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May 31, 2021
Nikola Hassan

Welcome to RIUH Talks: Worksheet - Marketing & Branding Edition

Welcome to RIUH Talks: Worksheet - Marketing & Branding Edition!

As we are on the verge of another national lockdown, we should embrace the fact that there will be more eyeballs viewing stories and scrolling. So now is the best time to level up your social media game and digital presence.

We’re here to help you - a small business owner, a start-up, a creative freelancer - navigate through this fast-paced digital world of changing algorithms, messaging overload, and shortened attention spans, all while trying to juggle and keep your business thriving during a global pandemic.

We know what your days can be like - they can go from peaceful to chaotic, 0 to 100, real quick. Before you know it, all your planning is out the window, and you’re having to pivot (the ‘it’ word of 2020 & 2021). And while you have the operational, administrative, human issues to sort out - there’s also the not-so-small-task of sustaining your brand.

In a world where digital audiences are barraged by millions of visuals every day, how do you get your brand to stand out? How do you get thumbs to stop scrolling, read your caption, double-tap to like and (here’s the clincher) get them to share and/or save your content? And if we’re talking big wins, how do you then get them to read your bio and click on your link? I mean, that’s just league championship status right there.

The beauty of today’s technology is that we can do almost everything marketing related from our phones - which makes it easier for the business owner to take control of their marketing content, and for creatives to, well, create. But here’s the catch - with brand marketing functions, features and possibilities at your fingertips, where/how do you start and how do you maintain?

The idea for this blog came about after the good folks at RIUH invited me for a digital talk. This took place in October last year, when we had hit the 6-month (or so) mark of the moment when everything as we knew it had changed (i.e. our first wave of C19 and our first lockdown). Together with the rest of the panel (Chucks, Shop Hanya, Phil’s Pizza, and Snackfood), we talked about the importance of branding for small businesses, sharing tips on how to get results (i.e. sales) with limited resources, how to troubleshoot bad reviews, and, essentially, how to ensure businesses survive using marketing as their main sales tool. Afterall, we are all so reliant on social media to inform, educate and inspire us (not just entertain), that digital marketing has become the competitive edge and secret sauce to have customers coming back for more.

And even after weeks had passed since the Talk event, I was still getting DMs and emails from small business owners and fellow creatives - asking for tips, advice, insight that would help achieve better profitability through marketing and branding initiatives. Members of the RIUH community wanted more help with their marketing strategies.

With every email or DM reply, I was making connections via real-talk with people who genuinely value brand marketing and see its potential to make an impact on their business. Then it clicked and just felt right - Here is a way I can help small business owners and creatives not just stay in business, but hopefully shine, during these troubling times.

Fast forward 6 months, and here we are. With the support of Marissa, Nabila and the energetic and passionate team at RIUH, RIUH Talks: Worksheet - Marketing & Branding edition is born. A spin-off of RIUH Talks, which features panelists who are genuinely passionate about their trade and their craft, this edition of Worksheet will delve into the inner workings of marketing and branding all within the context of a small biz and/or creative freelancer (if you have limited budgets/resources but unlimited ideas and a let’s-do-it attitude, this blog is especially for you).

What we have mapped out until year-end are twice-a-month blog entries that will arm you with the right marketing tools and tricks of the trade to make your marketing, branding and communications efforts more lucrative - and enjoyable! At the end of the day, you have to have fun with it.

Topics will include (in no particular order):

Every blog entry will have a practical element too (homework in other words; putting the work in ‘Worksheet’, aha), so you can apply it to your business and see it transform into a brand that can endure global pandemics, withstand seasonal trends, and make it out on the other side better than how it started.

We look forward to connecting with you through these blog entries; and we sincerely hope they will enable and empower you with your marketing and branding mastery.

Our first upcoming blog entry will be a follow-up of the comeback edition of RIUH Talks: Navigating the Social Media Jungle, which featured the content creators behind Brand New Waves, Coffeeboy Club, Mulazine, and the on-point Izlia Izelan.

How do we create valuable social media content? We’ll have you take a step back and conduct a bit of a brand audit, and guide you on your next steps. Stay tuned!

Feel free to reach out if you have any topic suggestions or questions related to this blog at

“People don’t buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”



About Nikola Hassan:

A go-getter and self professed "branding geek", Nikola is a recognisable figure in the PR & Marketing circles of Kuala Lumpur.

Having forged her career in Sydney's formidable luxury lifestyle PR scene representing some of the world's top brands and Sydney's award-winning hospitality venues, Nikola then went on to play a significant role in projecting Pavilion KL as Malaysia's premier lifestyle destination.

She possesses a Masters in Business (Marketing) from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor's in Communications (Journalism) from the University of Technology Sydney.

Having been a small business owner for over a decade, Nikola has been involved in the branding strategy for various business models and scaled, from global brands to homegrown concepts and start-up ventures with a specialty in dining and lifestyle.

Nikola Hassan