How does a podcast called “Weight Loss for Busy Physicians” go on to pass 3 million downloads and 2,300+ Apple Podcast reviews with such a niche audience?

There’s a huge misconception that “going niche” will limit your audience or growth potential as a podcaster. So today, master certified weight loss coach Katrina Ubell, MD shares why getting specific was actually the key to her success, and how she was able to strategically increase her review count, her client roster, and her business, all through podcasting.

By the end of this episode, you’ll learn…

  • Why and when Katrina decided to start a podcast. (Spoiler: it wasn’t a lifelong dream.)
  • Why Katrina decided to target such a niche audience, and how that decision has helped her podcast reach tens of thousands of listeners
  • The exact strategy Katrina used to get over 2,000 reviews for her podcast (and counting!)
  • Why Katrina decided to do a solo podcast instead of an interview format, and how that decision has had an impact on her growth and business
  • How Katrina turns podcast listeners into eventual clients

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NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a free AI tool called Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Melissa Guller 0:00
Welcome to Wit & Wire, the podcast that takes you behind-the-scenes to learn how to start and grow a successful podcast that makes an impact.

I’m your host, Melissa Guller, and in each episode of Wit & Wire, I invite fellow podcasters and industry experts to share their diverse stories and strategies to help podcasters of all experience levels.

Today I’m here with fellow podcaster Katrina Ubell. Katrina is a Master Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach and host of the popular Weight Loss for Busy Physicians Podcast. After completing her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Ubell worked in a private pediatric practice for 10 years during which time she lost 45 pounds in 12 months without surgery, pills, unhealthy crash diets, or fitness apps. Now, Ubell leverages her experience as a pediatrician and as a mother to help other busy doctors prioritize their health and achieve permanent weight loss.

Katrina’s work has been featured in notable outlets like NPR and on several industry podcasts like The Doctor’s Life with Dianne Ansari-Winn, MD and The Science of Self-Help with Dr. Jennifer Greer.

So Katrina, welcome to the podcast!

Katrina Ubell 1:15
Thank you so much. I'm so glad to be here.

Melissa Guller 1:17
Yes, I am so curious to learn more about you and your show. So I think I'd first like to ask at what point in your career did you decide to start a podcast?

Katrina Ubell 1:26
Okay, I used to work as a pediatrician. For 10 years, I worked in a private practice as a pediatrician, and then I left my practice to become a life and weight loss coach. And so it was, and I should just back up and say that I never really had, like the reluctant entrepreneur in the sense that I was never someone who always had this dream of having their own business, or putting myself out there in any way publicly, or anything like that. I really just fell into it. I found the help that I really needed for the weight struggles that I had as a busy practicing doctor. And once I figured it out, I was like, Wait A minute, I think there's a lot of other people who might want this information.

Actually, I didn't even think a lot of other people, I thought there might be a few other people who might want this information. That was my initial thought. And so I thought, you know what, maybe I will give this business thing a try. Why not something new and different. And so I left my practice, and I started blogging, got a website up, figured out, start practicing coaching doctors, I found some people through Facebook and things like that.

But it became clear to me that if I really knew who my ideal client was, like, who was I really trying to attract, she was not reading blogs. These are busy doctors who were not spending time reading anything, probably let alone my blog. So I blogged for a few months, but I knew I think I probably am going to need to do a podcast First of all, because I really enjoyed listening to podcasts. And I knew how it was such a great way to get information that I really wanted while I was doing other things. So while I was driving by I was running errands I had a very short commute. So commuting wasn't a big deal for me. But I know that a lot for a lot of doctors it is when I was cleaning up around the house or folding laundry, or organizing the attic or things like that I would get through so many podcasts. And I thought I just have this hunch that my people are really going to like that.

But I have to tell you, I was really reluctant to start a podcast for a few reasons. One was that somehow I had it in my mind that I would have to do all of it myself. Like I kept thinking I could do it. But then I so and so she edits her own podcast, then I have to figure out all the editing that's going to take a long time I had my kids were quite little at the time. When am I going to do this? So I kept putting it off and putting it off. Then what actually ended up happening was the reason I really moved forward with it was that my mentor has a very successful podcast, and she put out to all of us coaches. Hey, if you record about it, a 15-20 minute little segment teaching my audience something really interesting. Then I will tack that on to the end of my podcast. And so you can submit that and she gave us the submission criteria and all the hoops we had to jump through to get it ready. And my first thought was like, I'm totally going to do that, thinking, what a great opportunity to get my message out there. And then I was like, No, I can't do that. I'm way to do I don't know what I'm doing. And then I was like, wait, no, I could figure this out.

So I didn't have any equipment. I didn't have podcast mic. I didn't have anything. I literally had one of those headsets that has like the bendable microphone, but like, you can move it like closer to your mouth and further away. And so I figured out on my Mac, that there was like an audio recording software. And I literally wrote out a script because I didn't know how to be conversational about it. I wanted to make sure that I got the point across really well. And so I just practiced where the mic needed to be positioned. So I didn't have the pops and the sounds that weren't good. And I thought, you know what, I'm just going to submit this. And if she doesn't like it, then I'll just try again. And we'll just keep resubmitting until she accepts it or she says I've had enough people and so Hi, I just got to work right away. I recorded it, I submitted it, I ended up being the first person to submit it. And when other coaches found out that I had done that already, they're like, Oh, hey, could I listen to what you submitted? And I was like, Okay, sure. And then the feedback I got from all these other coaches was you should really start a podcast that was really good. And I thought, Oh, I know, I really should, I probably should.

