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HomeEntrepreneurHow Hala Taha Turned Her Aspect Hustle right into a Media Empire

How Hala Taha Turned Her Aspect Hustle right into a Media Empire


In 2018, Hala Taha labored as a company advertising and marketing government when she began a podcast referred to as Younger and Profiting Podcast. Her purpose was to assist younger professionals maximize their careers and be taught from one of the best minds in enterprise and leisure.

Now, the Younger and Profiting Podcast is the #1 Training and Self-Enchancment podcast throughout all apps, with over 5M downloads. In 2021, she leveraged her affect from the podcast and LinkedIn and launched YAP Media, a white-glove social media and podcasting company. YAP Media rapidly turned a 7-figure enterprise with 50 staff.

We requested Hala concerning the origins of Younger and Profiting and transitioning from C-Suite to enterprise proprietor and “podcast princess.”

Q&A with Hala Taha, Founding father of YAP Media

Q: What’s one factor you’ve achieved this week that helped your online business?

A: My important focus every week is to additional develop the latest a part of our enterprise, the YAP Media Community, a podcast community targeted on the expansion and monetization of community podcasts. We launched the community after efficiently rising and monetizing my present, in addition to three different exhibits we produced in-house. In only a few months, we’ve got grown to over a dozen exhibits targeted on enterprise, self-improvement, and entrepreneurship! It’s my important precedence as CEO to spearhead the community and set it up for long-term success, simply as I’ve achieved with our first enterprise, YAP Media, our award-winning social and podcast company.

This week, I’m targeted on creating new gross sales partnerships and doubtlessly choosing an unique gross sales associate for our community so I can concentrate on recruiting, bettering, and rising our community’s exhibits. In truth, this week had a whole lot of “pinch me” moments — looks like everybody within the trade is courting “The Podcast Princess”— and it’s a extremely nice feeling!

Q: What’s your favourite podcast (in addition to YAP, in fact)?

A: It’s a tie between the Jordan Harbinger Present and The Ed Mylett Present. Ed Mylett’s podcast is so motivational – he simply lights me up a lot! I hearken to his interviews to review for upcoming YAP visitors since there’s a whole lot of overlap. I had Ed on Younger and Profiting Podcast not too long ago, and it’s rapidly change into certainly one of my favourite conversations. They all the time say you shouldn’t meet your heroes IRL, however I preferred Ed even MORE after we spoke in particular person! He’s such a genuinely good-hearted particular person with an unbelievable message.

I’m additionally an enormous fan of the Jordan Harbinger Present. Many individuals have referred to as me the feminine model of Jordan Harbinger as a result of we’re very alike in relation to our interview fashion and matters. After having him on my present in 2020, I stored in contact and, by way of some strategic maneuvering, Jordan is now my mentor and an advisor at YAP Media. We communicate each single day and he’s even in my Slack channel! He’s taught me a lot about how the podcast trade works and I’m tremendous grateful for our skilled relationship.

Q: You began Younger and Profiting in 2018 as a facet hustle. Why podcasting?

A: My love for broadcasting began in faculty the place I interned for the New York radio station WQHT Hot97 on “The Angie Martinez Present” totally free for 3 years. I used to be the affiliate producer of the present and was liable for the every day present temporary, analysis, operating the boards, and even studying commercials on air which was my first expertise as on-air expertise. On the facet whereas working on the station, I hosted on-line radio exhibits–the precursor to podcasts–with the up-and-coming DJs who additionally labored totally free on the station. Podcasts did exist on the time, however they have been tremendous technical to create and even more durable to entry as a listener – so I didn’t pursue them.

After I left Hot97, I went again to highschool and began a weblog referred to as The Sorority of Hip Hop, which grew right into a motion within the Tri-State with 50+ feminine bloggers that gained a whole lot of recognition. We had a buzzing weblog, a number of on-line radio exhibits, and hosted the most popular events within the metropolis. After nearly getting a present on MTV twice and finally being rejected, coupled with not with the ability to efficiently monetize the weblog, I shut the whole lot down. It was a really low level in my life, and I utterly gave up on the concept I used to be ever going to make it in leisure.

I let go of my desires, received an MBA, went into company advertising and marketing, and thought I’d NEVER get again on a mic…

However then I received the itch once more 4 years later. In April of 2018, I used to be working at Hewlett Packard and didn’t get a chance I actually wished at my day job. I discovered myself with a whole lot of additional time and realized I had a ton of related expertise below my belt to start out a podcast. And now podcasts have been far more mainstream! I figured I’d have the ability to make the most of the abilities I discovered radio, running a blog, and operating social media for Fortune 500 firms to create one thing epic. And so I went on to do exactly that with Younger and Profiting.

