Why Value Growth Of Podcast Is Important To Improve Your Marketing Strategies With Hector Santiesteban Of Marketing Your Podcast

TBF Hector Santiesteban | Value Growth


Many assume that podcasting is a passive environment, but that is very far from the truth. If you want your show to gain a strong following and become an effective marketing channel, you need to actively work on your value growth. Tracy Hazzard chats with Hector Santiesteban of Marketing Your Podcast to discuss why simply recording and releasing your podcast will not attract listeners. He explains how to level up your marketing strategies by identifying the type of content your audience wants to consume, understanding the value you are delivering, and realizing the large impact of bite-size consistent improvements. Hector also explains how he uses AMA’s and mastermind episodes to make his podcast more engaging, informative, and easier to digest.

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Why Value Growth Of Podcast Is Important To Improve Your Marketing Strategies With Hector Santiesteban Of Marketing Your Podcast

Welcome back to the show. I’ve got Hector Santiesteban on my show. He’s got Marketing Your Podcast. He’s a podcast producer but more on the marketing side of things. I’m so excited that we get to talk together. He invited me to women in podcasting panel on Twitter space. I so enjoyed the connections that he made, the other women that he brought forward and the conversations. We’ve since kept in touch. We’ve had a few LinkedIn interactions with some things that we were talking about. I want to dive into talking about the value growth of podcasts and other things because he’s got some background in that. We’ll talk about that.

Let me introduce to you Hector. Hector Santiesteban is the Founder of Amplafy Media, Lead Producer for podcasts at Scalable and host of Marketing Your Podcast. In 2017, Hector started Amplafy Media, a podcast marketing agency and has since helped dozens of podcasters in a variety of niches grow their show. The time that he doesn’t spend podcasting or promoting podcasts, he spends cooking for his wife and corralling his two toddlers. I so enjoyed this conversation with Hector and I know you’re going to, too. We’re talking about the industry, growth, valuing podcasts and how you market podcasts.

About Marketing Your Podcast Host Hector Santiesteban

TBF Hector Santiesteban | Value GrowthHector Santiesteban is the founder of Amplafy Media, lead producer for podcasts at Scalable, and host of ‘Marketing Your Podcast.’ In 2017 Hector started Amplafy Media, a podcast marketing agency, and has since helped dozens of podcasters in a variety of niches grow their show. The time that Hector doesn’t spend producing or promoting podcasts he spends cooking for his wife, Shylean, and corralling his two toddlers, Kashton and Kaira.

Follow Hector Santiesteban on Social: LinkedIn | Twitter

Hector, I am so glad we’re catching up. We met on your Twitter spaces and then I heard that Twitter spaces went down. Elon Musk took it down. I hope it’s back up because I love it when you and others do Twitter spaces. They’re fantastic. He took it down because some journalists heckled him, according to the articles. I don’t know what’s true. I wasn’t there.

What an interesting saga that has been. It’s going to be one of those business school case studies that people look back on in 20 or 30 years. I don’t know how the ending is going to be written. These are the bullet points, for sure.

Blue check marks will live on forever.

Who knows? I saw someone posted that Elon says that these people may or may not be notable so there’s so much confusion. Did you get a blue check when you were required to be someone of note or did you get a blue check in the two weeks that you could pay $9 and all of a sudden, they have to keep you there?

You’re still there. I can’t even say that I’ve checked mine to see if my blue check is back. I haven’t even looked at it. I’m not a super big Twitter person. I do like Twitter spaces but I don’t love Twitter. Doing a podcast that way in more places where you’re recording it, what made you choose that Twitter spaces model for some of your episodes? I know you don’t do them all that way.

Podcasting is great because of the depth that you can go with a listener and the experience that you can create for them. It’s unique in this TikTok-y landscape where getting someone to watch five seconds of a video is considered a good thing. That’s a long engagement whereas you have shows that are putting out 45-minute, 1-hour-long or 2-hour-long, episodes and people are sitting there with them. That can’t be overlooked.

Also, it is very siloed. That experience, as a listener, you don’t know if anybody else is listening. A community is built not only when you have a connection with the host and the listener but it’s also when the community is built between the listener and listener. That’s hard to create through podcasting alone.

