Inkspirer Helps Entrepreneurs & Organisations Make Meaningful Connections with Target Markets
What’s your story?
I’m a content writer, communication strategist, and freelance journalist – roles I believe I was destined for. When I was eleven years old, my father – an immigrant from India with a brilliant business mind – handed me responsibility for all written communications for his business. We still work together and he still pays in hugs. My official career in communications began in my early twenties, and I’ve since worked for some of the world’s best PR agencies and in-house communications teams. Two years after moving from the UK to Hong Kong in 2006, I realised I’m most fulfilled when I work with entrepreneurs and organisations that share my purpose: to improve lives and inspire positive action. And so I founded Inkspirer. My side hustle as a freelance journalist stems from a desire to help others release their untold stories, to allow them and others in similar circumstances, to move forward, in the same way the written word has helped me from the moment I could hold a pencil.
What excites you most about your industry?
Globalisation and the rise in digital media mean today’s customers are savvier and more spoilt for choice. While businesses increasingly acknowledge the importance of quality content and consistent communication to connect with their customers, there’s content saturation no matter what industry the business is in. Also, customers now absorb content in diverse ways. Some may prefer written form, while others may prefer video or audio.
So businesses need a more sophisticated way to communicate, one that cuts through the noise and speaks to their customers on an individual level.
The communications and content marketing industry is constantly growing and adapting to an evolving world. No two days are the same. I could be writing press releases, blog posts, video scripts, newsletters, web copy, or social media posts. I could be strategising, sourcing interview and speaker opportunities, training spokespeople, or managing a crisis. I get to blend conventional and innovative practices to deliver results for my clients and that is what I find fascinating and rewarding.
What’s your connection to Asia?
My husband and I moved from the UK to Hong Kong fourteen years ago to discover new cultures and ways of living and working. Our three children were born here, as was my business!
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I work with clients across the globe and their experiences bear testament to my belief that Hong Kong is an excellent place to set up and grow a business. The location works well to connect with clients here and abroad. The process of opening and running a business is relatively straightforward, taxes are low, and like-minded entrepreneurs are willing to go out of their way to support each other’s success. Hong Kong is a small city with a huge heart. With so many individuals and local organisations striving to do good, I believe I’m where I’m meant to be at this time.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
My mother gave me my first lesson in communications when I was a little girl: “When someone barks at you, don’t bark back!.” She taught me to listen, allow space for a person to vent, take the time to see what lies behind a person’s obvious emotion, and then connect appropriately. It’s a lesson I try to follow and teach every single day.
Who inspires you?
I’m greatly inspired by my parents for their rags-to-riches story, incredible resilience, and unwavering commitment to help those in need; and my brother for his work ethic and dedication to his family.
My husband and our children are my greatest teachers and the driving forces behind Inkspirer.
My clients have incredible talents, commitment to the people they serve, and the desire to continually develop their skills and services to meet their audience’s needs.
Finally, I’m inspired by my features’ contributors for bravely sharing their experiences to bring light to others’ darkness; and the newspaper editors I work with who so thoughtfully and respectfully review the stories I write.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I work with incredibly insightful and intelligent people, so I learn something interesting every day. I’ve recently learned about the multiple factors in our lives that can significantly affect our health and wellbeing. It’s eye-opening stuff. And I’m currently learning about the factors that can affect our resilience and ability to deal with change. Learning is a huge perk of my job. My work helps to quench my thirst for knowledge!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I come from a family of workaholics who have given blood, sweat and tears to achieve success. I’ve always put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed and I’ve never been good at asking for help. But juggling multiple hats without appropriate support made me sick, which impacted my interactions with family and productivity at work. I’ve since reworded my definition of success, and I’m getting better at reaching out for help. It’s a valuable lesson that has allowed me to look out for others who may be overdoing it at the expense of their personal wellbeing.
How do you unwind?
Through reading, though my husband gets frustrated because I can’t put a good book down. I have to read it in one sitting. I enjoy uninterrupted time with my family, dancing with my kids, taking walks in nature. Prayer, kirtan, and meditation also help me unwind.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
For the past five years, we’ve spent Christmas and New Year’s in Phuket. We read, swim, play, and eat all day, every day for a couple of weeks. The beaches and blue skies are beautiful, the service at the hotel we stay at is fantastic, and we’re big fans of Thai food. Towards the end of our holiday, I’m so relaxed I resolve to do more and be more when I’m back in Hong Kong, then I fire off a few emails to set the wheels in motion. By February, I’m counting down the months till we return to Phuket!
Everyone in business should read this book:
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About The People We Don’t Know. Malcolm Gladwell challenges how we think about strangers, the assumptions we make, the stories we tell ourselves, and the tragic consequences of miscommunication.
Shameless plug for your business:
Inkspirer is a trusted communications consultancy for purpose-fuelled entrepreneurs and organisations. For over twenty years, I’ve helped businesses across the globe formulate successful communications strategies, position and strengthen their brand, and craft content that captivates, connects and converts their target audience.
I strategise and write for large and small businesses focussed on healthcare, corporate wellness, executive coaching, education, and families. In fact, any business that is built on doing good. I’m an award-winning storyteller, a certified Digital Marketing professional, and an experienced media trainer. My team includes hand-picked photographers, web developers and graphic designers who fulfil clients’ creative needs. Whether you’re looking for a content writer, a communications strategist or a freelance journalist, I’ll do what I do best, so you can do what you do best!
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.