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An internship that’s one of a kind

How I got to know Digital Deepak

I have been a curious person always in my life. Seeing a plethora of connections happening in the digital medium got me thinking into what it is all about. At the least, I thought it’s great to know about the nuts and bolts of how commerce/trade happens over the digital medium as a loyal customer of Amazon and Flipkarts of the world. Like most of the people around, I attended a lot of webinars, heard a few podcasts in the course of clearing the haze in my mind. However, the digital noise persisted around me until one day I heard the name ‘Digital Deepak’ while attending Vaibhav Sisinty’s awesome LinkedIn workshop. At first, the name sounded silly (being honest here) and so I thought why not check out the person behind this and if all this makes some sense or otherwise. The initial video that I saw was about the basics of digital marketing and again I simply didn’t like the voice behind it. However, I liked the content that I saw. It was structured, well presented and looking neat. Thoughts about what I heard and saw were recurring. At the subconscious level, it kept me thinking about the concepts I was trying to understand and delve into the unknown realms of the virtual world. Of course, I did subscribe to Neil Patel’s newsletters but didn’t quite understand the nuances as it was not structured the way I understood about it. While going through all of this, I also bashed myself for judging the ‘voice’ initially and went on to explore and discover ‘Digital Deepak’. Here, I gave myself a chance to ‘Dig Deep’! Pun intended. 

Newsletter subscription and internship offer (social proof)

So, I subscribed to the Digital Deepak newsletter to keep myself updated about all things in the digital sphere. Every week I was bombarded with emails and thought he is also like every other person on the internet trying to sell stuff after signing up on the website. In stark contrast, there were long form emails about some topic with respect to digital marketing or some webinar being conducted, just with a single click to register. This kept the momentum going and suddenly felt the urge to learn more about all this as it was delivered in a simplistic manner. I could see Digital Deepak was so passionate about what he was doing and he had the relevant experience to complement all that he was saying and offered in terms of learning modules. And, another amazing thing that happened was I stopped attending webinars on digital marketing and related topics. It kept me wondering about a place to practically implement all this because until it’s put to work in the real world, it just didn’t make senses consuming rounds and rounds of information. This went on for a couple of months (from June 2020 and July 2020) when an email popped up one fine day calling for digital marketing interns. I thought it’s not meant for me and ignored it since I didn’t have any prior experience and thought my application would get rejected. Somehow, the thirst to get my hands dirty was on top of my head and so I reopened the email and read through. Surprisingly, there were no such requirements. In fact, there was a type form asking to answer some questions related to the current profession, past experience, background and how digital marketing would benefit. A striking point that pulled me into the program was ‘Learning by doing’. That kinda set the motion into applying to the program. Though I didn’t see any immediate benefits, somehow I was convinced all this will be useful at some point due to increasing digital transformations in the world around us, both businesses and the way people interacted. At the end, there was a comment that said ‘We will get in touch with selected candidates’. I had my apprehensions about getting selected but just went ahead with the application because of not letting go of a chance that came by. Ok now, it was around mid-August and was almost 10 days since I applied to the internship program. Just when I was losing hope, an email popped up saying ‘You are selected for the internship program’. I was quite excited about the whole thing but kept thinking there should be a catch somewhere, somehow. With more research, I kind of sensed that it was a paid internship program. What kept me intrigued was how come it’s a paid internship program for such a large pool of people?

While researching about the internship program I also did watch videos of interns of Digital Deepak giving their reviews about the program. One of the key common points across all interns was the pay-outs were real and there were no two things about it, in addition to the value offerings. Some of the interns also shared how they grew their business volumes or helped them launch their business through digital means. So with this in mind it only went on to reinforce the authenticity behind what was being portrayed.

It was around the third week of August 2020. By this time I got used to the voice I heard because the content and presentation kind of overshadowed every other thing I could complain of. Anyway, the date for the launch webinar was announced and I was quite excited about it. 

