As part of our Female Founder series, The Startup Magazine caught up with Rita Bautista, CEO of Latina Podcasters.
Founded in 2019 by Ms. Bautista, Latina Podcasters is a Latino minority owned and operated and certified global podcast network group. Latina Podcasters is changing the media landscape by streamlining the process for brands and businesses to buy host reading ads and curated segments on podcasts with authentic Latino voices. Under the group’s umbrella are its two subsidiary networks: Latino Pods, which features shows aimed at a male audience, and the Latina Podcasters Network, which features Latina-hosted programming. Visit latinapodcasters.com for more information.
Here Rita shares more about her journey…
TSM: Can you tell us, in 10 words or less, what the mission of Latina Podcasters is?
Rita: Latina Podcasters streamlines the process of buying ads on Authentic Latina, Latino and Latino podcasts for brands and agencies.
TSM: In a little more detail, tell us more about the background of Latina Podcasters and how it works?
Rita: I formed Latina Podcasters to create representation and amplify the stories of the authentic voices of US-based Latinas, Latinos, and Latinos through podcasts. As a traditionally underpaid and underrepresented community, we ensure our podcasters are paid market rate or higher by curating premium host reading ads for the brands and agencies we work to connect with authentically to the US Hispanic market.
TSM: Can you cite a particular success story that exemplifies the purpose and success of Latina Podcasters, one that inspires you?
Rita: We ran a campaign for McDonald’s that focused on how McDonald’s has created a positive impact in our community. One of our podcasters produced a commercial about his son who was sick as a child and the Ronald McDonald House paid for his family to stay near the hospital. While listening to the podcast, it made me see the positive impact the company has had outside of the fast food industry, and the podcast highlighted that to its audience.
My success story in getting podcasters to pay market rate or above was while hosting dinners in our top markets with our podcasters. While in New York and LA, the podcasters shared all the things they were able to do thanks to the money they were able to make thanks to the network. The biggest stories I heard came directly from these podcasters who said they could buy houses. I felt like what I’ve built made a difference after listening to these podcasters tell me that they can now buy homes in two of the most expensive markets in the country.
TSM: What are the most important things you tell Latinas to help them find their “voice” as leaders and entrepreneurs?
Rita: To not be afraid and tell your story. We haven’t been represented for too long, and the only way to change that is by stepping up and creating it. Their stories don’t have to be seriously deep. Comedic and humorous stories are also important and heartwarming, but we need creativity and amplification of those stories to move the needle.
TSM: As an entrepreneur, going back to your early decisions, tell us what factors influenced your decision to become an entrepreneur?
Rita: I was raised in a home with a mother who never took no for an answer. I watched her clean houses, (sometimes even clean houses with her) sell Mary Kay Cosmetics, invest in local and international real estate, and do many other jobs to make ends meet. However, the most powerful lesson I learned was that she determined how and when I made money. This was important to me and would ultimately empower me to know that I could do this; I had a role model who showed me where there’s a will, there’s a way. As long as your personal mission is aligned with the greater good, everything works out.
What’s interesting, too, is that as an entrepreneur you have to be flexible and wear many hats. One day you’re talking to the producers and each podcast host to get their buy-in. Then the next day you’re the head of sales, and the next day, you’re the face of the company talking to people who want to invest millions in your company. All of these behind-the-scenes actions are just as important as the next, but you need to know how to be the big one to understand your industry.
TSM: What do you have planned for the future of Latina Podcasters or where are you expanding into new media businesses?
Rita: We want to create original pieces and audio novels in English, Spanish and Spanish and turn them into films. We are also expanding on YouTube. The big goal is to become a publicly traded company.
TSM: What’s the most important thing you tell other startup founders? What are your lessons learned?
Rita: One lesson is to understand the meaning of the word scream. Learn the word and make it part of your vocabulary. You will learn more not to give up on your idea and to carry it out. Pivot quickly and without taking anything personally. Be open to change and discover how your business adapts to changing markets.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to take anything personally, even though every now and then something hits close to home. If you work on not taking anything personally, this will be much easier.
Also, make sure you prioritize me time. You give a lot of yourself as a startup founder, but you also exist outside of the company. Find out what your self-care routine is and practice it religiously so you can be the best version of yourself when you’re at work.
TSM: What’s an interesting fact about you that people might not know?
Rita: My family owned a circus in Honduras until the 1970s. Entertainment is in my blood, so I have learned to understand many different personalities. This fact has been one of the reasons for the success of Latina Podcasters. I also played the baritone horn, lol 😊 .
TSM: This should be a lot of fun. Thanks for your ideas. G00d good luck in your future achievements.
Rita Bautista is a Venezuelan-born entrepreneur and a veteran Latina podcaster with a mission to amplify the voices of Latinx in the podcasting industry. She recently launched Latina Podcasters, a platform for Latinx podcasters to connect and share resources, which has grown to become a leader in the Latinx podcasting landscape. In this interview with The Startup Magazine, Bautista shares her journey to becoming the CEO of Latina Podcasters and how her work has impacted the podcasting industry.
Rita Bautista grew up in Venezuela, where she developed a passion for sharing her culture and one-of-a-kind stories through the medium of broadcasting and podcasting. When she arrived in Miami, FL, she became aware of the growing Latinx podcasting community and wanted to provide them with a platform to share their stories. In 2020, she founded Latina Podcasters as a solution to help Latinx podcasters connect, grow, and amplify their content.
Latina Podcasters is the only Latinx-owned platform in the U.S. dedicated to podcasting services and a powerful network for Latinx women podcasters. It provides podcast production, podcast promotion, and podcast consulting services to Latinx podcasters looking for a place to start and grow. It has also become an important hub for Latinx podcast creators to connect and collaborate with each other. Most recently, Latina Podcasters launched LatiNOSTROS, a video series in which Latinx stories are reimagined as music videos.
When asked how her business has impacted the Latinx podcasting community, Bautista said, “Latina Podcasters has had a major impact on the Latinx podcasting industry by providing meaningful connections and collaboration opportunities to Latinx podcasters. Also, with our LatiNOSTROS series we are able to give podcasters a platform to tell their stories and be creative with their content.”
Mentorship has always been a big part of Bautista’s journey, which she ties to the success of Latina Podcasters. “Much of our success is due to the incredible mentors who have helped and guided me since day one,” she said. With this, Bautista is also mentoring other Latinx women podcasters through Ikaroa, the mentorship branch of Latina Podcasters. “We want to make sure we provide resources and support to the next generation of Latinx podcasters,” Bautista shared.
Rita Bautista’s hard work and commitment to amplifying the voices of Latinx in the podcasting industry have pushed the boundaries of media and made her a leader in the field. Latina Podcasters seeks to create more meaningful and inclusive conversations around Latinx content, empowering Latinx creators and taking the industry to the next level.