Inside Look at Podcasting Networks: Hubspot Creator Network with Carly Baker

Understanding Podcast Success Beyond Downloads: The Real Metrics That Matter and Exploring the Value of Joining a Podcast Network

About The Episode

This episode is all about how to grow podcasts and the power and inner workings of podcast networks. Carly Baker, who has worked across community, creator partnerships, and audience developement for Hubspot Podcasts joins us to break down the ins and outs -- including how to grow through strategic partnerships, niche audiences, and diverse monetization paths. We uncover strategies to better leverage your podcast's potential, understanding audience behaviors, navigating the podcast SEO landscape, and provide a blueprint for emerging creators aiming to amplify their reach and impact.

Today, we'll cover:

- The inside track on joining a podcast network and how it can benefit emerging creators.
- Crucial tips for understanding and negotiating network deals to safeguard your creative control.
- How to use the 'network effect' to expand your podcast's reach and create a buzzing private membership.
- Carly's professional take on what makes a podcast stand out to networks like HubSpot.
- Unpacking the rise of YouTube-first podcasts and the impact of SEO on your show's visibility.


Idea #1: How to measure your podcast success besides # of downloads.

Downloads aren’t people.

Fact: The number of downloads your podcast gets doesn't equal the number of listeners. (09:55- 10:32)
However, downloads are the best way to measure reach

If downloads aren’t the best way to measure success, what is?

It depends.

It depends on what success means TO YOU

Success looks different to everyone. It comes down to the core reason why you started the show. 

For example, if your goal is to make money, traditional advertising is no longer the only way that creators can make money with a podcast.

Some other forms of monetization include:

  • Private Memberships
  • Digital Products

However, there are certain metrics that you follow to see if your podcast is resonating with your audience and see what to improve on, for example:

  • Average Listen Time → This tells you a lot about where your audience is dropping off, what they want more from you, what they want less, and where to improve.

Idea #2: Should you join a podcast network?

Again, it depends. 

Ask yourself:

  1. What am I unable to do for my podcast that could have an impact?
  2. What marketing strategies or initiatives are somewhat effective but could improve with a team's help to truly succeed?
  3. What tasks do I want to delegate and have someone else take complete charge of?

Then filter out networks based on your answers from above.

Now, before you make a decision:

 → You need to be very wary of the type of deals for a larger network.

Think about:

  1. Do you want to maintain ownership of your content? 
  2. Do you want to own the IP? 
  3. Are you okay with working in a network where if you leave, you can't take any of the content that they produced on your behalf?

There's many different legal things that are very important to understand.

Many creators have been burned by networks and lost years of their content because they left their deal early and the network maintained the rights. 


TikTok and YouTube Shorts as clips channels for your podcast with CTAs to move over to your audio show are a good way to dip your toe in the water with video and see kind of what's going on. - Carly Baker


00:00 Increased focus on partnership-based growth in industry.
05:53 Brands struggle with reach vs. trust, audiences.
07:24 Serving diverse audiences, intentional growth, niche content.
11:23 Podcasting monetization is a slow burn.
15:01 HubSpot has a YouTube network and accelerator.
20:02 Advocate for yourself, understand deal terms. Be cautious.
21:16 Leveraging creator networks for podcast monetization strategy.
27:24 Focus on audience, high production value on YouTube.
28:28 Exploring video content tips for beginners.
32:25 TikTok star stays authentic despite rapid fame.
35:00 LinkedIn will be future platform for B2B.

Partnership-Based Growth Strategies: "What I'm loving seeing now is just larger focus in general on partnership based growth. So whether it's partnering with brands, whether it's partnering with other creators, whether it's having sort of more of a holistic, comarketing approach to shows that have guests, all of these levers are really just rooted in less growth being one sided, or depending on other parties to push you forward and betting and depending more on yourself and leveraging others to help you grow."
— Carly Baker [00:03:09 → 00:03:45]

Content Strategy for Brands: "So I think when it comes to starting a new show, it's much harder to have a very broad audience. You should have three kind of audiences or personas that you're thinking about. So you have the core audience, which should be the audience that you want all of your content to resonate with... the secondary audience, which has some overlap with the core, but might be straying a little bit further... and then you have what we like to call the transformational audience... And those are folks where if you can serve the core and the secondary and bring those transformational people into those inner circles, that's really where you're going to see explosive growth."
— Carly Baker [00:07:12 → 00:07:24]

Growth Strategies in Podcasting: "So not only thinking about audiences as one person, but thinking about it as many people and trying to serve and always iterating on that, I think is going to be a really good way to continue with growth."
— Carly Baker [00:07:24 → 00:07:38]

The Evolution of Podcasting in Content Marketing: "We have a YouTube network. We have an entire team of people that are kind of functioning as a media company within HubSpot as a whole. And a lot of this was of course built on the acquisition of the hustle, which is what brought my first million to us. And with that acquisition and with having my first million, the conversation was, well, we should start a network, why should we not start a network?"
— Carly Baker [00:15:01 → 00:15:28]

Joining a Podcast Network: "So for anyone that's considering joining a network, I think having intentionality behind it is really important. So really sitting down and thinking about, okay, what do I not have the capacity to do for my podcast or for my podcast business that I know would make a difference? That should be number one. Number two, what are some initiatives or marketing plays or strategies that I have that are going on that are kind of working, kind of not working and could use the help of a team to optimize and make these work for me? And number three, what do I want help with? What would I want to offload and be fine giving someone else and having them take full ownership of doing on my behalf. Right. And so once you kind of have those three big pillars, then that's going to help you filter out networks."
— Carly Baker [00:18:15 → 00:19:13]

Navigating Content Ownership in Media Deals: "You need to think about if you want to maintain ownership of your content, if you want to own the ip, if you want a license deal, if you're okay with working in a network where if you leave, you can't take any of the content that they produced on your behalf."
— Carly Baker [00:20:24 → 00:20:39]

Maximizing Creator Networks: "So if you're trying to monetize your podcast without doing revenue sales, if that's not a part of your network, and you're really looking to build a private membership, and you see a network where six out of ten of the shows, those folks have very successful private networks or private memberships, that's a network you should be interested in, because you can learn from the people that are in there, and in return, you can give them something back."
— Carly Baker [00:21:35 → 00:22:00]

Evaluating Podcast Partnerships: "Are they bringing on diverse voices? We look at production stuff. Is their production value really high? What kind of social channels do they have? Are they like a thought leader in their industry, those different types of things?"
— Carly Baker [00:23:37 → 00:23:52]

Content Strategy for Emerging Platforms: "And if there's not an audience on YouTube for what you have going on with your content, because a lot of people are doing it, doesn't mean you should do it."
— Carly Baker [00:27:30 → 00:27:38]

The Evolution of Content Creation: "Right? Like they're seeing you, they're seeing your set, they're seeing your mannerisms. It's kind of taking that one step further, but that can also be distracting. I think in some ways opening up the floodgates to direct comments and feedback on the content that you're making. But I think ultimately there's lower lift, lower barriers of entry to sort of explore what video could look for you."
— Carly Baker [00:28:28 → 00:28:53]

Episode Transcript & Castmagic Chat

More episodes like this

Tips from the best!

Join our free weekly newsletter to learn from the smartest founders, operators, & creators.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Castmagic Logo

Start Scaling Your Business With Content

The most powerful content AI, at your fingertips

Get Started