Hugo van Cingel shares the ethos behind his business HJ Media, gives some insight into the importance of your business making a great first impression and what he’s looking forward to as a member of the Tauranga Business Chamber.
With a background in customer service in the hospitality industry, Hugo has built a business doing what he loves – working with people to bring their products and services to others through social media, photography, and graphic design.
“I want to bring my understanding of people and customer service to a sector where I believe going the extra mile doesn’t really happen yet. In addition, I want to focus on the visual part of online advertising. At the end of the day, it’s your visual media that grabs the attention of your audience, so photography and design are very important.”
With over six years of producing content at a pro level, Hugo began HJ Media just over a year ago, with a focus on making social media more accessible to businesses of 5-30 employees. There’s also a consulting service for those businesses who are looking for support and guidance.
“I use the word ‘accessible’ because typically businesses of that size can see the benefits of having a sole social media role, however, their budget may not allow for it until further down the line. As a specialist contractor, I can give them the benefits of a social media expert while also being affordable.”
Perhaps unique to the world of social media, the focus at HJ Media is on people, says Hugo. “We are very customer service lead, and believe the better we understand our clients, the better they will be represented online.”
Working with the best
While HJ Media is primarily Hugo, he also has a number of specialists on hand. Drone pilots, sign writers, radio hosts and every other type of creative role imaginable are all within reach.
“I’ve picked these people because their knowledge in their respective fields is some of the best, if not the best, I’ve seen — and I believe in surrounding yourself with people better than you.”
“I love what I do, and I’m grateful that, within reason, I get to work wherever I want, whenever I want, and with the people I choose to work with. I’m where I am now because I actively go out and meet new people and throw myself into new experiences. You learn so much from going outside your immediate bubble and opening yourself up to new things. With all the new knowledge you’ll learn, it’s difficult not to be successful!”
First impressions really do count
Social media is often the first place people look after being referred to a business, says Hugo, so the first impression on these potential customers needs to be of a high quality and one that shows a strong customer voice.
There’s psychology involved in marketing — and it’s often more about people than the product.
“In my opinion, many online marketers are too focused on the product or service itself, and less on the psychology behind why a purchasing decision is made. Ultimately, people choose to buy from a place or a person they can align themselves with, so it’s important to be open about what the brand represents.”
Hugo says a lot of time and effort is taken to figure out 1) a brand’s values, 2) what the emotional reason is for a potential customer to consider making a purchase, and 3) what tips the customer over the line to make a purchase.
“If you can make your marketing material centred around these three things, you’ll attract customers who are going to be far more likely to come back, and also refer you to like-minded people. Anyone can list product specs and take a half-decent photo, but we understand psychology and how to leverage it to sell your brand to the right customer.”
In joining the Tauranga Business Chamber, Hugo says he’s looking forward to surrounding himself with other businesspeople from across the Bay of Plenty – and, of course, the events and networking opportunities.
“The greatest benefit I see from being a member is what you can learn from others, plus, I’d like to explore how I can reciprocate that in helping those who help me.”