How To Beat The Odds: From Fashion Star To Baseball Podcast Phenom With Dani Cipolla Of Dani’s Dugout (Podfaded)

TBF Dani Cipolla | Baseball Podcast

 

From leaving the glitz of the fashion world to finding her voice in the realm of sports podcasting, Dani Cipolla of Dani’s Dugout defied expectations, proving that passion, perseverance, and a love for the game can propel you to greatness in any field. In this exciting episode, we dive into the journey of Dani Cipolla, the powerhouse behind Dani’s Dugout—a thrilling Yankees podcast. Dani shares the remarkable path that led her from being a successful New York City model to a prominent figure in women’s sports podcasting. She shares the challenges she faced and overcame, as well as the invaluable rewards that come with being an influencer in the world of sports. Dani is living proof of how we can find our own way to beat the odds and become unapologetically ourselves. Join us as we touch upon the intricacies of being a woman running a sports-focused podcast.

Watch the episode here

 

Listen to the podcast here

 

How To Beat The Odds: From Fashion Star To Baseball Podcast Phenom With Dani Cipolla Of Dani’s Dugout

Following my baseball theme from the last episode or sports theme in general but baseball-related, which is my favorite, I’ve got Dani Cipolla. She is Dani’s Dugout and this is a fun Yankees episode. The story goes and the reason she caught my eye and I had to bring her on the show is that I grew up in a Yankees family. My dad has been a giant Yankees fan since he was a kid. His mom, my grandmother, is a serious Yankees fan. I then married a Red Sox fan. Bashing the Yankees, loving the Yankees, and doing all of those things is a part of my childhood, and growing up into adulthood. Some of the most fun that I’ve ever had is going to baseball games with my dad and other things. Dani has that too.

She grew up with her dad and her grandfather, loving baseball, especially New York baseball, and that makes a huge difference. I had to have her on the show because I had to hear how Dani’s Dugout came about and how this woman put her stamp on sports podcasting. That’s why I had to bring her on. I love that we’re contrasting this after Kevin Warren’s Sports Chasers podcast, which is fan-based as well. She’s having this little bit of New York-themed but sports back and forth and talking about the challenges of these types of shows. Dani Cipolla is an ex-New York City model who left the industry to talk about Yankees baseball on her podcast, Dani’s Dugout, during COVID, while sports didn’t exist.

She came idea up with the idea of a new podcast and ran some different podcasts, one called Tequila and the Tea, where she could talk to guests. She thought that wasn’t enough for her. She decided to run a candle company called Scentual as well. Now she’s back to doing even more podcasting things. She’s acting in an executive producer role for some other shows, which she can’t quite talk about, but she’ll hint at that in the show. I love that she has made her mark on women talking sports. We’re going to head into some of those challenges, some of those fabulous benefits, and what it takes to be an influencer in sports podcasting.

About Dani's Dugout Host Dani Cipolla

TBF Dani Cipolla | Baseball Podcast

Dani is an ex-NYC model who left the industry to talk about Yankees baseball on her podcast Dani’s Dugout. During covid, while sports didn’t exist basically she came up with the idea of a new podcast called Tequila & The Tea where we could talk to guests in an authentic way and make them leave their bullshit at the door.

If you thought that wasn’t enough she also runs a company’s a candle company called Scentual.

 

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Dani, I’m so glad to have you here, a Yankees girl. My dad was thrilled I’m interviewing you.

It’s always the dads.

You know what’s so funny about it is that you grew up with your dad and grandfather giving you the love for the Yankees. I grew up with my grandmother and my dad.

I am jealous of the grandmother factor. If I was old enough to remember, my great-grandmother was a huge Yankee fan. She was a diehard Joe DiMaggio fan. If you said anything against him, she would rip you a new one. It is definitely passed down in the genetics of my family.

It is in mine too. It’s a thing. My Nan would sit in the kitchen and listen to the TV loudly in the other room if they were losing. She thought that her being in the room was bad luck. That’s how die-hard a fan she was. If they were losing, she was like, “I better leave the room and change things up.”

