NGPF Podcast: Hayley Hershman, Senior Producer of Marketplace’s New Show - Financially Inclined
This week, Yanely is joined by the senior producer, Hayley Hershman, of the new Marketplace show, Financially Inclined. Listen to this week’s podcast to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the new show is produced.
Tim Ranzetta: Hey, it's me, Tim Ranzetta, co-founder of Next Gen Personal Finance. Thank you for tuning in to this NGPF podcast. This week you are gonna hear from Yanely. She's not only gonna host this podcast, but she's also the host of a new podcast from Marketplace, and it's called Financially Inclined. She's joined by the senior producer of the show, Haley Hershman. They dive into how they named the show, the topics covered in season one, as well as a sneak peek on one of the most requested episode. They also talk about what's to come with this new podcast and how you can get involved and pass, possibly even have your students featured on the show. Again, Financially . Inclined is the first podcast I am aware of that's really focused on how do we deliver money in an money lessons in an engaging way to high school and perhaps even middle school students. Enjoy.
Yanely Espinal: Hayley, I'm so happy to have you on.
Hayley Hershman: Thank you. I'm so happy to be here again. I'm excited to give everyone updates. If anyone was here last time, we did this back in September, I think there's a lot that has changed that is exciting.
[00:01:10] Podcast Name Change to Financially Inclined
Yanely Espinal: Okay, so let's jump in. Talking about changes like, the most obvious change, right, is that people are like, wait, wasn't this called Dear Future Me? Did it get a makeover? Did it have a whole like 2.0? Like what happened? The podcast name is different. Is the content the same? Is it a whole different concept? Talk us through Dear Future Me versus Financially Inclined.
Hayley Hershman: So Dear Future Me was the title that we were piloting with from the very beginning. It was great for the piloting process and then once we got more interviews underway, we got feedback from you all and also from other people in, in our podcasting community. We decided to go with something that felt a little more like, I don't wanna say like adult, but just something a little more like, maybe a 25 year old might say it. Maybe they might say it in a, like a silly way, but maybe also seriously. And just as a way to kind of, to broaden out the scope of the podcast, the heart and the content is very much the same and very similar to what you saw back in September. But hopefully just it brings more people into the fold.
Yanely Espinal: Yeah, and honestly like being somebody who was kind of involved in everything happening on the background, I kind of know a little bit of the backstory. I have never had the experience of being part of like a real professional production for a podcast. I've had like my own podcast that I did as a passion project, but it was literally just like me and pajamas on my bed, like recording things that I wanted to share and doing interviews in Zoom. And this is much more produced, much more involvement. There's video, there's audio editing. There's a lot of post-production work that goes into the quality of the output from our projects. So I feel like this is like, obviously very different, but one of the things people probably don't know if they have never worked on like a, you know, an intricate project like this of the size is that sometimes you have to really consider putting out a project like the legal point of view, right? Like you can't just name something, any name that you want. And one of the hiccups we came across was trying to find a name that we could actually clear with legal. And again, something most people probably don't even give any thought to if, unless they're having to name something and get like legal rights to it.
So talk a little bit about that process, like being at Marketplace. You've done this many times. This isn't the first podcast that you've produced but a little bit about the challenges of probably, you know, coming up with a name that you love. Like we came up with a few names that we really liked, but they weren't cleared and so we couldn't use them.
Hayley Hershman: Well, it's no surprise it's a lot of talking to lawyers and getting their feedback and with Dear Future Me was, it was a good option. It was just like, you have to tow a line of, of creating a title that is like fun and engaging and general enough to pique someone's interest, but it doesn't conflict with other businesses that might be out there, other shows that might be out there. Don't remember what the figure is anymore, but there's tens of thousands of podcasts available to download. And so you really have to pick something that, that is not gonna get confused with any other brands or names, obviously for legal protections, but also just so that your, when someone hears Financially Inclined, they're thinking of your show and not some someone else's.
Yanely Espinal: Yeah, because at the end of the day , marketing is, is everything. And if somebody already has a market share on of like recognition with something, it's only gonna hurt you. So try to associate yourself with something that already exists in someone's mind as something different. So that makes a lot of sense.
Okay, so as a senior producer who has worked on many different podcasts, including one that I really love, which is, this is uncomfortable. I feel like you've seen a lot of like different variety of types of shows and some that have guests and some that don't, and some that require like a younger guest speaker or audience, some that are maybe geared towards an adult audience. And so of all the ones that you've produced, and I know some have been very focused on finance, what makes this particular show that we've been working on different from a lot of the other shows that you've worked on before?
[00:04:59] What Makes Financially Inclined Different
Hayley Hershman: Yeah. There's two big things that make this show really different. The first is that it is Marketplace's first video podcast. We have done a lot of audience testing and, and audio. Our audience insights team has done a lot of testing that has shown that younger people want their content on YouTube and for an audio shop that is a little unfamiliar to us. So this was big, a big change for us. The intention behind that is to meet our prospective audiences where they are and where they like to consume content.
