Welcome to the Telling of Story Podcast. I’m your host, Storyteller Jewels, and along with my guests, it’s my endeavor to explore the art and science of storytelling, to attract, engage, and retain a business audience, and to unpack why it works for some, and not for the many that try.

Listen in as Adrian talks about the compounding interest analogy of consistent marketing.

[00:00:32] Adrian: Especially for content, it’s usually more of a long game. I think if you’re expecting to put out content and for it to be viral or for the engagement to go up really quickly, I think that’s a foolish gambit and even a lot of our clients We’ll do a social audit for them and see what their share of voice in the market and they might have certain spikes when They get interviews and whatnot, but it’s nothing sustainable, right?

[00:00:55] Adrian: So it’s the same with investing You don’t want to invest in companies that are just going to have that huge [00:01:00] spike and then comes crashing down to earth Within a month or two and I think it’s a really visual example to show our clients as well when they see That one spike and then pretty much fizzles out into nothing and it’s the same with investing You don’t want to dump all your money into a poorly performing asset Just because there’s a certain amount of hype behind it at that point

[00:01:24] Jewels: In this episode of the pleasure of talking with Adrian Hui. Adrian brings a melting pot of experience from multiple industries and countries, from Canada to the EU, and in the Asia Pacific region. As a native English speaking business graduate and writer, as well as a fluent speaker of Cantonese and Mandarin, He builds bridges for communication between both Western and Eastern content narratives.

[00:01:48] Jewels: Specializing in brand storytelling, he utilizes his wordsmithing skills to optimize lead generating strategies that translate across all mediums, from corporate blogs, C suites, through leadership [00:02:00] and PR releases to packaging copy. SEO, web content, and social media. He has a knack for breaking down complex ideas and details into easily digestible content deliverables for Fortune 500 companies and startup SMEs alike.

[00:02:15] Jewels: Presently, he is the content arm of an integrated marketing agency, generating long and short form content as well as overarching branding strategies for existing clients and new business pitches. He consults clients across various industries, dimensions, including fintech, robotics, cloud computing, cybersecurity, logistics, telecom, software, cross brand, cross platform messaging, hospitality, property management, and more.

[00:02:44] Jewels: Adrian, welcome to the show.

[00:02:45] Adrian: Thanks for having me, Jewels. Pleasure being here. Adrian, 

[00:02:49] Jewels: so I understand you were born and raised in Toronto. How did you end up in Hong Kong? 

[00:02:54] Adrian: Yeah, so this is actually a question I get quite often because a lot of the times it’s people that are trying to leave and not [00:03:00] people trying to come here, but yeah, I came here around six, seven years ago after I graduated, so I did a bit of a backpacking trip with a couple of buddies in Europe, came back, went to the States for a bit, and then Just so happened at that time, my grandfather on my mom’s side passed away.

[00:03:17] Adrian: So at the time I wasn’t really, you know, looking for work or anything, but I just decided since I do have a PR in Hong Kong that I would try and get a job here and see how that goes and do the funeral, all that stuff all together. So yeah, that’s how I ended up here. I didn’t really have a sort of like timeframe and I didn’t really, this wasn’t like a plan that.

[00:03:38] Adrian: I’ve been thinking about for like four or five years. It was a decision made like within two weeks, but uh, yeah, here I am. I’ve been here for around seven years. A lot of people I talked to who aren’t from here, I think also kind of have that same mindset where they come here maybe for a year or two, but they end up staying a lot longer.

[00:03:54] Adrian: So, but yeah, it’s been a good time. I was initially in finance for a bit. And wasn’t [00:04:00] quite my cup of tea, so I do have a marketing background, so I kind of switched back into marketing. Did some in house work for a French company for a couple years, and then now I’m at an integrated marketing agency called Team Lewis.

[00:04:15] Adrian: So we have our HQ in Singapore for APAC region, we have some offices in Australia, Malaysia. India, Korea, and Japan as well. But our main HQ is in London. We have offices in Europe and in the States as well. And so working 

[00:04:31] Jewels: out of Hong Kong, what do you find perhaps? And you mentioned it in your bio as well.

[00:04:35] Jewels: What differences, if any, between the Western and Eastern form of communication? 

[00:04:41] Adrian: I think in Hong Kong, a lot of people actually really love working here. So what I mean by that is like. Similar to, I guess, Japan and Korea, people are just really dedicated with their work. So a lot of people have no issues working overtime and they just really love to work.

[00:04:59] Adrian: But I think [00:05:00] probably one of the biggest differences is that Hong Kong’s sort of unique where We have a lot of people that can speak three languages, so English, Cantonese, and Mandarin, so a lot of the work we do has to kind of translate in both like Western and Eastern narratives, where if you’re an English speaker, you’ll understand the messaging, and if you speak an Eastern language like Chinese, you have to understand as well, but a lot of it in Hong Kong is actually driven by English first, so a lot of our content is done by me, for example, and then it’s translated into Chinese, but I think, in general, in comparison, I would say to other regions in APAC, like Hong Kong, is actually quite open to trying to get.

[00:05:42] Adrian: It’s less risk adverse. So I think actually in the West, that used to be more of the case where you’d have a lot of marketing that’s kind of really eye popping or somewhat controversial kind of toes the line. But I sort of see the Western companies kind of move away from that and become more conservative.

[00:05:58] Adrian: And it’s actually rather, I think [00:06:00] in the East where there’s more opportunities to kind of be more creative, do more out of the box strategies. And I kind of see that reflected where I’m working as well. I think even our company did. Like a global recap, and I think APAC is one of the fastest growing regions, I think a lot of companies are investing a lot more marketing dollars to kind of push their spending up in APAC, and it seems to be working, so.

