How To Meet Market Demand To Start A Business

Speaker 1:

Now in the beginning, I know you said you kind of 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, and how did you…did you build a business plan and just hit the phones, 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?

Shama Hyder:

Yeah, so 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. 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, right? 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 10 years ago, right? So I think it’s about studying the market. What does it look like? Then finding that sort of intersection between your passion and what you love and what the market wants. So, arguably Marketing Zen was one of the first social media marketing firms in the world.

Shama Hyder:

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, this was before, Momentum, my second book, came out even. It’s just funny, it was one of the first books on social media. So I 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? How do we blog?” Right? Of course over time, that’s evolved to being much more sophisticated.

Shama Hyder:

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. So I think it’s not being able to stay in that box, right, because eventually people figure out, okay, how do they use Facebook, Twitter? Then it’s now more to me about the connected consumer. How do you really understand and engage how people think and work? So I think in part of it, it’s kind of 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. So thinking about knowing this, where are we headed now?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. No and I was definitely thinking about that. You kind of had that vision nine years ago to start in social media and kind of meet that demand. It’s helped you create the business you’re in today.

Do THIS or Go BUST! A Discussion With @David Meltzer

Shama Hyder:

It’s not a nice to have, right? It’s not an additional, it’s like, well, it’s this or bust. So you can’t… If your trade shows are canceled and you can’t do what you’re traditionally doing, you have to embrace the digital, you have to look at how do we grow. And the power also of, I think, people realizing how important earned media is. So a lot of times when their budgets are getting shifted and they’re having to be more careful and think about, “Hey, where do we focus?” Realizing that when someone else says something about you, it’s 10 times more powerful than what you say about yourself.

David:

And there she is.

Shama Hyder:

Hey.

David:

How are you?

Shama Hyder:

How are you?

David:

I am terrific. Thanks for joining me.

Shama Hyder:

Oh my goodness, this is fun.

David:

I love that flower, how did you do that?

Shama Hyder:

I’m in Miami, so I thought that was pretty Miami appropriate, no?

David:

And it matches you too. That’s amazing.

Shama Hyder:

Good morning.

David:

Good morning. Well we were talking about Martins and millionaires and mindset, and I think that’s right up your alley and understanding to have the right perspective and empowering others to be happy. So tell me a little bit about what you have going on right now.

Shama Hyder:

Oh my goodness. Well, like so many people I’ve been home bound. So usually I’m in the air and I’m traveling. And so this is different. It’s good though, I’ve been running Zen media for 12 years. So this is the first time where I’ve been home bound for so long, and it really helps you take a good look and use this time to say, “Where the business headed? How are we doing? How can we better serve our clients?” And given everything that’s going on right now, we’ve seen such an increase, an influx of people who are embracing digital, right?

David:

Yeah.

Shama Hyder:

So I don’t know if you see like that meme, David, that’s been going around. It’s like, “What caused digital transformation? Was it your CMO, CEO, or COVID?”

David:

Yeah. I vote for COVID.

Shama Hyder:

COVID, yeah, that’s what causes that.

David:

And I think beyond just digital transformation, what it’s done is allowed us to utilize what assets we have. So it’s not only the digital assets, you know? And I’ll give you an example, for me even for years, I had a friend trying to push me to use zoom and he would send me, “Let’s do a zoom call.” And I’d roll my eyes going, “I don’t want to do a zoom call. I want to do a phone call so I can do my emails and not look at you, right? So I can multitask-

Shama Hyder:

Sure.

David:

… put you on speaker phone. I don’t want to do a zoom call. But that technology has existed and because of COVID now, people were more open because they were forced into using it. And they actually got to see the value and it accelerated the learning curve of that digital technology. But I think that most people don’t realize the other side of the learning curve that COVID has forced us to look at, which is our personal values. I see a lot of people looking at their health. I can’t say how many people have lost the quarantine 15, not gained the quarantine 15.

Shama Hyder:

Right, right.

David:

And I think family-wise, even me, I fly 200 days a year around the world, thinking that I have my life in balance, a weighted balance as I teach. And you know, all this empowering talk about having a great marriage, and four kids, and people admiring how well you balance all of that. And meanwhile, COVID had shown me that as much as that may have been true in my perception, it was more hypocrisy that I could have done a lot better job. And I tell people all the time, “You can invite me right now to go to the super bowl next year. But if all four kids and my wife are available for dinner I’m not going, because I value those dinners way more than I did. And I see a different value, the same way I value zoom much more than I did before COVID. What are some of the things that you value more? Because you’re someone like me your butt is in the air more than it’s on the ground.

