Each month we have the honor of interviewing Women Who Inspire Us. This month we talked to Nadia Mojahed who you may remember from our 10 Women in Tech in Switzerland to Follow in 2022 list. Nadia is the founder of SEO Transformer, a digital SEO consultancy based in Switzerland and is also the Geneva Chapter Lead for Women in Digital Switzerland. Read about her career and her top advice for a career in tech and entrepreneurship.
Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your current position.
I got my MBA from the New York Institute of Technology in 2008 and have been working in digital marketing for over 12 years. I have increased my skills in the digital field over the years, having the opportunity to work with international brands and local businesses alike.
I moved to Switzerland in 2013, firstly in Zurich where I learned German and then eventually moved to Geneva, where I started to learn French.
Right before COVID, I decided to focus solely on SEO (search engine optimization), as I really liked this combination of content, strategy, analytical & technical skills. Developing that technical acumen was not easy and I had to practice a lot to develop my skills. It required a lot of testing and experimenting.
At that moment, I decided to launch my own business and since then I have worked on a lot of exciting projects in various industries (science, beauty, health, etc) and have been growing every year. I recently collaborated with the city of Geneva, my biggest project thus far.
It has been a great journey so far with each project bringing learning opportunities and interesting challenges.
You mentioned it was very important for you to develop new skills. Do you have tips on how to learn a new skill?
One of my advice would be to find something you like to experiment with.
Many people at the beginning start with something, only to realize later on that they don’t like it that much and stop the learning process. For example, a while ago, I thought I wanted to specialize in ad campaigns management. I focused on learning that, ran a few campaigns and was getting great results for the companies but it did not really appeal to me so I did not continue in that field. I tried again with email marketing, with SEO, etc.
Never stop experimenting to find that one topic you really enjoy. If you invest time and effort into a skill but realize you have lost the motivation to learn more, maybe it is time to change and focus on something else.
I would also advise to dedicate regular time periods to learning, even if it is just 20 minutes a day. Select a topic that drives you, practice regularly and connect with other people in that field.
20 minutes of learning every day can lead to the biggest transformations.
You decided to launch your own business. What motivated that decision and what advice would you have for future entrepreneurs?
This is a decision that I made but it does not mean it is the right decision for everyone.
I am very disciplined, able to motivate myself and that is a very important aspect of working for yourself. It is also an amazing learning opportunity, managing your own time, developing your skills and growing, looking for new projects.
Of course, that also means working a lot and not counting your hours.
Could you also share about your experience with Women in Digital Switzerland?
When I moved to Switzerland, I started attending their events on and off. Then one of my colleagues who was volunteering with the organization recommended me to help with an upcoming event in Geneva.
It has also been important for me to support women, sharing and exchanging knowledge, facilitating learning and connecting with other women. Thus joining women in digital was very appealing to me. I find it very fulfilling and interesting. It is really nice to connect with other women and help each other. At the same time, it is also nice to feel part of a community that shares the same interests.
What is the most exciting thing in your professional life right now?
I have to learn a lot in order to deliver value for my clients. In SEO, things are constantly changing, with lots of updates, new tools, which give me the opportunity to optimize my own processes and continuously deliver value. That aspect of my job really excites me as I love learning. This is what gets me up in the morning!
Who’s been the most important influence on you?
There are so many I have to say but to only name a few:
- Lisa Stähli, for her continuous work to support girls in tech, and creating a community and highlighting role models.
- Isaline Muelhauser and Sara Moccand-Sayegh who have launched the SEOnerdSwitzerland community and are always supporting others to learn SEO.
- Tory Gray for being a role model in supporting others uplift their SEO skills, for her agile way of scaling up her agency, and for team management skills.
- Areej Abu Ali for founding the Women in Tech SEO community, a global community aimed for women in the Technical SEO field, to discuss, share and learn from one another; and for her advocacy to improve the conditions of work for women.
- Shouq Salameh for the effort she constantly puts on learning and uplifting her skills, whether professionally or on a personal level. The passion and the dedication she puts into her work.
- Joelle Irvine for her active efforts she puts into her supporting women via mentoring
- The amazing women from the Women in Digital Switzerland and the Women in tech SEO communities
- My only child and daughter, who is always the motivation for me to act as the best version of myself
When do you think, see or feel that your work has the most impact?
I feel it is by delivering great content. I have a lot to contribute when it comes to content creation. I try to be selective in my words, being mindful of diversity and inclusion in general in the content that I deliver. I believe it also helps other women to drive impact.
Additionally, regarding the tech aspect, when you optimize a website, by making it lighter you reduce the environmental footprint and this is also something I am very mindful of.
I feel I have the most impact by delivering great content.
How does digitization impact your and women’s career opportunities?
I find it amazing how many mothers and women have gotten into the tech industry. I have met a lot of women who have invested in the digital space and created a sustained living out of it. I recently met a woman in her sixties who instead of retiring decided to learn new digital skills and start a career in tech and that’s really inspiring. I also see many women having strong voices through digital.
The digital space is by itself inclusive, it provides free learning opportunities for everyone.
I hope to see more and more women participating in the field.
Have you heard any advice that changed your career?
20 minutes of learning a day can lead to the biggest transformation.
Also learn by doing. Don’t wait until it is perfect. Deliver things and focus on the speed of iteration.
Are there any readings, podcasts or other resources that you enjoy or recommend?
When it comes to SEO, there is the women in tech SEO podcast and Work in SEO podcast that I would recommend.
In terms of books, my top recommendations would be:
– Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men
– Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés
– Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy by Eli Schwartz
– Contagious: Why Things Catch On: Berger, Jonah
– The Leader Who Had No Title: Robin Sharma
– Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clare
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My next challenge is to find the right content which would allow me to combine the area I am working on with my personal mission of supporting women. Writing content using my skills while supporting women’s causes
Do you have one last message you’d like to share with the girls in tech community?
Always learn, always connect, always ask questions. Be out there, connect with other women. There are lots of opportunities out there.
We would like to thank Nadia Mojahed for her time in sharing her story and for being a role model for young girls. Thank you Nadia for being a woman who inspires us! 💛
Author: Anne-Sophie Scharff