Digital Marketing Hacks

SEO Good Guys – Why Keyword Rankings aren’t Everything

I had an interesting exchange with Marcus, who’s an SEO consultant from SEOGoodGuys.Sg. He’s one of the SEOs in Singapore I look up (that’s because he writes his own content in a way that’s understandable, and I think that’s extremely rare amongst a lot of the digital marketers in Singapore)

SEO Good Guys 02

There are a lot of pointers that can be learned form our email discussion, take note of how Marcus talks about digital marketing/ SEO as something holistic, repurposing content for multi purposes from social media to SEO. Take not of the key performance indicators used to measure the success of an SEO campaign.

Email Exchange with SEO Good Guys 


How would you track the success of an SEO campaign then for your clients, if you don’t use exact keywords? I know rank brain and hummingbird plays a role, and writing content around 1 keyword may/ may not get you ranked for a similar search query.  

I’m asking that because 1) I think keywords in Singapore are limited as compared to our Western counterparts 2) It’s an easy KPI for clients to understand. 

Curious to know what you think. I’ll try to browse your site, find the article and send it over.

SEO Good Guys:

Keywords are important! Not sure where you saw that I said keywords arent that important. Can you point it out to me so maybe I can rephrase it better?

Perhaps I meant “tracking keywords” as a key metric for SEO success is not that important. I don’t like it when people put too much stock into tracking specific keywords as a determination of a successful SEO campaign. 

Another way to look at it is also because due to Rankbrain and Hummingbird, exact “keywords” that SEOs are used to are not longer as important track. More and more factors go into rank signals, and I find that keywords itself is a very old fashioned and granular way of thinking of SEO, so perhaps that what I *think* i meant as keywords aren’t that important nowadays?

P.s. I still do keyword research and I think it’s still important to have keywords in the document though. 

What are your opinions on this?



I take a different approach, which is tracking purely keyword rankings. 

This is why: 

  1. Outreach to media outlets can be tiring (unless you’ve account for cost and time involved) 
  2. If conversions is your KPI, then persuasive copywriting (not just SEO) comes into play (do you do that?)
  3. I think evergreen content may be different from social content. What’s shared mostly isn’t informative, but popular. 

Here’s the problem: 

  1. Educating the client that it’s a holistic strategy at the end of the day, and charging the right price for it. 
  2. I have actually no knowledge when it comes to PBNs, however, I do track my progress using exact match keywords/ Google webmaster/ Google analytics and the usual

 Here’s what I think it’s another deeper problem: 

  1. I think there isn’t much of a back linking culture in Singapore. (I might be wrong, but I’ve done a little bit of outreach, I think so far you’re the only active SEO blogger in Singapore, I’ve also tracked the backlink profiles of most agencies, they largely consist of PBNs) 
  2. How can you compete against other agencies/ consultants that promise keyword rankings and use a PBN method to go about it

However, I definitely do agree that evergreen, holistic (Western methods) are the way to go. I’m a huge fan of Brian Dean. He’s a world class content marketer/ SEO. However, to take that and practice it in Singapore’s industry, I feel that’s still a far shot. 

SEO Good Guys:

Hi Marcus,

My personal feeling is that focusing too much on keywords for success is not a good thing.

I do track a list of keywords as a secondary metric. More of a vanity metric and a “feel shiok” factor only. Better KPIs are traffic growth, leads generated, revenue growth, and other conversion metrics. 

I think focusing too much on exact keywords tracking dilutes the more holistic benefits of well-done SEO though.

I.e. if a client only wants to see keyword rankings rise for one exact keyword, a grey-er SEO might find success by just pumping PBN links with some exact keyword anchor text + some generic keywords anchortext. Doing SEO this way can work, and probably will lead to keyword ranking rise for that exact keyword. But this only benefits SEO, and has some risk involved.

But if I’m the client looking for SEO, I would prefer more holistic business strategies. I would prefer to create one evergreen content that can be repurposed for social + other channels. Then I would prefer actual outreach to media outlets and other blogs to cover me. I might get non-optimized backlinks, but I get actual exposure and coverage, not to mention real people knowing about my business.

