Today we have selected Sirisha Varma To to take her Interview. She is the Founder, Head-Marketing, Branding by Pixels – a Business Strategy Design and Digital Marketing company focused on bringing Financial Success to Small Business Owners.
First of all, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Unlike many other Businesses, Covid has been a blessing in disguise for my team and me. We have been so busy all these years taking care of the day-to-day business operations of running and managing a Digital Agency and Crafting new business strategies for our clients that I, as a Founder, did not spend enough time planning and executing my vision for my organization. The downtime and the extra time that came with Covid helped me rethink about myBusiness and also plan ways in which I could add more value to my clients and community.
This propelled me into starting a Youtube Channel to provide educational content on Business Strategy and DigitalMarketing for Small Business Owners in India, Building a Community of Digital Marketers, Published a book for Small Business Owners – https://www.amazon.com/Business-Rules-Small-BusinessesEntrepreneurs ebook/DP/B08Q8RT3RW/ref=sr_1_2dchild=1&keywords=17+business+rules+for+Small+businesses&qid=1610945588&s=books&sr=1-2, Started another Brand Focussed on providing Educational content on Digital Marketing Strategies which are Domain-specific to SmallBusiness Owners – https://smallbusinessmantra.com/, LearningaboutMindset and working on Self Development, Making connections by reaching out to other Small Business Owners across the world. Our Company’s Vision has always been to help Small Business Owners, but with the Community, Youtube, and The new Educational website, I am sure we have found more ways to serve them better.
Tell us about yourself, your career, and how you founded or joined this company?
I am Sirisha Varma, and I have a Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a dual specialization in Finance and Marketing. I started my career with IT in the ERPFinancials space, moved on to a Sales Performance Management tool, and by the time I left the corporate job, I was in a Senior position with one of the Top 5Management Consultingcompanies in the world. I was always interested in Sales and Marketing. I also worked as a BusinessDevelopment Manager for a short duration of 9 months in my IT company selling their software products by influencing our VP that I would be good at that job. Post 9 months with 1 sale under my belt (B2B SAAS product), the company management moved me back to Consulting wing due to a new project which they were sure I only could handle. I tried getting back into Sales, but it did not happen. When I married my current husband, a professional photographer who launched his own business, I took the opportunity to learn Digital Marketing to Create a Brand and generate Leads from the Internet. After 8 years, 90% of our business comes from the internet, and clients book his services without meeting him face to face. I started my Digital Marketing agency, “Branding by Pixels,” 6 years ago and have now included services like Business Strategy and Consulting.
How does your company innovate?
Our Innovations are 100% Market Driven. We launched our E-commerce Marketing service when we saw an increase in the number of E-commerce companies in India struggling with Brand creation and Sales. Similarly, we launched “Amazon Optimization Services” when India Sellers started selling on Amazon without understanding this new landscape and failed due to the competitiveness of the marketplaceWe were also the first company in the Indian market to incorporate MonthlyReporting into our services, providing our clients more visibility into our process and where their brand stands in the digital world at any point of time. Now that we have seen a lack of Domain-Specific Marketing Courses, we have ventured into Educational initiatives specifically targeted at Small BusinessOwners.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
There is a lot of uncertainty in the Market place due to Corona, and business owners are afraid to take up any new initiatives as the mood currently is to preserve capital rather than invest in Marketing, so though we are getting a lot of inquiries, the conversions have been very low. So, of course, our Business has been affected, but rather than complain, we at“Branding by Pixels” are using this time to invest in up-skilling ourselves with new technologies, providing Educational Courses to improve our prospects prepared for the future, thus building better rapport.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons?
Yes, we had to cut down our staff and close our office as it was not safe enough to work from the office anymore.
The lessons learned are – Better to take up Qualitative projects than concentrate on Quantity. Also, we have reduced our Service Offerings to start Niching up as it makes sense for a Business to be a Big fish in a small pond which is more competitive and has better Brand Recall in People’s minds. In the future, we will only work remotely rather than invest in fixed costs like offices and use that to market our brand to a wider audience.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
We have embraced tools like “Chatbots” on our website so we can engage with every visitor who came onto our website previously absent. We are also using Zoom for our Prospect meetings and Slack for Team.
Assignments, Asana for CRM, and also investing in Marketing to reach a wider audience. We have been up-skilling ourselves in Mindsets and Marketing, Learning how Businesses work, and working towards a bigger vision than the ones.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
We have lots of competitors in our Domain. Coming from a Digital Marketing world – Anybody with a Laptop and an Internet connection, to the Marketing Consultants who do not know the difference between a Facebook Profile versus a business Page, this space is crowded with Preachers than Doers. We Pride ourselves on Generating results for our clients by being outright honest with them regarding what we can do for their Business. It has served us well in the
past, and I am sure it will also serve us in the future. I do not consider that we have any Competitors for my brand, “Branding by Pixels,” because we are true to our core which is Honest, Result Oriented Strategies for our
Clients. As a Founder, I strongly believe that Our Lack of imagination Only limits us, so we are Propelling forward with Gusto!
Your Final Thoughts
These are Testing Times for all Entrepreneurs around the world. Entrepreneurship is a Tough, Lonely journey without the Pandemic. Still, since the pandemic, many Entrepreneurs feel dejected and might have lost faith that
things will return to normal again. It is a depressing feeling, but as an Entrepreneur, you are part of the 1% of the world, so you can not give up because you propel this world into the future. Elon Musk is a great example – he is creating futuristic products which might save humanity one day. Though we may not be doing things as radical as him, in your way, you are adding value to your community, so NEVER GIVE UP! You are only DOWN, not OUT, as long you Don’t Give Up. I would love to connect with you, so if you like my thoughts on this article, you can drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together we can achieve more!