The WHYs of Mommy or Kid Vloggers in the Philippines: Creating YouTube Channels

Two years ago, I started a YouTube Channel (http://youtube.com/c/gingerarboledavlog) will the sole purpose of helping spread the word about entrepreneurship. I wanted to interview different entrepreneurs and feature them in my channel. I stopped a bit, but this year, I decided to get back on track and create more videos. My 4 year old daughter, Zeeka, on the other hand, started her channel (ZEEKA EUREKA) and is aspiring to be one of the kid vloggers in the Philippines. She started her channel around around a year ago. he has been consistently creating videos.

I was then curious to know the motives of other mommy vloggers and other kid vloggers on why they created their own Youtube Channels. I came up with questions for them and see what they have to say. Zeeka and I created our own video to answer these questions, too!

Here are some of the mommies that I interviewed. I hope you can subscribe to their channels and support each one! 🙂

Mommy Nina Ricci Bunsoy, 26

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

It’s still a new channel but so far, I’ve been talking about my gimiks with my son and general reviews. It’s a lifestyle channel and I want to balance parenting topics and millenial lifestyle topics.

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

I rebranded my blog this year, and with that, I created this channel. My goal is to be a source of information for food and travel spots, parenting stories, tutorials, and product reviews.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

I started this channel just this year. A challenge would be finding time for everything – creating the concept, shooting, and editing. I’m a working mom so it’s hard to look for spare time. Creating content takes time so I try to always find time for it. Sometimes, I do it while commuting or while doing chores. Moms are good multitaskers, right? 🙂

I also struggled a bit about talking on cam. I want to be really genuine and shyness gets the better of me sometimes. What I did to overcome it is to pretending that I’m telling a story to a friend. It makes talking to a cam feel more natural for me, until I got used to it eventually.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

In my first few tries, I just randomly take videos of spots or events I go to. During editing, I realized I lacked some establishing scenes that would’ve made it better. Since then, I try to make a template for the storyline of my videos. I identify the shots that I need early on so I don’t forget.

Also, don’t let recording take the fun out of the moment. When I feel like I’m spending too much time and energy creating or shooting content, I stop and try to live off cam for awhile. I want to have more time being in the moment vs shooting it.

Mommy Veni Anabo, 33 yo and Raix Anabo, 5 yo

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

In our channel, as it’s name goes – Raix at Play – we do toy unboxing, toy reviews and sharing his adventures!

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

We started this channel because I was inspired by the other channels like Ryan Toy Review and Funnel Vision. I thought that since Raix has a lot of toys, so why not take a video of it! He gets more toys, gets to practice his socialization skills and also in time, even monetize our videos!

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

We started August 2016. We use my mobile phone to take videos and edit it using Windows Movie Maker. Having limited resources for taking videos and editing it are the most challenging parts for me. With my desktop, it really takes too much of my time just to finish editing a single video. Also, with WMM, editing is very limited.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

Since we are still in our learning stage and familiarizing myself with the technicalities in YouTube, what I can share to the moms out there who are planning to start their own YouTube Channel is to start with what you have. Every successful YouTube Creator I know started from scratch. You can start by sharing a video of your kid’s everyday adventures, no need to buy new toys to unbox, you may do a review of their old toys. Most important part of it is to have FUN!

Ren Martinez, 9 years old

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

He makes videos about toys usually for boys. He also makes videos of the restaurants and fast foods we have visited and other new and interesting food we saw in the market. His dad helps in answering some of the messages and comments in this channel.

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

He likes to watch toy reviews and he and his dad got interested in creating their own. His dad was the one in charge filming and editing his videos. Our goal is for him to practice speaking because at school they have this quarterly reporting in front of the whole class. Plus of course, we want him to have passive income in the future.

Also as some of you might know, he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and we would like to inspire others that they can do things just like the other kids do.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?
He started last September 2015. One of the challenges is that how to be original because there are a lot of kids doing it. We are always thinking on how he will be unique and stand out.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?
We believe in quality not quantity. We don’t just upload videos just for the sake of uploading we take time to edit it, review it then when all is good that’s the time we share it.

Mommy Jenelyn Ubongen, 32 and Marshall, 3

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

Aside from adventures, most of our videos are actually my son and I’s activities, predominantly the letter of the week activities.

