Can you briefly introduce yourself and describe your journey as an entrepreneur? What made you take the plunge into entrepreneurship and what were some of the key milestones along the way?
I am Sonya Trivedi, Founder and CEO of Adithana Marketing, a digital consultancy specializing in AI-powered marketing solutions for the B2B and tech sectors. We currently have over 50 successful projects in our portfolio and have had the opportunity to work with companies across Europe, the United States, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Australia.
My professional journey started over 15 years ago as a journalist for a Bulgarian newspaper, an affiliate of the Financial Times. Since then, I have dedicated myself to empowering organizations with innovative marketing and growth strategies, compelling content, engaging brand narratives, and a dynamic social media presence. Throughout my career, I have always been intrigued by entrepreneurship and finding new ways to work independently while adding great value to my clients.
Looking back at my earliest entrepreneurial endeavors, I should mention starting my first blog, “Everything in Marketing,” over seven years ago. I still vividly remember the first opportunity that came through that platform. It was to sell a marketing course for an affiliate commission of $500. This experience was great! As I am really passionate about what I do, I ventured into entrepreneurship because I saw an opportunity to use my marketing expertise to help more companies grow their businesses.
Looking back on your entrepreneurial career, what are the three most important lessons you learned that you think every aspiring entrepreneur should know?
If I had to tell you the keys to success, I would say it all starts with perseverance. It’s like running a marathon – it’s not always easy, but if you love what you do, you’ll find the strength to keep going.
The next point is lifelong learning. Especially in marketing and new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, you must stay curious and proactive to stay ahead of the game. That’s how you ensure you always do your best for your customers and partners.
And the last point will not surprise you – it’s about your network. As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” Focus on making real contacts, and you’ll have a network to lean on as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey.
It’s like running a marathon – it’s not always easy, but if you love what you do, you’ll find the strength to keep going.
Starting a business often means taking risks. How do you assess the risks in your ventures, and how do you deal with them? What advice do you have for entrepreneurs on how to deal with uncertainty?
Starting my entrepreneurial journey in 2019 (just before COVID-19) certainly brought unforeseen challenges. In such times, unwavering belief in one’s mission and resilience to weather the storm is critical. During this time, we began to actively engage with digital communities, which eventually led us to our first major project in the US market with Google Assistant. My advice to other entrepreneurs is to embrace risk instead of fearing it. Every risk is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and expand in new directions. In the landscape of entrepreneurship, risk is often synonymous with growth potential.
Building a strong network is critical for entrepreneurs. What strategies have you used throughout your career to build meaningful connections and partnerships? How has networking contributed to your success?
I have always considered myself a relationship builder, a trait that is indispensable to our company’s work. I cultivate relationships instinctively and have been fortunate to build meaningful relationships relatively quickly. If I had to sum this up in key principles, they would be transparency, active listening, and authenticity. While it may be difficult to truly implement these values at first, they lay the foundation for more sustainable relationships in the long run.
To build meaningful relationships you need key principles: transparency, active listening, and authenticity.
In fact, networking has been a major contributor to my success, and I strongly believe that it is important to continuously nurture these relationships throughout your career. One example that comes to mind is our first client, who happened to be my former employer. We maintained excellent communication over the years, which led him to support my new company, something I still appreciate to this day.
One of the challenges for many entrepreneurs is finding the right balance between innovation and market demand. How do you approach this balance, and what steps do you take to ensure that your products/services meet the needs of the market?
In our case, the market demand has always been there. Thanks to my background, I was able to understand the unique needs and requirements of technology companies, which has helped us respond to our customers’ needs well to this day.
When it comes to innovation, it’s a balancing act. Sometimes innovation is a desirable goal, other times, it’s a wave taking the industry by storm, and you find yourself forced to ride it.
That’s exactly what we are seeing today with the AI revolution. At Adithana Marketing, we believe AI will bring immense benefits to marketing and drive the industry forward. Our goal, therefore, is to stay ahead of this innovative curve by being among the pioneers in efficiently implementing АI for marketing and helping our clients maximize the results of their marketing activities.
AI will bring immense benefits to marketing and drive the industry forward.
If you attend the PIRATE Summit this year, you are welcome to participate in my workshop, “The Future of Marketing is AI or Obsolete.” We will talk about different applications of AI in marketing and how to find the best use case to start in your company. From content creation, SEO, and sales, to customer support, ads optimization, and more – all these areas will be impacted by AI. Google is already considering supercharging Search with Generative AI, while ChatGPT now has over 400 plugins that help create a whole ecosystem around this unique technology. Every marketer, start-up entrepreneur, or established business leader can benefit from knowing these powerful tools and leveraging their abilities to achieve better business results.
Scaling a business requires effective leadership and team management. What leadership skills do you think are essential to leading a successful team, and how do you foster a positive work culture in your company?
Leadership requires empathy, clear communication, and the ability to inspire and motivate. In our values, we have Kaizen, a Japanese concept that means continuous improvement. I also believe that an exceptional leader should be able to provide constructive feedback, encourage two-way communication, foster a growth mindset and consistently promote the professional development of each team member.
