Down Time – Best Marketing Time!

If you read my previous blog on personal productivity hacks during the current down time, you feel more inclined to follow the current post. Yet, this one addresses professional habits so you can keep your business afloat. Of course, I am the living proof with my two incomes sources from Ahkara and DancingRains!

1- Talk to five leads everyday

We all agreed that leads/customers are shrunk in number, since their businesses have been hit with this coronavirus effects. If you already felt complacent with your existing clientele back then, now is the best time time to enlarge your pool of prospects. Besides emailing out Ahkara‘s special offers to 100 contacts every week, I’ve made a daily habit to reach out to five connections on LinkedIn. The image below proves that they got interested in my profile and eventually, went on to ask me more about my services.

2- Produce more value-added content

This may challenge you a bit if all you do for your marketing has been to promote your products and services. The tougher our customers’ moments, the better value they search your message for. A value here can designate both “necessities” and “useful information”. In our last Ahkara e-newsletter, we have purposely shared with our readers how to lead an essential life, especially across the current crisis.

3- Video market your brand

If a picture tells a thousand words, imagine what effects a potential your video make to your leads! If your organization is still looking to uplift your cause, I’d recommend you to our SFA production team. The team is made of both experienced and first-time filmmakers. If your companies wish to carry your brands to your customer, across this turbulent time, you may consider DancingRains. The crew comprehends professionals familiar with commercial and promotional concepts and efficiency.

4- Offer more benefits to current customers

Although this tip feels similar to added values, the difference lies in its practicality or instantaneity. Of course, some customers rather needs immediate benefits like discounts or side income. And we have instilled these in our ads since early April. As a result, we have turned some leads into our customers. For example, a local video production has subscribed to our transcription services after receiving our promotional email a few weeks ago.

5- Study your existing industries deeper

In case you are too introvert to take up any challenge, the least you could do, I reckon, is to read about your industry further. Feed yourself with online knowledge and education relevant with your craft or business. Once you find pertinent tips, apply them to promote your endeavors. Eventually, those tips are likely to increase your sales volume or scale up your impact.

All in all, some action doesn’t bear direct results. But our mind will will attract what is ripe for us, thus with indirect results from residual efforts. And by the time this COVID-19 fades away, comes your biggest time: sales!

PS: If you hesitate to practice any tip, feel free to hit me up or meet up over a coffee 🙂

PPS: My next blog post will be about our surreal SFA‘s mid-year trip to Koh Kong.

How Siem Reap Recovers from Pandemic Interval

Named Cambodia’s most touristic city, Siem Reap has become unfortunately the most affected with the current pandemic. For a fact, the first case of local people in the country, was confirmed there. The then-decline of tourists led then to an unexpected halt. After some governmental efforts, it has become one of the first provinces to heal its patients. Such recovery stabilizes its tourism with local cyclists. As a dual resident between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, I have “personally” discovered the following remarkable traits of “our” survival spirit!

1- First Native Outbreak

Since COVID19 can be contagious through physical contact, the first case in Siem Reap virtually shut down the city. Before this happened in mid-March, tourists travelled freely. Hence, prevention remained loose. However, since more and more have been treated and return negative, Siem Reap local lifestyle has picked up as to break that momentary silence.

2- Tourist Orientation

No foreign tourist? Siem Reap residents already make this a habit: cycling! I remember myself joining an annual ride (or two) for charity on and off. Therefore, cycling would turn into our better alternative, as well as physical exercise. I believe this will set the benchmark for other provinces to follow the same footprints as to revive their tourism. Such a sporty spirit may make it appealing again to future international travelers.

3- Adaptation to Uncertainty

Although quite conservative in their way of life, Siem Reapers’ resilience to modernity is unquestionable. The quietude of downtown seemed haunting at one point of time. Yet, deep down, they know they are going to bounce back once the Kingdom feels “safe” again – if not virus-free – to move about.

