Episode #178 – Rohan Kale On Building A Company One Relationship At A Time. With Clients And Collaborators
In India, it is customary to work 12 or 13 hours a day.
A year and a half in, he knew he couldn’t sustain that.
Wanting to make some quick cash, he became acquainted with the world of…
Six months later he was in deep debt and had lost his entire savings.
He even had to borrow money from his parents.
Deteremined to make his own way he took out a student loan and decided to finish his degree abroad.
It took him three more years to pay off his debt and student loans after he landed a job with Daimler.
Determined to start his own business, he spent two years pondering an online course.
He even talked to past students.
Taking the plunge, it was only 6 months before he quit his job.
In two years, he has built a company with 15 collaborators…
and freed himself to work and travel wherever he wants.
You could do the same by following his simple process for starting, growing…
and finding the right people.
In this episode, you’ll discover:
- The real reason Rohan had to get out of the corporate world. Is your work having a direct effect on these?
- How to make a small fortune by reaching out on these two platforms.
- A “dignified way” to get started selling your services. (Hint: It’s not “free”).
- One business-growing secret to ensure you’re working on the right projects.
- How to weed out 70-80% of job applicants right away and find the superstar “collaborators” fast.
- Rohan Kale Animated Explainer Videos
- Rohan Kale on LinkedIn
- Teamwork Project Management Software
- David Allan’s Make Words Pay
Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO
David Allan: Hey, everybody it’s David Allan for makewordspay.com. I’m your host as usual. And we’re back with another exciting episode this time we have someone which could be very interesting I think because I don’t know if we’ve talked to too many people in this sort of niche and he sounds like he may be across the entire other side of the world and he’s going to talk about animated video work. And that’s one of the things that’s really interesting to me because I have endeavored to look you know it’s well known sort of in marketing that video of course is advancing every year. And also that the animated vs words and webinars and so forth are really have done quite well for people and commercialized. So let’s just jump right into it and welcome Rohan Kale to the show. How are you?
Rohan Kale: I am very well thank you for having me on, it’s a pleasure.
David Allan: Yes pleasure to have you on the show wwhere are you right now exactly?
Roahn Kale: Right now I am in Germany to the south.
David Allan: Nice. Nice. Now you do animated video marketing as I said and maybe we’ll start at the very beginning like we do we’ll all over again. Take us back. Where were you – where did you start where you come from you know and work as Way work worked your way all the way up through your stories we get an idea of like you know all the sort of bumps and bruises you took along the way to get where you are today.
Rohan Kale: All right. So I am originally from India and I came to Germany around seven years ago. So in India I was having a typical cliche I.T. engineering kind of job.
And I was there in one of the biggest companies. So. I realized that I wasn’t happy because it did culture did book culture. I guess it is like this you it’s very normal to work for 13 14 hours a day so looking like that for almost one and a half year I realized that this is not something that I want to do. I mean I was hardly 19 20 that died and I realized that this is definitely something that I cannot sustain over a long time. And I just started looking into ways to make some quick buck and I said OK.
I mean without having any goals. I was like OK let me have some quick money and then I can start something up myself. I don’t know a lot but yeah I was taught something for myself. So I was introduced to the world of gambling and then there’s word that the court I got shit started happening. And the yeah I mean but then I beat it off six months and then it began just as bad. OK let’s let’s go. Well let’s. I’m so glad that that stuff got so serious that six or eight months down the line I just lost all of my savings and I was in debt and I
had to literally borrow money from my parents. And that was that was such a horrible experience and it was a complete rock bottom for me. Then I started looking I just didn’t want to go to that job because I knew that this is not the right thing to do for me. So I started looking at the options. What should I do. One thing I knew for sure that I wanted to do my master’s I wanted to go abroad or be from India just to experience the outside world outside working culture outside culture and gender and that despair I decided to come to Germany. I mean most of the most of the people who wanted to do
masters who were from my batch everyone was going to America. I did want to do that to be honest with you because I was my back was against the wall. I had I did not have any money so I had to do to be a student lot to come to Germany. So when he was little a little cheaper option for us. That was that was one thing. Bless the industry here is pretty cool. They the ME is good. So I said you know what. Let’s go to Germany. Yeah. That was one reason. The second reason my ex-girlfriend she was she was German before me so I read it together and we said let’s let’s think that’s the best thing to do. And I love that
appear. But then when I came here in 2010 October it was all just it was a story I realized that I am like the lost boy in a complete and you would not like the like. Well it’s not like anything. Absolutely not think so that is that is that was like a clean slate I had to start everything from from the beginning. Let’s see. I do love the language. I did my school. I knew I had to put the hard work so I did that. I successfully finished my MBA and then I got a job at diablerie which is one of the best automotive industry automotive company. So I got a job there. I worked there for
three years. I was successfully able to finally pay all my twice student loan everything. So I was like OK I’m. OK. But then during this time I realized that this is not so much satisfying for me because it’s in my mind you have this big corporate culture. There are so many systems and processes and you want to get something through need so many preparations. And I did not see how my work was directly and flattering the customers so to say. And I said you know I just should look at something else. So I
know I said that OK I like the 5:26 now it’s really time to look into it seriously and decide that what I want to do it I should not just jump from here to there and again be unhappy in my next job. So I said you know just take a step back. What do you like. So I realized that something but I thought was animations and graphics so right from the right from childhood I said Is it possible to have a job or a business out of this. Right. Then I realized like wow ok. Like there is a lot of demand for this animation kind of deals. So why not just jump into it just try it. Then I learned a bit about animation of graphic
design. I really started liking it and I said I mean I started it it my my job. I got quite a few clients along at my job. I said you know what. This is definitely something that I can’t scale at. I look forward to. So I quit my job. Yes I am two years down the line with the 50 people working with me so life’s good.
