In years past, law firms looking to take to audio platforms had to expend a lot of effort. They needed to find a station that would host their legal programming, come to the studio, work with a group of recording techs, and hope that their target audience happened to be listening when the program finally aired. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, and nowadays creating professional sounding legal podcasts can be easy.
Podcasts make audio recordings available to everyone with internet access. They also offer a host of advantages, especially for legal marketers. Not only can most people produce a podcast with just a few simple pieces of equipment, but they can also be a way to grow an audience and position your law firm and your lawyers as thought leaders in your niche.
But just because podcasting is easier than traditional forms of broadcasting doesn’t mean that it should be done haphazardly. If you want to stand out from the crowd of poorly-produced podcasts that flood the internet, a professional recording is a must.
With these five tips, you’ll be able to easily create professional sounding legal podcasts and develop an engaged audience for your law firm.
1. Use a Quality Microphone
Although you can record your podcast with the microphone on your phone or laptop, you shouldn’t do that. Even if you don’t have to worry about ambient noise (more on that later), these types of your microphone still tend to make your voice sound flat and tinny.
Even a $30 USB microphone will make for an improved listening experience. But for the best results, consider purchasing a dedicated podcasting microphone. These mics usually run between $70 to $100, but they’re crucial if you want your podcast to sound better than those being produced by your competitors.
2. Pick the Right Recording Space
Even if you’ve got the highest quality microphone, you still need to use it in the right space. Large empty rooms will make your voice echo, open windows will bring in outside noise, and creaky chairs or desks will sabotage your recording.
None of this means that you need to rent out a recording studio. But you do need to be intentional when choosing a place to record. A room full of soft materials, such as a clothes closet, will dull external sounds and let your voice come across as crisp and warm.
If you can’t sit in the closet while you record, consider making a “pillow fort” around your microphone so your voice doesn’t echo against walls.
3. Use Your Body Appropriately
Podcasts are an audio medium, so you only need to worry about your voice, right? Wrong.
The way you use your body can affect the quality of your recording. If you’re slouched or laying back, you’ll likely sound slurred or mumbling. If you’re jittery, the volume of your voice will waver so much that not even professional tools can even it out.
While you certainly want to be comfortable while you record, sit upright as much as possible to maintain a strong and clear voice. Put your mouth up close to the microphone (covered by a windshield, of course), about four inches away.
Do not, under any circumstances, eat while recording. Those extra mouth sounds will send listeners straight for the stop button, never to return.
4. Use a Script
Again, podcasts appeal to people because they are easy to do. But for that same reason, most podcasts feel very cheap and haphazard. With a little bit of planning, you can bring a level of professionalism to your podcast that distinguishes it from others.
That said, there’s definitely room for variety here. Some people like to write out a full script because they can sound natural, even when reading it word for word. Others come off like an emotionless robot and would do better with a rough outline.
Whatever you choose, be sure to at least have a plan for each episode. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing your train of thought or repeating yourself, behaviors that will surely irritate listeners, and in the end, impacts the ability to create professional sounding legal podcasts.
5. Wear Headphones
As has been made clear with each of the previous points, podcasts put your voice up close and personal with your listener’s ears. And headphones put your voice up close and personal to your own ears. By wearing headphones as your record, you’ll be able to hear what your listener hears, and adjust your voice accordingly.
While you can use the same headphones that you wear when jogging or doing housework, you may want to purchase a slightly better brand for your recording. Most people won’t be wearing low-quality earbuds when they listen to your podcast.
Even worse, cheaper headphones don’t block out extra noise, which means that you won’t be able to hear your own voice clearly. With a quality set of headphones, you’ll be able to refine your most important tool as a podcaster: your voice.
People listen to podcasts more often than they listen to the radio or, in some cases, watch tv. A legal podcast gives your law firm a direct line to your target audience and establishes your attorneys as thought leaders. But to catch and keep their attention, you’ll need to be professional.
Did you enjoy learning about these podcasting best practices? Are you looking for even more tips on how to create a quality podcast? Download your free copy of The Law Firm Guide to Podcasting eBook to learn everything you need to know to start a podcast.
Ready to produce your own legal podcast? Still not sure how to get started? Contact our podcast production team for help with every part of the process, from planning to distribution.