Speaker 1:

Facebook’s fate, is the social media site the bubonic plague of our time? A recent Princeton University formula was released comparing it to the deadly infectious disease. The reason being that research shows Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017. That’s a drastic outlook. Are you a believer? This is pretty dramatic. Shama, I’m going to start with you. They say it will be largely abandoned by 2017. Do you think that’s true?

Shama Hyder:

These are very exaggerated claims, and no, I don’t think it’s true. I would love to have a replay of this segment in 2017 just so we can compare. This is very narrow study, it’s a very narrow focus, and they’re comparing it to MySpace, which is really not a fair comparison. So, I’m going to say, “Nay, Facebook is here to stay.”

Speaker 3:

How do we see the future of marketing and social media going? That’s the big question now. We’re stepping in, we’re very close to 2020. The world changed overnight in 2000. Technology’s driving us, the thirst for information drives us. You look at how millennials are using technology and social media. What are the new frontiers? Where you see us going? What do you think the next step is going to be?

Shama Hyder:

Yeah. I really think the future’s a lot more integrated. So even today, technology feels a little disjointed. You’ve got this app over here, and then you have to switch over to this. And I think as we move forward, it’ll really become so much more seamless. Add to that augmented reality, variables, and I think we won’t think about digital and traditional separately, it’ll be one in the same. It’s like, someone said the other day, a client of mine, his daughter said, “Dad, why do you always say to hang up the phone?” Because she has no sense of [crosstalk 00:01:39].

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah, yeah.

Shama Hyder:

“Why don’t we just say disconnect or end?” So, I think even the digital, traditional, those lines, it’ll all become a misnomer.

Speaker 4:

Yeah. That’s right. I never thought about that.

Speaker 3:

That’s a great point.

Speaker 4:

If you don’t actually remember having to hang up a phone, it’s very strange.

Speaker 3:

I still used to have to turn the dial to [crosstalk 00:01:59].

Shama Hyder:

I don’t think they know how to do that.

Speaker 3:

No, they’re vintage. They love being vintage. Speaking on millennials, because we’re looking at a time now where millennials make up a very large portion of the voting population. They are a very large portion of the workforce. And they’re about to inherit a lot of money from middle age and older brackets because those are the people that are holding onto that wealth right now. How do we use young people’s technology, this idea of all these digital technology to maybe either appeal to those older age brackets, to get them on board? Because it seems this fight right now is really against old and young, the future versus what they want the future to be even though they’re not going to be here for it. So how do we utilize this to bring these two sides together?

Shama Hyder:

I think in history, if you look at it, you’ve had this generational tug of war at every level. I think it feels more amplified now because it’s playing out on a stage where we can all see. Where it’s not so much undercurrents, but it’s what you see. I think the other misconception is that older people don’t use social tools and it’s just a younger people thing. What I think is really interesting is how older generations use social media versus younger generations.

Shama Hyder:

So millennials and stuff, what you’ll find is they’ll interact more, right? So they will Snapchat and comment, and like, so you know that they’re out there. What you find with Gen X, baby boomers, even the silent generation is that they’re consuming the information, but they may not be interacting with that information, but that you can’t discount that they’re not part of that ecosystem, if that makes sense? So I think that’s a very interesting dichotomy.

Speaker 3:

That’s interesting. And it’s always interesting having you on and thank you so much Shama Hyder for coming on and talking about this. The book is Momentum, definitely check it out. And for all of your thoughts and ideas about social media and where it could go, I think you have a lot of really good ideas in there. And a lot of very interesting view viewpoint on it. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing with us today.

Shama Hyder:

I appreciate it, thank you. Thanks for the conversation.

Hala Taha:

So, another topic I wanted to talk about was actually the vehicles of communication. So I’ll give you an example. Email is a vehicle, mobile push messages, social media is a vehicle. Direct mail can be a vehicle. What do you think is working in your opinion right now in terms of the channels or vehicles in which we communicate?

Shama Hyder:

So I think there’s, again, I’m a big fan of using multiple platforms to get your message, because you mentioned, there’re people who prefer live, like we’re doing now. There’re people who prefer email, there’re people who prefer texts. And so I don’t think there’s a one size fits all. Now, with that being said, I think you have to be consistent. So if you’re going to do email, do it regularly, right? I love email. I still think it’s a wonderful way to engage. If you’re going to create a separate, if you’re going to do Tik Tok, whatever, be consistent because none of the vehicles are listed Hala, are overnight. They don’t happen like this.

Shama Hyder:

I mean, with the podcast people want to … I talked to this gal who was very upset with me for my advice, but she wanted to make her podcast go viral and she had two episodes. And as you know, it’s very difficult to make a podcast go viral. You have to consistently build that community, consistently put out that great content, shop it up. Just because you put it out there and you’ve done it once or twice doesn’t mean people are going to come [crosstalk 00:05:23].

Hala Taha:

Even if you’re a celebrity, podcast thing is the great equalizer as Jordan Harbinger says.

Shama Hyder:

Yeah, it really is. But the consistency is what pays off, it’s not one video, it’s not one podcast, it’s not one email. Look at this guy who’s been on my list since ’09, 2009, right? Eleven years he’s been getting my email. How many emails do you think he’s gotten?

Hala Taha:

Yeah. Consistency really can pay off in the end. So I have some data from a customer data platform called Amperity, and there are some clear winners in terms the vehicles. I just want to share this with my listeners. Purchases made on social media have risen by 84.7% year over year. Purchases made directly from retailers’ websites grew 57.9%. Purchases made in response to email grew 22.1% compared to last year. And purchases on mobile devices has increased by 23%. So there you go. Don’t worry about emailing too much because it’s working right now. More than ever, people are getting emails and purchasing off their phone. So make sure that you’ve got your social media, your mobile, your email strategy, everything is on point.

Shama Hyder:

You’re not even marketing to consumers. And everyone’s marketing, everyone has a brand, a message, whatever you’re doing. You’re marketing to Gods, and that’s really the big shift. So for me, it’s helping people understand what that shift looks like, what that means, and then how to best take advantage of that, how to articulate that. How do you market to Gods?

Speaker 2:

Wow. How do you define these Gods?

Shama Hyder:

The Gods are really you and I, the modern day consumers, and the power is in our technology. Because this is the crazy part, let’s say we wanted a meal, gourmet anything, 30 minutes, 45 minutes tops that we could order whatever meal we wanted. Let’s say you and I wanted to go catch a movie tonight. How many minutes for us to look up reviews, find which one we really want, which one the critics and audiences love, book tickets, have our snacks ordered, and then call an Uber to take us there? All these things that really [inaudible 00:01:03]. That is power. The power to make decisions. The power to buy.

Shama Hyder:

You order from Amazon much?

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

So when I keynote, I ask audiences this and everyone laughs, but it’s so true and they groan because I ask audiences all the time. I say, “How many of you have honestly groaned when it says it’ll take two days to get to you versus same day? And the audience laughs because it’s so true, right? I’m like, “Oh I have to wait 24 hours to get this package.” That power has only belonged to the Gods, the demi Gods. Being able to have anything you want. Be able to do anything you want.

Shama Hyder:

Information in so many ways has been historically, because I know you enjoy history, the domain of the powerful, right? The church controlled it. So there’s a long history of the Catholic church, like Gutenberg and the reason they hated the press. Now everyone has information. And by everyone you meant small people who could afford information. But of course the internet changed all of that because information doesn’t belong to those that are powerful, it belongs to everyone. So if you lose your power card, you lose that, then what do you have? And so brands really have to look at that and define like, “All right, so we are marketing to Gods. If we’re engaging, if we’re communicating, that means we have to find our place on Mount Olympus with them.”

Shama Hyder:

And what does that look like? What can we give them? Maybe it’s exclusivity. It’s something that you can give them which [inaudible 00:02:34] by the way, completely separate but integrated in that sense that it’s a unique experience. It’s lovely that the best thing that you can do in an age where information is available to everyone, is be the curator. The curator wins because there’s so much information. We still need it, but we need it relevant within context. So if I want to know what’s happening at the intersection of entertainment and glamor and media, everything that’s hot in South Asian communities and what we’re doing, then you think of Noki. And that’s power, especially in this age where information is prevalent, but relevance is harder and harder to come by.

Speaker 2:

So would I be right in assuming, just to encapsulate what you said there, is that we’ve gone from a mass market opportunity to a niche market, focused targeting kind of world. Would I be right in saying that?

Shama Hyder:

Absolutely. Because even think about a brand like a detergent brand or Hudson’s Bay, which is a cool department store. We don’t have it in the State so I love it when I’m in Canada because it’s fun. And so you think about that and this is crazy, but even 30 years ago, 40 years ago, if they wanted to reach the Canadian market and they wanted to reach women aged 30 to 40, they could pretty much take an ad out on television because guess what? 30 to 40 year old women watch, they had 70% coverage maybe because there’s four channels, right? So you pick the channel, you pick a show, you advertise, bam, you get 70%. Tell me what that demographic looks like today. There’s nothing that will give you 70% reach.

Shama Hyder:

So you have to be targeted. You might have to go Pinterest to find the women that are really crafty that enjoy that sort of thing and appeal to them or your kitchen aid items or different things that are going to appeal to them. Then you might have market on House because that’s where the women who love the interior decor hang out, that’s their domain. Instagram for fashion.

