Don’t Wait and See

Did Blockbuster lose because they bet on the internet? No, they lost because they waited too long to act.

Hi, this is Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media. Right now, along with COVID-19 we’re facing another epidemic, an epidemic of uncertainty. See, risk isn’t the killer of most businesses, it’s uncertainty. It’s waiting, and waffling, and just holding back that gets companies and people in truly hot waters.

Did Kodak lose because they took a risk on digital? No, they lost because they didn’t do anything. They could have built Instagram. Did blockbuster lose because they bet on the internet? No, they lost because they waited too long to act. See, uncertainty certainly dooms us all. This strategy of playing it safe couldn’t be any more wrong. You should not wait and see what 2020 has to offer, who we end up electing, how long this social distancing lasts. A virus doesn’t stop, technology driven disruption, or change, or digital change. The pandemic will come to a close, but disruption will continue to be the norm.

You have to learn to swim in these waters, not hope that somehow the current slows or changes. There has never been more uncertainty than there is today, and it has never been more crucial to assess and act. Yes, absolutely, act. Look at all the people right now who refuse to work remotely or let their people work remotely. How many of those companies have been forced into it right now? We at Zen Media have been remote for over 11 years. People used to ask me where our office was and I used to say, “Well, the cloud.” They’d often ask if that was uptown and I’d respond, “Yes way uptown.” See, remote work is definitely going to be a part of the future. It’s only accelerated what was already coming. This virus is teaching us a lesson in exponential growth. It doubles every three days when left to spread.

The countries who acted fast, won. The ones who played the wait and see game have suffered more losses and this will continue to be the pattern for this pandemic and any future ones to come. Here’s what we know is true. This pandemic and uncertainty will continue to be a part of our lives and businesses until there is a vaccine, and even then there may be future pandemics, future disruptions. This we know to be true. So while others may wait and see what the future brings, the smartest leaders aren’t focused on what they can’t do. They are absolutely focused on what they can do. They are finding new ways to support their customers and engage their teams to keep in touch with their prospects, to keep business going and thriving. For example, restaurants who have never offered curbside delivery are now establishing new systems, enabling systems to be able to do so.

OneDine, our leader in restaurant technology solutions, is offering their technology at no cost to help many of these businesses. A local photographer here is offering front porch photography for families, all while keeping her distance. She’s shooting these from 12 feet away when families convene on their outside porch. Companies are doubling down on influencers, and content, and Facebook ads because you see, the best companies and leaders don’t wait and see. They control their own fate, they build stronger teams, and at the end of the day, they are the market winners.

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.

5 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20’s Lessons From A Successful Female Entrepreneur

I came to this country, I came to the U S when I was nine years old. Both my parents worked a ton of blue collar jobs. I did not come from money. We had a small one bedroom apartment. I shared a room with my sister. For someone who came from humble beginnings, to me, what felt like that much success, I was amazed and I was just thinking, wow, how could I ask for anything more? I was so grateful for everything that had come my way. Just felt unbelievable. Making my first hundred thousand and then making my first million.

Hey everyone, it’s Shama Hyder here and I am turning 35 this Saturday, so it’s a, it’s sort of a big number, right? I guess when you’re younger, 35 definitely seems big and, you know, it’s been making me think a lot about what I’ve learned over the last few years. Last, well, quite a few years I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 22 when I started my company then. I was probably an entrepreneur from a lot younger than that even, I mean, we’ve been entrepreneurial since I was about nine or ten years old. I was always doing something entrepreneurial. But I started my company Zen Media when I was 22 and in the last, you know, the last 15 years from my 20 to 30 35 I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit, which is good, right? One would hope that as you get older, you learn and you grow.

And I often get asked this question by media publications and on podcasts and things about what advice would I give to someone in their twenties? And so I thought about, what if I could go back in time and tell myself something in my twenties like what? What are the five lessons that I have learned? Just being reflective and wanting to share with you guys in full transparency. what are the five things that I learned as I built my business, as I built my brand as I’ve gone through so much personal turmoil up and down. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost loved ones. I, I’ve gained loved ones. I’ve gained friends. And so, you know, part of this of course is what we call life. And so here’s what I’ve learned. Here’s five things that I’ve learned in my twenties that I wish I could go back and tell myself now.

The first thing would be to, to think bigger, I think. I wish I could go back to my 20 year old self and say, think bigger. And what I mean by this is when I started my company, I had a lot of success right out of the gate and a lot of it was right time, right place. Here I was helping people understand social media when it was such a relatively new thing. And I think that gave me a lot of credibility in the industry. It led to very quick successes, especially after we had some really cool client wins and it just sort of, it grew from there.

But I came to this country, I came to the U S when I was nine years old. I was an immigrant. I am an immigrant and so to someone who came from that world and both my parents worked a ton of blue collar jobs. I did not come from money. We had a small one bedroom apartment. I shared a room with my sister, well until I actually, I always shared a room with my sister until I went off to college practically. So for someone who came from humble beginnings to have that, to me, what felt like that much success I was amazed and I was just thinking, wow, how could I ask for anything more? And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized there was a great balance between being grateful and wanting more and thinking bigger.

