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Exponential Clients, Creighton Wong and Simon Severino LIVE | STRATEGY SPRINTS 167

In this episode, Simon and Creighton Wong, the founder of Exponential Clients, will talk about Creighton’s company and his personal opinions and recommendations for entrepreneurs. Creighton is an expert in online business growth, and he founded Exponential Clients, a digital marketing company, trying to help entrepreneurs acquire more online leads and sales.

Three valuable insights:

  • The way you think as a CEO is different than it is for a manager or a technician. There are different ways to think and there are different goals or objectives, and you have to really be in touch and know who you are as a person.
  • Especially in the entrepreneurial world, you've got to forgive yourself a lot because there are going to be mistakes.
  • You just need to be in the present moment and keep moving on. That's the only way that you grow your business and grow yourself as a person.

Simon (00:14):

Welcome back to the strategy sprints podcast. I'm your host Simon Severino. And today my guest is the founder of Exponential Clients, a digital marketing firm built on the belief that massively growing business always starts with research and gathering the very best data. Welcome, everybody, from Vietnam, Creighton Wong.

Creighton (00:38):

Hi, how are you?

Simon (00:40):

So cool to have you here.

 

Creighton (00:42):

Happy to be here.

 

Simon (00:44):

And it's late in the evening for you, so thank you for doing this from Vietnam.

Creighton (00:53):

Yeah, yeah. It's nothing but high that even the coldest days are still warmer than a lot of days from San Francisco.

Simon (01:05):

We will talk about team roles and also the job of the CEO which is really relevant. So I'm excited and tell us, what are you currently creating?

Creighton (01:19):

Yeah, so right now, uh, because we're at the end of the year, it's December, I'm doing a little rebranding and refocusing for 2021. Uh, one of the programs that we rolled out was this awesome product that we call our omni-channel digital marketing packages. And, you know, it's just delivering these incredible results and our clients love it. And long story short, we package up anywhere from five to eight different digital marketing channels, so that brands can deliver an omnipresent presence to massively grow their business. And what we're able to do is literally deliver it on pennies on the dollar, what it would take to hire out a team with all this different expertise.

Simon (02:11):

Yeah. Tell us more about it. Who is it for?

Creighton (02:14):

I, you know, it's really for probably any medium-size to larger business that is looking for growth, and they're looking for growth specifically online. They know that SEO, search engine optimization, is very important to them, and they also know that social media marketing is very important to grow their following in the brand, email marketing plays a role in, their video plays a role in, their paid advertising plays a role in there. And so what we did was, you know, bundling all these services could easily costs over $20,000 a month. If you were to hire these out on the average salaries, it's $26,000 and we're just talking about salaries, not even the taxes and the worker's comp and all those kinds of things with it. And so, what we did was we said, “Hey, look, you know, you don't need all these services 100% of the time. What if we can package it up at one low cost.” And then that way you basically get the marketing and the omnipresence of being a really big budget at firm on a much smaller budget for you.

Simon (03:31):

Nice. And what are some results that your clients are seeing?

Creighton (03:36):

Just a lot of growth. It depends on which channel we're focusing on. And one of the things I always say is we want to start with what our client's goals are. So if the goals are to, for example, grow awareness, then we really want to focus on their social media brand. If the goals are quick sales, then paid advertising is probably where we're going to spend most of our time. If we're looking for a long-term sustainable strategy, the search engine is probably… and it also depends on the business model and how they monetize, but ultimately at the end of it, what we're trying to do is drive your ideal client, your ideal prospect to you and convert them to whatever your awesome service or your awesome product is that you want to deliver. Because there are hundreds of thousands of people out there that are looking for your solution, and it's just literally a matter of connecting those dots so that they can find your solution and become a raving fan of you.

Simon (04:50):

And I'm curious who your raving fan off in our segments. So you can pick only one person when everybody is zigging. This person is zagging, but from your perspective, they're doing the right thing. Who is this?

Creighton (05:11):

You know, I've been thinking about this a lot and I was really struggling with this because I didn't know any of the big names. And this is going to sound kind of funny because, obviously, with our services, we're trying to get you as much attention as possible. But the guys that I am always drawn to are, you know, the people who just are passionate and love their craft, and they end up getting their popularity because they're so focused on just becoming better with their craft. I'm a big sportsman. I love guys like Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, he’s just a basketball junkie. When I was younger, I wasn't nearly as talented as he was, but, you know, I was a junkie. You give me a ball and a court and I could spend hours in there.

Creighton (06:02):

Uh, the MMA guy over there in Russia could be, he just applies his craft and he's not looking for all the histrionics and the attention. And so, you know, I really like those guys that are true to themselves. Uh, my father-in-law, he's an artisan and he makes handcrafted guitars. And he just like… that's his lifeblood, you know, he can't… I don't think he could ever imagine a life where he doesn't sit there and work on his craft, even though he's been doing it for decades. So, yeah, I don't have that one person. I don't think I threw a couple of names out there, but I really loved those who pay attention and apply themselves each and every day.

Simon (06:53):

Your CEO tip is around team rowers. Can you unpack that?

Creighton (06:59):

Yeah. You know, I'm going to talk about this a little bit later, but one of the books that I love is E-Myth revisited by Michael Gerber. I consider that it's a must read for anybody who is even thinking about stepping out on their own and starting their own business, because the way you think as a CEO is different than it is for a manager. And it's different from the technician, the guy who does the work and does the job. There are different ways to think there are different goals or different objectives, and you have to really be in touch and know who you are as a person to know if you can step into the entrepreneurial role, if you value getting the job done and you value security, you're really going to be a much happier person as an employee, as a technician; As the CEO, you've got to be as… I like to say, comfortable being uncomfortable, and you've got to be a visionary and you've gotta be very comfortable in making decisions, even if you mess it up every once in a while.

