Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.
Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.
Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.
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Chao Startup Club Inspired by a Coder
Chao Startup Club is a paid membership Q&A Community focusing on startup and freelancing topics.
I started it under my name on Mar. 3, 2017.
The idea of Chao Startup Club was inspired by a coder, who planned to start up his own business in the coming year.
He read my articles in Zhihu, made some background research on me, and added my WeChat asking whether I can provide a long-term consultation.
Earlier that morning I said I can provide startup coaching in the same QQ group we are in.
Got Started with 9 Paid Members in the First 24 Hours
The club received 9 paid members in the first 24 hours.
Now we have 12 members within just 4 working days.
What an inspiring story to tell!
And it was really a surprise for me.
In the next two days, I made a rough plan and set up some basic rules for the club to make sure it is a useful place for Chinese small startups and freelancers.
Mission of the Club
- Help every small startup/freelancer member to start the business.
- Coach the members on how to boost their income.
- Solve problems in real business.
What can the members benefit from the Club?
My slogan for the club is:
Each day, Each Member, One Startup Question.
So they can ask any startup-relevant questions.
- 5 times of online live sharing every week to answer questions.
- A true circle of small entrepreneurs.
- Solve real problems in the startup business: finding the niche, improve skills, find resources.
- Share case studies, and solutions with other members.
- Match business opportunities.
- Get first-hand internal business intelligence in the first time.
- Early Bird Price: RMB1500/year (equivalent USD220/year) for each individual member.
- Adjusted Price: The individual membership price will be adjusted to RMB3000 year when the number of members reaches 15.
Value Added Service
- Private Consultation Session: RMB 350 for each question
- One Hour Face to Face Private Consultation: RMB3500/session ((around USD550)
- 8 Week Startup Coaching Lessons: RMB25,000 (around USD4,000)
How Does the Community Work?
Online Startup Knowledge Base
- We manage all questions & answers in separate cards with relevant questions numbers.
- All questions and answers are under specific categories.
- Unanswered questions will be marked with Red Labels.
Paid WeChat Group
Each day, one question is allowed for each member.
Members can chat on any startup topics in the group.
And, the welcome red packet is the MOMENT of FUN for all members.
Questions and Answers
For each question, the asker will get a detailed reply within around 24 hours, in working days.
All club members can see the questions and answers in the private online knowledge base, as well as the WeChat group.
- Finding your profitable niche
- Analysis of your skills
- Core Skills for a successful startup/freelancer
- Effective Pricing
- How to write your Profile
- Analyze your potential customer
- Improve your proposal
- Goal of Income
- Practice your English
- Design an effective website
- Persuasive sales copy writing
- Internet marketing techniques
Red packets are popular in WeChat groups.
We are using it as well in daily management.
E.g.: on special holidays, like International Women’s day, red packets could be posted and shared with female members.
And red packets could keep the group active all the time.
Chao Startup Club Rules
Yes, I drafted club rules for all the member to follow.
Assignments are common in my replies to the questions.
And some members are working hard on them.
I am quite glad to see that.
The first member, the coder, even made a mind map for all he learned from my articles and coaching replies.
Who Are the Early Members?
These early birds are coming from various fields:
- Chess Teacher,
- Sourcing Agent,
- Insurance Agent, etc.
Where Are They Coming From?
Paid members of a personally branded club come from people who know you and trust you.
The membership fee is not very cheap for individuals.
Why was it so fast to acquire 9 paid members?
I believe it is the magic of Chinese authority content and personal influence in the niche market.
The following are the positive factors which built the source of potential members
- A convincing profile with social proof.
- Authority content in the niche market: I wrote articles on successful cross-border freelancers, startup and freelancing tips, guides to be a successful upworker.
- Increasing number of followers at Chinese social media: Most paid members are from Zhihu, the largest Chinese knowledge sharing platform, and my personal WeChat Public Account.
- QQ Groups: 3 members are in the same QQ group where I am in. It is another channel that we shall not forget.
Want to Sell Digital Products to Chinese Customers?
It is difficult for many foreign merchants to sell digital products in the China market.
A wrong marketing strategy and a poor website are always the major reason.
I’d like to share some tips for you to sell digital products in China.
- A good Chinese SEO strategy is crucial to get organic traffic, but not enough.
- Trust is the core of Business in China: Poor web design and low quality web copies just scared your potential Chinese customers.
- Conduct an expert review on your Chinese website to find out all the existing issues of user experience, content mistakes, cultural problems, and USP or your products.
- Authority content and online reputation management are way more important in the business.
Are you interested in joining an English speaking China Business Club?
We are working on it.
Contact me if you want to join.
You can get the Early Bird Price.