If you’re thinking about writing and putting your work online but haven’t pulled the trigger yet, I want to give you some encouragement and show you some real life examples of how publishing my work online has changed my life.
Positive experiences and serendipitous opportunities started showing up within 8 weeks of launching my new personal brand website on 1st May 2020.
Unsolicited Positive Messages
I finally started attracting the type of people I wanted in my sphere of influence.
I’m a huge fan of filtering out the wrong people before they even get to see an opt-in form on my website. This means, I have a higher quality audience because I play the quality over quantity game.
Only those who resonate with my message will want to hear more from me — meaning the right people willingly add themselves to my email list without feeling like they were bribed to join.
I received numerous unsolicited messages and feedback from people who stumbled upon my work. They cared enough to write me lovely messages which made me all warm and fuzzy — definitely not something I expected. 🥰
During the last live class of Building A Second Brain (online course I took in April 2020), a fellow student reached out immediately after seeing my new website.
He resonated with this Miyamoto Musashi quote I had on my homepage at the time:
A week later, we connected on zoom, found that we shared many similar interests — productivity, writing, business, psychology to name a few, and quickly became friends even though he’s in Vancouver, Canada and I’m in Sydney, Australia.
We built a friendship over multiple zoom sessions. Every time we talk, we feel energised after our conversations. We still keep in touch.
New Promotional Partners
In June 2020, I bought PublishPress (WordPress plugin) and applied to become an affiliate.
Through my application process, the owner, Steve — an Englishman who lives in Florida, checked out my website (to make sure I was legit) and found odd similarities between our history.
He lived in Japan in the same years and in the same city I was there! I really can’t make this stuff up. The world shrinks when you connect with people online. Our emails back and forth turned into a zoom call.
My intention was to get to know him, learn about his business so I can write about it. I enjoy sharing great products I find and use myself.
He asked about my plans and what I did. I felt called to build my new personal brand website while waiting for my new job to start (which never happened due to COVID), but I wanted to write and continue to publish content as part of my marketing strategy as I looked into starting a new business.
At the time, I haven’t figured out what I’ll be offering yet because that work takes time, but I shared my initial ideas with him.
Little did I know he’d be excited about my idea, and said he wanted to promote it to his audience when I’m ready to launch! 😱
I was blown away that he wanted to help me because I didn’t even ask! We literally just met for the very first time on zoom. He generously offered me to write a guest post on his website for some exposure.
Out of the blue, I gained a promotional partner for a new business idea I haven’t even launched yet! 🤯
UPDATE (Sep 5, 2020):
My guest post has been published on the PublishPress website. It’s called 3 Expensive Content Mistakes Entrepreneurs Must Avoid.
In Aug 2020, I was introduced to Marilyn, a graphic designer in Singapore, when I decided to look for potential strategic partners for the new business I was looking to launch.
Before we officially met and connected on zoom, she sent me a lovely email after checking out my website. When we finally met on zoom, we hit it off and talked for close to 2 hours.
At the time, I was working on launching a 5 Day Challenge as a test for my new business idea. When I told her I had no audience because I’m starting from zero, she generously offered to help me spread the word without hesitation.
She was already doing things on LinkedIn and explained she could help me gain some exposure for my offer on her posts. She kept her promise and my test idea got more interest than I ever imagined I’d get on my own.
Around the same time, I also connected with Jesse, a new friend I made on Facebook who runs a Marketing Agency here in the Northern Beaches in Sydney.
When she found out that I was working on launching a new offer, she also generously offered to help without me asking. She kept her promise and shared my offer to her email list which gave me extra exposure.
Through our initial interaction on messenger, she already respected my work after checking out my website.
In my roller coaster entrepreneurial journey, I’ve never had promotional partners for my business and business ideas. I’ve always slugged it out on my own, and everything felt like an uphill battle.
It’s really nice to experience “business building” differently this time, because after a decade of struggle, I learned how to attract the right people to me.
Prospective Employer (Marketing)
In early March 2020, I got verbal confirmation of a new job at a digital marketing agency (which never panned out due to COVID).
As Australia went into lockdown in late March, Myron (owner of the agency) told me he needed to pivot his business which was totally understandable. I was actually glad about not starting the job right away, because I wanted time to work on my new website project.
