EntrepreneurshipPodcasts

First Time Podcast Launch Experience with Dr Amy Robbins

By December 19, 2018 No Comments

Have you ever wanted to launch a podcast but don’t have the expertise or know where to start? Dr Amy Robbins, host of the Life, Death, and The Space Between podcast, joins Rob Cressy to dish about her journey of launching a podcast and experience working with Rob.

  • Since Amy had no prior podcasting experience before working together, she is a great testimonial of the positive things that can happen because of it.
  • What was her mindset in the beginning?
  • How did she overcome any limiting beliefs she had (like putting herself out there)?
  • How did she find time to work on her podcast with all that she has going on in with business & life?
  • What was the response from her audience when she finally launched her podcast?
  • How did keeping things simple allow her to make progress and build momentum?
  • Why did the length of her podcast make her show feel like a great party?

Here is a transcription of our conversation and some of the best nuggets from it:

Rob Cressy:
What we’re going to talk about on this podcast is your journey from zero to launching your podcast, which just happened. And included in this, I want to talk about your mindset, the struggles that you’ve had, as well as your experience of what it was like working with me. So, let’s start at the very beginning. You didn’t have any experience in podcasting, did you?

Dr Amy Robbins:
Zero. No experience, yeah. I mean, I barely have an experience with a computer, sometimes I feel like, so I definitely did not have experience with podcasting.

Rob Cressy:
And what was your mindset, going into this?

Dr Amy Robbins:
I was excited, but I was nervous. Part of my struggle, in terms of what my actual podcast is about, was around putting myself out there. So, I’m a clinical psychologist, but this podcast shares that I’m also a medium. And so, it was really combining those two. And I had a lot of internal struggles around getting to a place where I could put that out to the world. And so, that was one piece of my mindset. And the other is just that I don’t particularly love technology. So, the idea of doing a podcast and all the little pieces around it, with GarageBand, and now, I’ve learned Libsyn and all these different… iTunes and Spotify and Stitcher, and how to get everything… How to make it all come together was completely overwhelming for me.

Rob Cressy:
And when you started this, take me to your why, because a lot of people want to create a podcast, but you committed to creating a podcast. And I believe your why has to be strong enough to make you to commit and take action. So, why did you want to create the podcast that you did?

Dr Amy Robbins:
In my clinical work, I was seeing a lot of people really struggling around issues of grief and loss. I had been talking for months about wanting to do a podcast and wanting to get my voice out there so people could hear and get more comfortable with the idea of death and what it means to die and what happens to us when we die. And that was really where my passion came from. I will have to say that I think, when I committed to doing this with you, when I signed on the bottom line, I knew in my mind that the timing for me was not great. It was the summer. I have three kids, two of which were going to be gone, so I was getting them ready to leave for the summer. It was summer, so I wanted to enjoy summer, but I felt like if I didn’t commit and hold myself sort of accountable, then I wouldn’t have really… I would have kept finding reasons why to not do it. And so, I committed, and I have to be honest, I felt like at times I was letting you down because I think there was a long period of time where I just wasn’t pushing myself. But I knew once September came around, it was going to be all systems go. And it was, and I’m glad that I had done some of that backend work and just signed on the dotted line so we could really take off once it was time.

Rob Cressy:
So, let’s talk about how you found time because I believe it’s one of the biggest challenges that anybody who wants to create a podcast or do anything extra in their life, they say, “Man, I’m already working from eight until six every day, or I have grad school, or I have kids, or I have the gym.” There’s a myriad of excuses for why you can’t do it. And certainly, you’ve got a ton going on with the family and your practice, in everything. So, what was your mindset for how you found time, even if it wasn’t completely optimized to the fullest extent, but nonetheless, we’re at the end and you’ve launched the podcast, so how did you find time?

