Spirit of Enterprise Award 2008 Interview – Part 4

http://www.soe.org.sg/files/interview2008.php?i=256&a=&c=&year=2008

16. When was the moment you realised the business would work and support you?

I think every businessman will set out to think the business will be self-sufficient and supporting. I never allow myself to have any safety net.
 
17. What are some of your proudest business achievements to date? And why are they so important and meaningful to you?
In 2000, my MICE company was ranked worldwide as the 5th best due to our excellent services, networks and track records. In my Dating and Matchmaking business, I was also proud that in 2005 when the Government wanted to give up ownership and responsibility in their industry to the private sector, I was awarded the tender to manage Romancing Singapore and the private sector pioneer to drive and lead this falling industry to greater heights. We went to create milestones events such as Dating@Sea, a 3-day event which included speed dating, treasure hunts, seminar on relationship management for the singles. We also had other popular dating concept such as Love in a Capsule, First Impression, Table For Six (T46), and Night Around Singapore Car Rally (NASCAR)that changed many Singaporeans mindsets towards social networking events. I am also very proud that NLB have identified RomancingSingapore websites, information and events to archive in their database. This shows that what I do has a place towards Singapore history, culture and future.
 
18. How do you differentiate your business from your competitors? Please provide specific examples.
As I mentioned earlier, for my MICE business, I focus on importing premium supplies for customers who want quality, concentrating on margin instead of volume. For my dating business, I created various brands for the various target groups. I can have a supermarket-type service that anybody can come in, for example by registering in our website, www.romancingsingapore.com. I also have boutique services for more specialised group of people, people who can better afford. I also have brands such as Table For Six (T46), Loveboat.sg, First Impression, Beulah, Goodlooks.sg, Highfliers.sg, couples.sg, Two To Tango to target the niche areas. For people who are less-networking savvy, I can arrange a table for six for you. I can also be flexible enough, such that I can have up to 3 tables, and the guys can swap tables. At the end of the day, 9 guys get to know 9 ladies and vice-versa. For the more networking savvy, I can arrange huge events like Night Around Singapore Car Rally (NASCAR), of 5-6 hours for say 150 people. However for such big events, there is a huge tendency whereby although people get to know each other quantitatively, but there is no quality. This resulted many guys forgetting the names of the ladies they met, and also vice-versa for the ladies on the guys names. Therefore, I can arrange for events stretching over a longer period, such as Dating@Sea, where we combine travel with social networking for 2 full days or more. People will have the chance to meet 120 other like-minded singles. There will be ample time for quality interaction, and bonding, which require some warm-up time. If you do not want too big or too small a crowd, and would want some excitement and personal feedback, I can introduce First impression, which combine speed dating concept with feedback elements. You will be able to talk to each participant of the opposite sex, and at the end of the day, not only everybody get to know everyone, each will also receive a personalised private feedback report, which would not be easy to get from the participants. For really niche customer base, I have brands that cater only to Christians or brands that cater only to “good-looking” people. Most Christians would want to marry someone who is the same faith as him/her. Similarly, most good-looking people would also like to meet people who are good-looking. In my line of business, I have to think long and future steps as I actually met with competitors “copying” my products and services. Therefore I always need to be able to come out with new innovate methods continually. In fact when people copy me, I am happy as this shows that what I am doing is right. I also ensured that I continually do new things, innovate to meet customer demands and create unidentified needs in my range of products and services. By doing so, my customer base will continue to follow me. I like to stress that continuity is very important, especially in my line of business.
 
19. What are some business ideas you have implemented that created great results in your business?
We have many well documented events, such as Cruises, First Impression, Love in a Capsule, Car rallies in the day and night, that generated huge media interest as well as helped people to open up to themselves and others. For example, our Dating@Sea event was a huge success. Not only there was huge media coverage, it is also one of the most important milestones in Singapore dating and matchmaking industry. This event is made happen by 4 competing agencies! Everybody got their fair share of media coverage which improves their business, and most importantly, we are encouraged by the overwhelming response and mindset change by Singaporeans. Another good example is “Love in a Capsule”, where we brought in a refreshing idea of meeting people, and to create a unique dating experience. This event is jointly organized by us and Cliquewise, participants paid $199 each for a ride on the Singapore Flyer, followed by a Chinese-Western dinner at Labrador Villa. Therefore who says a “blind date” should be boring? This not only provides a refreshing approach to meeting new people of the opposite sex, but also allows the participants to take scenic pictures, and clink champagne glasses while enjoying the glittering night view from the 42-storey high observation wheel, the world’s tallest, and Singapore’s pride! Our recent “survivor-style” dating competition, First Impression, received much publicity and compliments too, by the public, media and even my competitors! We had overwhelming demands for more of such competitions in future. Instead of personally marketing my services, getting my participants as spokeman is also a great idea. For example , Ms Joyce Tia, a Chief Financial Officer to speak to the media; she was the rated Most Popular lady along the guys for 2 consecutive rounds. This hugely helps in building trust and awareness in my business. In fact, in Joyce’s case, this is a 4 parties win-win case, because it benefited Joyce, my business, media, as well as Joyce makeup-artist’s company. Of course with branding, you need to screen, to bring the “right people”.For example, I set a standard for clients interested in my “Good-looking” brand.
 
