We are head on into the digital era and we yet have no idea about its extremes. The roles are redefined and now the ‘Influencers’ have become the giants of the digital marketing space, who have changed the idea of business development, branding, and outreach strategies. Agree or not, but we love to watch them – all that they do, wear, eat, or buy. The Influencers are the ones setting trends and we are lapping up notes from their feeds. Rizwan Z Bhutta tells us that it is no different here in Dubai from the rest of the world.
ASPIRE reached out to the dynamic Maria Kazi, CEO of Mour Media to give us insights about influencer marketing and her goals as a woman entrepreneur. Maria, successful today, started building everything from scratch in 2017. She is an illustration & inspiration for women of South Asia and Middle East, who wish to embark on the same voyage.
Maria is also a Media Maven and a TV Presenter, which provides her an advantage over other influencers in creating content and the strategies for its outreach. Leading business houses in UAE take benefit from her strength in the influencer marketing space as her agency Mour Media handles over two hundred Influencers in Dubai.
This is how it all began
Although initially starting a career from a corporate health sector, Maria was always interested in media as profession. While producing content for her company, it was getting difficult to make the presenters do the show as she wanted it. Eventually it led to the decision of hosting and presenting her own shows which later lead to projects with other clients and broadcasters.
“A Video Presenter must know what is required for him or her on screen, to be in charge of the show,” she said. One needs the ‘wow’ factor to be the face of the show and for the audience connection, which is one quality that a presenter definitely needs to possess.
Her journey as presenter made it easier for her business ventures she remarks candidly.
More to Maria
Although running a rewarding business, she is happy being an Influencer as well. She believes that no matter whatever stage you reach in life, there is no top or end to it! That is why she constantly keeps working on being better and going with the flow. Being an influencer is not her end-goal, rather a route which is leading her further ahead in her career path. She says mysteriously, “it’s just another part of Maria Kazi, you will see more of it!”
She adds, “My aim is to constantly enhance myself and assess my strategies each day. There is no threshold to what I intend to carry out. Anything I am doing today is just a beginning and a route towards something great!”
As a businesswoman she strongly emphasises on being the best and always on top of the game. Trust your intuitions, she advices. “Success is never accomplished by a number. Deep inside I know my next move, which I never share with any one until they see it happen. It is only you who know the real struggle and story behind your success. Let your actions speak. And always remember that a positive attitude towards good and a smart move towards the bad is a perfect formula for being successful,” quotes Maria.
Talking about the future, she says that she loves the surprises that life offers her and does not plan her future at all, doing what is required at the given time to fulfil the targets and not get distracted from her path.
Connecting brands to people
Maria believes that every business, not only in UAE but all over the world, require to have an influencer on board who can connect the brand to their followers based on their need.
“I genuinely consider that even if one follower responds to my review or promotion, that one person would turn to be a customer to the brand. This is the strength of an Influencer,” she unquestionably states.
Adoring what she does, she passionately creates & uploads her content on time for people who wait for her posts. Though a job, she does not find it hectic as her happiness lies in it. She does not even need a scheduler to remind her to post as she is so charged up all the time doing what makes her happy.
Adding here she says that creating content certainly is laborious and the brands must value the time and effort an influencer takes to create the content. While she supports the many brands that reach out to her, be it paid or as a barter deal, she doesn’t appreciate the people who do not value her work. Dignity & Honour comes first for the lady and she declines the offers that do not sync in with her values.
As a guideline for new influencers she incites them to use the freedom of expression for their feed, but within the protocols of the social platform being used.
Anyone can be an influencer
“Basically, everyone is already an influencer. They might not know it, but they are certainly influencing their surroundings in one way or another. So why not do it officially over a social media platform,” Maria urges every single person.
Every second woman she meets, she asks what they are doing and will then encourage them to blog. “A girl is already doing what she loves to do, so why not to show it to people, which is a win for both her and the people who would be following her,” she reasons.
“I would like every woman to trust me on this; everyone can do it and you can start even today, because it is easy, and will give you much better opportunities you never thought you could have. Do not compete with anyone, only aim at being a better version of yourself. If you love what you do than the platform is waiting for you. All the best and never hesitate to take off your journey. Keep shining girls!” she beams.
The names that inspire her
One of her favourite female entrepreneurs outside UAE is Priyanka Chopra, who according to Maria is not only flourishing in her career but is also one of the few public figures who has made smart choices at the peak of her career. She adds that Priyanka dresses with consummate elegance which makes her the best among her league.
“We are living in the world where appearance matters, where you wear the money, more so for women than the men. It upsets me, but this is the harsh reality we live in. A few people might get a chance due to good luck or referral, for most others they get to hear the insensitive truth – you are not ugly, just poor,” she tells in a matter of fact way.
Her vote closer home goes to Dr. Sara Madani, who she finds to be very intelligent, very inspirational and at the same time a very humble individual. “Dr. Sara delivers the right message to the community and I have learned so much from her,” she admits.
For Maria it is all about keeping the heart pure, no matter how successful one gets. Goodness begets goodness and you reap what you sow. It’s that simple she says and so one always needs to choose smartly.