Lisa Hurley is a writer, speaker, and activist whose work focuses on anti-racism, texturism, and destigmatizing introversion. She is a passionate advocate for Inclusion, Equity, and Gender equality.
Lisa is the Editor-At-Large of Linked Inclusion™, Co-host of Real Talk on Racism, Co-host of “The Introvert Sisters” Podcast, and a member of the Black Speakers Collection.
She has been quoted/featured in Forbes, Essence, Teen Vogue, and Fast Company, and on the Nasdaq screen in Times Square New York. Most recently, Lisa was selected as one of pocstock’s The Future of Black America Top 50 Leaders for 2022.
In our interview with Lisa, she talks about why she cofounded "The Introvert Sisters” Podcast and the value proposition this Podcast offers.
Thank you Lisa for participating in this Q&A session. You Co-host a Podcast show called “The Introvert Sisters”. What’s the origin story behind your Podcast ?
Lisa: My sister and I are both introverts, and have faced struggles, judgements, and micro-aggressions because of our quiet personalities. We have always wanted to work together, so when we both had some bandwidth, The Introvert Sisters podcast was born.
Our goal was, in part, to create a safe space for other introverts: to affirm for them that personalities like ours are not deficient, or in need of fixing. We believe that introverts are awesome, and wanted to put that positive message out into the world. Another goal of ours was to give a face and voice to Black introverts specifically, since there is a homogeneity issue in the introvert community. Seldom are introverts of color seen or highlighted. We wanted to expand people's concept of what introverts look like beyond what is considered to be the default.
In addition to normalizing introversion, our aim was to demonstrate how "showing up as your authentic self" plays out. For us, that meant choosing to cover topics beyond our MBTI personality type (which is INFJ). We therefore also discuss trending news, pop culture, and, since we're both activists, anti-racism. The message is that introversion is a part of who we are; not our entirety. We are multifaceted and intersectional; therefore so is our content.
What key challenges have you faced in your career as a Podcast host and how have you navigated these?
Lisa: The main challenge has been time. We're both busy and grateful to be busy, but juggling all the aspects of our lives and careers is demanding. My sister Sharon Hurley Hall is the Founder of Sharon's Anti-Racism Newsletter, and the Team Lead for Diversity, Equity and Belonging at Omnis Education. Needless to say her available time is limited. On my end, in addition to my 9-5, I am also the Editor-At-Large of Linked Inclusion™ Corp., and a Contributing Writer for No White Saviors.
Fortunately, we are very organized. We maximize time by batch-recording, and when possible, batch-producing episodes. We also use ‘Later’ to schedule our social media posts. For ease and speed of communication, we use Slack. Most importantly, though, we both operate within our respective zones of excellence. Sharon manages our website, and most of the tech-related functions, while I manage content and social media. This reduces friction and promotes flow.
Our goal was, in part, to create a safe space for other introverts: to affirm for them that personalities like ours are not deficient, or in need of fixing. - Lisa Hurley
What steps did you and your Co-host take to ensure the launch of your Podcast was successful?
Lisa: There are a lot of moving parts involved in launching a podcast as you know. Here are the steps we took to launch ours:
1. Select podcast name.
2. Secure URL.
3. Secure podcast name across all social channels.
4. Decide on cadence (weekly/bi-monthly/monthly).
5. Decide on format.
6. Decide on average show length.
7. Decide on launch date
8. Based on the above, batch record enough episodes so that you can launch with 3-5 episodes, and have 3-5 banked for future use. Make these initial episodes as evergreen as possible.
9. Decide on your hosting platform.
10. Create a launch/promo plan.
11. If you are recording in a studio, book your recording slots.
12. If you are recording in your home, get a decent (but not overly expensive) mic.
13. Purchase other equipment as needed.
14. Develop your episode outlines.
15. Design your logo.
16. Record (or get recorded) your standard intro and outro, and your theme music.
17. Develop your show notes template.
18. Write your podcast intro/description.
19. List your podcast on all platforms/directories .
20. Implement your launch plan.
21. Share widely.
What is the target audience and value proposition of your Podcast?
Lisa: Our primary target audience are introverts (of color). Our secondary audience comprises of people who are interested in anti-racism, whether as an ally, an activist, or a person who experiences racism. In both cases, we offer insights, share our lived experiences, and provide tips and inspiration. Ideally, at the end of each episode, our audience has learned something, and feels better able to navigate some of the issues they are facing.
