It struck me when I prepared the content for sharing with Chị Dora. There are so many amazing things about her that I want to get to know more & share with our readers. She is a well-known writer, author, inspirational speaker, book translator, communication strategist, and mom of Guinness. In each role that she takes, she has done a fantastic job & inspired other friends and readers. I am also a follower of her blog at www.facebook.com/doracomms
Well, let’s have my special guest on board for this cozy sharing.
1. Hi Dora, could you introduce more about yourself to the readers? What is your superpower? What do you do in your free time?
Hey everyone, I am Dora. Though I earned my academic background in Finance and banking, my career is mostly related to communications. I seek to leverage my personal growth in every life or career opportunity. I also chose to pursue my Master of Public Relations with New Media in Ireland for that reason.
My current role is as a Content Strategist at Wildcats. It mainly focuses on developing content strategies and ensuring brand consistency in terms of content across multiple channels. I gravitate towards developing communication plans, expanding my network, and learning from my colleagues.
My superpower? It must be conveying all the messages through the written forms, and I am on my way to better deliver them visually as well.
What do you do in your free time? I love feeling productive, so I have been trying to be productive even in my free time. I browse LinkedIn instead of Instagram. I read professional blogs instead of tabloids. But what do I enjoy the most and often do the most in my free time? It must be taking my toddler out for a run in an open space.
2. Could you share further about your journey to become a well-known writer, a book translator, and a content strategist over years?
I started writing stories and articles to publish in Hoa Hoc Tro Magazine – a popular teenager magazine. I started writing to earn some lump sum money. But one has led to another. One day, a publisher asked me to collect all my articles and publish them as a book. Later on, I also followed the road to brand communication with my writing capability.
Many friends and readers have wondered how I can publish a book. I would say that it is indeed very simple. You can begin by researching the publisher’s requirements and filter which one suits your content type. You can tell the publisher why they should choose you among different authors. The key to success is Personal Branding. I have created a consistent brand regarding my profound interest in personal development via my social media account. It will be simpler to show the publisher how you can support promoting the book or support selling the book.
3. How does a normal day look to you and how do you manage different work scopes?
Everyone in my company is working from different locations, and thus I am getting used to our virtual office. I usually start my work at 8:30 am by doing an online check-in. Most mornings will be the time for meetings. In the afternoon, there will be more time for each one of us to focus on working individually. We have loads of “happy hour”, “dance hour”, “morning chit-chat” to make sure that everyone is well connected though we have never met in person. In the other parts of the day, I do other projects such as updating my blog and social media channels, translating books, or supporting our very own business – HESA Grocery Store Chain.
I am a fan of productivity. I read all things productivity that ever fall in my hand. Through my reading as well as my own experiences with productivity, I would like to pick two things to share with you that I hope will be useful to you as well.
- Eat the frog first. It is kind of a phrase to tell you to do the most uncomfortable task first in the morning so that everything else that follows will seem more doable. Google it if you want to find out more. But let me give you my example. I have to admit that I hate doing financial management for our own business (Hesa). It is not difficult. It just isn’t my thing. So when I am supposed to do it, I make it my first task in the morning. I make myself do it before I jump into anything else. It makes every other work seem approachable and lovely because “the worst thing” was over (laugh).
- Discipline works wonders. I used to rely heavily on inspiration in my writing, and I assumed that creative work should operate that way. Writers need the impulse to fuel up their writing momentum. Otherwise, there will be creative blocks. But at one point in my life, I discovered the magic of discipline. Do whatever you need to do no matter what.
When I came back from my first trip to Ireland, back in 2013, I set a goal of writing a book about that beautiful country and my memorable time studying there. I assigned myself to write over 20K words in one month, which meant that each day (except weekend), I must write at least 1000 words to finish the book on time. Instead of keeping track of my performance each day, I wrote each day. If I did not finish 1000 words in a day, I would push myself to write over 1000 words the next one, and thus I could achieve the estimated words in a week. The result was fruitful as I finished the book in one month. I wouldn’t claim myself as a strictly disciplined person but I am disciplined enough to get my things done.
4. What do you enjoy the most about writing?
My simple happiness derives from my readers. If only one person reads my article and finds it useful, I will continue my journey with joy. While the challenge is the algorithm of social networks keeping updating, I have to test and try to see which approaches or content is relevant. But again, this hurdle also gives me a source of motivation to change each day.
5. What are the key turning points/the key milestone/memory which you are most proud/happiest about your life?
After finishing my master’s in Ireland, I always thought about staying in big cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi to find a communication role. However, an unexpected change happened as I got married and moved to Huế – the beautiful ancient city in the middle of Vietnam. I was surprised that there were so many communication and branding activities in this small city. The marketing approaches might be different from those in the big cities. For instance, running online ads campaigns could be the main channels to reach current consumers or prospects in HaNoi or Ho Chi Minh City. However, running those methods in Hue would waste your money with the minimum results. Therefore, it urged me to adapt to changes and be creative whenever doing any communication activities here.
6. Well, as we all know that you are an author, writer and of course an avid reader, can you share with us about your books and your interest in writing & reading. (can recommend your favorite books or your own books chị).
One of the books that I have read recently is Tribes from Seth Godin, whose content is about building a loyal community in Marketing. It is of paramount importance to create authentic relationships with clients and prospects. You only need 1000 loyal audiences who are always willing to support you in whatever you do and will buy whatever product you sell. It is the art of showing the benefits and shared common values in your brand.
7. What will be your last food for thought to our readers?
Again I encourage everyone to build consistent personal branding. In each life stage, I have updated different content from personal growth, parenting, to my life values and concerns. You may not be the expert at first, but you can start sharing and learning along the way. The more you share about something, the more your future self will be crystal and clear. Once you create a genuine and bold personal brand, many opportunities will follow you.
We first met in Cork, Ireland 4,5 years ago as I took my exchange program, and she worked for Education in Ireland doing communications campaigns to promote Irish education to the Vietnam market back then. We didn’t have a chance to talk much at that time. But later on, as I aimed to study in Ireland and thus asked for her help, I realized that she was a famous author. I did appreciate her humbleness and encouragement a lot.
I wish you all the best to you c. Dora!
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