Updated: May 31
I shouldn't be smiling. Not according to the standard definition of success.
I've lost a lead because we couldn't agree upon contract details;
I haven't been able to meet leads and client goals;
I overspent my budget last month because I had to change to a new financial service provider. (If you're looking for one, send me a message and I'll tell you which one to avoid.)
But for some odd reasons, I've felt quite content in February.
I'm feeling much more at ease in our new house, establishing healthier daily habits, and taken up gardening as a hobby;
I've started to look for remote opportunities and has linked up with some really cool people in the US;
I'm slowly beginning to realize that I am my source of stress, and while there are many unattained goals, I should give myself some credit for already doing my best.
And as I look back, I have done a lot in February to grow my personal brand:
1) Community recognition
I had the privilege to be interviewed by Doug Noll for Authority Magazine, where I shared intimate details of my entrepreneurial journey. It's quite amazing to see how I get to connect with publications all around the world by just answering HARO requests.
And as I was prepping for this month's Entrepreneur Log, I received a Whatsapp message on my phone. My PR representative, Jane (who, to be honest, only works for me on and off different projects), has nominated me for Sassy's Best of Hong Kong 2023 Reader Awards. Surprisingly, I was shortlisted as one of the finalists for the category "People - The Tech Industry".
Voting is now open here until Wednesday, 15 March 2023, (be sure to get to the end to fill in your contact details) for a chance to win a luxury Bangkok getaway. Winners will be notified soon after the voting closes and there’ll be a big party to celebrate. I would love for you to click through and give me your support!
2) Expert status
Also in February, I was invited to speak at WriterZen's latest Webinar with Afnan Rehan. You can access the full webinar here (scroll down to 2023 under the Educational Involvements section) and see what we have to say about using AI writing tools to assist our content creation processes. I will be doing more collaborative work with the company soon, so stay posted for more!
Apart from AI, another inevitable change we all need to face is the switch from GA Universal to GA4. I knew I might have no time to get used to the transition (and procrastinate), so I forced myself to set up GA4 last year already. Like many, the user experience between the two interfaces is very different, making it quite difficult to find the statistics we're used to reporting. Now that I've completed the Semrush Academy course on GA4, I've been able to align my GA4 account with GA Universal settings. If you're interested in learning more, take the course yourself, or have me upskill you personally here.
3) Networking & Mentoring
One of the highlights in February was attending Linkedin Hong Kong's first-ever open day. As I've mentioned here, I wouldn't have gone if I didn't become a solopreneur. I had an amazing time learning about data from 2022, connecting with interesting individuals (including Linkedin Top Voice, Sho Dewan), and just having an enjoyable Friday evening in a lovely office.
I also went to my second Esperanza event as a member. This time, I got to speak in front of other guests, sharing my two cents on upskilling and education for fresh graduates and young adults. Though it only lasted a minute, I got quite nervous because John Tsang was also in the audience. (After all, he is my education idol!)
Lastly, I met up with my mentee from the Cocoon Foundation's Pursuit of X program for the second time. I brought along my ex-student, Priscilla Ng, who has a successful career path from being a reporter to now a compliance investigator. It's rewarding to see the value she can now provide to my younger mentee, as it reveals how much she has grown. I've known her for a decade, and I would never have expected mentoring her writing skills would open her to such a different professional path. All in all, I am so proud of her.
4) And lots of content creation
It would be a lie to say it's not stressful. Managing all these channels and creating content to the best of my ability daily is exhausting. I haven't felt too good about the content I've been producing in the past month. And the numbers definitely show. Though many do not even know what content works for them, me knowing exactly what will perform well doesn't always mean I can create them.
For example, I know behind-the-scenes content that reveals something unexpected about my work process works very well as shorts and reels. Yet, I simply do not have a lot of unexpected things to share.
I also know that strong, personal opinions work great for my Linkedin. But then again, I can't force an opinion to appear out of thin air. All I can do now is to adopt an even better habit, to force me to stay in line with my content production process and make it natural to create such content. Other than that, I'll have to invest more in engaging with others and try my best to upkeep and expand my reach organically.
I've also tested something new this past month. I've created my longest blog ever, consisting of 10 chapters. Each chapter heading is long-tail keywords and inquiries people have searched for regarding personal branding. As you can imagine, it would take me ages to write and compile myself. Instead, after finding the keywords, I started putting them into different AI-writing tools to see what they would spit out. I generated every topic with a different tool and then edited each paragraph personally before adding my value to ensure its quality.
The process took me days to complete, but as important as the output is, so is the learning process. I am now much more comfortable in using AI-generator and writing-assistant tools to help me out in the content creation process. You should check out the final blog- Everything you need to build a personal brand that will make you irresistible to employers and clients here.
It's scary to think that we're already entering March. Q1 of 2023 is only weeks away from finishing. It does feel like I haven't been able to achieve much. But as an act of self-reminder, and hopefully, an inspiration to you who is reading - don't push yourself too hard.
Celebrate the tiny wins.
Appreciate the small connections you've made.
It may look like everyone else is ahead of you in the game, which might be true. But you're on your own path.
Explore different opportunities.
What's meant to work, will work out.
And those that don't, well, they're telling you to try something else. There's nothing bad about that.
Joyce Tsang Content Marketing - 3 Month personal growth plan