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Kylie Vonnahme: 5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Podcast

An Interview With Jason Hartman

As you start a podcast, You will quickly begin to see that it’s quite often that you do not know what to do. Google is an amazing resource. Do what you can & then when you get stuck…let google help you become unstuck!

As part of my series of interviews about “5 things you need to know to create a very successful podcast”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kylie Vonnahme.

Kylie Vonnahme is a Texas born fashion model and podcast host who currently resides in NYC, pursuing her career in modeling while also earning a business management degree from Pace University.

Kylie has walked the runways for designers including Alexander Wang, Versace & Chanel and starred in campaigns for major beauty brands such as Maybelline, Nars & Pat McGrath.

Kylie can also be seen gracing the pages of top International fashion publications including Vogue Portugal, Harper’s Bazaar US, Harper’s Bazaar Brazil, and most recently on the April 2021 cover of Issue Magazine. Kylie is signed with Women 360 Management in New York.

In addition to modeling, Kylie is also the co-host of “The Not So Simple Life”, a wellness & beauty podcast Kylie founded with fellow model Sophie Longford. Together these fashion models and wellness fanatics are joined by some major guests and talk about wellness tips, beauty hacks, fashion, business, and everything in between.

Kylie has been dedicated in using her growing platform to not only show her success in the fashion industry and love of all things health and beauty, but to raise awareness on the importance of ending the extinction of endangered species. Her goal is to bring recognition to the incredibly overlooked decimation of the world’s wildlife population and is involved in various charity projects to support.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you to this particular career path?

Thank you guys so much for having me. I grew up in Dallas Texas and lived a typical southern life. When I was 16 years old I got scouted at a Taylor Swift concert by a modeling agency that was based in New York. Modeling was never on my radar as my goal was to go to med school but this opportunity seemed exciting. I decided to graduate high school early at 17 years old and moved to New York City to pursue my career in modeling. Fast forward six years later I am still in the industry and loving what I do each and everyday. Being in the modeling industry has fueled my passion for beauty, health and wellness. With these passions I started my latest passion project which is my podcast The Not So Simple Life. Between both modeling and podcasting, I definitely stay very busy.

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

I am starting to be recognized on the street for my podcast which is so exciting. In the past I’ve definitely been stopped and recognized by people who know me from my modeling career. Now I am starting to meet people out in public who say “are you Kylie Vonnahme from The Not So Simple Life podcast?” This has been both interesting and fulfilling because I love that I am finally being recognized for something more than just my face and body. By starting my podcast, I have given myself more of a voice to my audience and the people who follow me and it is truly so exciting

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

My co-host (Sophie Longford) and I once released an episode that was completely botched in the editing process. There is definitely a big learning curve when it comes to editing audio. It was a typical Tuesday and we released our new episode only to find out that none of the audio lined up and everything sounded so chaotic. We had to frantically get back to the editing program and fix all of the mistakes that we didn’t realize we had made. Within a few hours we had the new version of the episode up and everything ended up working out just fine. From this we have learned that it is always worth triple checking the episode before uploading it to our platforms. Just when we think everything is done and perfect, our new rule of thumb is to check one more time.

How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?

I am so baffled at how quickly time has flown by, because we just released our 57th episode today. We started working on this project during the summer of 2020 and we released our first eight episodes in October of 2020. We are so committed to our listeners and have never left them hanging so far. We upload one episode each Tuesday and some weeks we have even uploaded multiple episodes.

What are the main takeaways, lessons or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?

Life is not so simple, and the point of our podcast is to help make things a bit more simple. With each episode we are set out to give our listeners tools to put in their toolbox that they can use in their day-to-day life. Whether it’s advice for how to achieve better skin or tips to reach your wellness goals, we aim to make sure that our listeners learn something new in each and every episode. Beauty, health and wellness are no easy tasks. By having industry professionals on each episode to give our listeners advice in these categories, our listeners can have a better understanding of how to look and feel their very best.

In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?

We definitely feel that our podcast is binge worthy. We are always mixing it up on our show and changing topics in each episode. One week we may release an episode all about skin care and the following week we may have a sex therapist join us for an episode. Now that we have so many episodes released, our listeners can tune in to so many different topics of conversation by listening to our podcast. Sophie and I work in an industry where everyone seems to have a perfect life and have everything figured out. The goal of our podcast was to show that we don’t have much figured out, just like so many other people in the world. Instead of being the picture perfect Instagram models that our industry often wants us to be, we use our platform to keep it real and have fully transparent conversations.

Doing something on a consistent basis is not easy. Podcasting every work-day, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency? What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout?

