Zohaib and Bilal Patoli are the founders of LeadOrigin, a modern consulting agency focused on leveraging data intelligence to propel digital transformation in small to medium sized companies. With over 15 combined years of experience, Zohaib and Bilal have efficiently resolved key challenges while creating lasting solutions for their clients.
I had the opportunity to speak with Zohaib and Bilal recently; here are some highlights from our conversation:
Jill Griffin: Tell me a little bit about your backgrounds and how you both came together to build LeadOrigin.
Zohaib Patoli: So a little bit of background, Bilal and I are actually cousins and our paths intertwined fairly early in the journey. My background has predominantly been around building and growing e-commerce businesses. I was 13 when a buddy and I started our first e-commerce brand trying to make a quick buck or two. There was an active Hip-hop scene around me while I was growing up, and that eventually became the inspiration behind our first business selling trendy skinny jeans on the internet. It did not take long until we started generating decent income, and my entire job at the time was marketing. I was hustling to get our name out there by contacting sneaker blogs/forums and running Facebook ads. Using these newfound skills, Bilal and I joined forces shortly after and started buying e-commerce businesses off of flippa.com. Our strategy was simple: buy profitable internet businesses, hold them for 8-10 months while generating substantially more traffic to the website, and then sell them back to the market once sales metrics showed consistent improvement. After a few successful years in e-commerce, we started our first agency in 2017 called SnapWeb Services. We grew our first agency from a team of three to well over 200 employees over the course of almost four years. In 2021 we exited the business and subsequently founded LeadOrigin, which we both actively operate today.
Bilal Patoli: I also started my journey with an e-commerce business after stumbling upon eBay at the tender age of 14. I honed in on my skill of extracting value from burgeoning consumer markets as I began to resell imported goods from China. The peak of all this was when I was able to scale an online business selling 14-in-1 wallet tools from a basic idea to generating $80,000 a month. Along the way I introduced myself to the world of Shopify while it was still in its adolescent stages. Within a few short months I had built out several successful consumer brands utilizing intricate omnichannel the same marketing strategies I learned through vigorous trial and error. All this eventually became the foundation for our foray into the Digital Marketing realm.
Griffin: What exactly does LeadOrigin do?
Zohaib Patoli: We like to say that LeadOrigin is a digital transformation and data intelligence agency. In more basic terms, we use insightful data to propel a company’s digital landscape to the modern age. We are also excited to announce that LeadOrigin is currently in the process of transitioning from a traditional digital marketing agency to a complete digital marketing software platform.
Griffin: Who all do you work with?
Zohaib Patoli: We are currently working with small and medium sized organizations looking for growth in various aspects of revenue generation and marketing strategies. When it comes to marketing services we are currently all-in on digital at the moment.
Griffin: What distinguishes your agency from all the others out there?
Zohaib Patoli: There are various facets that distinguish our brand from the other multiple agencies out there. To put it simply, when it comes to digital marketing it is really easy to do things on a surface level rather than do it the right way. We take pride in never shortcutting any of our client’s marketing strategies – we strive to do things the right way the first time to maximize the return of our client’s marketing investments. We also have several proprietary strategies, a good example of such is our manual bidding paid advertising strategy. It’s essentially AI based cost control in secondhand auction engines, like Google ads and Facebook ads, as opposed to using the default algorithms that prioritize Google and Facebook’s bottom line over the actual results experienced by our clients. We essentially have our own bidding strategy to help cost control when it comes to spending marketing budgets which in turn helps keep our clients cost per action 50% lower than competing agencies in the market.
Griffin: What’s another unique selling point?
Bilal Patoli: Another unique selling point is our entire marketing infrastructure. We place a heavy focus on making sure everything is tracked from click to conversion. Each additional dollar of revenue can be traced back to the specific marketing campaign that caused the dollar to be generated for our client. This is the only way to accurately measure the return marketing investments are yielding in terms of revenue growth.
Griffin: When you’re hiring, what are some of the traits that you’re looking for?
Bilal Patoli: Usually, the biggest thing we’re looking for is a knack to challenge basic assumptions as well as a great culture fit. As of today we have grown the team to a little over 30 strong; everyone’s between the ages of 20 to 35.
Griffin: You’ve got so many people doing many different things. How do you keep the company’s culture intact?
Bilal Patoli: We have an all-hands meeting with the entire team at least once a week. We currently have teams all over the United States as well as the Philippines. Our team is always collaborating or somehow mingling with each other. Teamwork is a core pillar of our organization and thus employees from one department can often be found brainstorming strategies with colleagues in other departments.
Griffin: As we’re wrapping up now, what tips would you have for people that want to be successful in their business or careers?
Zohaib Patoli: I genuinely believe that if you have a vision with a plan of action, go out and conquer regardless of what other people have to say. The biggest intuition that you have is you. At the end of the day, you know what’s best for yourself no matter what. If you’re very self-aware and are sitting in the room alone, you know what you’re capable of. I’d say believe in yourself and just execute.
Griffin: What next for LeadOrigin?
Zohaib Patoli: We’re currently building a growth management platform called ‘Origin’ which enables small and medium sized businesses to manage their website, convert leads to customers, accept payments, schedule appointments, and manage social media, online reviews, SEO listings, multi-channel digital advertising campaigns and more all in one comprehensive dashboard.
Origin’s biggest differentiator is the sharing of data between modules which allows for a holistic business growth management experience. We help businesses grow their revenue by leveraging their own data.
We use AI based tools to effectively manage campaigns while leveraging machine learning to automatically create new low-risk-high-reward campaigns. Auto Generated upselling suggestions and new marketing strategies can then be swiftly implemented in a friction-free process.
Griffin: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Zohaib Patoli: We started LeadOrigin amid the pandemic and have grown to a team of more than 30 hardworking individuals. After accepting that we couldn’t cultivate the culture that we wanted to at our previous agency, we started over from scratch in the middle of the pandemic and did over a million in revenue in the first six months. We’ve also pivoted our company from being an agency to now building a business growth platform that automates small to midsize companies’ marketing operations resulting in sustainable revenue growth and a ton of happiness for our clients.
Jill Griffin: I appreciate you both sharing your journey with my readers today.