Melvin is the founder of the Selling The Couch Podcast at sellingthecouch.com.
His podcast helps mental health private practitioners learn the business, marketing, and social media skills they didn’t learn in school. After having so much success with his podcast, Melvin started The Healthcasters, the #1 course and community for health, wellness, and fitness podcasters.
In our session, we discuss
- What makes podcasting so awesome for therapists
- The fears we need to overcome in order to start podcasting
- How to manage tech overwhelm when you are first starting out
- Stories of several therapists who have made an impact with their podcast
- And one thing you can do right now to move towards starting a podcast
Watch the video to get these podcast-starting insights and more. Session notes and links can be found below the video embed.
Session Notes + Links
Podcasting is an Awesome Idea For Therapists
Melvin became passionate about podcasting because it seemed like a natural fit for something a lot of therapists are good at: the ability to speak.
“Instead of me trying to go into a medium that I wasn’t comfortable with why not work within my strengths? That’s where the idea of starting a podcast came from”
Working within a strength also means that you can help more people.
Podcasts don’t force you to give up something in order to listen to them, which is something unique to this medium when compared to other types of mediums.
You can listen to podcast and be watching a kid play on the playground, or you could be on a hike, or you could be on a commute, it’s a little more challenging to do that with other mediums like writing or video – you probably shouldn’t try and watch a video while driving.
Podcasting is also a new medium, it’s not a saturated space but it is rapidly growing.
64% of podcast listeners listen to a podcast on a smartphone or tablet. Lots of people use earbuds which puts you literally in the ears of clients or referral sources.
Fears That Might Arise That Need to Be Overcome to Start Podcasting
Some of the same fears that come up in blogging and video, are the same fears that come up with podcasting.
One very common fear, one that Melvin himself and therapist podcasters have struggled with, is that you never envision your career beyond a certain geographic area. Now podcasts are global.
Selling the Couch is listened to in 70 countries and every continent except for Australia. Like, “who am I to be able to share my voice with the world?”
A favorite quote, “We all have a perspective or voice to share and a people to serve”. All of us get to a point that we want to make a big impact in the world.
Seeing clients is already making a huge impact and podcasting helps you realize you have a unique skillset we can do something with our life that makes a big impact. You didn’t live your life with regret.
Not just having a podcast but having the courage to find your voice.
There’s no rational reason that Melvin started a podcast, he’s pretty introverted. He actually imagined that he would be starting a small private practice, just local to his geographic area in Philadelphia.
There was just some part of me that wanted to make a bigger impact.
Realize you have abilities, training, that can help a lot of people. “The best things in life happen when we get the edge of what’s comfortable and what’s not familiar”. For a lot of Melvin’s life, he would get to that edge and pull back to where it’s safe but it’s the space between that the magic happens.
Tech Overwhelm is Real, How to Overcome it
Melvin started a podcast without knowing how to edit audio, never having been on an interview, or anything like that and was asking himself, “How in the world am I going to figure all of this stuff out”
The best approach: keep it simple.
In the online space of podcasters, it can be a gear envy: like I need to get this mic, this headphones.
Quick rundown of simple gear:
The mic Melvin uses, the Audiotechnica ATR-2100 USB, only cost $70 and he’s used it for over 100 episodes. The mic plugs directly into a laptop. For interviews, he uses skype and records the audio of the call using Ecamm call recorder. And then take the recording into Audacity, a free editing software.
Editing is the part that intimidates a lot of podcasters, so launch a podcast when you are a place in your career where you have a stable private practice and you want to leverage a podcast to grow to multiple income streams or you want to scale your practice in some way.
That way, you’ll be in a place to start with outsourcing the editing part. Upwork is a good place to find podcast editors for a reasonable price of $25 to $40 an episode.
The cost is low considering the impact you can make. Check out the stats below!
Bonus Info: Podcasting Has Impressive Stats
57 billion people listen to podcasts per month which means 21% of the US population
For comparison, 20% of the US population uses twitter so the same number of people that use twitter are listening to podcasts.
And the trend is rapidly growing. In 2013, that figure was only 12% and in the last 5 years the folks that listen to podcasts has steadily increased.
It makes sense because with services like Netflix, audio is following suit and also going on demand.
iTunes is the go-to place to put your podcast and google just announced a platform for hosting your podcast too. Keep in mind that there are actually more android users than apple users so it will be important to put your podcast out there on android-available apps.
People just really love learning, and podcasts are a way that people are able to find a different point of view on any topic they are curious about. It’s why podcasts are blowing up.
Therapists That Have Made An Impact With Their Podcast
Jackie Flynn – Parenting in the Rain
Jackie created a podcast to help parents and have those real conversations on what it’s like to be a parent. She’s been able to use her podcast for local networking – she connects with local contacts who she invites to be on her podcast. It’s a really smart way to connect with people. Jackie is also launching a membership for play therapists after realizing that there are a lot of play therapists in her podcast audience.
Laura Reagan – Therapy Chat
In her podcast, Laura talks about things like perfectionism, fear, doubt and a lot of those central things that we struggle with. Laura is using her podcast to build her practice and recently launched a community for trauma based therapists.
Robin Rockett – Solo Parent Life
Robin is a clinician working with solo parents as a solo mom herself. Her podcast is about navigating life as a solo parent. For instance with the holiday season coming up, a recent episode is about how to navigate holidays. Robin plans to build out a membership community and possibly a course as well for solo parents.
Robert Cox – Mindful Recovery
Addiction specialist Robert Cox in Missouri does a podcast on the intersection between addiction and mindfulness. He has become a writer for the Huffington Post and now get’s invitations to speak around the country with PESI. Robert is currently in the process of creating a course for autism and trauma and is also expanding into other income streams.
One Thing You Can Do Right Now to Move Towards Starting A Podcast
Don’t let the idea of having to get it perfect stop you from launching a podcast.
If Melvin goes back in time and listens to his first podcasts (listen to the mentioned episode 1 here with Dr. Cory Bank) he now cringes – remembers being so scared, and had a shaky voice.
But had Melvin let the fear keep him from taking action then STC wouldn’t be where it is today. It’s similar to when you are first seeing your first mock client in grad school. It’s the same with a podcast, you aren’t going to get it right the first time.
We have a message to share and we’re trying to put that out in the world. The other stuff will come w time. You’ll get better at interviewing and better at editing.
It’s such a disservice if you let the fear hold you back. So many therapists in the field are so talented and have such enormous perspectives and our voice needs to get out into the world.
The Healthcasters Course on Podcasting
Selling The Couch on iTunes
The Selling The Couch Facebook Group
Thank You For Watching
Thank you so much for watching! If you would like to get in touch with a comment or feedback, feel free to contact me or tweet me. I would love to hear from you and find out how you’ll be facing fears to make the impact that only you can make, be that with a podcast or another adventure in life!