Hala Taha is the host, executive producer, and creator of the Young and Profiting Podcast. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and business owners accelerate growth by implementing her proven strategic and operational scale-up model. Today, you will get the chance to listen to her awe-inspiring story of sheer hard work and determination. If you’ve been shut down multiple times in your business, don’t give up and keep clawing your way to success!
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Young And Profiting: How To Level Up Your Life With Hala Taha
I’m super excited to be back on the show. For those of you that follow along the show, you know we’ve got some big news coming out with a book that is launching March 1st, 2021, Conversations with Covey, and there have been amazing guests like this guests that I’m about to introduce. You guys know, we are always talking about learning and growing, how do we become our best selves? How do we contribute and make that collective impact in the world? As I looked for guests, I came across Hala and I think we connected on LinkedIn originally. I looked at what she was doing with her Young and Profiting podcast. She’d been working at Disney, HP, and all these places before. She had some radio background, which I thought was cool and some overlap with some things I’ve done.
I just noticed somebody that had built up her confidence and was leaning into her gifts. She was contributing back on a much larger scale. We had some connections, some people that we both knew like Heather. I saw some of the guests she brought on and I will tell you, I was very impressed that I started doing my homework with you. I was super excited because it looks like, at least as I started looking at things, you have started to accelerate in a short period of time where most people just sit on the sideline and they talk about it. They think about it, but they don’t take action. Hala, thank you for joining. I can’t wait to unpack your story and all of the things that you’re up to.
Thank you so much, Brian. I’m super excited for this session. I know that you are such a great live host. You’re well-known for your LinkedIn lives. I’m very excited to be on the show.A respectable person cares about other people. Click To Tweet
We bring the energy and that’s what our body is. Your energy is everything when you show up. As I was looking at some of your posts, some of the things that stuck out to me, and I know you were sharing with me before we went on, is if you started to branch out into marketing. You’ve found a way that you’re balancing not only the professional sides of things, but you’ve got the marketing side of your story comes through and who you are, which I think creates a connection with people. You’ve brought on some incredible guests, but let’s start with you. I’d love for people to unpack a little bit of your journey over the last several years. Leaving radio, going back to school, you got these cool jobs from the outside, looking at Disney or HP but then you went and you can tell you pursued your passion and that started to grow.
I have a very complex story with lots of ups and downs, and we could spend two hours on my crazy story, but I’ll try to give you the five-minute version. When I was in college, I started my career in radio at Hot97. I was an intern for the Angie Martinez Show. If you don’t know what Hot97 is, it’s the number one hip hop and RNB station in the world. When I was in college, it was a big deal to be at that station. It was well-known in the Tri-State area and The Angie Martinez Show, which I worked on was the number one talk show in America across all categories. It was a big deal to work on that show.
I ended up dropping out of school to take an opportunity at Hot97 as an unpaid intern. In the radio world, you have to pay your dues. A lot of the personalities that you hear on air have worked for free 5, 10 years before they get a very low-paying radio job. At the time, I wanted to work at Hot97. It was my dream to be the next Angie Martinez, and they were pruning me for that opportunity. I was the main intern training all the other interns. I was the only girl allowed in the studio area. I met every single celebrity. J-Lo Beyonce, Chris Brown, Drake, and Kanye. I’ve met everyone.
I used to run in those circles and go to parties with celebrities. It was like a dream. I was not even twenty years old, rocking it. Everybody was so impressed that I had this job but in reality, I was working for free and making my money by hosting showcases and things at night. As I said, I dropped out of school and all my siblings at the time were in med school. I have three siblings. They’re all doctors. My dad was a doctor. My parents hated that I dropped out of school and worked for free at a radio station. Nobody understood what I was doing. Nobody realized what a big deal it was for how young I was to be doing all of that. Nonetheless, I worked there for free and I gained a lot of experience in terms of audio editing, running a radio board, doing research and running contests. I used to record commercials for the station and, you would hear my voice on the radio. It was a cool experience. I ended up leaving the station when a paying job opened up, they didn’t give it to me. I was very upset and I got into a fallout with Angie Martinez.