20. I have read much about the success of 2 of your events, “Ready Steady Shop”, “First Impressions”. In fact, there was a interesting debate , both in the media as well as in the internet. Can you elaborate on the events and the rationale in them?
Ready, Steady, Shop is an event organized by us and supported by the Social Development Unit (SDU) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) to create platforms for social interaction opportunities for the fun-loving and adventurous. This event is targeted to add a new dimension to late night shopping, by incorporating a quintessentially unique component of a team shopping race spanning 5 shopping malls in Orchard Road. Ready, Steady, Shop is not only an escapade that enables singles to expand their social network while having fun. In “First Impression”, indeed many people, including the media regarded it as the “most extreme” dating event in Singapore’s 4-year-old modern private sector driven dating industry. In this competition, there are a few rounds. In round 1, singles chat with each other for 8 minutes in a round-robin fashion, as in the norm in speed dating. Both men and women are tasked to rate and score each other based on 1) First Impression and 2) Personality. Participants ranked in the top 50% will advance to the next round to meet top 50% of other groups. All results and feedback will be e-mailed to each participant 2 days after the event. The voting continues throughout rounds 2 and 3 until the final 6 (3 men and 3 women) are determined, after which they will enjoy a free fine-dining activity together as a reward for surviving till the end. This is a competitive dating concept, which I like to stress, not with others but you yourself. I emphasized again that the secret is being the right partner rather than looking for the right partner. This event offers the personal feedback element into speed dating, something which we all needed but seldom obtained. We want people to think and possibly reflect and avoid making the same mistakes over and over again in dating. How did I get this business idea? Singles complain about the quality of events in the market, which tend to be formulaic and monotonous. My concept will help weed out insincere or undesirable personalities. The natural selection process will raise the quality of participants, thereby raising the quality of our events. The elimination process is always on the person mind whenever it comes to dating. Some are totally shocked to see their low scores, which did not reflect the positive body language shown (or so they thought) and the friendly conversation exchanged during the speed dating. This proves a point that the unseen feedback is often different, different from what you think. But all is not lost for those eliminated. They will still be notified on the mutual matches and their contract details as a consolation prize. And if they want to improve in their grooming and etiquette in order to excel in future dating events, we also can offer professional coaching and personal development services to them. In fact, I received praises even from my competitors, for example Ms Claire Chiang, a well-established business women and Ms Violet Lim of Lunch Actually.
Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Spirit of Enterprise Award 2008 Interview – Part 3

http://www.soe.org.sg/files/interview2008.php?i=256&a=&c=&year=2008 

11. You mentioned that you faced considerable challenges during the Asian Financial Crisis. What about the 911 incident in 2001 and the SARS period in 2003? What are the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?


Asian Financial crisis was my first big hit. My partner and I just had to scale down our operations. Fortunately, we did not do export business so the crisis was still manageable for us although we did had some losses. In 2000, I concentrated instead in importing premium supplies for customers who want quality. That strategy works well for me to handle 911. A lot of business then suffered in their business volume and turnover. Fortunately for me, i was still managing about the same as i chose to go for small turnover with higher margin In 2003, my MICE business is again affected and I made considerable financial losses. However, after I rode through SARS, I realized diversification of business is very important. Therefore in 2005, I chose to spin off a project by the government into the dating business.
12. Can you remember your worst day in business or a time when you felt like giving up? What happened that made you feel that way and how did you triumph over it?
There are always down periods which any entrepreneur will feel discouraged. I learn to move away from the problem and stop engaging it continuously in order to gain a fresh perspective on the solution. Sometimes doing something totally different when you have a crisis can give you a 2nd wind.
13. Can you share some of the lessons you learnt from overcoming your own business challenges that you think will help other businesses?
Always know your core competencies and your strength, assess the market environment especially the competitors and the changing demand of the customers. Then decide on the more appropriate to differentiate yourself The process of doing business is always full of ups and downs. A good Entrepreneur is one who can adjust appropriately to fit to the current market situation and condition.
14. What do you think about the education of Entrepreneurs? Can Entrepreneurship be taught?
I think the whole education of Entrepreneurship consist of the element of coaching and learning. You must know things in theory. This is where formal education and schools come in. You learn in business schools the fundamentals of business. Of course, there are people who argue Entrepreneurship cannot be taught and “You either have it or you don’t”. To me, I feel Entrepreneurship can be taught, provided you have a good mentor. However, even with books and good mentors, they can only teach you 20%. The rest of the 80% you have to learn through yourself and that is through managing a real business.
15. How important does the role of Mentors play in a successful Entrepreneur?
A mentor is someone who has probably went through the path that you are currently in now, and have great knowledge and experience in what you are facing now. Therefore, he can give you great advice, which is very important for young starters. He can also impart the basics of doing business, and also share his mistakes he made then to the young starters. More importantly, over the course of time, the mentor is able to tell you how well you are progressing, and objectively tell you the mistakes you are making, and advise accordingly. This is very important, as if you make a mistake, and do not correct it, over time it could be ingrained and etched in you and it would be very hard to change. Many aspiring Entrepreneurs or even amateur business people, who although have the financial resources and networks, could not succeed because they lack a very important ingredient. They are short of a mentor, a coach to coach them to help them whip up the successful dish. As you move on to different phases, you probably need different mentors, as not all mentors had walked totally the same path as you as you grow your business. In fact, I would like to bring in this concept of mentorship, and would want to build a community, sustainable self-help groups However, there will not be “forever coach”. In my case, my mentor was with me for the first 5 years, and after that, I went on my own. Indeed, although I have other mentors, however, there are many I could not publicly acknowledge. Why would anyone mentor you if he does not know you well? Therefore, I actually secretly acknowledge these mentors secretly, and tried to absorb as much as possible from them. This is a 2 way thing. You want to learn, you also have to give. Therefore, this is where networking and partnership comes. Entrepreneurs can ride through business networks to give and learn from each other successes and failures.
Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Using Social Media as a Recruitment Channel

Social media is a new wave of internet usage that links everyone in “many to many” conversation using different tools. The most populated sector is the social networking tools like Facebook and Linkedin. Human Resource Managers are beginning to leverage on the large network of professional social network for recruitment and referral.

In the near future, no resume is complete without your Linkedin account or Plaxo contact. These are networks which Professionals, Executives, Business Owners and Technical specialists (PMETs) deposit their resume and connections online. Social media is all about having the conversation over content provided by the respective communities. PMETs form a community on social network is a valuable source of suitable candidates.

Recruitment will reap bountifully from social media strategy in the following ways:

  • Branding as a Choice Employer. Make it a standard practise to have all level of management on professional social network like Linkedin. Encourage senior managers to update their company and designation. Your company’s name will appear more frequently and this will benefit the company in terms of branding as a choice employer.
  • Looking beyond the referral. Do not limit to the referral given in the resume. Research on the candidate’s connection and recommendation. You can authenticate their work experiences and character through the business friends they keep on professional social network.
  • Status and Update. Most professional social networks keep a long history of a profile’s status update. Study the words he use to express how he feel, who he met, projects he has accomplished, etc . The frequency and content of his status speak volume of the candidate’s working attitude and thought leadership in the area of his expertise.
  • Network is powerful. The extent of a candidate’s network is a result of his constant networking effort. If he claims to spend extensive time in China, does he has considerable contacts from the same country? If a Marketing communication Manager has good media relations, he would have at least a score of media and press connection to his profile. The quality of a candidate’s professional social network is clear evidence to his past work’s achievement.
  • Advanced and Targeted Search. The speed and depth of search engine with the professional network is geared for matching the job requirement to the best candidate. Use keywords and limit your advanced search will filter out your potential candidate within seconds. Another point to note, while you are recruiting through advanced search, your competitors may also be filtering theirs. Some of their filters may include your current staff.
  • Different tools for Different levels. True blue social network like Facebook may be the best tools for recruitment of entry to mid level executives. Facebook has 2.6 million users in Singapore alone, placing Facebook ad based on pay-per-click may be the most effective compared to the mass media or online job portals.
  • Portfolio Showcase. If you are evaluating a consultant for hire, try research on his online contribution to blogs, wikis, presentations and proposal on portals like Slideshare and Scribd. Check out the number of view, downloads and embed his portfolio enjoy is a clear indication on his thought leadership.
  • Business Socially. Many search firms are using professional social network to connect with other recruiters and hirers. If you are a head hunter, forming an alliance with your peers will reduce your time and effort looking for a candidate for your client. On another front, make connection with potential hirer and be on your list. You never know when they will contact you for their recruitment.

