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Guest Posts Kavoir & Whatever

Content Creation 101: How To Start

content creation

Content creation can help any digital marketing strategy take off. If you’ve found your digital marketing efforts haven’t brought in as many new customers or promoted as many sales as you like, it might be time to take a look at your content. Creating content can sometimes be as simple as using photoshop to create a meme or writing engaging blogs that help customers learn. 

No matter how they create content, successful businesses agree that content is crucial to their marketing success. So here’s how you can start creating better content right now.

Write for People First

content creation

SEO is one of the most beneficial digital marketing strategies for businesses of all sizes. However, content creation shouldn’t be about getting Google or other search engines to rank your content. Instead, you should write for your target audience, not Google, and then worry about SEO once you’ve written an informative blog post or web page. 

While SEO is an effective strategy to get your business in front of more prospects while increasing brand awareness, you can start writing content without worrying about SEO. Unless you’re an SEO professional or have hired an SEO agency, you shouldn’t worry yourself about the hundreds of ranking factors that will affect where you appear on search engine results pages. 

By writing content for your customers, you can provide them with a better experience on your website and build trust, which can help boost your SEO without putting all of your time and energy into it. For example, suppose you need to market your employment background screening company. In that case, you would write blog content for business owners who need to learn more about HR, hiring, and recruiting. 

That being said, SEO is effective, so you shouldn’t put off SEO for too long. If you have the resources to immediately begin SEO and want to watch your web pages crawl up the pages of Google, then there should be nothing holding you back. However, if you don’t have the resources to fund SEO right now, consider waiting until you can hire an agency that can truly help you. 

Consider FAQs

Content is meant to be helpful for your prospects and customers. If you’re not sure what to write about, consider starting with your customers’ frequently asked questions. You can go through a list of customer FAQs and begin writing short blog posts on those topics to answer their questions and start building trust. 

Consistently Create Content 

There’s no need to follow a strict content schedule, but you should always consistently publish content. Small businesses just starting may benefit from a fixed schedule that will keep them moving forward, but it’s not going to make or break your digital marketing efforts. 

If you don’t have a team helping you, consider starting small and creating content once per week. Once you’re done with the content, you can schedule it to be published and start working on the next piece of content. 

By getting into a groove, you can develop the habit of consistently writing content. 

Consider SEO General Rules

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of writing engaging content, you might want to consider going back and optimizing your content so more people can find it online. While there are over two hundred ranking factors, there are small steps you can take to improve your content’s SEO, including:

  • Frequently posting new content 
  • Writing at least 300 words
  • Correctly formatting blogs and web copy 
  • Linking to other resources

Of course, these are only SEO baby steps. If you truly want to maximize your budget, you’ll need to work with an experienced SEO agency. 

Don’t Forget Visuals

Visuals are content, too, and they are often more engaging than text on a page alone. You should always use images and/or videos to enhance your content. However, videos and images are types of content that can stand up well on their own. 

If you’ve recently written a blog about a FAQ, consider finding ways to add a visual aspect to the blog to break up long blocks of text. You can do anything from creating videos to infographics. Then, make sure to share those visuals on social media to make people want to stop scrolling to click on a link to your blog post. 

Repurpose Content

As you may now realize, there are many different types of content, including images, videos, blogs, and presentations. Consider repurposing old content and turning it into something new that can help you leverage the information you already have while presenting it in another way. 

Repurposing content can also help you maintain your content calendar without worrying about finding a new topic to write about every week. Instead, you can make one article into a video and infographic that can be shared on your social media to engage your audience. 

Consider Distribution 

If you’re already doing SEO, then you won’t have to work as hard to distribute your content. As your blogs rise the ranks of Google and other search engines, your content will be distributed to people who are already searching for more information about the topics your blogs cover. 

Whether or not you’re doing SEO, you should also consider other types of content distribution, including social media and email. After all, if you’re creating great content, you want as many people to see it as possible. 

So make sure you send all of your new content on a schedule to your email subscribers while also posting it organically on social media. If you want to truly get more eyes on your article, consider creating a sponsored post on Facebook, Instagram, or even LinkedIn. 