I touched base with him at the end of May to get an update on his situation, and mentioned that my project was done. This was his response…
The “coffee catch up” was our 3rd meeting in person.
This time, his demeanour and energy toward me changed. It was different to our first 2 meetings where he was trying to suss out if I’d be a fit for his business. I was a ‘new hire’ to him.
At our 3rd catch up, he greeted me with a kiss on the cheek as if we were already friends catching up for a coffee — that took me by surprise, but I understood why…
He read my website before our 3rd meeting and felt a real connection with me.
He was also able to clearly see:
- my work in public
- some of my skills demonstrated
- that I “get shit done” (I had no website in March, and built everything from scratch in 3 weeks)
As entrepreneurs, we both know a resume is the worst way to tell if a person is a good fit for the job. Neither of us are fans of resumes. He barely looked at my resume when we first met for an interview.
A personal brand website kicks any resume’s ass all day long.
At our 3rd catch up, instead of talking about his business, our conversations went into health, other projects he’s working on and how much we both hate traditional networking because of the douchebags we encounter. 😂
Even though the job never panned out for me in 2020, I established a relationship with Myron and gained a new connection.
Note: I rewrote my entire website in Oct-Nov 2020 after gaining more clarity about what I wanted to offer for the new business I was developing. Then rebuilt my website again in Dec 2020.
Yup, just 5 months after launching my new website, I scrapped everything I originally wrote to make it relevant for business.
In case you’re new to marketing… Websites are always a work in progress — you’re never completely done. It evolves and grows with you. 😉
When I thought about building up my network as I step back into business towards the end of Dec 2020, I started doing outreach. I touch based with recruiters I already had relationships with to be on their radars again for part time work.
New business ventures takes time to get traction when you’re starting from a stand still and have no momentum behind you, so I tried planning ahead.
One of them (Ben) asked to meet with me after seeing my revamped website. Ben runs a recruitment agency and is in charge of the business strategy. He resonated with my message and my perspective on marketing.
We met just before Christmas since he had an interest in my service because he was working on their 2021 strategy.
I was curious and asked him how much of my website he actually read… he answered “All of it. I read everything on your website.”
When someone spend their time reading all your work, you know they are a quality prospect worth spending time with.
Prospective Employer (Recruitment)
Even though Ben was not ready to hire me as a consultant to help them with marketing… He reached out on email and offered me a job opportunity at the recruitment agency he works at after seeing more of my work in Feb 2021 — I developed and published a Business Owner’s Guide to help people navigate around the marketing industry.
He was looking for a business development person who is also marketing savvy. It sounded like a great opportunity that I seriously considered.
After careful consideration on both ends, we came to the conclusion that it was not the right thing for me. Our conversation was easy, the decision was the correct one — we walked away from the idea feeling good. We’ll be exploring how we can work together further down the track.
Benefits of Writing
As you can see, examples of serendipity showed up since I started publishing my work online less than a year ago.
I really hope my real life examples give you some hope and encouragement, and helped you see how life can change in spectacular ways that you least expect when you publish your work.
Serendipity is a beautiful concept. It’s magical to see and experience.
It can all seem like “luck” when opportunities show up at the right place and at the right time without any effort.
The truth is, there is a lot of hard work behind serendipity — that’s important to recognise. Opportunities don’t generally fall out of the sky…
The harder you work, the luckier you get in life.
My Secret Sauce That’s Not So Secret 😉
You might have noticed something unusual throughout my examples — My ability to establish trust and build new relationships pretty quickly.
Because I recognised that all human beings have a need to connect with others. You feel a connection if my work resonates with you.
It’s a result of how I’m naturally wired, as well as making connection a conscious decision.
My writing compresses bonding time with you because I’m willing to be 100% myself — warts and all.
Anyone can do this. No masks, and no superpowers required.
Just show up as yourself.
This is one of those things in life that’s simple, but not easy to do. Because showing up as yourself takes courage.
Side Note: Because I’m aware that every opportunity in life starts from a relationship, and that trust is at the foundation of any relationship…
I wanted to ensure that every single interaction I have with people (online or offline) starts with trust. Because trust is incredibly important to me.
This is why I design my website the way I do.
So… how do you start writing?
Glad you asked!
Here’s what I focus on…
|I’m Jen Kuo — A creator, writer, marketing consultant, systems designer, musician and personal growth enthusiast.|