Laugh a little, cry a little, love a lot.

We all have our flaws. We all get sad and disappointed and broken sometimes. That’s all fine as long as we can lift ourselves back up. We’re not the only ones feeling down. There are others in the world and there are many others that are so ready to lend their hands to help us. Be grateful for every feeling because these feelings are what make us human.

TheSelfieGuru.biz is back to action!

I’ve heard many times that doing a business with a partner is hard but I decided to give it a try earlier this year. Like any relationships, it started off great. Everything was going great. We made constant sale and we sold more than we have ever thought. However, things quickly turned sour when money and time got involved and unfortunately, the business got in the way of our friendship and we became bitter with each other. For two months I kept making excuses and blaming my ex-partner for simply giving up on the business and on the friendship. Today I decided to take control of the situation.

Christmas is just around the corner and I know these selfie sticks would be a hot seller as stocking stuffer. Unfortunately our website was down and I don’t know how to fix it without talking to my ex-partner. Instead of letting the business go down the drain, I signed up for Shopify and got cracking.

An hour later I got it done.

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I had no idea it was so easy to set up a working site through Shopify. For two months I’ve been procrastinating it and I feel ashamed of myself now. It was so effortless because I already have all the content. All I needed was to put everything together. But at the same time, I feel so proud of myself for taking the matter to my own hand.

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I’ve been so selfish and let my feelings took control and I’ve forgotten everyone that have supported the business along the way. I’m back now and I’m excited to be promoting The Selfie Guru once again. So if you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer this Christmas, please holler or check out the new and improved site, theselfieguru.biz!

FeverBee Sprint Conference Notes – Day 1 (#FBSprint)

I’ve never really heard of FeverBee before I got invited to attend the FeverBee Sprint Conference in San Francisco. Of course I was excited for the opportunity to go learn and to hang out in a cool city like San Francisco, but I wasn’t too sure what I can expect. Looking at the agenda briefly the night before, I wasn’t too enthused by the topics but I knew I was wrong shortly after I stepped into the hall.

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Here’s what they advertised the conference to be:

FeverBee workshops are not like any workshop you’ve ever attended.

We’re going to explain a lot of core concepts about building community. We’re going to highlight things we think are going wrong and showcase numerous examples of best practice.

But, better than that, you are going to teach each other what you know. We don’t have a monopoly of community knowledge.

We want you to know what your big challenge is. We’re going to help you think about that challenge in a different way and connect you with people who can ensure you smash it.

You will participate. You will speak to people. You will be put in groups with people most like you. You will walk away with brand new skills that you can immediately apply to your community efforts.

Now that the first day of the conference is over, I’m so glad I went! I picked up a few great tips and my mind was running ten miles an hour while I was sitting down. I’m so excited to implement some of the things I’ve learned there for our Ambassador program.

with @JonathanMichael @KinaLotta @Christinites

with @JonathanMichael @KinaLotta @Christinites after the conference! Yes, that’s an owl playing a banjo with an open laptop of a bar graph and thinking of some science formula to represent the industries each person represent.

Here’s my notes from the conference:

Stage one: unique, new visitors

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Stage two: visitors to registrations

  • Collect data from the platform
  • Interventions:
    * Get them to do something specific in the community
    * Email confirmation
    * Publicity
    * Redirecting traffic

Stage three: registered members to participant

  • How to calculate:
    * Pull a list of members that joined in the previous 30 days
    * List members by the date they joined
    * Divide the number on this list by 100 (or 10)
    * Look at whether the newcomer made a contribution
    * Sample every n’th member – did they make a contribution?
    * Members participated / Numbers of members sampled = conversion % (or use the introduce yourself/action/newcomer)
  • Switch their motivation – find what their peers are doing
  • Create a newcomer group as most communities focus activities on ambassadors that have been there for awhile

Stage 4: participation, regular members

  • Personal message is super effective if they are sent after the ambassador does their first activity. Make sure they feel appreciated and that their action matter to someone, somewhere.
  • Look at where your community members are dropping off and when they need an intervention
  • Remove any obstacle through the first process and get people to so their first activity right away
  • Open challenges for people in different stages
  • Take a look at:
    * % visitors and % unique visitors
    * % of people that complete the registration page
    * % drop off rate after 2 weeks, 1 month, etc
    * Where newcomers drop out of the conversion tunnel

Platform Optimizations

  • According to Nielsen in 2007, we visit 70-90 sites a day and we come back to 5-7 same ones everyday
  • Vendors often forget that your customers don’t know all the in and out of your site
  • Refine your most-used platforms
  • Do manual processes as proof of concept

