Let me take you back to 2012..
This photo was taken back when I was apart of the Telluride Venture Accelerator (2017) program. The person sitting to my left gave me a chance to show my startup to the world and see where it takes me. His name is Marc Nager.
He rang the bell at NYSE, founded Startup Weekend and later launched Telluride Venture Accelerator.
That's where my journey began.
I was living a typical entrepreneur life.
Organizing and mentoring Startup Weekend events over the weekends,
doing my computer engineering degree during the weekdays,
and hustling, coding, launching products during the nights.
I grew that night hustle, from being just me working long nights to a full-time team of 15 people within a year ..
Oh man, 2012 went by fast..
At the end of 2012, I got the opportunity to make a decision..
Stay in Karachi and commit to my hustle.
Or burn the bridges (sell my company) and jump into cold water and take a big risk.
No easy decision..
I tell you.
I loved working with Marc Nager (launched Startup Weekend in 3 cities)
& hustling with my team which I grew 0 to 15 person, with over $100,000 in revenue,
but I also knew that something was waiting for me out there..
I had to do it..
I sold my company to Article.com
helped them launch it with 15000 pre-launch leads & first 5000 paid customers, because I never wanted to work for someone else.
I Packed up.
Booked a flight.
Next stop: Sweden.
In early 2013, my friend informed me of this scholarship opportunity for a full ride at Sweden’s top university for their master’s program.
I applied just for fun and ended up getting selected for this Swedish Institute Social Innovation Fellowship Award of $50,000+.
Now mind you, I was in Karachi and this was a huge deal for me and especially my family.
Studying abroad was always An honor and to be selected for this prestigious program, I made my family extremely proud.
I knew where I wanted to be in a couple of years time..
Working on "real-world" problems.
I'm super passionate about two things ..
1) Social Impact
2) Marketing Technology
So why on earth am I building Humanistic Automations?
Good question :-)
I see life like a butterfly..
It has different stages and each stage contributes to & builds the next stage.
Right now, i'm at stage #1.
(out of three ..)
What is stage #1?
This is where you come into my life..
But back to Sweden.
I worked out of my office in this historic castle right next to the beach.
Yes. Not. Kidding.
This is the University in Sweden where I did my master’s program. (Landskrona Citadel)
I was living in the dorms for the first time ever and experiencing a new life.
It was such a beautiful time in my life because it showed me how to be independent.
So there I was, a brown Pakistani boy in Sweden and out of my home for the first time embarking on this new journey.
I was a foreigner but I felt accepted by everyone.
I did the entire digital nomad and passive income/four-hour-work-week in 2013-14, when I essentially retired and traveled around the world.
I was taking advantage of all these opportunities and having a blast.
Then something even bigger happened!!
Yes, I was to go to New York on behalf of my master’s program for a final fellowship and present my thesis at NYU.
I was extremely terrified yet so excited to be coming over to the US for the first time.
And landing straight in New York was a dream come true.
I received my degree after successfully defending my thesis.
I had a clear plan on what I will do after that,
1- Discover an incredible opportunity (launched my Startup RightClick)
2- Gather a small team (I hired a team of 12 great designers, marketers, and engineers)
3- Set up a small garage office in the Bay Area (found a space in Palo Alto; BlackBox)
5- Raise some money from investors (Telluride Venture Accelerator)
6- And change the world
Many entrepreneurs try, few startups survive.
And I was in the latter, we didn’t survive.
This one day I talked to a friend over Facetime.
He is a CRM marketing expert & helps grow e-commerce brands.
Let's call him Chris, shall we?
Chris needed some input on how to sell the products and scale..
He wanted a funnel (engine) that builds up a relationship and then sells his audience a solution to their problem.
Oh! And it should happen every single hour..
Of course, Chris..
And guess what..?
I did what all good friends do..
I helped him create his funnel.
Humanistic Automation was born.
Chris was working for Guess.com and asked me to join him and help scale the business using Mobile Marketing and Humanistic Automation.
Which I did, during my time there I launched automation campaigns working with Influencers like Jenifer Lopez, JBalvin and brands like T-Mobile and Tiktok.
I got a paying customer, and it keeps on happening since then.
.. Without building a new product.
Wait a minute, Haseeb..
How did you start getting paying customers before you started working on your product..?
Good question, Sherlock :-)
I wrote one LinkedIn post.
It went Viral with over 3 Million views.
I wrote a Medium post sharing this in detail and is very much related to my paid offerings.
It's like a very light (light, light) version of it.
Everyone who shows interest in this Linkedin post qualifies as a lead for my product.
I went on to promote it.
I used a simple & free traffic strategy I called B2B Humanistic Automation.
It worked like a charm.
47 people signed up in an hour.
And a couple of days later, I got my first Stripe email..
"Congratulations! You have just received a payment."..
I had a problem..
A customer but no product..
But before I tell you what happened next..
Here's something to chew on..
After I sold my company & moved to Sweden.
It took 4 years and 3 pivots until I found myself in the situation above.
Starting a project (that eventually finances your life) is damn hard.
Harder than I imagined.
I had no-one to guide me anymore..
I didn't know what product to offer..
Or how to make money..
I eventually got tired of moving around and ended up in Los Angeles.
She forced me to move out of expensive Silicon Valley life
It was my then girlfriend and now my wife, Sweeta
We shared this story about how we completed our end of the year goals by buying our first home together in Los Angeles, CA.
With a simple CTA to listen to our story on our new podcast.
And our podcast went Viral and crossed top 50 Podcast worldwide.
back to the move out of Silicon Valley.
The reason I moved to Los Angeles was not the beaches and sunny warm weather all year long.
But to decrease my costs and increase my runway..
Not worrying about the job and money.
I had to create something fast.
I knew I was good at.
1) Social Media (Automation)
2) Tech Marketing (CRM)
3) Zagging (Product Ideation)
I mixed everything together.
Iterated. Made mistakes. Analyzed feedback. Improved..
.. And picked up momentum.
Small successes turned into bigger ones..
Until people started to notice me.
They started inviting me to speak.
Audience recommended my stuff to their friends..
And they shared the feedback like this ..
My stuff seems to work.
People love it and get results with it..
Just like Guess, one of the most iconic retail brand did.
What is my marketing approach?
I have one single focus at the beginning..
To bond with a new lead.
(establish a relationship..)
If you have a relationship with your audience..
You're able to create trust.
Your people will see you as an expert.
And that's what you aim for..
You want to become your audience's trusted advisor.
This approach is called Humanistic Automation.
I coined this term.
(even got the domain..)
But it's nothing new.
Humanistic Automation is heavily based on good old never-changing business elements like relationship & trust.
Business = Relationship between people.
Never forget that.
Are you ready to help, advise & guide your people before money has changed hands..?
Think about it..
Are you willing to do that?
Because I am.
The game is simple.
If I work extremely hard to deliver pure value to you. If I show you that I really care..
You will care back :-)
If you mix Humanistic with Automation, you end up scaling businesses.
Now let me show you how to do that ..