And the second really unique thing about this show is that we've, this is the first time marketplace has created content with educators in mind. Our hope is that this is actually a very useful resource in the classroom. We hope that anyone who might be interested in the financial basics would come to this show. But first and foremost, this is for high schoolers and teens and hopefully something they can use as curriculum.
Yanely Espinal: Definitely. And also just even if it's not like officially part of like their main curriculum, that it could supplement what they're using as their main curriculum. Because one of the things that I noticed, like I was getting direct feedback from teachers saying that they know their students love TikTok. They know their students are on TikTok and on Instagram reels, and that they're already consuming that type of content. But the problem with that type of content is that it often has inappropriate language or inappropriate references or something where, yes, it's highly engaging and highly entertaining, but that doesn't mean that it's appropriate for school.
So it creates a challenge for teachers where you, you want to be fun, the fun teacher and the engaging teacher, and you want your class to feel. Fresh and fun and relevant, but you also can't just be putting anything in a any old thing in front of your students just to feel cool like you. You asked to be appropriate for a learning environment. So I think that with this particular podcast, we really worked hard to find things that felt like a nice balance between being educational while also being entertaining.
So, you know, talk a little bit about that. Like, I know I'm sure that it, it didn't feel easy. I mean, it wasn't easy for me, but I'm sure for you to try to guide the whole show in a direction that struck a nice balance between entertaining and educating as well.
[00:07:07] Striking a Balance Between Education and Entertenaiment
Hayley Hershman: Yeah. It's hard because talking about money gets boring real fast, or it can, and so we had to look outside of our normal pool of expert voices. Another thing that was really important as part of like the entertainment factor of this was to make sure high school voices got into the actual episodes and their videos got in. And that was something that you, you and I both pushed for. A lot that you'll see in this episode two that we're gonna share with you, their videos are in there. And so I think we. The way I would vet an expert voice for this show was a lot different. It's for the car buying episode that you're gonna see in a little bit. I spent a long time talking with a lot of different experts because it was really important to find someone who was not going to talk about this in a condescending way. So I think that was something that I was particularly careful to look for in guests.
Yanely Espinal: I think you did a good job with that. I think that one of the things about the episode with Matt that we like we saw as a really exciting thing was his passion. He is clearly passionate about cars and you pointed that out early on. And Matt, even though he's an adult, even though he's got obviously reads as like an older, you know, influencer mentor, he's clearly sharing that, that equal kind of passion for talking about cars. So is that kind of why you thought he would be like the perfect guest? And how did you find Matt for this episode?
[00:08:29] Finding a Guest for the Buying a Car Episode
Hayley Hershman: Yes. When I talked with Matt, he like ecstatic when I told him this. So this topic came about because this was back in September when I came to the speaker series. We gave out a survey for teachers and students, and this was one of the most requested topics. And when I got ahold of Matt and told him about that, he was like, so pumped. So it was like a very obvious choice. Once I got ahold of him, he used to be a journalist at, I think it's called Jalopnik. It was like a car vertical. So I had found him through basically just searching for car journalists and experts. I think Matt just had this energy, he just couldn't get enough of talking about cars and how much fun they are. And that is the whole point of why we would think a younger person would turn this on is because they wanna have fun and they wanna have a car. And so we hope to meet them there with this information.
[00:09:22] Process of Paring Down Interviews
Yanely Espinal: Yeah, I definitely agree. Now my next question is gonna be about like, how to pare down, because I talked to him for a whole hour. Like we were literally going back and forth for an hour, and I had a lot of questions because while he was talking, I was literally taking notes. So he was sharing, I was listening, I was taking it in. And so we went on for a really long time, but we ultimately knew that we wanted to get these episodes down to about 15 minutes per episode because the reality is that learning time is precious in a classroom and teachers only have but so much during the class period before the bell rings. And we didn't want it to like really take up the whole class. I wanna ask you to think about how do you prioritize the clips that stay in?
Hayley Hershman: Yeah. This I think actually will probably apply for all the episodes that we do. You know, the first thing we're looking for is like, we call it news you can use. Like what are the things that you will walk away from the episode remembering. What are the things that you can go back to if you're like, oh, they had some good tips in there for when I'm car buying, like let me go back and find like the actual pieces of information that I'm gonna use in my real life. Those are always the priority. And then we just had that with the fun stuff and Matt had a ton of fun stuff. He had an anecdote truly everything. And so it was really just about picking like, okay, well I think that like anecdote or, or that piece of advice is, is maybe more relatable for everyone. He like really loves cars. So he's driven some like crazy stuff and has some fun stories that unfortunately, maybe we'll make it into some director's cut someday. But so we're focusing on as much like usable outside of this video content to focus on as possible.
