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[Feature Friday] Saksham Sharda on Good Interactive Content for Your Business - The ROI Online Podcast Ep. 61

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On this Feature Friday episode of the ROI Online Podcast, Steve talks with Saksham Sharda, about how you can provide an online experience equivalent to what big industries are doing, without needing to code or take on extra work for yourself. 

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Big brands are driving the online experience and making it difficult for small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep up. If all your customers expect a certain experience on your website based on everything else they’re seeing, it’s important to give them that experience. But how can you keep up when you don’t have an entire team on your side? By using business tools that make your life easier. 

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Saksham is the creative director for Outgrow.co, a tool that helps you produce creative and interactive content for your customers to make them part of the narrative. 

With tools like Outgrow.co, you can create quizzes, calculators, chatbots, assessments, e-commerce recommendations for Black Friday—without needing to know how to code. It makes your content more personal and clickable and increases your shares and referrals.

Saksham and Steve discuss:

  • Why Outgrow.co is relevant for marketers, and where does this “no-code” tool support the back -end of your system
  • How to get consumers to pay attention to your content and give you their information so that you can start to work on a relationship that hopefully, leads to a transaction
  • Easily converting static websites into interactive ones using widgets and applets to better engage your customers—and why it matters to your business
  • What data about your customer’s interactions with your content can tell you and how to use it more effectively
  • Why keeping up with big industries can help your business survive and how to do it without adding more to your plate
  • Delivering a unique, differentiated experience online by using Outgrow.co
  • The endless amount of content and products available and how to make things easier on your customers so they don’t get decision fatigue


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You can learn more about Saksham here:
Follow Saksham on LinkedIn
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You can learn more about Outgrow.co here:
https://outgrow.co/
Send Outgrow an Email

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Topics: Marketing, Podcasts

Saksham Sharda: 

I think like a lot of people believe that they have businesses that exist, but it wasn't due to some special talent they had like, it's like a very famous imposter syndrome. When people think like, Oh, we made something, but I just basically got lucky. So, you know, it's not that I was like, and I think that's completely untrue. I think capitalism works in a way that it makes you think that you have imposter syndrome and that you don't have actually anything to contribute or something like that, you know? Key thing is that you have to understand if your business exists, even in this terrible economy, like, let me just tell you, if you had to make that business 40 years ago, you would have a much easier time, you are where you are, because you have some talent to contribute. And to bring it to the world, you have to use no code tools, because just whatever you learn, what are the experience, you learn from running a business for a year, two years, three years, four years, like however long you run it for, use no code tools to crystallize that experience that you had into a service that is easily accessible by people on the internet.

Steve Brown: 

Hi, everybody. Welcome to the ROI online podcast where we believe you, the courageous entrepreneurs of our day, are the invisible heroes of our economy. You not only improve our world with your ideas, your grit and your passion, but you make our world better. I'm Steve Brown. And this is the place where we have great conversations with winners just like you while we laugh and learn together. Saksham Sharda, welcome to the ROI online podcast.

Saksham Sharda: 

Thanks for having me, Steve.

Steve Brown: 

So Saksham, you have this company called outgrow.co. You're, you've been in marketing and web development for a while, kind of give us a little bit, just a quick synopsis of what Outgrow is, and why it's important to marketers?

Saksham Sharda: 

So there's like a booming, no code industry. So, basically people don't want to learn coding anymore. And instead now we have tools that allow people to make things on the internet without knowing how to code. And at the forefront of this industry is a tool like outgrow.co, the company I work for that allows any kind of marketer, publisher news website, you know, freelancer or like big enterprises, anyone can basically go on this tool and make quizzes, calculators, chat bots, assessments, ecommerce recommendations for Black Friday, for instance. So anything you see on the internet, you can make it without knowing how to code using our tools. So it's interactive content, that's what Outgrow allows you to do. And I work as the creative director of the company. So I basically allow, I allow for creativity to happen within the company. So that'd be a constantly exploring new formats of interactive content that can be made. And I allow our customers to also be creative within the tool themselves, because it's basically a drag and drop tool, and you can do anything you want. And most of the innovation we've seen in the interactive content space has come from our customers, we have like customers across 21 different industries, real estate, marketing, you know? Health care, everything. And so that's where we think the most creativity, and that's what I do.

Steve Brown: 

Awesome, so somewhere in your backstory, you became very interested in figuring out how to do this, but you come from the marketing world in the web development world. But I think that one of the biggest problems that marketers face is how do I get people to identify who they are? How do I get people to stop, pay attention to my content and actually give me your name, and your email address so that we can start to work on hopefully a relationship, and maybe a transaction down the road? Where did you start to really connect data, creativity, and marketing?