Leadership requires empathy, clear communication, and the ability to inspire and motivate.
In your experience, what are the most effective marketing and branding strategies for early-stage startups? How can entrepreneurs make the most of their limited resources to increase awareness and attract customers?
Let me start with our strength – AI. Leveraging AI can lead to remarkable efficiencies in all areas of a business. As an example, we were hired by a startup company in the US to launch their brand. Thanks to the effective use of AI, we did this in less than two weeks – including developing the website, logo, messaging, brochure, and LinkedIn profile. If you decide to leverage this emerging technology, I would advise hiring a tech-savvy marketing partner to guide you through the steps. But, the days when this was a lengthy process are over.
Financial management is critical to the sustainability and growth of a business. What financial practices or strategies have you found most useful in managing cash flow, securing financing, and making sound financial decisions?
As an early-stage startup, keeping a close eye on your expenses is essential. Avoid overspending and be strategic with your cash flow and investments. I personally meet regularly with our finance team to assess our financial position and make necessary budget adjustments in line with the financial goals we have achieved. It’s important to think a few steps ahead and consider what can drive your business growth.
Avoid overspending and be strategic with your cash flow and investments.
If you are confident in your idea and have a solid business model, you may want to wait a bit before seeking funding. The stronger your startup is, the higher the valuation it will attract, leading to potentially better funding opportunities. Postponing external funding also allows you to retain control of your business, which can be beneficial in the long run.
Many entrepreneurs experience setbacks and failures along the way. Can you give us a specific example where you encountered a major challenge or failure and how you overcame it? What lessons did you learn from this experience?
In the early days of Adithana Marketing, we decided to venture into a new niche (corporate training) and offer customized master classes for technology companies. Although we received fantastic feedback from participants and had a well-designed program, it proved unsustainable from a business perspective. Unfortunately, we lacked the necessary resources to expand the project and were forced to discontinue it.
While this experience was challenging, it was also a valuable learning opportunity that provided me with insights into human behavior and business dynamics. It was difficult to discontinue the project, especially given the passion and commitment that went into its creation. We have been able to help numerous promising small businesses build their content and storytelling strategies. The key takeaway of the story goes back to the basic principles of business – to make a lasting impact, you must first establish solid business fundamentals. Focusing on the needs of your target audience, understanding your market, and generating value is paramount. If these aspects are managed well, financial success is likely to follow.
As an experienced entrepreneur, what advice would you give someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey? What are the key factors or habits that contribute to long-term success in the business world?
As I mentioned earlier, persistence is key. If you want to start something now in this very turbulent and dynamic world we live in, focus on the long-term game. Iterate as needed and make sure you know your “Why.” If you have a strong “Why,” challenges will not be able to break your spirit. There is no such thing as overnight success; achieving your goals requires relentless hard work and focus.
Persistence is key for success.
Furthermore, while it is essential to believe in your idea, it is equally important not to fall so in love with it that you ignore market demands. Keep an open mind, be adaptable, and be willing to iterate based on the feedback of your target audience. It is often the best guide to ensure that the evolution of your idea is in line with real demand.
Technology and digital transformation have revolutionized several industries. How have you used technology in your business, and what new trends do you think entrepreneurs should keep an eye on in the coming years?
Technology, especially AI, is what we live and breathe every day. At Adithana Marketing, we leverage emerging technologies to help small and medium-sized businesses strengthen their marketing efforts and achieve a better return on investment (ROI). We offer comprehensive support, from the development of AI-powered marketing and content strategies to their implementation across digital channels. We are passionate about AI and its potential to transform the marketing landscape and increase our clients’ impact and success.
Finally, can you tell us about recommended resources, such as books, websites, or communities that have been valuable to you as an entrepreneur? How do you keep up with industry trends and continue to learn and evolve?
I recommend that new entrepreneurs listen to Steve Jobs’ famous commencement speech at Stanford. Reading his biography would also be very valuable. In addition, it is beneficial to follow media platforms such as TechCrunch and the Harvard Business Review to stay up-to-date with industry insights. Personally, I actively attend industry conferences and webinars and am a member of several professional networks and communities in the digital marketing and AI space. These platforms provide invaluable learning opportunities for fellow entrepreneurs and other marketing professionals.
Finally, never underestimate the lessons you learn from your own experiences. Analyze every situation that comes your way and draw meaningful conclusions. After all, we know that life itself is the greatest teacher.
In her workshop “The Future of Marketing Is AI or Obsolete” she will explore the future of marketing, with a specific focus on how artificial intelligence can be harnessed to elevate your business strategies.
Sonya will examine the best AI-powered marketing use cases and discuss innovative tools that can significantly improve your efficiency. She will share practical tips on identifying and implementing the most suitable AI use case for your business.
Beyond her professional life, Sonya finds immense joy in mentoring others. Guiding individuals on their journey to evolve into the best versions of themselves is what truly inspires her. With her extensive knowledge and experience, Sonya is committed to helping professionals thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of marketing.
Mark your calendars, save the date, and be ready to transform your business with AI.
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