Social Media: The Future of Customer Service?

It’s 6 am on a Tuesday and your alarm goes off for work. You leisurely roll over to grab your phone to stop the bothersome ringing. Yawn, stretch, scroll through your social media feed.

Sounds about right?

Our daily lives are deeply intertwined with technology, from the moment we wake up, to the time we go to sleep. The average daily time spent on social media is a whopping 116 minutes! That’s almost 2 hours a day!

It’s no surprise then, that for brands and businesses, social media has naturally evolved from being a platform for marketing, sharing content and driving sales to also an avenue for meeting customer service needs.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at some stats real quick:

  • 67% of consumers have engaged a brand’s social media for customer service needs
  • 43% of consumers between the ages of 18-29 years old are more likely to use a brand’s social media sites for customer service interactions
  • 56% of consumers reported they would never use a company again after a poor customer service experience
  • 32% of consumers expect a response on social media within 30 minutes
  • Customers who engage with companies over social media spend up to 40% more money with those companies than other customers

Customers regard brands’ social media accounts as actual customer service channels, so it is imperative that brands view themselves in the same light.

I’ve quickly come to the discovery that when I need a quick resolution to an issue from a business, my best bet is to tweet at them. No phone calls, no emails, not even a physical visit. Those 240 characters always do the trick! Social media is a double-edged sword for brands.

It’s a public, transparent forum where happy customers go to sing your praises but also the same platform in which irate customers go to unabashedly ‘drag’ you.

Consumers are quickly realizing that smart brands who value their image- as they should- are quicker to resolve their complaints and issues when aired on social media. Click To Tweet

Utilizing social channels for customer service purposes is no easy feat, but here are some steps in which to manage it effectively:

Utilize Social Media Listening Tools

There are various social media listening tools out there in which a simple google search will reveal, but my personal favorites are Hootsuite and Google alerts. 

Hootsuite is one of the most widely used social media monitoring tools which allows you to track and monitor certain words, phrases, terms and accounts across various social media platforms while Google alerts can be considered to be a free alternative which allows you to do the same, just across the web.

Contain Issues Before They Escalate

 Businesses must be proactive in ensuring they utilize other servicing channels such as phones and email to resolve the issues of aggrieved customers before they take to twitter, facebook, Instagram or even snapchat to complain. 

In the event a business isn’t quick enough to rectify issues, damage control is important when customers take to social media to vent and share negative experiences they may have encountered with your brand.

You know what they say, prevention is better than cure!

Respond Quickly!

 I like to call us millennials “the microwave generation”. From ordering meals to hailing cabs and even keeping up to date with the latest news and gossip, we’re so used to utilizing technology to satisfy our ‘instant everything’ needs. 

We want what we want when we want it. Chatbots are an effective tool for small business owners who don’t necessarily have the resources to respond live to client inquiries or complaints 24/7.

Also, they can be programmed to respond to frequently asked questions on platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, websites and more. This reduces the need for business owners to be available at all hours of the day.

Take It Off The Timeline

 In the event, irate customers go directly to social channels, as a business owner, you must pacify the customer publicly and take the conversation off the timeline as quickly as possible. 

This is particularly important when the issues are complex or you require the customer’s personal information such as a phone number, date of birth or address to resolve the issue.

In situations where the issue is quick and easy to resolve, it’s a great idea to engage the customer politely and efficiently right there on the timeline for all to see!

This not only reinforces the trust within existing customers but also showcases your brand in a great light to potential clients.

As a business owner, you must position yourself as one step ahead of your client - @TheBrandingP Click To Tweet

It’s no secret that companies don’t want their dirty laundry aired for current and prospective customers to see, and rightfully so!

As a business owner, you must position yourself as one step ahead of your client. Ensure your products and services deliver on your brand promise; and in the inevitable event where client dissatisfaction occurs, establish processes and procedures to manage these situations effectively.


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7 lessons you can learn from Issa Rae and her InSecure journey

Issa Rae is an American writer, actor, and producer of the famous NBO series Insecure. She started out creating videos on YouTube when she got tired of seeing the same type of movies about black people.

