Deepak Shukla has lived an eventful life. Before founding Pearl Lemon, he has journeyed across Europe on an adventure of self-discovery, gotten a lot of tattoos, ran all kinds of marathons, produced hundreds of rap songs, won a Muay Thai fight, and became a PADI Rescue Diver after completing 30+ dives across the world’s oceans. And that’s not even half of it.
Aside from all those things, Deepak Shukla has also founded the startup “Meet My Tutor,” which is an “online marketplace connecting students to tutors” in 2010. He followed that up with “The CV Guy” in October 2014, until finally launching Pearl Lemon in 2016.
With Pearl Lemon, Deepak Shukla and his SEO team are working everywhere in the world to deliver top-notch results to companies looking to leave a bigger online footprint through SEO. The company employs talented people across America, Asia, and Europe. Such a diverse staff means they can all literally work at all hours for their clients.
For Pearl Lemon’s success, Deepak Shukla and his SEO team have received honors and awards for their lead generation campaigns. These outlets include Software World, Acquisition International, Agency Spotter, and Sortlist.
If your company doesn’t have a dedicated SEO team, you can team up with Deepak Shukla and Pearl Lemon to fulfill all your SEO needs. They can help spot and fix all the problem areas of your website visibility on search engine results pages. Besides, Pearl Lemon also offers link building strategies and content marketing solutions.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Deepak Shukla: I am the founder of the Pearl Lemon Group, a multi-award-winning marketing agency in London that generates 150+ inbound leads per month.
I bootstrapped the business from his mum’s house to 500k in just it’s 3rd year. He’s since gone on to invest in algorithmic trading, launch multiple apps, build a 5-figure online course and start a food delivery service.
I have been featured in TEDx, SEMrush, BBC, Chelsea FC, Appsumo, Bright Talks & more
When I’m not running his agency, you can find me running marathons (33 so far) completing Ironmen (2 so far), getting inked (40% body coverage) or playing with his cat Jenny.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Deepak Shukla: Hard times came with needing to fully restart, restructure and rebuild a service branch. Having it fail initially was hard to go through. Having to rebuild took time, effort, and a new team. We rebounded though and are rebuilding the branch.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Deepak Shukla: I accidentally included some clients in our internal emails! I said “Guys, you’re making me look like an absolute twat!” (yes, I actually used that word) and added that we were in danger of losing a major contract! Luckily, I’ve since learned how to avoid hitting the ‘Reply All’ button!
Jerome Knyszewski: Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to lead a company from Good to Great? Please share a story or an example for each.
1) Have a plan. Have a north star and know where you want to go and what you will do to achieve that.
2) Have a great external team backing you. Having friends and family that support you and your endeavors will help greatly when needing to look for advice or purpose to keep going.
3) Bring in help when needed. Never shy away from needing a coach or someone greater to be able to help you improve areas you may be lacking.
4) Have a great internal team backing you. Your business is only as great as your team running it.
5) Never give up on yourself and your ability to learn, improve and pivot. Never stop your progress.
Jerome Knyszewski: Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. Can you help articulate for our readers a few reasons why a business should consider becoming a purpose driven business, or consider having a social impact angle?
Deepak Shukla: Purpose is the driving force behind business and people. Having a larger goal, like giving back or committing to the environment, allows that company to connect to both the public and a cause. This also helps develop a further company culture and image. This extra driving force and way of giving back can help be that extra push a client may need to feel like they are participating in something greater than themselves and the company.
Jerome Knyszewski: What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
Deepak Shukla: I would say start by analyzing what you both do and don’t do. Growth hacking is a viable path for businesses to be sure that you break through plateaus. Maybe paid ads will be a good option or giving your site an overall facelift in terms of SEO. Each business will have its struggles, so it is important to check each business individually.
Jerome Knyszewski: Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
Deepak Shukla: Lead generation is the lifeblood to my agency and many other service industries. Invest in outreach and in the use of directories to help increase leads and help maintain a flow even in turbulent times. Linkedin is a powerful platform for outreach and networking.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Deepak Shukla: One underestimated item is the value in having a proven and effective HR process and hiring process. When starting out, there is a need to get help, but equally you need a tried and true process for finding the best candidates. It is important to take the time to develop a recruiting and interviewing process, along with onboarding to be sure the best people are trained fully to support you and your endeavors.
Jerome Knyszewski: As you know, “conversion” means to convert a visit into a sale. In your experience what are the best strategies a business should use to increase conversion rates?
Deepak Shukla: Targeted ads can be one approach to take, this helps ensure that your ideal client is being approached. Another investment is in SEO and link building, this allows for your target keywords to be the most fitting to search queries that involve your products. Another fix is to be sure that you have strong CTAs on your site, these give the push your customers need to book a call or make a sale as they strike up a need sensation and give a little extra push.
Jerome Knyszewski: Of course, the main way to increase conversion rates is to create a trusted and beloved brand. Can you share a few ways that a business can earn a reputation as a trusted and beloved brand?
Deepak Shukla: One way is that you can run flawless social media pages and engage with customers. Another point is to be transparent, people want to be able to trust you and by having a brand that shows their cards and practice what they preach are both large ways to accomplish this.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Deepak Shukla: Allow your randomness to be your best strength and believe in yourself. Find your strength and run with it. Never stop improving or striving for your own greatness. You are in charge of your own success.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Deepak Shukla: You can find my personal website here: https://deepakshukla.com/. It’s the best place for getting to know more about my journey and what I’m up to at the moment. I’ve also got a YouTube channel, a LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter (@deepakpshukla1) and Instagram page where you can hit me up!
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!