BIPOC Creators: Amplifying Embraced Cultural Diversity Through A Strong Podcast Community With Maribel Quezada Smith

Podcasting is a long game but with a lot of opportunities. Among these is the opportunity to amplify embraced cultural diversity through strong podcast communities. Tracy Hazzard sits down for a conversation about this with Maribel Quezada Smith. Maribel is a TV documentary and podcast producer and owner of a bilingual media company that focuses on amplifying diverse voices in the media. In this conversation, she shares her approach in launching podcasts and developing dedicated communities around them. You’ll definitely learn how to make strategic decisions to reach and make a deeper connection with your audience. Tune in for more!

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BIPOC Creators: Amplifying Embraced Cultural Diversity Through A Strong Podcast Community With Maribel Quezada Smith

 

About The Diferent Podcast Host Maribel Quezada Smith

A few years ago, I discovered I was living my life for other people instead of myself. That’s when I started down this journey of self-discovery and empowerment.
This journey confirmed a fear I had long avoided confronting, the fear that I didn’t completely belong anywhere, and I had to choose a cultural “side” to succeed in life.
Since then, thanks to a decent amount of soul searching, I have realized I no longer have to choose a cultural side, I simply have to embrace my own journey as a Mexican immigrant woman living in the United States, who loves Hip Hop and Cumbia.
All of this self-discovery combined with my 15-plus years as a professional in video production and podcasting, inspired my passion for creating stories with meaning in order to satisfy our human desire for purpose and connection. (Which is how my podcast DIFERENTE was born!)
Today, I help entrepreneurs, startups and growing brands build deeper connections with their ideal customers through meaningful video and audio content.

Follow Maribel Quezada Smith on Socials:

LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

We have a very different episode. Yes, it’s diferente. We have the host of Diferente, Maribel Quezada Smith. She is a TV Documentary and podcast producer, as well as a production consultant and coach with many years of expertise developing meaningful content. Her TV credits include producing on shows for the Discovery family of networks, Netflix, Oxygen, and A&E.

She’s now the producer and co-producer of the popular golf podcast, Birdies Not BS. Also, hosts her own seasonal podcast, Diferente, where she shares her journey as a Mexican immigrant woman living in the United States who loves hip hop and cumbia. She co-founded the BIPOC Podcast Creators Group in order to help amplify the voices and stories of people of color.

That’s why I’m excited to bring her because it is Hispanic Heritage Month, and we wanted to bring some more exposure. We’ve done this before where we had different people who have multilingual podcasts or where they drop into. They’re bilingual or multilingual themselves and drop into different languages. They’re interesting to market because you’re marketing the two markets at the same time.

This is why I am so glad to bring Maribel on because it is such an interesting dynamic to not only be yourself but also be able to do that, which is the amazing part about podcasting. You can have your viewpoint, and you can bring it out there, but she has a very concerted way that she’s gone about building this podcast. I want you to hear that. Plus, she has to do some unusual things to market it to get her message out to the two different communities that she’s speaking to. Let’s hear from Maribel Quezada Smith, and let’s hear about a podcast that’s diferente.

Diferente, I have trouble saying it, but it’s such a great name, and it is different. Your show is different. I love that you’ve adopted a bilingual method on it, which fits everything that you’re doing. What made you decide to start the show, Maribel?

Diferente came from the idea of literally being different. Growing up in the United States and always feeling that I was different. Ironically, I was talking to a couple of family members, and I was thinking, “What should my podcast be called because I’m trying to think of something unique. It has to be something different.”

Isn’t that an agonizing choice for everybody, anyway?

I specifically remember saying to my niece, “I need something that’s a little bit different.” She goes, “Diferente.” Literally the meaning of different in Spanish.

What made you want to start a podcast in general?

I used to write a blog. I had a blog for a few years and my friends would always say, “I love your writing. I love your storytelling. I like reading it, but sometimes I don’t feel like reading. Maybe you should put this in an audio version.” That’s all they would say, audio version. I had done a podcast many years before that. In 2008, I did my first podcast.

You are an early adopter.

I didn’t stick with it, which happens to a lot of people. I did not stick with podcasting. I’m a video producer by trade. I was more into the video world. When my friends started telling me that they loved hearing my stories or they love reading my stories but they wanted to maybe listen to them, that’s when the idea of taking it into podcast format came about.