Dr Amy Robbins:
I mean, the reality is, when you want to do something, you find the time. And so, I have all of those things. I work out, I try to work out five days a week. I have three kids. I work two days a week. I serve on multiple boards. I slot my kids everywhere after school. So, it is hard to find the time, but I make time in the evenings, once my kids go to sleep. If I’m sitting in a carpool line, luckily we have our phones so we can do work there, and I just found myself… It’s about passion, and when you want to do something badly enough, you do it. And now, that has just… it’s a snowball at this point, especially since the launch.

Rob Cressy:
I want to go back to something that you said, you got burned by a previous course that you had taken and paid for. And for a lot of people paying for a course or working with a coach, is something new. There’s this gigantic cliff where, the first thing in your mind is actually a negative, for why it won’t work. I’ve experienced this on my own standpoint, having taken courses on a myriad of things, from comedy, to content creation, to podcasting, to leadership, to a wide variety of things. So, tell me about the experience or the mindset for you to say, “All right. Well, I know I got burned last time.” Why with me? And what made you take that step? Because a lot of people, even if they don’t have the experience of getting burned, it’s something that I think they need to hear. Because, once your mindset changes about coaching and purchasing courses to improve your development, your world changes.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Yeah. I mean, and I guess, as you repeat that back to me, I got burned. It was a substantial amount of money that I’m not thrilled about having spent. That being said, I’ve reflected a lot on it. And I don’t think that would have gotten me to here. So, that’s how I try to look back at things, is, okay, that was probably a costly lesson, but we have costly… that was a costly financial lesson, but we have costly lessons all the time. And different things feel costly in different ways to people. So, for me, I just really felt like, “Okay, well this was a stepping stone to get you to this next place.” And I even thought about it… I was thinking about it this morning. If I hadn’t done that… Because of course, part of me, there’s like a little bit of shame in the fact that I did that. And there’s some anger at myself for doing that. And how did I not… I think I’m a pretty intelligent person, how did I kind of get sucked into that?

Dr Amy Robbins:
But ultimately, I wouldn’t be here if not for that. And that’s the part for me. And then, it was like, I just need to keep following what feels like the next right thing. And eventually, I’ll get there, and it might not be the straight way that I thought it was going to look. And so, when I spoke with you and after I had heard Robin on your show, and I spoke with a couple other people who had done podcasts, and I really felt like I am not going to be able to figure this out on my own, and there is going to be some cost to doing that. I couldn’t have done my… I can’t be doing my job if I didn’t go to school for it. So, how could I expect to know how to podcast, if I’ve never done anything to learn. And I’m the type of person, I sometimes need a little bit of hand-holding at this point, and I’m not afraid to say, “I need handholding, can someone who knows what they’re doing, help me?”

Rob Cressy:
Which is a very valuable and under appreciated skill, to know what you don’t know and being able to accept it, to get help, because help isn’t weakness. I actually see it as an element of strength. Because we’re both working forward in the name of self-improvement. So, nobody is perfect and nobody’s expected to know everything, and that’s why you go and seek out people who have this skillset and knowledge that you want to acquire, to help you accomplish your goals and get to where you want to go.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Right. I mean, and it’s been, honestly, the best thing I’ve ever done, because, I feel so much less overwhelmed at the thought of, one, what are the steps to get to the podcast? And then I found someone to help me edit the podcast because that was becoming really stressful for me, and I had been trying to do it myself and was getting totally just… I learned how to do GarageBand at a basic level. And I learned how to integrate the music and change the volume on the voices, but to make it really sound professional, I couldn’t do that. And why should I? I have zero training in that. So, I could spend hours on YouTube, trying to figure it out, but I don’t have hours to spend on YouTube. So, those were the compromises that I made to make this happen.

