Ismail Sirdah, Owner and founder of Lulu Productions has grown to become the largest production company within the Spanish and Latino market place. Ismail Sirdah began his career in 1998 as the owner of several Mexican restaurants. He became extremely astute at branding and marketing his restaurants through social media, penetrating his market with ease. By 2008 he began building a database of clients and recognized the power he yielded with such a large following. Due to his success, Ismail Sirdah had other restaurants calling him to ask for assistance to promote their businesses.
At Lulu Promotions, Ismail Sirdah began to promote the business through social media and email blasts. Before long, prospective clients were calling to book his services. The success of their promotional campaigns led to a variety of businesses, moving to Atlanta seeking Ismail’s assistance to promote their businesses. The business would evolve to include music and entertainment ticket sales. Lulu promotions grew to become the number one promotions company in Georgia, within the Spanish and Latino markets.
In 2010 Ismail Sirdah launched an event using the Gwinnett Arena in Atlanta as their venue to promote Lulu Productions & Music. That event produced an audience of six thousand people in attendance. Lulu Promotions & Music began to grow exponentially proceeding that event. This organization has been thriving ever since.
How did you get started in this business?
We got started in the promotions business after we built a huge database while promoting our restaurant businesses. Our promotions were so powerful that other businesses began asking us to assist them in promoting their restaurants as well. Eventually, other businesses sought us out for promotional assistance as well.
How do you make money?
We make our money through our promotion of other businesses. Another part of our promotions business is selling tickets. We promote events that are happening in Atlanta. We sell tickets to the same events. At Lulutickets.com, we make it easy for customers to go online and purchase their event tickets.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Lulu promotions became profitable within the first year. We began the business in 2008 by building the database first. We specialized in promotions of restaurants focusing on the Spanish and Latino markets. In 2010 we hosted a huge event to introduce the business. We used the Gwinnett Arena as our venue. That event produced an audience of six thousand people in attendance. Lulu Promotions & Music began to grow exponentially proceeding that event. We have thrived ever since.
How did you get your first customer?
I’d like to say that we went out and found our clients but the truth is that our clients found us. We work on our social media campaigns and send out emails. As calls began to come in, we were questioned about our success. We had only one response which was, we can do for you what we have done for ourselves. The rest of the business came through word of mouth.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We rely on social media because we have a huge database of people who are following us. Our clients agree to help one another by sharing their client database with everyone in our network. Sharing each client database benefits everyone.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest thing I had to do was last week. A client that we are helping owns a restaurant. She asked me to come in and speak with her staff. The rules governing the coronavirus are forcing her to close her restaurant. She could not bring herself to tell her staff. She had tears rolling down her face when I got there. I spoke with her employees. One of the services that we provide for our clients is restaurant consulting.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I think what makes me successful is that my decisions are made by consensus. Everyone contributes to the decisions for the business. Teamwork is the best way to make our business run smoothly.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There is a venue called the Space Event Center. They opened in 2012 but they didn’t have a lot of capital when they first started the business. They challenged us to find fifteen hundred people, which they considered enough customers to keep them going. In our success, we far-exceeded expectations. We ended up launching their grand opening with a crowd of four-thousand five-hundred attendees. It was three times the number of people that the organization expected to attend.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
Our future looks very good. We have many events scheduled this year. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has made it necessary to cancel two events this month. Other than that, we are looking forward to a bright rest of the year, and into the future.
What business books have inspired you?
I am not an avid reader but one person who inspires me is Tony Robbins.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
The advice I would give younger Ismail Sirdah is not to give up. The more you work, the more you learn, the more you study the better the pay-off. Young Ismail Sirdah can definitely get a sense of guidance from this piece of advice.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
We specialize in the Spanish/Latino market. I would be willing to mentor a person within the Spanish/Latino community.