No business without community: RW Digital’s Ray Wang provides advice for young entrepreneurs

RW Digital’s Ray Wang provides advice to young entrepreneurs on mental health, leadership, and how community builds business.

This article is sponsored by RW Digital. RW Digital is an independent digital agency based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Its mission is to empower businesses with digital marketing, web technologies, and data analytics to promote their brands and gain more clients in today’s ever-changing digital space. RW Digital takes pride in consistently delivering exceptional work to their clients.

Ray Wang, Principal of RW Digital, talks about why he left his 9-to-5 to do business differently, the rise of Asian Canadian entrepreneurship, how community builds business, and the importance of giving back.

Doing things differently

For many working millennials, long hours, toxic work environments, and coping with burnout are a common reality. When Ray Wang left his 9-to-5 to start his own digital marketing agency, RW Digital, he strove to do business differently.

The Vancouver-based entrepreneur shares with Cold Tea Collective about how community builds business, and how to make a positive social impact in every interaction —- whether between employer and employee, or within the greater business community.

Ray Wang of RW Digital wearing a blue jacket.
Photo submitted.

Wang attended business school and entered the workforce, eager to work hard and climb the corporate ladder. But he and many of his peers were unprepared for the crushing pressures of the corporate world. He was concerned to see so many of his friends succumb to toxic and uncaring work environments which devastated their mental health.

He compares many companies to “meat grinders”, highlighting high turnover rates and a lack of meaningful emotional support for staff.

On the other hand, Wang emphasizes the importance of looking out for employees. “If someone is unhappy at work, it not only affects that person, but also the business and the community,” says the entrepreneur.

“I want my team members to feel supported,” he said. “So everything — from the workload to the wages — has to be fair.”

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Valuing diversity and mental health

Wang believes in leading according to his values. Beyond supporting employees, some of these values include diversity and mental health.

“We’re seeing not only more Asian Canadian entrepreneurs, but more diversity within entrepreneurship overall. More young people are getting involved. Millennials are starting businesses.”

Wang is excited to see younger entrepreneurs take on new industries — everything from entertainment, to music, to interior design and more.

Community builds business in a meeting inside a colourful, light office.
Photo credit: Jason Goodman on Unsplash.

“We need Asian Canadian representation in all industries. This diversity benefits the overall business landscape, and makes for a better and stronger support system for us all.”

When asked what advice he would give to new business owners, Wang urges young entrepreneurs to prioritize their mental well-being.

“Entrepreneurs can be vulnerable to depression. You have to maintain a balanced life in order to succeed,” Wang said. “There will always be ups and downs in your professional life, and it can be devastating if work is your main focus.” Wang urges other young entrepreneurs to diversify their lives and time with hobbies, and friends so that their work doesn’t become the sole influence on their feelings and emotions. 

“It’s always more efficient to work when you feel good. Maintaining a balanced and healthy mindset makes it easier to bounce back when issues arise.”

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Creating relationships through digital marketing

Technology has been a great gateway and connector for businesses to their potential clients. As a people leader, Wang’s focus on people-to-people connection shines through his philosophy towards digital marketing.

“As entrepreneurs, it’s important to use digital marketing to be in front of customers in order to create a relationship. Digital marketing also provides the opportunity to get real-time feedback. From here, entrepreneurs can continue to refine their marketing.”

A laptop displaying SEO analytics data.
Photo Credit: Carlos Muza on Unsplash.

When asked where a company should start with their digital marketing, Wang and his team are laser-focused on the details. These are his top tips for small to mid-sized businesses to drive traffic to their websites and create optimal experiences.

Tips for small to mid-sized businesses for increasing web traffic

  1. Cater every element of your website to Google’s search engine. “Even the names of your image files will make a difference in your search engine rankings, so be sure to include relevant keywords in your file names. For example, instead of uploading an image called ‘xyz.jpg’, try something more descriptive, like ‘team-of-personal-tax-accountants.jpg’. That will help your website rank higher on searches for accounting services.”
  2. Highlight services in individual web pages with keywords that your target audience is searching for. “For example, if you’re an accounting firm, this might mean dedicated web pages for succession planning services, personal tax services, corporate finance services, and bookkeeping. Doing this will increase your chances of getting discovered through Google’s search results.”

“There’s a lot more that you can do, but this is a great place to start for new businesses,” Wang shares.

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How community builds business

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have people helping me. Community support has been so important in the growth of my business.”

In only three short years, RW Digital has secured projects with reputable brands such as the Richmond Olympic Oval, Explore Burnaby, Cowell Auto Group, and U-Lock Mini Storage. RW Digital was also shortlisted as a finalist for Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s New Business of the Year Award in 2020.

For the business award nominee, the most important aspect of his business — and entrepreneurship as a whole — is finding support from within your communities. What he didn’t expect when he started his business was the outpour of support from the local business community.

“Simple things like sharing content, making referrals and even nominating others for awards can make a whole world of difference. Nobody succeeds alone,” Wang shared.

The support that Wang received made him realize the interconnected nature of success, and how community builds business.

Teamwork and community builds business efforts in a workspace.
Photo Credit: Mario Gogh on Unsplash.

“I’m truly grateful for all the help I’ve received. Now I’m trying to support the next person. That’s why I want my employees to succeed. To do this, I try to assign tasks that will benefit their personal portfolios and their unique long-term goals.”

“When you build up your team, everyone wins. As an entrepreneur, you have the power to create that positive loop where everyone supports each other and we all grow together.

The positive loop is where “the magic happens”, according to Wang. Everything runs more efficiently, and while taking every member’s interests into consideration might be time-consuming at first, it saves energy in the long run.

“Take care of your people first, and the entire business will run more smoothly. It makes growing a team and a business more efficient and stress-free.”

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