So what really pushed me over the edge was then I found out that there are companies that you can hire that will actually edit and produce your podcast for you. And all you have to do is just do the recording, and they do all the other work on the other end. But it was thousands of dollars. And my business was not profitable yet. And so it was around Christmas time. And I said to my husband, oh my gosh, I found this company and it's so great. And they'll help me get the podcast up and running, but it's like many thousands of dollars. And he asked, Do you want that for Christmas? And I was like, I think I do. I think I want a podcast for Christmas.

Katrina Ubell 5:56
And so that's what I got for Christmas that year. And so that package I bought helped me to work with somebody on their team to choose the music and really get it all dialed in and they produce the first three episodes. So they got it up and running. And I knew because I was working with someone else and they had deadlines and things like that I would stop procrastinating I would actually get it up there.

And what ended up happening when I got this podcast up there the vulnerability I just have to say, I just want to say for anyone listening, it's not like I was like, oh no bigs. I'm just gonna put like all my stuff up on the internet for free for everybody. I was really nervous. I didn't know how people would respond. I didn't know if they'd listen and if they did listen, if they'd hate it, and then I have to deal with all my emotions regarding that.

But it ended up being the best decision I made for my business because my hunch was right. Doctors really did want to listen to podcasts. And there's a large vibrant Facebook community for women, physician mothers, like many 10s of thousands of doctors on it and you can't promote yourself on there, but I thought, you know what, if I can get somebody to listen And then promote it there. That's really gonna help. And it was a couple weeks in and I got the first mention on there and someone said, Hey, if you guys haven't checked this out, you need to check out Katrina Ubell's podcast, weight loss for busy physicians.

And within two days, I had 10,000 downloads and who had four or five episodes. Yeah, it was just like boom, just everyone's what's a podcast how this was a number of years ago. They're like, Where am I I'm in there helping people okay, you have an app on your phone, it looks like this. type this in teaching them how to do it. And within a couple of months, my all my consult calls like to bring on new clients were completely booked. I was booked out through many months, I had to basically stop doing I had to change my whole business model within a couple of months because I had so much interest that there was no way I could work with people one on one anymore. I had to move to a group model and it just really is taken off and to this day, word of mouth is a huge part of my marketing. Obviously like I was saying people are on line sharing until They're friends and stuff. But the podcast is really where they get to know me. And what's been so great about it is they get to know and trust me, by listening to me, I'm totally myself on this podcast. So when they decide to work with me, they're not surprised or what you're going to be like, they just know, this is Katrina, this is what I've been listening to is what I'm going to get. And that's what I want. And so it's made sales so much easier. It's really just been one of the best decisions.

Melissa Guller 8:26
I love hearing you talk about all of your process to getting here because I think meaning that maybe many people assume that most people are like, I'm gonna do a podcast, and then they do the podcast, and then everything is successful.

Katrina Ubell 8:40
Right, all positive emotions.

Melissa Guller 8:42
Yeah. So much of it is very uncertain, or very new or very vulnerable. Or I think there's a lot of doubt for even people who are very successful now around I don't know, what should I do this show? Is it going to be worth it? In the end? I think that's a big question early podcasters have and for you and you don't

Katrina Ubell 8:59
No. I mean, you just you just have to experiment. That's really what it comes down to. I do have to say, though, that I did study the podcasts that I liked listening to. And I really paid attention to what do I like about this podcast? Like, why do I come back every week to listen to it? What are the parts that like, and I basically modeled my podcast after that.

So I always liked it when there was a little bit of banter in the beginning, whether it was more than one person or even just one person sharing a little bit about their life and what they had going on before they launched into the topic. And so I most of the time, do that. And what's funny is, every now and then I get a comment, like, Oh, I wish you would just get to the point. And then if I stop sharing, then I get all these messages like, Hey, I really miss when you shared about your family. I'm like, see, there you go. You can't make everyone happy. For sure. There's gonna be people who don't like what you do. And here's what I think is interesting is if your podcast doesn't take off and you have a very small audience, then you're upset because your message isn't getting out. But then if you have a big audience, then you're upset because now people haven't been opinion about your message. And so it's just that that's just part of putting yourself out there and wanting to share that it's just not going to be everybody's cup of tea. And I'm not gonna say it's always easy. I have to be really careful. If I go and read my reviews, just I have to make sure I'm really in a mindset to be able to take in whatever I'm going to read because I have the vast majority are these glowing, amazing comments, but then there's one in there with just I wish this were different, or I don't like how she XYZ and that just can kill me. It can take me days, and I'm a life coach. I'm gonna manage this. Sometimes it can take me a while to work through that. And so I instead I just tried to focus on I know what they know what they need, I'm going to offer them that. And I don't necessarily need to read every review or take everybody's opinion into account. I certainly can't make everybody happy. So what do I want to offer and what does my ideal client need to hear and focus on that?