Rob Cressy:
So, let’s talk about the process of you and I working together. So, this is something that happened over the course of several months, and it was fluid in on my end. I know the end goal that you’re looking to accomplish, and it’s to launch a podcast, but at the same time, I am aware that life happens, kids happen, work happens, and there’s an element of flexibility that I need to have as a coach, to make sure that I make this a fun and smooth and enjoyable process for you. So, share a little bit about how your process was. We were doing weekly or biweekly Zoom calls for an hour, an hour and 15, an hour and 30 minutes, to give some context to all of this. So, you and I could see each other and I would give you homework of, “Hey, here’s the things that I need you to do.” And then you would come back the following weeks and say, “Hey, here’s what I’ve done. What do you think about this?” We would communicate via Slack, you’d ask me questions. So, give a little insight into what it was like working together.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Well, I mean, I think you held me accountable and I always felt… Because I’m a person that really… I think I’m pretty true to my word. And if I say I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it. But in this process, there were definitely times where I found myself just not… kind of dragging my feet a little. And I think that some of my dragging my feet was my own internal resistance around really being very scared about putting myself out there in this way, especially because of the content that I was sharing. But for me, what was super helpful was the homework, and break really chunking things out and breaking it down into really small parts that seemed very doable. So, each week after we had a call, you would send me, on Slack, “Here’s the five things you have to do this week.”

Dr Amy Robbins:
And they were simple. I mean, it was like, “Reach out to one guest. Schedule a call. Work on your podcast cover. Write your opening. Record your opening.” So, it wasn’t like I had to do 25 things at once. It was little things that when I… Now that it’s done, the package is awesome and I’m really, really proud of the package. And I think it’s all those little pieces… I always say in my clinical work, no one stands at the bottom of Kilimanjaro and says, “I’m going to climb to the top.” You say, “I’m going to go to the first summit,” and then you get to the first summit and you’re going to climb to the second summit. And that’s what you did. You just made my summits so I can climb them.

Rob Cressy:
I love that. So, the launch happened and it has been less than a week since this bad boy has been live on iTunes, and tell me what you said about your week has been from Monday until today.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Well, you always say, “Happy…” Anytime I get a Slack notification from you, it always starts with, happy, whatever day it is, and this morning when we got on, you said, “Happy Friday,” and I said, “It was a happy Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.” I mean, this week has been… God, I can’t remember a week in my life where I have felt soulful. And I mean, I think, generally, I’m a pretty joyful person. I try to enjoy things, and life has ups and downs, but that might be a podcast for another time. But I just feel like I am doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this moment. And some of what I talk about in my podcast, and one of my guests coming up, talks about being aligned with your soul. And I have never… That’s not true. I have felt equally aligned with my soul, but there’s something about this that just feels like I am headed due North, and this is where I’m supposed to be. And I almost at a thousand downloads for my first week. 

Dr Amy Robbins:
I’m finding people on the street. I’m like, “Let me download my podcast for you. You have to subscribe.” I’ve gotten great reviews. But more than that, some of the personal feedback… First of all, it’s been really fun to hear from people that I haven’t heard from in a while, who haven’t reached out to me, because life gets busy and crazy. But to get feedback about people’s lives being changed, their minds being open, people coming to me in the school pickup line, friends reaching out to me from across the country, saying, “Thank you for doing this. You’ve already helped me.” And I’m only five podcasts in, and I have some amazing content coming up that I wish I could just put it all out there at once because it’s just so exciting to me, has been incredibly rewarding. And I’ve gotten emails and messages from people where I am in tears because they’ve shared that they were in tears and so moved by listening to what the podcast was about.

Rob Cressy:
And this is what makes it all so worth it because it actually ends up not being about you. It’s about what you can do to help others have a positive impact. And all of a sudden, you start building this community, and this feeling that you have right now, at the core of it, is everything that I believe in why I started Baking Sports and why I think about marketing and relationship building the way that I do. Because, there’s such a void of this feeling from brands and other people out there in the world, that sometimes, you have to have an element of vulnerability on your own end, where you don’t know what you’re about to do, and you put it out there because you say, “You know what, I have something inside of me that has to come out, and if it can help one person, then it is my duty to do so.”

