Hugh Rees

Focus on the lifetime value of a customer more than just top-line revenue.


Hugh Rees is a software engineer from Brisbane, Australia whose experience led him to become the co-founder and head of digital services at Expose Media. Rees now spends half of his time in Australia and the other half in Austin, Texas. Hugh Rees was named in the Top 100 entrepreneurs in Australia by Brisbane’s Young Entrepreneur Awards and also was nominated for Agency of the Year by Australia’s leading retail industry network in 2019.

Rees is an eCommerce growth expert who helps scale brands to the next echelon of revenue. No stranger to the business, Rees has been in the IT industry for 15 years and marketing for 9 years. He enjoys making eCommerce brands more money through effective, results-driven marketing. His passion is simple; help brands unlock their growth potential. To Rees, this is important because he believes everyone deserves to make a better life and have the freedom to focus on things they are passionate about, rather than spend all their time on tedious marketing tasks within their business.

From his lengthy software background, Rees has developed a keen sense for numbers and statistics. This is one of his biggest strengths when it comes to media buying and marketing strategies. He knows two things through and through: eCommerce, and how to scale brands. As of late, he has been developing a reputation as an authority on organic Instagram growth. Rees has shown that he can not only help brands grow their following organically but also help the brands generate revenue. He recently authored a book on the subject titled Instagram Mastery, The Ultimate Guide To Using Instagram to Organically Grow Your Brand.

Where did the idea for Expose Media come from?

It was a long process to decide on the name of our company as we wanted something clear and concise. We kept saying to ourselves that we give brands more exposure through our marketing channels, and it suddenly hit us, Expose Media.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My morning starts at 5:00 am and I spend the following 3 hours planning my day and helping my partner get our child ready for daycare. The rest of my day is spent checking in with my team, checking on client’s accounts, and making sure I complete my top 3 tasks for the day. At 5:30 pm, the switch flips as I pick my daughter up from daycare and have family time.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am constantly working on new ideas and opportunities in my mind, and recording them in a book. When I have an idea that I want to see to fruition, I will stop at nothing to make it happen. That being said, I do bring all ideas to my team and decide from there if it is worth pursuing based on their feedback.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Omnichannel Marketing is a trend that I am really passionate about. Working with brands to build an integrated shopping experience for consumers, who are on multiple devices, consuming content at any time of the day, in any part of the world.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Self-education. My thirst for knowledge so that I can continually learn to better myself is what fuels my productivity and keeps my eyes open to new opportunities.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Failure is not something to fear, because without it you cannot grow. I was scared to fail when I was younger and I missed out on many opportunities.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The word “entrepreneur” is used too flippantly, and not many actually understand all that the word entails. Many joke that it’s a new word for the unemployed. An entrepreneur to me is defined as someone who saw an opportunity through a problem in a marketplace and put in the time and resources to bring a solution

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I constantly surround myself with people who I can count on to continually teach me new things. If I do not feel the need to rise to the level of those around me, I am keeping the wrong company. Show me your friends, and I will show you your future.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One strategy that has helped us grow Expose Media is putting systems in place to ensure that everyone on the team, myself included, is held to the same personal standards and working on the same level of integrity. This has helped us grow quickly and on a solid foundation.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I fail most days, every entrepreneur does. What sets me apart, however, is I have learned to course correct and went back to the basics: trusting my gut. Part of being an entrepreneur is carving your own path to the future and your instincts are what is going to get you there.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Most brands focus heavily on top-line revenue and profits on the first purchase, but the company that shifts their thinking to client retention and lifetime value wins every time. One business an entrepreneur out there should focus on is creating an app or software that gives entrepreneurs the ability to deploy and measure strategies to increase the lifetime value of their clients.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I have spent recently would be $100 that I spent on puzzles and games for my daughter, who just turned 2. She loves puzzles and I enjoy having an activity to participate in together.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Slack is the lifeblood of our business and allows us to communicate internally as well as externally to clients. Due to the effectiveness of Slack with both clients and employees, we are eliminating email.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes. This book altered how I currently operate my business by providing a unique outlook and I encourage anyone else that has a business, no matter the market, to read the book.

What is your favorite quote?

“Make your business your b****” – Cat Howell

Key Learnings:

  • Focus on your top 3 tasks every day.
  • Run your ideas by your team and decide which are worth pursuing.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Focus on the lifetime value of a customer more than just top-line revenue.