My work back then impacted thousands, tens and thousands of people. But if I’d maybe gone gotten funding, if I’d created more tools beyond just offering services, if I had scaled, right? If I taken that momentum and scaled and gotten even the right people on board, it’s like you don’t know what you don’t know. I could have probably scaled even faster, grown even faster and reached millions of people. And so I do wish if I went back, I would have really told myself, you know, think bigger, think bigger than where you come from. And again, I was so grateful for everything that had come my way just felt unbelievable. Making my first hundred thousand and then making my first million. Maybe I’ll do a video on that if you guys enjoy these videos on what it feels like to make your first million and how you get there. But it just felt like so much money and it felt like so much success.

And I made that mistake of thinking, oh my God, who am I to have all of this? Right? And remember I was working for it. So it’s not like someone was just giving me this and yet I felt like, wow, I’ve been given so much opportunity. I just felt so immensely grateful and I’m now realizing, right, and realized over the last few years it’s good to feel that way and think about how you can make a greater impact. How I could have reached even more people. So I do wish when I went back, if I could go back to my 20 year old self, I would say think bigger.

There’s a lot of studies that show that women don’t get as much VC funding. They actually get very little of VC funding compared to venture capital funding compared to guys. I think part of it is because women often do think smaller. They think in terms of of of succeeding, of getting something out there where guys are the ones that often go in and pitch an idea that seems absurdly crazy big and I think that’s something that women can learn. I think we can take a page out of the book for from guys. And some guys think small too, so it’s not a huge generalization, but I do think from the female entrepreneurs that I met compared to the guy entrepreneurs, they tend to stick more to lifestyle or this is my lane or wow, this is so cool and I would urge everyone to think bigger.

So if you’re watching this and in your twenties thirties forties it doesn’t really matter where you are in life right now, but definitely think bigger than what you’re thinking now. Think about how you could reach even more people, how you could scale your vision.

The second thing that I’ve learned is it is lonely at the top, but it’s only lonely at the top if it was also lonely at the bottom. And what I mean by this is so many times people feel like they’ll blame money or success for some of the downsides, right? Like, oh, but the truth is the people who’ve had those friends who had that success, were good with relationships then are able to be good with relationships now. And so I find that to be a funny thing where people say it’s lonely at the top and it can be lonely at the top if you didn’t work on yourself. Because what I think is funny about making your first million too is it’s not about the million. When you make that million, you realize it’s not actually about the number of the money, it’s much more who you became in the process. And that’s not to say that you should keep all your friends and nor to say that the friendships that you have should continue to evolve. It’s just you want to make sure that you are working on yourself as well as you work on your professional ambitions, that you are continuing to be the type of person that brings the community together, that type of person that you could look in the mirror and feel good about, feel proud of.

And I think that’s really important. I think at some point part of me was scared of success because I thought, oh man, it’s supposed to be lonely at the top. People don’t understand. And that’s not really true. I think it’s a lack of your ability to communicate, but hopefully you get better at that. As you get better, you build different relationships, different friendships, and you grow as a person, so I think that’s something that I would try to explain to my 20 year old self.

The third lesson that I’ve learned, and again, I wish I could go back and tell my 20 year old self is that fear is the killer. So many of the things that we do and more often don’t do, are a result, a direct result, of us being scared, right? And fear’s an emotion. I think everybody feels fear, but if you hold onto that fear, you become scared. And when you become scared, you let yourself get scared, you lose. You lose opportunities because you’re scared what people might think, what friends might say. I’m amazed at how many people I meet who care what strangers say. To me, I think one of the most freeing things, and one of the things I feel like I got right about my twenties is that I just didn’t care what people thought. I still don’t. Not many people’s opinion really matters to me because I’m so busy doing the things I’m doing and loving what I’m doing and I’m learning from it all the time. But fear is the killer.

I remember distinctly when I was in college, actually, this was when I was in high school. I was taking some community college courses to help get credits before I graduated high school and I had two other friends. They were the two other friends taking these classes would mean, and we all three of us, all three girls, all three of us were in a dance class. And I’ve always loved dance. I’ve never been the best dancer, but I enjoyed it. It’s one of those things where, again, I don’t care. I just do it for myself. I think it’s fun. So I took this dance class and it was an art credit for fine art credit. So I took this class and I showed up every day. Again, I wasn’t the best but I definitely showed up every day and I gave it my best. Well my two other friends didn’t exactly take the class very seriously. So they often missed out on class or they would hang out in the back. They wouldn’t show up.

Well long story short when the report cards came out, when the class ended, I found a major discrepancy. I had been given an F in the class. Oh, I’m sorry, I’d been given a C. That’s right. I got a C in the class and they both got A’s, which I thought there’s something really fishy here because I know I showed up to class a lot more and I’ve definitely made a lot more effort. And then I realized what had happened. The teacher had confused the three of us. So all three of us being brown girls, Indian, Pakistani, South Asian descent, and the teacher I figured had really just gotten confused. She’d seen three girls hanging out together couldn’t keep their names straight, whatever. And then I was convinced she had just switched our grades and I thought, if I just go to her and explain this, this should get sorted out, right? I should be able to get my grade.