Shama Hyder:

So the world where you could get 70% mass, that’s gone. Because we as a society have changed. We have so many choices now. Women are so empowered. So even that demographic of, Oh, you could say 40 years ago if you’re between the age of 30 and 40, majority women married, two kids, probably not the sole breadwinner, church on Sundays, whatever. It’s very specific, a lot of homogenous. It’s a very homogenous world. Today we don’t live in that world anymore so you have to market accordingly.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely.

Shama Hyder:

Hi Derek, this is Shama Hyder again. Thank you so much for watching my videos. I super appreciate it. Please share if you find this information valuable. Do comment, I love hearing from you and be sure to subscribe. That way you don’t miss a single thing.

Speaker 1:

… And it’s a little bit of a tricky one, but what is your biggest tip for making money online?

Speaker 2:

All right. Biggest tip that’s going to apply to everyone in this room. I would say, learn to be an editor and not a perfectionist, because the way you’re going to make money, the way you’re going to… I think just approaching business, and this tends to be my philosophy, and it’s funny, because I think I’ll also say this, there’s so many philosophies that you’re going to hear today. Take the ones that ring true to you. It’s going to be different. Different things, make sense to different people. I know, the thing I heard earlier, the panel, which I thought was great and it ties into your question I promise, was this idea of writing out where you want to be a year from now.

Speaker 2:

I think that’s awesome, but you know, for me, people ask me like, “Oh, what’s your exit plan for the company?”. And I say, “I don’t know.”, and I’m fine with that, because I’m in an industry in a world where I just want to be open to opportunities. We’ve grown so organically that I don’t want to have a five year plan or one year plan that’s like, “This is exactly what I’m going to do”, because I feel like I don’t even know what’s next. My world changes too quickly. How many of you guys knew that Snapchat was going to be where it is? Nobody. Things change really fast in social media. Think, just 10 years ago, there was no Instagram. Facebook had 5 million users. It’s totally different. So many of the things that we see today didn’t exist, so for me I think making money online or otherwise, it’s about being an editor, being open to what the market wants, which is going to be constantly changing and be willing to evolve.

Speaker 2:

I see people who sit on their websites for a year, because they want to get just the right sheet of magenta for their logo, like; “Ugh, a tad too bright, tad just.”, and I’m like, “In a year everything changed, but you were so stuck on magenta. Your website should have gone through four iterations by now.”. I think you have to start thinking about business, branding, all of this as a living breathing thing.

Speaker 2:

Alicia, you’ve been talking about your clients, you help them create these amazing campaigns and be authors. But you’ve seen how much the world has changed and what that looks like. What it meant to be a bestseller five years ago and what it looks like now. I think that’s just really important is, that’s my best advice, is learn to be an editor. Take from this, put something into action, I don’t care what it is when you go home that makes sense to you, but know that you’re always going to be changing things. If you reach for progress and not perfection, I think you’ll do much better in the online world, but you’ll also be a saner human being and I think that counts for something.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think the world we live in, perfection is overrated. I’ve never been a perfectionist. I’ve always been grateful for that. I think progress is a much better metric. They often say perfection is the enemy of good, and I think that’s true, especially in the marketing field where it’s very much this idea of you have to constantly evolve, put things out there, edit, evolve. I consider myself an editor and I think that’s a much better suited role or job title or even lens for the world that we live in right now.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. No, absolutely. Do you think that’s been one of your keys to success, when it comes to helping your clients and being able to grow a Marketing Zen to where it is today and everything that you’ve accomplished? Do you believe that’s one of your factors to getting there?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I think hands down being an editor and not feeling like something has to be a hundred percent great to put it out there. To know that as long as you’re providing value and you’re getting better and you’re keeping up, I think that’s the best that one can expect from themselves. I think as long… To me, it’s always about providing value, and if it’s helping people, it’s getting things to the next level, then that’s the direction to go in.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Now in the beginning, I know you said you wanted to be in journalism. Now you’re digital marketing, helping companies grow. How did you come up with the idea to start a digital marketing company? Did you build a business plan and just hit the phone, hit the pavement? What did you do, in those very beginning stages, to get your company off the ground and build it to what it is today?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I think it’s interesting that I didn’t start out to say I wanted to build this digital marketing firm that we have today. It very much started out with meeting demand, and I think that’s where some of the best businesses come from, is you notice demand and then you find that sweet spot in the marketplace. I think demand also to see, how is that being fulfilled today? If I was starting today, it might look very different. I might have a different perspective than when I did, how many, like 10 years ago. I think it’s about studying the market, what does it look like, and then finding that intersection between your passion and what you love and what the market wants. Arguably, Mmarketing Zen was one of the first social media marketing firms in the world.

Speaker 2:

This is a time where social was really new. My book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, which is now in its fourth edition and is used in many colleges as a textbook. Just before Momentum, my second book came out even. It’s just funny, it was one of the first books on social media, so we think when you’re that early into any industry and field, you don’t quite know what you’re building towards. You’re more looking again to meet the demand of the marketplace or the audience. At that given time, people really were hungry to know, “How do I use Facebook? How do I understand Twitter? Or how do we blog?”. Of course, over time, that’s evolved to being much more sophisticated.

Speaker 2:

Today, we’re a global marketing firm. We work with brands across the world, different countries. We work with everyone from the Navy to Chase business, so our clientele is extremely diverse and a big part of that has been continuing to grow and develop. I think it’s not being able to stay in that box, because eventually people figured out, “Okay. How do we use Facebook, Twitter.”, and then, it’s now more to me about the connected consumer. How do you really understand and engage how people think and work? I think in part of it, it’s like being… I feel like my job has two parts; being an anthropologist and looking at almost the history and where we’ve come from and how people respond and react, maybe a little sociology mixed in and then a futurist. Thinking about knowing this, where are we headed now?

Speaker 4:

How is your approach to marketing and social media unique? How does it give an edge over other people? Because what we’re seeing now is, it isn’t just about selling clothes. It isn’t just about selling soda. It’s about selling people and part of that, it gets branded politics, so how is your approach unique than what we see everywhere?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think what’s really important is understanding that it’s not about what your brand says about you. The longest times, companies did this madmen era as the perfect example. What does our brand say about us? And this is really much more of the focus on what does doing business with us at any level, communicating with us, interacting with us, allow our customers to see about their brand. It’s a very different perspective.

Speaker 5:

Interesting.

Speaker 2:

It’s even the people watching the show right now. It’s “Yes, this show might be about XYZ, but what does it say about them watching the show?”. They like to stay in touch with current affairs. They like the perspective. They’re avant-garde in some way.

Speaker 5:

That’s interesting. That’s very interesting.

Speaker 4:

Dig that. When you look at the businesses of the United States or of the world, how would you say they’re using social media correctly or incorrectly?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think so much of this is a process, is that… This is true for everyone of us. At my office, the jokes always like, “What changed while we were sleeping”, because that’s the only guarantee is something changed. We just need to figure out by noon what it is, so we can make sure that our clients are in the loop. I think part of this is an evolution. It’s not so cut and dry. It’s not like you get up and you realize, “Okay, well, this is how it’s going to be.”. It’s more learning to realize that this is an ecosystem. It’s not about the tools we use. People get so caught up in that. Like, “Is it Snapchat? Is it Instagram?”, and really, it’s this broader idea of it’s this ecosystem and so how do you really thrive in it?

Shama Hyder:

So, “Tell me about yourself.” The best way to answer this is to actually open with something personal and a funny anecdote. Now, here’s what you don’t want to do. You’re not going off some long story. They’re not asking you this to say, “How many kids do you have? How many pets do you have? What state do you live in?” No, no, no. This isn’t about your life story.

Shama Hyder:

Hey guys, it’s Shama Hyder, and I wanted to address a question that, at some point in your life, I promise you will have to answer if you are ever interviewing for a job, or really any type of position, even board positions, so forth, and it’s this question, okay? It’s, “So tell me about yourself.” And before I tell you exactly the formula, the perfect way to answer this question, that will impress any employer and put you heads and tails ahead of the pack, I want to tell you why employers ask this question. And I’m sharing this perspective with you from an employer’s perspective, right? So as CEO of Zen Media, I do tons of interviews, I interview people all the time. I really like interviewing still because I feel like people who are entering our company, that culture is important. So until we hit our thousandth employee, I’m going to do my best to interview people. And so here’s the honest truth of why I start interviews often with, “So tell me about yourself.” And here it is, okay?

Shama Hyder:

It’s an easy question for the interviewer. That’s the only reason most interviewers are asking it. It’s an easy way to start a conversation, right? You don’t jump in and say, “So tell me about your salary expectations,” or, “Tell me, why did you apply for this position?” People, as human beings, and in an interview, right, we are still human beings, they’re trying to set up that camaraderie. You’re trying to set up a relationship, the cadence for this interview. What direction is this interview really going to go in? And believe it or not, the interviewee has a lot more power than the interviewer, okay? So when I’m sitting there and I ask this question, it’s because I’m trying to open a conversation. I’m trying to see what is … I am trying to get a sense of someone’s personality and I’m trying to see how will they answer this in the best way possible. And now I’m going to give you the formula. And if you ever interview with me and you answer this way, I’ll know you watched it, but I promise you, this will impress interviewers, all right?