Avoid speaking about a subject you know nothing about. Share on X

Also, it was a moment for me to take a pause and explore some of the topics that I hadn’t gotten into yet. I wasn’t talking about cultural issues or my identity or the complexities of living life between two or more cultures, which is literally the premise of Diferente. In my blog, I was keeping it a little bit more casual. I thought this is a great opportunity to get deeper and talk to other people as well as sharing my story.

That’s such a fantastic reason to start. You already had a little bit of experience in it. You weren’t too daunted. That the thing is like, I imagine as a video producer, there’s way more equipment, way more complications. It seemed simple at the end of the day to do a podcast.

That’s so funny that you say that it seems simple because it did at the beginning. I was like, “This should be easy.”

It’s not.

I don’t know why I had that idea because, at the end of the day, I knew nothing about audio production. I know a lot about video production but back then in 2018 when I launched Diferente, I didn’t know much about audio. When I started doing the research as to how to launch a podcast and started doing the work, that’s when I realized, “This is not as simple as it seems. It is simple to start. It’s not simple to continue. It’s definitely not simple to keep a show going for a long time.”

It isn’t simple. You think because we have more experience in different areas, we sometimes get overwhelmed with the perfectionism side of things. Did that happen to you?

I have an episode that talks about that a little bit. I’m such a perfectionist. It’s part of my A-type personality. I’m trying hard to be better at that and let go of that side of me. I come from the media and the TV world. There’s very little room for mistakes in television, at least the way that I was trained, and I grew up in a household that there was very little room for mistakes. I’ve grown up that way.

I think that you bring it into your creation process sometimes, and it makes it hard to put out content in a meaningful way or in a natural way sometimes. I’m trying to shed that a little bit. The reason I get caught up in it is because being a producer, sometimes I feel like people are going to look from the outside and say, “She’s a producer, and she’s not perfectly putting out amazing content?” That’s where I get caught up. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter, and most people don’t think about it. The most important part about creating a podcast is having something important to share or having a story to share and being able to relate to other people when you’re telling the story.

That’s one of the things that I want to highlight about your show that I think is good. In some ways, each episode has its own theme, even if you’ve got a guest on. Where a lot of people have a guest on, and they let it lead, and they’re the theme like at the end of the day, but you don’t. You seem to have a point of conversation that you want to have with the guests that you’re having. You drive the conversation there, which is powerful because we’re not getting the whole picture of that guest on there, but we are certainly getting their viewpoint on something and that’s unique and unusual.

We don’t see that on a lot of shows or we don’t hear that on a lot of shows. It’s serving your show well. Personally, for me, that’s your binge factor. Maybe not your guests because I don’t know that I would have come across your guests in my everyday life because you have so many guests that have such diverse cultural backgrounds. I hope that I touched as many cultural backgrounds. I definitely don’t have that perspective that you do where you can find them.

I don’t hear them on every show, but to get this one perspective out of it, makes me want to follow that person and find out more about them because you gave me enough of something interesting. That is a good strategy. I think the guests who are serial guesting on a bunch of shows and come on and tell the same story and tell everything, they’re not serving themselves well. If they kept it like you’re already leading them to, to having like, “On this show, I’m only going to give this perspective of me.” People might be more intrigued to find out more, and it might be serving your guests better.

I appreciate that. Thank you. That’s a huge compliment, first of all. I’m going to let that soak in. There are several reasons why I decided to do it that way. First of all, if you ever read to my very first episode, so I call it 101. You will hear me talk about how I have a lot of uneducated and unresearched opinions, but I don’t share those out loud or in public with people. I try to keep those to myself or I try to like only have conversations with people in the presence of other folks and not in a podcast setting. That’s important to me.

I don’t want to only view information that has been regurgitated or assumed or stereotyped. It’s stuff that we already heard from somebody else and make assumptions about. I want to speak from experience. That’s important to me. I want my guests to also speak from experience. The reason why the episodes are driven by a topic and not by the guests specifically is because we want to explore specific topics that they have maybe had experiences with.

Cultural Diversity
Cultural Diversity: It is simple to start. It’s not simple to continue. And it’s definitely not simple to keep a show going for a long time.

