Before launching Little Steps Asia in 2011, Shea, you were VP Marketing of Travel + Leisure South Asia and Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia. You then founded MediaContact HK, a marketing consulting firm focusing on the lifestyle and travel industries. What made you decide to set up Little Steps Asia – a family-focused platform?
Essentially, I got pregnant with my first child! While this might seem cliche for many startups, it was a classic case of seeing a massive need in the market and filling it. Little Steps Asia was set up as a business with a regional growth strategy. Hong Kong was our first city, followed by Singapore within the first year. Since then, we have added an additional four cities (Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Jakarta, Bali). I feel every city needs a Little Steps Asia to navigate the lifestyle side of parents!
Congratulate Little Steps Asia on its 10th anniversary this year! Looking back, what were the challenges of setting up a kids-focused English media platform in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is a very easy place to set up the business logistically. Little Steps hit a hole in the market, so growth also came naturally. The bigger challenges came in building a team and launching into new markets in Asia. While the concept is the same, each city has its unique content needs, business requirements and marketing interests. The learning of Video and Facebook Live was also a big challenge for us - it was a massive learning curve, but we are happy we invested in that direction.
Please tell us a bit more about Little Steps Asia?
Little Steps head office is located in Hong Kong, where our HQ team sits, including our Hong Kong and Regional Editor. We also have an office in Singapore which our Singapore Editor leads. All other markets (including City Editors and Freelancers) report to one of these two offices. Little Steps also has a virtual editorial team located literally all over the world, and they focus on SEO updates and videos.
What is your day like as Founder / Chief Executive Insider? Could you share some top tips for success?
I keep Monday/Friday to admin and try not to schedule meetings so I have full computer days, and they are typically done from home. On Tuesday-Thursday, I go into the office and also have meetings on those days. Wednesdays are reserved for our team meetings! My team has always worked with a strong work/life focus and home office option, so we were prepped for COVID from a team operational level, which was handy. We are ready to head into the office more often soon.
Any editorial plans in the year ahead?
We just launched our new website, which is opening up a slew of new opportunities for us (www.littlestepsasia.com
). We carved out a destination-oriented Travel section on this site, which we plan to focus on in Q3/Q4. The VIDEO section will also become more and more important. We are currently heavily focused on what parents need now: staycations, delivery options, education, and wellness. The website offers much better organization, search, sharing, and social tools, so the focus will be on updating key content and delivering new experiences via the new platform. We are also rolling out more personal stories, and you will see even more education-oriented content and happenings this year.
Any suggestions to PRs who would like to work with Little Steps Asia?
We are loaded with ideas and are always open to projects. Please check out our 10 years worth of videos to give you an idea of all that we have done. Reach out if you want to explore more in chatting with our community of families in Asia.