In Conversation with Soumya Roy, Founder & CEO of PromozSEO
Hi Everyone, this is Animesh & once again I’m back with another interesting & knowledge packed episode of our Marketing Mavericks Interview Series.
Our today’s guest is Soumya Roy, Founder & CEO of PromozSEO, a Premiere Digital Marketing Institute from the City of Joy, Kolkata.
Soumya is into Digital Marketing for nearly a decade. He is an Expert Trainer, Blogger, Digital Marketing Coach & Entrepreneur.
So Today in this interview we will learn his inspirational story of becoming who he is today & besides this, he will also give us some insights & pro-tips regarding how to make a Successful Career in Digital Marketing.
So let’s begin the journey,
Animesh: Hi Soumya, it’s really great to have you today at JobsFrontier’s “Marketing Mavericks” Interview series. So please introduce yourself to our audiences & we all want to know Soumya Roy a bit from a personal note apart from his professional title.
Soumya: First of all, thank you very much for inviting me to the “Marketing Mavericks” Interview series, and I am really glad to be here.
I am Soumya Roy, a Software Engineer by Degree, an Entrepreneur by Choice, and a Digital Marketer by Passion.
For the last 12 plus years, I have been learning Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing, enjoying every bit of it, and at the same time, helping others by imparting my knowledge. It has been an amazing journey so far. Besides this, I am also in the phase of starting a few new things that are yet to come in the near future.
Though I spend most of my time in Digital Marketing Training Sessions, Mentoring, and Consulting; still, I dedicate a few hours daily in Reading Books and acquiring new skills. And apart from all these, if you ask me what else I enjoy, my answer would be Traveling and Food. I am a foodie who loves to experience palatable foods of different exciting places.
Animesh: You are an Engineer by Qualification. So, how you got introduced to Digital Marketing & what motivated you to pursue a career in this field?
Soumya: Yes, I completed my engineering degree in Electronics and Communication back in 2007 and started my career as a Java programmer in a software company. But due to the 2008 recession, the Java project, I was in, got stalled, and unfortunately, the entire team was benched. Luckily that company had an SEO dept, and when the HR offered me a project on SEO, I readily accepted it. However, that time it was entirely new for me, as in our engineering curriculum, we had no subjects on SEO or Digital Marketing.
So that was my beginning in SEO and Digital Marketing. Later on, after three years, I left that company and came back to Kolkata. Initially, I started as an SEO Freelancer, and afterward, I worked with hundreds of big domestic and overseas clients as an external consultant. And finally, in 2014, I started up PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy.
Animesh: That’s really great! Now you are the Founder & CEO of PromozSEO? How this journey actually started & what intrigued you to come into Digital Marketing Training?
Soumya: Back in the early days of 2008, when I started working in the SEO, it was in its infancy, and a few handful numbers of SEO companies were there in India. After that, while I was working as a Freelancer and later on as a Digital Marketing Consultant,
I noticed that there was a huge gap between the demand and supply of trained SEO and DM workforce. So I thought, why not start courses that will bridge the gap and help companies get industry-ready Digital Marketing Resources?
So to test the growth opportunities in the training industry in Kolkata, I started my first SEO course in 2013. And soon after that, I started getting overwhelming responses from all over Kolkata and almost all parts of West Bengal. And much to my surprise, hundreds of students enrolled in just the first six months. Right after that, in 2014, I started PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy and formally launched my flagship SEO and Digital Marketing courses.
Today, I provide Digital Marketing Training in all over India, and nearly 30% percent of my students join my interactive online classes from outside India.
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?
Soumya: Absolutely right! Entrepreneurship has never been smooth sailing for me, and perhaps for none.
I am from a middle-class family background. And in the beginning, convincing my parents was like a really challenging endeavor for me. Apart from this, I faced numerous other difficulties in terms of investment, hiring high-quality human resources, retaining them, etc.
Failure: Well, a lot of failures are there, and honestly speaking, I celebrate them today. Because of those failures, here I am today, doing what I love and loving what I do.
