“I need a change, man..!” I told my friend.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
“I want to do something exciting”
He looked at me and smiled “Brother, Your actions decide your destiny”
“Means what?” I asked.
“What steps have you taken to do something which excites you?”
This time I was silent.
He patted my shoulder. “First step is always the toughest one, but the best one. Once you take that first step, things will be easier for you”
Let me stop my philosophical story mode right here and introduce myself. My name is Binu Varghese. I am a Keralite, but living in Saudi now. I am an Electrical Engineer by certificate, but as a real-time data analyst by profession. If you ask me why an Electrical Engineer does real-time data analyst job, I have only one answer. “That’s what Engineering does to you…!”
I respect my job as it always helped me feed my family very well, but I never liked it fully. The problem was the lack of excitement. Whenever I thought about quitting the job, my mind tells me one thing.
“Binu, if you break up with your job, you will regret later. She has been taking care of you very well. She will not help you satisfy your needs anymore.”
I hide my thoughts deep inside my mind ever since the conversation with my friend happened. Financial troubles were always a brick wall in front of me whenever I thought about changing my career.
Now, I believe this is the right time to change my career. I started researching on what I can do for a change. Like everyone else, Google was my mentor. One day, when I was going through different career options, I happened to read an article about a new “buzz word” called “Digital Marketing”. I found it is interesting. Being a youtuber doubled my curiosity about this new career option. I even joined an Online Digital Marketing workshop which turned out to be a scam. The workshop never occurred.
I hesitated to continue further, but never stopped researching about Digital Marketing. Then I found the Gem…! My research ended up in an articlewhich was life changing for me. I knew this was what I wanted to do. I chose my destiny and took the first step to act on it. That’s why I am here now writing this article — my first assignment of Digital Deepak Internship Program Batch2.
What is Digital Deepak Internship Program?
Instead of talking about what is Digital Deepak Internship Program, I would rather talk about who is Digital Deepak. Deepak Kanakaraju is a Civil Engineering graduate. He is a normal guy like any other. The only difference is he took that first step to follow his passion, which was blogging.
He started his blog about motor cycles due to his interest in it. He researched about Digital Marketing to implement strategies in his blog and later became a digital marketer himself. He sold his blog and started working as Digital Marketing Manager. His skills in blogging helped him find a job. He worked in several startups such as Exotel, Practo, Instamojo and Razorpay.
Today he is one of the renowned Digital Marketing professional trainers in India. He owns a company called Pixeltrack. He also has a blog which is digitaldeepak.com. He is an author, a public speaker and a columnist at Entrepreneur.com and Yourstory.
Digital Marketing Internship program is his new initiative to help all the aspiring Digital Marketers in India. I am happy to be a part of it.
How he helps us?
I was very excited about attending the webinar as part of the internship program. Class1 was on 25th February 2020. While I was in office, I kept thinking about the upcoming class throughout the day. I had no idea what he would teach me apart from what was already available online. I was ready in front of my laptop on time, and class started on sharp 9PM.
“I expected a simple digital marketer, but I saw a motivational speaker, Economist, Philosopher and a Marketer.”
At times, he talked about things out of the topic, which I initially thought unnecessary. But, as the webinar goes on, I realized that everything is intertwined and I should know all these things to become a better Digital Marketer. His approach is entirely different from other digital marketing trainers out there. He has a unique and excellent way of presenting the topics in a simple manner. Humility is his trademark. He reminds us Albert Einstein’s quote:
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”
He obviously knows what he teaches.
Yes, this is the guy I needed…! Someone who can motivate me… Someone who can push me to the Edge of Sanity…!
Enough of praising one guy…! Now, let me give you an overview about what I have learnt during Class1 of Internship program.
The Golden Triangle…!
Do you know what is the best way of mastering something? The quote says “Practice makes a man perfect”. But Deepak has an advanced approach, and he talks about a golden triangle.
The best way to master is practice what you learn and teach others what you practice. When you do what you learn, you will sharpen your skills. When you try to help others learn what you do, you will break down things to make others understand easily and you will master it. So, he emphasized on the importance of networking of like-minded people to help each other. He didn’t stop there. He even created a room in facebook and telegram to help all the interns connect and assist each other. That’s what he does; he pushes us to do what we need.
