Interview with Sujan Patel

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We are in the Interview week, and this is the 3rd interview of the series! The celebrity I have today is my personal favorite and this is may be because he is not only a great professional but his name alone is one hell of a motivation to me and many others in the industry.

He starts his career in 2003 as a SEO specialist and within few years he becomes the CEO and founder of a renowned SEO and digital marketing agency called Single Grain. He was the CEO for more or less around 9 years before he started working as a VP of marketing at “When I Work”.

He is energetic, intelligent and knowledgeable. He is also one of the authors of Entrepreneur, Inc.com, Forbes, Business Insider and a few more. He is none other than Mr. Sujan Patel.

Thank you Sujan for taking time and answering my questions! I will try not to bore you by asking the same questions rather I would prefer asking technical question that will enhance the knowledge of me and my audience.

So, without further ado, here are my questions for you!

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I stumbled upon internet marketing when in early 2000’s when I launched an ecommerce website. Because I was a broke college student I focused my attention on SEO as it was free and could be done by me. The ecommerce website failed but I realized I was really good at SEO.

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I lost count but my first major update was the Florida update back in 2003 where all the tactics I was using at the time were washed away. After that happening to me a few times I got wise and really got proactive about being ahead of the curve. As a result of the early lessons in my SEO career Single Grain  was constantly ahead of the curve. We were also one of the first companies to help people recover from Panda & Penguin updates.

 

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Content is very important but marketing/promotion/distribution of the content is king in my opinion. Most people don’t focus enough attention into the marketing of their content. 80% of the content marketing is promotion or distribution of it.

 

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Great content isn’t the only way to build links. I’ve worked with companies who offered free versions of their software to promote their brand (and getting a lot of links was a result of their efforts). Building a great product is another way to get links or natural SEO. For example, at When I Work we get 20+ links a month from our users ranting and raving about your product.

 

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These are 3 tactics that have been working well for me lately:

  • Submit To Weekly Round-Ups: One of the easiest things you can do after you publish a great piece of content on your blog is to try to get it included in weekly round-ups. Weekly round-ups are reoccurring posts that focus on a particular topic (like content marketing, for example). Everybody is publishing them on their blogs because they act as an easy content win. All you’re doing is sharing a handful of great articles from around the web and writing a few sentences on why you think the articles are important. People who publish these types of posts are always looking for fresh and interesting content top include in their next round-up. Reach out to them and send them your post. Simply enter “TOPIC NAME + weekly roundup” into Google to find opportunities.
  • Build Content Marketing Partnerships: Some people will tell you that guest posting is a bad idea, but I think it can still be incredibly effective if done right. The trick is to be intentional and purposeful in terms of who you reach out to and connect with. You have to be picky when it comes to deciding if a guest post opportunity is worth it or not (as far as SEO and audience value). Instead of guest posting on every site you possibly can, you should make a smaller list of blogs and companies who you’d like to form ongoing relationships with. When you reach out to them, don’t just pitch them on guest posting—establish a bigger, more intentional ongoing content marketing partnership with them that ultimately benefits both parties over time. It might include guest posting, or co-hosting a webinar, or co-authoring an ebook.
  • Actually Reach Out And Ask For Help: It seems so simple, but this is one of the most effective link-building tactics I use. You’d be surprised with how many people are willing to help you. But it won’t happen unless you take the time to ask. When you have a new piece of content go live on your blog, reach out to people individually over email and ask them if they’d be willing to share it on social, link to it on their blog, etc. Some will ignore you, but a lot will actually help. The likelihood increases even more if you take the time to share or link to some of their content before you ask for their help.

 

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PR can be beneficial, but again, I think you find more success when you develop marketing partnerships with other people and companies who can help you get the word out about your company and the great things you’re doing.

 

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I use social media to build relationships with other marketers and entrepreneurs. I’ve build 100s of relationships using social media. Brands/Companies can use it as well, At When I Work we use social media to talk to our customers and handle support issues. I don’t think about ROI from social media..I think about it as a minimum requirement. The ROI should be thought about “how can I reach the most targeted audience using social media”

 

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Figure out who you can help and who you can’t. Also figure out how you are going to get new business. When you own an agency you’re in the business of digital marketing (and no longer only a digital marketer) and just like any other business you need to figure out how to grow revenue, hire/manage employees, and handle finances and other things that come along with running a business. It’s a transition and the faster you do this the faster you grow.

 

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I like to tell people that I help businesses grow and succeed by giving them the tools, knowledge, and strategies needed in order to effectively navigate and benefit from participating in the online space.

 

Sujan, Thank you again for your time! I am sure the audience must have must have learned lots of new things from your answers.

Note: If you have more questions, feel free to ask in the comment section and I will request Sujan Patel to reply to that accordingly.

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  1. Reply

    Great interview!

    So many good tips but my favorite one was “ask for help.” So many people these days try to put on the image that they know everything.

    It’s nice to see that if you humble yourself you can still achieve your goals.

  2. Reply

    Great interview!

    So many good tips but my favorite one was “ask for help.” So many people these days try to put on the image that they know everything.

    It’s nice to see that if you humble yourself you can still achieve your goals.

  3. Reply

    Great interview!

    So many good tips but my favorite one was “ask for help.” So many people these days try to put on the image that they know everything.

    It’s nice to see that if you humble yourself you can still achieve your goals.

  4. Reply

    Hey Moosa,

    Thanks for interviewing the “man of mainstream media” Mr.Sujan Patel and it’s just because of you people like me have the opportunity to learn from his experiences.

    I’d like to take this golden chance to ask him one more question and I’m sure he will respond.

    Sir, in the Question 8 you gave the valuable advice to the marketers who are planning to launch own businesses. I want to know, have you ever faced the situation when the digital marketer inside you stopped pertaining to be a business owner and you directly jump up in the strategy building for your client? 🙂

    Thanks,
    Umar

  5. Reply

    Hey Moosa,

    Thanks for interviewing the “man of mainstream media” Mr.Sujan Patel and it’s just because of you people like me have the opportunity to learn from his experiences.

    I’d like to take this golden chance to ask him one more question and I’m sure he will respond.

    Sir, in the Question 8 you gave the valuable advice to the marketers who are planning to launch own businesses. I want to know, have you ever faced the situation when the digital marketer inside you stopped pertaining to be a business owner and you directly jump up in the strategy building for your client? 🙂

    Thanks,
    Umar

  6. Reply

    Hey Moosa,

    Thanks for interviewing the “man of mainstream media” Mr.Sujan Patel and it’s just because of you people like me have the opportunity to learn from his experiences.

    I’d like to take this golden chance to ask him one more question and I’m sure he will respond.

    Sir, in the Question 8 you gave the valuable advice to the marketers who are planning to launch own businesses. I want to know, have you ever faced the situation when the digital marketer inside you stopped pertaining to be a business owner and you directly jump up in the strategy building for your client? 🙂

    Thanks,
    Umar

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