How to Leverage Podcasts as a Marketing Tool For Your Law Firm
Is it time to pivot from your current situation and discover unique selling strategies; to offer unique products, services, and other valuable offerings? You know doing the same thing you’ve been doing, or worse, the same thing everyone else is doing, isn’t going to lead to a thriving practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time to rethink your marketing strategy and take advantage of the increase in digital consumption that we’re seeing today.
The Advantages of a Law Firm Podcast
In this episode, host and founder of Lawpods, Robert Ingalls talks with Laura Briggs, professional communicator and producer of the hugely successful podcast, The Lawyerist. Laura reveals just how powerful podcasts are becoming and how law firms can capitalize on this unique marketing approach. A podcast is a multi-faceted tool, boosting client engagement by providing expert advice, knowledge, and resources to address the pain points of potential clients while decreasing bounce rates with engaging website content, increasing the ROI of your existing SEO strategy. Best of all, your listeners are developing a relationship with you and your firm before they ever pick up the phone.
Laura explores the advantages of a law firm podcast, one of the most profound is allowing you and your firm to build those trusting relationships with your audience. Podcasting is an intensely personal medium and facilitates the creation of connections online, despite not having human-to-human contact. Through each episode, you can also showcase your firm’s expertise and make yourself a thought leader in the industry.
Robert and Laura also provide tips and tricks for getting a podcast off the ground quickly, from the importance of pre-planning to the recommended equipment and software. Laura reveals several strategies to promote your podcast and maximize reach and ROI, like repurposing your podcast content into graphics, blog posts, sound bites, and audiograms.
For Laura, it’s essential to be mindful of the fact that podcasting is a continuous content marketing strategy, one that requires commitment and delivers results that last. If you’re keeping the needs and pain points of your clients in mind when you’re creating each podcast episode, you’ll quickly develop a loyal audience, and better yet, loyal clients.
Links mentioned in this podcast episode:
- The Lawyerist Podcast
- The Six-Figure Freelancer: Your Roadmap to Success in the Gig Economy by Laura Briggs
- Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business: The Complete Guide to Starting and Scaling from Scratch (Startup) by Laura Briggs
- Better Biz Academy
- Advanced Freelancing Podcast
- Lawpods Podcasting Gear List
To launch your law podcast or learn more about Lawpods, visit www.lawpods.com.
Do you know someone who’s staying on top that should be a guest on the show? Submit their name to email@example.com. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay profitable.
Intro: 00:01 So the big question is this in these uncertain times, in this uncertain economy, how are some lawyers adapting their practices, so they’re not only surviving, they’re thriving, while others are folding under the pressure. We’re talking to those lawyers and legal professionals to find out what’s working, what’s not and what they’re doing to stay on top. You’re listening to Law in the Time of COVID-19.
Robert Ingalls: 00:28 Thanks for joining us on this episode brought to you by Lawpods, branded marketing podcasts for lawyers. Now, if you’ve enjoyed the show so far, I would appreciate it if you took a quick moment and left us a rating and review wherever it is that you get your podcast. We’re a new show, so the credibility we get from your ratings and reviews help us reach more people. We launched this new podcast to help lawyers and law firms manage and overcome the stresses of practicing law and operating a business during this unprecedented crisis.
Robert Ingalls: 01:00 On each episode, we’re going to be featuring experts including managing partners, firm managers, marketers and other experts in the legal field to shed some light on how this crisis is affecting them and the strategic steps they’re taking to stay in control. Today we are joined by Laura Briggs. Laura is a professional communicator and PR expert. She is also a TEDx speaker, author of the Six-Figure Freelancer and How to Start Your Own Freelance Writing Business.
Robert Ingalls: 01:30 Laura is also a podcast host and founder at Advanced Freelancing Podcast and the Better Biz Academy. She is also the producer of the Lawyerist Podcast, you may have heard of that one, one of the most popular and highly downloaded shows in the legal industry. Today’s episode is focusing on unique marketing approaches law firms can use to capitalize on the rise in digital consumption, and specifically we’re going to be discussing how to leverage a podcast to grow your practice. So let’s go ahead and jump into this interview with Laura Briggs.
Robert Ingalls: 02:05 Alright, I am here with Laura Briggs. How are you today, Laura?
Laura Briggs: 02:12 I’m doing well. How are you?
Robert Ingalls: 02:14 I am lovely. Thank you so much for taking a little time out. I know how busy you are right now. So this means a lot to us. So tell us what is going on in your world right now?
Laura Briggs: 02:26 So I am a podcaster myself, and I’m also an author, and help freelancers launch and grow their business. So I have my own podcast for that sort of avenue. Then I also work with Lawyerist as their marketing manager and their outreach manager and so help produce the Lawyerist Podcast, which is a super popular show in the legal industry. So it’s really interesting to see how both of those businesses have to adapt to everything that’s going on and the different ways that podcasting can be used to help grow an audience and even be used to generate people who are coming in and paying for things too.
