• shAMA: Ask Me Anything: How to Land Epic Guest Post Opportunities & Is Marketing a Deal Breaker?

    In this week’s shAMA: Ask Me Anything, Shama answers Ulyses’ question about how to land guest post opportunities, and talks about whether marketing can make the difference between two equally solid brands. The Coke versus Pepsi wars are real, people. As always, a transcript is below. Hey Zen Nation! Shama here, and we have another episode of “Ask me Anything,” where you guys ask questions and I do my best to answer. Our first question comes from Ulyses on YouTube and he asks, “How do you build relationships with editors or influencers of publications like the Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal etc…so that you can get introduced and start writing guest posts?” So here’s my answer.  The first thing you want to do is establish a base outside of these platforms. So that means whether you’re writing a blog, or on other sites – remember, these are really high-tier publications, so you want to work your way up. Focus on the things that you can do, build up your name, build up a base so when you do get that introduction you can have a much easier time guest posting. I’m a big fan of momentum and I always say, “success…

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  • shAMA: Ask Me Anything – How to Get Media Attention and Respond to Skeptics

    The next episode of shAMA: Ask Me Anything is here! In this episode, Shama talks about how to earn more media attention and respond to skeptics who think marketing is just hyping products that don’t deserve it. (Of course, it’s anything but that, as Shama explains around 1:50.) For a transcript, scroll on down. Stay up to date by following Shama TV on YouTube. New shAMA episodes release every other Thursday, and new Shama TV episodes release each Monday. Full transcript: Hi Zen Nation, Shama here. It’s time for Ask Me Anything, where I answer your questions. So let’s get started. The first question comes from Bob McIntosh on Facebook. He asked, “What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to get on TV, aka: get more media attention?” Well Bob, here’s what I have for you. My number one tip is make sure that it is a long game. You have to invest in building relationships with the media, with journalists. What does this mean? This means that when they call you at 5 p.m. and they say, “Hey Bob, we’ve got a story to fill for 6 p.m. and we don’t have anyone–can you do it?” you say…

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  • Shama TV is Back!

    If you follow Marketing Zen’s fearless leader, Shama Hyder, on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you know that she never stops learning from others and sharing what she knows. One week she’s in Philadelphia for the Forbes 30 Under 30 conference; the next she’s speaking at the INBOUND conference in Boston. Somehow, she manages to do all of this while leading our MZ team and helping us meet our clients’ marketing needs. Shama already writes regular columns in Forbes and Inc., as well as contributes to other publications across the web—but now, you can catch her on YouTube, too. We’ve recently relaunched ShamaTV, the only YouTube channel devoted exclusively to all things marketing. Episodes go live weekly on Mondays, and so far, Shama’s already shared 10 lessons she’s learned as a young CEO, discussed marketing to millennials with bestselling author Dan Schwabel, and shared priceless tips on building a personal brand. And now, we’ve added another special segment called shAMA—Ask Me Anything. In these bi-weekly episodes, Shama answers questions from followers and friends on everything from how to launch a public speaking career, to how to build social media momentum for a nonprofit. Catch the new shAMA every other Thursday. Do…

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  • Learn How to Market the Zen Way with Shama

    Here at Marketing Zen, our days are spent working hard and constantly corresponding with one another to ensure that our clients’ needs are met and our way of doing things is constantly improving. Behind that drive is our CEO, Shama Hyder. While you don’t get to spend your days with her like we do (sorry, we’ll try not to brag), you’ll get a chance to chat live with her this Thursday, April 23rd. She will join Inc.’s Senior Editor Kris Frieswick for a live video interview. She’ll discuss what it takes to succeed as a young entrepreneur, the best marketing and digital strategy tips for modern businesses, and more. To ask questions before or during the chat, use the hashtag #IncLiveChat on Twitter or Facebook, or write them in the comments section below. We’re looking forward to you joining in on the conversation!

  • Have You Found Your Social Media Marketing Zen?

    Social media changes with the blink of an eye. Sites are redesigned overnight. Larger companies buy smaller companies. Surprise, your Facebook profile is a Timeline now! How’s anyone supposed to write a book about a constantly evolving topic? That’s easy – you just have to update it! Our CEO Shama Kabani wrote the first edition of her bestselling book The Zen of Social Media Marketing in 2010. The book’s companion website was continually updated, but it’s 2012 now. Facebook doesn’t look like this anymore: That (along with many other changes) is why The Zen of Social Media Marketing needed an update! So get ready, get set… (Drumroll please) …for the 2012 edition of The Zen of Social Media Marketing! Available in both print and Kindle editions, the updated 2012 edition has brand new content on Google+, Facebook ads, and SEO, as well as updates on developments with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And that’s not even everything! If you’re struggling to understand the components of a successful social media marketing strategy, we suggest picking up a copy of our resident zen master’s book. After reading it, let us know if you still have any questions about Circles and Timelines and SEO – our experts…