Get Help

If you can’t seem to keep up with your content schedule, then it might mean you need to hire a content creator that can write articles and work with designers to create visuals to supplement the articles. Of course, you can also hire a content marketing agency that can do everything for you so all you have to do is sit back and focus on running your business. 

Matt Casadona

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music. 

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Guest Posts Kavoir & Whatever

How To Proactively Manage Your Programming and Personal Lives

programming

Managing your business and personal lives can help you get more work done and lead a happier, healthier life. However, instead of cracking down on yourself to get more done in a day, consider giving yourself free time that can help you spend time enjoying life. Even if you love your job as a programmer, there are still some days you wish you could have more free time. 
Instead of choosing to spend more time on programming or your personal life, consider addressing your time management skills to conquer both. Believe it or not, you can get more work done without cutting into your free time. Time management allows you to create the perfect work/life balance so you’re not overwhelmed in any aspect of your daily life.

Time Management for Better Work/Life Balance

programming life

Everyone has their own way to manage their time. Many people have great time management skills, while others could use a little help and more time in a day. However, anyone can improve their time management skills to increase their efficiency and productivity as long as they’re willing to follow their method. 

Get in the Right Mindset

It can be difficult to get into a good mindset about all of the tasks you have to complete in a day if you’re looking at being busy as a bad thing. Instead of thinking about how stressful your day will be, consider how great you’re going to feel when it’s all over. 

There are many ways to get yourself in the right frame of mind to start your day off right. For example, many people put on their running shoes and go for a long jog in the morning so they can start their day energized. Others prefer relaxing with a nice cup of coffee before they start their workday. Whatever you need to do to get into a positive mindset, do it before you start working so you can start the day off right. 

Prioritizing

There are many different time management methods for you to choose from. However, if you notice you have to work longer hours to get the same amount of work done as your coworkers, it’s time to switch it up. Consider prioritizing tasks that will take longer or those that are most important to you. 

First, start every Monday morning by listing out your programming projects and planning your schedule. Next, you can start branching out from these projects and list out the smaller tasks that are involved in them. 

Looking at your list, you can prioritize projects and tasks by their importance or deadline and understand how they relate to one another. If you see that you have multiple tasks under one project, you can tackle all of the tasks in that project to get it completed quicker instead of jumping around from project to project. 

Consider the Future

When you’re working at your desk on small tasks, you might forget about the larger project. However, by looking at the project as a whole, you can see how these tasks impact the outcome of something larger. 

At the end of the day, write down everything you were able to accomplish and compare it to your other list to see how many things you could not accomplish. Then, instead of feeling defeated, reorganize your list for the next day and look at all of the things you were able to accomplish in just eight hours. By continuously writing down and evaluating your goals, you’ll be more able to accomplish them. 

Get Small Tasks Out of the Way

Having a task list in hand is a great start, but if you want to plan your time better, you’ll need to set a schedule for each task, including how much time it should take you and when it should be completed. 

If you see a bunch of small tasks that all relate to one project, consider tackling those first the following day. For example, if you have to do the dishes, try doing them first thing in the morning so there won’t be any excuse for you to put that chore off at the end of the day. 

Chunk Large Tasks

Chunking is when you take something large and break it into smaller pieces. For example, if you have a large project due at the end of the week, break it up into smaller tasks you can accomplish every day. Over time, the small tasks you complete will equal one project. 

You can even chunk tasks at home. If you have to clean your bathroom, don’t look at it like you have to clean an entire room. Instead, look at the small tasks, such as cleaning the toilet, wiping down the counters, mopping the floor, and start accomplishing those one at a time. 

Stop Getting Distracted

How often do you get distracted at work? Most people get distracted quite a bit, whether it’s checking their phones or having a short conversation with a coworker. While distractions might not take much time at all, getting back into your work can. Constantly getting distracted and unfocused makes getting refocused more difficult, so it’s time to cut out distractions as much as possible so you can get more work done. 

Instead, set times throughout the day when you check your email or perform other tasks, and try to let your coworkers know when you’ll be focused so they won’t come and start up a conversation with you during those times. 

