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Henny Yeshanew, 24, is the founder of Lion Marketing Agency, a full-service marketing firm dedicated to helping medium to large businesses achieve success and growth. His company has been awarded Top Marketing Agency in Ontario in 2018 & 2019 by Canada Business Awards. Henny has also received a Top 40 Under 40 Award for his success with the marketing agency and his community work with youth development.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
people, content, business, agency, marketing, create, brand, helped, clients, question, service, podcast, companies, kpis, platforms, africa, problems, push, industry, product
Scott D Clary, Henny Yeshanew
Scott D Clary 00:06
Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Thanks again for joining me today I am sitting down with Henny Yeshanew who is the founder of lion marketing agency. They’re a full service marketing agency dedicated to helping medium and large businesses achieve success and growth on his company has been awarded top marketing agency in Ontario in 2018, and 2019, by the Canadian or Canada Business Awards, Henny has also received top 40 under 40 for success with the marketing agency and his community work with youth development, another hometown hero, so he’s uh, he’s in Toronto right now. Maybe when everything’s over, we can do like face to face all the time being man, I appreciate you joining me on Zoom. It’s really nice to have you.
Henny Yeshanew 01:19
No problem. Thank you so much for having me today.
Scott D Clary 01:21
It’s my pleasure. So you know, your you have your 24 it’s relatively young, you have some successes, some top 40 under 40. You know, award winning marketing agency, what’s your background? What’s your story? Where did you come from the you need to do this purposefully accidentally, what’s what’s going on?
Henny Yeshanew 01:40
Oh, so my background is quite funny. So basically, I came into Canada when I was eight. So I was an immigrant and having immigrant parents was not the easiest job to have in Canada. And being that we only had two to three job choices, honestly. And it was either to be a doctor, engineer or lawyer, as those were the most secure jobs we can get. So I was always good in school. For those reasons. I went into university thinking, I’m going to be this hotshot lawyer, like, Okay, I’m going to crush law school get to become a lawyer, because I’ll secure a job. And then about three years into university. While also I applied for LSAT, I did mouse as applied to law school, I was this close to going into law school. But what really happened was I was like, Is this something I really want to do for the rest of my life? Is this something that is gonna make me happy, honestly, and entrepreneurship was never in my view at all. At this time, it was just there. I always had that business mindset that I’ve always wanted to push I’d never went for. So I said, in my third year, son, I was like, Hey, let me tap into this and see if there’s something there for me. So my third year summer, I started just watching YouTube and Google searching what’s what’s popular in this industry. And I’ve always enjoyed sales or just being with people interacting with those. So I started looking to that. And then marking was also something that was in that around. So I went into social media marketing was popping in 2015 2016. I was like, Okay, let me get my hands in here. And I did, and I had two friends who have business businesses. So I said, Hey, let me try my, my skills on your business. And within two, three months, they saw some great success. I was like, this is some route that I can continue forward. So hence, I did not tell my parents. So this going into my fourth year, I launched my small business while I was like, You know what identity I still get that certificate from my parents. Even though I don’t know where it is right now. I don’t think my parents know where this piece of paper is. But so yeah, I graduated by my fourth year, I started just working on in only my skills. And I also have three Ford Bob’s to make sure I come out of it with no tuition. So I did that. And then in my, after graduating, I went full force into this business worked alone for over a year on this agency work on clients during the delivery, all of it. And I knew that at that point, I’m going to need people around me to make sure that this business scalable. So today, as you see we have over nine staff members and we work with I mean, I’ve only started with small business owners, and helping them become either medium size businesses or just honing on their, their service and their product and making sure that it’s getting delivered to everyone else. And then basically now it’s We just helped me in my life business. So that’s the story.
Scott D Clary 04:33
It’s an interesting story. Um, is it like you’re you’re very much a self learner, because you don’t have any, you know, it’s something I find interesting. A lot of successful entrepreneurs, or the, the, the ones that have the highest rate of success are the ones that work in an industry for 1015 20 years, and then they build out a product in an industry where they know there’s a problem. That is not your story at all, by any means you didn’t do that. So Like how do you how do you self motivate? How do you self drive? How do you know what works? What doesn’t? Is it just your your you understood social? And you basically just understood there was a need? Like, is there what you build out a social media agency from nothing, I guess is my question.
Henny Yeshanew 05:18
Yeah, I, it’s, it’s quite funny because I tell people, I get that question a lot. And I say, I think it was just through trial and error. Like, I tell people that people get lucky. And at the same time, you have to create your own luck. And what I did was, I just started to talk to you a lot of people in this industry, I think, I know, there’s one that I look up to a mentor, we’ve been pretty close, which can be he’s very polarizing Tai Lopez, was one of his first few students, again, to social media, of course. And for that reason, we have that that connection, and he has really helped me craft my skills as its own. And we work personally. And that really helped me hone in on what I really need to do, to take my business to the next level. And that that also crafted in a way where I knew what would work in this industry and what didn’t, and really avoid a lot of mistakes that I knew I would have made if I didn’t have those mentors, and there was a bunch of them. Billie Jean is another one that really helped me understand my skills and use those skills to further help business owners.
