Content Creation

Don't bother forcing your customers

Marketers, don’t bother getting customers’ attention

2/3/19 Advertisers can’t catch people’s attention — Then don’t!

I was speaking to a friend who is working in a big cosmetics brand. We were having a conversation on how they are doing marketing now and what a tough time they face now.

First, she mentioned was that they no longer produce long-form articles. Reason being no one is reading content anymore (which I disagree). And by the content here we refer to textual content only. It could range from social media feeds to long-form articles, researches, and ebooks. She was also saying that most people are into the “fast-food” culture.

They want something visual, quick and instant. That’s the ONLY thing to catch their attention. Video creatives that they are producing now are soon shortening from 6 seconds to 2/3 seconds.

Now, my take. I disagree with this firstly because texts are the most basic and fundamental way to deliver, convey messages at large scale. Furthermore, it can easily be stored in a sustainable manner. That’s how we have been passing on most information since forever.

As long as you still google, you need textual content.

You're online, right?

The online world is filled with search-driven and intent-driven moments now. At least for the online world. Textual contents are the most straightforward way to build up the SEO pipeline. Not just articles. Arguing for youtube videos? The description under videos helps to pop up in the search rank. Looking to pin a great stock photo? The caption of the photo helps. (This should be discussed in another post though).

But hey, if your business and your users are still entirely offline, no online channel gets in your way, you probably can stop reading on. However, please comment and let me know what got you here in the first place, just curious:)

Of course, advertisements are improving. More efficient tracking results in displaying more relevant ads to users. In fact, as much as I hate ads, I did download a couple of workout, fitness apps from them. But in order for relevant ads to happen, the user would have already searched and looked up for that information. So why not giving them the best results in the first round when they look for it?

This is where content marketing and inbound marketing shine.

In fact, not pushing too many ads to users could even better for you. Because the advertising process could be an intrusive, one-way communication. You are pushing to them without much control. Got your audience’s attention to your ad? Congrats! But you’re still unsure of how likely will she turn into a paying customer.

It could be something that I like and what I would have bought. But the advertisement could also likely chime in with the wrong timing (happens to me all the time when I’m researching). That loses not only a customer but who knows, maybe getting a hater for seeing repetitive ads too many times.

Whereas content marketing or inbound marketing in that sense is quite the contrary. It allows yourself, your brand, and the products to be searchable. That attracts prospects that have a much higher chance of closing. They know what they want, no selling is needed.

You don't have to please them when they come to you

My biggest take: let your customers find you.

That is not to say active sales & marketing are not important. This statement is, in fact, lacking context but to capture the idea of pushing too hard forcefully won't work out as you would like to.

If your ads cannot capture the audience attention, then don’t even bother trying. Audiences, readers, users are smart. Consumers will spend their attention into things they are interested in.

And to non-marketers…. ad blockers are really some beautiful inventions.

Happy creating.


About the author

Edwin Ty

Founder of Maven Access. Passionate in building products, content that saves people time. In love with the future of work, believing that work is a big part of our lives and we should find ways to enjoy it.

Write about #Entrepreneurship, #Content, #product, random thoughts.


Content is the key for progression, not the tech

26/2/19 — Late night thought on how communication is key for culture progression, and in turn, the content.

A late night thought pops up as I’m reading stuff about coding and web technologies. It triggers me to think about what I am doing, learning is all about the web. Something that became popular only around mid-90s and early-00s.

The Internet is the source that now powers all these growth and web companies. Many modern advancements appear within the last 2 decades — online shopping (Amazon and eBay, classic), online payment, remote working, many more.

Then we have the 2007 inception of iPhones. Smartphones make websites more accessible to people. Internet became ubiquitous with our mobile devices everywhere and faster network, cloud etc. Suddenly you get the information around the globe at your fingertips.

All new information starts to flow in even more rapidly, even for work. Productivity enhanced with people communicating faster, better, more frequently. At work, many people can even power their business all from their pocket 24/7, me excluded.

