Interview with Ms. Sana Afreen, CCO & Asst. Director Program Management at Rizzle
Ms. Sana Afreen is the Chief Content Officer (CCO) and Assistant Director of Program Management at Rizzle.
Can you tell us more about your role as CCO & Assistant Director at Rizzle and your responsibilities in enabling brand growth and fostering creativity?
Sana Afreen: At Rizzle, I contribute to the Product, Partnership and Marketing aspect. The mission and vision we are on is to enable technology feasibility in Video tech space.
How do you integrate project management, content marketing, and product management in your role at Rizzle? Could you provide an example of a project where these skills were crucial?
Sana Afreen: I generally oversee multiple departments, including project management, program management, content marketing, and product.
This comprehensive approach allows me to effectively manage the various dimensions of running a business and ensures smooth operations as a manager.
As a product manager, I have a holistic understanding of the product from end to end, enabling me to determine key selling points and develop features accordingly.
To ensure seamless integration of content and marketing with the product pipeline, I also handle program management.
Establishing processes and adhering to program management principles helps maintain the integrity of these processes and facilitates a smooth transition from product development to marketing. This approach brings great satisfaction in completing projects successfully.
Would like to provide an example to illustrate the importance of these skills in my role. Suppose we are working on a new feature release.
If different individuals are responsible for product development and marketing, effective communication becomes crucial.
Without proper documentation, there can be communication gaps. Program and project management help in documenting processes, ensuring clarity, and reducing communication barriers.
In my role, which combines both product and content marketing, having these skills is essential. By possessing a clear vision of how I want the product to be marketed, communication becomes straightforward.
There is no need for interpretation or adjustments from other individuals who might be handling the marketing aspect separately.
Having both product and marketing skills allows for a direct line of communication and ensures the successful delivery of the envisioned product. In addition to content marketing, I also mentioned my involvement in program management.
In the company and managing partnerships, including any significant collaborations that contribute to our brand and growth.
Through these partnerships, I actively work to drive the company’s growth. Program management plays a crucial role in this process, as it requires implementing and adhering to proper processes, thorough documentation, and alignment with the company’s vision and mission. I handle all of these activities to support the company’s overall objectives.
Community building is an important aspect of your work. Could you explain how you approach community building and what strategies have been effective in engaging and growing the Rizzle community?
Sana Afreen: Community building is indeed a crucial aspect of my work. When it comes to building and engaging a community, we employ several strategies that have proven effective:
Define Your Target Audience: Identify your target audience and understand their interests, demographics, and preferred social media platforms. This helps you tailor your content and engagement strategies specifically for them.
Consistent Branding: Maintain consistent branding across your social media profiles to create a recognisable identity. Use cohesive visuals, language, and tone that align with your brand values and resonate with your target audience.
Compelling Content: Share high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that adds value to your community.
This can include informative articles, captivating visuals, videos, infographics, polls, and quizzes. Experiment with different formats to keep your content fresh and interesting.
Active Listening: Pay attention to your community’s conversations, comments, and feedback. Actively listen and respond to their queries, concerns, and suggestions. This shows that you value their input and encourage ongoing engagement.
Two-Way Communication: Encourage dialogue by asking questions, seeking opinions, and initiating discussions.
Respond to comments, messages, and mentions promptly and authentically. Engage in meaningful conversations and make community members feel heard and appreciated.
User-Generated Content: Encourage your community to contribute by creating user-generated content. This can be in the form of testimonials, reviews, stories, or creative submissions. Recognise and showcase their contributions to foster a sense of belonging and pride.
Hashtags and Trending Topics: Utilize relevant hashtags and tap into trending topics to increase the visibility of your content.
This helps you reach a wider audience beyond your immediate community and generates more engagement.
Collaboration and Influencers: Collaborate with influencers, thought leaders, or complementary brands to expand your reach into their audience.
Co-creating content, hosting joint events or giveaways, or featuring guest posts can help you engage with new communities and grow your own.
Contests and Challenges: Organize contests, challenges, or giveaways encouraging community participation.
This incentivises engagement and encourages members to share your content or invite others to join, thus expanding your community.
Analytics and Iteration: Monitor social media analytics to gain insights into what content resonates the most with your audience.
Identify patterns, trends, and preferences, and iterate your content and engagement strategies accordingly. Continuously refine your approach based on data-driven insights.
Community Guidelines: Establish clear guidelines to maintain a respectful and inclusive environment. Enforce these guidelines consistently and address any inappropriate behaviour promptly. This ensures a safe space for community members to engage and connect.
Cross-Promotion and Paid Advertising: Explore opportunities for cross-promotion with other relevant social media accounts or platforms.
Additionally, consider investing in paid advertising on social media to boost your reach and attract new community members.
Remember, building a community on social media takes time and effort. It’s important to be patient, and authentic, and consistently provide value to your community.
By implementing these strategies and adapting to the unique dynamics of each social media platform, you can effectively engage and grow your community.
Public speaking is one of your side gigs. What topics do you typically speak about, and what do you enjoy most about public speaking?
Sana Afreen: I enjoy public speaking because it allows me to connect with people and share my passion for entrepreneurship.
I also enjoy the challenge of presenting complex information clearly and concisely. Public speaking is an essential skill for anyone who wants to be successful in business.I typically speak about topics related to branding, marketing, and entrepreneurship.
In your experience, what have been some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced as a female leader in the industry, and how have you overcome them?
Sana Afreen: As a female leader in the tech industry, I have faced a number of obstacles. Some of the biggest obstacles I have faced include:
Gender bias. I have often been underestimated and not taken seriously because I am a woman. I have also been the target of sexist comments and jokes.
