Updated: Sep 5
Starting a business is much like moving into a new neighborhood. You are excited. You anticipate all the cool things that can happen. You greet everyone that comes your way and makes time to explore the area. Everything is refreshing and trying to win a place in your heart.
But once you get familiar with the neighborhood, the thrill dies down. Surprises become an expectation. Moments become habits. You know exactly where you need to go to get something specific. It becomes much easier to say no to certain things.
Unless you start to make selective decisions, you'll only be going in circles. The neighborhood won't physically grow or become better on its own. It's up to you to find the treasures that make it justifiable for you to stay.
That's exactly what growing my business is like.
My November was all about that.
I looked back at the things I've done in the year and asked myself what I would like to keep, remove, and grow. I felt much like a caterpillar breaking out of its cocoon- can't fly well yet but understand that the breakthrough is vital for new potentials to arise. It's scary and difficult and entails a lot of extra work. But all the while, it reintroduces the feeling of anticipation. Even though it's far from starting from scratch, forcing yourself to eliminate existing things to build something new is just as exciting as when I first 'moved into the neighborhood'.
1) Growing my business by trying out a new content format
The more I think about the future of Joyce Tsang Content Marketing, the more I am reminded of my first passion project - www.stuvvz.com. The mission of stuvvz was to "share the stories of those who create with passion". And with Joyce Tsang Content Marketing, I'm essentially sharing my story of doing content marketing with a passion. So, it's no surprise that my content on passion and achievements tends to perform very well.
However, I can only cover the topics of entrepreneurship, content marketing, slasher, and such. To become more relevant with other like-minded individuals, I had to produce more specific content that provided new, unique insights. A 2022 search report I found said that people in the real estate, health care, architecture, and law industry are actively looking for content marketing solutions. With such information, it would be silly not to look into creating content for these people.
But I know nothing about these industries. I don't even have any clients in these industries. So I decided to go back to what I did best at stuvvz - interviews. It is my pleasure to have a realtor in my network who is willing to share his story and has a personal brand himself. I don't know how well this content will do in the future, but I am considering extending the format into a series on my Youtube channel.
2) Doubling down on courses
In my previous The Entrepreneur Log, I said I moved my Inbound Marketing Crash Course to Udemy. And this month, I've already moved it back onto my website to elevate the learning experience! I have also built a brand new course - The Personal Branding Workshop (update 2023 - now combined with the Inbound Marketing Crash Course as the Inbound Marketing Course for New Business Owners), an on-demand 3-hour workshop that covers the first part of exercises I do with my mentees under the Mentorship for Slashers program.
Others have continually told me that I am a strong educator. Plus, I enjoy the teaching process, so it made sense to build on-demand courses, experiment with them, and see how they fit into my range of offerings.
Special thanks to Course Method for covering the planning, execution, and results of my three main courses, The Inbound Marketing Crash Course, Mentorship for Slashers, and Upskill Training, in great detail. For 2023, I would love to see my on-demand courses act as the first, easy entry for those interested in learning from me.
3) Continuously connecting with like-minded individuals
Since the Marketing 2.0 Conference at the beginning of this year, I have yet to attend another large-scale conference. When I found out about Entrepreneur Day (E-Day 2022 - Balance Beyond The Boom) by HKTDC, it was a no-brainer for me to join. I physically attended the first day of the three-day event and connected with a good handful of local entrepreneurs.
To my surprise, most of them were around my age and showcased an obvious passion for what they do. Since Hong Kong is filled with tech startups (due to govermental support), I often come across those with more of a VC/ unicorn-driven business running style. So it was a breath of fresh air for me to bond with people who didn't sound as "corporate" and was relatable on a personal level.
4) Introducing passive income
Apart from it being the end of the year, one main thing that caused me to rethink the business direction this month was that I have new clarity on my preferred lifestyle. As I worked demanding full-time jobs before starting Joyce Tsang Content Marketing, my goal was merely to maintain a so-called work-life balance by not working on the weekends and sticking to regular office hours. Yet, I started to realize it was not enough in the second year of running Joyce Tsang Content Marketing.
To consistently drive high-quality leads, I needed to create quality content. And the more content I created, the more I understood what makes high-quality content, which resulted in longer content production time. Indeed, I could have outsourced content operations by this point. Yet, as a content marketer, it is important to continuously create personal branding content myself to build trust and showcase my abilities to potential leads.
Though I have frameworks ready for future delegation, I know I need to do something to free up more time now. One opportunity I see is to start planting seeds for passive income. After some research, the easiest way for me to get into that is POD (print-on-demand). That is why I've started my merch shop!
Just like affiliate marketing, stocks, and digital products such as courses and downloadables, it will take months and maybe years to start driving revenue. But to have a shot at breaking down my day, where I can focus solely on marketing for the company in the first half and selectively serving high-quality clients as a consultant in the second half, I must start now. That's the only way I can continue to love what I do, earn a decent living, delegate more, and further build my team-lancing model.