THE POWER OF SOCIAL AUDIO!
It’s never been more challenging for lawyers to get their voices heard above all the noise. Getting noticed is tough right now, especially while everyone is coming out of the other side of COVID-19 and trying to figure out which way to zig in their business and how to zag with their marketing and branding.
Doing things like everyone else, especially right now, will make sure that you blend in rather than stand out. Creating and sharing social media content like you did before COVID-19 will not satisfy new consumer needs and expectations.
I believe I’ve found a solution to the above challenges that you can use to help stay relevant, add value, and satisfy the new consumer demands. It will allow you to build your unique brand while other lawyers are still figuring out how to remove their cat filters from live zooms with the court.
What I’m talking about, and what the world is talking about, is social audio. You know, the live audio platforms like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, and Spotify Greenroom, to mention just a few.
This new phenomenon of social audio is just getting started. In addition to the above platforms, all the top social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and about 20 others, are rolling out their versions of social audio.
Don’t feel like you need to figure out why this is happening. Instead, embrace this trend and leverage the interest and excitement to grow your brand and market your practice.
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VayerMedia, has been spot on when it comes to recognizing digital trends. He said he doesn’t know how long platforms Clubhouse will be around, but right now, he believes social audio
is the place to be to build your brand. If you know Gary’s story, then you know that’s all you need to hear to move forward with social audio.
Now, just in case these new social audio platforms are new to you, let me share a bit more.
These new live audio-only chat apps are places where using only your smartphone, you’re able to engage and discuss in planned or spur-of-the-moment conversations about almost any topic of interest. Most apps have a “stage” and “audience,” and moderators running the room can have real-time conversations with everyone involved. You can listen or raise your digital hand, be invited up on stage to ask a question, or participate in the conversation. The sky is the limit with how you run your room, and I’m sharing a few “how-to” links below to help you get started.
Smart lawyers are not only adding as much value as they can in these live chat rooms; they’re also taking the conversations and relationships (what I like to call the digital dance) over to other social media platforms or even offline with a lunch or dinner. New business opportunities and case referrals are happening daily.
So why do I believe these apps are so popular and influential at this moment in time? Well, I think it’s a combination of our circumstances revolving around social distancing, consumer expectations, and better technology. Regardless of the reasons, smart lawyers are embracing this new technology to build global relationships across multiple time zones.
Here are just a couple of experiences I’ve enjoyed over the last several months with social audio on Clubhouse.
Trial Advocacy Tips
With just a couple of clicks, I’ve been on stage with some of the most talented trial lawyers in the country, discussing ideas and sharing tips on trial advocacy. Relationships were formed almost immediately (voice is a surprisingly intimate medium), and new client referrals from my co-moderators and audience members were received and made.
For the past eight weeks, I’ve co-moderated Clubhouse rooms hosted by lawyer Awin Tavakoli
out of Zurich, Switzerland (yes, we met on Clubhouse) to discuss almost everything you can imagine surrounding the new non-fungible token (NFT) technology. Each week, lawyers such as Ira P. Rothken
, Jesse Halfon
and Aly Sosagui
, along with other blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital, and NFT experts from around the world, exchange ideas and answers questions from business owners, creators, and investors in the audience. Because of this room and our weekly participation, a few of us were asked by Arezou Bakhtjou
to host an NFT webinar for the Continuing Education of the California State Bar.
I’ve enjoyed being in rooms (in the audience) with Elon Musk, Malcolm Gladwell, Kevin Hart, Van Jones, and others. Recently I was in a room hosted by Katie Couric
and her husband, John Moiner, with 5K people in the audience. Katie was kind enough to notice me in the audience (we met nine years ago on a live video show
) and she invited me to join her on the Clubhouse stage and chat for about 10 minutes. Now that made me smile!
I’ve moderated rooms or participated on stage with leaders and experts in business, venture capital, entertainment, law, marketing, social issues, and almost everything else in between. Some have run, created, and sold billion-dollar companies. The conversations, advice, and value received were memorable and powerful experiences.
On a smaller scale, I’ve hosted or co-moderated social audio rooms answering people’s legal questions. Going live to comment on breaking legal news or topics (The George Floyd trial) allowed me and other lawyers to share our expertise, answer questions, add value while building our brands worldwide.
The fact of the matter is that these experiences would not have happened had it not been for social audio. It doesn’t matter how you look or what you’re wearing. It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking from your downstairs laundry room early in the morning or, penthouse suite overlooking Los Angeles in the evening while the sun’s setting. Nobody knows how you look or where you’re logging in from, and frankly, I don’t think anybody cares.
What does matter is the conversation and the relationships you build. Adding value and being kind is the secret to maximizing the benefits you can receive from social audio platforms. The high level of access and connectivity through social audio are benefits that I haven’t experienced on the same level on the other traditional platforms.
David Meerman Scott, marketing strategist, entrepreneur, investor, and advisor to emerging companies, shared his thoughts about Clubhouse in his post, “Clubhouse: The Great, the Bad, and the Very Worrisome.”
He did an excellent job of sharing the good and bad of this new technology. As with any business or platform, always do your due diligence and be careful with what you say and how you use it.
HOW I GOT STARTED WITH SOCIAL AUDIO
At first, I was hesitant to add another social platform to my daily schedule. Live streaming expert Jennifer Quinn
was kind enough to reach out with an invite to Clubhouse. I told her I didn’t have time to add another platform to my life and was going to pass.
