With the rise of the internet, potential clients, other lawyers, and industry experts have full control over how they consume their information. Some like to read blog posts, some prefer to watch videos, but a growing group of people prefer to consume their content in the form of a podcast.
A podcast is a great way to humanize your law firm as listeners get to hear you speak. They can hear the varied emotions, but most of all, they can hear the passion you have for your chosen topic. It’s this sort of passion that can greatly benefit your firm by positioning you and your team as industry experts, as well as helping generate new leads.
In this section, we explain how podcast marketing can help your firm and how to get started.
Benefits of podcasting
Although some law firms might be able to generate new business based solely on their reputation, most have to use external marketing activities to drum up new potential leads. Podcasting is an extremely effective way to do just that. Podcasts give you an opportunity to expand your reach. If you attend networking meetings to generate new business, you’re limited by the number of people in the room. Podcasting, however, gives you a regional or even global audience.
It allows you to share your authenticity as well as your experience — in your own voice — with an audience larger than your own. What’s more, you might find that some people come across your podcast before they’ve even come in contact with your firm.
Because of the low barrier to entry, podcasts are an affordable marketing tactic for small to medium-sized law firms. You can get started with just your computer, a microphone, and some simple sound editing software. However, although the technology barrier is low, creating a podcast is not as simple as it sounds. You need to create the sort of podcast that represents your firm in the best way and enables you to achieve your marketing goals.
It’s well worth the effort since this content can also create a roadmap to guide content writers on exactly what you have to say on certain topics, providing them with information and perspectives that it would be hard for them to gain without your deep expert input.
How to choose a topic
Podcasting can help your SEO and content-generating efforts even if it does not become popular. Before you choose your topic, think about your audience. For example, you could choose to market your podcast to other lawyers within your industry. This is good because it helps you establish yourself and your firm as industry experts within your own professional community.
However, if you’re hoping to use your podcast as a way to generate new business, it’s in your best interest to market it to people who have a legal problem and may need an attorney’s services in the future.
If you just want a strong batch of podcasts to keep your blog active and help with SEO, you do not have to be as broad and can dig right into niche topics. If you want a wildly popular podcast and will be doing extensive outreach to get reviews and fans, then think about a more broad topic for the name of the entire “show.”
Whatever topic you choose to focus on, be sure there are enough subtopics to create multiple podcast episodes about it. If you decide to concentrate on a narrow niche and, for example, produce a podcast about drone injuries at weddings, you could find that you soon run out of things to talk about.
You could have the best topics in the world, but if your law firm’s podcast doesn’t seem to be authentic, it won’t resonate with listeners. The ideal speaker to feature in your podcasts should be someone who is articulate and able to talk about the chosen topics with confidence and passion.
How often to podcast
How often you choose to release a podcast is completely up to you. If you want to do it once in a while for the purpose of adding audio and text to your website that benefits clients, improves your SEO, and gives you more to share on social media, then it’s fine to create podcasts infrequently. I have seen some of our small business clients get solid increases in organic SEO / search traffic by doing only podcasts with transcripts. Ideally, use them as part of your overall digital marketing mix.
In short, deciding how often you should podcast involves looking at your resources. If you’re having your top lawyers talk in the podcast, do they have time in their schedules to commit to podcasting once a day or even once a week?
When it comes to how often you should publish your podcast, there are a range of different answers. The “right” answer for your firm will be unique to you and your audience. Research other similar podcasts in your industry to see how often they post. This will give you a good idea of the frequency you should choose.
When you begin podcasting, listen to your audience. Ask them directly if they’d like to hear more from you or less from you. Keep in mind that if they say they’d like to hear less from you, it doesn’t necessarily mean your podcast is bad, it just means they might not have time to consume your content at the rate you’re putting it out.
Whatever frequency you choose, the key is consistency. If you choose once a month, then stick to that. Likewise if you choose weekly, stick to that too.
It could also be helpful to pre-record a number of podcasts before you launch. This way you save yourself having to rush to get something released if other business tasks take over and you run out of time to create a new one as scheduled.
Examples of podcasts
ABA Journal: Modern Law Library
Features top legal authors and discussions of interesting legal theories and historical events.
Finnegan IP Law Podcast Series
Covers the latest developments in patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law, including counseling, prosecution, licensing, and litigation.
Bloomberg Law Podcast
Prominent attorneys and legal scholars analyze major legal issues and cases in the news.
I Am the Law
Interviews law school graduates to convey what the practice of law is really like.
The Lawyerist Podcast
A weekly podcast about lawyering and law practice.
Legal Talk Network
Legal Talk Network is an online media network for legal professionals.
TED Talks – Law
A collection of TED Talks related to the topic of law.
Use a podcast to connect with industry experts
You might have one main speaker who “anchors” your podcast but that doesn’t mean you can’t have guests. You might decide to ask industry experts to join you on your podcast. This is effective if you want your podcast to be shared further. Guests have their own audience and will be likely to share your podcast with them.
If your podcast is targeted towards your own clients, you could invite a client or past client to appear on the podcast. They could ask you questions and you could answer them directly on the podcast. Just make sure to get a signed form giving you permission to use the content and make sure there are no ethical constraints. This is great because if one client has questions about a particular topic, it’s likely your other clients (or prospects) do, too.
Repurpose your podcast content
One of the benefits of podcasting is that it’s good for those users who want to consume your content in an audible way, on the go. However, there may well be other people who prefer written content. The key thing to remember here is, you don’t need to separate your podcast content from your other content. You could repurpose your content into a blog post, infographic, video, or social media bites and include a link to the full podcast if anyone wants to listen further.
This way, a wide range of prospects get the value you’re offering, through a medium of their choice.
We like to have our clients do six 10- to 20-minute podcasts and six 1- to 2-minute videos in an afternoon. We do the FAQ videos right after the podcast and cover the same topics, but focus the video on the biggest takeaway or question from the podcast.
We find this helps people to get into a productive, comfortable workflow. It also lets clients efficiently create a video and podcast per month, for six months, for their website!
How to start a podcast: The basics
What equipment do you need for podcasting?
You can use Blogtalk Radio and do it 100% online, use your iPhone, or buy a collection of gear like what we started with below.
- Mackie ProFX 8 Mixer $229.99
- Shure SM7B $349.00
- Roland R-05 $199.00
- Heil PL2T Broadcast Boom $120.00
- Sony MDR-7506 Headphones $99.99
- Cloudlifter CL-1 Mic Activator $149.00
- Kopul Studio Elite 4000 6′ Mic Cable $17.99
- Kopul Studio Elite 4000 3′ Mic Cable $15.99
- Two six-foot 1/4″ to 1/8″ cables $20.00
- 3 ft, 3.5mm Right-Angle to RCA Cable $10.00
- Logitech USB Audio Adapter $29.99
Once you’ve done the recording, what then?
– Edit the file
- Audacity (PC or Mac) is free
- Trim the beginning and end
- Fix any mistakes
– Transcribe the content
– Post the transcript to your blog or website
– Include the MP3 audio file in a player
Knowing where to host your podcast is also important. You can of course use Spotify or iTunes to host your audio content, but there are a range of other platforms you should try out. Some tailor themselves to those with small audiences. However, there are others that are more suited to those with a large audience.
When choosing your hosting platform, think about how your audience will find you and pick a platform that works best for you.
Media Hosting Basics
If you just want to post to your blog on SoundCloud (soundcloud.com):
- Similar to YouTube, but for audio
- Has a good embeddable player
If your podcast will go on iTunes:
- LibSyn (libsyn.com)
- Blubrry (blubrry.com)
To post your podcast to iTunes:
- Upload MP3 files to Libsyn / Blubrry
- Copy URL of media file
- Paste to PowerPress plugin in WordPress
- Podcast Answer Man
- PowerPress Plugin for WordPress
Make sure to think strategically when structuring and promoting with keywords, SEO, ads, hashtags, and think about creating trust. Find keywords using SEMrush or a similar tool to make sure your podcasts cover topics that will help you rank well in Google searches.
You should also use hashtags when you post your podcast episodes on social media to get more visibility.
Facebook and LinkedIn ads are a great way to boost your visibility now that organic social media has limited reach.
Post the podcast on a practice area page on your website or on your blog page for basic sharing of the content in addition to what you get from SoundCloud and iTunes visitors directly.
Add the podcast in a blog post and include the transcript because that will add helpful text for search engines.
Google Hummingbird likes FAQs and Q&A content. So if you want your law firm to come up when people are searching via voice, you need to ask and answer questions. That is exactly what podcasting does.
Content that solves problems and answers customer questions helps people to feel comfortable with your firm and positions you as a thought leader.
Podcasting is also far less competitive than other types of content. According to PodcastInsights.com, there are about 660,000 active podcasts worldwide, which is far less than people blogging or using YouTube to promote themselves.
By comparison, Cisco says, “It would take an individual more than 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2021.”
Podcasting connects you directly to your listeners in a personal, intimate way. No makeup needed!
You can also use podcasts to generate e-book and book content — or at least create “starter” material for a writer to use as a springboard — so you can kill two birds with one stone.
Podcasts are a great way to get to know your audience better in a truly authentic way. Not only that, it’s a great way to showcase your firm’s expertise.
Why not give podcasting a go and add it to your marketing arsenal?