A community is built not only when you have a connection with the podcast host and listener. It is built when connections are made between listeners themselves. Share on X

It’s a passive consumption model. You’re alone with your headphones on. It is different. You’re right.

I got my start in the internet marketing space and content marketing doing Facebook lives. I’ve always seen the power of what’s possible when someone is sitting there with you live. That relationship that someone can create on a podcast may take months or even years for that depth to happen. When someone is on live with you, that can be condensed even shorter. That same kind of depth of the relationship between a creator and an individual can be created within a matter of minutes. I’ve always tried to look for other ways to pull people into the community. Podcasting is a passive environment so I know the power of getting people activated and having them engaged in the process. There’s another level of depth there that’s possible.

You’re the classic case of it in the services that you provide and what you’re doing on the marketing and promotion side. There are so many podcasters out there. This is why we have such a gigantic podfade rate. It’s because they think if they podcast it, they will come and that will be it. They’re like, “All I have to do is show up, speak on this mic and I’m done.” There is so much more on the promotion side and engagement side. It’s making sure you have a website and someplace for them to engage with you or you’re not going to be building in that engagement piece or community-built piece. It’s not there because they have no place else to go.

Podcasts are one of the only places that are not built in for them. If you get into being a YouTuber, the YouTube algorithm, you can lean on that. You can lean on YouTube’s ad sense and monetization. There are creators whose sole form of promotion is creating better content. Unfortunately, that is not possible for podcasters. It’s weird that the apps haven’t caught up and the apps haven’t done a good job with discoverability. It seems like there’s a lot of attention or needs from the industry for that. It’s one of the few platforms where promotion is almost as important as content. You can look at TikTok.

In some cases, it’s even more important because otherwise, you’re creating this great content that nobody’s listening to.

It’s like building a great restaurant out in the middle of the desert and then not building any roads to it. You can have the greatest menu or food but if there’s no way for people to get there or to even know that it’s out there, they won’t go. Think about Burning Man. I don’t know how familiar you are with that and that whole festival. I haven’t been there. It’s not because I don’t want to but kids came along and it’s hard. If you think about it though, they’ve found a way to get people to go out to the middle of the desert. It’s because there’s a reason.

It’s not that it can’t be done. It’s not that you can’t get people excited to go find something. It’s that it has to be part of the process whereas TikTokers don’t necessarily have to do that. Instagram influencers didn’t have to do that. Even bloggers, there was an engine that you could play to. You could play to the Google search engine and that helped bloggers. Whereas with podcasters, promotion is more important, if not as important as content is.

You mentioned the apps and the discovery issues that we forget. There are a lot of people out there who are so quick to say, “I’m going to head on over to Spotify. I’m going to join them because they care about podcasters.” The reality is their app is not built for podcasters. It was built for music first and so was Apple. They were built for music consumption. Podcasts became a secondary stepchild and because it’s not built for that, it’s not built as a social platform first. It’s built as a single solo consumption platform.

I am encouraged though because I don’t spend a lot of time on the Apple app as much of late. I try and taste as many apps as I can. I do enjoy Spotify’s recommendation. They started to have on their panel a tier that said, “Listeners of this show that you listen to or subscribe to also like this.” Some of those shows are shows that I’d listen to. I thought that it was one of the few instances where a podcast app specifically recommended another show that I was interested in. It wasn’t some celebrity-filled podcast or some featured podcasts that Apple had chosen. There was some engine behind it that was caring about me, the podcast listeners.

It’s you-focused. It’s profile-focused. That’s the way their music system works. Playlisting, community and then doing some tracks based on that is powerful. I agree with you. When you base everything on downloads and charts, it’s not viable for you as an individual. It’s not relevant to you at the end of the day.

I am challenged to also commit to podcasting as a sole medium in the sense that people always ask, “Can you make money as a podcaster?” You can make money podcasting but I don’t know if that’s a great shin. There always has to be something else behind it, whether it’s a business, a service, a product, a brand or something else that makes the podcast worth it. It’s a very good driver for a lot of those things but it has to be put in the right context. For some reason, it got made into this gold rush or opportunity to make money. I don’t think it’s that either.