 

TBF Dani Cipolla | Baseball Podcast

 

I totally understand because I’ll do the same thing. My boyfriend is not a huge baseball fan. He’s into MMA fighting and stuff like that. Dating me, he’s forced to be a baseball and Yankee fan. If we’re winning and he gets up, and let’s say one of the players is struck out or ends the inning, I’m like, “Sit your ass back down. Don’t you dare move from this spot. I don’t care if you have to pee.”

The other thing she used to do, because she was alive during Joe Torre’s time, is she would yell at the TV, “You could smile now and again.” I know you know that because he never smiled.

Never. Not even when we were winning and blowing people out of the water. Nothing. He just stared.

Let’s talk about how the love of a game translated into starting a podcast. What was that impetus? What made you say, “Yeah, podcast. This is the thing for me?”

It wasn’t actually me. I will always give Joey his credit until I’m blue in the face. I was a model and I’m going back into the modeling industry, but that’s a different side story. I was a model in New York City. Let me say that Epstein is real. The whole thing of that industry #MeToo movement is real. Nothing happened to me but I saw it before my eyes. I was like, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be a part of this.” It was very sad for me because it was everything I always wanted other than to be the Yankees manager. I’m a female who didn’t play baseball. I figured that was out of the woods for me. It’s a very big long shot for me.

I was bartending at a bar called Jimmy’s Corner in New York. I love that place and it will always hold so many memories for me. A friend of mine walked in and he was like, “Why are you so sad?” I was like, “I’ve realized that I have to give up on one of my dreams. I don’t know what I’m going to do next, and I don’t want to be a bartender for the rest of my life. I need to find my next thing.” He’s like, “I know you love the Yankees. My friend is pitching for the Blue Jays tomorrow. I’ll have him get us some tickets and we’ll get to go on the field.” I was like, “I get to go on the field. What? This is amazing.”

I didn’t sleep at all because it was at 11:00, like get to the field at 11:00 AM. I worked until 5:00 in the morning. I slept maybe two hours. I was so excited and I needed to calm my nerves. I poured a coffee with some tequila in it and chugged that down. I got to the stadium and I was so happy. You could see my gums. I was smiling so much. I’m on the field and it’s a Sunday, so there’s no BP, which is batting practice. It’s just the pitchers throwing back and forth, and that’s it. I don’t care. I’m on Yankee Stadium field. The dirt is below me. This is the greatest thing in the world, and I’m so happy.

We go upstairs to our seats, getting ready for the game. I’m sitting in front of the Blue Jays’ starting pitcher because it’s September call-ups. This family was like, “We’re Yankee fans but our boys are playing for the Blue Jays.” I was like, “I get you. It’s fine.” The first batter comes up. I think it was Andrew McCutchen. He hits a home run off this kid. I am standing up screaming and yelling in my glory. The dad of this boy is so mad. He was like, “This girl got her tickets from a Blue Jay. She can’t even respect it. She’s sitting in the wrong section.”

I was trying so hard because if you listen to my podcast, I am unapologetic. I do not care. I will say whatever I want and you’re going to deal with it. I say what everybody thinks. I say what you say on your couch, yelling at the TV. I say it to the world. I’m sitting there and my friend and my other friend, who I got to bring with me, grabbed my leg. They were like, “Dani, don’t do it.” I’m like, “I’m sitting in the wrong section. You’re in the wrong effing stadium.” Under my breath, I was saying everything I want to say to this guy.

My friend Joey is cracking up. He looks at me as I’m watching the game, living my best life. He goes, “This is what you need to do.” I’m like, “What? Watch Yankee’s baseball? I plan to do that. What are you talking about?” He is like, “No, this is what you need to do. Start a podcast. Get on Barstool Sports. Do something of that nature. Start a podcast about Yankee’s baseball.” Me being a very sexual innuendo joke kind of person, I go, “What am I going to do? Call it Dani’s Dugout?” He is like, “Yes, that is exactly what you’re going to do. You’re going to call it Dani’s Dugout. You’re going to make a podcast and you’re going to rant about Yankee’s baseball.” I was like, “There’s no way that that would work.” I pondered it for a couple of days. I was like, “Screw it, I’m going to do it.” That was the start of Dani’s Dugout. It was some guy heckling me, me getting mad, and my friend going, “This is what you need to do.”