Yanely Espinal: Yeah, it's definitely helpful for students because obviously like they haven't had a lot of experience making these kind of big financial choices, like buying something so big like a car. So I think that it's helpful to give them a very systematic approach to that decision making process so it doesn't feel so daunting. I still wanted to kind of transition over to the work that our editor Mallory has been doing because they have really focused on making sure the visual graphics, like the motion graphics and the animation, pairs well with the audio of the podcast. And so trying to make something audio first while also being video friendly or video first, while also being audio friendly, it's not as easy as it may sound or appear. So talk a little bit about that.
[00:11:39] Work of Mallory, the Video Editor
Hayley Hershman: We got very lucky. Mallory's just an incredible animator and editor and very thankful and lucky to have them on our team. We knew that the audience we wanted to reach wanted to watch things on YouTube. We knew through our audience insights team that it wasn't enough to throw audio up on YouTube that was not gonna be engaging for them. They wanted to watch something that was designed to be watched. So we knew going into this that an emphasis on visuals and graphics was gonna be really key and that the audio product should have at least all of the same information.
I did not give them, they gave us the direction on the style and graphics. We had our wonderful creative service team at American Public Media that made the overall design of the of the show. They made like the frames that you saw with the dollar bills and the little like recurring themes in the multicolored different frames that you'll see throughout the season that every video is a different main color. That was just something that we kind of decided this was gonna be something fun. This was not gonna be like a drab finance show. This was gonna be like, dynamic and engaging. And so those were the big picture themes for what we wanted with how it would look. And then Mallory really like took it away with their talent.
Yanely Espinal: Awesome. They really are incredible. It's so much fun to watch. How often will we see new episodes of financially inclined?
[00:13:05] Release Schedule
Hayley Hershman: So we have a six episode run for our first season out every Friday. So I think that means last Friday was our first episode, so we're on May 26th, I think will be the last episode. So you'll see them every Friday.
Yanely Espinal: Awesome. NGPF's gonna be posting onto the blog where you always normally get your Fin Cap Fridays and your question of the day and all of the blog posts that you get will also be pinging you on Fridays with a little bit of a summary for the broadcast that just went out on marketplace as well as the YouTube video. Ooh, this is a really good question. So are you following a certain theme for a few weeks? How does the team decide which topics to cover?
Hayley Hershman: That's a really good question. Partly that was some of the topics we decided to cover were because of the results of the survey we gave to teachers and students in the fall to hear what was gonna be, what the topics were that you all wanted to hear about, that your students wanted to hear about. So we don't have a theme for the season. It was really just about like, you know, what are some of the fundamentals? What are some of the things that k that teenagers really want to hear about? So those were how we, we kind of picked the topics and I can even tell you what the rest of the season is.
It's understanding credit cards is gonna be episode three. Episode four is gonna be this look into buy now, pay later services with a journal from SFGate, who's really wonderful. Episode five is gonna be a little More conceptual about like how it can be really hard to talk about money, why it's so important to talk about money. We're doing that with our, another marketplace host, Rema Grace, who has a, a podcast that's basically all about that. And then our season finale is gonna be some like stock market basics. We can't cover the whole stock market in one episode, so I am, I'm imagining that we'll do like a lot of other episodes around that, but this is like really broad strokes.
Yanely Espinal: These were all really fun because we got to think about how to introduce them, right? So just the foundation, because we know that in future episodes we might continue to build on this. So again, just a lot of fun to like introduce the concepts in a way that could lay the foundation, and of course, you and your classroom could build upon that foundation.
So, Hayley thank you so much. Like it's a Thursday night at 7:00 PM Eastern. You could be at a happy hour. You could be hanging out with your friend, you could be doing a lot of things, and you here with us. So we really appreciate that and we just wanna thank you for your time and for all the work you've put into this podcast.
Hayley Hershman: Yeah. Well I would love to come back anytime. Thank you so much for having me. It's been, it's really like so fun to talk to people who are actually gonna be using this in classrooms.
Tim Ranzetta: A few final housekeeping items before we go. We'll put links to Financial Inclinedf rom Marketplace. We'll provide links to that podcast as well as some of the other resources that were mentioned on this podcast. You can find that as well as the show notes on our website, www.ngpf.org/podcast. Better yet, subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher.
Wherever you get your podcast extra credit, if you leave us a review, we love to go up in the ranking so that our guests get even larger audience. So please help us out with that too. Wanna thank Ren Makino. He produces our podcast every week and provides the detailed show notes. Thank you, Ren. So on behalf of Yanely Haley and myself, I wanna thank you again.
For tuning in to this NGPF podcast and one last request for you to go out and listen to Financially Inclined. And if you are a high school or middle school educator, go ahead and share it with your students too. We know they'll like it. Have a great week.