Episode 15: YouTube Marketing with Aiden Durham

Aiden Durham is the founding attorney at 180 Law Co. in Colorado. Aiden is a business and branding attorney who focuses on helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to start, grow, and protect their businesses. 180 Law Co. offers done-for-you services such as entity formation, contract drafting, and trademark registration, as well as low-cost DIY programs for entrepreneurs that wouldn’t normally be able to afford to work with an attorney. 180 Law Co.’s goal is to make legal services accessible and understandable for entrepreneurs of all levels. Aiden is also the creator and host of the popular YouTube series, All Up In Yo’ Business, which aims to educate entrepreneurs on complex legal topics so they can be informed and empowered to take big steps in their businesses. Over the past 7 years, Aiden has created over 100 videos, and her All Up In Yo’ Business channel has grown to over 85,000 subscribers.

In this episode, Durham talks about how she became well-versed in YouTube marketing and gives valuable advice for law firms looking to expand and improve their marketing on YouTube.

Prefer to read? Read The Transcript Below

Interview Transcript

Casey Meraz:
Hi, I’m Casey Meraz and thank you for joining us for another episode of The Lawyer Mastermind Podcast, where we help attorneys grow their firms through expert mastermind advice. Today, I’m grateful to be joined by Aiden Durham attorney at 180 Law Co. Thanks for joining us today, Aiden.

Aiden Durham:
Thank you, Casey, for having me, I’m excited to be here.

Casey Meraz:
Yeah, absolutely. Well, it’s a pleasure to have you and today we’re really going to be talking about a cool topic, YouTube marketing for law firms. And, YouTube seems like that… Maybe that hidden giant or something in the room, it’s the second largest search engine. And, I think a lot of attorneys that I’ve spoken with in the past have started, maybe, a YouTube campaign at one point, but gotten in and then out. So, tell us a little bit about your experience with YouTube and how you’ve used it to market your firm.

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, so I mean, like you said, “It’s the second largest search engine.” It’s owned by Google, and so it makes sense to me that if people are searching on Google, then they’re probably going to be searching for information on YouTube as well. And so, when I started my law practice back in 2013, that was kind of one of my first marketing efforts was my YouTube channel, because I saw that there weren’t really a whole lot of lawyers on YouTube and there still aren’t. I mean, there are certainly more now than there were seven years ago, but at the time there weren’t a whole lot. And, the ones who were on YouTube at the time were doing more entertainment style videos, like talking about legal issues in TV shows or things like that. Whereas, my channel is more surrounded around informational educational kind of stuff, teaching people about my area of law.

Aiden Durham:
And, I look at it the same way as blogging and SEO for regular search engines. If you put out one YouTube video expecting a whole ton of results, people contacting right away, that’s not going to work any better than, you put out one blog post expecting your website to now rank number one in Google search. So, the same approach to that, I think works is if you’re consistent with it, if you’re putting out a lot of content using the right keywords, research, all of that, then it, it can work just as well as any other paid ads on Google or anything like that. Especially, if the market that you’re working with or trying to work with is, on the younger end and the people who use YouTube pretty regularly.

Casey Meraz:
Sure, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And, people like to digest content differently, as we know, some people like videos, some people like texts. So, I liked how you compared it to a blog, because we know that most attorneys are familiar with, Hey, you have to have a blog and you have to have a website. But, the video side of it still, like you mentioned as well, it doesn’t seem that well adopted. So, when you started off with this, did you have a plan, or did you just kind of start doing it one day?

Aiden Durham:
I didn’t have a whole lot planned for it, I just kind of started it, because I was nervous obviously about being in front of the camera for the first time and putting stuff out there. So, I thought if I overthink or if I over plan it, then I’ll probably never do it, so I just wanted to get something out there, so I wouldn’t be so worried about it. I knew that the topics kind of, that I wanted to center around… Just because at the time I was doing business law and estate planning, I’ve since dropped the state planning and I just do business law now. So, I knew I wanted to talk about topics related to those and focus on kind of common questions that come up a lot in consultations, or the same questions that a lot of people ask. Just talk about that, so people already know the answer, there’s no reason to have that same conversation over and over and over again.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, so it sounds like… Are you generating a lot of your content ideas then? Or, when you started from those questions that clients were already asking you?

Aiden Durham:
Oh yeah, absolutely, that’s where a lot of my topic ideas came from in the beginning. And, even now that’s where most of my topics come from are either recent conversations that I’ve had with people, or I get a lot of questions in the comments now on my videos, so I’ll work off of those sometimes too.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, okay. So, now is your strategy… Are you using this to generate new clients to get in front of people that don’t know about you? Or, are you using it for just building your brand? Just tell me the purpose and the goals behind it.

