Sharing my business journey

Rosalina Pang shares her business and personal journey in a reflective journal.

“I started my career 20 years ago in events and promotions marketing for an agency servicing IT and blue-chip consumer brands such as Hewlett Packard, Motorola and Adobe. Back in Singapore, and in my early 20s,  I started a boutique marketing company with an ex-colleague. We were engaged by clients to build products branding stands and displays, set up exhibition booths and promotional events for consumer and industrial brands.

After a year into my business. I realised that I needed more international marketing exposure and went back to employment when my business partner who had a lot more financial commitments decided he needed the security of a job.

Soon after, at the age of 24, I was headhunted to join Singapore Technologies Electronics, innovation and science focused manufacturing company as a Marketing Executive. The company was marketing Satellite and Sensor products to over 60 countries, and I was managing a marketing budget of under half a million. Given the international shows and exhibitions, the company has a lean marketing budget and I had to look at cost-effective ways to increase business and products brand position online. My interest in digital marketing was sparked and learnt the importance of SEO, Google Adwords and Analytics from 2007.

I moved to New Plymouth in 2008 and had to start from scratch. I came with no prior networks, friends, relatives or a job. My first opportunity was with Contours New Plymouth, an all women’s gym. The stint was to relieve a dance exercise instructor Judy, who was going on holiday to take her 6 am morning workout and dance class.
It was only an hour and then I pretty much had no other paid work left to do for the day. For six months I worked on creating my first blog website and started an Asian Food Network to blog about my home cooking and recipes that I tried and found. It had Google AdSense put onto it so I had a little pocket money in the form of advertising dollars through impressions and clicks. However it wasn’t great as I wasn’t keen on sharing and posting more as I feel quite isolated for a while, I got a bit down and depressed as I wasn’t socially connected. So I thought to myself what other skills do I have that I am passionate about and can trade my time and connect with the community? I was dancing part-time in Singapore and had also enjoyed Oriental, Middle Eastern and world music. Relieving at the ladies gym ignited my passion to get women in my community connected with their body, mind and spirit. Hence, I went to an existing Tribal Bellydance class and then realise that I should impart what I learnt and I founded 5th Element Dance with two others. I also realised that in the dance community many looked to it dance as a competition and quite like ballet with examinations and grades. In Eastern cultures, dance is a form of expression and freedom. A way to express joy and love and not feel oppressed by the struggles of life. Hence, my deep seeded philosophy is to build a dance community of like-minded women to dance and be able to express themselves from within.

Shortly after a neighbourhood TOM magazine publishing my article introducing who I was and asking for expression of interest for belly dance class, on August 2008, I gathered in Oakura Board Riders club a group of 7 women from various backgrounds, As I begin to impart to them the art of belly dancing movement through music and rhythm, I shared my philosophy that it is important to connect within. Be present both physically, mentally and spiritually. Little did I know that this had multiple healing and empowering benefits to us women. To celebrate our freedom to dance without the need for intoxication. Fast forward 10 years, my dance sisters and I have evolved into a multi-ethnic community of women coming together weekly to foster this commonality and support each other to connect physically, mentally and spiritually through world music and dance.

How I became a Marketing Trainer

In 2009, I was given the opportunity to teach ‘Fundamentals of Marketing” as a contract tutor with local polytechnic,  WITT. After continuous job hunting for further six months, I took on the role of Small Business Accounts Manager with Orb communications, the local telecommunications distributor of main Telco provider here in New Zealand.

Though I enjoyed the work and opportunity to meet with business owners to update them on technology and latest plans and re-sign their contracts, there were a lot of politics and unhappy middle management employees with their own personal issues. It wasn’t a very pleasant environment as it fostered sales morale and incentives as competing against each other, through glorying who sold the most devices or contracts.
When I did land one valuable corporate client, I had it taken away from my portfolio as I was meant to be serving small businesses only. I left and went on contracting myself in supervising and marketing contract roles.
In 2013,  I caught the entrepreneurship bug again and founded Revive Me Marketing. I started networking, creating and updating websites, branding and content and grow my portfolio of clients.

