In previous articles, we’ve discovered that legal consumers have become online consumers. To attract these online consumers, lawyers have to be active online, and build a solid online reputation. To achieve this, the most common medium lawyers use, are blogs. But there are many other ways, too, to stand out from the crowd. These include podcasting, live video streaming, and, e.g., Instagram. So, in this article, we will have a look at podcasting for lawyers. And for what it’s worth, Pat Flynn called podcasting the #1 content platform.
What is a podcast? The easy explanation is that it is a type of on-demand radio that you can listen to online, on your phone, computer, tablet, or internet radio. The Wikipedia goes into more detail and defines it as “an episodic series of digital audio or video files which a user can download in order to listen. Alternatively, the word ‘podcast’ may refer to the individual component of such a series or to an individual media file. Podcasting often uses a subscription model, whereby new episodes automatically download via web syndication to a user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player.”
Podcasts are popular. Statistics for the US reveal that half of the population has listened to podcasts; 32% are monthly podcast listeners, while 22% listen on a weekly basis. The popularity of podcasts keeps growing, and their reach keeps expanding. That also applies to legal podcasts. (The list with sources below includes an article with some of the best current podcasts for lawyers).
Why should you, as a lawyer, consider starting a podcast, apart from the fact that they’re popular? There are plenty of reasons.
- Podcasts are fairly easy to create. You only need a decent microphone and some recording software (which your phone, tablet or pc may have preinstalled), and once you’ve recorded your podcast, you can use one of the available platforms to distribute your podcast.
- A podcast helps build credibility and trust, as well as a connection with your audience.
- It’s easy to attract the right audience.
- It’s a solid – and usually easier – alternative to video.
- Podcasting fits into people’s lives: podcasting is the only online content platform that allows for passive, or indirect consumption. People can listen to your podcast while they’re doing something else, even while they’re driving.
- You can get people’s attention for longer periods of time: the average YouTube video is 4 minutes and 20 seconds long. Podcasts on the other hand, typically are between half an hour to 2 hours long.
- There is at present far less competition in podcasting than there is on other platforms. There are approx. 200 000 active podcasts, while there are 19 million active blogs and 1 billion YouTube users.
- Podcasting Is the best way to scale intimacy: it allows you to build a stronger relationship with your audience, faster.
- You can connect with influencers.
- Scalability: with a podcast, you have your own scalable stage. Anybody anywhere can listen, and it’s easy to grow your audience.
- In an online world, social proof is important. With podcasts, it’s easy to get plenty of testimonials: you can, e.g., feature members of your own audience who have done something or who have taken action after hearing your podcast. It shows that you inspire people and that you love your audience.
- You learn to become a better communicator.
- While this may be less appropriate for or applicable to lawyers, podcasts typically also present monetization possibilities, as many of them are offered on a subscription model. (There are many podcasts that, e.g., offer the first half of the podcast for free, and the second half is only available to paying subscribers).
So how do you get started?
- The first step is to choose a topic you can commit to. Above all, make sure you would want to listen to your podcast. If you already have a blog, you can repurpose your existing content
- Then you define your show description and organize the necessary artwork (logo, e.g.).
- This step and the next are interchangeable: set up and thoroughly test your equipment, and
- Create a plan or roadmap for your episodes (and stick to it, unless you have a good reason not to). Apart from repurposing blog articles, you can do interviews, have guests or even guest hosts. You can do mini episodes in between in, e.g., a FAQ format, where you answer one question.
- Record your episodes and remember that audio quality is key: poor quality will instantly cause people to stop listening.
- Edit your episodes: typically, some editing will be necessary to cut out hesitations while speaking, etc.
- Publish your episodes: there are several platforms available, specifically for podcasting.
- Launch your podcast to your audience.
It is beyond the scope of this article to go into more detail, but you can find more comprehensive instructions in the articles listed below.