Michelle Fiegehen, CEO, Yempo
Do you feel invisible to prospects? Michelle Fiegehen, founder and CEO of Yempo, knew she was.
Yempo is based in the Phillipines, but most of Michelle’s clients are in Australia. How could she be in one country and establish a high profile in other countries?
Then Michelle began working with KatieMac Publicity to tackle that invisibility.
Yempo: The Business That Helps Businesses Grow
‘Yempo’ is a blended word, standing for ‘Your Employees Offshore’. Founded in 2014, Yempo gives smaller businesses access to big business resourcing strategies.
Yempo enables smaller businesses to expand their local teams offshore, by hosting resources for them in four main areas:
- Information Technology
- Financial Management
- Sales and Marketing
- Business Administration.
Some of Yempo’s clients want to extend their working hours, offering services 24/7.
Other clients want to grow their businesses without a massive outlay of capital.
What stopped yempo from getting more leads?
Michelle wanted to attract leads from outside her and her business partner’s networks.
First, she had to overcome the problem of distance. How could she live in the Phillipines and reach people in other countries?
The second challenge, connected to the first, was that Michelle lacked an online presence. She’d never seen a reason to use social media for business purposes.
Third, a lot of people have reservations about using offshore staff. There are many myths about offshoring, labelling it as a bad thing.
Fourth, she wanted to find a new way to attract leads. Even the most generous of networks eventually dries up.
Michelle found the answer to these challenges in an unexpected place.
The Mafia Led Michelle to KatieMac Publicity
It’s not hyperbole: The mob led Michelle to Katie McMurray.
Michelle got the idea to hire a publicist from watching The Making of the Mob, ‘New York: New Frontiers’.
In this episode, Bugsy Siegel borrows $60 million from the Mafia to open the first luxury hotel and casino in Las Vegas.
On opening night, a massive storm blows through the desert. No one turns up.
In the next seven days, the hotel loses $3.6 million. Bugsy’s life literally depends on him turning the business around.
What does he do? Bugsy hires publicists and calls in favours from his celebrity friends.
Then he sets a date for a second grand opening. Las Vegas wouldn’t be what it is today if his strategy hadn’t worked.
Michelle decided that if it worked for the Mafia in Las Vegas, it could work for Yempo.
She Googled ‘publicists’ and found Katie McMurray of KatieMac Publicity at the top of the list.
Michelle emailed Katie and the other publicists she found. Only Katie replied.
From the KatieMac Publicity website, Michelle could see Katie’s dominant background was in book promotion, which wasn’t relevant to Yempo.
But Katie had enough other business experience for Michelle to feel confident Katie could help her.
Plus, she adds, talking about the way Katie McMurray teaches business blogging. ‘I really liked what she was doing… the style of becoming visible she offered. Even though I knew putting my writing in the public arena would be personally confronting for me.’
Michelle Blogs Her Way to New Leads for Yempo
When Michelle started working with Katie, Katie told her that the way to overcome her challenges was to start blogging.
During the workshop where Katie taught Michelle how to blog, Michelle wrote a post called, ‘Patriotism and Offshoring’.
This post challenged the myth that offshoring is bad for the economy.
Michelle explored the ways offshoring benefits businesses:
- Access more staff at a lower cost than hiring local employees.
- The ability to grow faster without needing large amounts of capital.
- Giving businesses a way to become globally competitive.
- Sharing wealth with less prosperous countries.
- Letting businesses operate across multiple time zones.
- Access to a broader pool of skills
Those benefits result in improved profitability and growth in local businesses, more money paid in tax and therefore more money spent in the local economy.
This post attracted a nasty comment from a troll. She called Michelle a slaver and said she should be ashamed of herself.
At first, Michelle was distressed, but the employees at Yempo consoled her. ‘I came into the office and told my staff that I’d been accused of being a “slaver”,’ Michelle says. ‘They just laughed.’
Michelle used the incident as the seed for a blog post that confronted another myth about offshoring; that offshoring companies exploit their workers.
The resulting post, ‘Slaver, That’s Me,’ outlined the truth.
Yempo’s staff are paid higher than the industry average in the Philippines for the work they do and receive excellent benefits.
If not for companies like Yempo, developing countries would lose an opportunity to climb out of poverty.
Michelle’s posts were provocative as they challenged the myths people have about offshoring. But did they lead to more business?
The Benefits of Becoming an Industry Leader Through Blogging
Within her network, Michelle says, ‘My name is the first that pops into their heads now because of what I publish.
‘People are finding us. We’re getting a lot more client referrals, and opportunities come to us that are not directly in our network.’
So where are those new leads coming from?
They come from people who are connected to those networks in some way. ‘They’re the ones I believe are the result of the Partnered Professional Publicity Program’.
Michelle now has the skills to turn any event into a blog post - a blog post that keeps her in front of her network. A network that keeps sending Yempo leads because Michelle’s posts are valuable – and entertaining.
As Yempo grows, Michelle can focus on what matters. Providing Yempo’s clients with the tools they need to grow their businesses faster. Helping smaller businesses play on a bigger stage. Raising the quality of life for her employees.
Before working with KatieMac Publicity, Michelle felt invisible. That’s no longer the case. ‘I feel like the Partnered Professional Publicity Program has raised my own profile as a business leader, and the profile of Yempo in a significant way.’