Apple just announced that it has discontinued iPods which is both a depressing reminder of our age and a sign of just how far podcasts have come. To many, podcasts bring to mind true crime sagas, celebrity vanity projects, or random friends recording nonsensical basement conversations — and that’s not too far off from how the medium grew. But podcasts today have become the method of choice for experts looking to share their knowledge and experience on their terms. And those are the people that HubSpot is hoping to attract to their new HubSpot Creators program.
Launched in March of 2022, this new HubSpot program is brand new and still a bit hush hush, but here’s what we know so far.
So what is HubSpot Creators?
At its core, HubSpot Creators is essentially an incubator for podcasts. Incubators help new businesses grow by giving them access to resources like expert coaching, office space, cash, and more. With this new program, HubSpot intends to do the same for podcasts.
If your podcast gets selected, you can expect monthly payments and operational support from HubSpot and their partners. As of this writing, HubSpot has already run one cohort of podcasters through the program, and you can find their work on the HubSpot’s Podcast Network.
How HubSpot Creators works
Being an incubator, the HubSpot Creators program is all about giving podcasters what they need to grow. The program is divided into four tiers: Seed, Series A, Series B, and Series C. As a podcast grows, it goes to the next tier and gets more support from HubSpot. It’s not yet clear how these resources grow with each tier, but here’s some of what you can expect from the program:
- Monthly payments: Just being part of HubSpot Creators gets you regular cash payments that you can use to grow your podcast.
- Marketing and operations support: The program gets you the resources you need to market your podcast and run it more efficiently.
- Cross-promotion with other podcasts in HubSpot’s network: Every podcast in HubSpot’s Podcast Network starts its episodes with a shout out to another show in the network. This essentially guarantees you exposure to a wider audience of listeners each week.
- Access to exclusive events: Not much is known about these events yet, but they’ll likely be great opportunities for networking with other creators.
- Professional coaching: HubSpot Creators has coaches that can help you up your podcasting skillset and turn your creation into a real business venture.
When you’ve been working with a bootstrapped budget for as long as you can remember, these resources can give you the boost you need to transform your podcast.
Who can apply?
In the short time HubSpot Creators has been live, they haven’t released very much information on eligibility requirements for this program. New cohorts are expected to launch quarterly this year, so there’ll likely be more details on this in the coming months. Here’s what we do know, though:
- Download numbers don’t matter. Since HubSpot is looking for emerging creators, you don’t need to already be a success story to apply for their program.
- You don’t even need a podcast. Podcasters can apply to HubSpot Creators even if they haven’t started. They’ll just need a pilot episode — either live or recorded.
- Alignment with HubSpot’s audience is important. Many of HubSpot’s podcasts are aimed at people who work in marketing departments, are part of a sales teams, or run their own businesses.
- Podcast quality. HubSpot is a bit vague on what this means, but it’s safe to assume that four-hour rants about superhero movies recorded on a laptop from 2005 probably won’t cut it.
- Filling gaps in their network. Ultimately, only HubSpot really knows what these gaps are. But if your podcast helps them target an audience they don’t have a lot of content for, it’s more likely to get accepted. Looking over the HubSpot Podcast Network page shows that the Customer Success category is lacking, for example. Maybe there’s an opportunity there?
How to apply
Applications for the second cohort will open in May of 2022 — exact date to be determined. Not much is known about how this process works quite yet, and the best thing you can do is sign up for updates on the HubSpot Creators page.
The first HubSpot Creators cohort
After launching in March, the HubSpot Creators program just produced its first cohort. Here are the podcasts that made the cut, in case you’re looking for inspiration — or just a new listen.
Phil Agnew, Senior Product Marketer at Hotjar, is the host of Nudge, a show that shares the science behind great marketing in short, 20-minute episodes stuffed with practical advice from marketers and behavioral scientists.
Parents Making Profits
Great parenting and entrepreneurship don’t need to be mutually exclusive. In Parents Making Profits, Mari Armstrong and James Oliver Jr. share advice on both and bring on guests that can help you excel at home and in the arena.
In this podcast Elaine Zelby, Director of Growth at SignalFire, explores some of the world’s least sexy industries to find the places where tech and modernity can completely transform forgotten businesses.
Work @ Life
If work-life balance is your passion, this might be the show for you. In Work @ Life, Sanja Licina and Maddie Grant discuss the workplace, employee engagement, and organizational culture, all backed up with the latest data.
Content is Profit
Learn how content can be the path to the Frictionless Sale with Luis D. Camejo and Luis Alfonzo Camejo, co-founders of BIZBROS. Content is Profit covers the frameworks and techniques you need to transform your content strategy.
In Finding Founders, host Sam Donner doesn’t cover the successes everyone’s already heard about. Interviews with founders of all stripes bring out their lowest points, those times when they were just about ready to give up.
No Straight Path
No Straight Path is about the speed bumps, the detours, and the slip-ups. Host Ashley Menzies Babatunde interviews entrepreneurs who are still in the middle of their journey to get to the core of their hopes, dreams, and failures.
The sales process can be a rollercoaster of cold calls and missed opportunities. In Blissful Prospecting, host Jason Bay interviews sales experts, leaders, and top performers to highlight tips and strategies salespeople can use to close more deals.
Get your spot
The HubSpot Creators program might not be the first incubator to focus on podcasts, but if your niche is business, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one. If you have a show that could benefit from an influx of resources and support, you’ll want to keep your eye open for when applications open next. Hopefully, your podcast becomes the star of their next cohort!