I sent a text to the guy who got the job who was unqualified. They wanted me to train him how to be the producer after I’ve been working for free for three years. I said, “I don’t feel good now. I’m not going to work. If you want to learn, do it on your own.” He was my friend. He showed the text Angie Martinez and I got fired on the spot, which goes to show, loyalty, me working for free for three years, dropping out of school for this lady, and then she cut me out.
I didn’t just give up. I said, “Nobody’s going to blackball me from this industry. Nobody’s going to tell me that I’m not going to succeed here.” I love doing what I’m doing and I’m still going to be a leader. By the way, Angie told all the DJs who I was very close with, DJ Camilo and Funkmaster Flex. These are huge names in the Tri-State area, and that’s how I used to make my money. She told me that they’re not allowed to talk to me anymore. Nobody was answering my phone calls anymore. Everybody just pretended like I didn’t exist. A lot of the DJs were like, “Don’t worry. She does this. Just keep groveling to her and she’ll let you back. She’s just trying to teach you a lesson so just stay quiet and she’ll let you back.”
I was young and not going to take a crap. I was like, “No, I’m going to start my own thing. I don’t need Hot97. I don’t need Angie Martinez.” I decided I was going to launch something called The Sorority of Hip Hop. I went back to school and my senior year, my last year in college, I started something called StrawberryBlunt.com, The Sorority of Hip Hop. I recruited fourteen girls right off the bat. I sent out Craigslist notices and solicited on Twitter. I had a big following on Twitter at the time from Hot97. I ended up recruiting girls from VH1, iHeart and Def Jam. All these young girls in the industry who also felt like they didn’t have a platform and that nobody was supporting them male or female in the industry.
We created something called The Sorority of Hip Hop. Within three months, we were one of the most popular hip hop and entertainment news sites in the world. We got noticed by MTV. They shot a pilot with us. We didn’t get it. It was a small pilot. We ended up having radio shows, hosting concerts, parties, and we got bigger and bigger. The DJs who wouldn’t give me a minimum wage job, I used to get them coffee and feed the meters. I was their bitch so to speak, and all of a sudden, they were calling me to promote their parties. I was side by side on the flyers with them getting paid just as much as them. Instead of being their intern, I became their equals. I’m one up to everyone.
They were like, “Hala is blowing up. We need to get on this train.” All of a sudden, everybody started calling me again, including Angie Martinez. It was like that whole thing never happened and everybody was cool. It’s just goes to show you creating your own lane is powerful. I did that when I was young. MTV reached out to us again and this is not us pitching a reality TV show to them. This was MTV scouting us out.
MTV reached out to me again, and this time it was the VP, Tiffany Williams. She’s a big deal. She was like, “You’re guaranteed a show.” They signed us. I was the lead. We had five other girls on the show and we had 50 girls in the overall Sorority of Hip Hop. They got us a studio on Broadway. They filmed us all summer. We did our hair and makeup every day. We hosted a concert and did a dance. It was a big deal. Last minute after they shot us, they shot me with my family, with my boyfriend at restaurants, shot us all summer, and then they pull the plug last minute.
They destroyed my business because they picked girls who were younger, who didn’t deserve to be on the show. Some of the main girls got upset and quit. Everything was just a hot mess. They pulled the plug and we didn’t get the show. Everything was just disheveled. I was like, “Now MTV ruined my business after all this.” We were just going to temporarily shut it down, but then we just never ended up starting it back up. I then decided my career in entertainment is over. I gave this a shot. I worked at Hot97 for three years. They didn’t hire me. I started the Sorority of Hip Hop. We got so much traction. We almost got famous and then, MTV screwed us.