Melissa Guller 10:57
I'm glad you brought that up the you can't make everyone happy. With podcasting, and like you said, the more successful you get, the more people who might be unhappy or might leave those reviews are telling you to do things differently. But I think you got to just take it all with a grain of salt. There are helpful pieces of advice out there and helpful feedback from listeners for sure. But people will always just want whatever it is you're not doing. And then like you said, you're like, Oh, no, I loved it. And I think right, the unhappy people are often the loudest, and we hear them over all the good and over everyone else. And often people who are happy don't say anything. So that's tough, too.

Katrina Ubell 11:31
Exactly. I think about that. How many podcasts have I listened to that I absolutely love and I tell everyone I know about and I don't leave a review. Like it's I often think like when you go on Amazon and you read the reviews for something and then there's people complaining and you do filter it, that little grain of salt kind of thing of Okay, this person just seems to really like to complain and this is like a platform or Yelp or something like that. Is it really that bad? Is it really as bad as they're saying we have to see, but I think when it comes down to it being about you, then it's just natural. For our brains to want to avoid rejection, and to want to feel accepted and things like that. So just because even if you have like a shame fest or rejection Fest, or like something like that, it doesn't mean you should stop. I'd like to try to remind myself like, what are they saying that is true? And what do I agree with? Because sometimes they really, like you said, have some good feedback. It's, hey, this would be better. That would be better. I'm like, Yeah, you're probably right. Okay, good to know. Thanks for telling me and stop taking it. So personally. Mm hmm.

Melissa Guller 12:30
Now, I also want to talk about speaking of not being for everyone, or not making everyone happy. You have a very niche audience that is very much not for everyone. So can you tell us more about who they are and what made you decide to have that really niche audience?

Katrina Ubell 12:45
Yeah, like I said, I knew nothing about business. And so the little bit of business training that I got, like I was saying, I was like, I didn't know zero about business. I was like a negative vacuum because like, literally I knew nothing at all. And so the information that was offered to me I got was, you have to be successful, you have to really narrow it down. Like the classic. Like, if you're speaking to everybody, you're speaking to nobody. And I thought, well, that makes sense. Even as a doctor, right? There are those GPS like general practitioners out there. But for the most part, people have a specific group of people that they work with. And they'd become experts in helping those people. I did children. And so that made sense to me.

And I actually had all kinds of different ideas of things that I could do. But I had figured this weight thing out, I was thinking like, this is something that is something I've struggled with for a really long time. There's a lot of shame and humiliation that surrounds being an overweight doctor just because you're supposed to be this health expert, and you're giving, eating advice, nutrition advice, and things like that. Meanwhile, clearly from the looks of you, you're not following that advice. There's more to it than just oh, I don't know how to eat healthy like I knew how to eat healthy. I just didn't know why I couldn't do it consistently. And so I also want to be totally honest, I thought if I make a business around weight loss for doctors, then maybe I can really make sure that I don't gain this weight back.

Because that had been the problem for myself is like I had lost and gained 40 pounds so many times I could get it off, but I could never keep it off and I thought with this becomes my work, then maybe that will really keep me accountable. And to be honest, it has like the idea of just like letting myself go. It's no, I really not going to do that. There's more to it than just what size clothes I'm wearing or things like that. So I thought this would be good. I think nobody else is really doing this that I knew of nobody was was really helping women physicians in clinical practice to lose weight. And it's just exactly what I was saying. Like when you're really speaking when you know someone's struggle, and you really help them with that. They're just like she's talking Exactly. To me.

If I'm thinking I want to lose some weight and I'm a doctor and I'm in clinical practice and here's this person who's Hey, I help people exactly like you to lose weight. It's much more of a no brainer to sign up with a person And that's basically what ended up happening people. I know for sure, I just kept feeling like nobody really understands me when I was in practice and struggling with my weight. Like I worked with a nutritionist once, and she was like, oh, in the middle of your afternoon, you should just stop and eat a snack. And I was like, okay, but you don't understand that when I'm 40 minutes behind. And I've got room after room of people waiting for me, like, I'm not going to stop and eat something like I have to keep going. And she was like, you can do whatever you want to do. And she's totally right, I could have, but I wasn't going to do that. It just wasn't going to happen. There were too many in flexibilities baked into my day that it made following other people's plans really restrictive and difficult to keep up for the long run. And so what I focused on instead was what can I do, what am I willing to do? What will work with my schedule? And how can I, you know, continue with that and I just kept thinking like, it should it doesn't have to be this hard. I don't understand why it To be so hard to lose weight and keep it up. And it was because it was, I was trying to fit someone else's plan into my unique life. And so what I help all these doctors to do is to work on a plan that will work. If you're an, you know, surgeon and you're operating for nine hours straight, you're not going to scrub out to go eat something, maybe you could, but not consistently, and you can't be guaranteed that you're going to be able to do that.