What is your goal?
“A person with a goal and plan will beat even the intelligent person without a goal and plan.” — Warren Buffet
Having a goal is imperative before you do anything in your life. Your life will be directionless without a proper goal and plan. You will reach nowhere.
Deepak highlighted the importance of having a goal as a Digital Marketer. He did a poll on facebook about what the interns are intending to become through his classes. When most of the interns chose “Digital Marketing Consultant” as their goal, mine was the least chosen among several other options, which is “Employee”. My immediate goal is to find a job in Digital Marketing field. Once I am an expert, I can think of my next goal. I prefer one step at a time.
He mentioned about the other two goals which we need to have for this program.
1. Improving communication skill to excel in all areas of our life.
2. Improving sales skills to be able to sell yourself and your products/services better.
How can you improve communication?
Some people hate marketers. But marketing is super power if you can convince others. Having proper communication skill is vital to be a better digital marketer. Good communication skill helps us to create good content. Content is the key to your digital marketing strategy.
I felt so proud when Deepak suggested easy ways of improving communication. I had personally struggled in this area a lot. I made a significant improvement in my communication through some methods he mentioned. I am still learning and trying my best to improve my skills. I can confidently ask you to do some of the below steps, and you will see yourself as a different person after years.
· Read a lot of books (30 minutes a day). If you are not a reader yet, start with simple books, and move to complex ones later.
· Listen to podcasts (30 minutes a day). Smart phones have a lot of podcast apps now. Go for any of it and keep listening to what interests you.
· Write a lot (500 words per day). The more you write, the better you can write.
· Watch English Sitcoms and stand up comedies to learn local slangs and culture.
When you continuously consume yourself in English Language, you will see a remarkable improvement in your communication. Set your priority first. If it is to improve your communication, start now. Do no procrastinate.
Economics and Aha Moment…!
Let me confess. I hate economics. I hate to read about it and I hate to listen about it. So when he started talking about economics, I was like “why is he talking about this…!” But as you know, he is a good communicator. He made sure that I am convinced about how important to know the basics of economics in real life, especially for a marketer or a business owner.
Economy of a country goes up when average age of a country goes up. People aged 25 to 50 spend more, which helps economy. Once the average age of the country goes above 50, economy goes down, because average household spending goes down. This theory gives great expectation about Indian Economy, because average age of India is 27 to 28 as of now. We have a lot of opportunities lie before us.
Then comes the Aha moment…!
We all despise the person called “Debt”?. Whenever “he” comes to our home, we hate “him”. But if you listen to Digital Deepak, you will have some empathy towards “him”. I never knew about it, but when Deepak explained, it was a bulb-on moment for me.
Debt creates money, though it is not the only way. Wait… Don’t furrow your brow..! This is real if you read more about how debt creates money. Debt will enhance money circulation in the market, which helps the economy. Once the people start repaying the debt, the amount of money circulation will start sinking, which affects economy.
We should not be worrying about recession, as people will always pay money for value. So create value in the market, and you will be successful. This is why strong companies survive through recession while weak ones not.
Deepak explained it in a simple way. Anyway, I don’t want to talk about it much as I still hate it. You can research more about it. He suggested a movie — “The Big Short” — to get an idea about how money works.
Finding the Gold…!
Market always expands. One solution to a need creates several other needs. Are you confused? Let me give a simple example.
When you buy a car, you are finding a solution to your problem, which is transportation. But this leads to several other needs such as car wash, seat cover, stereo system, alloy wheels, car maintenance so on and so forth. So you can see several new niches emerged just by solving a need.
So market never stop as long as there are solutions to our needs. As long as market keeps expanding, you will find the gold (wealth). What you need to do is finding the gold by digging deep. You gain this wealth when you focus on your niche and work towards your goal.
How do you find your micro-niche?
We normally look in a broader perspective to find our niche. Finding “niche inside niche” will help us gain the wealth.
