In this Founder's Corner episode, Ajay shares helpful marketing tips for maintaining a robust online presence and consistently getting new patients for a growing nutrition and wellness practice with Ella Davar, a registered dietitian and a health coach.
Ella Davar is a bilingual Russian-American registered dietitian, integrative nutritionist, certified health coach, yogi, theta healer, and a speaker with a passion for helping driven professionals streamline their wellness routine and accomplish a healthy balance in life based around accessible self-care.
Speaker: Hello and thanks for joining today's episode of the Founders Corner Podcast hosted by Ajay Prasad. Join Ajay as he sits down with healthcare professionals to discuss the ways of improving their marketing efforts. As an entrepreneur and proud owner of several seven-figure watch-based businesses, Ajay has now dedicated himself to helping healthcare professionals in building up their practices. If you'd like to contact Ajay and become a guest on the Founders Corner Podcast, fill out the form on our website. In today's episode, Ajay will be speaking with Ella Davar, registered dietitian, licensed nutritionist, health coach, certified yoga and meditation instructor, writer, and influencer. Her mission is to help her clients manage weight, stress, diet, and various health conditions. Enjoy the show.
Ajay: Hi, Ella. How are you?
Ella: Hi, Ajay, I am great. How are you?
Ajay: Good. Good. Just quickly, where are you based in? I couldn’t tell what city, state, where are you?
Ella: I'm in Miami, Florida.
Ajay: Okay, wonderful. No, it's a great place, by the way, one of my favorite.
Ella: And you?
Ajay: So, I split my time between Orange County, California, and Nashville, Tennessee. So, right now I'm in Tennessee, in Nashville.
Ella: Great. Well, I'm very excited about this podcast interview and to learn from you.
Ajay: Yeah, I'm really happy to see anything that I can help. Let's do that. So, Ella, just for my audience, do you mind just sharing something about you and about your business so that they would understand the context in which you're asking your questions?
Ella: Yes, my name is Ella Davar, and I'm a registered dietitian and nutritionist. I'm also a certified health coach, yoga and meditation teacher. In my virtual practice, now my own practice that I started officially this year, but I've been doing it for a much longer time than that. I became a health coach around seven years ago, and then became a licensed therapist – a licensed nutritionist. I graduated from NYU and I worked at a clinic in New York. After pandemic, I started working for myself virtually where I see clients and I provide mainly nutrition education, nutrition guidance, but my focus is specifically on longevity and disease prevention. So, most of the people that come to me they're looking for guidance and some resources on anything related to meal planning, nutrition education, and solving specific issues such as pre-diabetes, weight loss, and any concerns that they might have, like a lack of energy, fatigue. That’s all.
Okay, so tell me what is the typical process? If someone comes to you for an advice, do you ask them for a certain test? Or how does it work?
Ella: So, I specialize and focus my practice on personalization and in diet and nutrition advice. So, yes, when the person comes in I first ask them on my website to fill out a health history form for me to have a bigger understanding of what they're eating and what their lifestyle is. And then after that, I usually schedule a discovery call and during that call, we get to know each other because most people they come virtually, they don't know my personality. And because I sell a program, not just one session, right, I'd like to introduce myself to people and describe to them what I offer and how we do it.
Once the person is on board, and we are a good match, I depending on their symptoms, right, if the person comes with digestive issues and stubborn weight loss, I work with stool tests and to see what's going on by the intestines. And specifically, depending on which state the person's at on the regulations, but still testing with the new generation of advanced testing really provides the insights on the person's ability to digest and helps me to provide personalized diet and food recommendations.
Also, of course, I look at the blood work, right, whether it's from a doctor, if the person has a primary care physician, or if a person doesn’t have insurance, I provide them with the resources of like at-home lab testing, and other resources.
Ajay: Okay, so you do get them tested, and so it's not like you're just talking about their behavior and about eating and their lifestyle, you are also getting medical tests done.