So I told my friends, I said, guys, I’m going to go talk to her because clearly this isn’t right. There’s been a mistake. I shouldn’t have gotten a C. And they said, well wait a second. If you go tell her the truth, this is what’ll happen. What’ll happen is she will realize her mistake. You will get the A and then we will end up with Cs. And you know, it’s really funny because real good friends wouldn’t do that. They would never stop you from going out there and correcting a mistake in getting an A. And because I was so scared of that time and I thought, oh, I don’t want to lose these friends and I don’t want to upset them and I don’t want to hurt them. And who knows? The teacher might not even change their grades, but I was so scared I never tried.

Now, okay, so I got a C on my record now, I guess not a huge deal. I was getting it for college credit. But low and behold, a few years later, these girls were no longer my friends. We were not friends. It was one of those high school friendships that fades. I was in college, I was getting ready to graduate and I was called into my admission officer’s office and she told me, you’re fine arts credit short. And I thought, how can that be? I’d taken the fine arts class. And she said yes, but as C doesn’t transfer over.

And as you can imagine, I was livid. I was so upset that I accepted the C and it wasn’t even a fair grade and I hadn’t spoken up for myself. I’d been too scared. I’d let fear rule the day and I had to retake a class. I had to retake a class in community college all over again just to get that one credit. And it was hours of my time wasted. It wasn’t anything to do with my major and it was just to fulfill that credit, and had I actually stood up for myself, had I not been scared about what my friends would think or how it would impacted everyone, I would have gotten the A and I would have been able to keep the credit. So I would say fear is the ultimate killer. And that’s just one small example in the ways that fear can hold you back.

So the fourth lesson, the fourth lesson I’ve learned is real confidence isn’t [inaudible 00:13:01] don’t be fooled by any of these people who say fake it till you make it or pretend like you’re confident. No, I think it’s actually good to embrace not feeling confident all the time. Real confidence isn’t a given. It’s not something you’re entitled to. It’s something that you earn over time. I can tell you that when I first started speaking, for example, or doing videos or any of this, I wasn’t confident, but I didn’t pretend to be, nor did I think that I should somehow magically feel confident. I hadn’t created value yet. Now today when I’m on a stage and I’m speaking to thousands of people, I feel good. I do feel confident. Why? Because I’ve earned that confidence. I’ve shown up. I’ve shown up when I’ve been scared. I done it. I’ve done it enough times where those butterflies don’t bother me that much anymore, right? It’s really been a game changer to realize that confidence is not a given. It’s absolutely earned and it’s something you can earn too. It just takes practice and it takes overcoming those obstacles one at a time and doing it even when you’re not confident until you’ve done it enough to feel confident.

Number five, this is something that I’ve learned about relationships. This is the most important part. Just because you understand what’s wrong, the opposite of that doesn’t make it right. I’ll say that again. The opposite of what you think is wrong isn’t necessarily right. And here’s what I mean. If you’re anything like me, then chances are growing up, you saw your share of dysfunctional relationships. When you looked around, you just saw people who weren’t in great relationships. And oftentimes when you’re young, you make the connection that just because they were X, Y, and Z, if you do the opposite of that, then you will be happy.

But that’s not necessarily true. And I wish that I’d known that in my twenties. So for example when I was growing up, I often found that in a relationship where it wasn’t great, there’d be a lot of conflict, right? And the conflict would come because people would fight. Someone would say something one didn’t agree with and they argued. So to me, in my young mind, I took that and they saw the opposite and I thought so that means that conflict free relationships are good relationships. But turns out that’s not true either. See, a lot of times when you grow up seeing dysfunctional relationships, all you learn is what not to do. But it doesn’t mean it automatically teaches you what to do.

I’ll give you a small example. I adore my parents. One of the things they often argued about was having separate bank accounts. As in, my dad wanted separate bank accounts. My mom wasn’t a fan, so they always argued about this and it was a small argument. But as a child it bothered me. And so as I got older and into relationships, I decided that I was never going to have this argument and I would let my partner do it however they wanted to do it and I’d be fine with it. But the truth was I realized I wasn’t fine with it. As time went on, I realized no, there’s certain things that I feel good about and I don’t feel good about, but just because I’d seen the wrong way to do it, it doesn’t mean the opposite of was the right way to do it.

Now as I’m 35 and married and in a, knock on wood, a very happy relationship, I can look back and say part of it is because I’m able to speak my truth. I’m not scared. I’m able to say I’m comfortable with this, this feels good and this doesn’t, and it’s made a huge difference. Part of relationships I think is as you learn those lessons, you have to be comfortable in speaking up and not being scared and not being afraid to lose someone just because they might not agree with you.

Anyways, those are some of the lessons I learned guys as I celebrate my 35th birthday this Saturday. I’m wishing you were all here with me and we could celebrate, but of course times are challenging right now. Leave me a question. If there’s something that you wish that I would expand on or share, or things that you want to learn about entrepreneurship or relationships or friendships or whatever it is. I’m happy to help answer. I’m hoping that you guys are enjoying these videos and if you are subscribed, stay in touch. I look forward to reading all your comments. Bye.

How to Innovate Like a Rockstar

When I talk about innovation, it may seem like a surprise when we’re really just all trying to in many ways survive. That’s my call to action to you today. Don’t just survive in these times, thrive, because believe it or not, people are thriving right now in this environment. This is the true meaning of innovation. Anyone can innovate when times are good. I think that’s frankly rather easy. But true innovation comes when times are challenging, when all your other avenues are closed and you’ve got to get really creative.

