Digital Marketing Hacks

Focus On One for Your First 6 Months - The Rest is Noise 01

Focus On One for Your First 6 Months – The Rest is Noise

The majority of entrepreneurs attempt to do everything at one go. This is especially when it comes to digital marketing. I always tell my clients and students as an SEO consultant, you should always only focus on ONE keyword to rank for in your first 6 months.

This is to prevent tactical marketing hell.

Focus On One for Your First 6 Months - The Rest is Noise

Mindset: Focus On One

When it comes to search engine keywords, you should only focus on a slightly easier keyword.

This is accomplished by frontloading your work and doing your research way before hand.

Through researching and laying your keywords on a spread sheet, you can determine which keywords are duplicates, which one are easier to target, and which ones to target 6 months down the road.

Here’s my advice for starting out entrepreneurs:

  • Focus on one commercial keyword

That’s it. You should not be greedy and try to target all keywords at a go. I made that mistake, and didn’t get any keywords ranked after months. 

Dive Deep: The Different Aspects of Digital Marketing 

Secondly, there’s a lot to learn just by optimizing one web page. When people come to your site, how many of them convert into leads or customers?

This is simply understood with these 2 topics, that are highly related to digital marketing:

  • Positioning

Positioning is what the market thinks of you and how you compare to the loads of other choices in the market.

  • Copywriting

Copywriting is the ability to take positioning, and accentuate it out in words in your web page.

I teach both of these in my SEO course, that’s how I position myself against all other digital marketing firms and SEO companies.

Last Words

Lastly, I’ll just like to remind you, focus on ranking ONE commercially valuable keyword for your first 6 months.

  • Track your conversions
  • Optimize your conversions
  • Write better copy, come out with a better positioning

The rest is just noise.

How to Figure out Who is Your Paying Customers 01

How to Figure out Who are Your Paying Customers?

Customers make or break your business. You can have the best business idea, with the best products, with zero pay clients, you’re still going to fail horrible. I learned this the hard way where I entered a dating and relationship coaching market in Singapore.

Here’s the huge subtlety:

There’s a huge demand for relationship advice. However, there’s almost zilch demand for social skills coaching.

Your paying clients should have:

Filter 1: Ability to Pay

When I first started my business, I was getting emails from national service men and men in their early twenties. I soon realized whilst these people were enthusiastic about learning more, they had no ability to pay.

They’d rather scrimp and use the free information that can be found on the web. Nothing wrong with that. However, I needed to switch target audiences. 

Filter 2: Willingness to Pay  

Secondly, your clients must have the willingness to pay. Yes, according to Google reports and some market research, relationship advice has a surmountable demand in Singapore. However, do these people who read relationship advice have a willingness to pay for professional coaching?

Not really. Yet again, market research backs this up.

This is why defining your target audience way head of time helps with your positioning and copywriting.

The Teardowns of my Digital Marketing Company 

Here are Pink Elephant Consultancy, I teach SEO courses and SEO services.

Here are the possible markets and target audience: 

SEO Course:

  • Employees of small medium enterprises

They come to training under these SMEs. These SMEs have an ability and willingness to pay.

  • Want to be entrepreneurs

These people are probably employees looking to become entrepreneurs themselves. SEO is a great skillset to have for an entrepreneur.

  • Real estate agents

Real estate agents can target keywords on Google to generate leads.

  • Start up founders

Start up founders are often cash strapped, and require low cost marketing activities. SEO is a great way to market their products and services.

SEO Services:

  • Established small medium enterprise who have a clear Google demand and value digital marketing

Notice, I didn’t say start ups in this section because most start ups do NOT have the ability pay for a 6 month retainer fee when it comes to SEO services. I also included: clear Google demand, arguably there are businesses that do NOT require SEO or digital marketing for business growth.

Lastly, I also wrote: that value digital marketing.

That’s because many traditional SMEs in Singapore do not see the value of digital marketing. If you don’t see the value of something, it’s highly likely that you’re not going to pay for it. Hence, these companies aren’t part of my target audience.

This was so crucial as an SEO consultant. I needed to find businesses that VALUED digital marketing, and wouldn’t underprice or under value my work.

How can You Write Mouth Watering Copy to Persuade them to Purchase?