Aiden Durham:
It’s still primarily a marketing tool, it’s my number one source of new clients, is people finding me through YouTube one way or the other, whether it’s directly on YouTube, or… because, I shared the videos to other social media platforms. So, it’s still primarily for marketing for my law practice, but in the seven years that I’ve been doing it, I’ve built a decent following. So, it has kind of grown into its own thing to an extent. So, I’m kind of still in the middle of, of what exactly is the purpose of the YouTube thing, if it’s just marketing, or if I’m trying to be some kind of an influencer or something like that. But definitely in the marketing sense, it’s worked really well for me. So that’s the primary purpose of it.

Casey Meraz:
That’s awesome and are you able to track new business from that? Does somebody say, “Hey, I found you on your podcast or…” Well, how does that work?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, I do, so any new inquiries or new consultations that we get, we always track how they found us. And, a lot of those responses are YouTube or if a lot I get emails just saying, “Hey, I saw your video on YouTube and it raised this question.” Or, something. So, I certainly do track all those, all the new contacts that I get.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, okay. That’s great, and I think making a video set… the fact that you’ve been doing this for such a long time is awesome, because I feel like seven years ago, starting regular videos was probably harder than it is now just with technological advancements, and software improvements. Has it gotten any easier for you? Or?

Aiden Durham:
It has. Yeah, certainly the learning curve I’ve gotten better at the technology and editing and everything, but the resources have improved too. You can make really high quality videos now just with your iPhone, whereas maybe seven years ago, they wouldn’t have been quite as good. So, the tools that you need to make a decent quality content are easily available now compared to how they were when I first started. But, there’s still quite a bit of a learning curve with it, just figuring out kind of the style that you want in the video or the even camera angles, how to make lighting look good, that kind of stuff. For me, at least I just learned along the way, but from my experience and the comments that I receive in the feedback, that matters very little. The videos that I made in the beginning, the quality was bad, the sound was bad, but the content was good, and so that’s what people liked. And, I think that’s still the focus, if they’re getting good information out of it, then the quality of the content itself isn’t as important.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, got it. So, what do you say to those that haven’t started at all? Any videos? What do they need to get started? What’s the minimum equipment you need?

Aiden Durham:
Really, I think a cell phone with a good camera is fine, and then some basic editing, if you’re going to edit the videos yourselves. I don’t use Apple stuff, but I know iMovie is available on Mac and stuff and it’s pretty easy to use. And, there are a lot of free video editing tools out there, even YouTube has a video editing tool within it. So, it’s just a decent camera, and some basic editing is really all you need to get started.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, and at the beginning we talked about consistency or doing it regularly. What is his schedule that people should adhere to, to start creating content? Is it once a week, once a day, once a month, what have you seen?

Aiden Durham:
I think once a week is a good schedule to begin with. As far as I know YouTube, doesn’t especially care how frequently you’re putting out content as long as it’s somewhat consistent. So, if they see that you’re posting new content every week or even every two weeks, but it’s every two weeks, then they take that into account in ranking, and SEO and all of that. So, whatever kind of scheduling works best for you stick to that. But, I think once a week is ideal, at least in the beginning, because you want to be putting out something somewhat regularly, so if you do start to get traction or start getting notice, people know what to expect from you.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, got it, and in your case, did you market your channel in any other way or did you just start uploading videos?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, I just started uploading and then I was sharing them to other social media, so I think when I started, it was mostly just Facebook. So, I would share, I’ll link all the videos on my Facebook page, share them on Facebook. And, now I share them on Facebook and Instagram, and all the social media channels that I’m on. And, mentioning them in email newsletters and other things like that, but I don’t do any real paid promotion for the YouTube channel.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, got it, and since you brought up the other social platforms like Facebook or Instagram, are you seeing that most of your views and exposures happening on YouTube versus those other platforms?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, most of the views are still on YouTube, and I do that on purpose, I still try to drive the traffic to the actual YouTube channel just in case that makes the difference as far as ranking on YouTube. I don’t know how much it does exactly, but I still try to point everybody towards the actual channel.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, got it, so let’s say that somebody is committed to creating YouTube videos and they’ve recorded their first video, and they’re in YouTube, they’ve uploaded it. With that… I mean, is there any optimization or tips that you can give from there? Or, are they just done after that step?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, so absolutely, there’s a lot of things that go into kind of the background of the video that help with optimization, and help with getting it out there. So, really similar to blogs, we want to focus on keywords with the YouTube videos, you can have a title and then a description. I think the character limit for the title is a 100 characters, so whatever key word topic, your video is focused on, work that into the title. The description, they allow 5,000 characters, so you can really go into a lot of detail in the description on that topic. Also, in working in whatever relevant keywords there are. And then, they also have tags available, which you can specify the actual keywords, and then for keyword research, so this is a really handy thing, especially even trying to figure out what topics do you want to talk about.