I was like, “I’m done with the entertainment industry. I’m done doing all this work and getting nothing out of this.” I closed myself off and said, “I’m hanging up my hat. It’s time to get a normal job.” I did that. I went and got an MBA. I told all the girls, “I’m sorry, but this is done.” I had terrible grades in my undergrad. I had to convince my graduate director. I told her about my story and stalked her until she allowed me in the MBA program because I had such bad grades in undergrad because I dropped out, worked at Hot97. I was just not into school.
I ended up getting a 4.0, graduating number one in my class. I was the only person to get a 4.0. They were very happy that I got into the class. I ended up being the president of the MBA alumni association as well. It was a great decision by them to let me in the program. I got in there and that’s how I got my foot in the door at HP. They hired me as an MBA intern, and because I had a very entrepreneurial spirit, I had learned on the internet, I came to that company and I had so much more knowledge than the other workers there. I was so much more tech savvy that my career skyrocketed.
I got promoted five times in five years. I had every single job under the marketing department. I was president of their young employee network. I was the face of the young employees. I worked directly for the CMO and the CEO, really highly visible at that company. My last year at HP, it’s a long story why I decided to start Young and Profiting podcast. I’m not going to go into that. Something happened where I didn’t get a position that I wanted at HP that I highly deserved. Again, I decided to create my own lane and I started Young and Profiting podcast. That was April of 2018.
I had just decided, I thought I would never get back on the mic, but I miss it. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time, basically working two jobs with an HP. One side was me being the face of the young employees and leading all the young employees. One side was my day job. Something happened where they didn’t give me a position that I deserved for leading a cultural movement within the company. I decided I have all this free time now, I’m going to start my own thing. Here I am host of Young and Profiting podcast. I went to Disney streaming services, ran their email and mobile marketing team. I’m an entrepreneur. I have a side hustle. I started a side hustle called, YAP Media. I have 40 employees. I built that to a multi-six-figure, a side hustle while working at Disney full-time. A couple of weeks ago, I quit my job and I’m a full-time entrepreneur now. That’s my whole big, long complex story.
That diverse experience you can tell, I was listening to you go through that, it shaped and molded you every one of those lessons. I tell people, “As you go through life, you may get that job. You may not get that job. Things may work out, don’t work out that way.” I loved you shared a couple of times about staying in your own lane. Where did your drive come from? Was that your parents where you said were doctors in your family? You think that drive was a family thing or did it come from somewhere else in your life?
I know exactly what it was from. It’s twofold. One is my father. My father passed away and he grew up in Palestine during the war in poverty. His dad was a farmer. He literally had no other job other than selling figs. All they ate was figs and bread. He had no running water, no electricity. My dad lived in a room with six people. My father knew the only way he was going to get out of poverty was to rock it in school. He just studied non-stop. He was the smartest kid in his town. He ended up getting a scholarship to a college in Egypt for med school. He went to med school and then he came to America. He became a surgeon. He became chief of surgery. He opened up a medical center.
He went from the bottom of the bottom in war, in Palestine, no electricity, no water, and ended up bringing my whole family out of poverty. Even when he was so wealthy, he never had nice things. He would just donate all his money to my cousins in Palestine and put them all through school. Not only did he put all his kids through school, he put all my cousins in Palestine through school, which enabled them to bring their families out of poverty. He helped them along the way. Nobody was poor once my dad was a doctor. The money difference in Palestine is very different than in America. He’s able to lift everybody out of poverty. He was just an amazing man. He was the most generous, kind, motivating.
He always told me since I was younger, “Hala, you’re a superstar.” Just like built up my confidence. That was helpful. The other piece of that is that in high school and middle school, that’s when 9/11 happened. It was still a big deal and I’m Arabic. I remember being very popular on all the sports teams, all my teachers love me. I had so many friends and then once 9/11 happened, nobody treated me the same. My teachers didn’t treat me the same. I had the best voice in school and used to get solos, every concert, then they refused to put me in the talent show even. I just got no opportunities through high school.
