The 1958 Lawyer

Melissa Costello: The Art of Storytelling

Episode Notes

Melissa Costello is the creative lead and chief storyteller for MELISSACOSTELLO.COM’s video-centric take on branding and marketing. In this episode, she shares the value of telling stories in marketing and why marketing through video works for lawyers. They talk about how lawyers today need to start thinking differently about their business and embrace marketing. 

The most important kind of marketing that is especially effective for law firms is using client testimonials. Melissa says that there’s no substitute for testimonial videos, story telling is the most engaging medium of communication and people will want to do business with you if you tell them your clients’ stories. 




“It is one of your greatest assets, the stories that your clients would be only too happy to tell - of how you changed their life, how you saved their business. Attorneys to a very large degree think that they provide a very intellectual product, and a legal product is anything but.” - Melissa Costello


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Melissa Costello, Creative Lead and Story Teller


Melissa Costello is the creative lead and chief storyteller for MELISSACOSTELLO.COM’s video-centric take on branding and marketing. Telling stories and building brands that impact people’s businesses and people’s lives is her passion. Her upbringing engaged her in a lively mix of both the fine arts and the marketing arts, joint passions shared by numerous members of the extended family. It’s in the blood as is a restless curiosity. Costello has been awarded both domestic and international honors for the videos and television commercials she has produced for more than 30 years through her companies in Chicago and Los Angeles, and in collaboration with former political media consultant, David Axelrod for clients such as President Barack Obama and Mayor Rahm Emanuel.



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Episode Transcript:

Ron Bockstahler  0:29  

Welcome to the show. I am your host, Ron box dollar. And today we have a super special guest because he's one of my favorite people. And definitely one of my favorite people to talk to Melissa Costello. Welcome to the show, Melissa.

Melissa Costello  0:40  

Hey, thanks, Ron. It's really fun to be here already. Thanks.

Ron Bockstahler  0:46  

Again, it's funny because we generally get together for coffee, and now we're doing it over a show.

Melissa Costello  0:50  

Exactly. And we can't stop. You know, it's also good to have a 45 minute cut off point, I suppose.

Ron Bockstahler  0:57  

Well, you know, let's talk about you take us, you know, in your bio, which I didn't read the whole thing, but you actually talk about, there's my notes here. Your family engaged in a lively mix of fine arts and marketing arts. What are you talking about?

Melissa Costello  1:10  

What does that mean? You know, storytelling is actually what it means we it's coming at storytelling from a number of different disciplines. My dad's dad was an attorney. He was a litigator, he was brilliant at they used to say he created a spell in the courtroom, my father became a copywriter, my father, you know, took that notion of storytelling and applied it to, you know, huge corporations in America, he worked at Leo Burnett, his brother started an advertising agency, and you know, was another brilliant storyteller and writer, my sister is a script writer, it's in the blood, my son is a writer. So at the dining room table, you know, my sisters and I were the in house focus group. So it's like, girls, what would you think if we could cut apples into stars? Would you like that? What would you call it? What would you dip it into? You know, was, to me, the notion of marketing of advertising was play, this is what we're playing. This is fun. And I still bring that sense of playful discovery to my work, because that is what storytelling is, you find the story and you share it. And who doesn't love to tell a good story?

Ron Bockstahler  2:26  

We're talking most of our audiences are attorneys. And they're generally if they're litigators, they got to be a great storyteller. But Why do so few use video to tell their story digitally, to prospective customers?

