This is a no-nonsense show where your host Syed Irfan Ajmal will be revealing success secrets as well as massive mistakes of tech entrepreneurs, digital marketers, speakers, writers, creatives and more from all around the globe. This isn't about working 16 hours a day. This isn't about being unproductive or having unhealthy obsessions while ignoring other important parts of your life. This is about keeping it real and balanced while still growing a business venture that you love so that you have a life that you can be content with.
Faisal Khan is “an independent banking, payments and fintech consultant”. He helps companies all around the globe “solve their complex banking & payments-related issues.”
His primary expertise is in “cross-border transfers, payment processing, mobile payments, and licensing/regulatory issues”.
I first came to know Faisal via his Quora profile before we met at DYS in Peshawar, and then again in Dubai. Speaking of Quora, check this out.
FAISAL KHAN'S QUORA STATS
• ~20 Million Views
• 5000+ Answers
• Earning the “Top Writer” badge from Quora in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018
Content creation on steroids via Quora, YouTube, blogging, and podcasting have been instrumental in generating high-ticket inbound leads for Faisal Khan & Company.
Faisal's business enterprises is a 100% remote company where all the employees are females.
“They [female employees] solve the mess that I make.”
- Faisal Khan on why his company hires women only
Faisal Khan’s background (going from being an engineer to starting a micro remote company way back in 2009)
Why Faisal Khan & Company is a 100% remote company?
How COVID-19 has made everyone take WFH (work from home) take more seriously.
Faisal’s key tips on ensuring that WFH (working from home) for him and every one of his 16-member company is a disciplined, productive, and effective endeavor.
Things Faisal misses about the traditional workplace environments, and how WFH is quickly evolving to give similar work experience to remote workers
How Faisal Khan leverages inbound marketing to general high ticket leads?
Working Harder vs Working Smarter - Faisal Khan shares an excellent example of each. You can’t afford to miss out on this one!
Why Faisal Khan & Company has an unlimited leaves policy for all team members?
• Why the combination of higher pay and WFH is ideal for both employees and employers?
Life Lessons Faisal Khan Wishes He Knew When He Was in His 30’s - (This will be later explained by Faisal in his Youtube Channel)
The one misconception people have about change (as in changing personal habits, business practices and more)
How change is akin to doing calligraphy
“I don’t go to clients. Clients come to us.”
- How Faisal Khan’s Inbound Lead Generation results in high-ticket sales
Official Website: https://faisalkhan.com/
Podcast: Around The Coin: http://www.aroundthecoin.com/
Faisal Khan’s favorite book on personal development: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
[INFOGRPAHIC] How to Manage Remote Teams With HubStaff: https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/managing-remote-teams-with-hubstaff-time-tracking/
[PODCAST] Liam Martin (CEO of Staff.Com & Time Doctor) on Productivity, Remote Employee Management, & Fighting the Distraction Economy: https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/liam-martin-productivity-remote-employee-management-fighting-distraction-economy-s01e02/
➡️ FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE VISIT https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/faisal-khan-interview/
Our agency DMR has been a remote-first company since its inception in 2013. With a team that's spread over multiple cities, countries, and continents, we use the following 7 types of tools to ensure that we maximize efficiency, boost productivity, and ensure seamless communication.
OUR TOP 7 TOOLS FOR REMOTE WORK PRODUCTIVITY
➡️ 1. TIME TRACKING
• We use Hubstaff: https://hubstaff.com/
➡️ 2. VIDEO MEETINGS
• Zoom + Uber Conference
• Zoom'S URL: https://zoom.us/
• UberConference'S URL: https://www.uberconference.com/
➡️ 3. CHAT UPDATES
• We use Slack.
• URL: www.slack.com
➡️ 4. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
• URL: www.trello.com
➡️ 5. COLLABORATION
• Google Suite (Google Docs, Spreadsheets, etc)
• URL: Gsuite.google.com
➡️ 6. SCREEN CAPTURE
• Skitch / Jing
• Skitch'S URL: https://evernote.com/products/skitch
➡️ 7. VIDEO SCREEN CAPTURE
• URL: https://www.loom.com
To know why we use these tools and their pros and cons, please check out the episode.
🎯 FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE VISIT: https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/remote-work-productivity-tools/
The 3rd season of the SIA Business Podcast is here. And currently, we've been quarantined for several weeks while witnessing how COVID-19 is impacting businesses all around the globe.