Ella: I do but it also depends on the client. There's some people come that have it all figured out like they’re smart, and they're educated, what they're called like biohackers and if they have the doctor and they do annual or twice a year checkups, they give me the recommendations basically, and I either connect with their doctors, depending on if the doctor’s not at the major hospital then – or depending on the age, the older the client the higher the chances that I will be looking at the medical chart first. But if someone's younger, just lucky with weight loss, then yes, it's mainly educational, and it's all about the lifestyle.
Ajay: Okay, perfect, perfect. Good. So, I think that now everyone understands your business. So, I had one other question and then we'll dive into your questions.
Ajay: So, my one question is so right now, how are you doing, how's your business doing, and how you are getting your new clients?
Ella: It’s mainly referrals, my clients, their family members, an older friend, because they can see the results for them because I also with my clinical practice, I am also into biohacking, which is the advanced way of looking at prevention, and of incorporating medical devices and wearable technology. And that helps my clients to stay not only disciplined, motivated, but also really see the result.
And so their friends seeing the results and asking them how they got there, and they recommend me. And the other huge source of clients for me is social media. So, my background is also in modeling and being like a New Yorker and a health coach, and being part of the wellness field, my Instagram, my social media is huge. And this is where I – a lot of people find me.
Ajay: Okay, perfect, perfect.
Ella: So, with the people especially the resume is not what someone says in the paper, it's what like more visuals, right? So, it’s surprising still to me that a lot of people inquire, so they like – so these days, I kind of – I'm a brand, I'm a personal brand, not just a medical professional, and when people see on my Instagram, like my own journey, how I had to deal with a lot of different health concerns and how I became who am I today and what I do and what I believe in, and with that, yeah, people reach out with a lot of questions and therefore become clients.
Ajay: Okay, perfect, perfect. Wonderful. So, let's dive into your questions.
Ella: Yes. So, I'm exploring different waves of marketing, right. And I'm learning. As someone who kind of I've gotten it easier just because I'm slimmer, and I used to model, I have beautiful content, people used to come to me naturally. But now because I'm growing, and I'm looking to invest into marketing. So, my question to you is, what kind of advice would you give for me when it comes to digital marketing, right? Because I just transitioned to working virtually everyone's like far away, no one’s meeting up anymore in person, and advice for digital marketing, specifically for social media and Google?
Ajay: Sure. So, I will – So, first, let me just tell you some basic fundamental one minute that we suggest to everyone, and I'm sure that you're already doing most of it. So, we always say that to have a thriving business, especially in the healthcare, you need to have a very stellar reputation, online reputation, which I'm pretty sure that you have, and proactive, you have to be very proactive. You should have increasing patient satisfaction. So, understanding why your clients like you, or whether there’s any room for improvement. So, that is an ongoing progress. And then I will also talk about the very robust online presence. So, having said that now let's talk about the online presence.
So, on Google, and that by the way, it's the same thing is true for social media. So, there are tools that your marketing team should be able to use to number one, really understand and say, “Okay, what are the key phrases that people are using when they're looking for your services?” Right, and you'd be surprised how many different key phrases people are looking at. You would think that nutritionist or may have a wellness nutrition or something that that's how you will define yourself. But people are typing different keywords looking for your profession. The good news is that every time someone is typing it on Google or searching or Bing or anywhere, it shows up, right?
So, that is tracked somewhere. So, anyone who is doing marketing should be able to know. So, first thing first is to identify what are the keywords, or key phrases people are using when they're looking for your services, right? And then one by one, you have to go and see, where do you rank on that? So, ultimately, because and you have a very interesting business in the sense that this is not local, right, most of the doctors, if they are in Miami, they cannot see someone in New York. But in your case, it doesn't matter where someone is living literally anywhere in the world, correct?
Ajay: Yeah. So, my suggestion is that have someone do analysis, find out what are the keywords, key phrases, see where you are ranking on Google, and literally, there has to be almost a strategy for each key phrase, to bring it up. So, when they will find those key phrases, they will also know for example, how competitive it is, right? So, if it's something that is very high competition, it takes very long – it takes longer to bring that – bring your website on at least you want to get top five, but ideally, top three, right. So, it gets harder, but then you will be surprised that there will be several key phrases that will be very – it will have low competition, which means that you should be able to very quickly move up. So, this digital marketing is an ongoing process.
