137. Benny Gold, Lawyer Stories — Getting Personal: How Podcasts Humanize Attorneys

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On a mission to build a positive community between attorneys, the Founder of Lawyer Stories, Benny Gold, has captured what it truly means to be a lawyer. Since 2017, he has spoken to thousands, diving into their inspiration, motivation, personal challenges, and their views on the law and life. He is all about networking and creating meaningful, professional relationships through his podcast. Benny discusses organic growth on social media, why a humanizing story is necessary for any personal brand, and the foundations of starting your own podcast.

What’s in This Episode?

  • Who is Benny Gold?
  • How does the Lawyer Stories podcast humanize attorneys beyond their credentials?
  • How did Benny grow to 20,000 followers on Instagram organically?
  • What content mix on Instagram is best for boosting engagement and increasing followers?
  • Where does the journey begin for any attorney who wants a podcast?

Transcript

Benny Gold

I feel like I’m a part of the journey by helping everyone express in a humanized way what they’ve gone through to become an attorney.

Chris Dreyer

Every lawyer has a story worth telling.

Benny Gold

I want to make them shine, it actually makes me feel good to make somebody else feel good.

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind, where we give you the tools you need to take your personal injury practice to the next level. Founder of Lawyer Stories, Benny Gold has captured the amazing experiences of attorneys across the nation since 2017. On a mission to build a positive community between attorneys, Benny’s podcast gets personal with legal professionals. He is all about networking and creating meaningful, professional relationships. He has shared thousands of stories that focus less on cases won, but on inspiration, motivation, personal challenges, and their views on the law and life. And he does all of this in his spare time. By day, Benny is the Executive Director for the North Central Massachusetts Housing Authorities. Today, we discuss: growing an audience organically by using the Gary Vee method and boosting engagement on social media, the inspiration behind Lawyer Stories, and what any lawyer who wants to start a podcast needs to know. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of Rankings.io. We help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first page rankings with search engine optimization. Being at the forefront of marketing is all about understanding people. So let’s get to know our guest. Here’s Benny Gold, founder of Lawyer Stories on how his legal career shaped his podcast.

Benny Gold

I’ve always been interested in law, mostly. I think constitutional law, 14th amendment third and fourth amendment type of law, really interested me first amendment. I was a legal studies major at UMass Amherst and like that was sociology in the law. I took a year off after law school and then decided if I didn’t go to law school, then I probably never would. I went to law school got the law degree and, I ended up in Connecticut, passed the bar there. I work there and then I ended up ultimately right now I’m living in Massachusetts. I just had a really big interest in really sociology in the law. I loved movies, like the paper chase and 1973 classic. At a Harvard law school. And I always knew I’d end up doing something with sociology and law, like people like the reasons why they went to law school. I always found a lot of it. Interesting. Because it’s really no other profession. I feel like there’s people go for these really unique reasons. So that’s how I got into it.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, and I couldn’t agree more, we’ve had Joe Fried on a previous episode where he was like a police officer and we’ve had these just, it’s so interesting how individuals transition into law. You’re interested in law, you get your law degree. And you had this path. So take me from there. what were some of the early career moves you had and then take me up to Lawyer Stories and what you’re doing today?