Robert Ingalls: 03:02 Sure. Now how has this situation affected your day-to-day life? I know that you work remotely already, but how has this affected what your life is looking like?
Laura Briggs: 03:13 I think all of us are adapting to how it affects our family, especially my husband is a physician here in Minnesota. So we could relatively easily self-quarantine if he didn’t have to go to work in clinic. So that’s been interesting just to adapt and to watch his graduate school try to adapt and move all their classes online, but it also means thinking differently about different types of things that you could potentially offer to your audience.
Laura Briggs: 03:42 So my freelance audience right now is kind of panicking, like well, what happens if my clients are no longer able to pay their bills or decide to cut their marketing budget first, and then my contracts go away as a freelancer and then working with solo lawyers and small law firms, like they’re worried about that too. Are people just kind of putting everything on pause and not doing anything with their legal cases or the things they should be doing to move forward?
Laura Briggs: 04:07 So I think right now people are responding to specificity. The more you can help them with very specific problems and very strategic action plans, I think that gives people something positive to focus on and allows them to kind of take their mind off of some of the other things going on. So I know for me, it’s been very busy, lots of ways that we have to pivot and adjust things and create new marketing materials and it’s a lot of work, but I think it’s worth it.
Robert Ingalls: 04:31 A lot of that speaks directly to me as well. My wife is a nurse. So they’re running two weeks on, two weeks off right now and we have a toddler. So that’s really been one of the biggest challenges and I know everyone is facing it at the same time. It’s not just working from home. It’s trying to accomplish everything that you are normally accomplishing while also trying to provide care for your family. If you have children, it’s added a lot of complexity to the situation.
Robert Ingalls: 04:58 Then what you were saying about everyone having to pivot, I’ve talked to so many lawyers over the last three weeks who just, especially I have a criminal defense attorney client, he said, there’s no money coming in at all right now. He’s trying to figure out how to pivot around what he can do to even keep his lights on, because he’s a small firm. There’s a lot of helpful tools out there right now, what the Lawyerist is doing helping out lawyers. You want to tell us a little bit about that?
Laura Briggs: 05:25 So we kind of took a big picture look at what do attorneys need right now. So one of the things we’re focusing on is recession-ready finances. What do you need to do financially? Whether that involves a line of credit, or what are you going to do with your current cash flow projections and situations and preparing people for remote work? What things do you need to do to get stuff off of your plate so that you can focus on other avenues in your business, and then thinking about what clients need right now.
Laura Briggs: 05:54 So I think it’s also important and we’ve really tried to stress this to our community. You are still looking at your lawyer as someone who needs to remain calm and stable. So even if you are the attorney panicking and going, I’m struggling, how am I going to keep my lights on? Remember that you don’t want to be projecting that to your clients. So it involves some adaptation, but even in the way that you communicate with your law firm, how are we still serving clients?
Laura Briggs: 06:16 Here’s how you can reach us. We might not be in the office, but these are the things we can do to still help you. It’s really interesting, too, because I think there’s differences based on practice area. The estate planning lawyers are busy because everyone’s going, oh, I should update my documents right now. But then the criminal lawyers and some of the other attorneys are really not having as much business come in the door the way that they traditionally did.
Laura Briggs: 06:39 So I think it’s also a good time to rethink your marketing if you haven’t had a presence online. If you don’t have a website, or if you haven’t leveraged social media, you can potentially use some of this downtime to get that ramped up relatively quickly so that you have different pipelines coming in and even repositioning like what you’re offering to clients right now. It might have to be smaller packages, unbundled services, and things that speak to where people are thinking about finances right now.
Robert Ingalls: 07:06 Yeah, that’s a perfect segue into what we’re talking about today. One of the angles that we’re taking with this show is, how can we modify our marketing approaches to meet this moment in time, and there’s also an increase in digital consumption. So what can we do as law firm owners to take advantage of that? So today, we’re going to be talking about the benefits of using a podcast as a marketing channel. So with all that’s happening in the world, and the increased stress that’s coming with that, why should lawyers even be thinking about turning to podcast marketing right now?
Laura Briggs: 07:39 Well, I think we’re seeing a couple of different things happen at once. First of all, we’re all being called to do things in a different way. So people that weren’t working remotely before are now having to adapt to that. Businesses that had really strong in-person teams are rethinking what does that look like and should I be working with a distributed team and how am I going to meet payroll and all of those challenges, but also we have people who are home more, they’re not commuting.