Last year we brought that up rather quickly. Aha.
So when you were you know because a lot of people I think listening to our show they’re freelancers they want to be freelancers most freelance copywriting.
Now when you were at dimer and you started you know delving into animated videos and getting acquainted with stuff was you know any sort of saw that there was potential here. Did you sort of just take it as it comes and slowly build it up or did you decide you know at what point did you decide I have to jump off this and get serious about it.
I leave my job aren’t let’s say do two and a half years inside my job. I kind of had a feeling that OK this is not US I stay and I both think definitely and I should I should find out a way to get out of here.
So this is what I did. I started as I mentioned working Baddeley my eye. So to be honest I did not have any knowledge about online marketing and how to start a business online. So one of my mentors Mark is this name. So I got a course it’s called Secret Society past lives. I love it. I learned a lot about it that could be true. So it’s a very valid step by step course if you will. And this is where I learn about online marketing how to how to market your business your style how to do your Facebook email marketing basically all all the other
online marketing world. And this is how I stop it. I mean I could I could but just that goes because because I was having a job so that definitely supported me. Yeah I mean it started going well and this is this is how it began. More or less no.
Did you hear about that course just because you were exploring online auctions you were looking for something like that.
I was looking at two discours two years before actually and it was just a very random thought. I was not see just die. But then you keep getting these letters. And I thought it was pretty cool. I I definitely saw the potential and that the testimonials were great. I talked to a couple of people who actually did discourse and it really sounded promising and I so I was I was off to my it’s that you know what this is I don’t have anything to lose. I mean I at least learned something because I don’t know and I think so why not just try it. So that’s how it began.
And then two years. When did you do exactly jump into the course.
It was the start of the two years before so to do and a half years ago it started. The course started six months outside the course. I was able to quit my job because I got my first client which was a pretty big big deal. I mean $15000 I guess. I remember that was the first line that I got so I was like it to be that Gore self plus make some profit down the line. I got some clients here and there and it was sustainable.
So I said let’s do it right and sort of what ways were you when you got that initial client. What sort of ways were you. Are you cold calling people were you cold emailing people like what was your outreaching to different people who could be potential clients.
Right. So and actually I used two platforms. One is Google Apps and so cold calling sort of called Coleambally and I used link them. LICHTMAN As an amazing platform I think. OK. So all I had to do was let’s say make my profile of mine. So initially I. So I need to I had to get some credibility so I just offered my work for free. And just an exchange with Steve on the other. Right. So that is how I got some credibility and then I built an isotope site I started with really let’s say Laura deals us all. So look at that slowly scale. Trump there.
Right. You know who were the first people who took you up on those free deals with those like friends of yours were those people know off of LinkedIn who were those first people.
Right. So these were people from LinkedIn I might add. I just I just sent them out and I said hey this is a new company I’m starting. I would love to do a deal for you. Just in all just an accent for a testimonial I would do the vidio at cost. I can give it to you for free because I have my own expenses. They took it took me up on that. And that’s how it began.
Very interesting. Very interesting. And it only took you two and a half years to get to get out of dimer. Right. And so it’s an amazing amazing story. And you have 15 people working under you now.
So I don’t say I love you I say it with me because it’s so great that even if I’d say yeah right with me. So it’s almost like more about the animated nature of the videos.
Like that’s something I know it has done very well verging into sales in some way. Let me talk about a little bit about maybe you know because you didn’t really seem to have any background or graphic design or animation that you said. How hard was it to learn that kind of stuff because people I think of this notion that’s sort of a very involved process.