Saksham Sharda: 

I think that's an interesting question that you've asked, because that was kind of the reason why we came up with Outgrow in the first place, is because I think there's too much information online, like we're living in the information age, that's the classification given to our age. And I think we're living in the late part of the information age. And now it's known more like as the misinformation age or like, you know, over information age or like disinformation age, you know. So basically, you go online, and there are tons of websites that are competing against you say, say you, you're a lawyer, right, and you want to get clients. So you open a website and a client ends up on your website, a prospective client ends up on your website, but he doesn't know how to choose because he has billions of other websites to browse of billions of other lawyers. So you can have two kinds of call to actions on such websites. So imagine if the button on that website just said contact me. Now in that case, obviously, you know, the the the person who's visiting the website, he has seen billions of other contact me button see he doesn't have any particular reason to click on your button compared to your competitors. Now imagine that there was another website, lawyers website which had a call to action like, see how much I can save you in legal fees. And then it asks you a couple of questions. And then it shows you over time your return of investment for hiring this particular legal firm. And all it needed from you was a couple of questions to be answered, and it gave you a personalized result. It has used its expertise, a lawyer has used his expertise in a widget to give you, in a piece of interactive content, to give you a personalized answer. And in cases it can show you over time how much money you saved by using this interactive content. So in a graphic and show you like in in the first year, the second year, the third year, how much money do you save by using this service. So this is a return of investment calculator that is being used. And that is a piece of, a basic piece of interactive content that we have seen businesses across the board use you know? HubSpot is using it the biggest CRM company, we use it ourselves Outgrow has an our return of investment calculator, that you can see, we've seen it used by lawyers by you know, a lot of other businesses. So that's one of the ways in which you can use it. And I think that's a great way to show because what the tool is also doing In addition, so when I combine this with A) creativity, it's creative, because it's giving you a particular value. B) every time it asks you questions, it's also collecting marketing data. So that's what data is coming in. So so the lawyer also understands what are the audiences, you know, the more people who take this further to understand you know, how much they can save in legal fees. The lawyer also understands who these people are, and so he can modify this, you know? Or he can change his service to like this kind of social dynamic. So that's totally possible. So that's how you read creativity and your particular expertise and data.

Steve Brown: 

It's fascinating. So you know, my, I've written a book called the Golden Toilet. And in there I talk about that, the sexy things like your tool, that help you stand out and be different and collect information, if you don't have a system behind it to take that name and email address and work them on through a system where you can bring them closer. That's what most companies do. They they work on the sexy stuff, but they don't have the back end to follow up and engage them. Where does your tool support that part of the onboarding? Is it, it's not just just a marketing asset? You can use it in a sales process, you can use it in other aspects no?

Saksham Sharda: 

For sure. So I think the primary as you're saying the tool, first of all, like off the 21 different industries that we have, I personally have seen that everyone has expertise in their business. So that's step one is that I know that any business out there has some sort of expertise in that particular, you know, industry because that is why that business exists. Now you use that expertise with a no code to like Outgrow, to build a widget. That's the first step you but make something interactive, that is fun, that is slick, you put it on a website, and that's step one. And step two is, you are providing to that widget through that interactive content piece, you are providing a particular value to the user, now the user will get this value in return for something, the user has to give you something and that is usually marketing data. Or in other cases, you can also just before providing the value in the end. So in the case of the lawyer, just before showing that you know how much she can save you in legal fees over time, or you know, giving some tips as to what are the best legal strategies here, but you can just get for free, he could just have a lead generation form before the outcome. So here they can ask for like the email or the company name or like you know, something else. So the user only gets the value if he enters his email. But with Outgrow it's also possible like, you know, we've seen people who make courses online, they ask a couple of questions, they recommend you the right course and before that they just enter insert a payment gateway, because Outgrow integrates with Stripe, so you can just collect money too if you want. So that's possible too. And all of this allows you to collect that data. And that automatically enters your marketing funnel. And that's key. So you know, the moment that email enters your marketing funnel, you can set up automatic email follow ups, you can set up email follow ups after you know, certain periods of time. So it doesn't have to be even like you know, immediately it can be like in a month's time in case the lead didn't perform a particular function. So you're able to do that. So I think the possibilities here are endless because the one step is just the creativity and the expertise. The other step is an automatic follow up process and data collection, which you can see in the Outgrow analytics section, you can see where in the world people access your widget from, you can see the data by geographies, you can see what browsers they use, did they use an iPhone to access it? Did he use a tablet to access it? So based on that you can modify your widget, if it's like, you know, to make it more suitable for a tablet if people were using it on a tablet, you know? So it's totally possible to do that. And we also have like a lot of integration partners where you can send this data and they can all automate an email marketing campaign, for instance, it's totally possible to do that.

Steve Brown: 

So when you say widget, you're, for the folks that are listening, be more specific about exactly what a widget is, and where does it live in your your business development system?