So I’ll get SEO traffic, referral traffic, social traffic, networking opportunities, etc. Now, as the SEO guy that executed this strategy, I want to take credit for ALL these benefits, not just the “keyword ranking”.

Some Questions I posed to SEO Good Guys

  1. Outreach to media outlets can be tiring (unless you’ve account for cost and time involved) 

    SEO Good Guys: 

    Yes, that’s why its expensive, and outreach campaigns are expensive, but great for long term ROI. 

  2. If conversions is your KPI, then persuasive copywriting (not just SEO) comes into play (do you do that?) 

    SEO Good Guys:I don’t track conversion rate. That’s not the role of SEO, but I track number of conversions. Thats why if you track conversions, you can work backwards to estimate the amount of traffic needed. if you rely too heavily on exact keywords and keyword search volumes, you’ll find that even ranking number 1 for exact keywords can’t get you the traffic, and can’t get you the conversions. It’s like ranking number 1 for “seo singapore”. It’s cool, but so much of the search demand came from SEOs searching for those. Intent is not fully there.
    Take singapore for example. Search volumes are low. What’s the point of ranking number 1 for certain keywords if the traffic from getting number 1 can’t even generate the leads required to cover the cost of SEO. (just one scenario that might explain why keyword ranking isn’t that important) Are you going to track 100 keywords for the 100 long tail variations of that core keyword? 

  3. I think evergreen content may be different from social content. What’s shared mostly isn’t informative, but popular.SEO Good Guys:You are right. But i was using that as an example only. How certain content can be repurposed.


  4. I think there isn’t much of a back linking culture in Singapore. (I might be wrong, but I’ve done a little bit of outreach, I think so far you’re the only active SEO blogger in Singapore, I’ve also tracked the backlink profiles of most agencies, they largely consist of PBNs)SEO Good Guys:Yes You are right. It’s harder to get backlinks from singaporeans, but at the same time, generally and relatively speaking, it takes less backlinks to rank in Singapore. (im not that active in blogging about SEO already. unlike you! admire your work ethic man!)


  5. How can you compete against other agencies/ consultants that promise keyword rankings and use a PBN method to go about it It’s tough, but its about client education.SEO Good Guys:I can choose who I want to work with. I want to work with clients long term, and who appreciates the effort i put in. If  they ask for guarantees and only want keyword ranking results, I might not work with them. It’s about finding the fit. Also, the people who approach me for help typically got sick of working with agencies.

It’s really about your SEO philosophy. Is SEO a standalone thing in a business that you try and focus efforts on just to boost SEO? Or is SEO part of a larger marketing thing that you need to make sure all efforts complement one another. (If your client is building a long term business and brand, do they want crappy content all over the net or their blog? Do they want to take the risk of competitors reporting them to Google for buying links?)

You can spend $500 to buy one extremely powerful link from a private seller, so that this $500 link boosts your SEO only, or, spend $500 to contact 10 bloggers and tell them about your exclusive $50 vouchers that they can give to their readers. (just a simple example)

P.s. By the way do i work with some low budget clients that I just focus on traffic and keyword rankings, because they are constrained by their budget. 

I really think I’m more of a SEO guy with a more macro and holistic approach to SEO. The other agencies I work with know me more as a SEO specialist, but I think as I “matured”, I believe I have to think of marketing in a broader perspective. Though my true passion is always the nerdy side of SEO.  

I’ve got a few clients in the past where I ranked top 1-5 for them for extremely competitive and high volume keywords. Spending thousands of dollars to get the top rankings, but end up the client didn;t get the number of leads they expected. I got them the ranking results, but I didn’t feel happy with myself. That was when I was so focused on the SEO side, that I neglected the other marketing side. Some lessons learnt.

 Yeah so now I do quite a lot of expectation management before the client works with me. Set realistic goals and metrics to track based on their resources.

Final Thoughts 

The SEO and digital marketing landscape is still backwards in Singapore in many ways in Singapore. However, if you’re aiming for conversion, branding and ultimately, SALES, SEO isn’t enough.

You’ll need to understand the psychology and language of your audience, and understand that digital marketing is a combination of many aspects ranging from technical SEO to persuasive copywriting.

I cover these topics in my SEO course.

