Hailey Miller: Don’t do something because it’s “trendy.”

Don’t do something because it’s “trendy.” Like anything in life, if we do something for the wrong reasons, we don’t get positive outcomes. When we do things with passion and intention, they feel easy and a lot less like work they always seem to work out the way we want them to. As part of […]

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Don’t do something because it’s “trendy.” Like anything in life, if we do something for the wrong reasons, we don’t get positive outcomes. When we do things with passion and intention, they feel easy and a lot less like work they always seem to work out the way we want them to.

As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a “binge-able” podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Hailey Miller.

Hailey is a NYC based well-being coach, motivational speaker, and strategic marketing professional. She believes that with the right tools, we all have the capability to live a life filled with purpose and meaning and has spoken at corporations including Convene, AdHawk, New York Road Runners, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Through vulnerability and storytelling, Hailey’s goal is to support people in deepening their connection with themselves and the world so we can all live better, healthier and happier.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about why or how you got started as a podcaster?

I’ve always had a wild imagination and loved story telling. There’s something about finding the right words to share information that is really powerful and sometimes emotional. I’ve also always loved to “perform” and had the opportunity to do a lot of public speaking in my career. I knew I wanted to bring these passions to life so when I was in between jobs a friend asked me “if you could do anything what would it be?”, and I said to share a message and interview people who are doing something awesome. He said “start a podcast.”

I’d like to say the rest is history but there’s so much work, ideation, and creativity that’s required to really get it off the ground. I’d be lying if I didn’t share that side of it! I finally decided that I wanted to talk about topics that had meaning and by sharing could have a positive impact on the world. So I decided to share conversations with people that make the world a better place in their own unique way. I interview thought leaders and creators whose innovative work, ideas, and products are making the world a better place. We talk about culture, society, the environment, health, relationships, and socio-economic issues to name a few. Once I decided that I just went for it!

Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?

I think the most interesting thing that’s happened to me since podcasting is the idea of expansion. Expansion in every sense of the word.

I set out with a goal of learning and finding a creative outlet, but what happened was so much greater than that. The podcast is so much bigger than me.

Every single time I interview someone, I learn at least 5 new things. Some of the topics are really complex and others are really emotional and moving. If I hadn’t started the podcast, I may not have even thought to learn about the topics. Take the opioid epidemic or VR for example. Those were things that were off my radar, but I am so happy that they found their way to me! I have to do so much research before each episode, it kind of feels like I’m back in school. But the research is an important component of it all as it helps the conversations feel more organic. Half the time it feels like I’m getting a free therapy session. Recently, I spoke with Ty Tashiro about relationships and figured out what I’ve been doing all wrong in looking for “the one.”

In thinking of expansion another way, I’ve also expanded my community. The people I talk with are AMAZING and they introduce me to people who introduce me to people, it’s like a domino effect. And then there are the people who listen and engage with me. It means SO much when someone sends a message or leaves a nice review. I feel like I’m getting to know people and they’re getting to know me. Something that’s important to note though is that while I am totally myself on the show, it’s only a sliver of who I fully am.

Finally, I find myself being able to engage in conversations outside of the show in a more meaningful way, like I feel confident in my own voice and I know about cool and interesting things.

Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I don’t even want to be reminded of this, but when one of the first episodes went live, I spelled the guests name wrong in the title. I have NO idea if they saw it, but I was mortified. The lesson there was to have more attention to detail and be more mindful when I execute the content. Every time I release an episode and the content that goes along with it, I am representing myself, my brand, and the person that I’m featuring and it’s important to do it well and with integrity.

What are the main takeaways or lessons you want your listeners to walk away with?

I want my listeners to walk away feeling inspired and motivated to make the world or themselves better. We all have the ability to make an impact and when we fully engage with the world and get to know ourselves. Life becomes so much more meaningful when we do. Having life mean something bigger than you really adds value. I know that sounds corny and cliché but it’s true.

I also hope that like me, they learned something new! I want to challenge the status quo and existing thought patterns because as far as I’m concerned that’s not good enough. The world needs big change — whether it’s health care, personal development, decreasing stress, thinking about women’s health, the environment or the drug epidemic, there’s so much that can be done. The expectation is not for everyone to be passionate and try to make change in every area but to find out what they’re passionate about so they can go all in on that thing. Be passionate. Get curious. Be interested. It’s important.

I designed the show to spark curiosity, help people learn new things, and even inspire hidden passion. I want people to have that “huh…I didn’t think of it that way before” and feel like they’re in the driver’s seat to living a really great, meaningful life while having a positive impact.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the core of our discussion. You are a very successful podcaster. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? Specifically, we would love to hear lessons from your experience about the best ways to: 1) book great guests; 2) increase listeners; 3) produce it in a professional way; 4) encourage engagement; and 5) best way to monetize it? (Please share a story or example for each.)

Before you can create a podcast, you need to be deeply connected to your why. You need to be passionate about it. Your show should always be about the people who are listening to it. How is your show going to add value to their life and how does it fit in with yours.

