If you haven’t heard the buzz, podcasting is basically as hot as the idea of the radio was in the early 1900s. But, unlike then, the barrier to entry is so low anyone can get out there and share their wisdom and advice. So, should we? Is our limited marketing time, cash and energy best spent podcasting?
The answer is a sharp NO, with one focused exception I’ve dreamed up.
Let’s briefly talk about a traditional podcast, the “sharp no” for nearly all of us. No matter whether it’s a single host or interview style, the goals of traditional podcasting are clear: position yourself as an authority to a large audience who takes in every episode, and monetize that audience directly through offering products and programs, or through sponsors. Traditional podcasters pay to find listeners because they have a way to make money off the listeners. Sponsors are essentially paying for exposure to a hard-earned, expensively built audience that is narrow, niched, and apt to buy whatever the sponsor is selling.
The successful, traditional podcasters have mastered the arts of marketing, selling, list building and converting listeners into money. For starters, ask yourself if that sounds like you.
The successful podcaster’s products often start at one hundred dollars or less, but almost always go up to several thousand dollars. There is a complex sales funnel and automation to take a listener to an eventual buyer. And to get sponsorships, you need hundreds of thousands of weekly listeners to begin to get the attention of a real sponsor. Still sounding like you?
Traditional podcasting is serious business, like someone setting up a burger franchise versus someone flipping a few burgers at a tail gate party and someone notices your “Burgers $3” sign and buys one. Most podcasters are the tail gate variety and end up having few listeners and getting demoralized.
Bottom line: podcasting is not a way for the vast majority of therapists to make money or attract clients. If you need clients, it’s better to use local community network marketing—go where the people in pain are going and you’ll find a lifeline of ongoing referrals. If you want to do consulting, it’s better to use personal connections and referrals rather than trying to get tens of thousands of podcast listeners, few of whom are going to ever pay for your consultation.
Knowing all this about podcasting, I still find the idea intriguing for therapists—but with a different twist.
I’ve spent months learning, buying podcasting courses, plus taking all my other marketing know-how about where podcasting fits in the sales cycle, and have asked myself:
How could I help remove all the time consuming elements, the tech parts?
Could I offer a podcast solution without the empty hype promises of traditional podcasting?
Could I help deliver, directly into the ears of couples in distress, the best of our “genius” relational knowledge so that they want more, and turn into therapy clients or feel inspired to purchasing online information?
The answer is yes, but not with one therapist at a time on a podcast island, but instead with thousands of therapists on an exciting, shared journey. (I’m one of those people that want everyone on a big ship enjoying and learning together, not individual kayaks in the rough waters of sales, marketing, and business planning.)
Let’s talk about …. FOCUSED MICRO PODCASTING FOR COUPLES THERAPISTS.
I can hardly contain my excitement, but let me share why it’s a triple win right away.
Focused means one narrow but total curiosity-creating idea for an episode. (Think of an episode like a TV show of a certain length; traditional podcast episodes are 20-60 minutes.)
Micro means 3-5 minutes total per episode. Yes, people do these! They’re like giving your listeners a hot, happy mouthful of popcorn rather than asking them to grab a blanket and give you an hour of their life.
Short episodes with a focus will dramatically increase the likelihood of listeners. More listeners, of course, are exactly what this “game” is about. In raw numbers, the more people listening, the more likely they will become therapy clients. For therapists wanting to ultimately sell products, programs and books, these micro podcasts are a fantastic “know, like and trust” builder and authority positioner. They also aren’t beating a drum about your program – which helps you see more like an expert than a sales person for your “thing you sell.”
What about all the time and tech and graphics?
We’ve got everything done for you except your voice. There are three traditional styles of offers: “do it yourself” “done with you,” and “done for you.” We are essentially offering a “done for you” service except of course a podcast requires your actual voice, so that is on you.
We wanted to make it HAPPEN and get couples served NOW. You don’t have to waste hours conceptually understanding the ins and outs of podcasting to have a fantastic one live, with minimal effort on your part.
