Zack Peter is my babe. No really. He is my mentee.
He is larger than life, incredibly talented, handsome, charismatic, dynamic & COOL.
And he doesn’t even need me as a mentor because he totally has his shit together. Like, you’ll see after you read this post.
In this interview, which is so packed with value, Zack tells us all about his background, how to carve out a niche for yourself & shares his time saving tips ( they’re so good ).
Plus, he’ll tell you all about his Housewives Watching Wine. This q&a just gets better & better.
I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did- LOL’d quite a bit!
With that, let’s welcome Zack Peter to the blog.
Launching a Podcast, Scaling Your Business & Leaning In To What Makes You Unique
♡ Introduce yourself to The Skinny Confidential audience. Tell us everything.
Zack Peter: I feel like I’m on a first date! So, leading with my best foot forward: I’m Zack Peter, a podcaster, writer, & overall pop-culture aficionado. My show #NoFilter with Zack Peter is an iTunes Top 100 podcast, popular channel on YouTube, & now a trusted source for all of the juiciest reality TV tea.
I often have buzzy reality stars on to give me the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth. From Netflix stars to Real Housewives & other Bravo-lebs, like Lala Kent, Dorinda Medley, Heidi Montag, Harry Jowsey, & more. The show’s even been featured on Summer House & Vanderpump Rules.
As a writer, I’ve published four books ( my last one back in 2014, which was later bought by Simon & Schuster ). I’d often contribute to POPSUGAR & Men’s Health, usually focusing on the latest happenings in the realm of TV & entertainment or giving all the deets on the latest wellness trends.
My background, however, is in non-profit fundraising, which was inspired by my brother Ethan, who has autism. I started when I was 15, interning at Jenny McCarthy’s foundation, which ultimately led me to being the organization’s Executive Director by the time I was 25. All while building my own podcast/brand on the side, before making the leap full-time!
My latest venture is a new Real Housewives-inspired wine line, dubbed “Housewives Watching Wine!” Hopefully that’s enough to earn me a second date! ( Or at least enough to take me home tonight! )
♡ You’ve done a great job carving out a niche. How do you recommend someone goes about doing that if they’d like to follow a similar path?
ZP: You have to ask yourself: What’s the one thing in my life that I can’t stop talking about? Even if it seems like the dumbest thing in the world, if you can’t stop talking about it, you can probably build a brand around it!
For me, that was reality TV! I was practically raised on it. Flavor Flav was my dad, Kris Jenner was my mom, Lauren Conrad was the older sister I always looked up to, & Maury Povich was the fun uncle with all the drama. I love watching the drama, digging up all the tea, & spilling it, which opened the door for me to launch a podcast on just that. It’s now grown way beyond my expectations.
So my recommendation is to find that one thing that you could talk about all day & don’t be afraid to lean into it! & really get specific. I started with general pop culture news, then refined it to reality TV, & then got even more micro by tapping into the fandom of Bravo, which is where the podcast really popped off! The more specific you can get, the more of a cult following you can tap into.
If someone would’ve told me I could build a brand & wine line around the Real Housewives, I would’ve laughed it off. Yet, here we are. So just ( Lisa Rinna voice ) OWN IT, baby! Own it, lean into it, & get it started today.
♡ You are my mentee right now! Can you describe the process so far? (Zack will come on the blog again to talk about the mentorship when it’s done!)
ZP: It’s been so great! I was excited when I first got the DM voice memo from you, selecting me. And I felt like I was on Shark Tank & you really saw the potential in my idea. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but I’ve come to really look forward to our monthly check-in calls! They’ve been extremely helpful in helping me refine the brand & look at it from different angles I normally wouldn’t have focused on.
I used to hate homework in school, but really look forward to the assignments you give me. I’ve learned how to build new revenue streams, new types of content within my niche, & the roadmap for my future. It’s also super collaborative & I love how much faith & trust you have in me! It’s all so much more hands on than I was expecting & your support has meant the world.
♡How have you grown so successfully on Instagram & what are your recommendations?
1. I always believe in leading with your strengths!
My strengths are my personality & my humor. While there are many Instagram accounts that “spill the tea” or share entertainment news, I make sure mine incorporates my strengths with the additions of Reels & Lives. It puts a face & personality behind the brand, while also differentiating me. Plus, IG loves when you utilize all their tools, so they prioritize your content more! I also love the Lives because it gives me an opportunity to connect with podcast listeners & YouTube viewers in real-time in an open forum. It’s a great community builder!
2. Collab, collab, collab!
I do at least 1-2 collabs per week. Whether it’s an IG Live, a podcast swap, or meet-up with other creators for content. Work with like minded people ( or brands ) & cross-pollinate. It’ll help you reach a new audience that’s interested in your content. Share their content on your Stories & tag them. The more you support other people, the more likely they are to support you in return. Build those relationships & help each other grow. Never look at them as competition, only as fellow hustlers!
