How to create and organize video content with impact


It’s no secret that video and social media have changed the landscape of marketing communication forever.  Today, people on average spend between 30 to 40 hours a week watching video content on their mobile devices, laptops and tablet PCs.   Thanks to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat and twitter, online video broadcast has become the new way of information sharing far beyond the reach and influence of TV and print advertising.

Video content for the web generation is the new form of public relations, marketing and branding all in one.   And its social reach and influences goes beyond borders within seconds.

Let’s also not forget about its impact that’s four times more powerful than static content on the web and conventional 30 second ads.   But here is the downside, you have 7 seconds to grab a viewer attention and under 3 minutes to say what you have to say or lose them forever.

So if you want to be convincing in front of your target audience you need to know how to master the art of becoming a “social influencer” via video content really well.

This is a two-part activity just like the file cabinet section of your AIO.  First you need to know how to create good content followed by organization and distribution that’s in line with your sales and marketing strategy.

Let’s talk about the first part, first.

What to consider when making “impactful” content that builds rapport & social influence

To make powerful content that grabs attention is easy if you know what’s involved in the process but sadly not a lot of people do and jump right into broadcasting content without much thought.  To do it right you need to give yourself time to think through a 3 step process which starts with a) knowing how to be authentic and trust worthy, b) knowing how to connect with your audience by being confident in front of a camera.  And c) knowing how to hit a homerun by bridging (a) and (b) together so you can profit from the attention your audience has given you.

So let’s start with point A which is all about being authentic and trust worthy.   To do that you need to go “all in” which means being ready and willing to share your knowledge, insight, and experience without any reservation.

Building up the credibility factor is imperative as a predecessor to making a sale so don’t look at it as a cost but rather an investment in building up your “Brand Value”.    In the digital world of marketing and communication people look at authenticity as a positive quality and in return will give you their trust by a) sharing your content and b) becoming your advocate online. This is key because unless you can demonstrate sincerity in wanting to help others and that you are knowledgeable enough in your field (domain expertise), audiences won’t give you the time of day, period.  You can’t fake this one.

Equally important is your on camera delivery which basically means being confident enough to speak to an audience by looking down the barrel of a lens in order to captures your audience’s attention.  Public speaking and media training comes in really handy.  But here are a few quick tips that can get you started right NOW.

Think of yourself as a Hollywood actor and get into character.   Clear your throat, chin up and look into the camera with a smile.   Be conscious of a few technical issues such as tonality, facial expressions, and use of language (distinguish between slang and formal talk and go somewhere in between).

In order to become an influencer in your “explainer” videos your demeanor needs to exude positivity, enthusiasm, confidence and present a demeanor that shows you are a force to be recommend with.

So before you get in front of a camera and upload a video on youtube or vimeo ask yourself these questions.

  1. Can I present well?
  2. What value do I bring to the table?
  3. What issue(s) am I raising that could be of benefit?
  4. Am I offering a solution?
  5. Will I buy what I am selling?

The best sales people in the world are those who use their own products and services, they follow their own advice and as the cliché goes, they “practice what they preach”.

So what’s being shared needs to be a lot of your own personal experience, your insight, your challenges, and successes in addition to talking about the benefits of a product or service that and how it can positively impact their lives.  As a word of advice, don’t bullshit people in the digital age because they will see right through it. And make sure you never get in front of a camera without talking points (a script) and a few rehearsals before actually filming and uploading the content.  This is one of the BIG differences between raw social media content and “purposeful” content with an end game, to build rapport, earn trust and to make a sale.   I call it, “the Art of not blowing it” on camera.

Whatever you do, stay true to yourself and stay on message (don’t lose focus).
You will develop a BRAND over time.

On to point B which is all about understanding your target audience and their social impact on your bottom-line.

There are 6.5 billion people in the world and not all of them are your customers and not all of them will impact your bottom-line so don’t worry too much about social media “likes” and don’t pay too much attention on what is called the social media “herd effect” when something goes viral where everyone becomes a link in the chain.   Those two negatives will take you down the wrong path as opposed to the path of success.

The focus here is to understand the mathematics behind social influence and social reach.

Let’s do the math by asking the important question. What is the real “commercial” not brand, but commercial value of ONE serious connection on social media?

The answer is TEN.

Which means the ratio of ONE “commercial connection”, and by commercial I mean any connection that has either purchased from you, is purchasing from you, OR, values you as a social influencer enough to market (share) your video(s) within their circle of business friends, is TEN.  Which means if your goal is to reach 1,000,000 “potential buyers” for your product or service you will need to have a social connection (a network) of 100,000 commercial connections and the best way to reach that target is to “categorize your audience into 5 groups and then make video content for each segment starting with group 1.
The 5 groups of buyers are:

  1. The needs buyer – who has a problem that needs solving right away
  2. The bargain hunter – who scouts for special offers and discounts
  3. The impulse buyer – who is emotionally driven and thinks with their heart
  4. The web browser – who searches the web and accidentally sees something they like
  5. The seasonal buyer – who make buying decisions in cycles

Keep in mind that it will take between 1.5 to 2 years to build solid “commercial connections”.

This time is needed to start engaging with your audience to truly understand their needs, what kind of deals and offers attract their attention, and how to make your audience come to you as a primary source when it’s time for them to place an order.  So don’t give up quick and don’t get impatient.

 

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos work like a charm online because a) they tell a relevant story with an impact on peoples lives, b) they address a problem, c) they solve a problem with a product or service and d) people love to share them on social media because they have “edutainment value”.

Collaborations are also an amazing way to make videos.  Bring on other industry experts on your video to “discuss issues” because it’s not only good for your video content / channel to build up credibility but that through collaboration your guests can also share the content on their AIO channel / youtube / vimeo which would double the reach and visibility for you.  It’s a good content distribution strategy.

Explainer videos have the following themes running through them

  1. They have a great 3 second intro (power intros are great)
  2. They are educational and entertaining to watch
  3. They address a problem / concern
  4. They elaborate on the problem with facts and figures charts and graphs
  5. They offer alternative possibilities and solutions
  6. They ask for permission to sell or take the viewers information for follow up

And last but not least is what I call the “Homerun Strategy” that 9 out of 10 videos don’t have.

Videos should NOT leave people dangling.  Those types of videos that do are often used for branding with a lower “b” and really have no impact on your sales.  Instead what you want is to incentivize the viewer with an offer, a reward, a benefit that if they take action after watching this video they will be treated “special” and people like that.

Make the homerun work for you by making it “beneficial” for your viewing audience and guess what they will do in return?   Take a guess?  In addition to being a buyer themselves they will share the video within their network of friends and spread the benefit with their inner circle and that’s how the 1 to 10 social reach number comes into play and will very quickly help you build up your customer base, locally, regionally and globally.

So, to recap,

  1. Create a character for yourself like a Hollywood star
  2. Create a format or genre for your video explainers and stick to it
  3. Make sure you are prepared with talking points or a script
  4. Understand your audiences needs well and customize the video for them
  5. Incentivize your audience to buy your product / service and share your video at the same time.
  6. The end goal is to earn your viewing audiences trust that will convert into sales.

 

Your AIO Video Channel and how it works

So we talked about what goes into creating a powerful video content now let’s talk about organizing the content in order to maximize viewership on your AIO.

The first thing you need to do is to create a Channel.  Simply click on the plus sign to create a channel of your choice.

My advice is to break down the channels by customer segment that we talked about earlier.  This way it will help you organize your videos effectively.

Once you have created a channel name click on it and then click on the upload video arrow where you will see a screen pop.

