When it comes to your law firm, your expertise is your product. Along with blogs, thought leadership papers and videos, podcasts are a great way to highlight your knowledge and assure potential clients of your credibility. However, creating a podcast with a loyal following is easier said than done. While there are several factors that go into creating a successful podcast, there is none more important than the quality of your podcast guests. Obtaining diverse and interesting guests whose expertise and values align with your own is essential – but often overlooked. Here’s our advice on how to land great guests to appear on your law firm podcast.
Why Bring On Guests?
You may be used to hosting guests on your show from time to time or maybe you’ve always flown solo. However, getting a guest on your podcast has a lot of key benefits:
- Your show will be marketed to a wider audience as your guest promotes it
- You’ll be able to deep dive into topics you may not be an expert on
- You can get critical breakdowns of complex legal topics from experts
- It keeps your show fresh and exciting as each episode differs
- You’ll have someone to bounce ideas off of
Choosing Great Podcast Guests
Great podcast guests can speak to a specific question or topic your audience is interested in, and they’ll have their own niche audiences they can promote your podcast to. The ideal guest hits both of these marks and is excited about the opportunity to promote your interview/conversation. As you brainstorm which guests to invite onto your firm’s podcast, look at the theme and goals of your podcast and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do the guests’ goals align with yours?
- Do they have particular information that applies to your theme?
- Think about the subject matter – are you looking at a particular legal issue or discussing a critical matter?
- Who can add to dialogue in a way that complements your thoughts?
- Have they appeared on other podcasts or similar media like webinars in the past?
It’s also critical to consider the reach of guests. Do they have a large following, and are they engaged? If so, it’s likely they can provide a big boost to your podcast program.
Lastly, you’ll want to create a working list of potential podcast guests. If you have an influencer list, that’s a great place to start. You also want to compile a list of any experts you’ve interviewed recently. A great way to manage this working list is a spreadsheet that includes items like a name, position, subject matter expertise, and social profiles. You might also make note of individuals who would have their own reasons for being a guest on a podcast – perhaps a new book to promote. Narrow the list down to 3 to 5 names, and start reaching out!
It’s a Two Way Street
Look for guests who are clearly in a position where they want more exposure. Sure, the lawyer with no online presence may surprisingly want to be on your podcast, but guests will be more inclined to do episodes if there’s something they can get out of it that they’re already on the hunt for. Like exposure for their own show, social media, books, etc.
Make the Benefits Obvious
Getting your first few guests for your podcast can seem daunting. But if you put the focus on what they’ll get out of the interview—links, visibility, association with influencers, and traffic—you can greatly increase your chances of landing those prized podcast guests. Let them know you’ll promote the episode on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email marketing, and anywhere else you plan on sharing. If you’ve got good numbers in any of these areas, let them know.
Make it Personal
Don’t just send the same message or email to a whole list- personalize it. Research each guest and get to know their career, past appearances on media like podcasts and webinars, and their niche. Point these things out when you reach out. For example: “I noticed you appeared on ___ Podcast and I really enjoyed your episode. The info you gave on the ___ case was really valuable.”
Be Clear on the Time Commitment
Many potential law firm podcast guests may not realize how little time it may take to record an episode. Let them know of any preliminary meetings they’ll need to do and how long the actual recording will take. So, if it only takes you 30 minutes to record an episode- emphasize that!
Don’t overdo it and hound one person with emails, but make sure you’re definitely following up with anyone who responds. And don’t be afraid to send a polite follow up email if you get no response the first time.
How to Reach Out to Your Potential Guests:
Before you invite guests onto your firm’s podcast, you should be engaged with the guest on social media (or at the very least, following them). Check on that first. Sometimes it makes sense to position the invitation as reciprocal – maybe there is content that you can create for their blog, for example. This is also an opportunity for your guest to promote their business and reach a new audience. You can try one of these methods for actually reaching your target guest:
Make sure to do your research and customize the email. Keep things brief. Introduce yourself, compliment their work, and be direct about what you’re asking. Try to focus on benefits for them, like promotion of their latest work.
If you have met the guest before or engaged to a higher degree with them over social, you can phrase this email a bit differently. Position the introduction as a “reconnection” and mention any details that demonstrate your remembrance of them – perhaps noting the performance of a sports team you know they follow. Let them know they’d be a perfect guest for your podcast, and as with the cold email, focus on the value to them.
Send an invitation and say something like this: “We are launching a new podcast on [date] and would be so honored to have you as one of our first guests.”
If you’re already connected with the person, simply draft a short message with similar content to the warm email.
As you reach out to your short list of desired podcast guests, set calendar reminders for follow up. A good practice is to follow up once with a cold contact and twice with a warm contact. Reiterate your request and be clear about the time commitment.
Word of Mouth
Consider reaching out to past guests and asking if they can recommend your podcast to anyone that they think would be a good potential guest. As you talk to that lead, you can mention your mutual connection already appeared on the show.
Once you’ve secured a top-tier guest for your law firm’s podcast, streamline the process of planning to make things easy for them. Send them a podcast guest guide where they can provide you with questions they’d like to be asked when it comes time for recording. And of course, make the content easy to promote. The easier it is for them to promote themselves, the more likely it is they’ll want to be a guest!
For a comprehensive overview of everything firms need to know about how to start a successful podcast that generates leads, check out this free eBook: The Law Firm Guide to Podcasting.
We have our own podcast, The Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, and we have experience producing podcasts for many of our own clients. If you need more tips on creating a terrific podcast, give ours a listen – or contact us to help you develop a program of your own!
This post has been edited and republished from Oct. 22, 2020.