Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

Overcome Childhood Scarcity And Become An Expert In Your Passion

Laurie Wang

Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

Overcome Childhood Scarcity And Become An Expert In Your Passion

Laurie Wang


Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube
Laurie Wang
Full transcript here

About Laurie Wang

The BAE HQ welcomes Laurie Wang, founder of her own digital agency, keynote speaker and expert trainer in all things digital marketing.

You'll learn in this podcast that Laurie's childhood wasn't easy and she was incredibly brave to open up about some of her hardships. In her adult life this gave her a strong focus on money and meeting expectations until she realised when she did something she cared about then her progress was much faster.

She even built Google's Digital Garage which is something you should definitely check out!

Laurie Wang


Google Digital Garage

Show Notes

Headline partner message

From the first time founders to the funds that back them, innovation needs different. HSBC Innovation Banking is proud to accelerate growth for tech and life science businesses, creating meaningful connections and opening up a world of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Discover more at https://www.hsbcinnovationbanking.com/

Full video of episode

Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube

Laurie Wang Full Transcript

Laurie Wang: [00:00:00] My whole life, I was being told to do what my parents want me to do, to fill the dream that wasn't really mine. I was ashamed to have my friends come over and visit me because I didn't want to show what it was like where I lived. I remember that shame, like, taking it into my adulthood and that if I make as much money as possible, it's my ticket out of that poverty, take my parents out of that poverty.

Laurie Wang: That's why I define the success at that point. But even I was in that area for about you know, up to five years at a time. I wasn't making the progress I wanted to. When you do something you're so passionate about, you will give it 100%, 110, 200%. But when you do something you're completely disconnected with, you're literally shut down inside.

Laurie Wang: And that's not the best version of yourself that you want to live with.

Amardeep Parmar: Welcome  to the BAE HQ, where we inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asians. If you're watching this on YouTube, make sure you hit that subscribe button. And if you're listening on Apple or Spotify, make sure you give us a five star review. Today we have with us [00:01:00] Laurie Wang, who's the founder of her own digital marketing agency, a keynote speaker, and she delivers trainings and workshops across the UK.

Amardeep Parmar: How are you doing today?

Laurie Wang:  I'm good.  Thanks for having me, Amardeep. 

Amardeep Parmar: So this isn't our first interview. I interviewed you maybe even two years ago now. It's been a while. 

Laurie Wang: I think so. Yeah, it's been a while, but... 

Amardeep Parmar: But we're going to pretend that we've never had this conversation before. And what I want to learn about and for you to share with the audience is, when you were growing up, did you ever believe in yourself?

Amardeep Parmar: Did you ever think you'd get to where you are today? 

Laurie Wang: Don't think so at the time, and there's a few reasons for this. And I think there's three main parts of my life that kind of led to where I am now. And the first part I think is called luck. Second part is called perseverance. And the third part is hard work.

Laurie Wang: I think the first part, luck, really comes back to when I was born. Sadly, I was born with a condition called vascular malformation, and at the time my parents didn't know very much about it. So, you know, they were trying to find out what's wrong with me, is there anything they need to [00:02:00] do in particular to make me, I suppose, normal in their eyes, in front of other people who are also, I suppose, judging our family from external perspectives.

Laurie Wang: Sadly, for a lot of kids who have this condition, they have it on the outside. And a lot of times that will affect the looks of either their face or their back and wherever is currently on their body. And luckily for me at the time it was on the inside, but it's near my airways. So it's one of these things where it's very precarious position to be in.

Laurie Wang: So I remember, you know, growing up, a lot of the biggest concerns was Laurie can't get a blood clot, for example, and that's one of the things that , that could lead me to essentially have a heart attack or just die. And another thing was that I had to be very careful whenever I was doing physical sports and other things that I couldn't really, things that I couldn't eat because it might potentially cause a bleeding episode.

Laurie Wang: So all these things when I was growing up, there are a lot of things that made me different to other children. But at the same time, I think my mom always instilled that belief in [00:03:00] me that. You can be the same as everyone else is about thinking differently and thinking how you can embrace these challenges and really turn that around and be more motivated about it.

Laurie Wang: And the other part was, I also let my mom to actually look into hospitals that potentially could look into my condition in the West. So what happened was when I was seven years old, I almost bled to death in the operation in China. And my mom was just deeply concerned that she wanted to make sure to find a better doctor for me.

Laurie Wang: So she started looking into clinics around the U. S. and one that came up was New York. Hence why we ended up moving to New York eventually to actually pursue this clinic. And so we can go to repeated appointments and things like that. And that led our whole family to move over to the U. S. side, which I think in a way, thinking back and, you know, making a reference to our friend Hassan's book and Ash Ali's book, The Unfair Advantage is having that access to a location that's opened up [00:04:00] so many more opportunities for myself and to grow up in New York where essentially now I can attend some of the best schools right around the country and be able to actually access that

Laurie Wang: level of education that I wouldn't have had if I was living in China at the time. So my mom obviously didn't think about all this when we moved, but it ended up working that way as luck part of it. So I definitely, you know, I'm very grateful for the opportunities I was given because of it. And the second part, really the perseverance part, which is

Laurie Wang: I feel as I moved into a new country, there were so many things that I had to actually adjust to, right, the culture, the people, the language, and coming from someone who's kind of in their early teenage years at that point, I had to really learn everything from scratch again. But in a good way, I think the things that my mom taught me early on in my life.