We can take the same example of buying a car. If you plan to start a business or a blog based on just this niche (Helping customer to buy cars), that’s a broader perspective. You will have a lot of competition; hence chance of succeeding is less. Instead, if you go in deep and find your micro-niche such as helping car owners buy stereo system, you will have a greater chance of winning the battle.
Passion + Talent + Market Opportunity = Success
How do you select your niche should be based on the combination of passion, talent and market opportunity. If you are passionate, you will enjoy doing it. When you enjoy doing it, you will do more and you will get better at it. If your niche has market opportunities, your business will grow and you will gain the wealth.
What is Digital Marketing?
Finally, let’s talk about our passion…!
If you are expecting a textbook definition of digital marketing, you are wrong. Deepak Kanakaraju has a different approach.
I considered myself a tech savvy. I thought learning digital technologies will make me a better digital marketer, but he opened my eyes.
He said, “If you want to become a good Digital Marketer, be a good marketer first”
Marketing is out there in the world since the invention of trading and it will never die. Marketing is all about understanding human psychology, understanding how to communicate and understanding how to sell. So, emphasis should be on marketing, and digital is just secondary to that. Technologies are just some tools to help us do marketing better. Digital marketing will have a future as long as marketing lives, because the fundamentals are still the same.
That’s why Digital Deepak introduces “Integrated Digital Marketing”
Intergrated Digital Marketing…!
Deepak has a consolidated approach of digital marketing unlike others. Content is his key strategy.
This is how his strategies are aligned:
· Publishing good content is the first step.
· Once we publish the content, search engine will discover our content and send traffic to your content.
· We will have to share the content on Social media to get more traffic.
· Once we have the traffic, we can start building email list.
· Paid advertising will help us build email list and more traffic to our content.
· Publish new content will drive more traffic from search engine, social media, email list and paid ad.
· Once you have enough good contents and email list, you can sell and convert your products and services.
When we try to sell our products without creating relationship with customers, they will not buy it. Trust is one of the main factors to be a successful digital marketer.
How do you find market demands?
There are several ways.
The best way is to “scratch your own itch”. Digital Deepak started his blogbecause he searched online about his passion, which is digital marketing. He couldn’t find enough content. He found the market opportunity right there and created the content.
Talking to customers will always help us know what is happening in the market.
We can leverage online keyword research tools to find the market demands. These are the tools suggested by Deepak:
· Google Auto suggest
· Uber suggest
· Google adword keyword research tool
Amazon reviews will help us find market demands.
Also, researching about pre and post products/services of other products will help us find more options in the market.
Best known will always beat the best…!
Creating your presence on internet is vital for a digital marketer. Personal brand will help you grow your business.
You may not be the best, but being best known will help you grow you as a marketer. So, we should not hesitate to put our content out there.
When we try to fit in the crowd, we are losing opportunities to create our personal brand. We should not fear standing out from the crowd. We should not have the fear of being judged. Some people may dislike you, but you will have your kind of people who will like you.
Social media is the best way to show our character and personality. We should publish more content in different forms to own more of the internet. This will help us get noticed and eventually become our own personal brand.
Deepak mentioned about Elon musk as an example of personal brand…! I have to tell him this:
“Really, Sir…? Have you ever looked in the washroom mirror? You will see the best example right in front of you. You are the best example of a personal brand whom I can point out. I am an intern now, not because I knew Pixeltrack, but because I knew Digital Deepak”
Why this program is the best?
Before concluding the session, Deepak did something amazing. He showed his mind map through which he revealed all the details about how he created and continues to create his personal brand in the market. Who does that…! After all, this is a competitive world. Digital marketers are normally hesitant to reveal such details to keep their strategies confidential. That’s why this guy is different. He is committed to make us better and I am sure I am going to learn a lot from him.
I didn’t know the best part is always the last. Who doesn’t like free stuffs? Deepak has gifted all the interns a free course — Start up 2.0 made by Yourstory which otherwise costs $99. Thanks to him.
Overall, I had a wonderful session and I am looking forward to attend the next session and face new challenges. I hope I completed my first challenge successfully as I conclude this article here.
I will be happy to get some feedback about my article to sharpen my skills.
Thanks for reading.