Scott D Clary 06:20
And so that makes sense. You align with mentors, you learn from people that have done it before you feel the need. But how do you turn that into an award winning company? Right? Because when did you start this? You were like, 20 2014 2015? Yeah. 2015? Yep. So So three years later, you’re winning Canada Business Awards? It’s very impressive. What’s, what’s the strategy to build out an agency so that it’s an award winning agency, and not just an agency?
Henny Yeshanew 06:51
Great question. So I think one of the great, the first things I did was I identified what my weaknesses were. And I knew that I needed to either hire people or fill those roles in immediately to make sure that were sustainable. So I knew that sales being around people, and everything around that space was what I’d love to do. The backend sitting on the computer, making sure everything gets done in the back end, that was something I locked that I mean, I can do it by just not I did not enjoy what I was doing no spaces, so I need to make sure and luckily, urine a year and a half after I created it, a great friend of mine was also in the same university, but also graduated engineering, didn’t want to do anything with it. But he was great with the backend stuff. So I said, Hey, let’s team up and see what we can do with it. So we partnered up to this day, he is the anchor that holds this agency, I say that because he he manages the people, we can make sure we can get done while I’m more the visionary and get get the doors open for us to meet new clients and make sure that were progressing the year that we’re progressing to grow bigger, and he holds it down. So I think that was the first thing was to identify my weakness and make sure that I filled them and also being okay with having a partner, you’re not alone in this and making sure that you’re able to do that and finding the right partner. We also got a business coach who really helped us because during our first meeting, he literally made us do a personality test individually and share the the results with us and we are polar opposites. And that’s when we knew we were in sync. I know again, partnership is a hot topic and people I go one side or the other I’m a huge Pro for partnership has helped ours our business leverage it a lot much better than I could have done alone. So for that reason, creative partner that at the same time, identified what roles we really needed to make sure that we’re able to scale a business. So we need to add support people we need to have copywriters, we need to have content creators, social media managers, and slowly, once we were able to understand what those roles are, we’re able to create that within our agency and make sure that those roles are filled in and we’re working with the clients, one on one.
Scott D Clary 09:07
And I think that something else that you’ve I don’t know, if you’ve done it consciously or subconsciously is just focused on your own brand as your as an entrepreneur, building out a brand like top 40 under 40. That’s not something that everybody gets either. Like I mentioned, like the awards, not everybody wins those awards. So these are like you’re building out the brand of the agency, like you’re almost like doing what you’re doing for clients for your own company. So I think that, you know, it’s funny because I see a lot of individuals that want to build up their brand. I see a lot of multimillion, you know, bordering on billion dollar companies who can’t, who can’t market themselves the way that people consume content. And I would love to know like your thoughts on on what problems companies have like what you know, it still blows my mind so, not to diminish, not to diminish in agency, but it blows my mind that a multimillion dollar company can’t figure this shit out on their own. And just like, why did they have to hire an agency to get their marketing, right, but I see fortune 1000 fortune 500 brands that just totally missed the mark. And I don’t understand why. And I’m curious if you have any ideas as to why people just can’t get it right. When you’re at that level.
Henny Yeshanew 10:22
I think we do. And I think we see it every day is the marketing, I guess, world has changed, where before it was all about sale, sale sells. And now it’s about authenticity. At the end of the day, it’s how a brand can get into those customers doors and be authentic, be real, be honest, because at the end of the day, people buy things off of how how they make them feel, right. So if it’s a product or service, at the end day, it’s how you make them feel. And most of these brands are so used to that old corporate structure of marketing that they forget that their customers are the right like they are number one, and if you can’t focus on them, then you’re not going to scale or your brand is not going to grow. And that’s why you see all these small businesses having a huge puff today is because they’re able to be more attentive with their customers, because they can deal on that one on one relationship with them using their content, whether they’re doing paid ads, or on the content side, they’re able to be authentic, and be real with them and share that story with them. Where all these big corporations, they, they have forgotten the sense of their brand, or what their story that they’re trying to tell. And that confuses consumers, because they can easily go to a small business that they understand and feel great with and purchase their product or service.
Scott D Clary 11:37
I think that you mentioned something they lose sight of what their story is, like, what their origin story is, and and over the years. That’s why you see like, the celebrity CEO or the evangelist having more social clout and more social power than the brand itself. Because that’s authentic, that’s a person you can like you can build that relationship with the person, right? How do you how do you so how do you work with clients that will say I contact you? I want I want to build my business. I want to Mobile First of all, like, I want to even understand the value out of an agency. I’m, I’m saying like, listen, I can go hire people internally. Why would I? Why would I hire you? So what’s your what’s your playbook for success for you know, some of the people you work with?