So, you want to start with something that is what I call a low-hanging fruit, right. So, it's, “Oh, there are a bunch of searches for this one, and it has low competition, so I can come up on top.” And then it's almost like methodically going one after another in the keyword. And obviously, you can also do paid advertising on Google for those phrases so when someone is searching for it, and I do suggest people that you should try paid advertising. You can start with a small budget just to see the return right. For me, the advertising, I always explain it’s investment is not a cost.
What it means is like, if you are getting a good return, you will keep on investing, right? So, if you can see that, okay, it cost me $100 to get – and I’m just throwing a number, to get one patient and the value of one patient is say $1,000, then you will do it all day, right? So, there shouldn't be any problem. So, that's what – the fundamental is to first understand what's the behavior online, how people are searching, and see where you stand, and then you have to have a strategy for what to do. And this – any good agency should be able to do this for you without any problem.
Ella: Okay, so you don't recommend me doing it on my own with Google Analytics?
Ajay: And unless you recommend me that you can – here is a research, you can go on WebMD and do the – you can handle your own nutrition issues. It’s exactly the same thing. You want to focus on where is your expertise, so that you will get the most return on your investment. It has become a way more complex – By the way, being an influencer, like you said that you have on Instagram, that's wonderful that you are able to do that. But when you're talking about getting digital marketing and getting ranked on and even managing paid advertising, and optimizing it's a whole different ballgame. And just trust me even if you spent a lot of time going and learning there's so many pieces there that you will be learning for a long time and you will never be able to optimize it because another thing about digital marketing is that everything is almost like a moving target.
So, you may think that you have learned everything about Google algorithm now and then you can go and optimize the site. But then Google changes algorithm, and they do that so often that it’s not even funny. So, you want to go with an agency there. I mean that that is my suggestion. Paid advertising you can try on your own although that is not – typically it’s not a very expensive proposition to have someone who is Google certified. So, Google has certifications for agency, even for individuals, I believe, where they will say, okay, he's a – no a Google partner. So, someone who has a Google partnership, hopefully, a platinum partnership, they will be able to do – they will know exactly what needs to be done for even the advertising. But that is something that you can learn. I don't think it takes very long.
And if you so want, you can go on Google, and you can learn how to do that. And, really the same process is true for the social media, Facebook, Instagram, if you want to do advertise there you can do that, getting yourself found for different key phrases, getting in front of people when they're searching. So, say you have identified your target audience and showing your ad, when they show up, I mean, it is a whole process, again, agencies know how to do that. You would be spending a lot more time. So, I don't think that it is – if you asked me, the best thing that you can do is come up with a program and let someone else do the marketing, but you focus on return, right return on investment.
So, if you end up spending, I'm just throwing a number $1,000 a month, all you want to make sure is you should have a benchmark that says okay, this $1,000, I need to get X number of new customers that pays for it. And then obviously, we don't do any invest – make investment to just get our money back. So, that – but at least you know the benchmark, you know that okay, this is what I need to get in order to break-even or, and to be profitable. And when someone has done the analysis for you, you will be able to very quickly see if it is possible or not, right.
So, if there's only, I'm just throwing a number, five searches for your services online, then even if someone is saying, “Okay, I will charge you $100 for SEO,” it’s probably not worth it, because they're just five searches and an impossible chance of getting those five people on your site and getting one of them to become a customer. It doesn't make sense. So, when you look at the analysis that I'm talking about initially, then you will get a sense, right? It's like, “Oh, this is the number of searches,” this is where you will know that once you get top-five ranking, you will start people coming on your – you will start – and these are the good thing about digital marketing, Ella, is that they are already looking for your service, right. So, it's not like you are just advertising like we do it – see on TV.
And by the way, I started my career in the traditional marketing, because when I started 100 years back, there was no internet. And I have done a lot of TV and radio and print advertising for when I worked for Corporation and as their marketing head. And I can – there we were just hoping that someone sees it. Here, the beauty is that these are the people who are already searching for your – they're using the keyword, they are searching for the service. So, it is much, much more effective digital marketing.