Lack of female role models. When I was starting out in my career, I didn’t have many female role models to look up to. This made it difficult to envision myself in a leadership role.
Work-life balance. The tech industry is known for its long hours and demanding workload. This can be challenging for women who want to balance their careers with family responsibilities.
I have overcome these obstacles by:
Being confident in my abilities. I know I am just as capable as any man, and I am not afraid to speak up and share my ideas.
Building a network of supportive women. Having a network of supportive women has helped me to feel more confident and to overcome the challenges I have faced.
Setting boundaries. I have learned to set boundaries between my work and personal life. This has helped me to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
I am proud to be a female leader in the tech industry. Women need to be represented in leadership roles. I am committed to breaking down barriers for other women and to creating a more inclusive tech industry.
Here are some additional tips for female leaders in the tech industry:
- Be confident in your abilities.
- Build a network of supportive women.
- Set boundaries between your work and personal life.
- Be a role model for other women.
- Speak up against gender bias.
- Advocate for diversity and inclusion.
- Be patient and persistent.
How do you balance the need for self-promotion with maintaining humility and authenticity in your work?
Sana Afreen: Balancing self-promotion with humility and authenticity is important to maintain community credibility and trust. Here are some approaches to strike that balance:
Focus on Value: Prioritize providing value to your community rather than solely promoting yourself. Offer helpful and informative content, share insights, answer questions, and provide practical solutions.
By genuinely helping others, you establish yourself as a valuable resource without resorting to excessive self-promotion.
Share Success Stories and Achievements: Instead of constantly promoting yourself, highlight the achievements and success stories of your community members or customers.
By showcasing their accomplishments, you demonstrate your work’s impact while promoting others. This approach fosters a sense of community and authenticity.
Be Genuine and Transparent: Authenticity is key. Be honest about your experiences, challenges, and failures.
Share personal stories and insights that resonate with your community. Transparency creates a connection and allows others to relate to your journey, building trust and credibility.
Seek Feedback and Improvement: Actively seek feedback from your community and listen to their suggestions or criticisms.
Show that you are open to learning and growing. Incorporate constructive feedback to improve your work and demonstrate your commitment to providing the best possible value.
Collaborate and Highlight Others: Collaborate with others in your field or community and promote their work.
Give credit where it’s due and amplify the voices and expertise of others. This adds value to your community and shows your humility and willingness to uplift others.
Let Others Promote You: Encourage satisfied community members or customers to share their positive experiences and promote your work voluntarily.
Testimonials, reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations carry more weight when they come from others rather than self-promotion.
Balance Self-Promotion with Other Content: While promoting your work is important, ensure that self-promotion is not the sole focus of your content.
Share a variety of valuable and relevant content, such as educational resources, industry insights, or thought-provoking discussions. This demonstrates that you intend to contribute to the community, not just promote yourself.
Be Mindful of Tone and Frequency: Consider the tone and frequency of your self-promotional messages.
Avoid excessive self-praise or appearing overly sales-oriented. Instead, strike a balance by delivering your messages humbly and gratefully—space out your self-promotional content with other valuable and engaging content.
Engage in Genuine Conversations: Actively engage with your community members, listen to their perspectives, and offer thoughtful responses. Authentic interactions build trust and credibility, fostering community beyond self-promotion.
Embrace Humility: Embrace humility as a guiding principle. Acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers and that there’s always room for growth and improvement. Humility shows that you value the contributions of others and are open to learning from them.
By following these approaches, you can balance self-promotion and humility, ensuring your work remains authentic and resonates with your community.
Can you share a significant failure or setback you’ve experienced in your career, and how you bounced back from it?
Sana Afreen: Failures teach you a lot; fast failing is important to stand on your feet and keep running, I still see failures as my biggest blessings.
I learned a lot from my failure. I learned it’s important to be resilient and never give up. I also learned that having a positive attitude and believing in yourself is important. I’m stronger because of my failure, and I’m grateful for the experience.
Here are some tips for bouncing back from a career setback:
Allow yourself to grieve. Feeling sad, angry, or disappointed after a setback is okay. Don’t try to bottle up your emotions.
Take some time to reflect. What went wrong? What could you have done differently? What did you learn?
Make a plan. What are your goals? What steps do you need to take to achieve them?
Don’t give up. It may take time, but you will eventually succeed.
Remember, setbacks and failures are a natural part of any career journey. The key is to embrace them as opportunities for growth, learning, and self-improvement.
Resilience, self-reflection, seeking feedback, and staying persistent are essential qualities that can help you bounce back and ultimately achieve long-term success.
That’s my Mantra!
Given your expertise and experience, what do you believe are the key trends or future developments in the short videos industry, and how do you plan to leverage them at Rizzle?
Sana Afreen: Here are some of the key trends or future developments in the short videos industry that I believe will shape the way we consume and create content in the years to come:
The rise of vertical video. Vertical video is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people watch videos on their smartphones and tablets.
A recent study found that 92% of people watch videos on their mobile devices. This trend is driven by the growing popularity of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, designed for vertical video.
The growth of live streaming. Live streaming is another trend that is quickly gaining momentum. Live streaming allows users to connect with their audience in real time, and it can be used for a variety of purposes, including broadcasting events, conducting interviews, and providing customer service.
The increasing use of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in various ways to improve the short videos industry.
For example, AI can be used to generate captions for videos, detect and remove inappropriate content, and recommend videos to users.
The rise of short-form video advertising. Short-form video advertising is becoming increasingly popular as brands look for new ways to reach their target audiences.
Short-form video ads are typically less expensive than traditional TV ads and can be more engaging and effective.
These are just a few of the key trends that are shaping the short videos industry. As the industry continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative and exciting ways to create and consume short-form video content.
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