Be a Bigger Fish is the podcast that explores the power of podcasting to grow your business or your community.
This episode features Natalie Silverman. Natalie is a radio DJ, a voice-over artist and presenter who has used her expertise to podcast about a topic that’s close to her heart.
[04:00] I asked Natalie what drew her into podcasting and she describes how she found capturing audio content a more natural way for her to tell her story, rather than blogging.
[5:12] When she discovered she needed fertility treatment, Natalie looked for audio content to learn more about it, but discovered there wasn’t much available. In particular, there wasn’t a British voice on this topic. She decided it could be a good area for her to explore through a podcast and waited until her fertility treatment had been a success before starting to share her journey.
[6:50] Remarkably, Natalie launched The Fertility Podcast anonymously and remained anonymous for a year. She spoke from the heart about the taboos of the topic and found that the podcast was growing significantly in popularity. Natalie became increasingly aware that her anonymity was preventing her from fully adding her personality to her podcast. She finally decided to have a ‘coming out’ episode to break that silence.
[10:05] The ‘coming out’ episode was a huge relief for Natalie and she describes how she ‘maxed out’ that experience! Following this revelation, the tone of the podcast changed for the better too.
[12:40] Having started the conversation, there are now a lot more podcasts about fertility and some of those podcasters have thanked Natalie for her pioneering work. There’s also been an increase of bloggers, national newspaper articles and general discussion about it, so information about fertility issues is now becoming much more accessible.
[14:20] Natalie had plenty of equipment and experience from her career when she started podcasting. She tells about the platform IPTDL she uses for recording high quality remote interviews. She also got plenty of tips and inspiration from podcast communities. Here’s a link to She Podcasts.
[15:55] I asked Natalie if there’s anything she wishes she knew when she first started out in podcasting. She spoke about how powerful social media channels are now, for cool podcast launches! She also talks about the fact she’s learned so much since she started the podcast and how its constant growth has helped her to set and meet new benchmarks.
Milestones and Sponsorship
[18:17] With 75 published episodes, Natalie found the confidence to start trying to find sponsorship. Next she celebrated her 100,000 downloads achievement and now keeps an eye on her monthly downloads stats. The Fertility Podcast is currently achieving 12,000 downloads a month, providing a strong platform for sponsorship. As the podcast has grown, the balance of time Natalie has spent on it, versus her other business activities, has shifted quite a lot.
The Privilege and Responsibility of Podcasting
[23:40] Since highlighting the need for more conversation about fertility treatment through her podcast, Natalie has been given other opportunities to champion the topic. She’s now called on to chairing live panel events and presenting at shows and conferences.
[26:43] Natalie describes the privilege and responsibility of podcast hosting and tells us she has a duty of care to provide her listeners with something that’s worth listening to. Being a radio or podcast host places you in the position of always being available on demand to listeners – but that can bring with it the stress of feeling the need to be ‘always on’ in person, particularly with the increase in social media content. Natalie tells us how she’s developed coping strategies to deal with this. She talks about how helpful she’s finding the support of a mentor and how she’s roped in the support of other people to help keep her social groups live and lively.
[31:10] Touchingly, Natalie talks about the duty of care she feels she owes to all those going through fertility treatment, with her awareness of how that can affect someone’s close relationships and even their mental health. She’s disappointed by some of the dismissive responses these issues are met with and she demonstrates her passion for raising awareness of the seriousness and impact of the experience of infertility.
Dealing with Emotive Topics
[34:20] I ask Natalie how she prepares for podcast interviews when she knows the subject matter is likely to be highly emotive. She approaches all her conversations as if she’s having a chat over a coffee with her guests, talking informally, yet in an informed way, out of respect for her listeners. She wants the podcast to be seen as an educational tool for the topic with a collection of ‘everything you need to know’ information built up over time.
[36:35] The Fertility Podcast is now expanding into other ventures – Natalie is putting together a directory of fertility experts and trying to find additional ways to connect her community, that still respect their need for a degree of privacy and anonymity.
An Audio Influencer
[39:35] Considering Natalie started her podcast anonymously just over four years ago, it’s an amazing trajectory of growth that sees her now about to launch a website affirming her position as an ‘audio influencer’ in the world of fertility treatments. I ask her to define the term ‘audio influencer’ and she references the amazing support networks available to female podcasters, such as the She Podcasts network. Natalie tells us there is a lot of potential for the monetisation of podcasting, once you get clarity of you offering and influence. The ambitions she has for her podcast and the spin-off activities it has sparked, include having an online space for more content, conversation and engagement between people, experts and organisations.
[44:08] Education about fertility in schools is another area Natalie is starting to tackle, so that teenagers can be better prepared to consider fertility and their options in a more intelligent and informed way. She feels there is currently a lack of resource for teenagers who discover they have fertility issues and wants to tackle that issue head-on.
[44:55] Out of all her published episodes, one that makes Natalie particularly proud is the episode in which her husband agreed to undergo a medical examination and courageously podcast about it. It’s helped Natalie to put some focus on the man’s perspective of the fertility journey.
[48:35] Natalie shares a hilarious and salutary tale about experimenting with new technology while making a live recording. Listen with care!
Be a Bigger Fish
[50:45] Being a bigger fish, to Natalie, means stepping into the light and admitting to yourself that you can do it.
You can reach Natalie through The Fertility Podcast