So we create individual plans for everybody. They basically create it with my assistance. And then, because it's their plan that works for them, they actually are more than willing to continue following up. And that's just like the food part of it. We, of course super dig into why are we even overeating in the first place, which of course is our thoughts and our feelings that we don't want to feel. I always say what we eat and the weight loss part is like the least interesting part of what we do. And what we're mostly coaching on once we get all the food stuff dialed is why do I struggle in my marriage so much or I really hate my job and I don't know what to do, because I have all this educational debt and I can't do that. Something else right now or things like that are really the root source of why they're eating more than they should and possibly drinking too much alcohol.

Melissa Guller 17:08
Mm hmm. I think even that phrase like the root source of why people are doing these things. And going back to when you said you didn't feel understood by any of these other podcasts, I think a lot of people worry about the opposite. They worry that if they choose a really small audience, then their podcast has limited growth potential. But I think what I'm hearing you say, which I think is such great advice is that don't be the everything for anyone podcast. But at the same time, a lot of those podcasts are not really serving anyone. And if you can find a specific person, like for you is female physicians, like they're not being served by any of those podcasts. And if you talk about what they need, and have plans that are just for them, they're going to be such loyal fans and really want to listen to your podcast over any of those other podcasts.

Katrina Ubell 17:52
Absolutely. And you know, what I have found over the course of time is that the feedback that I get from people because I've many non physician listeners, and what the feedback I get from them is, I understand that this isn't really for me, but it's helped me so much. Because the examples that you give, which are totally doctor examples, like totally related to being a doctor, they're like I get, I'm an English teacher. And it's not a doctor example. But it's like a student example, or something that's related to that. And they're like, Hey, I really can identify, I understand what you're saying. And I can apply it to my own life. And I've had many doctors who tell their patients to listen to my podcast, to be able to get the weight loss help that they need, because these patients are coming in and saying, Hey, listen, I really want to lose weight, I need to lose weight, what can I do? And the doctors are like, how can I share with you something that's really helping me and so I have a lot of reviews where people are like my doctor sent me here. This has helped me so much. I've lost 50 pounds, just listening and applying what you teach. And so I always think of it as the more I really help my niche client on that. And my specific client on that on my podcasts, the more it helps everybody anybody's Welcome to listen, anybody's welcome. Good for it will help everybody. But I'm just speaking directly to that person who thinks that nobody else understands them.

Melissa Guller 19:06
I love that and because you have such a clear sense of who you're talking to, and like you said, maybe they're not a doctor, all of these listeners, but you're giving such clear examples and can identify such clear pain points that I have to imagine that your clarity leads to, not just excluding people, but really including more people, because you are able to talk really clearly on a subject.

Katrina Ubell 19:27
Exactly, exactly. And we all have the same human experience, like we all are going through the same thing, just different flavors of it. And so some people really want it to be exactly what they're going through. And other people are like, I've had somebody say, she was like I was trying to find I need to lose some weight. And I'm not a doctor at all, but I was searching through the podcasts on weight loss, and I saw weight loss for busy physicians and I thought, oh, what's different for doctors? I want to know that. And so then she started listening and became a fan. So you just never know where people are gonna come from. It doesn't mean you're not helping everybody. It just you're really Making sure you're helping the person you're targeting.

Melissa Guller 20:01
Totally. And if I were to imagine like sitting down and just doing a general weight loss podcast, I feel like that would be a real challenge. Because then how do you possibly speak to everyone who that could apply to I feel like it would really dilute the message I was trying to get across. But like I said, You have such a clear person in mind that I imagine your ability to communicate becomes a lot clearer to

Katrina Ubell 20:22
Exactly, exactly. Yeah, I agree. I just have a thought like, how would I do a podcast or everybody on weight loss? It would be so hard, it

Melissa Guller 20:30
would be waffled back and forth between so many different possible solutions of Oh, maybe you're worried about this, and maybe you're worried about that. But you don't have that problem at all, because you know exactly who you're talking to.

Katrina Ubell 20:40
Exactly, exactly. It's great. And then the more that I work with my clients, because now I do this full time, I'm not in practice anymore. They're telling me still what the concerns are, and then I'm addressing them on the podcast. Mm hmm.

Melissa Guller 20:51
Now, something else that is, I think characteristic of your podcast is that it's primarily a solo show. So why did you make that decision? What do you think some of the benefits are to doing a solo podcast?

Katrina Ubell 21:04
Yeah, that was deliberate. And if I bring anybody on, I'm always thinking, why does my listener care? And why is this person required to get this message across. So if I feel like I can get the message across, just find myself, then I do it myself. But there are definitely people who are more experts in other topics. And I do want their assistance in bringing that message to my listeners. I'm very, I'm actually very protective of my listeners, you are in people's ears, they are giving you their time, which is so valuable and they can never get it back. So I never am just like, Oh, this is just a mole blow this one off, or this one, isn't that good. It really needs to be. It needs to be worth their time. That's the way I always think about it. So the reason why I kept it solo, though, for the most part was because this is a main marketing tool for me. So I wanted the listeners to know what I'm all about. I have actually found this with Other people, like if I am trying to find somebody else or trying to check somebody out, or they have a podcast, and I listen, and all of their episodes are interviews with other people, sometimes it's actually hard for me to know if I want to work with the host, because I don't really know what the host stands for, I don't really know what he or she is all about, and what their work is. And so I wanted to make it really clear, like the opposite way, this is exactly what I'm about. This is what I teach. This is either you resonate with us or you don't and if you do awesome, like you might want to consider working with me then. And and so that's why I do it that way.