[00:06:23] Jewels: And is there a difference in the way the messaging is accepted, do you think? You know, when you say we’re, we’re becoming, or the western side is becoming more conservative, and the eastern is becoming more, I guess, risque, if you like. Just from the way it’s accepted, is it basically a cultural thing where it’s their background that holds them back a little bit, or is it something else?

[00:06:44] Adrian: Yeah, it’s a little bit of both. I think especially the East tends to be a little bit, I guess, politically conservative, so sometimes there are obviously certain things. Politically that we have to watch out for that’s kind of different in the west, but I think we’re [00:07:00] even western companies in hong kong They do obviously do the diversity initiatives and all that but there’s I think less of a emphasis on that so they are definitely more willing to kind of Push the envelope in terms of their messaging on other aspects of things.

[00:07:16] Adrian: But then when it comes to, I guess, government related topics, they’re much more sensitive. Whereas in the West, I don’t see that as apparent in terms of the government side of things. But then in terms of the diversity aspect, they’re really, you know, they’re really sensitive about that. They don’t want to say the wrong thing or push the wrong buttons.

[00:07:35] Adrian: But, uh, in the East, you don’t really have as many restrictions on that side. So I think it’s more actually. A political and maybe there are some cultural connotations, but from my understanding, I thought that the East was a lot more traditional growing up and a lot more conservative. But coming here, it seems like that’s kind of changing a little bit, and they’re opening up a little bit more and in the West.

[00:07:59] Adrian: It’s always been [00:08:00] quite open, but it’s, uh, I guess maybe it’s a cancelled culture phenomenon where people now are kind of less open to speaking their minds because there are a lot of things are changing in terms of, uh, the culture and politics in the West, and that’s kind of closing people up, and they’re a lot more afraid of saying the wrong thing.

[00:08:17] Adrian: But in the East, I don’t see that as much of an issue. And, you 

[00:08:21] Jewels: know, this podcast is about storytelling, so clearly where do you see the line from a storytelling perspective in the, in perhaps in your region, as opposed to what maybe you’re seeing in some of the others where I think the Western culture is becoming more and more comfortable with the act of storytelling and actually injecting some personality and, and personal stories into their narratives to, to, you know, to, to bring an audience closer to the individual.

[00:08:49] Jewels: So that’s not, Not necessarily just pushing a company brand, but it’s actually promoting the individuals themselves. Is that something you’re seeing as well, uh, in the Eastern [00:09:00] side of the, uh, culturally or are we, is there still a little bit of a, you know, a separation between, you know, what a business is meant to be and what it’s meant to look like and what the personal individuals look like?

[00:09:13] Jewels: Right. 

[00:09:13] Adrian: Yeah, that’s actually a really good question because I think yeah, the east is 100 percent opening up more to that. And I think partially because we are a global agency. So we do bring a lot of Western ideas over to the east. And then we basically tell our clients like, look, uh, there is such a thing as thought leadership.

[00:09:31] Adrian: It’s important that you do have ideas and that people know that you have ideas so that they know that you’re a leader and not a follower. Because I think a lot of the issues is some companies, the Think that if they put their ideas out there from the individual side, um, it kind of it might go against what the overall company messaging is and they’re really sensitive about that.

[00:09:52] Adrian: But then they realize, oh, well, if we don’t have more individuals speaking up, they see, you know, people like Elon Musk basically on Twitter saying whatever he wants [00:10:00] and that’s a little too extreme for them. And they’re trying to kind of find a middle ground between the 2 where. Um, there’s a lot more thought leadership going on from individuals and like my, my job a lot of the times is writing, you know, corporate blogs or messaging for C suite.

[00:10:15] Adrian: So I have to take their ideas and essentially condense them or expand on them so that people do know that. Yeah, there’s a little bit more personality. There’s a little bit more authenticity. And even within the company, there are. Thought leaders that are making changes within their own regions, whether that’s like in Australia specifically or Hong Kong or Singapore or wherever that may be.

[00:10:36] Adrian: And then, of course, uh, sometimes there are global briefs, but those are, I think, more, uh, like you said, company focused and less on the individual. So I think when it comes to region, regional. content, it’s a lot easier for individuals to kind of speak up and tell their story. And that’s where we come in because a lot of the times people assume that if you’re a native speaker, you can tell stories really [00:11:00] well, but that’s just not true.

[00:11:02] Adrian: So you do kind of need to have like the content mindset to be able to kind of help other people tell their stories as well. 

[00:11:07] Jewels: And are you seeing these people sort of willingly come forward to tell their stories, or are they still being sort of dragged along, kicking and screaming, perhaps a little 


[00:11:16] Adrian: I think it’s actually in the bigger companies, like the Fortune 500 companies that are, they know that this is really important.

[00:11:22] Adrian: So they’re actually the ones that are like, Oh, like, can we, they’re a lot more proactive with it. They’re like, Oh, what’s, uh, what’s happening in the market or what are some new trends that we can kind of newsjack on and talk about? Whereas it’s actually the smaller companies and the startups, ironically.

[00:11:36] Adrian: Maybe because there’s so much going on on like the operational side and then now the marketing side of things and branding is starting to catch up to them where they realize, Oh, we don’t kind of do a more, I guess, stronger brand messaging that. We can’t scale our company because our competitors aren’t able and our, sorry, our customers aren’t able to [00:12:00] differentiate between what we do and what our competitors do, even if they do have an interesting product or service.

[00:12:05] Adrian: So it’s actually the smaller companies that we kind of have to pitch to and say, Oh, look, like, it’s really important that your CEO or your CFO comes out and has a perspective on things, especially because you say that you’re innovative, you’re forward thinking, but if no one sees that. Then even if you are it doesn’t really translate towards actual outcomes But yeah, it’s actually the bigger companies the fortune 500 companies.

