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).

More than a digital marketing agency - we're community builders

Photo by  Anthony DELANOIX  on  Unsplash

The more I talk to people about what we do, the more I wonder what it is exactly that we do.

In the last couple of months, we've clearly evolved. We're not just a digital marketing agency in Hong Kong anymore, we're so much more than that.

A digital marketing agency is typically one that does content creation, social media marketing, marketing strategy. The bigger ones will also touch on PR/outreach, influencer marketing, SEO/SEM and PPC, maybe even some design work. But we've moved in a different direction - we're starting to help companies find and place talent because that's what they're actually looking for (and we don't want to be the same as everyone else).

However, lately, we've realised that we're more than that. We're not really a digital marketing agency because of the way we approach things. Our job isn't about marketing companies and building an audience (sure we do that as well) - our CORE JOB is to build communities. We build communities and engage them for brands, we just happen to do it through the use of digital marketing (social media marketing, content creation, paid placements, etc.).

We exist to help connect brands with their desired audience. That's what we do, and that's what we do well. While other similar agencies in Hong Kong are trying to sell a service (and trying to grab every available dollar), we're trying to engage an audience in a way that creates true fans - fans that will stick with the brand over time (and continue to buy their products as they come out).

We're not just a digital marketing agency. We're community builders.

Digital Marketing Agency - when to hire one

Biased? Yes. Honest look? Also yes.

There are many things you have to consider when hiring a digital marketing agency. If you're a small company, it's a massive step (you have to spend money, and likely more than you want to), but the potential for your business when using a good agency is massive.

Digital marketing allows your company to reach a much larger audience than you ever could (everyone understands the value of social media, but not everyone knows how to maximise its effectiveness). Even better, you can measure everything you do. If something doesn't work, you can stop it immediately (unlike lease agreements which can last multiple years, or employee contracts. Hello Hong Kong!). And if something is going well, you can double down and further increase your profits.

The first thing you should consider is to hire external help (you can try to do it all yourself, but it's going to be a lot of work, and more often than not, you should be concentrating on your business instead). Consider all the different reason here. Deciding between hiring an agency or full-time staff? Read more here.

Wednesday Updates

Things we're thinking about this week.

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Hiring is a really tricky business. 

First of all - you don't want to hire your friends, or at least consider a few things before jumping into it. If you're not willing to one day fire them, don't even bother.

Second - experience rarely tells the whole story. Somehow people believe in a linear career progression - it's definitely simpler to think about, but that doesn't mean it's what truly happens. It's why I don't believe CVs really work. Being good at one thing means just that - you're good at one thing - it's not necessarily an indicator that you're good at something else. For example, you can be a great salesperson but a terrible leader - working in the same field and delivering results for 10 straight years is great, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you should be promoted and become senior management (titles and salary are not the same things).

Third - people are humans, treat them that way. Ultimately you want to be working with people who you can stand facing 24 hours a day (yes the work day is typically shorter than that, but you would ideally want someone you would enjoy spending time with, even outside of work!). There are little things that a job description or CV don't capture well - find a way to figure these things out.

Four - how do you hire for something you need but don't know anything about? Let's say you need help in digital marketing or social media - how do you find the right candidate (don't get me started about the typical job board or job description)? Ask the right questions? Figure out the difference between someone who will do great and someone who will to terrible? We've been approached to help solve this problem because it's sorely needed (business don't have the expertise and sometimes headhunters just don't know the space well enough). 

If you look at all four points together, it's no wonder that bad people end up in good situations. Sometimes you're lucky and the person turns out OK, but luck can't be your only strategy. Mindfulness in the planning process will help minimise risk. Ultimately turnover is much more expensive and a time drain.

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.

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Social Media - what's next?

A lot of news on social lately - data leaks to the future of what it's going to look like. Is Facebook over? Can it be saved? Is somebody else going to take over? What's going to happen? What the hell is even going on?

Social Media is a very strange place (not just in Hong Kong but all around the world). It's easy to forget that it didn't really exist 10 years ago (it had really just started opening up to everyone), so it's easy to not realise that just like technology, it's a constantly evolving space. What exists now is going to look dramatically different in a few years (Hello Snapchat!).

What's interesting to look at is 1) what the technology is going to enable us to do and 2) where our attention is going to go in the future. Let's tackled these one at a time.

Tech - for the greater good

If there's one this that tech and social media are good at, it's connecting people. It's so easy to send a message/email/connect on social that we take it all for granted. Everything is instant and we are able to make connections in ways that weren't possible in the past. What tech is failing to do now though is establish deep meaningful connections - and this is what I think the next evolution of tech/social will look to accomplish.

Tech makes it easier to connect, but there's still no replacing face-to-face connections (whether for business or just friendly gatherings). Even with video chat, there's a barrier that tech hasn't been able to solve. 

When we look at communities online (Facebook/Instagram or WhatsApp groups) there's still a massive barrier to getting people to engage (this can be partially geographical/cultural - especially in Hong Kong where people don't necessarily want to publicly voice out). So certain tools still need to be developed to help facilitate the way we engage and make deep connections (like we do physically when in person - there's still no real way of replacing the value of a hug when meeting a close friend for example).

Tech and social media are great at keeping in touch, but it's important to understand that these tools are (still at this stage) here to facilitate and amplify and not designed to replace actual connections. Maybe one day, but that day hasn't come yet.

Attention - what's going to matter in a few years?

Where/how we spend time is going to dictate what tech flourishes and what dies. Everyone is spending tons of time on their phones and gadgets and that was only really made possible with the advancement of technology (everything becoming faster, smarter and smaller). But, the next phase isn't going to be determined by tech but instead by what can capture people's attention.

There is a tonne of great content out there and people are going to eventually meet a threshold where they can't possibly consumer any more than they do (there are only so many hours in the day - better tech isn't going to allow you to watch 25 hours of content each day for example). What's going to grab people is great content that people can't help but consume.

The greatest value (that hasn't been properly exploited yet) is live content. There are only so many events in the world that require you watch live (award shows or sporting events) because watching delayed is almost meaningless (spoilers). It's the one avenue that on-demand content (i.e. Netflix) can't compete with.

If people can solve LIVE and give a reason for people to tune in, they're going to win the battle for attention. What comes next though, we'll have to wait and see.