Be patient. If a video isn’t immediately a big hit, it could become one in a few days. My account took about a week to get any attention and as some videos got attention, it brought more attention to other older videos on my account.

We often use the term “Influencers” to describe people with significant social media followings on platforms like Instagram, Twitter TikTok, Youtube, Linkedin and Facebook. Influencers have become today’s media titans, sought after for everything from product placements to timely trends. What’s the difference between influence and impact? Fans and followers? Sizzle versus staying power?

In this interview series, called, “How To Cultivate Community In A Click to Connect World” we are talking to influencers about how they define success and what we all need to discover about the true nature of influence. As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Emily Taylor aka @Dr._Ear_Wax on TikTok.

Dr. Emily Taylor is an Audiologist on a mission to educate parents and kids about the dangers of noise-induced hearing loss. Dr. Taylor currently cares for patients at her private practice, Taylor Listening Center, located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Thank you for making time to visit with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. How did you discover your career path and what got you to where you are today?

I discovered my career path through an introduction to audiology course at the University of Maryland in 2006. The material was interesting and challenging, yet manageable. I wanted to work in the healthcare field directly with patients and after shadowing a family friend, who took me under his wing, I knew this was the right path for me. In 2013, I graduated with my Doctorate in Audiology (AuD) from Towson University, and immediately opened my own audiology private practice. I always knew I wanted to practice audiology in my own special way and my practice is 100% patient focused; I believe everyone should have access to hearing health and that’s what I try to do at Taylor Listening Center.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along the way that influences how you operate now?

Be honest, patient, and caring. Your reputation is all you have.

We’re all searching for some good news. How are you using your platform to make a positive social impact?

Through social media, we are educating a generation of young adults on the dangers of loud noise exposure on the auditory system, something that is rarely discussed but is very prevalent! We are encouraging people to protect their hearing by using hearing protection. Noise-induced hearing loss is the only preventable type of hearing loss, yet is one of the most common types, with more than 20% of Americans experiencing noise-induced hearing loss.

Many of our readers are influencers as well. Others have tried and have yet to succeed. What words of advice would you offer to aspiring influencers, knowing what you know now?

Be patient. Growing your “followers” takes time. Find your unique space and make sure you are putting your own spin on your content. Also, be opened to learning from others in similar spaces.

Success is often a matter of perspective. I’ve always resonated with Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” How do you see success — or define success — for yourself now?

I define success in two ways: I am successful if I am helping people and successful if I feel happy with what I am doing while staying true to myself.

What are your strategies to make room for who and what matters most?

I rely on my calendar, the boundaries I set and the amazing employees I have working with me to make room for who and what matters most. My husband and twins are always my priority and one of the many reasons I chose to start my own practice. I also knew I couldn’t do everything by myself, which is why I brought my cousin on board as a second audiologist in my practice.

As for my TikTok platform, I set aside time at night, after my kids go to sleep. Before I started my TikTok channel, I’d lay in bed at night playing on my phone or watching TV. Now I l spend those evening hours making videos out of the content I shot that day, which is something I find relaxing and fun!

How do you reduce or mitigate stress?

I mitigate stress in a few ways. First, I have an amazing therapist and I recommend everyone have a therapist if possible. Second, I lean in on my husband and family to talk through how I am feeling when needed. And third, I watch TV or go on a walk, which I have to say may be my favorite ways to reduce stress.

I’m going to try a few of your tips, and I’m hopeful our readers will, too. Now it’s time for the big reveal — the moment our readers have been anticipating. What are your “five strategies to cultivate a large & engaged social media community?’ Please share a story or example for each.

  1. If something is successful, figure out why. My most successful video on TikTok has over 100 million views and I think it went viral because people were really confused by what I was doing in the video. So, it also turned into a teaching moment for me to educate the viewers on not only what I was doing in the video but why they should care about it. Once you figure out why a video is successful, create a strategy around how to continue pushing that video out. For example, I took that viral video and made a second video of me explaining what was happening, with the original video playing behind me.
  2. Learn what your target audience finds most interesting and listen to what you learn. I originally thought my most successful videos would be ear wax removal because that’s what other audiologists were having success with. But it turns out my followers are much more interested in watching custom ear molds being made so I have turned my editorial focus towards that type of content.
  3. Be patient. If a video isn’t immediately a big hit, it could become one in a few days. My account took about a week to get any attention and as some videos got attention, it brought more attention to other older videos on my account.
  4. Be consistent with posting. You must have a strategy in place and set a goal to post content a certain number of days per week. Once you create that plan, you need to stick with it.
  5. Engage with your followers. I spent the first few months making sure I answered most questions asked on my videos. This showed followers I was present and accessible. People like to see that you are a real person too, so let your personality shine through!

What do you do to create a greater sense of connection and community among your fans?

I engage with my followers by responding to questions and comments. I tell people to message me privately so I can help them if they have specific audiology related questions. And if they have something that requires other medical attention, I make sure to point them in the right direction so they can get the help they need. I have also started doing Live sessions on TikTok so people can learn more about me.

As an influencer, you are, by definition, a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I am trying to inspire a movement around encouraging safe and healthy hearing at all ages. Noise-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable, yet it’s not talked about regularly. Protecting the auditory system should be taught in all health classes in school and should be treated as a public health epidemic, which it is!

When you go to a concert, to a wedding or work around loud machinery, you should be wearing hearing protection. Musicians are wearing hearing protection when they are performing because the music is so loud, why aren’t we, as concert goers wearing it too?! Let’s talk about the hearing protections out there and what to do to prevent unnecessary hearing loss.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He, she or they might just see this. 🙂

Michelle Obama, will you go to lunch with me?! She is the epitome of the female I strive to be. Smart, fearless, bold, kind, supportive.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

You can find me on TikTok @Dr_Ear_Wax, on Instagram @taylorlisteningcenter and on the web at

Thank you for these thought-provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!

Thank you for these thought provoking insights. Here’s to your continued success!