Have you listened to The Daily podcast from the New York Times? How about Serial, the true crime podcast by the creators of This American Life on NPR. Or perhaps the progressive political podcast, Pod Save America? New research shows that half (51%) of Americans have listened to a podcast, up from 44% from last year.
Some 70% of respondents ages 12 and older are familiar with podcasts, up from 64% last year. These people include your potential clients.
They are listening to these podcasts on smartphones, more than all other devices combined. Other research has shown that the top three places listeners are finding podcasts are through social media, word of mouth and from other podcasts.
The trend for podcast listening seems to be accelerating, too, increasing more this year than in the past couple of years. These latest figures reveal that:
- Nearly one-third (32%) listened to a podcast in the month prior to the survey, up from 26% last year; and
- Almost one-quarter (22%) listened in the week prior to the survey, up from 17% last year.
Among weekly podcast listeners, fully 84% listen to multiple podcasts during the week, with an average of 7 listened per week.
Marketing with podcasts
The easiest way to market your law practice with podcasts is to be a guest on an established show. I've done this successfully a few times, including:
- Partner Podcast Interview: How to Get New Business by attorney Scott Love
- My Top 10 Tips on the Marketing Expert Podcast by phone sales expert Chris Mullins
- 10 Ways To Market Your Law Firm With Larry Bodine on the Art of Lawyering #81 by Christopher Small
- View Yourself as an “Editor” in Your Business Development on Legal Marketing Launch by Bentley Tolk.
Simply conduct research on Google to find the existing podcast where you'll fit right in. Also, you can check the ABA's list of top law podcasts. Ideally, find a podcast that focuses on your practice area. Introduce yourself to the host and spell out a topic you can discuss.
Some quick tips for a successful podcast:
- Timeliness counts. Use "newsjacking," where you focus on a current legal event and add your own perspective.
- Add an element of entertainment. You are a performer, after all, and custom introductions, catch phrases and "top 10" lists help hook the listener.
- Have two people on the podcast, because one person can sound like a lecture, but two sounds like an interview and livens up the program with back-and-forth.
- Write detailed notes to refer to. But do not read a word-for-word script, which will sound stilted and contrived.
- Come up with a good title for the show plus a slogan for it.
- A little intro music is nice, but not essential.
The Right Setup
Getting the right setup is also important. We a LawLytics have recorded 50 podcasts on Law Firm Marketing D.e.c.o.d.e.d. Topics range from website growth strategies, tips for naming your law firm to easy keyword opportunities for law firms. Our ace podcaster Victoria Blute uses a Blue Yeti microphone ($119 on Amazon) and Camtasia software, which can record and let you edit the podcast.
Do not use the dinky mic in your computer to record sound. Get a mic that will produce high-quality sound, including the Blue Snowball iCE USB microphone ($64 on Amazon). For software, you can also use Skype with the plugin Pamela, or record a free telephone conference call on FreeConferenceCall.com.
Get some decent headphones to listen to your presentation. Be sure you work in a quiet room without echos and post a do-not-disturb sign like "Quiet please! Podcasting underway."
Once you bang out your first podcast, it gets easier. In the process, you will be distinguishing yourself from competitors, and letting potential clients hear what you sound like. Podcasts are an excellent way for people to know, trust and like you -- which will turn into new business.