Here’s What You Get at the Free Workspace at Sengkang CC

Yes! It’s FREE! 100%! No membership fee, no subscriptions and no costs to use, drink the coffee, have some snacks and even hold your meetings. This is probably the best discovery and one that I really shouldn’t be sharing cos this may cause an influx of entrepreneurs living in the North-East to work here. But good-thing-cannot-don’t-share right?

The workspace@Sengkang CC is located on the fourth floor of the Community Club. Initiative by Mr Teo Ser Luck, he announced in February on Facebook that one of the rooms at Sengkang CC will be renovated to a workspace for working adults, entrepreneurs or anyone that needs to use an office to work, have meetings, print documents, stopover while waiting for children, to read, get cable news etc. There is a study area on the same level and now adults have a workspace too. A great initiative indeed to help the community. I hope this will be implemented across more Community Clubs in Singapore.

workspace@Sengkang CC has open-concept work desks, semi-private work area, lounging area, lockers, pantry with free coffee, tea, water and even snacks to power up our work engines. There are two meeting rooms, one that sits about 6 and the other up to 8/10. There’s high-speed broadband, pay-as-you-use printing and scanning services and even tablet stands for those who need to use them.

I’m very impressed by the decoration and style of this free workspace. To sign-up, all you need is your business card and they will issue a membership card to you.

Here are some photos were taken when I first visited… nice right the space?

The Meeting Rooms

Well stocked up Pantry

If you happen to spot me working here, don’t be shy to say hi ok! Would love to meet you. 🙂

For enquiries, you can contact them at 6715 7029. The last I checked, the workspace@Sengkang CC operates Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 6pm 9pm. Closed on weekends and public holidays.

Open Letter to Agencies Engaging Bloggers

Dear PR Executives, Account Managers, Community Managers and Blogger Agency,

I hope this blog post finds you well. I love your recent mass “Dear Blogger” email sent to me (more than twice for some) and I believe you really would like me to publish your release to help you hit your KPI. But there are some things I felt really upset about and so I’m penning them down here in an open letter. First I would like to thank you for taking time to read this letter, and hopefully you will find it so useful that you will publish it on your blog share it with your teammates and clients. And also to disclaim that this open letter is in no means directed to any particular executive, manager or agency, this is a generic open letter which I hope you would pick up, and help make your next blogger pitch or engagement a more result and relationship oriented one. All points below are based on my personal encounters and by no means representing anyone else other than myself.

1. “Dear Blogger” mass email is really ok

I really do not mind receiving a mass sent email addressing to “Dear Bloggers”, “Dear Media”, “Dear Friends” or whatever you are starting your email with. What really pissed me off is when I take the effort to reply with an acknowledgement or questions, NO ONE bothered to reply?! Perhaps because you receive too many emails every day and missed mine, or perhaps my little blog here isn’t on your A list of bloggers. If that’s the case, then please REMOVE MY EMAIL from your blogger list. You know how it feels to be ignored right? Well me too.

2. How do you QC your blogger list? Or it just doesn’t matter?

There are perhaps hundreds of bloggers in your list and you probably do not QC your list over time? Perhaps your KPI is just a blinded number of published post and social sharing, while the quality of content or the statistics of the bloggers’ social profile aren’t important. If you want all your bloggers on your list to treat you nice please do so in return and do your homework.

Say I’m just being jealous or eating sour grapes, but when you expect your bloggers to publish and share your events and promotions, you treat all of them fairly. That includes sending your media kit or media drop to all those you are engaging and not just that selected few and expect everyone to do the same thing for you. Bloggers are not blind you know? We follow each other online you know right?

Oh and you know what’s worst? You requesting for our address to deliver a media kit and then nothing came. Stop hurting my feeling please.

3. We don’t need to be BFF

You really don’t need to know everything about me nor read my blogs, but at least have the decency to remember my face or acknowledge me when I attend your event. Especially if is the first time we are meeting face to face, do not expect me to know how you look like because your face is not plastered in your emails, but mine (and almost all the bloggers) have our face on the blog, Instagram and Facebook. You at least have seen those profiles of ours once right?

4. Engage me at your event

5 years ago, when I was known as a “Tech Blogger” I was better engaged at events. The PR team and even some of the better folks from the brand’s team were always taking the initiative to engage everyone in small groups or individually. Starting small talks, sharing about their latest products, and some even know what I was up to during that period and managed to hold a good conversation.

