The startup domain is a tricky orchard that has as much thorns as fruits. Despite having exceptional products and services in the market, many startups fail to get the attention they deserve, because the traditional marketers either did not understand the ins and outs of the startup, or they simply did not have as many resources to line up fulltime marketers in the team. Vanhishikha Bhargava (Founder, Contensify, a B2B inbound marketing specialist), a bright tech graduate who was exploring other industries before accepting a lucrative job offered by a leading technology company fresh out of collage, stumbled upon one such startup that needed help telling their story, and with business development.
Blessed with a flair for writing from the beginning and hailing from a technical background, she was intrigued to take up this challenge, while waiting for her final year results. To her surprise, she got hooked to what she had decided to do in the interim period and she decided to continue in this field for a few months. Thus, she started out as a solopreneur who would align with startups to help them out with marketing. Soon, Vanhishikha realised that the need was much greater than what she had expected, and that led to founding Contensify, a team that would have the same goal as her – helping startups establish a digital presence by helping them tell their story. “I never went back to the technology company I was placed with. I wasn’t building software, I was now marketing it, and that has been the best decision I have made so far!” asserts Vanhishikha.
Carving A Niche
Though the climb has been the steepest in the past couple of years, it hasn’t always been smooth. In the initial days, the client conversations always started with doubts, since Indian marketing agencies were notorious for overcharging and under delivering or over-promising and under-delivering. To overcome this challenge and prove Contensify’s worth, Vanhishikha decided to stick to a niche instead of turning it into a large-scale agency. She read, re-read and consulted with a lot of industry leaders to figure out a strategy that would help Contensify to emerge into an agency that is known for delivering quality and as people, they could relate to.
And that became Contensify’s lesson – focusing on quality and being authentic instead of chasing revenue goals or benchmarking itself against other agencies. “We never strayed to go for a wider term like ‘digital marketing’. Instead of the jack of all trades approach, I decided to stick to the content marketing speciality and nurtured Contensify as a B2B inbound marketing specialist with sheer focus on SaaS products, which enabled us to earn a reputation as an expert in the B2B category,” Vanhishikha recounts.
Contensify sets itself apart from the crowd by bringing together its marketing expertise and the team’s love for books to create strategies that leave a lasting impression on a business’s audience. The company doesn’t stop with creating a campaign or writing a piece to just promote a product or please the search engines, but uses storytelling to help a business’s audience picture themselves using the product or service. “This has worked beautifully for us. We don’t have thousands of projects, but we can proudly say we give our 1000 percent to the ones we do, and irrespective of who you talk to from our portfolio, each client has something positive to say about us – even if they’ve moved on a while back, the rate of which is pretty low too,” remarks Vanhishikha.
The Fruits Of Success
When asked about a moment that bestowed her with utmost satisfaction, Vanhishikha reminisces, “It was when I walked into a renowned B2B SaaS event held in India, wondering if I even knew anyone at the place. Since we had been running the agency at a small, focused scale, I wasn’t expecting too many people to know about it. I would network pretty actively on LinkedIn, but having your name remembered for your work is a different feeling altogether.” Personally, as someone in her early twenties, being able to buy her own house that her mother felt good vibes from and getting her father the bike he wanted and seeing him smile ear to ear, were like a pat on the back for all the hours Vanhishikha spent working and a nod that she was moving in the right direction.
“A doable tip i share with those i mentor to maintain a good work-life balance, is take at least one day off in a week and make sure you catch up with your friends and family”
It takes an entrepreneur a complete hands-on approach to nail the first few years of the company. Vanhishikha feels grateful to have a supportive family that understands this and the importance of her work, contrary to the society’s opinion about women-led companies. Vanhishikha spends more time on Zoom calls for work than talking to her family, despite living with her family and running a 100 percent remote team (since its inception), which speaks volumes about the endless hours she invests in nurturing Contensify. “A doable tip I share with those I mentor to maintain a good work-life balance, is take at least one day off in a week and make sure you catch up with your friends and family. It’s important to stay rooted as much as it is important to fly high,” proclaims Vanhishikha.
She further adds, “Entrepreneurship gets overwhelming. There are days when you wake up with an idea that motivates you. But then there are days you wake up and you’re a bunch of nerves, with a lot of self-doubt. No one can go through this alone without those that have faith in what you are doing.” Even today, when a slightest bit of self-doubt kicks in, her family motivates her to get back on track, right from her father Pratik who believed that she could run a marketing agency from home (that too after completing engineering), mother Monika who motivates Vanhishikha to target bigger and brother Vidit who’d make her huge mugs of cold coffee when she’s stressed about work.
The Road Ahead
Vanhishikha consciously grows her team at a slow pace to ensure that the writers hired by her are genuinely passionate about writing so that she doesn’t end up with people who think it’s just about throwing in some words into a doc. Besides following platforms like Zest, Product Hunt, HBR and Techcrunch to catch up with industry trends and practices, Vanhishikha also utilizes LinkedIn and Twitter to brainstorm with like-minded people in the industry. In fact, networking is a big factor in how she learns, creates partnership opportunities and keeps up with the industry trends. “We’re here to redefine what content marketing really is, what it takes to write content that markets itself, and that we’re as competent as the global agencies. We don’t want to hit massive scales, but we do want to set standards when it comes to quality, and we’re making our way up slowly,” concludes Vanhishikha.
Vanhishikha Bhargava, Founder, Contensify
Vanhishikha’s Degree In Electronics And Communications Along With The Internship In Optical Fibre Communication And Certification In Robotics, Got Her Placed With A Leading Technology Company, Right Out Of College. She Has Been A Denizen Of The Startup Ecosystem For Almost More Than Six Years, With A Vast Experience In Different Fields And Technologies. Right From Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence To Analytics, Automation And More, She Has Aligned Herself With The Best Of Startups Across The Globe In The Capacity Of A Marketer, Which Eventually Led To Founding Contensify To Be Able To Give A 100 Percent To Each Product That She Was Getting Aligned With. Today, She Is One Of The Top B2b Inbound Marketers In The Industry With In-Depth Experience In Retail And Ecommerce Segment.
• Favourite Hobby: Reading, Working Out And Indulging In Home Decor
• Favourite Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Burmese And Our Very Own South Indian And North Indian Food
• Travel Destinations: Indonesia - Bali
Word Of Wisdom For Budding Entrepreneurs
Don’t Let The Success And Pace Of Others Define Yours. You Do What You’re Best At, What You’re Comfortable With And You Decide The Pace And Scale You Want To Grow At. Healthy Competition Is Great, But Don’t Let It Change Your Decisions.
Vanhishikha In Spotlight
• Focusing On Quality And Authenticity Instead Of Chasing Revenue Goals Or Benchmarking Itself Against Other Agencies
• Instead Of The Jack Of All Trades Approach, She Decided To Stick To The Content Marketing Speciality And Nurtured Contensify As A B2b Inbound Marketing Specialist With Sheer Focus On Saas Products, Which Enabled It To Earn A Reputation As An Expert In The B2b Category
• The Company Doesn’t Stop With Creating A Campaign Or Writing A Piece To Just Promote A Product Or Please The Search Engines, But Uses Storytelling To Help A Business’s Audience Picture Themselves Using The Product Or Service
• Vanhishikha Spends More Time On Zoom Calls For Work Than Talking To Her Family, Despite Living With Her Family And Running A 100 Percent Remote Team (Since Its Inception), Which Speaks Volumes About The Endless Hours She Invests In Nurturing Contensify
• Vanhishikha Consciously Grows Her Team At A Slow Pace To Ensure That The Writers Hired By Her Are Genuinely Passionate About Writing