When this video was being published, millions have had applied for social security benefits within the US. Several entrepreneur friends of ours have had reported listing 50-80% of their revenue, and frankly, our own agency DMR wasn't any better.
So we created this 7-part business plan for battling the Corona recession, and to hopefully not just SURVIVE but THRIVE in the process.
It is always useful to be proactive and to have a plan in place. We hope our plan on how to tackle the economic impacts of the #coronavirus will help you create a plan for your own business too.
Wish you good luck!
➡️ FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE VISIT: https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/fighting-corona-recession-our-plan
#coronarecession #businessplan #riskmitigation
Everything we do requires some kind of sales.
Anytime a kid convinces his parents to let him watch his favorite cartoon for another 30 minutes is sales in action.
Anytime you persuade a team member to take on a project which she wasn't too excited about initially, is sales.
Then there's, of course, the more conventional sales.
And I was keen to discuss that (especially high-ticket selling) with someone who has the right kind of expertise.
Meet Jason Forrest.
Jason is the founder and CEO of FPG (Forrest Performance Group), a leadership, and sales training company” which was named as one of America’s Best Workplaces for 2017 by Inc. Magazine.
He is also an award-winning speaker and published author.
As a certified NLP Master Practitioner, Jason is on a mission to convince every person that they are enough.
He does so by reprogramming their mindset so as to remove any mental blocks which hold them back from becoming a better version of themselves.
While studying his profile, I checked out some of his previous podcast interviews and training videos. And I can assure our listeners that Jason’s bold, unorthodox, and game-changing mental toughness strategies will surely leave an impact on you.
His most recent book, The Mindset of a Sales Warrior, contains 42 strategies that unleash human performance through transformational mental models.
Last but not least, Jason has also built quite a following over social media given that he has over 1 Million followers on Facebook.
We spoke about sales (obviously), mindset, training, team building, writing, and more.
Check out the episode to know more.
➡️SHOW NOTES & MORE DETAILS AT https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/jason-forrest/
When things go wrong…
We, sometimes, blame OTHERS.
At other times, we decide that there is something inherently wrong with us, and hence we will never become successful.
But what if I tell you, that each one of us has a unique unfair advantage, leveraging which will make us successful.
ACTUALLY, rather than me telling you about it, why don’t we speak to a couple of gifted entrepreneurs who have tons of related experience and expertise.
OUR GUESTS TODAY:
ASH ALI & HASAN KUBBA who are startup entrepreneurs and the co-authors of an upcoming book called The Unfair Advantage.
Born to immigrant parents, there was crime and poverty all around Ash in Birmingham. He didn’t go to a university either.
BUT Ash became the first marketing director of Just Eat (an online food order & delivery startup).
And his growth hacking and marketing skills were instrumental in growing JustEat which IPO’ed at £1.5 billion.
Hasan built a successful startup from his bedroom with nothing more than an online course and a yearning to escape the corporate ‘rat race’.
They have each spoken at TEDx, advised and mentored hundreds of startups all over the world, and are passionate about spreading the opportunities of startup entrepreneurship.
In today's episode Hasan and Ali share:
How to succeed in an unfair world?
What is your unfair advantage
What is the MILES framework?
How to use the MILES frame to find and leverage your unfair advantage?
Why being born rich and poor - both can be key to your success?
The 4 types of startup leaders (the visionary, tech expert, commercial leader, the catalyst)
How to rid yourself of the impostor syndrome
The role of self-awareness in finding your unfair advantage
The importance of internal status (credibility, faith, and trust)
The role of external status (your accent, the watch you are wearing)
Why you got to focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses
What to do if you don't have all the factors of MILES
Why Ash thinks entrepreneurs and leaders need to be generalists rather than specialists
The importance of EQ, soft skills in leadership
Why going from a lean marketing budget to a big one became a problem for Ash at JustEat
How investing in a £250K TV ad changed everything for JustEat
How to go from finding MILES of excuses to succeeding with MILES (Money, Intelligence & Insight, Location & Luck, Status)
How Ash and Hasan used growth hacking principles to come up with an MVP for their book
How Ash and Hasan used UX methodology to make their book super-engaging
The Unfair Advantage Book Website
Ash Ali's Website | Twitter
Hasan Kubba on LinkedIn
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business - By Gino Wickman &
➡️SHOW NOTES & MORE DETAILS AT www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/
I always thought of automated outreach as downright insulting, bad, and useless.
I and our team send customized pitches via HARO (Help a reporter out) which I talk in S01E06 and S01E07 of this podcast.
