The Most Uncomfortable, Embarrassing Project I’ve Ever Started

by Dr. Andrea Maxim ND | Follow on Twitter

I started the Profitable Practice Podcast and it was the scariest experience of my life.

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MY FIRST DREAM SINCE I WAS A LITTLE GIRL was to be a doctor. Naturopathic medicine didn’t even cross my radar until my last year at university. Enter 4 more grueling years of school.

Our stories are all the same. I want to give back. I want to help people. I want to become an integral part in my patient’s lives and show them that natural treatments are a valid and sustainable treatment. I want the same thing.

However, for me, just helping people create and maintain their healthy lifestyle has never been enough for me. Not since I graduated from CCNM. Maybe you knew me at the school? I was a tutor. I worked at the supplement store. I was a gyne model for 2 years. I did all of this because I LOVED giving back to my colleagues. I felt more fulfilled helping students out at school, than I ever did helping patients in my office.

So, while I was building a successful practice(s), I was keeping an ear out for a job posting at the college. Not for clinic or as a TA, but to teach the business course. I wanted to build a course that would make other schools envious. I wanted to have ND grads starting their practice with real, modern business building skills. Feeling confident when they graduated so that business building would come easier and finding new patients would not be so hard.

Well, as you can imagine, I didn’t get the job. But there was no way that CCNM was going to silence me when I knew what our community was craving. Just look at the business feeds in our Facebook group. And so the Profitable Practice Podcast was born, along with my new business website.

The podcast was not a plan that I had.

It was not something I sought out to start. Just like discovering naturopathic medicine, I had my ears open for opportunities and starting a podcast fell into my lap. Randomly, I came across a live webinar being hosted by Sean Vosler. I don’t even think that I was on his list at this point. Anyways, he was interviewing Kim Doyle, aka the WordPress Chick. She basically laid out everything you needed to know about starting a podcast.

Did you know that there’s only about 250,000 active podcasts right now. Compare that to the millions of bloggers, Facebook and Twitter users. In fact, in 2015, podcasts subscribers rose 32% (source: Google, Clammr).

One in 7 people on the planet own a smart phone and 64% of them will listen to a podcast on them.

With commuting times getting longer, people can choose a podcast over a playlist. They can download and listen to a podcast anytime the want, from anywhere in the world. To me, what Kim was saying in her webinar just clicked with me.

Those who have listened to my show may have heard me say that I am not a writer. I don’t like blogging. I don’t like hitting word counts. What I love is showing my personality on screen, and now, through your ear buds.

It took me months to record my first podcast. The intro show. This first podcast is the foundation to which all others rest. This is me, introducing myself, introducing my podcast and praying that people will want to continue to listen. I pre-recorded 15 shows before I officially launched in January 2016.

Now for the most embarrassing, gut-wrenching part of the whole process… letting my avatar, my audience, know that I had created this show. Out of anything I have accomplished in my career, nothing scared me more than to post on social media, a newsletter sign-up link to receive notifications about my podcast.

As soon as I clicked “post”, my heart leaped out of my chest and I ran to my husband and said, “I have never been more scared in my life”.

Offering material to my peers, my community, in this way, is something that has always terrified me. Fear of judgment. Fear that no one will care. Fear that it’s unwanted material. The fears that invade most of us before we put ourselves out there, and hinder us from doing it all together.

Are you ready to start a podcast?

  1. Identify your audience (your avatar): Age, gender, income, education level, what drives them, what are their desires, what are their fears, what are their pains or frustrations, etc? Write it all down and design your podcast to talk to just those people. Others will listen, I guarantee it.
  2. Decide the format of the show: All interviews with guests, only your stories and opinions or a mix of both. How long are you going to record each podcast?
  3. Create a title: See what titles are out there already and which will engage your audience. Do not take any more than an hour or two to create this. In the long run, no one cares about your title, it’s the content that counts.
  4. Record your show: Sound quality is key! Invest in a Blue Yeti or Rode Podcaster mic. They are the best for the price.
  5. Edit: You can download Audacity for FREE and is the perfect tool to record your show and edit the sound quality. It easily takes out background noise and balances the volume levels. This is the most time consuming process of the entire show. Luckily there are tons of people you can outsource this to. I do! I outsource the entire process, from the raw recording to all of the social media posting.
  6. Host your show: Libsyn is the best.
  7. Design your cover art: The image must be 1400 x 1400 pixels. You can check out tools like Canva, which is free, to create your cover.
  8. Publish your show: iTunes is a must! Stitcher and Clammr are really gaining momentum so don’t forget about them. Make sure each show has a call to action included in it. Never forget the importance of telling your audience what to do after you give them great information!
  9. Promote, share and boost: You have to promote and re-promote your show whenever you can
  10. Rinse and repeat: Upload a new show every week.

Before you start following the above steps, ask yourself, are you 100% committed to seeing this through? If you’re going to stop posting a show after a few months, then do not even bother getting started. A podcast, like anything else, is a long-term investment.

As I mentioned, recording the first show was the hardest. Shaking off the nerves. Seeing how all of the tech comes together. It was totally nerve wracking. Once I started speaking though, it was no different than doing a presentation. Only, I was presenting to no one but my mic and my webcam.

It is a bit of an unnatural experience, but really no different to hosting a webinar or recording a YouTube video.

Some key things to think about when recording a solo show:

  • Keep your energy up. Nothing is worse that listening to someone speak in a mono-toned voice, or to someone who you can tell is just reading off their show notes and not adding in any emphasis. If you don’t deliver exciting, then your audience will not be excited to listen.
  • You have to be honest. People can smell sneaky salespeople a mile away. I think that our community has never been more skeptical as it is now about being “pitched” something. If you’ve got great information to give, give it freely, but don’t give it all away for free either.
  • Let it flow. When you’re interviewing a guest, please please please allow the conversation to happen and roll with it. Do not prepare a list of questions and make sure that you get them answered in the exact order you wrote them.
    As someone who has been interviewed a lot, one thing that I personally don’t like is when the conversation becomes very disjointed and the interviewer doesn’t flow his/her questions into each other well. I will take notes as the guest speaks and make sure that I highlight key points they made or to get clarification on. If you’re curious about something they said, most likely your audience is too.
  • Do your research. It is important for the guest to know that you know about their business and it’s important for the audience to know that you know the guest. It also helps to have a bit of ammo in your back pocket in case the interview starts to dry up.

My fears of starting the Profitable Practice Podcast were completely unwarranted. When I expected only 20 subscribers to my newsletter, I received almost 200 in one day. The feedback that followed was so amazing! I couldn’t believe the reception of the show and how NDs continue to thank me for the information. At this point, I’ve had almost 2000 downloads.

My mission is to spread the podcast to every single ND in North America. I would so love your support in helping me meet my mission.

Follow The Maxim Movement on Facebook and share the podcasts posts. Most importantly, if you liked a show, please leave a review directly on iTunes. It helps the show get ranked higher and therefore, get noticed by more people.

About the Author
Dr. Andrea Maxim ND

Dr. Andrea Maxim is one of Southern Ontario’s leading Naturopathic doctors, author and the creator of ‘The Maxim Movement’; a movement helping people move towards MAXIMizing their Digestion, MAXIMizing their Hormones, MAXIMizing their Weight Loss and of course MAXIMizing their Health! To support her vision, Andrea has written a novel “MAXIMized Health: The New, Intelligent System for Optimal Digestion and Hormones” available for sale now. She is also a business consultant for NDs just getting started or trying to restructure their business.