Brand name: Digital Pratik
Welcome to Entrepreneurs of India #startupstories episode 127
Do you really need a degree to be successful in your career? Pratik dropped out of college thrice for various reasons. He does not believe in ivy degrees and working under someone for fixed hours everyday. Instead of spending his vibrant energy to build someone else’s dreams, Pratik dipped his feet into the world content marketing.
He started humbly with short videos and went on to create valuable content regularly on all popular social media platforms. He’s also into podcasting. Today, Pratik is one of the most popular content creators in the country with a massive fan-following across the nation. He eats, sleeps and breathes content. What made Pratik a content creator? Was it an easy ride for him? Let’s unravel his story.
1) How did you get your idea for this business?
To be honest, I am currently not running any business. I don’t have any registered company and I am completely into digital marketing consultancy. As a content creator, I churn out a lot of content on different social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat and LinkedIn.
Also, I do podcasts on a mosaic of subjects related to digital marketing. If I have to define my business very briefly, I say it’s content and personal branding. I am pretty much into building my personal brand. So, the idea of content creation took shape during my call centre days.
I dropped out of engineering thrice! I couldn’t continue my studies though I was a scholar during the first few semesters. Then one of my friends gave me the book titled Rich Dad Poor Dad. The book literally changed my perspective towards life.
The idea of securing a 9 to 5 job after studies didn’t excite me. I found it extremely boring. I wanted to be something else. One day, I searched “How to make money online” on Google and came across an avalanche of opportunities provided by the internet. I instantly invested $25, which I borrowed from my friend, when I saw a banner ad.
As a newbie, I thought making money online was a piece of cake. But I was mistaken. I lost the money. I realised you have to be patient to make revenue out of the internet. I took a lot of free and paid online courses on Google and YouTube.
I am forever grateful to my friends who supported me at that time. A few more books such as The Secret and The Magic cleared my mind and I came across the idea called content. I realised that I should be starting with content. At the beginning I recorded simple videos of my little experiences with people and shared it on YouTube.
When I started blogging, I had no clue about domain and hosting. I learnt the tactics from the experts in the game such as Seth Godin and the likes. Now I passionately follow Gary Vaynerchuk and learn from him to create my content. This pretty much summarizes how I started.
2) Why is “now” a good time for this idea to exist?
Content is crucial for any business today. If you’re not creating good content for your business, you are losing the game. From the age of radio and television, we have come to the period of smartphones and social media. What matters is the content delivered through each medium. You have to grab the attention of people to make your brand or business successful.
We all are multitasking today. So, the attention is shifting dynamically. For instance, we check our phones while watching television or book an Uber to the airport while still getting ready. So you have to create content that instantly attracts people who are multitasking. It’s all about maintaining an active online presence. So, I think content is very much relevant today.
3) What was the reaction from your family when you first decided to become a content creator?
Generally, Indian families don’t acknowledge you unless you have a degree. My story too was the same. My entire family and some friends were against me. They were not able to understand what I was doing. I was good at studies from school. My decision to quit college certainly created problems.
They even thought I was into drugs or any relationships. But I was patient and persistent in my pursuit. My hard work paid off. Now I generate revenue and they are supportive of me. First they asked why I was doing it and now they ask how I did it!
4) What was your biggest mistake in business and what did you learn from it?
I have done a lot of mistakes. I particularly remember two instances where I went completely wrong. The first one was in 2016, when I abruptly quit my well-paid job as my dad wasn’t well. It was an impulsive decision.
Later, I rented a room which was way more expensive than I could afford at that point of time. It was not a good investment. The second mistake I did was I couldn’t save a penny till I was 30. I started working when I was 22 and I could not invest properly. So, the biggest mistake was earning money and not investing it.
But now I have started to invest wisely. Even if I don’t work for next two years, I am good enough. I have taken smart investment lessons from the best people in business and it has helped me a lot.
5) What is your biggest obstacle in next 12 months and how will you overcome it?
Obviously, the biggest obstacle would be producing more volume of content. I have decided to create at least five podcasts episodes everyday from April. This is apart from the content I create on Instagram and Facebook. Volume and quality of content are going to be a challenge for me. But I think I could pull it off. I have been looking for fresh talent to work with me to produce, market and distribute content.
6) What habits contribute to your success?
My work ethic is the major factor that contributes to my success. I think it’s my duty to engage my audience and create content for them.
7) If you had the opportunity to start this business again what would you do differently?
I would have focused more on podcasts. I would have made a lot of content in both audio and video formats.
8) What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Learn. Apply. Share. This is the quote that drives me. Since the beginning I have been doing this.
9) Where do you find inspiration
I find inspiration from within. I used to mirror-talk at the beginning of my career. It helped improve over time. I always feel that I should create better content today than what I had created yesterday.
10) What’s your favourite book?
The Magic by Rhonda Byrne
11) What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Do what you love. Just keep doing it.
Pratik followed his passion and explored the new avenues opened by the digital world. His path was indeed thorny. In the journey to becoming a content creator, he encountered numerous hurdles, but he weathered the storm and went ahead. He learnt everything from scratch.
He made use of free digital marketing courses and followed global experts like Gary Vaynerchuk. Pratik proves that if you are ready to learn what interests you constantly, you will be successful in your domain. A big thanks to him for sharing his wonderful story.
Click here to follow Pratik on Instagram.
Check out the recommended book now!