Melissa Guller 22:39
I love what you said about being protective of your listeners. I think that's so important because you're really earning trust. And even if you bring on a guest, it is still very much a reflection of you because it's your podcast. And I think the advice to about if you could share the message, then it makes more sense for you to do it, but having somebody who's complimentary or maybe has expertise that you don't have, I could see a time and a place for doing that or doing a mix. But certainly with a solo show, you really get to show off like, your expertise. And if you have a business, then showing off your expertise is really crucial.

Katrina Ubell 23:13
Exactly. And the purpose of the podcast for me is to make money but I don't monetize my podcast. Like I don't have ads. I don't have sponsors, like so I think of it as like listener that is my gift to you. I don't make you listen to about sponsorship stuff. I don't make you listen to ads. But in exchange, I get to tell you about what I'm offering and invite you to my webinars invite you to you know, use my freebies and things like that invite you to join my email list. And and that's the exchange of value that we have there.

Melissa Guller 23:45
Yeah, and I know you said you don't know monetize the podcast itself, but certainly the podcast is a marketing channel for your business overall. So how do podcast listeners become clients or group program members with you?

Katrina Ubell 23:59
You So what I do is I try to give them results ahead of time on the podcast. So that means either they listen, and they apply what I teach them, and it starts making a difference for them. So they start going, No, this stuff works. This is actually really good. I want more of this. Or they listen, and they're like, you know what, I totally should do that. But I know I'm not going to do it on my own. I need some help doing that. So maybe she can help me. So that's what I'm looking at from the podcast standpoint. Even if people find out about me from an ad or find out about me from their friend or someone that they know or something like that podcast is where I warm them up. So I take them from cold traffic to warmer traffic. And sometimes they're even hot then at that point where they're like, when can I pay you money so I can work with you. But I always think of just warming them up, giving them help loving on them, and then I make them offers to get more help. And so I have a digital book that I offer to them like when I'm not really doing any webinars or things like that, if I'm not open for enrollment. I have for them that I have like a two page six steps to jumpstart your weight loss thing that they can get for free all. I'm always offering something that requires them to give me their email address. So I'm like, Hey, I can give you this great help. This great resource I have actually, interestingly, one of my freebies is what we call a podcast roadmap, which is what I because I have I just recorded yesterday, Episode 186. So if you find a podcast that has a whole lot of episodes, especially weight loss, you're like, Oh, my gosh, it's overwhelming. Where do I begin? I don't even know which ones are important. How do I start? And so what I tell them is just go ahead and download this roadmap. It's 30 of the most effective episodes. If you listen to one of these a day and apply what I teach you end of the month, you're for sure gonna notice changes in your life and your body. So I even help them how to know how to use my podcast to give them the results that they want. And so then once I get their email, then I email them every week with my I don't really have a newsletter, I just send out a weekly email that promotes the podcast. The week, but then on the in the PS of my emails, I'm always offering them what's the next thing that I have going on if I have a webinar or something to just promote, I'm always promoting that to them. And then I'll know that there's always going to be podcast listeners who are never going to want to really get onto my email list for the most part. So I always promote if I'm doing like any kind of live training or presentation or anything like that. I always promote it with the registration link on the podcast so that people can just register directly that way. Because I know what it's like, there's people I've totally paid money to where I'm like, I don't want to be on your email list. I don't want to get your emails, I just want to be able to get the help I need from you. So just thinking about it that way, like how can I diversify? Like I want to get them on my email list as much as possible. But if they aren't willing to do that, I still give them another opportunity to be in touch.

Melissa Guller 26:47
I think that's really smart because like you said, some people are just not email people. They don't want to be on your list, but they will avidly come back every single week to listen to your podcast. So when you are promoting it, do you share it in the intro section or the Where do you actually put that kind of a promotion?

Katrina Ubell 27:03
What I typically do is I start with a little banter that is sometimes very minor, sometimes I'll tell a little story about something that's going on for me every now and then I'll even just tell them about some sort of product or thing that I'm really loving, that I'm not an affiliate for, I'm getting no kickback for it, I just want you to know, I'm really loving this and you should know about it, just something like that. Then I go into whatever I want to promote to them, because many people will not listen to the end of your podcasts. And my episodes aren't typically that long. They're about 2025, maybe occasionally 30 minutes, but even so, it happens to everybody, right? Like you just you have just, you know, three minutes left and you end up stopping because whatever. So I make sure that I just let them know what I'm offering and why they should get it like essentially selling them on why they should take that action, whatever that is. And then I go into the meat of the podcast and at the end I remind them one more time what I want them to do in case they are listening. And then you know what another thing just to mention it We always use like a pretty link, which is I think there's different tools you can use for this, we call it a pretty link, where the link to go register is like some awful looking link. But you can make it look really nice. Like, for instance, for my main webinar that I do how to lose weight for the last time, we have it be like my email, or sorry, my domain. So Katrina rebel, MD, comm forward slash lose weight. So it's just like an easy thing for them to remember. Because if they're driving, or they're working out or something, they're not going to remember your weird multiple slash URL. And then the other thing we've experimented with too, is even allowing them to text opt in. So if they're on their phone, say they're on a walker, and they just really quickly go and text to opt in. We have found that the reliability of that is sometimes a little off. Like it was working great for a while and then it wasn't working. And we didn't know why. We're going to work on getting that back up and running again, because it did convert people. So you just have to think of what are people doing when they're listening and how can I make opting in as you as humanly possible for them,

