Photo of me, Pam, and Sheryl at GROW with HubSpot Singapore 2018
Freelancing,  Traveling

Attending GROW with HubSpot 2018 (in Singapore!)

One fine day in September..

I got an email from HubSpot‘s David Fallarme, titled ‘The clock is ticking, Fike ⏰’.

It sounds so personal and urgent, so I opened it.

Luckily, it is urgent.

I got a complimentary ticket to HubSpot’s event in Singapore: GROW with HubSpot 2018! Only because I subscribed to HubSpot newsletter and I’m based outside Singapore.

(It’s a smart move, giving away free tickets to make the event an international one).

That day, I redeemed my free ticket, asked my mom and dad to come along because apparently the promo code can be used over and over again. But they said they won’t.

It’s officially my first solo trip abroad ever!


Two days later, I booked my flight and searched for accommodation. I found a pretty cheap plane ticket from Scoot and a fantastic capsule hostel in Chinatown.

Then I reached out to my Singaporean Medium friends, Joshua Poh and Charing Kam (who happen to be a couple!) on Twitter, asking whether they’re coming to the event. They’re not coming, but we agreed to meet up and have dinner! That’s another story though, you can see how it went here.

Fast forward to October 18.

I woke up at 6, showered, and wore my batik dress. Headed out, walked to the Chinatown Point’s McDonalds across the street, ate their big breakfast.

I took the MRT to Bayfront (it’s a short 3-stop trip from Chinatown, lucky me!), and after a pretty confusing walk around Marina Bay Sands, finally arrived at the venue around 8.

By the time I entered the pre-function/hallway, there are already some people having breakfast and coffee. It’s too awkward to approach them and introduce myself (everyone just seemed to enjoy themselves and their coffee), so I just poured myself a cup of tea and waited (standing) at a table.

When the crowd was getting bigger, I braved myself to sit in one of the sofas where two other women were sitting. They’re not talking to each other. (It’s always easier to approach a person than a group of people).

I made a small talk with one of them, then the other one joined. They’re Sheryl Lim from Singapore and Issa Aviles from the Philippines. Shortly after, another one joined, it was Pam, she’s from the Philippines too!

Photo of me, Pam, and Sheryl at GROW with HubSpot Singapore 2018
Networking is fun! Left to right: Sheryl, Pam, and me.

The Opening Keynote

At 9.15, the opening keynote by Shahid Nizami started. I looked around, it’s a full house!

Shahid talked about how the traditional marketing funnel doesn’t work anymore. Instead, we can use Flywheel, a model that HubSpot invented, that focused on the customer. The steps included in this model are Engage, Delight, then Attract, because a happy customer will be your best brand advocate.

He also shared 10 rules for treating customers, instilled in a document called The Customer Code.

How to Scale Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

There are two tracks in the event, Revenue Growth and Company Growth. You can switch between the two whenever you like.

The first talk that I listened to was in the Revenue Growth track, How to Scale Your Customer Acquisition Strategy by David Fallarme.

He gave some examples on how to implement flywheel model on your acquisition strategy.

Depends on your ‘customer type’, your customer acquisition strategy is different.

For companies with high revenue per customer (and low numbers of customers), a direct sales would be perfect. And this is how that kind of company could utilize the flywheel model:

Photo of the flywheel model implementation for direct sales strategy

The next one is medium revenue – medium numbers of customers, using content strategy:

Flywheel model example for content strategy.

For another medium revenue – medium numbers of customers, but using PPC:

Flywheel model implemented for PPC strategy.

The last one, low revenue – low numbers of customers, using word of mouth:

Flywheel model implemented for word of mouth strategy

How to Reach Your Most Influential Audience

This talk is delivered by Arvinder Gujral from Twitter. Frankly, I think he’s just talking about his company. But he’s got a point there.

He said that Twitter is where people keep up with their interest. It’s the intersection between personal and professional. It’s not too personal like Facebook, but it’s not too professional like LinkedIn.

What do you think? Tell me in the comments below!

Disruption Through Partnerships: Lessons from Building Stripe

As a fast-growing startup (although it’s not available in Indonesia yet, I can’t monetize my Medium profile!) integrating payments from different companies and another startups, Stripe definitely has valuable lessons in establishing partnerships. This is what Piruze Sabuncu highlighted in her talk:

  1. Choose your partners wisely.
  2. Know your audience and their incentives.
  3. Introduce the team to your partners.
  4. Shield the bench (your team).

How to Create A Winning Content Strategy for 2019

This one is maybe my favorite talk of the event. Is it because of the title? The topic? The structure of the presentation? The presenter? Because it’s relevant to my job? Maybe all of them.

In her talk, Elissa Hudson from HubSpot defined 4 steps in content strategy.

  1. Content Creation
  2. Content Optimization
  3. Content Promotion
  4. Measuring Results

The steps are pretty self-explanatory, so I will share the resources and key concepts that Elissa had shared instead:

Content Creation

Content Optimization

Aim for featured snippets/position zero in the organic search results.Slides explaining how to aim for featured snippets in organic search results.: 1. Search the phrase/topic you're hoping to rank for 2. Note the type of featured snippet that appears 3. Structure your content for that snippet type

Content Promotion

The major channel: search, social, email.

You’ll never reach everyone organically, so utilize the ads in the social platform.

On social platforms, native content always performs better.

On where to host your content, always prioritize your website first.

Measuring Results

What sources drove conversions?

What kind of content is performing best?

How is the engagement for each channel?

I got a lot out of this event.

But it’s tiring to meet and talk to people in my second language (plus I’m an introvert, that means I’m easily overwhelmed by crowds).

Despite all of that, it was my first time going abroad by myself and attending a professional event and networking all by myself. I got to meet awesome people and listen to awesome talks.

Thanks to David Fallarme for the free ticket!

Hello! I’m a content marketer, a blogger, and a cryptocurrency enthusiast. I write here and on Medium (more personal stuffs!).

Co-founded Zenith Autotrade with my dad.

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