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.