 

We’re speaking from our personal journeys, our personal experiences of certain things that are going on in society or certain topics. We’re not only saying, “I think that Chinese food could use a little bit of.” I don’t know anything about Chinese food to that. Yes, I know enough about what it tastes like, but in reality, do I know about Chinese food? No. That’s only to give you a bad example of what I’m trying to avoid. I’m trying to avoid speaking from knowing nothing, which is right. It’s a problem in media in general.

It’s not only in podcasting. It’s in media, in general. Yes, I would agree with you. We hear a lot of opinions on people who shouldn’t be talking about those things, but you have some perspectives. You have created an online resource community for Black Indigenous and people of color in podcasting, which is fantastic because there’s not enough. There are not enough diverse perspectives all over the place. It’s something that is underserved. Why did you decide to start this group? You’ve got a great show going on. You can be doing this on your own. You didn’t need to support other podcasters, but you chose to.

No. That’s a good segue. Thank you for that because that idea of, “I don’t need to support other people,” is what started brewing inside of me. I come from being of this mindset that there’s not enough room for more than one, maybe two. When you’re a person of color or “a minority” living in the United States, for some reason, we are raised to believe that there’s only room for one or two at the seat at the table or at the top in leadership. When you grow up with that scarcity mentality, you think that you have to fight for everything that you get. You think that you have to put other people down or not put other people on or bring other people with you because they might take whatever might be yours, which is a ridiculous way to think. A lot of us do think that way and come from that mentality.

So do a lot of women, I have to say, as a woman who’s older than you. Having been in the corporate world before, there’s a lot of that there. I can feel that perspective that it is like, “I got to get the only spot that’s available for the next girl before the next girl gets to it or whatever that is.” Good for you for recognizing that and saying, “This isn’t maybe how I want to be.”

That’s part of the reason why I wanted to create this organization along with my cofounder Tangia Renee Estrada because we’re both of the nights of that, “We came from that scarcity mentality. That’s fine. Let’s leave that behind.” We’re done with that. We are now seeing more doors opening, but the truth is that not enough are opening. We need to do something about it. We created the organization as a beginning step for a community.

It started like a community to give resources and opportunities to people. Giving people more insight into podcasting beyond the 101. You have a lot of folks who start podcasting, like I said earlier, but not a lot who stay. How do we keep them in the game? That’s what we’re all about. BIPOC Podcast Creators is about that next level. Making sure that we are building and amplifying these voices of people of color and fighting for that transparency in the industry. Making it more diverse, more transparent and more inclusive.

I’m so glad you’re that. It’s much needed in the marketplace. In the industry, in general, we need a lot more voices that are diferente.

I’m going to have a say in a correctly, Tracy, by the end of this. Don’t worry.

I know I’m still blowing it.

We’ll practice together.

Spanish was not my thing in school, which is crazy because I live in California. It should have been what I studied instead, I took French because that sounded like, I wanted to go some way to Paris and be Madeline or something when I was younger. That was a mistake because I’ve never used it one day in my life, but I could have been using Spanish. I’m still encouraging my daughters to take Spanish. It’s not even funny. We’re changing that in my life.

One of the things that I want to touch on is this idea of sometimes you do need to have your opinion. You have to put that out. You’ve done a couple of solo episodes. I noticed one. Was that a concerted decision to say, “I got to talk about this?” In this particular episode that I read, you were talking about your mission for immigration and other things. You were talking about what’s going on there. It was a nice insight into you, but are you going to do more of those solos going forward further? Do they still make you feel maybe a little uncomfortable?

Yes, they do, but I have learned to embrace that. I’ve learned to embrace feeling uncomfortable about certain things and still doing them. The main thing that I want to do with Diferente is to continue to explore the complexities of living life between two or more cultures and celebrate that. In doing that, I do believe that I have to share my story. I have to share my own journey in coming up in the United States as an immigrant, even in coming up in Mexico. Growing up in Mexico, too, also sheds light on my experience as well.

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At the same time, everything in life has different perspectives. Diferente is also about bringing in other voices that can help me explore some of these topics. There’s an episode called Rich White Lady Decisions. I don’t know if you had a chance to listen to that, but if you listen to it, the title can be a little bit like, “Oh,” for some folks. When we talked about it, it’s all about how I admire how a lot of rich white ladies make badass decisions about things in life.

