Influencer advertising is a common marketing strategy for brands as of late. It lets them better engage with consumers online and emanates a friendlier approach when selling products.

Last year, we wrote about mukbang selling and saw Lazada and Shopee investing heavily in their livestreaming features for SEA.

Livestreaming tends to come hand in hand with e-commerce. So far, it’s been particularly thriving in the Mandarin-speaking market.

Moden KOL has been one player in this industry. Their academy’s approach is to train more influencers to cater to this demand, while also providing a job portal for both talents and brands alike.

It’s Not All About Looks

Surveying millennial and Gen-Z Penangites in 2018, Jerry realised that most of them aspired to become entrepreneurs but lacked the capital for it.

“If you probe a little deeper, they’ll tell you that they want to become influencers, rather than get on the typical path of a 9-5 job,” said Jerry to Vulcan Post.

However, they didn’t have the confidence to pursue it, believing that they didn’t fit the cookie-cutter type of being “young and good-looking”. 

Their KOLs have livestreamed content on Facebook, Lazada, Shopee and Taobao thus far / Image Credit: Moden KOL

But Jerry believes otherwise. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) only need to be equipped to provide value-adding insights to the public, regardless of age and looks.

He shared that all they need to have are: 

  • The knowledge and experience in their own field that can add value to audiences;
  • The technical skills of copywriting, video shooting and editing, along with livestream hosting.

Hence, he started Moden KOL’s academy as a training ground for aspiring influencers.

Think Of It As A Workshop

The academy’s signature course is its KOL training programme: a three-day workshop covering every aspect of being an influencer.

It comprises personal branding, copywriting, video production, and social media management. Their most important module is livestreaming, according to Jerry. 

Trainers for these courses are professionals in their respective fields, from copywriters and marketers to videographers and editors. Fees can range between RM500 to RM3,000 depending on the duration of the programme and its content.

But with free resources like YouTube available to the general public, it may seem excessive to pay for such lessons.

Jerry (left) and a KOL livestream in the works (right) / Image Credit: Moden KOL

But think about it this way, Moden KOL’s academy is essentially offering hands-on workshops for those who don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed by all the different guides online. It’s comparable to joining a woodworking or soap-making class.  

The resources you need are provided and professionals are on-site to guide you through the process while answering any questions you may have. So far, the academy has trained over 1,500 KOLs from the ages of 8 to 60.

Furthermore, once your training is complete, you can then move on to their job portal and book some work from brands.

It’s JobStreet For KOLs

It works exactly like JobStreet. When a brand needs a KOL, they can set the job requirements and post it onto the portal. Influencers can browse listed campaigns and apply for them where they see fit.

Jerry explained that the platform is also open to those who’ve never joined their academy. Upon registration, the platform will collect their basic information including social media profiles and their respective number of followers. 

There are no fees to use the platform for the brands or influencers. Once a job is booked, further arrangements like interviews and payment will be settled between the two parties, and Moden KOL will not interfere with these transactions.

Some campaigns listed on their portal

As this system is designed for brands and talents, Jerry further told Vulcan Post that any company can list a campaign in search for talents. And that’s even if they’re not officially registered.

“This is a philosophy we adopted from Facebook, where users can create a page for their own business. Therefore, we are more focused on the results than the number of partner brands listed,” he explained.

As a result, the job portal has facilitated over 200 campaigns with 1,300 KOL applicants for them. So far, close to 3,000 talents have registered with the platform in under six months.

Jerry has no plans on launching an app at all. Instead, his team is focused on setting up more cost-intensive resources to accommodate their KOLs.

These include providing an in-house production team and cloud kitchens for those who want to produce cooking videos with a professional set.

This year, Moden KOL aims to expand their services beyond Malaysia and provide more courses in their academy. They’ve also partnered with SEGi College, Subang Jaya where student attendees will receive a certificate endorsed by the college upon completion.

With YouTube and TikTok becoming more viable career paths for the future, one could say that Moden KOL is positioned to benefit from this development.

  • You can learn more about Moden KOL here.
  • You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: Jerry Hang, founder of Moden KOL





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