Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in content creation but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Hala Taha, Founder, and CEO of YAP Media, located in Jersey City, NJ, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
So nice to virtually meet all of you reading this article. My name is Hala Taha, and I'm involved in three ventures:
- I'm the host of the Young and Profiting Podcast, a top self-improvement podcast with over 3M downloads.
- I'm the founder and CEO of YAP Media, a full-service podcast production and marketing agency for top podcasters, celebrities, and CEOs.
- I'm also the founder and CEO of the YAP Media Network, which fuels the growth and monetization of network podcasts.
Tell us about yourself
I started the Young and Profiting Podcast as a side hustle back in April 2018 while working in corporate marketing at Hewlett Packard. Then I moved to Disney and launched YAP Media two years into my podcasting journey. At the start of the pandemic, making use of the new flexibility and time I found in remote work, I scaled the digital agency to 30+ employees. After quitting my executive position at Disney Streaming Services, I leaped into entrepreneurship full-time. YAP Media grew into a premier, white-glove social media and podcasting agency for CEOs, celebrities, and hosts. We work with several high-profile clients and retain nearly 60 employees.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My rockstar team. People are the heart of any successful company. They make all the difference in hard times. When I first started, I had a few volunteers who enjoyed listening to the podcast and who helped me produce the show and run my social media. Not only did they want to see my podcast grow, but they also wanted to grow with me. That was crucial. They truly believed in what I was doing and stuck with me through the ups and downs. Once we found the ideal offer for our clients, the business started growing fast. Having a team that truly believes in YAP and our mission is everything to me!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Entrepreneurship can be a rocky road. We have witnessed periods of skyrocketing growth, and it is thrilling. But of course, every company has both highs and lows. I used to let the specifics of what was happening in my business dictate my energy - but today, I try my best to keep an even keel no matter what the particulars are. My team needs confidence, strength, and consistency!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Identify your skillset. Turning your passions into a side hustle might be as simple as looking at the things you already spend your free time on in a different light. Think about what you are interested to learn and would continue to stay interested to learn even if rewards didn't come
- Define your offer. Start small with one service or product offering
pick something you do well and have proven to do well already. Or find a product you love and want to sell. Every single thing I offer at YAP media is something I have done for myself first. We started with micro-content videos, and now we do end-to-end social management, podcast production, and podcast monetization!
- Focus on your niche. Get really good at your craft. Know that nothing happens overnight. It took me two years to build my podcast, Young and Profiting, before I started to receive any real notoriety. From there, I started YAP Media, which has grown our brand exponentially. However, don't let what you see on social media fool you; success takes time, hard work, and relentless dedication. Focus on your business, and learn new skills so you can differentiate yourself. Don't let distractions get in the way. Oh, and if you haven't yet, go digital!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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