shama kabani

  • Entrepreneurship: A Heady Cocktail of Action and Connections

    What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word entrepreneur? Someone so dedicated to their innovative business idea that they’re willing to do whatever it takes to see it succeed? A person with such passion for their dreams that they work harder than just about anyone you know – and love every minute of it? Or maybe you see yourself in that word, your own passion and drive propelling you down the bumpy – but rewarding – path of entrepreneurship. The word entrepreneur comes from the Old French, and those linguistic roots provide some surprisingly nuanced insight into the nature of people who found businesses. The French word entreprendre means to undertake, which has a long list of such dynamic synonyms as embark, endeavor, tackle, devote, stake, venture, and set in motion. Entrepreneurs are doers. They turn their passion into action, and make things happen. But our little language lesson doesn’t end there. The French word entre, by itself, means between, and that gives us our second insight into entrepreneurship. It’s all about making connections between people. Connections between the entrepreneurs and their customers, yes, but also connections with their peers in the business world,…

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  • Marketing Zen Accepts Award at United Nations in New York!

    We’ve got a riddle for you. What’s cooler than being recognized as one of the top American entrepreneurs under 35? Being recognized as one of the top American entrepreneurs under 35 – at the United Nations in New York, that’s what! The Marketing Zen Group is proud to announce that our CEO, Shama Kabani, was chosen to be one of the select few honored at a ceremony held in the United Nations building in New York yesterday, October 24. Out of the thousands of young entrepreneurs across the country, only the top 100 are chosen for inclusion in the Empact100 Showcase each year. And Shama? Well, she’s taken Marketing Zen to the top two years in a row now. The Empact100 Showcase was developed by Sheena Lindhal and Michael Simmons, owners of Empact, a world-renowned firm specializing in entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial mindset, innovation, and leadership events and programs. Lindhal explained the purpose of her organization’s award program: “Our goal is to celebrate the stories and faces of young entrepreneurs. We do this by selecting entrepreneurs 35 and younger from companies they have founded that have made at least $100,000. We focus on a variety of areas where entrepreneurs succeed. This…

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  • The Top 5 Social Media Marketing How-To Books

    So, who is it that needs to read books about social media marketing? Um, everyone. Or at least, everyone who wants to grow their business and become successful. Which is pretty much everyone. Social media marketing is not just the wave of the future – it’s the wave of today. The wave of right now. And if you’re not making use of it, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to expand your business. Not only that, it’s become a consumer expectation that all businesses should have a presence online in social media – so not having one can actually harm your brand. What can you do if you have no clue where to start? The same thing you did when you were a kid in school – find a book and read about it! We’ve found five great resources for anyone, from beginners to those experienced in social media marketing, that guide readers through the ins and outs of this new online world. So take a look – maybe one of them will contain just the information you need to get started in online marketing – or take what you’ve already done to the next level. 5. Content…

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  • It’s an Honor Just to be Nominated (But We’re Still Dying to Win…AGAIN!)

    Here is the quick low down: We have been nominated by Empact 100 as cool entrepreneurs. Agree? Please hit this link and click LIKE! That’s all. Oh – and you have our undying gratitude! You know how movie stars who have been nominated for an Oscar get an early morning wake-up call with the good news – at, like, 5 am or something? And then they laugh with Jay Leno about how sleepy they were, or tell David Letterman about how they spit out their coffee when the phone rang… Well, we didn’t have to get up quite so early to find out that we at Marketing Zen have been nominated for the Oscar of the business world – the Empact Showcase! No, we won’t get a little naked golden man to take home – instead, we have the chance to be recognized at the United Nations Headquarters in New York! And what exactly might we be recognized for? Oh, just for the fact that our founder and CEO, Shama Kabani, is one of the top entrepreneurs under 35 in the nation whose business brings in revenues of over $100,000. That’s all. Okay, so maybe we spit a little coffee…

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  • The Top 3 Ways to Be Crowned “The Queen of Social Media” by Inc. Magazine

    Last week, the team here at The Marketing Zen Group was thrilled to receive word that company CEO Shama Kabani is included in Inc. Magazine’s elite list of ’30 Under 30′ young entrepreneurs for 2013. This year’s class, which includes a who’s who list of the nation’s top rising stars, all under 30 years old and across a variety of industries, is already bringing in millions of dollars in revenue and building highly-successful companies. In fact, the publication went so far as to dub Shama, “The Queen of Social Media.”  So, in an interview we asked her what it takes to achieve that level of a success at such a young age. Here’s what we learned: 1. Go hard, or go home Shama knows about hard work. When her family immigrated to the U.S. 18 years ago from Bangalore, India, she was put in charge of her younger sister while her parents worked. She knew then that she’d have to pay for college and she worked to make that happen through good grades and scholarships. But the real challenge came after graduation when, in spite of being a successful student, she wasn’t having any luck landing a job. She’d studied…

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  • The Marketing Zen Group Named to the 2012 Empact100 List

    Here at The Marketing Zen Group, we are passionate about what we do. We have a dedicated, hard working team committed to putting our wide range of skills and experience to work for our clients to deliver creative and effective results. Our satisfaction comes from what we are able to accomplish for our clients – and every day we feel immensely honored to have the opportunity to work with all of the talented people who make up The Marketing Zen team. That’s why we are so proud to announce that The Marketing Zen Group and Founder/CEO Shama Hyder have been included on the 2012 Empact100 list. Empact, an organization dedicated to supporting and recognizing young entrepreneurs, presents the Empact100 list, now in its second year. The Empact100 annually recognizes the United States’ “Top 100 Companies Founded by Young Entrepreneurs”. The honor was designed to recognize the hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and perseverance of young leaders who are making a positive impact on our country’s economy and giving future leaders inspirational role models. The final Empact100 honorees were chosen from a group of 513 founders included in the Empact Showcase. To be eligible for inclusion in the Showcase, companies must have annual…

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  • What’s The True Cost of SEO?