Lastly, Social Media is not a Strategy or tactics, it is just another channel you can utilise. If your company has a hiring page for position, spread the news via social media platforms like Facebook Fan page. Engaging potential candidate social before meeting up professionally is an emerging reality.

Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Spirit of Enterprise 2008 interview (Part 2) – Andrew Chow

http://www.soe.org.sg/files/interview2008.php?i=256&a=&c=&year=2008 

6. What are some interesting stories you have about your first few customers/first few years in business?

When Ideamart first started, although I am one of the founders, I actually look upon my partner, Mr Andy Lai as my mentor, and I always seen myself “working for him”. I was still green then, and Mr Andy gave me a lot of valuable information and lessons on being an Entrepreneur. I learnt a lot from him, and we went through hard times together, for example the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis in my 3rd year. And at the end of 1998, when the economy is recovering and we are also improving, Mr Andy wanted to focus on his other businesses. That was then I decided to buy over his share. Therefore, you can take it as I am taking over a company I was working for. Around year 2000 when China joined the WTO, everybody started to look into China for cheaper goods. This was then I made one of my biggest decision in life without my mentor participation. I wanted to address the premium market, people who prefer premium quality goods with more QC and standards. Therefore, I went for the top 20% of the market, while leaving the rest of the 80% to my competitors. As a result, I had a better margin but a lower turnover. I learnt then that in my line of business, margin is more important than volume.
7. What was your childhood dream? When did you decide that you would strike out on your own instead of working for someone else?
I actually dreamed to become a doctor when I was very young. I find that saving lives and making a difference in the society is something very satisfying. I decided to become an Entrepreneur after finishing my regular term in the army at 26.
8. How different is it being your own boss compared to working in the army or a company
In the army, I learnt basic rigid structure, learnt to obey ranks and files. The system in army is a good training for me. However, I recognized some of the fundamental weakness of the army system. For example, when I started out, avoid making mistakes like blind obedience to orders, etc. Therefore, one of the major difference being your own boss, is you have to be very flexible, but in the army, you have to be very regimented and obedient. In a big company, you have all the policies in place, for example staff policies, sales, production, distribution channels. All the system administration and policies are in place. You are just one of the people in the company that makes these systems work. However as an Entrepreneur, you have to start from scratch, and create these systems. This is one of the greatest challenges of Entrepreneurship. You need to be visionary, to start from scratch. You also need to be hands on. That is why many people after working for a long time for people, who come out on their own to be their own boss, thought that since they are able to earn $300,000 a year in their company, they should have no problems earning enough to support themselves. However, many of them are shocked that they could not even make $30,000. This is because none of the proper infrastructure are in place yet.
9. What are some of the challenges you faced when you first went into business?
The challenges was not to have my mentor to guide me anymore, I am on my own since 1998.There are a lot of decisions in the past where I can seek an opinion or consensus. Now it is all up to me. In my dating business, the first huge challenge is to break the social stigma of singles social events. People had negative mindsets about singles, and the phrase towards these social events organized by SDU and SDS are for “single and desperate” people. In fact, it is a taboo for many people, and even they attended such events, no one likes to talk about them.
10. How did you overcome these challenges? Please share some specific examples of the action you took to overcome the challenges.
Credit (MICE). In my MICE business, credit line from the bank was an issue as previously the bank has granted credit facilities to the company based on goodwill of my mentor. After I took over the company, I had to use my personal saving to back up the credit facilities, By doing so, that seriously affected my company’s cash flow. I had to shorten my terms to my customers and negotiate suppliers and vendors for a longer credit term. Social Stigma (Dating Biz). To overcome the social stigma in my dating and matchmaking business initially, I introduced creative dating angles for media stories. The media is always very interested in new and unusual concepts. When the media and press talk about it often, my comments through the interviews will serve as an encouragement to many singles who are seeking for the one but are just too shy to come out of their comfort zone of meeting new people
Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Spirit of Enterprise 2008 interview (Part 1) – Andrew Chow

This series of posts are repost from my long interview for Spirit of Enterprise Award in 2008

http://www.soe.org.sg/files/interview2008.php?i=256&a=&c=&year=2008

Andrew’s extensive experience in the MICE industry enabled him to have huge networks from people of all industries which helped him when he entered the dating and matchmaking industry. In 2005, he was appointed the role of Managing Agent for Romancing Singapore by SDU, to lead a new era of private-led initiative in this industry.

