6 Inspiring Lessons I Learned from TEDxKarachi 2014

The theme of this year’s TedxKarachi – held at the Karachi Arts Council on September 27th 2014 – was “rise above”. It invoked Allama Iqbal’s couplet “khudi ko kar buland” to give the theme some direction and purpose. It also tied in the concept of one person rising above to elevate all of society with the quote “a rising tide lifts all boats”.

Speakers were invited from a range of disciplines – philanthropist, marketer, artist, parent, entrepreneur, dancer, singer, actress.

11 speakers had 18 mins each to deliver their version of what “rising above” meant to them. And while not all […]

Win $5000 in GBG Stories Contest: What Do you Do When Opportunity Knocks?

It was 2009. I was all set to enter my first major online contest. This particular contest was about showcasing how I “work differently” – from home and run an online business. It was a video I was making to submit to freelancing website Elance.

In hindsight, that video, which now has 50,000+ views, gave me an opportunity that went beyond the contest itself. That video – because it won 2nd place in the contest – put me in touch with Elance CEO Fabio Rosatti and from there I went on to calling Elance a client and making training videos for […]

Tech Forum Central Asia – a trip to beautiful Almaty, Kazakhstan

I have to admit that when I first got the call – or rather the tweet – to participate as a trainer in a tech forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I was hesitant. It wasn’t a very popular or known place and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted this to be my re-entry (after 7 years) into international training workshops and business travel. Today, after having come back from a 5-day trip to Almaty, I can tell you that if you ever get the opportunity to go to such a tech forum, GO WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED!

Thanks to Kalsoom […]

Why I Don’t Answer 98% of the Cold Emails I Receive

 

I might have made up that statistic but there’s no denying the fact that I hit delete, spam or simply choose to ignore the vast majority of emails that I receive. Why is that?

Could it be because:

I think I’m too important to read your mail?
I don’t have time?
I don’t want to make time?
I’m lazy?
I couldn’t be bothered?
I’m not interested?

Frankly, it’s none of the above.

Have you ever emailed someone important and never received an answer back? I’ll admit I have. I’ve emailed plenty of people never to hear from them again. But i’ve also learned how to get people to […]

The Top 5 Things NOT to do When Starting a Business

There is a plethora of advice about what you need to do to start a business. But sadly, most of us are still caught in some very real fears that prevent us from taking action to start, even though we know it'll be good for us.Here are 5 things NOT to do when starting your business.

How to Write Headlines Google Will Love & You and I Will Click, Read, and Share

I really don’t like BuzzFeed. I’m scornful of viralnova. I feel more than annoyed by the supposed feel-good site, Upworthy.

Every time I see a post from these sites in my Facebook news feed (which is much more often than I’d like) I have a virtual vomit build-up inside my mouth.

With headlines like, “All The Science Reasons Redheads Do That Redhead Thing They Redhead Do So Well” (*eyeroll*) and “Clear Your Next 10 Minutes Because This Video Could Change How Happy You Are With Your Entire Week”, it’s clickbait in its purest form. And my au contraire nature naturally rebels.

I resist […]

5 Content Marketing Myths That Need to Die

In 2013 content marketing has finally progressed from a buzzword to a legitimate mainstream marketing strategy, and we can expect more such validation in 2014. If you’re a brand thinking about investing in content marketing, don’t fall for any of these content marketing misconceptions.
Myth 1: Content Marketing is Easy (Compared to Other Forms of Promotion)
Content marketing relies on the Know-Like-Trust factor, and as anyone who’s ever been in any kind of relationship will attest, building trust is never easy. It takes a lifetime to build and a moment’s carelessness to destroy.

While consumer relationships with brands may not always be this […]

How to Build Authority by Talking About Your Competitors

Samsung vs. Apple. Ford vs. Chevy. Mac vs. PC.

We’ve all seen these giants go head to head with each other, right?

It used to be taboo to talk about your competition by name. TV ads used to proclaim the superiority of their brand versus the “leading brand”. Somewhere, somehow, that started to change and brands began to open up about their competition.

There are still many companies, however, that hesitate to talk about their competition online. There are also some who think that disparaging the competition is the only “conversation” they might have on this topic.

What if talking about your competitor […]

How to Focus & Amplify Your Personal Brand

Before anyone hires you, they Google you (and Facebook you and Twitter you and Linkedin you, etc). So Google yourself first. Do you like the results that come up on the first two pages of search results? Are they expected and carefully planned or surprising or even unpleasant?

If you’ve completed all the SEO basics of personal branding and set up all your Google Authorship tags properly it’s time to move on to some big hits that will really get you noticed. Here’s some inspiration, strategies, and people you can learn from.
Basic Personal Branding Rules
Niche it Down
The first rule of thumb when you consciously start to […]

How to Be Everywhere at Once – The Art & Tools of Content Repurposing

When you’re just starting out with your content marketing strategy, one of the biggest challenges is consistently creating great content.

Most marketers will tell you that you need to be blogging x times a week if you want to gain any traction, that you should be updating your Facebook and Twitter so many times and that you should have a presence on Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, et al.

Instant overwhelm, right?

Often this massive rush to start creating content is a recipe for burnout which may lead you to become demotivated. When your business is still new, you, as the solopreneur are usually […]