But now, as a Mum blogger, it just doesn’t feel that way anymore. The executive or manager representing the brand may not be a parent yet, and probably only know the facts about the brand and products based on factsheets; so engaging with mums may be tricky for them. I believe some parents at the event may have more experiences and knowledge about their product than the executives. But it really is very awkward to be standing or sitting around at an event and everyone from the PR agency or brand is just hovering around instead of trying to get acquainted with us. At some “public” events, often I end up looking like a lost sheep amongst other bloggers, not sure what’s going to happen next or what is it that I should be doing. So please, take a little more initiative to engage or give better direction at point of event registration so we know what is expected of us when we are there.

5. Cross check your lists

So you have multiple teams in the same agency handling different accounts and each team have your own set of blogger list which you do not combine nor cross check with one another. When an executive or manager leaves the company, the list do not get handed over properly and then more lists are created. You missed out some good bloggers and you added in some new ones. After a few media drops and emails, you then realise your KPI result is dropping and you wonder why.

I wonder why too.

Picture this: Executive A sent a release for something that fits my blog content, then Executive B sent something that is totally unfit. And few weeks later, Executive C sent something to Blogger Z and left me out of it for something that fits right into my profile. Eventually I choose to ignore all emails received from this agency.

I hope the above 5 points are helpful to you. And I hope you would share it with your readers and followers team too. Oh and if this is the first time you are reading this blog of mine, please find below a short introduction of The Loving Mum.

Best regards,
Mummy C of The Loving Mum


 

About The Loving Mum

The Loving Mum is a personal blog of Mummy C, she is a mum to two girls Ayra (4) and Zara (2). She does social media consultation and influencer engagement with brands and agencies, and also co-founder of Getgo Parents – a family friendly and a better place for the modern parents to learn, find information and collaborate. The blog mainly focuses on fun, play and the mum. You can have an overview of the topics and content we publish here on The Loving Mum on our Site Map page. The Loving Mum welcomes both earned and paid engagements from brands the family and herself use and love. Some of our past campaigns can be found here and you can reach us via our contact form here.

Latest Statistics of The Loving Mum

Average Blog Page Views: 50,000 per month*
Average Blog Unique Users: 24,000 per month*
Instagram followers: Over 900
Facebook Fans: Over 700

*Averages are calculated by dividing the total accumulated statistics over the last 6 months. You can also see the latest verified traffic of The Loving Mum on SimilarWeb.com.

Ultimate Guide to SME Corporate Banking in Singapore

Now that you have registered your company, closed your first deal and received your first payment from client. Now you need a corporate account to manage your cash-flow. Which bank should you go to?

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Lowest Monthly Minimum Balance + Lowest (Almost Free) Service Fees

You are starting up and do not have that much extra cash to park in the bank account just so you can prevent paying the monthly fall-below fees. If so, then Maybank FlexiBiz is the one for you. The only corporate bank account with No minimum balance required and still pays you some interests for your account balance.

FlexiBiz Account is an interest-bearing current account that gives you the flexibility of managing your company funds without the need to maintain a minimum account balance, plus up to 0.038% p.a. interest on your account balance. Find out more about FlexiBiz and their transaction fees.

Summary of Maybank FlexiBiz

  • $1,000 initial deposit
  • No monthly minimum balance required
  • Charges S$0.50 per cheque
  • Charges S$0.20 per FAST transactions
  • No annual or monthly service fee

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Widest Network with Most Convenient SME Banking + Lowest Initial Deposit

If convenience is what you need, then consider the DBS Entrepreneur’s Account For Startup. Open an account with just S$500 initial deposit within the first 6 months of your company/ business incorporation. And you get to enjoy waiver of fall-below fee for the first 6 months from the opening of your account. Thereafter, a minimum balance of S$8,000 is required else a fall-below fee of S$25 will be charged every month.

Enjoy preferential rates and services with our customised package for start-ups. Set your business on a path for success with the DBS Entrepreneur’s Account for Start-Ups. This customised package is designed specifically for start-ups to provide affordable and convenient banking services that help you grow. You will also receive a wide range of value-added benefits including fee waivers and complimentary add-ons. Find out more about DBS Entrepreneur’s Account for Startup and their pricing guide.

