Jules Hannaford begrudgingly turned to online dating as a last resort, after being single for more than a decade. But unfortunately, after finally meeting an eligible man, all was not as it seemed. 

In her memoir and first book Fool Me Twice, Jules details the dangers and pitfalls she experienced in her search for love online. Then in 2019, with the help of her daughter Zara, she decided to turn her memoir into a true-crime podcast, and within eight months, they already had 200,000 downloads and counting.

So how did they do it?

First, Jules talks about why she initially wrote her memoir, because it’s not an easy story to tell.

From there, she shares more about her podcasting experience in both Fool Me Twice and her first podcast, Hong Kong Confidential. 

And by the end of this episode, I’m confident that podcasters of all experience levels will walk away with both actionable podcast growth strategies….and a peek behind the curtain on a fascinating, true story.

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In this episode, Jules shares…

  • [7:31] The shame that surrounds scamming and the courage that victims need to feel comfortable sharing. 
  • [9:25] Why she decided to start a true-crime podcast and the experience of working with her daughter. 
  • [12:14] She explains the behind the scenes of how she and her daughter investigate and write for the podcast.
  • [15:06] The telltales to look for in an online dating scammer.
  • [17:06] The importance of taking the time to produce a quality podcast, but also to recharge as a person.
  • [20:53] How she learned to work with a team and the strategies she used to market her podcast to make it go viral and build her audience.
  • [26:50] How to create a promo, a trailer, and a feed drop to get cross-promotion for your podcast.
  • [29:55] How and why you should reach out to other podcasters to request them to play your promo on their shows.
  • [33:42] She shares some of her best advice and tips on podcast pre-production, production, and post-production 

NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by a free AI tool called Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos or errors.

Melissa Guller 0:00
Welcome to Wit & Wire, the podcast that takes you behind the scenes to learn how to start and grow a successful podcast that makes an impact. I'm your host, Melissa Guller. And in each episode, I invite fellow podcasters and industry experts to share their best strategies and advice for podcasters of all experience levels.

Melissa Guller 0:27
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Jules Hannaford was successful and happy in her life and her job, but was still lonely. She turned to online dating as a last resort, after being single for more than a decade. It seemed she was consistently meeting men who were not good enough. One after another, they seemed only to want to swindle her out of her money, and she was getting frustrated. Finally, she met a man who had his life together. Truman was a successful project manager at a construction firm, and seemed as excited as Jules was about the possibility of building a life with someone special. Jules travelled across the world to meet him, and the fairy tale immediately began to unravel. All was not as it seemed.

This true story is the premise of Jules Hannaford’s memoir and first book “Fool Me Twice”, which details the dangers and pitfalls she experienced in her search for love online. Jules started writing her book over eight years ago because she decided that this was an important story to assist other women not to get caught in the same trap and to help them make safer, smarter decisions when using internet dating platforms. Jules has always had a passion for people and their stories, so she started her first podcast Hong Kong Confidential in 2017 to provide a platform for sharing the stories of interesting and unique people in Hong Kong. Then in 2019, with the help of her daughter Zara, she decided to turn her memoir, “Fool Me Twice,” into a true crime podcast, as she feels that this story can make an important contribution to the safety of those navigating the complicated—and sometimes illusionary—internet dating world. Before we meet Jules, let’s hear a sneak peek of her podcast, Fool Me Twice:

Jules Hannaford 2:14
You meet someone online and there's this instant connection. It's amazing how much the two of you just seem to click. They live somewhere far away. And there's some plausible reason they can't travel to meet you. They tell you they're in love with you. And you feel optimistic for the first time in a long time. They have a successful career yet somehow they need money from you to solve a short term problem, always with the promise of paying you back. Time goes on and then need more money more urgently. You've started to see the cracks and begin to wonder whether they've been lying this whole time. All of a sudden it hits you. You've been scammed. Fool Me Twice is the story of my mother Jules Hannaford, a woman who was drawn into the dangerous world of sweetheart scams. After a trip overseas to meet a stranger, a dangerous altercation in a Manchester hotel room, and thousands of pounds lost for good, she's here to tell her story. For Me Twice. A true crime podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Auscast Network, and anywhere you listen to your podcasts.

Melissa Guller 3:28
Now that we've heard the promo, let's learn more about the story behind the podcast. So Jules, welcome to the podcast.

Jules Hannaford 3:35
Hi, Melissa, thank you so much for having me.

Melissa Guller 3:38
Yeah, I can't wait to learn more about your story. And I think that's a great place to start. So without giving it all away, since Of course, I want people to tune into your podcasts to hear the whole story. But are you comfortable sharing a little bit more about your experiences and online dating that eventually became your book for me twice?

