The Difference Between Working Hard and Working Long

Photo by  Vladimir Kudinov  on  Unsplash


There is a huge difference between working hard and working long - but in Hong Kong, people don't always understand the difference.

Working long means clocking in 15+ hours every single day or working 80 hour weeks. For some people, it means just staying in the office until the boss/manager leaves (regardless if they have work to do or not).

Working long means that you're aware of the amount of time you're spending on your job. It is, after all, just a job.

Working hard means something else entirely. Working hard means that you're doing something different, something that hasn't been done before. If you're lucky, you'll end up with a positive result. There is some sort of risk involved.

You can fail at working hard, you just have to show up if you're working long.

The two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, and working long might end up resulting in working hard (if you show up and work efficiently, you’ll likely end up in the position of attempting hard work).

Working hard takes a leap of faith. No matter how hard you try, working long won’t reap the same benefits.

When selecting a marketing agency or partner, are you looking for one that does the basics or one that is going to work with you and take some risk? Do you want similar ideas you see in the market, or ideas that make you stop and think?

Amateurs and 'do-it-all' agencies tend to be cheaper, but they also tend to just to the basics. On the other hand, the agencies that work hard are the ones that will come up with new, exciting ideas. One type can only do one thing (work long), the other can do both (work hard and long).

If you're looking to use marketing to stand out from the crowd and differentiate, then you need to look for an agency that works hard (not long).

Hire full-time or hire an agency?

Photo by  Brooke Lark  on  Unsplash

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

This question doesn't get asked as much as I would like. It seem people automatically assume that hiring a marketing agency is expensive and hiring full-time marketing support is better. But is that really so? *HINT* NO.

Hiring full-time support makes sense when you know specifically what you want, and you need someone to take on only that specific role. For example, if you're an e-commerce platform and you need someone to manage SEO/SEM. However, what tends to happen is that companies hire a digital marketer and expects them to do EVERYTHING under the digital marketing umbrella - this includes social media, content creation, SEO/SEM/PPC, influencer outreach among many other things. Sure these people exist, but they're few and far between (and expensive!). In reality, most digital marketers are specialists in only one (if you're lucky two) of the categories.

On the other hand, with agencies you can tap into their resources. For the same price as hiring one digital marketer (we'll assume they're a social media manager), you can hire an agency that has resources across content creation, data analytics, etc. Most companies are small and don't need full-time help across all the different areas, so hiring an agency makes more sense.

In many cases hiring a full-time digital marketer means that this person is just there to manage all the different agencies that the company is using.

Deciding to hire between a digital marketing agency and a full-time digital marketer really depends on what stage your company is currently in. In most cases you can't go wrong with going with an agency (obviously biased), but like everything there are many different factors affecting the decision.

I spent a bit more time analysing the different situations, and you can read them on MEDIUM.

Finding our own niche

Photo by  Simon Migaj  on  Unsplash

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

It's been quite the journey for FU&G so far. We've ventured from content creation to digital strategy, and it looks like we're going to branch out again.

Hiring in the digital marketing space is incredibly tough - there isn't a lot of talent out there (espeically here in Hong Kong), and if you're not familiar with the space, how do you know who to hire? What questions are you supposed to ask them? And what do the right or wrong responses sound like?

We've been approached to help with the hiring because 1) it's tough and 2) companies don't even know what to do once these people are hired. You could, of course, leave them on their own and hope for the best, but luck isn't the best strategy.

Read the whole article here on how this came to be.

Wednesday Updates

Things we're thinking about this week.


Creative cycles are changing and they're finally being recognised! This is HUGE, as it's really the reason FU&G was created in the first place - we recognised early on that the need to create consistently good content was only going to increase. No longer are brands looking at creating big advertising campaigns, they're looking at investing in social media - whether it's Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (yes there are many other types of social accounts as well), they need a constant stream of content just so their audience doesn't forget about them.

Gone are the days that photographers can charge per shot, and probably 10 shots at a time. Now, brands are looking for 30-45 shots on a monthly (if not more regular) basis, and they want it for cheaper! We're no longer spending time reading magazines or looking at billboards, we're an increasingly mobile society. Do you need 30 megapixels, fully photoshopped images for Instagram? Nope! We need to create mindfully, and brands are finally starting to notice.

It will still take a while for Hong Kong (and the rest of Asia) to catch up, but because we recognised the need early, we're able to establish ourselves before others. There's still a lot of work to do, but articles like this remind us that we're on the right path.

Lessons from the rich and famous


When it comes to comparing yourself with the pinnacles of success, it's easy to become demoralised. Will you ever make it?

Instead, it's better to understand where you currently are, and figure out what success actually means? If you're not going to become a success overnight (and that never happens), what do you need to do to put you in position to become successful over time?

Read more here.

Wednesday Upates

What it means to be authentic

When we compare good and bad leaders (employees or companies) we quickly see the value of authenticity. The word itself has become a buzzword but what does it really mean to be authentic, and how can you tell if people are actually authentic?

A fantastic way is to look at how people ask for things - for example - do you start with general friendly banter or the actual request'? Imagine two scenarios:

1. 'Hi Dave, it's been a while since we connected, how are things? Would be great if we caught up over a coffee. By the way, I just launched this product, check out the website here, really appreciate it!'

2. 'Hi Dave, I just launched this product, check it out, think you might enjoy it. By the way, it's been a while since we caught up, how about getting a coffee sometime?'

The first scenario is quite typical - people want to seem like they're nice but they're clearly hiding from it - their intention is clear and in the second part of the message. However, the second scenario starts with the actual ask, and ends with nice message. One hides the intention, while the other makes it clear - it's ultimately respectful of people's time and doesn't try to be something it isn't. One is authentic, one is pretending to be.

Being authentic a lot of the time means being respectful. Having conversations not for the sake of having them, but because you're truly interested or want to give back. There's a fine line between being truly authentic and pretending to be. From the receiver's point of view, it's actually really obvious.