TBF Hector Santiesteban | Value Growth
Value Growth: There has to be a bigger purpose behind any business, services, product, or brand to make your podcast worth listen to.


I love him to death. This is not a criticism but I’m going to blame Pat Flynn. His podcast was named Smart Passive Income. It was about blogging and internet marketing in a broader thing, then it became about podcasting. Podcasting’s not a passive income environment. The name association heard it and that’s how it happened. Many of us became podcasters because of him. That’s out there but it was never a passive income model.

I run into Pat a few times. I would never say that we are friends because he would not know who I am. I’ve run into him enough that the next time I see him, I’m going to tell him and blame that.

I’d be happy to tell him. We’ve had each other on each other’s shows and talked about this. It’s this association that has been created that isn’t real. It’s not how it works. Marketing your podcast, which is your podcast name, is a critical aspect of it. There are three things that you’re doing that are brilliant. This is why someone should binge your show. It’s your binge factor.

It’s that it’s not long. We’re doing 15 to 30 minutes in there. It’s easy to consume. It’s one topic. We’re getting niche and narrow. We’re talking about going beyond the podcast and how it ties to what they’re doing in the podcast. I love that that’s the aspect that is happening there for you. Its emphasis is on what are you going to do when you’ve decided to do this podcasting thing.

I have had the fortune or the opportunity of working with a lot of other shows that are much bigger than mine and hosts that are much better than me and thinking, “How do we grow a show?” What we were spinning our wheels with was that there were all these tactics that we could be doing. There were all these platforms, ads, different tools or methods that didn’t focus on making it a better show.

In addition to all of those shiny objects like Facebook ads, platforms, episode swaps and all these different methods that someone can go out there and market their show, one of the best ways to grow a show was to make a better one. Much of it has evolved into that because that is also a critical part of growth. It’s the evolution of a podcast.

TBF Hector Santiesteban | Value Growth
Value Growth: One of the best ways to grow a podcast show is just making a better one.


That’s the other part. Someone is spinning out all these tactics all the time. The reality is that there’s a time and a place for them. I always say to my clients, “You haven’t earned the right yet to do this. You haven’t earned the right to ask to sell something. You’ve only done three episodes. Get into it. Show them how great it’s going to be and then you’d have an opportunity to ask for that.” I know you think this because I listened to some of your episodes and got to this. It’s that you believe that 25 episodes are a tipping point. I do, too. The numbers all point to that.

Those that don’t podfade go 25 episodes or more and those that do are 11 episodes or less. That’s the average there. It’s a significant difference in who makes it and who doesn’t. It’s as much on the listener as it is on you. You’ve got to prove yourself, get into a system, get your show to the quality level and get enough recordings under your belt but those listeners have to go, “That guy’s going to stick around for me. I’m going to give him a chance.”

That 10-episode or that 11-episode thing is interesting. We always recommended people launch with ten episodes. People got scared at that number so we backed it down to five. If we had our druthers, then in an ideal scenario, we would launch with ten episodes because, to your point, that already builds up so much momentum. When you launch with that, you start to see results in downloads. Things start to happen. There’s some energy behind it. You’re much more likely to stick with it.

We like clients to have ten in the can. We don’t necessarily launch with that but we like to have 10 done and ready to go so that they’re at least 2 months in.

That’s exactly it. If I wasn’t clear with that, that’s what I mean. The second thing is that we also talked to people that are starting shows about the evolution of the show. It’s both from them as an individual and how they’re going to evolve with their confidence and their voice but then also the evolution of the actual show.

I see a lot of people that want it to be perfect from the start. There’s no way to do that because you’re going to learn so much over those first 10, 25 or 50 episodes. By the time that you get there, you’re going to learn things that there’s no way you would’ve learned without those experiences. People have to have those expectations. If they have those, they’re much more likely to stick around.

Many podcasters want to be perfect from their first episode. You will learn so much in your next episodes that you can use to improve your show as it goes on. Share on X

I had to say that the listeners are forgiving. They get that. The binge listeners, the ones who come and listen to a lot of shows, are always looking for the next best show and are out there are more than willing to be a little forgiving in the beginning when the host is a little hesitant or it builds up to what it should be. They see when you’ve got a catalog that’s bigger than that. They’re like, “They had to have gotten better.” They give it a chance. When I talk to binge listeners, one of the methods that they do to check is they go to your first episode and your most recent episode. They check the difference between the two. If they’ve seen marked improvement, they are willing to binge through the rest of it.