There you can add your header (video name), a short description that explains what the viewer will be watching and why.  You can even use this area to create a link back to a destination of choice such as a product page on your AIO.   Once you have added the text you can then copy a Youtube or Vimeo URL address of your choice and drop it in the video URL section.  We have deliberately used third party platforms because we want to help you increase your viewership while on the other hand help you increase your sales opportunity across social media platforms.  We will get in to how powerful the interplay between your video channel, product page and message board is once you familiarize yourself with all of the features to create a push – pull marketing strategy from your AIO.

Your video file has a “lock” feature as well where you can upload videos in advance of any campaign and once the time comes you can unlock it with one click.   There is an editing option so you can always go back and make changes to the text and video URL as you please.

Once you are happy with the header, the description details and the video URL click save and your video will be ready for broadcast inside your AIO channel.

It’s that easy.

e-Commerce in one click using AIOconnect


One of the powerful features that makes us uniquely different than all other platforms is our seamlessly integration of PayPal, the worlds leading online payment gateway, in to your AIO.

This integration allows you to list products and services and transact instantly with speed, convenience and greater online security without buyers having to jump through hoops.   All that is required is for both you and your buyers to have a PayPal account set up.  It’s that simple.

At present no other solution exists on the market that empowers the individual to become their own commercial center because either the portals like Amazon, eBay and Alibaba are too product centric or social networks like Facebook and twitter are too content focused.   And platforms like Shopify require backend integration that has its own headaches.   Let’s also not leave out platforms such as Fiverr and freelancer that take a hefty percentage out of every transaction, which is something we don’t do.

At AIOconnect we understand the synergy between branding, customer leads generation and sales and if the transaction gateway is missing the first two activities won’t lead to a desirable ROI which is why we added the final solution to the Golden Rules of eBusiness which are:

  • Find me (search engine optimization, WOM, content distribution, build awareness)
  • Trust me (become a credible, reliable and respected industry authority)
  • Buy from me (take the relationship to a transactional level)


“Buying happens when the value you offer is more than the price you charge.”

Let’s get in to the mechanics

Step one.  Create a category name

Step two.  Click on the category name to upload a product.

A screen will appear where you will need to fill in the following details

  • Product name
  • Product description
  • You can add a explainer video URL from YouTube or Vimeo OR an image that clearly shows the offering.
  • Add price, click the save button and you are ecommerce enabled.

Step three.  Go to your AIO account manager setting and make sure your PayPal email is correct.  This is vitally important because without it transactions will not go through.

As we are leveraging PayPal as a payment gateway each time a transaction is completed you will be notified via email.  All of the information between the buyer and the seller (you) will be logged on your PayPal account and you can always contact the customer for further details and follow ups.

NOTE: Here is the best part unlike other transaction portals that charge anything between 5% to 40% in transaction fee, we take ZERO so 100% of the profit is yours.  We are just the facilitator and we are proud and happy to play our part.

Organize content with clear access to information


We live in an attention grabbing world.  Whoever can demand attention, direct attention and HOLD attention WINS.  It’s that simple.

But you are probably asking, where is this attention coming from.  The answer is GOOGLE.  90% of people who are on the internet are searching for content related to their NEED.   From healthcare related search, to interior design, to cooking to education to fashion to automobiles to you name it people are looking information so they can then take ACTION.

Now the question is how do you draw attention to you and your business if your mission is to first and foremost build TRUST.

Well, as we discussed earlier it’s done through “CONTENT” which has two parts, what you create (text, image and video) and how you headline, organize, and distribute it.

Many internet marketing professionals will talk to you about the importance of content creation, which is tremendously important, as the content you produce will ultimately define who you are and determine the quality of people you attract.   But what I would argue is that second to the type of content you create HOW you make the information available within reach is equally, if not, more important.  Here is why.

Let’s say you’ve created the most amazing brochure in the world with the best product description and special offer BUT no one sees it.  What good will it do for you and your bottom-line?   Now on the other hand what would happen if you headlined that brochure with a catchy title and organized it in a way that was accessible to anyone who visited your AIO.   Or better yet you were able send out a message to your social network and asked them to come and download the file from your AIO instantly and in the brochure there was a special offer that if the viewer acted upon it they would get a special relationship bonus?   What a way to make someone feel special, right!

This is a key feature we focused on so our members can organize their content in the best possible way and share information in the most effective way from a single point of contact.

We call this the “Push Pull” system using content sharing with purpose.  Let’s go through the file cabinet system so you can get a good feel for its resourcefulness.

 

Setting up your file cabinet

Your file cabinet acts as your personal hard drive with private and public setting.

The first step after clicking on the file cabinet icon is to create a “category”.  The category is basically a methodology to organize your files so when you want to notify others where to search for your documents they will be able to access the information in a time efficient manner.

Depending on your business and line of work you can create various categories but avoid creating ONE category and dumping all the files into one space.

An ideal setup from our experience is to create between 4 to 6 categories and within each category add between 2 to 4 files.   You don’t want to overwhelm your visitors and you can always update your categories and files at any time as you post fresh content.

The best format for uploading content is obviously PDF and JPG as its easier to read both on laptop computers as well as on mobile devices.

Once you have created a category name and saved it you will need to click on the category and upload a file.  It’s that simple.

Once the file is uploaded you will see the “Lock” icon.   We have added this private feature so in case you wanted to upload a personal file or create a personal category you can do so.  Upload your documents onto your virtual hard drive and “lock” it for your own viewing.    If the icon is left unlocked (which is the default setting) it will be available for public access and for public download.

Type of Categories I would suggest are:

  • Public Relations – for uploading press releases
  • Marketing Brochure – for company bio / product descriptions / promotions etc.
  • Business Cards – Contact details
  • Presentations – seminar talking points, product user guides etc.
  • Articles & white papers – industry specific knowledge sharing that makes you an authority figure.
  • Special offers – this will help you pull in prospects and offer incentives to establish a relationship with you.

The type of content you post helps build credibility, trust and ultimately opens the door to new business opportunities so keep posting fresh content, encourage your network to visit your file cabinet often and as you start your journey on AIOconnect be patient yet consistent in your approach to content generation as you build up credibility via our algorithm that is search engine optimized.

Nature of Content Matters

Right now millions of people are posting content across social media that is “self-serving interest” and only feeds the ego which in business terms means the energy these people are using to generate such content may only serve in “entertainment value” at best but not necessarily be of “benefit” to end users.  There is a distinction.

Content with a benefit offers solutions, has purpose, is memorable, solves a problem and is “user focused”.  “Self-serving” content on the other hand is trivial information and serves a momentary pleasure, generates a laugh or amusement, and is quickly forgotten.   The most important characteristic of trivial content is that it is unable to influence or persuade others to make a business decision neither will it help you build “trust value” and open up the possibility of establishing a business relationship.

If you look at content being produced on social media I can guarantee it’s either self-centered to feed the ego or its very “Newsy” and most often it’s a URL link passed forward rather than created.  Sharing information about your dog, cat, friends, making a social observation, being pissed off or happy and sharing an emoji won’t help you build a BRAND in the new MEconomy.   Neither will creating a fraudulent lifestyle impressions that over time will wither away.  So many people are standing in front of multimillion dollar homes or sitting behind stacks of cash in hopes of trying to pass themselves off as successful on to rip people off.  DON’T DO IT.  It will backfire and hurt you.

