My (Origin) Story
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 $5,000 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.
To get started, check out some of my best content.
If you have any questions about blogging or marketing, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on social media – Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Thanks for dropping by and I hope you enjoy the content on my blog.
Write for us: I’m always looking for contributors who can write on topics such as SEO, Social Media Marketing, and Content Marketing. Click here to send your application.
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Recommended Resources: Click here to check out some of the marketing tools and resources I highly recommend.
Marketing Mantra Podcast: My weekly marketing podcast. Click here to learn more.
Startup Cafe Digital: My digital marketing agency. Click here to learn more about what we do.
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