Benny Gold

So I actually had a really short stint in New Jersey after law school. I worked with, he’s the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken. Ravi Bhalla He wasn’t mayor at the time he was doing law, but he took me in, I was working a little bit for him, So anyway, I was a short stint in New Jersey, I ended up back in Maine working a non-legal job. it was a little bit difficult, I just spent all this money on law school. I thought I had all this knowledge. I thought I could go out there if I had a mentor and do what I wanted to do and learn an area in the law, but it didn’t happen like that. I ended up doing. Working at a big corporation and a non-legal job very low paying for what it’s worth at the time. And I, they hired me. It’s hard. It’s actually hard to get a job. Like sometimes when you’re, when you have a law degree and people don’t think you’re gonna stay there for the long haul. I found a really nice boss who said, look, give me at least one good year. I actually ended up giving her two years in Maine and then I needed to move outta Maine, right? I love Maine, but I wanted to move out. I had some friends in law school from Connecticut. I ended up taking the Connecticut bar, moved down there without a job at the end of 2009. I was sitting on the couch one day at night looking at Craigslist for jobs. And I see something opening at the legal department at the housing authority down in new Haven. So I’m like, okay, like this seems interesting. So I go in for a temp interview. And I got the job. So I ended up at the the housing authority down there, the downtown New Haven. So I worked in the legal department. They ended up creating a job, an entry level attorney job. And I, I applied just like everybody government work, you have to, they have to put that out there for everybody. So I ended up there for about four years, moved on to another housing authority in Connecticut. I did landlord tenant. I did government contracts. I was going to court in new Haven housing session. And then I moved on to another housing authority. It wasn’t a good fit. It was about 10 months. And then I I left that job. I found a job back in Massachusetts a little closer to home, I was excited to move back to mass. I ended up the assistant executive director of a housing authority. Now mind you. I was just an attorney for housing authority. So now I’m assistant executive director for housing authority in central Massachusetts. I literally, I applied to this job and had to look up on a map like where the town was that I was moving to. I needed a. Another start. I wanted housing is good in industry. It’s very, it’s meaningful. You’re helping people. So I ended up the assistant director there. My boss left at after a few years. Great guy was my mentor in housing still is. And then the board there appointed me executive director. So three and a half years later, I’m executive director of four public housing authorities in north central Mass. And along the way I’ve grown Lawyer Stories. In the morning, I prepare for my podcast during my lunch breaks. I record my podcast in the evening when my kids go to bed. So it’s a hustle, I launched the lawyer. Story’s Instagram account in 2017. We’re actually coming up on five years. July 8th will be like the first time I launched Lawyer Stories, but the podcast has actually been around since February, 2020. right before COVID we had a big, we had a nice network event in Miami with for Lawyer Stories with sidebar, south Florida. And Kristen Corian, if you’re out there, here’s a shout out. And so we had an awesome networking event for lawyer stories in Miami, in January. I decided I needed to launch a podcast and bring it off the page. So the podcast has been around for about two and a half years. Yeah.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And it’s fantastic. And thank you so much, and that, that’s how I got to know you and your podcast is really blown up and you a ton of attention. You, Instagram is very large in a legal space and, for our audience that may not know about lawyer stories, just briefly what is Lawyer Stories, what’s the show about?

Benny Gold

So you re you go onto a law firm website, and everybody’s got their biography about their credentials, their accolades, their resume, like where they went to law school, like what clubs they belong to where they want to undergrad, moot court law review all that. That’s tremendous. That’s great. Everybody wants to see it, but what’s missing is the human side. Of attorneys. So what I set out to do after, my little journey to get to where I am right now, I said, if I have a story, like everybody else must have a story. Started an Instagram page where I said, I want to hear people’s journeys, but I want, I don’t want to hear it coming from somebody else. I want to hear their narrative. So I started with four or five people that I knew four or five attorneys that I knew and told them what I was looking to do. And then I figured out how to use Instagram. It’s all organic growth. Everything’s organic. Just figuring out how to, use Gary V’s methods about how to you. En engage with people in similar fields that you’re in and try to get attention over to your page. And I did that to some degree. And so lawyer stories is all about people basically telling their path, their journey to the practice of law. We have a lot of stories about immigrants who came over and now are attorneys. It’s just remarkable things. People who, had a step back because maybe they committed a crime or they did something and they didn’t think they’d be able to move forward from it. So it’s a, it’s basically humanizing the profession and putting the lawyers out and law students in a good light.

Chris Dreyer

It’s always interesting cuz we do a lot of SEO work when I go to a website and I see the bio it’s so there’s no human element. It’s like credentials. So I love the story component to it. And I think people buy from humans, right? They want to know people that they like and trust. And and you mentioned a few, but are there a couple memorable stories that just hit you, that you just, when you think of lawyer stories, you think of maybe those examples?

Benny Gold

I love the ones where people really just didn’t come from much and they had to hustle and do it on their own. There was a story, one of our first podcasts about, what a teacher telling this person that they couldn’t do it. And they, they weren’t cut out to be a lawyer and then they come back and they’re able to complete undergrad, go through law school and become an attorney. I really enjoyed featuring them and and so I feel like I’m a part of the journey by helping everyone express in a humanized way, like what they’ve gone through to become an attorney.

Chris Dreyer

On Podcasts and in the courtroom – narritive is everything. Benny explains how he taps into the humand element and draws out amazing stories form his guests.