You still figured it all out and did it. What was the biggest challenge to doing that part?

The challenge was knowing what I’m doing. I had to learn from scratch. I had a friend who worked on podcasts. He set up my Libsyn account. He set up all of those things for me and showed me how to do it. It was that and then it was audio. Audio was my biggest factor for the longest time because I didn’t have the right setup. I was in a New York City apartment and I was broke. I had to deal with what I had and go for it. I recorded pretty much the beginning of my podcast on my cell phone. The audio was terrible, but I was the only female doing this. There were no other females talking about baseball unless they were on ESPN or at the MLB Network or whatever.

I was the only female, in general, talking about baseball. I was the only female talking about the Yankees. I still am the only female talking about the Yankees and that’s it. Otherwise, there are females out there who talk baseball, so on and so forth. They’re different, like there’s Brewers Podcast, Atlanta Braves, so on and so forth. I was the first one to do it. It was a lot of pressure because I needed to figure out how to make this work. I got in trouble for all the cursing I did. I got into trouble for all of this. Everybody’s like, “No one is going to listen to you because of this.” I proved every single person wrong.

When you say you got into trouble, what does that mean? Tell everyone because I want them to know some of these things that come up that you don’t anticipate.

I should have expected it, but I didn’t anticipate the misogyny. I’m a girl so I need to be prim and proper. I got up a lot of men being like, “I wish you didn’t curse as much.” I got so high up to a point where I was in the same room with YES Network executives. They literally told me, “If you didn’t curse so much, you’d be fine.” I’m like, “I don’t want to be on YES Network. That’s not my goal. I don’t want to be that. If I’m going to have a goal in this podcast, it’s going to be the first baseball podcast on Showtime where I can say the F word. I can say whatever I want and I could tell this person to suck this person’s whatever, and you can’t stop me.”

That’s what I want and that was where I was getting in trouble. That’s where my viewership has gone up and down throughout the whole time. I have never stopped though. I’ve gotten down to the point where I’m only listened to 50 times, and I’ve got up to the point where I’ve listened to tens of thousands of times. What I notice my biggest struggle is not being in New York so that way, I can have my face in front of everyone. The struggles were mostly misogyny. It’s men not understanding that women can also understand sports.

The struggles of creating a woman with a sports podcast were mostly around the misogyny, of men not understanding that women can also understand sports. Share on X

It’s a tipping point where we’re in podcasting as an industry. We just tipped over that almost to being exactly 50/50 between male and female listenership. That’s going to help it because when women consume, we want to consume what we want to consume. If they’re swearing in it and that’s who we are when we listen to the game, then we’re going to like it. We’re going to want the options.

We might be at a tipping point for that and I do understand. I am so glad you said this about the misogyny that goes on. My very first podcast was a podcast on 3D printing. It was geeky and it was a predominantly male audience. I wasn’t solo. I had my partner and husband, Tom. We did the show together. My role in it was to play the person who would be like, “I have no idea what you said there. That was way too technical. Our audience needs you to define that.”

My role was to make it real so that normal people could understand it because there were lots of people interested in learning 3D printing, and it was already complicated enough. That was it. I would get hate mail. “Shut up. Let Tom talk,” and things like that. You don’t anticipate that. I was like, “It’s a little podcast on 3D printing. Who cares?”

I have 60,000 followers. I will say that a lot of them came from my modeling career prior, but I grew from about 30,000 to 60,000 because of baseball. I had all of the guys being like, “She’s hot and she knows baseball,” but I also had all of the guys going, “Get back in the kitchen and shut up. Make me a sandwich.” I will always be very vulgar back to them. I’ll be like, “Okay, you small penis energy, you live with your comment,” or whatever.