Shama Hyder:

So when someone asks you, “So tell me about yourself,” the best way to answer this is to actually open with something personal and a funny anecdote. Now here’s what you don’t want to do. You’re not going off some long story. They’re not asking you this to say, “How many kids do you have? How many pets do you have? What state do you live in?” No, no, no. This isn’t about your life story, but it is an icebreaker. And it’s important to acknowledge this and put the interviewer in a comfortable position too, right? So as an interviewee, if you can make the interviewer comfortable, if you can get them relax and say, “Okay, this is going to be an easy flowing conversation,” you have the upper hand.

Shama Hyder:

So what you want to do is start with a quick little personal anecdote, something that they can think of when they think of you. Remember they’re interviewing maybe hundreds, thousands of people. So if you say something funny or something that differentiates you, like maybe, “Well, I could tell you about how I spent my morning chasing my three-month-old puppy around,” right? Or, “Well, I could tell you about the time I helped my high school team win the championship,” right? At Roller derby or whatever it is. Something quirky, something fun, something that shows your personality a little bit. “Well, I could tell you about the book I am binge reading right now. Well, I could tell you about my favorite podcast.”

Shama Hyder:

But, and this is where you pivot. So you open it up and in a way that’s personal, that’s fun, that’s fresh, right? Piques their interest, “Well, what’s this about?” You create an intrigue. So you say, “Well, I could tell you about this,” something personal, positive, fun, and then you say, “But, let me answer this in a professional context.” This shows that you’re acknowledging that the question they’re really asking, that you really here to talk about a professional context, right? They’re not looking for your life story. So yes, you’re an interesting person, you do fun things and you’re answering their question in a way that you know really speaks to the heart of something.

Shama Hyder:

Now, when you’ve pivoted to that, keep these three P’s in mind, past, present and future. So you want to start from the beginning, if you will. Now given, beginning being whatever’s within the context of this position. So if you’re a 20 year career veteran, don’t go all the way to the start maybe, but start where it’s relevant. So you could say, “Well, in my previous position, I was working at an agency and my first year there I helped close $2 million in business. And then I was working with a client I loved, they recruited me to come work for them in-house. I absolutely loved it. I helped sell and close our biggest client to date. The company’s been around for 25 years, and I helped land a really exciting client working with my team. And I’ve had a great time and now I’m looking to expand into more marketing. I’ve got a great sales breakdown and really excited about this opportunity. And when I read your job description, or whatever it is, it really intrigued me that you’re offering this opportunity.”

Shama Hyder:

And again, guys, I’m giving you broad framework, right? Speak to the ad, speak to the job description. So as you pivot, remember, you’re talking past, where you started, your achievement, your present, where you are now, and then you’re pivoting it to the future, right? Which ideally links it back to them. So, “What I’m really excited about is that this position, it seems like, would allow me the opportunity to explore the marketing side of things, which I haven’t. I’ve done more the sales side of things,” or whatever it is. So you answer it in a full circle way.

Shama Hyder:

What this does is it also gives the interviewer now … So think about this like throwing a ball back and forth, right? They’ve thrown you a ball, you’ve caught it, you’ve answered it, and you’re throwing it back. You want to keep that conversation going naturally. So now you’re bringing it back to their job ad, their position, which allows them to say, “Oh, I’m so glad you said that. Yes, that’s right. This position is very much geared towards marketing,” right? And then you move on. So this is such a great question. And you’ll hear it so many times in life. It’s always this, “What?” “Tell me about yourself.” And it can feel it so daunting.

Shama Hyder:

What you don’t want to do there is one, not be prepared. So have your answer. You don’t have to rehearse it a million times, but know the general context of what you’re going to share, right? Don’t sit there and um and ah about it. Don’t say, “Um, well, I could tell you about … Boy, what do you want to know,” right? Or, “Well, I was born in Michigan and then I moved to California,” right? What you really want to focus in on is what they’re asking, which, really it’s very simple. One, they’re giving you a soft ball. It’s an easy, easy way to open a conversation. Do you have personality? What kind of person are you? When you share that, when you open with that intriguing, something fun, something curious, something quirky, is totally fine.

Shama Hyder:

Now don’t go too offbeat, right? You don’t want to go way off color here. But something within the realms of PG, PG 13 is totally fine, and it just creates that connection with the interviewer. It may be something that really speaks to who you are as a person, but you don’t stay there. Just share that little bit and then you acknowledge that really what they’re looking for is the professional context. So here it is. Here’s where you started the journey, here’s where you are right now, and bring it back again to them, here’s where you are looking forward, thinking future. Here’s why this stuff is so key guys.

Shama Hyder:

Interviewers, and I will tell you I’m guilty of this, we make up our mind very quickly. I can have a very quick sense of what someone’s like and they’re not always the right impressions, I’m not saying it’s always right, but you do feel, people do rely a lot on gut instinct and saying, “Do I click with this person? Does this person feel like they would be a good culture fit?” And then everything else in that interview that follows, they’re either validating how they felt or you’re really creating that friction where they were like, “Man, I thought this, but now it’s going in a different direction.”

Shama Hyder:

What you want to do is set the tone really positive and keep it positive, where they feel like, “Hey, this is a cool candidate. I’m enjoying this conversation.” And then they see more and more that makes them feel more positive about you. So this is really important, tell me about yourself. And by the way, quick fun tip, when you follow-up, and please, please, please, tell me you follow-up, you always send a thank you, all right? Regardless of whether you had a great interview, terrible interview, always, always, always send a thank you note. Can be an email, just send a thank you thanking someone for their time. It matters. It makes you stand out.

Shama Hyder:

And in that thank you note, you can definitely reference whatever it was that you mentioned, that quirky thing, “Hey, interviewer X, thanks so much for your time today. I really appreciated learning more about the opportunity. I know you probably talked to a million people, right? I was the one with the puppies.” Whatever it is, something that gets that interviewer to say, “Oh, okay. I remember that. That was fun. That was quirky.” What you’re really trying to do here is be memorable. And what I really want you to do is nab that job. And I promise if you do this, you will be head and shoulders above the other guys. Hope it was helpful.

Shama Hyder:

Hi there, this is Shama Hyder again. Thank you so much for watching my videos. I super appreciate it. Please share it if you find this information valuable. Do comment. I love hearing from you. And be sure to subscribe, that way you don’t miss a single thing.

Shama Hyder:

Parents, right. It comes from your parents. And here’s the thing about parents that you have to absolutely know. Your parents want you to be safe. Every parent out there wants safety for their children, more than they want for them to be successful.

Shama Hyder:

Hey there, Shama Hyder here, and I want to talk to you about a topic that keeps coming up. I’m getting so many messages, especially these days. My DMS are full, my emails are full, from 20 year olds asking me, “What they should be doing right now?” Right? And I get this question so often from people that are 22, 23, 24, 21, and they all want to know, “What’s the advice?” What advice do I give to people who are starting out in their careers, who are trying to figure out college majors, who are maybe just graduating and trying to figure out how to enter the workplace?

Shama Hyder:

There’s so many different variations, but what I find fascinating is that it always boils down to the same thing, which is this, right? They’re dissatisfied. So something is making them unhappy and they’re trying to fix it. So it’s always the same thing. And here’s what I find really, really fascinating, and maybe if you’re watching this, you are one of those 22 year olds, 23, 24, maybe you are in your twenties, and that’s why you’re watching this, and you’re looking for those same answers, and here’s what it really boils down to. All of them are trying to achieve something that they don’t have yet. Right? Which is very common. In our twenties we all, I think, feel some unsteadiness, some sense that we were meant for something more, and that’s completely natural. That’s completely normal.

Shama Hyder:

It’s so funny. I remember being in my twenties and feeling that way, feeling like, “Why isn’t stuff moving faster, Why isn’t more happening right now in my life? I’m working so hard.” And maybe if you’re watching this, you are among that core people in their twenties, who are also struggling with these very similar things, right? Something in your life, or you’re dissatisfied, that you’re really trying to find the answer, trying to figure out how to get there, wherever that is. And in my experience, here’s what I found. Here’s what it always boils down to, whether it’s about relationships, it’s about business, whether it’s about success, how to get there. It always boils down to the exact same thing. Every conversation I have, and that’s this. All right? You paying attention? Good. Expectations. That’s what it’s all about. It’s all about expectations, understanding expectations, managing them, and keeping yours in check.

Shama Hyder:

All right guys. If you are in your twenties and you are watching this, and I really hope that you are, I hope you’re in your twenties. I hope this helps you because it’s so useful. I wish that someone had sat me down when I was 20 and said these exact things that I’m about to say to you. So these exact words. If you are watching this and you know a 20 something year old, that could benefit, please share it. I’m not even going to ask you to subscribe to my channel right now or anything. All I want you to do is share this video, because this is gold guys. If you’re really, really paying attention to this video, if you watch nothing else on my channel, but you watch this one video, and heck, if you’re 30, if you’re 40, I think this still applies, but it really, really applies… If you’re 60, it applies, but it really applies, I think when you’re in your twenties, because as you get older, hopefully in an ideal world, you started to figure this out a little bit and unravel it. All right?

