To establish a steady stream of clients, both new and returning, it’s important to find new avenues to establish credibility, experience, and trust. This strategy is paramount for every lawyer and law firm.
While billboards, TV commercials, and newspaper ads have been traditional means of growth, today’s consumer is different - more focused on an approach less intrusive and more helpful in nature. This approach, also known as inbound marketing, aims to establish you as the reliable answer to the problem a customer is facing.
A diverse approach is important, and you should be optimizing your website for search engines, producing written content centered on keywords, and building a following using social media. In additional to all these approaches, another exciting medium has become a popular means to providing value to customers - podcasts.
If your law firm is looking for a modern, inexpensive, and simple way to advertise your services, it’s time to give podcasting a serious look.
What is Podcasting?
Podcasting is the (semi) modern answer to an age-old popular medium: radio. Radio is an excellent way to connect with an audience, albeit with some notable limitations:
- Listeners are required to build their schedule around a radio show. Everything is live, presenting an inconvenience to the modern on-the-go professional.
- Radio shows broadcast to anyone who turns the dial to a specific station - there is no targeted audience based on demographics, keywords, or interest level.
- Listeners have no simple way to playback a radio show to re-digest content, take notes, or share with friends, limiting the value of said content.
So how are podcasts different? To put it simply, this medium uses the same concept as radio (and sometimes video) but broadcasts shows to an audience using the Internet.
- Episodes are pre-recorded allowing listeners to tune in on their schedules. Content can be consumed during a lunch break, on a drive home from work, while cooking dinner, or relaxing in bed before going to sleep.
- Podcasts can be tagged with keywords to allow for them to show up in user searches on search engines. This means targeted customers come to you - not the other way around!
- Listeners can pause, rewind, fast-forward, and download podcasts for later listening. With one button, podcasts can be shared with friends, family, or coworkers as well!
Podcasts are the modern evolution of a medium already known and loved by people across the globe. Thanks to advances in technology, producing content can be done right with the device in your pocket too. No large stations, antennas, or expensive celebrity hosts needed!
Why is Podcasting Worth My Time?
Do you like happy customers? An easier time attract new clients? More money? A fulfilled sense of artistic purpose? If you answered “yes” to any of these, then podcasting is worth your time. Also:
- 51% of Americans have listened to a podcast at least once (Podcast Insights).
- 32% of Americans listen to at least one podcast a month (Buzzsprout).
- By 2022, 132 million Americans will be active podcast listeners (Statista).
Remember, the overall goal of any marketing plan is to communicate the value of your product or service. Podcasting has a large user base, is easy to access no matter the current activity, and can target specific users you want to be seen by.
Any medium providing this triple-value approach deserves a closer look.
What’s the Formula for a Successful Podcast?
Podcasting is a relatively straightforward medium to begin using. Record audio, upload to a distribution channel, and advertise. Rinse and repeat. The equipment can be as simple as a smartphone and as complex as a professional microphone with a mixer in a soundproof studio. Just like anything else, it’s important to start small and grow as you find success.
To begin, a smartphone and a quiet area to record is enough. Before beginning any recording sessions, determine the following:
1) Who Is My Audience?
Choose a show name that search engines will display to the audience you’re trying to reach. If you practice environmental law, choose a title that uses familiar terms from the industry.
Remember, you want to be easy to find by the audience you’re targeting. Choosing a title like “John’s Lovely Podcast” won’t show up in any results for people looking for lawyers or topics related to law.
2) What Is My Publishing Schedule?
Before you publish any episodes, decide on a schedule and stick to it. Will you do a 60 minute episode once a month? A 10 minute episode every weekday?
Podcast listeners enjoy regularity, so stick to a publishing schedule you can actually meet if you want to see growth.
3) What Are My “Deeper Connection” Channels?
Podcasts are a means to an end. You’re establishing trust authority in your field. Once you’ve conducted an interview or provided valuable advice, how can a listener take the next step?
Make sure to always conclude each episode with a way for listeners to become clients. This could be mentioning a website, calling a phone number, or messaging on a specific social media platform. Make sure there’s a next step for interested parties.
Recording a Podcast
Now that you’ve picked the perfect show title, determined a publishing schedule, and built out “next step” avenues for listeners, it’s time to record some content! You only need three tools to get started. Just three.
- A pre-written script.
- A podcasting platform called Anchor.
- Your car or closet (bear with us).
1) A Pre-Written Script
Take time to create a basic outline of what you’ll say during an episode. Include reference points, stats, or names you’ll need to remember. There’s nothing worse than a podcast filled with rambling, incoherent discussion.
At the same time, don’t write a word-for-word script either. This causes the content to sound like it’s being spoken by a robot. Allow for some spontaneity to humanize your podcast.
Have a plan. Make the content something of value to the listener.
2) “Anchor” Podcasting Platform
Anchor is an all-in-one podcast service owned by the good people over at Spotify. This FREE service allows you to:
Simply sign up for a new account and Anchor does all the heavy lifting. Record and edit your podcast right in the app or in your browser. Your podcast will automatically be distributed to multiple listening platforms after publishing each new episode. You’ll even be presented with sponsors you can record ads for to include in episodes for a little bit of extra cash based on the amount of listeners you get (this is an optional feature).
Once your account is up and running, click “new episode” and hit “record” to begin capturing your audio content.
3) A Car or Closet
The MOST important aspect of any good podcast is sound quality. You can have the best content ever assembled by the human mind, but if an audience can’t process it, you’ve failed to provide value to the listener.
Since we’re just starting out and using an on-board smartphone microphone, it’s important to record audio in an environment that eliminates outside noise and eliminates echos and that “voice in a cave” effect.
Believe it or not, the two best locations to accomplish this is in a car or a clothes closet. Why?
A car contains strong, impact-resistant windows that help dampen outside noises. In addition, your car’s interior seats and thick materials help create an environment where your voice will come out clear and crisp. This does not apply if you drive an 18 wheeler!
A closet is usually a smaller space (which helps prevent echo) and is filled with materials that dampen noises besides your voice. All those coats, pants, and hats are the perfect insulation for an audio recording. Who knew?
Once you’ve recorded and published and episode in Anchor make sure to advertise your show on your website, social media channels, and in any social situations appropriate for professional conversations. You’ll even find potential clients will appreciate an active content medium they can interact with to learn more about you!
Remember to Grow as You Grow
Podcasts are the future of audio engagement. You can position yourself as an industry authority by creating valuable content via this medium. With such a low ceiling to start, why not seriously consider starting a show for your law firm?
Remember, the perfect podcast is about valuable content and quality audio. Both can be accomplished without spending hundreds of dollars on equipment. As your podcast grows and your firm continues to attract more clients, consider upgrading to equipment to increase the show’s overall polish.
Make sure success comes before the expensive equipment though.That’s a principle smart marketing plans are built on!
At Rizen, we eat what we cook. Our podcast, Inbound Academy, is hosted on Anchor. We began with smartphones in a small room, and now record with better equipment in a better environment. If you have any questions about podcasting, we’re here to help!
We’re also passionate about inbound marketing, and believe it’s the right solution for any business wanting to truly grow in this 21st century economy. To learn more about this approach, check out our blog or contact us to begin a conversation today!
And once you launch your podcast, let us know the show’s name - we’d love to hear your episodes!