Laura Briggs: 08:04 They’re still listening to material, they’re learning through Facebook live videos, they’re still listening to podcasts. So the more that you can reach people in the manner that they already prefer to consume information, the easier it is to build that trusting relationship with you as the expert. So I definitely know that it can feel like well, why start something new at this particular point in time? But we’re all being called to diversify and adapt and rethink about how do we find potential clients and how do we appeal to them in a way that helps to build our relationship.
Laura Briggs: 08:35 If you can’t meet clients in person, you’re losing out on that one-to-one connection, where the person is going with their gut feeling of, I trust this lawyer. So a podcast is another way to build that trusting relationship when they hear how you talk, how you think through problems, the way that you treat your clients. It’s a little easier for them to make that virtual decision to work with a lawyer.
Robert Ingalls: 08:56 Yeah, absolutely. Podcasting is intensely personal. You’ve got somebody whispering, basically right in your ear and it’s such a strong opportunity to build relationships with someone. They listen to you, they get to know your voice. They get to know your personality, your sense of humor, and it allows them to make that gut feeling that they otherwise, if they were on your website, or in reading your content, that they otherwise may not be able to come to that same conclusion.
Robert Ingalls: 09:24 It’s also a great opportunity to showcase your knowledge as well, to let them know that you’re a thought leader, you understand what’s going on, you understand what’s happening right now, with the market. If you have a business client, they’re probably clamoring for information right now and this is a perfect opportunity to let them know, to express that you have that knowledge and you are the person who can guide them through this at that moment.
Robert Ingalls: 09:44 Another thing you said that really resonated to me was essentially you need other channels of business, because you can’t sit down with people. You can’t go to networking meetings or things like that. So this is a kind of a way to diversify your channels that you’re in. If you have one referral source, and then it dries up, that’s going to put you in a really tough spot. What I feel like podcasting does is it’s a separate channel that you haven’t taken advantage of before, and you’re having the ability to reach clients who otherwise may not, that may otherwise never have seen, or may never have heard about you.
Robert Ingalls: 10:18 Because they listen to podcasts, or because they’re on social media, they’re going to see you posting about it and see these different repurposed pieces of content that you’ve put out there that they can then engage with. So it really creates another avenue where that didn’t exist prior.
Laura Briggs: 10:35 Right. So many attorneys, especially the small, firm lawyers, and the solo attorneys, essentially are competing with some of these other services. Could you use an online legal platform to help draft some documents? Would that just be easier? So you have to make a distinction of like, as the attorney, you don’t just do the service, you don’t just complete the task. You don’t just draft or revise the document. It’s really about that personal connection and right now people are looking for more human-to-human connection.
Laura Briggs: 11:05 So you can’t just be, hey, I’m a lawyer and I can drop a business contract the same as the other 50 lawyers in the radius around me. It’s really about, what do you bring to the table that’s your experience, that is your passion for working in that particular practice area and why do other people enjoy working with you. You get to do that through a podcast. The other part of it, too, is think about in general, the poor public perception that many people have of attorneys.
Laura Briggs: 11:34 Time and time again, it comes up at the top of the list of professions where we trust people the least. Politicians and lawyers are always at the top. So this is a great chance to combat that directly, and show that you are a real human being and you’re not the traditional definition of a lawyer and this is how you help clients because a lot of people, their perception of lawyers is from TV. So this is your chance to sort of change that around and showcase what you do as a firm.
Robert Ingalls: 12:00 Yeah, absolutely. While we’re talking about this, as a strategy to change your marketing today, it’s also not just for today. This is a content marketing strategy that you can continue to build on and is going to pay dividends for years. Something that is going to live on your website, live on your social media channels that you can build upon. Then it also has SEO value in it as well, because you’re generating fresh content. So that SEO is going to travel with you as well.
Laura Briggs: 12:27 Yeah, it is. So you have to think about it like that long game from the beginning. This isn’t the quick hit, like oh, I need a marketing boost. Let me go run a Facebook ad or let me dive into my referral network and ask if anyone has things right now. It’s not that quick win. It really is about building your brand and your visibility and it’s a time commitment because of that. So you have to think about that before you start. How am I going to build the systems and processes to make sure that this is continuous, that I get all of the maximum traction out of it that I hope to get.
Robert Ingalls: 13:00 Yeah, that’s something I’m definitely going to want to loop back and talk about more in a few minutes. One thing, if you’re on the fence and you’re thinking, are my clients here, one of the things that consistently comes up in the research, Edison Research does some research on podcasts listening every single year, and it consistently finds that podcast listeners tend to be more affluent and more educated. I know lawyers are always hoping to find clients who actually have money to pay.
Laura Briggs: 13:26 Yeah, absolutely. So it’s a great opportunity to think about how you can position your podcast. And today we’re so bombarded with information, but we’re still seeking solutions to problems and answers to questions. So this is your opportunity to direct that. A lot of people, they’re not just going to contact an attorney out of the blue, they’re going to have done some research about whatever that issue is or the questions they have about it before they call you. So why not make that your own content that you’re putting out there rather than leaving it up to Google to tell them exactly what might be the right answer there.
