Podcasting as a business development tool in 2021 is growing. With law firms and attorneys releasing audio content to build trust, connect with their audience on a personal level, and boost brand awareness. Along with blogs, thought leadership papers, and videos, podcasting is a great way for attorneys to showcase their expertise and assure potential clients of their credibility.
Many attorneys see the value in podcasting but aren’t sure where to start. It can seem overwhelming, so we’re going to break it down here. Follow these steps to create a compelling podcast for your law practice.
Pre-Podcast Preparation for Attorneys
Once you decide to commit to podcasting, you need to do so thoughtfully and proactively so that you don’t end up with a haphazard effort. While podcasting is not a rocket science, it does take a bit of preparation for attorneys to be successful. Even though a flawlessly executed podcast sounds like a simple conversation happening, so much more goes into it. Begin by:
1. Establishing goals
What’s your reason for creating a podcast in the first place? You need to know this so that you can shape the direction your podcast goes in. Ask yourself questions like what are your overall firm goals, who do you hope listens to the podcast, and what value can your podcast provide? How will your podcasting help differentiate you from your competitors? These answers will help you provide more details during the planning process.
2. Decide on a podcast format
The format of your podcast is important and you can always be flexible, but much of what you determine will be based on the questions and goals you thought about earlier. Consider the pros and cons of each type, and which one will best meet your needs over time. We suggest utilizing more than one person when possible, as that’s usually more engaging than listening to what can sometimes amount to a monologue. There are several options to pick from (this isn’t an exhaustive list but it’s a place to start):
- Case Study
3. Determining your mission (or the “big idea”)
You need a consistent theme throughout episodes, and that idea should keep people coming back for more. You need to consider what you’re passionate about and also what you’re an expert in. From there, drill down into what really sets your firm (and the host of the podcast) apart. Note that your goal is to appeal to people looking for an authority in a certain niche – that means you can’t go too broad. Develop a mission statement that is apparent throughout the duration of your podcast series, and make sure that potential listeners understand this message.
4. Documenting the details
Here is where you’ll start thinking about what to call your podcast, what artwork to use, etc. When you name your podcast, keep the desired result of your listeners in mind. Remember that an enticing name can make the difference between getting a new listener, or someone skipping over your episode. Remember that SEO is important, as it is for everything online. Try to come up with an easily searchable and direct title. Podcast art should be simple and to-the-point of what your podcast is about.
Production is really the core of an attorney’s podcast process. There’s a lot that goes into a successful podcast. A high-quality podcast will have a high level of production. Here are some of the elements you’ll work on.
Proper recording equipment is essential for an effective podcast. It doesn’t need to be too expensive, but it does need to be reliable. The three key pieces of equipment are a microphone, interface, and recorder. For more details on the proper tools for podcast production, check out this post.
2. Content strategy
Turning listeners into loyal fans happens through informing, entertaining, and engaging. Most people that tune into podcasts in the legal space are trying to learn something. Plan to provide ample information and anticipate the questions that your audience might ask. Deep dive into those areas with descriptive stories, case studies, expert guests, etc. At the end of every podcast, wrap up with key takeaways.
3. Prepare for guests
When you invite guests onto your show, make sure you’re both prepared in advance as to what the topic is. Request that your guest fills out a pre-show questionnaire. You can also ask them to provide you with questions they’d like you to ask them as the host. This sort of preparation will help keep the conversation flowing.
4. Planning individual episodes
Outlining each episode in advance will help you to focus on details. For every episode, think about if you’ll have a guest, a panel, or other partner. How will you get in touch with them? What else do you need to bring or prepare (such as a case study)? What other research needs to be conducted to provide accurate information? Related: How to Land Great Guests for Your Law Firm’s Podcast
5. Choosing a title
This is a very important part of the planning process. You need an attention-getting headline since first impressions are everything! In that same “first impressions” arena, make sure the first few minutes of each podcast hook interest immediately.
Thoughtful editing can be the difference between good and great. The goal of editing is to make content easier to understand and to improve sound quality. Often, a conversation or solo train of thought can veer into long-winded speeches, and these need to be edited down. Break your content into bite-size pieces that are easy to consume. At a basic level, the editing process will involve:
- Fixing major problems like background noise.
- Cutting out mistakes or filler words like “uh” and “um”.
- Performing a detailed edit to further refine the overall podcast.
- Making sure content fits the flow of your show.
- Add an intro and outro.
- Adding in transition sounds and music.
- Mix and master – combine the vocal recordings with music cues, basically make sure the final product is ready for distribution.
- Export as an mp3 file.
Additionally, don’t forget about music! Music is best used in the intro/outro, to provide transitions, add energy, create a mood, cover poor audio that can’t be edited out, or give the audience a chance to pause and think. Invest in quality music that matches the theme of your brand. Try AudioJungle, or Sounds.com to start with.
Finally, if you’re not confident in your editing skills, don’t be afraid of working with an expert. Editing makes a huge difference in quality and therefore your eventual following – but it can be complex.
Launching Your Podcast
Once you’re happy with your podcast, have recorded a few episodes, and worked out details like artwork – you’re ready to launch! Here are the things to think about next.
Podcasts need to be stored in a hosting platform so that they can be easily streamed. A hosting platform will create an RSS feed of your episodes, which streamlining platforms like Apple or or Spotify can pull from. There are many hosting platforms available, try looking at one like Buzzsprout or Libsyn.
Marketing your podcast
Just adding your podcast to streaming services isn’t enough. Spread the word by promoting via social media, creating new social profiles for your attorneys podcasting efforts, or announcing it via a new blog or with paid advertisements. For more specific tips on promoting your podcast to gain listeners, check out our previous post: How to Promote your Law Firm’s Podcast: 10 Strategies to Try.
Starting a podcast is an excellent way for attorneys to attract a highly engaged audience and expand your brand. To ensure your law firm’s attorneys are podcasting successfully, make sure you choose a niche topic that showcases your expertise and entertains at the same time. Attorneys should spend just as much effort promoting your podcast as you do crafting episodes.
Have a great idea for a podcast and want to make it happen? We can help you plan, produce, and promote your law firm’s podcast so that it effectively reaches and engages your target audience. Contact us today for a consultation.