In Conversation with Sandip Kar, Founder & CEO of Softz Solutions, LearnPick & InfluGlue
Hi Everyone, this is Animesh and this Monday I’m back with another new & knowledge packed episode of the Marketing Mavericks Interview Series.
In this episode, I’m with the person whom you can refer to as one of the torchbearers from Kolkata/ Eastern India’s Digital Marketing landscape.
Nearly 20 years in the industry, numerous successful projects delivered, and running 4 highly successful ventures;
I’m talking about veteran Marketer & Serial Digital Entrepreneur Sandip Kar, Founder & CEO of Softz Solutions, LearnPick & InfluGlue.
When after getting success & money in the consulting sphere, most of the Entrepreneurs just try to reiterate the same cycle but Sandip is an exception to that.
In his 2 decades of entrepreneurial journey in spite of being the owner of 2 successful agencies, he has conceptualized & launched platforms like LearnPick & InfluGlue to transform Online Education and Influencer Marketing vertical.
So in this session, we will not only just learn about his journey & life lessons as a veteran entrepreneur and marketer but we will also try to discover several key insights to become a successful Digital Marketer.
Let’s roll the Interview…
Animesh: Hi Sandip, it’s a great pleasure to have you today at JobsFrontier. I personally believe that in the Digital Marketing Circle of Kolkata & beyond, you need no introduction.
Still for those who don’t know you well, can you please introduce yourself in your own way? Let’s call it straight from your heart!!!
Sandip: First of all, I would like to say thanks for the interview. I am a serial Digital Entrepreneur, with 15+ years of experience in building large systems and marketplaces, in areas including education and training, career services, and tourism, just to name a few. I primarily believe in building new businesses from scratch and scale globally with ease, all thanks to the expertise of our team in digital marketing, SEO, market-entry, and product rollout.
Aside from my startup undertakings, I have also partnered with numerous household names, such as Samsung, to develop and execute SEO campaigns on a national level.
As the Founder and Director of LearnPick and MyPrivateTutor, an online tutoring marketplace, I have helped more than 1 million platform members gain better access to personalized educational services, which makes LearnPick/ MyPrivateTutor the number 1 choice in several countries around the world.
Animesh: You had started your entrepreneurial journey way back in 2002 with Softz Solutions when hardly any agencies were there in the Digital Marketing sphere at Kolkata. So what intrigued you towards Digital Marketing and start a venture into this field at that time? Can you please share that story?
Sandip: The concept of digital marketing was very new at that point in time. It was even new to us. But then, I figured out that the presence of businesses online is only going to increase over time due to the increasing use of the internet.
And with these rising numbers of businesses online, there would be a definite need for optimization, getting placed higher on a Search Engine Results Page to generate more revenue.
As a result, I started Softz Solutions with the sole purpose of helping businesses gain a larger online presence with a high return on their investment.
Animesh: The most interesting thing is, in these 18 years you haven’t got stuck into just one stream. Beside Service/ Consulting business you have also ventured into products/ platforms like LearnPick & InfluGlue, so when exactly you thought about these? What motivated you to come into the product from consulting?
Sandip: I had always dreamt of building a product of my own apart from providing business consultations to businesses in need.
Also, our rich knowledge of client digital marketing campaigns based on a variety of niche ranging from education to medicines to technology, etc. gave me the courage to start a separate business venture.
And then, I also found out the problems of transparency and convenience lying in the student-tutor education industry. Doubts and trust issues also plagued the Influencer Marketing genre.
Then, I tried to find out solutions to these problems with our own platforms – LearnPick/ MyPrivateTutor and InfluGlue!
Animesh: In the last 2 decades the Digital Marketing Industry has gone through a huge transformation but there are some rules/ principles which are still relevant! So can you please mention 5 such golden rules which every aspiring Digital Marketers should remember?
- Quality link building still has a huge value in the long run. But remember, “quality” is the keyword here.
- Scalability is massive in terms of a digital marketing campaign. Your campaigns need to be scalable. You should have scalable figures to back yourself up especially when the ROI of the business comes into focus.
- Do not just use social media for your selfish promotion gains. Use them to solve the problems of your consumers – help them out! Your followers will automatically grow.
- Content is still the king.
- Your website must be optimized from all technical angles – e.g. site load time should be the lowest as possible. People are constantly having lower attention spans these days – respect it!
Animesh: What advice & pro-tips you want to give who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing?
Sandip: Start from the basics and climb up the ladder. Digital marketing is a vast field. Do not try to do too much at the start. Read important articles to stay up-to-date with the latest changes and fads of the industry.
If possible, do an internship. That is going to get you a good amount of industry knowledge that can go a long way in shaping your career.
Animesh: According to you, what is the best & most effective way to learn & become a master in Digital Marketing?
Sandip: An Internship is the best way of getting industry experience. Apart from that, there is always Udemy with a host of helpful learning videos available at a reasonable price.
There are lots of learning videos are available for free on YouTube – So, now the availability of information is not a problem.
Animesh: Do you think Digital Marketing is a threat to the Future of Conventional Marketing?
Sandip: Nope. Both have their own place. And I feel both will go hand in hand as long as we will have producers and consumers.
Animesh: Post COVID-19 how do you think the Digital Marketing Industry will be in terms of employment/ newer opportunities?
Sandip: I think the market will see a boom after COVID-19. The pandemic has shown that the internet has become a basic necessity – if you are not online, you are not going to survive.
So the number of online SMBs are only going to increase – even legacy small businesses; ones who have mainly grown from word-of-mouth or because of their rich history, are possibly going to get online.
As a result, Digital Marketing is only going to thrive.
Animesh: Blogging vs Vlogging! What do you recommend to marketers for creating Influence, reach & result standing in 2020?
Sandip: Both are important in my opinion.
Blogging is a bit conventional but is still very relevant especially when the SEO of a website is concerned. Vlogging is hugely essential in 2020 to build up a rich base of audience.
Animesh: Link Building in 2020!!! Share the secret behind an effective link building strategy apart from all the traditional methods.
Sandip: Exchanging links work wonders. I would say get in touch with established bloggers and ask them for a link to your site in exchange for one to theirs.
- Always try to maintain ZERO 404 errors on your website. This is VERY IMPORTANT!
- Do not do SPAM links in any way. They will do more harm than good.
- Do a lesser number of link buildings per month – the quality is the key here, not the quantity. 5 per month is fine!
Animesh: Now an off the book question. What strategies you guys have followed over the years to assure a steady & sustainable growth of your brands? Some Real Advice or I would say the tricks of the trade from Sandip Kar!!!
Sandip: We have always focused heavily on ROI as far as our marketing campaigns are concerned.
We have tried to provide the best possible customer service to our clients and customers. This has been our unique selling point – we have always been honest and this has gone a long way in shaping our revenue!
Animesh: Now one last question, would you like to share a few words or give us some advice about the work we are doing at JobsFrontier?
Sandip: I would thank you guys immensely for empowering the Digital Marketing community. This part of the industry has become too incompetent now with shady services all around. What you are doing today is helping to bring honest faces forward. This will go a long way in shaping the industry towards the better.
Animesh: Thanks Sandip for such encouraging words and you have rightly pointed out the issue through which the current Digital Marketing Industry is going.
At JobsFrontier we have always aimed to give a Robust, Quality Driven & Transparent ecosystem to all the Job seekers & Employers in the Digital Marketing sphere of this country.
Once again thank you for taking out your time & giving such an insightful interview to our community.
So I hope you all have enjoyed today’s episode of Marketing Mavericks.
Please share it in your network & help up to reach more & more like-minded people in the Digital Marketing community.