Dr Amy Robbins:
Well. And I mean, I was scared shitless. Putting yourself out there as a medium is kind of kooky. I mean, that’s always been my rub. I mean, I’m a practicing clinical psychologist, very grounded in reality, very grounded in science. And then to say I’m a medium, and have to go to the blacktop in the afternoon is a little…. gets me a little on edge, but it has been so worth it. And another thing I wanted to say was, this started with me asking friends and people close to me that I know who I’ve been exploring this world with. But since then, I have booked a New York Times bestselling author, I had an interview with yesterday.

Dr Amy Robbins:
I have some extremely prominent people in the field of paranormal psychology, near death experiences. People who’ve been doing this work for 50 or 60 years, I’m booking on my show. People who’ve been on Oprah show, on Gwyneth Paltrow’s podcast, are going to be on my podcast, and that just feels so exciting and so insane to me. But it’s so humbling and rewarding. And the interview that I did yesterday was… I just felt like I could have been on for hours, just talking about my curiosity around this. So, I think that’s another piece about your passion, is, this is something that I love talking about. So, I was like, “Why not talk about it?”

Rob Cressy:
And I’m glad that you said that because it helps. One of the points that I made to you in launching this podcast, come full circle and that is about the length of a podcast. Because people want it to be super long, just like, “Oh my goodness, I could talk to this person for hours.” But one thing that I always stress for you is, let’s try and keep this concise and on point, so that you can deliver the most amount of value for your audience. But by the way, you can also continue to record and create micro episodes, to create other ways to package this so that you can continue to keep this enthusiasm that you have with the guests.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Well, and I think too, we talked about 20 to 25 minutes. I think some of mine hover around 30, but the feedback that I keep getting is, we wanted more.

Rob Cressy:
Good.

Dr Amy Robbins:
And it’s like, I always remember… I don’t know how I ended up in this conversation. But when you leave a party, you never want the dance floor to be empty. Dance floor should always be full and then the party ends. And that’s sort of what this feels like. I want my dance floor full always. So, I want people to be like, “What’s going to happen… Who is she going to have on next week? What’s that going to be like? I want to hear more about this topic.” So then I can bring people back and talk more about that topic.

Rob Cressy:
There we go. That is exactly why we do it, because if your podcast was an hour and a half long, people, aren’t going to be like, “Amy, I need so much more of this.” But when you give them that taste, where they’re like, “That was an incredible experience.” And a thing happens when it’s a very digestible podcast, it becomes bingeable. So, assume somebody listens to episode one and it’s 20, 25, 30 minutes, and all of a sudden they’re like, “Holy smokes. I am blown away this.” And they’re like, “There’s three more episodes?” Boom. They can listen to all of them in succession. And now, all of a sudden, your podcast downloads go up, the word of mouth goes up, and it’s a formula that’s hard to understand until you experience it.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Well, and I have to say, per your instruction and per my own, just anxiety about not wanting to hear myself on my podcast, I had not listened fully to any of the episodes. Especially because I record them and then I sort of listen and cut out parts, and then I send them to the editor and he puts the opening and closing, and normalizes the sound for me so everything sounds good, and then he sends it back to me and then I post it. And yesterday, I was with someone and I said, “Have you listened yet?” And she said, “No, let’s listen together.” And I was like, “uh-uh” and she’s like, “Come on.” And I said, “Fine, I’ll listen to the first one with you.” Because the first one is three minutes, it’s my trailer.

Dr Amy Robbins:
And we started listening and I was crying, listening to it, because I was moved by it. And she was crying and she goes, “Oh my God, I need to hear more. We need to listen more.” And I was like, “I can’t listen more. I cannot listen to the first full episode.” And she was like, “Please, please.” And I was like, “Fine.” So, we listened to the next one. And again, I was like, “Oh my God, this is…” I was so moved by the story that I know I’ve told a million times, but it was so moving to sit with someone who was hearing it and she was emotional about it, and then she was like, “I need to listen to them all.” So, she tortured me and we listened to the first five podcasts together. But to sit with someone else and hear… live through their experience of listening to it, as not me, was just pretty incredible. And I sent her an email last night and I was like, “I loved doing this with you today. Thank you so much for making me do it.”

