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Hassan Aanbar - Key SEO Mastery For Optimal Organic Search Traffic

icon-calendar 2021-02-17 | icon-microphone 1h 11m 7s Listening Time | icon-user Debutify CORP

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Hassan Aanbar was great to talk to. His knowledge of SEO comes from a long legacy of experience. Having seen firsthand how this essential tool has developed over the years. In addition, his story of coming to the West, speaks to the benefits of a world growing in connectivity. Remember the key to SEO is that this is a tool to attract those who are looking, not those waiting to be found.

Hassan Aanbar is the founder of Bright Leads Media, a marketing agency specialised in helping small- and medium-sized businesses with their SEO and email marketing strategies. On average, clients report a 30% to 45% increase in revenue when they implement a solid SEO strategy along with email marketing.



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Hassan Aanbar: [00:00:00] I think the advantage, the people who won actually pivoted well and can have benefited and didn't get hurt as much as other businesses, people, a little bit, even a tiny bit of a presence online just had a Google, my business, things that show up when you make up a burrito near me or whatever, if they just have that, they would have at least kept some of the business and not lost all of it.

Just having a little bit of knowledge. A little bit of savviness helped save a lot of business. 

Joseph: [00:00:34] You're listening to Ecomonics a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age. This is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable. So let's go.

Hassan Aanbar was great to talk to. His knowledge of SEO comes from a long legacy of experience. Having seen firsthand how this essential tool has developed over the years. In addition, his story of coming to the West, speaks to the benefits of a world growing in connectivity. Remember the key to SEO is that this is a tool to attract those who are looking, not those waiting to be found.

Hassan Aanbar, it's good to have you here. Welcome to Ecomonics. How are you doing today, man? How are you feeling? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:01:24] I'm doing great. Thank you, Joseph, for having me being here. 

Joseph: [00:01:28] So timing being what it is, the previous person that we had, uh, brought into the show was also an SEO expert. So it's cool to have two SEO people back to back, and I'm excited to get into your side of it, your expertise, but I think.

First things got to come first. We've got a very important question. We're going to ask you, which is who you are and what do you do? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:01:49] All right. So my name is Hassan. I'm a 36 years old. Uh, I've been doing internet marketing or in the, in the, in the business for a very long time. Started at the ripe age of 21 at back in 2005.

Um, you know, building websites on free blogger platforms, not monetizing what ads and it's early days. And then, uh, stumbled onto SEO in 2007, 2008. And I've been kind of an avid SEO, uh, ever since, you know, bill building my own websites, then moving on to doing freelance freelance work, then, uh, building an agency, starting an agency in late 2016.

And, uh, yeah, that's, that's been like the consistent thing, but we've, I've been able to like, do other things, other like email marketing, um, mostly email marketing. That's like the newest thing that I've worked on newest a few considered 2013 recent. So yeah, that's been like the other kind of expertise that I've picked up over the years, but yeah.

I mean, uh, it's been SEO pretty consistent for over 15 years. 

Joseph: [00:02:52] Yeah. Recency, Uh, is an interesting thing to, is an interesting term these days, because when I'm looking at material, even as far back as 2019, I'm thinking my goodness, so many things have changed since 2019. So I'm not even sure if these things, uh, qualify any longer.

So actually a couple of small things I observed just from hearing your, your initial breakdown here is how you, you said you stumbled on to SEO. And what I think is distinctive about SEO is that it's not. Surface level internet it's in the same way that people find social media and right away, it's. No it's the social media is like the lobby of the internet.

Can you recall how exactly you came across SEO realizing that it was something that was probably influencing your internet behavior prior to that? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:03:39] Yeah, I mean, the way kind of, we did things just like to make money. I knew what affiliate marketing, even before I knew what SEO was. So stumbled upon that in 2002 kind of began reading about it.

Uh, I was in, I was in Morocco back then before I went to the US for school. So things were kind of limited and there was not a lot of like knowledge being thrown around. So we I'm pretty sure you remember, forums, forums were a big thing. So we just go to forums and people would share hacks. Like I've done this, I've done that.

And kind of just being in my nature of like going out there and kind of like trying to discover things and learn things and learning how to use Google, uh, at an early age. And it helped me kind of learn a lot kind of strategies, marketing strategies, marketing channels, ways to make money as easily as, as you know, and things were kind of a little bit limited.

There was only MySpace and then Google. Um, there was no, even Facebook was pretty limited. Facebook. First time I was on Facebook was, was, it was, uh, it was, I was in college in the us and it was. Pretty close to just universities in the US, Canada and Australia and the UK. If you didn't have a college email, you wouldn't have access to it.

So even social media wasn't that big. So it was just Google learning, how to kind of like, uh, build websites and then monetizing them through AdSense. You want to, you want to learn how to drive traffic? Yeah. So other than my space, we wish, which was limited. We only had SEO, so that's how I kinda stumbled upon SEO.

And then it was very basic and it was very easy to learn. Not as, not as complicated as today. So you just basically just throw five articles on websites. Uh, do very basic ones, uh, optimization, you know, like put up a keyword here and the meta-tags and all that stuff. And then a week later, you're, you're making money.

Like literally, that's how I stumbled upon that. 

Joseph: [00:05:37] Yeah. I mean, one thing I noticed too, when I started using Facebook, um, I started using Facebook in high school and I was thinking I was going to be a frontiers person. Like I'm going to be the first person on Facebook out of everybody. I know I got into Facebook and like all my friends have already been on it and the structure not to get like too deep into Facebook.

Cause that's not really the objective of today, but the structure of Facebook had transformed, not in the same way that I don't know. A robot turns into a car, like, not that drastic, but I think the way people had treated, it had changed significantly over time. Remember like the first messages were sent, it wasn't treated like a messenger service.

It was more like an email. I was like, yeah. So nice to meet you that one time. Yeah. Let's stay in touch. And then that was it. So while SEO, I would think, um, is changing and is improving, uh, because the needs of the internet were changing other things around it were. Pivoting, they were, they were shifting and they weren't really the same thing that people were when they first logged onto the program.

And we see that today too, by the way, especially in the social media space, a lot of these platforms and apps, like I was saying, Facebook, they're not the same apps that people get onto. Uh, I can rant about this for quite a while. YouTube supposed to be just for like, you know, person to person content creators, but now you do really as more like the, just away for big companies to get those cells onto the internet, Instagram people are going there for the stories.

So all of these things keep changing around at SCO, I think has just been growing and in response to all of that. 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:07:05] Yes. Yes. SEO is like, well, first it was for people who kind of like learn how to manipulate it or use it was just to get their websites, something and run in those a lot of small players. Uh, back then. 

And it was, it was, it was very, not very competitive at all, especially in the smaller niches. If you're talking about, uh, the first people kind of to benefit from what were like the travel industry, they knew that people will use Google to look up like destination hotels and stuff. So they would have early adopters of SEO optimization.

They benefited from it, like in the nineties. I know, you know, hotels all over the world, even here in Morocco who, uh, you know, benefited so much from just doing basic optimizations since 1998, 1999. And kind of like, they kept kind of doing the same thing for 10 years until Google started kind of like, like knowing the value of it, making things a little bit harder for anybody to just manipulate their algorithms.

So it just kept growing and growing and now have almost every industry, you know, uh, working on their, on their SEO, having huge SEO departments, make it like putting a lot of money into. Optimizing their, their, their, their search engine presence.

Joseph: [00:08:25] Okay, so this one opped into my head. And I'm asking this one out of curiosity, cause one of the, one of my like ongoing debates within myself.

And then whenever I talk to people, primarily in the podcasting space is the term podcast itself because it's fundamentally radio and over time, people will not really realize that it's called podcasts because it's origins was, it was an Apple construct, but sometimes I wonder if there was a different term for it.

What would that be? Um, so I just wanted to throw that to you for a second. Just in case you've had this thought is, would, is SEO the most accurate way to describe what you're doing or do you feel that fundamentally it's a form of say, marketing or advertising or promotion or anything along those lines?

Hassan Aanbar: [00:09:06] Uh, like what I've been knowing over the years as I've been kind of like growing a little bit, bit by bit. So instead of just doing optimizing websites, just for myself, just to what I said, I make money directly. Um, so that was just me as a small player. This is, we're talking 2007, 2008, up until 2012, 2013.

Then when I started doing it for other other clients, you know, optimizing their sites, um, then it became more of a strategy kind of. Wait. So it became a marketing channel that you kind of try to try to try to optimize for. And then when we started working with bigger clients, as a, as an agency, the agency, it started in 2016 and I brought in more people to work with me.

I have one person to do the technical SEO. So that's, I'll call that guy that the Esther look the pure, you know, geeky, SEO. He kicks out on, on, on metrics and data and almost like a developer and the way that he, he does things. I don't do that anymore. And it's getting a little bit more complicated day by day.

Now I have a developer, a couple of developers on the team, so they can have like, uh, work hand in hand to kind of like work on the, uh, the, the, the, the chances of the website have the basis of all of these websites, how they, how they show up in the algorithms and all that good stuff. I kind of put myself up a little bit above those guys and just look at SEO as a marketing channel.

As one way of, of looking at things, it's just a way to bring traffic to the sites. And that's why I kind of like diverged into learning more about email and what to do with this traffic that comes to the site and how to kind of keep, keep, stay in touch with these people where their customers are or newsletter subscribers, or whatever you want.

We want to have on your sites. And then we're looking at now we're adding another service, which is, uh, conversion rate optimization CRO. So you want to like analyze what these people are doing and the sites. So you've had that too. And so it would become, become more of a strategist. Look at these, these, all these pieces and the way, the way you, I know exactly all the technical stuff that has to do with SEO.

I know what to, what to manipulate, what to optimize for. I know how email would work. So I would. I know where to place the opt-in forms and what to say on the first email. That's not what on I'll do the marketing automations and I know what kind of like layout to put in what kind of industry. So all these kind of like became, um, just what pieces of the big puzzle, which is, you know, What you would call digital marketing also, although I don't really like call it digital marketing, but it's just done online and it's a bigger and bigger market.

And now with what COVID COVID did, you know, like, can I happen then? Pushed us forward, like five years into kind of like all this market to market, to the share, uh, you know, like just people using, uh, using these things and companies jumping onto the bandwagon of marketing online. It's just, you know, make things go a lot faster than they should, that they would have had if there was no COVID.

So it just, you know, marketing, marketing in general with a lot of pieces in place. 

Joseph: [00:12:21] Yeah. There is a through line there that I came to mind because you were saying that one of the earliest industries that had, uh, understood the potential of this and, and utilized it was the travel industry. And because travel implies a great deal of distance between two spots.

Like if somebody wants to go from even woman's side of the country, to the other, there's. Going to be people that people on the other end. So the internet seems to be more of a natural fit to connect these two points. So what I'm thinking is happening, and I'd love to hear you weigh in on this as well is once we got to COVID you have these other industries that are forced to adapt to the internet in order to even stay afloat.

And we're talking about restaurant industries, we're talking about local businesses. We're talking about people that I can hypothetically go down the street to pay a visit to that now in. We're where we are right now, as of this recording, I can't even go do that. I, I think what's going on is the more local the industry, the more recently they've had to adapt to the internet and therefore had to adapt to correct.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:13:25] Yeah. Um, I mean, I think that the advantage that people who want. Well, I actually pivoted well and kind of benefit it. Didn't get hurt as much as other businesses where people who were a little bit savvy, it had even a tiny bit of a presence online. Just had a Google, my business page, you know, just things that show up when you look up feeds on near me or a restaurant near me or.

Well burrito near me or whatever, if they just have that, they would have at least kept some of the business and not lost all of it. And again, the reliance on other apps like delivery apps, like, I don't know what you guys have in. Uh, in your part of the world, but we have like these European, uh, app companies and have some local ones and they, they actually grew like 10 fold just during the lockdown.

Uh, but by kind of like serving people who had to close their business, but they were at least allowed to do take out and stuff. So just having a little bit of knowledge. A little bit of savviness, you know, helped save a lot of businesses, the ones who didn't had to, you know, have to ask around and see how they could save the state of float.

You know, it was, that was the only way out or way to, to say a float is digital marketing is SEO. Is it local business as, yes. Um, There, I would argue that a more local, well businesses, at least in the U S at least in North America in general, uh, they were more savvy. They actually started using this and benefited from it because of the random of, uh, I forgot the word, but the amount of the percentage of people can have online or using smartphones or computers or whatever, the, the amount of people using the internet to, to, to, to, to do business, to just like live their, their lives. As grew, um, like not tenfold out, call it to 50 fold 50 times.

And so they, they were because there's agencies that I know of who are specialized in local SEO, they don't provide any other service, but just local SEO that restaurants do. Um, They work with the hotels. They work with, um, gyms, they work with, uh, like, uh, service providers, like plumbers and stuff. So that's like, they're like a little spa.

Yeah. Local spas. That's their specialties. They just work with local SEO. So they, you know, that there's, there's a little bit of, uh, Of, uh, kind of like usage and if it's already been there, it's just been kind of like when you call it kind of like exploded the fight. Yeah. It's amplified over, over, over the last, over the second quarter of 20.

Joseph: [00:16:06] Yeah. Well, I mean, I'm, I'm 31 years old and I think you and I are both part of this, um, generation where we had experienced life prior to the internet. It was a brief window, but it was still a window. Uh, and I think you might've had a couple more years, uh, in that, in that perspective before the internet hits and it doesn't take very long for, uh, people using it to realize that the internet, while it might not be a replacement for life, it is a way to augment our lives so that we can shape them in the way that we actually want. So even some of the earliest things that I was drawing on the internet as I was going on too.

Fan websites for other Nintendo fans, cause I didn't have anybody to talk to at school about it. To this day, the internet has continued to augment my life in any way that I need, I needed to work in the internet provided me work. We needed a meeting, we needed a mattress and we got, we got our mattress through online.

What we see is that the internet is, I mean, a lot of people have talked about turning it into a public utility and I don't see any reasons not to do that. Not that I can think of off the top of my head anyways and what we will, we have to acknowledge. And that everybody needed to acknowledge this year is that the internet is core.

