Updates, Reflection and Thinking Ahead

This personal website/blog of mine hit a bit of a mind block recently, since the two articles published on 1st and 2nd October 2017. I had a few technology news and business articles to share for the past week, it slowed down for 1+ week, it will come back again soon!

I was reflecting upon, thinking ahead and adding to what I wrote in my 1st October 2017 article, titled “Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint“. During the past 1+ week, it’s a bit of a consolidation, realignments, readjustments and also changes for the final quarter of 2017. All this things going on inside my brain and mind, contributed to this additional article today, a key reason why there wasn’t much news/articles published on my website/blog here during the past 1+ week.

Upgrading / Learning new skills and knowledge

Learning is life-long and never-ending, that’s my philosophy for both personal and professional aspects of it. I am looking to improve on my skills and knowledge segment, for improving my current skills set and knowledge, as well as learning new skills and knowledge.

  • Drone flying – Planning to add this skill, for my travel photography in the future.
  • Travel and Tourism Public Relations – I wanted to add this knowledge, theory and skill, not just to complement my travel photography projects/assignments, I am thinking and strategising new business ideas.
  • Workshops/Courses – Finding courses and utilising Skills Future Credit to improve myself, first course is Lightroom organised by Canon Imaging Academy.
  • Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing – I recently attended #MDCDigitalMarketingDay at Management Development & Consultancy (MDC) by MDIS. For somebody who had been hands-on inside this segment for the past 10 years, I still have knowledge and skills to learn, keep a lookout for my upcoming article!

Thinking and Strategising Ahead

I need to brainstorm a business plan / model for travel and tourism public relations + photography + social media/digital marketing coverage.

Still very tough economic times and difficult + slow market

I have a few real life stories of business owners facing huge challenges in this very tough economic times, it’s still a difficult and slow market. I shared their pain, their difficulties and challenges, I might write more about this if my time allows.

When the economy and market returns to better levels and stabilises in the near future, we are no longer looking at big GDP growth numbers, we are probably looking at slow and small GDP growth, maybe 1-3% per year (that’s my personal humble view).

I will be back writing and publishing articles soon! Thank you for reading, following and supporting!

Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint

The final quarter of year 2017 starts today on 1st October 2017, for some of you folks out there, this is also the final sprint to the end of year 2017, on 31st December 2017. Everyone of us had our own unique and special journeys during the first three quarters of year 2017, yet we might have something in common with the tough and difficult economy and market sentiments.

I am taking this time to write on a number of different topics in one article, I might expand on them that I wrote here today, if my time and research planning permits.

Updates: Running my own photography business

How was your first three quarters of year 2017 been? It had been nothing less than a very tough and challenging journey for the past nine months. Running a photography business, time was spent on building the foundations, networks, systems, marketing, branding, collaborations, partnerships and last but not least, finding the business. We are looking at 80% of time spent on the above and 20% spent on actual photography shoot and post photography shoot.

I never really talked or revealed too much into this area, not just that it is private, most of the time, many people around you don’t understand, don’t want to listen, learn and understand. There are also a handful of people around you that don’t want you to succeed, they want you to fail, sad but true (or they might change their stance and words and said they don’t mean it after they spilled the “wrong words” out from their mouth”)

There are a small group of photographer friends that can and will understand what I am going through. Listening to their own photography business journeys over the years, there is a similarity in my own personal journey. Therefore, I still have to grind my way through and make a breakthrough.

Micro influencers – a bit more differentiation into Mini and Micro influencers groupings?

Recently, there has been quite a lot of debates and discussions on the topic of influencers, from both sides of the equation, the brands/companies, public relations agencies, digital agencies etc on one side and a diverse group of influencers on the other side.

I came across this infographic article on LinkedIN written by Preeti Kumar – 7 Influencer types & How to work with them. Reading and analysing this infographic, I was looking at where I fit into – Key Opinion Leaders: Creatives, partly Micro influencers and product seeders.

On the role of micro influencers, it is probably a bigger area of growth and investment for both sides, let’s put it as demand and supply sides of things. While the quantitative part of micro influencers have been debated, some put 20,000, some put 10,000. Personally, I reckon that it is totally and suitably possible, to differentiate them into Mini and Micro influencers.

Why use Mini and Micro? What are the differences?

I am using the two words from a Forex trading lingo, mini and micro lot.

Standard Lot = 100,000 units

Mini Lot = 10,000 units

Micro Lot = 1,000 units

Translating it into digital marketing side of things

Influencer – Above 100,000 followers

Mini Influencer – Above 10,000 followers

Micro Influencer – 3,000 to 5,000 followers?