Henny Yeshanew 12:25
Yeah, so honestly, we have the six points sales technique that we use to, I guess, bring a prospective client to become a client. And one of those ways is where again, we’re super honest with them, where we introduce ourselves, we’ll do a discovery call or something. So we identified their problems, what they’re having, right, so Oh, I need more sales. So or I need more revenue, I need this. And this, whatever their problems are, we identified right away. And then what we do is we ask them, Hey, give us a few days to come back with a solution. And what we do is we’ll basically do a full audit of their whole marketing or their online space, what they’re doing, what they’re missing out, and try to align their problems that they’re having with problems that they’re doing, or mistakes that they’re doing on their online space that is affecting them. And we give them this free resource with recommendations on how they can do better, and we give it to them right away, it doesn’t cost them nothing at all, we give them so much value in the beginning so that we can gain a little bit of trust with them. And what makes that different is it will take them six, up to six months to train someone in house marketing person, bring them in, teach them all of this, and then try to push us out where we tell them, hey, this is this can get started on day one. This sounds simple it is we’ve given them all that value. And then we will do basically a proposal of what they have identified, where we tell them exactly what they should expect from us. And within our proposal, we include KPIs of what the metrics they should be looking for when we start their campaigns. And then at the same time, we also tell them that there is no contract with us, we work month to month with you, we believe that this partnership, not something we’re trying to abuse or use your money for. And we we try to also tell them that this is an education platform for you guys. So every week, we actually create 10 to 15 minute videos where we record, our one of our staff records, everything that has happened the week before we tell them the whole process of what we did. So they’re always in tune. And we also try to teach them how much value that we’re bringing into them. So at the end of every month, they know that they’re not just getting a one piece report that shows numbers that they can understand and expect us to continue to get results right so that is that has helped us really get in into doors with all these big clients is because we’ve been able to give them trust and keep them in the loop at the same time not feel like they’re trapped into a contract that they can’t get out.
Scott D Clary 14:45
I think that’s a very smart way of doing it. I like that and I’ve never heard of an agency doing that like even the video pieces like it’s it’s it seems so like it seems like common sense like that some you should be doing that. Because that you know you think if you were an employee and organization, and you had to do a project where you’d be, you’d be expected to present like the results of what you’ve accomplished. Right? So why would it be any different? So, but I think that the issue with a lot of agencies is that it seems like everybody with a computer says they’re a social media expert. So that’s, that’s the issue, right? It’s sort of diluted the whole industry. So when you it’s hard to sort of weed through and I guess that’s where, you know, you bring in the value piece right upfront, to do the audit, you show them what’s going on? What’s not what’s not working? And then that’s when they start to build that trust? And what what creates like, like, what is the if? I don’t know, it’s up to you how deep you want to go into your process. But I would love to understand what it like, you must have some sort of boilerplate for like, these are the these are the KPIs that, you know, you should be hitting as an organization, and 2020. What are those marketing KPIs that an organization should care about?
Henny Yeshanew 15:52
Yeah. So right now, if you were to ask me this in January would have been completely different to what we have today. Right now, if it depends if there, if it’s a client that wants to spend money on ads, the KPIs are gonna be much different for someone who wants to have a content strategy of just putting organic content and pushing out and see what they are. But then the day, it’s about shareability, whether you’re doing ads, or you’re doing organic content, that’s how much your content can be shared. Because when it’s getting shared, all you’re doing is knowing that your your story of whatever content you’ve created, is leaving an impact on one individual and making them share with their network. That is the most powerful thing that you wouldn’t have today. What even if it was in January, I would say more KPIs or more of your ROI in every dollar you spend. Right now, even if you don’t have that budget to spend on ads, you can also take that time today, and create content that is shareable and make sure that people are clicking through and understand what you really are, and what you really are there for, whether it’s a product or service, and even for service people who can’t administer any of their services out because of the quarantine, tell your story share DIY as of how we how that person or your customer can do at home themselves, that that puts so much effort and so much value in your service, because they see how much work you put in that once the quarantine is over, guess what, they’re gonna be coming back to you and say, Hey, I really need your service, I see how much value into your service. Right. So those are things like really KPIs to look for, whether you’re doing any side of marketing today.
Scott D Clary 17:23
And you find that there’s one piece, as you mentioned, like, you know, we work on social work on content, the gamut of marketing activities is broad. They put it lightly. So is there do you find there something that is the specific value add that you bring? Or maybe like any any really good agency would bring to the table, where companies are totally dropping the ball? Like do? Do people just not get social, but they really understand content marketing, like what is the thing that you see is like, where there’s the most room for people to grow, and for people to sort of dominate in 2020?
Henny Yeshanew 17:56
Yeah, it’s interesting, because there’s so many platforms are being undervalued. And we try to educate our clients with that, too, like new platforms like Tiktok. They’re, it’s a powerful tool, especially for the organic content side, where you don’t have to wait to have 10,000 followers to put out content and make it go viral. Or you can literally create an account and make one video. And if it’s if it’s shareable, you are going to go viral, and you have a seed right there where you can talk about your brand, whether it’s a personal brand, or business, you can talk about and create content around that, which can take you up to two hours a day. And that’s if you’re really editing and going all out on it. Or you can just pick up your phone and record something and tell your story about your business or your service. There’s platforms like Pinterest, that powerful back end, where there if you were a creative if you if you’re a business or service that’s all around the creative space, where everything is about the arts and the visuals, you can literally log on Pinterest, and their back end where they even have trainings for the ad accounts are how to launch your own ad campaigns. And you can create campaigns that are so cheap, because no one’s using it. And there’s platforms like YouTube also. I mean, they’ve been around for a while, but their ad space is so it’s so cheap right now, because all these big corporations have left over since last year and their big scandal there. That it’s pennies on the dollar that you can be doing on brand awareness or content awareness about your brand or your service. So those are things that we even our clients today or any human company that we tell them this like we will help you use these platforms that are underutilized and make sure that you’re you’re getting every dollar that’s spent properly, not just throwing at Facebook and hoping it works.
Scott D Clary 19:38
And is there is there a formula for that but viral that shareable content that you know you’re saying create stuff that’s it’s shareable? It seems to be easier said than done?
Henny Yeshanew 19:50
Yeah. So with that, with the content, if we have your list, we can break it down. So if you are product, it’s explained their features and how it solves problem. So most people have problems. So when they watch a video, they watch content, whether it’s a picture and they identify problems right away that fortunately, that’s how people are, they do identify that problem. But if you don’t present the solution in that content or video, they’ll leave because they identify, but they won’t make any connections. So if you’re, if your product, identify the problems, and future, all your solutions in it, and then put that content out there, if you’re a service, quite similar, but what you’re doing is you’re showing them that service and how it solves a problem for them. Right. So once you identify that, create that, and you can do micro contents there in there. And again, each platform is going to be different, where technology is going to be vertical videos, that’s going to do that where you can do horizontal, but similar content that goes around, and people are gonna share that because you’ve solved you help them solve a problem that they had with your product or your service. Even if they don’t buy, they just they helped you share to a network that might buy it there. Right. So that’s important. And that’s if you’re not spending any money. But if you’re doing on that side, it’s so much easier, because you know that content is going straight to potential customers that you know, are going to more likely purchase your product or your service in the near future.
Scott D Clary 21:14
And so that makes a ton of sense to me. And I’ve actually heard this from several, like copywriters for SEO, like if you want to create a good, if you want to create really good SEO, you’re just answering your customers questions in your blog. Right? And that’s something that I think I’ve heard a few times but to be that subject matter expert to answer the questions on social, it seems so straightforward, but I feel like so much of social is just blasting out your, your thoughts, without any like, you know, consideration for what the person receiving it. If you look at Twitter, it’s just like, it’s like a, like a megaphone of people yelling at each other and no one’s being not not no one. But I mean, like that. The average piece of social content is very like me like, like individual centric. Yeah. So and even for even for companies, I think, you know, if I’m, if I pull up somebody’s LinkedIn posts, I don’t think they’re solving a ton of problems, maybe, maybe they put up like, like a PDF for like a white paper or something like that. But at the end of the day, it’s still a lot of like, this is what we’re doing. This is what we’ve done. This is why we’re awesome. This is why we’re so great. But um, that’s so it’s just like, really, you’re taking the stuff that people are going to the websites for, and you’re just finding a way to put it on social and it seems so again, it seems very simple. But then another thing that I think, and also like your opinion on this would be good. But the if you put out the content that is answering questions, and I see that now I want to be I want to be the person that everyone looks to as that knowledge broker, the person who was incredibly smart and found that answer to the question that so I’m going to be sharing that just a psychological driver, kind of like when I find something funny, like memes are highly shareable. Right, you find something funny, and you want to share it because you want all your friends to think you’re funny, too. So I think it’s the same i I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Henny Yeshanew 22:57
It’s great, because I think what especially these micro communities are doing is they’re not micro brands are doing is they’re trying to create micro communities within them. And I think all these big corporations are following like, if you were to look at Burger King, or Wendy’s on Twitter, they’re hilarious, because they know that if they don’t bring some spice or community vibe into their branding, then people are just gonna be bored of their organic brands. So they would go with random people put questions and take them, they will answer very finely are just be creative with it. So that creates that whole oh, we’re open, we’re open to communication, I think that’s, that’s a huge thing, too. It’s not just offering value too much, but also opening up dialogue within these brands. So making sure that they are easily approachable. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, right, so if someone customers talking to you, I think a lot of bigger brands are catching on and they’re doing a great job as whether it’s a support issue, or they just want to know about your product, or you’re trying to create that influence our community vibe, is you just have to be open with your communication with them. Right. So it’s not just offering your problem, the solution, but making sure that it opens up a dialogue where people can talk about those problems, and also talk about how the solution helped them change their lives or change their day or made them happy for the day. Right? So I think it’s it’s, it’s great that people are doing that, but it needs to happen a lot more blaemire where it’s not just you pushing out problems and solutions, but also talking about it and making sure your customers are also talking about it.
