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Rising Stars: Meet LT

Today we’d like to introduce you to LT. 

Hi LT, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
My story is pretty simple. I started my podcast, Tag Up with LT, because the message came directly through me while doing my daily meditation practice. At the time, I thought, how bizarre this inner voice spoke to me so clearly because: 

1.) I didn’t really listen to podcasts, nor did I have any idea on how to even start such an endeavor 

2.) I consider myself a private individual who doesn’t share my personal life to the masses 

3.) Being vulnerable scared me and I cared way too much about what people thought of me 

4.) It got me so excited to use my creativity in a way I’ve never done before in my professional life 

It was in that moment that I realized it was a growth opportunity to expand and serve others in a way to connect, inspire, educate, and provide some entertainment with my ridiculous laugh. Hence, my passion project of the podcast was born and I started the brand. As a lifelong learner myself, I jumped right on in and taught myself soup to nuts how to produce a podcast wearing ALL OF THE HATS. I researched, had many conversations, needed patience, and taught myself step-by-step to build up my confidence to publish. I’ve also surrounded myself with an incredible support system. I’m able to tap into their unique skillsets to help me and I have a few mentors that have encouraged me to keep going and follow that curiosity. I’m on my second season and believe this is my best work yet with very relevant and real topics that know will resonate with my audience. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
A smooth road with so many twists and turns, but in a great way! I look back to a year ago when I was starting to record with my guests, and I remember being so nervous and hoping all my equipment was working as designed and that everything successfully recorded. 

There were struggles along the way, where should I start? Let me preface this by saying, I had zero experience in doing anything like this before. I’m a program manager in my professional life, so I leveraged my 20+ years of experience in various leadership roles to create a project plan to help me identify key milestones and tasks for everything I thought I needed to do. From there, I would chip away at it one task at a time. I allowed myself the space to explore with curiosity to learn what I wanted to create and tried not to put many expectations on myself. Recovering perfectionist here! I never knew how challenging it would be to create a very basic secured website and think I have some post-traumatic stress from it to this day. Ha! My biggest challenge was teaching myself to edit the audio and I found myself catatonic for weeks before I started to edit my first episode, which ended up taking me about eight hours for a forty-minute episode. I’ve gotten better, but I still don’t enjoy that part of the process at all. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My mission for the Tag Up with LT podcast is to connect people to one another by learning about people’s passions, sharing stories, and gaining wisdom through others’ life lessons in open, honest, and fun conversations. I’m obsessed with hearing about ambitious women’s career paths and learning all I can about wellness, life enhancements, and business. I call myself the Curator of Connection because I believe we are always on the path of self-discovery and growth in life. My guests offer just that, to help the audience reflect, reframe, and change something that may not be serving them. I originally thought the podcast would provide a different approach to mentoring for a Gen Z or Millennial woman on topics I wished I would’ve known about when I was younger, but as the brand evolves, it’s directed more towards the Lifelong Learner. 

The feedback I hear from the audience, that sets me apart from others, is that women of a certain age who don’t get as much time with their girlfriends as they would like and used to have, feel like they are hanging with friends. They could totally see themselves sitting down with me and my guest and talking for hours. It’s like hanging out with a group of your most interesting friends from all different walks of life. Learning and laughing is the best combo! 

What I’m most proud of in my journey so far is believing in myself and serving others in a creative way. It feels so good when people tell me that they’ve decided to invest in themselves, or even hire one of my guests to help enhance their lives in a positive way. My mission is being fulfilled and makes me incredibly happy. 

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
The industry of podcasting has grown substantially over the last few years and will only continue to grow in the next 5-10 years. There is so much to learn about podcasting, and it continues to evolve every day with new applications, equipment, tips, and tricks on how to be more efficient with things. It’s never-ending, which is awesome so many people are invested in the space. The other big shift we’ll see is The Creator Economy, which is how influencers, entrepreneurs, and freelancers monetize their talents, skills, and influence online through multiple revenue streams and traffic sources. There are 3.7 billion users on social media and according to the Boss Babe TM, there are so many ways to monetize as an influencer or creator and 77% of influencers monetize through brand deals but only 5% of them have their own businesses. They call it the white space! We’re early in this space but you need a HUGE audience to actually activate and make money. The type of audience you build matters so much more than the size of your audience and this is where people go wrong. Read that last line again. Again. Again. The Creator Economy projected growth is around $100 trillion so that white space is looking like a lot of opportunity, so capitalize on it! 

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Malaikah Hilson

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