Robert Ingalls: 14:00 You be the research.
Laura Briggs: 14:01 Exactly, yeah.
Robert Ingalls: 14:03 So if I’m thinking, I’m kind of sold on the idea now that I should start a podcast, what questions should I be asking myself before I begin?
Laura Briggs: 14:13 I think the first one is, how much time do I have to commit to this for it to become a regular thing? Now, it can be a lot of work to produce a podcast. It doesn’t have to be if you outsource certain parts of the process, but you definitely, this isn’t like a one and done thing where you can sit down on a Saturday and record your episodes for the rest of the year. It requires some planning in that sense. So what kinds of things can you talk about? How will you build this into your schedule?
Laura Briggs: 14:39 What other stakeholders do you need? If you don’t have the audio editing skills, and most attorneys probably don’t, and shouldn’t, that doesn’t need to be something you do by yourself. So think about what pieces of this process can I outsource to someone who is more knowledgeable or probably does it faster than you could do, and that allows you to focus on what’s most important and that is the content creation.
Laura Briggs: 15:00 That’s the thing you can’t really easily outsource. You need to be the expert speaking about the topic. So, it’s well worth a good brainstorming session, at least of how long should our podcast be and how often do we want to release it and what types of things are we going to cover on the show and is it just one lawyer in the firm or do we bring in outside guests or is it another attorney that occasionally comes in? You have to make those decisions before you start.
Robert Ingalls: 15:25 That’s a question I hear a lot about is, how long is it going to be? Should it be interviews? Should it be solo? Do you have any advice on that?
Laura Briggs: 15:32 Well, think about what your clients like. A good gauge of this is how do people communicate with you now. If they call and the typical phone call is 20 minutes, that could be a signal that that’s about the normal client’s barrier for how much a law they can absorb in one particular thing. So it really depends, if you’re doing deep dives into things you can go as long as an hour.
Laura Briggs: 15:55 I’ve really seen and what I like to listen to are shows that are between 20 and 35 minutes because you can fit that in while you’re doing a run outside or while you’re doing housekeeping around your home or things like that, when it’s easier to fit into your schedule that way. So this does not have to be a 60-minute show that you drop every week, for sure.
Robert Ingalls: 16:16 Sure. I think you’re right, I think 60 minutes would be entirely too much law for anybody that’s not a lawyer.
Laura Briggs: 16:21 Exactly. You don’t want to bore people. So you got to think about people’s attention spans too. You could have a really value-filled show in 10 or 15 minutes a week if you planned it out properly and you knew what you were going to talk about ahead of time and had a great outline. So think about what’s consistent for you too, what can you reasonably keep up with because doing a 15 or 20 minutes show, there’s work before that that has to be put in place. So you might actually be talking about two hours a week where you do the whole planning and the recording and all of that kinds of things. So think about what’s feasible for your current schedule.
Robert Ingalls: 16:54 Another thing I think is really helpful when you’re starting out is to think about what the goal is. I think everybody’s long term goal usually is more clients, more money but what is the specific goal for this podcast? Are you a B2C business? Are you a B2B business? If you are, a number of lawyers, maybe you practice bankruptcy and family law and another one, a lot of times I’ll tell a lawyer, pick one of those.
Robert Ingalls: 17:17 If we’re starting a podcast, which one of those is your flagship, which one of those is going to give you the best return when you get a client, and let’s start there. Let’s work on that one area and work towards it because you have a podcast that has three different areas of law, and now somebody shows up with a few questions, and they just hit play, and they’re going the whole way down the list. Every third episode isn’t going to be for them.
Laura Briggs: 17:38 Right. It might sound like – well, that’s counterintuitive. Why would we narrow down to one practice area? We want people to know that we have others. But if that’s your bread and butter as a law firm, that’s a great place to start, especially if it’s maybe 40 to 50% of your business now and you’re really looking to claim expert status and ownership of that practice area as, this is what I want my firm to be known for, then that’s the obvious place to start, is to stick with that one thing and kind of see how it goes.
Laura Briggs: 18:07 Because you’re right, a lot of people – you have to understand your listeners too. They don’t always just listen to your episode every single week. I have a lot of people who subscribe to my podcast and they go all the way back to episode one. Maybe they hear an episode today, but they’re going to go back to episode one and they’re going to kind of binge listen the ones that are most relevant to them. So think about your listeners, be specific.
Laura Briggs: 18:29 If you’re going to target one group stick with that, because then you’re only building that trusting relationship with you as the bankruptcy lawyer when you have like 10 episodes in a row. They’re about bankruptcy, that it’s easy for the prospective client to go oh, yeah, they really know bankruptcy. This is who I need to call if I’m contemplating bankruptcy.