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  • Day 5 in Egypt – One Journey Ends, Another Begins

    Every day in Egypt has felt like two days squeezed into one. Today was different. It felt like a week had been squeezed into a day. Early in the morning, all the delegates took a bus to the Smart Village for the final day’s activities. That’s when the fun began. All 18 teams made their final business pitches. What did their companies do? What was their revenue model? How would they stand out? It was wonderful to see how far the groups had come in just 5 days. They were articulate, confident, and had taken our feedback to heart. We knew that choosing the final four winners would not be easy. After all the Egyptian teams had pitched, but before we tallied up the scores, we all had something on our hearts and minds. We wanted to share what this experience had meant to us. The U.S. and Danish delegates thanked the Egyptian entrepreneurs and the organizers for inviting us to mentor, and expressed our deep delight at the progress of all the companies. Read more

  • Day 4 in Egypt – Done in 60 Seconds

    I now know what it feels like to run on two hours of sleep because that’s exactly what I’ve gotten for the past two nights. And, oddly enough, it seems like there is enough energy and excitement in the air to keep me going. We heard that there were riots in Cairo, but were safe in our hotel from the hubbub of the rest of the city. At breakfast Wednesday, I posed a question to all the U.S. and Danish delegates. If you weren’t an entrepreneur, what would you be? This lead to a discussion about what entrepreneurship really means. Is it about making a profit or doing good? Did the intention behind starting the business matter? As a Millennial/Gen Y, I feel strongly that our generation has a much stronger sense of social entrepreneurship. Ryan Allis, C.E.O. of iContact, summed it up best when he said (and I paraphrase) that our generation believes social good and social responsibility is an inherent and understood part of entrepreneurship. The word “social entrepreneurship” becomes redundant. Read more

  • Day 3 in Egypt – The Gloves Come Off

    For two days, the young Egyptian entrepreneurs we’ve been mentoring have been focusing on business challenges my fellow U.S. and Danish delegates and I have given them. On the third day, we told them it was their turn to challenge us. We picked four of their suggestions, which we felt would apply to the majority of their fledgling companies. But they still had work to do—they had to come up with solutions. The first group I met with had an excellent start-up idea revolving around group-buying websites. They didn’t have any business plan, nor a PowerPoint. They just had a really good idea with some sense of the direction forward. I decided that I wasn’t doing them any favors if my feedback wasn’t honest. I was straightforward. I told them that they must have their plans written down, that they had to answer some basic questions. When would they launch the website? When would they start to approach other businesses? To their credit, they took these tough questions in great stride. I introduced these eager entrepreneurs to a group I had worked with on Monday, the second day of this week-long experience. Monday’s group shared their plan with Tuesday’s, and…

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  • Day 2 in Egypt – An Entrepreneurs Pursuit, Passion and Perils

    It’s day two of the NextGen boot camp for young Egyptian entrepreneurs in Cairo, and the day starts off on a disappointing note—four teams dropped out of this week’s event, forfeiting the business competition. I couldn’t believe anyone would give up such an amazing opportunity, and was told the reasons were rooted in the realities of life here. Some of the entrepreneurs couldn’t make it because of the disastrous transportation system in Cairo, while others had been called into work. I felt deeply for them, because I realized that it couldn’t have been an easy choice to make. It boiled down to a matter of their current jobs versus their future entrepreneurial dreams. Their dilemma weighed on me as I looked over the keynote I’d be delivering in a few moments. My talk was to be about how to make a business viable—the theme of the day. My gut reaction was to say “A great idea and apparently solid transportation!” But, as I looked around the room at the now familiar faces eager to hear my story, I decided to get personal and shared my own journey in a presentation called “Pursuit, Passion, and Perils: The Story of One Young…

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  • Day 1 in Egypt – Let the Entrepreneurship Begin

    Recent images of protests in the streets, the Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian,” and Rick Riordan’s fictional Kane Chronicles (about ancient Egyptian magic) were the first things to cross my mind when I was planning this trip to Egypt. Not exactly helpful, but it was all I had before I arrived here Sunday for my first day as an American delegate at the Egyptian Competitiveness Project’s latest initiative—a boot camp for aspiring Egyptian entrepreneurs. The genesis for this trip took place in 2009, when President Barack Obama and Denmark’s prime minister decided to do something to help Egypt’s economy, and they felt entrepreneurship was the answer to reviving it. Obama gave a speech at Cairo University, where he stressed the importance of individuals stepping up and creating their own economic opportunities. Many of the people I’ve spoken to here felt that the sentiment resonated deeply. They felt like someone believed in them. Read more