What podcast strategies have you employed to: 1. Grow your listening audience; 2. Monetise your Podcast?
Lisa: Podcast growth takes work! Here are some of our recommendations, based on strategies we have used, or plan to use:
1. Make your podcast available on as many platforms as possible.
2. Promote and share episodes on social media.
3. Be consistent. Stick to your episode release cadence and your social media posting schedule.
4. Invite guests.
5. Guest on other people’s podcasts.
6. Build an email list.
7. Repurpose/mention your podcast content on your other owned outlets, such as a blog or newsletter.
8. Engage with your audience! Respond to, or at least acknowledge all questions and comments.
9. We recently launched our Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/theintrovertsisters.
10. Leverage CTAs: ask listeners to subscribe, follow, listen, and write reviews.
In terms of monetization, sponsorship and merch are in the works. Stay tuned!
Being an activist is important to me because I believe that we all have a role to play in dismantling white supremacy, so doing my part is imperative. - Lisa Hurley
Please elaborate on your journey as an activist, and why this role is important to you?
Lisa: I started writing about anti-racism in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd. One of the disturbing trends that I noticed was that a lot of people (who consider themselves to be “good people”) were ok with the brutal ways in which these men’s lives were taken. They did a lot of mental and ideological gymnastics to defend what had occurred, and to support “blue lives”. It became clear(er) to me that there are a lot of racists hiding in plain sight; a large segment of the population who chose not to see that they are racist, or exhibit racist behaviors. There were also a lot of companies and colleagues who were oblivious to the effect that the constant devaluing and snuffing out of Black lives was having on people of color. So I began writing as a way to educate, agitate, and advocate. One of the earliest pieces that I wrote is You Might Be a Racist… (https://happyhappyphoenix.com/you-might-be-a-racist-if/), which outlines specific behaviors that the hegemonic class enacts towards minoritized populations. The piece performed well, and I continued writing. In the past 18 months I have also written and spoken about: Allyship (https://theintrovertsisters.com/dothework/) Microaggressions (https://happyhappyphoenix.com/racism-101-microaggressions/) Black hair (https://happyhappyphoenix.com/no-no-no-you-still-cant-touch-our-hair/) The censorship of creators of color (https://happyhappyphoenix.com/deplatformed-but-not-defeated/) Performativity (https://theintrovertsisters.com/blackouttuesday/) Activism (https://theintrovertsisters.com/10-reasons-why-activism-is-hard-tisot-12/) Police brutality (https://theintrovertsisters.com/no-justice-for-breonna-taylor/) …and more.
Being an activist is important to me because I believe that we all have a role to play in dismantling white supremacy, so doing my part is imperative. As a Black person, I cannot be silent or remain neutral in the face of the continued campaign to annihilate people who look like me. My voice and my keyboard are my weapons in this fight. Activism is, at least in part, a way for me to fulfill my purpose, and uplift my sisters and brothers.
Before we conclude this interview, please tell us what your top 10 Podcast shows are, and whom your favourite Podcast host is?
Lisa: In no particular order, these are my top 10 podcasts. It's hard to choose a favorite host, but I'm a huge fan of Luvvie Ajayi Jones.
1. Black Power Moves, hosted by Elizabeth Leiba
2. Absolutely Not!, hosted by Katrina Strohl
3. Let’s Humanize The Workplace!, hosted by Vivian Acquah
4. Brown Table Talk, hosted by Mita Mallick and Dee C. Marshall
5. The Black Shutter, hosted by Leslie Ogoe and Idris Talib Solomon
6. Professional Troublemaker, hosted by Luvvie Ajayi Jones
7. Black Girl in Om, hosted by Lauren Ash and Makkah Ali
8. Small Doses, hosted by Amanda Seales
9. Jemele Hill is Unbothered, hosted by Jemele Hill
10. The Tea on Tap, hosted by Krychna Baker, Sereine Brudent, and Lisa Hurley.
Thank you Lisa for participating in this Q&A session. We wish you all the best.
Lisa: Thank you so much, and I appreciate the opportunity to be featured! Wishing you all the best as well.
This interview was originally published in Issue 1 of Podcaster Inc. Magazine. You can get your copy at https://www.podcasterinc.com/product-page/podcaster-inc-magazine-volume-1-issue-1