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

It started with my son’s open website, http://tobringtogether.com/, where my husband and I wanted to have a reference of our stories as a family. It eventually crossed my mind the concept of making videos so we put up a Youtube channel. The aim is primarily to inspire parents as well as kids to do more hands on activities especially in this very techie world.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

We started almost a year ago. First YT video was May 25, 2016. The biggest challenge for me and the one that is taking too much of the time is the video editing. Choosing the right background sounds plus adding dialogue box to make it more attractive.. I don’t want the videos to be plain and too lengthy. I want it to be fun and enjoyable and the viewers to have a smile on their faces after watching the video.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

Just enjoy the moment and record everything. Anyway you can do all the editing later on. Don’t be pressured with all the likes and dislikes. For us, we just want our son to have the best memories of his childhood. After all, kids are gonna be kids and seeing them happy is the best feeling a parent can have.

Mommy Katrina Santiago, 35  and V, 6 years old and Z, 1 year old

What do you or child talk about in the channel?

We share on our channel our homeschool updates, lessons and activities, hacks, and field trips

Why did you start the channel? What’s your goal?

Homeschool channels from the US have been inspiring me in our homeschool journey. I found out that not too many homeschoolers here in the Philippines have dedicated their videos in sharing their journey. This has inspired me to create a channel dedicated to education at home. I am hoping that Filipinos could pick a thing or two from our own experiences and inspire them in educating their children at home.

When did you start and what were the hindrances / challenges?

We just started in August 2016. It’s hard to shoot while the kids are awake because they keep touching the camera and tripod. Also, I value their privacy so everytime I shoot, I am torn between showing them or not in the video.

Right now I am in my third trimester and would give birth soon. I have a few topics that I planned to film a few weeks ago but pregnancy symptoms has taken over the wheel so I guess I won’t be filming for the channel soon.

What was the most valuable learning (can be a practical tip) that you learned that you can share?

Have a good audio. People who watch videos on YouTube prefers better audio than video. Even if you have great filming and editing skills but if your viewers can’t understand you or could hardly hear you, they would surely switch channels.

I hope that you enjoyed reading and watching the videos! I hope you were inspired to create your own channel or inspired to encourage your child to be one of the kid vloggers in the Philippines. Be one of the numerous Youtube creators in the Philippines or to follow different channels in YouTube. Until next time!

PS. Oh, please comment on this post and leave a link to your Youtube channel! Please subscribe to my channel! Let’s exchange likes! haha!

 

Blog Carnival: Come and Join the Conversation!

Hi everyone! Some of the freelancers in the Freelancers Hub Philippines Group have decided to bring you amazing content every month through a blog carnival. There will be a chosen topic per month and a host blog or platform per month. Everyone who wishes to be part of the carnival for that month can sign up using the form created by the host.

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For those who are wondering, a blog carnival is an online event where bloggers/content providers/publishers come together to write/create a video or podcast about a specific theme or topic.

For 2017, here are the topics that we have set.

Here is the Step-by-Step Guide on how to join the Blog Carnival for the Month of May (hosted by Ginger Arboleda, http://mommyginger.com)

1. Write a blog post within the month of May about the topic or anything related to the topic above: Monetizing a Passion / Why Freelancing? / Why “my passion”?

2. You can create more than one entry. There will not be any minimum number of words for articles nor duration for videos or podcasts, but the content needs to be something that readers or viewers will find value in reading

3. The article / post should contain the link to the mechanics of the blog carnival (http://mommyginger.com/2017/04/blog-carnival-freelancers.html); For all social shares, please use #freelancershub, #freelancing and the host’s hashtag #mommyginger.

4. Posts need to be published and submitted via the form by May 10, 2017, 11:59pm. After you have published your blog post, please fill out this form:

5. The host will keep track of all the submissions and will publish it on the mechanics page in her blog/website. All links will be posted by May 11, 2017.

6. Once links have been posted, all participants are required to visit each of the link and comment on the comments section of the post. If you’re done visiting the links, please comment “DONE!” on the comments section below!

7. For May, the host (@GingerArboleda) will choose the best post and will give out a Multi Function Bluetooth Selfie Sticks + Monopod to the best post.