That’s a great point that not a lot of people think about that. They’re so concerned about their first episode being perfect. That binge listener, for sure, is going to find it. The vast majority of listeners are only going to see your most recent episodes. They’re not going to make it. If you’ve got enough to where it’s hard to get to episode one, then you don’t have to worry about that as much.

You don’t have to worry about it at all. I don’t even think I want to listen to my first episodes again. The flexibility in the media type is so amazing to me. It’s one of my favorite parts about it. That’s because if it’s irrelevant or wrong, you can always delete it or replace it. It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t change anything in this course of your show.

The fact that you can have a very different show in your current show than what you had at the beginning is also amazing. Your fans come along with you or they are like, “I’m done.” That’s okay too because you’ve flexed and moved. How many times do we have to start over something? We can’t merge our audience. We can’t take them along with us. It happens all the time.

One thing that came up on what we call a Podcast AMA but they’re like a virtual podcast mixer, is he was concerned about how you make adjustments or improvements to your show while you’re in the midst of this production rut. You’ve got templates and you’re pumping stuff out. Our clients have a little bit of a luxury to not have to be doing everything but if you’re doing all the parts of podcasting, it’s hard to then improve, be creative or test, experiment and try things. Testing with small things and adjusting small, little bite-sized improvements all the time, we found that is a little easier than doing wholesale big changes.

TBF Hector Santiesteban | Value Growth
Value Growth: Making bite-size improvements all the time is much easier to do than implement wholesale changes.


I always talk to my clients, especially when we’re talking about social media promotion and other things, I tell them to start with one channel. They hate that. Especially social media experts hate that. They’re like, “You need to be everywhere.” I was like, “No. You don’t understand. You can repost it everywhere but focus on one channel and one thing at a time. Otherwise, you don’t know if it’s working or not.”

You’re like, “Our video meme is working. Let me dial down and do video memes on LinkedIn because that’s where my audience is. I’m going to do those until I feel like I got that right length and the right type and I figured them out. I’m then going to go try it and see if it works on Instagram because I got a new variable.” It’s the design of the experiment. We got to change one thing at a time, right?

Yeah. Otherwise, you don’t know what’s working and what’s not.

You rely on anecdotal information, especially if you’re only doing one episode a week. We had the luxury, when we started our first podcast, of doing it five days a week. We had a mass amount at once to be able to see what was working and what wasn’t in it. We created these quick adjustments to our show that were great for us, which is another reason for your idea of making sure to record ten. If they could launch with 10 and have 10 under their belt, they already have a sense of what felt good to them before the audience feedback starts changing their minds.

It was great how you were saying how awesome my show was earlier so I want to go back to that. I was thinking that we spend a lot of time trying to think about the experience that we’re trying to create for our listeners. You said my show is 15 minutes to 30 minutes, topic-oriented and you’re in and out. You’ve got something to run with. That’s great for me but I also want to say that’s not great for everybody. There is so much nuance in podcasting that should be accounted for. There’s no one-size-fits-all. There’s no box. There’s no “right way” or “this way.”

I also want to address that too. I’m glad that you recognized that because that’s something that we’ve tried to adjust. We didn’t want these long episodes. We didn’t want these things that were muddled or that you were trying to figure out what it was about to extract any value or actionable takeaways. We try to do the opposite of that. If you start there and you know what your listener wants or what you’re trying to provide them, then you can build a show around that experience, emotion, feeling or whatever it is that you’re trying to provide them.

I always like to look at patterns in the market. They are patterns in whatever is being done. Having the benefit of a platform where I can check the data and I can see them is a benefit for me. One of the things that I see and that’s what you’re doing right in your show is that when we’re talking about marketing concepts, marketing tactics or marketing things, it’s too much to go into all this esoteric depth about why we do things. It’s more of, “What do I need to accomplish? What will take me there the fastest?” That’s the answer that they’re looking for when they’re looking for marketing content. It’s simply that. You’re delivering the marketing content that the listener is looking for. It’s aligned and matched.