On the other hand, having thousands of likes that don’t impact your bottom line are also irrelevant.  It’s all pointless activity.  Entertaining others is not the same as BRANDING especially when there are so many bots and fake ID’s out there.
So what do you “really” need to do?

You need a complete new approach with a new mindset.   Here are a few tips on how to construct content for business.

  1. Focus on posting content that demonstrates your industry insight
  2. Be solution oriented and solve problems
  3. Be engaging by taking questions and answering your audience by name. It shows commitment and care.
  4. Invite others to participate in the problem solving process and you will make a lot of relevant connections that will expand your network reach.
  5. Don’t hate the haters, stay calm and answer them rationally. In cyber space bad responses create a negative digital footprint and you don’t want that.
  6. Lead your audience to your AIO point of sale through your content road map.
  7. Stay relevant and over time people will turn to you as a thought leader & influencer

 

KEY NOTE – your time spent creating content MUST have a direct correlation with your income.  If you keep this formula in mind and you won’t lose focus.  This way you can measure the effectiveness of your content from the engagement and responses you get.  Use your content as a call to action which is then used to convert readers into buyers on your AIO and use every sale as a reference to create further testimonial content which demonstrates “BRAND superiority”.   Be persistent and play long.

 

What makes you better than everyone else?


People invest in WINNERS so give your visitors the assurance that you ARE ONE by demonstrating credibility and legitimacy of your operation.  This is called “identity building” where you are communicating “self-worth”.

There are too many fakes, scams, crooks, and con artists out there so your number one goal on your company page is to give your audience the reassurance that you are “legit” and you are worthy of their time and trust.

The best way to do this is to show track record so if anyone wants to research-up on you they can.  Researching is a good sign because when visitors come back that means they have done their homework and are serious to start a working relationship.  So here are a few guidelines that can help you better position yourself.

Step one.   Briefly explain when your company / business / organization was established and why.  People want to know how and why your business took off in this line of work.  They want to know the source of your passion, the inspiration, the drive and determination that has gone into building your brand.  This is also important because it will show visitors that you are not a come today, gone tomorrow, type of establishment and that if they start working with you the chances of you disappearing or abandoning them is next to zero.

Step two.   Explain and define your company / business / organization’s area of specialization.  In one paragraph your audience wants to know one thing.   Why you and not someone else?  In this section you need to put your best foot forward and build confidence.

Step three. Go right into testimonials by giving references.  This builds up assurances.

Step four.   Always close with a call to action.  Once the visitor has read your company brief ask them read up some more by taking them either to your file cabinet where they can access more information about your company / business / organization OR the video channel to watch you speak about your business.

The goal here is to build TRUST, establish rapport and build confidence so that the visitor will be motivated and encouraged to contact you.   This is the start of a working relationship in the new MEconomy.

Here are a few examples. 

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Example 1. (show confidence, enthusiasm and compassion)

Magic Solutions was founded in 2005 as a digital services company with a passion to help startups and SMEs break through the digital barrier by increasing penetration and reach in order to meet their business goals.

We know that for any startup the ROI of every dollar is important which is why when we deploy a marketing plan we know how to turn US $1 dollar spent in to US $2 dollars return.

Magic Solutions is proud to have worked with some amazing entrepreneurs and innovators such as Sam Torbin, the founder of Xox, Liz Patal, the CEO of Jumpbox that has just raised over US $6 million dollars in first round fund and Nargis Kohan, the Chief Marketing Officer at Bluewaters.

To find out more about Magic Solutions, what we do and how we work with our clients please access my file cabinet for more information and feel free to watch our introductory webcast in my videos.   If you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on my AIO.  We look forward to working with you on time, with your budget and to your success.

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Example 2. (show experience and wisdom)

Yamamama is a specialty coffee shop with Turkish roots that go back to my grandmother’s time 80 years ago.  It also bears her signature on its custom menu from the day we started back in 1996 with one shop in one country to now that we have over 250 outlets across 8 countries.

With the food industry so terribly gone wrong we wanted to bring back the tradition of the past when food tasted real, ingredients were fresh and everyone was happy eating meals that nourished the body and soul.

Yamamama is also an award winning brand that has received acknowledgement from Presidents, dignitaries, nutrition experts and celebrities.

To get a taste of Yamamama please check out our products and services section and order our award winning Yamacookies.  Once you taste it you will be hooked on good food for life.

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Example 3.  (be humorous but maintain confidence as a game changer)

Troy Consulting is a one-man company established in 1972, the day I was born.  But it wasn’t until 1994 after graduating from Simon Fraser University from the faculty of engineering and later working on electrical power distribution projects in the US where I was able to disrupt the supply model by creating an off grid power source.

In 2002 I was offered a US $300 million dollar contract to bring electricity to inhabitants of a country in South East Asia and from there I created the first independent electrical system (IES) that is a patent of mine.   Under this patent within 72 hours we can now bring electricity to any neighborhood or town with a capacity of 500,000 homes.

If you would like to know more about Troy Consulting and what I can bring to your project please either contact me directly at my AIO, or for more information about the various project I have been involved with access my file cabinet or watch my videos.

 

Your currency is TRUST, let’s start with HELLO 


Pick any website, online front, or splash page and what do you see.  9 out 10 times it’s either a product promotion, a self-congratulatory award smack in the middle of the page to impress viewers or there is a “signup button” with a bunch of product links and tabs that sends the visitor off into never never land.

The reason is that since the 1990s when the world wide web came into existence marketing agencies and web development companies took over the digital arena and positioned websites as nothing more than online catalogs.

Their entire ethos, till this very day, is to make pretty interfaces and push products like a newspaper ad, and very reluctantly, do they feel obliged to add a “contact us” button just in case a visitor to the website would need help and would want to contact the company or website owner.  But they would really prefer that didn’t happen because it would just mean more work and that’s not what old school marketing mindset is all about.

What is sad is that in the social media era were transparency and personal interaction has rapidly become the norm in fostering relationships the marketing and web management teams are still using the same old method without even contemplating the thought that one of the reasons why websites are under performing is precisely because they have not made their front-line people (sales, marketing, business development and public relations) visible and accessible to online visitors / potential customers and instead their analytic benchmarks are measured in clicks, impressions, and nowadays facebook likes .

It didn’t work ten years ago and let me tell you, it won’t work now just look at the conversion rates of clicks to buys.  The internet after 25 years is still not considered a primary business platform but rather a nicety to have.  So let’s change this model now that we can with your AIOconnect.   Let’s make a real human connection by reaching out and interacting with others on a personal level and make it a precondition for increasing business opportunity which is something we strongly believe in.

 

Building up your profile page

On your AIOconnect we are focused on building connections and the first connection you need to make is through your “profile page”.   Mastering the “art of greeting” is something a lot of us overlook without realizing that your first impression can either open the door to infinite possibilities OR it could be the end of it.

Here, the focus is on YOU to build rapport and you have about ten seconds to do so.  The viewer(s) who take the time to visit your AIO want to know who you are and how you can solve their problem so let’s start with “hello” and then structure your profile page in 3 parts, “acknowledgement and appreciation” for showing interest in you, “introduction” of who you are and why they should invest time and money in doing business with you, and a “call to action” so you don’t leave the viewer guessing as to what they need to do next.

You have 800 words to connect with the visitor so be compact yet effective.

Your mission is to build “CONFIDENCE & TRUST” and present yourself as a WINNER because people like to deal with other people who can meet their needs, and take responsibility on a personal level above and beyond any company brand or company assurances (return policies, sales polices, refund policies etc).

