On this week’s episode of P Is For Profit, we speak about how your small or medium business can compete with large businesses with seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. We’re joined by special guest Arjun Rai, a marketing expert who’s using data science and artificial intelligence to help business owners grow their digital marketing presence. He is the Founder and CEO of Woofy, a platform developed to create a seamless, smarter, and innovative social media marketing experience while maximizing efficiencies.
“We wanted to support the underdogs to be able to have an unfair advantage when it came to social media marketing. We’re using a lot of data science, making it truly beautiful on the front end, so that your 10-year-old influencer that’s really struggling to launch campaigns, or even your new marketer to the scene, all of them could be able to use AI-driven decision making skills 24/7. It’s like having an agency working for you, writing content for you, and suggesting content based on what’s working and not working. It’s truly your best friend,” says Arjun.
We chat about data science and artificial intelligence, as well as:
- How Woofy uses data science to curate social media content, saving time for small business owners
- Research showing that the use of emojis in social media marketing actually increases uplift and purchase intent
- How to make your offline approach work swimmingly with your digital marketing
- The most common mistakes made in digital marketing
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Adam Lean: In this episode, we’re going to talk about how your small or medium-sized business can compete with large businesses with seemingly unlimited marketing budgets. We’re going to talk to a marketing expert who helps you grow your digital marketing presence using data science and artificial intelligence. This is P is for Profit.
Adam: Welcome to P is for Profit. My name is Adam Lean and I along with the rest of the team at The CFO Project are passionate about helping business owners improve the profitability and cash flow of their business. My guest today is Arjun Rai. He’s a New York City-based entrepreneur who is on a mission to help grow small businesses. Arjun, welcome to the show.
Arjun Rai: Thank you so much. And by the way, huge thank you for your team or whoever put the folder and the cup together. It was absolutely incredible to receive that package. And I think I received it well in advance, almost two or three weeks in advance of this. Definitely, you have a checkmark on the EQ side of things. That’s the first thing I look for. If I could hire you, I would hire you right now for all my PR.
Adam: Oh, man. Well, well, excellent. I’m not sure we can help with PR but if you need financial, cash flow, help profitability help, let us know.
Arjun: Let’s talk about it offline.
Adam: Sounds good. So Arjun, I’m really excited. You have a really good story. And I’m excited to jump in, especially to understand how you help small businesses with their digital marketing, using data science and AI or artificial intelligence. But before we get into all that, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background and how you got into this.
Arjun’s Entrepreneurial Journey
Arjun: Absolutely. So I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember selling something or the other whether it was, you know, furniture we’re about to throw away when we’re moving out of the house and I was seven years of age, seven or eight, nine years of age and I was selling, are wanting to sell everything for a quarter. I was very fascinated with the idea of selling things for 25 cents. Don’t ask me why. But you know, doing that, you know, when we were at an Indian wedding, as you know, Indian weddings tend to be very floral, you know, driven and so a lot of flowers are there.
But unfortunately, they get thrown away. So I started making, you know, turning them into almost like Hawaiian Garland’s and selling them in India at my grandmother’s gate for 25 cents as well. Having no idea that the currency was absolutely not even, you know, just based on the dollar and so having no idea about, you know, little things like that, but I was selling something the other. Really started, you know, getting my passion and communications advertising when I was in the radio after school club in high school actually. And that really know me, you know, started thinking about, you know, how do we do social media marketing, how do we do podcasts?
Ended up launching my show, you know, a couple of years later when I came to college. And so really started, you know, honing in on that industry. I love talking to people, interviewing people, much like yourself. And so as soon as I came to New York, I negotiated my way into getting a considerable amount of, you know, grants and scholarships that, you know, to be able to come to New York, launch an agency, focused on social media marketing for, you know, small businesses, not only in the US but also globally. We were working with people in Europe and Asia.
And, you know, that was a lot of fun for a freshman in college. Then figured out that, you know, running an agency is absolutely a time suck, especially if you’re a creative individual, taught me time management, project management, tends to be very linear. It tends to be very linearly driven and all the tools out there like the Trellos, to some extent is visual, but not entirely, or the Asanas and the Microsoft Projects of the world.
My team and I are like, we just give me a canvas and I’ll doodle my way through the project, right? So we ended up raising a little bit of funding from some top investors. First investors and Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and many other, you know, many other top-notch angel investors here in New York.
Built what is was known as Canvas originally and turned into Workbench, which is basically what the idea I mentioned earlier was a limitless canvas almost like a tabletop. You can move people projects and files and, you know, if you and I wanted to work on a project and you had, say, a term sheet, you know, I could swipe us together almost like two cups on a tabletop. And I go swipe the file, the piece of paper the document to you and delegate it to you.