Recently, I went after the captain of the New York Yankees. He was not the captain yet, I would like to say that quickly. It’s because he turned down a contract that I thought was perfect. A lot of people thought it was absolutely perfect for him and that he hadn’t shown anything of true and massive value for him to get more than what he asked for, or more than what we were willing to give him. He beat the AL home run record. I was like, “All right, you deserve your money.” I don’t think he should be the captain, but I’m also a Derek Jeter girl, and that is who I am to my core.

I went after him. To this day, I get people telling me who unlive myself. Those are probably the ones that bother me the most. Misogyny, I can deal with it until I’m blue in the face. You get used to it as a female dealing with that, which is sad to say. When people are telling you to unlive yourself, it takes you to that whole next level. I totally understand what Susan Waldman, who’s next to the voice of the Yankees, John Sterling.

She would get death threats and people would follow her home. She had to get security to follow her home to make sure she would get home. I’m like, “I’m not there. I don’t have that much, so why are these people going crazy?” With this podcast, that’s the struggles that I’ve had. That’s why sometimes, on a Tuesday, you won’t get a new episode because I’m like, “Do I want to get in front of this microphone again?” The following Tuesday, I get in front of the microphone and I go in. I go hard because I’m like, “You’re never going to stop me.”

I’m glad you think that way. I was at an event for women in New York City. The head of CBS was introducing a woman in broadcasting who was going to be the keynote speaker. He said he never had any complaints ever about a single male host of the news or anything like that about the sound of his voice. It was only the women in his organization. He would tamp it down and say like, “This is stupid. We ignored every time we heard this. It has nothing to do with the person who’s broadcasting. It has nothing to do with them.” That is a hard place to come from. It took me a hard time to sit back and say, “This isn’t about me. It’s about his view of the world.” He’s obviously had some bad experiences with women. It has nothing to do with me.

It never does, especially when they get to the point of saying things so nasty. It’s like, “This is coming out of a place from you. Don’t put that on me. Take your projections and take them elsewhere. It’s baseball. You can relax.”

You don’t have to listen. It’s not like you’re being pushed in there. It’s a subscription choice.

It is. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very well off on social media and I make my clips specifically to get a rise out of people. It is specifically made that way because it’s how we get viewership. It’s how we get people to go, “I need to go listen to this. I’m mad at what she said, but I want to listen to the rest of it.” The haters listen more than the lovers. It’s the truth. I specifically make my clips to piss people off because then it gets more and more and people share it more and more because they want to get mad at you. They want the internet to yell at you. I’m like, “At this point, I will be the villain for you because, at the end of the day, even the Yankees call themselves the evil empire.”

 

 

It’s an unfortunate position for you to be in because here you left something that was so misogynistic, to begin with, which is modeling. You move into something that you think you can hold your own, and then it still happens again.

I truly didn’t go into it thinking that though. I will say this. I knew what I was getting myself into. My dad was cracking up because he was going like, “You decided to go from one extremely hard career to another one.” I’m like, “Yes, I did.”

Let’s talk about some of the difficulties. I think sports is not unusual, but it’s probably more difficult here to get advertisers. Making money in podcasting is difficult in general, but sports for women are even harder. How have you been able to create some success in that area?

Social media. I’ve never pulled on an advertisement for the podcast because I will only go with things that are authentic to me and who I am because I am only authentic. When I go on my social media, you’re getting me dialed up by two, but it’s still me. There is no fake persona on my social media. I am who I am. If you don’t like it, too bad. I’m not going to come out here and come up with this acting situation. It is me and that is what it is.

It’s exhausting the other way.

Because then you have to keep up with a lie, and I’m not doing that. That’s not going to happen. I want to be able to be present on my social media. I constantly transform and do other things because I own a candle business. I also manage another podcast. I also am still modeling. There are things in my life that is not just Yankees baseball. I need people to see all of those things, and know that this is all authentic to who I am.

When I get advertising, it’s all social media. I think the reason why is I am such a presence on social media. I do get viral things multiple times on social media and people see that virality. When it comes to a podcast, you have to show them the specs. You have to show them the numbers when it comes to a baseball podcast, specifically a woman talking about baseball. You then niche it down even further to Yankees baseball, and then you niche it down even further, being unapologetic and being the fans’ point of view. You put yourself into this tiny box where you’re only going to get so many people listening to it.

