I first heard about podcasting, when I attended the Social Media Day event in San Diego a few years ago. I had the privilege to hear John Lee Dumas of the Entrepreneur on Fire podcast on stage, discussing the success he had from his once-a-day podcast launch. The demand for podcasting was so high, that John created an online Facebook group and course called, Podcasters Paradise, which teaches entrepreneurs how to set up and launch their own successful podcast.
The key to a successful podcast is to build a loyal audience and following. It is important to monitor download numbers, as those numbers should increase from month to month. I know many successful podcasters who have significantly grown their download numbers, and have been approached by sponsors who want to advertise their message on podcasts with high download numbers.
In recent data provided by Edison Research, podcast listening grew 23 percent between 2015 and 2016. The total podcast audience is over 57 million in 2016. Avid podcast fans consume an average of five shows per week.
I recently interviewed Gordon Firemark, who is an entertainment attorney in Los Angeles, and the creator of Power Podcasting for Lawyers, an online course that teaches lawyers the art, technology, and strategy of podcasting ethically and effectively. Here’s what he had to say about creating a successful podcast.
Dang: Why is podcasting such an amazing marketing tool for lawyers?
Firemark: It’s a great way to position yourself as an authority. When you’re the host of the show, and speaking as an expert, you obviously have authority. But even if you’re interviewing someone else, that person’s expert authority rubs off on you. So, regardless of format, it’s win-win.
Dang: How can your audience resonate with you via podcasting?
Firemark: Your audience hears the authentic you. When speaking into the microphone, you can be yourself. The audience hears the smile in your voice, your inflection, sense of humor … in ways that don’t come through in your writing. We lawyers tend to write in a much more formal, somewhat stilted tone, that’s appropriate for legal writing, but not for communicating with our prospects and referral sources.
Dang: Why is podcasting an easy way to produce valuable content?
Firemark: When speaking into the microphone, whether we’re holding forth as an authority or interviewing someone, it’s much easier to adopt a congenial, conversational style. That’s much more appealing to your audience. Also, because you’re speaking, you can work either from an outline, or just extemporaneously. So, creating a podcast episode is a matter of “press record, and speak.” It’s quick and painless.
Dang: How will podcasting help lawyers get more referrals?
Firemark: Prospects and referral sources who hear your voice will come to know, like and trust you before they ever meet you. Then, when they have a need for a lawyer, you’ll be top-of-mind, and will already have made a good impression.
Dang: What topics do you recommend lawyers podcast on?
Firemark: Podcasting doesn’t need to be about the “legal stuff ” to be an effective marketing tool. For example, if your practice centers on motorcycle accident injury cases, it’s unlikely you’d attract an audience for a podcast on that topic. But, suppose you host a show that explores motorcycle touring or Harley Davidson bikes from all angles? You’ll likely attract an audience of motorcycle enthusiasts. And guess what? Some of them will someday need (or know someone who needs) a lawyer to help with an injury case.
Dang: How can podcasting facilitate building relationships with thought leaders?
Firemark: When you host a podcast, you have a worthwhile reason to contact thought leaders and influencers in your target market, without the awkward feel of a sales pitch or a cold invitation to “network.” Invite these folks on your show, and they come to know you. Now, the door is open for follow up, networking and, with luck, a referral or client relationship may develop. My own show “Entertainment Industry Insights” has served me very well in this regard, and I’ve also become a referral source for others who’ve interviewed me for their shows.
Dang: How has podcasting helped your legal practice?
Firemark: Clients and colleagues frequently mention my podcasts as one of the things that attracts them to my firm. Since launching my first podcast, my practice has continued to grow steadily, and my visibility in my niche has never been greater.
Dang: There are many ways to build your authority and connect with your audience, and podcasting is definitely a great way to share your expertise with your ideal audience, make meaningful connections and ultimately grow your legal practice. A special thanks to Gordon for sitting down with me. Be sure to check out his podcast at https://goo.gl/BZhmue. Dimple Dang