Typing this blog up 11:15pm on a Monday night in Shenzhen – just landed about 30 minutes ago. I get wechat messages often from friends – envious of my travel schedule. I took think its pretty awesome – but it takes a lot of practice and patience! Wifi not working in airports, batteries constantly on empty, lost in new locations, meetings changing times and locations last minute. Trust me, I like the busy life, but I’d recommend you try it out for a while before getting too jealous 😉
I like to recap my trip, reflect both for myself and those reading interested to know what I’m up to.
My primary reason to go to Shanghai was to meet some potential investors. But of course, there is so much else to do!
Clients for SocialAgent.me – Shanghai is known to be a very cosmopolitan city, financial and fashion. Its also known to be where a high population of westerners live and do DOMESTIC China business. I’d have to say its the center of China sales and marketing divisions – both Chinese and Western companies. That said, a majority of Social Agent’s clients have their offices here. We’ve been getting a bit better at “putting our signup process” online, but still meeting clients face to face is extremely helpful in understanding their thoughts, gain invaluable feedback, and strengthen relationships. I definitely have to make it to Shanghai on a regular basis – thinking to try to do it monthly.
Business Development (BD) – Another thing I’m working is building business to business relationships. In Shanghai there are quite a few tech companies (not nearly as much as in Beijing, don’t get me wrong) – and I have been discussing some cooperations with big data companies and internet marketing companies here. A rather long getting to know you process, but some interesting movements this time, and we’re getting more and more comfortable.
Getting together a small team in Shanghai – As I said, I may have to get to Shanghai more, and I’m starting to find trusted people and getting them up to speed more on the general business direction. For years I’ve known people in the city, and as I have said, I went back to Shenzhen / Hong Kong mainly for product development (our CTO Chris Li is based in Hong Kong), now that we have launched our product – its time to ramp up our sales and marketing initiatives.
“Mike the Greek” – he is sitting next to me now on the Shenzhen metro, he is coming down to renew his visa but also giving some advice and may join our startup as a “Product Manager”, we really need to get more detailed product specifications – and he is definitely a qualified guy with 2 masters degrees in business design and user experience.
Social Media Training Seminars – I wanted to get together a more formal training seminar, but even without saying anything, I had met on Sina Weibo a company who wanted some private training on Facebook and Linkedin, for her new export-based factory business. Therefore, I extended my Shanghai trip til Monday and presented a 3 hour training seminar on using Social Media for business. Had part of it recorded and will try to make more proper training seminar marketing materials since there seems to be so much demand.
While I’m trying my best to build an online product and platform, its still necessary for me to get some “face time” with key people – especially since we’re still in rather early stage product development.
Yes…I do need to get to Beijing sometime soon as well.