Stop Multitasking

Multitasking does not increase efficiency and productivity. Instead, it distracts your brain from correctly doing one thing. If you start a task, complete it before you start something else to start getting more things done in a day. 

Let Go

It can be difficult for programmers to end their workday. Many people want to finish up a task they’re on no matter how long it takes them to complete, which could be interfering with your personal life. If you ever find yourself working long hours, then it’s time to set some boundaries with your boss and/or yourself. 

At the end of the workday, follow your coworker’s leads, and go home. You can finish what you were working on the next day unless there is an immediate deadline. It’s okay to stay late at the office sometimes, but it shouldn’t be an everyday occurrence. 

Matt Casadona | Guest Post Writer

Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.

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Guest Posts

What is Code Signing? How it Works?

Background

Times have always been changing, bringing newer opportunities and challenges for us to explore and learn more. It is a similar case with technology, we have experienced a steep spike in technological evolution over the last few decades, this has come with its own set of challenges. We are seldom buying software products we need from physical stores. Everything has moved up to the web and more recently all services and products are turning cloud-native.

We download products and services from the internet. Therefore, the safety, security, and authenticity of software products and services procured online are important. To give you a broad overview, code signing solves the trust issues generally associated with software products. Whether you are a thriving software development organization, service provider, budding entrepreneur, or a start-up, you must acquire code signing certificates.

What Is Code Signing and Its Significance?

Code singing is a best practice that every technology professional or enthusiast should prioritize in their line of software development. Whether you are a software developer, company, or an end-user, you will experience code signing and its importance in your day-to-day life. It is a digital signature issued to your software programs by a Certificate Authority (CA).

Software developers and publishers use the hash function to encrypt and sign-off their code. The signature not only authenticates the software program but also covers the intellectual property (IP) of the product. Software codes that are not code-signed can raise eyebrows and often prone to malicious activities.

Unsigned code-based programs show the Unknown Source dialog box, if you choose to proceed then you are agreeing to risk your systems. Often the software programs that are not code-signed are blocked by anti-virus installed on your system.

Code signing generates trust among your clientele. Assures them about the authenticity of your product that it is not carrying any malicious program. Therefore, you cannot publish a certificate to yourself. Cheap code signing certificates are also not available off the shelf, you need to submit your request for a code signing certificates to one of the trusted CAs, which are as follows:

  • Custom
  • Entrust
  • GlobalSign
  • Sectigo (formerly Comodo)
  • Digi cert
Code Signing Types

Before we dwell on how code signing works? Let us take a quick look at the types of code signing certificates issued. There are two kinds of code signing certificates:

  • Standard
  • Extended Validation

Standard: The standard code signing certificates are the type that displays Microsoft SmartScreen warning message to your customers. The warning dialog box persists until you gain enough market trust via downloads and a reduced number of defects.

Extended Validation (EV): The EV code signing certificates are obtained after a detailed verification. Post EV, users do not experience frequent warming messages.

The Code Signing Process

After thorough verification, CA issues a code signing certificate which is a public and private key. Use the key to sign your software products and secure the code. The keys are valid for a limited period, provide legitimacy and authentication to your software products.

You must be curious to know how the code-signing process flows, see the following steps for a quick understanding:

  1. You start by deploying a software product with a trusted code signing certificate.
  2. The product code, if code-signed, carries is a digital signature ( a hash mark).
  3. When the software product is downloaded and you agree to proceed further, the digital signature is displayed.
  4. On your clients’ machine, the public key is used to decrypt the signature and ascertain the code signing certificate-based authentication.
  5. The hash values are validated, if the validation is a success, then download and further usage are allowed by client-side systems.

Note: Any hash mismatch results in an error message that prompts users to stall the usage. This is subject to user-side security and protocols.

Since the process is known to you now, let us try to sum up how to code singing works.

  • If you are a publisher, then you apply for a code certificate by sending your requirements to one of the trusted CAs.
  • Choose the type of certificate you want, CAs will do verification of your documents, digital, and physical addresses.
  • After detailed verification, if the verification is successful, you can generate a hash executable file that you can append to your software programs.
  • Use the private key to encrypt your code and prevent hacking and other malicious cyber activities.