Scott D Clary 24:30
Yeah, that’s a very smart attitude, I think towards social um, and I have seen you know, you do see some companies like I you know, I was talking a lot of shit about like these fortune 500 companies, but some of them do do quite well, but not but not enough for the amount of brains and and degrees from these Ivy League schools that are behind their marketing teams. They’re definitely not doing enough. So I think that that’s a lesson you can learn from some of these smaller companies that are just killing it. And you see like, you know that some of these startups like Even before they’re venture backed, still Bootstrap, like they’re, they can blow up on social because they have that access, right? Yeah. Um, one thing you mentioned that I thought would be interesting was marketing during a pandemic and marketing during COVID-19. So what’s changed? From your point of view from your customers what you’re doing for your customers messaging? What’s what’s going on?
Henny Yeshanew 25:21
I mean, it has made a huge change. Because before this pandemic was all about how our clients can get into the doors of their customers and get a sale, whether that’s through just organic content or paid ads. Now, it’s more about how can we all together as a community help each other with your branding, your content, your ads, right, so our messaging and everything has changed to how our client’s product or service can help someone ease their burden off from the COVID and how they’re stuck at home or lost their job or something, right. So all our copywriting, all, everything has basically changed and where we make sure that we’re also understanding what people are going through, so that we’re not trying to come off at just still selling a product or selling a service, when people probably won’t even have the money for and they’re probably in debt or stuff like that. So we’re trying to educate our clients to make sure that this making sure that they’re aligned with either organization are helping out and giving back and making sure that we’re also being smart and lowering their budget, because we know that they’re not going to get the same results that they were going to get before and making sure that they’re allocating their budgets to different sections of marketing. So we’re encouraging a lot of them now to do focus on content, right, because this is where this is a time where either your business shut down, or you’re not even getting any services done. So this is smart time for you to hone down all the content, you want to be pushing out whether it’s COVID related, or just brand related, and making sure that aligns and you’re putting out content, because most people now if they’re not working, or they’re sitting at home, guess what, they’re plugged to their phones. So they’re going to be swiping up the timeline. And if your contents constantly showing up, you’re just putting that behind their back of their head, where when service are open up again, and were able to go back to normal, you’re always gonna be they’re always gonna remember you and probably purchase your product or service.
Scott D Clary 27:15
And do you think that do you think that there’s an extra need to be sensitive right now? Because of like, not just not just changing where the content is going? But like the home messaging, I think, I think you actually did touch on this, but what have you seen any adverse reactions to people or, or marketing that’s not sensitive? What are your thoughts on what what that is not going to be something that’s going to stick with people long term? Are they going to forget about companies that don’t sort of alter their marketing strategy? Do you think there’s going to be like long term repercussions for people that don’t sort of wise up during, during like, COVID-19? and whatnot?
Henny Yeshanew 27:52
I can probably say it’s a yes or no question. Because yes, if if I mean, it depends on how much they’re spending, or how much attention they’re getting. If it’s a free time, most small business, I don’t think it will affect them that much. Because they’re able to switch up and make changes and go forward, whether it’s a big corporation or a large company, then yes, people are gonna remember that and you’re gonna attach the feelings like you made them feel with that whatever campaign was that in the future? Like, I know, Volkswagen had that one racist video that they were, they had, like two months ago, I’m like, I, first of all, like, how did I go through how many Yeah, and get accepted to publish it same time, you’re, you’re leaving another pain point from all the other stuff that you’ve done before, and sort of encouraging people to be as a community and come together, you’ve decided to harm your reputation or your brand. So that is going to take you how many years I don’t even want to think about how many years it’s gonna take them to bounce back and make it so that that video has never appeared.
Scott D Clary 28:53
Also, Volkswagen has not had a tough time to say the least man. Entrepreneurs, do you think do you think that the landscape of marketing and the way that people consume and buy products is going to change permanently?
Henny Yeshanew 29:11
Yes, and you were seeing it today where all these brick and mortar stores are forced to open up an E commerce platform. And there’s great organizations, even here in Toronto that are doing shop here, where they’re giving you free resources to go create an E commerce platform. I think that is a future it’s we’ve already seen the trend even before COVID. And COVID is just helping put a more of an awareness that we’re always moving to the online space. So businesses now are being forced to do it, but it’s also helping them because now they have less amount of costs and expenditures, when all your products are waiting for product or service to be booked online, where you can just create a website that’s gonna cost you free for now, but even in the future, it’s gonna be super cheap. And you can bring your audience your customers all in one place where they can purchase Learn about you and endorse your product.
Scott D Clary 30:04
That makes a lot of sense. I’m now before I want to just go back to a couple questions just to like about you and what you’ve sort of done over your career and what you plan to do. Just in terms of like, marketing in general, is there anything that you’d like is like a really hot topic item? Or just like industry? thing that you’re noticing that we didn’t talk about? Or do we cover a lot of cover a lot of things you’re dealing with right now?