Now it's. Not oxygen, but it's close. So anybody who's not adapting to it is essentially losing out on their ability to come out of this on the other side. And so I think what a lot of these new structures that we have are the correct structures and will they'll come with us once they're actually allowed to like, you know, go to parties again and do stuff like that.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:17:35] Yeah. The internet is a vital part of like, I would remember the first time I actually went to an internet cafe and that was back in 1998. And there was a funny story, like back then, cause you had to pay like almost like a dollar per hour. No, wait, the first time it was like $3 an hour. It's like in our neighborhood, it was only one, one spot.

That was the first guy to open it up. So we went..

Joseph: [00:17:59] Like the first 20 minutes, just like booting up the PC or.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:18:02] Yeah. Cause we speak, we speak a lot of French here other than like the official language is Arabic. So the second language is like French. That's what you learn in school and stuff. So we, we spoke, you know, like, uh, French.

So we went to these French websites. So there was this email service and me and my friend, we didn't have a lot of money. So we decided to. You know, do what everybody else was doing is, you know, just chat with other people, um, through these tools. Um, there was not even what they call MSM live, wherever sent chat.

There was, it didn't exist back then. 

Joseph: [00:18:34] I think  it was ICQ?

Hassan Aanbar: [00:18:35] ICQ. There was MIRC. It was a little bit fragmented depending on the part of the world where you were, but it was like AOL, but we didn't have AOL. It was, if you go out there while it was just be like North America is the records. But if you were like Europeans or people who spoke French and actually used another service.

So what we did, the funny thing is we shared an email address. We called it like. I first named his first name at like, whatever service that was. That was like the first email that we, it, it was so funny. It was like, did you receive an email? So you had to like go in and pay and just sit for like 15 minutes, 30 minutes, just like, look at this message is for me, it's message for me.

So that was, that was pretty funny. But then again, but later on, it kind of got cheaper and you know, each one of us kind of get their email address, but that was, that was just funny. And like sharing an email address. Not two different names, but you know, then, uh, things kind of started to add in all these services and all these things.

And as people started playing video games, other than chats, and there wasn't these other, and then going to Google or Google kind of got into the scene and people started using Google and there was Netscape. So instead of escape, we started getting internet explore. So things kind of get a progress, but it wasn't, it wasn't.

I used to use Netscape. It was fun part of our lives. That was really. Uh, really interesting, but then we saw like the move from, from, from being just a novelty to it being a big part of our lives, like right now, uh, by almost everything online, except even in a country like Morocco, almost everything online, except for like groceries.

So she's, I like to kind of pick them up with my hands and that could do that. And we have like a hundred services to get your groceries delivered to your home. But you know, internet is, as you said, it's, it's, it's a core. It has, it has to be part of your daily life. If you want to do anything. 

Joseph: [00:20:28] Yeah, very briefly talking to you.

I remembered one of the very first interactions I had with the internet. Uh, this is just a short, uh, funny story. Um, we went to one of my cousin's house and he had to compete. He was working from home. He was a freelancer way, way, way before freelancing took the shape that it is today and he had a computer and he was on the internet and he showed us a chat room.

And the very first thing I remember doing on the internet was getting into a fight with somebody. And I remember I just typing out F U in full, and then I closed the chat room. So that was my first day on the internet. The second thing was losing to a, losing to a guy in checkers. I remember his name too.

His name was a China paint. And, uh, and I remember writing about that in school saying about like how, how great it is to have the internet and all these new friends. I made like China paint. I play with him like one time and never talked to him again. Uh, And, but for some reason, the dis the ability to connect with that person in that, in that brief moment, it was so potent, um, because it was something that I had done and it was a complete within my control.

And, you know, I mean, even to this day, it's surprising, but I'm sure there are people that still view the internet as a novelty. I think it's because people don't, if they still, if they, for whatever, how somehow they got this far and they still don't need it, then they don't need it. Um, but I think to each person it's their, their, their view of it is if I need, if I need this, I will, I needed it pretty quickly. I just, because of the way I interacted with the world around me, it just, yeah, it really made a significant difference. And it continues to do that.

There is one thing I wanted to ask you about your, your background, um, because I know that you earned a US scholarship, um, as for. Correct me if I'm wrong at Denison university.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:22:11] Yes. Yes. That's where I went to school. 

Joseph: [00:22:12] Yes. Okay. Yeah. This is something that I'm, that I, that I'm intrigued about because I wanted to know more about how you adjust it to the lifestyle of being in the US that the part of it I know is at the, the people that you, you were in school with have more resources going in and compared to what you had going in.

Um, so that side, obviously you can expand on, but that's the side that I, I heard about on the podcast, but I was actually also intrigued about. You know, the lifestyle and you know, what you did for work your, your social lifestyle and how you were able to climatize to where you were in the States.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:22:44] Okay. So what happened with, there was this scholarship program by the state state department.

So they kind of like, uh, you apply and you get to through the application process interviews and all that. So we went through that, everything went well. I was approved. I went through and, and, uh, what happened is I didn't get to choose the school. Part of the program is that the school gets to pick whoever they want.

So that school can specifically made it go with, along with another Moroccan student and a few other people from the middle East. And that program was just like for people for the middle East and North Africa. And that's what we're from. So that. Um, is how I got to go to that school. And it was again, uh, an expensive school and me having a, gone my whole life in public schools in a third world country.

Um, you know, like a developing country is like, they call them. And so going from the kid. In the fringes. And then we'd go into this place where even Americans couldn't even dream of was huge kind of change, but that was, you know, it was interesting and it made me who I am today, made people the way I can not think about life and all that.

Um, it gives you a completely different perspective, like first time flying ever. Um, and that was like from like Baraka to, to New York and all that living in a small town, not even a poor, small town of like a rich kind of suburban. A small town in Ohio, the kind of thing that if you fly over, you only see like pools and big houses and all that stuff that the stuff that you see in the movies, that was pretty interesting.

So, so I was almost like in a, in a bubble and I kind of like opened up to the world and learned so much the, the lifestyle, because it was a scholarship. It was, it made, they made it easier on us. Um, you know, you get a monthly stipend, uh, you don't have to worry about any of the basic stuff. Food and whatnot.

So you got that taken care of. So for us it was, it was, uh, just go there and you have all your basics covered, just go to school, study degree thing, and then, you know, part of the deal was to come back, had to come back to you can kind of benefit, uh, spread the love or share the, share the word about your experience in the US and just tell people about how it wasn't, but, you know, it was, uh, Good intentions program.

It was nice. Um, that's where I met my wife actually. Um, so that's like the life changing stories. She's Moroccan, I'm Moroccan. We've never been Morocco, but we met in the US. And yeah, we're still together. We have a little eight year old now she's eight. So that's pretty, pretty good, but a good story. That's the only success story I have, you know, cause there's a lot of failure stories that like comes to business, but yeah, so trying to kind of adapt to like, I don't think it was that hard because I was very much already adapted to American lifestyle from TV, from the movies. I already had an idea. I was an avid fan of the Simpsons and family guy and South park and all that crazy stuff. So you kind of have an idea at least, but when you go there, it was just like, live it instead of just watch it, they make all these friends. Um, we get, we got to meet the scholarship recipients from, from like inner city.

Um, and it was in their city kids in the us. We were able to actually. Also come out, come from like these poor backgrounds to go to these schools in the U S so that was also interesting to see other people just like you, even in the West, you know, they were struggling. And then they went on to, to, to, to, to, to do these great things and going to go to a really, really good school in terms of like academics and whatnot. And they have all these programs, all these things that they put you through in a lot of these experiences. So that was life changing. That was amazing. I didn't necessarily like a lot of aspects of it, but at least I got to enjoy the whole, the overall experience and kind of like, just turns out.

It's like, uh, taking 10 years of. Of experience educational experience or work experience putting it in two years. Cause I, I got to work. I got to like teach a little bit of French at the, at the university, uh, work at the library, you know, we were able to work part time. So that was good. And I've never the only work I've done ever before.

We just like to sell stuff randomly whenever I wanted to make money in high school, but not like back home, back here. Um, but then. When you were, uh, when you were in the US knew you were putting in this position, I was able to teach these people. So it gets, it gives you a lot of confidence, but I did gain a lot of confidence.

That's one of the, one of the biggest things is I used to have issues with public speaking, right after coming back from the US one of the first jobs was to do a lot of travel and a lot of speeches and whatnot about. Know, specific subjects in there. So I was almost instantly very good at that because the kind of like confidence to instill in you is this tremendous.

So that, you know, that's, that's pretty much how it went and how beneficial it was. 

Joseph: [00:27:43] And it sounds like a truly formative experience for you. Um, you know, you said that you had watched the Simpsons and family guy, and so you already climatized. I mean, we can say American culture, uh, which would be the root of it.

Uh, but I think on a more fundamental sense, it's more about like Western culture. Uh, one of my running jokes is that Canada is basically the United States with a helmet on. So, you know, we're here in Canada, like we're S we're still Westerners. Um, So, and also when you were saying that you, you flew over and you landed in Ohio or in Ohio, and then the neighborhood, everybody had pools.

I did think of a Simpson's quote because there was a, there's a seam or Marge is like in a hot air balloon going. Wow. So many people have pools.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:28:24] Yeah. That's pretty funny. I mean, Canada, honestly, it's like, when you think about it, like somebody who at least knows a little bit about the world in geography, Canada to me is considered just like a just some other version of the, just a little bit cleaner, I guess. And to me, like, if, if you're asking me if you want to live in the us, I'd be like, no, I've been there. I'm good. I've got my fix from the West, but I don't want it to live anywhere else. I'd be like, well, Canada sounds like pretty good deal.

And I have a lot of Canadian friends and, you know, almost all the time when we have, when we, when I meet somebody, I never really assumed my stuff. I kind of stopped assuming way back way. But a lot of people just assume that Canadian isn't American until unless they specify it. But you know, there's really not that much of a difference.

Joseph: [00:29:08] I mean, there's also this, uh, recurring, I don't know if it's, if it's a myth or how much creative there is to it, but. When, um, Americans are traveling abroad, they're encouraged to just say they're Canadian. So then that way they don't get a, they don't get a hard time for being American. Um, I mean, what, I'll, what I'll say, just from my perspective of, uh, of a Canadian is that it is a fantastic country, um, especially as a starting zone.

Um, but what we find in a number of different industries is that. People who really want to like hit it big or they would ever want to reach their full potential. They do need to move more to the States because the States does encourage independence more. Uh, Canada does encourage collective, uh, as a more, um, it has a stronger social program.

The tax rate is higher. Like the tax. My it's been a while since I looked at this, but I remember the tax sales tax in New York city. And the most densely populated urban center in the States was 9.75. And I knew that because I used to, um, sell watches internationally. In Canada and here in Toronto, which is also the most densely populated city.

It's like diet in New York. Our tax rate is 13% HST. So we do pay a lot more into a social program. So we have more of a collective bond, but. Once people are, want to break free of that. They do tend to want to end up, go into the States. 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:30:26] Yeah. Yeah. You do it. You do hear that a lot. Like, especially even doctors kind of like, like when they want to make a little bit more money, there's go down South. And we met a lot of like in different colleges where I've been in the middle. A lot of people were like, Oh, well, I'm Canadian. Did you know that? Like I moved because this and this and that, but yeah, there's really not that much of a difference except for, you know, you know, like just financials.

Joseph: [00:30:47] Yeah. Uh, we all, we, we play call of duty here. They have like holiday to there. It's I I've known quite a number of yeah. And then, then I'll just, I'll just wrap up by saying, you know, for, in order for something in Canada to have the same influence or something in the States has it has ended up in the States.

So it's hard for Canada to have that same, uh, global influence so that the I'll just I'll just leave it at that. But it is a fascinating subject, looked at the, I don't know exactly what to call it. I guess it was a podcast slash live stream and not quite sure what to characterize it as a, it was a live video you did with e-commerce rockstars.

And I w I would recommend to our audience, it is an hour. Of its own. And I think it's a good to sink your teeth into, especially in the latter half when it really starts to get technical. Uh, but there's a couple of main takeaways I picked out from it that I would love to have you, uh, relate to our audience.

And again, that was e-commerce rockstars, whom we'll probably reach out to, uh, at some point. So the first one that you bring up is, uh, not to have just one traffic source. Now, what I think in my mind is if I'm designing my website and I'm making sure my SEO is optimized. I'm not picturing that there is a traffic source.

It's not like I'm saying, okay. I, I, I expect people to come from Google, but not so much ask Jeeves. So w how exactly do we know that we even have multiple traffic? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:32:04] Okay. So that question pertains to the technical side of like the platforms, because we did talk in that, uh, in that video, we did talk about how Shopify is a little bit, uh, you know, not lacking, but a little bit, a little bit limited in terms of like how you can optimize your site. Um, but that is for people who are kind of like, uh, operating on their own and they don't want to deal with technical stuff. And the idea was just to go to WooCommerce based on WordPress has a lot less limitations.

What do you want to like optimize? So the idea was that do not go to Shopify. If you want to go too deep into the technical stuff. And in terms of e-commerce, you know, you have a, have a store and a lot of cases, it's a general store or whatever. So you might have, we might end up with thousands of pages.

So you do end up with a lot of pages. So just, you know, cleaning up one part of the one part of the, if there was an error, like an optimization error, do you want to fix it? You might end up having to spend weeks and weeks just trying to go like page by page to fix that. But if you were on WooCommerce, you'd just like install a free plugin and it'll take care of it.

We'll take, pick her up. So that's the idea, but then. If you were to not to worry about that, if you want to shop Shopify, the idea is just to hire somebody and a lot of cases, any other, you know, freelance marketplace, somebody who knows what they're doing, they'll just go in. And especially if they know a little bit about a technical SEO, they'll just, you know, we're talking about things like canonical tags, um, three Oh one redirects and stuff and stuff like that.

Cause those errors can cause some sometimes cause the website to be slower than, than it should be. Sometimes it will hide pages from Google. That should be there. Um, so those, those, that's why those technical things are really important. And if you're not too technical, you could just, again, just have an idea just to get an idea about what it is that needs to be fixed.

So you can just, when you're talking to a developer, you'll know exactly what to tell them. Okay. I need to do to fix this canonical thing. I need you to fix this three Oh one redirects it's doesn't, it's not rocket science. It's pretty easy a ticket for someone like me. I'm not very technical, but with, with the practice with time, we've kind of learned.

What needs to be fixed, what needs to be taken care of, especially when it has to do with patients showing up on Google. It's just, all of that stuff is just to make it a little bit easier. That's why I was, I mean, I always kind of recommend people to Google with commerce in order to avoid spending more time and more money doing a lot of, a lot of, a lot of back and forth just to fix the regular thing.

But again, it all comes down to your preferences. It's good to have a lot of platforms out there. Uh, you know, it's good to have options and will commerce has its pros and cons and Shopify has pros and cons and big commerce and press to shop and all these other, you know, Buffalo is there so many over them out there.

And again, Uh, to me, like I, at this point in time, I'd really don't have any preference. We work with clients at our agency that have Shopify, the Shopify plus that have WooCommerce. And that's why we brought in two, not just one, uh, developers and me and the other guy that we do, SEO, we can work really, really well into kind of like we've, we've experienced with practice, kind of learn how to fix all these issues.

And, you know, again, it's just a preference thing. 

Joseph: [00:35:36] Hmm. So I'm, I'm I'm I'm well, I welcome your, your, your opinion on this. Um, one thing I, I want to, uh, stay mainly for posterity is because to beautify as a Shopify template, this is Shopify country. That doesn't mean I don't want to hear what the other, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the other platforms.

In fact, I'm going to ask you that in the interest of broadening our knowledge. So here, I'll tell you what is in my perspective, knowing Shopify better than I do. The other platforms is I think what would appeals would the appeal of Shopify in particular is for people who want to focus on the marketing in paying and paid ads. And they're looking to maybe try to see if they can scale their business rapidly. Shopify is attractive to our drop shipping crowd, which is one of our core audiences. Now that doesn't mean that people don't advertise on WooCommerce or, sorry, what was the other one? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:36:29] It's a big commerce and Presta shop. There's a good, a number of them. 

Joseph: [00:36:34] Yeah. So, um, like to know, from your perspective is what would you say. Have been the core appeals of Shopify versus WooCommerce. And you don't have to just like rattle off all of them, but. Of the main fundamental ones. Uh, what are the main differences of the people who you use?

Hassan Aanbar: [00:36:50] Okay. So I'll preface by saying that, uh, Shopify is like, in terms of the clients that we've been working with, we've had more success, the success stories that happened, that happened on Shopify rather than. Um, so that's a good thing. That doesn't mean it's limited. It's not limited at all. It has its pros and I am an entrepreneur other than just being an agency founder, I dabble in a lot of other kind of business models.

And e-commerce is one of them. It's, I'm very late to the party e-commerce e-commerce world, but I work with a lot of, most of our customers. Yeah. Most of our clients are, you know, like e-commerce, you know, store owners. And so I see, I see like the appeal and all that. So when my business partner comes to me, the first thing that I say is let's just put it on Shopify.

Like we have this idea when I'm sell this. And I tell him why, because I'm a WordPress person, you know, this is WordPress, WordPress country. And you know what commerce is big part of WordPress. Like the thing that they tell me, it's like, well, I don't want to deal with code. I don't want to bother with this and that.

And like, look for a VPs or server or whatnot. And I'll just, I just want to like, Yeah, up and running within a week and I tell them, well, okay. Um, any other limits or limitations we can, we can just work around it. So when one of the limitations is the block section. So if you're in a niche where you need to have content, a lot of contents, especially if you're, if your product and have like, um, uh, is on, has to do with information, a lot of informational content, like if you're selling.

Let's say you're selling CBD. So there's a lot of questions about CBD, like the benefits and whatnot. So you shouldn't have, I mean, you must not have it, but you should have it. It's it's, it's, it's a bit option to have, it's going to be a little bit more traffic coming from your life. So the idea is, um, that the blog section is very limited when it comes to Shopify, but the workaround is what we do in most cases is, um, put a subdomain.

On the, on the thing and put a word, press on it and just like, kind of mimic the theme on Shopify on that WordPress blog. And that's it, that's a problem solved. And you know, at least like for me, that's like the only thing other than the technical stuff, everything can be fixed on code. You just have, as I said earlier, just have somebody who knows what they're doing and you can find there's thousands of specialists out there who can just go into the code and fix those little issues, canonical.

Cause that's just always part of it. HTML VHB cannot code could be fixed with, with like one click or like one additional emission of a, of a certain part of the code. And you know, when you bring it in, when you were serious about business, uh, having a developer on the team, or at least just a freelancer shouldn't scare you, you know, it should be something welcome.

You know, you're in a serious business. You want to run a serious business. That's why you should always have just like you want to have a lawyer. We want to have a developer, um, at least on call in case something goes wrong. And, uh, all those limitations are going to go away. When you can spend a little bit more money in terms of like that coding issues and whatnot, but at least you should have an idea about like all the technical things that happened.

But other than the blog part, there's really no big difference.

Joseph: [00:40:04] Yeah. Uh, as you're describing that, um, uh, Wix popped into my head again, and I think one of the main differences that sets a website like that along those lines apart is that I think those services are ideal for people who put themselves first as their brand, like if a popular influencer or a designer, if they use themselves as an asset to promote themselves in the marketplace. Then they want a website that allows them to, I think, express themselves a little bit more changing more of the design templates. Whereas I think Shopify really puts the product first and the end is also one of the easiest ways to get started. Like, you'll see, I've talked to numerous people in the, in the drop shipping space will, as a challenge, they'll get a store up and running within 24 hours.

It doesn't, it doesn't succeed. There's no way, like probably four hours, no one does. No one does that, but the idea that they can get that far in that short amount of time is also one of the main strengths of Shopify. So what's cool. Let's get to a, it's good to talk about that.

I'm going to move on because there were two other takeaways I had from that, uh, from that deck. Uh, the second one, um, it was a big takeaway for me, but I have to admit, I don't. As I'm doing research, I don't get to sit and like really parse everything. So I'm using this as an opportunity to understand it a little bit better is, um, that when people look at their numbers and they see the numbers are low, is not the paddock that they could actually be a good thing.

So can you expand on that for us?

Hassan Aanbar: [00:41:31] I'll have to, I'll have to ask you to rephrase the question a little bit. Cause I don't think, I don't think they caught that. 

Joseph: [00:41:37] Okay. No problem. You say that when people see low numbers in activity is not necessarily a bad thing, it's probably like the most fundamental way I can ask it.

Is that?

Hassan Aanbar: [00:41:44] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That makes, that makes sense. 

Joseph: [00:41:46] Okay. So yeah, having there as I went for like the, the emotional stance verse where like, when people see those little numbers and like, Oh, what's happening. So I carriage before the horse. 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:41:55] Yeah. So the idea behind that is, uh, When you run in, you know, when you run a drop in store, when you're running traffic, we come from that paid traffic mindset.

You know, you want to see large numbers of visitors. But when you go to these, um, tools like a traps that gives you like stats or estimates on like how many people are searching per month for this, this and this keyword, uh, you have to keep in mind that those are just estimates. Those are not like accurate numbers.

And a lot of ways you see 500 searches per month and you end up with like your actual, like traffic that you'll get as a woman, like 5,000. And sometimes you see 5,000 searches per month and you end up with like 500 impressions, like only 500 people were able to see that thing. So those are usually always estimates.

And the idea is that when you see low numbers, you assume that it's not valuable, but. It's it's the thing that, uh, search traffic is high intent traffic is it's, you know, ultimately, uh, how much higher conversion rate than 1% of paid traffic would, you know, would get you? Uh, it's usually always, uh, like hovers around five to 10%.

So imagine if you're doing well with 1%. Versus 5% of 10%, but depends on the industry and the niche that you're in operating in. But again, uh, 500 people looking for a stroller that goes $500 is not, you know, um, 500,000 people coming from it. Facebook ad. Um, and they're not gonna, you're not gonna, um, you know, convince them to buy something for a hundred dollars.

You can convince them to buy something for $20 or 40. But if somebody is doing research and in research mode, they're very close to buying. So you just have to do that little, little tiny Busch for them to spend that much money and get that stroller from you instead of like, From another random still did they see on them?

And that, that, that idea, I kind of always kind of preach that idea, that high intent traffic, um, is, is much more valuable and it doesn't get any better than that. And even with people who are specialized in ads, They always tell you that they do keyword targeting. And that's like the only thing don't do instead of like, uh, you know, a display ads on, on like the Google headsets network, which is pretty much what Facebook ads is, you know, it's just, uh impression-based instead of like getting.

Um, in front of the right people at the right time. So it's a much higher conversion rate ultimately. 

Joseph: [00:44:23] Yeah, I think I'm better either. I'm reaching with this, uh, with this question, but is there a way to gauge the level of intent where if somebody is like, They're really close to it versus they are holding the wall in their hands and they're ready to enter their credit card numbers.

Like if you can just look at how much activity they actually, or how much time they spent on the website, like I said, I think I'm reaching with this one, but is there any insights you can glean? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:44:48] Yeah. Uh, so there's like over time, I've done a lot of like research into this myself and there's, you know, informational keywords.

There's. Um, product names, specific product names, and then their like product names plus review, um, or five times plus specs. If somebody who look into it by a camera, they just put it in the name of the camera, like by advice, spectrum microphone or something like that. So when you go that deep and again, this, this depends on the niche.

Uh it's you know, if it's like technical stuff, like tech gear or laptops or cameras or. Um, something that's that requires a lot of info before you buy a lot of research before you buy, um, the more, the deeper, the longer tail keywords, the more words they put in that the, the, the, the ready, the more ready they are to, to actually purchase with their credit card.

You're not going to waste time looking for specs and watch reviews on YouTube or whatever, if you're not ready to buy. I mean, that, so that means not that that's what that's, what gives it that, you know, like higher intent. So instead of just putting the name of the, the name of the product, and we're talking, like, if you're talking about camera or, or iStabilizer gimbal, whatever, um, the more, you know, about all those specific model names and whatnot, the more you are ready and then there's also the price.

Once you look into it. Okay. So we're doing something with, uh, with these market w uh, e-commerce stores that we're building for ourselves, and we. Put the price and then the name of the country. So if you're, if you're in the, you should have looking for a Mac book and M one MacBook pro M one, like the latest ones with the chip, the Apple chip, not like Intel ones.

So you would just have to put Mac book pro at one price, Canada or Amazon Canada, or Amazon price Canada. So like, again, the longer tail, the, the more ready you are. So you will have an idea of what to target. And what to put on your page, what to optimize for like both organic SEO and Google ads thing. So you'll know exactly where to go, the more, you know, research they put into it.

And that just visible just from the queries that you see on Google.

Joseph: [00:47:02] I got to say, that's fascinating. I really wasn't sure if I was going to get a sensitive of answer for it, but it turns out it's actually one of the, at least one of the main pillars that people in your space are focusing on too. To get people to convert.

Hassan Aanbar: [00:47:15] Yes. Intent intent is like one of the things that like, I'm fascinated by like there's so much, uh, go onto to so much data. There's so much like research into this, because again, if you're looking at tech stuff, it's easy to, to, to figure out, um, again, travel, even travel is it's easier to target, like when we're kind of expanding into international markets.

So we're doing a lot of research into like the Arabic speaking like this. French speaking, Spanish speaking. So you got that. We got that too. Whenever we've done weather, whatever we kind of learned from like global English search marketplace that the market share and to like do it into other, just as profitable, you know.

Joseph: [00:47:58] There was a, there was one other takeaway that I got from the deck and then we'll switch gears.

Cause we're actually getting pretty close to our, uh, uh, to our well. Our our end here. Um, which is again, so the third takeaway is in proper link building is to focus on subtlety. And it's more about the organic growth. Um, so hopefully that this, uh, this, uh, jogs your memory as to what we're talking about.

So, sorry, I was not trying to read it word for word. I didn't want to sound scripted, but yeah. So it says to focus on subtlety. So what exactly is it that we're doing in relation to over actually typing on the web? 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:48:33] So when it comes to link building, I think just to, so we can remember exactly what I was, what I was trying to get at there, the idea that.

You take what influencer marketing is now and put it into what like we used to do back then just go to bloggers and you pay them to, uh, to put like a sponsored blog post, but be subtle about it. Not like put it's like a sponsored post. And if it's a little bit, it looks more like a review. That's a little bit more settled on it, but not like putting up a sponsored post.

So if you put a put sponsored posts, Google kind of has the. The, the text to kind of know that it's a sponsored post, that you might not give as much authority to that link. If it was like a, like an honest, I'd say review. So that's, that's what I meant by having something be more subtle. So that's the idea is to kind of like take your product, send it off to bloggers specific bloggers.

You're targeting them because they have blogs that have higher domain authority, um, and get a treat them just like you would treat. Um, uh, you know, an influencer and a lot of ways influencers as for my, uh, some of them don't. And so that's the same with bloggers. They wouldn't ask for money, they would just pick you up.

So thank you for sending this to me. If they like it, if they're a fan of the brand, um, that goes into a little more into Brandon territory. If you have a good product, then you know, like they'll, they'll be happy to take the time and to kind of review your product and write about it. Um, and. Again, you can do it either way, but that was just part of the, part of a marketing strategy, uh, slash you know, uh, LinkedIn strategy that you can do.

Like your goal is just to, to, to extract a link, but you, you don't want to do it in a way that you're like, Hey, can you spot us a link and just send us a link here, especially if you know that their domain, their blog or their website is high authority and their link is gonna make like a big difference in terms of your own rankings and such. So that's ideal. 

Joseph: [00:50:37] Yeah, and I think it would also, I think it also too comes back to intent only in this time on more of the, of the influencer side and on the customer side, if the intent is that there is a genuine care and, and a passion for what content that they're working on and they want.

The writing and they want their website and their brand to reflect that rather their intent is to just make money then that might come across. And that is less appealing for the consumer. 

Hassan Aanbar: [00:51:02] Exactly. You, you, you want to, again, like, cause I've seen that, you know, over the, over the, at least over the last two years, it's gone crazy international it when it's closer to home, when you see it and say how I have a lot of entrepreneur, friends who we've gotten like full blown influence from marketing. They send their, they pay the biggest stars out there, the most money so that they can create videos for them. And they use those videos for paid ads, but it's, it's that, that specific example of a friend of mine who had a, like a beauty product or cosmetic product, he spent so much money on the biggest stars in the country.

Um, with the biggest reach. Uh, and he ran the, the Mo the largest number of ads on YouTube on Facebook. He was all over the place. And for a beauty product, it was so big. And a lot of people, uh, started there was like, no, no, uh, what they call no rocks unturned. He talked like he touched on everything.

Everybody. No, don't, don't let that turn. Yeah. So that's what he did until at some point in the, as that he ran people started being suspicious and skeptic, like, how could this has, has this to be, if he, he paid this much, she's like, and you see all these negative comments. They didn't even try the product probably good, but they didn't even try it.

They're like, okay, I don't think I'm going to try this because. Why does he have to pay this much money just to get the word out? So it kind of like had this negative impact. So the way I want it to like phrase it is you, you want to him, you know, avoid that, avoid having the negative impact of going full-blown ad like the aggressive marketing thing and just like, be subtle about it as, as you can and try to get assemblings from it.

And when you, when you go, when you go big at first, you know, But, uh, it, uh, it might, it might kind of like backfire as they say. 

Joseph: [00:52:58] And also, I just wanted to make one other comment too, which is. Um, to, to people in these positions, obviously it's great to, to earn money, but even getting other product or other value out of it is still fantastic in its own way.

Like I did what I did. It wasn't exactly affiliate marketing. It was more of like services rendered, but I got a keyboard out of it of, I got that keyboard six years ago and I still use a keyboard to this day. So the amount of value, the amount of money that it saved me is, uh, is a, is a different way of looking at what is worth putting our energy into.

We're we're, we're close to it. They didn't get an hour here. This, uh, this hour flew by. There was a lot of great information that you've shared with us. And, and for that, I'm grateful. So I'm going to, I want to shift gears. I want to do something a little bit more introspectional? I should have written down that word, because that is a hard word to remember off by heart.

Um, on your Instagram, one of your pictures is you're wearing a shirt. The saying I'm the best boss I've ever had for a reasons that anybody in the freelancer space can attest to. Um, so I was wondering is that who's in second place. Um, did you have any bosses or did you have anybody you worked for that left a positive impression?

Hassan Aanbar: [00:53:59] I'd say, you know, um, being 36, you know, I've, I've been. Around the block that they say. So they've done a lot of things. I've had jobs, especially because I've been married since, uh, at an early age. Um, uh, so went through a lot of jobs and then like went to grow in my, my, my freelance business, my agency business into a much bigger income and then being able to afford being your own boss.

And then having, you know, we hope your whole team working for you and such. I did have, um, I did have, uh, that, that actually was originally written by me. So that's why I was proud to put it up on a shirt. 

Yeah. So I was like, yeah, because I, what I did, I was on Twitter. I saw this other guys question was who was the bus you've ever had, who was the best boss you've ever had.

And I was like, I am the boss, the boss I've ever had. That's, you know, that's what it is. I've I don't think I've ever had anybody as cool as to me, as myself that they say, and then there was this viral post on Facebook. Somebody shared it with me, like when I was the guy who ran a landscaping business. He put up a picture on Facebook with a picture of himself holding employee of the month.

And he was the only employee. And they said, well, congratulations to this guy and this guy, because he is the best employee this month. And he's going to enjoy a vacation fully paid because he's the best there was, it was pretty funny, cause it was, it was the only employee. So it was just kind of a, like a funny, funny thing to do.

But honestly, over the, over the last few years, uh, over the last few jobs that I've had. Um, I tried to kind of avoid being a micromanager of somebody who's like on somebody's neck, the people who work with me, uh, I don't like to say who worked for me. They like w they work with me that part of my team.

And I like to treat them as, as nicely as possible and make them feel as comfortable as possible other than just like the, the money, the, the commissions or whatever. I like them to be happy to be waking up and kind of like. Working with me working the projects that we're working on together. I want them to stay, stay for as long as they want to feel as comfortable as they can.

And they do the best job, you know? Uh, so I learned that over the years, having bosses who were, you know, breathing down your neck, asking you why you were late for like five minutes, um, or people who, uh, literally just. Stop talking to you and they're like your colleague, and then they do these like terrible things.

I've had nice bosses, but they were like, people who didn't have to work with me every day, they were like, like the boss of the boss or whatever, like the VP of this VP of that. And those are the people like you didn't have to deal with directly. So even if they had something negative to say, they wouldn't really like, say it to you.

So, so that's the whole office politics is just like, So like a completely different side of things and running an agency and trying to at least to have a successful agency, you have to be careful about all of these, all of these things. And that's why it's imperative for me to have people be comfortable.

That's like number one priority for me other than just like paying them this certain amount or whatever I want them to be, uh, you know, to look forward to working and not just. Yeah, dreading and dreading Monday. And like, just looking forward to the weekend, you want them to be part of the process. That's why they're involved in everything, you know, from making decisions, tiny little decisions to big decisions.

So that's why there's this whole kind of like having employees work with you. It's something I, I just, I draw from my own experience, I try to avoid whatever people, whatever other people did to me. And you, don't kind of try to make people as. You know, uh, as, as, as happy as they can be. 

Joseph: [00:57:59] And one thing I know too, because I remember you were, you were asked this question, um, on a, on a, on a similar thread.

What are the other things that stands out too, is how much you value trust and that, like you were saying, you don't want to micromanage them. You don't want to break them down, break down their necks. You want them to know that they have their autonomy and their agency and that you, you trust them to pull their weight.

And then yes, yes, yes. Uh, that was in the, like in the higher end part, because what I do is, and this is something I always can bring up. Um, when you start working with me, Yeah, my full trust. I trust you completely. And then you make mistake number one, unless it's, unless it's, you know, it's a terrible mistake.

I wouldn't really like fire you if you make a mistake. Um, but then I'm going to keep watching. Um, if they, if somebody necks something that they repeat, kind of say, mistake, we got strike one, strike two, and then you're just literally just out. But then again, that's a break in trust, you know? If somebody has my trust, that's the most valuable thing they have.

If they break it, then you know, there's no way I can trust them with my, with my work, with work with, especially because you work with clients and you have this sensitive data and you have like this, you know, it's not really pressure. I wouldn't really call it pressure. Even if what if something is, there's a lot of pressure on somebody to try to make it as, uh, as lenient, as lenient as possible.

Just not to make them super uncomfortable, like, well, you have this job, um, do your best to just finish it, finish it on time. And so we can go through it together. Again. It's all about that trust that they gain from day one, they, they, they come, they come with it. It's not like they have to gain it. They have it, but they, again, if they break it, then I don't think we can, we can be a good fit.

And in an environment like that too, the only mistakes that do come up are, I mean, I, I provided that as an honest mistake are honest mistakes. They happen, they need to be corrected and they scanned to watch to be repeated, um, and reminded me of, I don't want to, I'm not calling these people out by name or anything, even though I want to is, you know, there was, uh, there wasn't a lot of direction.

And yet there was a lot of reprimanding for not doing certain things. And what was happening is over time. My, my sense of anxiety was increasing and that led to making more mistakes and it didn't occur to them that that was happening. So I, by the time, you know, it was on my, in my last week, I nearly caught.

Did something that would have cost hundreds of dollars worth of damage? I wish to them was a lot of money because of their margins. And I just said, okay, well, you know what enough is enough? Um, they, I dunno, it's if the environment is good right away and it stays good, then it, the only mistakes that you really should encounter are the honest ones that are just part of the process.

Hassan Aanbar: [01:01:03] Yeah, exactly. That's the word I was looking for anxiety. Um, I did myself being an employee back in the day, had anxiety issues, not like full blown anxiety attacks, but, you know, we just, you know, there's, it's not a big deal to them to, to, to  to your boss or your employer, but again, just because they, the way they made you feel like amplifies the feeling and makes it really worse.

So that's one of the things I kind of try to avoid by. Giving them this environment that it's, I mean, it's not possible now because the whole team is remote. But back in the day, try to do as much, as much as you can, you know, going up for lunches, um, uh, being flexible in case they have an emergency, or if guests, they need to like run some errands that are urgent or something like that, as long as they get the work done and they're comfortable with it, then I'm good.

And that's that's that's that's it. That's the idea. 

Joseph: [01:01:57] That's fantastic. All right. So we're we, we gotta get you out of here, but we actually haven't. I haven't had a. I haven't asked you yet about bright leads media. And I wanted to make sure that I asked about that now, when I was doing prep for you, I went to the website and it's I think like as of this recording, it'll be the countdown timer will be done sometime tomorrow.

Now was I tempted to delay the interview until afterwards? Yes. Did I, but what's um, so can you just give us a brief breakdown of what Bret leads media is for? I, I know you kinda like touched on it here or there as to your agency, but I just want to, uh, hone in on it, wrap it up. And I'm also wondering what necessitated or what compelled you to do a revision of it and why it is currently down as of this recording.

Hassan Aanbar: [01:02:40] Okay. So what happened was out of necessity, it was, it was, there was an attack on the, one of the servers that we have. Yeah. So we had to kind of like, just take it. I didn't want to have to deal with the rebuilding everything. So we just scrapped the whole server. We're rebuilding it again from scratch.

The thing is, it's just a symbol presentation of what we do. And it's, that's, um, a little bit of B2B lead generation SEO, email marketing, and then a little bit of this conversion rate optimization. So that's like four kind of main, main, uh, um, uh, services. One of the. The newest flagships flagship services is Google ads running, managing your Google ads is that's.

Again, you'll want to kind of combine marketing channels to get the best results. And again, the more clients I talk to them, all the clients I deal with, the more I know that they're just after the one thing, which is, you know, results, they want to see results. And for a lot of people, they can't wait. We lost countless number of clients because they couldn't wait for like the.

Three months or six months. So the issue would take, especially if they have a new project. Um, that's why for people could kind of stick around with us and kind of like see the value of, uh, of, uh, you know, the work that we're doing is we are adding Google ads as a service, um, so that they can see that, okay, these keywords are bringing in, uh, you know, uh, this much traffic and this, this many conversions and this kind of trend, this kind of traffic is bringing this.

So we kind of have to, at this point, we don't have another choice. We have to kind of combine both services so we can get the best results for 12 clients. And that's again, um, I'm not, I'm not the kind of person that just takes on any number of clients. I say no a lot. Uh, I'm fortunate enough to be at that position to say no to people who I don't feel like that we're going to be able to help people who I know that their like, industries are very competitive and we won't be able to kind of like move the needle just even a little bit with this year alone.

So that's why, um, I'd like to work with people who I can really, really actually help get them, uh, like certain results and such. Again, I am not to, we have a small number of clients right now, and I'm actually very contemporary happy because keeping things small makes me comfortable. Um, you don't want to raise stress levels, uh, by having, uh, with the, kind of like the, uh, the personal brand I built over the years, I can really truly get as many clients as I want at a lower rate.

But then now that'll be it. A lot of issues, a lot of process issues. I can have as many as 50 flights if I wanted to. But, uh, that is just not who I am is not, I'm not after the increase in that number of, um, uh, more of a lifestyle kind of guy. I want to be comfortable when I wake up at a certain point and be able to go home and spend time with my family and have my team members kind of like be able to be being in control of what they're doing, because we did at some point kind of try that.

Going through, you know, a large number of clients and we ended up not making it anybody happy except for a few. And you just ended up kind of ruin your reputation and just having unnecessary stress to it. That's why staying small as good and. If I can help you, I can help you if I can't help you, then I'm not going to be asking for your money.

Joseph: [01:06:15] Yeah. And also, as you said that you enjoy being comfortable. I, my eyes went over to the side of your video with that chair. I've sat in those chairs. Those chairs are like sitting on a cloud, so yeah. Yeah. I just, yeah, I got an Ikea sofa. It's a, it's a great company. 

So, uh, Hassan, we, we gotta get you out on here.

So, uh, once more, thank you so much for your time and for your insight. Uh, our wrap up question is always the same is if you have any parting words of wisdom, um, an answer to a question that I didn't ask, um, this is the opportunity to do that. And then also how people can reach out to if they're inclined to continue to engage with you.

Hassan Aanbar: [01:06:53] Yeah, well, my, my word of wisdom is, you know, because we deal a lot with the people kind of in the e-commerce business out of is there. Either a small or they're just like in the process of scaling or athletes, or they've kind of like exhausted all the paid traffic channels and they come to me. Asking me for help on how to expand and like, uh, get more traffic from social from like, you know, Google and whatnot.

So like, my advice is, um, do not let a technical talk, uh, you know, discourage you from pursuing, uh, you know, this, this SEO route. Um, and there's a lot of ways to improve. Or at least increase your revenue, increase your profit margins. And that's what like email marketing and SEO would help you do. And that's why I always talk about these two together.

And, uh, even when you combine add the Google ads to it, those three things aren't gonna, you know, um, drain you or drain your, you know, your marketing budget, but they're actually help you because we're talking about like an initial investment. And that's it. We're talking to you, it's you, as, as a few months, work email is a few months work.

And then you keep gaining. Just like I said, in one of my, I think Twitter threads recently SEO, like an Apple stock, Amazon is it keeps growing and growing, especially if you put in the work ahead of time and, you know, that's, that's, that's what people like to do. And like to see is stuff that grows over time and over time, especially with internet penetration rates increase in day and day and day.

And that's yeah. That's why SEO is. I always say SEO is the future. Add to it a little bit of this and this like email, Google ads. And you'll, you'll be happy, but yeah, in terms of like reaching out to me, I'm a, I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Instagram, Twitter as well. Um, so you just look up my name on bar and I'm usually pretty active on social media.

If anybody has any questions or whatever, I usually try, like to be generous with my time. Um, when it comes to, like people have said to be on non social networks. Um, so whatever questions you have, there's no consultation for you or anything like that. 

Joseph: [01:09:12] Fantastic. Um, well, yes, you, you certainly have been generous with your time today.

Um, so, uh, one more, thank you just for the road. Um, Yeah, thank you. I appreciate, uh, what you've shared with us today.

Hassan Aanbar: [01:09:25] Your're welcome Joseph. It was a pleasure. 

Joseph: [01:09:28] Terrific. Uh, all right, everybody else. Yeah. You all know what to do, but at this point, you know, unless this is your first time listening, in which case, check out, Hassan, check out our other episodes.

One thing that I, that I like to encourage my audience, I know this is like a huge ask, but, uh, I would love for people to actually listen to this show in chronological order, just so that you can see how my own. Uh, evolution has gone from episode to episode. You'll get value out of every one of them, but, uh, it's uh, you know, with each episode that gets to be a bigger, bigger ask.

So you do what you feel is best, but we will check in soon. 

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