Sam Despo and Em Lucin’s Zesty Agency Review – Does TikTok Marketing Work In 2024?

March 19, 2024

Zesty Agency by Sam Despo and Em Lucin teaches the "secret sauce" in gaining followers and building a community to earn 6 to 7 digits on TikTok. The course prioritizes community building rather than creating viral TikToks. Sam and Em say that creating a loyal community is the best way to gain potential leads for sales. You learn how to sell without selling. 

There are no other reviews about Zesty Agency besides the featured testimonials on the website and Instagram. There are 2 reviews found on Sam Despo's Facebook agency not recommending the service. And a Reddit discussion about Em Lucin mentioning how she is an average influencer who avoids drama. It is a fresh course that could affect why there are no other testimonials found.

In this Zesty Agency review, you learn how the course helps you make money through TikTok. You learn the secret sauce content, and the pros and cons. You discover the founders and their claims and discuss if TikTok marketing is worth it. Or is there a better way to earn a  passive income while earning more digital assets.

Zesty Agency Review: Pros and Cons


Sam Despo and Em Lucin have a huge following on TikTok that shows credibility.  

The founders of Zesty Agency have a ton of experience in digital marketing.

Zesty Agency offers 1-on-1 coaching.


The Zesty Agency course is fresh.

Zesty Agency’s course modules are on a different platform.

The 1-on-1 coaching has a different service fee.


The one-time price of Zesty Agency is $999 and the monthly price is $199.


The community of Zesty Agency is a private community with 100 members.

Refund Policy

There is no refund policy for Zesty Agency’s tickets.




The training of Zesty Agency is self-paced.


The 1-on-1 coaching has a different service fee.

What Do You Get With Zesty Agency?

Module 1: Introduction to TikTok Marketing

Lesson 1: Why TikTok?

Em explains why TikTok is the best platform to gather followers. She shows examples of previous paid ads done on the platform that show the potential target market. Shows how TikTok is unfiltered and authentic for showing products and promotions. 

Lesson 2: Why Brands Fail On TikTok?

Em shares some reasons most brands fail in creating a name on TikTok. She shares some things that you should not do when posting content. Shows a comparison between her TikTok profile and by not doing the “don'ts” can help your profile improve visibility, engagement, and followers. 

Lesson 3: The Keys To Success

Em teaches Zesty Agency’s 5 Zesty Commandments and how it can help you understand the right mindset to have as you progress in your journey. 

  1. Your goal is not to go viral, but to build your own community.

  2. Your TikTok account is not an advertisement. It should be a lifestyle TikTok account. 

  3. Focus on storytelling content. It has the highest performing content on TikTok. 

  4. Have fun. Any brands that have fun are mostly successful. Enjoy doing your content and your followers and engagement will follow.

  5. Your account’s value is a combination of giving inspiration, entertainment, and education. Learn how to incorporate these 3 things in your content creation process.

Module 2: Setting Your Account

Lesson 1: Identifying Your Niche

Niche picking is important in identifying what kind of content to post. Em explains that it is your way of connecting to people with similar interests. These determine the target audience to go for engagement and TikTok’s algorithm. 

Lesson 2: Brand VS Creator Account

Em explains how creating a brand TikTok account can be beneficial but also has its disadvantages, such as getting low brand deals opportunities. It can be annoying for consumers to see brand accounts post content as it appears as pushing content. She suggests that it is better to create two different accounts for your creator account and brand account. 

Lesson 3: Setting Up Your Account (The Right Way)

This lesson teaches you Zesty Agency’s success formula of creating a creator channel account. It will be useful since you will have access to a music library. 

Lesson 4: Selecting The Face For Your Channel

You learn how to pick the face of your TikTok account. Em mentions how a face makes or breaks your account. She says that accounts who have a person’s face in their account are more successful than an account showing more than one.

Module 3: Right Mindset

Lesson 1: Mindset Of A Creator

Sam teaches the mindset you should have been a TikTok creator. He gave examples based on his experiences that you can learn from and apply on your own. He explains how important it is to understand your audience and their behavior to create content that will resonate well. A good content without reaching the right audience is time wasted. 

Lesson 2: The TikTok Algorithm

You learn how TikTok’s algorithm works. Your posted content may reach 300 people, a combination of old and new audiences. The TikTok algorithm is based on your engagement, likes, watch time, and metrics. And all those will affect how your content will be pushed to viewers.

Lesson 3: Key Metrics To Go Viral

Sam teaches Zesty Agency’s 2 key metrics; engagement and watch time metrics. He explains that these are the things you should always look at to determine the success of your TikTok account. 