[00:12:27] Adrian: They’re the ones that are pretty much on the ball for their c suite to kind of Step outside and even all the way down. So I would say middle management, to be honest, they’ll have blogs will have a lot of social media done for these individuals to kind of help them build their own brands as well.

[00:12:46] Adrian: That’s 

[00:12:46] Jewels: actually quite interesting. I would have, you know, if I was a betting man, I would have said it would be the other way around. 

[00:12:51] Adrian: Yeah. Yeah. So I was actually quite surprised to see that as well, that these smaller companies that they were, I think. It’s possible because a lot of these startups [00:13:00] are a lot more tech oriented.

[00:13:02] Adrian: So sometimes they’re just really focused on the product side of things. And then that’s why they approach agencies because they realize they have no idea how to do the marketing. So sometimes them stepping out and saying what they think is something completely new to them because they’re used to just pitching to investors.

[00:13:18] Adrian: And they’re like, yep, that’s all the talking I want to do. And then they realize, Oh, I actually do need to build a brand. If I want to kind of scale my business a lot quicker and it’s. It can’t just be entirely product or service driven. 

[00:13:29] Jewels: It’s no good being the world’s best kept secret, 

[00:13:31] Adrian: right? Exactly. 

[00:13:33] Jewels: If you’ve got something to tell, you must tell that story.

[00:13:36] Jewels: So what sort of formats are people becoming more and more comfortable with? Where are you seeing the growth in the storytelling side of it? Is it just, is it blogs and social or is it more than that? 

[00:13:47] Adrian: I would say it’s a lot, it depends on the industry. I think, uh, on FinTech. I see it a lot more in terms of PR specifically, so press releases, uh, interviews like with Bloomberg [00:14:00] and Financial Times, uh, the, the big names, uh, I would say for blogs, it’s still more focused on, uh, larger, larger mid sized companies because they kind of have the financial resources to kind of, uh, push these narratives out, but, uh, I think everyone kind of understands the importance of social media and they know that Like being active on social media does give does pay dividends in the long run So I think a lot of companies smaller ones there.

[00:14:27] Adrian: They usually focus on the linkedin side of things first and then some and for some of them instagram as well depending on uh on their audience, but uh, Usually it’s linkedin first and then later on once they have an established presence on linkedin and they’re getting interviews Then usually blogs is actually the last uh form of uh content that they want to push out 

[00:14:49] Jewels: Initially, you said that people aren’t naturally storytellers, right?

[00:14:53] Jewels: Let me get that out. Aren’t naturally storytellers. So just because they have a story to tell doesn’t mean they can articulate it very well. So they tend [00:15:00] to draw from an agency, et cetera. But then you also mentioned the word, you used the word authenticity. And I’ve felt a little bit of disconnect between those two where you authentically are being, you know, managing somebody else’s narrative.

[00:15:14] Jewels: Where do you see that line being drawn? And is it still authentic if somebody else goes and actually expands on an idea and effectively writes some of that content for you, rather than the person, you know, sitting there typing with their thumbs onto social media themselves? 

[00:15:29] Adrian: So I think just based on the nature of the industry, I think a lot of these C suites, they just simply don’t have the time.

[00:15:35] Adrian: They might have the ideas. But they just can’t communicate it often in written form. They do have the time to do the interviews But yeah, when it comes to writing, I think it’s not a skill that everyone is necessarily strong in and at the end of the day They do look at the content that’s being pushed out and it we do need to get their final approval before it goes out so I think this is where this is the kind of space that allows [00:16:00] people like me and you to exist because A lot of the times I think the pen is mightier than the sword and many people May be able to wield a sword, but not necessarily the pen, and that’s where they come to people like us, because we can sometimes tell their stories better than they can themselves, and I think that’s where we can provide value to the market, where people do recognize, yeah, I might be able to speak, I might be able to pitch, but when it comes to sitting down, you can give me an hour, two hours, or ten, I still can’t write a thousand word blog, as well as someone who’s actually specialized on something.

[00:16:32] Adrian: So I think part of the magic comes from us being able to capture what’s in their head and putting it down in words, whereas they sometimes can’t necessarily do that themselves. Perfect. 

[00:16:42] Jewels: Look, I’m not adverse to it. I was just curious to see your, your perspective. I think you’re right. As long as you’re writing in their words in the way they would articulate it and they are ultimately approving, you know, the messaging that’s going out, I think it’s still fine and also leveraging time, right?

[00:16:56] Jewels: It is time consuming to do some of these things on a consistent [00:17:00] basis. And so having somebody On your staff or on your team to, to be able to put output, those things is, is super important and a good way to do it for sure. Just at a personal level, when you start writing for any of these individuals, whether they’re C suite, do you see, or have you noticed that by uplifting their voice in the marketplace and by projecting them out?

[00:17:22] Jewels: As potentially under a brand, but as a individual within that brand, have you noticed an uplift in that person’s thought leadership and their personality and their value in the marketplace as well? Do you see any correlation between perhaps the amount of people that are following an individual tends to go up if they’re actually communicating out in the marketplace?

[00:17:43] Adrian: Yeah, definitely. I think the reason why we continue to have like the retainers we do have and we are usually able to upsell them in terms of content and they’re a lot of the times they’re receptive to it because they do see the returns. They may not necessarily always be immediate, but I think within half a year, they [00:18:00] do see, Oh, like there are these specific media channels that are picking up their content or resharing their content or organically.

[00:18:07] Adrian: They’re getting a lot of. Personal messages, or there’s a lot of other people in the same industry reaching out to them and asking, Oh, hey, do you want to participate in this initiative or that they’re invited to speaking opportunities? They’re invited to industry events, so I think this content initiative does translate into a real world impact, and I think our success sort of speaks for itself because they keep coming back from horse.