Hey, everyone. It’s Shama Hyder. Let’s talk about innovation. That’s right. You may not think about innovation as a buzzword right now because let’s face it, we’re living in some really surreal times. If you’re anything like me, in one way it feels like time is zooming by, and in another way it feels like it’s eerily slow, right? So much has changed. Many of us are keeping our social distance. Actually, I hope all of us are keeping our social distance and doing our part. But many of us for the first time are working from home or having to change our entire infrastructure with how we do business, how we relate, how we continue to keep our sanity, which I’m sure if anyone has kids out there especially can relate to that one.

So when I talk about innovation, it may seem like a surprise when we’re really just all trying to in many ways survive. But that’s my call to action to you today. Don’t just survive in these times. Really thrive, because believe it or not, people are thriving right now in this environment because this is the true meaning of innovation. Anyone can innovate when times are good. I think that’s frankly rather easy, right? You just have to up the ball a little bit. But true innovation comes when times are challenging, when all your other avenues are closed and you’ve got to get really creative.

So I want to share with you three examples of innovation right now of folks that are actually doing an amazing job during this COVID crisis, and they’re really positioning themselves as industry leaders and they’re making a difference to their communities. So let me give you three examples of innovation that are happening right now.

The first one I thought was really interesting. So this one has to do with a photographer. Now you might think, “Boy, that sure is a challenging position right now.” In fact, I’ve gotten emails from many of you who are photographers who’ve said, “Listen, I don’t really know what I can do right now. This is hard.” I agree. It’s hard, and yet, here’s a photographer who’s really been able to take her skill set, combine it with what’s happening right now, and create an entirely cool blue ocean differentiated strategy. And what I mean by this is she has become a front porch photographer.

So while this coronavirus madness and everything descends on us, many of us find ourselves at home with our entire families, perhaps for the first time. Now given how crazy schedules can get, it’s hard to get families all together. If your family’s like mine, you know that one person is out, the other person’s in. It’s a rare moment when everyone’s together under one roof, and what better time than to get a family portrait, right, or take a picture while everyone’s together?

There’s only one problem, social distancing, and we’re all trying to stay healthy here. So this photographer came up with this amazing concept of front porch photography. You gather your family on the front porch. She comes in, is at least 12 feet away, has a great camera lens, and captures that moment as a family. I love the concept, complete social distancing, great opportunity to capture a moment with your family, so I love that, great source of innovation in challenging times.

Second example I saw, and I thought this was really neat, a small local bakery is doing quarantine cakes. That’s right. So they’re putting their talents to good use towards quarantine cakes, creating smaller cakes. So generally cakes are… If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a cake when you’re at a party or you’ve got multiple people, but who’s really buying cakes when there’s not a lot of people gathering? Okay, well, if you’re also like me, then me, and you.

But if you’re looking for something a little bit smaller, quarantine cakes are baked for one or two people with fun messages on them, things like “Don’t touch your face,” “Remember to wash your hands,” and by injecting a little humor and really appealing to people with that sweet tooth, they’re keeping their business going and they’re getting massive press right now. So we love this idea of a bakery turning their talents towards quarantine cakes.

Let’s look at music. My third example comes to you via this DJ on Instagram, DJ D-Nice, who has from the comfort of his home been putting out amazing music parties, so he’s literally doing couch parties. Last time I checked, he had maybe 80,000 Instagram followers. I just checked before I hopped on camera here. He’s got 1.5 million followers right now, and it’s all because he’s having a good time. He’s encouraging people from the safety of their living rooms to join in. What an amazing thing. Now here’s a guy who probably gets paid to go DJ at events, but he’s taking what’s usually a paid gig and creating into massive visibility for himself.

These are some examples of folks that are innovating and absolutely doing an amazing job in this environment. So COVID or not, coronavirus or not, social distancing or not, this is your chance to innovate. Think about how you can really use this new ecosystem we’re living in, this new framework. How can you innovate within your industry? Leave a comment, subscribe. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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, and do comment. I love hearing from you, and be sure to subscribe. That way, you don’t miss a single thing.

So, Your Trade Show Has Been Canceled. Here’s What To Do Instead.

So your trade show’s been canceled. And perhaps you’re even having nightmares about MQLs and SQLs. Fear not, here to help. My name is Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media. We’re helping businesses and brands just like yours who are right now going through a pretty challenging time in terms of their conferences have been canceled. Perhaps the things that you very much relied on to drive your leads and drive those revenues, have been hurt.

Well, fear not, we have wonderful strategies that are working just perfectly for many of our clients where they may not even go back to those shows. So here’s your chance to pivot and try something new and still get those leads and get that revenue up.

Here’s three strategies I can share with you right off the bat. One, just because you can’t attend that event or that conference has been canceled, doesn’t mean you can’t reach that exact same audience. That’s right. If you have an email list of the attendees or sponsors, or even if you manually are able to get it, which let’s face it, there’s not a single event where we can’t manually get email addresses, we can target those through social advertising.

So when you have an email address, Facebook ads let you match it and you can target those people on Facebook, on Instagram, on LinkedIn. You can still get in front of your audience with the right message and the right hook getting you those leads that you really want.