So, that's what I would do. You almost – you have to have someone take a look at it, analyze the marketplace, give you a strategy, and should also give you a plan, not in technical term, but a simple plan so that you can take a look at it in and you see and you understand it’s like, “Oh, okay. So, this is what you are doing.” Now, obviously in marketing, since you are a marketer, you know that there is no sure thing, right? It's not a science. It's kind of a mixture of science and art. So, of course, there’s never a guarantee, but at least you want to take a look and understand. And then you should make sure that the person you're dealing with has a plan, which is making sense. Right? So, that's what I would do.
I think that Google and getting the SEO ranking and paid advertising and everything, it's just not worthwhile, just trust me, you will spend a lot more time that you could if nothing if you have free time enjoy. So, long you're focused on the return on investment, you should be fine. And there are hundreds of good agencies that will share with you and say, “Okay, yes.” Because agencies, the good agencies also know that unless they are able to get you a positive return on your investment, then you're not going to stay with them. So, most of the agencies don't want really a revolving door of clients. They'd like to have clients. And just like I'm sure that you have the same approach.
And the other thing that I will do on digital marketing, also, since you have Instagram, you have a database. So, do keep – I don't know if you are sending out a regular newsletter or information or not. So, the first thing is engagement is very important. So, you should stay in touch with a mostly automated process, so that you don't, obviously not sending email to individuals, but also, use the – when you’re people are very happy, you should automate asking for referrals.
So, that, to me is really important, is you should automate the referral asking so that you can ask your patients or clients for referral to friends or relatives, and then have a email marketing program where all, for example, all the Instagram people that are just following you, hopefully, if they're already following you then you should have a list of increasing email, which we call funnel, right. So, you have a lot of people, and which is growing on a regular basis and you’re just sharing information, because that becomes like a trigger point, right?
You're in communication with 1000s of people, and you are sharing, again, here is something about diabetes, here’s something about weight loss on a regular basis. And you don't know when it will trigger, but it's almost given that after a while, it will start a trickle. And then you will start to get a constant flow of clients for that also.
So, for that also, you need a strategy of where you have something that is increasing your funnel that people when they come to your website, you should capture them. They should not just come and either decide to contact you or go, there should be something in between where they come in, and they may not be ready, but they will say yeah I’d like to see this free report that you have it, for example. And now you have their email address because that's how you're sending it. And now you've put them in the funnel that you are sending them regular information.
I mean these things just take time to build on its own. That's the reason you want, again, a professional who will set it up in such a way that really after the initial setup, it should be automated. And it just keeps on growing. The only thing you have to do is just maybe keep on adding more content in terms of what you want to share.
I mean, it's a lot of things that I'm telling you, but you see your question was also so broad about digital marketing. So, it's, I mean, bottom line is it is fairly complex. There's a lot of activities, and even one person cannot do that. So, I always tell people that no, there are so many moving parts in digital marketing now. Even just for Google Marketing, there are so many moving parts that it’s almost I would say impossible for one person to keep up with everything, stay on top of it, and still do a good job. I mean, only professionals probably can do it who are not doing any job. And all they're doing is reading about what's going on.
Ella: That’s really great information, Ajay, I'm so grateful. I have a question like you have such an amazing experience. You know, you've talked to so many people. I’m wondering what advice do you have for a young professional like me, who's looking to scale up? Right? To grow? So, right now, I'm almost scared of success because basically if I’m advertising I'm advertising my service. That's right, my time in exchange for the money. And as I’m growing and scaling up, I'm thinking that this online counseling is just too big. I might keep it for VIPs only. But for people who can't afford my services, right or the people who don't.
Ajay: Mm-hmm, right, right.
Ella: Don't want to schedule a program or something I'm looking to sell them some kind of products right, you mentioned a program, and then advertise that to create more passive income that people can buy without having to interact with me. So, what advice do you have for me?