Jules Hannaford 3:56
Sure. So I was online dating back in about 2010 and I met this guy in the UK. And he seemed really wonderful, said all the right things. And I was very excited because I'd been alone for many years, I'd been alone for over 10 years, maybe 15 years already. And I was a single parent and I was really just looking for love many of us are. And I went to meet him in the UK. And it turned out to be an absolute disaster. And he ended up being a scammer. And he I ended up giving him money on the promise that he would use that to close up his business and then move to Hong Kong to be with me because I lived in Hong Kong and he lived in Manchester in the UK. And I ended up getting assaulted by him and fearing for my life. So that's the kind of story in a nutshell.

Melissa Guller 5:01
That's a huge nutshell of a story. I feel like it's no surprise that it could eventually become a full book and a podcast.

Jules Hannaford 5:08
Yeah, it was really scary. And I really did put my life at risk. And that was a really silly thing to do. I did lose money, but it was really more the danger that I put myself in. And then it did take a long time to recover from the shame and the embarrassment of the choices that I'd made. And the fact that I'd been scammed. And what's unusual about my story is that I actually met my scammer. It's really rare for someone to actually meet their scammer. I think the fact that I met him makes my story all the more unique.

Melissa Guller 5:39
I can't even begin to imagine how any part of that must have felt. But to then decide to write a book I think really shows a lot about you. So how did you decide that you wanted to share your story?

Jules Hannaford 5:54
It was quite a few years later. So I think the shame had diminished somewhat, and I really Just wanted to help others not to get caught in the same trap that I was. Because what? In my research, what I've realized is that scamming is a billion dollar industry, it can happen to absolutely anybody. And it is something that is getting exponentially more prolific globally. And I thought that if I could share my story and stop just one person from making the same mistake that I did, then I would be doing the world a favor. And so I really wanted to do it for that reason. And so I decided to write a book and I actually signed with this agent and set myself quite a short deadline which made it very stressful. So it was quite an anxiety ridden time for me. First of all, revisiting the story and having to write the book but also having to meet ridiculous deadlines when I was a full time school teacher at the same time.

Melissa Guller 7:01
I think it's so important though that you did decide to share your story because like you said, I really don't think people realize how common scamming is. Just last week, I got a trademark scam. Physical mail sent to me. Somebody in my family has also unfortunately, you've been scammed. I think it happens so much behind closed doors. And maybe that shame that you mentioned people don't want to talk about it. And so the fact that you were willing to talk about it, I'm sure has made a difference for multiple people.

Jules Hannaford 7:31
Well, that's what I was hoping. And yeah, there was a lot of shame. Like I found it very hard to tell my friends when I strayed off to the scam. And my daughter, I told immediately. I actually met her she was about 21 living in London at the time. So I met her afterwards on my way home and she was very supportive and really understanding and said something which really has always resonated with me since she said, You're really such a good person, you're a bit naive that You trust in everybody. And that's really the only mistake that you've made is being so trusting. And that's such a great quality, but it's also put you in danger. So you need to take care. So that was really sweet. But she was really understanding. But I didn't tell the rest of my family until I was writing the book, which was eight years later. So it took, I think, you know, did take a while to come to terms with it and have the courage to do it. It did take courage, but I really think that it's such a big industry and it is an issue that people are ashamed about, and they rarely talk about. And if they do, they go on, like talk shows in America where it becomes completely sensationalized. I wanted to do this in a different sort of format. And so doing it as a book and then as a podcast and having the story. They're both called for me twice for anyone who's looking for them, but I'm just so proud of both of them and my daughter worked on both of them. She's As an editor, so she did the final line edit on the book. And then she actually wrote the podcast herself. And that was easy for her to do because she had already done the edit on the book. So she knew the story really well.

Melissa Guller 9:14
I was about to ask because of course, I want to learn more about the podcast. At what point did you decide that you wanted to make the podcast instead of only sticking with just the book?

Jules Hannaford 9:25
I already had a podcast called Hong Kong confidential. I had that first before I wrote the book. So I've been doing that for three. Oh, gosh, is it three or four years, three or four years? That's funny. I can't really remember exactly how long it is. And so I really love podcasting. And also, I was just listening. I'm listening to podcasts every day. I love them. I'm so into them. I think they're a brilliant form of entertainment. And I also had a degree in communications majoring in media, so I have some sort of background. In this sort of area, even though I'm a school teacher, so I decided that I wanted to turn it into a podcast because the book had been very successful. And once I done the book, the shame had gone because I had the support from my work. I had the support from my family, everybody was really understanding the book was received so well it has got so many fantastic reviews, I've sold a lot of copies for somebody who's self published, and had a full time job, so it could only market it to a certain point. And I just thought, it'd be great to turn it into a true crime podcast, which is my favorite genre of podcasting. And I just wanted to do something really creative and it was brilliant to work with my daughter on the project. She's really talented.