Shama Hyder:

Yeah. But you know, it’s funny because I think as time changes your life is in different phases, your priorities change. Right? And I became a mom last year, so I have a one-year-old and thank you. And so to me that all of a sudden raised my bar considerably in terms of I don’t want to travel as much. I mean that was… Because like you I’m away from my family, right? And when you’re in your twenties and single there’s less trade off and it’s good because you’re traveling, and you’re meeting people, and it’s fun. And those are good life experiences to have. At this point in my life where I can get more done when I’m in one place working on my next book, right? Or working with a client from here.

Shama Hyder:

And that’s the funny thing I do think is that I’ve been offering remote keynotes for 10 years, as long as I’ve been doing keynotes there was always an option to have remote. Well, no one’s ever taken it… Like very rarely, webinars here and there. But now I’m like, “I really like this.”

David:

Yeah.

Shama Hyder:

I miss the stage. I’ll do it, but I’m just going to be a lot more picky because every day that I’m away, I’m away from my son, I’m away from my husband. And my family is super supportive of my career, and that’s nice, but still it’s a trade-off. Right? And you’ve got to think about those trade-offs. And I think with everything happening people are thinking about it. The contrast is stronger, right? Where you’re really able to be like, wow, forced to kind of find that stillness and say, “What’s different? Do I like this?”

Shama Hyder:

The other thing, we’ve been a work from home company for 12 years, we’ve never had an office. And now we’ve seen more resumes than ever before, because people have tried the work from home thing and they’re like, “I like this. I want to stay with a company that’s not going to go back.” Because this is how we’ve always been. So I think that’s been interesting too, for a lot of my… Just to see the rise in resumes and so forth. The folks saying, “I tried this and my company is going to go back, or try to go partially back, and I don’t want to. I really like… And I want to move to Texas, or I want to move to Georgia. I want to be closer to family.” So you’re right, this has been, for a lot of people highlighted the importance of family and the importance of who’s in your circle, who’s in your COVID circle, your quarantine circle. Right?

David:

Yeah, it’s so smart.

Shama Hyder:

I mean, think about it, so it’s not these people that are way out there, but who’s in your closest circle.

David:

And it’s so interesting because, like we said, a lot of those things that you have offered for years now have really come full circle, that learning curve. And for me too, I had one day New Zealand, Hong Kong, UK, New York four speeches. Four keynotes in one day-

Shama Hyder:

Wow.

David:

… and I was thinking to myself, albeit they’re not paying what they paid to have me fly there, house me at a resort, spend a weekend and all of that. But on the other side I didn’t have to do any of that either. Right? I mean, there’s no human way that I could do that in one week, let alone one day. And it was so easy because in between all those great speeches, besides changing my shirt so all the videos didn’t look the same. You know, it was 30 to 45 minutes for each of them and I still had time for a whole bunch of other things.

Shama Hyder:

Yeah.

David:

And in pretty much the amount of it time would take me to drive to lax to fly, just the drive to the airport, not counting security and waiting at the gate I had four speeches done.

Shama Hyder:

Yes, that’s amazing.

David:

And they had the content afterwards immediately. Right?

Shama Hyder:

Yeah.

David:

It’s so amazing. And now I’m-

Shama Hyder:

And more people probably tuned in, right? More people probably were able to catch it who wouldn’t have been able to, you know, if someone missed it. And like now, I mean, I don’t know if you’re seeing this David, but we’re seeing a huge spike, even with clients with their sales pipeline and lead gen.

David:

Yeah.

Shama Hyder:

Clients who were really worried like, “Oh, our trade shows are canceled.” And then when you look into it and you’re like, “Oh, okay. So why were you going to the trade show in the first place? What was the goal?” And it’s like, “I don’t know, it’s what we’ve done for 20 something years.” Right? And it’s like, “Can you do that maybe without the trade show?”

David:

Yeah. Without all the expense, right, and time. So it is amazing. I think one of the other areas that’s more interesting as well is I’m working with this company Clarity Experiences because I do TV shows and the… And these big productions, right, that you do, it’s the same kind of waste. So many people, so many cameras, so many unions, right? I mean, the unions must be bummed because they have no control, there’s no safety issues, there’s nothing to pick on. You know what I mean? So like, I have a virtual set for my new TV show that’s so incredible.

Shama Hyder:

Amazing.

David:

And it’s literally… I’ve been using it even on my stream yard and people are like, “Where are you right now?” Because it’s a stage and they can change all the assets, and inventory, and real estate moves. So much more flexible. Especially, you and I both know, when you’re stepping on a stage live there’s always like, “Do you have my right slide?” or the person… Right?

Shama Hyder:

Right.

David:

It’s so much easier to maneuver, and change, and fix, and rehearse. Right? What about the expense of rehearsing? So just an extraordinary thing. Now, what have been the great values now that you can provide to your clients as well? Because you’ve been in business for 12 years, even though you don’t look like you could be in business for 12 years, or even a mom.

