Online Apps Let You Hold Conferences or Provide Information to Clients
In response to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the Surgeon General has strongly urged Americans to engage in “social distancing.” A number of municipalities and even some states have invoked emergency measures, calling for citizens to “shelter at home” and avoid social interactions until the virus has run its course. In many instances, that has led to the mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses, including the practice of law.
There are, however, ways to stay connected with clients when you can’t meet in person. In this article, we’re going to look at two different technologies—livestreaming and online videoconferencing. We’ll help you understand what they are, how they work, and what you’ll need, so you can decide whether to incorporate them into your practice. If you do, and need any assistance, just call GetLegal at 1-877-359-7077.
Livestreaming technology is generally not interactive. Instead, it directs content outward from a source to an audience. Accordingly, livestreaming isn’t a technology you can use for conversation or conferencing with a client, but it can be a great way to reach a large audience and establish credibility as an authority or someone with special expertise.
You can use a webcam or digital video camera to livestream, but you don’t need to. Livestreaming is just as easy with a smartphone or tablet. Using a smartphone or tablet means you don’t need a microphone—the built-in mic on most smartphones will work just fine. You’ll want something to serve as a tripod, though, to make your presentation look more professional.
You’ll also need a platform to put your presentation on the Internet. Livestreaming software has certain advantages, e.g., it allows you to add an onscreen logo. Facebook and YouTube both offer the capability to livestream from a device. With YouTube, though, you must have a channel and at least 1,000 subscribers. Facebook has no such requirements.
A videoconference lets users see each other as they talk and also includes options for sharing screens and viewing documents and websites together. Numerous apps and platforms allow you to set up desktop or mobile videoconferencing. You’ll need a strong Internet connection, though, or you might find sound or video dropping out. It’s also important to understand the concept of latency—the slight delay that results when streaming video travels through the Internet. It’s not a big deal in a presentation, but it can present challenges in an interactive conference.
Here’s a look at a few of the most popular online videoconferencing applications:
- Zoom—You can load the Zoom app to your desktop or mobile. There’s no cost to load the app, and it’s very user-friendly, with a lot of great features. The free account lets you conduct a videoconference of up to 40 minutes. There also are paid plans with unlimited call times.
- GoToMeeting—GoToMeeting has a highly intuitive user interface, making it easy to create a meeting, but it offers few advanced features. There’s a free plan available, and you can subscribe to a service that will transcribe your discussion.
- RingCentral Meetings—RingCentral works on all major platforms and offers a substantial free plan. It’s a low-cost solution if you don’t need advanced call features.
- Join.me—Join.me lets you stream with up to 10 people at a time and has a strong free plan. Some of its features work only on iOS devices, though, and the free plan doesn’t allow for webcam feeds.
Contact GetLegal for Assistance with Online Videoconferencing and Livestreaming
At GetLegal, we bring considerable online marketing experience to law firms nationwide. We offer a wide range of products and services, including video production, website development, search engine optimization, social media campaigns, reputation management, directory listings, and customized content. We also can help you use online tools to livestream or videoconference with clients. To learn more, go to www.getlegal.com or call 1-877-359-7077.