When I first walked into the doors of North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2005, I had no idea as to the kind of law I wanted to practice or how to practice. When I walked out those doors in 2008, I knew I was about to become a workers’ compensation attorney, but still had little insight on what it meant to practice.
The one thing law school does not teach students about the practice is how big a role salesmanship and marketing play. Everyone’s practice survives on clients and files, regardless of the kind of law being practiced. But how to secure those files and clients is an art left up to the individual attorney to discover on his or her own.
Early on, I learned that I had to stand out from my colleagues in some fashion. Everyone can write. Everyone can argue. What makes someone different? This mentality spurred me to start a monthly webinar back in 2017 well before they became the du jour form of marketing post-COVID. The problem I found with webinars is two-fold: (1) they are live and have a temporary impact and (2) attendance is predicated on availability. Sure, they were far superior to in-person seminars for a variety of reasons, but they still had their limitations.
For me, the solution came while listening to one of my favorite murder mysteries – on a podcast. I had discussed the show with my clients, who had also been listening. I figured if they already listen to podcasts, why not listen to one that benefits their jobs?
I began asking around and found out nobody did one. Not here in North Carolina. Not anywhere to my clients’ knowledge. Maybe firms thought it was too difficult, vague or not a good return on investment. Regardless, it was a void in the industry that seemed ripe to fill.
In January 2023, I launched my first podcast, Claim Closure with Brian Groesser. All I needed was a microphone and a computer. The audience would come later. The episodes essentially mirror the seminars and webinars that I had been putting on my entire career. But the impact was far more lasting. No longer did I need to travel to conduct an all-day seminar and be away from family and work. No longer did I have to hope people would not have conflicts during the allotted time for the webinar. Instead, I could simply broadcast from my own house on my own schedule. Clients and potential clients could tune in at their leisure.
And they have done so at a rate I could not have imagined.
Podcasting is Not Difficult
Podcasting itself is not difficult. Most attorneys love to hear themselves talk. The difficulty is pulling it off. To be successful, you must be engaging while at the same time discussing a topic that both keeps the listener’s attention for the duration of the episode and entices them to follow the show to listen to more. Unlike a seminar or a webinar, you do not get an immediate read from the audience. Rather, the success is determined by the number of downloads.
For me, podcasting has been a major success in my practice. Followers and downloads continue to rise, and new clients have come into the fold as a result. It is an opportunity to stay relevant within the industry while staying on the cutting edge of connecting, much like sending an Instagram photo versus a postcard.
I have learned a lot about the practice since I left those law school doors in 2008. With podcasting, I have learned an important lesson in the art of marketing not taught in those schools – being your own brand. Doing so is a benefit to your firm as well as reaping from the marketing seeds you sow. Yet, I seem to remain as the only one who does it – and that suits me just fine.