Henny Yeshanew 30:30
I mean, yes, we did. I think we covered a lot of things are happening now, especially with I mean, we were telling all our clients, even today is just push out content right now, this is the best resource you’re going to have. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money on you already have a base, utilize platforms are nobody’s using right now. Business are not using right now. Because it’s much cheaper for you to get into today. And make sure that you’re always pushing for brand awareness and teaching people about your product or service and how it can help their lives. Because yes, they might not buy it today, even if you’re running an ad campaign, most people don’t buy after, after some time they see your ad, right. So same thing with content, it’s, they’re gonna see it, they’re gonna see you, they’re gonna see it. But when they need your services, guess what, you’ve always been at the top of their mind. So they’re going to purchase your product or service when they need it. So make sure that you’re always pushing out content in in those eyes, and whether you don’t even have those eyes yet. Guess what, make sure it’s shareable. And at that point, you’re going to get new eyes regardless
Scott D Clary 31:33
And then actually did have one more like marketing question. I just thought of it as you’re answering that. How does a company who considers themselves to be very traditional, take advantage of a new and emerging platform like tick tock?
Henny Yeshanew 31:47
Great question. So basically, all these traditional companies, they already have content, right? So it’s not like you gonna have to go out there and re create new content, all you have to do is break up the content you already have into a platform that works. So like Tik Tok, it’s all about vertical videos. So if you had videos, long form videos that you had, you can chop it up and push that content out into Tik Tok. And what I even recommend is, depending on what niche go search up the hashtags that are going viral in your industry, then make content around that. So even if you’re traditional, all you have to do is what or let’s say you’re a hair salon or something like that, right. So all you want to do is you’ve always had that brick and mortar, you never did anything outside of that, I’ll just go on to tick tock search for a hashtag around hairstylist and see what’s trending. Someone might be curling a hair or something like that. And they went viral on that, or the teaching a new slot. So all you do is create a created content around that hashtag with your type of styling, and push out that content. Right. So it’s even for addition of traditional, as long as you have a camera, I mean, most business owners have a camera, whether you’re traditional or not push out content where you record yourself, create mass style, push that and put that hashtag, and just let it go. And then
Scott D Clary 33:04
and then I think that I think half of it is just just starting, that’s yet another thing too, that people have a hard time doing for some reason.
Henny Yeshanew 33:11
Because it’s changed and so much for because they’re scared of change, because they’re used to how businesses operate. Right? So and I think this COVID is such a big wake up call, because they have no choice they have to change or their business gonna die.
Scott D Clary 33:26
That’s a good insight. Now, back to you back to, you know, what you would like to do? Or how you want to scale your business? How Where do you want to take? Like, you know, I don’t I don’t even think I was so badly. I didn’t mention the name of your agency at the beginning. So it’s lion. Okay, so did I Okay, I apologize. I couldn’t remember. But I just wanted to say, Where are you going to take the lion agency? Like, where do you want to? Where do you want to? Where do you want to go with it? How are you going to get there? What’s your, what’s your 510 15 year plan? Not to sound like, you know, I’m a teacher. So I’m trying to map out your future. But I’m curious where you take an agency after you know, it’s it was kind of created, and it wasn’t when you were in university wasn’t really your game plan. And it’s been massively successful to this point. So where do you go now?
Henny Yeshanew 34:15
Good question. So even going into this agency, I knew this was not a long term thing for me, just a space where I can hone on my skills and make sure that I’m able to deliver things that I promise. But I think in probably a few years, two or three years, I would want to be in a place where this agency can run without me. So trying to find my replacement in this in this space of my agency so that I can carry out things I really love to do, which is basically that whole youth aspect is I want to be in a place where I’m able to invest in different you startups or people, young people that have amazing ideas. I mean, I’m doing that now in just as a side project, but this is something I’d love to do is because they’re burly minds out there, and then privilege to do pitch Pitch Competition judges and I sit down, I’m like, Man, I your age, I was probably playing video games and doing stupid things. And you’re out here trying to change the world. So those are the things I really want to push forward in the next couple of couple of years. And my 15 year goal, which is something absurd, something I had a dream of being a child was to bring these top level medical clinics in each hemisphere of Africa, and make sure that a border free resource where anyone around those areas are able to utilize those health clinics and make sure that they’re well taken care of. So that’s a goal I’ve been working on since last year trying to get into the doors of investors and try to get into the doors of doctors and government officials to see how this can happen. This idea of mine,
Scott D Clary 35:51
but you know, it’s not when you when when I speak to you, it’s not surprising why you’re successful, because even though you’re living a successful business, right now, you still have like your goals mapped out, like you still know where you want to head. And that’s, that’s very difficult that, again, seems so basic if you if you’re living it, but if you’re doing it, but it’s so hard for people to do that for you, like even your 15 Year Plan, which is incredibly ambitious, and obviously an incredible initiative. You’re taking steps, you’re taking micro steps towards that, wow, running an agency while investing in or I’m not sure if you’re investing if you if you actually have equity in several startups, but at least you’re you know, you’re you’re providing guidance and mentorship for some of these startups, with the hopes that eventually like, you know, this will be something that you can do more permanently after somebody takes the reins online. So it’s like, it’s like setting up that path for success. So you know, where you want to be. And I think that that’s like, if people don’t figure that out, if they don’t even have some like idea of like, what their Northstar metric is and 15 years from now, what they want their life to look like, it’s very difficult for you to get there, because you’re not taking all those small little steps along the way.