Everything I tried out for, I didn’t get and I was blocked on everything. I had my core group of friends or whatever, but it was very different from when I was younger. It was clear that it had to do with people’s perception about me being Arabic and what that meant. Once I got into college, all that went away. I went to a college in Newark, New Jersey, which is a very diverse school. All of a sudden, I became the most popular girl in school, leading my sorority and captain of the cheerleading team, all these opportunities, leads in the play, and got this job at Hot97. It was just totally different. It was because I was rejected so many times in high school because nobody would give me any opportunities and somehow, I kept trying and trying. I would try out for the volleyball team and not get it. I would try out for cheerleading but still, go.
I got used to failure because it just became normal. Nobody ever picks me, I always have to work ten times as hard. Nobody ever chooses me by myself because I have a weird name. Nobody wants to even give me a shot. I don’t get freebies like a lot of other people. It just got built inside of me that I have to always work ten times as hard. In college, all of a sudden it was like, “I can work ten times as hard and get opportunities and everything’s skyrocketing.” I think a lot of it had to do with getting shut out in high school and then all of a sudden, getting all this attention in college, and everything working my way while I still had that hard work ethic because nobody ever gave me anything easy. I think that has a lot to do with it.Don’t give up. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re not going to succeed. Click To Tweet
As I hear you talking about that. It’s like that underdog mentality of these people around in your life and your dad changed the trajectory of your entire family and extended family. It’s almost like that gift now or responsibility is with you. You have that drive because when you are an underdog and you’ve been through things like that, I played sports and you get cut from teams. You don’t fit in certain groups or whatever it might be, you’re almost always out to prove yourself until you can find your lane which you’ve done. We were talking about this.
I’d love for you to unpack this because as you started to have some success, you’re starting to find your voice, find your lane, and the importance of mentors. Specifically, I was sharing my vantage point of female leaders coming up and entrepreneurs, what that’s like to find a mentor? I think you’ve done that, but let’s talk about what that looked like and how that’s benefited you. That is one for all of us, mentors and people in our lives can help us accelerate and bring out that greatness inside of us.
My first real mentor happened in 2020. Up until this year, I never had a mentor, even women that were in my life, somebody like Angie Martinez. I gave my all to this lady and she screwed me over and never mentored me. She used me. There’s a big difference. She didn’t teach me anything other than people will use you and there are bad people in the world. No offense. Angie is not necessarily a bad person, but she used me. Now that I’m her age when I was interning for her, I look at that I’m like, “I would never do that to the people that work for me,” and anybody who interns for me, if you’re good, after three months you get hired. I just can’t believe that she did that to me.
Now that I’m older, I dislike her more because I understand what it is to be a woman, to be a respectable woman, and to care about other people on your team. I dislike her a lot more as I’ve grown up. Anyway, that’s a whole another story. Heather Monahan is my mentor. She is the first person that was ever really my mentor because she’s the first person that has been where I want to go. One of the things that I admire to be is a speaker, an executive coach like she is. She’s done a lot of things that I want to do. She’s connected to a lot of people and can bring me a lot of opportunities.
She was the first real mentor that I had and it started off very organically. She looked at my stuff like a lot of my guests do. She came on my podcast and I started doing marketing and she was like, “Wow, Hala. Your marketing is great. Who does your marketing?” I was like, “This is what I do for a living. I’m in corporate marketing. I have this team,” at this time is a team of volunteers, fans that were obsessed with Young and Profiting podcasts and volunteered to work on the show. I started a Slack group and had all these volunteers.
I was like, “I have a team of ten people. They’re all volunteers. This is our processes.” I showed her how we do a headliner. I showed her all our Canva stuff, all our different processes, schedules, project management tools, and LinkedIn automation. I taught her all this stuff and she was just blown away. She’s like, “Hala, what you have here is the type of stuff that GaryVee’s team shows me when I have a call with them. What you have here is a business and you could scale this out. You have to start this, and I want to be your first client. This is your path, Hala. You’ve got to start this business.” She pushed me and she was like, “I’m going to be your first client. I don’t care what you say.” I was like, “Okay, fine.” I started off just doing videos for her, “I’ll take your podcast. I’ll do video and micro-content for you. I’ll leverage my team and we’ll see how it goes.” She paid me very little at first and we did that then, that went well.