Shama Hyder:

Oh, thank you.

David:

To me you look so young.

Shama Hyder:

I appreciate it, thank you.

David:

But what are some of the greater capabilities and values that you’re providing to your clients now?

Shama Hyder:

Now a lot more companies are taking us up on that because you said, it’s not a nice to have, right? It’s not an additional, it’s like, well, it’s this or bust. So you can’t… If your trade shows are canceled and you can do what you’re traditionally doing, you have to embrace the digital. You have to look at how do we grow and the power also of I think people realizing how important earned media is. So a lot of times when their budgets are getting shifted and they’re having to be more careful and think about, “Hey, where do we focus?” Realizing that when someone else says something about you, it’s 10 times more powerful than what you say about yourself, right?

Shama Hyder:

So an article in Forbes or Inc is way more powerful than you taking out an ad or whatever it may be. And so I think these kind of… I’ve seen this happen at a micro level over the years, but now you see that big jump and it’s like, “Okay, we’re in, we’re ready to embrace it.” And in ways that you wouldn’t even think about, and it’s been fascinating.

Shama Hyder:

So to give you an example, one of our clients is a medical surgeon who also has an aesthetics training center. And so he used to do live trainings to show and train medical assistants on how to do Botox for example. And that’s a very physical thing. If you think about actually having students showing them how to hold the needle, right? All these things, we were able to take all of that and move it completely digital and ship mannequins to student’s houses and sealing injections. And you know what? It was amazing. And now it’s opened up this entire international audience that can now participate and get the certification. And it’s very much like this, right? So I’d have a mannequin here. And let’s say that you were the doctor and you were giving feedback and you can watch the technique and the entire…. All the other students can also participate and have that interaction.

Shama Hyder:

So it’s really kind of neat to be able to take things that people thought were very physical and transform them and find that the results are very similar, if not better. I mean, now you open it up to an international market, a lot of folks in the Middle East who wanted to take his classes and they don’t have to come to the West coast for four days, they don’t become the LA to do this. They can do it online. So things like that I think have been really cool to see. And how quickly, right? So not a conversation that takes months or something you’re thinking about. It’s like, “Oh, we need to do this yesterday.”

David:

That’s so cool. Your ideal client… Last question, your ideal client, who is your ideal client today and has it changed since the beginning of COVID?

Shama Hyder:

Yeah, so the clients that we do a lot of work with are tech forward companies who are looking to get more visibility, to get awareness. What’s changed, I think, is now the bar for people who… And I’ve always been this way so my thing at workplaces has always been like, “We don’t preach, we just baptize those who are ready.” And I think that’s more true than ever before. If I still have to sit here and explain to you why you need this, why this is important, I’m like, “Buddy, you’re going to have to get in the back of the line.” Right? It’s really for people who are like, “No, no, you’ve got to do this. You’re hungry, you’re ready.” And I think people understand urgency, right? Like not the… This is, and I’m sure you would agree with this Dave, this is not a wait and see kind of time.

David:

Yeah.

Shama Hyder:

Fortunes are made at this time, careers are made, leaders are made. This is a great time actually, to be alive and be in business. So that’s my take on it.

David:

Yeah, no doubt. And you’re living proof that with great change comes great opportunity. And you’ve been able to accelerate and expand during that period of time and coming out the other side. And I see about a third of the people being in a better place, a third of the people being in the same place. And unfortunately, a third of the people not seeing the light, the love, and the lessons in what we’re doing and unfortunately giving themselves a farther and heavier road to travel. But it’s truly a mindset and a heart set and you have the right mindset and heart set, where can people find you?

Shama Hyder:

Well, thank you. I appreciate that. And I hope you keep doing these because resources like yours, I think really help-

David:

Thank you.

Shama Hyder:

… the people that are hungry, that the… I mean, I love that you’re sharing so generously of stuff that I know corporations pay very big bucks for. So thank you Dave for doing that. People can find me pick your poison across social platforms. Of course, you’re on Instagram it’s Shamahyder and zenmedia.com if you want to learn more about us.

David:

You guys are amazing. Thank you so much. Let’s catch up and come on any time, let me know.

Shama Hyder:

I’d love that, talk soon. Bye.

David:

Have fun.

Shama Hyder:

Thanks.

David:

Take care of that baby. Congrats.

Shama Hyder:

I will, thank you.

David:

All righty, bye-bye.

Shama Hyder:

Bye.

Showcase Your Identity A Shama Hyder Original Film

Speaker 1:

Our external keynote speaker has come to us all the way from the US. She is a visionary strategist for the digital age, a web and TV personality, a bestselling author, and the award-winning CEO of Zen Media, which is a global online marketing and digital PR company. She has been dubbed the Zen Master of Marketing by Entrepreneur Magazine and Millennial Master of the Universe by fastcompany.com. Here to show you how to find the Zen in your social media marketing and to build momentum in the digital age, please welcome Shama Hyder.