Company: IDEAMART (S) PTE LTD
Address: 140 Robinson Road, #06-06 Chow House
Website: http://www.romancingsingapore.com/

Interview with Mr Andrew Chow
by Victor Tan Suan Howe on 21-May-2008. Student can be reached at VICT0003@ntu.edu.sg
Business Profile:
Since 1994, IdeaMart(S) has been the leading exhibition service provider for exhibition project management services, from conceptualization to installation using portable architecture and technology. In 2005, IdeaMart won the first ever tender to manage Romancing Singapore as a lifestyle platform solely embraced by the private sector.
Interviewer’s Comments:
Andrew strikes me as a passionate, visionary and philosophical entrepreneur, who is dead-set to create a new thrilling era for the dating industry, which has been a taboo subject for a long time. I could feel his excitement and sincerity as he shares his vision and mission and charts a roadmap of true love for any single that looks for him.
1. What is the nature of your business?
The name of my company is Ideamart Pte Ltd, and my business started 14 years ago(1994) and I was then in the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibition) industry. The company was founded by my partner, Mr Andy Lai whom I regarded as my mentor and me. We created a platform, a business marketplace, where we facilitated business transaction and business networking. In Feb 2005, I started to spin off into other areas, to dating and social networking. In a sense, my dating and matchmaking business is similar to my MICE business, as we can be regarded as a corporate facilitator and matchmaker.. Today, I am more involved in my dating and matchmaking business, and spend 85% of my time in my dating and matchmaking business, and 15% in my MICE business 

2. When and why did you decide to become an entrepreneur / take over your family business? NOTE: If it is not a family business, ask: Do your parents have their own businesses too? Have they inspired you in one way or another? (Select appropriate question according to the entrepreneur being interviewed.)
I decided to become one when I was 26, finishing my first term as an army regular. My parents own a small shoe business. They have taught me some good values in doing business like integrity and on-time delivery.
3. What are your reasons for choosing to do business in this particular industry?
MICE is a very interesting industry which can link to all industries. The networking opportunities are plentiful and experiences that I have accumulated are very diverse and complete. In 2005, we venture into dating industry business using our lessons learned from “corporate match-making” in our MICE industry. The concept is about the same, but the approach will have to be more of a personal human touch. We were awarded to manage Romancing Singapore as a private sector initiative which created originally as a government campaign. We have successfully transformed the campaign into a private-sector brand which singles at large can identify our unique service with. In my dating and matchmaking business, you can say it was initially an unintentional foray, as I initially took a project in the dating and matchmaking industry in my MICE business, but when I saw such huge potential and excitement in this industry, I decided to spin off to this industry and I never look back since then. In fact, I have a huge calling for this sector, and I also believe that the market potential is still largely untapped. As long as you are single and available, preferentially of age group 21-55, if you are earnest about looking for a partner, you can be my customer
4. How did you put together all the resources needed to start your business? For example: getting the start-up capital, hiring staff, doing sales and marketing, advertising, etc.
I take over the business from my first business mentor where I work as a staff and later promoted to become a director. It was already an on-going business and I simply take it to the next level. I use my family saving to buy out my mentor’s shares. For my dating business, I do not need a lot of staff. The actual running of the event itself is not very resource straining. One people can handle 40-50 customers The actual work is little compared to the marketing and preparation you need to do. For example, in your wedding, you can plan for one year for only one day for your wedding. Most importantly, we had to bring in the right people.
5. You mentioned earlier you were in the MICE industry, and later you penetrated into the Dating and Romance industry. Are they related?
In my MICE business, we deal with corporate clients, as corporate facilitators and matchmakers. In my dating and matchmaking business, I am now dealing with singles, retail clients as a retail facilitator and matchmaker. In fact, I would say that being in the dating and matchmaking business is more challenging as now I have to deal with personal expectation and emotions. In the past, in MICE, I deal with relations with vendors, suppliers, and partners. Now, in the dating and matchmaking industry, I have to deal with human emotions as well as media. Dealing with the media is a huge challenge, as you cannot control them. However, media is a very powerful tool to business if you can manage carefully. The mileage gained from the media is stretched further than any advertising dollar can give you. In addition, in my dating and matchmaking business, I place more emphasis on branding and managing Public Relations, especially when the media is involved, whereas for MICE, the equivalent emphasis is more towards marketing. When I mean branding, I mean creating brands, or services mainly targeted at the various types of groups, such as Good Looking singles, Religious singles, etc where these brands are only for their respective niches. In fact, today I am better known as a matchmaker than a MICE businessman. Although I am still well known in the MICE industry, people do not care how you start well but rather how well you are doing now.
Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Establishing strong Personal Branding online through Article Marketing by Andrew Chow

One of the many challenges to achieve respectable google ranking is in the area of backlinks to your blog. While the idea of having links exchanged is good, the quality of the incoming sites comes into play as far as Google is concerned.

If you are someone who is a thought leader or influencer in your domain, article submission to good article repository will make you more credible and enhance your online visibility.