Melissa Costello  2:42  

Well, that's a really that's a really good question. Ron. It's mystifying in the 21st century. You know, when you look back at where this whole thing started, you know, originally, video storytelling was called TV commercials. And it was in the very, you know, it was in the mix for an advertising agency, and it was cost prohibitive for most, because you'd have to have a massive crew. And you'd have, you know, in those days, I can't even imagine what the rates were like in the 50s and 60s when they began advertising. And by the way, it was very primitive. When you look at some of those old ads, they're horrible. I mean, by today's standards, things would, you know, the art has evolved. It's very sophisticated. But I would say that, as things have shifted forward, as things have evolved, I don't understand why people don't use it more often. Except that if you buy it on your own, you're usually not going to get a great product, you're going to if you go through an advertising agency, they have vetted a solid filmmaker, for you to work with. But I think smaller organizations have a hard time accessing those individuals accessing those companies. And they also have a hard time justifying the cost, you know, and expense is something that comes up often. But I, you know, what I say to my clients is what's really expensive, is doing it poorly and not using it. I mean, you're throwing money away, do it right. And you can use it over and over and over and over and over again. So, you know, in the legal world, you have such extraordinary stories to tell. They are the thing that almost every law firm leaves on the table. Every time they talk about marketing, it is one of your greatest assets are the stories that your clients would be only too happy to tell of how you change their life, how you saved their business. I think attorneys to a very large degree, think that they provide an intellectual product and a legal product is anything but I know from my own experience, having been in small claims court, represented by David Goodman, thanks very much, David, shout out. I know and I haven't done anything wrong, but the Feeling you have the anxiety? The Am I a bad person? What am I doing in small claims court? That David, you know, definitely stepped in, corrected everybody's perception. The judge was like, Oh, well, yeah, da, I can't tell you what he the gift he gave me. It's beyond money. It is He gave me peace of mind. And he also well gave me peace of mind and what,

Ron Bockstahler  5:27  

hopefully a win.

Melissa Costello  5:30  

He definitely gave me a win. He definitely gave let's back

Ron Bockstahler  5:32  

up because I want to go into the cost, the sticker shock of quality, storytellers and what you need. But I want to talk more about let's get a little I want our listeners to have a more of a understanding of your past your history, the amazing clients you've worked with. I mean, you've worked with David Axelrod and a lot of his clients. So let's talk about maybe your top one or two clients that you've done video done storytelling with?

Melissa Costello  5:57  

Well, certainly, Barack Obama. Yeah, that was a high point it working with somebody, first of all, who's so verbal, so bright, and so kind and such a gentleman and really couldn't find anything wrong with him. Like I didn't, I didn't have to cover up any flaws in the filmmaking, you could say. And also working with David Axelrod, who you know, just an utterly brilliant strategist, and then bringing the emotion to his work through film. It was absolutely a high point. And then my children even started to feel like they were engaged in the campaign to the point that on the night that he won, I was in Grant Park with my son, and he turned to me and he said, Mom, we did it with tears in his eyes. Because, you know, the politicians would cycle in and out of our home, we would shoot in our home all the time, it became kind of a backstage for Axelrod's company. And you know, mayors and governors and whatever everybody would kind of pass through at some point, and the children would get to meet them.

Ron Bockstahler  7:03  

You know, David Axelrod is a brilliant marketer, political media strategist is what he's doing. whatever title you give him, at the end of the day, he understands if he was running a law firm, he would know how to make that the number one law firm in Chicago. That's true. And so when we're talking to the law firms right now that are listening, the attorneys that are listening to this, they need to start thinking maybe bigger or differently about how they're going out and approaching their business in general, and marketing in today's world, and I'm actually been slow to the digital world arena, and you know, tick tock, and everything's on video. And, you know, but everyone has to embrace that, which means they got to embrace someone that can make them look really good. And help them tell their story.

Melissa Costello  7:50  

I you know, again, back to the intellectual product concept. The other thing that almost all firms want to communicate is we're worth it worth worth the money that you're spending on us. And how do they do that? They do that with the ubiquitous skyline. It's like, you know, Attorney law firms have no idea how often someone in marketing says, Don't tell me they've got a skyline right there at the top of the homepage, and the or they've got, you know, some fabulous shot of their marble clad, you know, lobby or whatever they've got. That's not what moves people to hire you what moves people to hire you. First of all, is testimonials. You know, if there's one thing to me in marketing, the biggest thing that social media shifted, is the shift from, I'll take you at your word that you're a brilliant lawyer versus ah, I want to hear it from your clients. That's what social media taught us is to go to the people who are the user of the product or the user of the service, and ask them what they think, what was their experience like? Well, it's come to the point where there is no substitute for testimonial marketing. I mean, you and I did it together. It because every time you show, a testimonial video, in a room, you have just invited your most vulnerable, most enthusiastic, you know, former clients who love to hang out with you. They're right there in the room with you. And they are absolutely consistent. Every single time they show up. They are just as brilliant as they were the last time just as effective. How can you not do that?