Aiden Durham:
There are a lot of different keyword research tools online, I deal with businesses, so if I type in LLC, I can see what other people are searching for on YouTube or on Google related to LLCs. I can see how frequently those keywords are being used in search inquiries and stuff. And then, that helps me figure out what I need to work into the video description and the title and everything there. And then, there are YouTube specific tools that I use now, I think if you’re just getting started, they might be too much for you, but there’s one program called VidIQ, which is like a Chrome plugin. And, it automatically tells you a whole lot of analytical information for videos and keywords, and it’s really helpful with keyword research. And then, there’s another one called TubeBuddy, which is kind of similar, but it helps a lot with figuring out where traffic is coming from, and which of your keywords are performing well over others and things like that. So, those are super helpful if you’re trying to really grow and develop your channel.

Casey Meraz:
Sure, so that sounds a lot like SEO keyword research then, is that what it is, where basically it shows the keyword and approximately how many people might be searching that, but for videos?

Aiden Durham:
Yep, exactly. Same concept.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, and your experience doing that upfront or using that data to create a brainstorm a topic, are you getting a lot more visibility than just the question that’s on your mind that maybe doesn’t have search volume, I guess is what I’m asking?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, exactly, because I can have a really… topic that I think is really interesting or that people might want to know about, but if the fact is that it might be interesting, but not many people out there are actually looking for the answer, then that’s relevant to me. Because, why would I… I don’t want to spend my time making content that no one’s to want to look at. So, it helps kind of refine even the certain topics and maybe make them more focused on something that will be interesting to a lot of people.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, that’s awesome, I really love the data-driven approach because then you kind of had some insight as to how well it’s going to work. Is it hard to rank for, let’s say that I do my own research and this keyword has whatever 20 visits, and I’m going to create a video on that, but there’s two or three other competitors there. Is it hard to outrank people as their way to kind of move up in position that you’ve found?

Aiden Durham:
It is kind of difficult or at least it can be, and from what I’ve seen, those rankings change very frequently. One of the tools that I use that will show how one of my videos or how my videos ranked for specific keywords compared to other similar videos, and the ranking is always changing. So, and I think it has a lot to do with just activity on the videos and not necessarily what’s in the keywords and all of that. So, if just randomly, one video starts getting more traction or more views than some other ones, then YouTube will bump it up a little bit higher. And, that’s really just kind of dependent on advertiser behavior, and search volume at any particular time. So I at least haven’t figured out any definitive way to increase ranking or search ranking aside from just focusing on the keywords being used and the copy in the description.

Casey Meraz:
That’s awesome, so what, what are the biggest mistakes you think people make when they’re starting their own channel and decide to take this venture? What are the mistakes that people are making that you can kind of help shortcut?

Aiden Durham:
Well, I think the biggest mistake is expecting results right away, because that’s probably not going to happen. Unless you make a video that goes viral right off the bat, it’s probably going to take some time months, if not over a year, or multiple years before you really start seeing results or return on your investment or something. So not, not giving it enough time, I think is the biggest mistake. Just keep creating things and see where it goes. That’s the big one. And then, probably the other mistake would be trying to reinvent the wheel. I guess, do your own search and see what kind of blog articles come up for topics related to your industry or your field of law, and then make a video on those topics. Just because somebody else has already written about it, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it. You don’t have to create some brand new novel idea for every video, just talk about what everybody else has already talked about.

Casey Meraz:
I noticed, or when we were first talking about the videos we were talking about marketing, but you would also mention that clients can get their questions answered. Do you use these videos with your existing clients or people that have contacted you to answer questions that you’ve done as a time-saver? Is there any benefit?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, absolutely, that’s another big benefit to it, is if I get a question from a existing client I’m happy to explain the answer to them, but I can also just give them a link and point them to this video that will answer it for me. Or even just random inquiries of questions, I can point them to certain videos and it’s a huge time saver that way, because by the time… not all of them, but by the time a lot of people have contacted me, they’ve already watched probably a handful of videos. So, they already have a basic understanding of what we’re going to be talking about. So, in our initial consultations, I don’t have to start from ground zero and explain what an LLC means. They’ve already seen that video and they already know, so we can jump into some of the more substantive discussion there.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, okay, that makes sense. And, I’m jumping around a little bit here, but I just have another question that came to mind that we haven’t talked about with rankings, or I guess is engagement. Have you seen it engagement from people watching your video liking, or commenting has had an impact on the visibility of that?