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8. The host will choose the best post on May 31, 2017!

Good luck! 🙂


Here are the links to the posts!

Rey Baguio http://reymbaguio.me/being-passionately-be-your-best-to-succeed/
Ginger Arboleda http://mommyginger.com/2017/04/are-we-all-passionate-people.html
Mahesh Kumar http://blog.transcriptioncertificationinstitute.org/make-money-online-touch-typing-skills/
Liberty Baldovino http://www.theyouthfulgrannyva.com/freelancing-turning-my-passion-into-something-unexpectedly-beautiful-and-profitable-too/
Charlie Aquino http://www.upskillvideos.com/discover-your-passion/

Please visit each one and share their stories! 🙂

 

Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines

During the Philippine Impact Sourcing Conference or PISCON, held by the Department of Information and Technology (DICT) and the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, I learned that there is a new meaning for the acronym OFW. It can also mean Online Filipino Workers. There is a growing number of online workers and freelancers who are doing jobs that are outsourced to them.

Yours Truly with the Secretary of DICT, Atty. Rodolfo Salalima

Yours Truly with the Secretary of DICT, Atty. Rodolfo Salalima

If you count those who are on online platforms like those present during PISCON 2017 (Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, 51 Talk, OnlineJobs.ph), there are around 1.4 Million Filipinos on these platforms in total. This number has been continuously growing. With the growing number of people who are entering this type of profession/career, there are growing issues also that this demographic asks to be addressed.

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Since what they do is quite different from being employees (some of them are employed by a foreign client), and not quite in the realm of turning it into a business (excludes those who have created online agencies, teams that have turned into corporations, etc.), they have their own set of concerns and issues that they need addressed. Some of the issues that I have heard from freelancers who attend Manila Workshops event are how to register their business, how to get a business permit, what taxes to pay, how to get health benefits, etc.

With this, the launch of Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines or DCAP during the PISCON 2017 was of perfect timing. DCAP is an association established to promote the growth of the Online Outsourcing Industry and advocate for the welfare of online workers in the Philippines and its members.

I was fortunate enough to interview Genesis Reonico, the President of Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines or DCAP.

THE VISION

DCAP envisions a thriving and united Online Outsourcing Industry, helping reduce the unemployment rate in the country and provide work opportunities to Filipinos especially to those who are differently-abled and those who live in the countryside where employment opportunities are limited.

DCAP envisions itself to be the voice of the Filipino Online Freelancers in the country, that will speak in behalf of their needs and concerns, lobbying and assisting in drafting policies that can positively impact the online outsourcing industry, and collaborate with the Government in its initiatives that will further grow and support the industry.

THE MISSION

DCAP’s core mission is to educate, equip, and enable as many Filipinos as possible in finding and landing a job online so that unemployment will not be a problem and they do not need to leave their hometown just to find rewarding work and career elsewhere. DCAP will also support & empower online workers who wish to grow and level up their career or establish their own HomeGrown BPO company that will provide employment in their areas.

In addition, DCAP will do its best to protect the industry from individuals, companies and institutions who are taking advantage of the industry for their own personal gain and not for the best interest of the industry by calling them out and issuing guidelines and notices to the public.

These can be achieved through united efforts and support from key stakeholders, mainly the online workers, online outsourcing agencies, training providers, online job marketplaces and companies who provides support services to the industry, who are DCAP’s member themselves.

With some of the founding members of DCAP: Genesis

With some of the founding members of DCAP: Genesis Reonico (President), Maritess “Allie” Pasag (Chairman) and Leif Brian Margallo (VP for Visayas)

The founding members of DCAP are the following:

Genesis Reonico (President)
Maritess “Allie” Pasag (Chairman)
Leif Brian Margallo (VP for Visayas)
Kim Romarez (VP for Mindanao)
Crizelda Joy Cajoles (VP for Luzon)
Ronald “Piper” Ramboanga
Rochefel Rivera
Regina Evangelista
Glenn Mark Dizon

I am happy that there is this kind of association for freelancers and for those who have digital careers. If you have questions for the Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines or DCAP, please leave it at the comments section below. I will gladly ask Genesis and the other founding members to reply.

Sulong, Pilipinas!

