Bala Ayya fires away some quick questions at Sameer Panjwani on business, conversion tips and marketing.
Bala : Hello.. Hi, welcome to another rapid fire round that we are doing with Sameer Panjwani, the CEO and founder of Mondovo. This is a special round we are gonna be talking about the business aspects and if you want him where we are getting the questions, its all the customer support what our business people are asking and throwing those questions back to Sameer. Let’s see what he is actually up to. So Sameer you know about the rules right?
Sameer : Yes Keep it Wrap it.
Bala : Absolutely. Alright so are we ready?
Sameer : Yes we are.
Bala : Fantastic. Here goes the first question. When you start your online business what will you focus first? Most of the business people asked whether its gonna be inbound or outbound.
Sameer : Inbound or Outbound. Its tough actually depends on business, depends on industry but everyone says inbound is better but I think inbound is long term. Outbound is, I think, you are in more control of reaching to our clients… Any smart business guy I think would always focus on mixed of short term and long term tactics. Inbound is we have to be realistic. It’s gonna take time. Outbound is more in your control. You can actually go out and pitch to clients so I’ve always tried to have a mix of both.
I would reach out to as many customers as I can and for me outbound is not only sales, it can be even participating on various forums or whatever but I want to reach out to customers so I think it has to be a mix. I don’t think you should say I am going to be completely inbound marketer and hope that your business is going to succeed. You have to be realistic and you should also consider certain elements of outbound.
Bala : Pretty interesting. That brings us to the second question where somebody asked us like if I have to start with an eCommerce store today, where should I do my advertisements? Is it going to be on my Facebook or Google or should I actually get out and do a whole new stuff inside.
Sameer : Ecommerce store, I think of course inbound marketing if you are asking about ads specifically Google ads, I think Facebook ads are cheaper. I think so but I would say, I would not rule out either medium. I think you would have to try look out your conversion figure, depend on the products you are selling. I would not openly say that you should do more Facebook or more Google. No, I think you should consider both and may be if there are other avenues as well may be you should.
Bala : Fantastic so that comes to like experiment experiment.
Sameer : Yes experiment experiment you are going to hack it.
Bala : Very good so what is the quickest way to get leads online?
Sameer : Wow, that’s there are too many ways to get leads online but one of the avenues, I would say, an avenue we implemented for ourselves, we wrote a blog post on how to write an effective SEO proposal and what we did is we actually gave a sample SEO proposal and we collected leads from that and I think, we have collected 550 leads 600 plus leads in the last 8 months.
Bala : Yes
Sameer : Creating a content asset and then having an ebook or a downloadable material at the end of that content piece, I think it’s a fabulous and easy way to build leads.
Bala : You got it.
Sameer : It worked for us. I am sure it will work for you. Just figure something that your readers would want to.
Bala : Perfect. So, that comes to the next question what is important for brands to be present like is it important for the brands to be present in the community platforms which means like Quora, Yahoo Answers and other forums or does it even matter?
Sameer : I think we have answered it in the other video we did. I participated personally in Quora and I mentioned in the other video as well and I will repeat out here that I think last 30 days or 45 days I made 7 or 8 answers and it was just 1 answer which was 3 lines long which gave us about 25 – 30 leads I think or many more may be I am getting my stats wrong and we are still getting a lot more traffic. So, I believe participating in various online forums related to your niche is, it’s a good ROI especially sometimes you can get a member of your team to do it and it’s, I think it’s a good way to build your brand and engage with your readers as well.
Bala : True and sometimes even that 3 line answers kind of make a huge impact.
Sameer : Ya. I was as surprised as we all were when I saw that 1 answer delivering super traffic.
Bala : That is true. 3 line answers gave us a huge amount of leads. So, ya they have to be in every platform and community platforms are important, OK next question give me 1 quick way to improve my conversion rate?
Sameer : Your conversion rate. That’s tough how do I make that rapid, ah I say conversions can be improved only if you continuously test test test test test your headlines. One definite way that I see many people make mistakes is super long forms shortened them shortened them as much as possible as easy you can make your forms to fill like Mondovo if you check our homepage right now we just have a single line email field and try that improve the conversions dramatically so I think super accurate niche headline to solve a particular problem, super short forms and ya of course the copy has got to sell but you got to keep testing that out.
Bala : Right so that kind of gives us the idea of how to go about it.
Sameer : Not such a rapid answer but you got the point.
Bala : Perfect let’s come back to your business – What we are doing at Mondovo and other businesses? What is that one quality you look for when you hire a person in your team?
Sameer : Hmmm I think I have a made few mistakes and I think there is a common trait that I look for is attitude and you got to have good attitude to learning, attitude to working I mean how you gel with people. I think attitude and open mindedness to learning things and your keenness, that passion should come in whatever you are doing so I think attitude is the main point.
Bala : Perfect and there are many people who are actually applying for Mondovo well you got the answer what you actually what he is actually looking for. Alright ok so, yes you were in business for the last 11 years and you are doing a lot of business and if you have to tell us crisp in short what is the biggest lesson that you have learned in the last 11 years?
Sameer : That’s a hard one, very hard. 11 years of business have been ups and downs and if i have to summarize my one learning, I think there was a period in between 3-4 years where I became complacent. We were doing reasonably well and I became content too happy too fast and that led to not me being a bit lazy ,taking it easy and that didn’t turned out well for the business. So, I think you can never be complacent, you should always always always work hard, and always plan ahead I don’t think you should ever let complacency set it.
Bala : Perfect Right thank you very much that was the round what we had for the business pretty crisp and short thank you very much for that sameer and we are going to come back once again for another special round for bloggers so i think that’s going to be much more fun.
Sameer : Excellent
Bala: Folks stay on this particular area because the next rapid round is coming for the bloggers or the people who are thinking about making money online. He has got lots of tips on it, we are gonna come back and listen on that particular area too, until that see you the next time. Good Bye.
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