Understanding your vision and your mission with Savannah Hauk

Savannah Hauk is here to tell us everything about her show! This amazing co-host joined Martín in a wonderful conversation about her podcast. By the hand of Julie Rubenstein, Savannah launched a podcast called The Fox & The Phoenix. She goes through how the idea started as a blog and moved to the audio field to make it easier and more accessible. They both wrote down a code for the show: bring their truth, leave the egos at the door, and make people feel safe and comfortable in the space that they are providing. Savannah also shares how the podcast has helped her and Julie reach a wider audience that maybe weren’t present in other mediums.

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Understanding your vision and your mission with Savannah Hauk

About our Guest – Savannah Hauk 

Savannah Hauk has two lives: One with a job in IT as Chuck and another as an author, podcaster, advocate & spokesperson for Crossdressers & the Non-Binary community as Savannah.

She has written two books titled: Living with Crossdressing: Defining a New Normal & Living With Crossdressing: Discovering Your True Identity. She is also the co-host of The Fox & the Phoenix Podcast. 

Savannah is a male-to-female dual-gender crossdresser who is visible in the Upstate of South Carolina, active in local groups and advocating as a public speaker at LGBTQ+ conferences and workshops across the United States. At the moment, Savannah is working on more books, blogs, and projects focused on letting every crossdresser–young and mature–find their own confidence, expression, identity, and voice.

Source

Smooth Podcast_Savannah Hauk: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Smooth Podcast_Savannah Hauk: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Smooth Podcast Intro:
All the technical busywork required to produce a podcast can be a struggle, establishing trust with clients and increasing sales for your company with your own podcast is something you can do well. We interview the top podcasters in the industry to provide hacks and insights to help you start and scale your podcast. Welcome to the Smooth Podcast!

Martín Acuña:
Hello, everyone! Welcome back to another Smooth Podcast episode. Today’s guest is Savannah Hauk. She is an author and podcast host from Michigan. She has written two nonfiction books, one focused on crossdressers and their significant ones, titled Living with Crossdressing: Defining a New Normal. And the other one focused on a crossdresser’s personal development named Living With Crossdressing: Discovering Your True Identity. She also speaks at transgender and LGBTQ+ conferences such as the Keystone Transgender Conference in Harrisburg and New York Coming Out transgender conference in Manhattan, New York. Savannah, it is a pleasure to have you with us today, welcome to the show!

Savannah Hauk:
Oh, my God. Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate you having me on. I really do.

Martín Acuña:
Well, we were searching for guests we found you and we loved, absolutely loved, your journey. And that’s why we had to have you here.

Savannah Hauk:
Aw!

Martín Acuña:
My first question for you is, why did you choose to start a podcast?

Savannah Hauk:
Well, this was actually a dream of my co-host. I met her online at another podcast that we both were guests on together on a panel discussion, and the pandemic was one of those things that was fruitful for us because we got together and she had voiced a bunch of ideas for things we could collaborate on. And we started off doing a kind of like a blog, kind of settlement of blog posts kind of thing where we would have like a just a back and forth a conversation that we would transcribe and put on our, on my website. Unfortunately, it just seemed like way too much work. And we’re like, you know what? It doesn’t, you know, this is not going to read. Nobody’s going to want to read 2000 words on a just transcribed conversations. So I say it’s probably a lot smarter to just why, don’t we do this live and do it together. And we have a good chemistry when we talk to each other. Why not just go for it and do that so that after some work and trials, we kind of landed on doing a podcast and you got to start that way. So it was really about the mechanism of how we got here, shifted quite a bit from the written blog-centric way of doing it to a physical vocal podcast. And the other reason is that we both wanted to collaborate and we both wanted to reach our audiences in a completely different way because we know not everybody who will read a book, they want an audiobook. People won’t read blogs, they want to see video. So everybody consumes data in different ways. And we thought that this was a good addition to our stable of kind of offerings of how we reach out.