So let’s build your first impression, the right way.      You can follow this script or make a variation of it that suits you but whatever you do, don’t be in a hurry to push a product as the first rule of the new MEconomy is to connect and once you have established that rapport slowly walk the potential customer to your products and services section and ultimately to close a deal.

Remember you need to build TRUST as your number one asset if you are playing “long” which means turning a first time buyer into a repeat buyer with the end goal of turning them into your AIO ambassadors and surrogates so they feel confident enough to put their reputation on the line and spreading your name within their network.

Let me show you two examples of an AIO profile page one as a service provider and the other as a product sales person.

 

Example 1.

Hi and thanks for visiting my AIO

My name is John Bormann and I have spent the past 25 years in the aviation industry as a pilot with some of the leading airlines in the world.   Today I run my own aviation academy with a fleet of 16 single engine airplanes providing PPL training to kids as young as 9 and adventure seekers as young as 75.

As the founder and CEO of Air Eagle academy my personal guarantee to anyone who wants to learn how to fly is not only the skills to handle a plane from takeoff, to navigation, and landing but more importantly to instill the confidence a seasoned pilot would need to manage a flight with impeccable safety.

To learn more about Air Eagle academy please visit our video channel to watch the “beginners flight” program and download the program catalogue from my file cabinet and if you still had questions please contact me on my AIO and I would be more than happy to respond.

We look forward to helping you fly like an Eagle

Best Regards

Founder, CEO and Capitan
John Bormann

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Example 2.

Hi, my name is Rebecca Thomson and welcome to my AIO,

As a mom of 4 kids aged 3, 5, 9 and 11 I can tell you that feeding children the right, healthy, nutritious and balanced diet was never easy given that we are bombarded with so much advertisement of sugar filled food that are inexpensive but void of value.

This is why I have dedicated 16 years of my life to creating the most powerful menu any mother could give their kids.

My 5 course meal program is something that I not only feed my children with but I have been fortunate enough to gain the support of the entire school district of West Virginia were we now feed over 13,000 kids between the ages of 4 and 18.

To find out more about my power menu please watch our “kids come first video” and then download our “power menu” brochure for more details.   If you have any questions, please feel free to connect me at my AIO.

Best Regards

Rebecca Thomson
a mom who cares

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The other important factor you need to consider is making sure the language, spelling and flow are all correct.  Remember, you are asking people to trust you and paying attention to these seemingly minor details makes a world of different in how to start building TRUST.  So, give your reader the respect they deserve by being coherent, articulate and demonstrate leadership with a lot of energy and DO NOT PUSH products on this first encounter.  Be patient.  If the person is interested in you they will follow up.

On AIOconnect we are helping you create an inspiring first impression but the steps need to be taken in the right way.  Once you have added the content in the middle column on the right hand side you will see a box where you can upload an image that best represents you.   Part of your presentation is knowing what kind of image is complementary to your statement.   Often I would suggest professionals using a head-shot on a white background, a professional photo with a smile would do beautifully.   Alternatively, you can select a picture of your choice that would represent you and the industry you are in best.  Just keep in mind the number one rule, you need to build “Trust”, first.

 

Everyone will be selling something, so should you


It’s needless to say in the world that we live in today where consumerism is at warp speed everyone will be selling something NEW.  And yes the operative word is NEW for a number of reasons one of which is we genuinely “like” NEW things that’s sets us apart for the past and we don’t mind “trying” NEW experiences, bungee jumping for example.

People of the 21st century are more daring, more adventurous, more open minded and less risk adverse which means they are more likely to buy new things from people they don’t know, directly.  Just look at Uber or AirBnB as prime examples of our “daringness”.  We dare to get in a strangers car and we dare to book other peoples homes as we travel from one city to another.    That’s pretty courageous if you ask me.

Today, you can buy anything, from anyone, anywhere using an online payment gateway and a credit card which means the buying experience is no longer limited by geography or brand but rather by our sense of curiosity.    Here is an example.  Let’s say you were out looking to buy a T-shirt and your options locally was cotton and one choice of solid color.  Now if someone from Malaysia introduced a T-shirt where it was made of nanotechnology particles that could adapt to your body temperature and change color to your preference and it was being offered at the same price would you try it?     Or you might see an organic plant based nutritional food alternative that tastes like chicken wouldn’t you want to taste it?  I’m sure you would.  All of these technologies are now within reach and as we move forward new inventions will not only intrigue our curiosity but also improve the quality of our lives.

So it is needless to say that the new MEconomy is a real buyers-market, offering better, faster, smarter and more cost effective products and services and as globalization continues to bring down barriers and minimizes regulations, access to new markets will expand opportunities for everyone and in this unprecedented era of openness and unrestricted borders the question then becomes how do you stand out in the crowd and more importantly how can you convince others to BUY from YOU.

In this section I will highlight 5 foundations you need to embody in order to become a recognizable and standalone BRAND with a strong digital footprint in the new MEconomy and you will soon realize that it involves MUCH MORE than just being able to post products on amazon or ebay, create a resume profile on Linkedin and or go after likes and followers on social media.     These rules will integrate your entire Digital Sales Strategy and will act as the backbone to bringing your brand to LIFE.

 

The foundation

The first step to building up your BRAND in the new MEconomy is to figure out who you are, what turns you on, what makes you get up early in the morning and go to bed late at night only to dream about waking up early in the morning so you can do what you love over again.  It’s about turning your passion your raison d’etre (reason for being on this planet) into a career and sustain it over a period of time.  It’s about “certainty” of knowing WHO YOU ARE and what your DNA is made of so, a) you will own the responsibility of brand development, b) you can out hustle your competitors and c) you won’t regret your decision later in life.     Because that’s what it’s going to take and unless you know who you are and love what you do you won’t be able to turn your passion into work, work into a business and business into a BRAND that revolves around YOU.  It’s just not going to be a successful venture.

Rising up, tapping into your potential and being true to yourself is also important in the eyes of your customers who in this day and age ONLY want to deal with the best of the best.   This part is key so if you haven’t figured out who you are just yet or if you are in that state of metaphysical and spiritual transition wanting to go from being ordinary to becoming extraordinary, take a few days or weeks off if you have to, or go on a road trip or lock yourself in a room or do whatever it takes to reveal the inner you, to you.

Let me start you off in the right direction by asking you to fill in the blank that I wish someone would have asked me in my younger years.    I want you to dig deep and complete this sentence.

 

When I look in the mirror I see  _____________________ (e.g an Engineer)  who is inspired to _________________________________ (e.g  build homes that cost under US $10,000) so I can ____________________________ (e.g make home ownership affordable for everyone) in order to  _________________________ (e.g help millions of people have a roof over their head)

 

Or

 

When I look in the mirror I see  _____________________ (e.g a stay at home mom)  who is inspired to _____________________________ (e.g  make healthy eating delicious) so I can ____________________________ (e.g inspire other moms to make meals for their kids) in order to  _________________________ (e.g reduce the risk of obesity in children around the world).

 

Or

 

When I look in the mirror I see  _____________________ (e.g an accountant)  who is inspired to _____________________ (e.g  run financial lecture series ) so I can ____________________________ (e.g educate others in how to increase wealth) in order to  _________________________ (e.g avoid living in poverty at old age).

 

Be absolutely specific and more importantly be brutally honest with yourself.   These few lines are what we commonly refer to as “soul searching”.    I am challenging you on this because in the new MEconomy you need to stand out and this one simple statement will define who you are, what you want to do in life, what is your offering and what customers can expect from you as they agree to do business with you.

