When Kalilah Reynolds launched Kalilah Reynolds Media she already had a toddler, a teen, was on her 3rd pregnancy and recovering from Covid. And, now that she has quit her 9-5, she was getting ready to confront the very real possibility of not having an income if this whole thing didn’t work out.
But she rolled the dice anyway.
After all she had several trump cards up her sleeves, like the fact that she was an award winning journalist who had access to the people and information she needed to create content for her YouTube platform. She also knew her status afforded her the privilege of being able to attract people in the know to her platform.
But they all said NO!
Many people including media industry insiders told her that just making content for YouTube wasn’t going to be enough for her to attract advertisers or make money. They said if she wanted to make money from this whole media thing she definitely needed to be on TVJ or even CVM, as long as she was on tv.
Initially she listened to that advise, and spent time and almost $200k preparing pitches that were ultimately rejected by both CVM & TVJ. She even went to her bosses at Nationwide News Network with the proposal for her first show Taking Stock. Nothing happened and so for a whole year she came out-of-pocket to air Taking Stock on her company’s network.
“I pitched the idea to media houses, they rejected it“, and so she said:
She had an epiphany, not only did she not need the permission from traditional media gate-keepers to broadcast, but she figured out that where the money truly resided was in building her own brand and platform where she could dictate how and how much she earned.
There’s a saying that goes, he who laughs last, laughs best.
Kalilah laughed all the way to the bank because in under a year Kalilah Reynolds Media went from an idea to grossing 26 million dollars in revenue.
Her advice? Just start and along the way be sure to (as loud and as often as you can) blow your own trumpet.
Listen to episode 28 of the Digital Jamaica Podcast on all your favourite podcast players.
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