Aiden Durham:
I haven’t seen any direct correlation between videos that get more comments, or more engagement, and how they perform necessarily. I believe there is some connection though, just from my analytical tools. That’s part of what those tools take into account is how many comments I’ve responded to, or how engaging I am with those comments. So, I think if anything it’s your engagement with your audience that factors more into it than just their engagement with the video. If that-

Casey Meraz:
Got it If that, so you’re actively responding to those comments, if people are posting questions or anything?

Aiden Durham:
I try to, there are a lot of comments, so I can’t respond to all of them. And a lot of them are legal questions that the answer is… It depends. I can’t answer your question. So, I respond to the ones that I can, or if it’s just a compliment or something kind about the video, then certainly I’ll respond to something like that.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, got it, that’s awesome. Wow, well, how many videos do you think you have now?

Aiden Durham:
Oh, a lot over a 1,000, I I’d say probably close to 125, one 140 by now.

Casey Meraz:
Okay, got it. And, you’re still on the weekly schedule?

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, for the most part, I take breaks here and there, but I’m still posting pretty consistently every week.

Casey Meraz:
Got it, awesome. Well, for those that are listening and want to start their own YouTube channel, what is your best advice for lawyers that want to get started in this?

Aiden Durham:
I think best advice is just do it, don’t overthink it, don’t try to plan it out too much. Just make something and put it out there, and then just keep going with it. Outside of that, think about maybe what’s the most common, what’s the number one question that people ask you as soon as they come into your office or I guess not office anymore, but as soon as the meeting happens. What’s the number one question that you get asked or the few questions that you talk about, or that you answer on a regular basis, focus on those. And then, I mean, you want to just pay attention, pay attention to the kinds of feedback that you’re getting. Or, if one topic, if you see it’s getting a lot more views than other topics, then let that kind of point you in the direction for other content, pay attention to what’s responding or what’s getting more attention than other stuff.

Aiden Durham:
And then, the other last tip is try to show your personality in the videos, let viewers know who you are and what it would be like if they work with you. I think that’s the other benefit that I get from my channel is that people get to get a sense of who I am, how I speak, I gesture. They get a sense of what it would be like working with me, and so by the time they contact me, it’s like, they already kind of know me. So, we don’t have that introductory phase of, of do you even like me as a person before you decide to hire me. And so, the more that you can let your self and your personality come out in the videos too, that’s going to even better, because now you’re educating potential clients, but you’re also, working towards that whole no, like, trust thing as well.

Casey Meraz:
Exactly. Yeah, no, I think that’s great advice and… Yeah, I mean, really at that point, you already know, or you feel like, you know, who you’re working with if you’ve seen them on video enough. So, it really probably helps add to that trust factor as well as, especially since the information that you’re sharing is very educational and helpful for your audience.

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, exactly, and it’s fun, because I’ve had my dog run around in the background of some videos. And so, I’ll get emails saying, “Hey, how’s Rocky?” And, people referenced personal things that I’ve mentioned in my video. So it really does help to kind of establish that rapport before I’ve even had a single conversation with somebody. Yeah.

Casey Meraz:
I think that’s a key takeaway because it’s easy enough to just go and say, “Hey, I’m going to create a video today where my topics and you have a list of FAQ’s and you just kind of answer them. And then, that’s the whole video and answers the question. But, it’s not necessarily very engaging I guess, at that point either.

Aiden Durham:
Right, exactly. Yeah, whatever little thing you can do to stand out from the other videos, or if you have one little shtick that you want to work into it to make it a little more exciting. It’s because all the information is out there on the internet, they can find the information they’re looking for anywhere else. So, what little thing can you do to make your information, more entertaining or more valuable or whatever it is.

Casey Meraz:
Sure, that’s awesome. Well, that’s a great way to stand out, and it’s clear that you have a lot of expertise in this area, so thank you so much for joining us today. Aiden, if the audience wants to get ahold of you after listening to this, what’s the best way to do that.

Aiden Durham:
Sure, so you can find my contact info on my website, it’s 180lawco.com. My email address is there and then you can check out my YouTube channel. The channel is called all up in your business and the URL.

Casey Meraz:
Nice.

Aiden Durham:
Thank you, the URL is youtube.com/allupinyobiz and it’s Y-O-B-I-Z.

Casey Meraz:
Awesome, that’s great. Well again, Aiden, thank you so much for joining us. Please feel free… Is it okay if they contact you? I’m assuming it is since we’ve given out your contact information now.

Aiden Durham:
Yeah, absolutely, I’m a big supporter of other lawyers doing this kind of thing. And so, I’m always happy to chat, give tips wherever I can or anything like that.

Casey Meraz:
That’s awesome, giving back and paying it forward. Thank you so much, Aiden, and look forward to following your progress in the future.

Aiden Durham:
Thank you, Casey.

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