I scaled it to doing automation campaigns for her. I started doing her posts. One thing led to another, I’m running all of her social media and all her podcast management. Now my team is getting paid and she’s paying us well. We’re bringing her ROI by getting her big speaking engagements and she’s really happy. I scaled it. I landed the next big client, the next one, and the next one. All of a sudden, I have six huge names under my company. We’re running all their social media and all their podcasts, marketing, and production. It worked out amazing and that’s how my podcast blew up. I had a big brand on LinkedIn. Once I was able to reinvest in my company because I wasn’t monetizing off my podcast, it was just a big brand. She enabled me to monetize in a great way, and then I reinvested. Everything just blew up from there.
I love that. A couple of things stick out is one, there was a problem to be solved. You didn’t even know the problem existed, but yet you had the tools and the resources to solve the problem. You realize from there, “This thing can be scaled.” A lot of times in business, people have an idea but it doesn’t really solve a problem, especially a fun idea like, “I think this would be fun to go do.” I love how you did that. It’s also interconnected. You’ve got your podcast, you’ve got the area you want to be speaking, and doing some social. They’re all interconnected.
I saw one of the articles and I’m a big believer in this stacking your talents and taking what you do well, but also building teams. You talked about processes and scaling teams. I’d love to get your take on this part because this is where I see a lot of people struggle in moving beyond themselves to building out a team and then actually being on a scale this to a business. It’s not like, “I’ve got a couple of clients, I’m doing it on the side.” What worked for you as you started to realize, “I need to scale this out,” because you have 30 or 40 team members.
I think 45, almost.
It’s crazy. That’s incredible.
That includes interns, and that brings me to how I do it. Typically, we run an internship program. Every quarter we have 10 to 15 interns. A lot of them, don’t pan out, but let’s say we recruit 10 to 15 interns, half of them are social interns, half of them are our podcast research production interns. We run them through an internship program. It starts with a Bootcamp. It’s very structured. Even if they don’t make it as an intern, they get to learn something in the Bootcamp. If you do well in the Bootcamp, then you move onto an intern. You have to pay your dues because that’s what you do in the broadcasting world. You’ve got to pay your dues. I interned for free for three years. They work for free for 1 to 3 months, depending on how good they are.
As soon as they start to provide value and I can assign them to a client, they get paid. That’s pretty much what we do and how we internally train. I don’t ever really recruit someone who hasn’t been through our intern program. That’s how I make sure that I have people are ready to go and trained up as I like. I won’t sign on a new client until I know that I have some interns that are ready to start getting paid and be assigned to a client. I assigned them, and then get a new client. That’s our internal incubator to get new talent. It works well because we have such a well-known brand now. We’re getting really good talent that want to intern for the podcast.
A lot of people are out there, hopefully reading, and will re-read that. I hear a lot of people say, “I can’t hire people or I can’t do this.” You get creative and outside of the box. Interns, and there are plenty of creative people and your point, they’re not all going to work out. That’s life, that’s business. That’s how it works, but to find the right ones. I love how you also said is you’re going to build them up and before you take on a new client, you’re going to make sure they can be cared for. We’re not bringing on clients and not be able to take care of them because that doesn’t work in reverse order.
Exactly. You need to have the resources and the capacity first. I’m always getting that capacity read. I don’t mean to talk about my employees like they’re objects or something. They’re all incredibly smart people. The reality is that you want highly trained, we’ve got very specific processes. We’ve got checklists, standard orders of procedures, very organized. You need to know all of that, be ready and trained up. Everyone gets a job if they do well and they want a job because we have lots of demand. We’re scaling fast, so far so good in terms of anybody who completes their internship gets a paid job either part-time or full-time, whatever they want.
The thing is that you learn so much that these interns, even though they’re working for free for up to three months, they’re able to then go get a job. A lot of these people are recent graduates, even that weren’t able to get a job that they want to be in social media. They went to school for nursing. Let’s say they don’t want to be a nurse, it’s 2020, and no one will give them a chance.
