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TikTok may be just what you need to refresh your legal marketing strategy. Read this post to learn more about TikTok and the lawyers using it to help reach their goals.
July 2, 2021 update:
Over the coming weeks, TikTok will increase the maximum video length from 60 seconds to three minutes. Learn More.
By now you have probably heard of TikTok, whether it be through the dance crazes of 2020, the viral challenges popping up all over the internet, discussions about banning the app in the United States, or even the recent debate about side parts and skinny jeans. But have you heard about #LawyerTikTok?
It may surprise you, but forward-thinking lawyers are now successfully incorporating TikTok into their marketing strategies. These lawyers are reaching potential clients and helping people by showcasing their legal knowledge and status as a lawyer in short, entertaining videos that can be readily put together from their cell phones.
Why You Should Care: Being at the forefront of new marketing strategies sets you up to successfully grow your practice. TikTok has a large and growing audience. Keep reading to learn more about the basics of TikTok, some tips to get you started, and some lawyers to watch right now on the app.
What is TikTok?
In the simplest terms, TikTok is a social media platform and video sharing app. Users create and stream short content in the form of 60 second or less videos. Generally, these videos can be downloaded or shared with your friends across various social media channels. Like virtually all other popular social media platforms, users can like and comment on content they enjoy, connect with friends, and follow users who create good content.
TikTok is also one of the fastest-growing social media platforms of all time. Just one year ago, it set a record for the most app installations in a quarter and the app has 689 million active users each month. Some even estimate that TikTok will have 1.2 billion users worldwide before the end of 2021.
Further, it is not just an app for young people. While the platform may have initially been popular with kids and teens, the adult base of the platform is rapidly growing. As of summer 2020, only 32.5% of TikTok’s total users were under the age of 20 – meaning that 67.5% of users were in their 20s, 30, 40s, and beyond.
What does this mean for you? Potential clients are on TikTok now and more are likely to join in the coming months.
How Do You Start Using TikTok?
Creating Your Account
After you have signed up, you will need to complete your profile:
- Upload a profile photo and consider a profile video. You have two options here. While it is often a good idea to keep the same profile picture across multiple social media platforms so that people know the profile belongs to you, a traditional headshot may not be the best choice for TikTok. You want to be professional, but you must also be authentic and approachable on the app. Our suggestion for TikTok is to choose a profile photo that is more informal and conveys more energy than your standard headshot. However, if you’d rather be consistent with your other social media accounts, that is okay too.
- Select your “Name”. This will appear at the top of your profile in the mobile app and will help other users search for you as well.
- Select your “Username”. This is what is often referred to as a handle on other platforms. It will be the unique portion of your account URL and will also be seen by other users when they view and search for your content.
- Complete your “Bio”. This section tells others a bit about you. Tell them you are a lawyer. Share information about your location and practice areas. Consider including links to your website and other social media accounts. You could even include a short disclaimer about your content here, such as a quick note that your videos are not legal advice. However, keep in mind that you do not have many characters available for your bio, so you should keep it short and snappy.
- You will also want to convert your account to a TikTok Pro Account to get analytics data about your account’s performance and engagement
Creating Content & Engagement
Once you have set up your account, you can start creating content. While we have some tips and tricks for you below, keep in mind that it is also a good idea to watch videos from others (our picks are later in this blog post) and experiment with the app to ensure you understand the platform before publishing content.
- Frequency: Most people agree that you need to post content often to succeed in building a TikTok following. Some say the gold standard for TikTok is to post at least once a day. One attorney suggests that the ideal is to post five videos daily, at least in your first week, and others agree that five seems to be a sweet spot. Another TikTok Lawyer suggests uploading one to two videos every weekday or at least two to three videos each week if you cannot sustain daily videos. The most popular TikTok influencers are posting multiple videos each day. Our suggestion is to try posting at least one video per day to drive engagement and build your following.
- Timing: Related to frequency is the timing of your content. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, there are several “best” days and times to post on TikTok. However, you do not need to post at all of these times. Instead, shoot for consistency in posting at times that fit in your day. We would suggest you aim to post first thing in the morning or around 11:00 am.
- Style & Tone: Authenticity is key to TikTok success. You need to develop your style by being your genuine self. You want to be approachable, relatable, animated, and entertaining. Remember that this is not a TV commercial or a billboard. Blatant self-promotion or a commercial approach to content will only harm your TikTok marketing efforts. It undermines your authenticity.