The second strategy that we’ve deployed that we’ve seen a lot of success with has been influencer marketing. Whether you’re B2C or B2B, and we work with a lot of B2B clients, influencer marketing is one of the top ROI generating strategies of 2020 regardless of what else has happened. Because influencers already have the trust, the preference, and the ear of your audience, it’s a great chance to partner with them to get your message out there and to be the preferred vendor.

Here’s the thing that I really want you to think about. Please take this to heart. An increase in market recognition means an increase in market share. This is absolutely proven. My third strategy ties right into that. My third strategy for you is to consider PR. Do not dismiss PR as minimal or to the margins. Times like this, this can play an absolutely key role. Again, remember what I said, market recognition goes up, market share goes up.

PR is a great strategy and you don’t actually have to be live to be able to create viral campaigns. With one of our clients, we were able to create a viral campaign using an open letter from the CEO, not only to diffuse a political conflict, but to get them over a billion views. And published in articles in platforms such as Forbes, Fox, CNN. You name it, they were on there. We got them 20 media hits within 48 hours.

Now, these companies are not unlike yours. They’re just thinking differently or being more creative and pivoting those budgets and those strategies. So hope those tips have been helpful. Check out our resources and please reach out if we can be of help.

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.

Get Customers To Choose YOU!

Shama Hyder:

And I did my thesis on Twitter when it had 2,000 users. Any guess as to how many users Twitter has today? 375 million. You come from a very historic industry. It’s been around for a long time. The world of marketing of social media, when I started out, people looked at me like, this is crazy. I don’t understand. This is a fad, like the internet was a fad. Remember that? Right? The principles I’m sharing with you, I used to build my own company. I was 22 years old when I started. I had $1,5000 in the bank account. We passed a million in revenue in our first three years in business.

Shama Hyder:

I think the work that you do matters. And my goal today is to help you make it matter more, to get your message a little further out there so you are making even a greater impact in your community and making more money. So, I’ll give you a little bit of background that’s not on the official kind bio that was read. I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Any Longhorns in here? Really? Wow. I must be way up North. Huh? Usually there’s one in every room. So, I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. I have a degree in organizational communication and technology. And I did my thesis on Twitter when it had 2,000 users. It is? Thank you so much. I so appreciate that.

Speaker 2:

Is that working now?

Shama Hyder:

Thank you. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Okay.

Shama Hyder:

It sure is. Any guesses to how many users Twitter has today? 375 million. All right? Very, very early days when I got started. In fact, that little blue bird that you see there, I had a tee shirt with it on and people would say, oh, which cartoon is that? Very, very early days. And so, I did my thesis on Twitter. I was very excited. I got out there and I thought, man, this is going to change the world. I’m so excited. And this was 2009. And I could not get a single job. Any guesses as to why, by the way? Do any of you remember ’08, ’09? Not a lot of jobs. Yes. The industry didn’t exist. You come from a very historic industry. It’s been around for a long time. The world of marketing of social media, when I started out, people looked at me like, this is crazy. I don’t understand. Right? This is a fad, like the internet was a fad. Remember that? Right? Some of you are like, I’m still not quite sure about this internet thing. I promise you, it’s here to stay.

Shama Hyder:

And so, when I got out, I realized something very interesting about tough times, by the way, about tough economic times. I found that small businesses are the most receptive to innovating, and changing, and wanting to do the things that get more customers in the door than almost any other type of company out there. Would you say that’s fair?

Speaker 4:

Yes.

Shama Hyder:

How many would like more customers in the door? All right. That’s why we’re here, right? That’s where we’re here. We want to get more customers in the door. So, my goal today is to help introduce you to a little bit of what this looks like, and the things that you really need to be thinking about, right, Even more than doing. If I can just get you thinking in that way, I promise the doing will follow.

Shama Hyder:

So, I graduated. And, because I couldn’t get a job, because the industry didn’t exist, I started my own company. So, I do know what it is like to make payroll, by the way. I’m not just standing here talking theory with you. But really the principles I’m sharing with you I used to build my own company. I was 22 years old when I started. I had $1,500 in the bank account. We passed a million in revenue in our first three years in business. I had no connections, no network, I could have all the groceries I wanted, so that was a big plus. Right? Thanks to mom and dad. So, that was a big help.

Shama Hyder:

But I grew my company on the basis of these new media principles, some of which I’m going to share with you today. And then, over the years we’ve helped so many customers, so many clients take advantage of this. So, a lot of what I’m sharing with you is also case studies, things that are real world, practical that you can take back and implement in your businesses. Quick show of hands, how many love social media? Okay.

Speaker 4:

Love Twitter, hate Facebook.

Shama Hyder:

All right. Fair enough. Love Twitter, hate Facebook. Okay. How many hate social media? It’s okay. You can be honest. How many have like a love, hate relationship. That’s probably most of us. Right? Kind of a love hate relationship. All right, quick show of hands again. How many would say that you are beginners when it comes to kind of marketing and this digital stuff? Beginners. Okay. There’s my beginners. Cool. Intermediates? You feel pretty good. Any advanced? You could probably be standing here doing this. Okay. Not much so. But, if you looked around, you see that everyone’s sort of on a different path and that’s okay.