Once you understand who your paying clients are, you can write your sales pages to persuade them to purchase from you.

This is MUCH MUCH more efficient as compared to writing for EVERYBODY.

This is also done by frontloading your work, and understanding who your target audience is: namely, your paying customers! You can figure out their pain points, hopes and dreams. You can get specific about their issues.

For example, an office furniture retailer in Singapore is only able to close huge one time projects, instead of having consistent cash flows from regular customers.

That is his pain point. Hence, SEO is able to provide consistent leads and cash flow for his business.

How about the business owner is consistently innovating on her product, as opposed as focusing on marketing?

He/ she doesn’t understand the value of digital marketing, and hence, will not be willing to shell out for digital marketing services. However, through education, persuasion, she MAY be more open to my services.

However, she isn’t my target audience. That’s because her primary focus is on product innovation, and not marketing. She has the ability to pay, but not the WILLINGNESS.

When you create a business, you should be addressing the hopes, fears and dreams of people who have the willingness AND ability to pay.

How to Get Over the Fear of Content Promotion 01

How to Get Over the Fear of Content Promotion

I’ve never considered guest blogging as an SEO strategy in my earlier days as an SEO consultant because Singapore generally doesn’t have a guest writing culture.

I’ve also reached out to some major publications and most they wanted a payment for a guest blog post.

However, as I toyed around with online business models, guest writing/ appearing on someone else’s podcast in one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site, hence, capturing email, subscribers and leads.

It’s also one of the best ways to build links, and in particularly, anchor text links.

How to get Over the Fear of Content Promotion 

So, one of the biggest fears I had:

What if they don’t reply?’

Here’s a reframe: ‘As long you’re not being scammy, genuine in your outreach, them not replying is a simple incompatibility’.

You can optimize your outreach by looking for ‘contributors’ or ‘guest blogging’ on their contact us page. There’s a higher chance that they’ll allow guest writers and contributors if they put them up on their website.

Reframe: Put Yourself in the Mind of the Person You are Emailing

Okay, secondly. These people that you’re outreaching to. They are generally busy people. They have content to write, subscribers to build a relationship with, a new product to launch, and much more.

Everyday, people email them asking them for something. Some times for a link, some times to submit a poorly written guest post. They don’t have enough material to post on their site. They’ve created a machine and they need to feed the beast.

However, to overcome this, you can something different.

Firstly, you can make their world’s best pitch to solve their problems.

  • Add massive value

By making you pitch clear and crafting your pitch in a way that adds massive value, you don’t have anything to worry about if they don’t reply or reject you. You’re doing it guilt free.

  • Build a relationship with them

Secondly, don’t treat them like a person you can leech traffic off. You should actually build a relationship with them.

  • Ask for advice

Thirdly, when you ask someone who’s ‘more successful’ for advice, they love it. It’s a form of stroking their ego. When you ask for advice, and take it, they’ll more likely to allow you to guest write on their site.

Mindset 1: Test Your Outreach Emails  

Lastly, by testing out your outreach emails, you can better optimize your outreach for a response. It’s recommended that you send out at least ten emails a week, track your response and follow up.

Some times people miss them in their inbox and you can ping them by writing:

‘Just floating this email to the top of your inbox’.  

Link building is tiring and tedious in SEO. However, link building makes up one of the most important aspects of SEO. There’s no way to ignore it.

One of the easiest, and most efficient way to go about building links is guest blogging on another site. The whole idea of guest writing is: you take a site with more readers and audience than you and you’re driving traffic and links to your site.

Mindset 2: You’re pitching a High Quality Article. It’s a Win-Win.

When your guest blogging, you’re pitching a high quality article to the site. You’re not begging or leeching from anyone. It’s a win-win relationship with a higher probability of paying off for both parties.

Mindset 3: Take the Best Stuff and Put Your Best Content

When people think of guest blogging, they think of just putting up a poorly written article. However, when you put out your best content, you’re going to persuade to hearts and minds of the audience behind the site who is bigger than yours.

You’ll also build a great relationship with the site editor.