The core development of all tech promotes how people invent, deliver, receive and retrieve information.

With all these great tools, good things spread faster and so are the bad ones.

​Culture is built from communicating the right information.

I’m always intrigued by the motive of running (or back then work for) businesses that save time for people. What we do at Maven Access should go beyond merely saving time for workers. We shall also aim at finding ways to enhance their work quality and efficiency. Done is better than perfect, but done in the wrong direction is worse than doing nothing.

At the end of the day, we are in the field of content marketing. Content regardless of any form, visual, audio, textual is the essence of communications. It is what matters for real communications. Reading junk from a content farm means nothing. That wastes your time for the very least let alone twisting facts.

Nerd alert: As an engineering grad, I love the concept of vector quantities, which consists of both magnitude (how fast you go) and direction (where do you go). Going fast in the wrong direction is awful.

Information is about getting right, quality content.

Anybody, not just working professionals, that would produce new content that might impact or affect others shall take note for:

  1. Better ways to deliver the content and;
  2. Better content quality

Good content is a determining factor. It is the bullet, what matters. All channels — social media, mobile, TV, podcast or influencer are the hardware, the guns. Whether or not if you shoot a lead bullet or bubbles from the pistol is your choice.

Based on what I thought we should take note on, that leaves me with 2 questions

One — What would be the next wave that fundamentally spreads right, authentic content faster, better? With the impact that as far as printing does in the 15th century or as near as mobile internet does in the last decade. Something beyond fancy front-facing applications but hardcore tech.

Two — How shall one select and detach from the overwhelming amount of information? Or better yet, detach from the internet at all from time to time.

TL;DR: I believe that technology helps us to connect with each other and the world’s information better. But to be sure you/your company is gatekeeping the quality and authenticity of it.

Please share your thoughts to help debug my 2 questions, comment here or tweet @edwin_psty

Happy writing!

Founder, Maven Access

About the author

Edwin Ty

Founder of Maven Access. Passionate in building products, content that saves people time. In love with the future of work, believing that work is a big part of our lives and we should find ways to enjoy it.

Write about #Entrepreneurship, #Content, #product, random thoughts.

Why are we taking down our freelancer marketplace

First of all, what is Maven Access

Maven Access is a Marketing Tech (MarTech) Startup. We aim to simplify content creation with a freelancer platform and AI tools. It’s all about creating the future workplace. We envision everyone works on anything they love, with anyone they like at anytime they want.

Our core value: time-saving. We started Maven Access as we want to save time for the workforce. That will never be changed nor pivoted, despite our products have changed a couple of times. 

We do it by reducing the friction of workflows between parties. That is where our freelancers, content collaboration tools, and NLP prediction model come in.

Why did we exist?

We are born to ease the pain of inefficiency at the workplace and its processes. We want to save everyone's time at work so they get more freedom on other things. The premise is that we connect businesses to right talents and resources they need to achieve great work, on demand at an affordable cost.

We believed 2 things by heart in our business.

  1. Freelancing and remote working is the future of work.
  2. Content marketing is the future of marketing.

"Maven (n.) One who is experienced or knowledgeable."

The inspiration of the name “Maven” was from the book “the tipping point” by the author, Malcolm Gladwell on how small things can make a big difference. We aspire to make a big influence in the world with a small impact each time. We embrace the concept of the connector, maven, and salesperson mentioned in the book.

We believe creators are the domain knowledge experts - Mavens. They will never be replaced. Whereas a good product along with good content carries the "salesperson" effect already. Technology is the best "connector" now to bring us together.

"Bottom line - we aspire to become an organization that helps people to sell, market, and work more effectively."

So... what happened with the marketplace?

Hey, Airbnb has launched 3 times before they hit the grand slam! We've discovered a way that wasn't optimal for us - a good sign!