And how to find listeners, Elizabeth?
We have you covered.
The best listeners will be those already finding you on your website (through all the ways you market your website.) Why are they the best listeners? They’re on a therapy site, looking to see if you are the therapy solution. Our Focused, Micropodcasts for Couples Therapists are designed to convert listeners into therapy clients and prove you are a knowledgeable professional.
The next best listeners will be driven by us – we’re putting serious money, time and energy into reaching millions of couples, and sharing your podcasts is a fantastic way to begin the journey for couples to get more curious and eventually buy something we’re offering or to seek you as a therapist. Satisfied couples = satisfied therapists = The Doherty Relationship Institute can continue to fund more innovation and fulfill its vision to get every married couple unstuck.
A third type of listener will come if you share your episodes with friends and family – create dialogue and engage in a cultural conversation about marriage. Those individuals aren’t potential clients, but your circle of friends and family are likely to share a relevant episode with their friends in that stuck situation.
A fourth type of listener is going to come from your colleagues who will share particular episodes. We’re creating a Podcast Facebook community and are offering you numerous ways to get very creative with your podcast.
Beyond the tech, graphics and listenership, here’s where an additional exciting twist comes in:
Our marriage focused website is QUESTION driven, NOT Podcast Author driven. We are inviting podcasts that respond to listener curiosity rather than just what we therapists want to put out there. (Of course, we can teach a ton through responding to questions.)
Why does this matter?
Imagine wanting to learn about carpentry, going to Amazon, and the only way to sort is by author? You know none of them. You want to redo kitchen cabinets, not build a stairwell, or desk, but author sorting doesn’t get you close to your interest.
In this way, by being couple focused and curiosity driven by responding to questions, we are best serving the intended audience.
Couples across the nation and abroad will begin to understand why marriage is complex and why marriage therapists are passionate, helpful, and nuanced. A listener in Florida may tune into a California therapist’s episode and that therapist’s tone of voice and phrasing of the answer may be exactly what flip that Florida person into being ready for therapy. Now, they find a Florida therapist on our website and off they go to improve their marriage. How powerful that your voice can help more couples than just your local ones who find our website.
And we will share total national listenership by episode, which builds your social proof as a podcaster.
Example: Let’s say 80 other therapists have already launched episode 1. There may be 4,900 listeners who have tuned in to that question (across all those therapists.) With integrity you can say “This question has already had over 4,900 people tune in. Here’s my take on the answer.” And in 2 months? It may be up to 15,000 listeners or 50,000 listeners. And it only grows. As we hit new benchmarks, you’ll easily be able to reshare the episode by stating boldly and proudly: “This episode has been listened to 100,000 times across all my fellow colleagues. Hear my take on this important question.” I guarantee you anyone who reads that won’t be able to help themselves – they’ll have to tune in. Curiosity is too great at that point.
Finally, we’re launching “seasons” on special topics, another hot trend in in podcasting land. This offers therapists maximum flexibility to dip their toes into podcasting or go full throttle. Each season we’re putting together will be 12 episodes, so at minimum you could be a “monthly podcaster” and have an episode a month.
You could buy an entire year (48 episodes) and you’ll have 4 seasons and a weekly podcast. If you just buy two seasons then you are a biweekly podcaster. See how flexible this is?
To summarize, what we’re offering is an innovation for the therapy world: micro podcasting in a location independent community of therapists. We’ll set it up for you, make it easy to do, provide the questions and seasonable topics, spread your message far beyond your own website, and draw clients your way because they hear your voice and sense your wisdom and ability to help them—and because you are connected to a large number of other wise, helpful therapists.
We’re going after couples in pain who want the right help. We know your passion is the same.
Want to join us? Wait for launch week to get a special deal, but once launch passes, you can get this offer any time. It comes with a Podcast Facebook community and more support about exactly how to do a podcast, two sample episodes, and exactly how to market and leverage your podcast. Short, quick, easy to consume.