Shama Hyder:

So let’s hit this head on. It’s expectations. Let’s start with often where these expectations come from, which is, ring the bell, parents, right? It comes from your parents. Trust me, we’ve all do been there. And if you’re like most 20 year olds, at some point you felt some sort of expectation for your parents. In fact, I was just talking to a wonderful young man who started this really cool app, and when we were talking, he was all about monetizing this app. And it was for mental wellness, it was something he’d been struggling with himself, that he created something awesome to help people.

Shama Hyder:

And as I talked to him, let’s call him Josh. I said, “Josh, this is really cool. But you keep asking me about monetization. Why do you care so much? Why does it have to make money for you right away?” And as we dug deeper, as I dug deeper and asked him questions, it came down to this very simple thing. He wanted to make his parents proud. He wanted to make them feel good. He wanted them to be proud of him, but he wanted to show them that he didn’t have to go to college, that he could blaze his own path. And here’s the thing about parents that you have to absolutely know. Your parents want you to be safe. Every parent out there wants safety for their children, more than they want for them to be successful. Right? This is the God honest truth.

Shama Hyder:

I am a mom now. So I can tell you being on this side, that what I want for my son, is I want him to be safe, right? Risk for most parents is risky. Most parents don’t have a high threshold for risk. Now you might be different. Maybe your parents do it, and that’s great, and that’s awesome. And maybe you’re struggling with this in a different way, but it does come down to expectations. If it’s not work expectations, it might be relationship expectations. Your parents expect you to get married, do certain things, be with a certain type of person. And it really comes down to these expectations, because here’s the heart of it, every parent out there, no matter what kind of parent you have wants happiness for their children, right? They want their kids to be safe. They want them to be protected.

Shama Hyder:

It is innate. As a mother, I can tell you, I would throw myself in front of a bus, a truck, a train, to keep my kids safe. All right? And so what I want for him is safety, most parents do, and they just stop there, and they might encourage you to do certain things. But remember, they’ll always want what’s safe for you, because it’s very innate to being a parent.

Shama Hyder:

Success sometimes requires… Well, I take that back. Success always requires some amount of risk, whether it’s risk talking to your boss, whether it’s risk starting a venture, there’s risk involved. So, part of what you have to learn is how to unravel yourself from the expectations of your parents, while still being immensely respectful, and grateful to them. Let’s face it, you would not be here if it wasn’t for your parents. All right? Even the worst parents, I put this in quotations, because even the worst parents at some point had to manage to keep you around. And let me tell you as a mom of an 11 month old boy, that is a hard job. I never realized how much it goes in to keeping a human being alive. I’m constantly mesmerized, that there’s so many people walking around on the planet because it is hard. And so even the worst of parents, want the best for their kids. They want them to be safe and they’ve done right by you.

Shama Hyder:

And it’s very important to keep that in mind and be immensely respectful of that, right? You owe your family, you owe your parents, a gratitude, a debt that honestly you can never repay. So here’s the good news. Stop trying to repay that debt and start thinking about how you can still be respectful of them, love them, give back to them in every possible way, shape, form, and unravel yourself from their expectations. Okay? Because their goals, their beliefs, are going to be different. And you know, it’s very easy to look at someone and say, “You’re wrong. That’s wrong.” God, we see it in our culture right now, all the time. Very easy for us to point to someone else and say, “You’re wrong about this.” So you might find yourself, in that rut with your parents, where you constantly feel like, “Oh, their beliefs are so outdated.”

Shama Hyder:

But here’s the thing, you can still love your parents and have separate beliefs. You can still respect the fact that they believe what they believe. Maybe they believe the nine to five is the safest best way to live life, and you don’t and that’s completely okay. You can love mom and dad and still do your own thing, and the sooner you figure this out, the better. All right? And here’s the flip side of that. When you do that, inevitably, you will make your own mistakes. The key when you make those mistakes, is to take responsibility and not the end up back at mom and dad’s doorstep expecting them to bail you out of the mess, right? That you created, and mess, lesson, call it what will, it’s yours to deal with.

Shama Hyder:

And I have to tell, I grew up in a conservative household. My dad was super conservative, love him to bits, huge daddy’s girl, but there were no boys allowed. You had to be home before sunset. I grew up in a conservative household, I don’t know how else to say that. Right? And there were certain expectations of me, and I can tell you that I did not adhere to those expectations. I had my own beliefs, my own way of approaching life. And I will tell you how I got my parents to respect it. Right? And I’m very lucky, my parents prioritized my happiness above everything. I hope that as a parent, I can do that for my son.

Shama Hyder:

So part of all of this is, that they really stood by me, because I stood by myself. And this is what I mean by this. When I made mistakes, when I didn’t have clients, when I was trying to build my business, I didn’t go to them and say, “Guys, can you pay my rent? Guys, can you buy me this car? Hey, can you pay my phone bill?” Nope. Nada. Never. If I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t have it. Right? They knew that I had so much belief in myself, my expectations, it was my bar, and they were my mistakes to make, and my lessons to learn, and I never put that on my parents.

Shama Hyder:

This is absolutely key. If you are going to march to the beat of your own drummer, then you have to do it wholeheartedly. So don’t expect that entitlement. Don’t have that entitlement with your parents. Love them, respect them, but make your own beliefs. Choose your own beliefs. So many times the things our parents believe, we don’t question, right? Because they’re our parents, but the truth is if you actually dug deeper, you’d find they believed it because their parents believed in it, and so forth. Right? And so I think we live in cool times where you get to question the beliefs that you hold true. What is the story you keep telling yourself? And it does not have to be the same as your parents, and you can still love them. You can still be a part of their lives.

Shama Hyder:

I have an outstanding relationship with my parents. I can tell you that my life has turned out nothing like they thought it would, and they see how it’s very much in line with what makes me happy. I’ve charted my own waters. I’ve made my own mistakes. I’ve fallen a million times, but guess what? I have picked myself up a million and one. Right? And that’s what I want for you. I want you to really put those expectations in check.

Shama Hyder:

The other thing, let’s talk about expecting success, because this is so big. Again guys, this is so valuable. As I say this, I’m like, “Man, why didn’t someone say this to me when I was in my twenties?” Don’t expect success, but work hard every single day. I’m going to say this again. Don’t expect success, but work hard every single day. And this is hard, because we live in an era of Tik Tok stars, and Kardashians, and Jenners, and it’s very easy to look at all these people and go, “Oh my God, look at what they have.” Right? “I want to be successful. I’m working so hard. Why am I not successful?” It doesn’t work that way, guys.

Shama Hyder:

I still remember, this is a fun little story, little detour for you. But it’s important. I remember when I made Businessweek’s Top 25 Under 25 Entrepreneurs, someone had nominated me, didn’t know who, didn’t know how that had happened. I made their list and it ended up on the homepage of Yahoo. Okay. And this was when people actually read Yahoo a ton. It used to be quite a popular site back in the day. And I remember that my business absolutely blew up, always been a huge believer in PR. Obviously, look at what I do. I remember the phone walling up, people wanting to work with us, people coming out of the woodwork, right? To say, “Oh my God, I always knew that you would end up here,” or all this stuff. It’s just crazy what happens when something like that happens. And guess what I did the very next day. Heck the same day. I got back to work. I got back to work. Right?

Shama Hyder:

And so success is nice. It’s nice to be able to have that moment, to know that someone appreciates it, to be able to have validation from your marketplace. But I don’t expect it. I don’t expect it because I love what I do. And I think that’s the difference. When you find something you’re really passionate about, you love what you do, then success becomes something fun, but not something you expect to show up at your doorstep. It’s almost like when it does, you’re really excited. You’re thrilled. And then you get back to work. So many times I see people in their twenties, and maybe you’re one of these people, and it’s totally okay if you are, where you think that you should be successful like this. And I don’t know, it happens for a few people, yes. But that is not strategy guys. That’s luck, right? And yes, that’s like buying a lottery ticket, because you win it, sure. I don’t know if you’ll be happy. Apparently most people who’ve won the Lotto aren’t happy.

Shama Hyder:

But I can tell you that I am happy. And I work a ton. I work a ridiculous amount, but I love what I do. And part of this, part of these expectations and unraveling yourself from this, is finding what you love, finding your passions. That’s the other question I get a ton. “Should I be exploring my passions Shama? Or should I stick to one thing and double down?” Listen, the sooner you stick to one thing, and double, triple down, the better you’ll get at it. Right? If you’re a writer and you’re writing every single day, heck, by the time you’re 30, 40, you’re going to be a great writer, because it’s what you’ve done. At the same time it’s pretty important to explore, to make sure that you’ve found your heart’s calling, that you’re trying different things. That you don’t feel like, “Hmm, what if I’d done that? What if I tried this?” Try it. Right?

Shama Hyder:

Twenties are great time to explore, but don’t judge exploration by the same metrics that you would do, if you were doubling down on something, right? Completely different metrics. If you’re exploring, the goal, success for exploration looks very different than, “Hey, I’m doing this every single day.” It’s so true what they say guys, “Overnight success is decade plus in the making,” right? Enjoy the process. Enjoy the opportunities that come to you and unravel those expectations. It’s so absolutely key.

