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4 reasons why you need a podcast

John Hinson, ABA Law Technology Today

By now, you’ve likely heard people talking about shows like “Serial” or “S-Town.” Perhaps you are even subscribed and listen to these podcasts. Have you considered one for your law firm? No, you likely won’t have millions of listeners, but you also don’t have millions of website visitors – and you don’t need that many, either.

Podcasting can be a great marketing and branding tool for your law firm. This blog outlines 4 reasons why:

They are easy to create. Technology is moving fast these days and you might feel like undertaking a podcast project requires you to learn a bunch of new software, but that’s not necessarily true. A podcast is only as complicated as you make it.

While the most polished shows include music beds with intros, outros and segment breaks, you don’t necessarily have to do that if it doesn’t fit the format of the show you want to create. Maybe your show is a few minutes long and covers a legal concept. If it’s longer, you can easily hire a creative freelancer to create short interludes for you.

All you need is a microphone and a computer. From there, you can upload your episode to a host like Libsyn, which syndicates it to podcast platforms like iTunes and Stitcher. Then, you just spread the word.

It helps build your credibility. You know you’re well-versed in the law, but does your community know that? A podcast is a great way to show off your expertise. You don’t need to tell someone how to represent themselves in court, but you can break down the pros and cons of different business entities (if you’re a business lawyer) or explain the various custody options available in your state (if you’re a family lawyer).

Also, I know all of you lawyers are perfectionists, but you don’t need to have a polished show that is free of errors. A podcast is a live show with natural conversations. If you stumble a little bit, that’s okay! Keep going, because it makes the listener feel more connected to you and as if you’re talking directly to them. I promise no one will think you’re unprepared or don’t know what you’re talking about.

It’s a solid alternative to video. Not all of us are professionals in front of a camera. If you’re not comfortable on video or you’re self-conscious about your appearance, a podcast is a great alternative. You can cover the same legal concepts on a podcast just as you do in a video. You could arguably explain more in a podcast since most people listen to podcasts while driving, working out or sitting at their desks doing other things. A video, on the other hand, usually requires someone’s full attention.

It can improve your speaking skills. If a lot of your casework involves litigation, you may already be a seasoned speaker. But for attorneys who do a lot of transactional work, there is value in having your own podcast. As you build your reputation and your credibility, other opportunities could arise, such as being asked to speak at an event. If you have several episodes of a podcast under your belt, you could feel more comfortable getting up in front of a group of people.

John Hinson is the administrative director and editor at Spotlight Branding in Cornelius, N.C. When he’s not supervising content or working behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly, Hinson is visiting waterfalls and writing his next book.

This article originally appeared in Law Technology Today here.

ABA Law Technology Today was launched in 2012 to provide the legal community with practical guidance for the present and sensible strategies for the future. LTT brings together practicing lawyers, technology professionals and practice management experts from a wide range of practice settings and backgrounds. LTT is published by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.

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