Shama Hyder:

My goal today is very simple. My goal is that you’re going to leave here knowing something a little bit better than when you first walked in. Even if you take one thing from here and are able to implement it in your business to grow that bottom line, to get more customers, I’m going to think that’s a success. If you don’t learn something new, which highly doubtful, but let’s say that you know this stuff, you’re like, man, I feel like a whiz. I’m going to answer your questions inside right before the auction where I’m going to be signing the books that you’re all going to get a copy of. Does that sound good? So, I really want you to make sure that you come up there and you ask your question. And we’ll make sure this is as valuable for you as possible. Sound good? Because you left the stores, right? You left the stores. You’re out here. You might as well make the most of it. Awesome.

Shama Hyder:

So, let’s lay the land real quick. For the longest time, marketing has all been about pushing your message out there. Any history fans in here? Any history buffs? Okay, one. Thank you, sir. I appreciate it. I feel the fellow geekiness in the room. That’s great. So, that, for history buffs or not, is actually the city of Pompeii, which they excavated and we’ve got digital technology now. That’s awesome.

Shama Hyder:

So, when we look at the city of Pompeii, you find something really interesting, marketing messages on the walls. Right? It literally says, my fish is fresher than this guy’s fish. No kidding. So, in many ways, right, this is how we’ve marketed for the longest time. We’ve stood on our soap boxes. We waved the flags. Right. We’ve marketed our wares. This is how it’s always been done. Except something changed a lot of this. Who remembers AOL? The Internet. Remember the Internet. Hang up the phone, Sue. Right? Anybody steal the little disks from your neighbors so you could get more minutes? No. It was just me. Okay. In my defense, I was 14 years old, so.

Shama Hyder:

The internet, of course, changes everything because now what do people have? Choice. We have choice. Anybody you remember when you had five channels on TV? Yeah. And now, how many of you Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, all that good stuff? Right? Very, very different. In fact, I’m very envious of this little guy and my son who is six months old because they get everything on demand. I mean Sesame Street is one of his favorite things to watch. So, we put that on and he is very into it. Elmo is his favorite character. You really needed to know that. I’m not sure why, but it seemed important. But, when I was growing up, we had two channels. And, if we missed her Sunday 10:00 A.M. cartoon, that was it. You could wait till next week. Right? It was like, oh sorry you woke up late. It’s gone.

Shama Hyder:

Today, it’s very different. You have choices. Your customers have choices. A lot of what we’re thinking about today is, when they have these choices, how do we get them to choose you? And it’s easier than you might think. I’ll break it down for you, I promise. If I could sum everything up for you in one image, it would look a lot like this. Look at 2005 and look at now. 2005 wasn’t that long ago. Anything really jumped out at you from that? What jumps out at you?

Speaker 4:

No cell phones.

Speaker 5:

No screens.

Shama Hyder:

No cell phones. No screens. Let’s go a layer deeper. What’s the reach of that event in ’05?

Speaker 6:

Those people.

Shama Hyder:

That’s right. Those are the people that are there. The reach is those people, right, in those rooms. So, let’s say 5,000 people attended and let’s be really generous. Everyone went back home and shared the message with someone else, one person. They told a significant other, they told their neighbor Lucy, right? They shared. 10,000 people heard about that or what happened. What’s the reach of that same event now?

Speaker 7:

Global.

Shama Hyder:

It’s global, and I’ll prove it to you. How many always know what happens on a United Airlines Flight minutes after it happens? Right? We all seem to know. We know when United loses a piece of luggage. We know whatever. Right? It’s very different.

Shama Hyder:

When I say social media, how many of you, by the way, think about like Facebook, and Twitter, and LinkedIn, and YouTube, and so forth? Right. Fair enough. So, those are social networks. What I’d like to get you thinking about slightly a little bit different. Social media, the new definition of social media is people are now the media. People are now the media. That’s really a game changer if you think about it, isn’t it? And I’ll prove it to you. How many of you, quick show of hands, have checked Rotten Tomatoes for movie reviews before you decided what you’re going to go see? It’s a lot of us. How many of you have Yelped a restaurant before deciding to try it? But we’ve all done it. And that’s the idea of people are now the media.

Shama Hyder:

So, when we talk about all this new media, and how to get your message out there, and social media, it’s not these networks. That’s great. They’ll come and go. The much bigger idea and picture here that I want you to start thinking about is that people are now the media. And how do you leverage that? How do you take advantage of that? And, if you can think about one event, the global impact it can have, do you think that you can have more impact in your communities?

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.

How You Can Use a Moment to Turn it All Around

Not even after 9/11. Something is happening that’s historically not happened before at this scale. The airline industry right now has very much a moment. Most people are encouraged not to travel right now, so what are airlines doing about it? Well, what they’re doing is sending out a ton of emails talking about how they’re following protocol. “We’re following protocol.” Good for you. They’re saying they’re following the rules that they were always supposed to be following. Does that set the bar any higher? You’re missing a key moment.

Hey, everyone. This is Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media. Let’s talk about moments and what makes them so awesome as drivers of momentum and great drivers for business outcomes and marketing. A moment traditionally is a key inflection point in a brand’s history. It could be an external moment. It can be an internal moment. Some moments you might be very familiar with, they look like a new study or a research created by your group. It may look like new leadership, mergers and acquisitions, an event or conference perhaps that your team is putting on. It’s essentially something that internally would feel like a memo or something that you feel is of note. But a really good moment is one that can drive your business forward and create that viral success that all brands are so hungry for. And this just happens to be your specialty.