Ron Bockstahler  9:30  

It's funny, you brought up the skyline and you know the most of these websites, you go find the five white guys that are sitting in their suits, and that's the picture to put it on their website. But that is not the picture that gets anyone to want to work with them. And it's hosted on they missed the emotional connection. If you go to one of these, you're watching TV and a commercial comes on to donate money to dogs or to kids, you know, St. Jude's it's an emotional video play and they are raising money from people they don't know No. So it's almost like the attorneys got to catch on law firms got to understand that they got to do the same thing, they got to create emotion, when someone's going through a difficult time. And you they, they want to call you because you show that emotion, in a video on your website, anywhere that that potential client can go and see it, that's what's gonna bring them in.

Melissa Costello  10:20  

Absolutely. And when we say emotion, emotion isn't just hand wringing and tears. Emotion is a full spectrum, emotion is surprise, emotion is humor. You know, it's this whole spectrum that pulls people in, it's like, oh, my gosh, there are human beings there. They're human beings, they're this is one of the first things that you learn when you go to art school is that one of the things that defines art is surprise. And, you know, like, Oh, I didn't expect to see that, or I didn't expect to hear that. Or the surprise, in terms of a testimonial could be, oh, my goodness, somebody else has experienced that. That's emotion. That's the kind of emotion you want to build into marketing, that engages anyone who goes to your site, you can do it in a website, you can do it in collateral, you can even do it in print. You know, certainly in video, it's easier in video, because video is real time and people moving and the sound of their voice and all of it.

Ron Bockstahler  11:21  

But if you're putting together a marketing campaign, which this is what every law firm should be looking at as an all all encompassing marketing campaign, you want to have the same messaging going out there. It's just, yeah,

Melissa Costello  11:31  

well, the thing that consistency does for you, is it doesn't undo you, because it stays the same as it travels, you know, as people experience it. For instance, you know, if I do a really great video, and you put it on a really bad website, and most websites are really bad, they're just incomplete. That's the way I view it. You put it on a really bad website, a visitor to your site goes, which firm? Are they? Are they the website? Or are they the people, the brilliant people in the video? Or are they somewhere not even represented? You know, anytime you raise questions, you lose them, you lose them, if you make them stop and go hang on a minute, they're gone, they're gone. So it's your opportunity,

Ron Bockstahler  12:13  

which is interesting. You're doing digital marketing, you can measure and you'd have video out there you can measure if people are coming and talking to you from that, versus the billboard that's a big argument with you know, spending a ton of money on those billboards. Are they really effective? Well,

Melissa Costello  12:27  

you know, they're doing something Otherwise, they wouldn't still be up there. I go ahead.

Ron Bockstahler  12:32  

No, no, no, I agree. They're doing something if they're being done in conjunction with a really solid digital campaign.

Melissa Costello  12:41  

You know, I always found it just so curious that, you know, the attorneys who generally advertise on the highways are the PIO attorneys who might be causing accidents, because their billboards. So it's like, it becomes, you know, it's, you know, ethically, I don't know, I don't know, makes me wonder.

Ron Bockstahler  13:01  

Lot of questions. Let's keep, let's see, is there any one particular area of law that does better with video?

Melissa Costello  13:09  

Well, I would say yes, certainly, personal injury, big in part. Now, this is a funny thing, in part, because you've got these guys who are just run volume practices, they don't know your name, they don't know your story, they just get in the door and hand you off. And I feel like when a personal injury attorney actually demonstrates that they care, it is flying in the face of that wallpaper of billboards, and of late night TV ads that just, you know, these people why it's so clear why they're doing what they're doing. Let me put it that way. It's about money. It's about a volume practice. So it creates an opportunity for a different kind of pie attorney to demonstrate it to demonstrate it in video to demonstrate it on their website.

Ron Bockstahler  13:56  

What about family law? Let's talk family news. Some areas of law. Oh, do they all I mean, does everyone benefit from video?