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology

At almost the same time last year, I bought a book at a bookstore in Singapore entitled LEAN IN. I’m sure a lot of you have heard or even read this book, where Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, shares her struggles of being a woman in an industry dominated by men. I loved that book, simply because I could relate to most of the scenarios she had relayed. In the book, she encouraged women to support each other and help each other get to the top.

I often wondered after that how I can offer support to other women. The only way that I know how right now is through the workshops that we have that help these women to live their dreams. Just to share, 80%-90% of our workshops are attended by women. Manila Workshops’ aim is to help people achieve their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and to pursue their passion, and i’m glad that there are more women who have decided to use their talents, their strengths and their skills to lead happy and successful lives.

When I was invited to speak at the S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology, I wasn’t sure if I could talk in front of great women. I felt that I wasn’t worthy. What could I possibly say to help these women?

Thinking about the things that inspired me to push myself, I realized that it was because I heard stories from other women, and was inspired by them. So stomped over my fears and insecurities, and I said yes to sharing my own story.

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology 2

I was in a panel of truly inspiring women to and most of these ladies I know have undergone heartaches and challenges in being a “woman in tech”. The tech startup world in the Philippines, much like Silicon Valley, is dominated by men. In Taxumo alone, I am the only female in a group of 5 founders. But you know what? I think we, ladies, are very much capable of starting our our business, leading a team, or studying and applying skills (like coding, flying planes, etc.) that were previously thought to be only for men.

As Atty. Kristine, our moderator, went through the questions, a lot of things were going on in mind, which I wanted to share. After the event, I wrote it down. I apologize that I only got to post it now. Here are some of my thoughts on the things mentioned:

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology

Women in Tech Panelists with Atty. Kristine

 

Our generation is unique, born before and living through the 4th Industrial Revolution of digital automation and cloud computing. Can you recall a time before the internet? Before you started your tech companies? How was your work and company like?

Well, my first job was working for an advertising agency, so my perspective is from a marketing angle. Comparing how they do this today is definitely faster from how things are done today due to technology. Exchange of data is faster. Before we used to have to send huge files via CD or tapes if it were videos, since big data that huge can’t be transmitted via email alone. For huge files like Movie ads, I used to go to the movie house offices to submit tapes. To get client’s approval, I personally had to go to their office to show them the artwork and get approval. For market research, we literally had to talk to a lot of people just to get their feedback on things. A lot has changed. Now, with technology, large data can be transmitted real time. Feedback can be given to you via social media. These giant players like Google and Facebook can actually give you accurate data and statistics that can help your research.

S.T.E.A.M. Ahead in ASEAN: A Forum for Women and Technology 3

Do you think there is a difference in the treatment of women in your workplace then? What are the challenges you faced? Do you have any stories of failure you can share?

I think a challenge is balancing time for family and balancing time for the business. It’s a daily struggle, but what I have learned in the 4 years of struggle is that we can do it. It’s about accepting that it is indeed a challenge, develop a system that would work and then work around that system that you because for sure, there will come a time that you will need to work around it.

What urged you to start your tech business?

The software that we developed is called Taxumo. Taxumo is an end-to-end software as a service that helps micro-small business owners, freelancers and professionals prepare, file and pay for their taxes. The reason why we created this is that I personally felt the pain of having deal with the process of filing taxes for my small business. It was so time consuming and I couldn’t concentrate on fixing and growing my business. A lot of my precious time was spent on taxation. And even if I had a freelance accountant during that time, it was still a tedious process for me AND my accountant. When we automated it locally (since my husband is an “IT” guy), we cut the time spent almost in half. This is what inspired us to continue this project and help the small business owner file the 16 forms that they need to pay every year.

Women in Tech

How do you think technology acts as the great equalizer?

For me, technology acts as an equaliser in a way where opportunities are laid out where it can get to as many people as possible, where ideas can be shared and commented on and where resources are available to make your life easier. For example, for moms like me who would want to spend as much time as possible with their kids, they can do so now because of the available platforms that allow them to work from home. There are tools like Skype or Facebook Messenger that will help save you the time and effort of going to another place to meet with a client. There are more efficient ways to collaborate with a team using Google Drive, Trello, etc. All of these resources are available for us to us and we can use it in a way that would best compliment our lifestyle.