So let’s look at what a good moment really consists of. Well, it’s meaningful, unique, and a driver. Meaning, it’s a business driver. Let’s go over that again, it’s meaningful, it’s unique and it’s a driver. It drives key business outcomes. Now, what I mean by this is, is it meaningful? Is it something that feels relevant to what’s happening right now? Two, is it unique? Is it something that you feel like you can really make that claim that not everybody out there can say? And driver. If it was used in the right way, if it was amplified correctly, could it lead to a massive brand awareness? Would it be exciting? Do you want your prospects to know about it because, “Hey, that’s pretty cool”?

That’s how you know you have an awesome moment on your hands, and sometimes it looks like something happening externally. An industry trend, so let’s look at examples of moments right now and of two companies and two industries that are doing this very differently. Let’s take the broader moment that COVID-19 is providing so many industries. Specifically, let’s look at the airline industry, shall we? The airline industry right now has very much a moment. Something is happening that’s historically not happened before at this scale, not even after 9/11. So this is a very unprecedented time for airlines. Most people are encouraged not to travel right now. That’s a big hit, so what are airlines doing about it? Well, what they’re doing is sending out a ton of emails talking about how they’re following protocol and how clean their fleet is.

Now, let’s examine this. When they’re sending these emails out, good, their fleets are clean. But here’s the problem with that, it’s not really unique. They’re saying they’re following the rules that they were always supposed to be following. Does that set the bar any higher? Is it meaningful? Sure, it’s relevant. It’s not particularly meaningful at this point though, because most people aren’t flying and it doesn’t help someone feel that much better about flying with an airline that says, “We followed the rules. We keep things clean.” Now imagine if any one of the airlines was to say, “We’re taking this opportunity to now be the cleanest airline in the world.” Now that’s a promise. Here’s how we’re going above and beyond, that’s meaningful. That makes someone go, “Oh, okay. Well, boy, that is different.”

“We’re spacing out our seats so people don’t have to feel so congested. We’re doing steps one through five going beyond what’s asked of us to be the cleanest, safest airline in the air.” That is powerful. That would be unique. Absolutely. Every single airline is saying the same thing right now in different words, “We’re following protocol.” Good for you. You’re missing a key moment. D, is it a business driver? Absolutely, and it’s a missed opportunity. I hate missed moments. It’s a huge miss moment because if done right, an airline that does things right now, when all this boils over, because eventually will, and hopefully, we as humanity will beat this virus, we will go back to some semblance of our normal lives and we will fly again. Who do you think we will choose when we start to fly? It’s the airlines that have really taken advantage of this moment to create the right kind of momentum. Huge missed opportunity.

Now, let’s look at another client in a crazy competitive industry right now that’s doing an amazing job. Yes, they happen to be a client of ours. OneDine does amazing guest-side innovative technology solutions for the restaurant industry. All right? So for those of you out there who picked up a newspaper, well, digitally, of course, or even looked outside your window, you know that the restaurant industry is hurting in a bad way. Of course, OneDine is affected by that. They’re deeply impacted because they work for these restaurants. These restaurants are very much their clients. And so, what did OneDine do? OneDine I looked at it and said, our technology allows a restaurant to turn their current capabilities, we can use what they have and enable them to offer curbside order pickup delivery within 24 hours. And let’s make it really meaningful. Let’s give away this technology at no cost to restaurants right now.

Do you think that’s meaningful in this time of crisis? Absolutely. They’ve had over 1,500 restaurants sign up. Do you think that’s a unique offer? Absolutely, it’s very unique. None of their other competitors are doing anything remotely close. Is it a business driver? You bet. With those 1,500 restaurants that have signed up, more signing up every single day, how many of them do you think will continue to want to keep that technology as they go into the future, because of this goodwill, because of this opportunity that they’ve had? History tells us a lot, so they’ve done an amazing job turning that moment into momentum that will drive business for them for years to come.

See, a moment while in the short term may look like lots of brand impressions and visibility and going viral and demand gen, in the very near future, in longer term, leveraging a moment like that can be dividends for a long time to come. It means you have the goodwill of the community, you have the respect of your industry, you are seen as a media darling. You are trusted and preferred over your competitors, and that is the power of a moment.

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.

5 Ways to Engage Your Prospects and Team Remotely

Hi there. This is Shama Hyder, CEO of Zen Media. Since everyone’s working remote right now, let’s talk about unconventional ways to engage your team and prospects remotely.

This is a hot topic that’s been requested by many of you who’ve sent messages and said, “What did we do? Our teams are now remote. Our prospects are remote. How do we really engage with them?” So here are my top five strategies on how to engage with your teams and your prospects while everybody’s working remotely.

My number one tip is to consider bringing in an outside speaker. That’s right. So while many of you might know that I am a keynote speaker. I’ve keynoted all around the world, and of course, like most speakers, many of my keynotes for this year were postponed. But I found something really interesting. Most of these organizations said, but we’d still love to do something remotely. We really love what you talk about. We think it’ll help the team’s morale. And I think it’ll give them strategies. And I love that idea.