In my previous post, I share about a list of 20 article submission sites with good page and Alexa ranking :

  1. EzineArticles -The big daddy of article directories.  If you could only choose one place to submit your articles, this would be a good choice. PR6
  2. Submit Your Article -This started as an article submission service, but has also turned into a high-quality article directory over the years.  PR4
  3. Suite101 – Another monstrous article site.  PR7
  4. Helium – An up-to-date article site.  PR6
  5. ArticleDashboard -Another staple in article directories.  PR5
  6. ArticleBase -This article directory has grown to a PR6 with lots of content and praise from article syndication experts.
  7. GoArticles -This one claims to be the largest, but I’m pretty sure #1, #3, and #4 give it a run for it’s money.  PR4
  8. WebProNews -You have to be selected to get into this one but it’s well worth the trouble.  Old and respected.  PR6
  9. SearchWarp -Free to submit and serves a lot of articles.  PR5
  10. Buzzle -A strong article directory.  PR6
  11. Isnare -Also a submission service, iSnare is another strong article directory at PR6.
  12. American Chronicle -Actually part of a network of article sites.  PR6
  13. ArticleCity -Pretty much your standard article directory.  PR5
  14. IdeaMarketers -A giant, this is much more than a simple article directory.  It is a newsletter builder and management system as well as a “home base” for authors.  PR5
  15. Site Reference -This is a content portal with article submission built-in.  PR5
  16. Article Alley -A standard article directory.  PR5
  17. TheWhir -Another strong article site.  PR6
  18. Articles Factory -Mid-level article site.  PR4
  19. SelfGrowth -Won’t find this one in auto-submission software.  Must become an “expert” first to then get access to submit articles.  PR6
  20. Amazines -Pretty standard.  Nothing fancy here.  PR3
  21. Article Snatch – It’s pretty popular, but is a “no-follow” directory.  PR5

I am happy to share that I have so far tried 3 of the above.

Over the next weeks I will try my hands on the top 5 article directories to test out the referrals from these backlinks. Based on the 80/20 rule, since the top 5 sites command a lion’s share of the market, it is wise to devote your limited resources and time on them..

Remember to give plenty of invite to other like minded business professionals who are or aspire to be a thought leader in their industry. Every one you refer to these sites will help you to have a back link to your site.

Like in everything else, you need time to see the fruits and results.

My motto in article marketing is – Streamline your content, Share your knowledge, Simplify your conversation, Sell your Expertise, Support your community.

1. Streamline Your Content. My forte is in Brand Communications, Social Media Strategy, Public Relations, Personal Branding and Creativity. I make sure I choose sites which can position myself best in respective domains.

2. Share Your Knowledge. My own experience is the best user-generated content I can put up to enrich accelerated learning among my followers and peers. Knowledge is everywhere, why not present them your own way to establish yourself as a though leader?

3. Simplify Your Conversation. Gone are the days where we engage in length and senseless discussion on forums. Use Twitter and learn to comment within 140 characters. We need to think, speak and listen “140″ in social media age.

4. Sell Your Expertise. 80% of our forte would be knowledge and 20% would be our expertise. Make others want your expertise after you have shared your knowledge. Customize the knowledge to their problem with unique solution is always a sure way to sell.

5. Support Your Community. Be available in as many places as you can initially. You will not know where and who your potential customers will come from. Create a portal of sort to gather them in one place so that you can do targeted customer engagement in the future. A lot of marketers have no problem generating interest, but sustaining interest is another ball game altogether.

 

Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Build Your Personal Brand online with EzineArticles

Original : http://ezinearticles.com/benefits/

What Can EzineArticles.com Do For You?

EzineArticles.com is a matching service — bringing real-world experts and ezine publishers together.

Expert Authors & Writers are able to post their articles to be featured within the site. Our searchable database of hundreds of thousands of quality original articles allows email newsletter publishers hungry for fresh content to find articles that they can use for inclusion within their next newsletter (up to 25 articles per year per our Publisher TOS).

What Makes The EzineArticles System Unique?
Your articles are managed by our proprietary management software designed to give you maximum exposure to our loyal audience of hundreds of thousands of daily visitors and our email newsletter publisher audience who EACH have thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of email list members of their own. That means your original articles and expertise may be exposed to hundreds of thousands or even millions of people rather than waiting passively for someone to syndicate it on yet another website with no traffic.

What is EzineArticles.com?

