Why Do Law Firms and Real Estate-related Companies Become Podcasters?
There are many critical and important reasons for the effort, although for some just hearing the phrase ‘we’re going to start a podcast’ can create a high degree of anxiety! Why is that? Because being on stage and the center of attention can, for many, be a terrifying thought.
But on top of that fact are the many unknowns presenting themselves when sitting down to strategize…
- What is a podcast?
- I’m not sure I can do it!
- Will our podcast be visual or audio only?
- What topics will we discuss?
- Will guests be willing to join us and will people actually take the time to listen?
- Who in the firm will be the host?
- Is there enough ‘meat on the bone’ for a weekly production?
- How much will a podcast cost to produce and what equipment do we need?
- What/where will we use as our podcast set?
From experience we know at Hallmark Abstract Service that these questions and more can be enough to push the idea of a podcast to the sidelines. But that inertia needs to be overcome due to the positives that a podcast provides to both individuals and companies/law firms.
So, Why Become a Podcaster?
As with any marketing, promotion, advertising ( with the caveat of ATTORNEY ADVERTISING DISCLAIMER), one of the major reasons we engage in the activity is to convey to the marketplace a level of subject matter expertise (SME) that would enable the firm to help whether it’s a legal issue, title insurance issue or any other business issue.
One method Hallmark Abstract Service uses to convey this expertise is to write articles. In an article various topics and issues can be explained, along with using articles to differentiate and present the important differences that exist between title insurance companies in New York State. This is critical as we work to overcome the perception that title insurance is a purely commodity product with no difference existing between Firm A and Firm B.
This is definitely not the case (New York Title Insurance IS NOT All The Same!), as it’s not the case in the various sub-specialties of law whether a firm focuses on real estate, personal injury, employment, matrimonial, etc.!
Given this fact, a podcast allows for a firm’s subject matter expertise to shine, and it allows for other topics to be discussed that will provide value to clients, prospects and others who are simply curious and tune-in.
Recently Hallmark Abstract CEO Michael Haltman appeared on the Casandra Properties podcast (https://youtu.be/f5ja2DolnXg) talking title insurance, business and philanthropy. It was a great opportunity and great exposure for Hallmark Abstract, with Casandra Properties CEO James Prendamano doing a terrific job as host.
So what are some of the tools and methods needed to put-on and present a successful podcast?
‘Podcasting for Law Firms: Tools and Tips for Producing a Successful Show‘ by Guy Alvarez
As more and more people have access to smartphones, iPods, and other mobile devices, the opportunity for reaching out to connect quickly and effectively with others has never been greater. One of the most popular and powerful means of communication is, undoubtedly, podcasts.
Podcasts are no longer limited to the tech savvy. Creating one is easier than you might think, and they’re a great way to share helpful information and ideas, build meaningful relationships, and ultimately help your law firm grow. See: Legal Industry Podcasts Worth Listening To.
So you have useful information to share, an idea to spread, or a worthy endeavor to promote, but how does a person with little technical knowledge or experience begin? What are the best resources for a novice, and how do you use them? Here is a list of must-have podcasting tools and best practices to help your law firm you get a strong start in podcasting. Best of all, they are all free or inexpensive solutions.
When you are just getting started with your podcasts, Evernote is an effective way to brainstorm and organize ideas. As you jot down topics in your Evernote notebook, it can help you find related ideas from previous entries and keep all of your thoughts organized.
It is also possible to share your notebook with others, such as colleagues or podcast guests. This gives you the opportunity to edit and collaborate on topics together, ensuring that you will all be up to date and on the same page when the time comes to start recording.
You have your content ideas, you have your podcast guests, and now you need to find a time that works for everyone. Doodle is the app for you. This is yet another easy-to-use (and free) app that simplifies scheduling and syncs automatically with all your devices.
It’s especially useful if your law firm’s podcast is going to involve more than just you and one guest. Doodle allows you to poll everyone involved and pinpoint a time that will work for everyone. It will even update other calendar apps automatically so everything is always in sync.
Additionally, if you have a HubSpot Sales Professional account, the meetings tool is part of HubSpot’s CRM and can sync to your calendar through either Office 365 or Google.
Recording the Show
When you schedule your guests, you’ll want to include information about the communication tool you’re using to do the interview. Two popular options for podcast interviews are Skype and Zoom. Check out: Recording a Skype Call for a Podcast: The Definitive Guide.
Using your earbuds to start is OK but as you get more episodes under your belt, audio quality – or the lack of it – stands out and becomes a concern. You’ll need to invest in a quality microphone. They can range widely in cost but you don’t need to break the bank. Top podcasting experts promote microphones that run in the hundreds of dollars but you can get a quality one for under $100, such as the widely recommended Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone.
Editing the Audio Recording
This full featured digital audio app comes pre-downloaded (and free!) on all up to date Apple products (iOS 7 or higher). With GarageBand, you have the ability to create your own music or sound effects from an ample selection of instruments and samples. It’s a great tool for adding some professional touches to your finished audio.
While PC’s answer to GarageBand is not free, at just $9.99, Stagelight is well worth the investment considering what comes with it. You get a very straightforward and easy to use app that also supports VST (Virtual Studio Technology) and VSTi plugins. These plugins allow you to extend the functionality of the app easily. Again, this is a great tool for adding finishing touches to spice up your audio.
Audacity is another tool for audio editing and recording. It’s fully supported on both Mac and PC, and has features that are professional, yet still relatively user friendly. Since it’s free, it also gives you the chance to experiment and learn the ropes without spending any money up front.
A Reliable Hosting Platform
Be it Podomatic, Soundcloud, Libsyn, or any other, choosing the right hosting platform for your podcast is crucial. This will be your personal workspace to produce, edit, communicate, and share your recordings. There are a number of platforms out there to suit a wide range of needs. The platforms provide a unique URL for your podcast feed that you use to submit your show to iTunes and Stitcher.
You’ll find different options for bandwidth, storage, and even tech support availability. Prices can range from around $20 per month for basic plans to upwards of $200 for some of the most elaborate. Don’t be afraid to send an email and ask questions to be sure the hosting package you’re considering will work for you.
A Home for Your Law Firm’s Podcast
You’ll need a home for your law firm’s podcast that you can point people to – preferably your website or blog. You embed the podcast episode on a web page using a link provided by your podcast host and do a writeup. The writeup is commonly referred to as “shownotes.” Think of shownotes as a blog post. You can include a transcription of the entire podcast episode or a summary with information about the guest and links referenced in the interview.
It’s a good practice to do your podcast writeup before uploading to your hosting platform so you can include the text making your podcast more discoverable on iTunes, Stitcher, and other platforms. See:
Start Planning Your First Podcast
It may seem a little bit intimidating at first, but learning to put together your own podcasts for your law firm will pay off in the end. A podcast, quite literally, allows you to put a voice to your law firm’s brand. They have the potential to educate, inspire, inform, entertain, and reach people from all over the world.
Of course, these podcasting tools are just a few of the many that are out there and available to law firms, but they’ll give you a good base to work from. They should help you to get a quality podcast out to your audience quickly and with a minimal learning curve. From there, you’re only limited by your imagination.
If you need help getting started, contact us for help today. We offer podcast planning, production, and promotional services for law firms, lawyers and legal professionals.
IF YOU ARE BUYING RESIDENTIAL OR COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE IN NEW YORK STATE REMEMBER…
NEW YORK TITLE INSURANCE IS NOT ALL THE SAME!
LEARN ABOUT WHY THAT IS HERE.
HALLMARK ABSTRACT SERVICE LLC…YOU BUY, WE PROTECT!
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