Relationship and influence

  • How to be likeable (think of Dale Carnegie)
    * Show genuine interest
    * Use positive language
    * Talk in terms of the other persons interest
    * Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely
    * Show respect for people’s opinion
    * Admit mistakes
    * Appeal to noble motives
    * Show praise
    * Don’t criticize or complain
    * Building influence with reciprocity
    * Create bonds
  • Building influence with expertise
    * Add value with every contribution
    * Participate less (scarcity) but add expertise every time
  • Insider groups help you to influence the behaviours of other members, help key members feel valued, gain invaluable feedback, and help you to scale
  • Identifying key members:
    * Volume of posts and experience
    * Quality of post
    * Most contact
    * Strong initiative
    * Relevance
  • Offer a statement/praise and end it with a question

Return on investment

  • * Error #1: measuring antecedents of possible returns
    * Error #2: attributing to the medium, not the message
    * Error #3: tracking what’s easy, not what’s accurate
    * Error #4: correlation vs causation
  • Secret to great measurement
    * Sample your audience
    * Withholding tests
  • Example to count on ROI:
    * Survey of how much an average member spend
    * Survey of how much a non member spend
    * Another survey for both parties the year after
    * See how much the membership have grown over the year
    * Attribution = increase spending in member group – increase spending non member group
    * Return = average increase per active member * number of active members

#InspireItForward: @MeghanWong

The following post is written by Meghan Wong. It’s been awhile since I had time to do information interview. I was really excited when I got connected by Meghan who is a recent graduate of SFU Crimonology (Honours). Meghan is a part of PACT: Professional and Career Transition and was recommended to reach out to me by my previous supervisor at SFU Career Services, Brenda Badgero. Meghan and I were able to connect right away.  We chatted for half an hour about personal branding, social media jobs, and her passions. Before she left, we took a selfie and she wrote this super sweet post about our time together. Please note that this post was not altered in any way. 

Meghan & Stephawie

I had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Wiriahardja, the community manager of Hootsuite for an informational interview. I was extremely nervous before our meeting, however, within the first few minutes of our meeting I felt extremely comfortable talking with her. I actually brought my list of questions on a sheet, but I did not need my “cheat sheet” as our conversation simply flowed. This was my first informational interview. I did not know about these types of interviews until I joined PACT. Brenda Badgero from SFU Career Services is one of the facilitators for the career portion of PACT; Brenda was kind enough to introduce me to Stephanie because I am interested in social media. Stephanie and I talked for about 30 minutes, and I really appreciated all the advice she gave me. Let me tell you, Stephanie is brilliant!

Key points that I learned during our informational interview

  • Having a brand is important, but you need to know what you want your brand to say. Before our meeting, I never thought about what I wanted my brand to say. Right now I am still brainstorming ideas.
  • Passion is important. Stephanie is passionate in all facets of her life. Whether she is working as a community manager at Hootsuite, the creative director at Le Meredian Bali Jamban, or the person behind The Selfie-Guru; Stephanie exudes passion.
  • Sometimes taking opportunities where your passion lies, may not necessary pay off at first, but when you’re happy at the end of the day, it is worth it.
  • Not only should we celebrate the big moments in our lives, but we must also remember to celebrate the small ones too.
  • Social media has changed the way that we interact with one another. Although social media never sleeps, we need to take time out from it.
  • A job is like working with a blank canvas, and we need to work with different paint colours that we are given and make it work. This is probably one of my most favourite analogies!

After my meeting with Stephanie, I feel more motivated to blog and continue this project of mine. Stephanie devised The Dandelion Theory; where she “grow[s], evolve[s], and spread[s] [her] knowledge, skills, and passion in building community, design, photography, and marketing”. She is authentically living her Dandelion Theory. I can see this! I really admire Stephanie and all of her accomplishments. Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet with me Stephanie!

A Month to Celebrate

Yes, yes, the sun is setting a little earlier now and the street is getting more wet now, but I’m particularly excited for this September. There are a few things I’m celebrating this month:

  • 10 years in Canada: I’ve always wanted to move to Vancouver since the first time I set foot in 1999 but I didn’t make the move until 2004 when I graduated from ninth grade. I was (and am still) stoked to be in this beautiful city. I’m so thankful for all the friends I’ve made and the amazing opportunities I’ve had in the past ten years.
  • PR Card: Not a lot people know this, but I was studying and working solely on visa and work permits. It’s not until June of this year that I finally got my PR and I just recently received my PR card. So happy I don’t have to worry about renewing my work permit for the next little while.
  • 3 years at Hootsuite: It’s crazy to think that I’ve been working at Hootsuite for three years now. When I first joined the company, I knew it was something special but I had no idea I would still be here three years later. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the company but the culture and the opportunities are what keeping me happy there.
  • Rappelling off a 20 story building: In less than four days, I will be rappelling off a building as a reward for raising $1k for the Easter Seals. The fundraising itself was the scariest part really. I never raised that much money before and I thought I was too optimistic. Thankfully, I have some really awesome and supportive friends that helped me raise enough money two weeks before the event. I’ll be rappelling in my favourite princess costume, it’ll be both awesome and embarrassing!
  • It’s been 3 months since Kingsley was last in town. He’s visiting this week for 10 days to attend 2 weddings, celebrate our monthiversary, and watch me rappel.