  • User-obsessed: Decisions are made around providing a positive experience for our users.
  • Speed-obsessed: We’re never satisfied and continually invest in new resources to deliver a faster surfing & using experience.
  • Innovative platform that allows experts to share knowledge, expertise, wisdom and receive traffic back to their website in return.
  • Quality-focused, operationally efficient and metrics driven.
  • Takes a holistic view to ensuring that those who refer traffic to us, look good to their users for having done so.
  • Source of expert content in the form of short, informative and educational or entertaining articles.
  • A site that only accepts original articles where the author has an exclusive right to the content.
  • Perfect for email newsletter publishers looking for content they can syndicate for the benefit of their members.
  • Advertising supported so that our core services to the market can be FREE.
  • Listens Well…We thrive on user/member provided feedback as this significantly shapes our future features/services.
  • Run by a small team of humans that care a great deal about providing great service.

What You Get For Sending In Your Best Quality Original Articles:

  • Boosts Your Personal and Business Credibility:
    Getting published in EzineArticles.com boosts your credibility and begins the trust cycle with your readership. For many authors, being listed with EzineArticles.com is an excellent way to get started, especially if you are a published author or hope to be published soon. There is a book inside each of us waiting to come out.
  • Builds Brand Equity & The Brand Called You:
    Having your articles featured in EzineArticles.com builds brand equity for you, your business, and your expertise. It begins or reinforces in your customers’ and prospects’ minds what you can do for them.
  • Surges in Traffic to Your Website Like No Other Site Can Deliver:
    This is caused by the ezine publishers who come to our site throughout the year to pick up quality articles for their email newsletter or website in addition to our end-user base of millions of people who are looking to immediately benefit from your expertise. When your articles get picked up for reprints, you will often get a surge of traffic as your articles are introduced to their email list members or audience.
  • Massive Exposure To The Hundreds of Thousands of Unique Visitors That Come To EzineArticles.com Daily:
    Your articles may be viewed by the (MILLIONS of visitors) that use our site every month! We work very hard to deliver a positive, fast and end-user obsessed experience that keeps our fan base returning for more.
  • Receive Quality and Relevant Leads to Your Website:
    People who read your articles and click on your link(s) found in your Resource Box at the end of each of your articles are highly-qualified prospects by the very nature of how they found your website.
  • 7-10 Times More Effective Than Regular Advertising:
    You become known as the expert by your article and this endears potential customers to you before they even visit your website. There is no better way to “pre-sell” your prospects than article marketing.
  • You’ve Got A Head-Start on The Reciprocation & Trust Cycle:
    Your prospects are pre-sold as you have already begun the reciprocation cycle by giving first, through your expertise in your articles. When they visit your site, your qualified prospects will already know something about you and feel endeared to reciprocate, or at least check out your products.
  • Market Your Business With No Face-To-Face Selling:
    Having your articles in EzineArticles.com allows them to pre-sell your ideal target prospects without you having to make any cold calls or face-to-face sales appointments to sell your products or services. It’s not so much about making sales directly as it is qualified lead generation. We get the pre-qualified visitor to your website and then it’s up to you to convert or monetize those visitors.
  • You May Receive Free Ads in Targeted Ezines:
    Your author Resource Box at the end of the body of each of your articles acts as an advertisement for your business. When ezine publishers come to our site to pick up and reprint your articles to their newsletter base, you essentially get free ads in their newsletter. The better quality you put in your article, the higher your chances are of increased distribution by the ezine publishers who use our site to find quality content to send to their thousands or perhaps even tens of thousands of permission-based members.
  • To Be Recognized as an Expert Author:
    When your articles are accepted in EzineArticles.com, you become recognized as an EzineArticles expert author. This adds prestige and perceived value by others when they view your articles in our site.
  • Editorial Integrity – Your Articles Share Expert Company:
    Every single article submitted by the tens of thousands of expert authors who call our site home for their articles have been reviewed by our human editors who double check each article for quality (grammar, spelling, no dead links, etc). This ensures the company your articles keep has integrity.
  • Improve Your Sales: (even if you’re only selling an “idea”)
    While this is not the only reason you should submit your articles to EzineArticles.com, it is a great one. It does not matter if you are selling products, services, or an even an “idea”. EzineArticles.com can help improve your sales by bringing your business quality traffic and leads via the links in your resource box below the body of your article. Article visitors often turn into customers.
  • Optimize The Promotional Mileage Out of Your Existing Article Archive:
    If you have already produced a series of quality articles, why not submit them to our expert community to get even more ROI from your efforts?
  • Find Customers That You May Have Not Been Able To Reach Before:
    Every article you submit to EzineArticles.com is like casting a wider net to reach new customers and traffic that would have never found your articles or website before.
  • Get Continual Traffic To Your Website For Many Years To Follow For Free:
    In the majority of cases, your articles will be in EzineArticles.com for at least an initial 180 days (6 months); however, many ezine publishers and webmasters who pick up your articles for reprints, including your resource box, will display your articles and links for many years. This means surges of traffic this year and many random spikes and continual traffic over the next decade. We have no intentions at this time to remove any articles after the 180 guaranteed-inclusion days, but reserve the right to keep our site fresh by removing articles that are no longer current.