Shama Hyder:

So when I was looking at social media, when I was doing my graduate thesis, I looked at why do people use it. Have you ever wondered this? Why people use social? Why are we even… How did everyone get so into it? Everyone’s wondered this at some point, right? And so my question was the same thing. It was like, “Why do people use social media? What drives us?” And I thought it was to have a sense of community, so people felt connected, so they can keep in touch, but I was wrong. Do you guys want to know the primary reason people use social media? Super important. Do you guys really want to know? Okay.

Shama Hyder:

It’s to showcase their own identity. Okay? It’s to showcase their own identity. And I promise you, if you truly take this to heart, it will change how you market your business online. It’ll be so dramatic. Because here’s the thing. We as human beings have always grown as human beings by self-reflection. So the earliest paintings that we did, like drawings and caveman, aside from cows, is of ourselves. This urge to know who we are and reflect back and have society reflect back to us, it’s really ingrained in us. And technology doesn’t change that, it just amplifies it. And I’ll prove it to you. How many of you have made fun of the friend who takes so many selfies?

Shama Hyder:

And then how many of you have turned around and taken a selfie of yourself and you’re like, “Oh, my God?” Right? How many of you are that friend? There’s no shame here. Okay. Awesome. No shame. No shame in the selfie game. But if you really think about it, you think about… And I’ve done it. I’m like, “Why am I taking this selfie of myself right now? I look cute, but why?” And what it boils down to is we do want to share who we are to the world. So if you think about this in social media, this is what it means for your customers, this is such a branding question. When you sit there and you think about what your brand stands for, who you are, and that’s great. It’s important to know where you come from. And you guys heard a lot about that. So important to know what your strengths are.

Shama Hyder:

But if this research is right, and it’s right, then the next question you should really be asking yourself is, “What does doing business with me allow my customer to see about themselves?” I know, it’s a little deep. I’ll explain. So your customers aren’t buying from you because you’re so awesome. They’re buying from you because they think they’re so awesome. Right? And hanging out with you, that makes them awesomer, for whatever reason. So if someone is buying vitamins from you, they care about it says something about themselves, right?

Shama Hyder:

So if you are expecting them to share that picture on Instagram and be like, “Check this out, or I love tea. I saw some great tea back there that I was sampling. This is my favorite tea,” whatnot, they’re not doing it for you. Or if they are, it’s going to be limited. But if they’re doing it because they want to showcase, “Look, this is so crazy. My life is hectic, but I still love taking a little bit of time for myself at the end of the day. And my favorite way to do it is this tea.” Do you see the difference in those two scenarios? Do you guys follow? If you can really make it about your customer, how can you empower them?

Negative Business Reviews Here’s How You Can Deal With It!

Shama Hyder:

Here’s what most small business owners don’t realize about reviews: A bad review can actually help your business, because it humanizes it.

Speaker 2:

All right. Let’s get to the next question; it’s about negative reviews.

Wes Schaeffer:

I have a question around poor reviews on social media, like Yelp, and on Amazon. I’ve had one person give a tremendously horrible review on a book that’s really unjust. How do we handle that?

Speaker 2:

All right. He’s talking about books, but this applies across the board. You’re a restaurant, you’re a service, you have a product, someone gives you a bad review. I also think, if you get a couple bad reviews and it is not truly reflective… If it’s reflective of your service, you’ve got to fix it internally. But if it’s not, you better bolster up that review site with some good ones.

Shama Hyder:

Absolutely. Here’s what most small business owners don’t realize about reviews: A bad review can actually help your business, because it humanizes it. The problem is when you only have one review, and it’s a bad review. Like with your sister, if you’ve got hundreds of really great, positive reviews, that one negative review actually makes you seem more human. It makes people believe the positive reviews more, just by contrast, so it can actually work in your favor. I think the key, though, is to not focus on necessarily the negative review, but make sure you’re constantly cultivating the positive ones, which most businesses don’t do. They’re so hung up on the negative ones.

Shama Hyder:

The importance of building your reputation online before you need it. If you think about the corner office, JJ, it used to be the corner office. It’d be the glass doors, the assistant when you walked in, and today, that really has shifted online. What that first impression is, when I type your company’s name into Google, or Yahoo, or Bing, what do I find? That’s my first impression; that’s your corner office. So how are you proactively building that reputation, so when people seek you out, and that really should be the goal of 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?

Speaker 2:

I love the idea, too, before you need it. You may just be starting out your company, or you may not have anything big to announce yet, but you need an audience for when you do announce it.

Shama Hyder:

Right. And also, 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. It’s because they have nothing good to counteract that; they haven’t really proactively built something. So obviously, when things like that happen, it’s the only thing out there that they let define them.