I interviewed someone who was running the Buffer Podcast way back when. When they first started, they had this 60-minute show. It was very talk show-ish and was following a lot of the podcasting models that were out there. They quickly found that no one was listening. They were crashing out after fifteen minutes. They said, “What if we created a fifteen-minute show that was one thing only and that was it?” The show took off. They were joking that it was because they felt that marketers who were the people listening to that show had the attention span of a gnat but more than one concept at a time for marketing is too much to absorb.

There are times when I have to stop an episode and I’m like, “I need to go do this.” You’re talking about something and they’re like, “I need to go do what you were talking about.”

You’re like, “I’m ready for layer 2 and layer 3.” It’s layered and nuanced. That’s what we don’t think about. You said you came out of internet marketing. Those that have that background have an advantage because we understand layered messaging.

It’s bite-sized pieces. I have clients that we were like, “15 to 20 minutes.” There’s one show. He started as a daily podcast. We’ve shrunk down to three and we might even go down less. We’re trying to fight with him because the idea was for it to be daily bite-sized wisdom and information. The challenge was his episodes were 20, 30 or 35 minutes. I’m like, “That’s hard to do daily.” There are 2 or 3 episodes in there. He’s an author and a writer. He has a big idea. He’s like, “How do I put this big idea into this one piece,” as opposed to, “What are the small, granular pieces that go into that and create an episodic structure so that people consume them or binge them as they see fit?”

That’s probably a lot of podfade issues right there. It is a mismatch between what they feel comfortable with as a host and what their audience wants to consume.

It’s also hard. Even in this particular instance, when we were launching the show, the host was getting feedback from their family, which is very standard in most things that you do and ask your family. The problem was that their family was not the target market. It didn’t fit their idealism. They were the complete opposite. We were targeting 30 to 40-year-old men who have beards and they’re asking their high school daughter’s opinion.

There’s a mismatch or a misalignment. They’re giving too much into that. That’s an extreme example of that. You’re not caring about your listeners. You’re caring about either yourself, your wife, your spouse or whomever it is that you’re trying to pander to as opposed to the people that are going to be listening to your show.

I always see the authors who will go out there and post the proposed cover of their book. They’ll be like, “What do you think?” I’m like, “That’s the worst thing you could ever do.” First off, it’s blown up. It’s way too big for what you’re going to see in the little thumbnail on Amazon. Secondly, is your family the people who are going to read this book?

It’s good to get the word out. The whole build-in-public thing, I’m a big advocate of that. Putting too much stock or too much weight or all of a sudden, saying, “We had 60 votes here and we only got 30 votes here,” I don’t know that you should take their word for it.

We should be sure. When I did a lot of product design and development, we used to go, “If you’re selling to mothers of preschoolers, then go to the mothers of preschoolers group. Stop talking to your family who’s got teenagers. It doesn’t work.” Let’s talk a little bit about scaling value. This is something that you and I reconnected with even though we did this on Twitter spaces. It wasn’t that long ago. It was in September 2022.

We did these great Twitter spaces. I applaud you for doing that for women. It’s so easy for us women to go, “Look at us women in podcasting.” The reality is when a man puts us out there, that’s great. It highlights it in a very different way to a different audience who does need to hear it instead of talking to the converted. That’s wonderful so thank you for that.

It’s because of that that we’ve become LinkedIn friends and we see each other’s posts. I saw this great post where you were talking about creating value in a show. You were shocked at the value that was created for a client. That’s what is missing. It’s this understanding of where your value is. It’s not just your downloads.

There’s a big misalignment between people thinking that the more downloads that they get, the more money that they’re going to make or the better it is. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

There is a big misalignment between podcasters thinking that the more downloads they get, the more money they will earn or the better show that they produce. Share on X

They don’t correlate.

It’s helpful and affirming to see that more people are listening. It’s great that you have a larger audience but it’s not indicative of it being valuable. You mentioned that there was a podcast that right in the middle of closing, it’s right around $500,000 for a show. I was shocked when I heard that valuation. I was even shocked when I heard that the person was going to pull the trigger on it. It’s a weird situation. In talking to the person who’s buying the show, they kept saying over and over again, “It makes sense for our business.”