This is just something that crossed my mind and got me thinking, I have yet to analyse and put into greater details. It’s still a preliminary stage for me, if the opportunity arises to work with other digital marketers on this, that would be nice. Nevertheless, I hope to continue working on this topic in the future if my timing and commitment allows.

We must go beyond ROI with numbers and statistics, while quantitative is important, influencer marketing has a lot of qualitative, intrinsic and psychological aspects that cannot be measured by numers, revenue, statistics and numbers.

Planning to expand with/in the following areas/collaborations

Although the list above doesn’t directly translate into business for my photography business, they reinforce my networkings, contacts and collaborations on my digital marketing, technology writing and social media.

Over the past three quarters of 2017, I unlocked small achivements for myself when organisations approach me, to have a chat and see where I work together with them from there. All these are small testimonials for myself and everything that I put in for the past 10 years at least through writing, social media and photography.

Of mental health, physical health, emotions, mind and soul

A friend whom I look up upon, a very creative and talanted person in writing, photography and music, Fernando Gros, recently wrote an article titled “Creative Health Part 2 – Your Mind and Your Path”. I saw his tweet, read his article and I am kind of like being “shaken up”. In my reply to his tweet, I posted “After reading your article, it dawned upon me that I am stressed out, not taking care of my mind, body and soul.”

The truth and harsh reality is that it can be really brutally hard at times, we just have to take care of ourselves, going through regular maintenance. Not to mention, even the best engineering devices also wear and break down even with regular maintenance.

In case you missed it, Fernando published this book title “No Missing Tools”, do check out my article and have a read and you would be enlightened and know why I respect his works and views a lot.

Where do I go from here?

The seeds had been planted, watered and being taken care of. While not everyday is sunshine, there were rain, storm, bad weather that hit the growth of the plants. Hopefully, the changes and corrections were in place to make the seedlings grow better and faster, allowing me to harvest the fruits of my labour.

Being thankful and grateful

In this short time frame period of a year, there were those that have happy news while I am fighting pain, hurt and loss. Losing 6 people, 4 were relatives of which 2 of them were very close to me, the others were 1 mentor and 1 uni junior.

I may not have the most happy and joyful time during the past 1 year time frame, one of the toughest time that I went through. It made me reflect a lot and be thankful and grateful for everything that I have, the family, relatives and friends support.

Final thoughts

Technology and disruptions are not going to destroy us, ignorance and complacency are going to destroy us.

We MUST start to make the changes, no matter how painful and difficult it will be or else, we might be in a spiral downfall for the next 1-2 generations.

In the midst of re-strategising and making changes to my flow, workflow, daily flow, well-being, growth and rest, while embarking on my Final Sprint Q4 2017.

Branding, Marketing, PR and Publicity

These four words have been an integral part of my work and social media engagements. I didn’t learn it as a specialisation in university, just as a subject that was part of my business degree curriculum. When I started working in the financial services industry 10 years ago, the nature of the industry taught me many real life work experiences relating to branding, marketing, public relations and publicity.

They were extended into my social media exploration adventure, from a social media consumer in 2006 to a social media influencer today. The branding, marketing, public relations, publicity and a bit of fame doesn’t fall from the sky. They were built through lots and lots of hard work, sweat, tears with emotions going high and low at different cross roads in time.

My Hokkaido Photographers Invitation Program in November 2014 was probably my maiden start into a higher level of branding, marketing, public relations and publicity. I was very grateful and full of gratitude for everybody that had supported me in this journey.

Fast forward into the May 2015, having a management and leadership role in my family business. I began to apply my various experiences in branding, marketing, public relations and publicity to my organisation. This efforts took a while and it began to see some fruits of labour from them. As I began to enter the third quarter of 2015, there are a number of events/things (3 to 4 of them) happening in the month of May and June, that puts me, my work, photography and social media sharing into a bigger limelight.

I would not know how I would feel when the 3 to 4 events/things come in, the excitement, anxiety and euphoria. Nevertheless, I must always remind myself to remain humble, down to earth, continue to learn and improve. I must not let fame get into my head.

Had I finally make it? Maybe Not Yet, I still have a lot more to learn, improve, grow and lead. Yes, I have punched through this level and can hold my head up high, to reach a top and see that my journeys ahead are going to be even higher and bigger summits, for me to carry on forward and conquer them.

Will you walk with me?