Thoughts on How SEO is Practiced in Singapore

I’m always fascinated by how SEO is practiced in Singapore, and have some unique thoughts about it.

This is partly because I’m always interested how can I outsmart my competition.

Search engine optimization currently still a wild wild west scene in Singapore. Some people use methods such as the purchase of links, some use grey hat methods, some create kick ass content and etc.

This is coming from someone who has attended SEO courses from two well known gurus in Singapore. I’ve also tracked the backlink profiles of many of my competitors, from SEO agencies, SEO consultants to digital marketing agencies.

Purchase of Backlinks/ Unethical Methods

Firstly, I’m convinced that the majority of SEO is done through the purchase of backlinks, through private blog networks and etc.

This is because there isn’t really a back linking culture in Singapore. We just don’t have it. We don’t do guest posts. There aren’t many bloggers (if not at all) in different niches.

This is why some SEO agencies often reach out the bloggers in unrelated niches to do a product placement or guest post, and then placing their keywords in the content, linking back to their site.

This is utterly tedious. Why do all that liaising work when you can simply purchase links?

Grey Hat Methods

Secondly, you have the grey hat methods, such as page rank sculpting, page rank passing (including anchor text links in your footer) and getting one client to link to another, hence, passing ‘page rank’.

This is a method that’s commonly used amongst SEO agencies.

It’s an unfortunate thing that bloggers, agencies and platforms do not really have back linking culture here in Singapore. However, content is more and more becoming a huge factor in some sites such as The Smart Local, e27.CO and etc.

The Future of SEO: Content Marketing, Right Information, Right Structure and Persuasive Content

The future of SEO is going to be much more holistic going forward. Google is merely going to get smarter.

I personally think SEOs in Singapore should pay attention to:

For local SEO in Singapore, I don’t think you need to create an ultimate guide, promote it like hell, just to get ranked for some keywords. Proper content, relevant backlinks from directories, media outlets, and the right UX and site structure can go far in helping you increase site traffic and most importantly, conversions.

I hope to write more about my thoughts on SEO/ digital marketing in Singapore, and how all of us can improve as an industry.

Customers That’ll Never Buy from You and How to Overcome It

Marcus, I’ll start an SEO campaign with you soon/ next week/ next month’, can you draft out a proposal?

I’ve drafted out proposals, attended meetings and had no sales after hours/ days invested into a potential project.

Now, I understand not every lead that comes through is going to be a potential customer. However, you waste hours and hours preparing, investing, psychologically, in time and effort for the potential project.

If you’re like me, you don’t like wasting time and you don’t like false hopes. You also don’t like to chase customers, making yourself seem like a hard sell.

Here are some of the patterns you notice after a couple of years in sales.

People who are outraged at your price

People who compare your quotation with other quotations. There’s nothing wrong with comparing quotations.

However, it’s stupid to compare quotations without asking: why is your service more expensive than others? 

‘Marcus, they are charging only $500 a month, I can’t buy from you because yours is more than his.’

Price is what you pay, value is what you get. If you’re always looking for the cheapest solution, I recommend Google. It’s free.

I never made a decision based on price. I invested in premium SEO courses and digital marketing courses because I knew they worked.

People who take more than a week to make a purchasing decision

The majority of my freelancing deals and sales are closed within a couple of days of negotiation.

If any business owner takes more than week to make a purchase decision, it’s more or less likely he won’t purchase from you within that period of time.

I’m extremely tight with my time. I don’t like traveling an hour into the city, setting up a 2 hour meeting with a potential client, drafting out proposals, contracts, doing back end research, and then only for negotiations to draw out for weeks with little or no follow up.

Introducing Genuine Scarcity

You need people to take action within a period of time. I figured that you can’t even people to abundance of time to make a decision.

This can be done by:

  • Only opening up your services for a period of time.
  • Serving only a limited number of clients at one point of time
  • Only discounting your price for a period of time.

You end to decide as a company to only serve a limited number of customers at a time and stick to it.

You’ll also need to communicate this to your client.

You can always use this line: ‘I’m not right for everybody.’

Introducing Applications, Qualifying and Disqualifying Clients

Services like SEO require a lot of time. There’s so much effort, time and preparation involved.