3. DMs are super huge!
I try to schedule out a couple of times to sift through DMs & respond to as many people as possible every day. Not just a double-tap, but a genuine response. Occasionally I’ll send a voice note, which adds a more personal touch. When people feel connected to you, you build loyalty & trust.
4. You also need to make sure the aesthetic is pleasing.
If it’s attractive, it’ll attract more people. I like to keep colors, fonts, & styles cohesive. I’m not super rigid about it, because I don’t want it to feel too stale, but I keep all the content/styles within the same family. But try not to focus too much on the vibe or aesthetic of other similar accounts, because (1) you don’t want to be a “cheater brand” ( as Bethenny would call it ) & (2) people can sense when something doesn’t feel authentic to you.
So I would say: Find your strengths, engage with people daily, & refine your style. Then go to bat! You’ll quickly learn & pivot as you go.
♡You’re a real hustler. What do you think the secret is & what do you recommend to young people looking to be more entrepreneurial?
ZP: I’ve always been a hustler! But it’s always around things that I love, which is super key! You HAVE to absolutely love it or else you’ll get burned out by it. The best advice my mother ever gave me is: “Roadblocks are only put in your path to make you prove how badly you want something.” That’s my go-to mantra now. So when it comes to “hustle,” it’s about figuring out what’s worth overcoming those roadblocks.
The #NoFilter podcast took 6.5 years to build it to the point it’s at now, & it’s barely scratched the surface. I’m coming for that Joe Rogan/Alex Cooper level! But I probably would’ve quit by now if I didn’t truly love the process of it & the scope of topics.
So many people come to me, asking for advice on getting started with podcasting & my first question is always, “Why do you want to start a podcast?” Usually it’s “because that’s what everyone is doing,” or “I want to make money on the side.” Those are the wrong objectives. I started #NoFilter when nobody even knew what a “podcast” really was. I didn’t do it because “everyone” had one. Or because I thought I could make a ton of money off it. I saw it as a fun opportunity to help grow the overall brand I was looking to build.
The podcast is just one of the many tools that’s helping me get there.
& it’s true to who I am at my core: I’m a chatterbox, I’m a bit of a gossip, & I love to get into the nitty gritty & investigate things & then share all those deets with others! I learned how to monetize it ( over time ) & how to be smart about growing it beyond just the 30 minute weekly audio-only show it began as, back in 2015.
I believe anyone can be a “hustler,” but you really have to define what’s worth the “hustle” for you. And I think Bethenny is also a great example of that with her Skinnygirl brand. She was one of the first to enter into a male-dominated industry. She disrupted it because she was passionate about it, she was smart about it, & she had a much larger empire in mind. And she didn’t follow anyone else’s lead. Be a Bethenny. Find what’s worth your hustle, look for the open space, & go for it!
♡ Why do you love ice rolling?!
ZP: Hello, I’m on camera 4x a week & I’ve got a wine line to promote!! I need something to keep my face nice, tight, & chiseled! Ice rolling helps me depuff & debloat.
The rolling effect is great for the lymphatic drainage & the coldness helps to reduce any inflammation & keep everything tight. Especially under the eyes. I’m a stomach sleeper ( I know, I’m the worst ), so I usually wake up with puffy eyes! The ice helps to really reduce the bags. ( That & I love the Peter Thomas Roth gold eye patches — a Housewives staple. )
I used to use those cheap jade rollers for $10 on Amazon, but they never really got the job done! They would always break & they never stayed cold long enough. Now I have a full beauty routine & ice roll on the daily! It’s literally the best investment I’ve made in a long time!
I like to start with a Vitamin C serum, then top with a good face oil. I’m obsessed with face oils, they just give you a nice hydrated, dewy finish. The ICE QUEEN FACE OIL is amazing. Then I roll-out my face like a pancake to squeeze out the puff.
♡What does your morning routine look like? What sets you up for success?
ZP: 6-6:30 AM: Wake up & make coffee.
6:45 AM: Hit the gym for a fasted HIIT workout ( my neighbor is my workout buddy, so we keep each other accountable ).
7:45 AM: Have a plant-based protein shake & shower. I also like to squeeze in a little personal development here. Sometimes it’s reading a chapter of a book, a 10 minute meditation, or when I’m strapped for time, it’s listening to a podcast while I’m in the shower.
8:15-8:30 AM (ish): I like to take inventory of what needs to be done for the day to be successful. I’m a big list person, so I map out what things “must happen” by what time & schedule the day accordingly.
8:30 AM: GET READY. Every day. I never leave my apartment in sweatpants ( not even to throw out the trash ). My grandma always taught me, before you leave: Brush your hair, brush your teeth, throw on a cute outfit, & throw on a little makeup. It’ll put a little pep in your step. If you look good, you feel good. Your whole approach & confidence level is different.
