Family lawyers who are early adopters of Instagram Reels understand the importance of social media and showing who they are outside the office to clients and potential clients. Instagram Reels may be the refreshing polar opposite of those boring lawyer stock images that litters Google images and lawyers’ websites.
By Aron Solomon, Senior Digital Strategist
Instagram Reels is a new in-app function where users can create 15-second short clips that are synced with fully licensed music, audio effects, and filters. After a global soft launch in places such as Brazil, Reels launched in the United States in early August and has become wildly popular in many social media circles.
Instagram released Reels because they saw an opportunity to grab TikTok’s market share in the US and beyond. As the regulatory screws tighten around Chinese-owned TikTok, some large platform was bound to release their own equivalent, so Facebook-owned Instagram was a natural fit to eat up this social media market share.
Why Family Lawyers Should Start Making Instagram Reels Now
What Reels does is simple and compelling. You can record and edit 15-second multi-clip videos with audio, effects, and new creative tools, one of which I will discuss in some detail. You can share Reels with your followers on Feed, and, if you have a public account, make them available to the wider Instagram community through a new space in your search (Explore).
This is a real key as Instagram users have seen a marked change over these past three weeks in the appearance of the Explore function in Instagram. Reels in Explore is the first thing you now see when you search, and the company claims to have done this to offer “anyone the chance to become a creator on Instagram and reach new audiences on a global stage.”
This really is a key point. Most people who use social media dream of creating a video that can become viral. I can assure you, from the perspective of someone who had an article go viral on social media a few years ago, that going viral can be an overwhelming experience but a potentially very desirable one for building your brand and base of prospective clients.
I’m pretty bullish on Reels because as with any new social media app or functionality, it’s invaluable to be an early adopter, which you can still do, especially if you’d like to use Reels for business purposes. Instagram’s Reels gives you a chance to try something totally new on social media and I highly recommend trying out its functionality.
Family Lawyers and Instagram
For family law firms, the ultimate goal is to be discovered and retained by the right kind of clients. For those pioneering lawyers who already have Instagram accounts, why wouldn’t you want to increase your reach and visibility there? And if you don’t have an Instagram account, Reels should have you thinking twice about why you’re not on a platform with such a massive reach.
As for the functionality of Reels, my favorite feature so far is something known as Transitions. Transitions allows you to create interesting and unique transitions between clips. Sure, apps such as TikTok can do similar things, but Reels brings a huge net new audience to features such as Transitions because a large number of the Instagram audience hasn’t used TikTok.
So here is how I recommend a lawyer use Transitions in the maximum 15 seconds allowed on Reels.
You should use Transitions in Reels to show three aspects of your life that would give prospective clients some insight into who you are as a person. See these 15 seconds as a unique opportunity to show three things about you in a way that is potentially very memorable.
Let’s look at an example:
You’re a family lawyer: an experienced, consummate professional. But outside the office, you love to cook, play golf, go hiking with your dog, and ride horses. Transitions in Reels allows you to give people your visual perspective on each of these activities. You would take a little video of you doing each of these activities then use the transition feature to pull them together. In Reels, the person often snaps their fingers or throws something in the air to mark the transition.
Always think about interesting cameras angles as well, as perhaps you want to do a POV – shot from your point of view, as if the camera is your eyes – rather than having the camera pointed at you.
While I don’t recommend that you throw a golf bag or horse in the air do to a Reels transition, there is ample room to show the same energy and creativity to prospective clients that you may one day show them as their lawyer.
The Advantage of Using Instagram Reels
So, practically speaking, what’s the advantage of being on the leading edge not only of a new technology but even its most new and widely popular feature?
It shows that you’re open to experimenting, learning, trying new things, and that you aren’t a stuffy person who takes themselves too seriously. In other words, Reels may be the polar opposite of that lawyer stock art that litters Google images.
Here’s a sample Reels showing use of Transition from attorney and content creator Kameron Monet:
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No better feeling than those moments you decide to just be you and trust God ✨ Let’s start to make this a habit 👏🏾! —— BTW want a “The Legal Tea” mug? I’m doing a pre-launch with only 20 mugs this Friday, September 4th at 6pm CST! Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter at www.kameronmonet.com 👀 Why be the first 20 to purchase a mug you say? You’ll also get 50% off my resume, cover letter and personal statement mini trainings coming September 12th! You ready for this legal tea ☕️ —— wig: Sensationnel Ella blazer: H&M top: NY&Company skirt: BOOHOO
And here are a couple non-lawyer Reels showing solid use of Transition:
And a funny one where the user shows that making these transitions aren’t always easy and takes a little practice:
The Delicate Balance Between Remaining Professional While Being Compelling and Memorable
Ideally, you are searching for a balance between still being professional and showing something to the audience that has the potential to garner a large audience.
I always remind clients that lawyers shouldn’t be using any social media to immediately attract new clients. Rather, the goal is to build relationships with people through social media that will later bring some of them into your prospective client funnel – and then of course you will work some of these prospects through the stages of your funnel into clients.
Aron Solomon is the Senior Digital Strategist for NextLevel. He was the founder of LegalX at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, one of the world’s first legal technology accelerators. Elected to Fastcase 50 in 2015, which recognizes the world’s leading legal innovators, Aron regularly consults for large global corporations, law, and accounting firms. Aron is now based in Berlin, where he is the founder of Aron Brand and co-founder of Mission Watch Company. www.NextLevel.com
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