Laurie Wang: That persevere throughout of it. So for me to, you know, learn, learn a language very quickly within two years to be fluent and then having to catch up the school system over there as well to make sure I can actually [00:05:00] continue that education part of it. And eventually I was lucky enough to attend the specialized high school.

Laurie Wang: In New York City, by taking an exam, it changes your life instantaneously by having access to a different education that allows you to have access to individuals who have different backgrounds to you as well, and it shifts you from, you know, I suppose my family, they're coming from a civil servant background in China and moving over to the U.

Laurie Wang: S. It's very much an immigrant starting from scratch. So my parents are working, you know, night shifts and things like that. And for us to have a very blue collar background to move quickly into that, I suppose the upper echelon of New York schools. And I was able to access those individuals and friends of mine who are able to give me a home in New York.

Laurie Wang: Entirely new, different perspective on life and everything else as well. So, and then luckily from that point on, I taken the exams again to get into Columbia university, which is another really amazing university that opened up my world into what I can actually do with the education that I've accumulated to [00:06:00] that point.

Laurie Wang: And from that point on, then having the chance to move to London because I did a year abroad at LSE. So I think every single step really, is accumulation of luck, perseverance and hard work in different parts. And I think you can't really have one or the other. And there's many things in life that you can't explain, but I do believe in the concept of faith, but also linking up the dots by looking backwards, as Steve job has said.

Laurie Wang: So now at this point in my life, I look backwards. Everything makes sense. But at that point in time, I was just feeling my way through, but I believed and trust in the process in the sense that if I just put in the hard work that I was supposed to do and persevere through all the challenges, and then also believe in the fact that luck is on my side and that life is happening for us, not to us, that's where I think really what propelled me to where I am today.

Amardeep Parmar: Yes. I didn't know that part that you said at the beginning about the condition you had. And it's really interesting because I think there's so many people I've interviewed now who have [00:07:00] something from their childhood like that, that spurred them on. And often you only hear the stories in a sad way, right?

Amardeep Parmar: You only hear this person. Had this happen to them and now whatever happens, right? We don't hear enough about some people who've got very far, but had those things that they became, especially in their childhood, but you were able to move to a new country, learn a new language and then thrive in that environment.

Amardeep Parmar: And then obviously you came to the best country in the world. And how did you find that adjustment? Because you've obviously come from China to the US, which must have been a pretty big adjustment. And then gone through that, like you said, where you flip from, from that blue collar background into going to prestigious high school and then to Columbia university and then coming into London.

Amardeep Parmar: And I suppose moving to London when you did. How did that feel? Because I guess you didn't know many people. You had to adjust to life here. You obviously must like it because you're still here and you've got your British passport, which for people listening who are like, what, why is she on the podcast?

Amardeep Parmar: She's not British. She's got a British passport. She counts. [00:08:00] 

Laurie Wang: I am British.

Amardeep Parmar:  Yep. So how did you find that adjustment coming to here to come to London?

Laurie Wang: I'm what people call a third culture child and what that is, is that someone who's born in one country and brought up in the country that perhaps is not their natural origin.

Laurie Wang: And I think I got used to, from a very young age, adjusting to different lives that way. So coming to London is actually a very little adjustment compared to going from China to the US, for example, where the language isn't a barrier, right? Across the transatlantic, you have a very kind of easy adjustment in terms of language, but also the culture is a little bit different, but it's not massively different.

Laurie Wang: And I think that's why I chose to study abroad here. And luckily, because I came here, I met my future husband, who's also been on the podcast, Simon, and we now have a daughter who's three years old here. So I think I definitely made a life of it here now, having made a lot of amazing friends like yourself

Laurie Wang: over here in London. And I just think it's such a vibrant, amazing country to be in. There's so many inspirational Asians doing amazing things in this [00:09:00] culture. And also the city itself is so international that you don't even feel like you're in the UK sometimes, for example. It feels like most of my friends have over 50 different nationalities.

Laurie Wang: And that's what's interesting about it as well. To be able to tap into that perspective, that inspiration and all that energy here as well. 

Amardeep Parmar: So initially you went into finance, right?

Laurie Wang: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Straight out of university and. You mentioned before we started recording about how your dad wanted you to become a doctor earlier on, right?

Laurie Wang: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And at this point, you, uh, so you'd been to a good university, you came to LSE. What path were you taking? What were you thinking at the time of what you wanted to do with your life?