Then I like to get out of my apartment & work from somewhere else — a coffee shop, the downstairs lounge, etc. That change of scenery is super helpful for my productivity. I find that “working from home” can often be distracting for me. It just hinders my ability to be fully focused.
♡Can you share some of your time-saving tips that make all the difference?
ZP: I’m really big on efficiency. It’s kind of a problem! Even when it comes to dating, I’m super efficient ( which is not sexy by the way, haha ). It’s probably why I’m still single!
1. I like to time-block!
It’s super helpful when it comes to staying focused on the task at-hand. I can get distracted, so if I block out my time to dedicate to a certain item, I can better stay focused on that single item.
2. Another good tip is I like to dedicate certain projects to certain days.
So I have filming days, I have marketing campaign days, I have family days, etc. Especially for freelancers, this helps structure the week & time-block more efficiently.
3. I Uber everywhere.
I live in Downtown LA, so there’s no real need for a car & the cost balances out. Ubering allows me to work while in the back seat, especially if I’m stuck in LA traffic. I can catch up on an audiobook, I can respond to DMs/comments, I can answer emails, or research/come up with questions for my guests. It’s super convenient. & it’s good down-time, too, like if I ever need a little break or a small power nap! If cost is an issue, there’s always public transit! I used to take the bus/train every day while working in college. It worked just as well back then too!
4. I also like to consume a lot of podcasts & books ( sometimes for personal development, & sometimes to prep for guests coming on my show ).
With the books, I like to listen to the audio version, because then I can take notes while I listen along. & I always speed them up to at least 1.5x, that way I can breeze through them quicker! Works just as great for rapidly listening to a podcast.
♡ Tell us about your Housewives Watching Wine. It’s so major.
ZP: Thank you!! I’m obsessed with it myself. It’s a crisp, lightly fizzy rosé in four fun cans, designed around some of the most iconic Housewives moments in TV history.
We have one inspired by RHONY that says “I’m ready to MENTION IT ALL, RHOA “Now tell me WHO GON’ CHECK ME, BOO?,” RHOBH “I stole KIM’S GODDAMN HOUSE,” & RHONJ “I’m Ready to FLIP A TABLE.” We also just launched a limited edition Potomac can, “DRAG ME, I dare you.”
It packs a punch at 14% ABV, so you’ll definitely be littly city, but has less than a gram of sugar, so you shouldn’t get that gnarly wine headache that people get from most conventional wines.
Again, I’m all about efficiency! So I wanted something strong, but without all the junk additives & sugar! & voila, here we are! They’re also cute, compact, & discreet, so you can sneak them into your purse or into your Uber easily. They’re available online at NoFilterWine.com, so you don’t even have to worry about going out to find them. We ship right to your door!
It’s interesting because I had reached a point with the podcast, where I felt like it was time to scale the business, but I wasn’t sure what to do.
Launching “merch” felt too basic & unoriginal. I didn’t want to launch a Patreon because I like to keep my content available for free ( it reaches more people, with more long-term value ). I wanted to create something that was (1) authentic to me, (2) of interest to the audience, & (3) would further build a sense of community.
I’m not shy about fitting drinking into my lifestyle, which is fairly healthy. & I’ve actually considered jumping into the booze business for a while. One night, I was drinking wine & yelling at the TV watching Teresa Giudice on RHONJ, while chatting about the show on Instagram. That’s when it just clicked: We’re all already drinking while watching these shows, yelling at the TV! Why not create something we can imbibe on together? Making this OUR signature drink… THE “Housewives Watching” drink. & here we are!
♡ What’s a book, podcast or resource you recommend?
ZP: I LOVE the You Are a Badass series by Jen Sincero. I think the principles in it are pretty applicable across the board. And I also really love The Tools by Phil Stutz. I learned so many valuable lessons in them, both about myself & about the right mindset it takes to build a brand.
♡ Where can everyone find you? Pimp yourself out!
For all the latest reality TV & pop-culture tea, check out #NoFilter with Zack Peter! You can listen on iTunes, Spotify, & all other major platforms. Or watch full episodes on YouTube. The Instagram account is always keeping you up-to-date in real-time, @nofilterwithzack. Or you can follow me personally at @justplainzack for behind-the-scenes stuff, funny Reels, & cute selfies ( my DMs are wide open, boys ). & stock-up on some Housewives Watching Wine at www.nofilterwine.com.
There you have it. Told you, he’s dynamic AF. Be sure to follow Zack on all his channels. He’s hilarious & as you can see, a REAL deal hustler.
Oh ya, if you’re interested in being my mentee, introduce yourself on my latest Instagram. We’re looking for mentee for 2022.
++ scope these tips for taking your side hustle up a notch.