Saksham Sharda: 

So I think, again, as I'm saying, anything that's static on the internet or on your website, can be converted into something that is interactive. So a widget or an applet, web applet is basically any service that makes it easier for the user to like perform a function or to access a service. So you know, any kind of like, you know, it can be embedded on your website, it can be embedded in your email, when you send it to someone, it can be put on your Facebook business page. Nowadays, Facebook has this special option, where you can add an additional tab to your business page where you can embed this interactive content or widgets or applets. So for instance, on Outgrow's home business page, we have an ROI calculator, that shows you that over time how much money you're going to save by using Outgrow itself. So you can do that we have seen specially for Black Friday, etc. We have seen a lot of people use ecommerce recommendation widgets, which they embed on their website or their E-store. So for instance, an example would be, you know, see which sunglasses suit your face the best. Now, obviously, nowadays, like you know, you're going AliExpress or you like go on Amazon or like, you know, there are many cheaper and cheaper and cheaper options. But what is happening is that this is leading to flooding of goods in the market. So there's a lot of sunglasses to choose from. This leads to a choice paralysis, you don't know what to buy, because there's just too many sunglasses, and you can give discounts. But you know, I still don't know what to buy. Like, I know I can get them for 50% off. But do I know whether this suits me? I probably don't know. So we've seen people make these widgets that ask the simple questions like, you know, what is your face shape? What is your eye color? What kind of a beard do you have? What kind of hairstyle do you have? You know? Pick one of these options. And based on these questions, they and you know, they're also subjective questions. For instance, like, who's your favorite actor? or, who's your favorite sports persons? You know, based on that, it will recommend you two or three sunglasses, which it thinks is you know, suitable for you the best. And you know, basically what these widgets and applets are doing, they are performing the function of a shop assistant. So if you were to go into a mall today, which you know, nobody goes anymore. But if you do go into a mall, there would be a sales assistant who has expertise in selling you sunglasses, or who has expertise in selling you a makeup set, right, and you can't have that online. And that's why you need interactive content, or a widget or an applet that allows the user to have that same experience online, like you know, in your so it makes choosing easy, it makes them believe that they're choosing something that's going to be helpful. So that is how we have seen people use these.

Steve Brown: 

That's excellent. You know, as humans, we have this brain and I talked about we have this brainstem, it's called a body guard. And the body guard doesn't really process text or, or verbal stuff. But it processes feelings in, no decisions made until that body guard gives approval. And it's based on feeling. And so when people are online, especially now, what they're doing is they're evaluating from a distance of safety. They're not really exposing themselves to a salesperson until they're really ready until they've done all of their investigation. And so the the interactive aspect that you're talking about, provides an experience that feels like, Oh, you understand me, you know, I want to evaluate a little bit longer before I interact with you. Where, what does the data show about folks that interact with these calculators or these widgets? What does the data show by, how long do they need to interact? And then how often, what's the percentage increase of transaction or decisions?

Saksham Sharda: 

For sure, it really depends on like which industry you're using. So I could give a generalized data set, but I think it really depends on what industry it is in, in ecommerce, for instance, we have seen like really huge convergence, because like what we have seen, for instance, is that people scrolling down those endless products. And then there is a little widget that chokes up saying, hey, do you need help choosing something, right? So you must have had that too, like you're going down, like, you know, Amazon and you don't know which one to pick. And then you just have a little widget that helps you choose, because Amazon also has these ecommerce recommendations. So that's totally there. But in general, I would say there's a 23% increase in conversions, or a sale that is made is increased by 23%. And this is like a very low figure that I'm telling you, because I'm just speaking in general, but you've seen really high, you know, boom in this industry, especially also because of the Coronavirus, because everyone has had to move online now. So we've seen just really year on a year growth and like different industries, like even healthcare or like, you know, fitness, it's been massive. And we are seeing like, because I think young people are more likely to like, try out new things. So I think what we've seen like the biggest increase, we've also seen, among other industries is in Instagram. So you've seen a lot of influencers on Instagram use, for instance, fitness apps, like you know, so it recommends which fitness plan is right for you. So you answer a couple of questions, you know, based on your body type, your weight, etc, it recommends you a particular set of exercises to do or it recommends you a particular trainer program to join in the gym, it recommends your particular gym membership, you know, we've seen gyms do this, or like in case you're a fashion brand, we've seen them like you know, recommend particular you know, makeup sets or like you know, clothes, etc, etc. But the conversions have been like really huge. And even like for B2B Industries, like if, like I said, like the example for the lawyers. But in general, with ROI calculators, we have seen like literally every B2B business out there, they've started to use ROI calculators, because the key thing is, with business to business, it's you're more likely giving a service or a product that is not going to give short term value, it's only going to give long term value. And that is why to understand the long term value, you need to be able to receive certain data from your client. And based on that data show that you know how, personally over time this product is going to help you. So yes, we've seen like 23% is the conversion rate across all industries. But it ranges to like up to 75% increases in conversion depending on like what your industry is.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah, so the folks that listen to this podcast, they're their business owners and, in the US, it's very interesting that 98% of the businesses in the US have 20 or less employees. So that means that the owner of the company is having to do most of these different roles, including marketing, including designing their, their website, or at least overseeing the design of their website. And yet, they don't have the luxury of having an army of creatives, web designers, data scientists that like Amazon does, or the big brands. And yet these big brands are training their customers, their prospects in what to expect as far as the online experience. And so what's interesting about your comment about the no code revolution, is this is a particular solution where a small business can actually provide an online experience equivalent to what all the big industries do.

