Javed S. Khan, who leads EMpression: A Marketing Services Company, has helped entrepreneurial and corporate clients build their ideas innovatively, by guiding their vision and marketing plans. Clients seek out his company’s expertise in digital content, online presence, identity brand management, and marketing, not just to fill the gap, but to take their messaging to the next level. Startups, small businesses and top financial firms have benefited from Khan’s 20 years of branding and marketing skills.
Popular on the speaking circuit, Khan has been a keynote at hundreds of conferences, meetings and conventions, having spoken to more than 8,000 organizations. Popular topics include digital marketing, developing business relationships, email marketing, and creating winning LinkedIn content.
What are typical mistakes you spot from entrepreneurs?
The number one thing is: don’t be everything to everyone, and don’t do everything. Identify where you have a skillset, or what others should do. You have to have that ability to trust – which you need to build and earn – but also the ability to delegate.
If an action’s not sustainable, and you can’t do it on a consistent basis, it’s not going to go well for you or the company. You have to find ways to be different. It could be small ways. But you have to be you. You have to be yourself and come out with something that is authentic for yourself.
Next, people have great ideas; they just don’t know how to put it into action. The ones who figure out how to go from idea to fruition – that is a constant conversation piece when I’m meeting with people.
What’s the next big thing to use to stand out among the crowd?
It’s finding ways to personalize communication. I have become quite known for using video messages religiously. I find that I get a lot of traction from that, because I’m able to personalize my notes, and bring the human factor back into digital communications, above and beyond texting. Video, I find, is going to become something that everyone is going to embrace. People are hesitant, but if you have that opportunity to personalize text messages through video, that’s going to be a game changer. It’s been a game changer for us, and for me professionally. It’s becoming a game changer for all the individuals that I’ve been tapping on the shoulder, telling them they have to get into video communication and personalization. Any level of personalization is going to catch fire quicker than people anticipate.
What are key things you impart to an audience on how to improve or upgrade their business relationships?
I certainly think one of the items on the top of your list has to be online presence. You need to have digital in your DNA. Your digital presence needs to be updated, consistent, and needs to be an area to start conversations. They need to understand that the consumer audience has changed from an audience that consumes information, to an audience that I call the “ultra-informed audience.” These are people who are consuming, searching, sharing content 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
For me, I always look at LinkedIn. LinkedIn is still the number one online professional statement about yourself. How are you engaging and getting engagement from your online audience? This all takes time. There is no magic pill. It has to be part of your strategy and has to be in line with what your organization is comfortable with. Next is enticing and supporting conversation. It requires time and patience.
There are things you need to be aware of when it comes to building the relationships and networking. Figure out who you want to meet, and who to build a network with. Do the research on that individual. Be able to jump into a conversation with that individual. Follow up and follow through. That, still, is the number one pitfall people experience.
What advice would you give a budding entrepreneur?
Be prepared to fail, and fail often. But understand that doing so is okay. Don’t expect instant success. Successful folks that I’ve come across – the ones who are very successful – their stories are not of overnight success. It’s taken a lot of time to build or evolve to where they are. That comes with precision, patience, and positive energy.
Also, be prepared for the fact that failure may take a toll mentally. It may discourage you. It may make you start second-guessing what you’re doing. You need to have some level of self-encouragement, and continue to talk to yourself and say, “It’s okay, I’m going to think positive.”
Dave Gordon | Contributing Writer