Shama Hyder:

The last note I have on this subject, because it’s so dear to my heart is don’t expect people to read your mind. I think so many people in their twenties expect their boyfriend and girlfriend to know what they’re thinking, their friends to know what they’re thinking. “Oh, my boss should know, of course, it’s obvious.” No, because the world does not revolve around you. Right? People have lots of things on their plate. So don’t take it personally, and don’t expect people to know what you’re thinking. This can really cause you know, miscommunication in the least, and at worst it can cause years of bitterness and resentment. Speak your mind. Don’t expect people to know what you’re looking for, what you want. Speak your mind, be patient, and have your own expectations. Have your own bar.

Shama Hyder:

Please, please share this with someone else in their twenties, if you think that this was valuable. Again, I really wish someone had sat me down and said these things to me. I want you to succeed. I really, really do. And it really does, it starts in your twenties. So I hope you found this useful.

Shama Hyder:

Hey there, this is Shama Hyder again. Thank you so much for watching my videos. I super appreciate it. Please share it, if you find this information valuable. Do comment, I love hearing from you. And be sure to subscribe, that way you don’t miss a single thing.

Speaker 1:

Shama Hyder covers technology for Forbes, and she says education finally is getting some creative [inaudible 00:00:07]

Shama Hyder:

Absolutely is. There’s never been a better time than to be in education, whether you’re a teacher, whether you’re a student, or you’re a parent, and you have so many options these days.

Speaker 1:

But the teachers worry that, “Hey, this computer is going to replace me.”

Shama Hyder:

The technology today is not meant to replace teachers. In fact, it’s making their job so much easier. It’s making it better. So do you remember when you were in school and it used to be that you would go listen to the classes and then you would go do homework? So many of these models are flipping that around so that you go home and listen to the boring lectures, and when you come to the classroom, you’re actually doing homework with a teacher where you can get one on one attention.

Shama Hyder:

This generation is the most educated generation in the history of the U.S., of the world. Isn’t that amazing? The most educated generation ever. And an educated generation means that they are naturally more skeptical, they ask more questions, and they want to be better informed. They’re also richer than Gen-X. Did you know that? The Gen-Xers in the room are like, “Sure, why not? Take that too, Millennials. You got everything else. Just go ahead and take the money too.” But of the 15% … So if you look at America and you see how many people have wealth more than $2 million, right, accumulated wealth, 15% of that population is Millennials. So this idea that Millennials don’t have money is absolutely not true. Now they’re more careful in how they spend it, they ask more questions, they do their due diligence, but this is a well off generation. They’re also socially savvy, they’re connected, they want to know what’s happening in the world, they look beyond just kind of what you’re trying to show them.

Shama Hyder:

I’ll share a funny story with you. I think as consumers have gotten demanding more and more, we as producers and marketers have to rise to meet that same demand that we as consumers have created. But I’ll give you an example [inaudible 00:02:02] book called The Zen of Social Media Marketing.

Shama Hyder:

It’s now coming out in its fourth edition but when the second or third edition was coming out I … This was right when the iPad came out. Right when the iPad came out and this gentleman emailed me and he said, “Hey, Shama, love your stuff. So disappointed that I can’t read your book on my iPad.” And I talked to my team and I was like, “Guys, didn’t it come out yesterday? Like weren’t you … Some of you like Mac people standing in line?” And they were like, “Yeah.” So I responded to him and I said, “Sir, do you mean the iPad, the device that came out yesterday?” What do you think he responded with? “Yes.” He responded with, “Yes”.

Shama Hyder:

That’s just how quickly things change and how we’re used to getting … How quickly we expect that we get a new device and everything should just work seamlessly on it. These are the choices that we’ve grown accustomed to. Right now for example, some of you are hearing this live, how many think, Hey, I’d love to get that deck later. You know, I’d love to see the slides later. How many would love to see this as a podcast that you can listen to while you work out? More hands. How many would like a video of this to watch later? Fantastic. How many of you would like me to print this, transcribe it, print it, and put it on your desk? You know, I will say it’s an organic process. So I would say that half of the stuff we try doesn’t work, but we’re very quick to pin it.

Shama Hyder:

So I think the trick is knowing how long to try something before pivoting. So some things, they take a while. Like certain influencers are like, man, if you could just get this one person for our client, like that would be golden. And it might take four months for us to continuously keep doing that. I think the broader question … To answer your broader question, a lot of it is providing value consistently and we do that through content. So we like to think that we out educate anyone else trying to build a community. We have more blog posts, better blog posts, we’re like … We’re always raising the bar for ourselves, right? And I personally see myself as sort of chief value officer. Like my job is to create good value for my employees, for the greater audience, for our clients. And then that gets disseminated across all our social platforms.

Shama Hyder:

But we always start with good content. Like how are we constantly providing value? And how do we do it in different ways? So not just, hey, we’ve got written content, but infographics, videos, podcasting. How do we take this information and give it to people in the way that they want to absorb it. This is the number one I think mistake people make in marketing in general is a lack of consistency. Whatever you do, you have to do it consistently. It’s rare that you’ll say, “Oh, I set up a Pinterest board and got a couple of pictures and yeah, that’s it.” You know? And it doesn’t work that way. It’s really about doing something consistently that helps build your brand and visibility.

Shama Hyder:

You know cross-pollination is this idea that you can’t see things in silos and that you have to be able to pick different ideas from various areas internally and externally, right? And what I mean by that is you have to be able to look at the broader picture. For example, your employees can be your best source for sharing information, for getting social media posts shared, for distribution. But so many people don’t think about it that way. They’re like, “Oh, they’re our employees. That’s not …” But your employees can be your best marketing force.

Shama Hyder:

The other thing that I think is interesting is when someone says, “Do you have experience in my industry?” But I’m different. I have a niche audience. Our industry is different. And let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how different it is. At the end of the day, you are selling to people.

Shama Hyder:

Hi, there. It’s Shama Hyder. Boy, it’s been a long day it seems like, full of client meetings and just tons of back-to-back stuff. And a topic keeps coming up, and I really thought I should address this because it’s just something that I hear so often. It may have been something that you’ve thought about, too. Every now and again, someone will ask me, “Well, Shama, do you guys have experience in our industry?” And … insert industry here. Do you have experience in education, in transportation, in manufacturing, technology? Whatever it is, right?

Shama Hyder:

It’s an interesting question, because I’ve been running Zen Media now … our marketing and PR firm for … boy, almost over a decade. So, 12 years. Every once in a while, I get this question. The funny thing is that in almost 12 years of being in business, I’ve worked with pretty much every industry that you can think of. I think at this point, I’d be hard pressed to find a single industry that I haven’t had experience in. That we haven’t done something cool in. Everything from politics, to manufacturing, to software. If it’s out there, chances are at some point we’ve done something in it.

Shama Hyder:

What’s exciting to me, and what [inaudible 00:01:41] is that the principles of marketing, stuff that makes things memorable, this concept of moments, and moment-based marketing, and whether it’s a new product launch, or something exciting, or companies trying to get funding, or they’re just trying to get better known in their industry … Whatever it is. It all starts with sort of this awareness, demand [gen 00:02:00] piece of it.

Shama Hyder:

The way you go about this is exactly the same across industries. I know people love to say, “But I’m different. I have a niche audience, or our industry is different.” And let me tell you, it doesn’t matter how different it is. At the end of the day, you are selling to people. Yes. Even if you’re a B2B … especially if you’re B2B. And we work with so many business-to-business customers. I always find that interesting, because at the end of the day, it’s still an individual buying your product or services, right? Sometimes … usually these days for B2B, it’s usually groups of people making that purchasing decision. But it always does come back to being human and you’re connecting with another human being.

Shama Hyder:

Now, the tactics may vary, right? For certain clients, we may approach LinkedIn. For other clients, we might look at Facebook, or Twitter, or TikTok. Of course you’ve got different places and platforms, but really the idea of marketing … to find meaningful, unique, differentiated concepts, to get people talking about it, to make sure that you tell the story in the right way, to get people to connect with someone’s brand … These things are rather universal and they surpass industry.

Shama Hyder:

The other thing that I think is interesting is when someone says, “Do you have experience in my industry?” A lot of times I want to stop and remind them that, “Well, we do. But honestly, you know more about your industry.” No one is going to know as much about a particular industry as someone who’s been in that industry for 20, 30 years. Now, we have a client in manufacturing who’s been doing this for 40 years. There’s no way I would know more about manufacturing than he does. We have another client who is a software as a service, a SaaS business, and this is his third SAS company. I mean, he understands this model better than anybody else.

Shama Hyder:

But here’s the problem with going with someone who just works in your industry. And while there’s pros, if you really feel like that’s very important, and they’ve got to understand the industry, and you feel like they can understand the industry better than you, then that may be one way to go. But what I find interesting is if you go with someone who knows a ton about your industry, often it’s like breathing in your own exhaust. All right? Because if you know a ton about your industry, and they know a ton about your industry, great. Where’s the new blood? Where’s the innovation? Where’s the creativity?

Shama Hyder:

What I find fascinating is I have colleagues, and I know other folks who run agencies. Very successful ones. I mean, they have my respect … where they only work with one industry. In some ways it’s like a factory, right? Things go in, they understand the industry, things come out, they do a good job. But for me, I feel like our best success has come when we cross-pollinate. When we have a client in the automotive industry that we look at and say, “This is so interesting. How can we take this over here and apply it to what our client in healthcare is doing?” Or, “Boy, this technology company, this AI company is really being creative. How can we pull from that? What can we learn from here that we can then apply to our hospitality client over here?”