Lesson 4: Sounds & Music

Sam shares the importance of using sounds and music to attract viewers. But he explains the right time to include music or sounds. He explains how using sounds can help categorize your content into pillars that will be easier for viewers to explore. 

Lesson 5: Descriptions & Hashtags

The lesson explains how to create hashtags and descriptions to your TikTok posts. Sam describes that descriptions capture your viewer’s attention alongside entertaining content. 

Lesson 6: TikTok Analytics

The lesson teaches the importance of TikTok analytics and how to read and understand them. Sam explains that knowing how to understand the analytics (watch time and engagement), helps understand what kind of content is working. He also explains how this is the backbone of his TikTok success. 

Lesson 7: Posting Frequency

Sam shares why you should be posting 5 or more contents in a week. This tactic is important because your audience will see your content with continuous posting. And if you stop posting, TikTok’s algorithm changes. 

Lesson 8: Right Time To Post

Sam answers this question by saying that there is no “one right time” to post. He explains that people’s engagement with TikTok may vary throughout the day. Some people may scroll during the morning as they wake up and some scrolls during their lunch break. It is better to understand your audience and then post depending on the most watched time. 

Lesson 9: On Screen Frame

The lesson teaches the definition of an on screen frame. It is any posted TikTok content that is overlaid above like the picture, engagement buttons, description, and sounds. You should be wary about the layout of your content that is being covered by these on screen frames. And how it can affect the accessibility of your content to your viewers. 

Lesson 10: Engage Your Community

Zesty Agency’s 5 commandment mentions that your goal is to create a community. You learn the importance of engaging your viewers, such as comments and likes. It not only shows that your TikTok account is active. But it is also a way of nurturing and building your online community. 

Lesson 11: Video Length Guide

Sam shares Zesty Agency’s rough guide in content duration. And he bases it on his analytics. 

Lesson 12: Ultimate Repurposing Strategy

The lesson explains why you should repurpose your content to maximize as many channels as possible. And explains how it is the most efficient way of reaching multiple audiences. 

Lesson 13: Planning And Scheduling Your Content

The lesson explains that there are 2 different content creators; organized planner and chaotic planner. A planner is a person who plans, publishes, and schedules content to a specific date. This person is very organized and has a template to make content planning easier. A chaotic planner is a person who lives within the chaos, documents it, and includes a personal persona to every content creation. 

Lesson 14: Tools To Film And Edit

There are two pieces of equipment you need to use to create content; phone and tripod. Sam suggests that it is better to always get the latest phones of Apple and Samsung to get the best softwares and camera. And tripods are important to make your content stable. Pick a tripod that is stable, can fold, and compact that you can bring during your travels. 

Module 4: Choosing Your Niche

Lesson 1: The Content Pillars

The lesson teaches about 6 content pillars; customer or community, product, niche, human, trends, and storytelling. It teaches you how to use TikTok and what to do to transform your content into sales. Sam shares his experience with paid ads, and how to get large brand partnerships. This focuses on monetizing yourself as a creator. 

Lesson 2: Choosing Your Content Pillars

You learn how to choose your “pillars” as mentioned in the previous lesson. Will your TikTok account be product-based or a service-based business? Sam shares that your storytelling should be at least 50% of your content. Then 30% for your community, product, and 20% for niche, human, and trends. 

Lesson 3: Finding Your Niche Interest

The lesson focuses on one pillar mentioned, niches. It explains what it means, how to find your niche interest, and how to use them. Niche interest is the type of content you create with no direct relevance to your product or business. It is a large or broader niche depending on the industry.

Module 5: Understanding Zesty Secrets

Lesson 1: The Zesty TikTok Success Funnel

You learn Zesty Agency’s funnel that comprises awareness, nurturing, and converting. Em explains what sets them apart from other TikTok channels in converting views to sales. 

Lesson 2: The Million Dollar TikTok Strategy

You learn how Zesty Agency uses their 6 content pillars and the funnel. Em says how this is important to help you grow as a content creator and selling. She mentions how you should always‌ go for entertainment to create a powerful community willing to buy. 

Lesson 3: Evergreen Content (Using The Secret Sauce)

Evergreen is the everyday posting strategy to grow your community. The lesson talks about the mixture of content you should post weekly. 

Lesson 4: Campaign Content (Using The Secret Sauce)

Em uses her own company to explain how to use Zesty Agency’s secret sauce during campaigns. She notes that they only use the secret sauce whenever they promote a new service or product.

Module 6: Knowing Your Content

Lesson 1: How To Come Up With Content Ideas

Learn how to execute the strategies mentioned in the previous module. You need to create high performing ideas. Sam explains how you need to find the process that works best. 

Lesson 2: Frameworks And Content Structure

You learn how to create content that will make the viewers stay until the end. Sam reiterates the importance of the storytelling content. And how it attracts viewers' attention. 