Once you have figured out your passion in life and have defined a “problem / solution” statement you will then need to present domain expertise, authenticity in your offering, compassion towards others and hustle as 4 key benchmarks of selling in the new MEconomy.

 

Domain expertise / figure of authority

The first thing in order to become an authority and respected “go to” person will be to demonstrate domain expertise.   The way to do that online is to create a digital foot print with clear business visibility (CBV) on the internet radar.   So there is no point hiding your skills, knowledge, knowhow, proficiency, and experience and make sure you drop the ego in thinking that if people want to do business with me they will come to me.

In todays 900 channel world and peoples 2 second attention span if you are not front and center all the time, you are nowhere.

To build up domain expertise means having massive amounts of content online that when I search google for your name, industry, country, and or area of focus your digital track record will lead me to YOU and hopefully a point of contact (your AIO).   On the other hand, if I search Google and all I find are pictures of you partying or find irrelevant content that is not associated to your domain expertise I probably won’t take you serious let alone attempt at trying to do business with you or your company.  If you are not found online in the right way, you have no domain expertise and you will need to change that which is why with AIOconnect we have not only search engine optimized each and every profile but have provided all the necessary tools so you can build up your domain expertise with great ease.

 

Authenticity in product or service offering

Now the question is when you are found online what is the caliber and quality of content that is associated with you?    Is it genuine and authentic?  Is it unique enough to raise interest and curiosity?  Is it enough to make others want to “get in touch”?   And do you have all of the assurances put in place?  With social media there is a real threat of not being authentic because the slightest negative impact or falsehood can instantly turn into a social media blitz with a backlash.   You can always defend authenticity but BS is very difficult to shake off.

Your authenticity benchmark is content (text, images and video) that you need to build up and we will get into that in later sections.

 

Compassion towards others

Compassion towards your customers in the MEconomy has two distinctive meanings, one is being accessible beyond a “contact us” page which most websites have but hardly any of them take it serious enough to get back to a customer and the other is being a good listener.  Make yourself accessible and take the time to listen well and your customers will become your biggest advocates, and in the era of social media, this is a must have asset.  Win hearts and minds, play long and never go for the quick deal, it will be over just as fast as it started and it wont be in your favor.

And the last benchmark of being awesome in sales in the new MEconomy is having the heart, stamina and Hustle.

 

Hustle

in the new MEconomy means working smart between the physical world and the online world to building up your Brand.   You want to build momentum to become the “go to person” when people want something that revolves around your area of expertise.  Attend conference, give lectures, become a speaker at events, do video broadcasts on Youtube and link it back to your AIO.   Post PDFs on the latest conversations in your industry and make sure you can spread it across social networks.  This builds up brand reputation and you will need it to impact your

The New MEconomy and why should it matter to you?


Over the past 25 years since the invention of the Internet a fundamental transformation has taken place that is just now coming to fruition and it’s called the “new MEconomy”.european_union2

I define the new MEconomy as a tectonic shift that has, and will continue to, dramatically transfer the “balance of power and influence” away from companies and placed it squarely in the hands of the individual.

Think in terms of marketing for a second as I make this point clearer.

When was the last time you made a purchasing decision based on a magazine or newspaper ad, a commercial on TV or by looking at a billboard as you drove by?

Better yet, when was the last time you were influenced by an ad that played itself out on YouTube when wanting to watch a video clip? (you couldn’t wait for the 3 seconds to end so you could click the skip button).  And when was the last time you clicked on a “sponsored ad” on Facebook, twitter or in an email that was sent to you via a company?

My guess is, it’s been a while if never at all and here is why, we have evolved.

We’re smarter, more calculating, better informed and more in control of when to buy, what to buy and from whom to buy.  So the question is, what has changed in marketing when it comes to influencing the purchasing decisions?

You already know the answer, a power shift has taken place where people have greater “INDEPENDENCE” from old media, great access to “KNOWELDGE” and are no longer willing to give their unconditional “TRUST” without due diligence.  Something that in the old economy was exclusively in the hands of big business.

Which is why in the new MEconomic shift where media has fragmented across a broader platform and communication has become instant and direct, and social networks have created new conjugation of people based on new found relationships, loyalties and affinities, “Personal Branding” will be of unprecedented importance.  And, whoever has the “heart and hustle” to build “online credibility” will undoubtedly become a power BRAND in the new MEconomy.

My point at the outset of this conversation is to let you know that YOU, yes YOU are the Most Valuable Brand (MVB) and asset in your business, at your place of work, and in your organization especially if you are on the front line meaning in sales, marketing, PR and business development but in order to win BIG you will need to immerse yourself in understanding how the MEconomy works and what it takes to better your chances of becoming a power brand and a resourceful “point of contact” in this new era we are now entering into.

To get started lets first understand the structural changes that have led to the emergence of the new MEconomy.


Globalization

Some people talk of globalization without truly understanding its impact on our lives.   Look around you for a second, I’m serious, lift your head up and look around you. Everything you see and I mean EVERYTHING is made, produced, invented, assembled and or designed in a different country, yours included.   Your mobile, computer, microwave, home furnishing, sports equipment, your car, bathroom tiles, the shoes on your feet, picture frames on the wall, your tooth brush and needless to say the clothes you wear, are all products that represent globalization at its finest.  As a strong advocate of globalization and a diehard world traveler let me be the first to tell you that connecting with our abundant planet is nothing to fear, but on the contrary, in doing so you’re opening up yourself to enormous possibilities that brings with it massive benefits both on a personal and professional level.

So when you meet someone who tries to sell you the idea that globalization is the root cause of all economic problems, tell them to get a passport and travel the world.  I am ready to bet a thousand dollars that such people have never been to another country beyond a week long excursion as a tourist and therefore have very little appreciation of the value and benefit globalization has to offer.  Globalization is the best thing that could ever happen to humanity and more so for entrepreneurs of the 21st century and beyond.

 

Your takeaway from globalization

First by embracing globalization you commit yourself to learning about other people, alternative ways of doing things, different lifestyles, new customs, traditions and business modus operandi.

This has a profound impact first and foremost on your creativity.  As you open up your heart and mind to learning alternative ways of life your brain will start to rewire itself.   You will become more flexible to change, less rigid in outlook and your hormones will begin to release greater levels of serotonin (the happy hormone).  How does that benefit you you might ask?  Well the answer is, globalization will make you a nicer person rather than just being another professional asshole with an “I take, you give” mentality.  By genuinely showing compassion, by being ready and willing to reach out of your comfort zone and by becoming a good listener you are increasing your chances of building better human connections that will ultimately enable you to outperform your competitors as you push forward in your endeavor to becoming a BRAND.

Second advantage of globalization is access to talent pool.  This is something the multinationals have been doing for decades, using outsourced skillset from around the world.  Now you can do exactly the same thing by tapping into global resources that will not only help you with your product innovation, but more importantly, as you expand your network these amazing people will become part of your success story helping you position your product or service in their markets not to mention they can significantly reduce your overhead cost.

I know this for a fact, because this is how we built AIOconnect and everything I share with you in this manual I have lived through it so I am not dishing out empty advice.  To build AIOconnect we worked across four continents, brought on some of the most talented software and application developers, partnered up with amazing business consultants and advisers, and teamed up with remarkable marketing professionals and sales gurus that when all put together have made us one of the fastest growing and profitable platforms today.

The key to your success is through “collaboration across creative minds” which is a term I have coined to describe the future of human capital networks around common objectives and profitable goals.  The old 9 to 5 model of work will soon be replaced with this model where everyone stands to gain, no matter where they live so long as they are ready to work smart.   

connect, collaborate and profit.

