Friday, April 21, 2017

Interview with Vicky Wu - Marketing Guru

We welcome Vicky Wu today who is marketing guru and runs an incredible blog and marketing website   Thank you so much for your time today Vicky!

First off, I wanted to ask you about your training courses, they’re all on a range of different topics, all seem to be free and can be found here. How can they all be free?  They’re so good.

I have several levels of classes on topics related to marketing and business– introductory, intermediate and advanced.  All of my introductory training courses are free.  These mini-courses span several aspects of training for marketing and business, such as social media marketing. 

What I have found is that a lot of business and entrepreneurs that I work with who need help with marketing don’t even know where or how to start.  These marketing training courses are a great way to give them an understanding of those basic concepts – where to start and how to do it – and an introduction to me and my training style.  Plus, I’ve already done all of the research for them – I only post training courses on those business marketing activities that I know produce results.  No need to weed through all of the overwhelming information about marketing on the internet when I’ve already done it for you and wrapped it up in a quick training course. 

The intermediate and advanced courses do have a price tag – but each of these are extremely reasonable.  I like to keep things down in the range of “the cost of a latte”!  These courses take a lot more of my knowledge and expertise, plus more time to film, edit, and post, so of course I need to charge, but I also focus on keeping the cost to my clients and students very affordable.

I have a couple of packaged training sequences made up of multiple training courses which are being finalized for release in May.  One is a marketing bootcamp, designed for companies that have been in business for more than one year, which walks through all of my marketing best practices I use with my own clients, in a progression that makes the most sense.  The second is our Business Startup Marketing Mastermind, designed for organizations in business for one year or less, which delves deeper into a lot of the aspects of setting up your marketing program for your business from scratch – and how to do all aspects of marketing correctly from the beginning.  

Time Chunking is a brilliant idea for a course… it’s something I really struggle with myself.  Why do you think people spend so much more time working these days than ever before?

The primary reason I resigned my last position and moved into freelance and contract work was because of overwork.  I had been working 80 hours a week for several years, and came to a point that, while I loved the people I was working with, I needed to take charge of a better work/life balance.  Probably not the first time you’ve heard a story like that!

I think there are several reasons why people spend so much time working.  One of the biggest driving factors in general that I see on the corporate side is pressure to cut costs, especially during the big recession we experienced recently.  Payroll costs are one of the biggest expenses most companies have, and because of that also one of the places where some of the biggest savings can be experienced.  What I saw though the recession at a lot of companies was that as people left jobs (voluntarily or through termination or reduction), their workload was spread among the remaining staff.  You do that too many times, or if you aren’t extremely careful with what pieces are being added and to whom, you have several cases of overworked employees on your hands.

Another very common issue is that managers tend to give work to the people who will get it done.  This can result in top performers quickly getting overloaded.

One the personal side, for a lot of people, their job provides their feeling of success or accomplishment, so they work hard.  In my case, I’m just a hard worker and driven to succeed, and that doesn’t matter whether I’m an employee on your payroll, working for myself, or I’m cleaning my house – when I start the job I’m going to do it well and finish it completely (except organizing my closet – that’s a different story that we won’t talk about!)

The great thing about time chunking is that you can regain some of that control over your schedule, and often that control is enough to ease some of your stress.  While it can’t work for some types of jobs – I think of my son who works for Amazon and it would never work for his job – anyone with some flexibility, or if you are an entrepreneur or run your own company, you can find some quick benefit into using this type of system.  There’s a lot of psychology behind the concepts, and I know from my own experience that handling my workload this way allows me to accomplish a lot in both my personal and professional life, juggle multiple clients with differing projects, and achieve that work/life balancing act that I need.

Your blog is epic, you seem to be punching out really interesting articles every few days… do you enjoy blogging and how does your own blog fit into your overall marketing strategies?

Most of my blog topics come from things being experienced in real life.  Either I’m talking to a client and a topic comes up for discussion that I know I want to share with my readers; or I see a business that is not a client doing something that I want to discuss.  So everything in my blog is real-world marketing experience.

Blogging serves two purposes for my business:  it allows me to consistently provide information of value to the people reading my blog, receiving my emails, and following me on social media; it also provides new and unique information for my website regularly, which is important to the people reading it and to search engines.

That said, I have a process I follow using a marketing and social media calendar to make this easier (which you can find on my blog by searching the word “calendar”).  My process follows a very specific path from a post on my website, which feeds to my social media, and feeds to my email list, and then is re-posted regularly at later dates to my social media.  I also regularly re-purpose my own content, perhaps by making a video this week using the information that was in a blog post a couple of months ago.

It’s important to note that while a blog can be extremely valuable to help your business be found when someone searches on Google or elsewhere, it only works in specific circumstances.  You must have expert information to share – and that information must be unique to you, not copied from another website or some other expert.  And you must update your blog regularly.  That doesn’t have to mean daily or even weekly, but if I’m a reader and I see that your most recent blog posts was two years ago, I may question how currently accurate your information is, or even if you’re still in business (and Google may do the same)!

What are your favourite kind of clients to work with?  Who really gets you excited?

I get excited about every client and every project!  I’m really a marketing geek and enjoy what I’m doing.  I work with a lot of entrepreneurs, and those can be challenging because they often do not have a large budget or staff to be able to accomplish things that bigger companies can do; but we’re able to give them results on those levels when we can get creative.  I thrive on achieving results, even if they are for other people!

I would say the most rewarding piece is a lot of my ongoing clients who we’re working with every month.  They have developed a trust level to the point where they let us do the marketing activities that we know will be best for their business, within their budget, and they are able to relax and just watch the results.  I think that says a lot about me and my team and the work we’ve done and that makes me proud.