It’s like, “I’m willing to give you a chance.” If you’re smart, you want to work hard. You’ve got a good attitude. We’ve got four H’s as our company culture motto. If you’re happy, hungry, hands-on, and hardworking, you can join our team. If they do, we just teach you everything. Teach you how to copyright, teach you how to graphic design, teach you how to post different algorithm tricks, and just give them the nuts, and bolts to be a professional social media manager or if they want to work on the podcast side, a professional producer or researcher.
I got to say, so one of my favorite actors I saw was on there, Matthew McConaughey. I got to ask one, how that came to fruition, but also anything that you took away. Sometimes you’re surprised with the lesson they leave you. How did that come to fruition? What was your biggest takeaway talking with them?
Matthew McConaughey, what an honor to you to interview such a big name. I had so many people come out of the woodwork. It’s funny because if you’ve been reading to this since the start, you read my story, this didn’t happen by accident. I worked hard. Matthew McConaughey is not the first celebrity, I’ve interviewed Chris Brown. I’ve interviewed a Fabolous, Soulja Boy, different genre of people but I’ve interviewed celebrities before. A lot of people when they saw that were like, “How’d that happen?” “How much did you pay for that?” “How’d you pull that off?”
That was the attitude that I was getting from a lot of people who don’t know my story and my response to them was, “I’ve been working at this for ten years. I may have taken a three-year break when I worked at HP and thought I was done with entertainment. Other than that, seven years of hard work, eighteen-hour days. Young and Profiting podcast is my fifth show. I had multiple online radio shows before this. I had actual radio experience at Hot97.” It was almost insulting honestly, because I was like, “How hard do I land on the cover of Podcast Magazine? How hard do I have to work to be recognized?” Again, it’s being a woman, a young woman, a Palestinian woman. Nobody wants to recognize me, and that’s okay. I’ll keep fighting and clawing my way until they have to acknowledge me.
Matthew McConaughey, how I got him, we have a different outreach strategy. Hisham on my team leads guest outreach. He sent Matthew McConaughey’s team, I forgot how we got the contact but I think it was just through email scraping on LinkedIn or just through deduction. It wasn’t super fancy in terms of how we got the right contact information. He emailed them a few times. They were interested and then they ghosted us. They said, “Yeah, we’ll definitely do it,” and then, they ghosted us. That was a couple of months ago. I see Matthew McConaughey on a show. I’m not going to name the show, but he went on for like ten minutes and it’s a much smaller show than mine. I don’t even think it’s a real podcast. It was like a live show or something. I was like, “That’s weird.” He didn’t want to come to my show. I get over 100,000 downloads a month. I’m on the cover of Podcast Magazine. I’m the number one trending education app. Let me just shoot my shot.Creating your own lane is powerful. Click To Tweet
I responded back to that thread and I took screenshots of my stats to let them know that it was real. I took screenshots of my rankings and I said, “My name is Hala. I was on the cover of Podcast Magazine. I’d love to have Matthew on the show to talk about Greenlights. I get over 100,000 downloads. Here are some screenshots. Here’s my podcast cover feature. I noticed that Matt has been on shows much smaller than mine, and I’d love to share his message.” That was it. They said, “Yeah.” I got them on for a whole hour. It was just shooting my shot. It was random. Sometimes it takes that little push. I was like, “This doesn’t make sense. He’s going on shows. I don’t know why they didn’t pick me, but something must’ve been off. Let me give them the exact proof and then how could they say no to that?”
I love that because sometimes we take that as rejection when the reality is that it could have hit in the inbox on a wrong day or it might’ve been, “I’m going to follow up on that.” Good intentions never get followed up on potentially. I love your persistence in that because for you and your team to have the processes and to go after what you want. The people that don’t know your story and the people that you had on and radio, and that you’ve continued to work with. It’s like, “I’ve worked with the biggest day list celebrities. This is going to be a good match.”