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Q: What have been your targets within the early days of YAP? Did you intend to make YAP a full-time gig?

A: No, I began YAP whereas I used to be a advertising and marketing government at Hewlett Packard (after which at Disney Streaming Providers). I assumed I used to be going to remain in company endlessly and simply stand up the ranks.

I began the present as a interest to provide again by serving to others hear, be taught, and revenue. The plan was to interview the brightest minds on the earth and distill their knowledge into actional recommendation that my listeners may apply of their life. I had been a failed entrepreneur, however then was rocking it in company, so I felt like I had a whole lot of worth so as to add to the dialog as nicely. And to be 100% sincere, I really didn’t perceive the enterprise mannequin behind podcasts at first, and by no means dreamed that we’d be monetizing the way in which that we do at the moment!

I first began to monetize by utilizing my podcast as a lead technology device. By yr two of the podcast, I used to be a serious influencer on LinkedIn and my podcast was doing nice. The visitors who would come on my present would typically ask me if I may run their social and podcast channels for them given my observe report. I used to all the time say no, and that I had a small workforce of volunteers who solely had capability for my present. However finally, I made a decision to lean into the demand and launch a facet hustle referred to as YAP Media, a white-glove social media and podcast company catered to CEOs, best-selling authors, and celebrities–the identical sort of people who find themselves visitors on my present. The corporate took off straight away.

Q: You constructed your workforce initially by asking followers to volunteer. What motivated that selection to achieve out to your viewers?

A: I really by no means reached out to my viewers to ask for volunteers. My followers reached out to me! Once I first launched YAP Podcast, I had a whole lot of expertise below my belt. My podcast and social have been nice from the beginning, and since I had such pure intentions to assist folks–I suppose many individuals have been very drawn to that–it was nearly magnetic! In truth, I had my first volunteer by episode 2, Timothy Tan, who’s now my enterprise associate. By episode 8, I had 10 volunteers in a Slack channel to help my present. Most individuals reached out on LinkedIn, expressed how a lot the present meant to them, and requested how they might assist. They wished to be taught from me and felt very aligned with the mission of Younger and Profiting.

For instance, I had one volunteer from Estonia who managed my web site, and one volunteer from Atlanta who would work on my movies. I’d educate them easy methods to run sure points of the present, which unlocked time for me to discover revolutionary methods to develop the present, and so they have been glad to degree up their expertise whereas doing good work for the world. It labored out actually properly and I’m tremendous grateful for it.

Q: Do you’ve got any humorous tales from the early days of recording and producing YAP?

A: I used to be operating a fairly large podcast by the tip of my company profession, however since I used to be nonetheless working a full-time job, I used to report my interviews throughout my lunch hour–oftentimes in humorous locations on the workplace. Getting a correct assembly room was out of the query. If I used to be fortunate, I’d get a cellphone sales space and sound like I used to be in a fish bowl! Typically, I must report in an deserted closet; and one time I even locked myself in a lady’s rest room as a result of there wasn’t a quiet place for me to report. Fortunately, this was again when my present was audio-only… so no person knew, haha. And once I first was an entrepreneur and simply received out of a nasty breakup, I used to be recording episodes in my mother’s basement for practically 8 months–even my interview with Matthew McConaughey was recorded in my mother’s basement!

These days, I’ve a brilliant cool studio with a branded chalkboard mural, mounted ceiling lights, a sizzling pink desk, and I actually have a teleprompter. Getting a correct studio was a giant second for me. I typically simply really feel so overwhelmed with pleasure once I assume again to how arduous I labored, and the way far I’ve come! The come-up has been actual!

Q: Was there a second once you realized that YAP could be your full-time profession?

A: It was after I launched my social and podcast company, YAP Media. That was the primary time I tasted what the longer term may appear like and realized the total potential of YAP. In December 2021, YAP media was 8 months previous and I had constructed the company to a considerable dimension whereas working in company. I had about 30 staff and we have been making over 6-figures a month servicing a handful of high-profile shoppers. That very same month, I additionally found I’d be featured on the quilt of Podcast Journal–an enormous milestone for me. And simply two weeks later, I landed an interview with Matthew McConaughey. That’s once I knew I needed to take this chance extra critically, and I ended up quitting my company job at Disney in February 2021 to concentrate on YAP full-time.

 

Q: What challenges did you face making that transition?

