heard. I frequently film meetings and trainings using the FiLMiC Pro app on my iPhone. I was able to purchase a tripod, a few lights and an external microphone for under $100; the results aren’t perfect, but have been quite satisfactory.
Interview video lighting image courtesy of Media Arts Center San Diego’s Digital Gym.