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

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

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

Now, the Younger and Profiting Podcast is the #1 Schooling 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 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 carried out this week that helped your enterprise?

A: My foremost 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’ve got grown to over a dozen exhibits targeted on enterprise, self-improvement, and entrepreneurship! It’s my foremost precedence as CEO to spearhead the community and set it up for long-term success, simply as I’ve carried out 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 deciding on an unique gross sales companion for our community so I can concentrate on recruiting, bettering, and rising our community’s exhibits. Actually, this week had numerous “pinch me” moments — looks as if everybody within the business is courting “The Podcast Princess”— and it’s a very nice feeling!

Q: What’s your favourite podcast (apart from 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 check for upcoming YAP company since there’s numerous overlap. I had Ed on Younger and Profiting Podcast just lately, and it’s shortly turn out to be one in all my favourite conversations. They all the time say you shouldn’t meet your heroes IRL, however I favored Ed even MORE after we spoke in individual! He’s such a genuinely good-hearted individual with an unbelievable message.

I’m additionally an enormous fan of the Jordan Harbinger Present. Many individuals have known as me the feminine model of Jordan Harbinger as a result of we’re very alike on the subject of our interview type and matters. After having him on my present in 2020, I stored in contact and, by 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 business works and I’m tremendous grateful for our skilled relationship.

Q: You began Younger and Profiting in 2018 as a aspect 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” without cost for 3 years. I used to be the affiliate producer of the present and was chargeable for the day by day present transient, analysis, operating the boards, and even studying commercials on air which was my first expertise as on-air expertise. On the aspect whereas working on the station, I hosted on-line radio exhibits–the precursor to podcasts–with the up-and-coming DJs who additionally labored without cost on the station. Podcasts did exist on the time, however they had been tremendous technical to create and even tougher to entry as a listener – so I didn’t pursue them.

After I left Hot97, I went again to highschool and began a weblog known as The Sorority of Hip Hop, which grew right into a motion within the Tri-State with 50+ feminine bloggers that gained numerous 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 having the ability to efficiently monetize the weblog, I shut all the pieces 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 desires, received an MBA, went into company advertising, and thought I might 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 numerous additional time and realized I had a ton of related expertise underneath my belt to begin 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 realized radio, running a blog, and operating social media for Fortune 500 firms 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 targets within the early days of YAP? Did you propose to make YAP a full-time gig?

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

I began the present as a passion to provide again by serving to others pay attention, be taught, and revenue. The plan was to interview the brightest minds on the 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 numerous worth so as to add to the dialog as effectively. And to be 100% sincere, 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 immediately!

I first began to monetize by utilizing my podcast as a lead era software. By 12 months 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 monitor file. 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 aspect hustle known as YAP Media, a white-glove social media and podcast company catered to CEOs, best-selling authors, and celebrities–the identical kind of people who find themselves company on my present. The corporate took off instantly.

Q: You constructed your workforce initially by asking followers to volunteer. What motivated that selection to achieve 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! Once I first launched YAP Podcast, I had numerous expertise underneath 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 nearly magnetic! Actually, I had my first volunteer by episode 2, Timothy Tan, who’s now my enterprise companion. 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 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 might train them learn how to run sure elements of the present, which unlocked time for me to discover progressive methods to develop the present, and so they 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 could have 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 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 might get a telephone sales space and sound like I used to be in a fish bowl! Typically, 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 person knew, haha. And once I first was an entrepreneur and simply received 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 scorching 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 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 can 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 to be and realized the total potential of YAP. In December 2021, YAP media was 8 months outdated and I had constructed the company to a considerable dimension 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 might 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 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 era instruments; my podcast and social channels.

I feel the largest problem for me has been transitioning from a volunteer group to an actual firm. At first, 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 getting cash, imagine it or not, it grew to become a lot tougher 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 wish to let go of the earlier flexibility they’d as volunteers. There was additionally friction between externally employed workers and volunteers who become 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 realized about your self as a pacesetter from this transformation?

A: I’ve all the time been a pacesetter, since I used to be slightly lady I used to be all the time “president” of one thing or attempting to be. Nonetheless, YAP Media is the primary time I’m a pacesetter of a revenue-generating firm, and it’s a special form of accountability. I’m chargeable for the livelihoods and careers of not solely my very own workers but in addition my shoppers. It’s numerous strain, however I noticed one of these strain is motivating for me.

I wish to make an influence; that’s what drives me to shut huge offers, consider inventive 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 taking place in my enterprise dictate my vitality, however immediately, I attempt my finest to maintain a good keel it doesn’t matter what the particulars are. My workforce wants confidence, energy, and consistency!

Q: You’ve had loads of unbelievable company 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 often known 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 capabilities, and programs 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 try my interview with Wim Hof, right here.

Q: For younger entrepreneurs, limitless social media advertising channels could be overwhelming. The place do you advise they begin?

A: You might want to 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 try to be. And by way of natural attain, LinkedIn and TikTok have numerous 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 approach to acquire visibility on the platform.

The true secret’s to concentrate on one platform as a substitute of attempting to grasp a number of at a time. Actually be taught the ins and outs of the platform; use all of its options, submit every single day, examine its algorithm, and reverse engineer what different influencers are doing effectively.

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. In the present day, I’m often known 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 among the best 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’ve got a tremendous portfolio of enterprise exhibits, in addition to making certain we’ve got tight promoting operation processes and the precise 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 business by storm!

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