They don’t second guess themselves, and I want to be more like that. I want to be able to make those decisions, but what’s holding me back from making those decisions? A lot of preconceived notions, society, a lot of things that I’ve learned growing up. We talk about that in that episode. It’s culturally relevant. It’s also relevant to life, but it comes from an experienced perspective. We have those experiences. It’s not only me talking about something again that I don’t know anything about.

It sounds to me like you’re still more comfortable in that co-space where you can have it be in a conversation which is one of your strengths on the show. Your interviews are not like interviews. They’re like conversations. That’s what’s beautiful about them and about when you listen to the show, you feel like you’re a part of this conversation. They’re chatty in such a good way. I hate to use that word because it sounds negative, but it’s in such a good way that it’s chatty because you’ve made your guests so comfortable that they literally will drop into Spanish. That stuff will happen naturally in the conversation.

They’re not holding it back as though I’m on camera. I’m on a microphone. They’re not holding back with you, and that’s a great way. It comes from this approach that you’re taking. It’s wonderful. Let’s talk about a couple of process things in podcasting because it’s The Binge Factor, and we got to talk about those things because people want to know, “How do you do this?”

Your show is well-produced, and so we want to get to some things about how it happens. You talked about having this topic direction to things. Tell me, how do you get these guests? When you get them, did you go out and seek them because they fit the topic or did you meet them, research them if you didn’t already know them, and develop the topic that you want to talk with them about? How did that beginning production process go?

Season one was more guest-driven. I was exploring what I was trying to do. Season one was a learning journey, to be honest. We had some great conversations though. I have people on there like Roy Wood Jr., a comedian. That was my goal. I’m glad that you said that earlier because my goal was to have something in there that was different from what you would hear anywhere else from that person.

I’m glad that I was able to achieve that, but in how I do it now is I start with topic. I’m a topic-driven show. I always start with, what do I want to talk about and why? Why does this matter to my audience? Why is this going to help us further the conversation about living life between two or more cultures? From meeting people or doing research online, I start to figure out who I should talk to about those topics. A lot of the time, it ends up being someone that I happen to know. Sometimes it’s someone that I’ve never met or I’ve never had a conversation with. Those are a little bit challenging.

You’re seeking them out because the topic interests you to have a conversation with and they’re the right person for it. I think that’s a good approach rather than, “Let’s see if we can develop a topic out of this.” That’s harder to do.

Especially when we’re competing with so much out there, it’s hard to keep somebody’s attention when you don’t have a reason to drive the conversation. I hear a lot of shows like that. I like I’ll listen to them to do research and figure out what’s going on out there and there’s a lot of that.

Listeners, come in next. You mentioned your listeners as being important to you and how we increase our listeners is like every podcast or his goal and how we get engagement from them, so we encourage engagement among that. Are you seeing a lot of engagement? We hear a lot in that BIPOC Community that there aren’t as many listeners in the cultural genres as there aren’t a lot of podcasts here, so there aren’t a lot of listeners either. Are you finding that or are you finding growth in listener base?

No, that’s false. There is a significant amount of listenership when it comes to bicultural folks or multicultural folks, Latinx folks, people living between two or more cultures, there are a lot. There was a study done in conjunction with Edison Research. It was about the Latino audience and the growth. It completely exploded in podcasting. That is a misconception. There is an audience and a segment for that. It’s only that mainstream media, again, doesn’t talk about it. They don’t highlight these shows. I’m literally working on a blog post about bilingual podcasts out there. I will say this, there aren’t that many.

Tom and I were talking about this. Tom Hazzard, my partner, and I were talking about this because our process here at Podetize, which is our core production company is to have blog posts that go along with the podcast. It hasn’t fit the bilingual community because it’s hard to start that up. It’s like starting up a whole company all over again when we’re in the midst of such growth in the company we are because we’d have to start a whole staff focused on the translation, into whatever language we chose to tackle. Spanish seems the most obvious that we should do, but it’s hard because how do we have quality control? How do we check that?

From a production standpoint, it’s part of what I see as a challenge on the production side but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be supported out there and that there shouldn’t be a way to increase and encourage. When there’s such growth and listeners, it makes more sense. There are not enough shows that are doing that. I got someone who came across my desk who has a bilingual show in Czechoslovakia. Czech in English. I can’t even imagine how we would approach that from a blog post. It’s like a whole other keyboard. You have a whole other alphabet to deal with. It’s not the same. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Cultural Diversity
Cultural Diversity: The reason why the episodes are driven by a topic and not by the guests is because we want to explore specific topics that they may have had experiences with. So we’re speaking from our personal journeys and experiences.