      Transcription of “What’s The True Cost of SEO?” Shama: Why is good SEO not cheaper? I mean really, why isn’t it that you can’t pay a few hundred bucks and have the web site top of the search engines and get traffic. What goes into that? Idan: It takes time and takes a lot of resources. When we are talking about content, when we are talking about a building a web site, when we are talking about bringing out links, when we are talking about branding your product, all these things take a very long time and you cannot achieve that with just $200 where you just pay this person. Shama: It is not one person. You have a team of six that you’ve got all these people who are doing all these things for you and so it’s not just one person. I mean you do this strategy obviously for our clients at Marketing Zen but you’ve got all these other people putting in the time and effort, but the cool thing is I think with SEO especially, the ROI is so transparent. I think even with social media you’ve to got to be able to look at…

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  • SEO: Myth or Fact?

      Transcription of “SEO: Myths or Fact?” Shama: All right, Idan. SEO myth busting time. I’m going to tell you something I hear a lot from people and you tell me if it’s myth or fact and then correct me. Ok. You can guarantee me a top ranking. Myth or fact? Idan: Me personally? Nobody. Shama: Anybody. Idan: Nobody can guarantee you an actual ranking within Google organic results. Shama: Why? I was told this by these guys that emailed me from India. I was told that. Idan: The thing is that Google actually has their guidelines and it says that nobody can actually guarantee you, so you got to rely on that, plus it’s a free space to compete in. It’s really important to follow the rules in order to get top rankings. Shama: Google tells us pretty much that no, no one can guarantee you a ranking because guess what, we are boss, we decide at the end of the day, and no one apparently can influence their decisions, right? You can play through their algorithm, but you can’t guarantee that. Idan: Right. If people were to find guaranteed spots on Google, they would run out of business,…

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  • Why Review Sites Matter For Your Business

      Transcription of “Why Review Sites Matter For Your Business”: Shama: I know you also stress a lot about review sites. What is it about review sites like Yelp and others that are important to search engine optimization? Idan: Users gather information on the Internet. If it’s from your Website, from a competitor, from Yelp, from another citation, like Google Plus or Google Places or even Bing. All these citations, people go on and they place their view. If you’re not there, your competitors are. Shama: What’s a citation? Idan: A citation is basically a website, a directory, that people have their place of business. Shama: Ok so your information is linked in it. It’s kind of like a yellow pages on the Web and you have so many directories. That’s a citation. Idan: Exactly and there are so many of them. Shama: I love SEO speak. Idan: There are so many of them because different people go to different places. You may like Google Places while I may like really Yelp. I like the information on Bing more than just Google Places. It’s really important to be everywhere. Shama: One of the things that I really like about you…

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  • Why Google Plus Matters For SEO

      Transcription of “Why Google+ Matters For SEO”: Shama: So, Idan, let’s talk about your favorite recent social networking site, because I know you’ve been drilling all of us here at the Marketing Zen Group, and our clients should really amp up their efforts with the infamous Google+ because a lot of people still haven’t figured it out. So tell me, what, why all of this importance on Google+, and from an SEO perspective, why are you so gung-ho about it? Idan: Well, personalized search has been a long coming. We always knew that it’s going to happen. We just didn’t know when. Even before Google+, we saw Twitter had a partnership with Google and you saw a bunch of tweets for specific keyword. Shama: I like that, yeah. Idan: Yeah, so Google definitely wants to be in the arena of social. I mean, you can get a lot of valuable data that you cannot really get all that much from just search and from just websites. Shama: So Google wants to pull in this data to better serve the users. From a website perspective, why should we care about our website in Google+? Idan: Well, one of the reason…

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  • Automation, Keywords, and Rankings! Oh, my!

      Transcription of “Automation, Keywords, and Rankings! Oh, My!”: Shama: One of the things I know is, there are a lot of companies out there and a lot of folks, I know you’re totally against this is, automated SEO. Idan: Right. Shama: Where there is a software, and there is a place and time where you can use software to assist with your efforts, but there’s things out there that people will say, it’s a software, you set it up and it will optimize the website for you. What are your thoughts on that? Is that legit? Idan: One of the things that Google absolutely told us every time is they’re not looking for something that another website can do. We don’t want the same thing on our search engine result page, with the same content, with the same title, with same METAS, same review. Shama: Duplicates are a big no-no for Google. Idan: Right. You want to see a variety of results of information people can actually relate to. When you use a search engine, you’re gathering information and every website should be different with the same relevant information. It’s very important, yes. Shama: All right, so when people…

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  • What does it really take to rank well on Google today?

      Transcription of “What does it really take to rank well on Google today?”: Shama: This stuff has been going on for a long time. People have been keyword stuffing, wrong link building techniques. A lot of the times sadly people don’t know any better. What’s changed now that Google is all of a sudden catching these things a lot better? Idan: Over the years a lot of people said, content is the king, content is the king, content is the king. Shama: Right. Idan: People said, all right, I’ll just create a bunch of content, stuff some keywords in there, if it’s a good content that people can actually read or not, it doesn’t really matter. Shama: There’s words. Idan: Yes, it’s a bunch of words cramped together, does it make sense or not, whatever, it really doesn’t matter. That’s not what Google wants. They start penalizing websites that threw a bunch of content out there with their links back or threw a bunch of content in their blog posts that doesn’t really make any sense and has no added value to the reader. Shama: Context matters now a lot more. Idan: Right. Shama: In terms of it’s not…

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