And I know many of my fellow speaker colleagues have done the same. Think about bringing in an outside speaker who can really help boost your team’s morale or bringing someone that might help your prospects with challenges they’re facing. So very similar to what you might do at a conference or an event where you bring in outside speakers, know that that is not off the table. And in fact, you can probably find a lot more availability in most speakers’ schedules that you wouldn’t have had before. So in this crisis, there’s definitely room for opportunity. So consider bringing in an outside speaker.

I’ve always thought it was interesting that sometimes organizations that would bring me in would say, “We love what you were talking about. This is exactly what we’ve been trying to tell the team.” And sometimes I would stop and say, “Well that’s great. We’re on the same page.” And they said yes. And it makes a huge difference when someone on the outside says the same thing. So my number one strategy is consider bringing in an outside expert and speaker to keep your teams engaged, keeping your prospects engaged and giving them value. I think this is absolutely a phenomenal strategy. So think about a subject or topic that would make sense for your remote team and that would make sense for your prospects. So definitely something to look into. You could do this through a webcast, you could do this through a webinar. There’s so many ways to bring in outside expertise to keep your team excited and engaged because when you’re working remotely, that is an absolute crucial part of the overall strategy.

Second, snail mail. Yes, Amazon is dealing with some serious delays right now. Lots of stuff is backed up for month or two, but our mail service is still going strong. So don’t underestimate the power of a care package. Your favorite books, some vitamin C packets, a handwritten note can make a big difference. I’ve gotten people sending me hand sanitizer and sometimes finally toilet paper. I think it makes a difference when you just show someone that you care. And so while I’ve always been a fan of direct mail along with digital… you’ll never hear me say that I think traditional is a terrible idea. This is definitely a great opportunity for you, as my second strategy, to think about what can you put together for your prospects, for your team, that you can send out that is a physical reminder that you care, that you were there.

This is my second tip on how to keep your team and your prospects engaged, because let’s face it, we’re all dealing with a very different paradigm, even for those of us who work from home. Zen Media has been remote for 11 years, and it’s still different, I think, when the entire world is going remote. So definitely think about snail mail as a solid strategy, and don’t underestimate again the power of a care package, the power of even something small that says, “I was thinking of you, especially in these times.” One of our clients, for example, how to show canceled and they were going to do a golf set at their booth. And so instead, we grab mini golf sets that people could play at their desk and we shipped those. So that’s a great opportunity.

The third strategy I have for you is play the long game here, folks. Let’s create content. It’s the videos you’ve been putting off. It’s the blog post, you know you needed to update. It’s the newsletter you keep talking about that you never get around to. This is really a good time to evaluate your brand assets, to get all these things in line because eventually things will go back to normal. It might be a new normal, but you definitely want to be prepared at that time, and having your assets all lined up, making sure that you’re doing the things that you haven’t done, that you wanted to do, but they’ve just been sort of pushed aside. This is that time to play that long game, to create that content, to build goodwill, to build massive visibility in front of your audience and absolutely think about the moment that you have right now and how you can use that moment to drive momentum, because that’s really a lot of what we’ve been about.

And so when we’re working with clients, we’re definitely looking at what’s the moment here within the industry? How can we leverage that? So think about podcasts, infographics, Alexa briefings. Play the long game right now. I am begging you.

The fourth strategy is set up a hotline.Think about setting up a hotline for your employees or for your prospects that is just there, that helps them with anything they may need. So for example, let’s say you’re in the restaurant industry and you’re selling software. Well, they might not be buying the software right now, but if you set up a hotline, for example, that can help your industry with almost anything they may need. Maybe they just need to vent. Maybe they need to hear someone who understands what they’re going through. Maybe they have a problem they’re trying to solve and you can connect them with the right people.

So think about setting up sort of a crisis hotline in some ways, but really something for your industry. Like I said, you could do this with your internal team. You could combine this with the first strategy of bringing in an outside expert and doing office hours with them. Giving your prospects, your team a chance to connect one-on-one and have some of their favorite authors, speakers and have some Q and A. So these are just some ways in which you can keep folks absolutely engaged during remote times that are slightly unconventional, but I promise will pay off.

So my last strategy, speaking of unconventional, is create a Spotify playlist. If you’ve never done this before, they’re frankly very easy to set up. And you can create a creative Spotify playlist for your own industry. Something fun, something that really speaks to your people. Maybe it’s an inside joke, maybe it’s something that only folks in your industry would understand. Absolutely. And maybe it consists of podcasts and music and whatever. But think about a playlist that you can curate, because right now it’s very much about creating and curating. And that’s how you’re going to drive momentum, not just right now, but long-term.

Now I want to give you a bonus tip of what absolutely not to do as you are trying to engage with your team and your prospects. This is not the time to push too hard. This is true for media. This is true for your vendors. This is true for your prospects, your team. Everyone could use a little more gentleness right about now. So don’t push too hard for that sale and end up maybe burning a bridge, that if you just acted right, could really lead to long-term profits long-term gain. So guys, play the long-term game here.

And so hopefully these strategies were helpful to you for engaging with your team and your prospects. If you have questions, shoot them my way. I’m doing my best to help as many of you as possible. I really appreciate you watching. Leave a comment. Subscribe to the YouTube channel. I’m here for you. Our team is here for you. If we can be of help, reach out.