Melissa Costello  14:06  

Everyone benefits from good video? Yes. You know, it's back to that. What's really expensive, what's really expensive? Is spending any kind of money on video that doesn't represent you and represent your firm. And when I say represent, I mean the why, as well as the What the Who are you? You know, so many websites, so many videos, Rob, you have the pleasure of getting to know someone through conversation, you know, the conversation you and I are having and I'm watching you nod and I'm watching a smile. That needs to be a part of what happens when you go to someone's website. That's the whole purpose. It's an introduction, so why not make it as round and compelling as possible and that means showing up with the why showing up with your humor showing up with your surprises.

Ron Bockstahler  14:57  

And when they don't. This is what we did do video together and you were amazing, because you sit, you know, they don't see you on a video. But you're the one that's asking questions. You're talking, you're having a conversation. And then the end product is that client that's giving those responses, which, you know, at least I know, for a model office suite, it was amazing. I was like, wow, this is this is crazy good at this. We have so many great clients are saying so many great things that I never would have even thought to ask those questions. And that I think, is what the benefit. That's where law firms attorneys are gonna really benefit from working with Melissa

Melissa Costello  15:34  

Well, thank you, Ron, it's, you know, interviewing. Interviewing is an interesting skill when I started. And I had my production company in Los Angeles, and I was interviewing for Jenny Craig. And I thought it was about getting a really great list of questions. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. They're not expecting this. And then go plowing through that list so diligently and hang on a minute, don't cut. Let me make sure we haven't forgotten. No, that's not what it's about what I discovered as I became, you know, a more mature and more skilled interviewer. And watched great interviewers like David Axelrod, for instance, what I discovered is, it's about being present for the dialogue. That's really what it is. If you are a good listener, you will have a good interview. Because you have to find that story. It's not something you already necessarily know when you walk into the interview. Yes, I have the basic, okay. The person went here, they were hurt in a car accident, they met this attorney, everything is good. Okay. That's not really the story. The story could be, my daughter was sick. You know, I was at risk of losing my job. I didn't know how. That's the deeper story. And that's, that's what's fun to find.

Ron Bockstahler  16:49  

Big, I'm thinking to myself, wow, you know how many people I mean, I was, and I mentioned this before, it's like, you have the opportunity to call Melissa Costello and just talk to her about putting together video, to me is amazing. We could all just reach out to you, because you've done so many celebrities, and just obviously super famous people and your experiences is unsurpassed. You are a great storyteller. So I just think it's that connection that you have, if I'm a listener, I'm going to be hanging out as soon as the show's over, I'm going I'm going to give her a call, I want to I need to have her in my office, because I need to understand how I can better connect with more clients or even better connect with my current clients.

Melissa Costello  17:26  

Thanks, Ron, so much of it is so simple. I will say this, you know, one thing I do you know, for instance, I call it videos, let me back up a second. I call it video centric marketing. Because I lead with video, I lead with your most powerful marketing tool. And then I take everything we gather on the day of the shoot, all of those stories, all of those images, all of those surprises, all of that emotion. And I share it on all media, I put it on your website, I put it in social media, I cut the video down into bite sized chunks, and I share it everywhere. And that is that is the power of consistent storytelling. I mean, I even do something on websites lately. I've been doing something I call case stories forget case studies, case stories, which means Ron box dollar came to me he had been in a car accident and buffet and I tell both sides of the story in a more complete way than I can afford to take the time to do in the video. Because the videos got to be under three minutes. And you got to finish watching it and go, Wow, I just found my law firm. You know, that's my objective.

Ron Bockstahler  18:41  

Okay, so that made me think you do different types of video because you did. You know, we had a three minute longer video branding video. And I called you and I said, I got a pitch. I'm doing a pitch. And I need a short video. And you cranked out I don't know what like a 32nd client testimonial video. I don't know exactly what you call it. But I was like, wow, like changed everything. Even I was sitting during the pitch I was sitting there going. This is amazing. changed everything. So talk to the different types of videos that are that you put together.

