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Faisal Amin, Co-Founder of Fruitbowl Digital, Talks Books, Influencer Marketing & Difficult Clients

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Faisal Amin is the Co-Founder of Fruitbowl Digital, a digital marketing agency based in Mumbai, that helps other businesses by creating effective communication strategies for brand growth, sustainability and better ROI (Return On Investment).

Fruitbowl Digital was born as nothing more than an ambitious MBA project, but has grown into a brand that wants to make its clients’ messages stand out from the crowd. Consultants Review wrote that “a user is bombarded with more than 3000 different messages in a day”, a statement that lies at the core of what Fruitbowl Digital does: uses digital marketing and design to send the clients’ messages across to their target markets.

For the past eight years, this Indian company has provided services related to digital marketing, from social media campaigns to design, search engine marketing, app development, email and CRM, and web development. They’ve worked with hundreds of clients, such as Hilton, Reliance, Paramount or Ted.

Aside from Fruitbowl Digital, Faisal has also founded two more companies: Co.Lab.Oratory Asia, a co-working space provider, and Kira, a retail ERP solution driven through a mobile application.

Read the interview below to discover Faisal’s favorite reads, his opinion on influencer marketing and his personal truth on tough clients.

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

I love reading and there are so many great books out there that choosing a favourite would really be unfair. However, ‘The Sales Bible‘ by Jeffrey Gitomer is one of those books that has taught me quite a lot. The book has a lot of commandments that have stood the test of the time and fortunately have always worked for me. Every single page in that book has given me the wisdom that has helped me become a true entrepreneur.

Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

Hegarty on Advertising’ by John Hegarty is that one book that will always remain special to me and I would recommend every bookworm to read it.

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

Execution’ by Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charan is a book that talks about decentralization and the fact that you are supposed to relinquish control to get things done. However, It’s one of the key learnings that most startups fail to understand. Luckily, the book has taught me great things about entrepreneurship.

The tools are always changing, but the principles remain the same. What books you’d recommend to young people interested in your career path? Why?

I believe reading is a habit that must be inculcated irrespective of the career paths. Below mentioned are a few of my favourites that can hopefully bring wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs.

I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

If I had a choice, I would never put a book down. But, given my hectic schedule, I try to read wherever and whenever possible. To be honest, I enjoy consuming knowledge in as many ways as possible.

Unfortunately, carrying a book everywhere isn’t possible. However, kindle makes reading on the go easier for me.

How do you make time for reading?

I usually read while I am travelling. Apart from that, I prefer spending my weekends with a book accompanied by a cup of coffee.

Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

I usually click pictures or keep a recording of things that are worth keeping a note of. In fact, I often end up sharing such informational things on LinkedIn.

How do you choose what books to read next?

I am fortunately surrounded by people who love reading. Most books that I have read and the ones that are on my list have been recommended to me.

Do you prioritize the books recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

Undoubtedly, business partner Deedeepya Reddy is hands downs the best book-recommendations guru I know.

What book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

The art of thinking clearly’ by Rolf Dobelli is the book that I am currently hooked on and I am pretty sure that by the end of the book i’ll definitely learn something I didn’t know before.

What are your favourite resources for learning to craft stories as a hook for marketing?

I rely on data because I believe that it has the capacity to move businesses and crunching data can help us come up with the most creative solutions for the craziest of problems. For me, most important resources that I personally trust would be journals, research papers and various case studies that are out there and are filled with valuable insights.

In the past years there have been two sides: those who say that influencer marketing is one of the biggest digital trends and most useful for your business, and those who say that it’s a bubble about to pop, because influencers don’t influence anyone anymore. What’s your take on this? When should a company use or not use influencers? Are they justified for a small brand?

Bringing in an Influencer on board totally depends on the kind of campaign we are running. If a brand wants a digital marketing campaign or there’s a new product launching then getting an influencer of that particular niche would work out really well. Also, in the end, it all depends on the objective of the campaign. While working with an influencer, we ensure that the objectives of the influencer aligns with the agendas of the campaign and the brand. Influencer or not, it’s all about creating a positive impact on the audience.

How do you spot difficult clients before signing with them? Are there any red flags that you watch out for?

I don’t know what you mean by a difficult client because I have never met an easy client ever in my life. However, we always check the financial liquidity of a client before pitching. Also, we ensure that the objectives of the campaigns are very clear to the client. For us, understanding if we are the right fit for the client is crucial because ultimately we believe that as long as we are happily working together with the brand, great things can be created.

Links where you can follow Faisal Amin or find out more about his projects:

All books mentioned by Faisal Amin in this interview:

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