So very visual way. Unfortunately, as I learned very quickly, we were too early. We were betting that the touchscreens and the projectors that were driven by touch would become cheaper and bigger, which was absolutely true. Unfortunately, two years after we ran out of cash. That was my first venture back failure and I learned a lot. And many of those people are still here, you know, supporting me that, you know, have giving me advice and, you know, good mentors. And then finally, you know, started my next thing which was focused on social media marketing but with an AI twist.
To your point, we wanted to support small businesses, the underdogs, hence the company’s name hellowoofy.com. We wanted to support the underdogs to be able to have an unfair, absolutely an unfair advantage when it came to social media marketing to get started and all forms are digital marketing, hopefully by the end of this year. So we’re using a lot of data size making it truly beautiful on the front end, so that honestly your 10-year-old influencer that’s, you know, really struggling to launch campaigns or even your, you know, new marketer to the scene, all of them could be able to use AI-driven decision making skills 24 seven.
It’s like having an agency working for you 24 seven writing content for you, suggesting you know, content based on what’s working and not working. It’s truly your best friend, your furry little friend, working with you 24 seven. So that’s the last 13 years of my life. Started, you know, or I guess more than 13 years, but officially 13 years in terms of venture-backed companies and tech startups.
Adam: Wow. You’ve done a lot. So Hellowoofy helps small to medium-sized businesses. And you say it’s the, you want to support the underdog in the world, meaning small to medium-sized businesses. They’re competing against these large, you know, big-budgeted businesses. So this, and it’s all supported by artificial intelligence and data sets. And this all sounds sort of complicated. So break it down. What exactly is artificial intelligence data science? And what do you mean by supporting the underdogs of the world?
Saving You Time, and by Extension, Money
Arjun: Yeah, absolutely. So as you know, time is money, right? If I could save you one hour, depending on how much you get paid or make an hour, that is the savings times the number of hours that can save in a week, times the number of weeks in the month, times the number of weeks in the year. That is a lot of money. We only charge $49 a year at the moment, which just comes down to 14 cents a day. But if I just set, you know, save you 10 hours of grunt work that is including curating content to post on social creating the content, because our AI as you start typing, it actually autocompletes for you based on hundreds of millions of data points.
You know, finding the right emojis that have been shown to drive engagement, uplift in engagement, in fact, and that research is backed by Adobe with their emoji trend report that just came out, you know, if I could do all of that, in fact, if I could even help you come up with the right kinds of graphics, right> If graphics, we’re all visual creatures, but unfortunately, most people think that they can just go on Google and image search anything and then use any image. Unfortunately, that is a really bad way to come up with social media posts.
You need copyright-free images, and then you need a means to be able to edit them and, you know, have your own branding on top of the imagery and then be able to schedule that. All that I just mentioned would take you hours. It would take your entire weekend, take your entire week. But don’t you have anything else to do in terms of running your business? Well, of course you do. Our platform takes away all of that and makes it actually pretty fun to be able to use and I was, obviously, I was hoping that we would be able to share that.
But if you take a look at on our website, if you go to hellowoofy.com, you’ll see immediately the first thing we talk about is how visual everything is. If you can think of a, you know, the Minority Reports of the world, or the Iron Man’s of the world where they’re navigating without touching the screen, they’re just dragging and dropping, our vision is to build software much like that, where it’s intuitive, it’s creative. It’s how we, as human beings, have been functioning since we were cavemen.
We’ve been doodling, we’ve been seeing things very visually. So in our platform, it has the same theme. Even the calendar is based on heat mapping. green to yellow to red indicates how busy your days are getting in terms of your content marketing strategies. There’s a lot of, you know, Obviously, capability’s built-in. To your point, it does sound very complicated, but when you start using it, all of the data science and AI just goes away. It actually just does the work for you in a very intelligent way.
And by the way, these big companies of the world, they have human beings after human beings working on campaigns, you know, dozens of them, hundreds of them, that you don’t have a chance to be able to compete with that way. If you’re purely competing on budget sizes and the number of people working in your marketing department, right? If you just have an intern or heck, you just have yourself, how are you as a coffee shop going to compete with Starbucks that just came out in the Wall Street Journal just a couple of months ago, and they said, the new CEO said we are only making data-driven decisions.
There is no shot, you have no shot at competing with the local Starbucks or actually 10 in our case, and every corner has 10 Starbucks in New York. So we actually take away that advantage of a big company. So now you have an advantage of storytelling. Being creative about your corner, your niche, your background as a coffee shop owner or a restaurant owner, whatever that business may be, you’re running, you are now competing on a level playing field with a Fortune 500 company. And that is the mission of the company at Hellowoofy.