Saksham Sharda: 

Definitely, I think it gives a great opportunity to compete with these big brands, because you know, what, it's like a really, enterprise client, because we have enterprise clients to the point is they have to, like make sure that you know, if they make a widget or an applet or a piece of interactive content, it has to go through several departments. And if they're like, you know, if they're really big enterprise clients, and they have their own coders and developers, it's gonna take them even longer, you know, to actually produce a widget or an applet at the right time. So you know, it's a longer process for an enterprise and that's why the biggest advantage of smaller and medium business or freelancers or influences on Instagram have is that they can be very flexible. You know, it's it's a team of what 20 in a company and that allows them to really make something over the weekend. It takes you two days. So you basically go on outgrow.co, you go on the templates section, there are more than 1000 templates, premade interactive content templates that you can just customize within seconds, and you put them on your website. If it does, if they don't work, if they don't convert for you then go and use some other template. If that doesn't convert. I try to edit that templates to like suit your particular business. And it's totally possible to do that. So I think it gives a huge advantage because for the first time, especially like for this upcoming Black Friday, we're already seeing the amount, because it's the, for the first time, the big companies like you know, Walmart and Macy's and everyone, they can't, they don't have the advantage of having their big stores. So there's not going to be any physical shopping season, everything has moved online. So small and medium businesses are competing for the same online marketing space as these big brands. And that is amazing, because now they have, like, you know, this is a level playing field. So if you can actually go out there and show them a sunglasses widget that actually recommends them something that they think is helpful, they're more likely going to go for you, and then Amazon or someone else doesn't really have any particular advantage over you. So it's totally possible to do that.

Steve Brown: 

You know, I think about the challenge for, you know, entrepreneurs and business owners that now they need to have an experience online, that's equivalent to the big boys, so to speak. It's like, you watch American Idol. And you know, you have all these different singers that audition. And it's obvious the ones that've practice, they get invited to the next audition, the ones that haven't, they get dismissed, ruthlessly. And that same process is happening online. And here is a way when we talk about, Oh, you got to stand out in the noise well the noise is a bunch of the same a bunch of bland, unusual doesn't, it's, it's just doesn't connect with you. And so you go and look at a different solution, whether it's a better one or not. And so to have an interactive experience, helps you stand out, helps you to be memorable, increases your opportunity to actually have a conversation with this visitor.

Saksham Sharda: 

Exactly. Yeah. Because again, when I said that there's like an overload of information. Yes, there's too much information. But then there's also like, it's also late capitalism. So there's too many products like the the dumping of products into the international market by China is like a huge issue because you know, there's too much product, the prices are too low. You don't know what to buy, the quality is questionable. But the key thing is just a true decision paralysis, because you do not know what to buy from all these options. But I'll give you another example. Like where this has been really helpful in interactive content recently is, you know, when the when the Coronavirus came along. That's the worst phrase to use, came along. When the Coronavirus happened. A lot of like restaurants because I was in Europe and in Berlin and a lot of restaurants in Berlin, they were all forced to move online, because you're not allowed to go to a restaurant and eat. And now you have these big companies like you know, Walt and Uber or Uber Eats and everything that are doing the deliveries, but they take a certain cut from the restaurants bill. But so a lot of restaurants decided that they're just going to build their own takeaway system. And you know, you would normally if you're a big enterprise level restaurant chain, you can have hire developers to do that. But one restaurant, like you know, figured it out that that, you know, you can just do it using interactive content. So this was a restaurant in my neighborhood, and they look pretty distraught, like, you know, when the whole Coronavirus thing started, because they're like, okay, we're gonna lose a lot of money. I was like, You know what, I can just help you build the system on Outgrow, because it doesn't really take any time. So we built like, build your own burger menu. So like, it's like when you go into McDonald's and you see like, you know, choose your bun type, choose your lettuce type, choose what you what kind of drink you want, what kind of meat you want. And based on that, it gives you a customized pricing, and, you know, and the all that and you put your delivery address, etc. So you can just build it on Outgrow . And we'd never actually built that on Outgrow, before the virus came along. And it's just that you're seeing so much creativity within the software from users, from us, because the key thing we're trying to solve is like, our goal was not like, you know, are we gonna make money from like the fact that restaurants are doing bad? No, our goal was like, how can we actually help restaurants so that they can actually compete with bigger restaurant chains? Because, you know, a quarter of all restaurants will never open again after this recession, like after Coronavirus, like a quarter of all restaurants in Europe are going to go bankrupt. And this is what makes you realize like, as you were saying of small businesses in the US as well. You know, enterprises are also like in big danger because like if they don't adapt they're in big danger but but small restaurants, you know, small businesses have more of a chance to adapt. And we've seen a huge uptake in the number of restaurants that started using the takeaway thing and you know, stop relying on like, you know, Uber Eats and everything. So, yeah.