Melissa Guller 29:01
my love that you mentioned, too, that you are trying out the text opt ins and that you might need to try it again. Because I do think a big part of podcasting is just trying new things and seeing what works and seeing what doesn't. Because strategies that work for some people don't necessarily work for everyone. And I think there's no time where the podcast will be like, done, where you're like, Oh, totally, this is the thing. We do this thing forever. It is set in stone that's not up Yeah, to reach. But I also think it wouldn't be as fun that way. I think part of the fun things with testing new things.

Katrina Ubell 29:32
Absolutely. And just continuing to learn. I just love learning. That's just like one of my strengths. I just love knowing more trying different things. What are other people doing? Maybe I'll try that too. Let's see what happens. And not like having such an agenda for the success of the thing that I try. Just going let's just try it. If they don't like it, then we won't do it anymore. Like and the way they don't like it is it doesn't convert, like your audience will tell you because they won't do whatever the thing is that you want them to do or they won't opt in. For that thing because it's actually not that interesting to them, or maybe the way you're describing it isn't interesting to them. Like you have to sell them on why they can't live without this thing that you're offering unto them like they have to have that and and then if you've tried all those things, they don't want it then Okay, they tweak it, it's still probably a good idea it just needs to be adjusted in some way.

Melissa Guller 30:19
That's a good point to that it could be that you have exactly the right content in let's say your webinar, but the titles not working or the way you're pitching it isn't working and so it's important to not necessarily throw the whole idea out but just maybe see what can you test or what can you try a different angle on?

Katrina Ubell 30:36
Yeah, and you have to be so willing to pivot What have we seen in 2020? Your editorial calendar Yeah. All right out the window. It's just I can I sometimes have had many weeks in advance like I'm not great with batching my episodes and but I have at times even have been like six weeks ahead. It was just like amazing being so head on it and I wasn't As we all went into quarantine, and I was so grateful because I ended up not having to really trash any of my episodes, I amended them a little, but I didn't have to really start over and completely throw out things that I had already done. And then with the George Floyd murder and all the social justice things that were going on, that was another that was like, another kind of like, record scratch, hold on. Okay, we can't talk about that this week. So what are we going to do? What is in line with our values and what we offer our clients, what would actually help them and then rushing to put that together? I was really proud of what we put together for that.

Melissa Guller 31:35
I'm safe to say that 2020 has not gone according to anyone's plan and I think able to adapt in businesses. So key.

Katrina Ubell 31:44
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I do

Melissa Guller 31:46
have a couple other things I want to ask you about and one is reviews you have when I checked this morning of our recording, like 2.3 thousand reviews on your podcast, which is amazing. So where or who do those reviews come from?

Katrina Ubell 32:00
Yeah, okay, so many of them are doctors, and many of them are not. But I will tell you how I did this. And I can't guarantee that it'll work for you. But what I found was that people just the classic leave a review, like people don't write, they just don't. So this was, oh, gosh, probably at least a year and a half ago, if not maybe two years ago, because my podcast is, I think it's two and a half years old. Now. I think I'm gonna be at year three in January. And this is July as we're recording this for anyone who's listening in the future. And so what I saw was someone else whose podcast I listened to, made it a big goal of hers to get 1000 reviews. It was a big push. She talked about it a lot on the podcast, like why it was important to her. She really asked people like really encouraged them strongly to leave a review and it worked. She ended up getting her thousand reviews that she wanted, and I didn't do it actually for a while after that, but then I saw someone else that I know who I listened to her podcast. And she was pushing too. And I thought, you know what, why not? Like, why not do it? So I thought I'll just start small, I'll just say 500. Like, I want to get to 500 reviews. I don't exactly remember how many I had maybe 150 or something at that point. And I thought, okay, thousand seems like a lot. Maybe that's a little greedy. Let's go for 500. And so what I did was I, at the beginning of every podcast, I just talked about, Hey, you guys have this goal, I really want to get to 500 reviews. So if you could go there and do that, it'd be great. I told them specifically how to do it. And the apple podcast app, which I think probably if you listen to that now is not at all how you do it anymore, because they feel like they're always changing it. But I told them specifically how to do it. And if they were a drug user, that they could go into iTunes on their computer to be able to leave review. I told them how it would help. There were so many other doctors out there who needed this information, it would really help them and I also read people's reviews. So I would go through the reviews and find some that were fun or interesting and share it them on the podcast. So like maybe one or two. And I did that for a while, like months, it did not happen like overnight. Oh my gosh, I just asked people for three weeks and suddenly I had 500 reviews. But I think what ended up happening is people got tired of me asking him sit there and did it. And so I was willing to let people be tired of it. Like I have listened to other podcasts where they're like, I'm not gonna keep bugging you, because I hate it when people do that. And I'm like, but that's why you only have 75 reviews. That's totally fine if you want to do that. But the reason why the reviews are important is because it's social proof. Right? for anybody who's checking out your podcasts are like oh my gosh, 2300 reviews, Holy moly, a lot of people listen to this thing so much that they're willing to leave a review. And when I do want to invite like a bigger name person onto my podcast that shows them not only do I have x number of downloads every episode or in Grand Slam, but also I have engaged listeners and engage listeners might go and buy their book that there Promoting, or things like that. And so what ended up happening was I got to the 500 mark, and I stopped asking, but people keep listening to those episodes. And they keep leaving reviews. So I went from 500 to 2300. With doing nothing else, I haven't asked for anybody to leave a review in a very long time.