You can now download the product with trust and confidence. The public key issued to your code signing certificate decrypts the hash. If the public and private keys match, you can use the program. The successful match only affirms that your software product and its code is safe to use. The program is code signed, without any hacks by unverified users.

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Kavoir & Whatever

Archetypethemes.co Review: 5/5 Best Premium Shopify Theme I Know of Thus Far

I have started several Shopify stores that are now still online and making money for me since 2017. It’s been a terrific experience as Shopify has made so many things so simple after the golden old days when you had to provision and manage a server yourself with hand coded websites on your own garage computers.

Now I just find the perfect theme and install it on my Shopify store and I would have everything ready without worrying about nothing technicals or uptimes.

I used about 30 different themes since I started my first store and bought about 10. Up until now I can say the best ones are by Archetype Themes: Motion and Impulse, both of which I purchased for my stores.

Reason 1

Over 300 5-star reviews which is really rare among Shopify premium themes. Those users can’t be wrong.

Reason 2

I’m a perfectionist who changes and refines everything that doesn’t come good enough for me or the users, e.g. font sizes, color contrasting, checkout experiences, button sizes, page navigation easiness, etc..

The issue I found in a lot of themes in the market, be it for Shopify or WooCommerce, especially those at ThemeForest.net, is that they are made by designers who have no experience in eCommerce at all, and that the themes are actually bad in conversions.

They look good but don’t work well for human.

In most cases, I had to do a lot of customizations to get the theme right in user experiences so it doesn’t work against conversions in sales. However, surprisingly, I needed to do zero improvements to Archetype themes after examining and testing both of Motion and Impulse inside out.

Yes, zero, nothing at all. From my experience in eCommerce for the past 6 years, they did everything right in the first place.

Reason 3

Rich features and functionalities are the final reason why I loved the themes. Everything just works out of the box. Saves me a lot of time.

I also love about their flexible sections for promotions and pictures.

Conclusion

From my experience, these are absolutely the 5/5 themes for Shopify that you must get for your next store. Highly recommended by an enthusiastic user.

You may want to check out the stores I built with Motion and Impulse. One is ChicksHQ and the other is TheDepts.

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Kavoir & Whatever

New Amazon Affiliate Site: Men’s Winter Boots dot Com

As someone at NamePros suggests with some of my exact match .com names, I created this affiliate site with the domain MensWinterBoots.com and see what kind of business or cash flow I can get.

Exact match domains used to dominate in Google search results but no more. I’m skeptical of how this would turn out but I try to build an as beautiful and usable site as possible with Shopify and the Spreadr app.

Imported thus far about 100 products from the category of winter / snow boots for men on Amazon. All look good with the free Shopify theme Debut which I highly recommend. I talked with some of the high selling store owners and they seemed to use this theme quite a bit.

Also used Google Fonts to find the perfect typography and created the Men’s Winter Boots logo for the site.

Installed Google Analytics for traffic analysis and added the site in Google Search Console for rankings monitoring.

I will update how the site performs in this blog and document exactly what I have done. Make sure you bookmark or subscribe to Kavoir.

Day 1 (2019.10.25)

Google indexed the site but it’s far from ranking in the results according to https://www.serprobot.com/serp-check.php

Day 3 (2019.10.27)

I don’t have a screenshot but Google indexed slightly over 200 pages on 2019.10.27 by searching site:menswinterboots.com

Day 4 – 5 (2019.10.28-29)

Added a few more navigations to the site so it’s a breeze to find any boot, by brand, by use cases, by color, etc. and created couple of collections by popular keywords found via Google auto-completion and related searches, e.g. affordable men’s boots, clearance men’s boots.

Started a tiny SEO campaign for 15 days by one of my outsource buddies in Pakistan for $100.

Day 9 (2019.11.2)

Google indexed 688 pages of the site. Organic impressions and clicks are on their way according to Google Search Console:

Day 20 (2019.11.13)

Search traffic seems to be picking up and CTR is not bad. Top impressions and clicks are from search of “men’s winter boots clearance“.

Google Search Console

However, the number of total indexed pages in Google dropped to 85:

Google indexed pages dropped to 85

Day 40 (2019.12.3)

Organic traffic is climbing up slowly. I may need to spend more time on it but an affiliate site isn’t worth so much in marketing. It’s just an experiment.