Robert Ingalls: 18:47 Something else you said earlier resonated with me. You said, what does the audience want? I think that’s something that a lot of thought should be put into, how is this valuable to the listener, to my audience because a lot of times I think people can think, this is marketing, and I need to make sure that they understand that the goal is for them to call me. I think sometimes with a podcast, it’s more about providing them answers, providing them resources, getting them a little bit more comfortable and knowledgeable. Your audience from the very beginning needs to know what’s in it for them. If that episode is 30 minutes and they don’t understand in the first few minutes, what’s in it for them, if it feels more like an ad, I think you might start to see people bounce there.
Laura Briggs: 19:31 Right, and you’ve got to walk that fine line just like with so many things in attorney marketing, including your website. You want to come off as professional and knowledgeable and highly educated, which lawyers are naturally, but if you have a 30 minute show where you’re reading from the statutes about how these different things are interpreted and listing the last five cases that went through the court of appeals and what those meant, even unintentionally, your listener can feel like wow, I’m being talked down to or I’m really stupid because I don’t understand anything they’re saying, and it’s really boring.
Laura Briggs: 20:01 So take that legal issue that’s key for them and break it down to the level that is most interesting for them. What are the common questions that you get over the phone before someone even hires you? That’s a great place to start. People are asking the same question over and over again, break it down to what it means for them. They’re hiring you for the legal knowledge. So you don’t need to tell them, well, this is what happens in the entire process and this is how the judge makes determinations.
Laura Briggs: 20:26 These are the statutes and how they’ve evolved. Your client doesn’t care. It’s a big part of the reason they’re hiring you. They care about, what do I need to know before we get involved in this legal matter and why are you the person to help me with it? Because I’m essentially, as a client outsourcing those concerns to you. I want to know that you’re just competent enough, but you don’t keep talking beyond that to make me feel totally overwhelmed with all the legalese, because the client just doesn’t need it.
Robert Ingalls: 20:50 I worked with a client and when I started working with them, they already had a podcast, and their podcast was for clients, for prospective clients and they spent a good deal of their time talking about Court of Appeal opinions. And I said, hey, if that’s what you’re really passionate about doing, that’s fine but I don’t know that that’s the best way. It’s compelling to me, but if I show up, and I’m thinking about leaving my spouse, and I’m wondering about what happens with the house, the kids and the bank account, I’m not really concerned with the nuances that the court of appeal is getting into at all.
Laura Briggs: 21:26 Right. The other part of it, too, is like, where your client is at in their own process, they might be hoping that this is a quick and easy thing. How many people start something like a divorce and assume, oh yeah, we’ll be able to agree on most things. This is probably four to six months. So they’re not necessarily thinking about things that are way far off into the future that might not impact them for quite a while. So don’t give them information that they don’t need.
Laura Briggs: 21:50 Think about those questions like you mentioned that they have right now, where they’re most concerned about and the questions where they’re not taking action as a result of it. Divorce is a great example. Maybe the person hears from a buddy, I was told I shouldn’t move out of the house even though we are not getting along and we are screaming and fighting every day. I heard that if I move out, that’s bad for me.
Laura Briggs: 22:09 So that misinformation or those myths that they’re hearing from non lawyers and other people, this is your opportunity to address that in a podcast and that might be the thing they need to hear, okay, I am ready to file or I am ready to at least separate from my spouse now that I have a little bit more of the facts and I have an attorney who’s helping guide me through that. So meet them where they’re at.
Robert Ingalls: 22:30 So now that we’re thinking about using a podcast as a marketing tool, what does the process look like of actually getting one up and running?
Laura Briggs: 22:40 Well, you have to have your cover art. It’s a lot of work and I’ll be honest, in my own podcast, that was the first thing I outsourced. I was like, listen, I’ll record the first episode, but I don’t want to do connecting it to Libsyn or a host feed in my website that I’m probably not going to do properly anyways. So it’s great to think about all of the components to help you launch.
Laura Briggs: 23:00 So that’s going to be the name of your show, of course. You want to make sure somebody else doesn’t have that name already, your cover art, you want to have an introduction and probably an outro for your podcast that probably has some music. So you got to make that decision of where you’re going to find the music from. Are you going to hire a voiceover artist? Is someone in the firm going to do the voiceover for that?
Laura Briggs: 23:21 Then it can take a while to get approved, especially by iTunes. So you want to be thinking in advance, you want to allow yourself a buffer of a couple of weeks for iTunes to help you launch and you will need at least one episode so they can hear the audio before they approve it. So it’s good to have those core elements. The name, the cover art, the intro and outro and at least one episode recorded. I also strongly recommend launching with more than one episode because it gives you a buffer.