Steve Brown: 

I want to pause here just for a moment and talk to you about a program that we have just released called ROI Quickstart Academy for authors every day, I talk to business owners just like you who struggle with quickly getting their fundamentals in place. We want to create a great foundation and we want to grow our business. But the things that are in our way, our lack of knowledge about the specifics, we should put in place, what kind of technology, what kind of messaging and what kind of campaigns, and that problem exists for authors as well. And we just chill so good with authors because, well, I'm an author, and I understand everything that you struggle with, you have a great idea, you have a great book, but what do you want to do, you want to get your book in front of more people, you want to make it easy for them to find you learn how they can schedule a time to talk with you hire you for a conference, or maybe sign up for the services that your book promotes. So what is the Quickstart Academy for authors, managing working with a small group of like minded authors, and the experts from the ROI quickstart team, it's a great way to get your messaging clear to be confident with the technology in your marketing automation, and how to run a strategic campaign to get you more of what you want from the investment of your book. To learn more about the Quickstart Academy for authors, you can visit ROI online.com or click in the link in the show notes below. And now, back to this episode. So, alright, so the beauty of this opportunity that lies here for small businesses is this no code industry that has developed. I run an agency, and I've, to run an agency, you have to attract really good talent, but they can't be good at everything. And so there are all these opportunities where you can develop some unique aspects, that would be a great solution for a website. But we don't have the talent in house. And so I've been really investigating all these no code options. The problem has been like with chat bots, that maybe a couple of years, we started playing around with chat bots, but you still have to figure out what would the conversation flow be. And even though it's no coding, you still have to be a little bit intuitive on what the conversation is. Talk about, help us understand little backstory in the no code and what's developing and how, how it's really improved in the last couple of years?

Saksham Sharda: 

Well, so it's like, to me, the no code tools are now as simple as like a PowerPoint, like, you know, to make a PowerPoint, like it's even simpler than that. It's just drag and drop. So even in the case of a chatbot, you can just graphically draw, like, you know, if the user said yes or no, or if he picked like an option saying I don't know, or you picked an option saying you know, something else, you can have an entire chatbot tree of options as to where this is leading. So really, it's got like nothing at all to do with code. It's just like, you know, if he says this, this or this, if he picks, like, you know, sunglasses over, like, you know, a makeup set then I'm going to lead him here. So I think it's really, really intuitive. And it's really simple. And to top it all, like, you know, you just go to outgrow.co. And then if you go to like the templates section, there are already like premade templates for like 21 different industries for chatbots. So you, you don't even have to like think like, Oh, what is my user going to ask me? If I ended up, if he ended up on my website? Nope, you just go that there's a template you adopted, you change your question here or there, it's already set up. That's how simple it is, like we already thought out like we had, like expert designers come in and think out, oh, what will the flow of this chatbot be? What like how many possible directions can go in? And they've made complex chatbots and the've made simple chatbots, which are really easy to edit. And it just takes a couple of clicks to just put them on your website. So it's a really good start. And I think it's I know it can be intimidating, like at the beginning, like just to like end up on a website. And I think that's again, like the point of the information ages. There's too much going on, you know? No code trend is not the only trend and someone must be like, Okay, do I have the time to get into no code right now? I'm like, okay, like, remember, like, when we were kids, and our parents said that, you know, oh, coding is the next big thing you need to learn coding. You know, I was one of those kids, I started to learn coding, I almost failed high school because of coding. That's how bad I am at coding. Yeah. And I was just like, you know, and humanity has now reached a point. And this is the future where everyone doesn't need to know how to code because we are so good at coding that we are made no code tools that will do it for you. And so that is why I think everyone should take a shot at it. Like there is a seven day free trial of Outgrow that you can avail and I think the link to a 30 day free trial is outgrow.co/roi-online. Wait, hold on. No, it's not outgro.co/roii. Yeah. Alright, so just use that to extend it to like 30 days and try out some of the templates, if they don't work out, try out a different template for a chatbot or something else, I think the plans start from as low as $14 a month. So it's really easy to like, you know, just experiment with.

Steve Brown: 

So what is happening with this no code movement? Is, it's starting to reveal that in order for you to really be successful and to stand out, is you need to be able to think like a human. The industry is changing from I'm a IT, I hang out in code, I avoid people. But I just build this really pretty website that appeals to the algorithms. But what this conversation is revealing is that how important it is and how easy it is to start to reveal your humanity and how you connect with the humans on the other end that you can't interact with in the physical world. And so here's the place for human to human, to really excel, and to stand down and differentiate yourself even a small enterprise.

Saksham Sharda: 

Yes, exactly. And I think that's very important. Because the push of the market is not towards who's more skillful at coding, the market is more interested in who's creative, the market is more interested in who has expertise to contribute to their industry, that expertise is more important for the market, because otherwise, the market is just going to be saturated. It wants creativity, it wants people who are good, or they know something about that business, you know, a podcaster, or like a course like online course person who figured out something about his industry. And he doesn't know how to code, but he needs to, like tell people about it, or he needs to provide a service, he doesn't know how to code. And that should never have been an encumbrance for him that he doesn't know how to code, right? You know, that is something we can take care of like that is something the industry can get better at, like, you know, the industry can make no code tools, so that the person out there who can contribute to this economy in some way does contribute to this economy in his way. It is creativity that we are aiming for, humaneness, human connectivity, human skill. So the coders are no longer in charge of coming up with creative stuff. So we do not want the developer to think what is great for like a podcasting host. We don't want a developer to think what's great for like, you know, the real estate industry. I don't think the developer knows that because he really just knows how to code. We want the person who has been working in this industry to come up with new ideas. And the way to do is to just unshackle yourself from like this thing that you think you can't do anything on the internet, come to a no code tool, and just see the templates, make your own template from scratch, edit pre existing templates, you know? A good way to start is like, because I keep saying like you can do something from scratch. But a good a really good way to start with creativity is to go to an old template that exists on a website, and then see Oh, how could I improve this template? And you will think of so many ideas like, that would put you in front of the whole no coding movement because you could make something over the weekend like, I did myself like, you know when Coronavirus, tide started started, I made a I just collated the data from John Hopkins and a couple of CDC and a couple of other sources that were reporting the data and I just showed a simple calculator that will show you an interactive calculator that will show you based on your age, your pre existing conditions, etc, etc. What is your risk of dying from Coronavirus compared to other risks like you know, pneumonia or like you know, otherwise viruses or like you know, getting shot like if you're in the States, but so I was just like showing this and it just went viral like this was at the beginning because like people were like this was a new thing that had come along. People don't know how dangerous it was. Just understand the market and also don't take things too seriously as in that, you know, if something is happening, think how you can contribute to the discussion and conversation in your way through your industry. Like you know, another thing we did was like when 2020 like you know kept having a disaster after another disaster, after another disaster, to market our own product, Outgrow, we went and one day we just take you know, at a party, we got kind of drunk tipsy. And we made a quiz saying you know, which 2020 disaster are you? And it had like, you know, the wildfires in California or like the tornado and like the Indian Ocean, or whether the Hornets the modern Hornets. I don't know if anyone remembers? And then you know, nuclear the the almost war that happened with Iran at the beginning of the year. So we had like all Brexit you know, we had all of these disasters listed and we're like, okay, so everyone gets a result at the end. And this went viral on Product Hunt. And it really like brought our product to the forefront because, you know, it was just entertaining. We understood the market, we understood people's frustrations and we built something that helps people enter a marketing funnel while at the same time, you know, making them feel entertained. So I think, don't take like I think people shouldn't take like small businesses have the great opportunity to do this because they don't have to take things seriously in the sense that an enterprise, if you wanted to do something, you'd probably have to ask your boss and you have to ask your boss's boss and your boss's boss's boss. Whereas if you are in a smaller medium business, make something you think your audience will like, if you get your brand name out that they are immediately going to like, click on it, they're going to like explore who you are, if you like, just put your talent out there.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah, love it. So that's been the dilemma with all this. We're doing business in a virtual physical world. And it's there's a lot of things that we do naturally to create an experience. But we're inept or really weak as far as creating a virtual experience that feels good. That makes me feel understood and safe. And so I think that's really important. And what you're talking about is that even though you're not a coder, even though you're not necessarily a marketer, you understand your clients, you understand your customers, and you have a unique perspective and value that you have to offer them. And by taking advantage of these no code tools like Outgrow, then you can start to deliver a very unique, differentiated experience online. It's about delivering an experience that people appreciate, that separates you from the humdrum, just typical, click here to schedule a call.

Saksham Sharda: 

For sure I like I think, like a lot of people believe that they have businesses that exist, but it wasn't due to some special talent they had like, it's like a very famous imposter syndrome. When people think like, Oh, we made something, but I just basically got lucky. So you know, it's not that I was like, I think that's completely untrue. I think capitalism works in a way that it makes you think that you have imposter syndrome, and that you don't have actually anything to contribute or something like that, you know? Key thing is that you have to understand if your business exists, even in this terrible economy, like, let me just tell you, if you had to make that business 40 years ago, you'd have a much easier time, you all where you are, because you have some talent to contribute. And to bring it to the world, you have to use no code tools, because just whatever you learned, whatever the experience, you learn for running a business for a year, two years, three years, four years, like you know, however long you ran it for us no code tools to crystallize that experience that you had into a service that is easily accessible by people on the internet, the moment you make that service, you will automatically go viral, like you know, it will be just there because you would have brought your expertise you have contributed to the market and to the economy. And I think everyone's contribution is important. And that is why everyone needs to use no code tools, because because I'm excited, like the most the biggest contributions, the biggest creativity comes from our clients. Like I can't repeat how much like as a creative director of outgrow, like, it's not my team. It's not our developers. It's no one, it is our clients. I've seen them make such great stuff. Yeah.

Steve Brown: 

So give me an example of an idea that one of your customers came up with that you thought was so smart that you actually stole that idea and utilized itself?

Saksham Sharda: 

Well, one of the things one of our clients came up with this was like back when Airbnb was like booming. So this is just Airbnb just entered the market, like in the 90s-2000s. And one of our real estate clients thought well, because you know, a lot of people think like, you know, Airbnb, real estate's not going to sell anymore, you know, what are we going to do? Instead, one real estate plans thought that, you know, what if I sold property to people who want to Airbnb that property and not people who actually want to live in it? So they came up with the idea of a calculator that would show you, based on you know, it'll ask a last couple of questions, you know, where's your property located? Is it in historical, it's near historical site? Is it near a beach? How far away is it from a beach? How often in a day, in a year do you want to host for, you know, your property to guests? So it'll ask you a couple of questions based on data collected, publicly available data from Airbnb listings. And then it showed you over time how much money you could make by Airbnbing in your property. So it was basically like, how much can you make by Airbnbing this property that you will buy from us? So you know, so it was showing a great value to their property? Like, you know, so they were selling that property based on its Airbnb value, which is much higher than a normal rental value. So they were able to sell more properties, because they could show how valuable it would be to just get this property and just like leave it lying around, you know? So, that really went viral. I think it was featured on Trend Hunter, it was featured on Product Hunt. It was featured on a lot of websites with like 6 million different monthly visitors. So that was one way in which real estate company used it, another company that used it was an automobile company, which showed you how much money you can save by using a Tesla. Everyone thinks Tesla is an expensive car, but over time you save so much and like, you know, tax costs because you are contributing to the environment. So based on which American state you're in, you get a lot of tax breaks for like, you know, Tesla, you also it's very energy efficient. So you save a lot on fuel costs. So it showed you over time how much you would should save by buying a Tesla that in that way, they increase that Tesla sales. So we've just seen, like, across the industry, like it's, it's not even a joke, like, I'll tell you like the silliest of examples is one of the clients who wanted to sell makeup sets, and I had no idea like, you know, what particular questions you ask in order to sell makeup sets and, and he told me the color of the vein in your wrists like you know, under your wrists, the color of the vein determines what foundation goes on your face. And his entire ecommerce recommendation was based on that key question that you know, what is the color of the vein under your wrists? And then you know, it's it's again, like when I give you these examples, I hope like everyone who's listening understands that this is expertise these people collected over time in the industry, there was no way for me to know this, right? But this is, people know, these little details like ask the shop assistant who's working in your store. And he will tell you these details they've learned it over time, and all of this knowledge needs to get on the internet. So there is a force that is like, you know, automatically pushing people to, like, you know, put it on the internet and no code interactive widgets, and it is going to happen either way. So I think everyone should use it.

Steve Brown: 

That's interesting, the color of your vein. So when you use first learned about Outgrow, or what, what really convinced you and got you excited about the potential that Outgrow or the snow cone solutions offer? What was the one thing that really just turned you, turned your energy on about this?

Saksham Sharda: 

I think the flexibility is because the tool like the company is called Outgrow which is so it's not really static in time. It's constantly trying to outgrow itself, our marketing strategies that are growing itselves, the departments are outgrowing each other and like merging into each other, the flexibility offered so we don't like you know, as the creative director, I do not market products anymore. I market events as in the sense that, you know, the BuzzFeed quiz kind of model, for instance, you know? When we made like, which turned into any disaster are you? I had the freedom and the liberty and the non reliance on developers that, you know, I could just make this, you know, even when I'm a little tipsy with my friends on a weekend, we're just like, Okay, let's do this, because you know what, I know how to use this tool. It's like drag and drop, easy to make, made that it's my, I'm completely independent of the developers, I am free to use my creativity. And for me, it's like the best job I've ever done. It's just so exciting. I can make something, I can realize my marketing idea within a day. It doesn't even take a day. So like, you know, I'm always at the forefront of the wave literally avant garde it's like, you know, I'm at the forefront of the wave in the sense that you know, Coronavirus had just taken off and we managed to make a calculator. People were just starting to feel the frustration with 2020. And we managed to make something that got them to to take that frustration out. So you're looking at these like bigger waves that are going in the market, or like with the Coronavirus thing, you know? The, what, what was that? The restaurants, you know? People will like the restaurant owners around me, they looked distraught. And my immediate response was, oh, how can my company help them? And you know? And so we like we can help them with something that eventually ended up helping us as well. Because when we made those restaurant takeaway widgets and things, a month later websites like Product Hunt, and like, you know, all over the world. They started coming up for the Hackathon saying make something to help people during Coronavirus, but you know, we were already doing that. So by the time these website came up with these competitions, we'd already made these tools. So we submitted these tools to these websites and we were the finalists in the Product Hunt Coronavirus Hackathon with rich has like a 6 million strong voting audience. So you know, I think it's just being like, the ability to be free from coding is just it's just very powerful. And I hope like a lot everyone who's listening is able to experience this through no code tools, because I have experienced it and it's a really powerful and it really allows you to play marketing like it's a game and instead like your future depends on it that you know, you you just played that every trend that comes along.