Couric I as I mentioned I knew a little bit of it but I just got better working with my team to be honest I knew that my expertise was sales and marketing because I just thought I was doing. That is what I started. That is what my job was so I was good at that. I was good at talking to people making a sale for example and then I knew that I had to at least basic about graphic design or animations. And this is what this is what I learned by myself. I let’s say updos my team members I will update do. I don’t know much about that but I would like your guidance as well. So it
was a really friendly kind of friendly nature of business. Let’s see. OK. So I built up my team slowly and I did yeah.
So you went out and sort of found an animator basically right. Right. Right. That’s a good that’s a good way to do it.
Say Yeah you know I mean it’s it’s always a step by step thing. I mean I just I found some I am not a good copywriter or rather I was not a good corporate. I think that I be right. So I got I just like this. I go out and I mean this like this I got graphic design just like this. I got a project manager. So it was all a collaborative effort.
And where were you reaching out to find people like this that you thought were of the quality and stuff to you.
So I started and I shall leave it up to work. That’s a very common platform up work or are freelance all these other platforms that I used at a be.
Right. Yeah I found it to be honest. It’s not that easy to find people that were there who you can actually work with. So you have to have an extensive interview with those guys get to know them. I got out if everything works. I think why is. So. So that was the big challenge. But I like my guy and I’m so happy about that we still like to add on our relationships. Relationship gets stronger and stronger every day.
Well that’s good. So the very first guy that you got who helped you with the animation aspect of it he’s still with you. All right. Excellent.
Maybe you have some some tips and stuff about you know because I think there are some freelancers we have in our audience the stuff I’m sure that are already established and but there’s still a solo you know Premiership and they’re looking to expand. You know maybe have some collaborative team that’s like you said. What are some of the ways. What are some the questions perhaps are some of the ways you noticed that the best people sort of set themselves apart. We knew we had a winner when you were talking to somebody.
All right. So this is what I’m just doing it it was actually taught and the course so many times what happens is. But I will post a brief about a joke for example. Most people just have a standard template that they copy and paste but in order to make sure that you have the let’s say candidate has a let’s say the brief very properly you with a sentence saying that OK if you have read this brief that the right word blue. Any other proposal is just an example.
So it’s really more like a hidden message.
Exactly. Exactly. So that kind of filters not just me on 70 or 80 percent of the people go.
For it yeah nobody reads.
No no no. I’ve been out. Yeah. Out of those 20 percent who are you and Manning you have a few interviews but then just give them a test project that people figure out if it’s working or not. I mean you might spend a lot of money from your pocket but just fine. But if you get the right lesson it is much more valuable in the long run. Definitely.
But yeah I’ve heard some horror stories interviewing other people about people they thought would just seem amazing.
They tested very well in the interview so to speak. But when the actual project was handed to them they just could not complete it. Right. You know so it’s an interesting sort of process of trying to expand the team.
I mean sometimes that happens. Most of the time so I think that people are not bad. But you are just your nature is not a much of it your ideal candidate so you have to say OK fine. Good luck good luck to you and I’ll go find someone else.
Yeah I think like Tim Ferriss you know of the four hour work week for our fame. I heard him talk once. I mean he said I think he called it the beer test. If he could sit down with somebody and have a beer with me you know if you felt like it was a possibility socially then you could probably work with them.
Right. Right. Exactly. So you have to be at the city level and you have to think have to be an artist let’s say doing things that they want. There’s some mistake in there you just out. OK. This is what was told to me I will just do this. So that’s that’s not how it works.
Right. So. Yeah. So you reached out to be a link to him you were called e-mailing people. Did that change at some point where it means you start get referrals or did your employer or their marketing practices to expand your client base.
Yeah absolutely. So again these platforms LinkedIn for example I was I was like a typical educated marketer just sending some spam let’s say. Right. And I realized that this is not the way to go. I just started building a lot of relationships that that kind of was the turning point when I actually had a shift that my aunt might said if you will. And I realized that. I mean you have to you have to lead by giving value and this is how it works.
I mean just think about it if someone comes and give you think that you are much more let’s say this broke it or C broke it is a frustrating process. Exactly so. So you just give something in return. This is how it works. And the more what I realized is the less you expect the better. So for example if I have to reach someone like that. So just just to get you how I work right now as the I decide on a let’s see list of product prospects for example. OK. I just set them up.