Lesson 3: Hooks, Hooks And Hooks!

You learn how hooks will make your viewers stop scrolling. The lesson teaches some examples of high performing hooks, how to test, and how to measure your hook’s effectiveness. 

Lesson 4: How To Write Scripts And Film

The lesson teaches beginners and existing creators who are struggling to think of creative content. It teaches that it will be beneficial for creators to create a creative process or framework. 

Lesson 5: Trending And Controversial Content

You learn how Sam and Em use controversial content sometimes to be a smart strategy for getting more views. It is usually a topic that most people talk about on social media and you provide insights. 

Lesson 6: Content Series

Sam talks about how you should not be creating 7 unrelated content in 1 week. You should be building up your weekly content based on the same idea to simplify your process. Doing it would be more enjoyable and easier for you to create your content. 

Lesson 7: Holding Suspense

The lesson teaches what to look for in your watch video percentage. Holding suspense is the importance of retaining your viewers until the end of the video. You do this by holding some important information at the beginning of your video and putting it at the end. 

Lesson 8: What To Do When You Go Viral

Sam teaches what to do next after your TikTok content goes viral. He says that it is better to do it again and again until it stops working.

Module 7: TikTok SEO

Lesson 1: What Is TikTok SEO?

You learn how Zesty Agency uses SEO to optimize their TikTok videos. Sam explains that if your video shows on search engines, it will give you the most value. As you create ranking videos, more of your content will be pushed to viewers. 

Lesson 2: How To Optimize Your TikTok SEO

The lesson teaches you how Sam and Em optimize their TikTok videos before posting. You want to categorize your content to something relevant to get more views and to grow your community. Look for searchable contents and use it as your subject.

Module 8: Creator Collaboration

Lesson 1: Working With Creators

You learn how working with other creators benefits you in gaining credibility. It also helps with the exposure of your brand and account. Creators usually partner with trusted creators, endorsing a product or service. And that makes it authentic for driving sales and traffic. 

Lesson 2: Ways To Work With Creators

You learn 5 different ways to work with creators; brand partnership, brand ambassador, affiliate marketing, and discount codes.

Lesson 3: How To Hire Content Creators

Em teaches the best practices to know before contacting other creators for partnerships. You can send a direct message (DM), email, agency or manager, and website. Understand that it always depends on the situation on how to contact the creator and how they can help build your community. 

Lesson 4: What Creators Charge

The lesson teaches some rate estimations creators ask depending on the partnership. The amount also changes depending on how many followers they have or the frequency of the posting. Em says that creators charge between $50 to $2,000. 

Lesson 5: Reposting Does Not Work!

Don’t copy other brands who repost videos. Em doesn’t recommend posting influence content as your own, as it can affect your strategy. And if you do, your reach won’t be high. 

Is Zesty Agency Legit?

Yes, Zesty Agency is legit based on Sam Despo and Em Lucin’s credibility and following on social media. On the website, there are a handful of testimonials shown. It shows that the business is legit and that students are availing this course.

Jordyn Evans is an example of a student availing the Zesty Agency course. She mentions that she is now getting 80,000 views on TikTok. She mentions that her followers also grew to 12,300, but it does not how long it took to see the results.

Zesty Agency’s Instagram profile features monthly wins of the month showing the legitimacy of the course. It features students who receive a lot of followers and views for the month. It also includes results from the 1-on-1 coaching that is offered by Zesty Agency. 

Who Are The Founders of Zesty Agency?

The founders of Zesty Agency are Sam Despo, Em Lucin, and Georgia Davies. All have experiences in digital and social media marketing. In 2022, they transitioned everything onto TikTok; business and community. As they progressed, they’ve strategized and documented the entire process.

Who Is Sam Despo?

Sam Despo, also known as “website guy” or “marketing daddy”, is a TikTok educator and the co-founder of Zesty Agency from Melbourne, Australia. He studied at Monash University with a degree in business. And took a 1 year paid advertising course in Coles Group in 2018.

After studying, Sam worked on Australian brands, doing online marketing for over 10 years. He became the marketing manager for Brand Collective for 3 years. He founded Pulp Digital Agency in 2021, a paid ads agency offering ecommerce digital strategies for Google, TikTok, and Pinterest. Pulp Digital gets over 50 leads a month using TikTok content. A year later, Sam founded Zesty Agency together with Em and Georgia. 

Who Is Em Lucin?

Em Lucin is a lifestyle business content creator, an entrepreneur, coach, and the co-founder of Zesty Agency from Westmeadows, Australia. She has a certificate in Victorian Fitness Academy in 2013. Em graduated from William Angliss Institute with a diploma in Resort Management in 2015. She has a 5 year experience being an online entrepreneur and a 10 year experience in social media marketing.

