Hot Seat Series on Next Up Nation Evaluates the Play with Fire Podcast

Play with Fire has released 29 podcast episodes from September 16, 2019, through the day she was interviewed on the Next Up Nation podcast on August 17 2021. Ashly says the goal of her podcast is to help empower businesses and brands through the art of storytelling and creativity. 

For Ashly, the key is treating your podcast marketing strategy like you’re creating a TV series or movie. There needs to be a plot, a main character, and a structure that’s compelling enough to make people want to tune in every episode. 

Part 1: The WHY Behind Ashly McHatton’s Podcast, Play with Fire

When first starting her podcast, Ashly was considered a “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to marketing. Her business unintentionally became a boutique agency that specializes in messaging. However, she was getting burnt out making things for other people and their business and felt she was losing her creativity.

But through her time as an ultrarunner, she learned how much she loved hearing people’s stories. She realized how powerful storytelling could be.

Here’s what she had to say on the subject:

“When you run next to somebody for a really long time, you end up telling them your life story. So I loved hearing people’s stories. And I missed that connection to my business because it just came very nuts and bolts side of marketing. And so I said why not just create something just for me and have it be a fun experiment?” 

Going on, she mentions she attempted to create her podcast during the year prior. However, it was during the time of the Carr Fire in Northern California. So she felt releasing a podcast called “Play with Fire” may not be such a good idea at the time. But after waiting, she reached out to her favorite people and got her first “yeses” for coming to an interview on her podcast.  

That’s when she knew this could be something that would work out for her and something that could grow. 

Part 2: WHO Ashly McHatton Considers the Ideal Audience for Play with Fire

Ashly’s ideal audience members are like the people she interviews– everyday normal people looking to take their business or side hustle to the next level. Here’s what Ashly says when speaking about her ideal audience:

“My ideal audience are people like my guests that have had regular inputs regular jobs. But either had always been doing something on the side or finally got to a point which you saw a lot during the pandemic to where people were reinventing themselves for any number of reasons, but they’re the ones that are doing jobs.” 

Part 3: WHAT is Working Now to Get More Listeners to the Play with Fire Podcast

One of the most effective methods Ashly’s found to increase her listenership has been leveraging the power of social media, networking, and marketing tactics such as SEO. And another method that’s been a boon to increasing the audience count is invite guests people are able to connect with on a visceral and human level. 

For instance, on the social media side of things, she’s joined many entrepreneur and professional groups. All it takes is her simply mentioning she has a podcast to garner interest. There’s also sites like where she finds quests to invite, which typically have their own following who’ll come and listen to the show as well.

Here’s what she told Tifanny when asked about what she does to increase her listener count:

“I’m teaching people how to build their own podcast. o putting how to start a podcast, people will then listen to mine as a reference. Putting myself on was really good when I was first starting. 

Then networking in different online groups– like entrepreneur groups– I always go in there and then mention that I have a podcast usually. hat’s also gotten me a lot of new listenership and clients by accident.”

The idea is you need to put yourself out there. 


Podcasters are looking for PREEMINENCE, to increase their presence and respect in their prospective industry, and, of course, to increase their PROFITS.

To reach this goal, you need to be famous already and– if you’re not famous yet– then you will need to implement what we call the 4 P’s of Podcaster Preeminence so that you can position yourself as a thought leader in your field by taking advantage of the power of a social media platform such as podcasting.

  • Know your PURPOSE– understand the “Why” of what you’re here for
  • Know your PEOPLE– understand your audience and tailor your messaging to them
  • Optimize the the PROMOTION of your podcast
  • And earn PROFIT (or PROCEEDS) to help pay for help

#1 What is Ashly McHatton Doing Well?

Here are things that Next Up Nation Podcast Host, Tiffany Youngren, says Ashly is doing well based on what she’s been able to accomplish with her podcast, Play with Fire:

  • First, Tiffany absolutely loves the design of Ashly’s website.
  • She also feels Ashly is taking great advantage of YouTube.
  • Another strong area is the intro song for her podcast, which is Play with Fire by Sam Tinnesz.
  • Finally, Tiffany says Ashly is an amazing storyteller.

#2: Some Areas of Opportunity for Play with Fire Podcast

Tiffany says Ashly is doing very well with her podcast, but one particular area for opportunity is driving home her call to action. Here’s what Tiffany had to say:

“They’re listening to your show. You’re telling them and, hopefully– over and over again– go to your About page, grab a piece of that, and just like repeat it, repeat it, repeat it, repeat it.”

#3: The Best Action Step for a Bigger Audience and More Credibility in the Next 30 Days

Tiffany told Ashly she needs to optimize her page by combining it with her YouTube videos to drive traffic to her podcast site. 

“If you’re going to be optimizing for YouTube, then I would stick the YouTube video in there instead. Another idea might be that… I would have either the video or the audio embedded at the top. I would be embedding that video at the top, because they’re so colorful, and I would have watched.”

About the Hot Seat Series

The goal of the Hot Seat Series podcast is to highlight one ambitious podcaster who interviews guests. They need to have released MORE than 10 episodes and have a clear vision for the future of his or her show.

This article is based on Tiffany Youngren’s interview with Ashly McHatton, host of the Play with Fire podcast and YouTube channel. It airs on the podcast and YouTube playlist, Next Up Nation, by OMH Agency.

Why OMH Agency Features Articles from Next Up Nation

OHM Agency’s goal is to help 100 ambitious podcasters improve their craft over the next 100 days. They share this content on our website so you can have easy access to the best tips and tools so you can grow your show larger in less time.


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