It’s a match and that’s a big difference.

He brought in his CFO. They’re a multimillion-dollar company. It’s not changing the couch cushion, which is how he said it but it is something that is a worthwhile investment. When positioned the right way and aligned the right way with the business, it can make sense. It’s not its entity. It’s not a business in and of itself but it’s a great media property.

This particular show has a ton of ad revenue and a ton of sponsors that have been loyal and excited. There’s a larger demand for ads than there’s supply that we can put on the podcast. There’s a ton of opportunity to sell services, products and all the kinds of things that businesses do. It was surprising but when you look at it, it can make sense if you do it the right way.

This is the thing. We look at a lot of shows. We call them reverse mergers where you buy a show and maybe you put your show on top of it. That’s a model that we do. Most of them don’t go for $500,000 but they do go for $50,000. That could easily happen. When we look at the residual value in your show, if you did a consistent and constant job of keeping your audience growing and that growth, even if it’s small but it’s incrementally growing month over month, those listeners don’t disappear because you want to stop your show. It is the perfect time to sell it before you stop.

It does drop off and it’s harder to get back up again. That’s a perfect time. It’s when you’re getting a little tired of your show and you’re thinking, “Who are my competitors in this space that I might sell my show to?” It could happen that there’s somebody ready to take on that audience and add their ads to your show or reverse merge into it and start a brand new show with a built-in audience already. There are so many ways it could be valued.

It’s happening more. I had a good friend that bought a show. For lack of a better term, he’s an influencer in the health and wellness space. He saw an opportunity to buy a bigger podcast. It’s been great for his brand. He’s been able to leverage that. I always think of him, in Mario Kart, as those red and yellow little boosters or turbo things where he can be that. If you’re able to pick up and transition that audience from one entity to the next, that’s a challenge. If you can do that successfully, then it can be worthwhile.

I’ve seen it happen when somebody sold their company and they didn’t value their podcast within it. They lost the right to be able to continue the podcast at the same time. They didn’t get any money for it like an asset. I thought, “You had such a huge miss there.” I’ve seen it the other way where they brokered the podcast separately. Do you know how sometimes you go with the company? The only thing that they went with was keeping the show. They stayed the host of the show but they were paid to do it as a part of the buyout. I thought that was great. He got to do what he wanted to do and got paid for it. There are so many ways. That’s the problem that I see. You’re so quick to be like, “I’m done. I quit,” not thinking about what you built.

It’s a building process. It’s hard because in those moments, you want to throw up your hands and you’re, oftentimes, at the end of your effort. You’re out of any effort that’s left. In this particular instance, these people were ready to throw up their hands. They were going to throw the show away and there was someone, not by the grace of whatever, who came out.

It was like, “Wait.” Thank goodness the timing was good. Before we started recording here, we were talking a little bit about how you’re doing a lot more group coaching and masterminding. I want to talk about that a little bit because that’s important that there’s a definite need for this. Why do you think that mastermind ask-me-anything model is necessary?

First, it’s not there. I came from the marketing entrepreneurship world where that’s very prevalent. The things that come from that cross-pollination are so vital to that industry, collaborations, business partners, clients and stuff like that. We don’t have that in podcasting. What’s interesting is that there’s so much talk of collaborating with other hosts and working with other people to grow your shows and cross-promote. The infrastructure is not there.

Some people are doing some great things. There are some great tools out there to be able to do it but there’s not a ton where you can get the chance to connect with other podcasters to get feedback and ask questions in a safe space where there are no dumb questions. It’s hard sometimes to put yourself out there.

They can be a little bit customized. That’s what is missing. Some of the advice out there is so generic and you don’t know. You’re like, “Does this fit my model? Does this fit what I’m trying to accomplish?” There is no ability to expand on it. You drop in a little question into Facebook and say, “What do you all think? What should I do?” It’s generic answers from there.

One of my mentors, Jon Berghoff, highlighted something. He says, “Wisdom can come in four ways. Wisdom can come by yourself out in the woods, on a rock or meditating.” That’s great. You should do that. It could also come from one-on-one conversations. People might call it a coach. The idea of being a podcast coach was always weird to me but there is value to that. It’s that consulted role where you’re asking questions and getting direct feedback.

