An Interview with Founder Deepak Shukla of Pearl Lemon

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Deepak Shukla Founder of Pearl Lemon

Meet Deepak of Pearl Lemon

Deepak has almost 10 years of experience in search engine optimisation and internet marketing. He started this journey by offering freelance SEO services before rapidly scaling and building Pearl Lemon, from the ground up. 

Over the years, Deepak has worked with hundreds of clients from start-ups and small businesses to large corporations that generate 7-figure revenues. 

Having featured in SEMrush, Woorank, Digital Olympus BrightTalk, Markedu, and more, Deepak has built up a name as being a trusted search engine optimisation consultant based in London and influencer within the industry.

As an organic search specialist, Deepak has been able to combine his extensive knowledge of optimising webpages for search engines with his entrepreneurial flair to help several of his clients to achieve their digital growth goals. 

Most recently he launched PlantSumo. A plant-based meal delivery service in London!

1.Can you explain to us how the idea for your business came to you and how the whole process kicked off?

After having a disappointing start to my 30th birthday back in 2016 I was determined to start fresh. I had a couple of failed entrepreneurial projects behind me but this time I knew I would be successful. 

While my marketing knowledge was budding since 2012 I didn’t know much about SEO itself so I started reading mostly. After talking to my friends, family and eventually actual professionals in the field I decided to go for it. I created Pearl Lemon the digital marketing agency! Now we have several awards and niche in SEO. It’s great!

I’m lucky I had friends to bounce ideas off of, but also grateful that they made me question things too. The only way forward is to reflect and learn.

2.What were the biggest challenges you faced when bringing the idea to market?

I think my biggest challenge was probably fear. Fear of failure is common for everyone, but I was also afraid of running Pearl Lemon by myself. I spent a lot of time looking for a business partner that I forgot that no-one will care about my business more than me. Hindsight is terrible and great in equal measure. 

It was bittersweet to reflect on how far I have come since I started in 2016. Now I know that I am capable of doing (mostly) everything by myself, but that I should keep my ego in check and have realistic goals for where to take the company and how to grow in the future. 

Slow and steady is better than explosive because what comes up, must come down and I will be damned if I don’t want to keep going up for a long time.

3.Where do you think good ideas come from and what inspires you?

This is what inspiration is according to Oxford Languages:

“The process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.”

This was actually pretty enlightening for me. I think everyone has inspiration inside of themselves, it’s just a case of identifying what inspires you and then running with that. 

My ideas come from the impulse to produce content based on what I enjoy and what I am interested in. You’re much more likely to produce compelling content as it’s based upon that which you have a genuine interest in. So that’s where good ideas come from. 

As for what inspires me? People inspire me, places too. I want to do more with my life every day – even if it’s something small – and that inspires me to try new things (even when they end up a huge fail).

4.What are your company’s values and why are these things important to the business?

My company values stem from how I am in real life. I’m super casual – our main comms channel is WhatsApp. Since my team is 100% remote and spread across the world, it’s important to me that we’re all able to communicate easily and without the stuffy formality of the typical office. 

I pride myself on having a female-dominated team. I’m also proud of the cultural diversity that we have and that I get to partake in it through my employee’s chit chat when we have our weekly calls. 

I don’t think of myself as their boss, I am perhaps a mentor more than anything. Especially since we started our placement program and we have new interns joining us frequently.

I think my company’s values are highest for learning and teaching. And that goes for me too, as much as I can teach my employees, I am also constantly learning myself.

5.What is next for your brand?

It has been fantastic to see my team grow, see the programme develop and help us change the lives of people around me!

Currently Pearl Lemon is branching into PR, PPC, content writing and development of apps. We have three SaaS apps in various stages of development (Serpwizz, Omnireach and Resumecats) as well as PlantSumo which is a plant-based meal delivery service in London. 

I’m continuing to get training from Udit Goenka, Paul Lovell, Craig Campbell and Max Newton to help me further develop my marketing skills, but I’m still focusing on SEO as the main driver for our success. 

I’m excited to see what the future hold and am happy with how far I’ve come since my 30th birthday.

6.What one piece of advice would you have for someone just starting out on their business journey or currently going through a setback?

I don’t have just one way of dealing with failure, I have fifteen. I think my favourite one is not demonising failure. 

From a young age, we are taught that to fail is bad. And yes, it doesn’t feel great when something we try hard to do falls apart. However, failure isn’t inherently bad. You can (and should) learn from it. 

Instead, we should be taught to celebrate failure because this gives us the opportunity to do better in the future. (Not to mention massively decrease the anxiety of performing well for any task you do. Seriously, the mental health of people would be top-notch if we stopped fearing failure.)

So if you’re going through a setback, that’s all it is. A setback. You haven’t failed. The world hasn’t stopped turning just because you made a mistake. You now have the opportunity to reflect on it and do better in the future. 

7.What resources and tools do you use to remain productive or up-to-date on industry trends etc?

In terms of productivity, I use Pomodoro. It’s a countdown for yourself. So I set a time to do a task and it gives me a sense of urgency to complete it within that time frame. If I’m feeling particularly distracted then I will use an app blocker so this way I’m not able to access any social media apps and any websites I select that would distract me even more. 

To keep up with trends I just read a lot. I don’t have a hack or tool for that. Every day I wake up at 4:30 am. Every Friday I dedicate time from 4:30 am to 10:30 am for reading and learning. That way I can always tell my team something new and have content to update my blog with. 

Industry trends always pop up without having to chase them, but to stay up-to-date with keywords etc., I do use Ahrefs, Page Optimiser Pro and Market Muse. They really have it down to pat and you can improve your content very quickly.

If you would like to include anything else about your journey, plans for the future or general information you would like us to cover, please include here: 

Just wanted to say that as much learning as you can do from other experts etc. you should never underestimate the power of Googling things for yourself. The internet has the answer to literally anything. Don’t waste your time or money on things you can learn for free.

More info on Pearl Lemon

Brand Name: Pearl Lemon
Website: https://pearllemon.com/
LinkedIn handle: https://www.linkedin.com/in/deepakseoexpert/
Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/deepakpshukla1
Facebook handle: https://www.facebook.com/pearllemonmarketing / https://www.facebook.com/deepakpshukla1
Instagram handle: https://www.instagram.com/deepakpshukla/ / https://www.instagram.com/pearllemonmarketing/

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