Adam: Got it. Okay, so what are the actual wins or the benefits of somebody using Hellowoofy? Like, is it to like, what will they get essentially other than they’ll save time, but save time in doing what?
Curating Content, and the Surprising Power of Emojis
Arjun: Well, curating content takes a long time. You have to, like, when I used to run my own agency, I had to run around the internet, you know, the internet finding the right content, the right articles, the right publications. So that was step one, right? Step two was once I found the article and publication then I had to, you know, pull out a quote, or something that would be catchy and would, you know, drive, you know, people to click on it and actually, you know, read more.
Or at least perceived me as a thought leader of whatever the category or my client, you know, whatever category they were in, whether it was entrepreneurship or sports or music, obviously we’re gonna create, you know, generating content and re-sharing content so that the person or the client looks good. That is step two, right? You have to read the entire article, be able to figure that out. And then today, believe it or not, Adobe and HubSpot and many other companies have come out with, you know, a lot of research. Emojis are driving huge amounts of uplift. In some cases, we’re seeing 44% uplift.
When you don’t use an emoji in some cases you’re seeing 64% uplift in purchase intent. Literally, people are more willing to buy from a brand when emojis are being used. Now, unfortunately, I don’t know if you know this, but there’s 3000 emojis that permutations alone in terms of which two emojis will do really well with one another, which emoji will do really well with what you’ve typed in so far, or with a quote you’re about to share. That would take you hours or it would take you days to figure that out. We do it programmatically in seconds.
So that’s step two. Now on top of that, what hashtags will do really well based on what the images you’re about to share, right? When you upload an image, you want to make sure that you have the right kinds of, you know, images or right kinds of, you know, I guess, depiction of whatever you’re talking about, the right wordings and things of that nature. When you upload it into our platform, based on, you know, hundreds of millions of data points, we searched suggesting hashtags based on what we find in the image as well and what is contextually relevant.
Now, none of this is rocket science, per se. You, if you had 100 people working for you, you could get the same results. But do you have 100 people working for you and do the marketing budget to be able to pay for that? And so those are some examples. And then, you know, we’ve patented some of the technology.
Another capability that we’ve also filed a patent around is figuring out how similar is your content. Many people don’t, still don’t understand that terms of service for Twitter, for example, prohibits similar or duplicated content from being shared over and over and over again. Now, if you’re a small business owner or you’re a restaurant owner, and you’re talking about the same deal, the same promotion every single day, every single week without realizing that you’re setting your setup, you’re setting yourself up for, you know, failure, that is a huge, huge, you know, issue right there.
And we build technology that detects that and then says hey, instead of saying, you know, grab your, you know, grab your amazing deal today, it might say grab your awesome deal today, right? We’ll automatically search the word out for you or suggest other words and maybe other hashtags you could be using. All of that is just the grunt work you don’t, you should not be focused on. You should we focused on storytelling and running your business. And we take away all of that. And it does, you know, add up to a quite a bit, you know, in terms of grunt work and time suck, and we obviously take away all of that.
Adam: Yeah, so it’s sort of, like enhances or optimizes what people are doing on social media and makes it better and uses data to decide, you know, what, how you, how it should display on Facebook, or Instagram or Twitter or whatnot.
Arjun: Exactly. And we’re actually announcing within a week, we’re going to be going into the content marketing side of things in terms of blog posts. So we’ve already built autocomplete technology with the right emojis and, you know, hashtag capabilities for social media posts. We were thinking why can we, why don’t we take this to WordPress and Medium and actually allow you to write blog posts?
2000, 3000 word, you know, blog posts that will take you maybe an hour to type will probably take you 30 minutes because we’re programmatically suggesting the right words, making you look good, you know, in terms of the writing itself. And soon within the month, we’re going to be allowing you to SEO optimize at scale on steroids.
That is, imagine your, you know, your small business down the block suddenly being able to compete in social media and paid marketing by the end of the year and blog writing and content marketing. I mean, those are just three examples that we’re going into. There’s a couple of other products we’re working on we can’t really talk about, but stay tuned. We’re going to help every small business owner around the world take back their time and actually compete with an unfair advantage. We want you to have an unfair advantage.
Adam: Hmm, so important. So let’s sort of zoom out a little bit and talk about digital marketing in itself. What’s the biggest mistake that people that you see business owners make with digital marketing in general?