Melissa Costello  19:15  

Sure, sure, sure. And they're all kinds. They're the typical product that most law firms are interested in is a branding video. So it gets featured at the top of your landing page. And it's, you know, here are the big, you know, the important people in the firm you need to meet you know, here are the founders. And then here are some of their clients. Not every law firm feels comfortable putting their clients on camera. I hear this every time Oh, nobody will agree to do it. And I say you know what, when you have performed the kind of life changing business changing service that you have performed for them, they are delighted and actually honored to be asked. And by the way, they have a great time on the shoot. That's a whole other story. Like I think Your client can go if they want to. They're hanging out. They're hanging out. They're like, this is cool. I'm sorry, I lost my, I lost my thread where it was.

Ron Bockstahler  20:09  

You know? That's funny because I think I was hesitant that how many clients would sign up and say, hey, yeah, we'll come in and do video. And it was overwhelming. I think we had in two days, it was so many clients. So you're right.

Melissa Costello  20:21  

It's surprising. It's surprising. But don't you love to help someone who has done something wonderful for you? Absolutely.

Ron Bockstahler  20:30  

It's a pleasure. It's human nature.

Melissa Costello  20:32  

It is human nature. So that's your basic branding video. There's, you can also do a straight up testimonial, like you and I did together on a straight up testimonial video just clips of people saying extraordinary things. One client of mine likened it to going to your own funeral without having to die. He said the things I heard them saying I can't. What are they talking about me? Another type of video is you can do practice area videos, you can do bio videos, lino, let's talk about who you are, and why you got into law and you know, give us the whole backstory. Oh, another thing you can do is, you know, I also do animation. It not necessarily, though, actually, the Uniform Law Commission wanted to talk about an animated piece about how a uniform law gets developed, how it gets passed, you know, what that process is like? So

Ron Bockstahler  21:27  

isn't that when you talk about the bios, I mean, cut you off, but make the attorney human. Exactly making it. So that those prospective clients are going, Man, I just want I connect with this person. Yeah, you know, I mean, how often I talk to family law attorneys that it's not unusual for someone to hire someone and then leave with, you know, six months later, fire them, and jump to someone else. But if they've gone through that video, and they've had that experience, and you're human, it's very unlikely that they're going to do that.

Melissa Costello  21:56  

And I think it's especially important for legal practices, because there is a great deal of mistrust for attorneys on the street, there is not just PII attorneys, I know from my own experience, looking for a divorce attorney, how harrowing that was, if I could have gone to someone's website, clicked on a button, and countered a human being who actually seemed like they had my best interest at heart, it would have been done deal. And this is the thing, this is the thing about, there's an opportunity here for smaller firms, because big firms are not doing it either, by the way, and when they do it, they do it poorly. So you have the opportunity to not only compete with bigger firms, but to beat bigger firms, if you are doing a better job of representing who you are, what your values are, what life changing things you've done for your clients. It's I don't know why everybody isn't trying to do it. I can't get it

Ron Bockstahler  22:57  

digital marketing world that we're in today, which didn't exist 20 years ago, it has given everyone a level playing field. So if you're out there, and you're picking a business today, and if you get clients, but they're not real repeat business, and you see one firm grow, but that small solo practice has the opportunity to become just as large in today's market if they do it the right way.

Melissa Costello  23:18  

Mm hmm. And you know what, the smart ones get this, the smart ones there. It's not that they have more money. It's that they recognize that there's something missing from the way they're representing their firm and their work. They get it, they get it before others get it. And in family law, it's incredibly powerful for that reason I was talking about before that, how do I find someone I can trust? How do I find someone who I really think is going to listen? How do I find someone who doesn't view me as a case number, who really views me as a human being as a mother, you know, in a complex network that I'm trying to save and move forward in a safe way?

Ron Bockstahler  23:58  

We have so much, there's so much there. But I really want to jump into the world of TiC tock videos out there everywhere you see, I've seen a couple of attorneys that are doing their own videos and my old school thought was if you're doing something that's better than nothing, but I'm not always so sure that's the case. When you're doing in I get you try to create something low budget you're trying to get started. But it's just that I guess it's I guess you maybe want to look at what type of clients you want to go after. Mm hmm. And you bring in a professional bringing in Melissa Costello's team and creating thing and by the way, let's talk about B roll footage. So explain to people I guess maybe talk about the process. So I don't think people understand it. Just because I come in for two days. You got footage for two years of new new stuff. So let's talk how it all works.