Digital Marketing with accountability with my clients

My mission and natural attraction to the type of clients has evolved into one with partnership and collaboration in marketing. I found myself tired of chasing clients that are not aligned with similar shared values, to begin with. I am learning to define how I would like our business relationship to work and with much joy and positive flow. This flow is in the form of 3Cs: Creativity, clear communications and cash flow in our contracts.

Clients that don’t take responsibility and that need to be chased consistently, late for payment are hard work.
I have learnt to stop chasing after them. I still have full respect that we all have personal challenges from time to time and it does impacts how are run our business. If it is emotional, physical or spiritual, I would try to help by referring them to people and other business that could potentially help them to remove those barriers to success. I also term them as ‘abundance blockers” as I believe they translate often to financial challenges. It is also important to check what is our relationship with time and money.

My personal entrepreneurial goal from 2019 going forward.

As long as we are alive as are still on this journey. For me the journey is not about bragging and achieving next 5, 6 or 7 figure income. It is about positive impact that we can make collectively by activating our passion and purpose for good of our communities, people wellness, spiritual fitness, cultural harmony and peace for our planet.

Yes we all want freedom. And to me freedom to choose to consume just enough and more to give and make a difference and support positive Change Makers and innovations that do good.

I am on a journey to measure my impact, build a better business so I can raise my positive influence.
The important note for us is to stay positive and keep working on the spirit of our business with balance.

To conclude this blog sharing of my business journal, I like to quote from one of my clients, Annie Evans, co-founder of Rock-it Boards.”

The most important thing is how much we have loved.

Learn the Right Way to Ask Your Clients for the Video Testimonials

Do you have customers who are loyal to your brand and love talking about your company?

Would your customers happily recommend you to others? 

A Video Testimonial has the power of show and highlights the significant transformation you brought in your customer’s life with your services or products. It is one of the best ways to tell your potential customers that “You Rock!”

Well, who doesn’t like to hear good things about their services and products but when you have such customers, how exactly you amplify their experience and use as a social proof to attract more customers?

Learn How to get a Powerful Video Testimonials to Boost your Online Credibility and Sales ConversionA testimonial – written or a video – brings social proof onto your digital media channels and boosts the credibility of your brand with client endorsements.

Capturing exact emotions of your loyal customers via a video testimonial could be really beneficial for your business.

According to statistics:

  • Testimonials and word of mouth are the driving force behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions and yet only about ⅓ of businesses are actively seeking & collecting customer reviews on an ongoing basis. -Source: Mckinsey.com- ‘a new way to measure marketing effectiveness.’
  • According to an article in Econsultancy, when a site has customer reviews, 63% of visitors are more likely to make a purchase & reviews produce an average of 18% uplift in sales. -source: econsultancy.com- ‘e-commerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them’

However, as fancy as it sounds, asking for video testimonials come with its own challenges. Many business owners hesitate to ask clients for a testimonial, especially a video one. Also, video requires lots of other preparations like right questions; proper filming and an eye for editing that could put your brand under a spotlight. In short, bringing up the best of what you do through your loyal customers. Let us break down the whole process for you and make asking for a video testimonial easier and a rewarding activity. Here are some helpful tips for asking your customers for a video testimonial. Discover how to prepare them and debut a video testimonial once they said YES to your request.

How To Ask and When To Ask

Asking for a testimonial could be a tricky job but not impossible. You just have to be consciously aware and grab the opportunity when it arrives. How? Let’s take two entirely different fields – one, a Marketing Company and another a Dance Company. Both have different work areas and different target audience, so one style of asking for the testimonial may not work with other. Let’s learn effective ways to ask.

For a service-based business with one-on-one transactions:

  • It is usually a great idea to ask the client personally (over the phone is also perfect especially when you are talking about work experience.) The moment your client compliments you about how your service has been helpful to the business, that IS the time to bring up the intended conversation.
  • Do not lose this opportunity and politely ask if it is okay for them to record a video testimonial with you. Wait and allow them to say, “Yes”. Later on, follow up with them through email or a phone call before this conversation dies off.
    You may even send a detailed written email and include prompting questions you would like for them to answer.
  • Give them ample time to digest your request and suggest ways and times to obtain the video testimonial.
  • Remember to maintain a “nice” attitude while you are asking for a testimonial. Positively encourage them by telling them how you intend to distribute the video, and how it would benefit them as well. i.e. Growing their exposure. Avoid being too assertive. It may put them off, so some tact is good.

