We believe finding your voice as a creator is just as hard as finding your digital voice today. The internet revolves around ever-changing trends, and keeping up with them seems challenging for businesses and individuals alike.
As a hub for content creation, we wanted to attack this problem head-on. This is why we decided to direct our questions to the most one of the most popular personal branding practitioners & social media influencers we know.
As the internet fondly calls him, Digital Pratik has managed to decipher the internet and build personal brands for many of his clients. Being a creator himself, he also faces these challenges. On the latest episode of the Pepper Spotlight Podcast, we spoke to Pratik about his personal branding, pitching to clients, and understanding his journey from the start.
Check out the whole episode on our Youtube channel:
Here are some of the highlights from this episode of the Pepper Spotlight.
The College Drop-out Conundrum
Pratik is one such creator and influencer who prides himself on being a college dropout. As cool as that sounds, it’s not something to consider without a roadmap in mind. Dropping out of college is advantageous to those who understand the future of their talents.
Back in 2010, Pratik was a great student. He secured 88% in a science stream and did not consider a dropout then. Later, life took an unfortunate turn, with his dad suffering a stroke. Pratik found himself mentally disturbed to focus on education.
Why not go back to university later, you ask? A friend of Pratik gifted him the book Rich-Dad-Poor-Dad. He soon realised that his Financial IQ is a lot different from what he learned in college.
“But I look forward to the progress of the next ten years,” he explains. “You cannot judge yourself the day after you drop out — you need to think larger.” He did not come from a family of money; dropping out meant taking life into his own hands, not falling back on a relaxed lifestyle.
“We cannot [blindly] follow GaryVee saying use your 20s to earn”, he adds. The Indian market is not as easy as it is in the west. Do not let the romanticised idea of a college dropout confuse you. Only do it when you see a particular goal.
How Pratiksinh Became Digital Pratik
Pratik’s career did not flourish as soon as he left college; this is when the struggles started.
He eventually took a job at a call centre to make ends meet. He grew his skills there and made his way to a customer service head. By 2014, Pratik had already stepped into the digital marketing world. Back then, digital was as nascent as SEOs and Quora articles.
Pratik’s first streak of success came from building landing pages and bridge marketing. “I was talking about lead magnets [before anyone called it that]”, says Pratik. Pratik found himself growing his people skills. All this with people who are older than him and held MBAs in Marketing.
“If the trainer is bad, everything you learn is useless,” adds Pratik. He believes the only reason that brands listen to him is that they trust him as a coach.
An important takeaway here is that Pratik did a full-time job for eight years. He first built his savings and his skills and only then moved on to building his personal brand. Till May 2019, he was a one-person team.
Pitching To Clients 101.
Pratik reminisces about the time he attended an interview with a mobile app company. Rather than just showing up to the interview with examples and ideas, he built a prototype landing page. During the interview, he explained how his product could benefit them. Getting the deal was inevitable.
“Instead of showing an A4 paper with my resume — I took work,” he explains. The market is not merely looking for qualifications. They are looking for people who can create a change. Your work speaks volumes.
Around the year 2016-17, Instagram turned into a rage. Pratik found himself sending well-constructed and thoughtful DMs via Instagram. When he started his podcast, he used this medium to reach new guests.
Pratik also carries around a business card with a scanning code for messengers and dummy pages. Be it six years ago or today — Showing your work is more critical than showing your worth.
Personal Branding Tips
Being a personal branding guru, we could not let Pratik off the hook without sharing some pearls of wisdom. Here are a few take-aways from this chat:
- Adding branding to everything you do. Pratik believes in carrying his brand as much as possible; from the background of his call to the t-shirt at the next gathering.
- Writing his designation, title, or company name next to his name on video calls and public platforms.
- Connect emotionally first. “You are a human selling a brand; the brand you sell to is also human,” explains Pratik. Create a real connection, and people value you a lot more.
- Break the ice before you sell. When you meet someone at a gathering, you never pitch sell your products; you greet them, talk to them, build a relationship and then sell when the time is right.
- If you want to stand out, you have to ensure people remember you. Your work should look distinct and trigger a memory of your brand.
- Think like a customer. Think like the people you are selling to. Do you seem relatable to them? Do they find your work valuable? Ask yourself, why should they care about you.
Digital Pratik is known to dabble with many things at once and excel at each of them. His latest venture is an NFT market called “JorParivar.” He is also a believer in “Life Is Your Macro-niche.” To find out all this and more, check out this insightful episode of the Pepper Spotlight Podcast.
There is so much takeaway from this show, and we personally found many moments of self-realization. If you are a creator, solopreneur or just a personal-branding geek — don’t miss any of this.