Shama Hyder: A Media CEO's 10 Top Tips for Persistent Selling in the Digital Age

Close, Then Convince: How to Sell in the Digital Age with CEO & Founder of Zen Media, Shama Hyder

Shama Hyder, founder and CEO of Zen Media, is an expert in social media and digital marketing. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by She shares her ten top tips to persistently sell in this digital era.

#1 Expand Your Definition of Social Media

When people hear the term social media, they think Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn, but there’s a much broader definition of social media. Once you look at it from that lens, it changes everything for you.
“Think about how many of us are now using Uber eats or Postmates or Yelp. How many of us Yelp restaurants before we try them? How many of us look at movie reviews before we decide what to watch? We let Netflix recommend, right? What, what we would enjoy bingeing on. So, this is all the power of social media. And that’s why I like to get people to think a little bit broader about influence in platforms rather than, Oh, it’s what I post on Facebook,” says Shama.

#2 Prioritize Customer Service and Personalization

Small businesses can beat their competitors across the board: in customer, customer service, and personalization. Small businesses can interact and engage with customers better than big businesses. And they are also often better at designing customer-specific solutions. That’s why they are often more successful at using social media. Business should persist in making the customer happy no matter how long it takes.

#3 Measure and Test Your Strategies

Keep measuring and testing your selling strategies. Keep a detailed record of the ROI from your outreaches. That would help you know which ones are working and which ones need tweaking. Even if the records seem trivial, it would come in handy someday.

#4 Focus on the Qualitative Benefits of Social Media

While not all posts may receive the same amount of engagement, they have qualitative benefits. Ultimately, you are building your brand and gaining exposure.
You have to realize that there’s a compounding interest enrolled with anything you do with social media. And that qualitative is very important.

#5 Engage Different Generations Differently

Not all your audiences engage in the same way. Now, we often try to measure engagement is using sort of gen Z methods: comments and likes. But with gen X and above, they consume content, but they’re not necessarily engaging with likes and comments. Knowing how each generation responds helps you tailor your messaging and know how to measure progress and impact.

#6 Be Consistent

Even if you give you a very basic example of, let’s say, you’re starting a YouTube channel, it might take five years to get your first hundred thousand subscribers. But at the five-year mark, when you hit that a hundred thousand, something happens; you tip the scales and all of a sudden, it’s much easier to reach the million and 2 million and so forth. What you realize is you are kind of compounding interest.

#7 Use Influencer Marketing

The brands that are succeeding on LinkedIn are the ones that are doing influencer marketing. You don’t have to have a huge presence; you can leverage someone else who does. Find influencers who have a pull on the target audience you are looking at and piggyback on their influence.

#7 Don’t Ignore Pinterest and YouTube

Pinterest is an amazing tool. Pinterest is a number three search engine and tons of people make sales decisions after exploring the site. That’s why you should take advantage of Pinterest.

Google is the number one search engine and guess what? YouTube is the second. Make sure your brand is visible on YouTube and you can use YouTube ads to reach more people.

#9 Talk About the Difference that You’re Making

Don’t be afraid to toot your own horns about the difference you’re making. While such things are often easier with non-profits, it is important for every business to highlight their difference. Talk about how your product is helping people and how your company is making a difference in the community.

#10 Find the Balance between Your Voice and What’s Relevant from the Audience

Balance is important. If you make it all about you, it’s not interesting. If you put too much emphasis on the audience, then you’ve lost your style. And it may take a while to hone your message. Experiment with different styles and figure out what works for you, and what your audience responds to.

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