For Event-based businesses with groups of people:

A dance class or any other group activity-oriented business has a different atmosphere and different kind of customer psyche. It’s usually easier to get a video testimonial in such businesses, however, it still requires you to “seize the right moment” to ask for video testimonial” as a skillset.

  • After the class or event when everyone is riding high with myriad of emotions, this could be the right time of making an announcement that you are updating the website and would love to do a personal video testimonial with each one of them and record their incredible journey and some of the favorite experiences to share with the people who are still on the verge of deciding.
  • A group testimonial could also be a great way to show how much fun the class is. Such videos send out the vibrancy of your customers in a group environment. When they agree, you can tell them the medium you would use to capture it. It could be through FaceTime, Zoom recording, directly on a video camera, or mobile device and distributed on social media instantly.
  • We would recommend to then embed it on a webpage to maximize the longevity of the video testimonial replay and views.

What To Say

This is a vital aspect of the whole process. It’s crucial that your clients understand that the purpose of a video testimonial is to talk about their business or personal goals and how you helped them achieve them. Ask them the questions that highlight their story about how they found you (if someone recommended you to them then mention their names), how your company met their business needs or helped them overcome their specific problems, and how was the overall experience. The story should be short, simple with good narrative and in their own words. Here are some of the questions you may ask or send them across as talking points before recording to help them build a compelling story.

  1. Tell us about your business in one minute. (Get them relaxed and comfortable. Who doesn’t like to talk about themselves?)
  2. How did you find us? Did someone recommend us to you?
  3. Why did you choose us? (The reasons that helped them zeroing in on you.)
  4. How was it working with us? Tell us about your experience with our team. (Ask for the customer’s overall experience while working with you.)
  5. How has working with us changed the way your company does business?
  6. Did our competitors approach you and try to steal you from us? If so, what did you tell them and what made you stick with us?
  7. Would you recommend us to someone else? Why? (This is the crucial part of the testimonial.)
  8. Is there anything you’d like to add? (What is your favorite part of …)

The video interview questions are open to guide them on what challenges they face. The product-based companies may use slightly different questions, like main concern about buying the product, how it fits their business needs and so on. You can modify the series of questions according to your product or services, but don’t lose your focus and particularly ask about hesitations and obstacles; talking about these two points adds authenticity to the testimonial.

Testimonials are stories.

Stories usually have uninterrupted flow and attention-grabbing elements, a thrilling start, and an impressive ending and that’s what pulls people and other potential customers.

If you look around, you will find most of the video testimonials lack emotions, and they feel powerless. The reason behind such limp testimonials is that sometimes the clients don’t always know what to say and how to give testimonies, and on the other hand, companies have no clue how to get an impressive testimonial from the clients. Thus, it’s important to work on the set of questions and prepare the clients for it.

Some examples:

5th Element Belly Dance: 

In this video testimonial interview, I asked Andrea how she found out about classes, what made her interested, what keeps her coming back, what her favorite belly dance move was.

Revive Me Marketing: 

This video testimonial interview was captured as we were video conferencing and I was delivering Get Digital Marketing program that Andrew has enrolled and been working with me on. I took the opportunity to ask him some questions and told him the intention of video testimonial interview as I had worked with him to create two for his business. We were video conferencing on Zoom, which I edited and uploaded on to YouTube on my channel with a playlist, then embedded in on the same program page as a testimonial.

Omada Health:

Omada uses behavior science to help people change their habits, improve their health and reduce their risk of chronic disease. This video was just all from their customers raving about why they chose them amongst other providers.


Video testimonial feels real.

It shows your clients’ emotions and journey with you, they bare themselves on the video and that’s why it becomes more touching. They give you valuable feedback, and it makes the clients feel important, they know that you value their experience and story. When posted on social media platforms the influence multiplies each time someone likes or shares the video. Once you get the video testimonial, thank your client either over the phone or via email. Send them a heartfelt message and let them know how much you appreciate their time and efforts.

After recording, edit it carefully. It’s important to highlight the strongest points of your company or products. After final editing, upload the video onto YouTube, Vimeo or any other video sharing and do not forget to share it with your client.