Hence, you’ll need to qualify and disqualify clients. I know that in the Singapore industry, not a single SEO consultant or expert is doing it currently it that way, however, I want to be the first SEO agency to make clients apply to work with me.

How Can These be Done?

Nonetheless, you’ll need to be great at your craft to apply these couple of strategies in your sales presentation.

  • Be good at what you do
  • Communicate that effectively through effective copywriting
  • Communicate that effectively in person

If you’re an entrepreneur, consultant and sales person, you’ll need to figure out the potential clients from the time sinks in the shortest time possible. This way, you’ll save a lot of time, save more time on consulting hours and is able to maximize your time effectively.

The Guide to Working From Home to Twice Your Productivity

I went into the digital marketing space for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, I wanted to have the freedom to manage projects off my laptop, Secondly, I also thought it’s a great way to save time and cost on transport. However, throughout the years, I made different adjustments to the ‘work from home’ lifestyle to keep myself active, fit, emotionally, psychologically and mentally.

The Time and Cost Saved When Working from Home

  • No colleagues

Advantages: You don’t waste time chit chatting on silly things. If you’re a one man operations, you don’t have to waste time on politics. It’s about fixing important KPIs and hitting it.

Disadvantages: You’re all your own. It gets lonely some times. Whilst others relax after work with an after work drinks, it’s on you to keep yourself social with others on your calendar.

  • Shorter traveling time

I started off working from home, however, I realized that home isn’t a good location to work out from. That’s because of some psychological barrier I myself face. It could be because I’m living with parents, or because I’m undisciplined at home.

I found myself a lot more productive at coffee shops such as Starbucks.

So yes, I save a lot of time on commute because I pick a Starbucks that’s nearer to my place. However, when it comes to meeting clients, I share a meeting room with an already operating business. You can negotiate, value add to their organization and broker out a deal that’s a win-win.

The Psychology of Working from Home: How to Master the Art of Working from Home

  1. Working in Short Bursts

It’s researched that the best way to be productive is to work on short sprints, no long, drawn out marathon sessions.

  1. Strictly keeping to project deadlines and due dates 

I used to have a military boss that only allowed his staff to leave 530pm on the dot even though many times, the job was done by 3-4pm. The one-and-a-half-hour wastage daily compounded to hours and hours of inefficient usage of time.

However, if you’re an entrepreneur working from home, you get to reduce inefficiencies, dictate your own life. However, on the other hand, you MUST strictly keep to project deadlines and due dates. That’s the only way your business and life will be functional because you have so much freedom in your lifestyle.

  1. Exercise

It’s important to schedule in exercise, a swim, a gym session when working from home. Because your desk is your office, you’re pretty much going to be really immobile for hours and hours. Exercise helps you keep fit and mentally sharp.

Fun fact: I gained a total of 5 kilograms ever since I started ‘working from home’. 

  1. Planning Out Social activities

Working from home can be quite isolating. Scheduling social activities in your calendar weekly is crucial to keeping yourself emotionally fulfilled.

This is extremely important for me. If your friends can’t relate to your ideas, I recommend joining entrepreneurial conferences, events and more. 

  1. Knowing When to Call it quits for the day

It’s entirely up to me how much I want to work for the day. I can go on till late at night, I can come home and continue working on a project. There’s no boss to ask me what to do, there’s no boss to tell me to stop doing it.

Human productivity diminished after a certain period of time. When you take time off to invest in other areas of your life, you’re actually helping with your productivity in the long run.

People That Work from Home 

In Singapore, it’s not really common to hear of employers allowing their employees to work from home.

However, people that work from home are mostly:

Consultants with Skills in Demand

  • SEO consultants
  • Digital marketing consultants
  • Web design consultants
  • Email marketing consultants
  • Copywriting consultants
  • Social media consultants
  • Entrepreneurs and business owners

They are a group of people attempting the ‘new rich’, someone who define success as doing what you want, from wherever you want, and on your own terms.

These group of people often have skills that are high in demand. There’s a research from Stanford business school that suggests that people are happier and more productive when working from home.

Or, if you’re someone that desires to partake in the ‘new rich’ lifestyle, what skills can you acquire to help you reach this lifestyle?

