Peter Boyd is an attorney and the Founder of PaperStreet. He has successfully helped 1,500 law firms with their websites and marketing.
Blogs, video platforms, social media—when it comes to law firm marketing, it feels like all the platforms are already saturated with legal marketing content.
But what about podcasts? Audio formats are exploding in popularity.
A number of cutting-edge law firms have started producing high-quality podcasts and find them to be a very effective tool for reaching young, affluent and educated audiences. With the right podcast, firms can attract not only new clients but also new legal talent.
Drawing on my experience helping law firms with podcasting, here are some tips on getting started with this medium.
Consider Different Approaches To Content
Content that draws audiences to podcasts can vary tremendously. I’ve seen some firms using the tried-and-true appeal of storytelling, such as recounting aspects of high-profile or lesser-known trials. The focus of an episode might be on mistakes that caused a case to be overturned or the struggles of the parties involved.
Other firms focus on the business aspects of cases, or on hidden talents of their legal team. Interesting content can be a hit in a variety of formats.
Professional Production Is Essential
While the content of successful law firm podcasts may be all over the place, the one aspect that is the same is the quality of the production. Homemade podcasts are all over the web, and even many of those are of professional quality. To truly give a sense that your law firm is professional and among the best in the field, the production quality of your podcasts must be top-notch.
This starts with the conception and writing of an episode. Voice work should sound polished and be engaging with expert editing. Finally, it is important to promote the podcast with professional graphics and thoughtful placement in outlets where the target audience is likely to congregate online.
Legal Podcasts Require Commitment
To capture the audience you want with a legal podcast, you need one or more staff members willing to devote substantial time and energy to the project on a regular basis. That is a significant commitment. It may be possible to outsource much of the production work.
Factors To Consider When Launching A Law Firm Podcast
If you are ready to test the waters, keep these factors in mind as you prepare to launch a podcast.
1. Target Audience
It is impossible to create a podcast that will appeal to everyone. To succeed in marketing with a podcast, it is first necessary to decide who to target. Rather than seeking a broad audience of fans who listen occasionally, it is far better to have a steady following of listeners with a sincere interest in the subject matter. Then, your firm will be positioned as an authority in the field.
2. Content Schedule
Content for the podcast should center on issues that matter to the target audience. Think of questions audience members struggle with. These could include questions frequently asked by clients of the firm. If clients want to know the information, chances are that others do as well, including the target podcast audience. Once you have a list, then prioritize your topics, and that sets the calendar for the first several podcasts.
3. Format And Frequency
Will the podcast consist of a solo personality, a conversation among co-hosts or interviews with different guests? It can be very difficult to sustain a show with a single voice on the microphone, but some podcasters excel at it. Figure out a format that will work best with the available talent and topics you plan to address. Then, choose an episode length and be consistent with it. Thirty minutes is often recommended as a target length because it is about the same amount of time as many people’s commutes.
Finally, it is also important to establish a realistic frequency for producing podcasts. Once a week can be a grind for busy professionals. Once or twice a month might be a better fit. However, it depends on the level of commitment involved at the firm.
4. The Right Technology And Promotion
A good quality microphone is essential for a high-quality podcast. If the podcast will involve interviews with guests or co-hosts at remote locations, it will be important to have the right conferencing software. You may need a good multichannel audio mixer. Editing software is also critical unless you plan to outsource production.
To promote the podcast, consider a name and separate domain that do not connect the podcast with the law firm. If the production looks like just another marketing venture, that could turn listeners away. Once you’ve chosen the name, invest in professional graphics.
5. Hosting And Syndication
Audio files will need a home that can produce a subscription feed for syndicators, so you’ll need a host site with the appropriate capability. Once you’ve produced about five episodes, the next step is to get the podcast into syndication so listeners can easily find it. In most cases, podcasts syndicated by Apple and Google Play will be automatically picked up by other podcasting apps.
Don’t Be Afraid To Consult Professionals For Help When Needed
Lawyers are experts in the law. Some are also considerably experienced in finance and management. However, I’d say that very few are experts in audio production or podcast syndication.
When producing a podcast for your firm, do not be afraid to consult a legal marketing firm or other professional if you need help setting up a system or need someone to take over parts of the production on a regular basis. Remember, the podcast should serve your firm, not the other way around.