Thinking about launching a podcast? On July 28, Marcie Dickinson, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Miles Mediation & Arbitration, and Jennifer Simpson Carr, Director of Business Development at Furia Rubel Communications, laid out the framework for developing your own podcast in “From Business Case to Launch: Creating a Successful Legal Podcast.”
Despite having been around for a while, podcasts remain a relatively popular but underused way of marketing a law firm. In a survey of in-house counsel, podcasts are one of the preferred content sources along with articles, conferences, email newsletters, and interactive charts. During the pandemic, podcast use has continued to grow as people trade in listening during their commute, to taking in content while exercising or working around the house. There are still a lot of opportunities for law firms to create their own podcast niche.
In order to have a successful podcast, you will need to do your homework. Marcie and Jennifer recommended the Simon Sinek approach of “Start with Why” to determine the purpose of the podcast. Once you know why you want a podcast, the next steps involved research, building your business case, defining what success looks like, achieving buy-in, focusing on brand and messaging, and deciding on the structure.
A few key considerations as you do your research include, whether the podcast aligns with your overall content strategy, is there buy-in internally, and do you have the resources to see it through. Be honest about whether there is a market or audience for your content, and does your firm have something new to offer. As you build your business case, you will need to have your marketing strategy set, a draft budget in place, and example KPIs that will show ROI. Analytics are important to review on a regular basis to determine which topics are popular or if changes are needed to your strategy.
When planning the podcast, you should map out a draft full season. This includes determining the frequency, topics, and having a few episodes ready when you launch. Podcasts are most commonly consumed during a commute, making the sweet spot for length 8-30 minutes. Choose a catchy title and select engaging topics. While some episodes may only feature one person, it is a good idea to also mix it up with guests or multiple presenters. The guests can also help promote the podcast to their network.
The next important step is selecting your equipment and software. Will you manage the content process yourself or outsource? The presenters shared several of their favorite options for software and equipment. Whichever route you take, the more processes in place, the better your chance of success in the end.
Now that you are ready to launch, Jennifer and Marcie shared common mistakes that firms make, such as setting unrealistic expectations, using amateur-looking graphics, selecting an obscure name, not submitting to podcast directories, and lack of promotion. The biggest mistake is low-quality audio. Remember that the podcast is a reflection of the firm and should be professional. One of the main reasons people stop listening to a podcast is poor audio quality.
In closing, podcasts have a lot of potential to get your attorney’s names out in the world, drive traffic to your website, and create buzz around your firm and practice areas. Don’t be afraid to jump in and try it!