How To Create Success With Momentum An Interview with Shama Hyder

Rag Girn:

I want to actually touch base on the fact that you really are one of the pioneers of the entire kind of social media world that we now are all needing to be a part of, even if we’re not. Tell me how you had the foresight that that really was going to blow up at the time when you finished school in 2008?

Shama Hyder:

You’ll like this, Rag, I know you will. It’s called strategic serendipity.

Rag Girn:

Oh my God. I do. I know exactly what you’re saying.

Shama Hyder:

You know exactly [crosstalk 00:00:26] because it’s like, okay, you’re going to be strategic in certain ways, and then hope that the universe helps you along with but that momentum. If you start taking the steps in that direction, the universe conspires for you. I would go to, for example, these conferences when I first started and I wasn’t even old enough to get into Vegas. It was really fun and these conferences would be in Vegas. I would take a friend’s ID. I would get in, not to gamble or drink, but to attend these conferences. I would take notes in the sessions. Then I would offer my notes to the attendees and be like, “Hey, if you want to give me your email, I will send you the notes from these sessions or I will put it on the blog.”

Rag Girn:

That is so smart.

Shama Hyder:

But it was one of those things where I was like, “Okay. And so I’ve got to educate people and that’s going to be my only platform because I got nothing else. I got nothing else.”

Rag Girn:

Yes, absolutely.

Shama Hyder:

No pedigree from a big agency, no lists that I’m bringing with me. I mean, literally I’m just a kid with a blog and a dog, that sort of thing. But low and behold, that’s how we got our first clients and we’ve never looked back.

Shama Hyder:

If you’d asked me if this is what it would look like, I couldn’t have told you this.

Rag Girn:

Well, it’s a part of what you said, it’s strategic and serendipity. Right?

Shama Hyder:

Yeah.

Rag Girn:

It’s interesting with that, that you actually chose to brand your company with the word zen. You know I need to ask you, I mean, I can tell by your personality that this is kind of 360 approach to who you are as a woman. I feel that that has really lent to how you’ve created your brand and why you decided to call it Zen. Share that with our viewers. Why Zen?

Shama Hyder:

It’s funny. The brand’s expanded so much too. When Zen started, it was the book, the Zen of Social Media Marketing. It’s the company marketing Zen. Now it’s Zen Media. It’s really blossomed. For me, people do ask is Zen, is it a Buddhist thing? It’s a religious thing? I’m like, “No, absolutely not.” For me, it is how I live life.

Rag Girn:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

It’s this idea of going with the flow.

Rag Girn:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

Even with social media, technology, whatever we do in the digital age, it’s so much easier when we go with the flow, when there’s no feedback, there’s no pressure, there’s no pushback.

Rag Girn:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

To me, that’s really the Zen way. It’s kind of going with the tools, working within the ecosystem, utilizing the assets to the best of our ability. When you do that, I really do feel like the universe conspires for you.

Rag Girn:

Absolutely. The universe is definitely conspired towards you my darling. You have a slew of awards and they just keep coming. You’re a keynote speaker.

Shama Hyder:

[crosstalk 00:03:02] knock on wood.

Rag Girn:

You’re a keynote speaker, and that’s the really interesting for me. I feel that the Zen of Social Media Marketing, when you came out with that, I feel that that was a really strategically smart move for you to actually put … I feel it really helped catapult your position as an expert in social really well. The book is, it’s like a textbook for social at universities and stuff right now. Was it a strategic move for you? I’m really interested in knowing that.

Shama Hyder:

Again, strategic serendipity. It’s like with the fourth, now going into its fourth edition, it kind of blows my mind. What I mean by that is I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I knew how to meet market demand. For me it was, people need to know how to use social media. There’s really nothing out there that’s tactical. I couldn’t even point them to something and say, “Oh, check out this book.” What book? What book? What industry?

Shama Hyder:

There’s this one book out there at the time. It was so theoretical. I remember writing it and thinking, “Okay, this fulfills the demand because we can’t help everybody that comes to our door. We work with different types of clients and companies, and I wish we could help everyone and that’s just not feasible.” The book was a really good alternative to say, “Okay, you can start here. This is a good primer.”

Shama Hyder:

I wrote that in a very strategic way, fulfilling market demand. We got picked up was very serendipitous.

Rag Girn:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

It’s funny. My agent found me on Twitter and said, and we’d only traded mundane tweets before this, like, “How’s the weather in New York? Great. How’s Dallas?” The stuff that you look at and you’re like, “Oh, that’s just noise.”

Rag Girn:

Right.