Benny Gold

I like to say that the lawyer’s stories podcast is casual and comfortable in conversation. I’m not adversarial. There’s enough of that out there’s enough people, challenging other people’s beliefs and being adversarial for me and the profession itself can be adversarial. I You’re either tearing things apart or you’re putting things together. I don’t want to be that host. I want people to come into my show be comfortable talking to me be casual if they want to bring a cocktail on with them. Like I’m down with that. I asked ’em about we start right from the beginning, like, where are you from? Like where you born and raised? What was that like? What what was your family like a little bit, and I get people to open up a little bit and I truly do appreciate, and I genuinely have an interest in all of these stories. And so I just really want people to. comfortable. Whoever’s watching and listening can really see the the attorney and how they are. I’m not trying to make ’em soft, cuz I know clients don’t want a soft attorney, but I want people to know that certain people out there, certain attorneys. Really have a good reason for wanting to be an advocate. So I really like to highlight things that the attorney wants to highlight. I want to make them shine and it actually makes me feel good to make somebody else feel good. I’m really into doing that sort of thing.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And make making them the hero and stand out. I love those pull quotes. And when you get those little clips in the video that are really powerful. Yeah. The long segment, so you mentioned earlier, you said like the Gary Vee style of promoting your Instagram. Last I checked lawyer stories had over 50,000 followers. Yep. And you said organic, which is that’s amazing. That’s not pumping the ads, not buying followers, doing the, the follow unfollow. So let’s break that down because I’m sure many of our audience many of our listeners don’t know like what’s the Gary V style so how are you approaching building a community on Instagram, specifically?

Benny Gold

I think you have to look at certain posts as a cocktail party, right? Like you see somebody write something and you jump in there and you say, Hey, that’s a great idea. Or if somebody writes something about a football game, if that’s what you’re into and be like, Hey, that was interesting. But did you see that play? Like, why didn’t they call this and you get in there and you have, and you comment and you engage on people’s posts. If you don’t wanna comment on everything. You can like their posts and then, you want them to see come back and say, who liked this post? And then they see, oh, lawyer stories, they liked the post or this person liked the post. What are they all about? And then they go and they look at you and they say, oh, this is pretty neat. And then you can open up a dialogue or they might just follow you back. And you get noticed because right now, It’s really, and this sounds really self-serving what I’m about to say, but I really think Gary Vee says this too. It’s it’s all about attention, right? Like you want people to see Lawyer Stories, like you want it out there. I have hats. I wear like t-shirts and hat, whatever, but you want it to be out there. So you gotta go in and do those things on Instagram and you can’t just do it for five minutes. Like you literally have to search hashtags, go. You could either go to the recent posts or the top posts. I like to do recent because it shows that the person is pretty active on. Instagram. So you go into the recent posts and you engage a little bit, if you like, what I’m not saying be fake, don’t do that. But jump in, create your virtual world, make a friend like that’s what it’s there. That’s what we’re all doing on social media is we’re trying to, connect with each other, connect with the world. I know some people probably have different motives for it, but for me, it’s really to just connect and get as many attorneys that we can to see what we’re doing and to be a part of our community.

Chris Dreyer

I think that what you’re saying here too is different than I think most of our listeners how they interpret social media. Like a lot of times it’s post the content, try to get the re-shares and it’s just all about like your content, but I think the engagement side is really lacking. And I know Gary V talks about this too, but like, When you get a post, like the best thing you can do is reply to every person to comments.

Benny Gold

Yeah. I think it’s important if people are showing you that they want to engage with their, with your content you should get in there and engage back with them. Really.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And so let’s talk about, so we, the engagement, what about like the, content itself, the media itself, stories. Are you doing the reels? you doing it all? Like what’s some of the best practices there. Yeah,