Laurie Wang: Yeah, so the doctor part really came from, as you can imagine, with my background and the things that we struggled with.

Laurie Wang: My dad thought it'd be really great to build a background in medicine. And he thinks that that's actually a very marring role to be in after receiving so much help from the clinic that we had in New York. I can see where his inspiration comes from, but deep down I knew that it wasn't right for me. I took pre med, I tried it anyway in college to give it a [00:10:00] go, but within a year I quickly shifted gear.

Laurie Wang: And to my dad's dismay, sadly, that I moved to economics, which I thought by offering up a second choice, that again, from an Asian background, many people who listen to this might resonate with, is that they either want you to go into medicine, law, or finance. So I thought finance seemed like a really interesting area at the time, and social science is actually one of the areas I was really interested in.

Laurie Wang: Now I realize it's because I was interested in people and psychology, and that's also an aspect of social science. So I got into economics and from that point on, kind of went into this banker's factor, as you call it, into investment banking. And I think that was actually a very formidable year for me.

Laurie Wang: And we talked about this before the podcast too, in the sense that when you have that early on experience in a workplace, that sometimes could be quite tough in terms of challenges, things that are thrown your way that you may not realize when you're in this cocoon of university or in your parents place.

Laurie Wang: That's actually toughened you up a little bit. You know, earlier years on the trading [00:11:00] floor where essentially if there's something you get wrong, as attention to detail side of things, you get yelled at, get shouted at, you know, embarrassed from all your colleagues, all that kind of stuff really kind of draws this very thick skin on you as an individual, which I think has been so profound and useful later on business.

Laurie Wang: Because there are many things that now we face as entrepreneurs that you have to really kind of just take on the shoulder and keep pushing forward. And I think a lot of that really came from that early years, those few years I spent in finance and really learning the ropes, right? How to make sure that you are paying attention to detail on something that's very valuable, something could be billions of dollars at stake, pounds at stake, and other things, for example, building relationships with clients.

Laurie Wang: Which again is something that nowadays is no longer taken for granted. I think a lot of times seeing a lot of my younger counterparts, right? They tell me that they don't get that chance anymore post pandemic as much to meet people in person, meet clients, to get that experience. So I think a lot of that really kind of, I'm grateful for it in a way.

Laurie Wang: I'm grateful I did it. At the time, I [00:12:00] obviously felt. Very challenging. But now I look back, I think it's all connecting the dots again.

Amardeep Parmar: It's interesting as well, what you said about, especially in the early days, when you've got the people around you, you can teach you, you can learn from, it really helps. And it is a lot of young people now who might be listening to this thinking they want to work from home all the time.

Amardeep Parmar: And obviously you have the freedom, right? And you can, if you're good at your job, you can do it from home, but for a lot of jobs, but you miss out on that people side. 

Laurie Wang: Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: It's really hard to measure, right? Because you don't know, you could be in the office with somebody, you could be chatting to them, and then because you get along well, then they then decide, okay, now we're going to help this person get to the next level.

Amardeep Parmar: You never, one of the tough things is you never know what you're missing out on. And if you're not in the office and you don't meet those people, they don't have as much investment in you. You're a resource, right? You're okay, you're somebody we send an email to, or we have the odd Zoom with. But when you get that friendship and the relationship,

Amardeep Parmar: then it can really go a lot further from there, but it's really tough for to know, because even now I see it, for example, and I remember when I had my old job is that if people who are senior don't want to come in because they want to work from home, [00:13:00] because whatever reason, then those younger generation are missing out on that guidance too, but it's that, it's a tough balance.

Amardeep Parmar: I think a lot of people are going for the moment between flexibility and also having people together where you can have the ideas and the creativity come out and it's just something to bear in mind. I think for a lot of people is that it might be great for you to work at home, but then you got to think.

Amardeep Parmar: Am I also missing out opportunities and maybe you can find that right balance better. And for you now, obviously, you eventually decided to leave the banking world. What was behind that decision? How did that come about? 

Laurie Wang: Yeah, so really happened over several different instances. And one of them is that from a very early on, I realized on the trading floor that I was working at, there were a lot of women with the kind of roles that I aspire to be, that's actually still working there at a later age gap.

Laurie Wang: So, you know, where, when I was, you know, in terms of the early twenties, there are lots of us on the trading floor. When you look beyond that 35, 40 years age, there really weren't a lot of women around in the upper, I suppose, management side of [00:14:00] things. And that's one thing I noticed. And secondly, is that one night I was leaving work,

Laurie Wang: and I remember I was about to shut off my computer. It was around maybe 11 30 midnight or so. So in the, in the role that I was working in, I was in very early on in the morning before the market opens and I will leave literally sometime past midnight to work on pitch books for clients. So it's kind of the, the hours that kind of stretch on both sides of the spectrum.

