Welcome to 99signals — an online marketing blog that contains a treasure trove of insights, lessons, and examples to help entrepreneurs, marketers, and bloggers run a successful online business.
Hi there, I’m Sandeep Mallya!
I’m an entrepreneur and digital marketing consultant from Bangalore, India. I founded my own digital agency, Startup Cafe Digital, in 2015 to help SMBs leverage social media, SEO, and content marketing to grow their traffic and generate qualified leads for their business.
I launched 99signals in 2016 as a side project to document all the strategies, tools, and tactics that I was using to grow my small agency.
The goal was simple: to arm other entrepreneurs and bloggers with all the right information and tools they needed to launch a successful online business. Since then, 99signals has grown significantly and generates over $10,000 in side income each month.
I also host the Marketing Mantra podcast, where I’ve interviewed marketing thought leaders like Matthew Woodward, John Wall, Craig Campbell, Alexandra Tachalova, and many others. I also write guest posts for Semrush and SEOButler, and occasionally appear on other podcasts and webinars to deconstruct SEO and other online marketing topics.
My articles have been featured on several websites. Here’s a list of just a few:
If you aren’t bored of all the information overload here, here’s my short story.
After getting my MBA in 2009, I worked for the digital arms of two of the largest media publications in India in sales and marketing roles (I won’t name them here, but you can check my LinkedIn profile to see who they are). To call these jobs ‘soul-crushing’ would be a MASSIVE understatement.
I won’t go into detail because I hate complaining, but suffice it to say, my work experience convinced me that I was not cut out for the 9-5 job.
With everything that was bad about the job, there were a few positives as well. One of them was that I made solid connections. The second was that I was part of the biz-dev team for a revolutionary social media recruitment tool one of these companies had acquired. I was in charge of the core team that was responsible for pitching this new tool to the top 30 IT companies in Bangalore. This was back in 2011 when social media had low acceptance at a B2B level and companies were reluctant to create a LinkedIn business page, let alone a Facebook or Twitter page.
This experience in social media marketing and biz-dev proved to be invaluable when I launched my digital agency in early 2015. I had been toying with the idea of starting my own social media marketing agency in 2014 and after one year of contemplation, I got my big break when one of my connections needed help managing social media accounts for his newly-launched online food delivery business in San Francisco. I quit my day job and began work as a part-time social media consultant, earning a decent monthly retainer fee.
At the same time, I began working as a freelancer and created a single page website to list down my social media marketing services. Soon, the website was flooded with requests and in August 2015, I took the big step of launching my own digital agency with an aim to help small businesses generate more qualified website traffic and conversions through social media. Soon, it evolved into a full-fledged digital marketing agency which offered inbound marketing services, including social media marketing, SEO, PPC, email marketing, web analytics, and content marketing.
I read several business books at the time of launching my business, but three of them gave me the confidence to embark on this exciting new adventure. They were:
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Since starting my agency, I’ve had the privilege of working with several early-stage startups in India, USA, and Singapore. Here are some of the brands I’ve worked with:
Startup Cafe Digital was featured among “Top 10 Marketing Agencies in India in 2016” by Silicon India Magazine and in 2018, my agency’s success story was covered by Entrepreneur Magazine.
If you’ve made it this far, I thank you for reading my short origin story.
The Launch of 99signals
As I mentioned earlier, I launched 99signals with an aim to document my journey of launching and growing my digital marketing agency. I’m a big believer in Gary Vee’s “Document, Don’t Create!” philosophy, and this blog is basically a testament to that belief. What started as a simple documentation project now earns me over $10,000 in affiliate and advertising income each month. The blog currently has over 200 in-depth articles, how-to guides, resources, reviews, and interactive content to help you build, sustain, and grow your very own successful side hustle.
In addition to the articles, you’ll also find links to all the episodes from my podcast, Marketing Mantra, video reviews and tutorials, tons of free eBooks, and much more.
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Disclosure – Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the product/service, we will receive an affiliate commission. No article published on this site should be republished anywhere (the web or otherwise) without written permission from the owner.
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