Martín Acuña:
Awesome! So your podcast name is The Fox and the Phoenix. You’re a co-host with Julie Rubenstein, and she’s a style consultant, right?

Savannah Hauk:
That is absolutely correct. Yeah, the Fox & the Phoenix podcast, and Julie Rubenstein and I started this, again, she was the one who brought the dream. And I just kind of actualized it on her behalf because I’m the more technical resource of the two. But ironically, I didn’t know anything about podcasting before I started.

Martín Acuña:
Oh, OK. How has it evolved through time from the initial idea?

Savannah Hauk:
Well, I said the initial idea was written form. And then we because I have, I am very afraid and self-conscious of my voice. As a trans advocate, I felt that my voice would seem to be masculine and maybe won’t speak to everybody in the way that I thought I wanted it to. But everybody kind of pooh poohed my idea or how I felt about myself and, anyway, I said, you know what, let’s just go for it and do it. But in terms of evolution from the day one of how do we record this? What method do we use? How do I edit this? How do we, what platform would, do we put it on so that, because I don’t know how do I feed it to all these things separately or manually? So I was looking for a platform that would kind of do that for me. So the evolution of like not knowing anything and using Zoom call recordings in my iMovie, on my laptop, my Apple, you know, it’s just it’s I think the biggest thing is, I’m still doing those things, don’t get me wrong, I’m still recording one way and editing the same way. But the sound quality has really evolved and our chemistry is really evolved. So, you know, you could tell if you listen to episode one, it’s like the sound quality is a little weak, it’s a little low, and we’re just kind of fumbling through. But, you know, evolution is both psycological and technical. We really ramped up and kind of found our footing, and that’s super important that we found our niche in like how we work best together. And the other thing, just, one of the things we did prior to even launching was we set up a vision statement and a mission statement for ourselves. So there’s like three tenants of about this is what we will bring to this show. And only the, we will agree that these are the things that we were going to hold tightest in most true, and we will actually take things out of the episode if we feel it doesn’t adhere to those tenants.

Martín Acuña:
That is amazing! That is an amazing advice.

Savannah Hauk:
Thank you!

Martín Acuña:
For our listeners, like write down to mission statement for your podcast.

Savannah Hauk:
Yes, it really should, and it is, I’m not saying it is written in stone because we have a mission statement, a vision statement, and the three things that we live by, the code we live by. And it was like one of the things that says is bring our truth, leave our egos at the door and make people feel safe and comfortable in the space that we’re providing. And so every once in a while, you know, our egos do flare up and we want to say, well, we want to say that’s important to us and it’s not about us, it’s about living the truth for our audience and kind of letting them know that this is not for us specifically, this is for us trying to share with others.

Martín Acuña:
Yes, absolutely. I love that. In that order of ideas, what is the number one way this podcast has helped you as an author and as an advocate?

Savannah Hauk:
Well, I will say, like I said before, this is something has really expanded the way we reach people. Like I said, not everybody’s on Facebook. And those people who are on Facebook may not be on Instagram or maybe they only use YouTube. So for me, this has provided both me and my co-host a way to reach an audience, one, that we wouldn’t have reached before, and we can expand that audience organically in that medium. And people said, oh, my God, I listen to this podcast and you should listen to it. And that was a mainstay of like, you know, this is a grassroots. You know, when we started, it was all about if my mom listens to it, we’ll just be happy with that. And, you know, of course, we have bigger aspirations, but we weren’t sitting thinking we were going to, like, burn down the world with our podcast. But it is something that, like it helps us synergistically with our other businesses. Like my co-host, Julie has Fox and Hanger, and that’s her style consulting company. And this allows her clientele to know her personally, almost like know her personally from the podcast and want to work with her for a styling consultancy or, you know, whatever kind of lookbook they might be interested in. And for me, it reaches an audience that people get to know me better and may say, wow, I really like what Savannah had to say this episode, let me check out her other stuff that she has. And it just works just kind of all together.

Martín Acuña:
I love it. In the end, it’s just a networking exercise and expanding that reach.