There’s also equal value in doing it in small groups. Being in a group of 3 or 4 people where you can get different perspectives and that cross-pollination can happen is hard to do for podcasters because they’re in their studios. They’re siloed. Podcasting is great because you can do everything from your studio. You don’t need to talk to anybody or connect with anybody if you don’t want to.

Creating those real opportunities to connect, get feedback and ask questions, A) Is not there and, B) The answers that emerge out of those types of things are often much better than what can happen from watching a course or reading a book on your own. There’s so much more possibility when you have multiple people’s ideas and perspectives.

This is the protectionist view when you sit in that world. Our businesses aren’t isolated and separated. There’s a little bit of overlap in the kinds of clients we might have. The reality is if we come to say, “This is working for me. This will work for you, too,” and we didn’t have those kinds of mindshare conversations, then we’re not going to get to a place where we can all make sure our clients are moving forward. That’s not sustainable as an industry.

At least for us. Specifically, both you and I have podcast production companies. In typical industries, we might be competitors but the pie is constantly getting bigger. There’s not enough of us to go out and adequately serve the pie for us to be worrying about who’s getting more of the pie than others. That’s something that maybe is unique to our industry. Maybe it’s not but it’s at least the mindset that I feel is helpful.

It doesn’t happen enough in some other industries. We are lucky that we can share it here and we do. That mastermind model though helps the whole industry. It’s not just it’s going to help you because you’re participating in that. It’s more than that. It helps change everything in the industry. There are ripples of that information that keeps getting out there. There are five other people you’re going to pass on what you’ve heard even if it didn’t apply to you. That’s great. It amplifies that.

Before I got into podcasting, I bought a lot of courses. There were a lot of experts and gurus in the internet marketing space. I’ve always been turned away from that. Maybe it’s my Imposter syndrome that has always felt weird about ever calling myself an expert. A thing that we have at Podcast AMA is we don’t have any individual gurus. The group, collectively, is the guru. That’s something that we remind people of. You never know who’s going to have the right answer. The right answer might come from someone that you might least expect. That’s the power of being in a collective and a group. That’s hard to replicate virtually through Twitter or Facebook. If you’re not there engaged with a person, it’s hard to do those things.

You never know you have the right answer. Sometimes, it comes from someone you least expect. Share on X

AMA and a mastermind are a little bit different in that you can get the experts together to start to converse about, “What’s going on in the industry? What are you doing to handle this? What would you do? I’ve got this challenge.” You’re brainstorming and masterminding together on that and sharing stories and ideas. When you open up in an ask-me-anything coaching model, you get a lot of the same questions that we all get all the time and we’re constantly answering. It doesn’t help move you forward. It’s like, “I have to sit in my role of the expert instead of being the learner.”

I was trying to think of what was a catchy name that I could think of that would make sense. We’ve had to morph it around it. The typical AMAs are what you think of on Reddit. Some people do it in Slack. It is where there’s an expert and you ask these questions and the answers come underneath it. Those are great. Having that expert is fantastic to give that perspective and experience. What is missing from those experiences that we incorporate is that expert or whoever shared whatever they shared is like, “Let’s go talk about how this applies to us.”

The action and the activity of talking things out create so much more clarity for somebody than listening to something or even taking notes and then having to go process it on their own. What we try and do is listen to someone for 10 to 15 minutes. They gave some great ideas. We take the next 15 to 20 minutes to go into small groups. We do this on Zoom. There are about 3 or 4 people who are there talking through, “How did this apply to me?” People are able to ask questions or get further clarity. You were talking about the workshops. They’re able to have some effect or change by the end of this.

I got an action item of something I can take away and try and do and then come back and say, “This didn’t work for me. What did I miss?” You’ve got somebody to go to. Before we end here, what’s next for you? Where do you think the podcast industry needs to go and where are you going?

I’m excited about this whole idea of Podcast AMA. I had been hesitant to do anything in the group coaching and mastermind space because it sounds weird to call anything a mastermind. I put it out on Twitter and said, “Are there any good podcasting masterminds that are out there?” People thought I was talking about an evil genius like Dr. Evil. They had no concept of what I meant by that. That was the first thing for me that stood out.

