Fate. No, but seriously…
In 2017, Hailey completed Horkey HandBook’s signature course, 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. She killed it as a virtual assistant and Gina talked her into sharing her successful journey on the blog.
More time went by and Gina and Hailey continued to stay in touch and grew to know each other on a more personal level. Always one to spot an opportunity, Gina knew Hailey had her own online course in her and pitched the idea of Project Management for Virtual Assistants, playing to Hailey’s strengths.
After all, learning new hard skills is HIGHLY needed in the marketplace today – no longer do you have to ‘go back to school’ to learn them!
As Hailey continued to slay and grow her business, she decided to supplement her marketing efforts and start a podcast. She hired Melanie as her podcast producer after finding her via a random Google search… again, FATE!
Hailey and Mel worked so well together, they teamed up to assist Hailey’s clients with podcast-related services too! They became a force to be reckoned with and both Hailey’s podcast and their joint efforts servicing other’s podcast production needs continued to thrive.
So when Gina came to Hailey in the fall of 2019 with the idea of Podcast Production School, Hailey knew Melanie had to be a part of the team. After all, who else would be better than real-life Podcast Producer, Mel to teach the hard skills of podcasting to our students?!
Together with Gina’s gift of teaching, Mel’s mad tech skills and Hailey’s obsession with allll things organization, Podcast Production School was born – online business is such a small world and a beautifully collaborative space, right?!
Melanie Scroggins is a voice actor and audio producer hailing from Texas. She’s produced podcasts for small businesses since 2017 and has been self-employed full-time since the summer of 2018.
In 2019, Melanie added voiceover to her list of professional specialties and her voice has since been featured in a video game, a documentary series, a national commercial, and more. Melanie is passionate about audio production and is excited to lend her technical expertise about podcasting in Podcast Production School.
Her work can be found at melaniescroggins.com.
I contacted a few people in the RV community I was a part of and started freelance writing. I wrote for Winnebago and Outdoorsy and enjoyed stretching my writing muscles, but I still felt like something was missing.
After speaking with my husband about what other opportunities I could pursue while on our adventure, he quickly mentioned we’d brought a mic with us. So, while he was at work, I downloaded Audacity, plugged in my AT2020 USB mic, and ventured into the world of audio for the first time.
I found Behind the Voice Actors and auditioned for a few roles to test out my new setup. I took that audio, dropped it into my DAW, and rolled up my sleeves to get to work. (Fun fact: I am still working on a project I auditioned for over two years ago! You never know what’s going to happen when you put yourself out there.).
It wasn’t long before I felt comfortable with my basic editing skills. I’m pretty sure I watched a couple of YouTube videos and just kind of ran with it (per usual). I started writing scripts and thinking of different people I could talk to. I thought about what topics might be interesting and what others might find enjoyable to listen to. As a psychology major, I thought, I’d really like to hear what others think and feel about particular emotions.
So, I started reaching out to friends and people I knew. My first interviewee? A neighbor who lived in the RV next to us. She was getting her Master’s in sociology in Oregon at the time, and I wanted to pick her brain. So, she and I sat down at my RV diner table and talked for two hours about what her research was telling her and her cohorts. My 2nd interviewee? My husband – who hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2013 and was always eager to share his story. This time, it was about adaptability in the face of a large and, to some, insurmountable goal.
I shared what I had been working on with others online because I was excited about my newfound skills and the conversations it allowed me to have with people I knew. Naturally, people started asking me more about what I was doing, and, later, how I could utilize my skills for their business. What began as an experiment, eventually landed me my first official paying podcast client.
Over two years later, podcast production and management are part of my full-time work-from-home repertoire. This is what I do.
I am sharing my story with you because I want you to know two things:
You do not have to spend four years on a degree learning how to do something to be able to offer a skill to paying clients.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of resources (courses, videos) that teach you how to do the skills you are interested in pursuing.
Almost everything I know today is due to research conducted and time spent on my own (mainly because there weren’t a lot of subject matter experts at that time). While I think that has traditionally been an important way for us to learn new skills, we are about to enter a new era in our history when it comes to business and tech and there is no need or cause to start from scratch. We live in a really neat time, people!
Podcast Assist is a labor of time, expertise, and (absolutely!) love. Gina Horkey, Hailey Thomas, and myself have come from extremely different working backgrounds and each of our journeys have been different, but we’ve brought our unique and specific skill sets to the table to create a product we are immensely proud of.
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what this podcasting thing is all about, we teach you everything from the conceptual and theoretical to the practical and doable. We also provide access to a community of individuals just like you who are interested in learning a new and valuable skill set that can be offered to clients.
Our next course launch is January 23 – 27th, so sign up for our email list and be the first to know when we’re live!
Hailey Thomas is a mindset coach for online entrepreneurs and is based in Central Illinois. After starting her business, BrainSpace Optimized in 2017, Hailey has worked with dozens of business owners to help them create structure and grow their businesses through coaching and project planning support.
Hailey is the Host of “One Year from Now with Hailey Thomas” – a show all about adding humor and insight to the behind-the-scenes truths of working in online business.
At home, Hailey is a wife and mom and spends the majority of her free time reading fiction, watching terrible 80s movies and learning to code.
Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama to two precocious kiddos from Minnesota.
In addition to PodcastProductionSchool.com, she’s also the founder of several websites: HorkeyHandBook.com, PinterestVA.com KidsVsBikini.com and GinaHorkey.com.
Gina has specialized in helping everyday folks learn hard digital marketing skills to launch their own service-based businesses online, working from the comfort of their own home (or anywhere!) since 2014.
Her background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.