[00:18:32] Adrian: So, yeah, I definitely do think the content does translate to a real world impact for sure.

[00:18:36] Jewels: And so what advice would you give to somebody in the C suite or a business owner or a founder of a company that perhaps is a little bit reluctant to get out the messaging out and, and maybe doesn’t necessarily have the funds to take on a full outsourced marketing service like yours, but does want to start pitching out into the marketplace and having a voice.

[00:18:57] Jewels: What advice would you give to somebody who’s possibly a little bit [00:19:00] afraid or a little bit scared, where would you start? What advice would you give somebody on the, you know, early in the journey? A lot 

[00:19:06] Adrian: of the times I do tell them to try just writing themselves and posting it out there because sometimes when you get stuck in your head and you think, oh, like when I put something out there, people aren’t going to like it or I’m not going to get the engagement that I want.

[00:19:21] Adrian: And I think that’s a lot of what holds people back from starting anything to begin with. And I think the ones that do start it and do well with it. A lot of the times they come to us at the end because it’s just the time factor So they just don’t have the time. They don’t have the energy A lot of them are waking up maybe at 4 or 5 a.

[00:19:38] Adrian: m Just to write the content look at the news and kind of pick up on trends and I think They just kind of burn out once they do this For too long. So maybe they can do it for a month, but after that, it kind of fills those up, but they do recognize it’s an important thing. And then that’s why they come to individual content writers or agencies to ask for help because they do see the value in it.

[00:19:58] Adrian: They do see the returns, but for [00:20:00] people who haven’t started, I would just tell them the best, it’s the same with investing. Like the best time to start is today. So even if you haven’t done it before, I think, yeah, that shouldn’t hold you back from starting now. You 

[00:20:11] Jewels: mentioned investing there, is there any expertise or content translation between Creating content and investing.

[00:20:19] Jewels: Is there any sort of correlation between the two that you’ve experienced? 

[00:20:22] Adrian: I think especially for content, it’s usually more of a long game. I think if you’re expecting to put out content and for it to be viral or for the engagement to go up really quickly, I think that’s a foolish gambit. And even a lot of our clients.

[00:20:38] Adrian: We’ll do a social audit for them and see what their shared voice in the market. And they might have certain spikes when they get interviews and whatnot, but it’s nothing sustainable, right? So it’s the same with investing. You don’t want to invest in companies that are just going to have that huge spike and then comes crashing down to earth within a month or two.

[00:20:55] Adrian: And I think it’s a really visual example to show our clients as well. When they see that one spike [00:21:00] and then pretty much fizzles out into nothing. And it’s the same with investing. You don’t want to dump all your money into. A poorly performing asset, just because there’s a certain amount of hype behind it at that point, because you’re going to lose your money and losing half of your money means that you have to make double what you have left to break even.

[00:21:18] Adrian: Right. So I think in terms of content, it’s kind of taught me to play the long game as well, in terms of both building your brand and your retirement portfolio, whatever it is, I think you just kind of have to build it step by step sustainably and build a solid foundation. And then that’s how you can kind of scale it.

[00:21:35] Adrian: a little bit easier as time moves forward. So 

[00:21:38] Jewels: in a world where we are inundated with content, we are faced with, uh, messaging from every angle at every moment of every day, from the minute we wake up to the minute we go to sleep. How do you stand out in a world like that these days? As a business, where do you find the pink elephants?

[00:21:56] Jewels: Honestly, 

[00:21:57] Adrian: I think it’s a really tough question because I think [00:22:00] half of it is keeping up with existing trends. So for example, when chat GBT first started to be a big thing, everyone was talking about generative AI and how revolutionary it’ll be. So I think it’s important for you to be on the pulse and to know what’s going on in the market.

[00:22:15] Adrian: But at the same time, I think a lot of people, they overlook things that are old, but gold. So there are certain topics that may have been discussed before. There are over time once people stop talking about them and sort of forget about them It doesn’t mean that that topic’s lost its relevancy I’ve seen some people especially on youtube do that somewhat successfully where they can take they basically do deep dives and research on one specific topic that might have been Relevant five or ten years ago and then they kind of connect it back to the present and show how this is something that’s still kind of shaping our society this Whatever this thing, it still has impact on what we’re doing today.

[00:22:53] Adrian: And maybe still has impact on things that we’re going to be doing 10 or 20 years later. So I think if [00:23:00] you do want to stand out, it’s important that you kind of go down deep into the rabbit hole, but at the same time, make those things relatable to the average consumer. So they kind of go, Oh, this is interesting.

[00:23:09] Adrian: Like I’ve never thought of this perspective before. And they kind of get them to look into whatever your message that you’re trying to put out into the market. So 

[00:23:18] Jewels: not only is there a ton of content being created, but there’s also thousands of different platforms that we can be involved in as well.

[00:23:26] Jewels: Again, what’s your advice for, for people starting out in the game is where do you start? Is there a particular platform that might stand out for some and not for others? Or, you know, is it better to go thin and across multiple different platforms? Or would you suggest getting really good at one and then moving to the next?

[00:23:45] Jewels: Where, where do you stand on 

[00:23:46] Adrian: that? I tend to tell people to start with one platform first, because a lot of the times, the content that you put out on one platform, like we were discussing early on, where, you know, we have the Law of Form, but then within the Law of Form, you can kind of [00:24:00] cut out interesting tidbits, and that in itself is also content as well that you can share on other platforms, right?

