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
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.
Starting A New Business Venture
Starting a new business can be such an exciting opportunity. However, due diligence should be exercised in the early stages of business establishment to ensure that all necessary steps are well thought of. Laying the right foundation ensures that the business has higher chances of succeeding in the later stages. Among the important, crucial things that you should do as a prospecting business owner includes learning as much as possible on pertinent information. Here at 3 important things to learn before starting a business to increase your chances of succeeding.
Learn on your area of investment
Your business idea exists within a given area of business investment. Before moving on to establish your business and actualize your idea, it is highly advisable to ensure that you take as much time as possible to learn virtually everything that regards that industry. Such learning should be adapted and localized to your particular locality where you intend to establish your business. This ensures that you are well aware of important aspects such as competition, challenges that you may face, legal restrictions, and prospects of success. Acquiring such education increases your prospects of success.
Seek expert opinion and advice
Before starting your business, you should endeavor to work with the various experts available in the market to ensure you understand pertinent information. Among the key experts that you should endeavor to incorporate in your business include legal experts. Legal professionals will give you the basic outline of what the law in your country stipulates regarding new businesses. Important issues such as taxation law, employment law, intellectual property, and business-business and business-customer contracts should be clearly understood.
Have business partners
The success of your business is also closely tied to the kind of people you associate yourself within the business. As a business owner, you need to surround yourself with professionals with different areas of competency and expertise. Firstly, you need to have a strong co-founder who can deputize your responsibilities. The co-founder will come in and in helping provide checks and balances to ensure that the right decisions are made in running the business. Other professionals that you will probably need to have in your business include a business mentor or consultant, a certified public accountant, and a human resource professional.