To sum up my stay in Siem Reap, after 8 weeks away, like most Cambodians, I already expect a second wave to come about. In between, I believe we have to live our lives (again), of course, without jeopardizing our own health too soon!

Visiting little-crowded Angkor Wat

PS: If you are now in Cambodia, now is the best time to visit our temples, especially Angkor Wat. Their “peace” will set you apart from the pack!

PPS: You may follow more updates about Siem Reap (and beyond) on this Facebook Page: Siem Reap and More, which I have a co-managed with a social media specialist from the province itself 🙂

Why Essentialism Stands the Test of Time, even COVID-19

I heard a lot about essentialism or minimalism, referred to as simplistic living. But I did not realize it makes sense to me after I read this e-book “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKEOWN. You may, therefore, wonder how I got to check it out. Well, my “essentialist” friend, Rithy THUL, handed it over, personally finding me going round in circles! After branding myself out in various activities (social/commercial), then was the right to time to embrace that concept. Eventually, I’m glad it has prepared me for the current chaos like COVID-19. Below are the reasons I deem “essentialism” essential for our lives, not just through uncertain moments.

1- Priority Matters

Photo by Phil Desforges on Unsplash

Essentialists believe life is too short to prioritize everything coming your way. In order to cope with this issue, I also blogged about time management based “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. Under the current circumstances, ask yourself who matters to you most. Most people, including me, would value their family above all, while a few may cherish their work more. So schedule your daily tasks, according to that priority, which may make your regular quarantine more meaningful!

2- Living Can Be Simpler

Materialists would be happy showing off their possessions or gains to other people. In pastime, they may even carry more luggage or worse, garbage than needed. Essential living lies on simple needs, or just enough to keep one safe and sane. Essentialists tend to be very selective of what to do, eat, or even think. They will answer a polite NO to what contradicts their principles. For that purpose, these days, either I throw away my long-used clothes or hand them down to needy people.

3- Quitters Don’t Have to Be Losers

For me, the essence of life should evolve around growth and love. When essentialists quit pursuing a task at hand, it does not mean they throw their vital mission away. It only implies they are realistic enough to change their approach instead of staying stubborn or stuck, with what is already proven not to work. This scenario perfectly resonates with Einstein’s quote: “Insanity is doing the same things, expecting different results.” Throughout this pandemic, if you keep thinking your passion alone can feed you, chances are, it might rip you apart slowly, but surely. That is why I am building up our family business aside, through online translations, as it cater to daily needs: vegetables and groceries!

4- Reduce Decision Fatigue

It is said we, human beings, make each 35,000 decisions a day! Yeah, we think so much that each day may emotionally exhaust us. More often than not, we allow trivial or negative matters to occupy our mind. Yet, if we go to the essence, only a few decisions would matter to us every day. Take these two decisions, for example: This Sunday, will you brew your own coffee at home or drink it outside? In parallel, will you spend only one hour or two with your kids? Your call to tell which decision matters to your day!

5- Efforts Become Optional

This (last) reason should be residual from the previous ones, as we have already decluttered non-essential items off our list. You feel lighter or even happier to work on only what matters to you. As a result, in most cases, you can achieve more than expected. I’m sure you felt that way before, when your mind was clear and focused on the present task at hand. Ultimately, you can even delegate that non-important job to other people so that this leverage benefits both sides!

If you are still not convinced of why essentialism matters to our (current) living, look at Buddha, Jesus, Muhammed, Henry Ford, Gandhi, Steve Jobs, for your few inspirations. They all share this way of life, as their wealth or power turn out to be their by-products. Still feel tempted with peer pressure or redundant procrastination? Well, I found it also challenging to adopt essentialism. But we all can unlearn old, unproductive habits while learning the healthier ones with discipline and commitment.

PS: Every time I face a tough/important decision, I ask myself: What matters to me now or even in the long run? Your homework is to find your own answer after this reading!