[00:24:05] Adrian: So generally, I’m a big fan of Law of Form content, I think there’s a lot of value in it. But at the same time, I would still tell people to focus on one platform and usually whatever platform that they’re most comfortable with as well. And of course, there’s also what industry they’re in does also matter.

[00:24:21] Adrian: For example, a lot of people who are in crypto discord and twitter is really important. People who are obviously in fortune 500 linkedin is very important for them and people who are trying to kind of get their start. In social media, Instagram and YouTube, I think are the best ways to get about it.

[00:24:36] Adrian: Maybe tech talk as well. So it really depends on your target audience and what platform that you’re already familiar with, because if you don’t understand that majority of people who watch YouTube or mail, and you’re trying to. Put out female content oriented content there. Yeah, it might work, but you know, you’re basically facing a lot of headwinds to try and get that traction built versus Instagram, where the playing field is a lot more level.

[00:24:59] Adrian: If you want to [00:25:00] put out female oriented content. So I think understanding the platform that you’re using is probably the most important thing first. And then I would say the next best thing is to put out long form content, and then depending on what platforms you’re using, you can reform that long form content into little tidbits.

[00:25:15] Adrian: Even on YouTube, you have people putting up podcasts, and then they’ll start a new channel for clips, right? And then they’ll put out 10 minute, 15 minutes, Sections that are a lot more easily digestible, but again, it comes down to time because if you have a presence on, let’s say, 10 different platforms and it’s just you as an individual running it, it’ll be really easy for you to burn out.

[00:25:35] Adrian: And the algorithm definitely favors consistency. So if you don’t have that consistent output, you’re going to fall behind. Other people who are doing the same thing, even if their content is not as engaging as yours. But yeah, so it’s hard to balance both because I know some content creators, myself, that are a little bit frustrated, especially if they put a lot of time and effort into creating one very detailed piece of long form content, but they can’t beat out on people, let’s say, [00:26:00] who just stream, live stream, and you know, it’s Pretty empty.

[00:26:04] Adrian: It’s just a day in their life, but because they’re consistently putting out that content, they’re able to kind of gain that traction within the algorithm. So at the end of the day, though, I think as long as you think your message is worth telling and you’re consistent with it, even if you’re not posting every day and it’s just once a week, I think it’s still a valuable thing to do.

[00:26:22] Adrian: You mentioned 

[00:26:22] Jewels: consistency there, which I totally agree. Um, what about frequency? Have you found a sweet spot that kind of makes a difference between you actually getting some of that algorithm juice or where it starts to wean off, you know? Do you have to be there daily really? Or if as long as it’s at least a few days a week, or is it once a week or once a month, where, where’s that sweet spot?

[00:26:44] Jewels: Or is there a sweet spot on any other platforms? I think 

[00:26:48] Adrian: if you’re doing long form content, you probably want to put something out at least once or twice a week. But if it’s short form, something like Instagram or Reels, YouTube Shorts, I think you [00:27:00] pretty much have to do at least once a day. Maybe even twice a day because the content is so it’s so short, right?

[00:27:07] Adrian: So I think the algorithm will only pick it up if you’re constantly putting up content but in terms of long form I think you can get a lot more engagement with long form because there’s just a lot more to talk about There’s a lot more value in it. So I think in terms of long form ideally if you can maybe Twice a week or even once a week is fine as long as it’s something that’s actually providing value to the market But if it’s all just short form content, you pretty much have to do something at least once or twice a day And that’s in shorts.

[00:27:36] Adrian: That’s twitter instagram threads now, so Yeah, and discord, you have to pretty much always be engaged with your community as well. So I think short term, it’s a lot easier to burn out because you pretty much can’t ever drop the ball, but long form, you kind of have a little bit more flexibility where you can take some time, do some research.

[00:27:54] Adrian: But of course, it does help if you actually have like a dedicated team behind it, because then they can kind of do both [00:28:00] for you at once. That’s the ideal method, but yeah, like we discussed earlier, that’s not always financially feasible for a lot of people and there’s the time costs and effort costs as well.

[00:28:09] Adrian: So it really comes down to your budget in terms of your resource allocation for content. One of the 

[00:28:15] Jewels: other big challenges, of course, when you’re marketing is to firstly grab somebody’s attention, but then also to be able to keep it. What have you learned over the years about people’s attention span, firstly.

[00:28:28] Jewels: And are there any sort of tips or tricks or anything that can help the listener to understand the dimensions of getting and keeping somebody’s attention? 

[00:28:37] Adrian: Right. Yeah. That’s actually a pretty good point because interestingly in Hong Kong, podcasts are actually not very popular. So generally it’s people who’ve studied overseas.

[00:28:47] Adrian: that are more interested in long form content, even like comedy shows or people streaming. Usually, I find this is more of a Western phenomenon because I don’t really see podcasts. Maybe there is room for [00:29:00] people to make podcast content here, but generally speaking, even some of For example, even corporately, some of our clients who are trying to enter the Hong Kong market, they go, Oh, like, why don’t we try a podcast?

[00:29:11] Adrian: And we usually tell them, yeah, that doesn’t fly too well often here. Like they’re welcome to try it and we can set it up for them. But based off of our experience and what we see, podcasts generally don’t really take off in Hong Kong specifically, but in Singapore, I hear a lot of people do listen to podcasts.

[00:29:27] Adrian: So it’s sometimes very geographically oriented thing. So Yeah, 

[00:29:34] Jewels: so the nuances are even different per country. Do you think in some of those instances? Yeah. Why do you think Hong Kong doesn’t pick up on podcasts or is it just podcasts or any long form content? 

[00:29:45] Adrian: I would say just podcasts because I think it’s just because there’s so much content out there, so it may not even necessarily be attention span because I think globally everyone’s attention span has gone down drastically over the [00:30:00] past decade just because of social media and a lot of the times you have to do a lot of gimmicky things just to get people, let’s say, to listen to the whole podcast or watch an entire video.

