Business History of Yuzuru Ishikawa

Hello, my name is Yuzuru Ishikawa. On this page, I would like to introduce myself briefly. I would appreciate it if you could take a look.

My business can be divided into two categories. One is my own business. The other is to provide business management support through advisory and consulting contracts. For example, I am working on the development of a Japanese agent for Manuka honey (honey from Manuka). This year (2021), we have already reached “16” out of 47 prefectures. This is a breakthrough result.

As is the case with affiliate marketing, which is also the root of my business style, once I have grasped the formula for success in my work, I can promise that I will be able to grow the business and scale it up. I have made it my motto to accept requests in a way that I can promise.

What value I want to provide to my clients

In my business, I always try to take the business of “crossing a stone bridge” a step further by “making sure that the bridge is not broken. The reason for doing so is, of course, that it makes my own achievements more credible. In addition, another reason is my belief that the client comes first, which is the most important thing for me, and that is to accept a request only after everyone’s win-win situation is almost guaranteed.

I do not want to leave any stakeholders behind. This is my philosophy. To achieve this, I thoroughly examine and research business models and data, and strive to obtain numerically backed “win-win” assurances. Specifically, I work together with clients only when I am confident that the business and labor environments can be modeled, sales can be expected, and the business can be replicated. This attitude can be described as a style that prioritizes “not losing the game” over “winning the game. I have always felt that this style leads to happiness and prosperity for everyone.

Thankfully, my social credibility is steadily growing both in New Zealand and in Japan. This is evidenced by the number of projects I have been involved in. I have consulted for New Zealand’s online printing company, a renovation company, a software company, a massage salon, a farmer, a psychologist, a piano teacher, and many others. Most recently, I was appointed as an advisor to B’s Kitchen, a bakery.

How did I start making money as an affiliate?

Right after I graduated from university, I came to New Zealand and started working as a study abroad counselor. Some of the high school students who had stopped attending school in Japan could not get their high school diploma in Japan for some reason. However, he or she wants to get the qualification. I was in charge of counseling with them. I myself had studied abroad in New Zealand and was so attracted to the country that I even moved there, so I was reasonably familiar with the study abroad situation. However, on the other hand, many of the high school students I dealt with were people with “specific reasons”. For example, I was sometimes called in to deal with students who had gotten into fights in the middle of the night. Looking back now, the experience of having to deal with such high school students has been utilized in my current business style, where I take my customers seriously. At the time, however, I had no idea what I was doing, and I was just desperate to deal with the trouble to be rectified.

That’s when I started affiliate marketing. At that time, I didn’t even know the term “affiliate” (a kind of advertising program using the Internet, in which a portion of the sales generated by a product sold on an e-commerce site or online store is returned when the product is posted on a website), but I decided to “study” and worked hard to learn. I learned a lot about website management, search engine optimization (SEO), and content marketing.

However, there was no way I could make money easily. For a while, the situation continued without a whimper. Eventually, affiliate marketing became a source of income that exceeded one million yen(around $10,000NZD) per month, but success was built on countless failures and trial and error. I did a lot of testing work to ensure that I could optimize my blog for the platform algorithms of Google and others at the time while producing a large amount of content for my blog to help affiliates. I also did a variety of content research on people who were already doing well as affiliates and took thorough SEO measures. It wasn’t until a year and a half after I started affiliate marketing that I was able to get on track and start generating 5,000 yen a month, 80,000 yen, and 200,000 yen a month exponentially.

Learning how to scale a business

Eventually, however, I could no longer manage my own blog and website on my own. That’s when I started “outsourcing”. I started to share my own affiliate methods and outsource some of the operations to people I hired. This worked, and my sales increased even more. The collection of methods for outsourcing that I created at this time later became a commercial version of my know-how and the “Affiliate Manual for Profitable People”.

In 2011, I created a teaching material on blog affiliate marketing and started selling it. I also started offering individual consulting services to those who purchased the materials, and thankfully my first-week sales alone exceeded 6 million yen(roughly $60,000NZD).

In the beginning, we made our know-how materials available as videos for free viewing. I think that was a relatively advanced way to deliver content at the time. From there, we started offering our services to individuals who wanted to receive consulting services for a fixed fee, similar to a subscription model today. However, although we started paid consulting service, we continued to share our know-how for free. If there is something good, we want to share it at a reasonable price if possible in a sustainable manner. Of course, it would be a problem if this promoted cheap trends in the industry. However, through my experience as a dedicated, almost volunteer, counselor for high school students in the past, I felt that I had been able to help people in a real sense. In the same way, volunteering to spread free content may ultimately be the best way to help people as well as help myself.

Entering the Marketing Business

After that, I started sending out email newsletters telling the story of how I went from using affiliate marketing to individual consulting services, rapidly expanding my business and gaining credibility.

At the same time, I have been learning about whole marketing know-how, skills, knowledge, expertise since around 2010. It all started with the changes and sophistication of Google’s platform algorithms, which I became acutely aware of while continuing to be an affiliate marketer. I wanted to respond to these changes, so I stepped into the world of digital marketing. As with any job, you cannot survive if you cannot adapt to the changes in the field you are working on and you don’t know which direction you should go to survive. I do not know when the affiliate marketing methods I was practicing will become obsolete. That sense of “the future is agnostic” was what drove me to continue to learn.

From there, I started to deliver digital marketing service that were separate from affiliate marketing. I was quite a late starter as a marketer, but I was able to supplement my know-how with a lot of learning, and in 2014, I started providing marketing consulting services to small and medium-sized companies. Since then, I have felt firsthand that there is a certain category of industries where marketing skills are extremely weak. I set my eyes on such blue oceans in a sense and strategically built up my track record. For example, I managed Google ads, Yahoo ads, and product promotions. This seems to have worked well and our budget became larger.

Now we have many advisory contracts.

What is important is the results. It’s the numbers. In marketing, for example, click rates and conversion rates are important, but no numbers can compare to those directly related to sales. I’ve been getting results in terms of sales for my clients.

This naturally led to more requests from companies that I consulted with to do this or that as well. As a result of this process, I now have many advisory contracts.

I always say, “As long as you get the materials right, you can get the results.

My Business Philosophy

In the beginning of this article, I wrote about what value I want to provide to my clients. In fact, there is a case-by-case approach to this. I’ll tell you about it later.

What kind of value do I want to provide? For example, in the case of the beauty correction service that I am currently involved in as an advisor, when I develop it as a business, I start by telling the people involved, “I can promise you the revenue you make, the hour you work, but I cannot promise you a happiness or fulfillment you will achieve”

This is because basically all I can do is set up the labor environment and promise that if they work this or that much per week, the salary will be this much. I can’t promise that it will be rewarding or fulfilling for them. Job satisfaction is very subjective. What is rewarding changes from person to person. The part of the job that is rewarding changes with time too. It is also difficult to quantify. Therefore, I try not to make a promise about the part of feelings such as satisfaction.

My policy is to promise only what I can promise. Of course, this does not mean that I deny the desire for fulfillment from people. I would never ignore an individual’s situation. Rather, when I conduct interviews for hiring people, I ask about the family’s situation, and I also ask about support from family, such as whether they are satisfied with the work. Making sure they are in the right place with the right support may result in a more rewarding experience for the employee. I’m aware of that.

On top of that, though, I decide whether or not to accept a potential job based on what I can promise in terms of numbers. I believe this is what makes me a professional. The numbers are clear, objective. I want to make a promise in my work based on that clarity. It would be great if the value of “satisfaction” comes as a result too.