After graduating, Em was a lifeguard, personal trainer, and a receptionist for different companies. Through the years, she changed her career to digital marketing. During 2018, she founded Napoleon Wear and is currently earning 7-digits in ecommerce. After a year, she worked for Uncle Jack as their digital marketing management in 2019. Then in 2022, co-founded Zesty Agency with Sam and Georgia.

Who is Georgia Davies?

Another co-founder of Zesty Agency, Georgia Davies, a content creator and a digital marketing freelancer from Melbourne, Australia. She has 8 years of marketing experience in digital and social media. Georgia offers 1-on-1 coaching, UGC, workshops, and TikTok strategies expertise. Has a psychology education at York College and a year diploma in digital marketing at Shaw Academy.

In 2014, she had multiple experiences as a marketing specialist and sales consultant. After that she became a social media specialist, marketing manager, and a project manager for multiple companies. Georgia started doing TikTok content in 2021 where she became a full time content creator. And offered her freelancing expertise in 2022.

What Sam Despo and Em Lucin Claim?

Sam Despo and Em Lucin claim that Zesty Agency is the first TikTok course and community in the world. They claim that their “secret sauce” is what you need to grow your community and keep them engaged in your content. And you learn to “master selling” without directly selling to your viewers. Sam also claims that he has 1 million followers.

Is There Truth To What Sam Despo And Em Lucin Claim?

Zesty Agency, being the first TikTok course in the world, is mostly false. Based on the founders' LinkedIn profile, the company was established in 2022. And during that time, there are other online TikTok courses offered, such as Tiktok’s own TikTok Academy launched in 2020. There are online articles featuring TikTok Academy’s educational platform in 2022 proving that there are other TikTok courses before Zesty Agency is established. There are also many Udemy courses that were offered in 2022. It means that they are not the first in the world to offer a TikTok marketing course.

Sam Despo's claim of having a million followers is not real. Zesty Agency’s website says that the combined followers between Sam and Em are 1 million. But it does not mention that they have an individual follower of 1 million. You can see on Sam Despo’s TikTok account that he only has 681.7K followers while Em Lucin has 367.2K followers. They have a combined follower count of a million. But Sam’s LinkedIn bio is untrue, claiming he is a content creator with a million following.

Is TikTok Marketing Worth It In 2024?

Yes, TikTok marketing is worth it in 2024 if you can easily create various ideas to post on your TikTok account. It is worth it if you can understand TikTok’s analytics and conversions. And apply the changes needed to improve the type of content you post. Data from WordStream says that the fast-growing platform in 2023 is TikTok. It suggests that 40% of businesses incorporate TikTok strategies into their planning. TikTok receives a billion users in 5 years and 100 million are from the United States. 

Content creators’ profit depends on their reach, visibility, engagement, content, and the method of how they monetize their content. It differs from every creator on how much TikTok pays. And the money you get on TikTok varies for 1 million views. The highest paid TikToker is Charli D’Amelio with an estimated net worth of $20 million and earns $100,000 per post. 

But according to ExplodingTopics, most TikTokers earn between $15,000 to $25,000. It is better to research the ways to make money on TikTok if you are interested in TikTok marketing.

Owning Digital Assets Is More Passive Than TikTok Marketing

TikTok Marketing shows profitability but it is not as simple as Zesty Agency says. Your TikTok account is the only digital asset you own. And you constantly have to work non-stop to increase your follower count and engagement. Plus the never ending content creation process. Local lead generation is a better business model in earning a passive income while owning over 1 digital asset. 

A Quora discussion asks about the longevity of gaining followers on the platform. Answers suggest that if you post 1 content a day, it will take you 8 months to 2 years to earn 10,000 followers. Zesty Agency suggests that the more content you post in a day, the better chance of gaining a community. There is also the risk of TikTok getting banned from different countries, including the United States. On February 27, Reuters' article mentioned the White House’s requiring federal agents to delete the TikTok application because of security concerns. And it can only be a matter of time before other countries do the same. 

Local lead generation offers a stable way of earning passive money without the continuous concern of your account getting banned. It works as long as you create optimized websites that will rank on Google. Your digital assets increase as long as you have more websites. The keywords based on market research are what you target. The Grand Rapids tree website I created years ago still earns $2,000 a month. I picked a keyword that is the most searched keyword for tree services. And the creation of the website only cost me $500.

Local lead generation

If you’re curious to know, I did a stable monthly income using local lead generation. And if you want to copy what I did, I offer a local lead generation program for those interested. A better experience for you without the constant worry of content creation.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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