Laurie Wang: And as I was leaving, I realized that someone else's light was still on and their computer was still on. It was basically our managing directors. I remember looking that, looking at him and he was still working there, but looking quite miserable and sad in a sense, but I know a lot of things about this industry is that you get locked in with this thing called the golden handcuff because the fact that you can't leave a certain point in your life.

Laurie Wang: You kind of just get settled and in a way institutionalized that really takes away that personal freedom, which I now really aspire to and really love in what we do as entrepreneurs in the sense that we create our own futures, right? We know what we're [00:15:00] going after, but at the same time we set our own schedules.

Laurie Wang: And we made sure that we have the work life balance that I definitely created back then. And that's one of the things that really made me realize when I was leaving that night, you know, something has to change because if I don't want to become that person, then what is it I'm actually there for, right?

Laurie Wang: What am I working towards? And that just made me go into this whole period of self questioning. And I think that's when also things are shifting because I started going to a lot of different, um, career events and going to events in the city. There's a thing called escape the city, which I really recommend anyone who wants to check it out.

Laurie Wang: If they're in that similar mindset, lots of these kind of individuals coming together from that similar background and want to find a different solution for their life and for what they want to work towards. So that's when my inspiration started kicking off. I got involved in a lot of startup events as well, digital events.

Laurie Wang: So funny enough, you know, it's only a short distance from the city I was working at. If you go up, um, that North part of London, then you kind of come into the whole [00:16:00] Silicon Roundabout. So to go to events after work, you know, it was a really easy thing to do. So I started going to a lot more of those and getting really influenced earlier on, on some of these digital,

Laurie Wang: digital technologies and things like that, I can get involved in. And I suppose that's when the spark started happening. And also funny enough, a friend of mine who was working for a digital agency, he was sharing about his work online on, on Facebook, I believe. And I saw, I thought that looked really cool.

Laurie Wang: You know, I want to get involved in that. Actually, what's it all about? How do you actually work on just doing social media or digital marketing? Like, what is this thing? So I reached out for a coffee. That's when he introduced me to a friend of his, who's also working in the London office. I went in for a coffee, didn't think much of it, but we're now, you know, really good friends.

Laurie Wang: Years later at the time, you know, he told me all about what he did and I was just fascinated. I just thought this whole new world I never knew anything about because my whole life I was kind of being told to do what, to do what my parents want me to do, to fill the dream that was, It wasn't really mine.[00:17:00] 

Laurie Wang: And at that point, that's when I thought, you know, maybe it's time to make a switch. And luckily four months later, there happens to be a vacancy in that agency that's working with, and I went in and kind of chat with them. They love my client facing background, which is something that they really needed in the early stages of that career.

Laurie Wang: You go in to pitch the different kind of digital strategy and marketing strategy to the client. So I went in completely new and fresh, take a huge step back into the salary in terms of, you know, working underneath people who are actually younger than me and just kind of taking the whole prize side of it back to myself and once you really build something out of this.

Laurie Wang: And lo and behold, within a year, I was promoted very quickly up the ranks. And within a few more years after that, I realized that I learned as much as I could have. I was so grateful to this agency for giving me the opportunity. I learned as much as I could have at that point. I crave something in terms of creativity further on what I can do with that career.

Laurie Wang: And It's funny enough at that point, Google happened to reach out to me [00:18:00] to help build out their digital training program across the UK. And again, I thought there's an interesting challenge coming. I didn't feel like I was ready at the time. I felt like there's such a big undertaking, but at the same time I thought, you know what?

Laurie Wang: Just embrace that mindset. You know of just say yes and do it anyway and I went for it and now it's actually one of the biggest projects that's close to my heart so it's called a digital garage and a lot of the entrepreneurs were listening who may be in need of free digital advice they can actually go to that website and check out digital garage and you can get everything there for free into the training.

Laurie Wang: And, uh, from that point on, then I thought if this is what I've been doing and clearly I have a passion for this, I can take what I learned in the digital agency side and apply that to a smaller business perspective, or there are many individuals around the UK, around the world who can maybe use my advice.

Laurie Wang: That maybe they wouldn't have the access normally with the fees that agencies could charge. So that's when I started doing, um, essentially training and [00:19:00] consulting across the UK and also now internationally speaking on digital marketing and social media strategies to simplify as much as possible, basically.

Amardeep Parmar: So there's a  few interesting things you said there, and I think they link together as well, where you said about how, I think a lot of people should do as well, but you look at the people who are a few years ahead of you, and if you don't want to be in their position in a few years time. Then, like I said, you've got to start questioning, am I in the right place?

Amardeep Parmar: And you also mentioned about how you took a step back, right? And you took your salary down, you're working with people who are younger than you. But it's like the way I kind of vision in my head is that there's two different mountains, right? If you're at this point on this mountain, people watching on YouTube can see my hands, then, but it's the wrong mountain, then you're not actually going that far, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because if you take, if you're actually a lower point, but on the right mountain, you're further ahead and it's sometimes you need to change the game you're playing. So you're playing the right game because then you're climbing, you're going towards what you actually want to achieve. And if you take a cut in salary or if you take a cut in pride or ego to do that, [00:20:00] but in the longer term, that's actually what's best for you.