Savannah Hauk:
Yeah, absolutely. It is really just about gaining marketshare, and by marketshare I just mean reaching people who need to hear us.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah.

Savannah Hauk:
Because there’s a lot of people who can’t bring a book home, who’s a trans person, who would be uncomfortable with having it on their phone and part of their Kindle library. Those things, you know, unfortunately live in a society where we have to keep things private to ourselves. So somebody put it in their earbuds and going for a jog, could listen to ten, fifteen minutes of our podcast and maybe get something out of it that way, or on their way to work, or on a weekend when they’re just chillin in the backyard. It’s like, it’s just something that we provide an avenue for folks that need to hear us.

Martín Acuña:
Awesome! So going back into podcasting, what is the biggest mistake you’ve made and the biggest lesson learned?

Savannah Hauk:
I think my answer would still be the sound quality.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah.

Savannah Hauk:
Just like not really knowing what to do and kind of thrown it out to the world. And looking back on an early product is like, wow, we really need to remaster those episodes. But it’s a nice transition between what we started with and what we did. I think we kind of just threw ourselves into it. And I think if I were to do anything different, I would have looked at how to edit and how to record a little bit differently prior to starting that first episode or doing the first recording, because I think that that, the technology I could have gone in a different direction. I could have done a little bit better and a little bit smoother, as your podcast would say, do that differently and kind of like, you know, put more research into that starting point. We did a lot of effort in the vision statement. We put a lot of effort into knowing we needed to build a library of archive recordings so that we could always bring something to an audience like every week, like clockwork, that was a very important to us. So those things we did research on, but in terms of the technical side, I could have done more.

Martín Acuña:
Great. Can you talk to us a little bit about your experience with monetization? I know that you are not monetizing this podcast because you have other revenue sources, but talk to us a little bit about this experience with monetization.

Savannah Hauk:
Sure. I mean, if we all want to get Internet famous and we want to monetize but like part of it, part of those tenants that we were talking about is that this wasn’t about us, I wasn’t looking to advertise some goods or service, you know, to throw it on the show because with the platform we use, anchor, you know, you can monetize. You could just turn it on and say, how many ads do you want to place? And they will partner you, and I guess in a way most beneficial to our audience and we will get paid, you know, X dollars per thousand listeners. And that seemed all well and good. But we’re like, well, you know, we’re starting now. And again, this is not about us making money, this is about bringing a networking, you know, to an audience base. But we also are using this as not as an advertisement, but we don’t really try to sell ourselves either. We’re trying to sell ourselves as people and as a resource to an audience. So because Julie and I both have our own other channels that we are selling through, this is just an adjunct to that. This is one of those things that, like I said, if they hear me speak and they like what I say or I say something that resonates with that person, they might find my book, go out and find my book, or go to my website, or check out my social media. And for Julie too is like she has an intake form and it says, oh, how did you hear about us? This how I heard you on the Fox and Phoenix podcast. And that’s the way that she can know that the work she’s doing on the podcast and the effort and the heart she’s put into it is transcending back to her business. So for us, yeah, this is an additional channel that gives us a greater voice and a bigger voice. And if as a positive bypart of that, we, you know, I sell a book or she books a client, that’s fine because that’s what that person’s now looking for. I don’t want to throw it in, you know, shove it down somebody’s throat, just like, listen to me, I have a book, we’re the best! No, I mean, that’s, I mean, that’s awesome. And I think by the, by the fact that we’re doing this podcast, and putting this effort in on a weekly basis, I just think it just grows organically and people realize it or other resources is kind of like what we’re about. They might never not, they might never know to find us like on a Google search. So they or there might be too much noise or too much clutter or they just can’t get to the result that they should to find us. And that’s fine. But if they hear this podcast, they say, ah, I really love how Julie is, I love her personality and I love what Savanah has to say. Those are just those natural things that bring us just a little bit of revenue in other ways.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah, awesome. I love that your podcast is absolutely working to move your names forward and to bring closer people to resources and to information and to human beings. And I think that’s the most important part.