Melissa Guller 10:50
There must have been so much fun to work with her and I'm sure perhaps a little bit therapeutic in some ways to get the story out and to take ownership of it and What is it like working with your daughter?

Jules Hannaford 11:03
It was great working with her, we actually worked really well together we do clash sometimes on sort of direction or the way forward and things like that. But she's incredibly smart and capable. And we were always able to come to some sort of resolution and move forward. But I just was in awe of her ability to write and put a story together that was compelling and that had different voices. And the podcast for me twice actually got nominated for a Webby Award this year. And it was nominated for Best Writing. So that was our so amazing. Yeah, absolutely amazing. So it was great working with her and we're working on for me twice to now so that will be coming out. Gosh, I don't know when we still got a lot to do. But it's so exciting and it's about the diamond scam in Hong Kong. So it's really exciting.

Melissa Guller 12:00
I've so many questions I want to start maybe in the beginning of what the production process looks like so because you guys are doing this storytelling, serial podcast, what is the behind the scenes process like for your show?

Jules Hannaford 12:15
So for the process of creating the podcasts are took the manuscript which I had written, but she did the final line edit on and also by the way, that book has won two awards as well. So she did an incredible job. She cut out about 9000 words. She took that and she decided to write the podcasts in a narrative form, like nine part series, and I guess we had to talk about the structure. We knew we wanted different voices. We knew we wanted to bring in experts and other scam victims. And then Zahra had the idea of narrating it as my daughter and making it called an investigative Podcast, where she's investigating why I made the choices that I made and looking into what makes people scam or be scammed. So she's got a background in psychology. She's got an honors and masters, no sorry. She's got a undergrad and honors in psychology. So she was able to use that degree to help research scamming and look into it from a psychological point of view, and add her voice to the story as the narrator with me telling the story. So that added another excellent layer to the podcast. And then, in the last episode, I was actually able to get a real scammer from Ghana to come on the podcast. And I did that by swiping right on everyone on Tinder that I thought was a scammer.

Melissa Guller 13:37
And sounds like the same strategy, the manifesting are you saying?

Jules Hannaford 13:40
Yeah, and until I was I would have find someone who's willing to talk to me and be interviewed. So that was a real coup because some of the experts, scamming experts that we had on the podcast really said that they had tried for years to talk to scammers about what they were doing and what was the motivation behind why they were scamming and they just couldn't get anybody. So it was a real coup for me to get somebody to talk to you on the podcast.

Melissa Guller 14:06
Do you think it was just sheer like effort and amount of people you were swiping on that led you to find somebody who was willing to talk or what made them say yes?

Jules Hannaford 14:15
It didn't take me too long. I really only spent about 20 minutes until I got somebody I could talk to. And I, I changed my tactic rather than get contacting them on WhatsApp, and saying I'm looking for a scam from my podcast. I made a connection first and made him laugh. We chatted. And then I said Actually, I'm looking for somebody who tries to get money out of people online. And I'm wondering if that's you have a feeling is could we know would you be on my podcast? It would be anonymous Barbara and he agreed. So that was exciting.

Melissa Guller 14:49
I have to first say that your approach of first learning that you have to romance The scammer before proposing is again, good advice that many people are not taking on dating apps. But before we go back to the Hot casting. I have to just briefly ask, how did you know who some of this cameras were like maybe some quick tips

Jules Hannaford 15:06
of this so many, there's so many red flags to look out for. And in actual fact, I've got a chapter on red flags at the end of my book. But they're often people who have double barreled names for a start. That's a massive clue like john Williamson. Nobody has two names on Twitter unless they called jump here, but some two random names that don't fit. They're often widowed. They have they say they're on an oil rig, or they're an engineer or any kind of employment where they could move around a lot. There are no oil rigs in Hong Kong, so they're on Tinder. They've they say they're five kilometers away. But you know, they work on an oil rig in Hong Kong and there are no oil rigs in Hong Kong. So it's just and people they request. They make unrealistic promises to you. They go to love bombing, so they say things like I love you or you're amazing. really early, they say they widowed or said that sorry. They call you dear. That's another classic. Many of the scammers use the word dear. They have profile photos that look like they were taken by a professional. They use really generic statements on their profile without giving really any information. There are often mistakes in their profile. They use words like God fearing. That's very typical. You might somebody might write that if they're on a Christian dating site, but on a general dating site that's really uncommon and is a really good sign. So that's just some of them. I've got pages of red flags.