Advertisers are going to go, “I can go on this podcast for 5 minutes, 10 seconds, or whatever, or I can go on her social media where it’s her talking about baseball.” I worked with Franklin Sports for the Aaron Judge gloves. I’m like, “You can do the advertisement on the podcast or I can post a picture of it, it can go viral, and then you get more bang for your buck.” A lot of them wanted me to announce it and then they didn’t want to pay. They’ll go, “Just announce it.” I’m like, “No, honey. I cost money. This is my time.”

Women buy or influence most of the sports equipment, merchandise, and tickets. They make those decisions. If you have influence over that community in any way, shape, or form, it should be more valuable, not less.

The funny thing is this is a whole screwed-up family. This is all men. In everything that I do, I have a lot more men than I do women. The women that I have loved the game immensely. Let’s be honest, there are a lot more men that love this game and football, so on and so forth. It’s a man’s world. I’ve got to sell to men and I can’t just sell to women because women will buy my candles, but men will buy my candles because I told them to. I am in the market where I have to advertise to men, which is so much harder to get them to buy. When I do, it’s ten times more successful. A woman sees it, it looks pretty and she goes, “I want it. I am that woman.”

Usually, they’re looking for it and they’re like, “This is going to be a great gift for so-and-so.” They’ve got a Rolodex of all of that in their head.

You have like an Amazon wishlist for that one friend. It’s like, “She would love this.” I’m on TikTok watching people organize things because I am a female and that’s what I want to watch. If I go on social media as a woman. I will consume the baseball content, but what I’m going to consume is things that are marketed toward women. Baseball is not marketed toward women. I can’t even market baseball to women because of the way that it’s laid out. There is nothing making a woman want to watch baseball. I have to try to do that. It is very hard. It’s so challenging because 20% of my following is women, but 80% of it is men. However, on TikTok, it’s completely different. It’s 50/50. It’s right down the middle.

I suspect it’s going to change over time in podcasting as well. As we start to get more and more women coming into it, I think we’re going to see a switch. I look forward to that. You casually dropped that you’re managing another show. I want to talk about that because one of the things that you have done well, and I’m going to head into your binge factor here, is that your show is truly unique among the other shows.

There are other Yankees podcasts out there. I don’t see anything special in them that makes me go, “I need to click on this. I need to subscribe to this. I need to listen to this.” I don’t see it in the directory listenings and how they talk about it. Their trailers are overproduced. I’m just going to say that. Yours is real and that makes a difference. I want to talk to a girlfriend about Yankees baseball. That’s what I’m going to get talking with you. I’m not going to get that girlfriend who knows her stuff.

That impresses me. That’s why I’m going to choose your show whether I’m a male or a female. That’s one of the reasons I’m going to choose your show. The other part you’ve done so successfully is to build that audience outside to come in. That’s where most people fall apart. The unique thing you’re bringing to other podcasters. It’s that social media management and planning pre-production. You’re bringing those two things together so that you can produce the clip that will get the attention.

Social media has always been my background prior to the baseball situation because of modeling. I will give my father some credit. My father now manages his wife’s businesses, but my father was a PR manager. That’s what he did. He owned a PR company. I grew up in social media management and understood how to psych people into following and coming back for more. The problem is algorithms constantly change and it’s super freaking annoying. Instagram and TikTok are like, “Now you have to do this.” I’m like, “Three days ago, it was this. Why are you changing things on me? Stop it.” You have to follow those things and nobody pays attention to them.

Post every single day. Post three stories every hour. They want at least 2 to 3 stories on there. They want you to post every single day to your feed. They want you to post a reel and a photo. Go back and forth. You have to see these things. For TikTok, I haven’t posted in a few days. The first time I posted, I only got 1,000 views instead of getting my typical 10,000 or 5,000. I only got 8,000. It’s because it’s like, “We don’t reward you because you are not on here all the time.” When you create a podcast, it’s a full-time freaking job. Don’t look at it as something like, “This is my side hobby for this.” If you want to make something of it, you have to generate those clips.