Melissa Costello  24:46  

Well, this is you know that my style of shooting is not like anybody else's style of shooting and it's because of my layered history. I did television commercials for quite a few years and then I did political commercials for 11 years. And then I decided to take all the skills that I had learned in those two areas and distill them and create a method of shooting, that would work for a smaller budget, you know, because those were 40 5060 to 100. And, you know, the television commercials were hundreds of 1000s of dollars for a one day shoot. And, you know, without editing, by the way, and you know, the political commercials would be 4050 60,000 a day, well, that's not tenable for the average smaller firm, and I want to work with the smaller front, I want to work with a midsize firm, and help them differentiate. So, damn, I lost my train of what was that? A B roll. My style of shooting. So what I do is I, first of all, I shoot with three cameras, there are three cameras rolling all day long. I'm doing interviews all day back to back to back to back. And the other two cameras are grabbing B roll. What B roll is, it's anything that gets cut into your video, that doesn't feature a person talking on camera. So a person like a newscaster talking on camera. And by the way, this is one of the things I learned in filmmaking at the School of the Art Institute is if what you are looking at is the same thing that as what you are hearing, you are missing 50% of the opportunity to communicate, right? So talking heads, even though you need it because you need to see who is this guy? How does he move? What do I see in his eyes? That's important. But what's equally important is when you get to look at that person in their environment, not talking, what is the office look like? What are their clients look like? How do they look like? They're they have an easy relationship between each other? Can they laugh? Or is it all terribly serious? Does it look respectful? And you know, what's the demographic at this firm? Are there women? Are there people of color? What kind of you know, is there an economic diversity of clients at this firm? All of this is something that gets communicated through B roll. It's the subtext of everything that the attorney says on camera. So you know, this is why this gets into, you know, this is like film class, and I apologize, but this is why it is such a concentrated powerful tool. It's because, you know, the what's the trope, a picture's worth 1000 words, it has been estimated by Forrester Research, I think it is that a minute a video is worth like 1.8 million words or 1.7 million words. How can that possibly be true? It's because of all the things that are unspoken. What am I wearing? Do I nod when I listen to you speak? Am I do I look like a happy person? What's my environment like previous that office, I heard a train go by all of this is subtext. And it is a gift to be able to communicate some of those softer values without having to say, I'm actually a very nice person. If somebody said that on camera, you wouldn't believe them anyway. So that's the value of B roll.

Ron Bockstahler  28:20  

Here's where I get excited about you social media and video. It's so popular, but you almost have to have it. But you could do shorts, I don't know what the technical icon shorts, quick shorts of that B roll footage where everything you're communicating the atmosphere who you are without saying a word, but you can have a talk over telling another story. I bet it happens more. And I'm going to try to pay attention when I watch TV. Again, in a commercial, what I'm looking at is not someone talking but I'm looking at B roll and someone's talking. It's not the same I bet that happens 95% of the time. But using a quality operation, like what you've done. And what I've experienced with you is I can put out your shorts on social media saying New messages with that B roll that's already been shot time and time and time again. And that the more you do that, whatever the initial cost was, I mean, your ROI just is going it's going to explode. And the business you're going to bring in you at some point want to maybe pause the commercials or do those shorts going on social media because you're gonna have so much work coming in. But here's the great thing is you're running a law firm is stressful, and you got to do so many things. And one of the biggest things that attorneys have to worry about is where's my next client coming in? Because when I'm done with this, you know, it's that it's like all sales, right? The roller coaster goes up and down and things are great. I'm working, I'm busy, busy, but I'm not prospecting my getting a business off sudden, I got nothing. And I got to start the whole process again. But if you had quality video, and you're okay, let me turn my video back on let me put my short school back on social media and then I could just bring in those clients again, it's almost like turning the faucet on. Mm hmm.