Henny Yeshanew 37:01
Yeah, I mean, it’s great, because I think what it’s through a lot of I mean, I read a lot. And I think that’s where I picked up this pillars like some habits of being successful person, like that’s such a great book, because it helped me identify that I knew that this agency wasn’t my lifetime thing I want to do. So I was like, okay, working back. And I always had that dream, but I’ve always put aside, because I was like, Okay, there’s too ambitious like, I don’t this scares me. And I think I’ve read that code. If you’re juicy here, you then you’re on the right path. I was like, You know what, I’m gonna see how much I can get achieved starting from today. So I’ve been privileged to talk to the African community Commission’s like, directors see how free passport bordered or borderless passwords can even be viable in that industry there. And then even borders of Doctors Without Borders, talking to directors there and seeing okay, how can we bring the best of the best to work in these facilities or make sure that they’re able to administer their professions there? So putting those things in place, I’m able to map out okay, how many years? Is that going to take me? How many who do I have to contact and getting to those networks so that I’m able to open more doors into that space? Right. So I think networking is a huge thing that I think we probably didn’t talk about, but I think it’s such a huge thing. It’s not just saying, Hey, how are you? Let’s connect but more like, okay, how can I help you? And how can you help me achieve these things we have. And it’s, again, it’s being about authentic, and I tell them my plan, this is why I want to get done. And I really want you to be in a space where we can change Africa for the future. And just time on my story, it really helps open doors because I feel like they they see the value in that and how much we can change the world. If we just come together.
Scott D Clary 38:46
Can you if you don’t mind? I would love to know more about what that what what is it you’re speaking about planning this out? But what is what is this? What is the project? What how does this actually play out? I’m really curious and this totally nothing to do with with marketing. But I’m just it’s an interesting topic. So what what is this that you’re trying to achieve? Exactly? For for Africa?
Henny Yeshanew 39:06
I think for Africa, there’s I just want every resident every person living in Africa to have the best health care ever. I feel like we’ve as as a content itself, we’ve been so diminished because of our health status there. So even there because I lived eight years of my life in there. Since I was born until I was at the age of eight. I’ve seen it. I still remember that time. We’ve not been in the best service there. Luckily, I mean, I’ve been fortunate enough to have a family there that is wealthy enough to have the best care which is private care and going out to countries in the in the Asia space to get their health care not even in the country. Right. So that’s when that idea came in. And then I when I come to Canada and see how amazing their healthcare is, I mean, it’s not the best but seeing their healthcare here and I’m like, oh my god, we’re missing out. Like imagine what African African can be if everyone was provided the best health care possible. So what that really looks like is basically having every country come together, I know it seems impossible, because there’s so much tension between every single country in that continent is making sure that they all come together in a way, in a way they open their borders to people, because it’s not like I can open up a half a massive health clinic in each country, which is nearly impossible. But if we’re able to have four pillars, in those different hemispheres, where people from different countries can access them, with a simple border, a free pass, but I don’t know what that would look like to just get the health care they need, and they can return to their country. That is basically my angle there. And to make sure that the governments and investors pay for that service instead of the people that are actually using that service.
Scott D Clary 40:51
And, and how do you actually end this is obviously, you know, a loaded question. But how do you actually get that done? Because there are so many personalities and governments and ideologies in different parts of Africa, while the world but not exclusively Africa. But like, how do you get that alignment? Is there there’s something that you’ve thought through? Because it’s I just find it very interesting content? I’ve never heard of anything like that. And it’s almost like a global a global healthcare at a global, like cross cross border healthcare system.
Henny Yeshanew 41:21
Exactly. So how do we get that is also, there’s pillars like Africa, Commission, which is basically their United Nations, basically, replica of Africa. So every nation comes together, have those meetings, talk about what they need to get done. So that’s one pillar, they’re going into that those Commission’s there and addressing this issue and seeing what people are afraid of, or what they don’t want to happen and getting those resources together, and making sure that we’re able to build a plan around their, their knees and saying, Okay, we need to do this, or we can’t have this because this border doesn’t work or stuff like that. So how we can make it work, identify their problems, and try to find solution to solve. So I think they has the marketing, we identify what problems they have with the idea and try to address it with them, then getting involved with who World Health Organization, see how we can tap into their networks and help get funding. So whether it’s from these first world countries, or anyone that private investors are not trying to get that in there and see how we can develop that kind of plan where each country agrees to having that. So I mean, most of it will come down to the countries hosting those, those clinics, I mean, they have to take on the burden, because again, it’s an open border where they come in and get service, and then they have to be back. So how we coordinate that is the biggest issue there, I think that they’re gonna have problems with. So we’re addressing that saying, Okay, how can we have a delivery system where they can just cross the border, go straight to clinic, and go straight back into their country without being able to do anything else? So that is not all I know, issue that a lot of people have brought up is like, okay, the security issue is that biggest problem. So how we can create that transportation system is going to be the biggest issue there.