Melissa Guller 35:16
Wow. But like you said, That's only after you put in the work and did this for months. So I love this idea too, of having a really specific number in mind, like not just for this, but for goal setting, in general having a really clear number like 500 reviews, instead of just saying, Oh, I'd love it if you left a review. That's such a big difference. And so I love this strategy.

Katrina Ubell 35:38
I was just like, I'm just gonna persevere someday they're gonna leave that money. And here's what's interesting. I had one review where the woman was like, I'm amending my review from five stars to two or three or whatever, she made it and she was like, she will not stop asking for these reviews. like totally was like trashing me about asking for that. And I was just like, okay, she said in there that she wasn't a doctor. And I was like, so I'm not really interested in what you have to say I am but not really right. But I also was like it's fair. And also, there's a button on your app that lets you fast forward 30 seconds. And if you don't want to hear me, I didn't respond to that. I didn't say this. But this is what I was thinking. You also don't have to listen to that if someone doesn't want to listen to you during your promo thing. They can just fast forward. I do it all the time when there's ads in podcasts, like it's totally okay for people to do that. And your average listener is going to figure that out. If they don't want to listen, then they'll just fast forward. And that's totally cool.

Melissa Guller 36:32
Yeah, in general, I think if people are your people, and they're for you, they will listen, they will stick around. And if people are not, then they don't have to, they can leave. No one is forcing them to listen to your podcast. Exactly. Mm hmm. As we start to wrap up, I'm curious, are there other strategies that you think would help other podcasts that maybe we haven't talked about yet when it comes to either production or marketing or just any of the above?

Katrina Ubell 36:56
Yeah, I have a few tips like just things that I've noticed because I feel like there were plenty of podcasts when I started mine. But there's so many more now. And what a couple things that I noticed new podcasts are sometimes doing is that they just rush to get it going and think like, I'm just still sorting myself out and what my messages as I'm going, I do not think that's a good idea. I really do think that it's much better for you to get really clear on what your message is. If you really like First, if you really want to just start the podcast, then what I suggest is while you're sorting yourself out, you have one podcast. And once you feel like you're dialed in on what your message is, then start a new one. Like just start from scratch again. Because what people will do is they will go to your first couple of episodes to find out who you are, what are you about, is this a fit for me? Do I want to give you my time and my attention. And if what you're talking about today is totally different than what you're talking about six months ago, is people are going to be confused like it's not going to make sense to them. And again, when you have so many options, you're not going to want To go with the confusing option, you're going to want to go with the one that's really clear that was going to help you that's going to be worth your time. So I just think that you don't have to get stressed about it and don't let it paralyze you or stop you from doing anything. But I think sometimes the people go into it without a lot of thought, and it shows in the quality of what's being presented. I also think that if you're going to do a show with another person, it sounds like oh, my gosh, we have the best conversations, we should just do a podcast. And sometimes you get people doing that. And again, is are you What's happening here? Is this just we're letting you listen to our conversation, or is there a point here, like a little bit like what's in it for me as the listener, and I think that if you're going to have a podcast where you have more than one person as a host, and you do have a point that you want to convey, you do need to actually plan it, you need to have a not necessarily like a script, but you need to have some talking points and Person A prompts Person B into talking About this talking point and then maybe Person B, perhaps Person A into talking about this other point to make it so that the listener can follow along. Like I've listened to some of these podcasts. I'm like, I don't even know what we're talking about right now what is happening, and then I don't come back. So it's I think it's a little harder than people think, to have more than one hosts consistently. I also think that you need to know who your listener is, in terms of what kind of production quality are they wanting. One of the reasons why I was willing to spend thousands of dollars on a production company, I still have my podcasts produced, meaning they edit it for me and they bounce it all out and get out any any extraneous noise and things like that is because I knew that my ideal listener is busy. And if the sound wasn't good, or there was like, some echo or something wasn't good, like, literally, I had one chance. She'd be like, this is a rinky dink show now, I'm not putting my time and effort into this one. And I just knew that my audience would want a more professional feel. Now I have a friend Who is very successful podcaster very successful multiple seven figure business. But she coaches moms who have lots of kids who are at home. So she records her podcast, and her four year old walks in the room. And she asked him in the middle of the podcast, Hey, can you sit down? Can you do? Can you get saddled with this thing? or whatever? And it's so on brand for her. It totally makes sense. It would make zero sense for my podcast to have that in there. My kids all No, listen, I'm recording, you need to be silent, like the dog is situated. Like we've got the whole thing going on. Because my listener wants something else. So just think about who your listener is, and what's going to be okay with them. And then you can just because you could totally do your podcast yourself. Just make sure that for your listener, a self produced podcast is going to be something that they're okay with. Mm hmm.