I love how you stayed with it too. Your rankings are there and I love how you did that in a way, at least I interpreted this way, you’re not bragging like, “Why in the world are you not coming on my show?” It’s more of, “Let me validate for you. If you have any in trepidation, any concerns, here’s what we’re doing.” Here’s the validation of what’s happening in your hard work to your point, 7, 10 years of putting in the reps and the time, you got to be willing to ask for some of those. You can’t just sit on the sideline and hope great guests are just going to walk across your desk and “I want to be on your show.” You got to ask.
You got to ask and it’s okay if somebody tells you no. Maybe they didn’t have anything to promote or they’re working on a new book and super busy. That happens all the time. I’m never afraid to go back again and ask again. I’m always improving. There are many guests like Elena Cardone, somebody that I wanted on my show for so long. I’ve maybe asked her team ten times and just this time they said, yes, but I keep asking. I’m like, “I want to follow up.” Now, I’m not just the 50th most popular podcast, I’m number one. They can’t say no anymore. They’re like, “This girl continually keeps improving. We better jump on the bandwagon.” It makes a good impression to keep improving and to not be annoyingly persistent. It’s not like I would ask somebody three times in one month, but every quarter, I’m just checking in. “Here’s what happened for me since you last said no. Is it good now? Am I good enough for you now?” I do that.
There’s probably a lot of our readers that are either launching a podcast, in their first few years of doing it, and I would love to get your insights on what advice would you give them if they’re still new into this, but they’re wanting to take off. How to start to scale and get those better guests or whatever that level is for them or their targeted avatar person, what advice would you give them?
My advice would be to start a community and to be a leader of your community. When I say community, I mean a community of podcasters. One of the things that I did before my podcast got like hockey stick growth and that was a couple of months ago. One of my podcasts went from 4,000 downloads a month to getting like 10,000 downloads in a day. A totally different metric now than I did a few months ago. I started a podcast community and I recruited 50 podcasters, some of them were a little bit bigger than me. Some of them were a little bit less popular than me, but everyone had a lot of potentials. Everybody also had either a big platform community on LinkedIn or Instagram.
I strategically recruited this podcaster group of 50 people. We had a monthly mastermind call where we share information. I got other podcast apps to do demos and presentations. It would be really useful for everyone. I got in with the different podcast apps and then they would promote me because I was promoting them to these podcast influencers. It worked well. The benefit of that is you have a support group. In the information age, information is the number one most powerful tool that you can have. If everybody knows something and is relatively successful, then they can teach you what worked for them. You can teach them what worked for you and all benefit. Instead of taking two years, it might take you three months to figure all that out because you’ve got a community of people sharing information. That’s number one.
Number two is you could do things like review swaps with them. Everybody reviews each other’s podcasts. Now everybody has 50 reviews extra, and that boosts your ranking and makes you look more credible. That’s one thing. You guys can do guest swaps. A lot of us went on each other’s podcasts and promoted each other that way. When you’re promoting your podcast, you want to be where the podcast listeners are. It’s very hard to get them to go from social media to then listen to your podcasts. That’s an uphill battle. If you’re already listening in a podcast app, the average listener has seven podcasts in rotation. If you’re guesting on someone’s show, the chances are there’ll be a lot more likely to check out your show, than them hearing about it on social media.
It’s a more downstream method to get new listeners like guesting on each other shows. Something that I didn’t do with them, but we had the idea was to do a commercial swap. Coming up with a schedule where we each cross-promote each other’s podcasts. We ended up not doing that because all of a sudden, now I’m the most popular podcaster in the group. It doesn’t make sense for me to do podcast commercials or swaps because my downloads are so high. At a certain time, it was equal. We were thinking about doing stuff like that. Having a community and being the leader in the community is a great way to put your name in the space to start getting more opportunities. You can introduce guests to each other, there are a million ways that you can collaborate. As a podcaster, it’s a very collaborative space and I encourage you not to have a scarcity mindset, to have a mindset of abundance, and prioritize collaboration over competition.
