For most lawyers, podcasts are a vastly underutilized marketing channel for generating legal leads. While podcasts are a relatively new form of medium compared to more traditional forms of advertising for personal injury lawyers, the hype surrounding them is real. Consider that an estimated 51 percent of U.S. consumers above the age of 12 listen to podcasts, with 32% of Americans tuning in on a monthly basis.
Moreover, there is far less competition in the podcast advertising space. For example, as of April 2021, there are over 600 million blogs compared to just 1.75 million podcasts. For injury lawyers, podcasts present a unique opportunity to establish themselves as an authority in their practice areas and build trust with potential clients. In this guide, we will briefly explore what podcasting is and provide some useful tips for getting started.
What is podcasting?
A podcast is a digital broadcast made over the internet. According to Learning Times, the term “podcast” is “derived from the ‘pod’ as in Apple’s iPod, the popular portable audio player, and ‘cast’ from ‘broadcast,” meaning ‘transmit for general or public use.’”.
Podcasts were in existence prior to the start of the 21st century, but it was not until 2005 that Apple officially added podcasting to its iTunes Music Library. Yet podcasts have only recently really caught on, with about 1/3 of all episodes being created since June of 2018.
Acquiring Legal Leads with Podcasting
For those new to podcasting, the process can seem a bit overwhelming. But when you get down to it there is really not much to it. Follow these simple steps to start podcasting and getting new legal leads today.
Choose a Name and Topic
If you quickly browse a leading podcast platform such as Spotify, you will see a wide variety of names. Some have names that reflect the subject matter while others are seemingly unrelated. The same is also true of legal podcasts. For example, one personal injury podcast that creates 8 episodes per quarter called Law At Your Side, provides “legal tips and help in the areas of workers’ compensation and personal injury in California.”
Another called Legal Beagle offers a “weekly podcast about the wonderful world of personal injury law.” And one weekly podcast for a firm located in Indiana, with a name that is more direct, Personal Injury Primer, breaks “down the law into simple terms, provides legal tips, and discusses topics related to personal injury law.”
Whichever name you choose, ensure that it is flexible enough to accommodate other topics you may wish to cover in the future. For example, if you create a personal injury podcast to appeal to personal injury leads and choose a name similar to Personal Injury Primer but you also practice bankruptcy law you will need to start from scratch (no listeners) with another podcast to cover bankruptcy topics.
Choose a Format and Schedule
Common podcast formats include solo, narrative, co-hosted, interview shows, and hybrid approaches. Decide what you feel comfortable with and commit to a format for at least the first few episodes. Think about how often you want to create episodes. There are no fixed rules here. Some lawyers create weekly podcasts while others publish one per quarter. Regardless of the frequency, the most important thing is to stick to your schedule.
Despite what you may read, there are also no fixed rules when it comes to length. Some podcasts are a few minutes long while others last several hours. Start by creating an initial outline of topics that you would like to cover in your first few episodes. From there create more detailed outlines and scripts. Practice your script and adjust the length based on your comfort level.
Create Professional Cover Art and an Appealing Description
Your podcast cover art, the picture that users will see when browsing podcasts, is crucial. You want a high-quality cover that draws listeners in. If you do not have a design background you may want to consider hiring a professional to create one for you. You can find an affordable graphic designer on a freelancer website such as www.upwork.com or www.fiverr.com.
Likewise, you do not want to skimp on a description of your podcast. A podcast platform like Apple is a search engine. So, you will want to write an SEO optimized description like you would for a meta-description for a new blog post.
Purchase Software and Equipment
The prospect of purchasing software and equipment deters a lot of people from creating a podcast. Yet you can get started with a relatively small investment, one that will pay for itself over time as you start acquiring legal leads from your podcast.
You want to start with getting a decent quality microphone. You can use your laptop or phone to record your episode but for $50 to $100 you can buy microphone attachment for your phone or computer that will give you professional quality sound.
You will also need some recording software. Audacity offers a basic free audio editing program. For a more feature rich option check out Adobe Audition. If you will be conducting interviews, you may want to get software that records your calls. Zencastr and UberConference both offer free options.
When it comes to recording your podcast, simply plug in your microphone and open the recording software. If you make mistakes or say something that you wish you had not, you do not need to stop the recording, the software will allow you to edit it out when you are done.
Podcast Hosting and Publishing
Once you have recorded your first episode, you will need to find a hosting solution for your audio files. Two affordable options are Libsyn and Blubrry. Once you have selected a media host and uploaded your first episode, the host will provide you with an RSS feed. The feed includes your episodes and relevant data.
The RSS feed gets submitted to podcast directories. Popular directories include:
- Apple Podcasts
- Google Play Store
Promote your Podcast
Once your podcast episodes are active, it is important to let as many people know about them as possible. Include the podcast on your website. Mention new episodes to your followers on social media. Send out a mass email to your email list to increase awareness. Encourage listeners to leave reviews on the podcast directories. Most podcast efforts aren’t going to have the immediate gratification that other forms of advertising for personal injury lawyers, like PPC might, but over time it can build – think about the injury firms who started doing SEO early on and the advantages they had, despite it not offering the overnight results of more traditional advertising at the time.
Podcasting is an untapped resource for high quality PI and MVA leads. Start your podcast today and gain a significant edge over your competitors.