What Makes EzineArticles Unique?

Your articles may be picked up by hundreds to thousands of highly-targeted content-hungry ezine publishers who EACH have thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of email list members of their own. That means your article and expertise may be exposed to hundreds of thousands or potentially even millions of people.

“EzineArticles.com is the Mothership of Article Directories” said Jason Potash. While it’s true that we started out as an “article directory,” we have evolved beyond a simple directory because, hey… let’s face it, anyone with a few bucks can whip out a new article directory! …and the net is littered with competitors who thought they could get rich quick by launching an article directory, but as soon as they discovered that you can’t get rich quick, they often abandoned their own sites or give them a very low priority.

At EzineArticles.com, we take your expertise, your quality original articles, and your membership with us very seriously. Our seasoned management team is backed with more than a dozen full-time team members committed to making you look good. Combine this with our obsession with delivering you a fast user experience that becomes more intuitive by the week and we know you’ll be able to get a quality return on your time when you register for your free starter account and submit your articles today.

Top 9 Reasons Why You Should Submit Your Articles To EzineArticles.com Now:

  1. Increase Your Product or Services’ Sales – the bottom line justification to submit your articles today!
  2. You benefit from the last 7 years of credibility and trust building that we’ve done to EzineArticles.com in the marketplace; Hundreds of thousands of unique visitors who come to our site daily may be able to find your articles.
  3. Ezine publishers pick up relevant articles from our site for publication in their niche email newsletters and websites. You can only benefit from this if your articles are in our site.
  4. Build brand equity & exposure. You may even find yourself published in someone else’s book because of having your article found in our site!
  5. You may also find new joint venture partners who are introduced to you via your articles in our site.
  6. Your articles join good company along with the other thousands of experts who share your editorial integrity/quality.
  7. Get traffic spikes over the coming months and a continual level of traffic for years to your website — all because your articles are listed in EzineArticles.com!
  8. Your articles will be sent to our high traffic EzineArticles.com RSS Feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and it makes it easy for ezine publishers and webmasters to get immediate notification when your articles are added to our site.
  9. Your articles will be sent to one of our over 400+ niche daily email alerts that notify our permission-based email list members whenever new articles are available that match their unique interests.
Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Power Networking Tips for Professionals, Executives, Managers and Technologists

Networking is one of the best personable way of spreading your influence through knowing people, forming connections; giving and sharing before you receive.

In this presentation, the power networking tips are presented in 4 categories:

P – Prepare before Your Venture

M – Mind Your Manners in Networking

E – Experience Sowing and Reaping

T – Take the Social Networking Plunge

 

Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest

Is your company ready for public relations?

Is your company ready for the buzz?

How do you know if your company has high media maturity index? Use this simple assessment tool to help you measure your organization’s Media Relations maturity across 6 key success drivers. For each of the best practice, grade your company against the criteria and do a self-assessment.

1. Media Awareness

a.       Relevant, local, industry and national media know about your organization

b.      Your organization has received editorial coverage in past six months

c.       Members of your organization are  sought out as subject matter expert

2. Positioning

a.       Organization has developed a clear, well-developed position

b.      Positioning statements that clearly describe and differentiate offerings exist

c.       Positioning information (statements) have been validated externally

3. Internal Support for Media Relations

a.       Executives support an ongoing effort to secure favorable media coverage

b.      Executives, influencers and experts develop announcements & participate

c.       Organization’s potential spokespersons have received media coaching

d.      Contact info for media inquiries is clearly identified and easy to find

4. Media Relations Expertise

a.       Media relations strategy has been developed and is being executed

b.      Media relations strategy is aligned with corporate goals and objectives

c.       There is effective oversight, cooperation and accountability in place

d.      The team knows how to craft press releases and other media comm.

e.      The team understands the protocol for contacting & working with media

f.        The team is skilled at targeting relevant media & identifying opportunities

5. Media Relations Process

a.       The process in place effectively develops product, personnel, partnership

b.      The process distributes news  and stories to the media in a timely manner

c.       The process tracks results, monitoring the media for placements

d.      The process helps other departments know & exploit favorable coverage

e.      The process is opportunistic, recognizing current events and industry trends

6. Media Relations

a.       The team knows how to identify & build relationships with key media

b.      The team maintains a database of media contacts with preferences

c.       The team has regular, meaningful communication with the media

d.      The team is responsive to media inquiries

e.      The team has assembled an effective press kit and other media resources

f.        The team responsible for media relations is respected by the media

Pin ItFollow Me on Pinterest