Amardeep Parmar: And I think it's a really tough decision to make. And obviously you were able to make it. Did you have any reservations about that? How did you allow yourself to make that decision? Was it an easy thing for you? Was it quite of internal struggle about taking that pay cut and doing that, even though you were excited about it.

Laurie Wang: Yeah,  it was a huge internal struggle because I think one of the biggest part growing up with that blue collar background and having seen my parents struggle really in those early years, as we, after we moved to New York, you know, we lived in the, in a one bedroom apartment that was attached inside a house.

Laurie Wang: And I remember I was ashamed to have my friends come over and visit me because I didn't want to show what was like that where I really truly lived. I remember that shame, like even taken into my, into my adulthood. And one of the things I really wanted in the back of my head was that I need to, at the time anyway, The way that I see success was money and that if I make as much money as possible to bring myself out [00:21:00] of that, it's my ticket out of that poverty, take my parents, all that poverty.

Laurie Wang: That's why I define the success at that point. And it was very difficult because I knew that. In banking and finance, I could make very great salary and probably really great bonuses as well. That's really going to take my parents out of that poverty earlier on. But at the same time, I also thought to myself, if I wasn't passionate about this, and I can feel this is that even I was in that area for about you know, up to five years at a time, I wasn't making the progress I wanted to in terms of the progression and career side.

Laurie Wang: I knew what that was deep down is that I wasn't passionate about enough to put in the effort, right? To really get myself to the best I can in the industry. Where it's funny enough. A year later, after I joined, you know, the digital agency, I was promoted within a year and how quickly I ranked through the ranks because of it, because of the fact that I was so passionate about learning it, that I put my whole self into it, right?

Laurie Wang: It was, it became my obsession in a way to [00:22:00] really apply myself as much as possible to learn it as quickly as possible, and I really show through. I think for anyone who's listening, they're making some decisions on this is that when you do something that you're passionate about, it sounds so cheesy. I know, but it is true in a way that when you do something you're so passionate about, you will give it 100 percent 110, 200%.

Laurie Wang: But when you do something, you're completely disconnected with, you're literally shut down inside and that's not the best version of yourself that you want to live with. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And I, I, I'm laughing because I know I do it myself sometimes. So I've taken on projects and initially they've been for the money essentially.

Amardeep Parmar: And then I realized that it doesn't matter how much some people are paying me, I'm bored and then I'm putting off and I'm procrastinating and it's like, this is easy money, but I'm still not doing it. And that's where it just comes into play. Like I said, and I think especially once you start working for yourself, it's really hard to do projects where you just don't,

Amardeep Parmar: you're not interested and you don't care. And it's, it's one of those things which obviously comes from a position of privilege in some ways for me. And I can appreciate that where I [00:23:00] don't have to do the approach that I don't want to do because I can earn enough in other ways. But once you get to that place, I think a lot of people get to that place, but still won't let go of those projects they don't want to do.

Amardeep Parmar: Because they still have that scarcity of like I need to make this money. Even if they're actually okay in terms of finances. And I think it's one of those important things where if you need to make that money, and like you said, you're coming out of poverty and trying to build this way out in that way, then maybe you do do this project you're maybe not passionate about to get there.

Amardeep Parmar: But once you've got that baseline that you can make more decisions from a different perspective, then not still sticking to that same mindset and allowing yourself to actually I can take a pay cut and pay and I can afford it. You've got to understand your personal circumstances. But as you said, you obviously now learned so much faster and done so much better because you're doing something you actually really care about.

Amardeep Parmar: And like going back to like the Google garage for a moment that the digital carriage, what exactly is that? Because I've never heard of it before, but it sounds like such a useful resource for people listening. 

Laurie Wang: Definitely. Yeah. So it's basically an [00:24:00] online, also in person training program that you can go to either the local

Laurie Wang: Google centers that Hurley services, or you can actually go online, literally just called Google garage. If you Google that one, you'll find. It's a series of different online trainings that covers email marketing, social media, SEO, which is a big word. So search engine optimizations, mouthful, all aspects of paid search and things like that, where you can think about how you can leverage those different strategies, different channels in your own

Laurie Wang: business marketing, really, and I think for a lot of businesses that we've worked with, you know, there's an example of a individual who was currently in Bristol who opened up a hair salon and he was quickly expanding that hair salon by using YouTube in the right way to market to that individual audiences and also showcasing what it's like in a salon.

Laurie Wang: By using the different online tools and from there actually able to expand to three different locations across the city. So it's just things like that, where, you know, you're able to leverage the tools at your disposal as a business and knowing that these tools exist, I think that's [00:25:00] powerful. It's the fact that I realized a lot of people don't realize that they kept these for free, right?