A Big Mistake Business Owners Make in Their Digital Marketing
Arjun: Yeah, I always see, you know, people try to daisy chain their social so like if they post something on Instagram, they want to automatically, you know, share the exact same thing to, you know, Twitter or they want to, you know, share that whatever they share to Twitter to Pinterest. You know, they’re all this like file, you know, formatting issues, or it just feels like it’s, you know, someone’s automated. If this happens, then that happens.
It’s just not a very human level conversation because people want to have human-level conversations on social like you would, you know, in person, but some small businesses just use software. I guess competitors, but not really, because they do do a terrible job in terms of helping small businesses. They just, you know, try to set it and forget it. But that’s not what we want you to take away from this conversation, right?
We want you to be able to use a tool like Hello Woofy that automates some part of the marketing but also helps you create fresh content on an ongoing basis without the time suck. Now, if you’re not willing to put in that much effort after we save you hours of grunt work, then we have an issue, right? But you really need to make sure that your content is on-brand, that your storytelling really effectively about your background, your product, the mission you have and the vision for the company. All of that, if you’re going to do it in person, you should be doing it on social as well.
Don’t start getting into, you know, a situation where you’re like, let’s just do the lowest hanging fruit. They’ll just, you know, throw whatever graphic together, let’s just throw whatever coffee together and see and pray that it works, because it’s not going to work. The companies that are competing with you, the, you know the fortune 500 even the fortune 1000 companies, they’re putting a lot more thought into what they’re sharing. They’re putting a lot more, you know, care into the graphics, the hashtags and the emoji combination, they’re, you know, they’re sharing.
So why not use a tool like ours to at least get to that level and then compete on, you know, on a human level and be more EQ driven. We’re also seeing a lot of people, you know, just go to google images and take you know, any random image and plug it right into their social media posts and thinking that’s okay. Well, you’ve got some major legal issues there. You got, you know, if your post goes, you know, goes viral and obviously, we want you to be successful and go viral, but then the author or the person who created the graphic may come after you for, you know, that success.
You know, you don’t want to be in a position to, you know, unknowingly use, you know, graphics that are not yours. So what we do is based on what you’re typing, we start suggesting copyright-free images programmatically. So if I type in, you know, I love pizza and Italian food, if you click on the purple light bulb in Hellowoofy itself on the bottom right, you’ll see immediately all the copyright-free images of spaghetti and Italian cuisine and whatnot, because that’s what’s relevant to what you’ve typed in.
And then if you come back to the main screen, you’ll see spaghetti emojis and you’ll see food-related emojis or other emojis that have been used, you know, historically with one another. You want to be intelligent and you want to let the computer, the system, the technology, do the grunt work and not get you in trouble, obviously, if you were just kind of winging it yourself.
Adam: Yeah. No, that makes sense. It makes a lot of sense. So what do you say to somebody that owns a business, let’s say they own a local Heating and air company, or a roofing company or service-based type business and they’re not really sure what to post on social media. They know they need to do something, but they’re not marketers. What do you suggest their next steps be?
If You’re Good Offline, You’ll Do Great Online
Arjun: There are so many examples in our own communities around the world that, you know, that will probably be related to, you know, something to the falling effect. You know one business owner in your town that absolutely knows every single customer, knows exactly what a customer wants, you know, as soon as they walk in.
That one business owner knows, you know, when to order something because that is the trend, you know, that is historically happening every single year in their town. That kind of a business owner will have a really easy time taking what they do in person and then emulating that on social. They will engage with the customers online when they ask questions. They will engage with them when they ask questions in messenger. When they’re sharing content and they’re sharing promotional offers, they’re not just going to say grab this now.
They’re going to say if there is any way we can help you, call us up for 30-minute free, you know, free review or, you know free, consultation. They’ll try to be as or if not more empathetic EQ-driven on social because they understand that they’re on a global stage and anyone can find them and anyone can say good or bad things about them. It’s not just in their face when they’re in the store. I truly believe if you’re an EQ-driven successful in-person, business owner, if I can give you the global stage, you would have the same level of success.
And with technology like ours, that takes away a lot of the grunt work when it comes to creating content, optimizing it, saving it in the library so that you can use it in the future and you don’t have to think about, you know, what you want to say in the moment. You could just go to your library which is completely optimized for you. All you have to do is just be a great human being a great entrepreneur at that point and actually convey the creativity you have and the storytelling, the capabilities you have and customers will come to you.
The good people always win at the end of the day, in my opinion. And if you’re going to be, if you’re gonna have the same approach to digital marketing as you do in person, you’re bound to be successful. And I’m sure All of us can relate to that one business owner in our town, in our neighborhood that does marketing really well, that does business development really well when you go up to them, that person is bound to be successful online as well. It’s just a megaphone.