Bounce rate is not bad at just 44%, thanks to the abundant navigations across the site.

Google seems to start indexing many of the long tail pages of the site, a.k.a. in-depth pages with 3 or more keywords of a very specific category for the winter boots.

Day 90 (2020.1.22)

CTR all right. Positions climbing a bit.

Mostly long-tail traffic. Not much exact match search traffic, namely “Men’s Winter Boots” or similar.

The last 30 days the site made about $25 via Amazon affiliate program. It’s not bad if the site is NOT on Shopify as that costs me $29 per month and I’m NOT spending any time for this.

Amazon affiliate program is not worth it any more in my opinion, at 4.5% commission. It used to be 6.5 – 8%.

I think it’s definitely going to make real money if I source the products and sell my own boots, because:

  • 5 times more profits (10 times more profits, times 50% of the current conversion rate)
  • More money to invest in SEO

We have given up on the site as it’s making far less than what we expected without investing hundreds of dollars on SEO.

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My Personal Reviews

My Personal Review: CheapSSLShop.com

This is my personal review of site CheapSSLShop.com which I personally use.

It’s one of the most affordable SSL vendors I can find on the Internet. I’ve been personally using it since 2012.

The price is good and the delivery is fast and easy.

You need some expertise to get the SSL certificates installed but with support from my host, there’s nothing to worry about for me.

Cheap SSL Shop was also able to process full refunds to me when I messaged them about my mis-order of SSL certificates I didn’t need. This is something you don’t see everyday but they do it nonetheless.

A trustworthy supplier overall, it’s highly recommended.

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Business and Marketing Kavoir & Whatever

Don’t control

Most of us are loss-averse. We worry too much about failing and losing. We spend too much valuable resources in identifying the wrong things to do so as to make sure we don’t do them.

We vigorously look for the right thing to do.

We want control.

We believe business success is achieved by maintaining order of everything so that everything is under control. Otherwise we’d lose control and crash.

Is that really so?

After 10 years of entrepreneurship, the one thing I’m certain now is that this mindset is wrong.

To get great things done, one must be glad to lose control.

Let things run wild.

Let your business get out of control.

If everything’s under control, you are just not moving fast enough.

The most successful businesses are good at NOT controlling. Instead of making sure everything goes as planed and nothing bad happens, they focus resources on setting off the fire that grows exponentially. Yes, fires are dangerous. Fires can get out of control fairly quick. But that’s the beauty of it.

Let it finish the job. Then you just call 911. Investors will be happy to clear it up for you.

If there’s one advice for creating something big, it’s this one:

Don’t control it.

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Kavoir & Whatever

How does Elon Musk study?

Elon Musk
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future

Someone asked this question on Quora. I wrote an answer.

How does Elon Musk study?

People tend to overstate their feelings about somebody. They are usually not as good as we say they are nor as bad as we say they are.

Elon is smart but he’s not so much so unless he has a world-class team backing him up. And that takes money, which comes from his risk-taking business endeavors rather than his ability to study effectively, albeit it definitely adds up.

But still. It’s not about how fast / effective you study but about knowing exactly what to study against a very specific problem or well defined goal.

Elon has a definitive goal that he wants to achieve. This is what distinguishes him from others. Most study for the sake of knowledge, while he studies to solve problems.

This is the reason why it seems he’s more effectively in studying because he solves more problems than we do with the same amount of study.

80% of knowledge and techniques are cool but useless. Elon only spends time for the other 20% that are actually helpful in achieving his goals.

He does the right study in the right amount just enough at the right time just when the problem arises. Anything more is a waste.

Another reason I think why Elon studies well is he smartly modularizes his ultimate goal in smaller milestones that are easier to achieve one by one. Through consistent positive feedback, he has been able to stay motivated all the way, which is another boost to his study efficiency.

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Kavoir & Whatever

How to train myself to sleep less?

Someone asked a question:

I have been trying to reduce how long I sleep so that I have more waking hours available. I have read this question, and this one but it does not really give an answer.