Melissa Guller 40:51
This is all such great advice. And to me, the thing that seems to tie all of it together is just having total clarity on who you are and who you are. For, because otherwise, it's going to take a lot of undoing possibly later, when just sitting down and getting clear on that upfront would save you a lot of time heartache, money, all the above. I have

Katrina Ubell 41:11
friends who are successful business owners who have literally burnt their podcast to the ground, like hundred episodes, many reviews completely didn't even just stop adding to it. They literally took it down. They took it away and started fresh, because their message had evolved. And this was the message that they wanted out in the world. If someone's going to check them out, it needed to be this message. And that is not easy. I tell you what that is like that's painful to take all that work and literally just butter the garbage. But that's that is the price that you pay if you're not sure clear in the beginning. Hmm, I really admire that. And I also appreciate hearing that sometimes podcasts, even podcasts with 100 episodes that probably served listeners and the host at the time. don't necessarily have to be forever. Like it's okay. If to Three years later, your life or business pivot, and maybe your podcast needs a new life, or maybe it doesn't continue into infinity and beyond. But I think just having awareness around that and knowing that maybe things need to change is really important. Exactly. It takes a lot of guts to do that. Like you said, those that did it that I know who have done it, it hurt, weren't happy about it. But the benefits that they have gotten since doing that have made it worth it. 10 times over. Mm hmm.

Melissa Guller 42:29
Makes sense. As we start to wrap up here, what are you working on? Now? We're up to next that you're most excited about?

Katrina Ubell 42:37
Yeah, I have my group programs, weight loss for doctors only. And we have a continuation program that is so great with community which is exactly what doctors need right now in the land of COVID. And all things pandemic. But I also am in the process of working on a book that will be for sale for everybody and can help everybody so I'm excited about that as well.

Melissa Guller 42:57
Very cool. When is the book coming out?

Katrina Ubell 43:00
To be determined,

Katrina Ubell 43:03
in the future exactly

Melissa Guller 43:05
in the future when it comes out or even now, where can listeners connect with you or stay in touch,

Katrina Ubell 43:11
but my podcast is called weight loss for busy physicians, you do not have to be a doctor to listen. So you can check me out there for sure. On Instagram, I'm @coachkatrinaubellmd, that's a great place to check me out as well. And then also you can find all those freebies that I was talking about all those free resources that can help anybody on my website, katrinaubellmd.com. And there's a resources page there and you can opt into anything you'd like.

Melissa Guller 43:40
Perfect, I'll make sure there are links to everything in the show notes. And I just want to say Katrina, this has been such a wealth of information. I feel like I could have taken a whole page of notes and did in fact, take several notes while we were talking, and I hope that listeners did too. So thank you again for joining.

Katrina Ubell 43:51
Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Melissa Guller 43:56
Thank you so much for joining us this week! To learn more about Katrina Ubell, our free podcasting resources, and everything mentioned in today’s episode, check out the show notes at witandwire.com/podcast.

If you’re excited to start your own podcast, but not sure where to start, check out our newly revamped program, the Podcast Kickstart Program. Podcast is about more than just the right microphone, and I’ve had over 300 students enroll in the last few months alone to set their goals, choose their format, and get ready to start recording. Right now it’s just $27, and you can find a link in the show notes or at witandwire.com/kickstart.

Thank you again for joining me, Melissa Guller, in this episode of Wit & Wire. I’ll see you next time, podcasters.

Today’s Guest: Katrina Ubell, MD

Katrina Ubell is a Master Certified Life and Weight Loss Coach and host of the popular Weight Loss for Busy Physicians Podcast. After completing her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Dr. Ubell worked in a private pediatric practice for 10 years during which time she lost 45 pounds in 12 months without surgery, pills, unhealthy crash diets, or fitness apps. Now, Ubell leverages her experience as a pediatrician and as a mother to help other busy doctors prioritize their health and achieve permanent weight loss.

Katrina’s work has been featured in notable outlets like NPR and on several industry podcasts like The Doctor’s Life with Dianne Ansari-Winn, MD, and The Science of Self-Help with Dr. Jennifer Greer.

Connect with Katrina

Podcast spotlight: Weight Loss for Busy Physicians

“Are you a busy physician who wants to lose weight permanently so you can have the life you want? This podcast is the resource you’ve been looking for. I’ll guide you on the journey to overcome stress eating, exhaustion, and overwhelm – and move into freedom around food.

Each week, this podcast brings you specific tools and resources to meet the challenges busy doctors face. Your time is valuable – and so is your wellbeing. We’ll help you find the time to care for yourself as well as you care for your patients.”

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Hey! I'm Melissa, the founder of Wit & Wire. My podcasts have reached thousands of listeners and hit six-figure downloads, and I also hit the charts as the #2 Career Podcast in America for Everything is Teachable.

It’s my passion for teaching that brought me to start a podcast in the first place, and I founded Wit & Wire to help more passionate, diverse creators like you expand their impact and income through podcasting.