 

No, absolutely. Tracy, we had a great conversation about that at Podcast Movement. I was on a panel about the movement to podcast in Spanish. There were a lot of questions about, “What if we want to do bilingual? Not everything in Spanish or not everything in English. Let’s do both. How hard is that? Is that possible? Is there an audience for that?” Yes, my show is like that. There are a few other shows like that and there is an audience for that because research shows, if you watch this research presentation that a lot of Latinos or a lot of people living in the United States that identify with the Latino community or Latinx, speak both languages.

They consume media in both languages, but there’s a connection that develops when somebody else can also go into Spanish or into English. If you feel comfortable doing both, there’s a deeper connection that you can build with your audience that way. It’s not only about translating. It’s also about the connection, the cultural similarities, and the context.

Is that how do you sometimes decide to put some episodes in Spanish and some not? As you feel like this topic is better suited and I think it would attract an audience to for this language first.

Yes, that’s how I decide. If you listen to some of these episodes, you’ll notice like for example, Cuando Conocí El Racismo. In that episode, I made it in Spanish because I wanted to make sure that the community, the Spanish-speaking community, could understand what racism was like in the United States.

You want your international community to have a better view.

International but also people living in the United States who don’t necessarily consume media in English all the time or who prefer to consume it in Spanish, yes, I make conscious decisions about what language I’m going to do it and based on the topic or the guest as well, but mostly based on the topic.

It’s an interesting way to approach it. It’s probably serving your audience base, so I can see that you’re on a pace for growth, but what about that engagement side? Are you finding that there is a lot more engagement in the communities that are communicating back with you and saying, “I love the show,” or “I’d like to talk about this?”

What’s funny is that every time that I felt like throwing in the towel, someone has found a way to my inbox to tell me how much they love the show and how much it makes their day and how much they learn and how it’s changed their perspective on this or that or how they feel like they have been heard.

I think the universe is telling you something, Maribel.

Tracy, this is like a longevity game like hard out here for an independent podcaster. Even though I’m a producer and I’m producing other shows for other people. I’m consulting on other shows. I’m doing video. I’m doing other things. It’s hard to make the time to produce a show that is so important to me because it’s so dear to my heart but it’s not making me any money.

The engagement is definitely there. I think that the challenge is definitely in search. For example, the listening devices or the listening platforms are not set up for bilingual content. There’s nothing out there that helps you find bilingual content. That’s the struggle out there that I’m dealing with. There’s a lack of search optimization for that stuff. They pick one or the other stuff.

There’s a lack of search optimization in general in podcasting. It’s not as good as it should be. I can imagine that you’re hurt even more by it. I can see how that would work against you.

I feel like that would help creators, especially bilingual creators. If they started to build a better infrastructure for multilingual, it would be cool to see what that could do to the audience base or to these independent shows who have been around for a while. As I said, I’m working on a post about bilingual podcasts, English-Spanish and I can’t find them. I know they have to be more than five out there, but I am struggling now. It’s because the search engines are not set up for that.

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That’s true. It’s hard. In some ways, they’ve tried to whitewash it. That’s how it feels. It’s pretty accurate. The last thing I usually talk about in this production segment that we do here is talk about monetization. This is the thing is like, not a lot of podcasters are all independent. We’re not making a lot of money off of our shows. How is it going for you? Do you feel like there are alternative monetization options for you? Are there some that we should consider that are completely out of the norm of advertising and sponsors that fit better to the BIPOC Community? Let me load it up for you.

I was going to talk about membership. For the BIPOC Community or the multicultural community in general, the audience could embrace a monetization of doing it and be membership. That’s something that I’m starting to explore for other shows. I might explore for Diferente. I’m not sure I’m ready for that yet, because again, it adds another layer of work. When you’re struggling to deal with sponsorships or to attract sponsors because maybe the numbers are not quite there yet, but your listener base is there. There’s loyalty. If you build loyalty, you can monetize it when it comes to membership, having people pay $10 a month, $5 a month to get bonus content.