Rob Cressy:
You know what I am so proud of? Is, the progress that you have made. So, think back to the very first podcast audio file that you sent me, the very first one, where you’re like, “All right. I recorded it, but I had microphone issues and here’s what this sounds like.” And where that was, to what you just said, with your friend wanting to listen to all of them together and getting emotional, and the difference in quality, and the journey that you have had in how you’ve grown so much from it.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Yeah. And I think, another thing for your listeners, there are glitches. I’ve had microphone issues. I was recording a podcast and my dog started barking downstairs, and I started freaking out because I didn’t know how much the mic picks up background noise, and it turns out it doesn’t. But I stopped the podcast because I was like, “Oh my God, if we record this awesomeness and then my dog’s barking in the background, what am I going to do?” And I had one podcast that I recorded, it’s actually one of the first five. It’s, making a medium podcast, and I recorded it with a friend who’s super busy and it’s really hard to pin her down. And I sounded like she was at the microphone and I was in another room, screaming to her my questions.

Dr Amy Robbins:
And so, when I sent it to the editor and he sent it back, I was like, I don’t… And you and I talked about this. I don’t feel comfortable putting this out there, but the content was good. And he said to me, “Maybe you should make it a narrative.” And so, I went back through the podcast and I basically wrote a story and then read that, and we filled in the pieces. So now, it’s more of a story than an interview, but it was a different way of doing things. And he got me to think outside the box. And so, that piece of it too is like, this isn’t a straight shot journey and there’s going to be mistakes because we’re human and we make mistakes, but I’ve learned how to roll with those and make sure that the actual content can stay, and figure out ways around some of the glitches and issues that happened.

Rob Cressy:
So, as we wrap a bow on this, would you recommend others, working with me to help them launch a podcast?

Dr Amy Robbins:
I already have. I had a friend reach out to me yesterday saying, “Who helped you with your podcast?” And I reached out to you, I’m like, “Are you taking new clients?” I mean, it was such a good experience. And I think you kept me on target without making me feel bad, even though I did feel bad about not moving… having nothing to do with you and more to do with me. And we made it. And so, the reward and the process was just… It was really simple. It was not complicated. The complication is not going to be you. It’s going to be the person who’s trying to do it, and what’s what their mindset is and what’s getting in their way.

Dr Amy Robbins:
There’s a lot of psychology behind it. And I knew what my psychology behind it was and I had to keep… I could either push through it and just be scared, which is sometimes what you have to do, is just be scared and do it anyway, or I was not going to do it, and it would have been more money down the tube. And hopefully, it would have gotten me to the next step, but this is my next step. There is no doubt that I am where I should be right now.

Rob Cressy:
Amy, I am so happy and excited for you. I can hear in your voice. I can see you. I can see the joy that has sprouted from all of this. And this is something that’s not going to stop for you. You’re going to start talking to more amazing people. You’re going to impact, positively, so many more people’s lives. And that’s what I love about you and I being able to work together, is the transformation that has happened and the amazing things that are going to happen in this world because of you.

Dr Amy Robbins:
Yeah, it’s been fun. And I know that I sent you a Slack about this. Those are the other things I’ve learned how to use, is all these online, Slack, and Trello, and all these other crazy things in that computer techie world. But I’m so grateful for your patience, for your time, for you continuing to believe in me, for not giving up on me, and for helping me make this happen. Because I do feel like this is going to lead to the opening of wonderful things for me, but also for other people who are opening their minds and who are expanding their consciousness. Because ultimately, that’s what I want this to be, is an expansion of consciousness because that’s what we need right now. And so, thank you so much for getting me to this place.

Rob Cressy:
You’re welcome. You did an amazing job. So, Amy, where can people connect with you and listen to your podcasts?

Dr Amy Robbins:
You can listen to it on iTunes, it’s Life, Death, and the Space Between. You can listen to it on Spotify, on Stitcher, you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter @dramyrobbins. And I think that just about covers it.

I checked in with Amy a month later to see how things were going with her podcast and her results blew both of our minds. You can check that out HERE.