TBF Dani Cipolla | Baseball Podcast
Baseball Podcast: When you create a podcast, it’s a full-time job. Don’t look at it as a side hobby. If you want to make something of it, you have to generate those clips.

 

You need to make six clips out of your episode. I only make one now because I’m lazy and I have three other things that I need to take care of. For the podcast that I manage, I call my guy and I’m like, “I need six clips.” I want one clip that’s a promo clip where it’s a bunch of different portions of the episode put into one. It makes it exciting and you’re like, “I got to watch that episode because I want to hear what they talk about throughout it.” I want 3 to 4 more clips that are funny snippets that don’t give too much away but get you going, “I want to know what the rest of what they said.”

That’s how you pull people off of your social media and to your podcast. That is the most difficult thing. You can get tens of thousand followers on your Instagram or on your TikTok who will go and watch that, and they won’t listen to your podcast. That’s great as long as you’re selling advertisements on your social media, but if you’re not doing that, what’s the point of your podcast? You might as well keep making rants on Instagram and negate the podcast in general.

That is why it’s a little bit easier on other types of shows for them to sell their own stuff. That’s the model. If you’re selling your own stuff, it’s a totally different model than what you’re talking about here, which is you need to make outside money so you got to make that from advertising and affiliations and all of those other things. You have to work a lot harder at it. It is extremely difficult.

The podcast that I’m working on right now is a rewatch of a television show with millions and millions of people listening to it and watching it every week, and still have a fan base that goes beyond and loves the show still to this day. Moms are showing their kids. My mom watched the show one night and I watched it with her. If I have a gremlin, I will show the same show. It is my go-to show, no matter what. I love the show. To work on it is like a dream come true.

They can sell merchandise. They can do all of these things but even still, that ad revenue is so much more money than you can get selling merchandise and stuff. I will promise you that. Let’s say you have 20,000 subscribers, you can then sell a 1,000 one-minute freaking ad to better help. I’ve got 20,000 people listening to it and 2% of that is 1,000 people. Here you go.

Super fans are on top of it because it’s a target audience.

BetterHelp is also a great freaking place. They are selling advertisements constantly. You can go and find these advertisers and be like, “I have this amount of listeners and this amount of people engaged. They also engage on our social media,” so on and so forth. You can show the encompassment of how they engage on platforms. They engage by listening and keep it going from there. By giving them numbers of more than just the podcast, and giving them the numbers of social media, showing that they’re engaged with the content gets you to get more money out of the advertisement.

I think we don’t do that very well here because podcast statistics suck.

They’re like, “Podcasting isn’t oversaturated.” Podcasting is completely oversaturated. There’s a podcast for everything these days. If you can show so much more than just your listeners and you can show your engagement value across multiple platforms, you can get more money out of an advertisement, and you can get more times that the advertisement comes back to you as well.

Podcasting is completely oversaturated. There is a podcast for everything these days. Share on X

I think that’s underestimated value right there. Them re-upping and doing more campaigns with you is a big deal. It’s a whole lot easier to sell someone who already knows you than sell someone new.

On top of that, if you’re going to focus on merchandise and whatnot, you will make income, 100%, especially if you make good stuff and if you have a following of the proportion that is super fandom like the podcast I’m working on. It’s like a Fantasy show. You know that they go to the Comic Cons. They come and they get all of your merchandise that they possibly can get from you. At the end of the day, there’s only so much merchandise that can be bought.

You want to make sure that you’re not just making one form of income and you’re making multiple forms of income off of this because there’s only a certain period of time that it can continue. I’m sorry, we’re not all Joe Rogans. We’re not all Call Her Daddies. If you want to get there, you’re going to have to bust your ass. You’re going to have to put in time and effort, and go and find those amazing guest stars. You’re going to have to put on a show that is undeniably informative and binge-worthy.