Laurie Wang: And having to spend thousands and thousands of pounds with agencies and sometimes, sadly, some agencies take them for a ride, right? the cowboy ones. And I think that's one of the sad things that I've seen in the industry where for smaller businesses, we don't have that budget already. I'm really burning out that initial marketing budget so quickly.

Laurie Wang: And I hope that this can bring that initial relief, right? To start using some of this knowledge straight away. And obviously, as they know enough to be dangerous, I call it, they can then use that knowledge to go out and find better agencies to help them. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And since you've gone full time, like we have our own agency.

Amardeep Parmar: You obviously get in a lot of talks at different places and it's including the Guardian and you're at the... E nation..

Laurie Wang: Enterprise Nation.

Amardeep Parmar: Enterprise Nation event yesterday. Yeah. And that talk obviously went down very well. I could see it shared across social media. Could you share some of the tips that you gave people from that event, especially I think it's related to small businesses without a budget, right?

Laurie Wang: Yeah, absolutely. So the main talk that I talked about was attracting more [00:26:00] customers by using social media, even though you have a small budget. And there's quite a few different reasons where you can do this. So first of all, I think the mindset shift is that when you have a smaller budget, It's actually your superpower as a small business.

Laurie Wang: And the reason for that is because as a startup, as a small business, a new idea, you're nimble, you're entrepreneurial, you're thinking outside the box, you're being creative, and you're able to embrace that test first mentality, which means that you're able to test and learn from the data behind all these campaigns, right?

Laurie Wang: That you're putting out to and seeing what's working, what's not. You could quickly shift gears because there's not as much bureaucracy involved. That's when it comes to a much bigger brand and different people involved in that party as well. So it really allows you as a small business, right, to think about how do I actually leverage these different strategies and different free tools to make it at my disposal.

Laurie Wang: And one thing, for example, I shared in that talk was having a lot of free content creation tools that you can use right now, and you don't need to hire expensive editors and [00:27:00] things like that to help you out straight away. I think that's one of the biggest bugbears for a lot of businesses is that they don't have that initial

Laurie Wang: budget to pay for very expensive video editing and things like that. So, for example, you know, Canva, I designed my whole slide deck. I told the crowd on Saturday on Canva and you can use that for so many different ways in terms of social media posts and social media videos. Uh, clip chimp is a really good one as well

Laurie Wang: for social videos, which is now is king across all social media channels and on splash is a really great royalty free stock image site and again, completely free. You can download. It doesn't look stock imagery, which we all know what those look like on social media ads. It doesn't work out very well. And just some of these tools that you can think about that you can leverage within your own business and you can actually start for free.

Laurie Wang: And the other one is thinking about micro influencers. Is that a lot of times we think about influencer marketing, we think about this massive, you know, 1 million plus followers base that we should go after, but actually a lot of those individuals with a much larger follower base don't have as [00:28:00] much of a high engagement as they would with a smaller micro influencer, those with under 10, 000 followers or less.

Laurie Wang: And generally speaking across all data research I've seen on these micro influencer campaigns. Usually for every dollar or pound spent, you're getting about six pound back on the back of your spending on promotions, which is amazing from a business perspective. Because of how they built such a highly engaged relationship with their audiences, because they have a smaller audience, they can actually get back to them one by one on direct messages and things like that.

Laurie Wang: Then these audiences actually trust them a lot more with what they're saying. So when you do a paid promotion with these micro influencers, not only you're paying less per promotion on your campaigns to talk about your product or your services, but also, you know, they're giving you a much better return as well in terms of overall as your marketing budget.

Laurie Wang: So really great to think about that, but just make sure you are picking out the right influencer to speak to, right? Because a lot of things that I've seen is that they might have a very engaged following, but they might not be in the [00:29:00] same exact audience base as the one that you're looking to target.

Laurie Wang: And that's one of the biggest mistakes that we've seen in past campaigns as well. And the third one, the main one here is to think about how do you actually create a repurposeful content, but also shareable content across the, across all your social media channels. So one of the things that I think you do really well, and I see it from a perspective of, of a social media strategies as well from outside that you repurpose all your podcast episodes in different short form formats across Instagram, across YouTube shorts, and maybe tiktok as well, isn't it?

Laurie Wang: So. All these allow you to actually leverage that same piece of material, which you created with your team and able to just share it everywhere. But why not do that as a business? Think about how do you actually repurpose all the different kind of content you're creating anyway right now in your business?

Laurie Wang: It doesn't have to be video. It could be even written blog post formats that you can then create into a video or maybe read it out into audio. Put into a podcast, right? The content is there, but it's about how you repurpose it to be creative with that [00:30:00] to actually save you time and resources as well. And the other part is that when you make it shareable.

Laurie Wang: So for example, I use a, I use a brand example in my, in my talk, which is with HelloFresh and HelloFresh, they actually use a brand hashtag on Instagram called HelloFresh snaps. And what that is is that whenever someone buys one of their recipe boxes and they go ahead and cook the recipe. They get really proud about it.

