With the relaunch of my blog - I wanted to kick it off with a bang and I think I have done just that with this interview with Shama Kabani. She is the marketing and social media queen and definitely easy on the eyes. At such a young age she has been able to accomplish so much and there is no end in sight. Always traveling and speaking to world leaders - she was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to do this for me so for that I am honored. So here we go.
1) Hi Shama, please tell us briefly about yourself and how you got started in this industry and moreover, your forte into social media.
My roots are in academia. I did my thesis on why people use social media (specifically Twitter) when Twitter had only a few thousand users.
Upon graduation, I found that the corporate world hadn't caught up yet, so I started my own company - The Marketing Zen Group. I was also being bombarded
by questions from people on how all this new media stuff really worked, so I wrote a book to help them called "The Zen of Social Media Marketing" -
which is now in its 3rd edition.
2) Your company is referred to as Marketing Zen please elaborate how did this name come to be?
I believe when we use social media and the online tools available to us in the way they were intended to be used,
the process is seamless. It does take time and effort, but marketing doesn't have to be a struggle. I've always like the concept
that life doesn't have to be a struggle. And, our team takes that struggle away for our clients. We provide that zen. We literally
take over online marketing efforts for our clients so they can focus on growing their business.
3) You are an avid speaker on the talk show circuit, is there a particular message you want to convey?
I speak on a many topics, but entrepreneurship and empowering young people is very high on my list.
4) How important is it to you to communicate with your audience?
I see my audience as one of my top 3 constituencies (in terms of me needing to provide value), the other two being our clients and my internal team.
5) What are the top 3 factors that you feel contribute to your success?
1) My husband, Arshil Kabani, who constantly challenges me to be better and supports me fully at the same time.
2) Our amazing team at The Marketing Zen Group
3) Our Client. Our #1 new client source is referrals.
6) Talk to me specifically about your experience and frustrations in dealing with people in the industry. Do many just not grasp the concept of Social Media and how best to use it to their advantage?
I believe you find what you look for, and I've always found people to be open to learning more. Even in conservative industries.
Most want to achieve their goals, and they just want what will get them there.
7) Who has been your motivation or inspiration, in other words, who is your driving force?
My husband. He is the most intelligent guy I know!
8) What do you think is the impact of the new media on todays generation? Are they leveraging it effectively and more importantly are they leveraging it for the betterment of our industry?
I think we have a long way to go. Many of the youth today are tech savvy but not digitally wise. I think Tech Mindfulness will be a huge area of study in the future.
9) What are some effective tools and products that help you keep your life organized?
Smartphones are so smart these days! If in a jam, I can run my business and life using my smartphone. For business purposes, I love Google products
(especially their Google Apps Premier for businesses), Skype (a must have for communication), and Basecamp (for project management.)
10) If you had a money tree in your back yard and could purchase anything for your business tomorrow, what would it be?
An awesome tree-house office. It would "literally" be in the cloud. #geekhumour.
11) Any words of wisdom for my readers looking to get into this space?
Pick a niche. Stay consistent. And, constantly evolve to suit your audience.