Benny Gold

I find recently and this is something that we’ve added to our podcast is finding a clip from a 60 second clip and adding it to the reels, trying to put it on TikTok. I find TikTok a little difficult. I like it. I can watch it, but haven’t really. Gone crazy on TikTok, but I find finding that clip, asking somebody for a nugget of advice and then breaking it down into 60 seconds and getting that on your Instagram reels and then sharing it, sending it out to a few people. I think that is key because a lot of people, and this goes from my podcast too. I understand that a lot of people might have difficulty listening to a 30 or 45 minute podcast unless you’re in driving to work and you have a commute or that’s actually your thing. You’d rather listen to podcasts and music. And I think our attention spans because of social media are actually shorter. So I think people want to jump on their phone, look at the reel, see a 32nd clip of. Some great advice that Chris Dreyer is giving and then, move on from there. And then if they’re interested, they come look at the full episode. So that’s something that I’ve been trying to really do. I’ve also been trying to work LinkedIn a little bit, which is difficult to get engagement there. I found so we do have a LinkedIn page now. I’ve been putting the clips up there and like dropping the podcast episodes up there with a link and trying to create somewhat of a community there it all takes a lot of time and dedication though. Time’s limited. So you just do the best you can. It’s funny, you mentioned cuz on my commute, I’m like a, I’m like listening to a podcast or an audio book every day. I’ve got a little short 30 minute commute, but what’s funny is I’ll go to lunch and I’ll get on TikTok and it’s just like a. You’re watching these little clips and I’m like, oh my God, I just spent 40 minutes looking at yeah. Oh, like what happened? You just lost.

Benny Gold

Oh gosh. When I first found out about TikTok, I was, I couldn’t put the phone down before I went to bed. I was like looking at this thing for like hours. It’s crazy.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah I think it’s something, their algorithm, it’s just so smart on what you engage on and what you watch. And it starts to serve similar things like that. And you just go down, grab a hole also on the, for the attorneys listening that are looking to start a podcast. Yeah. What’s some of your recommendations to get started. Just general advice for those, maybe even considering the channel itself, just on your thoughts on the channel and how to get started?

Benny Gold

So obviously you want to narrow it down to what topic you want to do. If you want to talk to other attorneys about what they do or talk, or, go into talk about certain cases. I think you . Gotta find the platform that works for you. You gotta obviously find. The, where you could post the podcast? Like what, like I use LIS in, I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. Like I use LIS in from the podcast we, we actually U started a YouTube page, a YouTube channel, probably, four or five episodes in. I decided like I should have people on video. It helped me connect a little better seeing the person and talking to them. So you really have to decide what your style is. Are you gonna be wearing a suit and during your day and have it really buttoned up because we’ve seen those too. It de I think it really depends on your style. You have to identify it, and there’s really. So many ways you can do things now with social media, you can really make it your own you can make your own identity. That’s definitely something that I find super interesting about the whole social media thing, for instance really before I had started becoming known as like Benny, I guess in the lawyer stories community, it was really like my close friends who called me Benny as. I took it as like an endearing sort of thing. Didn’t love it at first, but then I thought, you know what? I was like, Benny G in high school. I like it. It’s endear. Call me Benny. And then it’s just caught up caught on with the lawyer stories thing. So that’s how I’m known. having a podcast is like your way to put your identity out there more Do you want it or buttoned up? Do you want it to be laid back? I think it’s a good opportunity for attorneys to show their personality a little bit.

Chris Dreyer

Benny, this has been great. You’ve been, so helpful on, in regards to growing a social following, what lawyer stories is doing and what it’s all about. So one final question here. What’s next for Benny gold. What’s next for lawyer stories.

Benny Gold

We have the podcast pretty much down. We wanna expand and start or launch a membership in a community. We have a nice list serve going about 500 legal professionals. We have a nice email group. That’s aside from the list serve, we have a website, the lawyer stories.com. And now, we want to bring everybody together and find value in how we can help everybody out and help everybody meet each other. We find that lawyer story is all about introducing attorneys to attorneys law students, to attorneys, law students law students, and eventually that could lead to a referral source. So we’re really just trying to build like a huge community. we do have some big things coming in the works. So we hope everybody will stay tuned and see what’s up with that.

Chris Dreyer

When moving potential clients through the stages of “Know, Like, and Trust” – few content channels pack as hard of a punch as podcasting. Benny has gone beyond the credentials to tap into the human story of each guest. For attorneys thinking about their own podcasts, begin with a niche and remain authentic to your brand and voice. The hard work may take time but will pay off in the long run. I’d like to thank Benny Gold from Lawyer Stories for sharing his story with us, and I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conversation. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you liked this episode, leave us a review. We love to hear from our listeners. I’ll catch you on next week’s PIMM with another incredible guest and all the strategies you need to master personal injury marketing.

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