But what Jennifer said sparked my interest, so I started checking out this relatively new social audio app. I noticed similarities to the early days of live video, and the light bulb went on. For all the reasons I mentioned above, I realized social audio could be a pretty big deal. This time, when a friend reached out with a Clubhouse “invite” (behavioral scientist Clarissa Silva
) reached out with an invite, I jumped on it.
Almost immediately, I experienced the power of social audio and never looked back. In fact, within a few weeks of kicking the tires of the Clubhouse app, I completely embraced the platform and even started my own group on Facebook, “Lawyers on Clubhouse,”
to help lawyers navigate the new platform. Over the last couple of months, it’s grown to over 500 lawyers from around the world sharing Clubhouse rooms and ideas.
Tapping into an approach that worked well back in the early livestreaming video days, I thought I’d get a little crazy, and so I set up an all-day eight-hour-long Clubhouse Room
with new two new guests joining me on stage every 30 minutes. At any given time, we had hundreds of people in the audience benefiting from the topics, conversation, and live Q&A. The room was shared by thousands of people worldwide. New relationships were made, and opportunities were created for everyone involved. On a side note, I believe this room was a world record (length of “legal” room and number of lawyers and legal professionals) in a single Clubhouse Room.
I was advised earlier this week that the American Bar Association is including me in an upcoming ABA Journal profile on lawyers using social audio. As I referenced above, the Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) is hosting a CLE webinar on NFTs with yours truly and a talented group of lawyers who all originally first met on the Clubhouse platform.
Please re-read the above. None of this would have happened– the connections, business opportunities, and new professional relationships, if it were not for social audio.
As with any new technology, you get the good with the bad. To help my lawyer friends approach Clubhouse and other live social audio platforms with the right frame of mind and in the right way, I created a few blog posts over the past several months to help everyone avoid making rookie mistakes and accelerate their social audio success journey. The approach behind these posts will help you on any social audio platforms, so keep in mind that just because I reference Clubhouse, in most cases, the same approaches will also work on Twitter Spaces, Spotify Greenroom, and other social audio platforms.
Two more things to consider. First, consider participating in social audio rooms with one or more co-moderators. Doing so will usually result in them helping promote the room and bringing their audience into the conversation.
Second, if you’re in the audience, raise your hand and add value to the conversation. Get involved, add value and make a ruckus. Follow these approaches and the tips below to best leverage your short and long-term social audio opportunities.
Breaking News: Give thought to hosting or moderating your own social audio rooms and engage in Q&A on trending legal news topics. Some of you may want to start a new room on the fly as news breaks. Other rooms may be promoted ahead of time to different communities and audiences. Again, adding one or two co-moderators will help with growing an audience and managing your room.
Share Your Human Side: Host a club on social audio to talk about your favorite hobbies, interests, or passions. Connect with others with whom you share a common interest. New relationships will be formed, and you’ll have fun expanding your brand to new communities.
Before finalizing this edition of my newsletter, I jumped on Clubhouse to crowdsource best tips and practices for lawyers using social audio. Many of the approaches we discussed in this Clubhouse room are shared above. However, several additional recommendations that were brought to my attention that I didn’t already take into consideration are below. Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and contributions!
reminded me how important it is to pay attention to the flow of the room and conversation. Be nimble and adjust what you say, how you say it, and how you handle the room dynamics.
Chris’ comments reminded me also to let readers know that in this post-COVID-19 world, always strive to lead with empathy and be kind to people. This works well on social audio, especially if there’s a difference of opinion in your social audio room.
Try Different Platforms
shared a powerful reminder to take time to see which platforms work best for you. If you’re a lawyer in the entertainment or music space, I believe you should double down on building out your brand on Clubhouse and Spotify Greenroom. Several top industry leaders and upcoming entertainers and artists are active on these platforms, and there’s little downside to building out the right brand in these spaces.
pointed out that regardless of whether you’re on a social audio stage or in the audience, don’t forget about all the other people in the room on stage and in the audience. Acknowledge others and include them in the conversation or, at least, let them know you appreciate they’re in your room. Paying attention to how long you speak, or allow others to speak, will go a long way to being known for the right reasons on the social audio platforms.
reminded everyone to “be of service.” People don’t come to your social audio rooms to be instructed or lectured to. They’re looking for connection, community, and help. Be of service to them.
Regardless of the social audio platform, I think you’ll find most of these tips, approaches, and posts helpful. Again, ignore the term “Clubhouse” and insert the name of the platform you’re interested in.
REPURPOSE YOUR CONTENT
Several of the social audio platforms allow you to record your rooms. Check the Terms of Service (TOS) agreement if you have questions. By recording and repurposing your rooms, you can create the kind of content that keeps on giving for months and even years to come.
Here’s an example of what Chad Barr and I did during a recent social audio room on Clubhouse. During the room, we pushed the audio from my iPhone through my USB mic into StreamYard.
From there, we used StreamYard to share the live broadcast
across all the major social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Amazon Live. My team then converted the original live audio show to a podcast
I know new technology can be a bit confusing at first, but here’s the deal, social audio isn’t rocket science. It’s nowhere as complicated as preparing for a deposition or trying a case. Review the resources here in this newsletter, and after an hour or two, you’ll have the process down.
Embrace social audio. Before doing so, embrace the “Go-Giver Mindset”
and use it as a foundation for all that you do on social audio.
If you’d like to see how others in my community embrace the power of social audio, connect with friends and experts like you see mentioned above or, my guests and friends, you’ll meet in many of my rooms. Watch what I’m doing. Reach out with questions and, frankly, take action.
Until next week, enjoy the journey and make each day your masterpiece!
Mitch Jackson, Esq.