Laurie Wang: Obviously they quickly take a picture, Instagram it, and then they can actually use the brand hashtag to actually tag their photo. Now, once they've done that, if hello fresh is social team goes in and click on that hashtag, then all the posts comes out underneath that hashtag, which is art from different contributions around the world, right on this particular, um, hashtag, and they can then just go ahead and pick any individual image that fits.

Laurie Wang: They're aesthetic in terms of their own brand to share with their audiences. And it serves, uh, it serves three different benefits. Really. The first one is thinking about how do you actually [00:31:00] build your loyalty with your audiences? And this does a great job of that because imagine how you feel as a user or as a user of their recipe boxes as a customer, you see the hello fresh as he shares your image on their own Instagram profile, right?

Laurie Wang: It's great. It's a great exposure for you as a person, but also it builds that trust. Like knowing trust factor that we care so much about on social media. And secondly, it creates unlimited content for you as a brand to reuse, right? You don't have to be creating content all the time from scratch, but think about how do you actually make it easier for yourself as a business to save time and money as well.

Laurie Wang: So this, some of the key ways I shared about there are lots more, so feel free to reach out to me if you want to hear more about it. I could go on forever, but these are some of the key ones, so..

Amardeep Parmar: It seems like as I'm listening in the podcast itself live now, I was just saying some things like, okay, I'm going to use that in the reel.

Amardeep Parmar: Okay, I'm going to use that in the reel. And like, I know the different lines already when I'm going to go back and watch this that I'm going to probably use in the short form content and spoilers for people listening. What I'm going to do is go back through all the old episodes [00:32:00] and make more reels out of them, but then also repurpose into LinkedIn posts and Twitter threads, all of that kind of stuff.

Amardeep Parmar: And because we started at how we did and we're moving very fast. I haven't had the chance to do that yet, but it's something that's definitely on my mind, especially once we get some funding and things like that, where I can go back and do all of this. So if you imagine like each episode, generally there's at least a few good pieces of content I can then use.

Amardeep Parmar: And even for example, for the people who I guess is yourself, so you come on when the episode comes out, you get the reel then which promotes you. Then we might do another eel in a month's time or two months time. And it reminds people about the episode. So you're getting an extra boost. So it's good for the guests as well because they're getting the extra hit of like, Oh yeah, I said something smart two months ago and people are now seeing it again.

Amardeep Parmar: So people are now learning about me. And obviously in the meantime, that audience grows and some people might not know about you, but they might know about the next guest and they might know if what's your reel, but now that they're following us. They might see your reel in a month's time or two months' time.

Amardeep Parmar: So it's a good cycle of how it just keeps going. And [00:33:00] this is why, for example, we focus on long form content beginning because it's that cornerstone tentpole content that can then be repurposed in the future. But we haven't got much time left, but I want to know is what do you enjoy most about what you do now?

Amardeep Parmar: Because obviously you're working for yourself. You've worked for other organizations such as Google, but now you're fully independent and you get to choose what you want to do. What really like lights you up? What are you enjoying right now? 

Laurie Wang: I think for me, I've gotten to the content creation side of things the last couple of years more seriously.

Laurie Wang: And I didn't realize how much I love doing it. And you know, one of the things that I do now is I create a weekly YouTube video. So very similar to what you guys do on the pillar content side. That's my keystone pillar content every week. And I use that then to segment into different social media content I can do across my other channels, but

Laurie Wang: one thing I didn't realize how much I loved was that I'm actually loving the camera now than what I did a few years ago. And that's strange for me because I'm actually a very introverted person and I never thought that I would embrace the camera as well as I did now. [00:34:00] And the other part is that I love the creation aspect, the aspect of content creation, because you're literally, as the word says, is that you're creating something from

Laurie Wang: thin air into something that's actually now valuable to individuals who are watching your videos, who are listening to your podcast, right? Who are seeing your content around the internet. I think that itself is interesting, but also exciting for me. And the fact that, you know, I'm getting these feedback from people are emailing me or sending me messages on, on my social media accounts, seeing how much they're enjoying my content and learning so much about it and getting inspired by it, like that really makes me tick.

Laurie Wang: You know, that makes me, really going to fill with, I suppose, joy and gratitude for what I'm doing now. But obviously I think the other side of it is that I also learned the, the challenges of balancing everything as well, because there is the part about running the business. There's a part about doing content creation and there's a part about running a family in the background too.

Laurie Wang: So I think. You know, I'm learning more and more about how do I actually [00:35:00] shift my focus, tilt my focus in the right direction, but knowing that these are my key focuses right now and just don't deviate from them too much because I think one of the biggest things that I read recently, one of the books by Benjamin Hardy called Be Your Future Self Now is that one of the biggest, um, Issues that we face as we become more prolific in maybe content creation in, in business building, there's this thing called success disease where all of a sudden you're being shown with so many more opportunities and things are coming your way that might seem like a really good opportunity at that point, like a quickly deviate you away from that.

