Sonny Ahuja is the man behind the scenes who makes Kill It Online happen.
Sonny got started in the Internet marketing business in 2005 – more out of necessity than desire. His story is unique. It’s amazing. And it’s proof positive that hard work and diligence pay off. You see, he’s taken the experience and knowledge he’s accumulated over the years and, in true entrepreneur fashion, built his online and Internet marketing business from the ground up. And now he wants to help other entrepreneurs do the same.
But Sonny’s story wasn’t always so… well, sunny.
Before the age of Internet marketing, Sonny and his wife Ami, like many business owners, focused their business in brick and mortar stores. They sold designer fragrances that ran the gamut from Calvin Klein to Estée Lauder and others – high-end perfumes of the kind found in high-end stores. They managed 27 employees, ran a 5,000-square-foot distribution center, and participated in 12 business-to-business trade shows across the country. Sales were good and the business grew. For all intents and purposes, they had a pretty good venture.
But then, a major transformation happened that changed it all – Internet marketing and e-commerce were born. The old ways of doing business disappeared, and caused the perfume market to change dramatically as a result. The lesson Sonny and Ami learned was a hard one. Amazon and eBay became the hub for sales of nearly everything, including perfume. Unable to compete with much-lower Internet pricing, sales plummeted, and expenses such as mall overhead, employee pay, etc., remained the same. Keeping up was impossible, and one by one, they closed their stores. In the end, Sonny and Ami had accumulated a $250K debt. Within five years, however, they paid off every dime owed.
But the real Sonny and Ami story is: How did they survive? How did they bring themselves out of hemorrhaging losses, massive debt, and a market and demand that outsold them at breakneck speed? Times were tough, to say the least, but they did, in fact, survive the storm.
Without a doubt, Sonny had lost the storefront perfume business to Internet sales. In pure entrepreneur style, he tossed about all sorts of ways to not only recover what he and Ami had lost, but also return their business to its peak. The Internet had been their problem, but he had now come to realize the Internet was also the solution. But, to set up a proper, functioning, e-commerce website – one that would serve Sonny to recoup some of his losses – they would have to spend $25,000–$30,000 for the 5,000+ pages, high-resolution images, and massive amounts of stored information – money they did not happen to have on hand.
Sonny offset their lack of funds with brainpower and ingenuity. He shut himself in a warehouse and figured out what he needed to build their own website. With Ami’s help, he designed the site himself and, little by little, their business was reborn online: www.GrandPerfumes.com. Seeing the new website live was exciting, but Sonny quickly realized that simply existing was not going to be enough. Just as mall stores required people to actually enter if they were to sell anything, the website required humans to be present on the pages, engaged in the content, and interested in what they were saying. Translation: traffic and conversions. Even more than a user stopping on a webpage, key was to keep them interested and coming back for more. That was Sonny’s next challenge.
Where to start? Social media has always been a direct and quick way to get the attention of the masses. Back then, MySpace dominated the social media corner of the Internet. Sonny signed up and also added other social media handles. He accumulated more than 100,000 followers on Twitter, thousands of YouTube hits, and 20,000+ Facebook fans. Sonny and Ami were climbing their way back, and doing so thanks to social media alone.
In time, Sonny realized something even better was waiting to be utilized: search engine optimization – SEO. He paid his last bit of money to a Seattle company that promised to work SEO magic on the GrandPerfumes website so that it would appear on the first page of MSN and Google search results. Unfortunately, the company disappeared three or four weeks later, and took all Sonny’s money with it. Needless to say, he received nothing in return. Back to square one. Just as Sonny did with the GrandPerfumes webpage design, he learned how to develop and utilize SEO on his own. He learned the details and processes behind SEO and how it can be used for virtually any website in the Google search engine. He learned the various programs and tools to place web pages in as many search results as possible, and at the best location in search tiers. Sonny put all his learnings about the MSN search algorithm into getting his products to rank at the top of the search results pages – every one of the 5,000 perfumes they carried. Sales jumped again.
Other aspects came into play as well – Pay Per Click and marketing through Google AdWords, Yahoo, and Bing. Ultimately, understanding how the Internet works and putting that knowledge to work on his own business is what saved it. Today, the visitors to his perfume website come from over 3,000 cities worldwide. Ami now runs the online perfume business while Sonny consults with other businesses on websites, Pay Per Click, SEO, social media, AdWords, and the gamut of digital and online marketing tools.
“Business owners across the country realize I do things right. They see I understand how to use social media. I speak and present to them, coach them. And, after speaking with enough business owners on social media to understand how it fits with their respective business, what is clear is that many simply do not maximize the business opportunities and results available to them, in some cases because of a lack of understanding of social media and SEO, and in many others because of their websites.”
The bottom line? Sonny’s an ecommerce guy. He thinks differently than most. One look at the Kill It Online website makes clear he knows how to use social media and how to get creative with utilizing Internet searches. He can help other entrepreneurs get leads and increase conversions. He knows and has been in the media, written articles for Bank of America, BizTimes, and Entrepreneur. But Sonny will never tell you he figured it all out by himself. He belongs to a great mastermind network and continues to learn from other successful people – marketers who understand conversions, Internet marketing, copy and content writing, and more. Sonny combines his own hard work with what he has learned from others – all with the end goal of helping as many people as he can.
Sonny and Ami live in Alpharetta, Georgia, with their four beautiful, intelligent children. Beyond managing the online perfume business, Ami is the management support behind many of the Kill It Online back-office procedures. She is also an entrepreneur in her own right, having recently published her first book and hosting a women’s support group. Sonny and Ami both love nothing more than helping others succeed. They would love to help you too.
If you have finally decided it’s time to put the power of the Internet behind your company… If you want to take your digital marketing to the next level… In a word, if you are looking to grow your business exponentially… Contact Sonny Ahuja of Kill It Online or Call today at (770-872-8115).