And our results speak for themselves: just got cited on HBR (Harvard Business Review)!>
Even when we did guest post outreach, we always did our best to personalize our pitches.
But recently I had a bit of a change of heart regarding automated outreach that many SEOs do in order to earn backlinks.
Don't get me wrong.
I still (and always will) absolutely detest all those annoying email pitches which are:
copy and paste
colder than a "banker's heart" and a "brass toilet seat in the Yukon"
Example: I mean I got one asking me to write about them in my Forbes column, and they were a startup that has had made some kind of special socks.
You must have received at least some of those pitches from salespersons, SEOs, and PR 'professionals.
But, I now realize, there's a better way.
I share what can help you earn links at scale, without annoying your recipients.
We've used this same technique in quite a simple and basic manner to see results like:
Earn backlinks from sites with DR (Domain Rating) of 40 to 70+.
Moving our Google SERPs ranking for a keyword (600 searches/month) from position ~80 to position ~30
Improving rankings of other keywords (100-300 searches/month) and get them to page 2 and 3
Check out the episode to know more.
SHOW NOTES & MORE DETAILS AT https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/
This is How You Pitch - Ed Ziton [Book]
My Mention in HBR (Harvard Business Review)
[Our Case Study Published in SEMrush]: How We Got a Client to $200K Monthly Revenue Through Guest Posting
Key Email Outreach Mistakes
S01E06: Haro Outreach [Basic]
S01E07: Haro Outreach [Advance]
🗣Time for a true story from my personal life.
It's in 2008.
I'm broke, ill, unemployed, and depressed. 🤒
I've just moved from Stockholm to Copenhagen.
I am on the verge of being homeless (and NOT for the first time).
And I already feel like a loser and a lost cause.
Then, I started doing something different to find a job.
My roommates and everyone else was laughing at me and mocking me.
⚡️But after a week or so, I had secured not one but 2 jobs.
BENEFITS OF MY UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH
① live comfortably (for the first time during my Scandinavian stay)
② make some savings
③ learn a few new things
④ realize (with more certainty) that jobs ain't for me
⑤ eventually leave Scandinavia and my 2 jobs, and then finally become a full-fledged entrepreneur
E N J O Y ! 🙂
Show Notes & More Details at ➡️
There is a unique link building strategy that has earned us some excellent results in the past.
It’s different than guest posting, guestographic outreach, and broken link building, etc.
Colab Building (a term coined by us at SIA Enterprises) means finding companies within your niche or shoulder niches that cater to the same audience as you but that are NOT your competitors.
EXAMPLE OF COLAB LINK BUILDING
Let's say manage a SAAS product that helps how owners manage their home.
You can earn links via Link Collab for your website by partnering with:
Online Retailers Offering Furniture
Online Retailers Selling Rugs
And the list goes on and on!
The podcast episode includes 2 case studies, along with a guide on how to apply Collab Link Building.
SHOW NOTES & MORE DETAILS AT ➡️https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/collab-link-building-s02e06/
Our boutique agency's biggest skill is earning backlinks at scale, and in turn, getting our clients to 7 figure yearly revenues along with millions of monthly UVs (unique visitors).
However, for the last couple of years, we've been working on leveraging Digital PR by learning more about the art of publicity from PR resources & experts.
It turns out, that both SEO and Digital PR have a lot of similarities. But they also have some key differences.
In this episode, we discuss both.
Find out how you can boost the online visibility of a brand through "SEO-PR"!
SEO-PR = The Combination of SEO & Digital PR.
SHOW NOTES & MORE AT ➡️https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/
Since the Internet started till about 2009, it was much easier for an unknown blogger or a brand to become popular without spending anything (or much) on marketing. 🔝
The primary reason for that was that there were few content producers and too many content consumers.
❗️Todays’ internet, however, is a different world. Today, everyone and their grandma is a blogger, a social media star, and an Instagram influencer.
Contrary to a decade ago, the ‘internet population’ of developed countries is largely stagnant, and the number of people producing content is increasing each day.
This means the competition is way tougher and we need some good strategies to solve this problem.
One such solution is newsjacking (also known as Real-Time Marketing).
🎯We discuss case studies of HootSuite, 7-Eleven, and Donald Trump to share how they leveraged newsjacking!
SHOW NOTES & MORE AT ➡️https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/newsjacking-case-studies-s02e04/
Ron Carucci brings transformational change within organizations by working with their CEOs & other executives.
His company Navalent has worked with the likes of CitiBank, Gates Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Starbucks, Microsoft and others.