When you build a good relationship with the site editor, you’ll open up further opportunities down the road for more guest writing opportunities:

Here’s a good example:

Why Guest Blogging is One of the Best Way to Grow Your Business

Why Guest Blogging is One of the Best Way to Grow Your Business

Pro Tip:

You should try to include anchor text links back to the page you’re attempting to rank for. If I’m attempting to rank for the keyword: SEO expert, then I should include the keyword SEO expert in the guest article and link it back to the page I’m trying to rank for.

Remember, it’s not a failure, just a test. The psychology of business is equally as important as the techniques and strategies.

I teach all of this in my SEO course.

Think Like a CEO – Minimize Your Costs while Getting Customers 01

Think Like a CEO – Minimize Your Costs while Getting Customers

For half a decade, I shifted around the identity of a student, entrepreneur and freelancer.

In all honesty, I was insecure of what I could achieve, by downplaying myself, procrastinating on my projects. I deleted my projects months after months of investing efforts into them, thinking that they would not turn out well despite investing years and tens of thousands into my entrepreneurial education.

This is why:

The psychology of growing a business is equally as important than the skillsets required to run a business itself.

Think Like a CEO – Minimize Your Costs while Getting Customers

When I was a freelance SEO consultant in Singapore, I often got pushed around by my clients. It’s not enough to be a freelancer and compete on price. It’s almost impossible. You need to be different in the way you present your proposal and pitch.

It was close to impossible.  

However, I wasn’t thinking like a CEO. I was thinking from a freelancer perspective. I wasn’t thinking from a business perspective. My sales pitch was poor, and I couldn’t drive my point across.

It’s important to learn from the best, read from the best and surround yourself with the best.

Here’s an interview transcript from someone I respect, and learnt from personally:

Think Like a CEO – Minimize Your Costs while Getting Customers 01


From this interview, you can tell that the most important aspect of business is customers, you need to get customers to purchase your services. No matter your industry is.

Keeping Cost Low 

Here’s another golden nugget:

Think Like a CEO – Minimize Your Costs while Getting Customers 02

If one of the top agencies in Singapore operates out of a co-working space when starting out, why shouldn’t you minimize your start up cost?

I often hear of entrepreneurs start out with huge start up costs: fancy offices, printers, staff and unnecessary costs.

When I was a freelancer, I operated out of Starbucks daily. That’s a $7 per day rent, and $210 per month, inclusive of a cup of warm coffee daily.

In fact, I’m writing this article out of Starbucks.

Secondly, aside from lower your costs and investing in your marketing campaigns. You’ll need to differentiate yourself from the market.

Figure Out Your Positioning Every Single Day

There’s a question I ask myself everyday. How can I be different and better than everyone in the market?

Why would someone learn SEO from me in my SEO course as opposed to my competitors? How can I serve my customers in a way that my competition can’t?

Here are some ideas that you can steal:

  • Copywriting

Yes, you get your traffic from Google. What’s next? It’s to converting those traffic to paying customers. Writing great copy allows that.

Just so you know: I plan to get really good at copywriting.

  • Positioning

The majority of SEO companies are happy to promise Google page 1 rankings for $500 a month.

I’ll never do that.

Here’s what I’ll tell my clients:

  • I’m building you your twenty-four seven salesman that’ll serve you for years and years after, you’ll have to pay premium for that
  • If you aren’t able to afford my SEO services, I recommend going for my SEO course. I teach everything from SEO to copywriting to positioning in my courses.
  • I only serve clients that value my work. Serve the few, great clients. I’ve had troublesome clients in the past. Some times, it’s not worth the work and the money.

Lastly, how can I position myself as a luxury brand? Ever wondered why people pay $7 for a cup of Starbucks?

It’s not that hard to figure.

Branding and brilliant positioning. It’s the attention to details, the lights are slightly deemed, there’s free Wi-Fi, the smell of coffee isn’t too heavy, how Starbucks coffee shops are designed. They are a constant all around the world.

They give you an experience that no other coffee shop brands can give you.

Wow, you never thought how everyday occurrences can be applied to digital marketing right?

Now you know. It’s up to you to minimize your cost, differentiate yourself from the market, and get paying customers.


Should I Document the Journey of Building an Online Business

Should I Document the Journey of Building an Online Business?

I started off with my digital marketing career as an SEO consultant in Singapore, coming from an SEO background.

