From Gary Vee to Deepak Chopra – these are our top 9 take-aways from listening and talking to entrepreneurs in 2018:

1. Deepak Chopra: You Need to be Understood and You Need a Good Story.

“God’s language is silence. The rest is poor interpretation”. What a way to start Inbound 2018 in Boston. Very fitting for a marketing conference.

Deepak conveyed that for a business to be successful, you need to be understood and you need a great story. To identify your story, you need to listen. Listen to yourself and listen to your company.

We are bombarded by messages and thoughts every day. Deepak explains that these are distractions. That our thoughts are largely not our own. They are recycled material of what others have told us. So be careful who you listen to!

Deepak Chopra’s 6 pillars of well-being:

  • Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Movement
  • Emotions
  • Nutrition
  • Grounding (connecting with nature).
Deepak Chopra, author and speaker at Inbound 2018

Deepak Chopra, author and speaker at Inbound 2018

2. Aakestam-Holst, Award Winning Agency: Be Helpfully Honest.

Speaking at Mumbrella in Sydney earlier this year, we found this little gem in the slippery world of advertising.
The truth builds trust more effectively than any slick line will ever do.
This award-winning Swedish agency explains that speaking the truth (even the uncomfortable ones) and challenging clichés leads to better results.

3. New York Start-up Come Million-Dollar Company on Influencers

Nicky Radzely, founder of Doddle & Co was recently embraced by Kylie Jenner and her 119 Million Instagram followers. When we caught up with Nicki in New York in September, we talked about entrepreneurship and the use of influencers.

Nicki was on a mission to rethink parenting tools in a modern way. She thought of everything from bedroom door handles to stylish burp cloths. Nothing would stick until she came across an industrial designer looking for a new take on traditional dummies. Together, they designed a dummy that would pop (contract) before it hit the ground. That moment changed everything.

Doodle & Co talks with Long & Co in New York

Doodle & Co talks with Long & Co in New York

All her savings, a re-mortgage on the mortgage, attending a shark-tank episode, venture capital rounds and Doddle has grown from zero to $1 million in 2 years. Now stocked at Nordstrom, Pottery Barn and Amazon, projections are in the millions.

Nicki was looking for an idea. She looked everywhere. When she found it, she backed it. With everything. In September she expressed doubts the many thousand product samples sent to influencers would pay off. On September 29th, Kylie Jenner posted her baby with Doddle’s ‘Pop’ on Instagram. Doddle’s orders blew-up overnight.

Doddle & Co team in New York.

Doddle & Co team in New York.

4. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn: Only the Paranoid Survives

Reid spoke in Boston about scaling LinkedIn from one to millions of users. The secret to his success is adapting the mindset of being terrified at all times. As exhausting as this sounds, Reid is advising businesses to prepare for the dreaded moment when everything changes. To be ready, almost overnight, to change everything up or be left behind.

5. Darmesh Shah, Hubspot: Remove Customer Friction

Removing customer friction accelerates growth.

Amazon are famous for their customer centricity. A relentless focus on removing customer pain points has led to faster shipping times, lower prices and soaring revenues from $500,000 20 years ago to $200 billion in 2018.

Long & Co has adopted a ‘no friction’ approach by not using contracts or submitting long proposals. This ensures speed and avoids tyre kickers.

6. Executives in New York: Be Fiercely Competitive

Working on global accounts including IKEA, Red Bull and Lego isn’t for the faint hearted. Add New York marketing landscape into it and the ethos ‘Its a jungle out there’ becomes real.

We spoke to two advertising executives in their 30s and 40s who are on top of their game. They described their existence as wedged between glamour and paranoia.

“It’s a constant challenge. We’ve got the experience and the network. But we have to keep our eye on what’s ahead. If you lose your job in our industry in your 40’s, you’re finished”.

7. Kali Roberg, Inbound: Authenticity isn’t Something You Do

Social media expert and speaker at Inbound, Kali Roberg put it well when she said: ‘Being authentic isn’t something you do, it’s something you are’. She explained:

You are your story, and your job is to tell it. Find your perspective and your voice. Don’t speak in general terms or regurgitate from Google. Add emotion and resonance.

Take a stand and be brave, don’t hedge. If you are in the finance industry, tell us what habits you’ve created to accumulate your wealth. If you are a lawyer, tell us when we don’t need a contract. Be polite, generous and firm. Be you.

8. Brian Hallaway, Hubspot: The Customer is an Input, Not an Output

Moving away from a traditional funnel, where a customer would go from awareness to conversion, Hubspot introduced the ‘Flywheel’ at this years’ ‘Inbound’ marketing conference:

The central element to this model is recognising that the customer is an input into the funnel, and not an output from it.

The 'Flywheel' replaces the traditional marketing funnel.

The ‘Flywheel’ replaces the traditional marketing funnel.

Seems pretty damned obvious in hindsight. Word of mouth is more important than any awareness building you can do at the top of the funnel. Trust is low. Customers listen to other customers.

The best way to create a forceful flywheel effect of happy customers, is to… wait for it… do a great job and look after them. That’s it. You can cut your advertising budget now and add it to building a great customer experience.

9. Gary Vee, American Entrepreneur: Attention is Today’s Currency

It was with great anticipation small-to-medium businesses and marketing professionals greeted Gary Vee at Sydney Olympic Park last month.

His message to the audience was: “Just as radio, TV, emails and AdWords had its golden era, social media’s moment in the sun will fade. This is your opportunity”.

Reflecting on what comes after social, Gary Vee believes voice will be big. His rational is we are increasingly time poor, but information hungry. As technology continues to enable voice via Alexa and Google home, we will have no patience for reading or typing – but ample of appetite for a voice to feed us.

Gary Vee spoke at Sydney Olympic Park in October 2018

Gary Vee spoke at Sydney Olympic Park in October 2018

He concluded with a warning:
“If you are not putting out content at scale, someone else will come and take your audience. If you are looking for your next platform, do a podcast”.
Gary is a social media personality who generates 100 pieces of content each day. He has millions of followers around the world, has built multi-million-dollar businesses and was an early investor in Facebook, Twitter and Uber.

About Long & Co

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Long & Co is a small brand and digital alternative to a big agency.