Last but not least, Ron has authored 8 books (including Rising to Power), apart from being a HBR columnist, and a 2X TEDx speaker.
WE SPOKE TO RON ABOUT:
what power means
how to be a great leader
why technical prowess isn't synonymous with great leadership
strategy vs tactics
why leaders need to let go (of the vine) and focus on the long-term
inspiring your team
persuasion and how it differs from manipulation
SHOW NOTES & MORE DETAILS AT ➡️ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/ron-carucci-power-leadership/
I went into speaking without much of a plan or a vision way back in the summer of 2013 when, frankly, I had hit rock bottom after having said farewell to company I was running with multiple co-founders.
It turned out that not only did I enjoy speaking, but it was a good way to position myself as an expert and authority which contributed to a decent flow of inbound leads.
More over, as I later found out, it was also a good excuse for me to enjoy "workactions" abroad once I committed to travel to a country only if I have secured a speaking gig (no matter how small) there.
While I've had the pleasure of speaking and events small and large in multiple countries, there were several mistakes that I've made. Here in this episode, I the biggest 3 which I hope no one else makes.
Check out the episode and enjoy!
We've spent several weeks doing HARO Outreach for a client.
We've zero results to show.
I first assumed this isn't going to work, and I should stop sending any more pitches.
But Then I Tried Something Different:
First off, I changed my mindset, by letting go of my fears, my ego, and my presumptions.
THE POWER OF MINDSET + MASSIVE ACTION
Come up with a new plan, after a hard and long look at the facts of the matter, our performance, the quality of our pitches, and what others are doing. We go on to get some brilliant results.
① We make much more revenue for our clients and ourselves
② The clients love us
③ Our team's happier
SHOW NOTES & MORE AT ➡️https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/negating-conventional-wisdom-massive-success/
🗣[SOLO Episode]: I started doing something different in 2018.
🚫First off, I realized (by reviewing some data; more on that in another episode) that being busy is NOT always akin to being productive. 🚫
Then, using 2 simple hacks (a bullet journal and a POMODORO app), I was able to:
⚡️ maximize focus
⚡️boost my productivity
⚡️ attain exponential ROI growth in 2018
Check out the episode to know how I use these hacks, and how they helped me.
📖SHOW NOTES & MORE AT: ➡️ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/2-game-changing-productivity-hacks-2018/
400 media mentions & press clippings in 4 weeks, along with the artwork being bought for $2.3 million. ⚡️
Not a bad result for a controversial publicity stunt (or should we call it an art project) right?
German 🇩🇪 Public Relations expert and entrepreneur Melanie Marten shares what Die Guillotine (The Guillotine in German) was, what was its main purpose, and how it was pulled off.
Melanie also shares her insights on PR in general, how she got into PR, the right way to pitch and build relations with editors & journalists, and how companies can leverage PR to be more ⓀⓃⓄⓌⓃ.
SHOW NOTES & MORE AT ➡️ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/melanie-marten-public-relations/
Experts like Neil Patel suggest that (most) companies should (for the most part) avoid homepage links as these are not going to increase conversions. This is because the home page isn't usually focused on a single or particular product, service, or keyword.
Keeping this in mind, how beneficial is it for you to earn backlinks via HARO (since you typically get homepage links via it), and what is HARO's true #SEOvalue for your brand and business?
In this episode, we speak about this issue in detail, and we also suggest a unique twist you can employ in your #HAROoutreach to earn inner pages backlinks.
Yes it is possible and you can implement it with ease. This tactic (which we've implemented with good success) will boost your SEO, and increase your targetted and 'free' organic traffic, leads, and revenue.
SHOW NOTES & MORE DETAILS AT ➔
In this solo #ASKIrfan episode I share:
• what HARO is
• How we increased our HARO success rate from 0% to 47.06%
• the one Chrome extension which will make your HARO campaign 10X better
SHOW NOTES & OTHER DETAILS AT ➔ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/publicity-backlinks-haro-s01e06/
In this episode, I answer a commonly asked question, "What are the top SEO myths of today?"
IMHO, the top 3 SEO myths of today include:
1. SEO is D.E.A.D.
2. SEO is all about writing search engine optimized content. Yep, stuffing your article and its meta description with commercial keywords won't get you ranked (unless, perhaps, if you are working on local SEO, or an extremely rare low-competition industry)
3. Well, let's have you listen to the episode to find this one out ;)
I also speak about:
• The difference between old SEO and new SEO. Hint: One is spammy & low-quality while the other is better, nicer (to your readers and search engine bots), bigger & stronger.