Laura Briggs: 23:47 If you don’t have a system in place yet for how you’re going to record this every single week, it’s way better to launch with three or four episodes. Have those already set and ready to go and then you can be working on building that process. I think what catches a lot of people by surprise is that if you don’t stay ahead of your podcast recording schedule, it sneaks up on you and then it gets snags in the whole process.
Laura Briggs: 24:07 Because if you need to hire an audio editor to review the audio, which I recommend, you need to give them time to listen to it, to fix it, to send it back to you. If you’re having a show notes writer work for you, you want to give them time as well. So everything ideally should be two to three weeks ahead of when you actually want to launch the show.
Robert Ingalls: 24:27 I know this sounds like a lot for someone listening. They’re like cover art and hosting and everything like that. It really does sound like a lot but when you get down to it and you look at other avenues of marketing, video, and things like that, this does tend to be a much faster process and quite a bit less expensive as well. So I don’t want to scare you with what everything sounds like. Now, what would you say hardware wise, what is the minimum that a lawyer would need? Let’s say they wanted to just start off doing it by themselves in their office. What would you recommend?
Laura Briggs: 25:01 Well, I’d recommend you have a headset, especially if you’re going to be interviewing anybody else. You don’t want any sound feedback issues. You’re going to want a decent microphone. Do you need to have a $600 microphone that would pass muster in a recording studio or that NPR would use? Probably not. There’s some great microphones on Amazon that are around the $100 mark, the ATR2100 is a good one. A lot of people use the Blue Yeti.
Laura Briggs: 25:27 I used that and switched to the ATR2100. So you want to have a decent recording set up. So for some people that might not be their office as it is right now because there might be a lot of audio that’s bouncing around the walls. So you want to think about your recording space. I’ve seen people who built little boxes that they put like the egg foam inside and they put that around their microphone to make the room a little bit more audio friendly, but I would say for sure, you’ve got to have a way of recording that audio through your microphone.
Laura Briggs: 25:57 A method, like a piece of software or a program that’s going to capture the audio as you’re speaking and record it. I would say those are really the most important ones and don’t underestimate the power of a good microphone. Because the only way you’re communicating with people is via audio. No one wants to be in the car or on their morning run or doing chores around the house and listening to audio that’s crackling, that’s really bad, like you’re in computer microphone is not good enough.
Laura Briggs: 26:27 So make that investment because that’s the only way that people are hearing the information you have to say, and people will not listen to podcasts with terrible audio. There’s been times I’ve really wanted to listen to an episode and it’s usually an interview show where the host has great audio, and the guest has terrible audio and you just stop. You’re like five minutes in and you’re like, I can’t handle it. The person’s rustling paper or they’re obviously using their cell phone. It’s just not good quality.
Robert Ingalls: 26:54 Yeah, I think that’s one of the better pieces of advice is to think about the microphone you’re using and at a minimum, get a headset mic. Go on Amazon, get something 20, $30, something that is going to be right near your mouth and is not going to be on your computer because your computer microphone is going to pick up everything. Most of all, it’s going to pick up the computer fan or the noise from the computer itself, which can be almost impossible to get rid of afterwards because it’s so loud and right next to the microphone.
Robert Ingalls: 27:25 So at a minimum, get a microphone and get some headphones. So what I’m going to do too, is we’re putting together a gear list. So if you’re interested in starting something, go to lawpods.com/gear, and we’re going to put an entire gear list there together, something from basically a very basic microphone and a headset or a studio robust enough to have four people recording in it at one time. So you can check that out and I’ll link it in the blog in the show notes as well. That’s lawpods.com/gear. Now for your podcast, what are you using to record? You said you’re using the ATR2100 but what software are you using?
Laura Briggs: 28:04 I use Zoom, because a lot of my shows are interview based. If it’s just me talking, you can download a great free audio tool called Audacity and you can record your entire show on that. So that’s one that I like, because there are some things you can do editing wise on your own with Audacity before you pass it off to an audio editor, if you would like, but I just try to keep it simple.
Laura Briggs: 28:27 The reason that I switched from a microphone like the Blue Yeti, so just like you were talking about how computer microphones pick up all the sound around them, the Blue Yeti is like that, too. It’s designed to pick up all the sound in the room. So as I often have happen, if you have cats running in the room or running up and down the stairs outside your office, it could potentially pick that up.
Laura Briggs: 28:48 So a directional microphone is designed to pick up the sound that’s coming closest to it. So it’s not necessarily going to pick up what’s behind it or beside it and that’s why the placement of it is important. So think about that as well. The Blue Yeti is super easy to use, a headset mic is super easy to use. Then maybe if you really like podcasting, you can upgrade to one of the more expensive microphones, but the cool thing is the technology has become so accessible now. You can really get a solid microphone for $90 to $150 and have it sound pretty good.