Shama Hyder:

Nobody helped us build that relationship, so when I did publish my book on Twitter with just a PDF originally, I self-published it, Janet, who was my agent, saw that and said, “Did you know I’m a literary agent?” Have you ever considered publishing it?” Of course, true to millennial me, I was like, “Well, I just did publish it. What do you mean? It’s out there. You can buy it Janet. It’s published.” She was like, “Okay, in bookstores, you know, like a real author.” I was like, “Oh yeah, I think that would be fun.” That’s how I got my agent for my book.

Rag Girn:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

Then oddly enough, my publisher for on my agent on Twitter. Can you believe that? My publisher is also in Dallas, which is where I’m from. They connected on Twitter. They had coffee in New York when they met. She said, “Oh, you have an author in Dallas. You guys should connect. You should see if this is …” It’s so funny. So yes, in that way, very serendipitous as to how the book deal, and literally two weeks after they met, I had a book deal.

Rag Girn:

Oh my gosh.

Shama Hyder:

I’d signed with a publisher. I’d never done a book before. It was a big risk for the publisher to take on me, for the agent to take on me and all these things. I think it’s about you do the right things and then you hope that that momentum will carry you forward.

Want To Get More Sales Be More CONSISTENT! @Salesman

Shama Hyder:

It’s funny because it’s not about one Tweet, one LinkedIn post. It’s what you do consistently over time. And I feel consistency is such a unsexy word. People don’t like it. It’s the cousin of prudence, right? Nobody wants to hear the word consistency, but it’s absolutely crucial when you’re building your brand and you’re trying to build that trust and credibility and shorten your sales cycle. So for B2B folks, they say that’s the best thing you can do. As you build these profiles, as you build this presence, you are going to shorten that sales cycle considerably. That doesn’t mean you can be short-sighted about it because it does take time for where something might’ve taken eight months to a year can be a lot shorter because they already trust you. They already think that you are the best of the best. I think as any good salesperson will tell you, right, especially in the B2B world, relationships are everything. So the first thing that you have to keep in mind, especially with something like personal branding, is that you’re going to have to look at the ROI in both quantitative and qualitative ways.

Shama Hyder:

So the qualitative is that really important, hard to put numbers on at times but just as important. So it’s your reputation. It’s how someone says, “Oh, you are everywhere.” Or “I’ve heard of your company before.” Anybody who’s been in sales knows the difference when they call someone and they get hung up on versus, “Oh, I’ve heard of you guys.” Right? And that’s the game changer. When someone says, “I’ve heard of you.” And you have that instant credibility, your reputation precedes you. And I think that’s what you’re really looking for when you build a brand where you already have that credibility, you have that respect and you have that time. So you get that time and you’ve got their attention, then you’re one step closer to actually closing the sale. So it’s not necessarily about amplification all the time. Right? And what I mean by that is it’s not necessarily about how many people can you get in front of, which of course, if you have a niche audience, that’s not really the case. It’s how are you viewed by that audience? Are you another salesperson? Are you a respected resource?

Shama Hyder:

Are you someone they feel looks out and has their best interests in mind? Are you someone they feel keeps up with the industry that cares about their patients, their practice. I think it’s conveying all of this information. So it’s depth rather than breath. And that is also something to be said again, about your personal brand. It’s not a popularity contest. It’s not how many people know you. It’s what the people that you’re trying to get in front of think of you. How are you creating resonance and relevance with that group? The highest leverage thing that you can do to build your personal brand, regardless of vertical is perhaps the most important and the most overlooked, which is, ask yourself why and what are you trying to accomplish?

Shama Hyder:

I know this seems like a simple question, but it’s amazing how many people dive in because they think that’s what they’re supposed to be doing without really seeing, what’s the goal? Am I looking to shorten that sale cycle? Am I looking to build trust? Am I looking to just get visible? I mean, maybe my target market doesn’t even know who I am, I don’t even exist. What does that look like? And I think then the question becomes, and again, this is so important, how do I add value to my target market? Right? This is the big difference I think between sales from yesteryear and sales now, perhaps it’s always been this way, but that it’s highlighted so much more now. How can you add value to your given audience? Absolutely crucial in sales. And most people never ask themselves that. If you asked yourself that, you’ll get on stage, you would talk about these vendor agnostic solutions that there might’ve been, but you’re really trying to educate and you’re providing value. So whether that’s through the stage, whether that’s through online, that’s the key. What is it that your audience is hungry for?

Shama Hyder:

And I’ll go a little deeper into this, well, if you don’t mind, because I think this might be helpful for your audience listening. So many people don’t know this, but I did my thesis on Twitter when it had about 2000 users. Right?

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Shama Hyder:

Yeah. So it’s crazy. Long time ago, but 10 years now. Today of course Twitter has 375 million users. So very different landscape. One of the things that I looked at in my academic research for grad school was, why do people use social media? And I think this is an important question to answer because before you can try to figure out how to use it, think have to understand what drives people, right? As salespeople, we’re all about the motivation. What is the motivation? So when I looked at that, my hypothesis was that we used it to connect with each other, to have that sense of community, but I was wrong. The primary reason people use social media is to showcase their own identity. Okay.

