Podcasts - a guide by business development specialists Size 10 1/2 Boots
More and more law firms are starting to podcast. It’s more time- and cost-efficient than running a traditional seminar.
Podcasts also allow you to reach a much larger potential audience, an audience who can choose when they want to listen rather than having to commit half a day to travel, listen and travel back!
The only trouble is it’s really hard to record and promote a podcast isn’t it? No! It’s really easy thanks to the iPhone and a whole host of free online platforms that convert, edit and produce your recordings free of charge. We’re now helping more and more clients produce podcasts and we’d like to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way in case you fancy starting your own podcast.
1.Before you record
Choose the right tech
This is pivotal to the success of your podcast! Many people record podcasts using free conference call services but they just sound like conference calls. We’d recommend using a digital audio recorder and there is a perfectly good one included as standard in an iPhone.
You can improve the sound quality by using freeware like Audacity and the quality will improve further if you buy one of the reasonably priced headsets or microphones available on the high street or online.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Create a structure for your podcast.
What we tend to do is pick a topic then jot down the key points we want to cover so we have a prompt during recording … but not a script as that’d be a bit stiff. And if you’re going to have a guest, share questions in advance because the better prepared your guest is, the better your podcast will be.
Choose a co-host
Conversations are more engaging and more effective than monologues but choose someone you have a good rapport with to sit in with you as your foil. Having a co-host also makes the whole process a lot less daunting if you’re doing it with someone.
Limit the length
Once you have your plan you’ll know how long the podcast should be. Stick to those timings, don’t be drawn into waffle or trying to extend it for the sake of it. Only the big professional media-backed podcasts can fill an hour+, best practice is to stick to around 15 minutes.
2.While you’re recording
Sound enthusiastic about your subject
The aim of every podcast is to get new people to start conversations with you because they liked what they heard; if you’re monotone and a bit flat, that’s not going to happen.Always inject a bit of enthusiasm and even laugh from time to time at what your co-host is saying. Never try to copy your favourite DJ or chat show host but do listen to a lot of other pods to see what you like and ‘appropriate’ the good ideas you find.
Tell, do, repeat
As you would in a traditional presentation tell your audience what you’re going to cover, cover it and then end by repeating what you’ve covered. One trick for the last stage is to say “so, what are the key points to take away…?” then list them out. It’s about your subject, not you!
Don’t spend a lot of time telling personal anecdotes or showing off what you know over and above the topic at hand in micro-detail; stick to the topic at hand and keep the conversation moving.
Avoid yes/no questions
If you want your co-host to provide real value you need to ask them questions they can answer, don’t lead them into blind alleys. Use prefixes like “tell us
about …”, “what do you think about …” and “give us examples of…”
3. After recording
Boosting the sound quality and adding an intro and/or outro will all add a bit of gloss to the finished article. Again you can use Audacity for that but a quick Google search will show you all of the freeware options you can use.
Do it over
The beauty of digital recording is it’s free so if you don’t like it, do it again or do bits again and edit them in.
Once you have your finished file you need to get it out into the universe. There are loads of different podcast platforms which will help you reach a new audience and give you links that you can use on your social media channels.
The ones we use are iTunes – of course – Castbox and Podomatic. We’ve also recently added ours to Spotify which is the channel of choice for some. Also give your podcast a distinctive name, its own brand image and include a short description of what you’re covering in the box provided when you upload the file. Without all that people won’t be able to find you!