Melissa Costello  29:51  

And in a funny way, you know, the pandemic and zoom has habituated people to communicating like this So I feel like videos even more important than it has ever been. I mean, we all got hooked on it, you know how it is you get on a phone call and you go, yeah, it's kind of flat, the phone is a little bit flat, it's a little empty compared to what I'd become used to communicating with you, as I see right now. You know, the other thing I want to talk about it and social media, social shorts, I agree with you, as I call them to, is, it is so economical to change them up. They are basically a 32nd television commercial or a 22nd, television commercial, they're tight. And, you know, if you create them in a group, they are incredibly affordable, really, the most expensive part is the day of the shoot, that's where the bulk of your money is going, then you've got assets that you can be rolling out, for forever, forever. I mean, unless you leave your firm like that, or you sell your firm or whatever

Ron Bockstahler  30:57  

did your firm but I mean, it's still the same day, you can just recreate using that asset as you go, I love this, you'd say it's an asset, because that's what it is. Now you actually have a marketing asset that you can reuse, you could voiceover for a very long time.

Melissa Costello  31:11  

Exactly. It's limitless. The problem, actually, the problem is coming up with the best, you know, choose the best idea for the social short, because I, you know, sitting here, the two of us could sit here and talk about a model Office suites, and in one minute have 20 ideas for social shorts. That's the challenge is trying to rein yourself in and do the best 20 That's what it is. I'll tell you,

Ron Bockstahler  31:36  

Melissa, it's only a challenge when you're sitting with someone that's creative, and understand how to tell a story. That's the difference. You know, I've worked with you I've worked with others. And that is a huge difference. And I just don't think it's prevalent. I don't think a lot of great storytellers are out there that are law firms can go to and say, I want to bring you on to tell our firm story because no one's saying it that way. So when they're saying, hey, I want a videographer to come in and shoot a video.

Melissa Costello  32:01  

i You're absolutely right. And you have to start with the story. If you don't have there's an old what, how does it go? If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage. This is a Hollywood, a Hollywood or maybe it's Broadway, you know, Maxim, that, you know, if you don't have the story, you got nothing. And the same thing is true of a video. And the same thing is true of a website. And I It shocks me that even though 90 At least no, probably more like 95% of all law firm websites are indistinguishable from each other. They are all utterly generic. I mean, you go to the homepage, and you're like, give me can you give me something to sink my teeth into Please, I'm begging you. But oh, my train of thought, let me write stories. That's gonna what store gonna

Ron Bockstahler  32:53  

run out of time. Okay, here's the great news. Melissa's gonna be coming back. And we are going to co host several shows over the next two months. And we're going to focus on marketing. Marketing is such a big world is so much involved in there's so many different specialty areas. And I think if you know, the law firm, the attorneys I talked to I know or just an even myself, sometimes we're like, wow, this is so overwhelming. Where do I start? How do I go find someone, I'm going to upgrade my website, I'm going to I'm going to do some SEO, or I'm going to do some PPC, but they're not doing it all, you know, as one encompassing, you're basically then a we keep spending money, but not getting the results that in our mind, we think we should get. So we're going to try to help them with that. So Melissa, and I will be interviewing different experts in their area of marketing. Let's understand those areas. And let's find out what they need. It will be taken. I'll set it up so you can feed us Ron be at a matassa calm, you can ask questions, we'll address your questions during the shows, we're gonna have a lot of fun with talking about marketing and how you can make the most of what's out there with the resources you have. Now, I know there's you want to talk about and the investment because you know, videos, not inexpensive. Good video, it's definitely not inexpensive. It's gonna cost you some capital. But the ROI is there. I know you want to chat about that. Let's give us your take.

