In Conversation with Shashank Srivastava, Story of a Digital Marketing Rockstar
Hi Everyone, Welcome to the very first episode of our Marketing Mavericks Interview Series.
Today we have Digital Marketing Expert Shashank Srivastava with us. But let me tell you guys besides this professional byline Shashank is also an Expert Trainer, Consultant & Blogger.
So today in this session, we are going to listen about his Life Story, Hustle & the Journey of becoming a Digital Marketing Rockstar.
He will also tell us how the future of digital marketing will be in India & as a newbie, what step you should take/ follow to become a successful Digital Marketing Professional.
So without wasting much time let’s begin,
Animesh: Hi Shashank, it’s really great to have you today at JobsFrontier. So, we all want to know about Shashank Srivastava in his own way, how you got introduced to Digital Marketing & what motivated you to pursue a career in this field?
Shashank: First and foremost I am thankful enough for this opportunity to cover my interview at Marketing Mavericks series.
For me, Digital Marketing is just like a dream where I landed by chance. I’ve been into the BPO industry helping Vodafone customers in my customer service job and the little money I made during that job was not enough so I started doing some Graphics & Web Designing for close connections which I learned from a Training Institute in Lucknow.
That was the first attempt that awestruck me as I was making more than my salary from a single client at that time. This really helped me think of a career opportunity as an Entrepreneur and I started with a Nokia phone which only had WAP access on phone and some 2 digit kbps internet connection that was almost good for nothing but helped me a lot in my early days of research.
Animesh: You are a multi-faceted personality; A Blogger, Consultant, Speaker & Entrepreneur. So what’s the secret to your Productivity, Focus, and Zeal?
Shashank: Trust me I am very unorganized and do what I like without checking for the time. I can wake up at 3 in the morning and can start writing on the new topic I remember or any pending old project till the time it’s done. That only thing I feel I am blessed with getting into details of everything I try.
Animesh: How do you keep yourself updated on the Latest Trends in Digital Marketing? Which Blogs/ Forums/ Websites you follow on a daily basis/ very often.
Shashank: That’s a tricky question in 2020 as there are many authority sites available to follow which shared impeccable content.
I am inspired by that 3 Idiots movie dialogue “Gyan har jagah baat raha hai, Jahan mauka mile lapet lo” in English Knowledge is everywhere, wherever you get the chance just grab It!
I mostly follow “Brian Dean’s Backlinko”, Steven Kang, John Mueller, IftiSEO & Matt Cutts for the latest search engine updates as I have a keen interest in SEO.
Animesh: What are your biggest achievements and falls so far in your digital marketing journey? Because, as we all know that entrepreneurship is a voyage of countless ups & downs. So, can you please share any of such moments from your life?
Shashank: Money comes and goes quickly, time passes by and metrics go up and down usually. After a decade of experience, I must say more than the money or anything, I care for how many people really remember me.
We started back our events DMconference back in 2018 for helping people learn Digital methods. Since then we did around 7 events across 4 cities out of which 3 cities in India I visited for the first time. That was the best moment in life when I asked in all of those events as to how many people really saw me or know me in the audience and at least 70% of people all the time said Yes.
I feel this is my victory, not the money I earned or the metrics I achieved.
I remember those days when my teachers were not admitting me to deliver 10th exams because I was so bad in academics that I almost failed in my Pre-board exams. I feel the little I achieved is worth millions for me in terms of happiness and satisfaction.
Animesh: You are one of the Co-Founder & Head-Organic Marketing at PIMS? How you guys came together & started this journey?
Shashank: That’s really a coincidence, Me and Mr. Pranav Jha, my partner in DMconference were planning to start a Training Institute of our own as the Digital Marketing Ecosystem was somehow unbalanced due to regular scams.
We were about to invest in a new setup and were deciding the name and suddenly Pranav got a call from Mr. Manish (Founder of PIMS). Manish himself was running PIMS from straight 6 years successfully and wanted us to join the wagon with him.
So, after a lot of discussion and understanding of business dynamics, we decided to chip in and officially started our roles from the 1st of September 2019. Growth has gone to 2X since then and we are growing at a healthy pace and managed to grab more business than our local competitors.
Animesh: How you are foreseeing the future for digital marketing in India? What are the Top 3 Trends you are anticipating for 2020?
Shashank: Well I hear this almost every day that the industry is declining or saturating but I feel this is the time when it’s actually evolving to a new horizon where the consumers are becoming creators and competition is increasing. The people who win would be having a killer Funnel behind their brand which converts like crazy.
New members are still joining in and understanding the dynamics. If someone starts even today, there is a lot happening around, and becoming a micro brand is not far ahead as channels are actively changing their algorithms and new platforms are coming every day chipping more people.
According to my opinion,
TikTok is gonna be the Game-Changer this year & Entertainment would be the most booming industry again. Maybe it can surpass the Ad Revenues of Facebook by 2022.
Due to Corona Virus Lockdown, Medical Insurance is gonna boom, and also many other Industries like Online Education, Gig Economy and many others gonna be killer this year. Travel is down and gonna be 3-4 times as soon as the Travel modes reopen as people are stuck in homes till now so many would-be enjoying their travels like never before. Hoping this could happen by 2020 end at least.
Animesh: What advice you want to give who are looking at building a career in Digital Marketing? How they will prepare themselves better for the coming days?
Shashank: There is no denying that Coronavirus killed many businesses especially small businesses and many are booming multifold like Groceries, essentials services, etc.
New marketers can learn from the situation and make a strategy to pull their brands out of this mess.
My only advice to any Marketer ever would be to
Learn Content Marketing and Marketing Psychology. You need to be Patient, Consistent, and Creative all the time if you wanna make a dent in the industry.