However, recently, I made a huge investment into learning the ropes of creating an online business.

This means:

  • Creating online products such as online courses
  • Tapping into the entire internet as my potential customer, not limiting myself to local search results

The Learning Curve of Building an Online Business

Here’s what I realized:

The learning curve of starting an online business is HUGE. I also learned a great deal about digital marketing in general just by investing in one course. I had to learn about copywriting, positioning and email marketing.

There are definitely overlaps that can be applied in my SEO consulting business.

The Different Models 

Creating online products aren’t the only way to create online businesses. There are different business models such as launching a consultancy, ranking a website, lead generation that allows you to work off your laptop.

This was one of the reasons why I started Pink Elephant Consultancy. I wanted to be able to handle SEO projects location independently.

Documenting the Journey of Building an Online Business

Whilst I’m keeping my business, providing SEO courses and services to Singapore small medium enterprises, a interesting way to curate content is to document my journey of starting a completely online, online business.

The learning curve is steep and just by documenting my ideas, I’m pretty sure my audience are able to learn something from it.

What do you think?

Marketing Teardown Instagram Story of a Boxing Champion

Marketing Teardown: Instagram Story of a Boxing Champion

I chanced upon an Instagram story and I thought it was interesting how it was written. Recently, I’ve been diving deep into copywriting and positioning.

You can argue, positioning is all of business:

How does the market perceive your products and service competitors as compared to the market?

So what does copywriting got to do with positioning?

Well, copywriting is the art of taking your business’s positioning, and accentuating it.

Marketing Teardown: 1:1 Personal Coaching with a Singapore Boxing Champion

I’m a huge fan of martial arts. Hence, I follow a local boxing champion on Instagram, and from time to time, I click into his Instagram stories.

Here’s what it writes: Marketing Teardown Instagram Story of a Boxing Champion 01

Let’s take a look at this simple copy, and break it down.

‘Because ‘champions’ still need to work to put food on the table. So we are all the same. Unless if you can’t die, then you are special. Hit me up for personal coaching cause if my boxing knowledge can help improve your life, it’s great.

Also, I need money to top up my ezlink, buy food, pay my bulls, buy my morning teh-o/coffee, buy new socks for my fight, buy diapers, pay rent, buy healthy food for my fighr diet, buy tissue for my daily flu/ sinus etc…’

Can you notice something?

The people viewing this Instagram doesn’t care about the fact that he needs money for his daily expenses.

Here’s the rule of thumb: people only care about themselves. It all boils down to: how can you benefit me?

Let’s Take his Copy, Tear it Apart and Make it Twice as Effective

Okay, so, he’s offering 1:1 personalized boxing classes. That’s his pitch. How can boxing improve your life? What do people really care about?

Remember, they care about benefits.

How can you write a short piece of mouth watering copy for 1:1 boxing coaching.

Here’s what I’ll write:

Hit me up for personalized, 1:1 boxing coaching.

  • Feel energized and kick butt through your day
  • Get a customized fun workout that’s laser targeted to help your burn through those stubborn fat
  • You and I are the same. We’re all equal. Train like a world champion today.

I’m opening up 3 spots for 3 special individuals.

For 3 champions.

Direct message me on Instagram NOW.

See the difference?

Now, you’re mastering the psychology of your audience.

No one wakes up and says: I want to help a world champion pay his bills.

Everyone wakes and says:

  • How can I lose weight?
  • How can I attend a fitness class that doesn’t bore me to hell?
  • How can I feel more productive and energized throughout the day?

Copywriting is an Underrated Skill

Copywriting is an underrated skill. I used to IGNORE copywriting for my first three years in digital marketing, only focusing on SEO rankings as an SEO consultant.

I teach all of these in my SEO courses.

Why Facebook Likes are Useless

Why Facebook Likes are Useless and are a ‘Vanity Metric’

Yesterday, I was out at an investment event invited by one of my friends. I was introduced to a friend who was a comic artist. He published his comics on his Facebook page. He needed exposure and went around asking everyone to like his page.

I told him honestly: you’re not going to get anywhere with that strategy. That’s because it’s not targeted. Even if I did like your page, I don’t care about comics, hence my friends probably don’t care about it, I’ll never share your content, so won’t my friends.

This is why, getting your friends to like your page is a vanity metric. I don’t care if you have 10000 likes. Just like traffic, the quality of likes matters.

Should You Pay for Facebook Likes as ‘Social Proof’?

Just another day, I had a friend who told me he ran a paid campaign, to get cheap likes, as social proof. Yes, you can invite your whole friends list to get ‘social proof’. However, then again, when people click in your page, and they don’t see any form of engagement.

It’ll work against you.

This is why I don’t get my friends or invite people to like my Facebook page. You shouldn’t either.

Let’s Use Brian Dean, a Top SEO Expert in the World as an Example

Brian Dean, a world renowned SEO expert, has barely 15000 likes on his Facebook page whilst his website generates 100,000+ viewers monthly and has a million-dollar business revenue behind it.

Why Facebook Likes are Useless 02

Backlinko is ranked for world’s hardest to rank for keywords such as: backlinks.

Ramit Sethi, a well known digital marketer, entrepreneur who generates up to 5 million dollars a week in his business, didn’t have a Facebook page for the first 3+ years starting his business.

They focus on what matters. Not vanity metrics.

Yes, You Should Have a Page for Social Media Links

Okay, should you create a Facebook page then? Yes, you should. They are a great platform to distribute content and earn social media links from.

Here’s the one other reason you’ll want to create a Facebook page:

If you’re intending to run a Facebook paid campaign to drive conversions such as emails or direct sales. However, you need to be well versed in Facebook advertising platforms.

The more Important Metrics

Stop paying attention to vanity metrics, and start paying attention the what matters. Things that will drive the bottom-line revenue in your business:

Okay, lastly, if you’re worried that you don’t have enough likes on your Facebook page. Then don’t include it in your website. I’ve pulled the plug on my Facebook page. It’s obviously NOT on display anymore on my website.

However, my students from my SEO course, clients, and casual readers who are genuinely interested in what I have to say about entrepreneurship and digital marketing will find it, click in and like my page.

However, the rest won’t. That’s fine by me.

What Shark Tank Can Teach You about Getting Investors

What Shark Tank Can Teach You about Getting Investors

I’m a huge fan of networking events. Firstly, I get to meet like-minded individuals, and secondly, I get to hear how people talk about their businesses.

Here are some common concepts I come across when networking and entrepreneurs talking about their business:

  • Getting investors and raising capital seems to be startups top priority
  • They should be focused on customers instead of raising capital

Some of these business owners told me that they require a huge capital investment before getting paying clients.

Here’s my take:

It’s possible to bootstrap a capital intensive project by securing contracts upfront before purchasing inventory from: CUSTOMERS.

This way:

  • You get to validate your idea/ service from paying customers
  • You reduce the risk for potential investors

Of course, none of them didn’t like what I had to say. Raising capital is fun. Getting paying clients is difficult. Oh, wait, designing a competitive product is even harder.

Did you know that I bootstrapped my project as an SEO consultant? No office. Just a laptop and time investment.

There’s a lot of lessons you can learn from the show Shark Tank:

‘You guys make people pay you for a proof of concept for two years’. – Mark Cuban

Numbers That Matter

If you’re looking to raise capital, you should be focused on your sales results. Those are numbers that matter. Not the ‘dream’ or the ‘vision’. Facebook likes, press releases etc are often vanity metrics. Note: Mark Cuban did talk about innovating your sales process and SEO of the videos.

The trick here is to validate your product and service way ahead before of time.

  • You can do this by pitching to clients way before you invest in inventory or starting a business
  • Or you can do some research: The Google keyword planner is one of the best ways to research market demand, along with a multitude of other ways. I teach this in my SEO course.

The majority of businesses fail because they built something that the market isn’t willing to pay for.

How to Deal with Business Uncertainty

How to Deal with Business Uncertainty – The Pivot Mindset

Just a couple of months ago, I hit a setback in my entrepreneurial journey. I wasn’t generating enough sales from my side project. It was something I was really passionate about, and I had spent years of effort building the project.

However, I violated one of the rules of Google SEO marketing: you can’t sell ice to an Eskimo.

Here’s the demand for coaching in Singapore, from an SEO standpoint: 

How to Deal with Business Uncertainty

If you’re taking a conversion rate of 3% a month, I’m getting 2.1 leads a month. Not sales, just leads. It’s sobering to say that it’s not a sustainable business model if I were to only market my services through Google.

I was confused for a while, and I didn’t know what to do. Should I perhaps target the keyword: life coaching Singapore? Which has far more demand than the one I’m currently targeting.

Since there wasn’t much demand from an SEO standpoint here in Singapore. I got a little depressed.

I then play around the idea of selling online courses to the rest of the internet.


I’m no longer limited to local SEO and the marketing in Singapore. I got the entire internet as my potential customer.

That’s a pivotal moment.

In the past, I would get depressed and delete my projects. However, there’s no need to delete anything, it’s a matter of restarting and pivoting.

I was so invested in my abilities as an SEO expert that I had ignored other digital marketing business models. Furthermore, it was only through further education that I had learnt about the concepts of positioning and copywriting.

If you failed at one aspect of your business, don’t give up, just take the lessons, data, and move on to better models. That’s something that most people get wrong (including myself), we just give up and think that we automatically suck. We identify with the failure.

However, if you are able to take the step back and ask yourself what went wrong, you’ll be able to identify your errors point by point.

Here are some ideas:

  • Did you track your key performance indicators?
  • Did you define your target audience?
  • Did you position your product or service properly?
  • Did you write persuasive copy?

These were the glaring questions that I faced. I had to go back to the drawing block, and re-learn old strategies.

How to Deal with Business Uncertainty – The Pivot Mindset

The best people in the world are able to take information from anywhere and apply it to their current businesses or life. Just because a previous framework doesn’t work for you, does not mean that it won’t come in useful down the line.

The majority of businesses and startups are a constant pivot. You can be working on an angle (that you’re sure that will work) for months and end up having to change and pivot 6 months down the road. Whilst the majority of people will just give up there and then, you just have to take a step back and see what went wrong.

When things don’t work, just take a step back, and change course. That’s a pivoting mindset.

The advantages of digital marketing are that you can pivot fast. You can change your sales copy within a couple of hours. You can run a paid campaign and collect data in a couple of days. However, the fact that it’s so malleable, can work against you as well. You’ll need to test with data collected.

When you have a pivotal mindset, you’ll be able to deal with business uncertainty.

I teach all of these in my SEO courses.

Should You Focus On Making YouTube Videos

Should You Make YouTube Videos To Grow Your Business?

Recently, I’ve been playing around with creating videos for YouTube, getting a couple of my friends who are entrepreneurs and freelancers together to record some of their business growth strategies.

I did it because it was fun, and I was bored of writing articles like this one.

However, it’s important to note that what will drive true business results to your business. What are you trying to achieve with your business?

Cut through the bullshit and your business goals should be:

  • Sales
  • Revenue

However, unfortunately, YouTube videos will not help you achieve that. That’s because people that go on YouTube do NOT have a clear commercial demand. This is unlike ranking for commercial keywords in your industry or niche with SEO keywords.

One of my friend called me a couple days later and asked me: can you do YouTube videos for ‘branding’. I’m sure you could. However, drive results and sales first. Then you have the time for branding.

Focus on One Marketing Channel and a Singular Goal

I told my friend, you should be focused on search engine optimization for Google, or one singular marketing channel before moving on to the next one.

It’s hard to focus on a single marketing channel, or even a single keyword. This was my huge problem when I started out as a Singapore SEO consultant. I wanted to rank for multiple keywords at a go.

I also wanted my site to be perfect, beautiful, and spent my time re-designing my site as compared to publishing high quality content.

Should You Focus On Making YouTube Videos 02

When Can YouTube be Useful?

YouTube can be a huge catalyst when it comes to driving traffic and engagement to your site, down the line. Combined with a powerful email marketing strategy, you’ll be able to build your email list effectively with traffic from Youtube.

Nicely curated videos are always great for ‘branding’ purposes.

YouTube is an avenue where you build natural no follow links to your site, which helps in overall SEO.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re a starting out entrepreneur, freelancer, or a business owner, what ONE keyword can you focus to rank for to FOCUS on increasing your bottom-line: sales and revenue?

How can you cut out the noise and focus on a singular marketing goal?