Launch Webinar (start of trust phase) and enrolment

The launch webinar went on to give some important details about the program (slated for 12 weeks and 4 bonus weeks). It clearly laid out the topics for the 12 weeks and also bonus weeks. A general idea about what to expect in the program by way of recorded lectures, assignments and weekly interactions set the expectations for the program lucidly. The vibe in the webinar was great with open interactions after the presentation to clear any doubts. After a breezy one hour session, we all got to know one of the most important aspects about the internship. It was a paid program in the sense that interns will pay an amount upfront (will vary with every batch) and will get reimbursed as assignments for every week are completed. If all the assignments are completed ~80% of the amount paid will get reimbursed as a minimum assured sum. There are also chances to earn more for outstanding performers, meaning they will reap more than the sum invested. All in all, even on a minimum assured sum basis, the program offers extraordinary value. On top of it, there are so many other freebies and other discounted stuff you can get as tools to use through the digital marketing journey. So, I went ahead and enrolled for the program and was too excited for the classes to start.

Program starts and the journey begins (a transformational one….)    

By the end of August, the program kick started with a long form email from Deepak. It was almost a 5-7 pages document that mapped out the house rules of the interns and the program in detail. Reading that itself provided a glimpse of the orientation needed to take up the program.

Another pertinent point is about the learning management system (LMS). That is the core where all the videos were uploaded and assignments were to be submitted. In addition to this, a google sheet enlisting all links and resources were uploaded to make the onboarding quite easy. Also, a Telegram group was created to engage with the other interns and also to post important updates and communication. A guided live webinar was also in place to take us through the various applications we were to use during the course of the program. All this was done by Kamna Jain, the program coordinator in charge, quite ably and with a lot of patience. All in all, the stage was set for the roll out. In the next few paragraphs I give you a gist of a week by week review and learnings:

Week 1 Success Mindset

This week started with an off topic. Something not related to either digital or marketing. However, this planted a critical thought in one’s mind about how to approach life progress in terms of upgrading skills from time to time and to draw a kind of road map. Also, it helped understand one’s personality type with a series of online tests. It rather provided a perfect platform to think critically, reflect on the past and take a stock of skill set. From there, it opened up various avenues for self-growth. Digital Deepak explained his own life experiences and how he achieved the state which he is in today. Overall, it was time create a Version 2.0 of yourself and thus began the transformation.

Week 2 Marketing Fundamentals

As a non-marketer myself, this week gave me a peek into the basics, what’s the difference between marketing, advertising and copywriting, building a string brand, importance of communication skills, basics of global economics and traditional vs. direct marketing. The examples given were quite apt regarding the category and sub category leaders, niche search engines and about having an unique angle to your point of views. With regard to communication skills what I liked was about writing simple sentences and encouraging to write the way you talk. Thinking in English is what I have adopted from this style of writing. This has also helped me understand target audience better in terms of identifying and delivering content. CATT technique is something unique that I also liked in this week. To read a detailed review of Week2 go through the blog below:

Week 3 Discovering your profitable niche

This week is about finding your area of expertise and coming up with a unique offering. To explain it in terms of Venn diagram, it’s the common area where talent merges with passion and more importantly these two merges with the market for the same. To find out the same, we were asked to reflect on our early years as kids and what piqued our interests…be it music, sports, maths or any other interest area that we had a natural inclination to. Once the niche was discovered, we were asked to write the top 5 influencers, books and blogs in the same. After this, we came up with a customer avatar and top 10 keyword searches using various tools on internet. It ended with coming up with ideas and positioning your services in the market to the right people.

Week 4 Creating your wordpress blog

I cherish this week’s process because this is your launch pad into the world of internet. Though in week 1 we were asked to write blogs using wordpress, medium, LinkedIn, this even took it a step further. This also meant coming across some complex terms such as hosting, domain names, servers etc… Anyway, it got simplistic because of the excellent explanation video by Kamna and also the help from fellow interns. The self-hosted website was up and running (I saw myself delving into the world of UX a bit!) and we also set up a Google Analytics and Google Search Consoles. For the first time it was feeling a lot REAL!

