How Shama Hyder Got Her First Client

Speaker 1:

Who was your first client, and why do you think that they took you on?

Shama Hyder:

So, it was really funny. One of our first clients was this premium dog food brand called Canine Cuisine, and they were so fantastic. And the CEO’s name was Anthony. He was this amazing guy who looked at our stuff, and looked at my blog, and was like, “You know what? Let’s do this.” And I remember thinking that I was fooling him, thinking I was older. Because I was like, “He couldn’t have possibly known my age.” Until one day, he called me, and I guess, some other prospect had talked to him and said, “We’re thinking about hiring Marketing Zen, what do you think?” And so, as he’s talking to me, he’s like, “Oh, and we were just talking about your age.” And he’s like, “How old are you?” And I was like, “I do not want to tell this guy my age because it’s never …”

Shama Hyder:

And I thought about all the ways I could answer this, because I’d always been like, “In my twenties.” I would never give away my age. And so finally it was just to the point where I was like, “23.” And he’s like “23.” And I’m like, man, this whole charade is just going to come tumbling down. He’s going to say “We should’ve never hired you. I didn’t know that.” But when I said that, it was really funny, because he was like, “Oh, that’s what I thought.” And I was like, “What?”

Speaker 1:

You know why I think that that worked in your favor, is that really you’re an expert with the millennial generation, the most powerful generation when it comes to the world of employment.

Shama Hyder:

And being a digital native, right. To him, that’s what the feedback he gave me was. He was like, “Listen, this wasn’t secondary to you. You didn’t pick this up somewhere along later on in life. You grew up with this, like this technology is second nature to you.” And he was like, “That was one of the reasons we went with you guys.” And I just never thought about it that way. So this whole time I’m thinking it’s like this negative thing, it’s a bad thing. But after that, I just really decided to own it. And honestly, we never looked back from there. That’s where I felt all that support, the community support kind of outpouring, as a young entrepreneur and Business Week named us to their top 25 under 25 list. And just all this love that I never expected that I just. I, yeah, if you’d asked me if this is what it would look like, I couldn’t have told you this.