Simon (08:18):

What are the other two books that shaped you?

Creighton (08:22):

Yeah, so, uh, E-Myth revisited by Michael Gerber is the one, like I said, it's a must read for anybody who wants to get into the entrepreneurial space. And I think he's got like a hundred books now for different verticals, like E-Myth for the lawyer, for the chiropractor, for the dentist. So you could pick up one of those.

 

And, you know, as a kid, I went to basketball camp with the legendary John Wooden and it was John Wooden's basketball camp. And, and somebody gave me his book called Wooden. And it's just a great little snippet of a lot of his thoughts and a lot of the way he thinks in terms of living life. And, there's a lot of my morals or ethics were built around the way he carried himself as a coach and as a person.

Creighton (09:19):

So Wooden by John Wooden, it's a great little read and it's a great coffee table book as well, because you can just pick it up, flip it to any page and there you go.

 

And then the War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a great book. Not to be confused with The Art of War, which is another great book, but The War of Art by Steven Pressfield is a great one for getting things done. He talks about the procrastination and, you know, it's a fight. There are days, as an entrepreneur where it's like, man, it feels like you're slogging through mud, but you gotta keep trucking to get to the destination.

Simon (10:04):

I love Steven Pressfield, but he has recently done a series about warrior and he started in Sparta and he went on about the warrior archetype. It's a beautiful series. I really recommend it.

Creighton (10:23):

Is that a book or is it like a…?

Simon (10:26):

It’s a video that he did on his YouTube channel. And there is one book, particularly that I love from him, which is the artist's way, and what he does there is he adds to the hero's journey, something more adult, because the hero's journey, which now everybody is citing, is basically saying, find yourself and then see what you're capable of. Okay. That's the first part, but what do you do when you have found yourself? Now you are, I don't know, 25 or 30, you have found this. So how do you execute on that? And for that, there is a second journey that he calls the artist way. That's when you learn to hone the craft and to show up every day and to do the work. And so that's the artist's way. And it's also a beautiful piece because it's about how you feel when you show up every day, as a craftsman, somebody who does guitars, or as a CEO, somebody who runs a company… when you show up every day to make it a little bit better and to serve this team and these people.

Creighton (11:43):

Absolutely. I mean, and that's… it sounds like there's some overlap between the artist's way and the War of Art. Uh, so they're both good, complimentary books to pick out.

Simon (11:55):

Absolutely. And he did a great job in showing where the emotional labor is, where the hard things are about creating something beautiful.

Creighton (12:11):

Yeah. I think, it was Tim Ferriss, Tim Ferriss talks about that a lot too. He's like, man, there are days where you're just whatever your mind, your body is just not… you wake up and you're not ready to go, but that's… those are the days that you've got to sit there and go down your list and be like, what's that one thing, what's that one thing you can get today done… today that will progress you further and make today all worth it. Um, in fact, today, that was my day today. Cause, uh, I told you I'm a little under the weather and, the neurons aren't all firing as fast as I'm used to, but it's like, what's that one thing I can get done to still make today a productive day.

Simon (12:56):

How did this pandemic impact you?

Creighton (13:01):

Oh it hurt. I mean it hurt like a lot of other small businesses. As you can imagine, I mean there were tons of businesses, for example. I had a handful of restaurant clients that they closed down. They don't need any marketing cause they're closed down. And so we're the first, we're one of the first line items that get crossed off their list. And so we got hit with it, but we also did a lot of things to try and continue supporting them: free advice, kind of a lot of DIY things to keep the social media active and see how they can be helpful within the community. And so they appreciated that. But, yeah, you know, our clients get hit, we get hit. It’s a partnership that we have with them. It's not, what's good for me is not necessarily, you know, it's partnership.

Simon (14:10):

Where can people read about you and find more about you?

Creighton (14:16):

So I'm on LinkedIn all the time. So just hit me up on there, Creighton Wong, on LinkedIn. And you can also hit me up on our websites, exponentialclients.com. Like I said, we're going under a rebrand. So if you check it out today it might change by tomorrow.

Simon (14:40):

Cool. What else did you learn during these past months that you want to share with our community?

Creighton (14:48):

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I've, I do a lot of work on mindset and how to think. And one of the recent lessons, um, well, one of the old lessons that got a new spin on it is really what it comes down to. I preached forgiveness a lot, and when we talk about forgiveness, it's not necessarily about forgiving other people, but especially in the entrepreneurial world, you've got to forgive yourself a lot because there are going to be mistakes. There are things that don't go right, and don't let perfect ruin good is one of my sayings. But forgiveness is really just about letting go and like I said, I've been sick all day, I didn't get quite as much done today as I would've liked to, but when I wake up in the morning, the first thing I'm going to remind myself is just remember that yesterday ended last night, and yesterday's defeats with it. Cause you just got to be in the present moment and keep moving on. That's the only way that you grow your business and grow yourself as a person.

Simon (15:59):

Beautiful. Who should be my next guest, Creighton?

Creighton (16:03):

A good friend of mine. Sean Flynn should be your next guest, he's a Silicon Valley investor and an podcaster. So he's got his own podcast there. Maybe you guys can trade invites, but he's a smart guy and would have a lot to offer you.

Simon (16:25):

Beautiful. Thank you so much for being on the show. Stay safe. Come back soon!

Creighton (16:31):

Will do, will do. Thank you for having me. Appreciate it. Bye bye.

 

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