Third asset of globalization and the new MEconomy is shipping and transportation.  It is needless to say that as our world becomes more interconnected thanks to high speed internet and faster means of cross continental transportation, shipping tangible products by air, sea and rail have become easier than ever before.

This being said, it makes more sense to have a centralized digital point of sale in a country that offers you greater incentives (lower taxes, less regulation and red tape) than setting up physical branch offices around the world with the “hope” of expanding market share that may or may not happen.   The point here is that through the web you can centralize your entire supply chain and bring down the cost of shipping prices.  This will leave more profit for you, keeps your customers happy, and increases your BRAND presence as word of mouth (WOM) gets around that you are a trustable person to do business with.

Selling services is no different.  Using the web you can now transact online and transfer documents and files through your cloud based hard drive which is one of the core features on AIOconnect.    So whether you are selling a health insurance policy, a graphic design logo or a sales training course all of this can take place online and through AIOconnect.

A forth point that is of vital importance is money transfer.  With PayPal people can now transact instantly via credit card to credit card or credit card to bank account.   There was a time where we had to get in our car, drive to a bank, fill out a form and wait 3 or 4 days before money could be transferred.  Not anymore.  Everything is instant and its going to get even faster as mobiles become transaction devices and telcos become the new banks of the future.

The fifth attribute of globalization is the acceleration of innovation.  Today, an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, momprenuer, and or a laptoppreneur can come up with a brilliant idea, product or service from the comfort of their living room and or garage without having the old hurdles of building a factory, buying machinery, hiring a large labor force and or creating costly distribution channels in order to commercialize a product or service.

This business model is one of the key pillars of the new MEconomy.  With private labeling and factories in various parts of the world ready to build whatever you want at competitive manufacturing prices innovators no longer need to worry about having massive upfront costs.

The same goes for services.  You can tap into global human resources to support your backend if you are providing a niche service.  Let me give you an example.   Did you know that some of the best digital marketing companies in the United States use talented and highly skilled people in Eastern Europe for their SEO and Google Adword services?   Or many companies in Europe use application developers in South East Asia and the Middle East.   Or animation film companies use outsource animators in Turkey, India, and Singapore.

Without a doubt the clothing industry is a perfect example of this model with so many big brands using China as a manufacturing hub.  Its win-win for everyone and based on the cost of living in each country you can provide top dollar for access to such skillset and feel great about it.   Just make sure you don’t turn into a greedy schmuck like some big companies who operate their business on slave labor and support sub human living standards and your conscience can sleep well at nights knowing you are doing the world a lot of good.

The sixth and final aspect of globalization is how our world as we know it has shrunk.  With social media borders are a thing of the past.  Make something poplar enough and within days the world will hear about it and will demand it.

Today, thanks to the internet and social media the old power structure has dramatically shifted in your favor.   Which is why we have integrated the key social media networks such as Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn into AIOconnect making it easier for you to broadcast to your target audience across platforms through a single point of contact.

So, to summarize what the new MEconomy and globalization bring to the table, I can say, it represents unprecedented opportunity that can broaden your outlook and creative juice, it can lower your cost of innovation, provide you with access to greater talent pool and allows you to focus on bringing your dreams and aspirations to life with lowered risk and lowered cost.   So, my advice to you is, “embrace it or others will”.

How to WIN BIG in the New MEconomy


I have just finished writing “How to WIN BIG in the new MEconomy” handbook or manual as I call it …  here is the intro and what it would entail

Authors Notewin-big-in-the-new-meconomy

I write this MEconomy manual for anyone who is apprehensive about their future, unsure of their job security and worried about the impact of globalization that will inevitably reshape our industrial, trade and commercial relationships over the next ten years, as our world becomes more and more interconnected.

Some of you may also be concerned about emerging technologies and breakthroughs such as robotics, nanotechnology, microprocessors, biotechnology and artificial intelligence (AI) that will make old industries, products and services obsolete and along with it making an entire workforce redundant.

A young generation in their 20s and 30s may also be questioning the relevancy of higher learning as most of the information being taught today at universities have very little practicality in the world we live in and the world we face ahead.

Yes, we are entering an era of uncertainty at a global level and while I recognize the seriousness of these challenges and concerns I also want to be a messenger of hope by offering you an effective way to position yourself at the forefront of the new MEconomy that’s heading our way like a Tsunami.

The new MEconomy is a paradigm shift, a disruption and a displacement that will without a doubt move the center of economic power away from the business structure to YOU, the individual, and whoever is well prepared and knows how to capitalize on this new reality will ultimately win BIG.  But you need to believe in yourself, develop a road-map and ACT NOW without being overwhelmed and without any apprehension.

My goal in writing this manual is to introduce you to the new MEconomy, show you the value and benefits of AIOconnect, and help you position yourself as a powerful, penetrable, passionate and profitable BRAND at the highest level as you enter this new frontier with greater conviction and determination to succeed.   There are a lot of uncertainties in the world as we move ahead but there is one thing I am certain of and that is if we don’t change and adapt to in the new MEconomy we will lose to those who do.  It’s a real do or die moment.

NOTE TO READERS:   If you have any questions I can always be reached directly at my Advanced Integrated Office (AIO) @  www.AIOconnect.com/aio/shahriarshahabi   Thanks for taking the time to read this manual and I look forward to connecting with you on AIOconnect.

Now let’s get started …

 

Dubai is no place for entrepreneurs who want to invest their knowledge and money. Here’s why


Let me first start by saying that since September of 2014 my passport has been taken from me by the Dubai police upon the order of the public prosecutor’s office and on June 19th, 2015 I have been given a deportation order by the courts which means I first have to turn myself to the police, stay a few days in jail, and if nothing happens in between, then be escorted to the airport and sent off to a destination of origin, in my case, Canada like a criminal.

bbm-in-forbes-middle-east
Featured in FORBES Middle East in 2013 – eZeLiving.com has crossed over 3 million viewers

So now you probably want to know why?

Well, here is the back-story.

In 2013 a man by the name of Tarek Ghannem, formerly the managing director of a marketing company called Madison Advertising  now heading a single man advertising agency called Brainstorm came to my office and befriended me.  Little did I know that over the course of 3 months while passing himself off as our re-seller (agent),   he was in fact taking our creative ideas and putting it under his own company name.  The details of how he did it and why is all written up in a separate article that I published on my page back in January of 2014.

After finding out in December of 2013 that Mr. Ghanem had taken many of our ideas, one in particular a show we were about to launch called “in the boardroom” I confronted him via SMS in a 2 to 3 minute conversation (string of messages) where I expressed my intentions of using the power of the LAW to bring him to justice.

With the evidence we had from him it was clear that what took place was intellectual property theft and a breach of agreement based on the emails we had exchanged (all copies are posted online).

What happened thereafter will blow your mind.

Knowing that he had committed a crime and that he would have to pay damages, Mr. Ghannem and his lawyer preempted my legal complaint by filing a case against me on a technicality because I used the word “thief” in an SMS communication to express my disappointment in his action (the taking of someone else’s belonging without their knowledge or consent).  It seems to be the case that whoever files a complaint “first” in the UAE is considered the innocent party, which couldn’t be furthest from the truth.

eZeLiving billboard
Announcing our launch in 2012

In his complaint he stated that I had threatened him which is false.  He had also complained that I had stated in my SMS that I would go after him “American style” and that I would “see him sink” (sink was translated to drowning).  These are manipulation of the “entirety of the conversation” deliberately taken out of context, plus, anyone who knows American business culture and or who would have read my entire SMS communication with him would know that American style of doing business is nothing more than filing a legal case to “SUE” for damages where he would end up spending a lot of money paying legal fees and compensation.  Going bankrupt in legal fees is what SINK meant in this context.

Mr. Tarek Ghanem also knew that I had been featured in FORBES and in The National and was fully aware that my innovation (in marketing and communication) was of value as we had reached over 2 million views on our Youtube Channel and we were cashflow positive, which is why, I asked the courts to look at both of our track records.  The problem was and still is that the legal system in Dubai doesn’t know the first thing about “Digital Forensics” and “Digital Footprint Tracking”.  There is no real due process of law either but I will get into that in a later blog post.

While the evidence would show that I was being credited for my work, he had no record of accomplishment in this area (digital media and content creation) prior to meeting me and my team.  And as a matter of fact he launched his online presence by being on MY SHOW and we have proof of that too.   All of his video content on Youtube will show dates that are after his interaction with us.  But he hid those dates, but we found them.    Here is one example. 

Now here is where it gets interesting.

IMG_7071
Our team of young entrepreneurs at BBM

In January of 2014 I get a call from the Bur Dubai police station.  I immediately went in without hesitation.  Upon arrival I was told that I have a complaint against me by a Mr. Tarek Ghannem.  I explain the situation to the police officer and instead of taking down my statement (which was complex because it involved digital media and the internet) the officer told me to go and write up an Arabic statement and bring it back.  I told him it would take a few days as I first would have to write my statement in English and then have it translated into Arabic and he was fine with it.  A week later when I translated my statement (by an official translator) and went back to the Police station I was told by two other officers who shared a room with him that the officer in charge had gone on vacation and that I should come back when he returns.

Thinking to myself that the officer would call once he is back from holiday I refocused my attention, like any western trained entrepreneur would, back on growing our startup company with great enthusiasm. But no one followed up until September of 2014 (8 months after).  In September I get a call from the same police officer telling me that I should urgently come in as I am now banned from leaving the country.

I immediately went to the Police Station with the translation of my statement in hand.  When I arrived my Canadian passport (which was about to be expired) was taken from me.  I asked him why it was necessary to take my passport and he informed me that it was ordered by the chief public prosecutor’s office.   When I tried to explain that this was not necessary I was again told that this is the ruling.

Featured in FORBES Middle East 2013
Featured in FORBES Middle East 2013

And so on September 2014 my passport was taken without just cause  despite not having done anything wrong.

I handed my translation statement to the police officer so he could enter it into my records only later to find out that it was never added into my file (most likely because it had a date on it from January 2014 and that no one from the police station took it from me back when they should have).

In a state of urgency and distress I hired an Egyptian lawyer  by the name of Haitham Al Patchi from Heba Advocates who passed himself off as one of the top lawyers in the country (big mistake on my part).  I later found out that all he cared for was running up a tab on me.   He ended up billing me over 100,000 dirhams where he had originally agreed on a fee of 25,000 dirhams for hardly doing anything.  But that’s an entirely different issue all together that I won’t get into at this point.  I will however say that after getting the deportation ruling he threatened me that if I complained against him he will file a case for 1,000,000 dirhams against me.  Sounds pretty fishy right?   O and i have to add that in 2016 when I checked up on him I found out that his law practice had closed shop and their website was no longer active.

Anyways a few weeks later when we went back to the police station this time with a lawyer who spoke Arabic to explain that if anyone should be complaining it should be me, I was notified that under the “cyber-crime” law I was being charged for threatening Mr. Tarek Ghannem and that I was now considered, get this, a NATIONAL SECURITY THREAT to the country.  I was overwhelmed because based on the evidence we had we were in the right and while everything was made available to the courts, no one seemed to care at the totality of the situation.  I found this to be very disturbing and unethical.

So, the next step was to sit before the public prosecutor (which took another few months), and I did, but despite all efforts in trying and explain to him that I was being victimized and that the real criminal was walking the streets of Dubai a free man, the public prosecutor ended up giving me 3 options.

  1. To pay Mr. Ghanem 50,000aed (which later went up to 120,000aed after Mr. Ghannem found out that a deportation order was given to me) so he would drop the case, and there was no way in hell I would do that. To pay him would be like paying someone money after they broke into your house and walked off with the family jewels.    Where is the logic in that???
  2. Pay up to 250,000 dirhams in fines along with a jail time.  Or
  3. Be deported

    The National - shahriar shahabi
    Featured in the National

I made it clear that since my rights have been taken from me and that the TRUTH was on my side I would never agree to (1) and will defend my rights till justice is served in court.  To this day I am puzzled as to why the courts have chosen NOT to see the entire picture and instead have made a ruling based on one “small” piece of the communication that was taken out of context.  I have my thoughts on this but I will leave that for another follow up article once I am safely out of the country.

And so when our court date arrived a few weeks after my meeting with the public prosecutor, the first instance court judge heard our defense and fined me 2000 Dirhams, however, on the day we went to make payment (June 3rd, 2015), the court administrator told us that the public prosecutor (on behalf of the Dubai government) has made an appeal on the court’s decision and that we would now have to go to a second court hearing.

By this time we had paid over 120,000aed in legal fees, 2000aed in court fees, and more importantly, a year of my life had passed in a state of constant stress, anxiety and complete standstill not to mention my ability to travel was also blocked where I needed to move in order to raise funds for our digital media and marketing company.   Despite putting on a calm and collected face at home and at work there was no way I could focus my much needed attention on our digital media company BBM, and on www.eZeLiving.com, a lifestyle platform that I had projected to be worth a million dollars given our business model and number one position in the market.

A few months later the second court hearing was set and while my lawyer had notified me that it was not necessary for me to be present in court, for reasons again I think I  know but will say once I am out of the country, we got the verdict, DEPORTATION by Judge Adnan Al Farra.

I was shocked in disbelief and so was my wife who is a very well respected high-school teach in one of Dubai’s top international schools and has been for the past 10 years.

eZeLiving BB1 (1)
72 foot billboard and a proud moment

After everything I had gone through, the drama, the stress, and the anxiety the court’s decision was to rule against me while letting the real criminal go FREE.  I thought to myself, what message is Dubai sending to entrepreneurs who are honest, creative, and hardworking?  The message was clear … DUBAI IS NO PLACE FOR YOU BECAUSE THE LAW WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.

I made an appointment to see staff at the Canadian consulate in Dubai to tell them about my case and after a 5 minute discussion I was told by our embassy that, “we can’t help you because we don’t get involved in the internal affairs of a host country other than to make sure you are well treated”.  So much for our diplomatic team who turned out to be useless despite the human rights violations that have been committed.

I went back to the office got on the phone and immediately FIRED the Egyptian lawyer and his team for their incompetence and hired a new Emirati lawyer.  We put in a new plea to the Supreme Court (taameez) but once again the lawyers had no clue what Cyber Crime is and how to defend it.    The decision came back and it was rejected.  The only thing the lawyer, who was a retired police officer could tell me was “sorry, I am learning”.     By this time my creative energy was gone and my family in a state of anxiety and not to mention my passport still withheld by the public prosecutor after TWO AND A HALF YEARS.

Can you believe it … For OVER THREE YEARS they have now blocked my mobility to travel and do business so I could earn a living.  By 2016 the ordeal had brought my internet business to a complete standstill.  The Dubai legal system had bankrupted me, and this brings us to today.