Summary of DBS Entrepreneur’s Account For Startup

  • For new companies or businesses incorporated within the first 6 months
  • $500 initial deposit
  • No monthly minimum balance required for the first 6 months of account opening
  • Setup fee waived for IDEAL (Internet Banking) – monthly service fees applicable if require more than enquiry transactions
  • Free 30 cheques per month
  • Free ATM card

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The All-In Deal For Those Who Has High Banking Transaction Volume

The Maybank and DBS accounts though have very attractive banking requirements that is ideal for startups, but the OCBC Business First Account is ideal for startups with high volume of banking transactions. E.g. bank transfers, issuing of cheques, telegraphic transfers etc. OCBC though charges a monthly account fee of S$38, it includes their internet banking facilities, Velocity@ocbc for free. It also gives you a free personalised OCBC Business debit card, ideal for businesses who need to deal with online payments or high purchase volume with MasterCard or NETS transactions.

Find out more about OCBC Business First Account and their transaction fee guide.

Summary of OCBC Business First Account

  • For new companies or businesses incorporated within the first 6 months
  • $3,000 Initial Deposit
  • No minimum balance requirement for first 6 months
  • No account fee for first 3 months, S$38 per month thereafter
  • Free 30 cheques per month
  • Free monthly transactions
  • Free OCBC Business debit card

For The Lowest Fall-below Fees

UOB eBusiness Account offers you banking convenience so that you can manage your business while enjoying savings at the same time. Benefit from a suite of round-the-clock banking channels for your banking needs. Find out more.


These are the four best deals available for Startups in Singapore for now. All details accurate at time of posting this up. Please check the respective bank’s website for latest details and information.

So you want to blog?

Blogging is getting way more accessible and easy to start now as compared to more than 13 years ago where I started. It was GeoCities that got me started back then and then to Blogspot (Now Blogger) and with help from few friends online, I migrated to WordPress and never turned back.

The list of blogging platforms available now is overwhelming. Besides the pioneering ones listed above, there’s Ghost, Medium, Svbtle and Silvrback, just to name a few. Trend now is focusing on your writing with minimum distraction.

Wait! Focus on writing?

Yes! Blog as defined here is… “A discussion or informational site published online, consisting of posts displayed in reverse chronological order…” But with the transformation and blurring of traditional print media and online digital publishers, blog can now be more than just a personal channel. If done right, any individual or group can become a respected or popular publisher online.

But it is really not that simple.

Read Smith’s take on how being a blogger is tougher than you think, Wacky Duo’s Dad guide to becoming a Daddy Blogger and my personal take on bloggers outreach from many years ago (but still very much relevant in today’s context). The sound of being a blogger is almost glamorous for some, but in reality it is a rather dirty and exhausting “extra-curriculum activity” unless you are doing it full-time and earning good advertising dollars and sponsorship from it.

Some of these hard work include:

  • Time spent attending media events.
  • The lousy feeling when treated like second-class media at events.
  • The many sleepless night spent editing photos, drafting the posts and sharing it to get readers to read and appreciate your hard work.
  • The many email bouncing between PR/ advertising agencies to get a giveaway or campaign finalised.
  • The effort in planning the giveaway mechanics, setting it up, picking, verifying and contacting the winner for a giveaway.
  • Replying to comments, emails and enquiries from readers, sometimes with need to check back with the brand or agency for answers etc.
  • The guilty feeling of spending too much time on the blog instead of real full-time job, family or school work.

For the young and energetic youths, you may feel that the above may not be relevant to you; or you think that it takes just a tap of the fingers on your keyboard to get media invites, advertisers or sponsors for your newly setup blog, then be prepared to reach the “Blogger burnout” faster than you can pronounce the longest name for a place in Wales – “Llanfairpwllgqyngyllgogerychwydrobwllllantysiliogogogoch”.

This post was first published by Claudia on YOLO.pub. 

What happened at #BlogMeetSG and a giveaway!

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

#BlogmeetSG took place for the first time on 11 February 2015 at Edit Lifestyle along Tanglin Road. A unique networking event in Singapore for bloggers and brands to connect. Each brand has contributed samples of their artisan products to the gift bag for all those who attended #BlogmeetSG. And like all blogger events, everyone was encouraged to blog, tweet, share and like the brands on social media. Most of those who attended played our part and posted actively on Instagram.