Don’t go the route of making your transcripts behind a paywall. That is something that I think is very much frowned upon and should be frowned upon. I found some podcasts as I was doing research that is putting their transcripts behind a paywall. It’s like part of their bonus content. That’s horrible because it goes against what we talked about. We’re talking about accessibility here and you’re literally denying access to people who cannot hear that. People who need to read these transcripts, you’re hurting yourself and your brand by doing that.

When I talk about monetization in our community, specifically, we do talk a lot about memberships. Like how can you use that loyalty and promote that loyal fan base to become members and support the show that way so that you can at least maybe not get rich off of it, but so that you can at least cover your costs and continue to make content and then grow from there into a show that might be sponsored?

That makes sense. This is the thing, there are so many podcasters who get in a hurry, and as you put it before, this is a long game for some of us. When it’s a long game, we have to be sure that we’re making some of the right choices. I was thinking if you monetize too soon, it ends up making a mistake, and what ends up happening is you quit your show because it didn’t work out. It’s a timing thing instead. That community can tell you what’s going to make the most effective for me to sell? Building that community first makes sense.

Also, survey them. We’re doing a survey on one of the shows that I produced Birdies Not BS. We’re going to be doing a survey of our membership to see if that’s something that people would go into. Would they be willing to support us through membership and get bonus content, special access, different levels of things that we can offer to them? There are so many different things that you can offer besides only creating another RSS that’s private. You can also look at, how can I leverage my social media?

Maybe I can have some lives that are only for close friends, and those people that are paying into the membership are inside the close friends’ community. They’re the only ones that can watch these Lives. How can we do maybe in-person events once people start coming out again and things start to be safe again? How can we leverage that with our community? Don’t only think about virtual or podcasting as part of the bonus content. Also, consider other avenues that your members could benefit from.

That’s a great idea. Thank you for sharing that with us. I want to make sure that this is doing something for you at the end of the day. What have you seen that podcasting has done to grow you, your authority, your business, your mission?

Podcasting has done a lot for me. It’s definitely introduced me to a lot of fantastic people. That’s one main thing that I have to thank podcasting for because I’ve made some amazing friendships. That’s how I met my cofounder for BIPOC Podcast Creators. Also, it’s directed me in a new way as a business person. As I said before, I come from the television world documentary. I’ve been in video for a long time. I’m now going more into podcasting.

I’ve been producing more podcasts and consulting on podcasts. My business is now producing, consulting, and coaching podcasters how to level up and how to make sure that their content is above the rest, how to stop that scrolling, how to get people to listen and tune in, how to get people to become loyal listeners through meaningful content. I’m doing that for both podcasters and people who create video content online.

That’s how I’m focusing my efforts. It’s been going well. I’d definitely say that podcasting has opened up that avenue that I didn’t know was possible. It’s opened up new opportunities. I’m so thankful for the exposure and the lessons that I’ve learned so far as a podcast creator, as a producer, as a host, as the many things that we all are from a podcast.

Those many hats that we are wearing. What did you find the most challenging part about podcasting for you personally?

Finding my voice was the most challenging part, as someone who was making a living and still does by asking questions, being the other person, the person behind the camera. I was the one interviewing people. Someone who was used to doing that, I had to then come to terms with being the one leading the conversation and being on the microphone and putting myself out there. That was difficult. That was challenging in a good way, in a beautiful way. You’ll hear that on my show.

Cultural Diversity
Cultural Diversity: We are raised to believe that there’s only room for one or two at the seat at the table. And so when you grow up with that scarcity mentality, you really think that you have to fight for everything that you get.

 

On Diferente, you’ll hear the transition from season one into season two as to how my voice has evolved. My hands would sweat when I would sit down to record on season one. In the first ten episodes, probably my hands would sweat, and no one would be there. It would only be me and someone who I couldn’t even see because back then, I was using audio. I couldn’t see the person. It’s crazy. As I said, you come from this world where I’ve interviewed tons of people and important people and celebrities. For some reason, I would get super nervous because it was me. I was then literally putting my voice on the line.

It doesn’t come across that way on the show. I can tell you that. It may have been behind the scenes, but it does not show. You cannot hear that in the show at all. Good for you to put yourself out there. You mentioned something that I want to touch on. They’re like, I don’t normally get onto any controversial subjects, but I love to understand some more about it. I get the sense from what I heard in a few episodes. I was like, I feel the same way as a woman in business. You talk about something called code switching. Would you tell our audience a little bit about what that is, and let’s have a little discussion.