Week 5 Becoming the King of Content

This week opened up my mind into the world of content from creating mind maps for blog posts and converting the same into a video post (unbelievable) that I did myself. After this, we went on to creating an editorial calendar to publish our content. We were also shown tools on how to do competitor research who do good work in niche we operate in. Then came the Mass trust blueprint that completely leverages your personal brand from how you can consult, mentor and also start-up on your own. Finally, we also came up with an outline for a book to be published in future (seriously it got me thinking to write at least a playbook of sorts). That was a great push indeed!!! Also, repurposing content is something I learnt in this week.

Week 6 Social Media and Network mastery

1000 true fans—that was the target set in this week. This is the first time I heard to establish a personal brand, you will need your own tribe. So, the audience and message is important that builds on getting the right mindset and establishing a progressive culture. So, I did a webinar on an interest topic and also created a telegram group for my niche audience. I never thought of doing a webinar and all anyday but yes it felt great after doing it.

Week 7 Lead generation and email marketing

This is where I was introduced to the world of B2B and B2C lead creation and generation, email marketing and designing landing pages. I just thought its insane to get cold call people and was hesitant at first. After a lot of self-debates, I did reach out by cold mailing my target set of audience. I could convert three of them into a business pipeline within 5-7 days and was thoroughly astonished by what I underwent. An important learning here: ‘Without asking for it, nothing gets done”!

Week 8 Mastering Facebook Ads

I have seen ads on Facebook but this week I was sitting on the other side running Ads. From installing Facebook pixels, running conversion optimised ads this week taught how to target audience on Facebook using given tools. A key learning here was how to run a custom conversion vs. normal campaign. Though this is not my area of interest, it gave me a surface level learning that’s beneficial.

Week 9 Mastering Google Ads

Same like Facebook Ads, we just touched upon a few fundamentals. That itself was an eye opener of sorts. From creating a google ad account, deploying a google conversion tracking code, to creating first audience segment on Google Ads and running a search campaign to coming up with a display campaign was a nice trip into the world of Google Ads. As I said, it’s quite a deep topic but this week’s learning is just sufficient for you to get started.

Week 10 Search Engine Optimisation

This is one of my favourite topics and am building my expertise on the same. Since this is a dynamic topic that makes you guessing what kind of algos that google runs to rank pages, it’s kind of a mystery box and a puzzle you need to keep solving on a regular basis. Key learnings were custom title, meta description, publishing a SEO optimised blog, using Ahref webmaster tools and creating backlinks. I will be posting a detailed post on my learnings from the SEO week soon. Overall, a fantastic week!

Week 11 Week 12:

I am yet to undergo these two week’s training. I will be updating the same at a later date.  

Concluding thoughts

Throughout the journey, Digital Deepak showed real time proofs of how he set up landing pages, Google search consoles, Google Analytics account and many other more concepts. It was as though we saw a complete picture of behind the scenes of Pixel track (his company) website and the campaigns they were running.

Another important consideration is that the topics covered in this internship is rather wide. However, it’s important to first get the basics of all these things and build your expertise on one of two topics. So, either a T-shaped expertise or V-shaped expertise. I am building my expertise in content strategy, SEO and WordPress.

And, whoever thought doing assignments is not their cuppa, you should try this out. That’s because after the assignment is released on the LMS a live video webinar is held during the week itself for about 1 hour to make interns understand how to go about doing the same and any questions were clarified then and there. If someone could not attend the same, a recording was available to see it at a future date. So, just overcome the fear of doing assignments and think about it as a joyful ride of learnings and doing.

Overall, a highly recommended program that’s not to be missed. Even if you are not an aspiring Digital Marketer, going through this program gives a superb insights into the Digital world of things!

To enroll into the Digital Deepak internship program, do click the link below:

https://surveyninja.typeform.com/to/bhZ6w2m3#ref=445

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Ramnath Sundar
Articles: 19

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