Justin Shimoon is the founder and CEO of AffinityClick Inc., the makers of Hushed, a top-five grossing iOS/Android app for over five years.
Justin’s love for technology and marketing started at an early age and followed him through his years at university. After graduating from Carleton University with a degree in electrical engineering, as well as a minor in telecommunications, Justin didn’t waste any time before jumping into the internet marketing industry. In 2000, he founded his first company, Sitebrand, a digital marketing company. Sitebrand helped companies personalize the online experience with relevant messaging. Behind Sitebrand was a team of seasoned personalization experts. At the time, Justin didn’t know it, but this company would help him develop as a leader and CEO, which would become invaluable later in life as he started additional companies.
During this tenure as CEO at Sitebrand, Justin developed his leadership style, fostered the development of close to 40 employees at the company’s peak, and became an expert on digital marketing and the ever-evolving industry. As Sitebrand quickly grew and established a major presence, Justin evolved into a prominent business leader in Ontario, Canada. Tasked with growing a team and developing a positive work culture at an early age, Justin embraced the challenge head on and ever since, he has been intentional about professional development and challenging himself to become a better leader each day.
Today, Justin uses the experiences and lessons learned from his first startup companies to shape his decision making skills at Hushed. Considered a leader in the VOIP telecommunication space, Justin and the team at Hushed have built a successful company with over seven million downloads, 500 million phone calls, 1 billion million text messages, and utilized in over 45 countries. Despite the large-scale adoption by Hushed users, Justin is most proud of the 4.5 star rating on the Apple App Store, with over 1,000 reviews.
Justin is quick to share that it was the culmination of hard work and the ability to predict which features users would want that allowed Hushed to grow to the level it has. For Justin and the team at Hushed, the excited lies in knowing they have only just scratched the surface. While Justin remains engaged in the VOIP industry and working to make Hushed the worldwide leader, he is also passionate about the technology startup scene in Canada. Justin enjoys learning about emerging technology like artificial intelligence and cryptocurrency. His curiosity and drive to always learn is infectious to those around him
Justin has started this website to serve as an outlet to share his thoughts around leadership, marketing, and how startup founders can create a product and culture scales. Throughout his journey as a founder, Justin has learned valuable lessons that he hopes to share with his employees and others that are in similar stages in their career.
Named to 40 Under 40 list
Recipient of the Wes Nicol Award
What the NBA Can Teach Us About Brand Marketing
In the last decade, the NBA has become a force to be reckoned with in terms of marketing and expanding their brand. The NBA is nothing’ but net when it comes to brand marketing, and you, too, can make a slam dunk by following their strategy.
Extend Your Brand through Line Extensions
By creating extensions of their brand, such as the WNBA (Women’s National Basketball Association) and the NWBA (National Wheelchair Basketball Association) and NBA-China, the National Basketball Association has engaged a wider fan base and has even increased their relevance in select niches.
While this may seem easier said than done, it could be as simple as creating diverse social media pages and handles associated with the niche audience you would like to tap.
Pump Out Engaging Content
NBA fans want content so that’s exactly what they get. The NBA churns out blog posts, game recaps, behind-the-scenes footage, videos, and articles. And their content isn’t bland either.
Your brand can capitalize on this strategy as well. Create a place for your target audience to seek out information. Make a commitment to posting at least one piece of visual and text content a day and watch your brand soar.
Not only that, but you could also tap individual players on your team who may already maintain a robust online presence to promote the brand. Part of the NBA’s increased popularity comes from the players on each team engaging with their own respective audiences and building alliances with other large brands. Those connections benefit the NBA and allow the organization as a whole to stay relevant.
Make Yourself Visible
The NBA takes the lead in professional sports when it comes to its social media presence. According to an analysis done by Nielsen Sports, 20-50% of the combined media value generated for the NBA’s sponsors came from the NBA’s social media platforms. By posting a wide variety of content to their social media platforms, the NBA has managed to garner 1.1 million instances of their logo appearing on social media. Not to mention keeping their followers engaged.
You can grow your brand’s visibility by utilizing your social media outlets. Pay attention to the platforms your target audience gravitates to and actively engage with them on those platforms. Comment and like their posts. Creating an online presence that personalizes and humanizes your brand will go a long way to increase your engagement and earn followers. Using a range of post types will allow you to keep your content fresh and relevant.
Your brand may not be a major sports empire, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play with the big boys. Just watch and learn from the pros and you’ll be ahead of the game in no time.
Inspiring Leadership Through A Learning Culture
Great leadership comes from people who inspire others to be the best they can be. When leaders support their team, there is no end to what they can do and accomplish. Helping your team to reach their goals or even inspire goal setting in your employees is essential to instill growth within your company culture.
One of the most significant ways to instill a culture of learning and growth is by creating an environment that supports further education for your employees. There are many ways to do so even from the start of your hiring process will increase this type of culture in your business and create more leadership opportunities for your team as a whole.
When beginning to create a culture of learning, you can start by looking at your potential candidates before hiring. Reviewing their information on their application materials for any continuing education information and also, asking the right questions will automatically get the right people in the door. See what they want to get out of this job and how they would like to expand their knowledge as they begin their work in the company.
When you employee people who have projects of passion and the willingness to learn more, then you can create that learning culture around their ability to grow and expand upon knowledge and skill they may or may not already have.
One of the other great ways to incorporate learning into the culture is by making it a company policy. When your employees see that learning is policy and something that is offered, they will be more excited to see that their leaders and company is investing in them and providing them with the skills to be successful.
To continue the policy of learning in a business, you must also throw out any connotations of punishing your employees if they happen to fail. Employees will be hesitant to try something new if there are negative repercussions for the possibility of failure. Instead, reward them for stepping outside of their comfort zones and expanding their knowledge in trying new things, whether they fail or not. This will open the door for more opportunity and excitement for new things in the future.
Being a great leader means investing in your employees. Studies continue to show that providing a work culture that explores learning and giving your employees the tools they need to move farther in their careers will ultimately create success in the long run.
Tactics to Build Trust on Your Website
Professionals within the digital marketing industry understand how essential their online tools are. They are the tools you need and have to work with to generate an audience for goods and services. Among social media platforms, email marketing, and other forms of engagement, the most important item you have is your company website.
The website is there to direct traffic for your audience so they can learn everything there is to know about the company, product or service. The website must not only be clean, attractive, and in perfect working condition, but it also must give off a sense of trust to your customers. Your potential buyers must know they can trust the business they want to purchase from. Otherwise, they will look to other companies for similar products.
It is the role of a digital marketer to handle the ins and outs of how the company’s site looks and operates as well as build trust for potential customers. Thankfully, there are a few easy ways this can be done and ultimately make your consumers feel very at ease and that your business is trustworthy. Let’s take a quick look at some of the tactics you can utilize to build trust for your website.
Putting a credibility bar on your site automatically builds trust and is an easy way to do so. Take this place to add anything your business has been able to accomplish, the business you have had the opportunity to work with, any clients you are currently working with, achievements, reviews, and any publications your company has been featured in. This is a great way to build up trust that is visible to your audience quickly.
Testimonial videos hold a lot of clout online for businesses because they are visual representations from past or current clients who have had success in working with your company or using your product. These videos should already be in a particular spot on the website, but take on to spotlight and put it right on the front page of the site, so your audience does not have to dig for these types of reviews and recommendations. Viewers and businesses love to see videos and hear this type of information right from someone’s mouth and will create a great deal of trust for potential clients.
Just a few simple tactics can automatically boost the trust of your website and create more traffic for future customers and businesses. Not all digital marketing tactics need to be in depth and time-consuming to build trust and an audience.