Shama Hyder:

Our best successes, believe it or not, have come from that sort of innovation and cross-pollination. While it’s a good idea … and it sounds good paper. Because when you go to your boss and your boss says, “Well, do they have experience in our industry?” I think it’s easy to say, “Yes. Boy, they sure do. That’s all they do.” I think the challenge is that, again, you’re probably reading the same books. You’re talking to the same people. You’re you already have the industry experience. What you want when you’re really looking to market, and be innovative, and reach audiences.

Shama Hyder:

Because let’s face it. If you’re reaching out to someone, it’s to help you accomplish something that haven’t been able to do yourself, whether because you lack resources, or time, or a myriad of reasons. But really, the bottom line is you want their expertise. You want their creativity. I find that because we work with so many industries … and honestly I’ve shied away from picking just one industry, because the team does the best work when we work with multiple industries. When we’re able to find those gemstones.

Shama Hyder:

There’s not a single industry that we haven’t done work in yet. That happens when you work over a decade in an industry. You work with lots of different companies, lots of different types of people. But really, I find that our continuous success, that secret sauce of why certain campaigns … like 80% of our campaigns go viral in their industry. I think it’s because of that very reason. That we’re able to pull from other industries, other learnings. And our knowledge base or resource base is so broad that we can take our strategies, we can take our big picture, and then we can pull from the client.

Shama Hyder:

The funny thing is that I was talking to a client today and they said, “Boy, you really asked some great questions.” And I said, “Thank you. That’s the highest compliment someone can pay me.” Because I feel like if I ask the right questions, I can elicit the information I need. I can then take that, we can layer what we do best, and that’s where that marketing magic sort of happens. Next time you start thinking you really need someone who understands your industry, perhaps step back and think about: what is it that you’re really looking for? Are you looking for results, or are you looking for someone who can match your industry knowledge? Do you want to ace trivia together, or do you want to make money? Do you want to drive marketing results? Do you want to have that success? That’s my two bit for you today in terms of: should you work with someone who specializes in your industry, or should you look a little bit broader?

Shama Hyder:

Hi, there. This is Shama Hyder again. Thank you so much for watching my videos. I super appreciate it. Please share it if you find this information valuable. Do comment. I love hearing from you. And be sure to subscribe, that way you don’t miss a single thing.

Shama Hyder:

Hey guys. Shama Hyder here. Today I want to talk to you about failure. Why do people fail? And I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Of course, thought about my own failures. And I’ve come up with three reasons that I think people fail, and these are the three things that you really need to watch out for. And the three most important things that you need to fix if you are looking to succeed and not fail at absolutely anything.

Shama Hyder:

This applies to relationships, to businesses, to life in general. So the first thing that I’ve noticed is that people are scared of the unknown. You and I, we’re scared of the unknown. As human beings, we crave the familiar. It’s why you see people stay in horrible relationships or often, just mediocre relationships, where they’re not happy, but who knows what’s out there? And you’ve heard this. You’ve probably heard this from friends, you’ve heard this from family members, where people are just thinking, “Man, I don’t know what else is out there.” Maybe you’ve done this yourself, where you’re so scared of the unknown, you’d rather stick with the familiar. And this is a very common mistake.

Shama Hyder:

People will go through terrible jobs for the longest of years because they’re so scared. It’s the old adage, the devil you know better than the devil you don’t. And while these little cliches and things can make us feel better for a minute, the truth is that when we stick with the familiar, we’re denying ourselves the opportunity for better. And it is a very challenging thing because it’s hard to break patterns. And trust me, I’m a Taurus. I feel like I should get a tee shirt that says, trust me, I’m a Taurus, which you really should. Trust me, I’m a Taurus. This idea that change is hard.

Shama Hyder:

It is hard. It’s really hard when things are okay. When they’re not terrible, but they’re not great. That’s when we really feel stuck. And a lot of times that’s where you kind of have to up the pain. You have to make something feel so uncomfortable that you were forced to change, where it just becomes unbearable. And rather than waiting for that sort of tipping point, sometimes you can create it for yourself. You can make it so the snacks in your house, for example, are just so hard to go find, that you’d rather give up. By the way, the opposite of this is making it really easy to go to the gym. If you have your shoes right there, your outfit, you make it easier. You commit to going with a friend. But honestly, unless you do these things, the fear of the unknown stops most of us. And it may be stopping you.

Shama Hyder:

The second thing that I find, which is really true, is a fear of rejection. And this is tough because let’s face it. We’ve all been rejected. I’ve been rejected. I’ve been rejected by people, I’ve been rejected by institutions, I’ve been rejected by prospects. I’ve also been quite successful in many endeavors. I love my husband, I have a very successful marriage, I have really successful friendships and a very successful business. But part of this really came about because I had to be afraid of not being afraid of rejection, because to have the life that you really want, whether it’s in business, whether it’s personal life, you have to put yourself out there. You have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations.

Shama Hyder:

And look at the first one. We want what’s familiar. We don’t want to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations. And a rejection can feel hard. And not just because it’s this feeling that we have. But if you look at human history, we come from tribes, we come from a very tribal society. In fact, I was reading a biography of Dante. Yes, guys, this is what I like to do for fun.

Shama Hyder:

So in this biography of Dante. He was an amazing poet for those of you who don’t know, and wrote about heaven and hell and the divine comedy. And so, Dante’s this guy who essentially made Florence famous in the 13th century. And he’s this amazing poet, he’s this amazing writer. And then they banish him, because it’s back in the old days and they have politics and all this stuff. So he gets political, something happens and he gets cast out.

Shama Hyder:

So he gets cast out, and it honestly is one of the toughest parts of his life. So for 20 years, his city, Florence, which he really holds in his heart as this wonderful city who he loves almost as a person, this city has cast him out. And for 20 years, he wanders from Paris to what might be currently Oxford and so forth. And he dies in Ravenna, away from his beloved, [inaudible 00:05:12], away from his Florence. And rejection in that way, it can be brutal, and he writes about this.

Shama Hyder:

And you see this in writers who’ve been cast out, you see this in humanity in general. When we, as a society, cast someone outside, it hurts. We have these fears. People have these fears and they’re well founded. But the thing is, these fears were meant to keep us alive. They were meant to keep us as part of a functioning part of society. But they’re not healthy when you apply them at the micro level, because for any level of success, you’re going to get rejected. If you’re not hearing a ton of nos, honestly, you’re not taking enough chances. And I say this as someone who still finds rejection very hard, because I put so much into whatever I do.

Shama Hyder:

In fact, just this week alone, we had a prospect that decided to go with a different agency, and it hit me hard because I thought, oh man, we could have really helped these guys. But in business, you win some, you lose some; hopefully you lose less than you win. That’s winning. But then I move on. Because the thing is, I’ve got so many other things going on, that that one loss doesn’t define us. And I feel grateful that I’m in a place in my career and we built a company we’re I don’t feel like, oh man, we needed that business. I’m looking at this from a perspective of, we could have helped them so much. And what could we have been done better that they would have given us that opportunity, that we could have really killed it for them?

Shama Hyder:

And the thing is, you can’t convince everyone. Not everyone will like you, not everybody will want to date you, not everybody will want to do business with you. And that is totally okay. In fact, it really helps to get rejected a little bit earlier in life when you’re younger. I think for me, being an immigrant, and I’ve done a lot of videos, by the way, around my immigrant journey, so you could definitely check them out, being an immigrant and being a kid who had a weird accent in Texas in the 90s, and having to kind of deal with that, you get rejected a lot. And I think I just built more resilience because of that. Because it was like, I’m this poor little brown kid who had this accent, who didn’t fit in, who the other kids didn’t want to play with, whatever.

Shama Hyder:

I mean, if you get rejected as a kid, I think that you can actually build that muscle faster. And I just didn’t care. I just found other friends who would play with me, I found other activities I could excel at. So I think it’s very important to get over that fear of rejection. And sadly, one of the only ways to do it is just go through rejection. Put yourself out there more, where you are getting rejected, where you can learn from that, and say, “You know what? I’m still here. I’m okay.” And that makes you stronger.

Shama Hyder:

So the first is people want what’s familiar. They’re scared of the unknown. The second reason for failure is people are honestly scared of rejection. And the third one I think is really interesting. It’s our language. It’s the way we talk to ourselves. And I don’t think people realize how negative self language tends to be, and it is the worst thing you could be doing to yourself. And see where I used the word, the worst thing you could be doing yourself? It’s so true.

Shama Hyder:

Language, and how we speak to ourself, is powerful. When you say things like, “Oh, my life is over. Oh, I hate this. Oh my God, I’m so exhausted. I could just drop dead.” One of the things that I caught myself saying was, “Oh, I’m so slammed.” And every time I said I’m so slammed, I thought, I don’t like that word. Who likes the feeling of being slammed? And it was, of course, referring to my schedule. But every time I said it, I reinforced that. It reinforced that feeling until physically, I was feeling quite drained. I was feeling quite exhausted.