[00:30:09] Adrian: You have to be like, oh, stay tuned for the last part where we actually tell you. the most valuable parts of our video, and then it might just be fluff in the very beginning. So, but I think in Hong Kong, there are people who do listen to law informed content, but it’s more for a community driven content.

[00:30:24] Adrian: So what I mean by that is like, if there’s someone who’s a streamer who plays video games, and he’s entertaining, people like to have a chat and be able to comment on things and kind of have that. community aspect of it, if it’s long form, but if it’s just them putting on their earphones and listening to content, they don’t tend to want to listen to 20 minute, one hour podcasts.

[00:30:47] Adrian: They just want to listen to music or anything else really. But this is just something I think is very Hong Kong specific, because I haven’t really heard of something like this in Singapore, or Malaysia, or Australia, and [00:31:00] podcasts are obviously huge in America and Canada as well, and I think in Europe, the viewership is quite high, so I think this is something that’s a little bit unique to Hong Kong, and I don’t think it’s a tension span, I think people kind of want that community aspect, Bye.

[00:31:15] Adrian: If they want to do long form, just because this is kind of sad to say, but I think a lot of people are quite lonely, so they do want that community aspect. And sometimes they’re not able to do that in real life. So they like to join streams where there’s a lot of people talking, a lot of people commenting on things and they can kind of be a part of that conversation.

[00:31:32] Adrian: So that’s where long form content kind of works. But if you’re just putting out a podcast where there’s no interaction and it’s just them sitting there listening, I think they tend to not really want to do that. Let’s 

[00:31:43] Jewels: hope this podcast can change that. Hey, 

[00:31:45] Adrian: so 

[00:31:48] Jewels: in the consumer world, you mentioned that you have to have a gimmick, for example, and in a short video to get people’s attention and, and they’re getting crazier and crazier and more unique and, you [00:32:00] know, a lot more effort going into these attention grabbing sort of strategies.

[00:32:04] Jewels: How does that translate though, into the business world? Like you can’t, always do that sort of extreme, I guess, at a business level, or can you? And is there a different way to grab somebody’s attention when we’re talking about business? 

[00:32:18] Adrian: So I think there’s a few ways businesses can kind of approach this.

[00:32:22] Adrian: Usually it’s a combination of a few different tools and tactics, I would say. A lot of the times we will I would say I haven’t had a lot of agency experience, but from what I do know from our agency, we tend to push the envelope quite a bit, so we will give our clients a lot of, like, out of the box ideas, a lot of AR and VR innovative things, and we kind of just kind of want to get them thinking about these options.

[00:32:50] Adrian: Because I think a lot of the times, because they’re so structured, they don’t really have any new ideas, which is why they go externally to kind of get that, get the creative juices [00:33:00] flowing, so to speak. So, I think what works best, corporately, I find, is for them to do, because they have the budget, to kind of do bigger events.

[00:33:08] Adrian: And that’s not, sometimes it’s not always a financial thing. Like, for example, one, Clients that I pitched to recently they’re in the codings industry. So their current client of ours They wanted to improve their sustainability messaging but coming from a codings company Obviously their product itself is not exactly sustainable.

[00:33:27] Adrian: So a lot of their messaging Even if the intention isn’t to be like that, it comes off as greenwashing. So we kind of want to tell them, look, so you can’t just tell people you’re sustainable. And if your products aren’t sustainable, that kind of makes it even worse. So we try to push them to do more, I guess, social and constructive initiatives, where we kind of use social media.

[00:33:50] Adrian: We use the content and press releases and interviews to kind of amplify. A social initiative that they’re a part of so, for example, we might tell them to [00:34:00] maybe use the paint chip samples that they get in the catalogs before you choose a type of paint. You want to paint a lot of the times they throw out these catalogs at the end of the year.

[00:34:09] Adrian: If they have a new product line, new serial number, they throw these catalogs out. But that’s just a lot of. Non recyclable plastic and garbage that’s going into landfills and isn’t a good thing for them. It’s not good for the environment. So we pitched to them to kind of use this as an opportunity to create a social initiative where they can make little art kits for kids.

[00:34:30] Adrian: So they can take these paint chips that are different colors and they can cut them out and glue them onto sheets of paper and make like mosaics for it. So this kind of helps your brand kind of build some community goodwill. Parents can kind of see you doing something valuable for their kids. They see that however they view your company’s current brand or messaging, they do recognize that this is An initiative where everyone sort of wins, right?

[00:34:52] Adrian: So we want to create situations where it’s a win win for everyone. And then we kind of use content. We use PR, we use marketing [00:35:00] to amplify that message. So it gets out there more. And then that kind of helps the company build momentum so that they can take on more ambitious initiatives in the future.

[00:35:08] Adrian: Stories worth sharing, right? Yeah. Exactly. The emotional connection. The emotional connection. 

[00:35:13] Jewels: Can you share any examples, perhaps, of what you may have considered as a bit of an extreme attempt at some marketing, in a corporate sense, that you didn’t necessarily know was going to work, but perhaps surprised you and the customer a little bit as to how well it really did.

[00:35:30] Jewels: Maybe 

[00:35:30] Adrian: not necessarily something good This is i’m just going to use an example of something that I think a lot of people have heard of but for like the Bud light in america when they use dylan mulvaney as their flavor of the month I think that’s what i’ll call it and they got a lot of backlash for it and you could see that it did That one little misstep kind of alienated almost their entire consumer base.

