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How Finding Meaning Helped This Entrepreneur Monetize Her Brand in a Big Way Learn how to get paid for who you are, not just what you do.

By Terry Rice

Photo Credit: YAP Media

A friend of mine has over 100,000 followers on Instagram. On the outside, it looks like things are going well. Behind the curtain, she often struggles to pay her rent.

And, you'd be surprised at how often this happens. I can guarantee some of the entrepreneurs you follow, and might even be jealous of, aren't doing nearly as well as you think.

I can't tell you the exact reason. Maybe some people are so caught up in their image that they neglect to make an actual impact that would allow them to pay their bills.

Fortunately, there's an easy way to avoid that common pitfall. Solve a problem first, then get loud about it.

And if you need help getting loud about it — and getting paid — Hala Taha is here to help. Hala is the host of Young and Profiting Podcast, frequently ranked as a #1 Education podcast across all apps. Hala is also the CEO of YAP Media, a full-service social media and podcast marketing agency for top podcasters, celebrities and CEOs.

During the latest episode of the Launch Your Business podcast she discussed:

  • How she went from recording podcast episodes in her mother's basement to hosting one of the top business podcasts across platforms.
  • How a powerful presence on LinkedIn gave her a way to break into a saturated market — and how you can do the same.
  • Why waiting to monetize your creative work can actually be a successful strategy.
  • How to monetize your podcast (without sponsorships).

I'll share a few of my key takeaways below.

1. Being an underdog can be magnetic

At first, Hala ran her podcast out of her mom's basement. On the surface level, you might not think this is an advantage — but because she started from humble beginnings and shared that journey, Hala gave her audience something to root for. Eventually, she had superfans who volunteered their time to join the underdog endeavor and keep the podcast running.

"And so what happened was that I had 20 volunteers for two years who worked for free for me to grow the show." In exchange for their time, Hala taught them everything they needed to know for podcast production and promotion. "And as a result, I had 20 super fans. And core team members that were spreading the word about young and profiting podcasts. I just think that it was magnetic and I was just trying to be of service because my goal actually wasn't to monetize the show."

You read that right: Despite going on to create the number-one podcasting network for business and self-improvement, Hala did not intend to monetize.

Let's double-click on that.

2. Be of service before you try to sell

Hala said that for years after starting her podcast, she told people that they should never get into it for the money. It's a networking tool, she told them, and a way to be of service to their community – you'd never make meaningful money.

But this also held an unlikely appeal to listeners.

"I think people really liked the fact that I was just trying to be of service and provide value and not trying to monetize anything," Hala said, "And I think that really made the brand magnetic."

Another motivator for volunteers and audience members alike: mission.

"We were helping people level up their lives. We were getting messages from fans about how people totally transitioned their life. [The podcast] totally helped improve their life. And that motivated us to keep going even when we weren't making any money."

3. Profit is about more than the bottom line

Hala shared that while the startup phase does require a lot from the entrepreneur, she regrets so many missed events and time with friends.

"Profiting is all things in life, not just making money," Hala said. "And so now I'm lucky where I have a much more balanced life. I really prioritize my relationships. I really try to shut down my computer on Saturday and Sundays and live my life and, and be more healthy."

Hala went on to say that success does require sacrifice. But, if you can give yourself a little more time to accomplish those goals, it will give you more margin to enjoy the people in your life.

Next steps:

Ready to learn more from Hala so you can build your team of superfans and monetize your knowledge in a meaningful way?

Fortunately, there are several opportunities to do so.

Listen to the Young and Profiting Podcast

Follow Hala on Instagram and LinkedIn

Speaking of LinkedIn, as a special bonus for the Entrepreneur community, you'll receive 30% off of Hala's LinkedIn course. Just visit and use the code "TERRY".

And of course, listen to the full podcast episode below.

Terry Rice

Entrepreneur Staff

Business Development Expert-in-Residence

Terry Rice is the Business Development Expert-in-Residence at Entrepreneur and Managing Director of Growth & Partnerships at Good People Digital; an agency that provides marketing and monetization solutions for entrepreneurs. He writes a newsletter about how to build your business and personal resilience and personal brand in just 5 minutes per week and created a revenue optimization checklist to help you multiply your income potential. 

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