Shama Hyder:

And I started changing that language. I started looking for other ways to explain that, yes, I was abundantly busy. Things that felt good to me. So many times the things we say to ourselves, because let’s face it, we’re not very nice to ourselves. “Oh, I’m such an idiot. Oh man, I’m such a loser.” Sometimes we do it because we think it makes someone else like us. Rejection. We don’t want to be rejected. We don’t want to seem like we’re too cool, or we think too much of ourselves, or whatever it is. But it’s very important to watch this language because your words become the house you live in, and the house you live in becomes your destiny.

Shama Hyder:

Guys, I don’t say this lightly. It’s very important. Certain things in my life, when they felt like they were going off track, I started switching my language first and then the results followed. I said I just can’t talk to myself like this. Very easy to talk harshly to yourself. And it’s funny because now I have a little boy, I have a little 10 month old, and I look at him and I say, “Boy, would I ever say that to my son? Would I ever say something that harsh to my son?” And if that answer is absolutely not, then I won’t say it to myself.

Shama Hyder:

So three things, guys, if you don’t want to fail. Embrace the unknown. Start tapping into that adventure spirit of yours. The familiar is what we are defaulted to. We always want what’s familiar, but it’s not always for the best. So work to get yourself out of that comfort zone. Two, when you get yourself out of that comfort zone, you will be rejected. It will happen, and it’ll be okay. What you’ll find is the more you’re rejected, and as you’re building that resilience muscle, you’ll get over those things faster. And the faster you get over it, the faster new opportunities will open, the less you’ll sit there crying about whatever didn’t happen.

Shama Hyder:

And the third is your language. Be careful about how you talk to yourself. I know there’s a lot of conversation about allyship right now. As a woman of color myself, I’ve thought about these things in different contexts. But here’s what I don’t see a lot of people talking about. It’s very important to also be an ally for yourself. Use your voice, not just when you talk to the outside world, but how you talk to yourself. Because when no one is listening, and what you’re saying to yourself, that’s what matters. The things that you say to yourself when no one is listening, that matters perhaps more than anything else. And I so, so want you guys to succeed. All right. Leave me a comment. Let me know what you think. Let me know if you want more videos like this. Catch you soon.

Shama Hyder:

Hi there. This is Shama Hyder again. Thank you so much for watching my videos. I super appreciate it. Please share if you find this information valuable. Do comment. I love hearing from you. And be sure to subscribe. That way, you don’t miss a single thing.

Shama Hyder:

Let’s talk about digital selling close before you convince. 64% of buyers have already decided on which company they’re going to do business with before they ever speak to a sales rep. Their mind is pretty much made up. Hello everyone, this is Shama Hyder and you are watching the Forbes8 E-Summit. Thank you so much for being here. These are crucial times that we’re living in. There might be a lot of uncertainty right now for many of you, and please know that you are not alone.

Shama Hyder:

A lot of entrepreneurs are facing similar challenges. We’re all in this together. And really our hope for this summit is for you to be able to walk away, having a little more resilience within and with the tools and tactics shared with you here, the strategy shared with you here, that you can take back to your businesses and that you can ride out this wave and come out on the other side a lot stronger for it. So, let’s dive right into it.

Shama Hyder:

Let’s talk about digital selling close before you convince. And what do I mean by that? So here’s the deal, 64% of buyers have already decided on which company they’re going to do business with before they ever speak to a sales rep, that’s right. 64% of your buyers have already decided, your prospects have already decided exactly who they’re going to be working with. Before they even reach out, their mind is pretty much made up.

Shama Hyder:

And so that might be surprising to many of you. But if you really think about it, think about when you make your own purchases, whether they’re B to B or B to C, chances are you’ve had exposure to the company. Maybe a colleague told you about them. If you’ve done your own Google searches, something already has created an impression in your mind. And you’re much more likely to do what’s considered confirmation bias or go out there and find aha, I was right. This is the good company for me. I wasn’t sure about these guys and everything that they do is just proving that instinct that I have.

Shama Hyder:

So really, if you were in business today, your job is to get them to close before you even convince them, before they’ve even actually landed on your website, done business with you. And of course, in this very digital age today where things are fairly remote, this is stuff we have to think about even more. So, I want to share with you three strategies that I think can make a big difference when it comes to how you do business and really your digital sales.

Shama Hyder:

The first thing I want to talk to you about is the importance of customer focus. Now, bear with me. When I see customer focus, you may be thinking, oh, put your customers first. While, that is important and it’s never been more important than right now, there’s actually a bigger definition I want to get you thinking about. And here’s this, the idea of customer focus, isn’t so much what your customers are doing or how you can serve them better. While these are important considerations, the way I’m framing customer focus is to think about this, the idea that your customer’s doing business with you allows them to say something about their brand, right?

Shama Hyder:

So when I was in graduate school, I did my thesis on Twitter. That’s right, Twitter, the social network, which has 365 million users today. Well, it had 2000 when I did my thesis, and I really wanted to look at why you people use social media. I’m sure you might’ve wondered that. Well, when I did my research and I really dug in, I discovered something. I found that people use social media, not to connect with others or to have a sense of community, while that’s important, it’s secondary. The primary reason people use social media is to showcase their own identity.

Shama Hyder:

Think about that, to showcase their own identity. So as you’re really thinking about your brand right now, and I hope you are, because this is a great time to step back and think about what are you putting out into the marketplace. What is your offering? As you think about that, I want you to start going from the question of what does our brand say about us to what does doing business with us, allow our customers to say about themselves, right?

Shama Hyder:

Here’s the other thing I want you to think about. In a B to C transaction, a customer’s really trying to avoid regret. They don’t want to buy something and look at it tomorrow and say, oh man, wish I hadn’t gotten that. In B to B sales, what they’re trying to avoid is blame, right? If I get this and my boss finds out and it didn’t work, am I going to get fired? That’s a bigger question. So B to C and B to B sales look slightly different when it comes to that. So really important to understand what are customers buying from you, are the buying a lack of regret, are the buying a lack of blame? So that’s the first category.

Shama Hyder:

And then you get deeper into it, especially in these very crucial and critical times, it’s important to understand your customer better than ever before. This is where trust and preference are going to play an absolutely key role in how you do business and who buys from you, right? Because in great times, trust is nice, preference is of course preferred, but in crucial times, in times where economic conditions get particularly challenging, the trust and preference factor matters more than ever before.

Shama Hyder:

Think about even the environment right now, a lot of people are pivoting from working with certain companies or trusting certain institutions because they feel like, I don’t know if they’re going to be able to weather the storm and perhaps rightly so. Meanwhile, they’re looking to companies where they feel they can really put their trust and have that preferred outlet, right? That preferred choice. So customer focus becomes very important when you look at digital sales.

Shama Hyder:

I also want you to think about ETC, education, transparency, and choices. You can’t outbeat your competitors the usual ways, but you can out educate your competitors. There are no trade secrets anymore. It’s very important that you are, two, transparent with your customers about what’s happening. If what’s happening today is affecting you, I urge you to be transparent about it, share. You will be perceived as strong when you come out the other side. Very important to maintain transparency in how you’re doing business, how you’re coping with this, honestly, crisis for many of us, right?

Shama Hyder:

And then C, choices. Give your prospects choices. When you’re in sales and any good sales person will tell you this, when you send those emails out and they’re not responding, what do you do? You pick up the phone, right? You have lots of choices in how you connect with your prospects. This is not any different than that. You want to make sure that you’re giving your prospects plenty of choices to be able to connect with you. Education, transparency, choices and that is all of what falls under the customer focus umbrella. This is how you get the focus from on your company and where you’re offering to what your customers absolutely need.

Shama Hyder:

The second strategy I have for you is focus in on your analytics. That’s right, agility through analytics. If you’ve been someone who’s ignored numbers, or not really into the data thing, well, here’s your chance to turn that around. Very important that you are keeping a close eye on your analytics. Did you know that 99% of the content your company creates actually is wasted? That’s right? Only less than 1% of content gets the majority of views online. And if you’re in a niche, it doesn’t matter, you’re know not looking for quantity, right? But you are looking for quality. So, it still matters because you want to make sure that your content is getting in front of the right people at the right time.

Shama Hyder:

So analytics become more important than ever before. Of course, you don’t have to go out and buy expensive analytics software. Google analytics does a great job. If you haven’t taken a look at your Google analytics in awhile, now’s a great chance to do that. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, all offer an inherent analytics that you can take a look at that help you dive in and better understand what is being offered, where your traffic is coming from, how well are they converting? This is a great time to optimize your conversions, to make sure your messaging is very much on point, that your sales is aligned with marketing. If there was ever a time to do it, it is absolutely now.

Shama Hyder:

The third strategy I want to share with you is a little meta, but it’s this, it’s video. For the foreseeable future and for really a long time to come, video is going to loom large. Find a way to utilize video to be able to connect with your customers, your clients for referrals, and to close those prospects. Absolutely crucial. And there’s some great, by the way, a lot of great video recording software right now, they are offering it to entrepreneurs at discounted rates, they’re giving away longer trial periods. So if you’ve ever thought about trying out video, this is your chance.

