eCommerce Strategist, Offline-to-Online Evangelist

Welcome and thanks for dropping by my online nook.

My name’s David Lee Tong, a jack-of-all-trades in business as I try to master being a jack-of-all-trades.

 

5-Minute Summary Of What I’ve Done So Far

Raised with an entrepreneurial background, my parents cultivated the “always find a way to hustle” mindset from a young age, so I started working odd-jobs in the summer around 14-years old.

While working on my Bachelor’s in Business Administration in the US, my first job was in the university’s AV department that eventually got me a writing gig with the school.

After discovering that I enjoyed writing geeky topics for non-geeks who needed the info, I ended up in a fresh, new industry in the late 90s – technical documentation.

Early Tech Industry Adventures

I was fortunate enough to be in college in the USA during the start of the entire dotcom birth era in the mid 90s. My first job was landing a documentation role with Microsoft under the Dynamics division and that became my career path for the next 2 decades.

After a 2 year hiatus with my own business, I returned to the corporate world managing a documentation team servicing Morgan Stanley through Headstrong as a senior consultant. 

Then I moved to VeriFone as a senior documentation staff when they opened their regional HQ in the Phiippines. During this time, my fascination with internet marketing consumed my off-times. I learned everything from SEO, content marketing, blogging, lead generation, CPA, SEM, etc.

After 20+ years in documentation, I switched careers with Delsey Paris luggage as an eCommerce and digital marketing lead in Singapore and later moved to Australia for a while to tackle the wild and exciting world of digital transformation and eCommerce. 

In 2019, I moved back to Singapore and I’m currently managing and helping regional distributors of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, a Colgate Palmolive company, successfully transition traditional offline businesses to eCommerce and and build their digital marketing foundations.

Launching Businesses Is A Passion

My earliest entrepreneurial experience was probably in the early 90s while I was still in high-school buying hobby GI Joe and Transformers items whenever my family returns to Hong Kong for holidays to sell back in Manila.

In the early 2000s, I started my first eCommerce business selling airsoft hobby guns to a growing airsoft community for several years. It was the first true eCommerce airsoft store in Manila utilizing online cart and payments.

I’m a big car-guy since grade school, and in 2002, the automotive detailing space was ill-served so I started the first-ever auto-detailing group in the Philippines (through MSN Groups), which led to contributing writer gigs with two of the largest car forums in the country. 

The detailing community grew to the thousands in two years and that opened the opportunity to co-found Big Bert’s Professional Detailers, the first pure auto-detailing company in the country that changed the entire car care industry with some loyal members. It was one of the rare, offline businesses that started and grew purely through social media when the term meant Yahoo/MSN groups, Multiply, ICQ, and phBB boards.

In the mid-2000s, I’ve been exposed to the pre-Google Panda era and learned a lot about affiliate marketing, digital marketing, CPA affiliate marketing, and blogging. With a lot of online courses and buying tons of domains,  I settled with focusing my efforts on my photography tutorial and artist feature blog (iPhotoCourse). This lead to starting a wedding and family photography business, professional photography marketing coaching, and the opportunity to teach food photography classes in a prestigious culinary institution in Singapore. 

In 2014, I started Vambora Fight Gear, Singapore’s first BJJ/MMA apparel brand online. Using an all-digital, social commerce approach to launch the business and building a 1000-member strong community was highly rewarding financially, socially, and educationally.

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