"Spend 20% of your time writing content and 80% of your time distributing it."

Farzad Rashidi, Lead Innovator of Respona

Farzad Rashidi
Farzad Rashidi, Lead Innovator
Washington, DC, USA
SaaS, MarTech
Go-to-market, Founder journey

About Farzad Rashidi

Farzad Rashidi is the lead innovator at Respona, the all-in-one link-building outreach software that helps businesses increase their organic traffic from Google. He previously ran the marketing efforts at Visme, where he helped the company gain over 14 million active users and pass 3M monthly organic traffic.

That journey led to the creation of Respona, which was the secret weapon the Visme marketing team had developed internally and decided to release as a separate product, helping other businesses achieve similar successes as Visme.

How to Consistently Earn Backlinks and Boost SEO Rankings | Farzad Rashidi of Respona


Resources mentioned on this podcast

About this episode

In today’s episode, Melissa sits down for a (virtual) drink with Farzad Rashidi, lead innovator at Respona. After Farzad pours his sparkling water and Melissa her kombucha — ASMR heaven! — Farzad explains that Respona offers an all-in-one link building outreach software that helps companies to raise their ranking on Google by building quality backlinks to their website. The company is an offshoot of Visme, where Farzad started his career with a role in marketing. Farzad’s work to build Visme’s customer base led him to explore different channels, experiment with Google search and results functions, and learn how Google ads work. In order to rank highly, he found, you need both keywords and mentions; this realization led Visme to reallocate its content resources, focusing 20% on content creation and 80% on promotional link building.

Farzad and his colleagues developed a process to build up their presence on Google, and eventually, Farzad partnered with Visme’s founder to build Respona as a separate business, marketing the link building process to other companies. Farzad explains how Visme’s self-funding helped Respona to get off the ground, early lessons in making sure company messaging is clear and concise, and the central aim of Respona: to build the #1 link building software in the world. There is still a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding what link building is, so part of Respona’s aim is to be an educational hub. The company has narrowed its target audience, and is now building up its product and adding features.

Shifting gears, Melissa asks Farzad about how to leverage SEO and content marketing as an acquisitions strategy. After all, everyone knows about SEO, but few really understand it. Farzad explains that considering how to maximize SEO actually starts with deciding whether or not the SEO strategy is even worth pursuing. The first of three steps that a company should take in navigating SEO is to evaluate whether or not SEO makes sense as a channel; this step requires examining what the company is good at, and determining whether Google is a good tool for marketing the company’s offering. Ultimately, each company should own the particular channel that will work for them, and only then experiment with other channels.

If a company decides that SEO is the channel it should pursue, the next step is to understand what keywords to go after and to build the right website. The company should prioritize keywords based on the factors of how much traffic the words will get, how competitive they are, and how high their commercial intent is. In order to find the ideal words given these factors, Farzad and his team have developed a guide and formula for companies to use. Following the guide, the company will get keyword suggestions and learn how to prioritize them in order to maximize growth without overshooting. With keywords selected, the company should get to work creating and publishing content.

Getting content out there is not the end, though. The next step to take involves employing certain tactics to rise in Google’s rankings. As the company transitions from writing to promoting, Farzad explains a three-pronged strategy to doing outreach and earning backlinks. This strategy entails going on other people’s podcasts for exposure and links, reaching out to article/listicle writers that have mentioned your competitors, and keeping tabs on journalists’ questions and answering them when possible.

As the conversation wraps up, Farzad shares about the outcome his process aims to achieve, who on a company’s team should be tackling this process, and how a company can get started. Over time, he sees no reason why any company should not see success, and in the meantime, he advises companies to niche down from early on and be patient in their journey!


0:55 - Welcome to this episode, in which host Melissa interviews Farzad Rashidi
5:12 - Who is Farzad, and what does he do?
12:46 - The arrangement between Visme and Respona
16:16 - On the term “link building”
19:43 - What are some of Respona’s biggest challenges right now?
22:44 - How can a company leverage SEO/content marketing as an acquisitions strategy?
29:17 - The next step to take after determining whether or not SEO is the right channel for you
35:56 - Getting actionable on step three
39:38 - There is a three-pronged outreach strategy to employ
46:40 - Who on the team should be doing this work?
49:23 - Steps to take now and parting advice

About ProfitLed

Welcome to the ProfitLed podcast, where we discover proven growth strategies for bootstrapped entrepreneurs from the people who have done it before to help you accelerate your business! The ProfitLed podcast is brought to you by eWebinar, the leading automated webinar tool, and hosted by eWebinar Cofounder and CEO, Melissa Kwan.

ProfitLed is forum for the unsung heroes of SaaS, the founders and others behind the bootstrapped startups who are creative and resourceful enough to forge a pathway to success. Here’s where they get to share everything they learned along the way, so you can benefit from their expertise and find success in your ventures, too!


eWebinar, webinar, Respona, Visme, bootstrapped, entrepreneur, startup, founder, SaaS, software, SEO, link building, backlinks, innovator, outreach software, Google ads, ranking, promotion, content marketing, acquisitions strategy, channel, keyword, formula, outreach strategy