Ajay: Sure, sure. So, first thing I will tell you this is very interesting. So, the one advice that I will immediately have for you is, see if you can create a subscription program, right? So, depending on how you're doing – so suppose you have someone who has diabetes, let's take about that, right. So, it's one thing to have someone come in. And again, this is almost like part of the funnel, come in and suppose you have, I don't know, we – and probably it's not a good platform to discuss your fee. But if we have someone come in, and I'm just throwing a number, $1,000, then people may not be ready, right? It's not like they are able to afford it or not. Even if people are able to afford it, they may not be ready to go out and invest $1,000, because they need convincing. So, number one is you could have a subscription, which could be – and part of the subscription could be, of course, very specific information about their area that that becomes your product, right that you have already created.
And maybe even a webinar, right? So, now all of a sudden, if you have 10 people, and you're giving – or 50 people, and you have like one – and your subscription, I’m just throwing a number is $10 per month, right, so now you have like those 100 people so it's $1,000, you have created the content, which is one time, but that's your product, right? And then you're spending one hour a month, suppose that you're giving a webinar, this is just one idea, right? So, the idea about scaling is that, how do you make the most out of your hours? Because unfortunately, all of us, we know we only have 24 hours. So, if you're just selling your hours and charging a fee, then there is a ceiling that you hit very quickly, right?
So, the best way to scaling is have a product, and if there is a product that you can sell, that is great, but because you have a service, then you just convert that into a subscription and webinars. Something that people cannot use. And really at some point, what you want to do is just start to increase your even rate. Suppose you are doing – spending 20 hours on webinars on 20 different topics every month, then, because those hours over a period of time will become more and more profitable, right? If you start with you know, even if they are four, and the next month, two more and – two added and if people keep on adding your advantage is that the same hours, you're making more and more money. That's one way to scale. And then – so that's one thing is the subscription.
You can also do a webinar. The problem with just free webinars is unless you have a product to sell, that people are buying, generally speaking, it doesn't help because then again, what you're doing is you're recruiting people and you have the same problem that you don't have enough. By the way, I ran into the same problem that you have when I finally decided 17, 18 years back to become an entrepreneur from my corporate life. And I could quickly see that because since I did – I was very lucky in my corporate life. I did okay. I became vice president very quickly and I had a pretty decent network. So, when I first started I'm like, “Hey, you know what, I can do a consulting.” And just because again of my background and the people I knew I immediately got consulting projects, no problem.
And then three months into my business, we decided to go out for a vacation to Germany with my family, I mean, now my kids are grown up, when they were little. And then I realized, for three months, my income is zero, that’s because I'm selling my hours. And I'm like, “You know what? So, being in the corporate world where I could go on vacation, I would still have my check deposited in my bank.” I’m like, “Okay, this is not the model that I want to be in.” And that's the reason I decided to build a team so that the team is working and I can go on vacation, Oliver can go on vacation, I have a bunch of other people, we all go on vacation, everything, but the machine is running.
So it is – that is ultimately what I did, that was my solution. I'm not saying that it is a solution for everyone because building a company and running it is no joke, either. So, there's a lot of issues there. But ultimately, that's what you want. You want to figure out a way to how do you maximize your timing, and do you have all the services? You can brainstorm with someone, you can brainstorm with – I don't know if you have a mentor or not, I always ask people that they should have mentors, in business.
But with someone you want to brainstorm and say, “Okay, what are the things that I can do?” And I'm telling you, the best thing you can do is to start to offer services to people where they can get the general information, a lot of people, and then if someone wants very specific, yes, you can do that. And over a period of time, if you become busier with your with – when you're talking to more and more people raise your rate. And so, for personalized things, so from personalized it’s fantastic. The challenge with personalized is obviously, the timing, right, because you don't have a machine.
I mean, for me, honestly, I mean, I get very busy, I can add more people, right, and everything will still keep on running. So, unless you have built something like that, and then I would say just come up with a process to make the most out of hours that you're spending on your business productivity. Am I making sense to you?
Ella: Yes, yes. Building a team. I think that's the next question I wanted to ask you about.
Ella: How to and any practical advice that you have when it comes to hiring and delegating administrative tasks.
Ajay: So, I tell everyone, by the way, that the best decision I made – so again, it's interesting because we had similar paths right to entrepreneur, before being an entrepreneur, we worked for someone. And becoming an entrepreneur is scary because, of course, in the beginning, there's no money coming in and money going out, right? And then you still have to live, you still have to pay the rent or mortgage and food and everything.