Scott D Clary 43:11
Interesting, very, very interesting initiative, I wish a lot a ton of luck with that is that sort of is that sort of aggressive, because I always find, like, you know, like, it’s so nice to see, when when somebody who has some measure of success can then obviously improve outside of their own life and really on a global scale, because of course, there’s so many initiatives like in Canada that people need support with, but also, I think that it takes a little bit of extra effort to go overseas to go into a region and not just not just pour money, not pour, pour is the wrong word. Give money give money into something that is a worthy cause but you’re like almost like building infrastructure from the ground up in a place it doesn’t have the infrastructure, there’s no, there’s no you know, cross border medicine group in Africa that you’re just going to give them $50 million and say that’s, that’s it, you know, that’s it. It’s like you’re building this from the ground up. So it’s a it’s an entrepreneurial venture, while being also like very altruistic and it’s very nice thing very well good luck. That’s it’s gonna be difficult. I can see how the issues but yeah, very interesting stuff.
Henny Yeshanew 44:19
Again, if it’s not worth having that was not worth fighting for. Right. So I’m ready. Yeah. Ready for it. So we’ll see where it takes me.
Scott D Clary 44:27
Exactly. Yeah, no, that’s all listen, you have the you have the plan. That’s all that matters. And you’re and you’re ambitious. And that’s, that’s the second half. If you if you’re ambitious about something, it’s incredible what what you can actually do. That’s, that is that is a life lesson like, you know, you never you never thought that you could build out a marketing agency when you hadn’t started it yet. But if you if you literally just put everything you have into it. Like you said, if it doesn’t scare you right, then it’s it’s not worth going after. I like to ask I like to ask two questions. sort of like tee up, just like your experience, one of them being. And you’ve kind of already given a ton of these. So, you know, it’s a little bit redundant, but you’re a smart guy. So you’ll think of something else. Just like one life lesson that you would tell your younger self that can be, you know, agnostic of industry that would help you get to where you are a little bit quicker.
Henny Yeshanew 45:17
Ah, great question. I think I would talk about finding the right mentors, and just shutting up and listening, I feel like in the world we are today, we all like to talk and we don’t like to listen. And when I say listen, listen to understand, because these people have been through it. And I can honestly say that, even to my younger age, I just listened to listen, did not understand what they meant by and I made the same mistakes that they told me to avoid. Right. So that is, that is such a great aspect that I still tell everyone I still listen, do that to myself, where I will sit down with someone, I don’t care where they’re from, or if they’re below me or above me, I’ll be like, I’ll shut up and listen to your story values and what you’re able to take out of it and see how I can use that. Right. So I think, find the right mentors and listening to understand is a huge thing, I would have told my younger self, for sure.
Scott D Clary 46:14
Very good, very good lessons, um, resources, like a book, a podcast and audible something that you that you enjoy that would be good for other people to pick up.
Henny Yeshanew 46:25
Great, great question would be start, start with why I think especially if you’re an entrepreneur, or even just someone that’s lost in a career path, or just in the industry, I think it’s such a great book, because it helps you identify your pillars of what you really want to accomplish in your life. And that really helped me hone in my, my lifetime plan. What I really want to get done today and what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. So that’s such a great book that I enjoy any podcasts such as yourself that is pushing out content that that has value from people is amazing. I mean, every car ride I know we can do now. But every car ride I would be like blasting podcast from everyone, right? So because at the end of the day, it’s everyone has something to teach, I don’t care if you have one, one listener or a million listeners, you have something of value and I rather listen to that. Then listen to music, where I mean, again, music is also another avenue to learn from, but at the same time, podcasts are huge resources for that. So any podcasts, honestly, that are pushing out business knowledge or self knowledge, huge, huge proponent of that. What else? I love documentaries. So I think that’s a great way to also learn. So I mean, Netflix was a power storm of documentaries, you can start watching. I know most people don’t like it, but it’s if you really listen and understand what those documents are trying to teach you. They can be can be a lot of value. They’re two
Scott D Clary 47:55
very good and 100% agree I actually love watching documentaries. I don’t like watching like them. I just like TV for watching TV. But I do like much. I nerd out at some of the stuff. And And last, but certainly not least, most important. Where do people find you get in touch with you. If they want to contact you they want to go check out lion and want to go check out anything you’re working on. What’s the best best?
Henny Yeshanew 48:19
I’m pretty social. So you can find me on LinkedIn just searching my name if you put in any they’ll probably show up there. A lot of people have that name as their I don’t my actual name is hanok but I haven’t heard that ever. It’s just Yeah, I just go with the heavy. Same with Instagram as heading in power. So if you like to DM me there, I will perfectly respond to that.
Scott D Clary 48:45
That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast signing off