Hillel Fuld on what makes a business successful, winning on social media, and standing out against your competitors

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Hillel Fuld is a startup marketer, technology expert, and tech journalist. He’s been named Israel’s top marketer, the 7th most influential tech blogger on the Internet, made the top 100 most influential social media personalities list, and Forbes describes him as “the man transforming Startup Nation to Scale-Up Nation”. 

He works with huge tech brands (think Google, Oracle, and IBM) in two capacities: one, as a tech influencer, and two, as an advisor taking them from idea inception to money-making. 

Hillel has also been featured in many massive tech publications, including CNBC, Inc Magazine, Fast Company, Entrepreneur Magazine, TechCrunch, and The Next Web. 

What You’ll Hear

  • [1:43] About Hillel and his background
  • [2:48] How Hillel chooses companies to work with 
  • [5:17] Hillel’s ingredients for success 
  • [6:41] Standing out against the competition 
  • [9:57] Hillel on social media platforms 
  • [11:24] How Hillel manages his social media 
  • [12:33] Hillel’s tips for prioritising and managing time 
  • [15:15] How to make your content stand out online 
  • [16:40] Hillel’s ideal lunch date 
  • [19:42] Hillel on overcoming challenges 
  • [19:42] Hillel on overcoming challenges 
  • [22:19] Why Hillel loves tech 
  • [22:51] Hillel’s predictions for 2022 
  • [23:59] Hillel’s plans for 2022 
  • [24:20] The most interesting place Hillel’s been 
  • [26:40] Final comments 

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About Hillel and His Background 

Originally from New York, Hillel moved to Israel about 28 years ago when he was in high school. Although he always had an interest in technology, Hillel got a degree in political science and soon got his first job… Writing user manuals for AT&T and Verizon servers, which, in his own words, was not a very exciting job. 

With his keen interest in tech, Hillel started sharing his own thoughts on technology online (back when blogs weren’t a dime a dozen). Soon he had entrepreneurs reaching out and asking him for help with tech matters, and so his tech career began! 

How Hillel Choose Companies to Work With 

Hillel has one important criterion for working with a company: the people must be good people. Other things he finds important but not deal-breakers include having a product he can believe in, and a company filled with smarter people than he is who he can learn from. 

Hillel’s Ingredients for Success 

Disclaimer: Hillel doesn’t believe there’s a black and white answer to this question, because success is subjective! 

There are things he believes startups should or shouldn’t do in order to increase their chances of success, though. 

Hillel believes that choosing people over products is a good idea. Choose people you’d like to work with and success will come easier! 

Other action items include deep competitive analysis, figuring out your “one-liner USP”, and the learning to tell stories in a relatable and human way. In other words, forget the buzzwords and jargon! 

Standing Out Against the Competition 

According to Hillel, competition is a good thing, because if no-one else is doing it, there’s no demand for what you’re doing. 

Secondly, it’s less about the idea and more about the execution. Great ideas aren’t unique, but the way in which you execute them is. Take an established idea and build a great product. 

Marketing and branding are also important, you want to create something that’s not easy to copy. Build an audience that’s loyal to you and your brand, which will separate you from others out there. 

It’s about research, from the beginning stages when you’re deciding on a product to analysing how people are using your product and using that data to get better, to beat the competition. 

Hillel on Social Media Platforms 

Hillel finds different value in each of his social media platforms. LinkedIn is where he gets the most engagement, Facebook is where he builds great relationships, and Twitter is where he interacts with people he never thought he’d be in touch with! 

He’s also quite clear that he doesn’t measure success on social media by the number of followers or likes he gets. He’s clear about using social media to provide value and interact with others, but measuring it by how many people like or follow you is focusing on the wrong thing. 

How Hillel Manages His Social Media 

Hillel is one of the few people out there who still manages his social media manually! He believes that while automation is a great tool in other areas of business, it’s a hindrance when it comes to building relationships, which is what social media is about. 

The only tool he uses is Ifft, which transfers his Instagram posts over to Twitter. He’s constantly interacting on social media as and when things pop up. One of the more human influencers out there! 

Hillel’s Tips for Prioritising and Managing Time 

Hillel’s favourite time-saving tool is an iPhone feature called Text Replacements, which allows the user to set up shortcuts for things like email addresses, phone numbers, and phrases that are commonly used during day-to-day business. 

He recommends finding shortcuts where you can and allocating time and resources to building relationships, although he makes a point of mentioning that everyone and every business is different. 

How to Make Your Content Stand Out Online 

Hillel’s biggest tip is to always be storytellin’. Stories bring people back to their childhood where imaginations ran wild and stories were a part of everyday life. 

He also recommends being present on/in your own content. Your audience follows YOU and they’ll respond to content that they see you in. 

Hillel’s Ideal Lunch Date 

Hillel has a long lunch date list, including Tim Cook, Elon Musk, and Mark Zuckerberg! He’s also a fan of reaching out to people (usually via interview requests) and introducing yourself, which can lead to further relationships. 

On Overcoming Challenges 

HIllel is a self-proclaimed non-resilient person! He takes online abuse and hate mail quite personally, but freely admits that he’s not great at dealing with these kinds of challenges. His openness is refreshing and very relatable for most people! 

Hillel’s Advice to Someone Starting Out in Business 

Ignore any advice telling you to focus on the short-game! Build something that people love, and the people and the money will come. So in a nutshell, ignore all advice (except this podcast) and go forth and create amazing people-focused products. 

Why Hillel Loves Tech 

Tech has no limitations! It makes the impossible possible. 

Hillel’s Predictions for 2022 

Hillel sees human/computer interaction and drone tech as really taking off in 2022, moving from entertainment to daily life. 

Hillel’s Plans for 2022 

Hillel loves what he does and just wants to keep doing it! 

The Most Interesting Place Hillel’s Been 

Singapore is Hillel’s choice, for its interesting culture and cleanliness! 

Final Comments

If you wish to get in touch with Hillel, check him out on any social media platform or his website, hillelfuld.com. He loves speaking to people! 

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