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Part of creating a successful digital marketing strategy for your firm is incorporating new ways of connecting with your clients and other lawyers. Learn more about the reasons you should consider adding a podcast to your marketing approach.
Podcasts are on the rise. Podcast listenership increased about 175% in recent years (data charts available here). There are currently over 2,000,000 shows available for listening (a significant increase over the past 3 years). 55% of the US population has now listened to a podcast and, according to other recent statistics, the most popular genres include News & Politics and Society & Culture – both areas that directly intersect with the law.
Not only are more people tuning in to podcasts, but you can start your own podcast relatively inexpensively. Shopify offers a guide to starting a podcast for less than $100.00. There are equipment options available in a variety of price points, and you don’t have to be a tech superstar to get going. The biggest upfront cost is likely to be the time you spend recording and editing your audio.
What does all of this information mean? You can reach a growing number of potential clients, members of the legal community, and the general public all for less than the cost of a few months of your personal Netflix subscription. If that is not enough to convince you to consider starting a podcast, here are four more reasons.
1. An Interested Audience
If you have ever attended a conference of any kind (CLE, trade shows, or other professional development), you have likely had the experience of listening to someone talk. Sometimes you may be interested in what that speaker has to say. Other times, you are listening to them speak because you are required to by participating in that event. That is not the case for your podcast.
Your podcast audience wants to hear you talk. They have generally chosen to tune in to your show because they are genuinely interested in the topic you are discussing and/or they believe your insights and opinions will be valuable to them. Over 80% of podcast listeners reported that they spent more than seven hours per week listening to podcasts and more than a fifth of listeners reported listening 20+ hours each week in 2019.
Furthermore, you have many opportunities for engagement with your potential clients through a podcast. Because this is an audience that has shown a genuine interest in what you have to say, they are likely eager to participate in Q&As or similar segments where you respond directly to their inquiries or questions during your podcast. Think of this as an audio version of those Ask a Lawyer TV segments.
2. Expand Your Network & Increase Your Authority
With a podcast, you can increase the reach of your professional network to individuals you would not normally interact with in your day-to-day practice. This can include reaching new potential clients as well as other members of the legal community. With this expanded reach, you can build your reputation and boost your authority in your key practice areas even more rapidly. This is even more true if you focus on a hot-topic practice area, such as immigration or civil rights, or a very niche practice area that draws particular interest.
By sharing valuable insights in an area you are passionate about, you can become an authority in a way similar to a media appearance or publishing a book. This expertise can create new opportunities for other marketing, such as speaking at conferences or appearing on a news segment, increase referrals from other attorneys, and build your reputation with potential clients.
3. Build Your Brand
Brand recognition and eventually brand loyalty come, in part, from consistency and increased exposure. Through your podcast, you can both share your legal expertise and emphasize the personality and mission of your practice. Think of your podcast as another brand asset for your firm.
You will need an appealing and memorable name and a visual identity at a minimum. However, you can also consider developing branded social media and a website presence for your podcast that is distinct from your firm but also fits well under the umbrella of your firm.
For more information on branding and brand assets, check out this Justia Onward post.
4. Better Authentic Connections
It is easier to connect with people – and future clients – when you are authentic and relatable. Unfortunately, the perception of legal professionals is often neither of those things. Instead, law firms are generally faceless entities that are known by a collection of names. Likewise, the perception of lawyers is generally not much better. Have you heard a bad lawyer joke about attorneys being liars or otherwise deceptive? I bet you have.
It is easy to understand why. The law is often complex. Most people don’t interact with the law or lawyers regularly. When they do, it is often under unpleasant circumstances. In the case of litigation, there is generally a winner and a loser – which means that roughly half of the time someone leaves a courtroom displeased. These things do not do much for public perception.
While there are multiple strategies you can employ to allow your law firm to better connect with clients and the community, a podcast is a great place to start. Through a podcast, you are personalized for the user. They can put a voice with a name or firm. They can relate to you as a person, not just as a lawyer in a suit. With podcasts, listeners will often feel like they are connected to you and are getting to know you. This increases trust in you, and your law firm, before a potential client even directly interacts with you.
Tips for Starting Your Podcast
Now that you know the benefits of starting a law firm podcast, here are a few tips to get you started on that journey.
- Pick your topics. First, you need to decide what your podcast will be about. If you want this to be a marketing tool for your practice, try not to be overly broad. Discussing “the law” does not necessarily help you target potential clients or even valuable referrals. Dig a little deeper. Are you discussing immigration law? New tax reforms? Employee rights? Pick your key practice areas or your niche to focus on. This will help you reach the right audience.
- Develop a content calendar. Once you have decided on your topics, you will need to plan your content. You can answer common questions that you receive about your practice areas. You can schedule guest interviews (more on that below), discuss hot-topic policy issues, or chat about legal reform matters that are getting traction in the news. You will want to develop a schedule that allows you to share consistent, timely episodes with your listeners. Be sure to choose something sustainable, like weekly or monthly episodes.
- Do guest interviews. One crucial content segment of most podcasts is guest interviews. This is key to keeping the insights on your show fresh and makes it much easier to make new content. In addition, your guests will often promote their appearances on your podcast, giving you increased listenership. Regardless of your topic, we strongly recommend you incorporate guest interview segments.
- Get the right equipment. You likely are capable of recording a podcast on the equipment you already own, such as your laptop or smartphone. However, as the adage goes, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Get a quality microphone. Consider how you will interview guests and have a high-quality way to capture their audio too. Make sure you have the right software for editing your audio and creating your episode. Check out this article for suggestions on podcasting equipment.
- Think about distribution. You need to determine how you will distribute your podcast and who will be your podcast hosting provider. Podcast hosting is where you store your episodes and how you distribute your podcasts to platforms, like Apple, for streaming to your audience. This guide from Podcast Insights can help you compare some of the available platforms that you may use.
- Market and brand your podcast. For your law firm marketing strategy to get the most benefit from your podcast, you need to find your audience. This means that you will need to put effort into marketing your podcast too, especially in its early stages. Share it with your colleagues. Post about it on your firm social media pages. Add a section to your law firm website and marketing emails for your podcast. If you have the opportunity, partner with another legal podcaster that has a strong following. Promote your podcast like you would a new service. At the same time, focus on your new podcast’s brand. Remember, branding matters for developing trust and loyalty with your listeners and your clients.
Final Thoughts: Why Do You Care?
Audio formats, like podcasts, Clubhouse, and Twitter’s Spaces, are continuously growing in popularity. This means that you have future clients that are already listening to audio content, including podcasts. Likewise, other legal professionals and members of your community are listening to podcasts. More and more are joining each day. Creating a law firm podcast increases your opportunities to connect with them. This increased exposure positions you to boost your reputation, build your authority in the legal field, and, over time, grow your practice.