You just spoke some of the language. We talked about collective impact and collaboration for competition, which for athletes, it goes against this dichotomy that’s happening there. For those either out there, I would re-read that back and take notes. What you shared about building community, about just the review swap, about sharing information and creating that community, you can share ideas. The reality is in a group of 50, people are going to figure things out before you do or have ideas that can help you and not being afraid to join in those. It will accelerate. We’ve got a few of those that I’ve joined into and I had no idea they existed. To your point, I’m starting to realize, “This is powerful.” I’m sipping in knowledge.
It’s great to evolve it too. Clubhouse came out and it took everything by storm. Now, all of us are hosting Clubhouse rooms together. It’s this evolving thing of supporting each other. It’s amazing.
We’re going to have to have you back on because this has been a ton of content. I want to make sure we’re able to digest this. We’ll have to talk about Clubhouse again. I’m interested to see you in a few months because I’ve seen you on there, active. There have been some incredible connections. To your point, there are some rooms. I don’t hang out there a lot but when I go, I do find some value in that collaboration and the amount of ideas and energy that’s shared. There’s something that happened in there. Let’s tell everybody where they can find you on social. Also, I love your talk about the marketing services. I’m sure that’s going to peak some people’s interests. Let’s tell them a little bit about how they can get connected, but then also how they can engage with you as you’re offering some value and also services that they might need to help their business.
You can find me on LinkedIn. You can search for my name, it’s Hala Taha. You can’t miss me on LinkedIn. On Instagram, it’s @YapWithHala. I’m just getting more into Instagram and building my following there. I’m on Clubhouse. I’m super active there @HalaTaha. I’m hosting live YAP events every other Tuesday, and also podcast office hours with some of my podcast expert friends every Wednesday at 4:30 PM. You can check me out on Clubhouse. The last thing I’ll say is listen to Young and Profiting podcast. It’s an amazing show. We interview people like Seth Godin, Mark Manson, Robert Greene, Matthew McConaughey, really great stuff. All actionable advice.
I do tons and tons of research. It’s super quality content. If you like Brian’s show, you’re going to love my show too. YAP Media is a premier marketing and podcast agency for best-selling authors, celebrities and top podcasters. If you’re that type of person and you’re interested in getting your social media and podcast done for you, you can reach out to me. Otherwise, if you’re an up-and-coming podcaster, I’m getting to be known as a guru in this space.
Hala, this has been awesome. I knew this was going to be a fun conversation. I got to tell you, you exceeded all expectations in the value you’re doing. I love your story. There are a lot of connection points. Thank you for making time. I know you’re busy and all that, but your story, I believe it’s going to impact some people. We’re going to have to have you back on. There’s more to unpack here.
Thank you so much, Brian It was such a pleasure to be on here.
This has been another edition of the show. I want to remind you March 1st, 2021, we got our official launch date on Conversations with Covey. The book is going to be coming out. Make sure you go on to the podcast and leave a review. Hala and I talked about that. We would welcome your reviews. Let me know any guests you’ve found out there that would fit who we’re trying to bring on as we are all learning and growing together in this world. Make sure that you take action today to make an impact in the world. Beyond yourself, share your gifts and talents and let’s make that collective impact together. We will see you on the next one.
- @YapWithHala – Instagram
About Hala Taha
Hala Taha is the host, executive producer, and creator of Young and Profiting Podcast.
Hala started her career in radio production at WQHT Hot97 on “The Angie Martinez Show.” Later she focused on an entrepreneurial endeavor― the launch of an entertainment news blog site, “The Sorority of Hip Hop.”
She led an all-female team of 50 bloggers, and together they ran the popular blog, interviewed celebrities, produced radio shows, and hosted parties/concerts. When the blog site boom slowed down in 2014, Hala took a temporary exit from the entertainment industry to get an MBA.
She now has over 8-years of corporate marketing experience and is currently working at Disney Streaming Services.