There are a lot of really great platforms to share your message, and your voice should be heard if you want it to be, but make sure this is the right one for you. They’re A LOT of work. They’re time, energy, and money.

  1. When I first got started, I cold emailed over 100 people and about 12 of them said yes, a handful said no, and most I never heard back from. This was hard, but I expected it and was really happy with the outcome. Heck, I was emailing people I didn’t know with no audience. So, a HUGE thank you to all of my guests for taking a chance on an interview with me. I looked for guests by listening to TED talks, reading the NY Times and getting into the Twittersphere because that’s where the guests for the topics I was looking to talk about were “hanging out”. The hardest part was people asking me the reach of the show before I even got started. It was the like the chicken or the egg scenario. No audience, people are less likely to want to give you their time. No speakers, no show. Once you get started though, it becomes easier to land great guests and people will start recommending their peers to you. When people request to be on your show…well, that’s a pretty great feeling! If you can, use your existing network. People who are already invested in you and care about you will be more likely to help out. Advice though, don’t take a guest just because they are a person willing to be on your show. Even if they’re amazing, if they don’t fit your vibe and theme take a pass and share them with a friend or colleague where they might fit. The right people will be there when you need them and vice versa.
  2. A great way to increase listeners is to have guests who have an established and loyal community. My friend, Joe Cross is a documentary film maker and he came on the show. His community LOVES him so when he was a guest my listener’s skyrocketed. Thanks, Joe! Ask each guest no matter how well-known or how big their following is to share the podcast when it goes live. You can make it easier for them by providing quotes and content they can post without taking up a lot of their time and creative energy. Also, pay attention to the episodes that are getting the most love and have more like that! My relationship episode and the one featuring my mom were two of my most popular shows. I think it was because they were more personal than other episodes. People like to feel the realness — they want to know it’s YOU. That leads into the final point, be yourself. You have a great message to share and your authenticity and uniqueness is what’s going to make people love you and your show. Let it rip!
  3. You don’t need to invest in fancy equipment to have a great show. I use a mic and skype and most days record from my bedroom. If you can afford to get awesome equipment upfront go for it. For me the investment wasn’t worth it in the beginning. I hope I’ll be upgrading my equipment soon. Sound quality is important though, it’s a listening medium, so I also hired someone to clean the audio and add intros and outros with the music I selected. He’s amazing and I trust his judgement.

From your vantage point what are some of the reasons why a person should consider creating a podcast series?

If you’re looking to grow your business or position yourself as a thought leader in your space and sharing meaningful content would help you do that, a podcast is a great platform. You’ll meet new people and more people will find out about your business. A podcast is a great way to add value to your customers’ lives. Consumers are really educated and want to feel like you’re giving to them before asking for something. These days, content is king and a podcast is a great way to share content. It also helps people connect with you on a deeper level which results in loyalty. You should also start one if you have a concept or topic you feel really passionate about; something that you feel needs to be out in the world. This could be a docu-style series, interviews, or a comedy show. Your voice and message deserve to be heard just as much as anyone else!

Nowadays it seems as if everyone is trying to jump on the podcast bandwagon. Are there people to whom you would advise to avoid podcasting and instead focus on another medium?

Don’t do something because it’s “trendy.” Like anything in life, if we do something for the wrong reasons, we don’t get positive outcomes. When we do things with passion and intention, they feel easy and a lot less like work they always seem to work out the way we want them to.

If public speaking is something that you have zero desire to do, a podcast might not be for you. That’s not to say it’s not important to push yourself outside your comfort zone if a podcast could really benefit your business, but be mindful where you’re pushing yourself. Don’t try to fit into a box because you think you should. Connect with your why.

The other thing to consider is time. Time is a precious commodity. We only have so many hours in a day and need to be selective where we put our energy to avoid burn out. There are so many great platforms that enable you to share your message in impactful ways. For example, if you’re a highly visual person or the service you offer is design or art, Instagram is a great place to put your time and energy. That’s not to say a podcast may not work for you as well but start with one and then grow from there.

Don’t be afraid of the podcast world being “saturated”. Yes, it feels like there are a lot because there are! There are also a lot of potential people to connect with and you’ll find the right ones if you’re persistent, but don’t start a podcast because there are so many out there. Just remember not everyone will like your style, your topics, your content, or your voice, but you just have to be true to what you believe and that’s when your peeps will find you. I’m still working on getting there, but I’ll keep going because I love it!

Where can our readers find you on Social Media?

Instagram — www.instagram.com/thehaileydaily

Website — www.hailey-miller.com

Twitter — www.twitter.com/thehaileydaily_

Some of the biggest names in Business, Marketing, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a specific high-value guest (obviously still living) that you would love to interview on your show, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them!

Oh my gosh, there are so many I’d love to feature on my show — here are a few: Michelle Obama, Gwyneth Paltrow, Dax Shepard, Jamie Oliver, Mark Bittman, Bill & Melinda Gates, Jennifer Aniston, Michael Pollan…the list goes on. #dreaming ☺

Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

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