So, just like a typical entrepreneur, I did not for the first two years, I was a janitor, I was a CEO, I was the typist, you talk about everything I was the front desk person. So, I was it. And, I was running like a chicken without head. And when people ask me, “When was the turnaround for your business?” I always tell them when I hired my personal assistant. Suddenly, I realized that, “Okay, this is not working.” And so I hired – first I hired my essentially personal assistant, smart, who can handle at least some of the more raw things.”
And immediately the first thing that happened was I realized, wow I have a lot of time to think about my business, what I can do to improve it, rather than just fighting fires every day. So, when you're building a team, the first thing you want to do is get a personal assistant, but get someone who is smart. I mean, by the way, my personal assistant, the one that that I had hired like 13 years back, she was fresh out of college at that time. And right now for the last I would say eight years, so it's not just happened immediately, so just sort of five years with me, I mean she first thing she moved out of the front desk very quickly and started managing certain part of the business. And for the last, I would say literally eight years, she has been the president of one of my, I would say the most profitable company.
I created several companies. And she was interested, I handed it over, and now she runs it, I don't even know. I always tell my wife that if Beth decides to leave me, I wouldn't even know what to do with this business, because I don't know anything. So, I totally lucked out. But I – and there is no reason why other people cannot luck out. So, when you are hiring a personal assistant just get a bright person. Someone who can also give you some point of view, and doesn't – either someone with experience, I don't think education and all those things that matter.
I mean, of course, Beth was a fresh graduate, so that was a good thing. But I have had in my corporate life, my personal assistants, with a high school diploma, and if, for example, she was available I would have taken her in a heartbeat. And of course, now I'm sure that she's much older, because even in those days 25 years back, she was in her late 50s. So, it really – but what you want is someone smart, someone to help you.
So, that to me is the starting point, and then start delegating the things that you – so what my suggestion always is that either you jot down end of the day, but most of the time, you can sit down and you can start and say, “Okay, what are the things that I'm doing during my work time? Where I'm spending most of my time.” And once you have a list of it, you would start to see oh my god this is not generating any – I mean it's not building my business.
So, you want to focus your time on areas that will help you grow your business. So, that's why I'm saying that's the reason I was I was telling you, it will be a waste of time, from my perspective for you to try to become an Same thing there. So, once you have figured it out, then you can start to delegate those areas where you're spending time which is not critical for the improvement of your business. And then as you start to have and if you have the right person it may take time, then you can even start to hand over some of the important issues, right, just like I was telling you this person that I have, she's running a whole company. She's the president, she has a title of the presidency, she has whatever, four people reporting to her, and they're like 300 plus independent contractors that work for her.
So, she's just totally managing everything – that business, I have nothing to do now. But I got lucky, I always say that. but having said that, there's no reason why you when someone starts to understand your business who has been with you, you cannot start to – first you should be able to easily hand – give all the time, freedom, simple thing. I did not realize how much time I was wasting on my answering the phone because all of a sudden, when I counted, I saw that okay, I spent about two hours on the phone every day.
And then when the front desk person that I got all of a sudden that time dropped to 15-20 minutes because most of the time she would screen it, she was able to address, answer most of the questions right there. So, many things did not even come to me. So, that's where I would do – do hire if you are wanting to grow, hire a personal assistant, but a smart person, someone who can collaborate with you, you can discuss the business, everything.
And again for that, you don't need someone who has 100 years of business experience. You just need someone who's smart. That's it. And that's common sense. I’m sorry.
Ella: Do you have time for one more question?
Ajay: Yeah, sure, sure.
Ella: Yes. What's your opinion on media exposure and towards an actual work towards it and hiring a PR agency? Is it worth the investment?
Ajay: So, again, the PR agency it totally depends on your business and your plan right. So, long the objective is very clear. So, the part of the problem that I have seen with the PR agencies and again in my corporate world with billion-dollar company, I PR agencies, and then they did that. But we had a very well-defined role like what we were trying to get out of PR. So, a PR agency is fine, so long you have a very, very clearly defined objective, and the PR agency can tell you very much like I was talking about digital marketing, right, you have to see that, okay, this is the opportunity, here is the strategy and make sense to me.
