Learn From Comic Content How to Boost Your Financial Power
What’s your story?
The Woke Salaryman was started as a content portfolio. Our goal was to start a page that could consistently get huge numbers and use that to either start a content agency or sell workshops to corporate clients. When our very first comic post went viral, hitting 6k shares in a matter of weeks, we knew we were onto something. Five months in, we had our first sponsored post with CPF as our client, and we realized that The Woke Salaryman could be directly monetized in a sustainable and responsible way.
Nearing the anniversary of our first comic post, on April 23rd, we now have more than 123k followers on Facebook and almost 50k followers on Instagram.
As founders, we are a couple of content creators who attended Ngee Ann Polytechnic together. I am a copywriter who works in advertising and content, and Wei Choon is a visual storyteller who also works as a marketing manager at a medtech firm. We are a successful team because our values and interests are one in the same.
What excites you most about your industry?
We love the content and social media space because it’s about giving power back to the audience. The fact that you can’t win just by spending more money, that you need to provide intrinsic value to your audience, is deeply exciting to us.
It’s no longer a case of “if you build it, they will come.” With the advent of technology and social media, anyone can become a publisher and creator. A single person can command the attention of millions whilst corporations with deep pockets struggle to achieve the same. The key, first and foremost, is to provide value.
We contrived a new truism, “If you create value, they will come.” This concept extends to the way we do business. Our core customer is not the sponsor that pays us, it’s our readers, because our audience is the reason our sponsors approach us in the first place. Thus, we are absolutely honest and upfront with our sponsors and we do not run stories that we don’t believe in, no matter how much we might be paid. This means that we may lose out on short term payoffs, but we are confident that our core approach to being honest and valuable will be more rewarding in the long run.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Singaporean and co-founder, Wei Choon, is Malaysian.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
We thought about all the input we have received from others and agree that the best advice we received is that life is suffering, and the “pursuit of happiness” is meaningless. Instead, do something meaningful so you can endure the suffering that life will inevitably throw your way.
Who inspires you?
We are inspired by Jordan B. Peterson’s books and lectures. They have helped us figure out the what’s and why’s of adulthood.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
We think that the saying, “when the student is ready, the master appears,” is really true. So much wisdom is around us, but we often have all these mental blocks preventing us from understanding them. But when one lets go of one’s ego a little bit, and becomes less skeptical, and starts to listen to other points of view, one realises they’ve been missing out on so much opportunity.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
We would have gotten “Woke” about our personal finances earlier, and put them in good order, allowing us to start The Woke Salaryman sooner.
How do you unwind?
We both cycle for fun and play video games together, quite a lot.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Japan. The food is good. The country is clean. And, even if they dislike you, they won’t show it. Sometimes it’s great to be blissfully unaware.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Shoe Dog: A memoir by the creator of NIKE” by Phil Knight
Shameless plug for your business:
Join us, as together, we develop a better relationship with money, with the ultimate goal of strategically achieving what is meaningful in life.
How can people connect with you?
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’.