Founder Stories: Omar Deryan On Building OJ Digital Solutions
In today’s Founder Story we feature Omar Deryan, the co-founder of OJ Digital Solutions!
Read on for lessons he’s learned from launching and marketing his business.
1. Please introduce your business and share your role.
At OJDS, we started by helping Amazon sellers boost their conversion rate with SEO copywriting, and after 5 years of doing that for over 5000 clients, we moved to a more informational purpose, creating a blog helping people make money from online businesses.
Today that blog brings in more than 250,000 monthly readers.
2. What’s your backstory, what kind of challenges did you face, and how did you come up with your business idea?
I was employed in multiple countries in Europe, mostly in the sales field. But I wasn’t fulfilled and always questioned what I was doing and why I was there.
A vacation to Malaysia and Thailand in 2016 made me think more seriously about my life and the desire to become location-independent grew stronger every day.
So I spent all of 2017 learning about online businesses and launching multiple ones, including dropshipping, Amazon FBA, and services.
Lots of them failed, but eventually, the Amazon FBA business worked fairly well, but what really exploded was the demand for my service. Seeing that, I just grabbed onto that opportunity and kept on expanding and getting more clients.
3. How did you prepare for, and go about your launch?
At that point, there was no real preparation, it was all about execution. I opened profiles on freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr and pitched my services on Facebook groups and to course creators targeting Amazon sellers.
Doing all of that consistently was what allowed me to scale the business and build an agency.
4. How did you come up with your logo and the visual identity (e.g. font, color scheme, imagery) for your brand?
The brand is called OJ Digital Solutions. To be honest, I don’t think that it’s a good name, but when I started that, it was my wife Jessica and I (Omar), hence the OJ, and we were trying so many different things that we wanted to keep the name extremely general.
Once we started, we couldn’t stop, so we kept the name, and the branding colors are similar to Amazon’s colors.
5. Since launching, what types of marketing campaigns and designs have worked best to attract and retain customers?
Honestly, we haven’t done much paid advertising. Everything was from word of mouth, SEO, using freelancing platforms, or being promoted by course creators.
6. What have been the most influential brands for your business? Whose branding and marketing do you aspire to and why?
It would definitely be Amazon, since we’re in that space. Their branding is incredible, and almost everyone I know uses or has used Amazon in his life.
7. What are your favorite marketing platforms/tools?
Google is my favorite. We’ve invested in SEO, and we get clients organically from there.
8. Who or what inspires and motivates you?
There isn’t a specific person. It’s mostly the thought of location and financial independence that motivated me to keep going.
9. What are some lessons you’ve learned along the way that you would share with entrepreneurs hoping to launch or who have just launched?
There are tons of lessons I’ve learned along the way, and I’m still learning every day.
Here are a few:
1- Start with ‘Why’: Know the core purpose behind your venture. This will not only guide your strategy but will also motivate you during tough times.
2- Embrace Failure: Mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. View them as learning opportunities rather than defeats. Many successful entrepreneurs credit their failures as the foundation of their later successes.
3- Adaptability is Key: The business landscape is dynamic. Being rigid can be detrimental. Listen to feedback, observe market trends, and be ready to pivot when necessary.
4- Financial Prudence: Cash flow challenges have been the demise of many startups. Always have a clear grasp of your finances, minimize unnecessary expenses, and plan for contingencies.
5- Build a Strong Team: Your team’s skills, dedication, and cultural fit can make or break your business. Hire not just for skills, but also for attitude and alignment with your company’s values.
6- Don’t Overthink, Start: While planning is essential, avoid getting stuck in “analysis paralysis.” At some point, you need to take the leap and iterate based on real-world feedback.
These are just a few, but they marked me during my journey.
10. What do you believe are the qualities of a good entrepreneur? And what makes a team successful?
A successful entrepreneur possesses a clear vision and the ability to communicate it effectively, paired with the resilience to overcome setbacks. I think that a good entrepreneur should demonstrate adaptability in dynamic markets, decisiveness in their choices, and an aptitude for taking calculated risks.
When it comes to team success factors, the foundation of a thriving team lies in clear communication, ensuring each member understands their role and the team’s overarching objectives. Such teams celebrate a diversity of skills and perspectives, fostering an environment of trust, respect, and collaboration.