Time to practice!
Animesh: Now the question I’m gonna ask you, I have personally encountered this numerous times, “What is the best way to learn digital marketing”? Can you please shed some light on this?
Shashank: Many people have this doubt and I get this question 100 times At least every month. Every person has a different understanding of concepts and modes of learning.
I also had learned Digital Marketing by myself after practicing for long as I had no teacher to help. I started following successful people and started checking what are they really doing every day. I focussed on more on what they do to themselves rather than what they teach to do. I found a marginal difference between both and started doing the same.
Now here I am happy to give this Interview on request. Things take time and nothing happens quickly in this world in terms of success.
I spent my 10 years figuring out things because I had no real mentor, but you can find one easily now.
If you are able to understand in videos then join any online course and start your journey because time is real money. If you understand well face to face then classroom programs can work. So choose as you like.
Spending time on figuring things out is not the right thing according to me now. Better to take help from an expert as the Digital Ecosystem is more Dynamic now than in the last 10 years.
Competition may kill your dreams if you’ll hang around on channels without understanding your time constraints.
Animesh: SEO seems to be tough nowadays and almost any method of building backlinks looks like a shady practice. So, what’s your thought on SEO for the Present and the Future?
Shashank: I can’t deny that the SEO game really changed multifold in the last 2 decades. But the only thing I love about SEO is, the basics are still the same & Google wants to be human but we are already one. We understand Algorithms better than Google.
Links are the important part of SEO Ranking Factors but that’s one thing. The clarity in the basics of on-page, ethical SEO practices, and some common sense with logic can be a winning game for you. Always upgrade your knowledge from people who are doing good in your respective domain.
I am into SEO and getting good results for years, still in 2019 I purchased over 92 courses to learn SEO from other people and really upgraded much. Learning never stops.
I myself purchase courses because things change so frequently and investing in yourself is the best investment ever.
Animesh: Nowadays there is a lot of Buzz about AI & ML. What do you think; will these create any impact on Digital Marketing Employment or Job Sector?
Shashank: Trend comes and goes. This happens with every industry and especially in the Technology domain, one needs to be updated all the time to sustain in the game.
Industries are focussing on AI, ML these days to help their processes automate and so as a new technology anytime can overpower them. The only thing is, this is like stairs, you take 1 step at a time and if you try climbing more, there is a chance you can fell down.
So upgrading the knowledge is always mandatory. The industry is growing if someone has an interest, they should definitely try out.
In Digital most people use the name of Artificial intelligence while promoting their products. But hardly 1-2% of the companies are really leveraging their resources to the current standards.
Animesh: If you kindly share your insights on ‘Lead Generation Practice’ & how it can be done effectively via Inbound Marketing?
Shashank: Well Inbound Marketing is a process where quality content generates traffic to the website and a lead magnet based form collects leads. We can use multiple things as lead magnets, like Ebooks, Free high-value Courses, Template files, and other resources by which a user can share their contact details. This process is known as Permission Marketing Model.
So, engaging with your Audience via content is the first growth step. But only 12% of companies across the world really use the content for their marketing yet by 2019 report of Hubspot.
I actively use this same strategy on my website and generated over 25-40 new High Ticket Leads every month and convert over 2-3 customers touching approximately 1.5-2lakhs of revenue alone to me.
Animesh: Should every digital marketer be a blogger too? If yes, what are the main reasons they should be blogging?
Shashank: My answer in one word would be “No” because Digital Marketing is vast and it has many streams that don’t require to be a blogger or content writer always but yes understanding how users consume content and take actions is the most integral part of a successful Digital Marketer.
Animesh: You are active on YouTube & you also go live on Facebook often as well. Please share your views on video marketing and its future.
Shashank: Video is not the future it’s present now!
We are living in a digital world where people are really engaging with Video content more than anything. From TikTok to Youtube and Instagram IGTV, Twitter Latest Live video feature and LinkedIn Company Page live feature, everyone is upgrading their efforts to push more of the video content.
I recommend if not yet done, this is the time to start now and crush in video marketing.
Animesh: Name 5 essential tools that need to be there in every Digital Marketers arsenal to win the Game.
Shashank: A very broad question according to me but I’ll try helping with my most favorite tools I use all the time.
- Canva – A picture can tell a thousand words and a picture is hard to make, so Canva is surely topping the list.
- Google Keep – You can always nod on this idea that ideas really come anytime and anywhere. Finding a pen-paper is not really so taking notes can be easier with Google Keep or any favorite notes app you love.
- InShot App – Video is your present and future and editing them is a nightmare for a newcomer in the industry. Editing software is really hard to understand for a non-techie. But Inshot can really do wonders for your videos in minutes.
- Zoom/ Skype for Meetings – I loved Zoom for online classes and meetings with clients. You can try anything else as well. The world is small with these apps, right?
- Monday.com – A great app to manage your tasks daily. Staying motivated and on schedule is always hard when you work from home and for Digital Ninjas that’s a common problem. Try using this and see the difference in your routine.
Animesh: Now last but not the least, would you like to share a few words about the work we are doing at JobsFrontier?
Shashank: I remember, I first interacted with Shuvashish from the team back in 2017 and things were literally changed so amazingly. I loved the way you guys really used Digital Marketing to its core and now transformed into a well-known Brand in the Digital Marketing Industry.
My heartiest wishes to all the team members of JobsFrontier for making this ecosystem better and inviting great industry veterans to share their learnings with young marketers.
Animesh: Thanks a lot Shashank for your time & sharing such wonderful insights with our community.
So, I hope this interview will help you all to start your Career in Digital Marketing with more confidence & better understanding.
If this interview helped you please share it in your network.