Shama Hyder:

And I know it might sound narcissistic. First glance you’re like, “Oh my God, the world is a giant selfie.” But if you stop and think about it, you realize that that’s how we’ve always become who we are. It’s the feedback we get who we are and we adapt to fit our community and so forth. Identities are very changing thing, but translate this to sales and marketing and what this means is, it used to be so much about what does your brand say about you, right? We’ve all been these branding exercises for a company, perhaps we’re looking at, what does our brand stand for? Who do we want to be? What do we… We’ve all been there. But what this research shows us is the right question to be asking isn’t, what does your brand say about us? The right question to be asking is what does doing business with us allow our customers to say about their personal brand.

Interview with Best-Selling Author Michael Neill on How to Win By Being Yourself

Speaker 1:

It makes me really happy to see when these little babies crash CNN interviews and BBC interviews.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible 00:00:06] hey, me too.

Speaker 1:

You get to see the reality. Sometimes I think we brush it under the rug, we cover it up, we don’t want to … but I think people are not only more accepting, but more appreciative of the real.

Speaker 2:

I think that’s probably always been true.

Speaker 1:

You think so?

Speaker 2:

I do. I think that it’s we have this idea that the image is what sells, maybe up to a point. People connect to real people. They always have. We recognize ourselves in others and then that connects us at a different level than, wow that’s impressive.

Speaker 1:

I’m laughing right now because I guess this is also going on a podcast, right Michael?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

So people who can’t see, you had a wonderful wagging tail behind you.

Speaker 2:

I’ve got a dog with his head in my lap right now. Something exciting is happening in the background here, what’s …

Speaker 1:

We have a surprise guest.

Speaker 2:

Oh my goodness gracious.

Speaker 1:

We have a surprise guest. He looks very surprised to be here.

Speaker 2:

I think he’s a little baffled. Well, this is episode 18 by the way, if you’re listening at home. It might help, can’t hurt. For those of you listening on the podcast, we’ve just had a little visitor. He’s not very big at all. How old is he now?

Speaker 1:

[inaudible 00:01:41] how old are you going to be? 11 months tomorrow.

Speaker 2:

11 months. Whoa.

Speaker 1:

We have yet another visitor, if you this guy over here.

Speaker 2:

Oh, goodness. There’s dogs, and babies and everything. It’s very exciting.

Speaker 1:

This is what I get for working from home right now. Would you like to say hi? Would you like to say hi?

Speaker 2:

Hey bud, have you been in a lot of meetings?

Speaker 1:

All like this. Off you go, buddy. Off you go. Mommy’s going to go live. Mommy is live. She’s live.

Speaker 2:

Your mommy is live.

Speaker 1:

Mommy is live.

Speaker 2:

This is real life people.

Speaker 1:

I’m just curious what you’ve been saying to people right now that might help them get in touch more with their true essence or help them through this time.

Speaker 2:

Well, I like to think I say it nicer than this, but the main thing that I say is calm the hell down. Because honestly, until you do that, people don’t want to calm down until they figured it out. But you can’t figure anything out when you’re spinning. It’s like playing pin the tail on the donkey and spinning more, and more, and more and going, why am I finding it so hard to find the donkey’s butt to stick the tail? It’s like, come on. You got to stop spinning and then you can take a look, and then you can see where can I connect? It’s a weird analogy. It’s becoming weirder. [inaudible 00:03:13] I stick my tail on. I have a point. That’s the first thing is for people to really see we genuinely don’t make better decisions when we’re freaking ourselves out. People know that instinctively. So once they’ve calmed down enough to go, of course, that’s true. They tend to actually settle down the rest of the way.

Speaker 2:

The simplest way I think I’ve put it with anyone is, you probably don’t want to start your business strategy session by scaring the shit out of yourself. Then going, okay go, creative ideas. Now once people settle down, kind of like you were saying with, well, what else? What else have you got on the back burner? What else is there? Often stuff comes to mind almost immediately that they can do differently. So there are very few people that I work with who shouldn’t be in business because they know nothing about it. Most people actually, there’s a reason they’re running their business. They know something about it. When they’ve got access to their full brain, and wisdom, and insight, and creativity, and they look at it, they’ve got a lot. They very quickly see, you know what? This is something we can implement immediately.

Speaker 2:

So it’s the difference where it’s like, I don’t know if people have come to you and done this. But where they go, I need a hundred thousand Instagram followers tomorrow. That’s probably not a good short term project. But when you start to see, what do we need to do this week? What’s been interesting is watching clients’ timeframes change. So a lot of clients live six months into the future, four years in the future [crosstalk 00:05:04] future, and are afraid that if they get totally present, they’ll lose growth. It’s actually the opposite in my experience. That the more people really sit with what’s in front of them, the more it sets them up for what might be in front of them three months down the line, six months down the line, one year down the line.