TBF Dani Cipolla | Baseball Podcast
Baseball Podcast: If you want to get there, you’re going to have to bust your ass. You’re going to have to put in time and effort, find those amazing guest stars, and put on a show that is undeniably informative and binge-worthy.

 

Dani, the other thing is that you have a challenge with so many podcasts. I think this is the mistake and why you’ve done better than a lot of the other ones in the space. They say, “Baseball is a season, so I’m going to create a seasonal show.” You said, “That’s not how social media works.”

I technically make a “seasonal” show, but it’s every week during the season, and then it’s every other week during the off-season because there’s not a lot to talk about during the off-season. If they’re listening to my podcast, they’re already on my social media. I got them from my social media to go listen to my podcast. I can go on my social media and make a rant and be like, “We’re not going to do an episode this week, but here’s my rant towards this one tiny thing that happened in the last two weeks.”

During the off-season, not a lot happens, but you have to stay engaged with your people. That’s why I made other podcasts that I negated now because baseball is the love of my life and that’s what I want to pay attention to. You have to continue to make content. You can’t just stop making content for five months. That’s not how this works.

Baseball fans don’t stop being baseball fans during those five months and they’re desperate for some information and desperate to talk to other baseball fans.

They’re watching football right now. They don’t even know what’s going on in baseball, so they’re coming back to you. They’re like, “She’s going to let me know what’s happening. I’m not even going to listen to any of this other crap. I’m going to go listen to her because she’s going to inform me of all of the things that have happened in the last three weeks.”

This is the thing that you were saying though. All the algorithms are skewed against you if you’re not posting constantly and that includes podcasting. I have a Minor League baseball owner who has had a podcast with us for 5 years and in the last 3, it has gotten harder for him each time to come back each season and start it back up again. I keep trying to tell him he needs to do something in the off-season. It’s not his brain. He’s thinking like, “We’re off for the summer.”

You’re off of the summer, but that doesn’t mean that your team isn’t still practicing, that you’re not still constantly busting your butt, making sure that your stadium is getting filled. What are you doing during the summer that will make them still interested in coming back and listening to you? What is it that your show talks about? Is it just talking about the team? If it’s just talking about the team, tell them how they’re training this week and doing this this week. Even though baseball’s in its off-season, the players are still making sure that their bodies are in shape to come back to the season.

We want to hear that. We want to know what they’re doing. We also want to know who’s coming back to the team and all those financial movements that happened during that time. There’s always stuff going on. There isn’t a lack of things to talk about, but when you have the mindset that this is seasonal, it harms you in terms of building right back up again.

That’s why when I first specifically made this, I was like, “This will be biweekly during the off-season,” because I need to make sure that it stays. If I do biweekly, people are like, “We get it.” If I say, “I’m only going to make a podcast three months from now,” everyone is going to be like, “What happened? You just left me.”

The thing is, luckily, I have social media, so if I do go away for three months, let’s say that I do, I’m still engaging. I’m still making sure that they know that I’m here. I’m still making sure that I’m talking about baseball. I’m still making sure they are getting that content that they are fiending for because they are fiending for it. People are always wanting to listen to and watch content.

That’s why we scroll for ten hours on our phones even though we didn’t mean to. That’s why we’re staying up until 4:00 in the morning watching that fricking TikTok page that we can’t stop watching because we are constantly wanting that dopamine hit. If you aren’t going to give people that dopamine hit, they’re not going to stay around.

If you aren't going to give people that dopamine hit, they're not going to stay around. Share on X

You’re spoken like somebody who does have a publicity background. I love it. If I’ve got some people in the audience and they’re still on the fence about their podcast, what advice do you have for them?

Lay it out, look at it, and figure out what it is that you want to talk about. Is it something that you could talk about for the rest of your days and for the rest of the time? Yes, niche down. You have to start with a niche and then you can go from there. I will give you an example. Call Her Daddy. It was a sex podcast. Now look at it. She’s interviewing every actor and actress. She is talking about mental health. She’s still talking about sex. It’s still there. Once you start with a niche, you can then build pillars around that niche.