Personally, I’ve deeply invested in digital marketing courses from entrepreneurial courses to SEO courses over the last 6 years, so that I can reach this lifestyle.

What can you do?

How to Make Money Online with Integrity

The almost impossible question: how to make money online? When I read the book 4 Hour Work Week, I was determined to figure out how to get around this. Over the year, I figured there are a multitude of ways you can go about. 

Stage 1: Freelancing

I started off as an SEO consultant in Singapore who took in freelance projects for a retainer fee of $1500 a month for a period of 6 months. I would then manage the projects off a laptop and communicate with my clients through email. It was that simple.

However, freelancing meant that I couldn’t pick my clients, and my income was capped at a freelancer level. It got frustrating after a certain and I decided to launch my own business. I also re-invested into digital marketing courses, that explored other models of making money online.

Stage 2: Starting Your Own Consulting Business

So, what are some business models you can start that don’t involve selling scammy Clickbank products?

Here are some ideas:

  • SEO consulting business
  • Web design business
  • Copywriting
  • Email Marketing

Get leads through your website, consult/ coach them through Skype, or hire a sales person in your country of residence for sales. Charge them a retainer, communicate with your client through Skype or email.

However, when you start your business, you’ll need to understand business concepts such as getting your first paying client, positioning, systems and customer service. It isn’t as easy as you think. It requires an advance level of knowledge.

Stage 3: Starting Your Own Online Business

Now, let’s get to the biggest monster of online businesses. These are business models that drive the most revenue and have the biggest upsides. They are the E Commerce and online courses models.

  • E Commerce

I’ve a friend who made 6 figures in a month from affiliate marketing. He drives traffic from sites such as Facebook to different products to different audiences, and tests for profitability. I don’t really know the technical details behind creating an E Commerce store, however, it exists, and you can try it.

  • Online Courses

Online courses are a model I’ve been delving into. Growthlab, created by Ramit Sethi does a great job at breakdown how to create online courses. Information products are often low cost and easier to produce.

How to Make Money Online: The Successful Mindset of an Entrepreneur

I went 3 years as a student/ wantrepreneur/ freelancer. There are mindsets you need to adopt to become a successful entrepreneur in general, whether it’s making money online or running an offline business. 


  • Goes out and tests business ideas in a low cost manner
  • Invests in his own entrepreneurial education such as digital marketing skillsets
  • Creates content
  • Calm and deliberate
  • Build systems
  • Tracks progress
  • Obsessed with getting results for clients


  • Never tests out a single idea for the fear of failure
  • Consumes blog posts after blog posts
  • Doesn’t invest in skillsets
  • Frazzled, stressed out and overwhelmed
  • Doesn’t rely on systems, but is all over the place
  • Doesn’t track progress and key performance indicators
  • Boasts about his making money, instead of getting results for clients

The psychology of entrepreneurship is extremely important, I didn’t take note of this until I found myself procrastinating, not meeting deadlines for months and years on. 

Tool Kits Required to Making Money Online 

I use this to liase with clients, do sales calls and previews.

Google drive allows you to share files. It’s great for project management.

I use Vodien, a Singapore based host, since I’m based in Singapore.

Guides on How to Make Money Online with Integrity

  • Growthlab

Growthlab creates kick butt advice on copywriting, monetization and gives awesome business systems advice. Their free material is better than a lot of paid material out there. You can learn a lot just by reading the blog posts and signing up for their newsletter.


  1. Email marketing
  2. Copywriting
  3. Entrepreneurship
  4. Business systems
  • Backlinko

Backlinko outranks many of their international competitors when it comes to SEO from Wikipedia to Forbes. They also started as a one man show, their founder being Brian Dean. They’ve create a system for content creation and promotion, which is what I like about their approach towards SEO.


  1. SEO
  2. Content marketing

Or you can check out our SEO course.

Sit Back and Rethink: Systems To Grow a Remarkable Business

Over the last month, I’ve gotten a couple requests from a couple of friends and family to handle their SEO campaign as an SEO consultant.

I charge a retainer fee for my SEO services and if those projects go through, it can take my income potentially to more than a full time degree holder in Singapore along side with my other project (also marketed with SEO).

Whilst I may be excited to get started on projects and increase my business revenue, I’m wary that I may fall into a rut.