So what took place at the first #BlogmeetSG hosted by Lucy from Lulabelle Lifestyle. After a brief meet-and-greet, and collection of name tags, bloggers were left to network and meet the brands on our own. So you either make the first move to introduce yourself to the other bloggers and brand owners or you hang around till someone approaches you. The first half an hour was quite awkward as everyone was just getting warmed up at the event. Soon after, most of us were going around introducing ourselves and checking out what the brand owners had to share about their products.

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

With such a pretty backdrop for the evening, it was almost like a networking held by the beach (minus the sand, sea and the moon) but filled with pretty products, fashion and style, and yummy treats (Macaroons) from Hediard.

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

Bill from Hat-Of-Cain was super nice and friendly, helping everyone measure our head circumference to fit their lovely Panama Hats. Photo below shows Bill wearing the simple yet stylish Panama hat that suits both male and female. They even have sizes for kids! These Genuine Panama Hats are made in Ecuador from Toquilla straw. The Ecuadorian weaving process is extremely laborious and each Panama Hat is hand-made with great care.

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

These hats all come with adjustable bands for the in-between sized heads. And do you know the proper way of handling your hat is by its brim and NOT the crown? And when resting the hat on a table, you should rest it on its crown rather than on its brim! Didn’t you just get that “Ah-ha!” moment?

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

Besides the delicious macaroons from Hediard, there were these lovely sweet treats from Leelas Chocolates. These chocolates are not just pretty to look at, but oh-so-rich too!

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

Leela’s Fine Chocolates creates luxury handmade chocolates in Singapore, made from the finest European couverture chocolate and natural ingredients. There are many classic favourites and fusions flavours, and bespoke items can be made for all occasions and tastes too.

Leela is a graduate of Ecole Chocolat and has been sharing her love of chocolate and her passion for chocolate-making since the start of 2013. In addition to making chocolates, Leela’s Fine Chocolates runs chocolate making workshops and tasting events. I now know who to call when I need some decadent chocolates for my guests at my events.

In the take-home gift bag for bloggers, there were these two lovely pink bracelets from Jasper Living. Founded by Louise Werling Jasper in 2012, Jasper Living is a boutique company that designs and creates handmade jewellery. Primarily of Asian inspiration – and particularly the multi-national lifestyle in Singapore – the products pay homage to the different city areas of the city.

#BlogMeetSG went pretty well I guess, judging from the happy faces I saw that evening. Having planned and hosted similar events myself, I know lots of hard work, coordination and time was invested into such an event. Of course some things could have been better and I’m sure Lucy will be able to improve on it and host an even better #BlogmeetSG the next round. And as stated in the post title, I’m going to share some goodies with you!

The Loving Mum (#BlogmeetSG) Giftaway!

Sharing the goodies received from #BlogmeetSG, I’ve got the following lovely gifts for one lucky reader/IG follower. All you need to do is to (1) follow @claudia10 on Instagram and (2) post a comment + tag a friend on THIS post on Instagram. I will pick one winner at random to send these lovely gifts.

  1. A nice leather keychain from Naaakka Enterprises.
  2. Six pieces of 100% cotton muslin for children from Appletree.
  3. Three lovely bracelets + $25 discount voucher from Simone Irani.
  4. A petty necklace from Shiva Bespoke Designs.
  5. Two gift cards from Just my Type.

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

#BlogmeetSG by The Loving Mum

Winner will be announced on 23 February 2015 on this post. Start tagging and commenting now on Instagram!

This Is Me.

Coincidentally I was just at a launch yesterday with the tag #thisisme and today I have to do this post to fully disclose who I am and what I do, because not everyone that is reading this blog and in the communities I am (or used to be just a day before) know me for who I am. So this is me being transparent with my history is this whole blogging community I have been committed to since 2007.

The timeline below documents the things I did and the things I am doing now. All these community commitments were done with hope to help shape and grow together with no money was earned but lots of time and energy put in.

Why did I do it? Because I enjoy gathering like-minded people together to share knowledge and experiences. Because these events help provide a networking platform for passionate people in the community. Because I really enjoy doing what I am doing.

If you want to know what did pay me for the things I do, take a look at my Linkedin profile.