Video Conferencing Tips for Online Meetings or Classes

Using Zoom for conducting online video meetings and classes.

I have been using Zoom a lot more since COVID-19 pandemic has majorly disrupted the global trade and everyone is impacted with countries imposing lock-downs and companies and teams are forced to telecommute.

Since then I have brought my dance and movement classes, online and conducting in via Zoom, video conferencing application. I have been working fervently to set-up Zoom meetings and registrations for clients as well as my own classes and linking booking to a payment or donation platform such as stripe and integrating a few applications as appropriate.

Connect with your community

Businesses that are forced to close are still taking enquiries, answering and engaging socially with their communities. Those that were not as active prior have quickly utilised this platform, producing live videos, streaming or video conferencing meetings or training with their teams. If you are working from home and connecting with your clients and team digitally, here are some video conferencing tips you can share to your conference audience. I also advocate a mindful welcome to that space to help everyone settle from their distractions once the meeting starts.

Video Instructions to onboard new users to Zoom.

Here is what I have prepared to new comers who are using Zoom for the first time. Naturally there some learning experience to get the best experience, so here are some instructions prior to help.

How to connect to our Rock Fit Virtual Class on Zoom

1. Device:
Please load Zoom to set up a free user account. Download the application on to your device, mobile, tablet or laptop:
Test your audio and microphone settings before the class starts.

Use either a laptop (bigger screen are more comfortable for viewing) OR a smart tv with webcam, or your mobile.
Visit https://zoom.u OR search on your app store on mobile for “Zoom”.

Some tips to make your video class enjoyable.
As this is a live interactive video class, would like to see you be able to guide you through the session to help guide you.
You can turn off the video if you need to rest in between and just go on watch mode.

2. Audio testing, options and privacy:
Please test your audio setting from the device you are going to Zoom into. I would suggest for a movement class, you would benefit most to be handsfree and to use device with a larger screen then a mobile phone. i.e A laptop or a tablet. If you have access to a large screen and TV with hdmi cable, you could also plugin into that or share the screen remotely if you have those capabilities from the device.

Zoom has an instruction page on how to test your audio settings here.

Privacy options:
You could use a Bluetooth headset if you have one. Sometimes good ones have noise-cancelling features.

3. Free-standing and hands-free:
Please set up your device to show your head and torso as much of your body as you can so we can see each other and flow with yoga movements freely.

4. Create a space:
Create a free space of at least 2m x 2m around you.
If you have kids of partners in the room, please excuse yourself for the time and if you have to attend to them and turn off your video for that moment and mute your audio during that time and unmute when they have settled and you are free to return to the session.


Zoom Video Conferencing Host Tips:

There are also common problems that person leading and hosting the meeting can do to help. One of which is when everyone has their microphone turn on. Audio feedback which results in cracking, echoing, delay and reverbrating. This can be curbed by the meeting host turning everyone on mute and taking turns to talk

Mute everyone after greeting and if you are recording the session for review, tell the participants what to expect and when they are invited to unmute themselves to engage and exchange in the conversation.

To create mindful meetings online and video conferencing.

To start our session, I ask participants to take three mindful breathes to centre us all together for our conferencing meeting.

1st breathe, to focus on where we feel the breath in our body the most.
2nd: We breathe out any tension we feel In our body.
3rd: We bring our focus to what is important right now and the meeting at hand.

I found this to be helpful as we can make a more measured and mindful meeting at hand to be more present.

We will also take turns to talk, ask questions and have a pen and paper handy to jot down notes and ideas.

Share your recorded Zoom meeting with participants

In a paid version of Zoom, the pro account, you would have the option to record the meeting onto cloud and share the recorded session directly.

Have a look at this Zoom class recording that I edited and shared. I trimmed out a bits where there were disruptions, recorded the online class on movement with another camera and uploaded in onto YouTube to share with participants.

However, if there are areas in the recording where you would like to trim, you can do it directly on Zoom before distributing in to your participants. For this particular video, I had someone who was trying to get into the Zoom session on her mobile and was quite set-up and ready which I wanted to edit out. I have also did not have right lighting in my room and wanted to brighten up the video by editing it.

I hope this blog sharing is helpful and let me know how you get on with your Zoom online meetings and classes.