Does technology help in creating a gender neutral playing field?

It definitely helps in creating a neutral playing field. As I mentioned, all of these technology based tools, resources and information are now readily available to anyone. At the end of the day, it’s how a person uses and optimizes technology that would make the difference. It’s how one uses technology to compliment their own personal strengths that would make them succeed.

I think our greatest enemy, though, is still ourselves. We, women, need to stand up for what we believe in. We need to voice out our opinions and pursue our greatest dreams while letting go of our worst enemy — fear. We need to stick together and help one another. We need authenticity, empathy and love as we lean in and we push each other up to where we can be leaders in our fields and the light of our homes.

5 Key Things to Remember when Creating a Retail Business

I always had a fascination with retail businesses. I think it is because I like the idea of having something tangible that you create. Although, I don’t think I, myself, can actually make the actual product (unfortunately, I don’t have the skill for that). For those who don’t know and probably a lot of you don’t know this, but a few years back, I actually dabbled into starting my own retail business, too. It was called HYD or Hot Young Designers. The idea was to collaborate and carry the lines of 5 new fashion designers, and help market them. In essence, it was a social enterprise.
creating-a-retail-business

 

This business only lasted a year though. My business partner and I decided to cut our losses short and just be happy with what we attempted to do and learn from it. There is part of me that still wants to pursue having my own retail business, but a part of me that also says that I have to say no. So, i’ll probably just take it easy first and chose the latter. I need to focus on the things that I am involved with now. With that, I think the help that I can give those aspiring retail entrepreneurs is through writing about my experience, sharing with you the experience of other successful retailers and to come up with learning events that you can attend.

For today, I’m listing down 5 key things to remember when creating a retail business:

Understand your Customer

In this business, for whatever it is that you will sell, it’s about understanding the customer. Oftentimes, having a tangible product can make it even more distracting to veer away from the customer and focus on the product, especially if the product that you are selling is a customised one (you created it from scratch). My suggestions is identify segment or segments of the market that you want to sell to and show the design of the product or a prototype, even before you create the actual product. By doing this, you get to garner feedback that will be crucial to how you create your business or product.

Research More about the Retail Industry

Going into retail, just like any other business, is risky. Retail usually involves creation or even just handling actual products that may be more capital intensive than a service based business. When aspiring to be a retailer, it may be beneficial to talk to already successful retailers. One of the successful ones that I have come across and interviewed is my friend, Cory Marquez of Invitation House. Here is her story on the humble beginnings of Invitation House, which now has 5 stores in the Philippines.

Check out the Different Types of Retail Businesses

* Store retailing. Store retailing is basically having a brick and mortar store, whether it is your own store or if you just have a spot given to you at a department store. Choosing this type of retailing business usually addresses the basic needs of man, like food, clothing, etc.
* Specialty stores. These kinds of stores normally focus now on a specialised “want” of the customer. Invitation House is a sample of a specialty store. It focuses on the desire of customers to have special invitations, cute artsy notecards, etc.
* Nonstore retailing. These retailers have chosen not to sell via a brick and mortar store, but through other means like building an eCommerce shop, selling via Easy or Shopify, selling via HomeTV shopping, or through catalogs that are sent out. It can also be non-digital, like having pop up stores.
* Other forms of “Retail”
– DIY Retailing. An example of this are the vending machines that you see around — from coffee to sanitary napkins. The only thing that the owner needs to do is to replenish supplies and collect payment.
– Crowd Funding platforms. Some of the new retailers also turn to crowd funding platforms like Kickstarter.com.

Check out the different Business models

There may be a dozen ways to sell your products and services, but here are some of those that I can think of:
– Consignment (be it in an actual brick-an-mortar store or via an online shop like Lazada, Zalora, etc.)
– Direct Selling or Door-to-Door
– Crowd Funding (as mentioned above)
– Sales from Social Media Channels

Create a Business Plan after doing all of your Research

It will really be beneficial if you could write down the plan, including the projections for both your expenses and income. Before the launch of HYD, we actually had this in place. What we lacked was more research about the retail industry. We didn’t know that return on investment (ROI) would be longer for retail than it is for a service based business. We also forgot to take into consideration the expenses for keeping the Quality in check. Writing it down will be beneficial since you will be able to go through different scenarios in your mind and you’ll often see it more clearly when it’s written down.