There’s literally a show called Code Switch dedicated to only that because it is so expansive. Only to give you an example, so code switching usually happens with people of color. When you are a certain person like myself, for example, I’ll use it myself. I’m a Mexican immigrant living in the United States. There are certain things about my authenticity and who I am as a person, including my hair, being curly. Those are not always accepted by society like mainstream society.

Mainstream society being primarily white society. When we go into the world, especially if we’re going into corporate or places where they are dominated by white folks, we do feel like we have to switch into someone who’s a little bit more palatable to mainstream society. Someone who fits in a little bit better, who doesn’t stick out, that’s a big thing growing up. I remember I would always feel like I need to make sure that I’m fitting in. I don’t want to stick out. That’s code switching. It’s the feeling that you have to be someone other than yourself for people to accept you and for you to be able to succeed in life.

Everyone, out there. This is why I asked her to talk about this because I wanted you to hear the high level of topics and the seriousness of what these are and what these mean. Yes, you can have an opinion on that but the beauty of what is. What Diferente has to offer and what Maribel here is offering to you is this opportunity to get an understanding of what that sounds like, what that feels like, what that looks like, and have a chatty, comfortable and intimate conversation. That’s what I mean when I use that word chatty. It’s an intimate conversation of two friends talking about this.

Embrace feeling uncomfortable about certain things and still doing them. Share on X

You’re getting an insight into that because these subjects are something that we all need to hear. No matter whether or not we see it on a daily basis but I guarantee you when I heard that episode that I was sitting back thinking, “I do that. I used to do that in the corporate world,” but it’s a male-female dynamic. I was the only woman amongst a lot of men all the time in my career. I understand what that felt like.

That gave me a sense of deep understanding of, “I feel that. That’s awful and way.” I hated it every day of my corporate lifelike, “How do you live your entire life like that?” Now I have empathy and understanding for what’s going on, and that shifts perspectives. That’s the power of what you’re doing on your show. I wanted to bring that up as we wrap up here because that power matters. That’s why the diverse voices out there matter so much.

Thank you, Tracy. That was so beautiful. I appreciate you saying that because that’s my whole mission with Diferente. To build empathy, to have conversations that open up further conversations. By the way, I try to be very intentional about keeping them short, also. You won’t be spending all your whole day Joe Rogan style on my podcast.

No, you won’t but it’s still I depth enough. That’s what I want to point out. You still get deep insight. It’s not like it’s surface gloss, and that’s so important. Maribel, thank you so much for bringing your podcast into the world, and thank you for being such a champion for diverse voices everywhere.

Thank you, Tracy. Thank you for having me.

I told you it was going to be diferente. I told you it’s going to be different than anything else that we’ve talked about. She made some calculated decisions and how she wanted to approach them. She wanted to approach it with the two different languages and have episodes that were all in each with a little bit of drop-in and crossover, which is an interesting model to go after. She did that with purpose, but she’s created a place where she can be herself, but it’s not totally an opinion show because you’re learning from others’ experiences as well.

You’re getting a shared community experience, which adds validity to your opinions, to your viewpoints on the world. When you can share that with a community, who says, “That resonates with me. That’s not my story. Here’s mine.” Now we can find common ground. That’s why this show is so critically important. That’s why the BIPOC Community is so critically important that we help raise the voices as a podcasting community of the diverse voices that are out there everywhere.

BIPOC is only one aspect of that because there are lots of other communities around there that are trying to raise awareness. There are groups that are raising awareness for women’s voices as well. I championed as much as I could here. If you are one of those in a community that isn’t quite getting the exposure that you deserve, please, reach out to The Binge Factor. Go to TheBingeFactor.com. Apply to be on the show. Let us know why you’re different like Maribel did. That way, I can be sure to make sure that we’re doing our job here at The Binge Factor of making sure to expose as many different voices around the world as we absolutely can.

Thanks, everyone for reading. Be sure to reach out. Be sure to find everything. Check out all the past episodes and see what ones you might have missed and how to connect with those podcast hosts and find their shows. Thanks, everyone for reading. I’ll be back next time with another different episode.

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is a former Authority Magazine and Inc. Magazine Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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