Laurie Wang: And I think that's one of the things that I'm learning how to say no to things as well. That doesn't deviate me away from the key aims of doing that content creation part of my business, building the business itself in terms of doing more trainings and speaking around the world. And also the fact that don't neglect my own family side too, because my daughter's growing up very quickly as a toddler and also, you know, spending more time with my husband.

Laurie Wang: [00:36:00] Who also, I think we both struggle with the fact that we need to balance the business side with our family side because we're working for ourselves. So I think these are the three things that constantly in my mind. Um, but it really does kind of lights me up every day, waking up at bed, thinking about new ideas I can create and to share that with my audiences.

Amardeep Parmar: I  really enjoyed everything you said today and I know you could dive into some topics so much more, but we're going to go to a quick fire questions. First one, who are three British Asians that you'd love to shout out, who inspire you and you think people should be following. 

Laurie Wang: Yeah, of course. The first one is Ching He Huang.

Laurie Wang: And the reason why I love her is because I actually watched her cooking shows way early on when she was still doing it on the streets of London. I remember just seeing how scrappy she was with the way that she was creating her work. And again, the whole creation part of it really inspired me. And the fact that she made that into eventually now essentially being a well known household name across the UK and also around the world over in America now as well, in terms of Chinese cooking, which I think, you know, Chinese cooking traditionally, hasn't been seen in the most [00:37:00] favorable light in terms of all the local takeout restaurants and that’s the 

Laurie Wang: first connection that people have right with Chinese restaurants and cooking, but she made it much more healthier and also much more easier to relate to, you know, as another cuisine that we can add to our daily diet. I think that's really inspirational for me. Secondly is Gemma Chan and I love all of her movies.

Laurie Wang: But the reason why I resonate so much with her is because she started off very similar to myself in a very traditional role in law and actually eventually moved out to acting because she was so passionate to pursue it despite what her family and friends were saying at the time. And lastly is my husband Simon Alexander Ong.

Laurie Wang: So the reason why I mentioned him, because he inspires me every single day to, to be challenging myself. And I think he calls out a lot of my BS in a way that other people can't. And I think I really, I admire that about him. And we've gone through a lot together during the pandemic with him writing his book and both of us, you know, welcoming newborns for our lives and gone through so much to get everything

Laurie Wang: on [00:38:00] the other side, so I think, you know, I really value him as a spouse and as a partner for life, really, in our life. And these are the three. 

Amardeep Parmar: And  if people listen right now, looking for some help or guidance, what could you help them with? 

Laurie Wang: Of course, if you're interested in getting a lot more free resources in online marketing and social media, you can check out my YouTube channel.

Laurie Wang: So it's Lori X Wang or just type Lori Wang in the search box. Or you can go to my website, it's lauriewang.com, and all the different resources out there for download. And also feel free to reach out to me for a free consultation session, or even just an audit on what you're doing online at the moment.

Amardeep Parmar: Awesome. And then on the flip side. What could somebody help you with right now? What's something you're looking for help with? 

Laurie Wang: Yeah, so one of the things I'm thinking about in the next step is potentially publishing a book in maybe the next five years or so. That's my general timeline, and I'd love to find out more from others who've gone through the process, especially if you have a similar background to myself, how you navigated everything, and eventually how you actually made that book eventually come into fruition, because

Laurie Wang: [00:39:00] One of the challenges that I see is making the time to actually write the book as well. So I'd love to hear more from your journey if you're in that same path as well. 

Amardeep Parmar: So thank you so much for coming on. Any final words for the audience?

Laurie Wang: I think final words on my side is I want to share this lesson that now I'm reflecting backwards into my life that I think is really profound.

Laurie Wang: Um, consistency and also decision making are the two things that I think we're lacking in the early years of my life. And I hope that whoever's listening can take this wisdom away in a sense that if I was more decisive in what I was doing, as you can tell from what I said in today's podcast episode, in terms of what I want to do, what I'm passionate about, then I can actually cut down a lot of that time really I wasted along the way.

Laurie Wang: And the second part is consistency is that I was never consistent enough in the early years of my life to commit to anything. And without that, I feel that slowed me down many times where I left a project too early. I didn't give enough time for something and now committing to the process and doing the same thing every single day, [00:40:00] believing in improving myself a little bit that 1 percent a day is really crucial because I see now within about five years or even 10 years time, how much further you can get by just believe in the process.

Laurie Wang: Trust the consistency part of it and just taking that one step after another and just keep pushing forward. So I hope that inspires everyone to do that.

Amardeep Parmar: Thank you for listening to the BAE HQ podcast today. In our mission to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs, it would mean so much to us if you could subscribe to our channel, leave a review, and share this with your friends.

Coming soon...

Other episodes you may enjoy: