Hello Nowrid. Can you share with us a little bit about yourself and your role in the company?
Sure, I’d love to. I am Nowrid from Bangladesh, living and working in Malaysia. It has been more than 2 years now that I am attached to IQI Holdings Malaysia as a digital marketing Strategist. Before that, I was with The Daily Star, Bikroy and SGS in Bangladesh. Digital marketing is always my passion. Apart from my daily job, I also run some digital marketing workshops as a trainer and a speaker too.
On the side, I’m a freelance digital marketing trainer at the Digital Transformation Academy and Forwardemy. I have spoken in a few top conferences in Malaysia. Exabytes Internet Marketing Summit and Social Media Innovation Conference are among them.
What is IQI Global actually?
IQI is the number one global real estate agency in Malaysia. It is also one of the fastest growing agencies in Southeast Asia despite having its headquarters in Dubai. Apart from Malaysia, IQI has offices in Thailand, Canada, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Australia too.
Do you mind sharing with us in general how social media can be used to generate leads for unique brands like IQI Holdings?
From my point of view, social media is the most powerful tool any business can have right now. When you talk about branding, sales or generating leads, I can’t see anything better than social media as a platform for it.
Lead generation is actually a part of our social media marketing strategy at IQI. We use Facebook and Instagram more to generate leads, but yes we also run Google Adwords as well. Yet, we tend to focus more on the social media as the conversion rate is far better than Google Adwords. I mean for now. Prior to starting any activity on lead generation for your company, as a marketer, you should know which platforms are suitable and who your target audiences are. This is the primary strategy work before running any campaign on social media.
As a marketer, how do you see the marketing industry in Malaysia in general?
Malaysia is full of potential, and I see a lot of opportunities in the country. Malaysia has great infrastructures and plan to grow and take care of its resources. The only challenge I feel is that, in general, local organisations are too rigid in adopting changes and trying innovative technologies. This situation, I think is a global problem too. Actually similar problem is happening in other countries as well.
Compare it with outside Malaysia?
This is my personal and non-biased observation. I think the digital marketing industry here in Malaysia is doing awesome. In fact, it is as good as other countries in Southeast Asia.
We noticed that you’re doing well in building your own personal brand. How does it help to boost your career?
Hahaha, you noticed! Thanks. Yes, so far things are going great for me.
Well, I started off my personal branding by contributing the “right information” and guide people to learn digital marketing the right way without spending any money. I was observing one disturbing trend here in Malaysia, which is if you want to learn about digital marketing here, it’s very expensive. It doesn’t matter if the session is within a single day or 3 months, I personally feel that the rate here is crazy.
The second challenge that I’m seeing here is this. The training sessions that are being offered can’t even guarantee the participants that whatever they are learning is correct. The attendees also can’t be sure that the speakers are sharing the right information or otherwise. I feel I need to do something about it. One way is to share my knowledge all out with the people.
Since digital marketing is my passion and (lucky them) that I don’t feel like commercialising my talent anytime soon which I am proud of it too, I started to make marketing-related self-help videos for my audiences’ consumption. With this, I hope to empower them to learn better. This is how I started my personal branding.
Personal branding is important to entrepreneurs hands down. Not only it enables you to promote your own company, it helps to promote who you really are too professionally. It is also an option to display your talents and skills to others. It will definitely inspire people to become as successful as you are.
Many people believe LinkedIn is the ultimate saviour when it comes to personal branding. What’s your take on this?
I agree with that but I don’t think ultimate is the right word. Saviour, yes. If you take a look at Instagram, it is also an effective platform for personal branding. Yet if you ask me which platform I like most and effective in developing my personal branding and organic reach, my answer is still LinkedIn. It’s my favourite platform. It’s like a ‘business version’ of Facebook, if you know what I mean.
Why is that?
Because it brings me results, beyond my imagination! I started making videos without any expectations, just to help people to get the right information regarding all-things digital marketing. Last year alone, I managed to get more than 10,000 followers, 3 invitations to speak at conferences and so many freelance projects, all from LinkedIn! How did I get all those? To be frank, I was just being active on Linkedin and continue to add values to others.
It may sound easy but in reality it’s not. Consistency is a discipline. I was consistently sharing content on Linkedin, answering each and every comments that came about, and replying to my connection at the inbox area too. Not everybody can do that.
Are you active on other social media platforms too?
Yes, I am also active on almost all social media platforms – namely Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin and even Google+. In fact my response time is super quick despite having presence in many platforms. If people were to ask me anything, I always reply to them within 24 hours, doesn’t matter how busy I am.
Many people believe the stigma saying that creating videos is better than writing articles to generate traffic and eventually leads. What do you think?
I don’t think creating videos is better than writing articles. I think both are very strong tools and effective. For me, I like to read than watching videos. But when it comes to creating content, I prefer making videos more than writing articles. Maybe because I think I can speak better than writing, hence opting for video is always easier for me. I have seen also so many marketers who can write really well than speaking. I love to read Seth Godin and learning from his videos too. Same goes for Gary Vee’s.
Anything you wish to share with the readers?
Yes. Before you go for any training session, please go through the course curriculum thoroughly. Make sure that the course is what you are after. Understand beyond what they are sugarcoating you. Your money is precious and it won’t return if you spend it wrongly. Decide wisely.