You need to create a map of your podcast. What is the one thing that you can always talk about? Once it hits, what are the two other pillars that can come from that, and go from there. For me, with baseball, it was Yankees baseball and then I was like, “I can’t go from a different pillar here, but I could.” I can go from the New York lifestyle and I can go to the baseball lifestyle. It doesn’t have to just be the Yankees. I can then hit two other factors within sports and within New York and go from there. You have to make sure that you have something that can grow with you. If you can’t figure that out, then I’m going to tell you to find a different idea.

You have to make sure that you have something that can grow with you. If you can't figure that out, then find a different idea. Share on X

Such great advice, Dani, and not something we’ve heard on this show, which is what I expected from you. That’s why I invited you on here to get some unconventional advice that was truly valuable. That’s what you gave us. Dani’s Dugout is on Tuesdays in season and every other Tuesday in the off-season. It is a great show, Dani. You should be so proud of what you built here. Don’t let those typical fans push a girl out of baseball.

I will not. I promise.

There is so much in Dani’s Dugout that is well done, but it takes going to her social media and checking all of that out. I want you to take a look at how she’s promoting our podcast because she was giving you some brilliant insight into what it takes to get your podcast engaged on social media. If you want to have somebody come back and listen to the show, you have to do more in this and say, “Here’s my new episode.” You have to incite them to disagree with you. You have to get them to want to hear the whole rest of what you offer. You’ve got to be very concerted and deliberate about how you promote on social media. She’s brilliant at it.

Yeah, she is controversial. Maybe that’s not for you, but there are lots of other techniques that she utilizes like the sphere of missing out. Be looking at what she does here because this is what I see so many of you podcasters missing. You’ve got your show, and your show is brilliant and great, but nobody is coming. You’re taking the time to promote it on social media, but you’re not doing what is necessary to promote and get them to come back, engage, listen, and subscribe.

That’s what she does well. I thought it was a great view she was setting up for you on how you create value. The value is not only going to be in the podcast. It’s going to be in your social following. It’s going to be an engagement of that following. It’s going to be in the advertising value of that following. It’s a big and robust look at what makes a valuable show. She understands that. She’s got that in spades here.

It’s what I love about Dani’s Dugout, plus it’s got an edge to it. She knows who she is, and she knows what she’s putting out there. She knows the value she brings to herself and the audience. She can do that in an authentic way that creates something of great entertainment value. It’s very interesting. I can hear myself yelling at the podcast and talking back with her. That makes a much more intimate creation with the audience, even if they don’t message you back.

I’m very sure some of her fans do and you can see it on social media. Even if they can’t or don’t take the time to do it, because I’m talking back to her as I’m listening to her show, she’s got my attention. I feel like I know her even better. That’s what makes this show truly bingeable. That’s what makes her binge factor so valuable, and it’s going to make me subscribe.

Go check out Dani’s Dugout. If you are sitting on the fence, take what she said to heart. Go out there and make a plan. Get yourself an executive producer like Dani if you need it. Figure out what that plan is and think hard about, “Should I do this? Is this the right thing? Can this become something of interest and value to my audience, to me, and to the ecosystem of podcasting as a whole, to ultimately create something worth doing?

I’m so glad Dani came on the show. I can’t wait to hook her up with Kevin’s show. Look at the contrast between Kevin Warren and Dani Cipolla. They’re such polar opposites in the way they approach the show, but extremely fan valuable. The fans are represented there. They’re getting what they wish they could hear on broadcast media, and I love that.

That’s what podcasting and indie podcasting if you want to call it that, or independent broadcasting should be all about. They both do it in a completely different way, but it’s having the same effective value to their audience and listeners. Make sure you check out that previous episode I did with Kevin Warren and Sports Chasers Podcast. Check out Dani’s Dugout before that, and check them out. Compare and contrast them and see how two different styles can still have the same effective results.

Thanks, everyone, for tuning in and indulging me in a little bit of New York sports in the last couple of episodes. I appreciate you giving me that indulgence. I’ll be back next time with another podcaster, and another different take on the marketplace, looking at different genres right here on The Binge Factor.

 

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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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