How I Started My Social Media Agency?

Vijay Paul from IZE Creative shares the story of how he started a social media agency

It all began with peanuts. Well, not literally but ironically.

Jan 2011 :
One month after being rejected at an interview due to hilarious reasons and six months to my graduation,  I was still very confused about my career plans. Except the fact of knowing what I didn’t want, I wasn’t much sure about what I actually did want. I was interested in becoming a web designer, but with very limited color sense and zero degree of programming knowledge, had a lot of work cut out for me (the initiative was going good though). Had a good opinion about my creativity and was trying out various platforms for it. That’s exactly when from somewhere I heard the term Social Media and after millions of Google searches (and even Bing!), finally got a small idea about what it was.

Feb 2011 :
I posted an Ad of myself in quite a few Classified Ad sites (an exaggerated image of the heading as shown below), asking for a part time job in either graphic designing or in Social Media. Hardly a week later, I get a mail from a certain doctor asking me to call him. Like all college students, with my phone balance lower than my IQ Score, I send a mail back with my number asking him to call me back.

And he did.

Dr Seby Varghese. A dentist by profession and a Social Media believer, he called me up and asked me to learn as much as I could about SMM and then he would give me a part time job he said. Over the next couple of months, in the free time I had, and sneaking in my friend’s laptop whenever he was asleep (that is between 2am-7am), I read everything I could find related to the field and the more I read, the more I got interested.

Fast forward six months.

August 2011:
With a bit of “Google taught” knowledge about SM and a chewing gum in my pocket, I met the doc. I told him of my plans of wanting to start as a Freelance SM Marketer (I didn’t even know what it meant!). So he appointed me, both as a designer for a dental magazine he had plans of publishing and as a ‘scientist’ for trying out ‘experiments’ on his clinic’s online presence.

One month later, the magazine idea was dropped temporarily. As I nurtured my plans of focusing completely in getting into the Social Media field, one day, the doc came up with a news. His friend’s company was producing a movie and the doc asked me whether I could do the SM marketing for them. Oh well, then was born the idea of starting up our company and doc said he would do the necessary financing.

When I put forward the idea to my friends, all of them were ready to help, till the date they had to join the respective companies they were placed in. One guy, Nipun C Parameswaran, said he’d be with me throughout. And he did! He gave up the job he was offered in one of the main IT firms in India and now is my partner, along with the doc.

Then came November 2011. The month when I met two people, whom I could literally worship because of the support and exposure they have given me in this field- Eric Weaver and Prasant Naidu. Eric, a veteran digital marketer, seeing my interest in the field, invited me to two conferences – SMSin2011 in Chennai and Social India Conference in Bangalore. Both of which gave me a huge boost-up in the field based on the people I met, the stuffs I learnt and exposure to the industry. And Prasant, well, ever since the first tweet I sent him, he had been so very responsive and supportive, I was thanking heavens that such people existed! I met him personally at Social India Conference and bindaas has to be the first word that came to my mind on meeting him! Seeing clearly that I was literally one of the youngest and least experienced guy in the conference, he was advising me on going and meeting people, introducing me to people who mattered and was doing literally everything that I obviously couldn’t have done alone.
No words can ever express the gratitude I will always have for these two awesome people!

I wouldn’t exactly call it a Cinderella story. A Cinderella story is when you arise from nothing to something big; we are just a four month old startup.

As I was having the cake during the post release celebration of the movie we marketed (our first client), my thoughts went to the peanuts a year back. It has been a good year. A year, that would be my source of inspiration for all years to come.