Keeping in Touch. It’s important to message folks that I have added on Linkedin. It’s also possible to analyze the market readiness based on the cold messages you give on Linkedin. When I went to Seoul, I realized that the market was very keen to meet me. As my platform is in educational gaming on Blockchain, esports companies are keen to see how E-Sports could work with a consensus protocol. This is because Seoul is both a good market for Blockchain as well as Gaming. However it takes effort to keep in touch with people. I spend some time every week to sit down and message people to gather some insights into my domain.
As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Daniel Shen. Daniel Shen more than 10 years of experience in investment banking & Fintech. He is well-versed in process re-engineering, innovation, human capital. He looked into Blockchain to find operational efficiencies in the bank. With battle-tested expertise, he is the founder of Soqqle. The gamified learning platform seeks to bring beneficial educational games into the class-room. With a government-sponsored grant, the company showcased in many exhibitions in 2018. Soqqle is now engaged with Singapore schools to gamify their curriculum. And join a Blockchain ecosystem.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I worked in a 5-star investment bank for almost a decade as a product and project manager. I realized I could achieve way more without boundaries and constraints. So I left to launch a startup. I started with a (ambitious) goal for youths to discover their human potential. And better use their time to get from passion to profession.
Personally I always had an affinity towards helping people. I felt that if I had received certain insights earlier in my career, I could have achieved way more earlier. So I spent quite a bit of time to mentor and guide graduates through initial years in the bank. I believe some of these can now be achieved with technology. If I had a platform like what I am building, I could be in a way different position.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I met one of my investors while selling an item on Carousell. She didn’t buy the item but we kept in touch. Later on I got her interested in my company and got her to invest as an angel! I learnt never underestimate or undervalue relationships with people around me. You never know what you could learn from them. And it has been fruitful ever since!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’m not sure if it’s the funniest but it’s certainly a mistake. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself when I first started. Especially as a solo founder. I started to form a team of corporate folks to get feedback on my company. We met up every week to go through updates and “advice”. I wanted to make sure I was on the right track. But all I got was astray. Horrible. Most of the time I didn’t learn anything new, and I needed reassurance. The team wasn’t setup as a startup. It was setup as a large corporate. I found new mentors ever since, with a better way to get better resource on gig economy.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
I am unable to clearly specify a winning social media platform for me. The art is to understand the rules of each. Outcomes must be measured to see what is the best way to get to our goal. I have attempted almost all types and they are all used for different objectives. Some shorter term, some longer term. In some cases, I adopt tools to achieve insights and information to better use the platform. For example, for Twitter — Audiense can be quite useful to search and identify people I could engage. Automation is also quite key and platforms like ifttt or zapier has proven to be quite helpful for me. Linkedin, however is a clear winner for business development.
Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
It’s vital to ensure that I build a certain personal brand. Very often I meet folks on the street who seem to have seen my updates. Just two days ago, I bumped into an ex-colleague on the street. We haven’t spoken in years. I told him I was doing well, and he said “yes I see your updates on Linkedin”. I’ve also been approached by investors and events based on my messaging and posts.
Keeping in Touch
It’s important to message folks that I have added on Linkedin. It’s also possible to analyze the market readiness based on the cold messages you give on Linkedin. When I went to Seoul, I realized that the market was very keen to meet me. As my platform is in educational gaming on Blockchain, esports companies are keen to see how E-Sports could work with a consensus protocol. This is because Seoul is both a good market for Blockchain as well as Gaming.However it takes effort to keep in touch with people. I spend sometime every week to sit down and message people to gather some insights into my domain.
Cross Sell Personal page vs Company page
It’s easier to build a personal brand on linkedin then build a company brand. Naturally people relate to people better than companies. As I start building up my connections and relationships with people, I share posts on my company page. People within my network then start to be aware of my company. This organic method has been quite powerful!
Content & Groups
It’s also possible to create useful content and share it on Linkedin. By making new connections related to my industry, I am able to reach an audience relevant to my content. And since I am writing content relate to career development and growth for youths, this is quite relevant for this platform. Eventually I manage my own personal profile page almost like a company page. Ensuring regular content, curation and making sure maximum distribution where possible.
Intrinsic Advertising on Company Page
If #2 is done well, the cpc for advertising on linkedin sponsored messages is way more effective. As friendly relationships are created, all messages are seen as “warm”. Any messages to join events, or purchase something may be seen as a “hot” message. The conversion is therefore higher. Even then the other social networks. (But again it depends on the goal and objective as other social networks may be better in other scenarios)
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would like to inspire a learning revolution for people to come together to learn and transform. This can be aided by technology — preferably mine :). In educational pedagogy, this would absolutely transformational in social learning and economic development. This can be gamified in a manner that rewards taking action. The educational system is ripe for youths to be self-directed towards where they can go. With Millennials, Gen-Zs seeking greater purpose in their career, the time is now.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have breakfast or lunch with Michael Siebel from Y Combinator. I watched every video of Michael on Youtube to get inspired and directions for my startup (Soqqle). I have shared his videos with the other entrepreneurs around me. The biggest thing I learnt from him is finding the customers who would die without me (works!), being selective on who (and what) I listen to and tons of other product advice!
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!
About the Author:
Phil Laboon wants to live in a world where actions speak louder than words, people shout their stories from roof tops, and where following one’s passion is the norm. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, his personal and professional life has spotlighted in hundreds of publications such as People Magazine, Rueters, Forbes, Inc, HuffingtonPost, and CBS This Morning. When he’s not building memorable brands or launching exciting startups, you can find him backpacking exotic countries looking for new inspiration and challenges.
If you would like to book Phil for an entertaining speaking engagement about inbound marketing or growing a business, he can be contacted HERE