Melissa Guller 16:37
He literally wrote the chapter on it, the book on it, one might say, my listeners are gonna get a nice 241 dose of how not to get scammed and also how to think critically about your podcast. So I can't even imagine how many more there must be. But to get us back to podcasting, we were talking a little bit about the production process. I'm also curious how long were you waiting? Working on the production of the podcast before you released it.

Jules Hannaford 17:06
So we've started in about March, I think last year, and that's when Sarah was writing it. And then I went to the states where she lives in July and we recorded in a hotel room in the States. And then I came back to Hong Kong and I edited like crazy. I think I did 250 hours of editing on the nine episodes. Wow. And then we sent it to sound design. We've got a incredible sound designer in Brisbane called shade Furlong. And he's amazing. So all of the music and for me twice is specifically created for the show and is all unique to the podcast. So we send it to sound design in August and we released on the 25th of October last year. So I guess it was June, July, August, September. It was about about an eight month process to put the whole thing together.

Melissa Guller 18:03
Yeah, I asked because I think a podcast like yours, which clearly is very thoughtfully done and has a lot of different elements doesn't happen overnight. And I know with a lot of the people in my podcasting community, the launch day is, of course, a very big day and people are maybe anxious to hit that day. But I think it's okay to take the time to work on your production. And instead of measuring how quickly you can launch instead, ask yourself, what kind of creativity what kind of message do you want to put out there and whatever amount of time that takes as long as you're, you know, taking action. I think that's what matters more.

Jules Hannaford 18:39
I totally agree with you. And in actual fact, it's interesting you say that because I'm on school holidays at the moment and was hoping to be editing for me twice to now. But my daughter didn't have the time to write the podcast when I needed her because of other work commitments. So we're behind in that process, but we don't have any deadlines. We're not beholden to anybody. We haven't we with AWS cast network in Australia, but they're absolutely 100% supportive and just ready to put the podcast out whenever we're done. So instead of me panicking and thinking, Oh gosh, I should be doing this now and I've got the free time. It's just going to evolve as it evolves, and I want it to be the best that it can be. So I don't want Sarah to Russia role. And in actual fact, this has given me an opportunity to have an enforced break. And that's been so good for my well being because since I started Hong Kong confidential, I've really been working virtually every day I teach full time I wrote the book, I had Hong Kong confidential I did for me twice to have worked all through last summer on the project. So it's really fantastic to actually be getting a break and to just recharge and look after my well being and take a bit of a break and then fall back and regroup and get ready to start for me twice to whenever sorry. Already, which will be soon to get started. And like you say, we're hopeful to launch in the end of August, sorry, end of October or in November, but it doesn't really matter. It doesn't matter if it's not to next year, it's fine. Mm hmm.

Melissa Guller 20:14
I think it's so funny how we, of course, I think it's good to have goals and to aim towards something. But often I find myself feeling the stress of these deadlines. And then I have to remind myself that I'm the one who said it, therefore, I'm the one who can change it. And if I launch something Two weeks later than my original plan, or month or even two months, or it never happens, that's okay. Like, I try to remind myself that as long as I'm doing little things, and that I'm continuing to take action, that's what matters more than habits, not the outcomes. But it's hard in the moment and I know a lot of people do feel very stressed about feeling this sense of being behind somehow.

Jules Hannaford 20:53
Yeah, I think that's really the key is you set your own deadlines and I wouldn't advertise when We're going to launch until we're right down the end of the process. And it's in sound design. And we know when it's going to be finished. And that's when I would start the launch process and the advertising. We've mentioned in one of our kind of little bonus episodes informally, twice, one that for me, twice, two is coming. I've made a few comments that it's coming on different podcasting pages on Facebook. But I haven't really even made an official announcement that it's coming yet. And I won't do that until it's at least written. Once it's written and we're making it then I'll know what the timeline is. And I just have to wait on my daughter. And that's what you get when you're working in a team as well. We'll also have to wait on schade when he's ready to do the music. If he's got other jobs at the time, we'll have to wait for him to so that's what you get when you're working as a team. And I think that's the difference from doing a solo podcast where you're doing everything yourself which has made with Hong Kong confidential, then you're able to manage your time a little bit better because you know exactly When you can get things done and you're only relying on yourself, but there's something really special about creating something that is being so successful. So well received has been nominated for a Webby and it's and we did it as a team of three. And we were up against luminary and Netflix and some amazing podcasts. And here's a little indie podcast from Hong Kong and Australia, being up there with the with other really big name podcasts that would have had production teams of 15 or 20 people.

Melissa Guller 22:30
Amazing. And now I forget which publication I read this in from your media page on your site, but correct me if I'm wrong. I think within the first three and a half months, you'd reached over 100,000 downloads, is that correct?

Jules Hannaford 22:42
Yeah, that's correct.

Melissa Guller 22:44
That's amazing. Congratulations, by the way.

Jules Hannaford 22:47
Thank you so much. It was incredible how quickly it just shot up the charts. And it was basically less just less than four months, 100,000, then 8 months, we hit 200,000 downloads.

Melissa Guller 23:03
So do you have any sense of what has caused that kind of growth?

Jules Hannaford 23:08
I think, first of all me having quite a high profile in the podcasting community through Hong Kong confidential and just going to different pod fests pod movement. We are podcasts, the true crime podcast festival last year, making connections really being active on social media in the podcasting circles. And just the fact that Americans love True Crime like it is such a huge honor like my listening audience is predominantly the USA. I just think all of those factors and the fact that I'm very good at marketing, my podcasts, and I did press releases, and I have used paid ads and Twitter, retweet groups, and I really did market it very well. And I think that played into it as well. So all of those factors

Melissa Guller 24:00
Yeah, I think it's so important that you mentioned too, that you were well connected in this space, like, sure the podcast launched. And three and a half months later you have these impressive numbers. But it's not as though that was your first day on the job, you had so much of a foundation and a reputation and a, you know, repertoire really already built. And I just I always like to point that out, because I think a lot of podcasters we said earlier, they feel behind about launch, and then they feel behind if they don't have huge download numbers in their first month. But really, I think that it's about a longer term perspective when you're a podcaster. things don't happen overnight, but they do start to grow eventually.

Jules Hannaford 24:38
Yeah, I think I forgot to mention one of the best things I think for building my audience was cross promos with other big podcasts. And these are people that I connected with throughout the years as a podcaster and through these networking at these festivals, but Kristy Lee, who is an Australian girl who has a Canadian True Crime She played my promo. And she has 10 million listeners. Josh haulmark from true crime bullshit, he played my promo and heavier lever from pretend radio played my promo as well. So I had these big name podcasts with big audiences who played my promo. And I'm so grateful to them for their support. And I think that had a huge impact on me getting very quick downloads and big numbers starting very early on. So I really do recommend that but you can't just random actually, maybe I did just know I randomly approach Christie for a promo for Hong Kong confidential ages ago, and she was really gracious and then we connected on Facebook and we chatted a message and then we met at the true crime podcast festival. So I built a friendship with her and I think it's always important that you try to add value to others. Could you help me but what can I do to help you so I offered all of them to play their promos, and just share They're posts and I comment on what they do and congratulate them on their achievements online and all that sort of thing. So I think you really have to try and interact and connect and add value to others, not just expect them to do something for you for nothing, if that makes sense.

Melissa Guller 26:16
Oh, absolutely. I think that's so important and such great advice, not just for podcasters, but really anybody running any kind of online business or platform, just giving more than you expect to receive and always sharing value instead of just asking for yourself. I think that's so important.

Melissa Guller 26:33
I do want to ask you maybe to tell us a little bit more about cross promotion, because maybe for some of my listeners who are newer, that could be a new concept. So how do you pitch somebody on doing a cross promotion and then what does the actual audio sound like?

Jules Hannaford 26:49
So I would create a one minute or less promo because people don't want to play anything that is much longer. And I think putting too To get that promo and making it slick and making it really professional is very important. And people can go to my for me twice podcast or to my web page for me twice pod calm, and they can listen to the promo and the trailer that I created. So I did a promo, which that's where it went on to other people's podcasts. And then I did a five minute trailer which I put out on social media and I think both of those things were a really good idea.

Jules Hannaford 27:32
Now there's something that I've since learned about which is called a feed drop. Now feed drop is where you might put that five minute trailer in somebody else's feed. So for example, I did that for heavier lever for his new podcast criminal conduct. So he sent me a five minute trailer for his podcast and I literally drop it in like a bonus episode in my feed. So it's not just attached like a promos attached to a specific episode. Whereas feed drop is put into the feed and it becomes like a standalone little mini episode itself. So you see all of these in wondery and some of the big podcasts where they introduce other podcasts on the feed have one that you're already listening to. So now I didn't know about this when I was doing for me twice one but I will ask some of my friends right heavier will definitely do a feed drop for me because I did one for him and his feed drop got an 8000 downloads on my podcast. So both of the all three of those methods methods a promo which has a short one minute, a trailer, which has three to five minutes, and a feed drop with your trailer are all great ways to get cross promotion and build your audience. And if you've made a connection with people in who have big name podcast and they don't have to be massive, you're not going to get To feed drop in something from wandering or gimlet or something like that, because when they're with big professional networks, it's impossible to get that because of they already have their sponsors and advertisers. But there are some big podcasts out there like Canadian true crime and true crime, bullshit and pretend radio that are all independent podcasts. So you want to connect with those people and find people in your genre if you can. And yeah, go from there. Does that. Is that helpful? Does that make sense?

Melissa Guller 29:31
Oh, definitely. I think having you explain even just those three different types of audio and how they're used is so helpful. And in the end, you mentioned to look for somebody in your genre, but maybe specifically, what kind of podcasts would be a good fit to partner with and then maybe are there some that are too close to your own topic or what's like the sweet spot of who you should be pitching?

Jules Hannaford 29:55
Look, I just think anybody who is generous enough to support you, and you willing to share your promo. And it doesn't really matter whether they have a small number of listeners or a large number of listeners because every time you play your promo somewhere, you're going to pick up a listener or some a few listeners. Like for Hong Kong confidential, I approached podcasts that I loved and podcasters who I admired, and I emailed them, and I said, Hi, I'm Jules Hannaford, I'm from Australia. I live in Hong Kong. I've just started this podcast called Hong Kong confidential. Would you be kind enough to play my promo on your show? If you would, I'd love to play your promo or promote your the shop episode that you put it in any way that I can and put it on all my social media. And the thing that I noticed is the podcasting community is so generous and supportive. So here's this random little just interview style show. And people like Kristy Lee played my Hong Kong confidential promo in her podcast as well. And now That's how we became friends. So you can reach out to people via email or Twitter or Facebook Messenger sorry. And I just think that I don't think there's any podcast you shouldn't go with unless it doesn't fit with your brand if it's a podcast about football or something and that's nothing to do with what you're doing or if it's something you don't agree with, then if it's a podcast with loads of swearing in that's not in your wheelhouse then don't go for those kind of podcasts. I think it's also important know the podcast and talk about why you enjoy it. And why you would love it if they would play your promo. Just don't reach out to somebody who you haven't listened to their podcast and you don't know anything about what they're doing. And if you listen to somebody podcasts you hear whether they play promos or not. For example, I became really good friends with Shelly and Mary from the latter day lesbian podcast. We contacted through social media We started interacting by messenger. And I asked them to play my promo. And now there is an LGBTQ podcast about being a Mormon. But it's such a brilliant podcast. I absolutely love it. I've listened to every episode. I'm passionate about it. I've connected with them. I've, we've done a promo swap, and I played their promo. They've played mine, and we have a great friendship. And I'm really hoping to meet them at one of the festivals. So it doesn't really matter. It doesn't have to be in your genre, I think just a podcast you love.

Melissa Guller 32:36
Mm hmm. I think that's great advice, and to what you said about making sure that not just the topical lines, but I don't like the way that they talk to their people. Just that you feel that you would have even a kinship with this person or the way that they want to present themselves in their podcasts to the world, like the human behind the podcast is probably as important as what they're talking about.

Jules Hannaford 32:57
Yeah, like I would never want my promo played in Any kind of podcast that is sexist or racist or is negative towards women or anything like that. It's not that doesn't fit with who I am as a person. So I think that's why it's important to know the podcast that you're asking to have your promo paid in.

Melissa Guller 33:19
Hmm, great point. Now this is maybe a broad question, but since you have such a broad amount of expertise about two very different types of podcasts, do you have any just advice I would say maybe any strategies that you think would help other podcasters whether it's about production, marketing, or even a little of both?

Jules Hannaford 33:42
I think just do your best. Put it out there. Don't overthink it. Don't worry that it's not perfect. Because if you're looking for perfection and your your perfection has you never put it out there. You've got to be prepared to just do the best that you You can put something that you're really happy and proud of out there, you're going to get criticism. In fact, the bigger your podcast gets, the more trolling or negative reviews, you'll get, like, I've had loads of negative reviews for Hong Kong confidential for the ads that I ran. But it's people are either not listening exactly to the ads, and they're misinterpreting them. And they feel like they're a scam when they're not, or they feel like they're ironic when they're not. But also, that's the only way I was able to make my income from that podcast. And I was so grateful and so lucky to be able to launch with sponsors. Before I even started, I had six sponsors. So what a privilege as a podcaster to have that. So these people who are criticizing my ads, first of all, they know very little about podcasting, they don't understand how advertising is often your only revenue. And it's easy for people to sit behind a computer and criticize when they get out and make a podcast and show us what they can do. So I think it's really important Do not buy into this negative criticism. Don't panic, don't second guess yourself. Don't judge yourself and just feel proud of what you've created and ignore any haters or negativity that you get because people do people really do beat sometimes and you've got to understand that. Just take it with a pinch of salt and move forward. So I think that's one piece of advice. I think. You really need to think about how you can be effective and efficient as a full time teacher, I actually ended up outsourcing my editing to bear bait productions in the Philippines. They're brilliant. They're very cheap. They do an excellent job. And I just didn't have the time to edit an hour long weekly podcast and be a full time teacher and meet all the demands of my job while I was writing a book as well. I think working out where you can outsource. For example with for me twice when with the web page. I got a teenager from Facebook page where they're advertising, Hong Kong teens part time work. I got a teenager in Hong Kong to create my podcast for me. And now she's like my virtual assistant. So she does a lot of work for me and I pay her a small amount of money to do these jobs. And she's absolutely brilliant. So look at ways that you can outsource and get support, if you can't manage everything because I know a lot of podcasters really feel that time is one of the real commodities that they feel like they're lacking a lot of the time. So that would be my advice in production. Also have good equipment if you're going to do it. If you can afford to get like a zoom h6 or something like that, then get it because it will increase the quality of your production. Of course, if you can't, that can't doesn't mean you shouldn't like you can record on an iPhone these days and that can be good enough. Or I'm using a Blue Yeti mic right now in this interview, and that's fine, but if you can get good equipment to it, and Yeah, think about what hasn't been done before. What can you do differently? That's different to all other podcasts? And then finally, maybe some tips on interviewing. Would you like to hear that?

Melissa Guller 37:11
Oh, definitely.

Jules Hannaford 37:13
So when I do an interview podcast, what I do is I don't spend loads of time like I could you could spend hours researching somebody, but I really try to keep it to about 20 minutes researching somebody and I research them. And I also maybe research the topic, like so for example, I'm doing an interview with a doctor in on genetics. Actually, I've got this coming up, and I've got to do these questions. This week. I will research genetics or research this doctor, I'll do it very quickly. I'll maybe look for interviews on genetics so it can get an idea of questions that have been asked in the past. Then I put together about 20 questions which lasts me for roughly an hour or an hour 15 minutes. I will send the questions to the guest and say please feel free to add change or delete any of these Questions. But please also, do not prepare any answers in advance. Because a spontaneous interview is much better than something where they've got prepared answers. And I also let them know that I don't always stick to the questions because I'm guided by our conversation and by what is said to me. And then I think it's really important when you're interviewing, you can use your questions for sure. But if it's a really great interview, you often won't use the questions because you'll be so engaged in the conversation. And being a good interviewer as a podcast, you've got podcaster, you've really got to listen. And you've got to remember the things that they're saying that you would like to follow on with, and you've got to give them space to talk. It's really it's a skill not to jump on top of people and cut them off and interrupt them and really to let them talk and then to know when they're finished. So then there might interviewing tips

Melissa Guller 39:00
I think those are really strong tips. And I think the last few in particular about listening, I often feel very tired after a good podcast interview. And usually it's because I learned so much, but it's such an active process of listening to what the guest is saying, and then making sure you're catching key parts that you might want to come back to. And like you said, not stepping over them. I've found that usually I give more of a space after people are done talking, just in case they want to keep going. Because at first, it's a very new like feeling being an interviewer. It's not like a conversation at all. It's really a much different type of moderation.

Jules Hannaford 39:38
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. And it's a skill and you can really get better and better at it.

Melissa Guller 39:44
Speaking of interviewing, ours is coming to a close fairly soon, but I'd love to learn more about what you're up to. You've Of course, your full time job that you've mentioned. I know you're on a break currently and we've heard a bit about Season Two of when we twice I'd love to hear just what's coming up next for you.

Jules Hannaford 40:00
So I'm still working on Hong Kong confidential. And that's a weekly interview podcast with really amazing people. And I've just put out my hundred and 50th episode. So that's a real milestone. And I'm working on for me twice to with it, which is about a diamond scam in Hong Kong. And I'm working on that with my daughter and our sound designer again. So I'm hopeful that'll be out by the end of the year, but we weren't set any major deadlines yet. And yeah, I'm continuing to work full time as a teacher. It's been quite difficult at the moment because of COVID. So we've been doing online learning, which is really quite hard work, but I'm proud of how our schools cope with it and our students are very resilient. And yeah, and I'm just carrying on with that and trying to balance and take care of my well being because podcasting can be a very consuming hobby or passion. Time or career for many people. And I think it's really important to take care of yourself and make sure that you have time to rest and relax and recharge. Because life is very fast and stressful. I'm really excited for the diamond scam story. It's got so many twists and turns. It's so exciting. I'm doing it with a friend of mine, Sally, who is a diamond merchant in Hong Kong. And, yeah, I'm just so excited for it to come out. And we're featuring some of our same experts from for me twice, one. So there's going to be very much a continuity in style and structure as well. So that's quite exciting,

Melissa Guller 41:39
huh, I love that. And it's such a clever idea too, because of course, with a serial show like yours, like your story, did have a beginning and then an end of that chapter. And so to do now another story, but to take all the good parts that were working like the team that you worked with and the style that you've developed, and now applying that to a new story, it must feel very good. Exciting.

Jules Hannaford 42:00
Yeah, it is so exciting. And I people are just going to be amazed by the story. And I'll be keeping it all very much under wraps. But it is about a really fascinating diamond scam with lots of twists and turns. And yeah, we're just looking forward to putting it out when it's ready and hope that it gets as great of feedback and response from the audience as for me twice one day when we're really grateful to our listeners, and for all the support that we've had from other podcasters whether it be in retweet groups on Twitter, or whether it be sharing promos and trailers and things like that. So we're very blessed.

Melissa Guller 42:41
Yeah, I feel very blessed to have had you on this podcast. I feel like you've shared so much about your own story that also so many really great pieces of advice for podcasters both about just like the mindset around maybe being a little kinder to ourselves, but also very tangible marketing takeaways. So I really feel like they've gotten So much out of this and if listeners do want to connect with you or learn more or get notified about new episodes of your podcast, where can they find you?

Jules Hannaford 43:09
So they can find me at Jules at Hong Kong confidential dotnet. That's my email. And if they just subscribe to for me twice on any podcast platform, then they'll get notified when for me twice, two comes out. It's the blue logo. There is another one called for me twice, which is a red logo. So it's not that one, and I'm on Twitter at Jules Hannaford and I have Instagram and Facebook for Hong Kong confidential and for me twice j h, for Jules Hannaford.

Melissa Guller 43:44
Perfect and I'll make sure there's links to everything in the show notes as well.

Jules Hannaford 43:48
Thank you so much.

Melissa Guller 43:50
Thank you so much for joining us this week. To learn more about Jules, Fool Me Twice, our podcasting resources, and everything mentioned in today's episode, check out the show notes at witandwire.com/foolmetwice.

Melissa Guller 44:04
Before you go, make sure you subscribe to the podcast so you can receive new episodes right when they're released. You can hit subscribe in your current app to get phone notifications. Or you can also sign up for email alerts at witandwire.com/podcast. Our emails are the best way to stay updated on our latest podcasting tips, strategies and program openings. So again, the way to get on that list is to visit witandwire.com/podcast.

Melissa Guller 44:29
Thank you again for joining me, Melissa Guller In this episode of Wit & Wire. I'll see you next time, podcasters.

Today’s guest: Jules Hannaford

Jules grew up in rural South Australia before moving to Adelaide, the state capital, and beginning her career as a teacher. She now lives in Hong Kong, the setting of her first book, Fool Me Twice, which details the pitfalls and abuse she experienced in her online search for love.

Jules began writing her book in 2010, after she was the victim of an internet dating scam. She knew this was an important story to share with other women to prevent them from becoming caught in the same trap and help them make safer, smarter decisions when dating online. It took a long time for her to muster the courage to share her story after battling feelings of shame and regret for choices that landed her in a dangerous situation. She counts herself lucky to have survived.

Jules has always had a passion for people and their stories, so she started her podcast Hong Kong Confidential in 2017 to provide a platform for sharing the stories of interesting and unique people in Hong Kong. With the help of her daughter Zara, she decided to turn her memoir into a true crime podcast, as she feels that this story can make an important contribution to the safety of other daters.

Connect with Jules

Podcast spotlight: Fool Me Twice

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Jules Hannaford was successful and happy in her life and her job, but was still lonely. She turned to online dating as a last resort, after being single for more than a decade. It seemed she was consistently meeting men who were not good enough. One after another, they seemed only to want to swindle her out of her money, and she was getting frustrated.

Finally, she met a man who had his life together. Truman was a successful project manager at a construction firm, and seemed as excited as Jules was about the possibility of building a life with someone special.

Jules traveled across the world to meet him, and the fairy tale immediately began to unravel. All was not as it seemed.

This podcast is an exploration of the world of sweetheart scams, catfishing, and the ugly side of online dating.”

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