Connect with Prospective Clients in Just 30 Seconds
Stand out from the crowd
Building a successful mediation career isn't simple. You have your training and certification. You’ve set up a website and social media channels for your business. Your workspace is ready to go. You’re working your marketing plan, making phone calls and connecting with prospects on LinkedIn. You have networked at various events, even managing to get your business card into a few hands.
Is it working? Are your efforts getting you as many cases as you would like?
How to get clients?
If you just aren’t getting noticed enough, there is one thing you can do to introduce yourself to prospective clients in a way that takes less than one minute of their time, yet instantly builds rapport and trust.
Make an introductory video
A short, 30- to 60-second introductory video gives you the opportunity to tell your story and let prospective clients see how articulate and confident you are. Seeing your face and hearing your voice provides an interactional experience that will make you memorable among other dispute resolution professionals.
Write a compelling script
Who are you talking to?
Before you think about what to wear or how to shoot your video, you need to know what you are going to say. And before you decide what you are going to say, you need to know who you’re saying it to – who are your clients? Consider these questions when writing your script:
Who is your ideal client? What is their education level? Are they likely to be in an emotional state? What will they be most looking for in their mediator? What are their needs?
Are you looking for referrals from the community or from within the legal system (attorneys, court rosters, etc.)? How would you speak to them versus speaking directly to a potential client? (And keep in mind that attorneys may also become clients.)
In what area do you practice mediation? Do you have relevant background experience?
What to say
Your script should:
Tell your story. Everyone has a story – find yours and connect it to your business.
Have a dynamic opening. You have just a few seconds to grab a client’s attention, so make it count. Consider starting by naming an accomplishment or with a bit of personal information:
“I am honored to be chosen as this year’s ‘Best Mediator in the State’…”
“As the oldest of eight siblings, I’ve been mediating disputes for decades, so…”
“When I noticed [X], that’s when I decided to become a mediator.”
Use everyday language: simple and direct, delivered in a friendly tone. Big words come off as bluffing, intimidating, or arrogant.
Focus on your specialty or preferred area of mediation. That’s your power.
Be genuinely personable, approachable, and sincere. Many mediation cases are personally upsetting for at least one party, so you want to convey an aura of trustworthiness.
Describe what makes you a unique mediator. What are your strengths?
Convey confidence. Describe the mediation style you use to get cases settled efficiently and fairly.
Mention your name or your company’s name – but not until about 2/3 of the way in. Beginning with your name usually sounds either like a sales pitch or just boring.
Close with a natural-sounding sentence that includes your name and a memorable tagline.
Sound like a lawyer, even if you are one. The people watching your video are looking for a reliable, impartial mediator, so that is who you present. Don’t mention your law degree unless it is specifically relevant to the kinds of cases you are looking for.
Basic techniques for creating a quality video
It isn’t difficult to create a video these days, but you are trying to create a professional looking introductory video, not a shadowy, tinny-sounding nightmare. Fortunately, just a little forethought and effort makes all the difference in the world.
You probably already own everything you need to produce a video with a pleasing color balance and audible sound. Any of the following will usually produce a good-quality result:
Video: Smartphone, DSLR, built-in or plug-in web camera
Audio: Wired or wireless microphone, or packaged with camera device
Lighting: Natural light, with lamps to “fill” if needed (see below)
Editing: Laptop, desktop, or tablet computer and headphones or earbuds
Choose professional clothing that has color, but isn’t too bright. Stay away from patterns such as stripes or herringbones, as the camera will likely produce a distortion called the moire effect. You should also avoid anything with logos or words of any kind.
Choose a simple background for your video, a place that complements your clothing and sets the right tone for your business. Your office is usually an excellent setting, and will provide familiarity if the mediation is held there. Keep the set very simple; just one plant or small decorative item. You don’t want a completely monochrome or colorless background, but you also don’t want your viewers to be distracted by the details around you.
Lighting is really the secret to good-looking video footage. Fluorescent bulbs, severe lighting, and overhead lighting are unflattering, causing grey hues and shadows. Go for natural lighting wherever possible, and use soft lights from lamps to “fill” in where needed to prevent shadows on your face.
Sit or stand as you will during recording and set the camera at eye level (if sitting, be sure to sit up straight!). Frame the shot far enough back to include the top of your head and both shoulders, but close enough to clearly see expression in your eyes. A good rule of thumb – paraphrasing the well-known Bunker Hill directive – is “don’t shoot (with your camera) until you see the whites of their eyes!”
Don’t worry about zooming in or out; your end product will be so short that camera movement would just be a distraction.
Say your script naturally; try memorizing the outline of the script, not its exact wording. If you misspeak or accidentally mumble a word, simply start the sentence over again and keep going – the mistake can be edited out later.
Because this is an introductory video and you are trying to connect with viewers in the hopes they will become clients, it is best to look directly into the camera while you speak. Looking off-camera creates a disconnect that is contrary to your objective. If you find it difficult to speak naturally while looking into a cold, impersonal camera lens, try one of these tricks:
Imagine you are speaking to your best friend, your pet, or your grandmother.
Tape a photo of your best friend, your pet, or your grandmother just above the lens and “speak” to them that way.
Record a test run. What worked? What didn’t work? What actions should you take to make the video better? Show your test recording to other people and get their opinions, too.
Editing your video will give it final polish and professionalism. Simply cut out misspoken words and clarify audio; add text, if you’re feeling adventurous. All of this can be accomplished on any number of free video editing software applications.
If you are uncomfortable editing your footage yourself, find a professional videographer to edit it for you. Since you’ve already done the recording, the cost should be minimal
Publish and share
Now that you have your video introduction all polished and ready to start connecting with potential clients, you need to get it onto the internet. YouTube is by far the most popular video sharing platform, with clear instructions and many tools to get your video everywhere it needs to be.
Before uploading your video to YouTube, ensure that it is saved in one of the following formats (it probably is). Look at the file name of the video and look for one of these exten
3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project)
AVI (Audio Video Interleaved)
FLV (Adobe Flash)
MOV (QuickTime Movie)
MP4 (Motion Picture Experts Group Part 14)
MPEG or .MPG (Motion Picture Experts Group)
WMV (Windows Media Video)
If your video is in a different format, ask a videographer to convert it for you or find a conversion tool online by searching “free video conversion tool online” (without quotation marks) to see how easy it is to convert it yourself.
Once the video is on YouTube, it is time to share it everywhere you can! Use YouTube’s tools to embed or upload your video on your website, social media channels, and on your profile at MediatorSelect.com. Your video is a powerful tool, but it only works when it’s seen!
Your introductory video will boost your online presence and provide a wonderful opportunity to make a real connection with potential clients even before they contact you.