1- Hello Rafi, can you tell us a bit about yourself
Sure. I am a growth hacker based in Los Angeles, California. I have a growth agency, Chowdhury’s Digital, through which I work with mid-size to large companies and help with their online marketing and growth hacking efforts. I recently moved my business from Memphis, Tennessee, where I am from to LA to grow the business. During my free time, I like to play chess, blog from my personal website, and swing dance. I like all things marketing and business.
2- How would you describe “Chowdhury’s Digital” in under a few words?
Chowdhury’s Digital is a growth agency. I help clients refine their products, expand their followings, and grow their customer bases using a combination of technical wizardry, product savvy, and shrewd marketing tactics. I offer a wide range of services, from SEO to social media growth to product design and product management. Unlike traditional marketing agencies, I believe that the growth of a company is about a lot more than simply producing buzz, which is why I do more than simply spread the word about your product. I surround your product with a constellation of refinements, optimizations, and integrations. All of this, ultimately, results in one simple output: more customers.
3- What are your focus areas and why?
These days, I am focusing a lot of my work on growth marketing, growth hacking, growth engineering, and personal branding. I try to target areas of online marketing where a client is likely to see the highest ROI and the areas which most other digital agencies ignore or are unwilling to touch.
The way I see it is: If you are doing what all your competitors are doing, then you are directly competing with your competitors. But if you can find ways to reach your customers or engage them in ways your competitors did not think to do so, you get the sale!
4- How do you differentiate yourselves from your competitors?
I think I already kind of answered this question in my answer to the previous question. I employ shrewd marketing tactics that my competitors are not doing. I like to build a personal brand for my clients and then begin to grow an online community around the personal brand (using social media and content marketing). Once the personal brand starts to get some traction, I like to merge the personal brand with the company brand to create the ideal brand awareness most of my clients want. I have been very successful at doing this kind of work for startups and SaaS companies.
5- We all want our website or product to get found. What are the recent trends in Marketing Optimization?
Growth Engineering. See more on this topic at: http://www.chowdhurysdigital.com/the-definitive-guide-to-growth-engineering/
I also see search results becoming more and more personalized (Google search results). So, I would suggest creating more content that is specifically targeted to certain micro-niche groups.
Having a strong personal brand is also becoming an increasingly popular idea in online marketing.
I am also seeing a lot of online marketing becoming much more automated than ever before. The space continued to get nosier. So, only those businesses who are thinking of creative ways to reach their ideal customers will succeed past their competitors.
6- What are some things that most people don’t know about your job?
That I employ over 25 freelancers and virtual assistants from all across the globe to help me with certain tasks and projects.
I work standing up 😉 It increases my efficiency by more than 15% according to RescueTime.
Although I love my job, what I love most is just wasting time and being silly with my friends :p
7- Growth hacking is one of the new terms, how does Rafi see it?
This article should explain everything and my views on this topic: http://www.chowdhurysdigital.com/15-unbeatable-growth-hacking-strategies-for-startups-2/
8- And what were some of the biggest challenges you encountered personally?
Learning online marketing on my own while being in a very tech-non-savvy city. I was struggling as an entrepreneur in Memphis, Tennessee, where I grew up. I started several businesses, including a social networking site for college students. I failed at all my attempts until finally launching a business and model which I was able to make work and scale: Digital Marketing Agency. It was not until I got to LA that my business was fully sustainable, and I began to see serious growth.
I struggled a lot when I first got to LA. I came here with a job but then quit the job within a month to start up my consulting firm here. I wasn’t able to get my first client until a month later. By then, I was having to eat burritos everyday just to make sure I could pay my bills! It wasn’t too long ago that I had only $135 in my bank account and living in one of the most expensive cities in the world. I still don’t know how I made it through those times…
9- What are you most excited about at the moment?
My life and the opportunities God is giving me every single day. I am just thankful to God, my family, and my friends for all the support they have given me along the way and are still continuing to do so. What could be more exciting than that?!
10- A last Word or final thoughts?
Yes. Keep this quote from Mark Twain in mind…always…
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”