I would say to not ever start a project and put time and energy into something unless you are fully ready to be 100% committed to it. It’s important to stay consistent and to keep a flow going, otherwise it will all start to feel a bit overwhelming and hard to keep up. We avoid burnout by taking breaks on the weekend. We have found that when we work on the weekends and take away time from ourselves, we have started to feel that sense of burnout. After two days of completely unplugging from all work, we are so excited to get back to work each and every Monday. Our community that we have built also keeps us inspired and excited to do what we do each week. When you know that you have people counting on you who care about what you’re doing, it really helps you to stay in a good headspace about your work.

What resources do you get your inspiration for materials from?

Social media is a great way to draw inspiration in terms of what we want to speak about each week. If we see everyone raving about a specific topic, then we find a guest who is a professional in that world to come onto our show and break it down for us and our listeners. We like to talk about new topics but also relevant topics and we feel as if that keeps our listeners coming back to us each week.

Ok fantastic. Let’s now shift to the main questions of our discussion. Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?

We have always been inspired by Lauryn Bostick from The Skinny Confidential. She is 100% herself in each and everyday episode & provides her listeners with the resources to live a well-rounded life in each and every episode. She has always paid close attention to her branding strategy & that is something that is very important to us as well. The Skinny Confidential has never missed a week of uploading after all of the years that their show has been up and running. Over time, we have watched her community grow and we someday hope to have a community of that size as well.

What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?

Passion, discipline, organization & creativity. You have to start with the basics and then remember to always keep reinventing your show as you grow. The second that you become comfortable in what you’re doing, is a sign that you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone to keep your show from becoming monotonous. I find that staying in your own lane is also very important. If you cannot create your own content and then in turn start copying content from other shows, then what is the point of having your own show? It is easy to become distracted by looking at what others are doing. By not looking around at other creators, it allows me to draw inspiration from the inside of my own head and create solely based off of the things that I truly have passion for.

You are a very successful podcaster yourself. Can you share with our readers the five things you need to know to create an extremely successful podcast? (Please share a story or example for each, if you can.)

  1. As you start a podcast, You will quickly begin to see that it’s quite often that you do not know what to do. Google is an amazing resource. Do what you can & then when you get stuck…let google help you become unstuck!
  2. Do not let overthinking prevent you from ever getting started. I am personally such a perfectionist. If I hadn’t dropped my perfectionism early on, then I would never be where I’m at today.
  3. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. You will quickly learn going the extra mile helps you stand out from your competition. If you do not infuse your podcast with good energy, your listeners will not feel that energy either.
  4. Always stay in touch with your community of listeners. Feedback from your listeners is so helpful & they love feeling like their opinion matters. Their thoughts and opinions of the show should always be at the top of your priority list when making decisions.
  5. No matter how busy it gets, do not forget to have fun with it. Podcasting is fun & sometimes we can lose sight of that fun in the midst of a busy week. It’s important to always reign it back in & keep it fun.

Can you share some insight 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) the best way to monetize it?

  1. One of my best tips in this whole interview will be in regards to booking guests. We make a personalized pitch book for each and every guest that we email in hopes of booking them on the show. In this pitch book we have a bit about us, why we want this guest on our show & what topics we’d love to talk about with them. We’ve been able to book big guests from the very beginning of our journey because of these pitch books. They are so personal & guests really appreciate the effort that goes into making them.
  2. The best way to increase listeners is to stay consistent. Upload each week & the audience will start to steadily grow with time.
  3. In order for an episode to sound professional, you need good quality equipment & a great edition software like audacity. If the sound quality is great & the editing is smooth, it will sound professional. This only gets easier with time & experience.
  4. Use social media as a way to drive engagement to the podcast. It’s very easy to interact with your audience on platforms like Instagram. At the end of every episode we mention our Instagram handle and send our listeners that way. In doing this, our listeners know that they can engage with us via Instagram.
  5. We like to create pitch books for brands that we would like to work with. By sending out MANY pitch books, you will eventually have a company who finds interest in your show & the monetization starts from there. Once you begin your first few podcast advertisements in each episode, more opportunities will naturally start rolling in with time. These pitch books have done so much for our show.

For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with?

We love the Samson Q2U microphones & Audio-Technica ATH-M20x headphones. They’re both affordable and good quality.

Ok. We are almost done. :-) Because of your position and work, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

We love to use our platform and our online influence to help people learn to love themselves. Once you learn to love the body that you live in, you start taking care of it in all of the right ways. If you love yourself, you’re then in turn able to give love to others around you. If I could use my influence to create a movement of self-love and love for those around us, I would be able to die a happy person.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can find me on Instagram @KylieVonnahme & @TheNotSoSimpleLifePodcast. You can tune in to our podcast on Apple podcasts & Spotify by searching The Not So Simple Life. We also have a website at www.TNSSlife.com! Thank you so much for having me.

Thank you so much for sharing your time and your excellent insights! We wish you continued success.

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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Jason Hartman

Jason Hartman

Author | Speaker | Financial Guru | Podcast Rockstar

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