iKala Young Talent

Joining iKala Is a Beautiful Encounter in My Life

Jade Chien, Account Executive / Sales Specialist, KOL Radar

Last spring, I was supposed to be pursuing graduate studies in the UK, but I returned to Taiwan due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In October, I was given chance to participate in a digital transformation forum, and iKala's COO Keynes was one of the speakers. I didn't mean to search jobs on that event, but after Keynes's sharing, I was deeply impressed. It was at that time that I made a bold decision to submit my resume to Keynes in person. After several rounds of interviews, I became a member of KOL Radar's Account Management team.

Based on my digital knowledge and the learning from my master's degree, I know that "AI-driven influencer marketing solution" is on the trend. Moreover, being a Facebook, YouTube and Google partner, iKala demonstrates a strong technical capability and provides a solid total solution. I have always had a passion for "data-driven marketing", so when I heard that KOL Radar can build up precise and outstanding performance influencer marketing with data, I felt very excited.

Education to Employment

Many people consider the gap between education and employment a big problem for fresh graduates, but to me, I understand that what I learn at school and what I do at work will never be the same. With that being said, whenever I find something corresponding to what I learn at school in the workplace, I would feel a sense of accomplishment. For example, we practiced finding insights through data as our homework at school, and this is quite similar to writing closing reports for customers. Therefore, every time I write a closing report, I will be more convinced of what I learned in the past.

When I first entered iKala as a contractor, I was still a graduate school student who had to work during the day and study at night. Nevertheless, due to iKala's culture of "Freedom and Responsibility", I can have greater flexibility to face such a tight schedule.

I used to be an obedient person who followed all rules blindly, but after studying in the UK, I found that we are living in an ever-changing world that no one can tell us what to do next, so we must learn to be independent and take ownership of our life. This is what I learn from the experience of studying in the UK, and what makes me fit in iKala's culture.

Another thing I like about iKala is that everyone is not satisfied with the status quo and continues to strive for the better. Plus, the OKR system allows me to keep moving forward and sticking to the company's goal. Besides professional training, people here search for additional online courses on their own or sign up for language courses off work. It is not too much to say that everyone here can "work hard, play hard".

An Opportunity to Fulfil My True Potential

After some time in the account management team, I found that at the end of the campaign, a question often asked by our enterprise customers was "Do you have any suggestions for our future campaign?" I soon realized that I enjoyed the process of providing professional advice. My manager also see my potential and encouraged me to transfer internally to the sales team. 

An account manager should be a good communicator. Externally and internally, one must be able to clearly deliver the details of work, and master time management; as for a salesperson, besides communicational skills, a thorough understanding of the company's products and services is of importance. Not just KOL Radar, but the landscape of the pan-iKala Group. Although it takes more effort to get acquainted with different products and services, as long as we can bring more value to our customers, I think it is worth it.

If I could turn back the clock to October 2020, I would make the same decision to drop off my resume in person. I am really thankful for this beautiful encounter in life, and I look forward to exploring more possibilities here.

iKala Young Talent

Setting a Clear Vision for my Career in a Learning Organization

Zain Chung, KOL Relations Specialist, KOL Radar

I didn't have much work experience when I was a student, nor a clear vision for my career, so although I was about to graduate from university, I still chose to start with an internship at KOL Radar, then strived for the opportunity to become a full-time employee here.

A Structured Employee Career Development Plan

Facing my first job after graduation, what I value most is "career prospects". The reason for choosing iKala's KOL Radar is that I believe I can grow rapidly in this ever-changing industry; at the same time, when I was browsing jobs, iKala was one of the few that mentioned learning and development. Thus, I decided to join iKala and become a member of the KOL Relations (KR) team at KOL Radar.

After entering iKala, I can feel that the company is putting emphasis on employee career development. For example, the CDT (Career Development Table) allows new employees to discuss their expectations for work and their personal career development plan with their managers. This way, not only can new employees understand the company's goals and strategies, the management can also know how to allocate resources to help each team member to grow.

In the first few months, a mentor will be assigned to new employees. I am very grateful for my mentor's encouragement, so that I can set higher goals, and continue to challenge myself.

How I Create a Sense of Accomplishment

In addition to improving my skills to maintain KOL relations, I think my best learning so far is "internal communication". We work closely with different teams at KOL Radar, so in the weekly KR meeting, we share the challenges and best practices of cross-departmental communication with each other. Every time when I am reviewing the meeting minutes or the closing report, I can feel that I have grow along the way, and this becomes the motivation for me to move forward.

