Entrepreneurial Spotlight

Quill’s Fatima Zaidi on Helping Businesses Enter the Podcasting Space

In this series, we profile entrepreneurs approaching the top of their game, and ask them how they got there. This week, the co-founder of Quill, a podcast freelancer marketplace, talks about connecting the dots in hiring podcasting help.

Quill’s mission is to help other companies with their podcasting needs. It is a marketplace that helps companies looking to get into podcasting find credible help, hire and pay freelancers seamlessly while also streamlining communication within the platform. And there’s a growing need for Quill’s services.

“As podcasts grow in popularity, brands and individuals are looking to create shows to reach new audiences,” Fatima Zaidi, CEO and co-founder, says. “In fact based on current growth metrics, an average of 3,750 new podcast shows are launched weekly worldwide with brands/podcasters trying to reach affluent educated millennial professionals that are accounting for 70% of the workplace demographic.”

Zaidi previously worked for Dragon’s Den-approved Rent Frock Repeat, as head of business development as well as creative communications agency, Eighty Eight.

Here, the entrepreneur discusses how brands can enter the podcasting space, the best advice she’s ever received and being “that millennial” who wants to be a homeowner and an avocado-toast eater at the same time.

Q & A

What do you enjoy most about the industry you’re in?

I love that it’s a completely new category in the way millennials are consuming content, and brands are now moving aggressively into the podcasting space which means the space is ripe with content with a podcast for everyone’s niche, genre and interests.

Best advice you have ever been given?

Fortunately—or maybe unfortunately—I’m one of those millennials who both want to be a homeowner and also have their avocado toast! The best advice I’ve been given: “Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t have it all: you can have everything, but you have to make your own rules.”

What is the lesson you took the longest to learn?

“Pick An Industry, Not A Job.”  My reasoning is based on pure practicality; after all, if you want to become really good at something, you need to invest years into it.

What makes it all worth it?

I left my hometown in Muscat, Oman for a better life in Canada; this country is incredible and we are so fortunate to live in this part of the world, even more so now considering the current economical and political climate.

What long term goals do you have?

I’m inspired by making money and have always believed cash flow is king.

How do you balance your work and personal lives?

When I get tired, I always remind myself that my 20’s and 30’s are dedicated to working incredibly hard and giving it everything I’ve got so that I can afford to slow down in my 40’s. You very rarely get something for nothing, so I work extremely hard now so that I can reap the rewards when I’m older.

DAILY GLIMPSE

Mornings:  The last thing I do before I sleep and the first thing I do when I wake up is grab my iPhone and check my emails! I then proceed to get dressed in under 15 minutes and skip breakfast in exchange for a skim milk latte at my favourite local cafe, Le Gourmand, before heading into my full day of meetings, tv segments, client pitches etc. But I have to say that my weekend mornings are a lot more relaxed—weekend Fatima is much more fun than weekday Fatima!

Workday:

The great thing about being an entrepreneur is you get to wear so many different hats. My day never looks the same. An average work day is around 12-14 hours and can consist of client meetings, writing proposals, pitching investors, tv segments, writing articles/content, working on your product, website iterations, dealing with customers, managing your team etc. 

 I’m big on taking mental breaks throughout the day to recharge. For me the best way to do this is to tune into my favourite podcasts. There are many podcasts that have 10-15 minute episodes which is perfect for consuming bite sized content and taking a break from whatever you are working on. If I’m working from home then 15 minute power naps are also my jam!

I have zero cooking abilities and I’m definitely no suzie homemaker. I’m ashamed to admit it but I probably can’t even boil rice so eating out is is the preferred option. I’m a huge taco enthusiast so one of my favourite places to take clients is Campechano, and Good Hombres

Evenings: I also occasionally venture into the world of trashy TV from time to time—the trashier, the better! My close friends will tell you that I can be caught watching The Bachelor and, for my sins, The Bachelor in Paradise. I know it’s not exactly high-brow, but we all have our guilty pleasures! However, my biggest passion outside of my work is travelling. Anytime I get a chance, I’ll hop on a plane and fly away. I love really exotic destinations which make me come back more excited and recharged than ever. I’ve been privileged enough to dive into cenotes in Colombia, trek the Gobi desert in Mongolia, crawl through creepy old Viet-Cong tunnels in Vietnam, and explore the caravan-city of Petra in Jordan. And, of course, my beloved hometown of Muscat in Oman holds a special place in my heart.

I'D RECOMMEND

BOOKS

Built to Sell by John Warrillow has become my bible for Quill. If you’re growing a company with a plan to exit you need to read this book! I loved Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso because it reminds you that there are so many other entrepreneurs facing the same daily struggles that you are going through and while it can feel like an isolating journey you are truly going through the same motions that hundreds of other entrepreneurs have gone through as well.

APPLICATIONS

My CRM tool called Nimble. Statistically it is shown that by using any CRM tool you can increase Sales by up to 37%, Sales Productivity by up to 44% and Forecast accuracy by 48% so it still shocks me that some people still use excel spreadsheets to manually track their clients, vendors, investors, and deal flow.