[00:35:53] Adrian: And I think they lost billions in revenue, their stock prices plummeting just from that one mistake. So I think this [00:36:00] is also why companies are, I do understand why they may be a little bit more risk averse because they see examples like this and they go, Oh yeah, what if that happens to us? Right. And it’s my job on the line.

[00:36:11] Adrian: If i’m the one who kind of orchestrated or if i’m the one who okayed this initiative, so I can’t really think of unfortunately a positive one At this moment, but yeah I think it’s a lot harder especially for companies to kind of push the envelope and I think we As an agency try our best to get them to do that.

[00:36:30] Adrian: And of course we want to evaluate all the potential You know shortcomings of an initiative and especially I think I have no idea how that Dylan Mulvaney thing was okay. It was completely out of touch. I think with what the traditional marketing that they kind of go for and they’re going to have to do a lot of crisis management afterwards, but yeah, I think generally speaking, a lot of companies still need to take the risks and usually they can come back from it, even if they do make a mistake.

[00:36:56] Adrian: So, but yeah, I understand that because the company so [00:37:00] big and a lot of people are risking their jobs if they push out something. That’s really extreme and creative versus us as an agency. The stakes aren’t necessarily so high because worst case, if it doesn’t work out, we just lose a retainer and obviously that’s not a good thing, but it’s not the end of the world.

[00:37:15] Adrian: But for them in terms of the individual, it could be the end of someone’s career if they do something like that. So without 

[00:37:22] Jewels: sort of frightening people too much, what’s the, what’s the opposite version of that where you’ve seen perhaps some really successful campaigns that have taken a company from security into fandom, perhaps, you know, maybe one that you’ve worked with or one that you’ve seen in the marketplace, 

[00:37:37] Adrian: perhaps.

[00:37:38] Adrian: I can’t really say one that I’ve worked with, but personally I’m a pretty big fan of Tesla. I think Elon’s done a fantastic job building up his br not only his brand, but his company as well. I think one benefit that he has going for him is I doubt he sleeps very much, because he does pretty much all the content and all the thought leadership by himself, and whether that’s…

[00:37:59] Adrian: He [00:38:00] says things you agree with or you don’t agree with. The fact that he does have the ability to generate so much controversy and basically move markets with tweets, I think that sort of stands as like a perfect example of successful marketing even though it’s done quite of, you could say, left of field because I don’t really see a lot of other thought leaders kind of doing what he’s doing.

[00:38:20] Adrian: And I think what also makes him successful too is that he does have a portfolio to kind of back him in the sense that he’s This isn’t his first multi billion dollar company that he’s run. He’s run multiple and he’s clearly very ambitious, very driven. And I think a lot of people who do talk about in terms of who they want to emulate, oftentimes they, they use Apple and Microsoft, BMW, IBM as sort of who they want to emulate because they kind of see that these companies have a very relevant.

[00:38:51] Adrian: Share a voice in the market, but they’re not too extreme in the sense that they get a lot of backlash for what they do versus Elon doesn’t care if he gets backlash and he [00:39:00] sort of rises above and he succeeds Regardless of their if there is so he kind of thrives in controversy And I think that’s what makes him a unique individual, but I wouldn’t advise all brands to follow that Method or that sort of track because not everyone is like him, not everyone can deal with that type of pressure, that type of controversy, but I think if more brands did what he did, I honestly think they would be more successful.

[00:39:24] Jewels: He is definitely one of the extremes and does stand out because he’s constantly in the limelight. For anybody listening to this, that possibly is at the other end of that extreme, you know, maybe they haven’t been out in the marketplace. Maybe they haven’t communicated as well as they can out externally to their business that maybe they haven’t got a following yet.

[00:39:44] Jewels: What advice would you give to somebody, whether it’s just an individual out there or a small company or a founder of a company, or even mid management inside a corporate that hasn’t yet started on the journey, where would you advise them to get started and just get that feel for it and. [00:40:00] And without overwhelming them, because I think part of the problem is the overwhelm, like I might not have the budget and I don’t necessarily have the time, but I really get that I need to get my message out there.

[00:40:10] Jewels: What advice would you give? 

[00:40:11] Adrian: I think at the end of the day, people have more in common than they do have different. So, you’d be surprised at how many people your message actually resonates with. And, a lot of people I see who start doing content, they, over, like, years ago, I’ve told them to start doing it, and they’re like, oh, like, I don’t know, like, I’m not sure if this is my kind of thing.

[00:40:31] Adrian: Maybe I’d rather just do accounting or whatnot. And, uh, actually, recently, I had a friend who, she’s doing content full time now, because she did the accounting, she tried to switch fields, I think, into HR, this, just didn’t, Quite scratched that itch and I could tell that she is that type of person who does kind of thrive in terms of creating content and I think she’s only been doing it for a month but her following’s been growing quite a bit and at a certain point it almost gets addictive [00:41:00] because you get that dopamine hit every time you see your viewership kind of grow and your following kind of grow so I think for a lot of people they just, I would say even including myself, I think the first step you kind of have to do is just to Kind of just say what you kind of think, say what you feel.

[00:41:15] Adrian: And even if no one responds to it, like we talked about in the beginning, it’s just a matter of consistency. So at least try and do it for three months and see where that takes you. And if it doesn’t go anywhere, then you could stop. If it’s taking too much of your time or taking too much effort. If it’s not something that you like to do, then that’s okay.

[00:41:33] Adrian: But I think. One important thing to keep in mind is whatever message you’re trying to put out there has to be something you’re interested in and something you’re engaged with because if you just keep talking about things that you don’t really care about, you’re not going to want to continue even when you don’t have that following, you don’t have that viewership, or you don’t see the immediate result.