In the past, I always felt that I was the one being helped. Now I can work independently and I have the opportunity to lead interns. Since I also started as an intern, I can better understand their problems, guide them to ask the questions they have in mind, and think about how to make interns grow from different perspectives.

When it comes to KOL relations professional skills, I can now manage more than 300 influencers within a month, which I can never imagine before joining the team. Furthermore, after working with so many influencers, I develop my own standard operating procedure for managing micro-influencers. The procedure was then endorsed by my manager, and shared among the team. I can really feel a sense of accomplishment with this.

My Suggestions for KOL Relations Enthusiasts

One thing that I love about iKala is its transparency. We can be updated on the company's goal in our weekly team meeting, and the C-Suite also shares the business situation in the bi-weekly TGIF all-hands meeting. I won't feel forced or obsessed, but I make better decisions at work, at the same time stick to the organization's goal.

As a KOL Relations specialist, one should be good at communicating with strangers, because you never know which influencer you are going to face. Therefore, for those who are interested in KOL Relations, I suggest you participate in extracurricular activities, or take part-time jobs and internships beforehand. And for young talents who are interested in influencer marketing and data solutions, I consider the internship at KOL Radar a good opportunity, because you can work with sales, marketing, product, and even the tech team, and you can definitely broaden your horizons.

iKala Young Talent

From a Math Hater to a Data Storyteller—the Unexpected yet Excited Journey at iKala

Dianna Chen, Marketing Specialist, KOL Radar

Reaching My Full Potential at Work

From internships in different departments to becoming a full-time worker, I have been in iKala for more than three years. In the first two years, I sometimes felt that I had to try different jobs since I was still a university student, but whenever the idea appeared, there would be new opportunities that convinced me of staying in the company. There was a time when I was facing career stagnation in my previous department and was eager to explore more possibilities in the workplace. Meanwhile, the company was growing rapidly that the team should be expanded. Our COO Keynes arranged a meeting with some interns with outstanding work performance and asked about our career plan. Even at such a high position, Keynes cares about every team member. When asked what I wanted to do after graduation, I replied that I would like to enter the media industry. Keynes soon associated my job expectation to the job function in the company, and asked if I was interested in content production. After that, I was transferred internally to the marketing team. Soon, I discovered that content marketing was what I was interested in and regained my enthusiasm for work. It was at that time that I deeply felt that in this company, as long as one is willing to try, there must be a stage for you to shine.

Always Keeping a Young Mentality and a Habit of Learning

"Cross-generational communication" is a problem faced by many organizations today. In some companies, there is no common topic among colleagues due to the large age gap. It will be difficult for people to communicate under such circumstances, not to mention work well as a team. 

On the contrary, the work environment here at iKala is very open, and you can communicate transparently when you have any words. At KOL Radar, no matter what your actual age is, everyone has a very young mentality and a high degree of acceptance of new things. Generational differences are natural phenomena. Take social media usage as an example, the previous generation may be used to Facebook, our generation is on Instagram, and the next generation prefers TikTok, but for me, whether I am familiar with it, working in this industry, we all have to be more tolerant, accepting, and constantly learn new things. In particular, when compiling materials for our weekly newsletter, it is necessary for us to read a lot of domestic and foreign news, not only to ensure that we can provide readers with the latest information, but it is very helpful for our personal professional development.

How I Create a Sense of Accomplishment from Data

The job at iKala has brought me a very different life experience. I have been very bad at math since I was a child, and I never thought that I would have to face this problem one day. However, the work at KOL Radar is highly connected with data, so I must find a way to live with it.

Producing the "2021 Influencer Marketing Trend Report" is one of my most fulfilling things in this job. This is the first time I am responsible for designing report structure, defining data, drafting specifications, providing insights, and finally reviewing the report. Among them, I consider working on data with engineers the most frustrating. As a communications-major student, I am not familiar with programming languages; on the other hand, engineers may not understand what our readers need, so we must clarify "Why do we need this data" and define the formula clearly. Although the process is challenging, I feel like I have become mentally and professionally stronger after that. Knowing nothing at the beginning, I can now express my opinions precisely, even identify more problems during the discussion, which gives me a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, when the report is gaining favor with industry thought leaders, it represents people's recognition of iKala and KOL Radar and I feel that I am a cog in the machine.

