How to Start a Mental Health Podcast for Your Private Practice

Recently, mental health podcasts have gained immense popularity as a convenient and accessible source of information and support for individuals seeking to improve their mental well-being. These podcasts delve into various subjects, including anxiety, depression, self-care, and relationships, providing listeners with a wealth of knowledge from mental health professionals, inspiring personal stories, and actionable advice. Whether it’s learning about effective coping mechanisms, understanding the complexities of mental health issues, or simply gaining a new perspective, these podcasts offer a valuable resource for anyone looking to prioritise their mental health.

I started my mental health podcast, Ask the Therapist, in 2019. Since then, it’s been downloaded over 70K times in over 20 countries and attracts hundreds of new listeners weekly. There’s nothing else I do that has this kind of reach. It’s also given me a great excuse to connect with other therapists and experts across the world. Through this, I’ve been able to have some brilliant conversations which I have learned so much from and to then and share them with others.

I’ve always placed a lot of value on sharing information with people who might not be ready for therapy or who find themselves unable to access support due to cost or being on a waiting list. Podcasting has allowed me to use my voice and share my message with the world. It’s also given me a platform to amplify the voices of others and share their stories too.

Why Start a Mental Health Podcast for Your Private Practice?

Starting a podcast can be a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun. Whether you’re looking to share your knowledge and expertise, tell stories, or entertain an audience, a podcast can be a powerful medium for reaching the right people and building a community around your brand or message. There are numerous other benefits of podcasting for therapists. Here are just a few:

  • Podcasting allows you to reach a wider audience, including people who cannot attend in-person therapy sessions.
  • Podcasts are listened to by a diverse group of people, including those of different ages, genders, and ethnicities. This means that starting a podcast has the potential to reach a wide audience.
  • Podcasting gives you a platform to educate the public about mental health and wellness topics and to share your expertise and insights.
  • They offer a unique and intimate form of content that allows for a deeper level of engagement with listeners. They provide an opportunity for hosts to share their passions and build relationships with their audience.
  • Podcasting can be a valuable tool for marketing your practice and attracting new clients. Like blogging, it allows you to showcase your personality and knowledge, helping you build the Know/Like/Trust factor with your audience.
  • Podcasting creates opportunities for you to connect and network with other professionals in your field.
  • There are also SEO benefits. Putting podcast episodes on my website means I’m regularly adding new content. Search engines love this!
  • Podcasting allows you to create content that can be accessed at any time and listened to at the listener’s convenience. If you’re also able to share a written transcription of each episode, it’s an incredibly inclusive medium that can help you positively impact people’s lives.
  • A significant proportion of podcast listeners consume podcasts on their mobile devices while on the go, making it a highly accessible and convenient form of content.

Now you know why it’s a good idea, how do you go about starting a mental health podcast for your private practice?

Find Your Niche

First, it’s important to identify your niche and target audience. What kind of content do you want to create? Who is your ideal listener? What kind of format do you envision for your podcast? For more information, read Should I Niche My Private Practice? Once you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your podcast, you can choose your name and start planning your content and episode format.

Choose a Name

When choosing a podcast name, it’s important to consider the following:

  • The name should be relevant to the topic and content of your podcast. It should give listeners an idea of what you’ll be talking about and what they can expect to learn from listening.
  • The name should be distinctive and easy to remember. You want it to stand out among the many other podcasts available, so it should also be unique and not too similar to existing podcast names. It’s important to check whether the name is already taken by searching the title on major podcast platforms. Try to keep it concise and to the point. Long, complicated names can be difficult for listeners to pronounce, remember and search for.
  •  The name should be consistent with your podcast’s overall branding and message. You want it to align with the tone and style of your content.
  •  You want it to be SEO-friendly. Try to include keywords that will help listeners find the podcast when searching for relevant topics.

Get the Gear (and/or Ask for Help)

Next, you’ll need to choose equipment and software for recording and editing your podcast. You can start recording by just using your iPhone, slowly improving your equipment over time. A good microphone is always advisable, as poor sound quality can deter people from listening.

Editing removes any unwanted noise or mistakes from the audio and allows you to add music or sound effects. This is one thing I’ve never been able to master, so I outsource this stage of production. Podcast editors can be hired cheaply via fiver.com, but it’s worth building a good working relationship with an editor you trust. You can learn more about outsourcing in private practice here.

Publish and Promote

Finally, you’ll want to publish and promote your podcast. You’ll need to choose a platform to host your podcasts, such as Soundcloud, Simple Cast or Podbean. Simply upload your audio files and create an RSS feed for your podcast. You’ll also need to promote the show on social media, through your website, and by reaching out to others in your network or niche.

Podcast Sponsorship

Podcast sponsorship can be a very lucrative revenue stream for podcasters. However, it takes time to build your audience and, in turn, become an attractive option for sponsors; it was three years before I had my first sponsor, which is because my podcast is monthly, so has had slower growth; gaining sponsorship for your podcast depends on several factors, such as the size of your audience, the niche of your podcast and the level of engagement with your listeners. Podcasters with large, engaged audiences can command higher rates for sponsorships, while those with smaller or less engaged audiences may have to work harder to find sponsors and negotiate favourable deals.

Additionally, the market for podcast sponsorships is growing, and as more companies recognise the potential of podcast advertising, therefore it is becoming easier for podcasters to secure sponsorship deals. If this is one of your goals, make sure you have a unique and valuable proposition to offer potential sponsors.

Gaining Subscribers & Getting Reviews

Podcasting has grown in popularity in recent years and the number of podcasts available continues to increase. While the market has certainly grown and become more competitive, it is not yet saturated. However, with the increase of podcast creation, it may become harder for new podcasts to gain visibility and listenership. Having a clear niche, a well-defined target audience and a strong marketing strategy will help you stand out.

Podcasting is a relatively new medium, so there aren’t many established ways to measure the success of your podcast. Subscriber numbers and reviews are two ways to gauge how well your content resonates with your audience. However, neither should be your main focus. Instead, concentrate on providing high-quality, engaging content and building an audience that is passionate about the topics you’re covering.

Compared to other forms of content creation, starting a podcast is relatively inexpensive and requires minimal investment in equipment and resources. If you are offering a unique perspective,  high-quality content and are reaching a specific and engaged audience, there is still so much potential for success in the podcasting space. I have an amazing podcast production team who help me with my podcast and they list out the top trends of podcasting for 2023 – Podcasting trends for 2023

Speaking of reviews, if you enjoy the content I share on Ask the Therapist, feel free to leave one next time you listen! Ask the Therapist, Or  ‘Ask a question for me to answer on the podcast.

Top 5 Episodes of Ask the Therapist

Episode 24 – What is CBT

Episode 6 – Dr Mary Welford: Building Self-Compassion

Episode 43 – Professor Paul Gilbert: Compassion-Focused Therapy

Episode 40 – Building Self-Compassion in 2020

Episode 35 – Are You a Worrier?

 

 

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Sarah Rees

Sarah is a fully accredited Cognitive Behavioural Therapist and mental health writer delivering Modern Mental Health for you and with you in Mind. Sarah is the author of ‘The CBT Journal’ which helps you write for your wellbeing incorporating CBT techniques. For more information and to keep in touch have a look at sarahdrees.co.uk.