[00:41:51] Adrian: And I find that people who do well in content, they’re just recording what they already enjoy doing. So it’s just a matter of Essentially putting [00:42:00] down your day to day life into digestible formats, whether that’s a podcast, whether that’s a video vlog, whatever it is, they just kind of, you just kind of need to take the first step and put yourself out there and make sure it’s something that you actually enjoy doing.

[00:42:13] Jewels: I often tell people that two things. One is not to set the bar too high. So I think we have this unrealistic expectation that we’re going to send a couple of tweets and all of a sudden we’ve got 10, 000 followers, right? It doesn’t happen like that. It doesn’t happen overnight, generally, unless you get lucky on a, on a particular piece of content.

[00:42:32] Jewels: So lower the expectation, Bargus, to be honest, nobody’s listening at the beginning anyway. So it doesn’t even have to be that great. So when you’re first starting out, if you’re not used to writing, then you’re not going to be the greatest writer. So like anything, it’s a skill and a skill that you can develop.

[00:42:48] Jewels: Over time. So practice tends to make you better, but it does take the consistency and the effort to continue to practice and to watch what’s going on and the feedback that you’re getting and [00:43:00] adjust your methodology and, and so forth. Right. To, to then slowly, but surely like, you know, compound interest.

[00:43:07] Jewels: It’ll sort of start to grow over time. So that’s definitely the one piece of advice that I often give. And the second part is to, like you said, you’ve got to be sort of passionate about something, but don’t think you have to reinvent the wheel. Right. There’s plenty of stuff going on in your every day that you can document.

[00:43:26] Jewels: So rather than trying to create something brand new, if you just think about. Talking about what’s just happened in your day, in your week, and document that as a piece. Whether that’s a short form or long form piece doesn’t matter, but if you start to document, you don’t have to sit there and think of new things to think about.

[00:43:44] Jewels: It’s just your life kind of unfolding. And if you sort of take that into consideration and are able to commit to. A timeline so or a consistent approach so and this is another thing I tell people is don’t commit to 17 [00:44:00] posts a day on day one because you’re gonna fail right it’s like expecting to go into do weight loss and lose 20 kilos in the first week or never leave the couch in your life and then all of a sudden being able to run a marathon like it just doesn’t happen you’ve got to slowly build up build up the practice build up the muscle memory and slowly but surely you’ll get better and better and your Ability to churn out more and more increases with it as well.

[00:44:26] Jewels: So lower the bar, right? Do it, start off with once a week. Do a mid, it doesn’t even have to be long form, do a mid form piece of content. Once a week where you’ve just documented, you know, what’s happened in your week in the stuff that you think is interesting for you and also for the potential 

[00:44:44] Adrian: listener, right?

[00:44:45] Adrian: And I think you’re actually a perfect example of that, right? Because I mean, you’ve talked to people from all walks of life and not even, you’re not restricted to your geographical area, right? You’re not only talking to people in Australia or Sydney or New Zealand, like because you have the internet, you [00:45:00] do actually have the reach to talk to people from all walks of life.

[00:45:03] Adrian: And I think that’s often underestimated because even for example, in Malaysia, you have people, I think the average person owns 1. 8. So you actually have more cell phones in the country than you have people. So, and I think a lot of the times you’d be surprised, maybe a lot of people in Malaysia would watch your content, but if you’re not putting anything out there, then no, one’s going to know what you’re talking about or what your message is.

[00:45:27] Adrian: And so, yeah, so I think the first step is like you said, you have to get yourself out there and then talk about something that you’re actually passionate about. Don’t restrict yourself. I would say to whatever you think your niche is. I think a lot of the times I hear advice from people that are like, oh, yeah, just focus on a niche, right?

[00:45:44] Adrian: Like whether it’s e commerce or whatever just figure out what that little interesting thing is and just double down on that I’m, not saying that doesn’t work, but and you can be A really good writer and at the same time you could play guitar really well Maybe you really like setting up [00:46:00]aquariums You know, there’s a lot of things that you do that is probably really interesting to a lot of people But maybe you’re only sharing one side of it and that’s Could be why your growth is capped, right, because you think that people only care about that one thing, but to be honest, you probably have a lot of other things that you do in your daily life that are really interesting to other people, but you wouldn’t know, right, unless you put it out there.

[00:46:22] Adrian: Right, 

[00:46:22] Jewels: and the most, you know, some people think the most mundane thing that they do is not interesting, but how many cooking shows are out there where you’re watching people chopping vegetables, right? People love this kind of thing, so it’s as much about sharing the experience as it is anything else. 

[00:46:38] Adrian: Yep, there’s a lot of people in Asia that just film themselves eating, and they make like millions of dollars doing it, so, who knows?

[00:46:47] Jewels: Adrian, I’ve really enjoyed our chat today, where can the audience find a little bit more about you? 

[00:46:53] Adrian: So, I’m on LinkedIn for the most part. I have an Instagram as well, that’s at B A D R I A N. Yeah, usually I’m on these two platforms the most. So, yeah, especially if you want to reach out to me in terms of anything content or marketing side, business side of things, yeah, definitely reach me in my LinkedIn.

[00:47:14] Adrian: I’m always open to collaborating with different people.

[00:47:18] Jewels: And I’ll stick those in the show notes. Adrian, thank you so much for being part of the show.

[00:47:21] Adrian: Thank you, Jewels. It was a pleasure being on and looking forward to hearing from your future audiences and your podcast. Thanks, Adrian. 

[00:47:29] Jewels: Appreciate it. Cheers.

[00:47:34] Jewels: A good reminder from Adrian that telling your story is important to build a brand, however not everyone is able or capable of doing it well. Ask for help. Consistent and compelling content will build a brand if it’s in market. Ideas in your head will keep you a secret. One will help you grow, the other will hinder it.

[00:47:57] Jewels: Much love, chat soon.

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