Marketing seems so much more confusing now with all the different online presences and social media platforms, where would a person who is really brand new to marketing start do you think?

You are right – there is so much information it can be overwhelming, and sometimes what you hear contradicts what you heard somewhere else.  The easiest way to cut through all the noise is to tune it out and turn it off!

When starting out with a new client, we start by ignoring everything that everyone else is doing.  It doesn’t matter that you read someone said do this, and someone else is doing that.  We’re going to focus on you and your business and your customers, and that’s really the first place every business needs to start their marketing.  So ignore everything else, just don’t ignore me when I tell you to do that!

The place I always take my new clients first, even if they don’t realize it’s what I’m doing, is through my 3 by 3 Marketing MatrixTM.  It’s actually one of my free marketing trainings available on my website.  I use the top row of the matrix and focus on activities that they are already doing in their business and where we can incrementally improve those efforts.  While the training delves into the matrix much deeper, at its core you look at something you are already doing and make one tweak or improvement; so if I’m an entrepreneur and I already spend time on Facebook or Instagram – even if it’s all personal and not business – I would start by focusing some efforts there.  It’s much easier to get your marketing up and running quickly if you can focus this way.

Another piece, I ask “Why?” repeatedly.  This is actually one of the training lessons in the Business Startup Marketing Mastermind course I mentioned.  This can help hone in on some values about your business that can be used for storytelling (which is necessary in today’s marketing world), as well as help you get customer-focused.  I may ask “why did you start this business?  Whatever answer they give me, I ask another “why” question.  I ask why at least three times, which helps me clarify my client’s needs for their marketing and also helps clarify it in their own minds at the same time.

Thank you so much for your time, where should people reach you if they want your help?

The best way is by booking a free marketing strategy session right on my calendar using

They can also call 512-591-8295 or email

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Interview with the Lemur Fund

Today we're honoured to have Marat with us, who is the incorporator of The Lemur Fund, an organisation that is raising money to help conserve the lemurs habitat.
Marat majored in physics and computer science. He spent most of his life in gaming business, being cofounder of Wargaming game development company. The team has been struggling for survival for years, until they risked it all in 2010 to create World of Tanks online game no one believed in. WoT turned out to be a global hit and the company became one of the industry leaders. Being Chief Operating officer for several years he expanded Wargaming globally and developed few tech startups. He is particularly interested in genomics, information medicine, nanorobotics, waste management, animal protection and wild life conservation. He can be proud to be an early adopter of technologies, among other fields of interest: conquering aging and death.
Thank you so much for your time today!  We’re very excited to have you interviewing with us about your funds to help save Lemurs in Madagascar. 

How did you first realise that the Lemurs were in trouble?
I think I always liked lemurs. First time I saw them in a Zoo many years ago and was impressed by their cute look, how they groomed each other and were taking sun bath. I started to collect lemur figures and I wanted to know more about them.  I read dozens of articles and contacted some  scientists and I realised that they were in real danger and I decided to save these wonderful creatures and build my own team.  This is how MK Lemur foundation appeared.

Is it true that Madagascar is the only country in the world that Lemurs are found in the wild?
Yes,  all of the world’s lemurs are found on a single island and a single country: Madagascar. Isolated from other primate competitors for around 60 million years has allowed lemurs not only to survive here – when they were extinct elsewhere – but to evolve into an astounding variety of types and species, adapted to all sorts of habitats and foods sources.

How do you think a balance can be struck between conservation and industry?  I haven’t been to Madagascar, but I have been to Thailand… which is also an incredibly beautiful place, with an incredible environment… that the local population seems not to care for at all because they’re quite poor and have to look after their families… is it the same sort of situation in Madagascar?
I believe the balance definitely can be reached. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than 90% of people live on less than $2 a day while half the country's children under five are said to suffer from malnutrition. Yet, conservationists say protecting lemurs could actually help the human population as well.

Scientists from all over the world have already created the Lemur Conservation Strategy which will help local people to increase level of life and will conduce to saving lemurs.

Among activities are: reducing illegal cut (precious rosewood which goes to China) and charcoal production, developing new technologies, subsidize and the promotion and adoption of alternative cooking fires; carry out reforestation; provide alternative protein sources (instead of eating bushmeat),developing farming and stop slash-and-burn agriculture; developing ecotourism, etc.

In 2014 scientists released an emergency tree-year-plan that they argued could save lemurs from extinction. Costing $7.6million the plan focused on setting up better protections and conservation programs in 30 lemur hotspots. But this number was never reached.

The fund's Instagram page is so incredibly cute. How do you get such incredible photos of this furry little guys and girls?
We cooperate with different photographers who love lemurs and are willing to make their input. Actually We welcome talented people who would like to help in any field: artists, programmers, marketing specialists, innovators. It’s very easy to become a part of the team, just drop a line in Facebook, Instagram or to one of our emails. There are a lot of challenges and we can brainstorm together. We are very open hearted and humble guys, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The World Lemur Festivals look like a lot of fun, have they helped your cause?
Every year MK fund supports The World Lemur Festival. The main goal of this event is educational of course. As Nelson Mandela said Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. The Carnival aims to bring together various stakeholders such as organizations, associations and schools, and also foreigners living in or visiting Madagascar. Another activity such as Conference/Debate is a good forum for promoting lemur conservation and forest habitat protection through scientific communication. The conservation message will show that lemurs have a significant economic value in Madagascar.

If readers want to donate to this cause, how is the best way?
It’s very easy. You just go to our site and click on orange Donate button on the main page. You will have different options for donation, and it’s up to you how much are you willing to give. We are happy for any amount, though we still need to raise a lot.

Thank you so much for your time, I so sincerely hope something can be done to help out little furry buddies.

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