Blogger Engagement Doesn’t Work

Brands, companies, startups and even government agencies have been doing it for more than 10 years now. Some very experienced and know that it doesn’t work but is still doing it. Some new comers who are just starting to venture into this now overly crowded media with bloggers and social influencers, who will eventually find that they are just wasting time. I have been doing this whole blogging and engaging/ marketing through mediums – blogs and social networks actively for at least 8 years now, seeing both side of things, I have just one thing to say. THIS DOES NOT WORK! Not for everyone and surely not for everything the advertisers and communicators want to achieve. And it is a super time consuming and energy burning method of advertising and communication.

I am in this business and so I am (usually) in the known of what’s juicy, who’s doing what and how all the active big brands engaging bloggers are doing with this digital medium. This medium is growing so fast and furious over the past couple of years it is impossible to keep track of everything and all the new blogs that are sprouting out on a daily basis. Everyday I chance upon a new blog and new influencer. And every one of them seem to have some form of sponsorship or advertorial going on in their new and little readership blogs. Check their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter following and they hardly have enough followers and fans to fill a badminton court. WHAT? What are these brands and agencies doing reaching out to these blog owners? Well, this brings me to the topic of “Everyone Is Influential” which I will publish in another post.

Let’s get back to this post’s topic – Blogger Engagement DOES NOT WORK!

Ask anyone on the street, at Raffles Place, at the market or in the malls, ask them to list three blogs they read or heard of. Probably for every 10, less than 3 will be able to do that, the rest probably tell you they don’t read blogs nor follow any of these things and people online. Blogging is just another industry, one with many unique characters and communities. One that are highly talked about in the advertising, marketing and communication departments of companies. One that gets highlighted on front page of the print papers when someone fame another, when followers dropped by the ten thousands or when there is something worth gossiping about. Other than the above, nobody care what a blogger is saying or which celebrity bloggers are endorsing a new tyre company.

Blogger engagement, blog advertising, influencer marketing and whatever you call it; these digital mediums we use does not work for everyone nor for every business objectives. Same goes to big budget outdoor advertising and TVCs, they are not effective for everyone and everything too. Then why are big companies, learning institutes, statutory boards and government agencies still putting their budget into these digital online mediums?

Probably they are doing it right. Probably they are using this medium in a more integrated approach for a much bigger campaign. Perhaps it still works for some objectives, like the following…

Need for content
Content is king, content is key in digital marketing! This phrase been heard and mentioned all the time since 2000. And it still is the key essential for digital marketing, more so now as brands struggle to keep their Facebook page and Instagram profile updated with content that engages. For an established brand to reinforce their product, their users’ experience and users’ endorsement speak louder and of more volume as compared to the brand recommending themselves.

Blog posts with review and user experiences with your product and services are worth sharing with the communities brand built. No matter if it’s organic from a real paying customer or sponsored with the experience. These posts and sharings online make good word of mouth for great products.

Need for talents
Bloggers and Instagram users are revealing and showcasing their best online. There are pretty girls, cool looking dudes, cute and adorable children and babies and even well groomed parents. If these influencers are looking great online and with some following of their own, wouldn’t they be ideal for your next brand photoshoot or commercial?

Need for reach and awareness
Well, first I have to say, no matter how many million views one get on the blog or how many likes they get on Instagram, these does not mean that your campaign gets 100% of those amazing reach too. Because often those liking photos on Instagram are “tappers” that’s what I’ll call them, they double-tap as they scrolled down their feed blindly, and those with lots of comments on their posts, click on them and you see many random comments by people from all around the world. Are all these users within your target reach? As for the real views the blog gets their millions of page views from are often for just the few click worthy or search loving posts (or about SEX and hidden from main site) published and hidden somewhere deep in these blogs, if your post is not on the homepage of the blog or appearing highly ranked in the search results for your target audiences then no one is reading it. This brings me to my last point…

Need for search and link love
Blogs are a great medium for search engines. Especially so with well written (and keyword intensive) blog posts that gets ranked highly when the intended keywords are searched by your potential customers. No matter an organic post or one that was sponsored for, when someone searches for a product or services you provide and get to read about a real review about it, the chance of them completing a purchase cycle is higher. The question is whether or not these users will eventually land one a purchase page on your website after the post? This is where the link loving from the blog owner is important.

So you see, blogger and influencer marketing don’t work for everything a marketer or communicator need but this medium still works in some ways. But when strategied and integrated well into your next marketing campaign with adequate blog study and engagement, you may just hit more sweet spots with your next paying customer.

How have you planned to make your next social media or digital campaign work the right way?