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Sign up to join this WORKSHOP at: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/starting-your-online-retail-business

 

There are a lot more lessons that I have learned from other more successful retailers that I can share via this blog. I will continuously share these things with you. I hope that you have learned from these few tips. If you are a retailer with a story that others can learn from, just leave a comment below and let’s talk about it.

A Reality Show for Start-ups: The Final Pitch

I am an avid fan of Shark Tank. I love watching Start-up pitch their ideas, even if some are super unprepared. I love seeing the different ideas that people have. Man, there are a lot of unique and creative ideas. I love taking note of the judges questions and I am always amazed at how good they are with numbers. I think Shark Tank is the only show that I watch where I have my notebook by my side to actually take down notes. You may laugh at me (haha!) but I do learn a lot from this show.

In my mind, the end goal really of the start-ups joining the show is either to raise capital (which is pretty normal) or to gain enough publicity to build traction. And for the rest of us watching the show, it’s really for our entertainment and education. Anything that I could learn from, I love!

Imagine my delight when I was invited to the Final Pitch press conference. I didn’t get to go (because I had to focus this week on Taxumo, but I decided to share it anyway. The Final Pitch is something like Shark Tank. The show will challenge entrepreneur contestants in every way — from exploring funding options, refining their business plans, and marketing their products and services. The show is set to air on History Channel this May, 2017

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“The Final Pitch aims to help entrepreneurs find success by connecting them to investors who can finance them, and to mentors who can fine-tune their businesses—reducing risk factors and boosting growth potential and sustainability,” shares the creator and host of The Final Pitch, John Aguilar.

The show will make entrepreneurs go through a series of challenges that will test their creativity, motivation and character. At the same time, they will learn the secrets behind the success of their potential investors, who are also tasked to handpick the top finalists to proceed on the show.

L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata

L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata

For Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, founder of a well-loved global food brand and one of the investors on ‘The Final Pitch’, his picks for the show would be based on whether or not he can see them as future business partners. “I’m looking for people who deserve a break, as I believe in the person more than the business,” he shares.

self-made-billionaire-and-the-youngest-to-become-the-chairman-of-a-publicly-listed-company-in-the-pse-joseph-calata

Other investors include the multi-awarded Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong; self-made billionaire and the youngest chairman of a publicly-listed company in the PSE, Joseph Calata; and lastly, 25-year old millennial CEO of the angel investing group MFT Group of Companies, Mica Tan.

In addition to the potential funding from the investors, contestants will receive business coaching from an esteemed lineup of mentors, who are composed of well-known business experts and inclusive business champions, namely Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, Mon Lopez; former President of MicroVentures, Inc., Senator Bam Aquino; Chairman of Start Up Village, Prof. Jay Bernardo and; President of the Ateneo Center for Entrepreneurship-Masters In Entrepreneurship (ACE-ME), Dr. Andy J. Ferreira, among others.

I think this is a good initiative, because (1) Filipinos need to see that there are a lot of opportunities out there — opportunities to solve problems, opportunities to innovate and opportunities to make a difference; (2) We need to stir up the start-up ecosystem in the Philippines and having more publicity for the entire industry is good (in that way, we, startups won’t have to explain what we actually do, especially to our friends and parents. haha!);  and lastly, (3) We need to strive to be better than we are and let go of that “okay na ako” attitude. We, Filipinos, are very talented individuals and it’s such a waste to see people full of potential not maximize their talents and skills.

So there, these are the reasons why I, personally think, that we need shows and other activities like this. Will we join this competition and represent Taxumo? Maybe. We will have to think about it! haha!

But for those who are ready to join, here are some details:

To join The Final Pitch, applicants will be required to fill up and submit an online entry form to The Final Pitch via its official website www.TheFinalPitch.ph Deadline for submission of entries is until March 17, 2017. Investors interested in becoming a part of the show or investing in the entrepreneurs behind the scenes may also get in touch with The Final Pitch through through its website.

*The Final Pitch’ is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc., the company behind the longest-running real estate and construction TV show Philippine Realty TV. For more info and for sponsorship and partnership inquiries, visit www.TheFinalPitch.ph or call 0917-8136674.