Speaker 2:

We had it personally, where we had a growth target this year that we’ve already hit. Totally not in any way we planned, but simply by responding week by week to what was coming in. Just this longterm setup that we thought was going to be this epic two year project just happened. It really came out of getting out of the future, getting out of the past, getting present and going, what’s in front of me? I always say this, but we’re really good at eating what’s on our plate. We’re really bad at eating what was on our plate yesterday. We’re really bad at eating what we think is going to be on our plate tomorrow. We’re not made for that. We’re made for what’s on our plate today. When people stop being scared of that, actually it’s really fun. They remember why they do it. They remember the thrill of actually helping people and actually growing from that and actually being rewarded for that. That’s why people, most people, do what they do.

Speaker 1:

I love that you said that Michael. I think what’s really fascinating too, was one of the things that we work with our clients on is, I was telling the team yesterday, internally I was having a conversation. I said, well, so much of what we do is moment management. These long five-year, 10 year marketing plans, they don’t work. You don’t even know where you’re going to be six months. Any company that’s got a five-year marketing plan, boy. I’m quite impressed that you know the future, because things just change so quickly where I think what’s working so well in this environment is rapid change. Things that produce dramatic results, that you can do very quickly in taking advantage of things moment to moment. So with COVID, we saw so many of our clients actually have amazing success, hit their goals, go past it because they were very much like you said, leveraging that moment, being in the present. Not saying, what can we do tomorrow?

Speaker 1:

Not, what did we do yesterday? What can we do right now? What makes sense? I’ll forever be grateful. I know that the clients feel good about it. That when I approach them, they say, “This is your moment. Here’s why you have to do this and here’s why you have to do this now.” They listen and they say, “Ah, okay, I get it.” These are the clients that get ahead. I always tell people we have this other problem right now of the wait and see. I’m going to wait and see. The wait and see game. I don’t know what you’re waiting for. I don’t know what you’re waiting to see, but I think if you constantly play that game, it can be very not just disruptive, but very destructive to your business because you’re constantly waiting on other factors.

Speaker 1:

You’re constantly trying to wait, perfect that timing. Where it’s much better to say, what do we have right now? What can we use to our advantage? There’s so many conversations happening in the media for example. We have one client that I thought this was fascinating. They do a medical training, medical training for professionals like injecting Botox and things like that. They’ve always of course, done it physically because they usually need physical people to test things on and do that. We were able to take all of that and move it completely remote. We had the first couple of classes, really successful pilot programs to see, how do students respond? To the point where we could literally send dummies to their homes with saline injections that they could practice, just like we’re doing right now. The doctor could give feedback. The class could watch the technique and give feedback. So in some ways it’s so great because it’s like, you’re staying home. Why not get better? Why not build that muscle? Why not … do you have two dogs?

Speaker 2:

I do. Yes. So one dog is pepper and the black dog is salt.

Speaker 1:

Of course.

Speaker 2:

Of course.

Speaker 1:

Of course. I saw a white tail and now I just saw black tail. I was like …

Speaker 2:

I know.

Speaker 1:

Which funnily, we have one [inaudible 00:09:40] which is the white fluffy dog. I don’t know if you guys saw briefly. We’re getting another puppy this week because we’re nuts like this. So this puppy is three months old, hence the barking and the playful. There’s only so much you can do to control a puppy. We’re getting a second puppy this week, a giant schnauzer. We love giant schnauzers. We lost our dear giant schnauzer a month ago. We’re still broken hearted over it. We got the nephew, his nephew.

Speaker 2:

Oh wow.

Speaker 1:

He’s coming from California. We’re really excited. So we’re going to have similar of white and a black doggy. We just love the giants and we’re going to have two big dogs, and a baby and a business. We’re a little nuts around.

Speaker 2:

That is, to me, speaks to the fun of being responsive, as opposed to trying to control the future. It is so much less pressure to respond to … you know that phrase necessity is the mother of invention?

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

So clearly most people have experiences of that. But what they don’t get is that the reason necessity is the mother of invention is because of necessity, you got really present with what is. Of necessity, you stopped wishing. Oh, I wish this hadn’t happened or I wish I did … It’s like, you still probably wish that, but it’s like, whatever. I don’t have time to wish that. I need to pay attention. I need to look at what’s going on around me and I need to tap into whatever creative potential I’ve got. Because otherwise, we’re going down. Well, you can do that anytime. You don’t have to wait for COVID. You don’t have to wait for a challenge to your business. You don’t have to wait for it. You can literally show up that way to work every day.