That’s because, I knew if I didn’t have systems, I would burn out and I wouldn’t be building a truly remarkable business.

What do I mean by that?

To be honest, I don’t really enjoy performing SEO services for other companies, unless it’s for a much greater amount that I’m charging right now. There’s also so many nuances of digital marketing that I can value add as a consultant, hence, in my opinion, my clients are actually hiring me for more value than they are paying for.

That’s also because SEO takes a long time, it requires so much groundwork.

I actually prefer teaching SEO.

When I got into entrepreneurship, I mostly ignored business systems because I only focused on the marketing aspect of my business projects, however, as I get more requests, I’m going to have to sit back, rethink the systems involved. 

Business Systems 

Basically, business systems include how many company functions, from executives, freelancers, shareholders, investors and growth. It’s NOT just about hard work, it’s about systems.  

  • How am I going to manage different projects and different niches?
  • How am I going to communicate with all of them, through email? Through Telegram?
  • Is my client going to provide me with their content?
  • If I’m going to outsource content, what is the quality of content required?

Product Pricing

Every business needs to price their products RIGHT. It needs to be justifiable to the COST, TIME, EFFORT put in.

  • If I hired SEO consultants to help me with my projects, am I making enough money myself?
  • How many projects can an SEO consultant handle in a month?
  • Revenue: 2000 retainer fees X 3 projects = 6000 a month
  • Cost of consultant: 3000 a month
  • Is the cost of hiring justifiable? 

Business Positioning

If you’re in business, and you don’t asking yourself this question: how am I better and different from my comepetitors on a daily basis, you’re going to go out of business extremly fast. That’s the whole idea of positoning.

  • How can I raise prices, get lesser clients, and increase revenue?
  • How can I differentiate my SEO services?
  • The leaders in my industry charge 25000 – 60000 per project, how can I get there?
  • Can you innovate from the current framework that you are using?
  • Instead of a client/ customer relationship, are there potential collaborations that can come out of this arena?

Sit Back and Rethink 

Have you ever wondered why billionaires become billionaires? If you think they did it all by themselves, you’re wrong. They got there because they rely on systems, strategy and human capital to get the job done for them.

Warren Buffet proudly claims that he spends most of his days reading, as opposed to doing.

Ultimately, I don’t just see myself as an SEO consultant. I’m an entrepreneur. Digital marketing is merely a gateway into entrepreneurship.

It’s important for you sit back and rethink your business, as much as your digital marketing campaigns.

Eg. Can you better copy on your service pages be improved and optimized to improve conversions and lead generation?

Yes, you can.

You can always perform deep customer research. You can always hire a direct response copywriter.

There are many ways to go out optimizing, redoing and refining the many aspects of your business. Maybe you don’t need that many administrative staff as you required. Maybe there are overhead costs that aren’t required at all.

How can you increase profit, reduce cost, whilst keeping your customers and clients happy?

If Everybody Did SEO, Wouldn’t Everybody be the Same?

Interesting question I got about SEO as a marketing strategy when I was talking about my business during Chinese New Year visits.

‘What if everybody did the same thing as you did, wouldn’t your strategy be ineffective?’

  1. Everybody had equal access to lectures and tutorials in school, why do some people perform and why do some don’t?
  2. Index funds are shown to have a track record of 10 years and more. People still invest in bird nest, gold, bitcoin, mutual funds or not start an investment account at all.

My point is. Everybody knows what they should do, but they NEVER do it.

You see.

Something I learned about persuasion is:

People don’t want to learn about digital marketing. They want to learn how to get rich or quit their jobs. These are their hopes, fears and dreams.

People don’t want to hire an SEO consultant. They want their business to ‘magically’ be prosperous the next day.

People will never subject themselves to education. Then again, education isn’t enough. I know many people that attend a SEO course, and never really test out the methods. Implementation and execution are two different things. 

How You Can be More Persuasive

In my opinion, digital marketing is a great entrepreneurial skillset. Not only you can start you own projects, you’re pretty much able to value add almost any commercial organization.

Name me a company that doesn’t more leads and enquires for their business.


However, how can you communicate to your audience that getting found on Google through search engine optimization is a low cost and effective strategy?

That’s the trick.