Goodluck to all my readers who want to join! Message me so that we can all watch you!

Identifying Potential Niches in Blogging

If you want to earn from blogging, you need to choose a niche. Choose a niche that you think will be profitable for you now and in the future. Blogging is a lot similar to starting your own business. There are a lot of pain points that you can address via your products and service offerings, but ultimately, you narrow down your choices to those that will make most business sense.

What I have seen in the blogging community is that a lot of them go for what is hip and trendy. I don’t blame them. Business owners are like that, too. A few months back, in the Tandang Sora area, there was at two food parks. Now, when you visit that area, there are around more than half a dozen food parks. But it’s normal to go for things that are already proven, things that are cool, and things that seem profitable. Although, there is always a benefit to being the first mover.

Going back to blogging, a lot of the people I see are fashion bloggers, food bloggers, beauty bloggers, finance bloggers and mom bloggers. It’s great that there are a lot of bloggers who are part of these segments, but there are a lot of other niches that you can start checking out, too (especially if you have the ability, skill and passion for it!). One of the niches that isn’t quite as popular is fitness. I’ve only come across a few fitness, health or sports bloggers.

My friend Allan and I were talking about this. I believe that in order for an industry to thrive, we all have to work together to make this industry enticing. There are lead influencers in the industry like Jaymie Pizarro, the Fit Stop Crew (Amazing work, Jackie, Jeff, etc.!) There are famous coaches, too! But if you want to make the fitness industry something that can generate revenue as a whole, from coaches, to gyms, to these famous bloggers to aspiring bloggers, we need more “movement” in that industry.

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Since we create learning events, we are coming up with a Fitness Blogging 101 workshop, in which you can learn how to make it big in this niche. There are a lot of untapped potential brands who need the help of bloggers that fall under fitness, health and nutrition. So if you want to blog, but still figuring out what topic to write about, try going with FITNESS.

Another thing is that there people are building a lot of gyms, yoga studios, crossfit boxes, etc. A lot of people, too, are considering becoming a fitness instructor. Blogging can make you stand out! Blogging can be a way for you to amplify you message and build your brand. It can also be way for you to build an audience and to build a good base of followers.

So if you haven’t considered coming to this workshop, hope you consider it now! Fitness is one of the potential niches in blogging. We look forward to helping you!

Sign up using this link: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/fitness-blogging-101

P.S. You’ll have a free yoga session, too, and free CREDITS from KFIT! 🙂

Mobile Moves Business

Inspiration is okay, but Implementation is better. Creating a plan is okay, but acting on it is better. Anyway, no one is perfect the first time (or even the second or third time) around. We need to be tolerant of our own failure and the failure of others. And we need to try harder. We need to be really open to the changes happening around us. If we don’t adapt, failure will happen. You can’t do the the same thing, and expect a different result. #thoughts

This was what I posted yesterday on Facebook. I normally post deep thoughts like these after watching a thought-provoking or a really sad movie (like La La Land), but in this case, I didn’t come out of a movie theater. I came from an event, which I honestly thought was going to be another sales blitz. It was refreshingly delightful and inspiring!

It was Facebook Philippines’ Mobile Moves Business and it was definitely one of the most inspiring events that I have ever attended. It was a private event and most of the attendees where brands, agencies, pr people, marketers, etc. A big shout out to Paolo Lacuna of Facebook for inviting me to this event. So being a ‘branded’ event, I thought that the talks would be all about Facebook, so I was pleasantly surprised that I got to learn, not only a few things, but a full page of learnings (which I will share with you, my dear readers!).

These are the things that I remembered (so if someone who was there want to add some things, please feel free in the comment section below):

Rapid Transition to a Mobile First Commerce

We don’t notice it (probably because we are too busy looking at our mobile devices… haha!), but a lot of us now spend most of the hours of our day swiping through stuff on our phone. If you’re reading this, look up, where ever you are and I bet there is at least one person on a mobile device.

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This is a timeline that shows the changes in commerce, or the way value is exchanged. And the changes in this ecosystem is quite evident since we clearly see and experience the changes that happened and the changes that are happening and will happen. In the Philippines, it was mentioned that we are now in the middle of an omni-channel and a mobile-first commerce. We are rapidly transitioning to the latter.