So everything has to be personalized and it’s really effective. Right. So you have to start up with my request saying that I really like your work and I think I mean I love your work and if you’re up for it I just got back and see how it could be useful to each other if they accept your set of A-plus as my. Giving them a lot of value. So if somebody is from the let’s see if someone has a SASCO or is you just set a few articles or a couple of articles you’re just anti-d’s at bitches which is let’s say a mistake and really do and just just leave it out and say hey this is what I think is would be
useful to you. Maybe if you want is some more information that I have if I can I can send it to you or we can have a chat if you’re up or it just isn’t on. I think I could actually help you a bit more so that people they respond better to this because it’s the very last thing that you think not the bulk spam that also the people spam. And so this is how it works I mean out of it went out of the text messages it just sent let’s say 50 percent people will accept because generally people do accept US allies. And out of these 50 if you let’s say that people buy from you which is
why people buy from you but the last 45 you are you’re providing the value so that that where there is need for your service or your product they will come back to you because you have Delap that kind of relationship. Moreover there are others that you get just like this plus this. It’s amazing. You can. I mean there are times when you just are sleeping and next day you wake up I have to represent a pretty cool life.
Yeah. It’s a good feeling. Yeah exactly. Exactly.
So you do and then you’re doing all this online. Of course your routine first through e-mail and stuff. Maybe let’s get it and that’s a very interesting process. So that’s the one you started use today. So you still do it that way. Correct.
Now maybe let’s get into some of the reasons why why animated video you know I post to you know live action or you or just word I guess you’d probably do words on the screen too but you know let’s get into some of the reasons why animated videos converge so well because it seems like in my experience at least and some of the guests we tried on they’ve been very beneficial Absolutely.
So as you know that attention our engagement is the currency right now when it comes to online marketing and people are short on time. But I would come to your Web site. They will figure out the shortest way to get a lot of information. And what better way than a 60 second video or saw this video. It’s probably a let’s see explaining the benefits. That’s that’s the that’s the crucial I think better. It’s all about using your service or using your service or product and it should have a clear call to action at all. Management definitely ought to be in. Are you trying to say all
these other things. These are the typical steps that you use for having explained or beat your beat because of but they can go why. I mean the vitality is not the thing that you can decide on. I mean if it goes right at it. But if it’s a means to your customer that they will definitely share with their their colleagues their their let’s say frontside or whoever is CEO is something that is affected by the media as well. And you get let’s say like there are more than 1 billion views on YouTube that people people have like 1 billion views on YouTube every day. So that is so much media
content that people are actually consuming. Right. You can’t use this video is on email like via email marketing you can use you’ll see this letter you can how that movie deals you can have explained Riccio’s that starting October upside down you can have epic kind of videos. You can have videos at each and every spot of marketing people will put to the deal. And that’s why we see that video is sales accelerating too. So if somebody is actually attracted by your video they will go and read the stuff on the site. I keep an analogy all let’s see what we killer. So if a 60 second movie trailer is
very engaging an intriguing idea or prospect maybe local They look at have watched that type movie and I sent him a hall. It’s the same way here. If they like they explain or they will go and ask for a product or a service that will for sure. This is very you got to have like a detail beat you it can’t last like five minutes diabetic’s because the customer or the prospect is already. What he is getting. So you have the attention of all that prospect. This is how that animation video is looking right now.
Well I like to think about it too is like you know if it’s just like a traditional you know it was not a video let’s say it’s just a traditional sales letter and stuff you. You know there’s certain ways that I write sales letters and stuff and cupper to to make sure people tune in to read. But I have no control when it’s in print. You know I have no control over the fact that some people scam you know some people go to the end and day they hit the high points all cost. But in the video generally at least the ones I’ve watched You’re kind of a captive audience. Right you sort of have to watch it from start. And there’s no control buttons usually and so forth so you’re in a person who’s made the video
or at least in other videos about has has full control over the sales process.
Absolutely. You’re right. So visually engaging media is important but as you mentioned that clip art the copy of the video is the most important but that’s the heart of the deal. And both of them combined together and it creates the real magic at the con which are happenstance.
Well I think you’ve given a ton of value here today. You do have a really intriguing story here.
You’re doing very well for yourself. I know your parents are probably happy and you know maybe if people want to get in touch with you what are some of the places they can get in touch with the role.
Sure there are two ways. There’s my website that’s w w w dot our college dot com. So our that’s the better we are Kayla dot com right so it’s arke a duck right. Or you can be in touch with me via LinkedIn. I am there. I check you regularly so it’s link that slide rule. Golly. Are you at a and a and e. By night 8.
OK I had to write a if I. Awesome man. It’s been a real pleasure having you on the show. You’ve dropped some real knowledge it’s interesting to hear your story from another part of the world too.
I think it’s a very interesting one and you’ve done some interesting things to get your grow your company to hire people to find clients. It’s been a pleasure.
It’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me. I hope I helped a few people out there.
Yeah I think you really have. And for everybody else of course next week we’ll be back with another exciting guest. So we’ll talk to you then.