- Topics: Your topics can be whatever you want them to be. Tell your users about trending legal issues, common legal problems, or the development of certain laws. When posting serious or informative content, make sure you remain helpful and approachable.
- Filming & Editing: First and foremost, try to keep your videos short. You may have the ability to make an up to sixty-second video, but you will lose many users’ attention during that full time. Instead, create short content that they will want to watch over and over again.
- Other Engagement: Include a call to action (CTA) or questions in your videos. It invites other users to engage with your content.
- Analytics: With TikTok Pro, you can study your analytics data to see what topics, video styles, and posting times work best for you.
However, don’t let this schedule intimidate you! The main keys to succeeding in your TikTok marketing are quality and consistency. It is more important to create engaging, quality content than it is to post numerous videos each day and it is more important to avoid long periods of inactivity than it is to burn yourself out on daily videos.
As with all new social media platforms, there will likely be some trial and error in your strategy. If posting at certain times and on certain days is not resulting in increased engagement and more leads, then you should consider reevaluating your content strategy.
Don’t forget that you can vary the content of your videos. You certainly do not need to be serious all of the time. While you can always have informative content, do not be afraid to incorporate humor:
Some of your videos do not even have to be about law at all. You can engage with users by showing other clips of your daily life and the things you are excited about.
Finally, trends and challenges are a great way to drive engagement with your content, so consider participating in them from time to time. As always, remember not to create content that you wouldn’t want to go viral and be seen by everyone.
Make sure you have good lighting and vary your backgrounds. Consider presenting your content in a list form, since this type of video tends to perform well on the app. Experiment with transitions, effects, choppy/quick shots, and different locations as you do not want to make your videos overly repetitive or boring for your users.
Consider adding text and sounds to your videos. In general, videos with popular songs and added text perform better on the app. You can also create a voiceover in the app or use the text to sound function.
TikTok offers a wealth of tools and effects to edit your videos directly in the app. However, if you have more time or want even more options, there are plenty of third-party apps and programs that will let you edit videos that you can then upload to TikTok.
Like and respond to comments you receive. This engagement is good for building your following and helps keep your content appearing on the “For You Page” of other users.
Use relevant hashtags that do not simply clutter your caption. While some people include unrelated trending hashtags and the #ForYou hashtag on their posts in an effort to get more views, this strategy is likely to be ineffective in the long term.
Finally, consider collaboration. If there is another creator on TikTok that you admire or are inspired by do not be afraid to reach out and suggest that you collaborate on a video. These collaborations can help you grow as a creator and expand your reach to new users.
You should always remember that this is a process. Do not get discouraged if you are not a viral TikTok sensation overnight. It takes time to develop your voice, get the hang of the technique, and build your following. There will be a trial and error period, but remember that this kind of marketing can (and should) be fun!
Lawyers to Watch
Now that you know the basics, you are ready to get started on TikTok.
Still need some inspiration to get you going? Here are 12 of our picks for TikTok lawyers to watch right now on the app.
Jacob Sapochnick is an immigration lawyer based out of San Diego with 230k followers and an impressive 3.8 million likes on his videos.
Ethen, also known as The TikTok Lawyer, is a personal injury attorney located in Pennsylvania. He has a following of 217.6k users on TikTok and has 6.9 million likes on his videos.
Angela has amassed 487.7k followers on TikTok and over 4 million likes on her videos.
Mike Mandell is possibly the most successful TikTok attorney with an astounding 4.7 million followers and over 58 million likes on his videos.
Caesar Chukwuma is a criminal trial lawyer from Miami, Florida. In about one month, his videos have gotten an impressive 780.1k likes and he has 77.6k followers on the app.
Taly Goody is a personal injury attorney and founder of the Goody Law Group with 85.4k followers and 1.8 million likes on her videos.
Jay Eveland is a New Jersey family lawyer with a strong following of 20.7k users and 416.2k likes on his videos.
Tom Kherkher is an attorney in the Houston, Texas area with 698.6k followers and over 18.4 million likes on his content.
Calina Plotky is a Georgia family law attorney with 400k followers and 13.7 million likes on her videos.
Ryan Chenevert is a lawyer based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana with 58.9k followers and 838.8k likes on his content.
Anthony Barbuto is an attorney who has amassed 2 million followers and over 36 million likes on his videos.
Which color is your favorite?
Based out of California, Kelly is a divorce attorney with 352.4k followers and 8.2 million likes on her videos.