How to Commit to Making Your Business Profitable 02

How to Commit to Making Your Business Profitable

I remembered deleting my project because of the quality of content produced at that point of time.

However, in hindsight, I could have merely pivoted from there, and not deleted the whole frigging project! If I had merely pivoted then, I would have had my commercial keywords such as SEO course and SEO consultant ranked by now.

Time Line of How Long I Took

How to COMMIT to Making Your Business Profitable

Started: June 2016
Deleted Everything: Somewhere Inbetween
Starting Optimizing Again: October 2017

If I had persisted, and commited to starting this digital marketing course company in June 2016, I would have had far more progress January 2017. Instead, I freaked out, deleted everything, and called it a day.

It took me years and years, to be confident of myself and commit to making it in a project. It takes approximately 6 months to see results in SEO. Can you commit to the 6 months without backtracking?

This is why the psychology of growing your business is equally, and if not MORE important than tactics and strategies.

Execution is more Important than Knowledge: 

Here’s what many people say on a day to day life:

‘I SHOULD ask her out’
‘I SHOULD open an investment account’
‘I SHOULD start a business’
‘I SHOULD be practicing my accounting homework’

Courage and willpower are limited. Human motivation is a fascinating topic.

‘Just putting your mind’ to it is stupid fvcking advice. It’s hard to perform in what you’re not interested in.

However, assuming you are working on something your interested in. 

How do Your Friends Perceive You?

The people around you make and break your life, in every single aspect.

It’s simply not enough to read the books. Your identity, habits will be very much influenced by people you associate yourself with. People talk about willpower all the time. It’s utter rubbish. This is psychologically researched.

Our culture, friends, family and influences determine a great deal of how all of us behave in:

  1. Wealth
  2. Relationships

Our identity is intrinsically tied to how you are accepted amongst your peers, friends and family.

Since this blog is about entrepreneurship, how can you redefine yourself amongst your friends and family in this area of your life?

How can you build systems around your life, so that you’ll form the right habits when it comes to entrepreneurship.

How can you create simple systems in your life to make sure that you continue on track with your business progress?

This can be as simple as making sure you publish three times on your website a week and track your traffic progress for the next 6 months. Entrepreneurship is lonely and difficult. Sometimes you’re all alone in Starbucks for the entire day. How can you stay motivated and productive?

I’ll be writing a lot more about these concepts in the near future.

Why I’ll NEVER Give Kickbacks in Business or Sales

Yesterday, I found myself in an interesting conversation that confirmed my suspicions on the laziness of how people conduct their business practices.

Here’s the conversation:

Me: ‘The reason why I didn’t enjoy working for my previous company is because they ran their business on kickbacks and commissions, it didn’t make any sense to me.’

Her: ‘Kickbacks and commissions are normal on the commercial world. It’s normal that entertainment expenses go up to 6 thousand a night.’

Me: ‘Well, I disagree. There are ways to go about it that don’t require kickbacks or commissions.’

Her: ‘You’d better sticking to being a psychologist them (I had just finished a class on psychology), and not go into the commercial world.’

I wanted to bring up Jack Ma’s example of how choose he fired two of his biggest account managers who received kickbacks, despite bringing in the majority of the company’s revenue.

Jack Ma on How he Fire Two Employees:

The Real Reason Why You’re Giving Kickback: Laziness

Here’s what I really thought:

She never bothered to craft out a unique selling proposition for her company and products. She never bothered to look into different marketing strategies such as SEO, Facebook marketing or other strategies.

There’s no narrative behind her products and services. She probably didn’t know the concept of positioning and assumed that every sale is made on commission and kickbacks.

Through my days as a freelance SEO consultant in Singapore, I have never once offered kickbacks or took in clients that used my competitor’s prices as a manner of negotiating the price of my services.

Secondly, if you’re constantly giving out kick backs, your profit margin goes down. If you’re constantly blowing your credit card bill on entertainment expenses, your profit margin goes down.

You’re not really a competitive business. You’re only getting sales because you’re giving your clients cashback benefits.

There are so many ways to compete and differentiate

The opposite of laziness is excellence. They are so many ways you can differentiate, increase market reach for your business. If you’re not putting in the time to figure this out, you’re merely being lazy.