We started out as a freelancer platform focusing on all the content writers such as copywriters, translators etc. in Asia cities. We connect SMEs and Small agencies to find and work with the local freelance talents directly.

The bright side of it

We managed to acquire talents that are super experienced in their respective domains. Close to 80% of our freelance talents are from the industry: being either a journalist or a PR practitioner. They know their stuff, they know their fields. Our projects come from different industries. From co-working space, e-Commerce companies, F&B companies, and fashion startups. On the B2B side, we've served investment institutions, professional conferences, publications and more.

Maven Access Marketplace Product shot collage

Now to the not-so-bright side of it.

Most of our clients are from Hong Kong, with some from the UK, Brazil, and Singapore. They don't quite adopt the model of "marketplace". Meaning most of the time, most companies would rather go through us through the offline medium, either phone, texts. On the other hand, due to our freelancers' identity by day, a lot of them chose to stay anonymous and let us handle the communications.

We once again became a traditional agency with many inefficiencies at work.
But there goes a learning part!

Our lessons learned

First lesson

We learned that our marketplace product isn't a perfect solution. There are many ways to perfect it and tweak it to suit the use case.

The second lesson

A more valuable one. Is the workflow of our clients. How to better create a product for them. Finding a freelancer for them isn't the end. Many of our current clients may not have a strategy in place at first. And they don't have the right way to manage all the people, content projects and content assets.

To solve this, we have launching our new product Maven COREThe original marketplace feature will integrate into the system. All content and information will stay safe and is well kept in our internal system as well.

Company users can now create content projects on Maven CORE. For each project, you get to collaborate with a set of involved stakeholders. And only relevant people can view and access the project content and assets. You get to create and edit content on the spot; checking all previous versions as references without even switching a tab. Approval process and project management are so much easier. 

Why using Maven CORE for content collaboration

Benefits of merging the marketplace into Maven CORE

1. Better security

Previously, as an open platform, many users have raised concerns regarding security and privacy. With an enhanced back-end infrastructure, we protect your personal and project information even better now. Collaborators can only view the content and assets within the project and nothing more. For managers perspective, it's much easier to control the access right level.

2. Onboard the right people to each project.

In each project, you could invite your collaborators to it. No matter your in-house team, vendors, agencies or freelancers. If they belong to your network or your vendor's network, just a click will drag them to the project.

3. You still get to find freelancers, but just much easier.

If you need help out of your network's expertise, hiring freelancer is just one click away. Here is how you can access our original marketplace freelancers. But this time, with a much easier communication flow. And the freelancer will be masked yet with our verified badge after the vetting process.

4. Tracking tasks and assignment

We often set milestones for a project. Such as "having research done by xxx", "completing draft 1", "adding graphics" etc. You can now set them for each project and track the progress. You can even assign a specific task to a person, regardless of the in-house team or vendor.

What's next

For company users

If you're interested in trying Maven CORE or ping me anytime. Are you looking for consultation on content marketing? Or need a curated freelance team to handle content projects? Please fill your brief at Access Link.

For the current freelancer member

Don't worry at all, your information will be kept safely with us internally and will be integrated into our system.

Most importantly, the default setting will be masked identity, which is equivalent to "Anonymous profile" in the current marketplace set up. Brands will only be able to see your relevant work, portfolio, experience inside Maven CORE as well as our team will curate for them.

For new freelancers

Please sign up your profile here. After submitting the form, our team will be in touch will you and vet your profile accordingly before going into the system.

Most importantly! We appreciate all our users, customers' support and we will continue on improving our products. This could not be done with us alone. We look forward to hearing all the feedbacks, product comments, feature suggestions from you all. Catch me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Stay awesome!

Maven Access

About the author

Edwin Ty

Founder of Maven Access. Passionate in building products, content that saves people time. In love with the future of work, believing that work is a big part of our lives and we should find ways to enjoy it.

Write about #Entrepreneurship, #Content, #product, random thoughts.