• What makes backlinking extremely critical to attaining sustainable and 'free' organic traffic (and no we ain't talking about low-quality, irrelevant backlinks harvested through software or spammy VAs).
• And much more!
◉ PS: With this episode, I am starting a new format of the SIA Business Show whereby, from time to time, I will be doing solo episodes to answer questions listeners have asked me, or to share things that I would like to speak about. ***
◉ PPS: The original format (long-form interviews with distinguished entrepreneurs, marketers, speakers, creatives etc will continue).***
FOR SHOW NOTES & MORE, PLEASE VISIT ➔ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/top-3-seo-myths-sia-s01e05/
Elvin Zhang is a Singapore-based polymath and #startupfounder with his interests ranging from Quantum Physics to #Blockchain and #Fintech. He also has won an award for playing a unique Chinese musical instrument.
In this episode he speaks about:
• Why his family moved him from China to Singapore
• Why he spends 70% of his social media time on Facebook and 30% of his time on #WeChat (a Chinese super-app)
• Why he rejected UC Berkley after getting rejected from MIT, Stanford, and Harvard (and why he lied about it to his parents)
• Elvin's first business in a $100 million Singaporean industry
• Elvin's first startup exit (a 6 figure USD amount)
• How Toucan Pay came into being
• Why Peter Thiel's Zero to One concept means different things for different startups
• The mismatch between business and technical teams
• The right way to pitch to VCs
• The importance of Blockchain Technology
FOR SHOW NOTES & MORE, PLEASE VISIT ➔ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/elvin-zhang-startups-sia-s01e04/
From being a biotechnologist in New Zealand to an entrepreneurial and “spiritual” #copywriter in Malaysia, Lisa Zahran has a pretty interesting story.
Listen to her speak about:
• The first #milliondollar campaign she helped launch at #Mindvalley
• Exponential growth through a combination of functional and cross-functional teams
• The key ingredients of a great #landingpage
• How good #emailmarketing is “like a knock on the door”
• Tips on sales emails, launch sequences, and how to “plant the seeds of curiosity” to build suspense
• Strategically mapping out content versus just ranting, and how the number 1 rule of chefs “respect the knife” can help you be better at it
• Why #genuinescarcity is better than fake scarcity, and how to use it
• Key things entrepreneurs should look for while working with a copywriter
• Her FREE ebook "5 Success Mindsets to Boost Impact & Sales With Integrity"
FOR SHOW NOTES & MORE, PLEASE VISIT ➔ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/lisa-zahran-copywriting-sia-01e03/
A shocking failure led Liam to ditch his Ph.D., and he then went on to create Staff.com and Time Doctor both of which improve productivity through #timeanalytics & #timetracking.
Managing 80 employees #workingremotely from 27 countries, Liam has spent the last 10 years working measuring & improving productivity.
Liam talks about:
• How productivity & staying in office for 8-10 hours are not the same
• The benefits and challenges of remote work
• The one personality type that’s ideal for remote working
• How to hire and groom remote employees
• Why Liam spends 2 hours each day doing nothing except thinking
• How the Distraction Economy spends trillions of $$$ to keep you distracted & addicted
• Liam reveals a secret project: comparing your health data with your productivity
• The goals of the Running Remote Conference that Liam & Co are organizing (it’s happening in a Bamboo jungle of Bali!)
• A discount for our listeners if they want to attend Running Remote Conference
FOR SHOW NOTES & MORE, PLEASE VISIT ➔ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/liam-martin-productivity-remote-employee-management-fighting-distraction-economy-s01e02/
From designing kids apps to games, and from creating a clothing range to multiple online creative platforms to getting an award from the ruler of Dubai, Aussie entrepreneur Peter Gould has done it all.
His Islamic Design Thinking company has worked with governments, a Prime Minister, and brands like Etihad Airways, Thomson Reuters, and more.
In this podcast episode, Peter talks about:
• How, during the early years, Peter used to get an hour of sleep in the corporate boardroom before the client’s arrival to make up for sleepless nights
• How Peter and his team helped an organization raise over a million dollars of extra donations (70% increase)
• Using the Dove Analogy for better work performance. It's really good!
• The significance of the 4-Hour Work Week and how many people get it wrong
• Peter’s tips for the shift from employment to entrepreneurship
• Peter’s secret but simple marketing strategy for bagging big brands
Show notes are & other details at ➔ https://www.syedirfanajmal.com/podcast/peter-gould-s01e01/