When was the last time you invested in your own education in business?

I’m pretty sure that lady haven’t read a single blog article or attended any business class in the last 6 months.

‘I want to make a million dollars, but I won’t read a book to know how to get there’. It’s an extremely common mindset.

Here are a couple of articles you can steal to differentiate yourself:

Hopefully, with these, you’ll have honor in how you conduct your business practices, and not rely on kickbacks or commissions for sales.

I teach all of this in my SEO course.

What Mr Lee Kuan Yew Can Teach You about Writing Great Copy

What Mr Lee Kuan Yew Can Teach You about Writing Great Copy

Writing great copy is about persuasion to action. You can study great copy by studying great persuaders, politicians and business leaders of your time. Since I’m Singaporean, there’s no need to look further than Singapore’s first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Like him or hate him, he’s a master of persuasion.

Like it or not, you’ll need to be persuasive in how your write your content, to convert readers into buyers. I always tell my clients this as an SEO consultant. This is why I also include copywriting as a concept in my SEO course. 

Mr Lee Kuan Yew Giving a Speech: Youths Don’t Know What it’s Like to be Poor

Copywriting Skillset 1: Specific and Vivid Descriptions

Great copy relies on specific and vivid descriptions. If you noticed, Mr Lee Kuan Yew is always using specific, real life and vivid descriptions to get his message across. Instead of relying on some esoteric statistical data, he uses real life, day to day examples.

Some of his quotes from this speech:

‘Your grandfather probably worked harder than your father.’
‘Had we not had people with that ruggedness, that robust attitude, we’ll make it, do or die, we won’t have today’s Singapore.’
‘I’m not sure if I went back with 1959, and started with today’s generation, bred and brought up in comfort where there’s no discomfort with a HDB flat with an air conditioner, and there’s a covered walkway.’

Copywriting Skillset 2:  Passing the Bar Stool Test

Secondly, your copy has to pass the bar stool test. It has to be as simple as talking to a friend over a beer at a bar. Forget about writing like a professor. Write like a layman. That’s great copy.

Here are some quotes from his speech:

‘Very few people had homes of their own. In Chinatown, you have cubicles 8 or 10 people in the room sharing 4 bunks. Because they do shift work. Save money.’

‘So Lim Kim Shang, once went to a HDB cubicle and asked a man who was covering himself with a blanket. So he asked him why? He said because his friend was using his trousers.’

‘If you lived in those conditions and you get a flat with one room, communal bath room and communal kitchen, running hot and cold water. From that you go to a three and fourth room flats to executive condominiums, just like how you go from a bottom of the ship to the deck of a ship.’

‘As I flew over to New Zealand, I watched the green fields, the sheep, and the cows, and the small little houses dotted around. 3 million people there. I thought to myself, if come back in a hundred years, I’ll see the same scene.’

You can see that Mr Lee Kuan Yew uses a combination of simple and ‘big words’, with numbers, to get his message across.

Copy Skillset 3: Write to Your Reader

Lastly, you’ll need to write to your reader. Great copy uses the ‘you’, a lot more than the word ‘I’. You’ll see that in Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s speech, he uses ‘you’ and ‘we’ a lot more than ‘I’.

 ‘Many of the parents who are living in the HDB flats. They understood like the people in Chinatown. They understood what it’s like to be poor. Today’s children do not understand what it’s like the be poor.’

‘And no other country does that. But we have ministers out of 3 million people who can talk  to Chinese ministers, American secretary of state, secretary of treasury or any European nation at the same level intellectually, and we’re not inferior to them.’

‘Now we need these 2 things, then you got today’s Singapore. Then we got this cultural hall. Then you can sit down and talk about what will happen in 50 years. Otherwise, you’ll be scratching a living. So please don’t forget that’.

Learning Great Copy from the Masters of Persuasion

You don’t need to be chaneling Ogilvy twenty four seven to be a good copywriter. You can pay attention to masterful persuaders all around you. One other great example is Donald Trump, who arguably persuaded his way into becoming the President of the United States.

Perhaps in a future article I’ll do a write up on how Donald Trump uses his words, and how you can improve your copy, using Donald Trump’s speeches.

What do you think? Let me know.