It was 2007 when I started OPTRON. Optron was born as computer hardware & networking company. There was already competition and getting new customers was becoming difficult.
I tried pamphlet, JustDial, Sulekha, Calling, Email and SMS marketing also.
Yes, we used to get response and it was working. But, I was busy in marketing activities, lead generation and I had to spend time in generating inquiries.
I had to hire people for calling, sending emails etc. Getting email address and mobile numbers of people was not easy.
From JustDial and Sulekha we were getting leads, but many were too small or were price sensitive customers.
When I calculated our cost of lead generation, efforts and time, I was shocked. Most of our profit was spent on those activities and I was also spending good amount of time in generating leads.
I came to know about SEO
I was aware that SEO can get me business, but I was also aware that it’s expensive. Finally, I decided to invest in SEO as long term plan and decided to identify few companies who can offer be SEO services.
I searched few companies, asked their BDE to meet and offer me prices.
Most of them were giving me top ranking, when I asked them about getting me results and conversion and business, they were not able to give commitment.
It was not possible for them to give me result oriented SEO which can get me new customers.
I was shocked..
SEO is not for small companies
First I thought that SEO is not for small companies, it’s for big brands who can spend huge amount on their marketing. BTW – Digital marketing was not very popular at that time.
I finally decided to use old marketing and promotional methods and hired more sales people, they used to call prospects, meet them and then most of their time was spent in meeting, follow-up and sending proposals.
Yes, we did get good business but it was again, my profit was going to sales people.
Again I had to find effective ways to generate leads.
Again SEO came to mind and I started to understand more about SEO.
I spent about 5 to 6 hrs a week in learning and understanding.
I decided to learn SEO myself
Finally, I decided to learn SEO and practice.
I already knew how to make website, how to do hosting and all those stuff. I had to make changes.
When I tried searching SEO course, I was unable to find good institute.
Many institute I tried were just giving some tips and outdated methods.
They were talking about only ranking, not business.
Then I decided to learn from YouTube and international learning websites.
It took me 5 days to understand basics and fundamentals.
I started to implement my learning and I also created 2 blogs.
This is how my journey to SEO started.
I got my website on first page
By the end of December 2017, I was able to get my website on first page of Google for AMC Services in Mumbai and I got 2 new inquiries from my efforts and both got converted to business.
One was CraftWorlds Events and other was small company.
When I started doing SEO, I realised that it’s not just SEO which can get you on top, I was giving equal importance to my website layout, content and page loading speed.
I was analysing all data of my Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools. When I found that traffic is coming to website but we are unable to get leads, I started making changes in website, content and started getting good leads.
Then I moved to next level, created few more websites specific to products I was selling.
I started identifying more keywords.
Let me tell you, keyword research was not as easy as it’s today.
I invested in SEO tools and I was able to get more data and I started improving my ranking for more relevant keywords.
This is how I was now able to get ranking for
- Antivirus dealer
- Cyberoam dealer
- Hardware firewall dealer
- backup solution
- AMC services
Soon we decided to close AMC division and focus was on solution. This is how I used right keywords and I started getting leads
Finally, my sales co-ordination team and I and my partner were free from lead generation. Now leads started coming and we used to close them.
We spent more time on building business, process and team
Now getting leads was not difficult. SEO was doing it’s work. We were using other channels also but more than 85% leads used to come form our website.
We closed JustDial, Sulekha and other marketing activities. We were able to save more than 60K from that which I invested in website, email marketing and design.
Now it was time to move to next stage and target more customers. We started blogging and video marketing.
Now I started email marketing and started to send new articles, news and helpful blog links to those who registered on our website.
I was not doing any promotion and discount.
I also started becoming active on LinkedIn to build new contacts and this is how I realised power of Digital marketing
Started E-Commerce website
When I realised that Flipkart and SnapDeal are becoming popular, I also decided to experiment with e-commerce. It was mainly for understanding how e-commerce works.
I attended training, workshop and also learned from blogs, online courses and practicing.
We launched our e-commerce website which didn’t work due to payment integration and other things. But it helped us getting new leads and inquiries about products which we used to convert by talking to them on phone.
Turning Point – Things started changing
Flipkart was dominating market, there were many new players in AMC business and many small companies, individuals were selling products at lower price. Now things in IT industry started changing.
Mobile became more popular, cloud computing was capturing market share, computer hardware became more stable and many big brands started selling their products online at lower price.
I decided to move out of this IT hardware business
Digital marketing started growing
When I spoke to my friends about moving out of IT business, many suggested to stay there, wait and watch. I was not ready. It was not possible for small companies like me to fight against such big brands.
I was not having my own products also.
I then decided to move into digital marketing.
I started exploring more, learned social media, AdWords and many new things in digital marketing. I learned everything by doing it myself and taking coaching from experts.
While I was looking for good institute to learn digital marketing, I was unable to find really good institute.
One day, my friend Hardik gave me idea to start my own academy.
Learning and Training is my passion
I thought of giving it a try and I started exploring options.
I offered many free training sessions to friends, I did few free workshops also and I realised that people needs practical training and not theory. I started to meet people, CEO’s of companies, marketing people to understand their challenges in digital marketing.
I found that all wanted result oriented digital marketing and getting right people who can manage their digital marketing was difficult.
I started to build my training program and then I launched my SEO course in Goregaon and again I used my SEO skills to get students.
I was getting all students from SEO only.
This time I didn’t pay JustDial, Sulekha and others. No pamphlets, no banners, no SMS and email marketing.
In 2014 I started complete digital marketing courses.
Things started moving faster than expected
I then launched my digital agency and website development and e-commerce solution company. Today we have training division, e-commerce division, website development and mobile app development division.
I am starting my YouTube channel and created online courses.
Do you want to get early access to my Digital marketing courses and tips and pdf books?
You connect with me on LinkedIn