As Businesses, Brands, Marketers or Advertisers

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Never forget that setting your business objectives is the first thing that you need to do. Without an objective in mind, your campaign strategy will lose direction. Then, never forget to check on the impact that you make on your audience, your brand and sales. This is the reason why I ask PR agencies and brands who ask me to write about them in this blog what their business objective is. I just believe that if you want to be an effective marketer, blogger, business owner, etc., you should bev clear on what your objective is; After which, strategies, creative executions, etc. will align itself naturally (well, most of the time) to your objective.

Another thing that hit me is that we spend a lot of time “producing” content when we do not fully understand the behavior of the market. We jump right to execution. We forget to validate if this is what the audience really want, if this is the right message, if this is the right platform, etc. There are so many questions that we need to answer before we jump into it! An example that was given yesterday was that usually whatever a brand produces for TV commercials is what they use for Facebook, Instagram, etc. The thing is, it doesn’t work that way.

Going back to the basics, these platforms are made for suppliers of VALUE to interact with the audience and tailor-fit, if possible, solutions that they would want or messages that they would love to hear and react to. Stuart Jamieson from Nielsen said, “don’t just shout at them (pertaining to your audience). ENGAGE with them.” When we have a conversation with our audience, we get better results.

Understanding the Philippine Mobile Market

These are some pictures of data the show that mobile moves business. Filipino smartphone users spend 189 minutes per day on their phones. The breakdown below is indicated in the second picture.

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Over the years, the digital landscape has undergone a lot of changes. The biggest change really is that social media now has paved the way for people to express themselves. People want to be involved and they express how they feel and “type” what they think via social media.

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So if you want to be effective, with every ad that you create and with every message that you deliver, give your audience the chance to interact with you and express themselves.

On Digital Media and Traditional Media

A wake-up call for me is that we often use one creative for different platforms. Yesterday, it was highlighted that a material produced for traditional media may not be as effective when you use it for digital media. There were a lot of side by side comparison of TV commercials being directly played as an ad on Facebook versus playing an edited version specifically produced for mobile screens. It really made a big difference!

Also, I’m sharing this slide on the Kicker Effect. This is basically a guide on how Facebook can help you optimize your TV campaign.

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On eCommerce to MCommerce to SCommerce

Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada and Ross Wakeham, Industry Lead, Facebook Southeast Asia

Inanc Balci, CEO of Lazada and Ross Wakeham, Industry Lead, Facebook Southeast Asia

An interesting part of the program, which I know a lot of my readers with retail businesses would be interested in learning, was the conversation with Inanc Balci, the CEO of Lazada. He said that the changes happening is from the landscape being eCommerce to M(obile)Commerce to S(ocial)Commerce. He says that in this day and age, brands with out eCommerce or MCommerce should seriously consider having it. Also, it is very important that you build a separate team for that. A different set of skills and expertise are required for this kind of business.

When asked about tips that he can offer retail, he replied that a retailer needs to think about these things seriously: Have the lowest prices. Have the best service.  Have great logistic and payment parters. And lastly, look at metrics and use it.

His last insight was really funny! He was asked what he saw that was unique about the Filipino buyers. He said that in the Philippines, they would notice a spike in purchases during work hours and a big drop during lunch break and past office hours! haha!

What’s Fascinating About Facebook

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Aside from the deep understanding of Facebook that mobile moves business, what I love about Facebook as a channel for advertising and spreading information is that it is a platform which really understands the behaviour, the needs and the journey of each individual. Having this data, they help marketers, brands and businesses reach a specific market that really needs and wants to engage with them. So even if you are a small business like Manila Workshops (my business), we are given the power to optimize each and every peso to tap our potential customers and to convert them to be our customers.

For the past four years, to be honest with you, I have sustained my events management business by solely utilizing Facebook advertising. But even with this, I was inspired since I was excited by the fact that there was still a lot to learn (yes, I know… such a nerd! Learning excites me!). We all have a lot to learn. But I believe that if we learn more about all of these things, we can continuously give value where that value is needed.

Hope this article inspired you to learn more! Indeed, mobile moves business!