Melissa Costello  34:09  

Well, I would say again, because I was explaining earlier about this asset that you create isn't just a video, it creates the content for your website. It creates social media shorts that you send out on a regular basis. So you use the same asset you keep going back to and when I by the way. Another thing that I do whenever I shoot is arguably I give too much content there. There probably is such a thing run you would know. I mean, hours and hours and hours, literally eight hours of interviews with multiple people and eight hours no 16 hours because they're two cameras shooting B roll 16 hours of B roll. I know what to pull out of there. But I think I do are amortizing that shoot day across all these different chains. Animals, that is a great value, that is a terrific value. And the imagery is beautiful. And the quality of the interviews are shared over and over again. And I mean, you could send out a social short, that was nothing but a couple of quotes from people on your video, that would be really powerful just in and out done, and go, Wow. And there are so many moments like that, that we capture over the course of a day. In addition to that, I asked my clients, can you anticipate something that you'd like to talk about perhaps down the road, something you might want to add to your website, something you might want to future in social media, it could be something happening in the industry, it could be something happening in our larger culture, it could be, hey, maybe we want to get video bios in the can and use them down the road, you don't have to spend it all now that's the point. It's an investment that you can roll out, you know, over time, over years, really over years.

Ron Bockstahler  36:03  

I'm sold on it, I've just seen how it works. It's so effective. But if you want to take the risk of not having a new clients coming in the door, not having the revenue to support your lifestyle, and you know, enjoy your life, because it's all about you know, work life balance. That's what we always talk about. You got to have some video in your marketing blitz, you got also had redefine your marketing, I think, you know, meeting with Melissa, I think that is definitely the first start to understand this. Here's the other thing. I got a lie love by Melissa. It's not about oh, can I get this work? It's about how do we create? What's your story? Let's talk about your story. And let's see isn't an effective a compelling story that we can present to clients? And that's your approach, your approach is just different. It's not about oh, here's my fee, and here's what we're gonna do. No, no, no, no, it's not. Let's talk about your story. And it makes the attorney it makes your clients come out and say, Wow, let me think through what is my story.

Melissa Costello  36:56  

And it's growing things is growing things. Ron, you and I, this is one of the reasons we always have a lively conversation. We both love to grow things. We both love to make things happen for other people. I mean, when I hear back, you know, from a client, this happened not long ago, a client said, you know how you said, I can't give you an exact measurement of you know, what you can expect video to do. And she said, You're wrong. A week later, I had clients saying, you know, I am hiring you. I saw your video. And now I get what you know, I get how you're different. That's the thing. What differentiates you isn't your practice area, it's you. And that's what's palpable on video in a way that isn't palpable anywhere else. Powerful, huh, we have to

Ron Bockstahler  37:45  

wrap it up. But we will be back. I think our next show that I'm going to have is we got Micah Dylon coming on and we're going to talk about being an author, what's the value of being an author and how that sets you apart in your area of practice. So come back into the next show. But Melissa, I want to leave it back to you as the last words. Last thing you want to communicate more is yours.

Melissa Costello  38:04  

I would say show up, do whatever you can to show up in you know in your full complexity in your in the richness of who you are as an individual and who you are as a professional. And the best way to do it is on video. The most unforgettable way to do it is on video. It sticks.

Ron Bockstahler  38:23  

So Melissa, on your website, you got a quote from Mark Lebowski, any firm that doesn't have video and the best video they can afford is losing business every day. They just don't know it.

Melissa Costello  38:36  

Isn't that amazing? Yeah. Mark. Mark said it was palpable. It was a palpable shift. Yeah,

Ron Bockstahler  38:43  

it's a must have in today's digital world. Yeah, Melissa, it's been how can our listeners get a hold of you?

Melissa Costello  38:51  

They can go to my website, Melissa is my very simply the name of my company and my URL. They can take it my phone number? Absolutely. They can call me at 312305 7500 and leave a message because I don't necessarily pick up calls I don't recognize. But I do get back to people.

Ron Bockstahler  39:14  

I've always found your really, really easy to get ahold of. So give us a call. I mean best just go to Melissa Reach out to her from there, or just continue listening to the 1958. Lawyer Melissa will be co hosting and we'll be talking about marketing. So tune in the next several shows will be dedicated to understanding marketing, what you need, how we will answer any questions. So you know, send in your questions to Ron be at a Mott and we will address those questions. Thanks for joining us today. I look forward to hearing from you and having you on the show next month. Thanks, Melissa.

Melissa Costello  39:46  

Thank you, Ron.


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