I'm so sorry that this blog has taken a backseat! I've been trying to use my Instagram to reach out to my cold market and I link most of my Instagram posts to my Facebook.
For the uninitiated, I've turned my online social media interest into my business. I stumbled upon a business opportunity, felt that it suited me and decided to plunge into it! It's been a really steep learning curve! I've got so many thoughts about my new job that I thought I would share this experience with you guys, my faithful blog readers.
1. How do I want to work my business?
An online business does not have the brick-and-mortar presence of a regular business. We don't need to rent a place, hire someone to renovate it, conceptualize the entire theme or even design a corporate logo. We work our business... well, online.
What does that mean?
I call myself a lady boss from home. But what I really am, is an owner of a franchise. ItWorks does not pay millions of dollars in advertising. It pays people like myself to advertise for the company. And in return, we earn commissions on sales we make and on our team's.
Sounds simple enough right? Yah, not really!
There's SO many types of online media these days. I could choose to build a website, work on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, set up a Facebook business page, set up a business blog. Seriously everything is possible these days. The question is, which media do I want to focus my time and attention on?
Seeing that I don't have any Snapchat or Twitter account and I'm almost non-existent on my Pinterest account (I hardly know how that works), it was the question of Instagram or Facebook for me.
I've always been more active on Facebook, so I thought I would work my business on Facebook more.
ItWorks is international BUT it is not operational in all countries. While I have a larger network in Asia, it is currently not a market for me. And while I live in Germany where ItWorks operates, many of my friends here don't use social media much.
That's why I decide to expand my presence on Instagram. And oh boy, did you know there are 1 billion Instagram users! Doesn't that blow your mind?
There's also the issue of how to expand your presence on Instagram / Facebook. Do you maintain a private or public account? How do you target your potential customers? What do you write about? How often do you want to post? When do you want to post? Do you know there's a lot of algorithms about social media marketing? I need to go for courses on this topic alone!
2. Learning about pull rather than push marketing
I knew that I should have learnt marketing at University rather than Accountancy.
To be honest, it was hard for me to change my personal Instagram and Facebook account from private to business purposes. I mean, who likes seeing advertisements? Nobody right? Me neither!
But guess what?
Advertising is ALL around!
You go on holiday and what photos do you take? Those in the hotel! The swimming pool. The rooms.
|Mariott Courtyard in Bali, view from our room|
|With the pool bar|
|Our room in Krabi|
You go to a restaurant and what photos appear on your FB? The food! The interior deco! The people.
|Sushi Tei in Singapore|
You buy a new pair of shoes and you post a photo of your happy feet with your new buy.
So people advertise naturally! It's just that most are not paid to advertise or endorse brands. I don't get paid to pose with my Michael Kors sling bag! But in this job with ItWorks, it is MY JOB to be PAID for advertising for the company.
And THIS reason was what pushed me out of my comfort zone. That if I'm going to be spending time on social media, I might as well get paid for doing so.
3. Learning to adapt this business to the Germans / people here
Since I live in Germany, I need to work my business in Germany. The beauty of the business is that I can get customers from any country where ItWorks operates in. But my strength is still face-to-face communication, so I need to reach the people here. Since many of my close friends don't use social media often and even less would shop online, I decided to organise my first wrap party last week!
We had champagne, some snacks and just talked and talked and talked until close to midnight!
Did it feel like work?
I got myself 2 customers out of 2 friends who came by! 2 were sick and the rest couldn't make it. The Germans have a saying, "Klein aber fein" - meaning small but fine. That was definitely my first party for sure!
4. Learning to be patient with myself
I'm Asian. The typical Asian upbringing is, "Find something to do that earns you good money." I once asked my Dad if he was passionate about his job. His reply was, "It doesn't matter. Once you do it long enough, you'll develop a passion for it. Hobbies and job are two very separate things. You can use the money you earn to do your hobby in your free time."
I wanted to study Psychology at University. But my late Mom told me to study something "professional" because its "more stable". I decided to go into Accountancy because I didn't want to study 6 years to be a doctor and my older sister had already gone into law school so I didn't want to go to law school and be under her shadows again -- the second child syndrome.
Anyway, one year into Accountancy, Arthur Anderson collapses. Remember A.A? No, its not a brand of batteries. It used to be one of the top five accountancy giants in the world. And the entire company collapsed. And there I was stuck studying Accountancy because it was supposed to be "stable".
What I'm saying is, if you follow your heart, you know that even if all things fail, you still have developed your God-given talents and skills.
If you DON'T follow your heart, you'll just be dragging your feet to work everyday and wonder and wonder and wonder "what if" you made a different decision.
You see this blog? I've been blogging for 10 years. It's my passion. I enjoy this. I would blog until the day I die cos this is how I express myself and sort out my thoughts. And yes, I would blog even if nobody read my blog. That's a bit sad, but it doesn't bother me.
So working on social media on Instagram / Facebook is just an extension of my interest in blogging. Will I make money from working with ItWorks?
I already have! Right from the beginning!
All my income from ItWorks will be stored up in an account which I will cash out for Christmas! My dream is to earn enough money such that we, as a family of 5 can go on vacations without having to deplete our annual savings. We only go back to Singapore, my home country once in two years because it's just not cost efficient as a family of 5 to fly long-haul anymore. I want to earn so that we have money to give to others in need. I don't want to always be the one to hold back with our donations and giving because we are being prudent as a single-income family. My hub earns well but Sam our oldest is going to a private Christian school in Fall and our other 2 kids will follow suit. I would just love to be able to contribute to the family income so we don't stretch ourselves too thin.
Love you guys! Follow me on Instagram: PrisSteph or Facebook: Priscilla Tews for more regular updates!
I promise to blog more!
I promise to blog more!