So far, we at PromozSEO trained more than 5,000 students and mentored over a few hundreds of high-ticket corporate companies along with their teams (in the last six years, we haven’t run a single Facebook Ad, Google Ad, and no Email Marketing; it’s only through SEO and Organic Content Marketing).
Besides this, we have tie-ups with multiple branded startups and CMM level-3 companies in India, where we place our students. And to date, we have attained an almost 98% placement record.
Award: Silicon India ranked PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy as one of the most promising Digital Marketing training courses in India.
So yes, we achieved a few, maybe more than we dreamed about, but now we are dreaming even bigger. So, a lot more yet to achieve in the days ahead.
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.
Soumya: I read a lot; almost an hour, I keep daily for reading blogs, articles, and researches. I don’t follow any particular blogger or internet marketer. But whenever I come across a question, I always keep a note of them. Later on, I Google it, read a few contents, or watch a couple of videos, and then I straight dive deep into implementing and testing them. In my opinion, this is the best way of learning something new.
And for SEO or DM updates, I get them straight in my inbox, as I am part of a few renowned and world-known digital marketing groups and conferences.
But for newbies, I will recommend a few fantastic websites to read.
- Search Engine Journal
- Search Engine Land (for new updates)
- Search Engine Watch
- Backlinko (for SEO)
- WordStream (for PPC mainly)
- Official Google Webmaster Central Blog (for SEO)
- Mari Smith (for social media)
- Smart Passive Income (for Affiliate Marketing)
Animesh: How you are foreseeing the Future for Digital Marketing in India? What are the top 3 trends you are anticipating for 2020?
Soumya: Well, it’s going to expand very fast. Once the Coronavirus crisis is over, the digital marketing industry in India will turn around, for sure.
Apart from this, I am foreseeing that a lot of recent graduates and even working professionals coming and joining the SEO and DM industry, as this domain has tremendous potentials and growth opportunities.
My third anticipation is, loads of people are going to take Blogging, Affiliate Marketing, and YouTube as their full-time profession.
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?
Soumya: First, accept that Digital Marketing cannot be learned in 2 to 3 months. The entire subject takes a minimum of 6 to 7 months. So before subscribing to any of the courses, check their course content carefully.
Second, while taking a DM or SEO course, focus only on learning. As soon as you start shifting your focus towards earning, you will stop learning, and eventually, the entire thing will end up miserably.
Third, it’s not about learning only. Instead, start your blog website, if your institute doesn’t provide it. And implement everything on it, which you are learning in your course.
Ask a lot of questions to your Trainer. You are going to be a digital marketer, and you cannot be an introvert.
Read a lot of digital marketing articles from different blogs.
Right after the course, join a company. Don’t be too selective. Remember, it’s just the beginning.
Continue Blogging; you may also start Freelancing, YouTubing, etc. Remember, you can even start your blog or YouTube channel in a regional language or your mother tongue.
And finally, yes, in a DM or SEO company, you may need to write content, so better work on content writing from the very beginning.
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?
Soumya: Well, it’s a very important question yet very difficult to answer. Now, there is no rule of thumb or one-size-fits-all approach that will help you learn digital marketing quickly. But like any other skill, if you want to grow it, you have to work on it, put your blood, sweat, and tears on it.
So, I would recommend you to go slow, break the entire subject into multiple smaller parts, learn one thing at a time, implement it, test how it works, correct your mistakes, and then move to the next one.
And for this, you need a comprehensive DM course curriculum and a really experienced Trainer.
Remember, when you are buying a course, you are actually subscribing to your trainer’s knowledge and experience. So, instead of saving a few bucks in some backdated online DM courses, see who you are learning from, and of course, is it a direct course or a self-paced one. Because a direct course has hundreds of benefits that you won’t get in a self-paced DM course.
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?
Soumya: True! SEO has changed a lot in the last few years, and it will continue to evolve itself.
Link building has never been a part of SEO. Instead, it’s always been a part of marketing. The moment you start using backlinks to manipulate your organic ranking, you will be building shady links that will do more harm than good for the site.
