Top 5 Reasons Why Your Law Firm Needs a Podcast
Law firms can 100% benefit from having a regular podcast. In this episode, we'll discuss the top 5 ways a legal practice can use a podcast to improve their business. Kelley-Drye's Full Spectrum is used as a prime example.
Podcast Transcript: Top 5 Reasons Why Your Law Firm Needs A Podcast
Hello! And welcome to Open to Influence. I’m your host, Charles Lipper, Founder and CEO of Volubility Podcasting in downtown Washington, DC. Today we’re going to be discussing legal podcasts and why every law firm could benefit from having a podcast.
First, a little back-story. A few years ago, I was hired as a freelance audio engineer by a recording studio to help out on Kelley Drye’s then-new legal podcast, Kelley Drye’s Full Spectrum.
From their website:
Kelley Drye’s Full Spectrum features smart, informative conversations about the latest issues in the technology, telecommunications and media industries. Bringing together thought leaders in business, government, and enterprise, Kelley Drye’s Full Spectrum offers an in-depth exploration of current legal, regulatory, and business issues.
Now, when Kelley Drye first called the recording studio who hired me, they said they’d been trying to record the podcast themselves in their office, but the quality wasn’t very good. They asked if they could bring in their own equipment and recording staff, and just use the studio’s quiet space in which to record. And they did.
The next week, they came back and said it still wasn’t quite working. They asked the studio to record the show with professional equipment and hand off files to be edited at the law firm by their marketing department.
The next week, they came back and said it was taking them an entire week to edit a 20-minute podcast. This time, they wanted us to record and edit the show.
First, I recorded the episode (and gave direction along the way). And then literally within 5-seconds of them watching me edit, they sat up in their chairs and said, “Oh! That’s how this is supposed to work.” Just to clarify, watching me edit audio is like watching someone type on the order of 50 words per minute.
From there, the collaboration between the lawyers, their marketing department, and the audio professionals began. At that point, they were attempting to record their podcast from bullet points on note cards. I recommended that they actually read from a fully fleshed-out script to save time in the studio and make their information more coherent, which they did for over a year until they became more comfortable in front of the mic and switched to an interview format. (For more info, check out Open to Influence’s episode on ‘Scripted Podcasts’.)
To be clear, though, Kelley Drye remains a client of that recording studio and not of Volubility Podcasting, although I do still work on their podcast from time to time. That said, I was told by one of the producers that if a turnkey podcast solution with a full suite of podcast production services like Volubility Podcasting had existed at the time they got started, they would have totally considered hiring us in lieu of jumping through all those hoops themselves.
Now, in preparing for this episode, The Top 5 Reasons Why Your Law Firm Needs a Podcast, I listened to several episodes of the Legal Marketing Association’s LMA Podcast. And I learned a lot!
So, what benefits does having a podcast offer law firms?
1. Business Development
Obvious, right? Podcasting is a marketing tool. It is one more outlet to reach new potential clients and expand your online presence, both in your area and around the world. Plus, when you’re reaching out to companies you’re specifically targeting (on top of taking them to lunch), you can send them a link to your podcast, which addresses a legal matter they may be experiencing and how your firm handles these matters, perfectly crafted in your own words, coming from your own mouths.
2. Education Within Your Firm
So, does everyone in your firm know what everyone else is up to? No? Regularly podcasting about casework within your firm doesn’t only educate your outside audience as to the great work you’re doing, but also those within the firm. Podcasting allows you to easily communicate tactics that are working for you to other lawyers in your practice, without the need for extensive staff meetings and emails.
Also, law firms seem to spend a great deal of time and money on blogging, which is a great way to keep up your website’s SEO (search engine optimization). But how many of your lawyers really have time to read a lengthy legal blog? Trends are certainly showing that people are far more likely to listen to content during free time rather than read content during valuable desk time (ie. billable hours). So if a lawyer is going to spend precious time writing a blog, than he or she should certainly create an audio-version of that blog (as a podcast) for wider distribution.
3. Public Relations
Positioning your attorneys as thought leaders is key. Presenting info about your firm to the public includes members of the press. Delivering information about your attorneys as a podcast allows journalists (many of whom are podcasters themselves) to consume your content when they’re on the go and quote you in their articles. Plus, when a reporter hears an attorney’s voice in a podcast, they can create an emotional connection with that attorney (like say, how you and I are creating an emotional connection right now), which in turn could lead to one-on-one conversations with the reporter and a more personal relationship with someone who can help you in the press.
And is your firm doing some ground-breaking pro bono work? Shout it from the rooftops! (Or you know, speak it into a microphone.) How else will anyone know about all the great work you’re doing to make the world a better place.
4. Crisis Management
Now this one’s really important. When there’s a national crisis that demands an immediate response from your firm, timing is critical. Having a podcast up-and-running gives you immediate access to delivering your firm’s stance on the public matter (again, in your words, coming from your mouth). So, if you’re only producing 12 podcasts episodes per year and 11 of them aren’t gaining a lot of traction, that 1 strong response to a sensitive matter can skyrocket your listener base and grab them for future (and past) episodes your firm releases.
And 5. FOMO
Back to the beginning.
Kelley Drye was one of the first law firms in Washington, DC to have a podcast. I’ve learned from professionals within legal practices that law firms suffer a great deal of anxiety from “fear of missing out”, otherwise known as FOMO. I've also learned law firms tend to follow a pack mentality, so being the first firm to do something is often difficult. Should a firm make waves or do what every other firm is doing?
Once a firm makes a bold move, there might be some hesitation by other firms so as not to seem like copycats. But once many firms are following a trend, then a practice can feel like they’re the only one not doing what is necessary to compete.
So, all that said, it seems far more advantageous to be ahead of the curve and do something different (like starting a podcast) to help separate your firm from the rest.
Now, Kelley Drye (and I’m sure other firms) has already paved the way for podcasts produced by law firms in Washington, DC. Their listener-base isn’t huge, but among their listeners are FCC Board Members. And again, their podcast is discussing the FCC. So, within one year of starting their podcast, they went from discussing policy to influencing policy. That speaks pretty loudly despite the numbers.
And of course, Volubility Podcasting offers a wealth of podcast production services to help your firm get started today. We handle every single technical aspect of podcasting, to keep your learning curve to a bare minimum. Such services include best-quality recording, audio editing, and enterprise-class podcast hosting on all major platforms. So, all your firm is responsible for is the content. And frankly, we can help you with that too if you’d like. And if your attorneys are uncomfortable in front of the mic, we offer podcast voice coaching for them, or if preferred we can even cast professional voiceover talent so they don’t have to speak at all.
So, if you’ve enjoyed this episode of Open to Influence and would like us to create a similar podcast for your legal practice with our full host of podcast production services, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please check out our companion episode to this one entitled, “Legal Podcast Example: ROBOT LAW!!!”. If you’d just like to let us know your thoughts on this episode, we invite you to leave comments at facebook.com/volubilitypodcasting, on Twitter @VolubilityPod, or you can email me directly at email@example.com. Thanks for listening.
Links from this podcast: