Before joining WSI in 2018, Tali Hasanov worked in the online dating industry and for several marketing agencies in Toronto. As she says in her interview, the biggest value she gets from WSI is the support from Head Office and her fellow Consultants, and the tools and resources she needs to stay on top of digital marketing trends.
Tell me a little about yourself, and where you are located?
I was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. When I was 17 years old, my family moved to Israel and that's where I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Music in Piano Performance (which is very far away from Digital Marketing!). But, I have always been curious about technology and interested to learn more about it.
So, after getting my degree in Arts, I went to a College of Engineering to study technical subjects. After that, I took web development and programming courses, Oracle university programmes as well as Advanced Web Development post-grad. However, dealing with the technical side of marketing was not very satisfying for me. About 13 years ago, I was offered an opportunity to manage the digital marketing (it was internet marketing back then) for a company. I quickly found that this was exactly what I needed – a combination of the technical and creative sides.
Since then, I have been working with different aspects of online marketing, such as email, automation, segmentation, user experience, analytics, and the like.
In 2006, my husband and our 2 children moved to Toronto.
Why did you want to become an Internet Consultant and join WSI?
Prior to joining WSI, I was doing some consulting projects on my own. I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset and, therefore, I have always wanted to have my own business. Finally, I decided to go on my own and I considered different options for starting my business, but decided to join WSI for a number of reasons.
What’s the biggest value that you get from WSI?
Head Office support is great! We get to learn firsthand about all the new trends in digital marketing. Also, being able to say that you are a “certified Google Partner” is wonderful and opens many doors. And of course, the support of other Consultants that have been with WSI for a while in very important and helps the new or inexperienced Consultants a lot. It is truly appreciated!
What job/business were you in before you started your WSI business?
I worked for different marketing agencies in Toronto, and ran campaigns for brands like Rogers, Infinity, Mercedes, Takeda, and so on.
My last experience before joining WSI was in the online dating industry. This is a very interesting industry, because there are so many aspects to consider such as email providers and email deliverability. So, you really need to come up with creative strategies and tactics.
Tell us about anyone who helped influence you into starting your own business?
I would have to say my husband; he has always been very supportive. I believe you can’t become a successful entrepreneur without family support backing you up.
How long have you been with WSI?
I have been with WSI since January 2018.
Describe your typical work week?
There is no “typical” work week :) On average, I try to attend 2 to 3 networking events every week. I also have 2 to 3 one-on-one meetings with prospects and people I had previously met.
And, obviously every work day includes following up with prospects, managing projects, preparing for meetings and IBAs. Social Media and LinkedIn management also takes up time.
Often, I will be replying to emails as early as 5:30am or as late as 10pm. As you can see, there really is no 9 to 5 work-day schedule or framework when you're running your own business.
What highlights have you had since being with WSI?
Owning a business requires that you have various skills. For me, public speaking pushes me out of my comfort zone and since joining WSI, I have taken a couple of public speaking courses in order to understand the subject better. Since then, I have spoken at a number of events and delivered several seminars. While it still takes me out of my comfort zone, I feel much more confident nowadays. And, it is a highlight both on a personal level (overcoming my “fear” and having more confidence) and on a professional level (conveying knowledge about the industry).
What are the biggest obstacles that you have faced in running your business and how have you overcome or managed them?
I would say probably time management and following a daily agenda.
Many days, when you have planned to accomplish something in the morning, you can get sidetracked with issues that need your immediate attention and that needs to be solved, urgent emails and the like. This often leads to having to postpone what you had to do to the next day or even the day after.
So, for me, being able to concentrate on the task at hand and not get sidetracked are the biggest challenges.
What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your business?
I think it is important to differentiate between who is good for you and who is not. This is true from a client’s perspective as well. Not all clients are “good” and would appreciate the work you provide.
Obviously, it is very important to provide quality, creativity and deliver projects on time.
As a business owner, it is important to deliver the same level of service after closing the deal as you promised before.
Thanks so much Tali! We look forward to learning more about you and your business in the second part of this interview, coming soon!