Leverage Alternative Marketing Channels and Complex Marketing Automation

What’s your story?
I’m an entrepreneur from the Ukraine. Since the age of 16, I’ve been conducting business using the Internet. After realizing that marketing is a crucial part of any successful Internet campaign, I started to break it down into parts (psychology, design, math, etc.), and then spent some time studying these parts, one by one. 

I also started to use the LinkedIn platform to perform tasks related to my studies at University. Then, during my MBA studies in Barcelona, I was employed at a Lithuanian startup as a “Growth Hacker” and used Li as the main platform to onboard new users. There, I got a lot of experience in how to operate personal profiles in order to achieve certain goals, so I started to use it in my freelancing activities. 

I offered profile optimization services that provided my clients with outstanding profiles in order to help them achieve certain career-oriented goals. Then I was struck by another insight. People think that just having a nice LinkedIn profile is enough, while it usually is just the tip of the iceberg. Most of my clients, as most people in business today, have no time to manage their LinkedIn presence. This has become a niche for my new service that includes more than just profile optimization. I now offer some additional daily actions from their profiles to grow their network and create stronger bonds with their TA.

What excites you most about your industry?
It’s speed. It’s changing so fast that it requires you to continuously develop yourself, your team and your processes. It matches with my desire for self-improvement. Another thing is its flexibility. Marketing is something that every company needs and its role changes based on company goals. We get to work with many different types of businesses on various projects. It’s never boring!

What’s your connection to Asia?
My personal connection is to the food. I love Asian cuisine. The business connection is a different story. It came to us naturally when we received a few offers from Singaporean companies to help them enter the US market. Considering our vast experience targeting US companies, those campaigns were highly efficient. Now, we are searching for unique B2B companies in the Asian market to assist them on a similar journey.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
George Town in Penang, Malaysia. I spent a few months there some time ago and it was a great experience! The combination of affordable prices, a huge variety of tasty food (food markets are everywhere), a stable internet connection and warm climate make it a great place for internet entrepreneurs and digital nomads. 

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
There are two. One, is about patience. I’m not really a patient person and I often rush. The other is about narrowing the focus. Both helped me develop the business to the way it operates now. 

Who inspires you?
Living in such an interconnected world enables us to follow a lot of great people and get inspired by them. When it comes to people from the past, my choice would definitely be Nikola Tesla. He was great at pursuing his unique vision and providing value to even those who doubted his ideas.

When it comes to modern heroes – that one is definitely our hero Elon, who is bold enough to inspire innovations among most conservative industries.

However, my first, and foremost important inspiration, was from my dad, who taught me, by example, how to make small sacrifices now in order to have a better future tomorrow.

What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
I have such insights quite often. The last one was about the life expectancy of big companies. They used to have a lifespan of 61 years, it’s now down to 18. It means that most market leaders will disappear by the time I turn 40, and it proves that the market is changing so fast that you will have a number of opportunities throughout your life to build something big.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I love my life, so I’d skip changing something. 

How do you unwind?
There are several techniques I use. During winter, I often go to the mountains for snowboarding. It definitely helps. Also, I try to travel often, play music and dance. The last part is very important as it allows me to quickly switch-off from work. 

Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I don’t think I want to be original here. I’d vote for Bali. I fell in love with that place and its atmosphere. It is full of young and interesting people who most likely traveled far to get to that tiny island. A mixture of surfing, great sunsets, parties, healthy food, unique culture. You need to be there to feel it.

Everyone in business should read this book:
“Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, ICONS, and World-Class Performers”  by Tim Ferriss. Definitely worth reading. It’s rather individual-focused, rather than on business, however, there are always great individuals standing behind great businesses.

Shameless plug for your business:
We are looking to on-board 2-3 more projects now and it might be a great chance for some teams to expand overseas. If you think you have an outstanding B2B solution – let us know and we will make sure to have the attention of your target audience. 

How can people connect with you?
The best way would be contacting me on LinkedIn. Also, on our website, Respect.Studio, you can find all the other ways, including our social media sites and blog with unique content curated by our content superstar Taras Prystatsky.

Twitter handle?
@respect_studio

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews

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Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.

Connect with Callum on Twitter and LinkedIn
Download free copies of his books at www.callumlaing.com