While I’m usually all gloomy and sad when summer is over, there’s too much to celebrate this month to feel blue. So cheers, let’s be merry! We all have reasons to celebrate this month. Let gratitude take over! Don’t let the sunshine fade away from your heart :)

The Sublime ALS Challenge

Two nights ago I got nominated by Diana Luong to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. For those of you that has been living under a rock, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is, ironically, the hottest social media trend this July / August 2014. While the challenge wasn’t originally associated with ALS, it sure has created a huge buzz on social media and the ASL Association has benefited quite a bit from it.

To be quite honest, I’ve been living under a rock myself. I didn’t know what ALS was and was only intrigued to learn about it after seeing the trend.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. The sad thing about is, there is only one cure that has been approved by FDA.

This popular challenge has shine some light on this disease and the association reported that they’ve received over $31.5 million as of Aug 20 2014. That’s $29.6 million MORE than this time last year. It’s incredible and this is truly the power of social media when it’s put to good use.

For my submission, I decided to do something fun. I’m super thankful my buddy, Serge, agreed to help me out with the special effects at such short notice. The result is quite incredible. 

So have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? What’s your thought about this trend?

Burst of Gratitude

I like to things for granted. I like to think I reflect back to the past to learn and see what I’ve done and celebrate successes, but the truth is. I haven’t done so lately. It was a great wake up call when I got an email from someone in Edinburgh last week asking to get a little bit of my time to learn about my work. I said yes immediately because I was incredibly honoured to be recognized by people from across the pond, but a few minutes before the call I started panicking. What should I tell her? I don’t know if my experiences are good enough.

The call turned out great. She has done quite a bit of research about the work I do for the Ambassador program and familiar with my portfolio. She reminded me that it has been quite an accomplishment to get to where I am. But that’s not all. During the call, I remembered everyone that has helped me to get to where I am today. Without their help, there won’t be 544+ Ambassadors worldwide, there won’t be 80+ #SelfieSticks running around Vancouver, there won’t be fun and excitement in my world. I certainly hope one day I can thank each one of them accordingly. One hug and one call at a time.

From One Superhero to Another

In my last post, I talked about my excitement to fundraise money for Drop Zone and why I am passionate about it. After sending a few tweets and posting that Facebook post, I’ve achieved 22% of the $1,000 goal but I’m still far from done. Starting this week, I will start approaching institutions and companies to help me get there. To make the process easier, I put a quick one pager together to outline everything they need to know.

It would be sooo awesome if you could share this with your friends / colleagues as well. I’m hoping to raise $1,000 before September 8th! Thanks so much in advance.

Stoked to be doing @DropZoneVAN this year!

I’ve been looking for a way to give back to something I am passionate in. When I was presented the opportunity to fundraise $1,000 for Easter Seals (an organization dedicated to fully enhancing the quality of life, self-esteem and self-determination of Canadians with disabilities), I was intrigued. When I found out at the end of it, I get to rappel down a 20-stories building, I was sold. I signed up right away and that’s when I realized… how could I fundraise that much money?

While the event is still a few months away from today, I knew I had to get started right away. So I did. I started at the first place I could think of: Facebook.

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Shortly after posting it, the donations started to come in and I felt overwhelmed by the amount of support my friends have. To date, I’ve reached 20% of my $1,000 goal. Twenty percent and this is just the beginning! I still have 3 months to fundraise. It’s a remarkable feeling and so humbling at the same time. Also, I didn’t realize how much of a big deal 20 stories was until everyone said it! I guess I’ve skydived before so I always feel pretty invincible. Or maybe I’m too #YOLO? 

Anyways, so why this? Why this cause? Well I have a cousin that was born normal, slightly premature but normal. When she was just one or two months old, she rolled down the bed when she was with a babysitter. The babysitter didn’t tell my aunt right away, but my cousin kept crying and crying all night and her temperature went up significantly. So my aunt brought her to ER right away and next thing we know, she got really ill and doctors were giving up on her. My aunt and uncle were advised to let her go and prepare for her departure. They cried and cried and finally gave in and bought a coffin. By some miracle, my cousin never ended up in that coffin. She survived. But she became autistic and she still is until today. She can’t speak, can’t walk, can’t eat by herself but she can feel. We can see her eyes brightened up when she’s around people and when she has her favourite doll. Everyday her parents pushed her limit further by enrolling her in classes and taking her places. It breaks my heart every time I see her and I know there are many others that are like her, but not as fortunate as her. 

I’m currently looking for ways to give thanks to the donators. I have two ideas in mind that would work, just need to put it together and let it fly. It’ll be fun!

If you are interested in donating, please head over to my personal Drop Zone page