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Pod Casts 101 For Lawyers

Pod Casts 101 For Lawyers


If you're like most attorneys today, the term “pod cast” is one you've only seen in headlines or referenced in news stories.  However, even if you're not technologically gifted, you can listen to and use pod casts as part of the marketing effort for your law firm.  In this guide, we'll start with the absolute basics of what a pod cast is and how you can use them.  You'll find out not only about how to start your own pod cast, but also how to become part of pod casts being broadcast by other people.
What is a Pod Cast?
Today, many different attorneys have written blogs, which allow them to share their writing across several different platforms.  Some attorneys have also chosen to use video blogging through Youtube and other upload services as a part of their marketing to consumers.  But what about the attorneys with a face made for radio—or just a fantastic voice?  Pod casts can be considered to be a cross between an audio blog and a radio show.
Some pod casts are very structured, while others are more freeform.  They are typically uploaded at scheduled times.  However, instead of just streaming, they can be downloaded at any time, letting listeners listen when they're commuting, out for a jog, or doing anything else where they're listening to their iPod or other similar device.  Pod casts have never caught on broadly with consumers in the United States, but the type of person who listens to a pod cast is usually richer, more educated, and more likely to be professionals than people in the general population.  This makes pod casts an ideal way to reach an audience that is often very expensive to access with traditional forms of advertising.
How Are Pod Casts Used as Marketing Tools?
Depending on what kind of pod cast you want to use, you can make use of pod casts as marketing tools in several different ways.  If you're going to create a pod cast of your own, you can make it about any topic you want, but keep in mind that you'll be constrained by having to build an audience totally from scratch.  For people who are new to pod casts and want to dip their toes in the water before diving right in, there's always contributing to other people's pod casts, or even doing a pod cast sponsorship.
Making Your Own Pod Cast
If pod casts sound like the best thing you've ever heard of, you may be chomping at the bit to start your own.  It's not actually that difficult to do at the most basic level—many laptop computers and mobile phones have audio recording equipment built in.  It might be a good idea to wait until you've established some audience before investing in high end equipment.  However, you should make sure that you are using equipment that makes your voice sound clear and consistent.  You should also clean up your audio with some audio editing tools.  If this sounds like work you're not comfortable with doing, you may first want to look at doing one of the other options in this guide.
Guest Appearances on Pod Casts
Not everyone has the technological knowledge or the desire to keep creating pod cast programming week after week.  If you want to be able to reach audiences that are listening to pod casts, without doing consistent work in podcasting, you should think about doing a guest appearance.  If you can think of a connection between your legal work and a pod cast's topic, keep in mind that for many people, your J.D. is a credential that qualifies you to be a guest.
You may have more luck becoming a guest on pod casts if you're able to find good connections between your work and the topic of the pod cast, and even more if you have a blog that you can cross-promote and some real experience to talk about.  New attorneys may have a harder time successfully negotiating for guest spots on pod casts.
Sponsoring Pod Cast Programming
If you don't know of any pod casts that would be likely to accept you as a guest but you would still like to get your message in front of a small targeted audience that a pod cast is great at accessing, you might want to look for a sponsorship arrangement.  Through sponsorship, you may be able to get advertising space on the website where a pod cast is hosted, or you could get a mention in the pod casts you're sponsoring.
Since not many law firms are doing pod cast sponsorship yet, pod casts are a relatively inexpensive place to advertise and receive an attentive audience of people high on the socioeconomic ladder.  This is a great place for specialty boutique intellectual property firms, for instance, if they can find pod casts that would be targeted at the kinds of clients who usually use their services.
Keep Your Market in Mind
Remember what kinds of issues your pod cast listener target markets are most interested in.  By making sure that you're talking about the topics most relevant to their interests, and identifying with their concerns, you'll show that you understand them.  Don't talk about issues that only concern other types of clients, or that might strike most pod cast listeners as overly boring or technical.  Remember that unless you're talking in legal industry podcasts, your listeners probably won't be attorneys themselves.  Don't explain yourself like you're talking to law students or lawyers.
Listen to Pod Casts For Marketing Information
One other way that you can use podcasting to help your marketing efforts is to pay attention to marketing podcasts.  You can probably think of some downtime in your day where you could listen quietly to headphones.  This is a great time to listen to podcasts during parts of your day that usually aren't productive.  Pod casts can give you up to date information on a regular basis about marketing techniques and search engine optimization.