Kan Huang is a demand generation expert who helps service-based businesses build their brand, generate leads and ultimately grow their businesses.
He believes that marketing today is too reliant on marketing technology to measure the success of marketing campaigns and that the timeline that businesses and marketers measure the effectiveness of their campaigns are too short. He advocates for building a brand and an audience and that performance marketing (advertising) is overrated.
At the height of the pandemic in March 2020, he established Social Wave. In 18 months, he grew Social Wave to a 7-figure agency, helping 50+ businesses grow and now works with businesses ranging from Coca Cola to local plumbers.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Kan Huang: I’m the founder and director of Social Wave Agency – we primarily focus on B2B service based businesses using demand generation as a methodology.
What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you at your company since you started working there?
We’ve gone through a massive growth spike due to increased demand in our content marketing services, going from a company of 2 to 26 in the space of 2 years.
No one can achieve success without some help. Who helped you become successful? Can you share a story about that person?
Kan Huang: My business partner, Noel, who has been integral to the growth and sustainability of the business. Edwin, our senior project lead who has gotten his hands dirty with helping us grow.
Can you tell our readers how your company is different in your industry? Give us examples to illustrate those differences.
Kan Huang: Most agencies are focused on capturing demand but don’t do enough to generate demand. SEO is a form of capturing existing demand while video marketing and social media is all about generating demand. The example I give is that when braces were invented, companies needed to educate their prospects on the benefits of braces. The more educated and aware they became, the more desire there was for braces. This is the same in today’s age of marketing
Adapt or die is a necessity when navigating challenging times. Tell us how your industry is changing since the pandemic started.
Kan Huang: Marketing has gone full-scale digital. As people work from home and analog methods like TV, radio and billboards become obsolete, businesses need to start shifting to digital marketing.
Many readers wonder what are the biggest challenges you had to overcome in 2021 to remain successful?
Kan Huang: Having continuity of team members in the business. You don’t have to have the perfect team, but having the same consistent team who knows how to run it day to day is key to overcoming challenges. In 2021, we grew to 22 team members and needed to scale up their skills and training accordingly. This had its own set of challenges as we aimed to maintain a high quality service.
How did you overcome these obstacles? What helped you the most during these difficult times?
Kan Huang: Strong SOP and documentation process so that it can be taught once and reused multiple times.
Share some lessons you learned while adapting your business practices during the past couple of years.
Kan Huang: Have the runway to keep the business going during lean periods. During the early days, it’s feast and famine
- Stay on offence. Invest where you can and aim for growth instead of playing defence and taking more off the table
- Network network network – it’s about who you know
- Go digital – the more presence and visibility you have online, the better your business is seen and will perform
What advice did you wish you had received before the pandemic that you’d like to share now with aspiring entrepreneurs?
Kan Huang: Don’t overthink and aim for perfection. Be happy with 80% of it and ship it off.
All great companies are spearheaded by great leaders, but tell us how your team supported your decisions? Is there a particular example that stands out the most?
Kan Huang: Giving them direction and insights into the company performance. Make them feel part of the direction and vision of the company. This meant strong and transparent communication. They felt part of the ride as opposed to just being told what to do.
What do you plan on tackling during 2022? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Kan Huang: Ramping up our own marketing. We hired our own in-house marketing coordinator who is creating a lot of content for us to generate more leads.
Thank you so much for your time but before we finish things off, I do have one more question for you. When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Kan Huang: All the time. We’re learning about Tik Tok now and understanding how the algorithm works. This is in an experiment phase.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kan Huang for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kan Huang or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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