Today we’d like to introduce you to Kayley Hamilton.
Hi Kayley, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was mesmerized by the magic of Hollywood since I was a little girl — probably because it’s in my blood, sprinkled throughout my family history dating back to my grandfather who worked in the music industry at Capitol Records. The fascination of celebrity imprinted on me from an early age, growing up watching Entertainment Tonight with my mom after dinner, perusing the celebrity tabloids that were strewn across my grandmother’s coffee table… throughout childhood, the Hollywood obsession in me ran deep.
The moment I graduated high school growing up in Colorado, I headed out west for college to attend the University of San Diego — with my sights set on Hollywood. Growing up, I always wanted to be an entertainment news reporter. I wanted to be on red carpets next to Giuliana Rancic interviewing the biggest stars at the biggest Hollywood awards shows. I wanted my name to be in Us Weekly magazine under the list of journalists in print. Even though this dream consciously intimidated me, I felt subconsciously that it was what I was meant to do — and that I was going to make it happen.
Yes, it’s easier to ‘get your foot in the door’ in Hollywood when you have a connection, but once you’re in, it’s much easier to fall out. The hard work, determination, and endless hours of work that goes on behind the scenes of Hollywood is fierce. Your work ethic is everything in the entertainment industry — and I was willing to go above and beyond to live out my dream. I was accepted as an intern at Entertainment Tonight during the summer before my senior year of college. It was that summer that validated I was on the path toward my dream.
I remember my ‘aha moment’ so vividly when I worked my very first red carpet event. It was for the film, ‘Savages’ starring Blake Lively, John Travolta, Salma Hayek and Taylor Kitsch. Standing on the ET platform within feet of the stunning Blake Lively and iconic John Travolta, I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be. I was so lit up by this moment, I knew I would do anything to accomplish my goal.
I was hired as a production assistant after I graduated from USD and worked at ‘Entertainment Tonight’ for four years, working my way up the ladder from PA to head of the photo department and field producer. After years of hard work and long hours, I stepped into the role I had dreamed of. I was officially the person interviewing the stars on red carpets with the ET microphone in hand, connecting with the people I had watched my whole life and admired through TV, movies and magazines. I got to shake their hands, look into their eyes, ask them thoughtful questions and connect with them on a human level. It was invigorating, inspiring and even more motivating.
After four years and two Emmy awards later, I became a reporter for Us Weekly magazine. When I became West Coast Reporter for Us Weekly, I reminisced with gratitude — remembering the moments as a little girl with my mom at the grocery store grabbing the latest Us Weekly at the checkout line to look through the names of reporters and picturing mine in the lineup. Finally, one of those names was me.
From my time working at Entertainment Tonight & The Insider, Us Weekly and even The Hallmark Channel, I spoke to my idols, attended the most glamorous events, and rubbed shoulders with Leonardo DiCaprio multiple times — (my Jack Dawson love runs deep). But beyond the glitz and glam of red carpets and celebrities, I had the privilege of working with the most talented and hard-working people in the entertainment business. From producers, writers, editors, reporters, journalists and publicists — I saw that those are the real rockstars. I learned so much behind the scenes working alongside the best in the industry, and am forever grateful for the guidance, insight, and most of all friendship so many of them gave me.
When 2020 hit and the world shut down, Hollywood was no exception. I had been living my dream, hopping around Hollywood, working every event, interviewing celebrities right and left and loving it. Until in one fell swoop, the world shut down. Within that fell swoop included another personal life hit — a breakup. I had a rock bottom moment where nothing was the same any longer and the vision for my future had been wiped clean. So, as many of us did during lockdown, I turned inward and looked for guidance.
Through the power of the media, thought-leaders, experts, high-value and heart-centered people found me. I discovered distant mentors who helped me reinvent my life from the inside out. Through podcasts, digital articles, television segments, blogs, social live feeds, and more, I was able to tap into my true essence. I learned about the power of meditation to calm my thoughts, I learned about neuroplasticity, epigenetics and the quantum field for manifestation, and I found female millennial entrepreneurs who built thriving online freedom-driven businesses.
Throughout this time of self-discovery, I found so many people who expanded my mind and exemplified new ways of living and bigger possibilities that completely inspired me. I restructured and reimagined the vision for my future and used these people who found me through the power of the media to expand and guide me in rebuilding my life.
In January 2021, I started my own media company, KAYLEY Media, with the purpose of helping people help people. Just like the way my distant mentors found me through the media, my vision was to help guide those with a purpose to reach the people who need them by becoming visible in the media… and that is exactly what I do today. I give purpose-driven entrepreneurs the guidance and tools they need to increase their visibility, establish their authority, make a bigger impact by reaching more people, and ultimately become thought-leaders in their industry.
Being a journalist for 7+ years, I know what stories the media are looking for, what warrants a headline, what piques the media’s interest and what will ‘get your foot in the door.’ I know firsthand that someone who is looking to gain media exposure does not need pre-established relationships, media contacts, or professionals to do it for them. There is no undercover secret to landing press. You just need an entertaining story, valuable expertise, or an enticing and timely angle.
If it wasn’t for the power of the media, I would not have found all of the people whose stories, expertise and insight expanded what I believed was possible for my life. Nor would I have discovered my passion for helping people help people by unlocking the power of the media and handing them the key.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There is no growth without struggle. I’m so grateful for the resilience I didn’t even realize held strong within me that guided me out the other side of pain, grief, loss and uncertainty. In the dark moments, things can feel like they’re closing in and your world is ending — but always remember that ‘this, too, shall pass.’ The difficult times and the blissful times are always fleeting. It’s so important to stay centered, to stay grounded in the present, and to find gratitude everyday.
A struggle I had was making the decision to leave my jobs at ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and Us Weekly. The saying, ‘Knowing when to leave is so important — The party. The job. The relationship’ holds so true. When you feel like you have hit a ceiling or your heart wants more fulfillment, always trust your intuition and make the bold move. Get clear on the vision you have for what you want your future to look like, and take inspired action to make it a reality.
As you know, we’re big fans of Kayley Media. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
KAYLEY Media was created with the purpose of helping people help people by reaching them through the power of the media.
Just like the way my distant mentors found me through the media during my lockdown rock bottom, my vision was to help guide those with a purpose to reach the people who need them by becoming visible in the media… and that is exactly what I do today. I give purpose-driven entrepreneurs the guidance and tools they need to increase their visibility, establish their authority, make a bigger impact by reaching more people, and ultimately become thought-leaders in their industry.
My approach in helping people earn media exposure comes from a journalist’s perspective rather than a publicist’s perspective. Being a journalist in the industry for 7+ years, I know what stories the media are looking for, what warrants a headline, what piques the media’s interest and what will ‘get your foot in the door.’ I know firsthand that someone who is looking to gain media exposure does not need pre-established relationships, media contacts, or professionals to do it for them. There is no undercover secret to landing press. You just need an entertaining story, valuable expertise, or an enticing and timely angle.
Since launching my media company in January, I have had the honor of working with clients in every industry from wellness, marketing, social media, fashion, travel, music, entrepreneurship and more. I have conducted trainings with PR agencies, teaching best media outreach practices; I have trained companies on giving media interviews and handling the press; I have conducted trainings for coaching programs, teaching business owners how they can start earning their own media exposure; and I have coached clients in group programs and one-on-one sessions on how to land the best media opportunities for their business and brand.
I am most proud of the transformations I have seen in my clients. They have been featured and quoted in worldwide publications, they have given groundbreaking podcast interviews, and they have appeared on TV segments. Not only have they been able to expand their reach, they have established their credibility as thought-leaders in their space, and they have cultivated a mindset where visibility holds more importance over fear or imposter syndrome.
Through my media coaching course, business owners choose to level up their brand by stepping into the spotlight and increasing their visibility for the good of others. If you want to make a greater impact beyond just your owned social platforms or paid advertisements, earned media exposure will open those doors.
How do you think about luck?
What looks like luck on the outside is actually hard work, resilience, vision and trust.
I view ‘good luck’ as the universe’s validation that I am operating in alignment with my highest self. Meaning I am following my intuition, taking inspired action toward my goals, standing in my worth, surrendering to the timing, and trusting that what is meant for me is already on its way.
I view ‘bad luck’ as a warning sign to redirect, recalibrate and get back into flow. Every unfavorable moment is a lesson and opportunity for growth — not a setback.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.kayleymedia.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kayleyhamilton_/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kayleyhamiltonmedia
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/kayleystumpe
- Other: https://www.tiktok.com/@kayleyhamilton_