Steve Brown: 

In my book I talk about you know that, the entrepreneurs and want to put everything at risk. And yet there's this mindset that we're beholden to IT, to sign off on our ideas or not. And it's like no, they're not, they didn't have you vision, they didn't put everything at risk. You shouldn't be beholden to their approval or disapproval of your idea. And so I love your message there.

Saksham Sharda: 

For sure, like I'm here to start, like anti developers war. I hope. I hope my product manager doesn't listen to this.

Steve Brown: 

So what's the what's one question Saksham, that you wish people would ask you when you get to do these interviews, but they never do?

Saksham Sharda: 

Hmm. One question that people should probably ask me? I never thought of that.Well, that was a good question. Because obviously, no one's ever asked me that. So probably that question. That's something I'd have to think about. I don't know. I couldn't just think of something off the top of my head. Now, it's just, already, like I think I already like I think you've covered like, really good points. So I think my main thing is, especially as a small or medium business is, is be aware of like how this is the age of the small businesses, like they're coming off to the big, big companies, they're coming like, really hard. The EU is coming with its anti competition things against Google. And, you know, Facebook, and everyone. And the reason they're coming is because this is the age like the German economy, for instance, runs on small businesses. That's why it's so flexible, it's so strong, you know, because because all of these businesses are able to do so much in so little time. And, you know, there's a good competitive environment and like, the Instagram influencers, who can make a billion dollar company, like, you know, fashion brands are now made on Instagram, like, you know, they, they're made and destroyed on Instagram, like, within, you know, couple of years. And that's possible. So I think key thing is play the game, like it's a game because the marketing game, it's just a game, like, you know, and the more you play, the more you enjoy playing it instead of like relying on developers or like feeling pressured by departments, the better you're going to do. So I know, that wasn't a question, but but playing the whole thing as a marketing game is, is a theme that I want to address. Yeah.

Steve Brown: 

Yeah. I love that. Because, you know, I believe that the invisible heroes of our economies are these small businesses. They, think about it they start a business, they risk their future, they put everything on the line, they risk their family's future. But what do they do? They create jobs, they, they produce services and products that improve our lives. And we typically think of businesses as these big entities that are corrupt, and they're over pricing and, and they're against the environment. But that's just a little segment of what's really going on. And so my message in my book, as well as that, these heroes, they, these tools can empower you to go around the big competitors. You can be scrappy, you can be creative. You don't need to know code, you just need to be using that creative spark that was in you when you started this business.

Saksham Sharda: 

Exactly. Yeah. And the experience you've learned since then, as well, like, you know, for sure, I think, I think that can be the general theme for sure, like stop thinking, it's an imposter syndrome and all of that, just just put it out there. And the thing is, like, you know, even if your idea doesn't work, in the process of realizing it, and a no code tool, you would come up with more new ideas, and you would be able to test it, you'd be able to measure, you know, whether it actually worked because there's an analytics section that's embedded into these tools, you know, so. So I think that's the way to go. And just use the outgrow.co/roii, and you would be able to like extend it to a 30 day trial to just use it through this entire shopping season that's coming up, you know, new year's Christmas and just try it out.

Steve Brown: 

So Saksham you've been a great guest on the ROI online Podcast,

Saksham Sharda: 

Thanks for having me.

Steve Brown: 

Well, I'm proud to have you. Where can people connect with you?

Saksham Sharda: 

Easiest way is to go outgrow.co/roii. Because from there, you'd be able to get a customized plan for yourself as well. But if you have any questions, just email us at questions@outgrow.co.

Steve Brown: 

All right. All right. Well, thanks so much for being on the ROI online podcast section.

Saksham Sharda: 

Thank you.

Steve Brown: 

And that's a wrap. Thanks for listening to another fun episode of the ROI online podcast. For more be sure to check out the show notes of this episode. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn where we can chat and I can help direct you to the resources you're searching for. To learn more about how you can grow your business better, be sure to pick up your copy my book, The Golden toilet at surprise thegoldentoilet.com. I'm Steve Brown, and we'll see you next week on another fun episode of the ROI online podcast.