Robert Ingalls: 29:19 Yeah, that ATR2100, you said is a very good mic. I have a mic that’s a $300 mic and we sat down one day and we did some, I don’t want to call it blind testing, maybe deaf testing. I don’t know what to call it. We didn’t know what mic the other person was using and we were recording and no one could tell the difference between the ATR and the $300 mic. I still like to use the $300 mic because I like it and I feel like it makes me sound good, but don’t feel like you have to buy that because the ATR is a very good one.
Robert Ingalls: 29:53 On the gear list, I’ll put a couple of other options around that as well that are in that same price point. You were talking using Zoom. I like Zoom a lot. I think it’s one of the easiest platforms to use. It’s free, I think up to 45 minute calls, I think. So it’s very accessible, but if you start to get a little more serious about using podcasts and you want to check out some other options, I’m going to list those on the gear page as well.
Robert Ingalls: 30:15 One of the ones I like and that we’re recording with right now is called SquadCast and one of the unique things about SquadCast is it’s built for podcasters. It’s a service built by podcasters, for podcasters to fill this need for interviews that sound good that are remote. So one of the things I like about it a lot is it’s recording the guest on their side, and then it’s recording the host on their side and then it’s giving you two separate audio files at the end. So you can then mix those together.
Robert Ingalls: 30:45 So if there’s any sound on one side, you can fix that and make it sound a little bit better and then put those together at the end. So SquadCast is one and I’m going to link that in the blog in the show notes as well for you to check that out.
Laura Briggs: 30:56 I have a question for you, actually. This might come up with attorneys where there’s more than one of them that are going to be on the show. If you have two people and say they were like it was a husband and wife law firm or something like that, do you recommend people record in the same room or is it better to just like, even if you were in the same office, of course, that doesn’t apply during the pandemic. If you have more than one person who’s going to be on a show, do they each need their own microphone? Do they have to be in different rooms to be able to make that sound good? Just sort of curious, are there logistics around that when you’ve got more than one person talking at a time that is in your vicinity?
Robert Ingalls: 31:35 So I’m going to give the lawyer answer. It depends. So I tend to recommend the easiest way to do it, if it’s going to be you and your law partner and you’re interviewing a third person, I think one of the easiest ways to do that is to be in separate rooms because you can have your microphone, you plug it right into your computer, and then you can be in separate rooms. So you’re not having any echo from each other’s mics.
Robert Ingalls: 32:01 Now, if you get to a point where you’re running a little bit more of a serious operation with your podcast and you get a mixer, or you get an interface, which I’ll link that in the gear list as well, that allows you to plug two microphones right in and then plug that into your computer. So both of those microphones are running into the same source. I think that as long as you’re set up in your office, I wouldn’t be sitting right next to each other, I’d probably be across the table with your microphones pointed in opposite directions.
Robert Ingalls: 32:30 So you’re getting as little mic bleed as possible, essentially, so your voice isn’t getting into the other person’s microphone as much. That’s a relatively easy thing to do, but if you’re just starting out and you’re just figuring it out, I think the best way to do is just go in your own separate offices, and get on video with that person on SquadCast or Zoom and then interview that that person separately, but that’s a great question.
Robert Ingalls: 32:57 All right, so to our last topic we’re going to discuss before I let you get out of here. How do I get people to listen? That’s one of the biggest questions I hear is, okay, I have the podcast. What are the strategies for promoting it and actually having people know it exists?
Laura Briggs: 33:13 Well, definitely have a defined launch date when you start the podcast to get people excited. So don’t tell people on the day that the show goes live. Kind of build that excitement up two to three months before it does go live and again, that goes back to that brainstorming session of what are we going to do with each episode because it’s not a build it and they will come scenario.
Laura Briggs: 33:33 You can’t just record an episode, push it out to your podcast producer, and then magically, people are going to find it, you have to help them find it. So think about where your potential clients are spending time. If you are, for example, a B2B law firm and you’re looking for other attorneys or business professionals, you might want to be sharing your episodes on LinkedIn and using the right hashtags that go with that and connecting with people who could be prospective listeners.
Laura Briggs: 33:57 That’s very different than an audience that’s targeting somebody who’s thinking about getting a divorce or something like that. So think about where your audience spends time and think about how you can repurpose each episode. It’s very common for SEO or search engine optimization purposes to take the audio from your episode, and turn it into show notes. It can look a lot of different ways, but a lot of times it’s like a blog post that recaps what was said in the episode to kind of whet people’s appetites if they’ve just landed on the page, like, hey, I really want to listen and hear that particular tip.