Adam: Yeah, so that completely makes sense. I mean, to your point, if a business owner is talking to somebody face to face, they need to be engaging and relevant to that person. And so if you’re speaking to somebody on social media, you need to do the same thing. Engaging and relevant to the audience. And so that completely makes sense, what you’re saying.
Arjun: Yep, exactly. And then at the end of the day, if you’re really not a great human being and you’re not, you know, doing really well even in person and you’re treating social media as just another, you know, avenue, another channel to, you know, find customers well, as with anything you need to nurture the channel. You need to, you know, provide value.
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about jab jab, jab, right hook. You need to give, give give before you make the ask. And you really have to nurture each channel for a very long time, to be honest, and to provide content in. And that’s why, you know, Hello Wolfie allows you to automate some of that value add capabilities, but you really can treat it like, you know, it’s just a, you know a thing, it’s a means to an end.
You really have to focus on all the human beings on social media, all the human beings that come into your store to buy from you and ask you for advice and things of that nature. It’s just a global stage. It just magnifies what you do already. And if you’re not doing it, you know, right from the get-go, well, you’re gonna have about the same level of success. Or not. You could it’s a completely, you know, related to how you run your company overall.
Adam: Yeah, yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I mean, there’s thousands and upon thousands, even if a business owner isn’t just serving their local town, their local audience, they are still thousands of people that are on social media. You might as well will engage with them and not try to sell. I mean, I think that’s the biggest mistake a lot of people, a lot of business owners that I see make is they just, they’re very self-centered with their marketing. It’s all about them.
Arjun: Yep, yep. And that’s exactly what you don’t want to be. You want to be selfless in your initial phases of the funnel. This is exactly what a sales funnel, and you’ll hear so many people talking about it, is you’re in the awareness phase for most of your customers. They’re in that phase, right? They want to see the, you know, the two-step guide to taking care of their air conditioner and they want to see the two-step guide of, you know, how do you make sure that water quality in your pool is, you know, safe for your kids.
Especially people, you know, kids who are under five, you know, the chlorine level has to be on a certain level, or do you have certain tests you can give them maybe a free, you know, $2 test that they can run with their water sample. If they find something that isn’t consistent, can they come back and buy $100 consultation fee with you?
Which by the way, could also be promoted on your social media or in your Facebook page and your Facebook group. Facebook groups are really really good for, you know, keeping a very sticky network of customers around your business. I mean, we, it’s so funny, you know, some people in our Facebook group Content Masters by Hellowoofy, they actually are saying things like this is the first time that a marketing company is listening to their, you know, their customers.
The first time that a tech company is listening to, you know, feedback. I was honestly shocked because that’s how I do dinners and how I do networking events at home or in, around the city. I was like, this is how I’m going to run my Facebook group. I’m just going to let my customers tell me what they want and we’ll build it, right? And if you’re a small business owner, you already have that community around you. Take it on Facebook, put them in a Facebook group and continuously add value. And honestly, use Hellowoofy to automate that. You know, while you’re sleeping, you could be making money and providing value as well.
Adam: Yeah, well that sounds great. So Arjun, thank you so much. One last question. So if people are interested in Hellowoofy or just want to learn more, where do they go? What’s the next step?
Arjun: Yeah, well, I definitely recommend going to hellowoofy.com, which is HELLOWOOFY.com. So you can find all of our contact information there, you can find all the information on technology. But to be honest, join our Facebook group. That’s really what we want you to do is tell us the, you know, obviously, your feedback on using Hellowoofy or platform like that, which is, you know, obviously, you’re not having a great, you know, deal you know, great feedback from that, you know, another product and you want to come to our product because we provide a lot more value, a lot more data science, that’s great as well.
But tell us what is actually important to your business and what features you need so that we have a roadmap where we can actually build it for you. We want to listen to, you know, all of the small businesses around the world, how we can help and so if there’s any way we can help you, let me know. You can reach me at Arjun, ARJUN@hellowoofy.com, and we just want to have a conversation with you.
Adam: Wow. Well, thanks. We’ll put the hellowoofy.com and also your Facebook group in the show notes. Arjun, thank you so much for being here today.
Arjun: Awesome. Thank you so much, Adam. And if there’s anything I can do for you or your community, you know, let me know but this has been truly a pleasure. Thank you.
Adam: Excellent. So everybody listening, if you would like to see if Arjun and Hellowoofy can help you with your business, please click on the link, reach out, go to hellowoofy.com. Again, I’ll put his info in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, the goal of your business should be to make more profit than last year, and turn that profit into cash that you get to keep. Thanks for listening.