Podcasting is an ideal medium for showcasing your expertise and communicating to clients and potential clients. Here are a few things that make podcasting stand out:
A growing audience: Almost ½ the U.S. population had listened to a podcast. Podcast listening is booming and will continue to with connected cars, Google and Spotify getting into the podcasting game, and the rise of smart speakers. Because most podcast listening is done during daily activities and there are far fewer podcasts than blogs, it’s a medium with a lot of opportunity.
The right audience: Podcast listeners are loyal, educated and affluent. They have strong brand loyalty (in this case, the brand being you and your expertise).
Building trust and connection: There is a different kind of connection that comes with being in someone’s ears. Understanding increases 500% when using audio versus written communications.
Podcasting Smarter: Repurposing Your Expertise, Content and Resources
Even if you see the potential benefits, you might be thinking this is just another thing that will take up a lot of time. Of course, it can take up a huge amount of time, but there are smarter approaches and tools to make it easier.
First, consider your format and how you might repurpose content you already have or use your podcast to meet multiple practice goals. For example, you might take a look at your website statistics. Examine your most popular blog posts (or the ones readers spend the most time on or that create the most leads). Start by repurposing those topics into podcast material. You could simply read the blog posts. Ideally, though, you can use them as a guide while adding a bit of personality or discussion that may not be there in the post. As you practice, you’ll become more adept at what works for audio. As a lawyer, you likely already have a high level of verbal communication so you have what it takes!
Another ideal format some lawyers may want to consider is doing short, daily updates or “bites” of knowledge. This might be answering a quick FAQ in your area of expertise, giving a legal update or talking about legal cases or topics in the news. This way, that one blog post could make a week or more of podcasts and keep people coming back. The good part of this strategy is your podcast can easily be repurposed again as an Alexa Flash Briefing, reaching perhaps another audience.
Many popular podcasts take the format of an interview show or have multiple hosts. You may consider doing a podcast with other lawyers in your firm or network. Even attorneys from two specialties can create a nice dynamic. This can work especially well for different, but related areas. Similarly, interviewing other experts (legal or related professions) can make the podcast interesting and bring in more listeners. The interviewee will share the podcast with their network, so it’s an easy growth strategy. This can also be a good way to build relationships with other professionals who refer to you (or who could).
There are as many possibilities as you can think of with podcasting formats and styles. But, as you can see, you can strategize to simplify the process or use the podcast to meet other business needs and professional goals.
The Simplest Way to Make a Podcast
The other concern you may have about starting a podcast is getting special equipment and figuring out the technology. But, just like video has gotten as easy as sitting in front of your computer or phone, so too has podcasting.
You may want to invest in a good microphone, but you can actually start out just using your phone and earbuds (they’re surprisingly good with sound quality, especially if you’re in a quiet environment). Since the environment often has a bigger impact on sound, find a quiet, non-echoey room (closets are great; carpeting and some blankets or padding can help).
The Podbean app is one example of an audio recorder built right into an app on your phone…this one made specifically for podcasting. With the free Podbean app, you can record, add sound effects and music (a number of tracks provided, plus you can import your own), do basic editing and upload the podcast to Podbean to distribute (or export for other services).
For those who want to learn more about producing good quality audio or are ready to make some upgrades, here is a well-detailed list of Five Steps to Recording a Quality Podcast.
You will need a place to host your podcast files so they can be easily distributed via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, various podcast apps and online. Generally, website hosts are not equipped for this so you should investigate dedicated podcast hosting companies. Podbean podcast hosting, for example, starts for as little as $9/month (with a free starter plan also). All the podcast hosting companies offer the basic file hosting and distribution, but many also offer a suite of built-in tools to help you publish, promote and perhaps even make money from your podcast.
As you examine whether to start a podcast, think about why you want to do it. You don’t need to get too caught up in making it perfect to start or investing in a lot of expensive equipment. There are also numerous professional resources if you want to get expert help with any aspects of podcasting. The important part is to consider your goals and the most efficient way to accomplish them. Podcasting can be the perfect tool for many goals within your practice…and now’s the time to get started!
Join our Facebook community, Podcasting Smarter, to share tips, get resources and more–whether you have a podcast or are thinking about starting one.