Your average person doesn’t call it that.

Most podcasters are not coming from this internet marketing space where they’ve seen the power. A lot of times, it’s so hard to tell someone what’s going to happen or what they’re going to experience. Show up and you’ll see because oftentimes, it’s so different for people. Everybody has a different experience because of the way that it is formatted and how engaged and interactive they are.

I’m excited about growing and continuing to scale that. We’ve had three such of those experiences. We call them experiences because I don’t know what else to call them. They’re Zoom hangouts. We’re going to keep doing that. We’ve got some more intensive programs that go deeper a little bit that we’re launching in January 2023. My goal is to provide the resources and community forecasters that got started and still don’t seem to be there. There are a lot of people who are telling people how to do things but I don’t think that there are a lot of people helping people to do those things.

That’s so true. It is a lot of talking about it and not a lot of doing.

It’s not handholding but there’s almost a walking that needs to be done. It’s not like, “Let me yell at you from where I’m at, tell you how I got here and hope that you make it.” That’s what too many people in the podcasting industry do.

TBF Hector Santiesteban | Value Growth
Value Growth: Podcasting is not about handholding. Telling your listeners where you are and how you made it is not very effective. Sadly, many people in the industry take this approach.


We always say to our clients, “We can’t make you record. We can do all these other things. We can design the cover art. We can record intros and outros and do all this technical stuff but I can’t record it for you. You still have to do that at the end of the day.” If you’re not invested in it, you’re not going to do it. You’re not going to succeed. That’s so true. Marketing Your Podcast, I love the show. You’ve got some great ideas and guests on there. Are you going to continue that in the same format? Are you going to shift it? I always make a shift at the end of the year and we’re right at the end of 2022. Are you going to shift for 2023?

This will be our third calendar year in 2023. We’re finishing up our second year. What I’m excited about is continuing to do more of the same thing. We’re only about 85 episodes in. I say only but I feel like there’s so much more opportunity to highlight some of these things that people are doing and some of the ways that people are growing their show. That’s one thing that we try and do. We expose people to the options. If they want a menu, they can go through our show and find out what are the different methods in which someone can do.

If we’re going to do anything different, one thing that I also want to try and highlight is fewer “podcast experts” because that’s who a lot of them have been. They’re industry experts. They’re people who do these things a lot and oftentimes, for clients. That’s great but that’s a different perspective. What I’m going to try and do is feature more podcasters. It’s almost that entrepreneur model where it’s not a loaded perspective. They’re sharing their experience and case studies. We’re going to try and do more of that as we start 2023. Otherwise, we’re excited about hitting episode 100. We’re going to try and get to 200 before the end of 2023.

You’re going to double down?

Yeah. We’re trying to scale up the content. I had the show going but I devoted a lot of my time to working with clients and the shows. There’s a lot that I’ve learned over the last couple of years. There are a lot of people that I’ve met, like yourself, that the world and the podcast world need to know about. I’m excited about that as well.

I can’t wait to hear more about Marketing Your Podcast. Hector, thank you so much for being here. We appreciate you holding up your end of the podcasting market and spurring people on to do better.

Thanks, Tracy. This has been fun.

That was quite a different discussion than we normally have here on the show. We got to go on a deeper dive into some of these other things like marketing, producing and the behind-the-scenes stuff that we don’t always talk about. My role as a producer and Hector’s role, we have this different viewpoint. It’s more of a mass view of things. It’s these patterns of things that are working whereas here on the show, we tend to dive into one single show and concept at a time.

When we’re wanting to talk about where the industry’s going and what’s happening in the industry, especially here as we’re starting 2023, I wanted to make sure that you got this perspective from Hector and dive into this idea. It’s that masterminding, continual growth and those kinds of models are perhaps exactly what everyone needs for the podcasting industry to grow and for your podcast and show to grow.

You don’t know where you are in that podcasting ecosystem or in that process yet until you experience it and then you go, “This is what I need next.” I’m so glad I could bring Hector to you. I’m so glad we could have a review of that show. Check out Marketing Your Podcast because it’s also got some great information that you might find valuable. I’ll be back next time with another podcast host here on the show.


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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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