Same thing I would do with PR agency. PR is now – having said that, I will tell you that if you were to decide between a PR agency and the digital marketing for a business, I would say just go for digital marketing first. Because PR is again, it's a long-term thing. And effectiveness is like – PR is now more like a social media marketing, right, because getting it published in a – even an E-magazine, the print magazine is like, for me, it's just advertising that I can say hey I got published. But even in E-magazine, it's the life cycle of that is so low versus putting the same amount of money and getting yourself on say number three, for seven key phrases, relevant key phrases, it is – every day it is earning you.
So, that's what I would do, I don't have anything against PR, but generally speaking for small businesses, I have not seen it work especially because as a small business, you won't have that budget, right? We had literally millions of dollars in PR budget, it made sense. And in the olden days, the PR was – agency, what they had is they had access to these magazines and writers and all that so they could go and pitch our story there. Now, you don't need to, all you have to do is publish your story on the internet and popularize it through social media. So, again PR is fine, but if you have to choose between those two go for digital marketing. If you can afford to do both, then just have the same thing, have the agency give you a proposal and say, “Okay, what you're going to do for me? Why?” And they will talk to you what you're trying to get out of the PR, obviously.
And they have to give you a plan. But so that would be my thing. But again, if you can afford both, by all means, but don't expect the return and the similar kind of return from PR like you would get from the marketing.
Ella: Got it.
Ajay: Yeah, and by the way, Ella one thing you also want to do, so, in PR what happens is that you are getting your story in front of people right, who could be a target audience but not necessarily looking for your solution. In Digital Marketing, you are putting yourself in front of people exactly when they are looking for your solution. So, that now you can see the gist of it, why I'm saying that digital marketing makes more sense to do that. PR is like sure – we used to call this a spray and pray in my previous world, that yeah, you get in front of a lot of people and some of them will say, “Okay, I need this.” So, that’s what I would – you are better off doing social media, then PR for sure, if you have to choose between those two I’ll say social media, but if you have everything again depending on the objective, it may make sense to do PR.
Ella: Got it. Okay, a lot of work to do. Okay, digital marketing companies, do you have any specific recommendations?
Ajay: I would say first look for the companies in your area. So, I mean, the good news about digital marketing companies is they can be anywhere. But the best thing is to first find something that in your area, if you have it talk to them, make sure that they understand. Like I was saying, on those three pieces, getting a stellar reputation there has to be a process for patient satisfaction, or the customer satisfaction measurement and analysis so that you know what's working, or what's not working. And then the marketing strategy that makes sense to you.
It should be – it should have here’s the opportunity here is the – and this is how we will address it. And then either that will make sense to you or not, right. So, just make sure that you are – most of the PR agencies would tell you anyway, because then – I'm sorry, the marketing agencies. So, I always suggest that you start with local if you can find one in Fort Lauderdale, Miami area where you can meet with them face to face, and it always helps right as a small business.
But if not, then by all means just you do the same thing you search and look for the PR agencies and the digital marketing agencies and the healthcare digital marketing agencies. And then you can go to the website, you will have to deliver a research, obviously, you're talking about a decent investment, right every month.
So, you want to do some analysis, talk to two, three companies, at least, that makes sense to you. First, you select the ones that makes sense to you, that looks like worth discussing. Talk to two, three companies, figure out, that way, you will start to see a pattern. And then out of that, whichever makes sense, do it. All I would – my suggestion, the only thing that I would very strongly recommend is that don't focus on the dollar, focus on the return.
Ella: Got it.
Ajay: Most of the very low-cost agencies are basically garbage. They don't do anything. They will do some things, but we know that it is way more complex. So, it’s just not possible to do it for a very tiny budget. So, that's why you want to just focus on their approach, what is their strategy, what kind of opportunity they are saying you have. And then what – how they will approach it, at least, very broadly. But again, you don't want to go into minutiae, because it won't even make sense. I mean, but you would know if they're working, if they know what they're talking about or not just trust me. You will – once you talk to two, three of them, you will definitely find out. And like I said, see if you can find someone locally.