For example, I have seen many SEOs building links wherever they can, without even thinking about its relevance. This won’t work. If you are a real estate company, you must acquire backlinks from a page where property or one sub-industry of it (e.g., Interior Designing, Home Improvement, Gardening, or Landscaping, etc.) is discussed. Otherwise, it’s going to be spam, nothing more than that.
So instead of inclining towards building links, you should shift your focus permanently to content marketing. Publish painstaking content in forms of blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, etc. Later on, promote them through multiple online outlets like social media, other blogs, emails, QA sites like Quora, etc.
Above all, be sure to add value to your customers’ and audiences’ life. Failing to do so will always lead you to a penalty.
Animesh: Nowadays there is a lot of buzz about AI, ML, and Robotics. What do you think; will these create any impact on Digital Marketing employment or job sector?
Soumya: It’s really too early to comment on these new technologies.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, all of them are going to stay and will be included much more than what we see today. Still, it is in its nascent stage now. So it’s going to be really interesting to see how they grow and benefit the digital marketing industry in the coming days.
Animesh: If you kindly share your insights on ‘lead generation’ & how it can be done effectively via Inbound Marketing.
Soumya: Well, Inbound Marketing is the future. And when it comes to lead generation, Inbound Marketing is simply invincible and irreplaceable.
As I said earlier, we must indulge in content marketing, perhaps more than ever. But it’s not about just creating content; instead, it’s more about creating insightful content that will truly empower your customers and audiences, and lure them to your website.
Now, these visitors who are coming to your website after reading your guest posts or watching your videos or listening to your podcasts are the top-of-the-funnel leads. Next, you can hook them with more personalized content that they may need and entice them to subscribe to your website or blog. Once they subscribe, based on their preferences, you can send them personalized emails with tailored content or videos that will help them do or achieve something effortlessly. In this way, while you are nurturing the leads, they will start trusting your brand increasingly.
It’s not just the emails, but you can use social media or AI-Chatbots as well to build relationships with your prospects. Once they see the continuous value addition that you are providing, they will be happy to purchase from you. And you will convert a visitor to a lead, and a lead to a loyal customer, all through the inbound marketing.
Animesh: Should every digital marketer be a blogger too? If yes, what are the main reasons they should be blogging?
Soumya: The answer is simple.
If you just want to be a digital marketer who will forever remain an employee somewhere or a freelancer, you don’t need to be a blogger. But, if you want to create your personal brand, or if you want to establish yourself as an influencer, then you must start your blog today, period.
Animesh: I completely agree with you. Now tell me one thing Soumya, You are active on YouTube, so can you please share your views on video marketing and its future.
Soumya: Yes, I am active, but not very much frequent on them. But I am planning to utilize YouTube to its fullest in the days ahead. Plans are already lined up in the queue.
Animesh: Name 5 essential tools that need to be there in every Digital Marketers arsenal to win the Game.
- Google Search Console
- Google Analytics
- Grammarly (Premium)
- SEMrush (Premium)
- BuzzSumo (Premium)
Of course, the list doesn’t end here.
Animesh: Finally, what would be your advice to all Aspiring Digital Marketers?
It’s never too late to start your career in digital marketing. If you want to make your profession in digital marketing, this is the high time. Roll up your sleeves and dive deep into this field of endless possibilities. A rewarding career is waiting for you in the days ahead.
Animesh: Now last but not the least, would you like to share a few words about the work we are doing at JobsFrontier? It will really help us to grow.
Soumya: When it comes to hiring the digital marketing workforce, JobsFrontier is our favorite.
It’s really amazing how you people are helping numerous companies like us in resourcing the Best Digital Marketing Talents. Your product is fantastic and has loads of potentials to become one of the best in the market.
I wish you & the entire JobsFrontier team all the very best. I am also looking forward to working together in one way or another that will enrich the industry and help many newcomers build their digital marketing skills as well as find jobs in reputed companies.
Animesh: Thanks a lot Soumya for your time & sharing such wonderful insights with our community.
Dear Readers, 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.