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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 objective was to assist younger professionals maximize their careers and study from the very 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 shortly grew to become a 7-figure enterprise with 50 workers.

We requested Hala in regards to 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 small business?

A: My essential focus every week is to additional increase the most recent 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 now have grown to over a dozen exhibits targeted on enterprise, self-improvement, and entrepreneurship! It’s my essential 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 probably choosing an unique gross sales accomplice for our community so I can deal with recruiting, bettering, and rising our community’s exhibits. The truth is, this week had a number of “pinch me” moments — looks like everybody within the trade is courting “The Podcast Princess”— and it’s a very nice feeling!

Q: What’s your favourite podcast (apart from YAP, after all)?

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 company since there’s a number of overlap. I had Ed on Younger and Profiting Podcast not too long ago, and it’s shortly turn into certainly one of my favourite conversations. They at all times say you shouldn’t meet your heroes IRL, however I preferred Ed even MORE after we spoke in individual! He’s such a genuinely good-hearted individual with an unimaginable 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 terms of our interview model and subjects. After having him on my present in 2020, I saved in contact and, via some strategic maneuvering, Jordan is now my mentor and an advisor at YAP Media. We converse 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 school 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 accountable for the day by day present transient, analysis, working 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 had 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 number of reputation. We had a buzzing weblog, a number of on-line radio exhibits, and hosted the most popular events within the metropolis. After virtually getting a present on MTV twice and finally being rejected, coupled with not having the ability to efficiently monetize the weblog, I shut all the things down. It was a really low level in my life, and I fully gave up on the concept that I used to be ever going to make it in leisure.

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

However then I obtained 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 number of additional time and realized I had a ton of related expertise below my belt to start out a podcast. And now podcasts had been far more mainstream! I figured I’d have the ability to make the most of the talents I discovered radio, running a blog, and working social media for Fortune 500 corporations to create one thing epic. And so I went on to just do that with Younger and Profiting.

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Q: What had been your objectives 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 without end and simply stand up the ranks.

I began the present as a passion to offer again by serving to others hear, study, and revenue. The plan was to interview the brightest minds on this planet 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 number of worth so as to add to the dialog as properly. And to be 100% trustworthy, I truly didn’t perceive the enterprise mannequin behind podcasts at first, and by no means dreamed that we’d be monetizing the best way that we do right now!

I first began to monetize through the use of my podcast as a lead era device. By yr two of the podcast, I used to be a significant influencer on LinkedIn and my podcast was doing nice. The company who would come on my present would usually ask me if I may run their social and podcast channels for them given my observe file. I used to at all times say no, and that I had a small staff of volunteers who solely had capability for my present. However ultimately, 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 company on my present. The corporate took off instantly.

Q: You constructed your staff initially by asking followers to volunteer. What motivated that alternative to succeed in out to your viewers?

A: I truly by no means reached out to my viewers to ask for volunteers. My followers reached out to me! After I first launched YAP Podcast, I had a number of expertise below my belt. My podcast and social had been nice from the beginning, and since I had such pure intentions to assist individuals–I suppose many individuals had been very interested in that–it was virtually magnetic! The truth is, I had my first volunteer by episode 2, Timothy Tan, who’s now my enterprise accomplice. By episode 8, I had 10 volunteers in a Slack channel to assist my present. Most individuals reached out on LinkedIn, expressed how a lot the present meant to them, and requested how they may assist. They wished to study 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 how one can run sure facets of the present, which unlocked time for me to discover modern methods to develop the present, they usually had been completely happy to stage up their abilities whereas doing good work for the world. It labored out actually properly and I’m tremendous grateful for it.

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

A: I used to be working a reasonably large podcast by the top of my company profession, however since I used to be nonetheless working a full-time job, I used to file 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! Generally, I must file in an deserted closet; and one time I even locked myself in a lady’s toilet as a result of there wasn’t a quiet place for me to file. Fortunately, this was again when my present was audio-only… so no one knew, haha. And once I first was an entrepreneur and simply obtained out of a foul breakup, I used to be recording episodes in my mother’s basement for almost 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 usually simply really feel so overwhelmed with pleasure once I suppose again to how exhausting I labored, and the way far I’ve come! The come-up has been actual!

Q: Was there a second if 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 long run may appear to be 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 measurement whereas working in company. I had about 30 workers and we had 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 duvet 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 severely, and I ended up quitting my company job at Disney in February 2021 to deal with 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 downside. The expansion of YAP Media occurred very organically as a result of we had nice product-market match and really efficient lead era instruments; my podcast and social channels.

I feel the most important problem for me has been transitioning from a volunteer group to an actual firm. At first, our YAP staff was like a giant household–composed of volunteers who merely wished to study, contribute and do good for the world. However as soon as we began scaling and creating wealth, imagine it or not, it grew to become a lot more durable to retain expertise. Volunteers are simpler to handle as a result of the expectations are completely different. When individuals are getting a paycheck–issues naturally get extra severe and aggressive. Some individuals didn’t need to let go of the earlier flexibility they’d as volunteers. There was additionally friction between externally employed workers and volunteers who changed into workers. 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 at all times been a frontrunner, since I used to be slightly woman I used to be at all times “president” of one thing or attempting to be. Nevertheless, YAP Media is the primary time I’m a frontrunner of a revenue-generating firm, and it’s a distinct type of duty. I’m accountable for the livelihoods and careers of not solely my very own workers but additionally my shoppers. It’s a number of strain, however I spotted this kind of strain is motivating for me.

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

I additionally realized I wanted to work on my feelings a bit. Entrepreneurship could be a rocky highway. We’ve got witnessed durations of skyrocketing development and it’s thrilling. However after all, each firm has each highs and lows. I used to let the specifics of what was occurring in my enterprise dictate my vitality, however right now, I strive my finest to maintain a good keel it doesn’t matter what the particulars are. My staff wants confidence, power, and consistency!

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

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

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

A: That you must be the place your audience 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 need to be. And when it comes to natural attain, LinkedIn and TikTok have a number of it proper now. With that mentioned, there are nonetheless methods to develop on each platform, for instance; on Instagram, using Instagram Reels is an efficient strategy to achieve visibility on the platform.

The true key’s to deal with one platform as a substitute of attempting to grasp a number of at a time. Actually study the ins and outs of the platform; use all of its options, put up day-after-day, research its algorithm, and reverse engineer what different influencers are doing properly.

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 attempting to win on Instagram. I posted each single day and experimented. I attempted to face out and be completely different. I noticed what labored by placing content material on the market after which leaned into what labored. At this time, I’m generally known as one of the prolific influencers on LinkedIn. I’m a part of their official influencer program and converse at their occasions. And I’ve leveraged that social affect to assist develop my podcast and enterprise. Selecting to deal with LinkedIn was the most effective selections of my life.

Q: What’s subsequent for YAP Media?

A: Podcasting has grown exponentially over the previous couple of years and it doesn’t appear to be 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 making certain we now have an incredible portfolio of enterprise exhibits, in addition to making certain we now have tight promoting operation processes and the correct 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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