Podcasts are the new “It” form of content. In fact, 39% of men and 36% of women age 12+ in the U.S. are monthly podcast listeners (Edison Research). Additionally, Google’s search algorithms are increasingly taking audio forms of content into account. Research is showing over and over that potential clients are turning to audio formats for thought leadership. If your firm isn’t already producing a podcast, it’s time to start. But how? Here are 6 steps toward launching your law firm’s podcast.
1. Find your subject matter sweet spot.
You can’t be everything to everyone and trying to will serve to gain an audience of casual, occasional listeners. As a business development objective, your podcast should position you as a thought leader and increase your firm’s credibility in a particular niche. Remember that the broader your podcast focus, the more competition you’ll have and the harder it will be to prove specific expertise.
2. Create a content calendar.
Once you know who you’re targeting and what those people really care about, it will be a more natural process to determine podcast topics. Consider the questions that your audience is asking, or challenges they are facing. Uncovering the questions that are often asked in client meetings is a good start if you’re stumped. Prioritize the list of topics – your top 5 subjects are your first 5 podcasts!
3. Outline your format and frequency.
You need to put a plan together for realistically executing the podcast from now into the future. Remember you’ll be committing time and resources, so ensure your plan puts these to good use. Consider the following:
1. Format – Will you be speaking on your own or interviewing guests? Will you have people interview you? Do you plan to bring on colleagues from outside your firm each week? In most instances, a conversational format where two or three people can play off of each other works best. The same applies to webinars.
2. Frequency – Most busy attorneys can carve out time to record a podcast at least once a month, but not more than once per week. Understand who will need to work on the podcast and what their schedule will allow. Then commit to that schedule and remember that your audience will be expecting new episodes on a consistent basis.
3. Length – How long will each episode be? Take into account your audience and how long they can spend each week listening to podcasts. A great place to start is 20-30 minutes since that’s typical of an average commute to work.
4. Obtain the right technology.
One necessary component to creating your podcast is ensuring you have the right hardware and software. This may require some investments but remember that your podcast is a reflection of your law firm and needs to be handled as professionally as possible. You will need a high-quality microphone, web conferencing or audio interfacing program (such as Zoom), and editing software. For a list of tools that we recommend for law firm podcasts, review our previous post.
5. Cover your branding bases.
A podcast is a brand asset for your firm just like any other entity you put out. Ensure you have branding basics in place so that you are properly positioned and promoting your podcast in the correct ways. Come up with a distinctive, descriptive name that is memorable, and do your research to make sure it’s not too similar to other podcasts out there. Next, determine if you’d like to invest in a domain to go with your podcast. For example, you might consider obtaining the domain “Intellectual Property Podcast Dot Com” instead of just directing website visitors to a link in your firm’s website footer. Finally, ensure you have a logo and thumbnail image developed for promoting your podcast.
6. Start thinking about hosting and syndication.
Once you’ve developed 4 or 5 podcast episodes, you’re ready to think about how to launch into the podcast world. So, how do you make your podcast available for all listeners to hear? Several third-party providers offer podcast hosting and syndication and our favorite is Libsyn. Libsyn is a hosting, syndication, and monetization platform all in one for only $5 a month. It allows you to publish directly to Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Pandora, and many more of your audience’s favorite platforms.
Related: The Top 5 Law Firm Podcasts
These are the steps involved in creating and launching a compelling podcast program for your law firm. Once you’ve accomplished these steps, you’ll need to promote your podcast on social media and announce new episodes as they go live. Use your current marketing channels and seek syndication opportunities.
If you need help getting started, contact us for help today. We offer podcast planning, production, and promotional services for law firms, lawyers and legal professionals.