Now everything is with the rulers court and an appeals committee that we have been waiting for a decision since March of 2016.  Things don’t look good and the question is will they let me leave without a fuss?

eZeLiving BB1 (2)
72 foot billboard outside of Dubai Media City in 2012

I share my experience with all entrepreneurs out there to let you know that Dubai is NO PLACE for creative people to invest in and launch startups because the justice system does not protect people like us who want to create new ideas, create employment opportunities and change the world for the better.  The headache and heartache is just not worth it.

And so it is needless to say that upon returning to Canada, I will file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Dubai, as I seek damages for everything they have put me and my family through over the past three years, and more importantly, for destroying my business that is now lost, and as per our business plan, for the multi-million dollar market opportunity that was taken away from me.

As I wait for a decision from the Rulers Office through a new laywer (Mrs Samira Gargash) my only priority is to have my name cleared in the courts and to prove that I was right all along.    After that I will seek council with friends and family back home in Canada to take the next course of action as my family’s safety is the most important thing to me.

What is really sad and what Dubai doesn’t understand is that in the US and in Silicon Valley I would have been highly regarded for my skills and risk taking ability, and, society would have benefited from my contribution and job creation potential. But instead, here, they have treated me as a criminal which is why I arrive to the conclusion that this city is no place for entrepreneurs with a global vision.

“the Arc of moral universe is long but it always bends towards justice”
Martin Luther King Jr.

UPDATE …. the superior court “taameez” has upheld the second courts decision in that I have committed a crime worthy of being labeled as a national threat despite the overwhelming evidence in my favor.   Now we file a case to the Public Prosecutors office and write a letter to the Dewan (the rulers office).   JUSTICE must be done based on facts not POOR TRANSLATION of them.

UPDATE –  for 11 months Ibrahim El Banna kept telling us he would help but did NOTHING.  Then asked us to give him power of attorney and once we his fee shot up to 140,000aed.   So much for honest lawyers in Dubai.

UPDATE – met with another person who was introduced to us by yet another Egyptian.  A Polish woman representing another emirati law firm.  Her advise was to write a bounded check so I could stay in the country while the issue is being resolved.    I told her that her advise is terrible and unethical.   These are the type of people are running the legal system in Dubai.  Once you fall into the spiders web there is NO getting out.

January 23rd 2017 …. an observation on Tarek.   If Madison and In the Boardroom was his idea, why did he have to leave and start a new company and NEVER use In the Boardroom after this case?   Why did the first lawyer disappear from his law firm?  Why did the Chief public prosecutor not accept the first instance court ruling?   Why has this case been filled with neglect and mishandling from day one?

February 10th 2017 – had a meeting with Madam Samira Gargash who is a well respected lawyer.  She said she would help us resolve this issue and that this case has been badly handled from the start.  Two weeks has passed and now February 25th and I am still waiting for a response.

April 2nd 2017 – Samira Gargash has said she can not help us.    Even the BEST lawyers have no clue what digital / cyber forensics is and yet the make judgement on these issues.

June 19th 2017 – After 9 final days of hell I have left Dubai forever and will soon tell the world about my story.  Dubai is NO PLACE FOR INVESTMENT, unless you are laundering money.

A creative agency that takes other people’s ideas is hardly creative


tarek ghannam - madison
Tarek Ghannam – MD of Madison Advertising

In February of 2013, Big Brand Media came to know Madison Advertising who at the time was selling print media creative and brand consulting for Saffron in Dubai .  I know this because the CEO of Madison, Mr. Tarek Ghannam shared office space with us at  the H Business tower on Shiekh Zayed road, in Dubai.

As a tech entrepreneur with Silicon valley experience I have always believed in having open and constructive business relationships with partners and so in this spirit my team and I introduced what we did, which was to create consumer and business centric video content, with our webTV platform eZeLiving.  Mr. Ghannam immediately showed interest and wanted to become our reseller for a 30% revenue share.

Knowing full well that BBM and it’s platform eZeLiving.com was focused on lifestyle segments such as food, health, fashion, travel, fitness, automotive, etc and our core strength being in video production at an unbeatable price point, Mr. Ghannam started asking us to make  creative content so he could pitch to his clients such as Nestle and Masafi.  Our first request from him was to create a video for NIDO, and we did.   Here is the webcast. 

After his meeting with NIDO, an email came to us saying that Nestle loved our creative content and wanted to work with us.  But it never happened.

A second creative idea that we shared with Mr. Ghannam was when we introduced our new show in March which was in the boardroom lettera modification of our original idea that we had thought of back in January of 2013.  The premise of the show was to  have CEO’s sit in the backseat of a luxury car as we conducted an interview.  The name of the show that we had given the webisode series was in the boardroom”.  Here is where the idea originated from again from our side and NOT his.

We introduced this show to Mr. Ghannam after BBMs correspondence with Bentley who also had their representative office on the same floor.   He then took action and introduced us to Jaguar / Range rover.

On April 7th we had the meeting with Jaguar not knowing that Mr. Ghannam had set up the meeting as Madison.

During our relationship we shared a number of show ideas some that were active, like our “Good Doctors” and others in the pipelines.

By April, three months into our business relationship none of the client’s that he had introduced turned in to business deals, only later for us to find out why.  Mr. Ghannam had not mentioned a word that any of these ideas, platforms and services were the intellectual property of Big Brand Media and that he was working in partnership with us to promote our creative IP.

To our surprise we later realized in a tweet that he had closed these deals under his own name leaving the real creators of these initiatives out to dry.  What was most shocking to us was that he even had the audacity to take OUR BRAND “In the boardroom” and use it for Jaguar.    We confronted Jaguar only to be told that they had closed the deal with Madison and that if we had issues we should take it up with them.

Discussing the issue with a law firm in Dubai, we were advised to put an injunction on any trademark that Madison could have on this name from Abu Dhabi.  We are still thinking about it.

But here is the real question.  If these ideas, shows, business model all belonged to Madison then  why were we asked bbm-in-forbes-middle-eastto come to meetings with him and WHY was Mr. Ghannam on www.eZeLiving.com and WHY are their emails that state he was reselling our product and that he expressed interest to take an equity stake in our company.   WHY, do we have over 1500 pieces of web content with over 3 million video views where he has none before meeting us (HE HAS NO DIGITAL FOOTPRINT before meeting us), why did FORBES middle east magazine call us “the star of the small screen” (July Issue 2013), Why did the National.ae headline the founder of BBM and the company as “shaking up online ad world” (August 19th 2013)

The truth is that after having full access to BBM, our business model, pricing model, nature of shows, format of filming and upon securing deals for himself using our expertise, Mr. Ghannam took something that was not rightfully his and immediately changed his company website to incorporate a lot of our terminology such as customer centric content, lifestyle focused content, webisode series, storytelling and positioned his firm as a content creator with a business WebTV, and under this pretense, formed a relationship with MediaQuest.

So I say, a creative agency that takes the intellectual property of others is hardly creative and if Dubai is serious about protecting intellectual property rights here is a good case to lend its support behind people who originate ideas and who can stimulate the economy through their creativity.

Footnote:  Everything I have said in this article are backed up by published facts and in the form of communique and emails between myself and Mr. Ghannam.  And while in a court of law the truth will side with BBM I don’t think Mr. Ghannam is worth my time to pursue a legal case against him as we have bigger and better things to do as the true originators of creative lifestyle centric content makers on the Web, founded in the UAE, broadcasting for a global world.  

A copy of this letter is handed over to Dubai Police with all emails attached to counter Mr. Ghannams baseless claim that we called him names.