My question is whether I can train my body to sleep less. I currently have about 6.5 to 7 hours sleep per night. If I reduce that to 6 hours every night for the next two months, and then down to 5.5 hours then onward, will my body get adjusted to the new sleep pattern?

When I was 22 and just graduated from college I had the same idea as you do now. As a workaholic who’s passionate about his work (software development) and very determined about his goal, I would keep working until late night and get up very early. The average sleep I got was about 5 hours per day, EVERYDAY, for 5 years, even on weekends. There’s always so much that I could do to make my projects better thus making more money.

For the first few years it was all good and rewarding because I was young and I had the power and energy to keep it going, even on very stressful times. But eventually I started noticing changes with regards to my body:

  1. I started going to doctors more often than my peers.
  2. My vision started to deteriorate, albeit slightly.
  3. I started losing hair.
  4. I started to forget stuff which shouldn’t be an issue before.
  5. Last but the most important, when you sleep less for very long time, eventually you’ll actually sleep less because it takes longer for you to fall asleep and you easily wake up.

So for a short answer, yes you can train your body to sleep less, but do make sure it’s not very long as to years so you can easily recover. It may not be obvious but sleeping less than you body needs DOES undermine your health. However the amount of sleep everybody needs may vary because we are designed differently in genes.

For a long answer, no, sleeping less wouldn’t let you get more things done in the long term. Everything has a price. It’s actually against productivity rather than for it. When I look back how I went through these years in retrospect, I could have not pushed myself that hard but still accomplish the same results. Productivity is about getting the most out of time rather than getting the most time. Lots of people have got plenty of time in their life, even more than they need, still they blow it. In fact, when I was in college, some of the top performing students actually sleep more than the average.

So sleep as much as you want. Time enjoyed is NOT wasted. Sleep is beautiful. Don’t waste it for some stupid things that you need done!

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

–The Return of the King, Book VI, Chapter 6

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Business and Marketing China Internet eCommerce & Shopping Online Kavoir & Whatever

Sell on Taobao.com and Tmall.com – Market to China!

Taobao, Tmall, KavoirIf you have solid products and wants to sell to China audience, let us know. We have a very capable team currently running 2 big brands on Taobao.com (for small merchants) and Tmall.com (for medium to large merchants), the largest online marketplaces in China thus far, with an annual sales volume over 1,000 billion CNY, or 200 billion USD.

With CNY appreciating and a widespread distrust of domestic goods, Chinese consumers are seeking overseas alternatives for a better spend, even more expensive, especially from western countries where products are considered greener and better for human body.

Listed below are some of our successful brands on Taobao.com and Tmall.com we’ve been running. We can do the same to yours and make you successful in China. Contact us.

Pandabobo - http://pandabobo.tmall.com

A merchant that we are fully responsible for the branding and marketing on Tmall.com. It currently tops over 2,000,000 CNY (approx. $350,000 USD per month) sales per month by selling a variety of fruits, nuts and natural snacks.

Pandabobo has also got a full-fledged standalone web store of at Pandabobo.com which is completely localized and catered to China audience. We can also help you build one of your own should you want to extend your local presence in China. However the most online sales in China are always made via top eCommerce marketplaces such as Taobao.com or Tmall.com rather than standalone websites because China consumers tend to have more faith in bigger brands / companies thus more likely to spend money there.

Check out one of their best selling products. This single product has had nearly 3,000 sales in the last 30 days.

pandabobo tmall sales

KanS - http://kans.tmall.com

KanS sales stats on kans.tmall.comThe store of a local cosmetics brand based from Shanghai that is raking in 4,767,423 CNY, or $800,000 USD, per month. We make the major part of their marketing team and are responsible for sales channels development and online marketing.

kans @ tmall

Contact Us

Interested in our expertise and talent to be successful in China? We would love to team with you to bring good products to the Chinese audience. Contact us by the form here: http://www.formkid.com/f/kavoir/contact-kavoir-com/

And make sure to include as much information about your business, brand, and products as possible – stores, website, sales volume, pictures, etc.

Our Team

Li Zhiwei, Chen Shuang, Zhang Xiaofeng, Zhao Yang, Yang Yang, and some more. Pictures are coming! 😉