What I learned in the Department of Communication is mostly about telling stories. How to make this story attractive and understandable by others is where our professionality lies. Every time when writing articles and trend reports, I always think about how I can better interpret the data, and link it to market trends. Seeing that many people take the initiative to learn about KOL Radar's services after reading our articles makes me realize that these contents are really valuable. Now I can proudly say that I am a data storyteller that brings data to life, and math is no longer scary to me.

iKala Young Talent

When Social Sciences Meets AI Technology. How I Create My Unique Value at KOL Radar

Angel Hsieh, Sales Specialist, KOL Radar, iKala

I graduated from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences of National Chiao Tung University, mainly studying anthropology and sociology. When I was seeking a job after graduation, there are three factors that I attached the most importance to: first, resources, whether the company can provide complete training for new employees; second, the prospect of the industry and the product, because this has a lot to do with personal growth; third, whether the job is challenging. I had participated in several entrepreneurship challenges in my student age and witnessed many zero-to-one processes. Based on all these factors, I then made up my mind to enter a "mature startup", and iKala became a perfect option for me.

An AI-powered Influencer Marketing Solution

In the past, my understanding of influencer marketing was limited to sponsored posts, and I can only recognize mega influencers. After joining KOL Radar, I was surprised to see that there are more than 100,000 KOLs in our database. KOL Radar builds up precise and outstanding performance influencer marketing with data, which is very different from most agencies who choose KOLs based on mere experience. That's why I like this data solution so much, and I want to know how to create new products based on innovative technology and use it to solve the customers' problems.

The duty of a salesperson at KOL Radar is mainly selling AI influencer marketing services. Via cold calls and constant engagement with enterprises, we find, clarify and create new customer needs. I think the most fulfilling thing is to win big brand customers. At first, I was still ignorant, but after joining some sales pitches with my team members, I learned to be a good salesperson, and I can undertake the task alone now. Most large brands already have long-term cooperation with specific vendors, so if I can gain their trust and persuade them to switch to our services, I can feel a great sense of accomplishment.

I think the most important characteristic for a salesperson is the ability to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders, as well as managing customer expectations. In the past, people simply take KOL as an advertising endorser, but now it has become a new marketing channel. Some brand owners who are not familiar with influencer marketing only care how much monetary return can a KOL bring, but in fact, they need to set different marketing goals at different stages, then choose the KOL accordingly to get the best result. How to balance customers' needs and the service we can provide is one of the important skills for a salesperson.

Building a Steep Learning Curve in an Open Working Environment

As a ten-year startup, iKala has passed the zero-to-one stage. In particular, KOL Radar has a leading position in the field of influencer marketing. Often when contacting new customers, they will have a sense of trust because of our high brand awareness. This also allows us to have more opportunities to reach customers from different industries.

What I like iKala most is its flexibility. With "freedom and responsibility" being our core value, as long as one can meet the company's goal, there is room for working hours, locations, and ways of doing things. In addition, the company offers complete training for new employees. In the first 1-2 weeks, there will be on-boarding orientations to introduce what each team is doing and what the advantages of our products are. There are also courses related to sales techniques, which are very helpful to the development of my professional skills.

From Humanities to Artificial Intelligence

Here at KOL Radar, we get to be exposed to many industries; on the other hand, we have to explore different industry knowledge and the customers' product in a short period of time. The training in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, and my previous experiences of joining entrepreneurship challenges allow me to take in a large amount of information, and transform it into useful insights. However, since we position ourselves as "sales consultants", how to ask the right questions to find the real pain points of customers is what I consider challenging in this job.

For me, the essence of "AI Empowerment" is that users can easily use and benefit from AI without knowing the complex technology behind it. KOL Radar is just the AI solution that is created based on customers' needs. Therefore, to our customers, AI is no longer an unreachable technology, but what can really solve their problems.

I really like what my professor at university said: "Taiwan has been talking about AI for years, but if we don't understand the society, how do we continue to develop AI technology?" Working at iKala allows me to give full play to the field of social sciences. On the basis of data, I can further observe social phenomena, explore the context behind things, and make the best use of my academic training to create different values ​​in this technology company.

Join us in KOL Radar's sales team: