Which Singaporean has 30,000 more Facebook fans than Lee Kuan Yew?

Posted on 01 December 2011

Nope, not Nicole Seah. It’s Justin Ng! Who?

This is a reduction of the original article that first appeared on sgentrepreneurs.

Justin Ng has more than 130,000 fans on Facebook. He is a social media-technopreneur-photographer who employs social media tools to devastating effect.

Well, well. Seems like His Leeness has been overtaken again.

This time round, it is by a somewhat unlikely technopreneur-photographer by the name of Justin Ng.

Ring a bell yet? No? It’s ok, you’re probably not alone.

Well, what’s so awesome about him is that he has achieved what other photographers haven’t managed to do locally.

And that is to carve out a niche for himself on the Internet, particularly on Facebook.

You see, Justin has prior experince learning Windows programming and PHP scripting.

He spent three weeks building his personal iPhone app called “Justin Ng Photo”. It allows users to view ‘live’ photos that are transmitted from his camera.

So he is in fact a geeky, techy sort of guy.

And when did he pick up this photography thing? In 2010.

Unbelievable right? Not only that, he was on stage recently to receive the People’s Choice Award for the Asia’s Top 50 Apps competition.

What Justin does is that he actively markets his app to clients who can download it and view photos of the proceedings that he shoots in real time.

High-resolution versions of a particular photo can be requested. All anyone has to do is send a text message to ask for it.

Heard of anyone else doing that?

So, we’ve ascertained Justin’s got technology on his side

But there’s more. His passion extends to Internet marketing too. Prior to running his photography business, he started a recruitment firm. He generates leads by applying search engine optimisation techniques.

And with his wife dealing with the firm’s day-to-day operations now, he has embarked on a new adventure to promote his photography business: Social media marketing.

Check out the figures and you’ll be amazed at the rate he has scaled the number of Facebook fans.

More than 135,000 fans and counting...

From 5,000 to over 100,000 fans in the span of six months, it has made Justin Ng Photography one of the top Singapore business brands on Facebook, with many top global companies lying in his wake.

One reason for the monstrous growth of his Facebook page is due to a recurring international photography competition he launched in May 2011.

Justin invests S$1,000 (US$786) as the top prize for the winning submission every month, with a panel of judges that includes himself deciding the winner.

Submissions can come from anywhere around the world, as long as it fits into the monthly theme. Even a Hipstamatic photo qualifies.

Once a submission is approved and uploaded onto the Page, participants must tag five of their friends in the photo within three days, otherwise the entry might be deleted. Also, repeated winners will not be eligible for the S$1,000 grand prize, so as to encourage more participation.

The idea is to keep the competition broad, open, and exposed to as many people as possible.

Popularity for his Facebook page surged due to the format of this competition.

His efforts have even been generated measurable, revenue-generating returns.

Before May, he received about five to ten business queries a month. Now, it’s more than 60.

High demand for his services means he now charges S$6,888 (US$5,416) for a package, up from S$2,888 (US$2,270).

“I’m also moving on to other things, like sports photography, and shooting for events. I don’t want to do too many weddings anymore,” Justin said.

His technological edge has also secured him a lucrative contract as the official photographer for Chingay 2012, an annual festival that showcases bright and colorful street floats.

Using technology to project ‘live’ photos onto a projector screen, the organisers fell head over heels for it. He is currently amassing a team of photographers and planning the details for execution.

Justin has also used the same approach to shoot the 64th SCC International Rugby 7s.

And if all goes according to plan, he might just secure the job for next year’s National Day Parade.

This technological adventure is more than just a hobby or a passion. In fact, it is a way to “eliminate” competitors, Justin said rather apologetically.

Photography, after all, is a cut-throat business.

Lucrative jobs are reserved for the very best.

And the situation is made worse ever since the price of DSLR cameras have fallen, lowering the barriers to entry for any aspiring professional.

But to beat the odds, you need a bit of savvy.

As well as employ technological know-how and cunning.

Until then, you won’t just be a credible photographer.

You’ll be Justin credible. Get it?

Just incredible?

Ok, lame.

This post was written by:

- who has written 2582 posts on New Nation.

Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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