Savannah Hauk:
It absolutely has to be. And for us, I said we are dealing with such a marginalized, hidden, secretive, feeling-shamed group. And that’s not even just the person who is that trans person.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah.

Savannah Hauk:
Or that crossdressing person. It is the spouse, the family. And I think what we do is we provide a voice in a way of storytelling or a way of explanation that that person or the partner can say, oh, my God, that’s saying what I’m trying to say to you, but I just didn’t know how to say the words. But Savanah and Julie just said it the exact way I want to say it. So can we talk about it? Can we listen to this episode and maybe pause it in the middle of it and say, hey, let’s talk about what they just said. And we have people reaching out to us after the fact telling us that that is exactly what they do, as a couple, they will listen to the podcast and then just pause it and kind of break down what was said or maybe at the end do a dissection of the episode and just have their own conversation. And I can’t tell you how heartwarming it is to know that the words that me and Julie are saying to the, you know, the airwaves and to the digital world are actually making and allowing people to have their own true conversations.

Martín Acuña:
Yeah, that is really fulfilling. I think that, that’s the whole purpose of the podcast to move people a bit.

Savannah Hauk:
Yeah.

Savannah Hauk:
Savanah, my last question before we close this wonderful conversation is what is the number one hack or something you think people that want to start or grow a podcast should know.

Savannah Hauk:
Hmmm, well, I said delve into your strengths, know what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, like I’m the more technical of the two, between me and Julie, and we both recognize that, know your audience, know what you’re trying to say. And I think that will guide you in terms of like having that statement, that understanding your vision and it can grow over time. So you’re not locked into it because you have that vision of what you’re looking for, because that will always ring true for somebody who is listening, who is trying to find you. And technically, I mean, I go on as guest on other podcasts like yours, Martin, and sometimes they all record in different ways. And what one of the hacks I’m kind of delving into now, which I wish I would have done earlier, is, oh, how do you record? What product do you use? I found out that there’s a product called Descript that you load up your MP3 and it will make a physical script of it, a transcript, and you can tell it to get rid of all those likes and ums and sort ofs and errs, and it’ll do it automatically. And I’m like, oh, my God, that’s brilliant. I’m doing it. I’m doing it by hand right now. So they’re so there are so many hacks out there technically that the world is always changing. And I always recommend, you know, like if you are frustrated by the amount of effort you have to put in a post-production, just go online and look to see if there’s something that can ease that for you and make them more smooth. And that’s all I can tell you, is that there’s always going to be a hack out there that’s going to be perfect for you. But for me, I wish I would be like, man, I really should’ve used that product from the beginning because I’m an old dog and new tricks are not my bags because it’s something I had to work as, OK, I’m going to change everything I’ve been doing for the last fifty -ive weeks and I’m going to try this new product. So, yeah, you know, it takes me time to adjust and adapt.

Martín Acuña:
Well, Savannah, thank you so much for being here. It’s been a wonderful conversation. Your advice is super valuable. I know our listeners will love this. I wish you the best with your books, with your podcast. Listeners in the description, we will leave Savannah’s links to everything we know, she is on LinkedIn, be sure to check her out on your favorite podcast platform and stay tuned for more episodes of the Smooth Podcast. Thank you, Savannah for being here.

Savannah Hauk:
Thank you, Martin. Appreciate it and have a wonderful day.

Martín Acuña:
You too.

Smooth Podcast Outro:
Thanks for tuning in to the Smooth Podcast. Be sure to visit us at SmoothPodcasting.com and follow us on social media for resources, show notes, and all you want to know about podcasting.

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Key Take-Aways 

  • It is important to have a mission statement and a mission statement prior to launching.
  • Podcasting can help you reach a wider and bigger audience. 
  • Sound quality will improve once you launch the show.
  • Evolution is both ways: psychological and technical.
  • By what code is your show living?
  • Representation truly matters.

Resources

Want to be featured in our podcast? Send us a message at martin@smoothpodcasting.com