How Farzad Rashidi went from a Visme intern to co-founding spin-off company Respona
Farzad Rashidi’s first experience in the world of marketing was as a college intern for the visual content creations app Visme. Sometimes, an internship can lead to the career of your dreams. In Farzad’s case, his internship led to a full-time job at Visme. In fact, he was the company’s first-ever full-time marketing hire. As he grew his career with Visme, he realized the way they were driving organic traffic to their website had a lot of room for improvement. He developed the solution—Respona. He co-founded with Visme’s founder Payman Taei. Today, Respona is at the forefront of the future of content marketing.
Respona is an all-in-one digital public relations and link building app that’s a must-have tool for content marketers. It works in two ways. First, Respona helps you find the right people to contact to ask for backlinks to your blog posts and landing pages to drive organic traffic. Second, it works by automating the outreach process for backlink requests as well as sending pitches to gain press coverage for your brand.
While working at Visme, Farzad and his team found that for marketing their product:
“The only channel that we’ve found to be truly effective, and has been for decades, is content and SEO.”
Here’s Farzad’s content marketing system. First, you need to have high-quality content on your website as a critical touchpoint for customers and to drive traffic to your site. Those high-quality content pieces need to contain links to your landing pages or “money pages” that will encourage sign-ups and downloads. Next, you need to build backlinks that lead to your high-quality content from other websites. At this point you’ll want Respona as it will help automate the process of getting more sites to add backlinks to your content. By gaining backlinks from other authoritative websites, Respona will help increase your site’s ranking in Google, which is a crucial factor in driving traffic to your website. According to Farzad, this is a much more sustainable long term marketing strategy than paid ads. Today, Visme is able to bring in millions of online visitors—all through content marketing. That would have cost them millions in paid ads to bring in the same amount of traffic, which is obviously an impossible strategy.
Day to day, Farzad likes to stick to a routine to eliminate distractions and make sure his schedule is efficient. Either the evening before or on the morning of his work day he likes to make a list of all his tasks in Todoist. Putting tasks into Todoist helps Farzad commit to getting things done by the end of the day and also helps him stay focused on what truly needs to get done. In addition to Todoist, the rest of the apps that make up Farzad’s daily workflow include Pipedrive, Jira, Mixmax, Respona, Zendesk, Visme, all of which he uses inside Shift. He also manages all three of his email accounts inside Shift.
Overall, Farzad balances work and personal life with a work hard play hard mentality. Meaning, when he’s at work, he strives to be 100% focused on the task at hand. But, weekends are intentionally kept completely work free, so he can relax. He also loves to have adventures and especially loves to travel and learn about new cultures.
One of the best pieces of advice Farzad ever received was from his mentor, and partner in co-founding Respona, Payman Taei. Simply, it’s that:
“The good things always take time.”
It’s advice that Farzad has struggled with at times, and most hard-working people can probably relate to the struggle of waiting to see the results of your effort. It’s hard to be patient when you’re trying to start a new company that will revolutionize the content marketing world. But ultimately, he’s found that it’s better to be “mindful that things always take much longer than expected.” If you’re looking for some motivation, follow Farzad’s lead and follow your passion, but also be patient because good things really do take time to happen.