Shama Hyder:

In fact, did you know that 66% of people who watch a video end up buying something? That’s way more than any other type of advertising. And while the majority of people will finish watching up to a 30 minute commercial video clip, only 24% will finish reading an article. Think about this. Have you ever watched an infomercial? Let’s face it. We all have, right? And the crazy thing is, we know they’re trying to sell us something. It is an ad, they tell you that, it’s an infomercial. Yet there you are completely transfixed until someone walks into the room, and says, “What are you watching?” And you say, “I don’t know, but these knives though, right?” Or [inaudible 00:09:54] really does get that clean.

Shama Hyder:

Happens all the time. This is the power of video and I hope you’re utilizing it. LinkedIn, by the way, is a great platform. If you are in the B2B world, you should absolutely be leveraging videos on LinkedIn to connect with your prospects. Remember education, transparency, choices, this is how you win the digital sales game because your prospects are honestly closed before they ever even get to you, before they come to your site. Before they come out and want to talk to you. These are very, very important things to keep in mind.

Shama Hyder:

Now, I know I said I’d share three strategies, but let’s share a bonus strategy. I want to give you this bonus strategy because right now is the perfect time to actually implement this, to see an uptake in your sales, in your leads, in traffic. I hope that as soon as this summit is finished, you will go out there and you will put this into motion because it really is the most low hanging fruit right now when it comes to digital sales. And that is, curation. That’s right, curation.

Shama Hyder:

Well, a lot of people focus on creating content and there’s definitely a place for that, like video that we talked about, curation is often ignored part of the equation, but it can be just as powerful if not more. I’ll give you a great example, think of Pinterest. If you really think about Pinterest, it’s a social networking site, but more than that, it’s really just a filter, isn’t it? For people to be able to share content.

Shama Hyder:

So you’re interested in recipes, let’s say of healthy items to cook for dinner. Well, there’s a Pinterest board for that. You’re interested in exploring how to redo your bathroom, there’s a Pinterest board for that. You’re just looking for some great motivational quotes, well, there’s a Pinterest board for that. There’s no reason you can’t implement the Pinterest board strategy in your business. In fact, I highly recommend it.

Shama Hyder:

So, to give you a couple of examples. We’re working with a client in the education space right now, and they’ve created a great resource section on their site that’s curating all the resources, their customers, their clients, which happen to be school districts and educators can use during the COVID-19 crisis. So, they have free tools listed, they have articles listed, they have trackers on there. They’re really creating this content hub to educate and help their customers. This is what I would love to see you do. What can you really create and offer your customers? What can you curate that would be of interest right now?

Shama Hyder:

Remember, this is the time guys to not play the short game in sales, because we all know that, there’s a short game in sales and then there’s a long game. If there was ever a time to play the long game in sales, it’s absolutely now. Remember, the majority of your customers who buy from you, your prospects, they’ve already decided whether they’re going to do business with you or not before the ever come to your website. Your job is to close first and convince later. And the way you close first is through the strategies that I’ve shared with you. I promise if you implement them, you’ll see a difference.

Shama Hyder:

Got questions, have comments? Send me a message on Twitter, use the #FORBES8SUMMIt and I’ll be happy to answer any questions that you have. So let’s go over those strategies real quick, shall we? Number one, customer focus, quite crucial. Don’t ask what does our brand say about us, ask, what is doing business with us, especially right now, allow our customers to say about themselves. Do they feel safer? Do they feel like they’re supporting community in some way? Do they feel like they’re giving back? Do they feel good about doing business with us? What does it allow them to say about themselves.

Shama Hyder:

Two, analytics. Dig in, this is a time for data. Look at where your traffic is coming from. Look at how you’re converting. If you’re not converting as well as you should, well, this is the time to up those conversions because every bit of traffic that you get becomes a lot more valuable, important thing to remember. The third strategy we discussed, video. I know quite meta of me, but it’s extremely powerful.

Shama Hyder:

If you’re in B2B, I hope you’re also exploring LinkedIn videos, live streaming, greatly to connect with your audience, to connect with those prospects and close before you convince. It’s a great strategy. And if you haven’t already, I hope this is the time where you’re integrating that. And don’t forget the bonus strategy of content curation. If you haven’t already curated a great resource section on your site that really speaks to your customers, that gives them the tools and strategies and tactics they need right now, you’re missing a gigantic opportunity.

Shama Hyder:

So I hope that these strategies have been useful for you. Please send your questions. You can tweet all the speakers here, including myself, happy to answer your questions, #FORBES8SUMMIT.

Speaker 1:

Here with Shama Hyder and we are at South by Interactive 2009. And we’re going to talk a little bit about video blogs. I understand you recently into the video blogs and getting more in depth with video blogs-

Shama Hyder:

Right.

Speaker 1:

… So tell me a little bit about that.

Shama Hyder:

I just started a web TV show, which is a video blog in other words, called the Shama.TV, S-H-A-M-A.TV. And it’s been really exciting because I think video is the one place where you can get very interactive-

Speaker 1:

Right.

Shama Hyder:

… With your audience. When I did my blog on my business site, but then always stick to very professional topics and people don’t really get to see who you are when you’re writing about such professional topics. So I did a video blog so I could connect with my audience at a deeper level, and it’s been fabulous.

Shama Hyder:

And I think across the board though, people are more engaged by video than they are by reading. You obviously have people who would prefer to read than do video. But the statistics are that 64% of people will finish watching a video clip. Whereas 24% will actually finish reading an article.

Shama Hyder:

But remember this was about eight years ago. When if you really think about social media technology, the digital age, all of this is still so new. Think about this, eight years ago our iPhones didn’t exist as we know them today. There was no Instagram. There’s no Snapchat. There’s no Spotify. You just think about how far we’ve come in those years alone. So I think technology as we talk about it has really come leaps forward in just the last less than a decade, if you will.

Shama Hyder:

So we graduated from the University of Texas and I thought that I would go out there and get a, what? What are you supposed to get when you graduate? A job. Right? You’re supposed to go get a job? Except there was one problem when I got out to go get a job. Not only did jobs not exist, but the industry didn’t exist because eight years ago when you said social media, people said, what? And people asked me things like what’s Twitter, right? Or Facebook is something my 13 year old uses. Remember, this is very, very early days of social media. So this was the start of an industry, the start of an entirely new technology age, if you will.

Shama Hyder:

So I had two choices, I guess I could be unemployed or I could be self-employed. So I decided to be an entrepreneur, I started my own social media digital PR agency, arguably one of the first social media agencies in the world, because it’s really easy to be the first when there’s not anyone else doing what you’re doing. And so of course we’ve come such a long way, but today I’m sharing some of that with you, lessons I’ve learned academically, but also building my own company.

Shama Hyder:

The importance of building your reputation online before you need it. And if you think about the corner office, [inaudible 00:02:55] it used to be the corner office, it would be the glass door, the assistant when you walked in. And today, that really has shifted online. What that first impression is when I type in your company’s name into Google or Yahoo or Bing, what do I find? That’s my first impression. That’s your corner office. And so how are you proactively building that reputation so when people seek you out, and that really should be the goal of a good business branding and marketing, is that people are now seeking you out, what’s that impression and what are you doing to proactively cultivate a positive digital footprint?

Shama Hyder:

The other way to look at it is people get scared when they have something negative online, whether it’s a negative review or just one bad piece of press. And it’s because they have nothing good to counteract that.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Shama Hyder:

They haven’t really proactively built something. And so, obviously when things like that happen it’s the only thing out there that they [inaudible 00:03:43] to find them.

Shama Hyder:

Anytime I share something I think, is there value here? So even if I say, hey guys, just finished speaking at this event, I’ll share something that I thought was particularly interesting from that event.

Speaker 4:

Okay.

Shama Hyder:

Or a question that I got. So everything that I share I try to ask myself before I do, is this providing value? Did this help anybody’s day get easier in some way? Or is it just… I’ve never been a fan of adding to the noise-

Speaker 4:

Right.

Shama Hyder:

… On the internet. And I certainly never want to be the cause of that.

Shama Hyder:

Yeah, there’s a lot of great female brands and brands in general, but here’s the other thing I’ll say. I think sometimes when we talk about putting your brand out there, I feel like there’s this myth that it has to be loud, right? And you really have to be out there to shine. And I just don’t think that’s true. I think what’s really important is that you’re providing value. That’s what’s really important. And you do resonate with your audience, with your tribe, and that’s going to look very different for based on who your audience is.

Shama Hyder:

One of my colleagues and I guess slash in some ways competitors, right? Is Gary Vaynerchuk. We both run digital agencies. We both got an early start. We’ve spoken at a lot of the same conferences. But we have completely different personalities. And our audiences, like people who resonate with him standing on stage saying the F word is not my… That’s not my audience, it’s not my style. So it’s hard. Like I would never pretend to be someone that I’m not just so I could be loud or bigger. It works for him because that’s who he is. And I think it’s really important to find what works for you because it’s who you are.

Shama Hyder:

I was talking to this female engineer and she said, I’m thinking about writing my perspective, on LinkedIn specifically, about kind of stories from a perspective of a female engineer, especially in Silicon Valley. And I told her, that’s a great idea, why don’t you do that? And she said, I just don’t know if it would be valuable. And I said, yeah, absolutely it would be valuable because only you have your perspective, your lens, and that is valuable. And this is the other thing, what you write, what you share, doesn’t have to appeal to everyone, right? This isn’t about how many people can you get to follow or like or retweet. That’s not what I’m talking about. It’s how can you get the attention of the right people.