Laura Briggs: 34:28 You might want to create social media graphics that are shared with it, because not everyone even who subscribes to a podcast, they’ll get notified when they subscribe, but it’s good to be pushing that information out. So what I do with my show is, we share live on the day that it goes live. We share it a month later, and then we share it three and six months later because you’ll be surprised at how many times you share an episode from six months ago as long as it’s still relevant, and new people will find it and listen to it all over again and that kind of gets them really excited. So don’t assume that people will be super religious about listening to your show every week. Give them opportunities to interact with the content and different ways to do that.
Robert Ingalls: 35:07 Repurposing content is one of the best ways to maximize the longevity and visibility of that show. Turning it into micro content, take a little 60-second hard hitting clip from the episode that you know we’ll engage people and turn that into a short video that you can share on Facebook, Instagram, wherever you feel like you can engage best with your followers. Then make quote images out of something particularly hard hitting you said or the guest said, and then don’t just leave it at that.
Robert Ingalls: 35:34 Don’t share it that one time, share it over and over. You can even use things like social media schedulers. So when that show first comes out, you can schedule it to come out this week, you can schedule it to come out next week, and then maybe every third week on all of your various channels, and the good thing about that is with a scheduler, you can kind of set it up as evergreen and set it and forget it.
Robert Ingalls: 35:54 So on a schedule, those pieces of micro content are going to continue to get released. The entire episode is going to get continued to be released. So those are great ways to maximize this and really turn it into a content marketing strategy. Now one of the better ways that I say this is, essentially, if you’re going to have a podcast, you have to do this, it has to be on your website.
Robert Ingalls: 36:15 If people come to your website, they need to see a tab for the podcast, they need to know that they can go there and then listen to it, A, because it needs to be accessible so people can actually listen to it. So if they have questions, they can interact with it, they can get that information from you, they can start to develop that relationship of know, like and trust that leads them to picking up the phone.
Robert Ingalls: 36:35 You also want to start gaining that traction, that SEO. You’re having the podcasts on your website. That matters now in the Google algorithm, just having the podcast on your website, but having those show notes, like Laura said, having those show notes written with SEO in mind, what is the topic? Think about what that topic is, and have that written with SEO in mind. So when someone goes searching for that particular topic, it’s not only in your podcast episode, it’s also going to be written out in your show notes.
Laura Briggs: 37:08 Yeah, absolutely. Make it accessible for people to find that information and something like a podcast really does a good job of showing your prospective clients that you’re very serious about this area of the law, because you’re excited to get on a podcast every week and talk about it either by yourself, or with guests or other people in the firm. So it really does help you build credibility, and when you’re repurposing that content, think about different ways to show it.
Laura Briggs: 37:32 So you can use that audio clip one week, and then the next time you promote it, maybe it’s a really good quote that came from the show, and different ideas that you can say like, hey, did you hear our top three tips for doing this? Repurpose it in different ways, so that you get people who are intrigued by different pieces of micro content.
Robert Ingalls: 37:52 Yeah, and another thing I was thinking about while you were talking is a lot of lawyers have cultivated an email list and I think that’s a great way when you first launch your podcast to reengage former clients or even current clients, is to start letting people know that’s happening. Now, I was reminded when I brought this up at one meeting from a family law attorney, we don’t email anybody anything ever.
Robert Ingalls: 38:15 That’s a really good idea with spouses checking emails and things like that, but in general, in a lot of different practice areas, it’s a good way to let your previous and existing clients know that this is a new thing that’s going on, letting them know, hey, we’ve launched this podcast, this is helpful and it’s an opportunity to bring yourself back into that person’s mind and relevance, which then when they’re asked next week if they know somebody who is a bankruptcy attorney, they’re like, oh, right, they remember you immediately from that.
Laura Briggs: 38:43 You can even put it in your auto reply or in your signature. Maybe you made three podcast episodes about the three most common questions you get in your practice area. So if you are out of the office and get an email or something like that, you can help direct people and say like, hey, are you asking questions about What to do with your house in a divorce? Are you concerned about child custody? Here’s our couple of recommended podcast episodes where you can maybe get some of your questions answered now and then when we’re back in the office, we’ll circle back with you. So it’s a great way to position yourself with value and stand out from your competition right away. So there’s so many different ways that you can use that material over and over again.
Robert Ingalls: 39:23 Well, Laura, I’m going to let you get out of here. This has been so helpful. Thank you again, so much for taking the time out. Now, if anybody wanted to get in touch with you or work with you, how can they find you?
Laura Briggs: 39:33 So my freelance website is betterbizacademy.com. So you can go ahead and check that out and you can listen to my show there if you’d like.
Robert Ingalls: 39:42 Well, lovely, thank you so much.
Laura Briggs: 39:44 Yep. Thank you.
Outro: 39:47 Thanks for joining us. For resources from the episode, go to the show notes in your podcast player or visit lawpods.com/podcast. Do you know someone who’s staying on top that should be a guest on the show? Submit their name to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay profitable.