A: Opposite to most new entrepreneurs, gross sales have by no means been my drawback. The expansion of YAP Media occurred very organically as a result of we had nice product-market match and really efficient lead technology instruments; my podcast and social channels.

I believe the largest problem for me has been transitioning from a volunteer group to an actual firm. To start with, our YAP workforce was like a giant household–composed of volunteers who merely wished to be taught, contribute and do good for the world. However as soon as we began scaling and being profitable, consider it or not, it turned a lot more durable to retain expertise. Volunteers are simpler to handle as a result of the expectations are totally different. When persons are getting a paycheck–issues naturally get extra critical and aggressive. Some folks didn’t wish to let go of the earlier flexibility that they had as volunteers. There was additionally friction between externally employed staff and volunteers who was staff. We had a giant tradition shift at one level to get out of that “volunteer” mentality so we may successfully scale as a media company.

Q: What have you ever discovered about your self as a frontrunner from this transformation?

A: I’ve all the time been a frontrunner, since I used to be slightly lady I used to be all the time “president” of one thing or making an attempt to be. Nevertheless, YAP Media is the primary time I’m a frontrunner of a revenue-generating firm, and it’s a unique sort of duty. I’m liable for the livelihoods and careers of not solely my very own staff but in addition my shoppers. It’s a whole lot of strain, however I spotted such a strain is motivating for me.

I wish to make an influence; that’s what drives me to shut massive offers, consider artistic options, and so forth.

I additionally realized I wanted to work on my feelings a bit. Entrepreneurship generally is a rocky street. Now we have witnessed durations of skyrocketing development and it’s thrilling. However in fact, each firm has each highs and lows. I used to let the specifics of what was occurring in my enterprise dictate my vitality, however at the moment, I attempt my greatest to maintain a fair keel it doesn’t matter what the particulars are. My workforce wants confidence, energy, and consistency!

Q: You’ve had loads of unbelievable visitors on YAP, together with Matthew McConaughey, Seth Godin, Yancey Strickler, and Heather Monahan. However which visitor stunned you essentially the most in what they shared?

A: The one that actually stands out to me is my current interview with Wim Hof, the residing legend referred to as the Ice Man. He holds dozens of world data involving the chilly – together with climbing Mount Everest in shorts and operating a half marathon barefoot in ice and snow. His respiration strategies and chilly remedy have been scientifically confirmed to extend management of our brains, innermost bodily features, and techniques to do issues like reverse power sickness. He appears to be actually enlightened! It was a really eye-opening and academic interview for me. You possibly can take a look at my interview with Wim Hof, right here.

Q: For younger entrepreneurs, countless social media advertising and marketing channels may be overwhelming. The place do you advise they begin?

A: It’s essential be the place your target market hangs out and the place there’s nonetheless natural attain. The place are all the opposite influencers in your area of interest selling themselves and having success? That’s the place you ought to be. And by way of natural attain, LinkedIn and TikTok have a whole lot of it proper now. With that stated, there are nonetheless methods to develop on each platform, for instance; on Instagram, using Instagram Reels is an efficient option to acquire visibility on the platform.

The actual key’s to concentrate on one platform as an alternative of making an attempt to grasp a number of at a time. Actually be taught the ins and outs of the platform; use all of its options, publish day by day, research its algorithm, and reverse engineer what different influencers are doing nicely.

When it got here to selling Younger and Profiting Podcast and my private model, I solely targeted on LinkedIn for a number of years. I purposely didn’t unfold myself skinny by additionally making an attempt to win on Instagram. I posted each single day and experimented. I attempted to face out and be totally different. I noticed what labored by placing content material on the market after which leaned into what labored. At this time, I’m referred to as some of the prolific influencers on LinkedIn. I’m a part of their official influencer program and communicate at their occasions. And I’ve leveraged that social affect to assist develop my podcast and enterprise. Selecting to concentrate on LinkedIn was probably the greatest choices of my life.

Q: What’s subsequent for YAP Media?

A: Podcasting has grown exponentially over the previous few years and it doesn’t appear like it’s slowing down any time quickly. Securing podcast sponsorships is our most scalable alternative right here at YAP Media and that’s why I’m tremendous bullish on the YAP Media Podcast Community!

I’m absolutely targeted on rising my community and guaranteeing we’ve got an incredible portfolio of enterprise exhibits, in addition to guaranteeing we’ve got tight promoting operation processes and the suitable partnerships able to rock by the 2023 Upfronts. My firm YAP Media is the one podcast community with experience in podcast media shopping for and social media, and due to that, we’re already taking the trade by storm!

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