And that way, you can also talk to them, but make sure that they are – if they're not exclusively healthcare, they have are a bunch of healthcare-related clients, in this industry, in this business, and then are willing to talk to you and not just saying, “Oh, don't worry I'll get you number one on 10 keywords,” and all those. Anyone who is trying to sell you on activities, drop them, because activities doesn't matter. If they're selling you on the overall strategy and their plan, about what to do, that's when you start to consider. Okay!
Ella: Okay, thank you. Do we have time for one more question or no?
Ajay: Sure. I have – Okay, yeah, sure, sure. I do have 10 minutes. So, until my next –
Ella: When it comes to delegating tasks, how do you feel, have you any experience with hiring someone overseas internationally? You know, there's all these websites called Upwork where you could hire someone, yeah, in all those countries that you can save a lot of money than hiring someone here in the States. And is that something you recommend doing?
Ajay: So, definitely, by the way, even I use some of those services right for – so depending on what you're thinking about doing. So, obviously, you would not want to hire someone on Upwork to do a webinar for you. Right but if it comes to writing an article, and so you said, “You know what? Do research on this area, I want an article with this outline,” it always will always work. So, and of course, it will be back and forth. You can even get a virtual assistant, but you will go through some trial and errors on there.
But I have had a virtual assistant in the past. And it worked, really, so but then again, you have to be lucky. And I went through several before I found someone that made sense. So, before you go look for like outside virtual, any employee, and it doesn't matter where in the world really, just first thing first you want to figure out what are the areas – what are you expecting from them. And then based on that, yes, you should be able to find the skill sets. And also, if you are, for example, spending two hours writing an article, you can probably get someone to write for 50 bucks, right. And that means if you're spending two hours, and you can get the same thing for $50, that means you're paying yourself only $25 per hour.
So, that's what I would say start using by things that is high value, but it's taking a lot of your time, because that's where you will see the real benefit, right? You need this anyway. But now you can, instead of you spending 10 hours, you can pay someone $200 to do that. So, those are the kinds of things that you can start with. And, like I said, you can find virtual assistants, but it won't be – and by the way, the same thing is true for a regular personal assistant. I mean, the only difference is that a personal assistant you can talk, you can check references which by the way in virtual you also do but it's always luck, right, at the end of the day, you have to be lucky to find the right person. So, I would say by all means try that. But again, be very discriminant about what are you going to be asking them to do.
And if someone has been with you as a virtual assistant even for two years or for that matter six months, and now you have confidence in this person to do more, sure by all means do that. But again, it's not – only thing I say is that these are all slow. It takes time to get to the right decision. So, just make sure that you are – you have the right expectations, I guess, that's all. But I'm all for it. I'm all for virtual assistants, you know help.
Ella: Well, Ajay, this has been great, thank you so much for your time. You’ve covered a lot.
Ajay: Wonderful, great talking to you, and I just want you to know that I love entrepreneurs especially who have left the job market to become an entrepreneur. It just reminds me of me, of course, a long time back. But this is wonderful. And my best wishes for your journey and you are already doing well. So, the only thing I can say is you can keep on getting better.
Ella: Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and your experience. I appreciate your time so much. My name is Ella Davar. You can find more information about me and my services on nutritionistella.com. On my website, you'll find information about my education, my background, my services, including nutrition consultation, group coaching, my e-guides, books, webinars as well as books. Additionally, I provide consulting for food businesses and if you are someone in the food industry and looking for approval and endorsement of a healthcare and dietetic professional, I'm your girl.
I love to collaborate with organic brands and support your mission to bring it out to the consumers. I'm a foodie, and I love talking about food and supporting food businesses. So, anyone who is looking for me, you can find me on Instagram, it's at ella.davar. And my website is nutritionistella.com.
Speaker: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Founders Corner podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to rate and follow us on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, and SoundCloud. If you are interested in being a guest, be sure to visit our main page at www.gmrwebteam.com/thefounderscorner
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