5 Things I’ve Learned as a clickTRUE intern

Jasmine Toh

Jasmine here. I’m a clickTRUE intern.

That’s right, I’m the culprit behind our weekly blogs. Besides that, I also write the company’s weekly email newsletters.

Let me share a story with you.

There was this person who told me that I can toss corporate speak in the bin and write blogs like how I want it.
There was this person who told me to incorporate memes and Singlish into the company blog.
There was this person who told me that interns are worth his time and effort.

Well, this person is Jereme! (aka COO of clickTRUE, aka my boss).

Today’s blog will cover something a little more light-hearted and personal – my experience at clickTRUE. More specifically, I will share 5 things that I’ve learned.

5 Things I’ve Learned

#1 Write with an audience in mind

With SMEs being clickTRUE’s target audience, I’ve learned the importance of writing with their needs in mind. Our blogs and emails should be something that can give value to them, and not hard selling our services.

That explains why my most popular blog post is the “Budget Cheatsheet for SMEs 2017”. After all, it meets the needs of our audience, SME owners, by giving them access to a summary of all the important budget policies .

With this newly acquired skill, I decided to rewrite my cover letter to see if I’ve learned anything.

(My old cover letter. Gosh it is embarrassing to look back at it!)

(If I could rewrite it now, this is probably how it would look like.)

Here’s why the new cover letter is better:

  • Kept concise with only the key information, considering that the hiring manager would not have much time to read it.
  • Bolded certain phrases, so that it is easier to speed read.
  • Written in a way that focuses on what the company can gain when they hire me

#2 Being different pays

“Pays” in a good and a bad sense. Some people will love you for being different, but some might think it’s just bad taste.

As I mentioned in the beginning, Jereme encourages me to be different in my writing. So as the weeks go on, I became more daring.

I started to use Singlish…
I added memes…
I told stories with cartoon characters…

Thankfully, most people actually embraced this informal of writing! Jereme showed me actual replies from people saying that they enjoyed our emails. Imagine my joy when I found out that there were people who said that they actually look forward to our next email!

In fact, Jereme told me that I even managed to help them close two deals with my emails!

While the response was generally good, there were also some who didn’t appreciate it. They said it was bad English and embarrassing.

To be very honest, that was pretty disheartening, especially when I thought that I was doing a good job the whole time.

But what Jereme said to me at that time made a lot of sense.

It’s all about taking calculated risks. With decision you make, there is a risk associated with it. It could turn out to be a failure. When it does, could you live with it? If you can, then do it.

#3 Don’t be afraid to speak up

I’m an introvert, so talking to new people drains my energy.

(Image from Dr Carmella’s Guide to Understanding the Introverted by Schroeder Jones)

And while I’ve improved a lot over the years, I still find it difficult to speak up at times.

The doubts and fears in my head always seem to make me lose my voice. But I understand now that these fears have to overcome in order for me to grow.

I’ve learned that it is better to be the idiot who says stupid things and learns from it rather than the person who doesn’t say anything for fear of looking like an idiot. After all, the idiot is making progress while the latter is still stuck at the status quo.

#4 Soft skills > hard skills

Before coming into clickTRUE, I’ve always focused on improving my hard skills.

I thought that if you want to work in digital marketing, you need to know SEO, SEM, Facebook ads and so on. True, hard skills are important. But they can be very easily obtained and taught, especially with today’s technology.

You learn about SEO by reading a blog, or watching YouTube videos! So instead of hard skills, we should really be looking to develop our soft skills instead.

Soft skills include likeability, influence, communication, interpersonal skills and so on. They are innate to a person and cannot be learned as easily. While this means that it is so much harder to teach soft skills, it also means that those with soft skills are going to be more valued.

Jereme advised me to think carefully about what I want to learn in the next 2 years and focus on achieving them. Personally, I want to work on my communication and confidence.

#5 Improve communication

For me, I don’t have a problem communicating with writing, but I still struggle to communicate verbally. Many times, I just shoot my mouth without giving it much thought and end up regretting it later. (Urgh, word vomit.)

(Image from Seraashling)

Jereme’s tip for me was to take up a sales job. After all, practice makes perfect and in sales, you can practice talking to different people every day. and really hone your communication skills.

He also suggested listening to podcasts. By copying the way they present their ideas and knowledge, I can have a mini “script” in my head when someone asks me something about that topic. Sounds neat, huh?

Moving On

It was a rewarding three months at clickTRUE. I consider myself very lucky to have a great boss who really stresses on my learning. More importantly, I’m thankful for having found my passion for writing, which has given me a better direction of what I want to do in my life.

And to the next potential intern who is reading this, don’t hesitate to send in your application.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any marketing experience. I mean, I’m a Human Resource major and know nothing about marketing! Just come in with right learning attitude and I’m sure you will benefit as much as I did.

For now, it is time for me to transform from a part-time intern into a full-time exam mugger!

(Okay, I kid. Please don’t come at me!)