Issa Rae has been nominated for the golden globe award, her series has won the shorty award for the best web series. She also heads a media company called Issa Rae presents.

If you haven’t watched any episode of InSecure you`ve just found yourself a new best friend. It’s like the dope movie for every girl seeking for some kind of succor after a hard week of work!

It’s so relatable and funny. The story is centered around Issa, a black woman trying to keep it cool with her job in a non-profit, her relationship and her social life.

I came across her show IssaRae presents on a lazy day when I was scrolling through my YouTube feed, and I was stuck. IssaRaePresents does not come up short. Trust me, they never disappoint.

And oh, we’ve been waiting for the third series of Insecure like…

And as usual, we won’t be disappointed. Now back to the main point.

The backstage of creating media content is filled with people who never make it to the big screen.  Writers, producers, camera, videographers, directors, editors etc.

A lot of work goes into creating what you finally see on your screen.  The backstage of the movie industry is dominated by males especially in production and directing.

How did a black young woman break that glass ceiling to be her own boss? Let’s look at these lessons from her.

On Starting Out:

“I love creating content and YouTube was super accessible. I started my first show in senior year of college in Stanford and I kept growing that audience”.

On Being Consistent:

“I had two web series before the misadventures of the Awkward Black Girl. Those series did not gain instant fame but I was consistent throughout releasing those videos by 10 am every Monday and promoting constantly”

Stop finding the ways that you can’t and start finding the ways that you can - @IssaRae Click To Tweet

On Working Hard

“People constantly make excuses on why they can’t follow their dreams. Stop finding the ways that you can’t and start finding the ways that you can.

Think about what you have now, friends, a camera, a room, whatever you have.  Figure out a way to use what you have to make it work.”

On Teamwork

“I tend to have strong opinions about the characters in my shows because I feel I know them personally. Also, I try to loosen the rein and allow debates to go on.

I love collaborating because there are people with a lot of great ideas I love hearing out. Resisting the urge to outrightly say no has been one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned”

On Creativity

“Life inspires me. I love little moments. I just like real life. Everybody has different areas of discomfort and seeing how certain things concerns people that won’t even matter to others intrigues me. I try to understand what makes people think that way and learn from them”

On Overcoming Challenges

“There are definitely challenges. At one end I want to take as many opportunities as I can, on the other hand, I do not want to disappoint myself and other people by not meeting up with deadlines.

Trying to find that work/life balance for the past few years has been challenging”

For Entrepreneurs in Film/Media

“Know your goal. Make sure agencies & companies approaching you are aware of the vision you are working with.

Be sure to have a good team.  Utilizing the people around me was the best thing that happened to me. The team members that I have now started from the ground up with me, that organic growth is part of the reason this show has been a success.

Issa Rae has always kept it 100% real, affirming the fact that her show.  InSecure, is a typification of her life as a young black woman trying to make it in a community that seems to tell her what to do.

She has talked openly about her challenges and fears, and what accepting people’s approval has been for her. Her mother at first did not even agree to watch the show.  

From all of these, I learned two important lessons:

1. People crave authenticity

They’ll gravitate towards people who are real and original. If you step into a new place and you’re a sheep amongst a pack of wolves or the only black female in the room, as long as you have a voice and you keep to that voice, people will gravitate towards you.

2. Everything takes time

Issa affirmed that the first video she did on YouTube was crap, but as years went by and she gathered a team, it got better.

You can tell the difference between her past videos in IssaRaePresents on YouTube and now.

Just like a tree grows, slowly building stronger and deeper foundation which in the end will be able to stand the test of to such is the journey of a business which grows organically.

P.S – All quotes from Issa were gotten from various videos you can find in the link below;


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JESSICA NAA ADJELEY KONNEY: I TURNED MY BOREDOM INTO PASSION FOR FASHION BLOGGING

Jessica Naa Adjeley Konney found living alone quite boring so she chose to stay on campus after lectures to while away time.

As spending time on campus meant more time on the internet, she discovered blogging and entertainment blogs in Ghana like Ameyaw Debrah. This led to her decision to turn her boredom into a passion to keep her busy after school hours.

Even though she knew nothing about blogging, she took a bold step and her experience in journalism/writing to set up a blog called Fashion 101 which later turned to Trendsnblendsgh as she saw the need to rebrand once her blog began to grow.

She chose fashion blogging because there was no platform specifically dedicated to fashion in Ghana especially Ghanaian fashion. Over time, her blog has grown to become one of the best in Ghana and the Harper’s Bazaar of Africa called Trendsnblendsgh the go-to online hub for everything African Fashion starting with Ghana.

Jessica now covers fashion events, features fashion entrepreneurs, offers style tips, offers professional advice to young fashion brands etc.


 Describe how you first got into blogging

 

Blogging for me started as a hobby to while away time during my days at the Ghana Institute of Journalism. I used to spend so much time on campus after school back in the day because I had nowhere to go as I lived alone, so being at home was quite boring.

While on campus, I surfed the internet a lot and that was when I realized that there were entertainment websites like Ameyaw Debrah, Ghana gist blogging about entertainment and there were fewer blogs on fashion so that was the moment I decided to turn my boredom into a passion to keep me busy after school hours.

Interestingly, I had no clue about blogging whatsoever but I took the bold step to set up my blog using blogger.com and called it Fashion 101.

With no direction whatsoever I set out to start fashion blogging. I thought to myself that once I had experience in journalism and writing I could definitely put together some content for this blog and I guess I did.

How do you keep your social media pages lit and drive traffic to your blog?

 

I see myself as a fashion journalist because I’m always on the lookout for contents that will make the news.

After every post, I made sure to share the link to my blog on all my social media platforms (back then it was just Facebook and Twitter) and I consistently kept sharing.

I also attended fashion events and introduced myself as a fashion blogger because it was the most common term people could understand. This wasn’t easy initially because it was new to event organizers but consistency and relevant content got me where I am today.

With regards to keeping the social media pages lit, we take a lot of time to curate images from different sources.

We are always looking out for the best photos that will not only engage our audience but keep our timeline clean as well. We sometimes collaborate with photographers for some of the stunning images but quite often we source these photos from other pages or brands.

How do you get clients and generate revenue/income?

 

For a long time, I felt the numbers or traffic wasn’t enough for me to monetize so I explored other ways to raise revenue or income.  

I started offering digital marketing services to clients for as low as about 100Ghc back then. Then, I also charged brands who promoted their lookbooks on my blog and platforms and that’s basically been how I make money.

Trendsnblendsgh has gone into brand consultation services and helping young brands establish themselves all at a small fee. Monetization is however on our to-do list for the year.

People don't see your dream as big as you do so don't rely on them for validation - @dje_djelyn Click To Tweet

Would you say fashion blogging is a great financial plan? Do you see a future with this career path?

 

To be honest it’s not a great financial plan unless you’re determined to make it one. It’s new and fresh to people, especially in Ghana.

Fashion entrepreneurs here don’t understand why you need to be paid for your services and it’s quite difficult and frustrating trying to get them to understand. I’d say have a financial backing, extra sources of income so it sustains the passion.

At this point, I see it as a great career path for me. To be an editor-in-chief of one of Africa’s most renowned fashion website and some more career opportunities in this same field.

Did you encounter any challenges when you started Trendsandblendgh? What did you learn from it?

 

Always waiting for approval or validation/support. When I started trendsandblendsgh, I wasn’t so confident as an individual and also in what I was doing.  

I was seeking validation from others to tell me if this post was good enough or this idea was great. What this did was to slow me down entirely because until I had gotten approval or even support from someone I wouldn’t move. It’s one thing I have learned to fight and rise from.

People don’t see your dream as big as you do so if you want to rely on them for validation, approval or support you might as well not start anything at all.

Other than you, which 3 fashion bloggers are your absolute favorite and why?

 

For style bloggers I love Irony of Ashi, her style is simply elegant.

I dote on Afua Rida, I love her uniqueness in styling.

I also love my friend Nuel Bans of debonair Afrik, I love his creative issues and admire his passion.

Who is your number one fashion inspiration, favorite fashion magazine, and designer?

 

With the rise of style influencers, it’s becoming extremely difficult to stick to one fashion icon or style icon. I tend to pick up inspiration from different people.

Elle Magazine is my favorite, but from Africa, it’ll be Glitz Magazine.

I love Christie Brown certainly a wish to own more CB pieces in my closet.

If you could be any fashion icon for a day, who will you be and which local or international celebrities closet would you like to raid?

 

I’d definitely be Anna Wintour. There’s so much I’d love to influence in the fashion industry even if it’s for a day and doing it in the perfect bob cut and dark shades definitely a yes!

I could spend the entire day in Tracee Ellis Ross and Bonang Matheba’s closets trying out their clothes, shoes etc. I would practically sleep in there.

What has been your proudest achievement?

 

There has been so many but I’d say my interview with BBC Africa – Lerato Mbele remains my proudest. I grew up watching BBC and secretly wanting to be on BBC.

So, to have been on BBC Africa talking fashion was definitely a winner for me and anyone who’s believed in me as well.

I want trendsandblendsgh to become one of the largest online fashion news site in Africa with its hub in Ghana- @dje_djelyn Click To Tweet

What is your endgame with trendsandblendsgh? Are you close to achieving it?

 

I’m nowhere near the endgame I must say, I want trendsandblendsgh to become one of the largest online fashion news site in Africa with its hub in Ghana, a team of writers, creatives and all that is needed to make it work.

What are some of your current fashion obsessions and beauty essentials?

 

I’m obsessed with jumpsuits, black outfits, and nude shoes.

Current Beauty essentials: matte lipstick in red and burgundy. Hand cream, a pack of tissues and face powder.


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Muthoni Maingi: Glass ceilings are the biggest problem that women face

Muthoni Maingi is a true renaissance woman.  She uses the power of digital innovation to transform lives.

Being the Head of Digital Campaigns at Oxfam is just the latest place she is flexing her muscles. She is also the founding director of the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE). Muthoni was also an integral team member in Safaricom projects like BLAZE and Little Cab. 

In this insightful chat with SLA, she shares some insights on her career journey and growing with the new digital trends.


 

At what point in your life did you first learn about your field of work? What called you to it?

As the Brand strategist at Creative Edge, the director would find my colleagues and me on Twitter fairly frequently.

Instead of reprimanding us, she challenged us to think through how we could begin to sell digital as a service for the agency as it was traditionally lead at the time.

From then I fell in love with digital as a marketing proposition and have never left since!

As the Head of Digital Campaigns, what exactly do you do?

My work at Oxfam really allows me to live true to my passion and purpose!  I stay up at night thinking of initiatives that use the power of digital to connect people and amplify voices to influence decision makers.

With my team, we work to grow the brand to become a leading digital influencing organization. We use mobile, web and social media to drive, support, donations and offline participation of millions of people globally.

Does Oxfam still consider traditional media and offline campaigns in this digital age?

At Oxfam, I am constantly inspired by the amazing work that uses digital technology to influence and leverage the power of people to end poverty.

The organization’s inspiration and drive to achieve change for millions of people is embedded in the values, mission, and vision. It is the exact same whether applied to campaign offline or online, there is no separation from the core objective.

How has your current role changed your perception of how powerful technology can be in changing lives in Kenya & around the world?

I don’t necessarily feel like I am just now seeing that technology can and does have the potential to create change. What I can say has changed is that my approach has always been very Kenya and Africa based.

I think that it is great that organizations across the globe are increasingly making diversity a core strategic agenda and that means that varied expertise in the room allows for improved performance and efficiency.

Consequently, this experience has allowed me to exhibit our regional ingenuity on a platform that is hungry for fresh perspectives from this part of the world.

What advice can you give about personal growth and knowing when it’s time to leave a job even when it throws you out of your comfort zone?    

Prior to working at Oxfam, I held major positions in the telecommunications sector. I have always had very specific objectives in terms of how I see my career going.

I look at what my objective is in terms of my career goal and what space is available for me to explore that as well as to build something of value for myself and the organization.

For example with Safaricom, I was really looking at how I could bring digitally lead segmented prepositions to life.

Being secure in that knowledge, I began to look for spaces where I could grow from a digital perspective and lead a team that actually creates digital products.  The opportunity at Oxfam offered me that.

When you have solid relationships then everything else always figures itself out - @NonieMG Click To Tweet

How important are mentors to you? Do you have any?

I try to avoid what can be termed as the ‘expert by proxy’ bias. Where we tend to listen to the loudest person in the room and assume that as a result, they are competent and capable.

I genuinely look deeper to find people who are ‘true experts’ in the aspect I am looking to grow towards, even if they are the quieter or less visible ones in the room. Or even if they are not in the room at all.

I consider different people mentors in different ways. Actually, I ensure that they are the actual people that I should be talking to.

Having been so successful in the famed ‘Silicon Sahara’, one of the most competitive tech industries in Africa. Does this mean women are getting better recognition for their contributions in the tech world?

It would not be accurate to look at my path and determine that the state of women is improved because of it. My success is not a beacon of change as a lot more should be done and a lot more can be done to ensure that no one is left behind.

Women have a long way to go to get their dues in this industry, not because of their lack of talent or capability but simply because we operate in a world with restrictive, discriminatory and in many cases violent social norms. This applies to all women regardless of class, race, gender and sexual orientation.

I am my own cheerleader, and I am very comfortable with failure... - @NonieMG Click To Tweet

What do you think is the biggest misconception women have about how to become successful?

The fact that this question is only asked of women says it all. Women across the board put in the work, glass ceilings are the biggest problem that women face.

These ceilings appear in overt, micro-aggressive or in hidden values and norms that keep women consistently not only fighting to deliver results in their day job but also having to work around harmful social norms as another layer of labor.

The only work that women should be doing is working to deliver to the bottom line, the strategic objectives of an organization.

In moments of self-doubt, what do you tell yourself?

I really believe that I am my biggest cheerleader. I know myself, and I am very comfortable with failure. My self-doubt, as a result, is usually very short-lived.

I’m lucky that the only ‘right’ thing that I have done in my life is to surround myself with a fantastic network of cheerleaders and truth tellers.

They really keep me away from damaging self-doubt with great advise, recognition and validation.

What are your proudest career moments so far?

The Bloggers Association of Kenya is the baby that I am most proud of. Being a part of something that has helped so many people and grown an industry that otherwise did not exist as a Founding Director fills me with a lot of joy.

What advice can you give about being fearless and following your dreams?

Fearless? That isn’t me, I have a lot of fears. That said, the best advice that I have ever been given came from Sylvia Mulinge who was my Director while at Safaricom.

“Progress not perfection, believe that if you have been called into the room then your contribution is valuable. The people in that room want you to succeed.”

What is the one thing you will not be happy if you haven’t achieved when everything is said and done?

I am increasingly concerned about my relationships with people, friends, family, workmates and several others. I would not be happy if I did not achieve a real and authentic relationship with these people.

Personally, I think that when you have solid relationships, everything else will figure itself out. Without that, what are we really here for?.


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Wakanda is closer than you think: Amrote Abdella spotlights the real African innovative tech stories

The real Vibranium of Africa is its people and its potential - @amroteab Click To Tweet

Amrote Abdella spearheads Microsoft’s investments in Africa across 54 countries, working closely with her team to enable and accelerate digital transformation opportunities.

She was recently named one of Africa’s Top 100 Young Business Leaders, ranking 12th out of 100 leaders who are playing a major role in the continent’s economic development.

Before becoming Regional Director, Amrote was 4Afrika’s Director for VC & Startups, where she worked with start-ups supporting the innovation ecosystem in Africa.

Amrote writes about some of 4Afrika’s real-world heroes and amazing tech start-ups in Africa.


 

Since the release of Black Panther, the world has been captivated. The action-packed and fun fantasy movie has been embraced for its representation of black people generally, and Africans specifically.

Another key element of the film’s cult-like status is the appeal of the fictional and futuristic African country, Wakanda – full of tech innovations and ultra-modern urban development.

But how removed is the world of Wakanda from our own? As a continent, Africa has many advantages that are driving us closer to that aspirational vision: economic growth in many states that is outpacing much of the world, and a youthful population with an entrepreneurial bent.

And unlike Wakanda, we aren’t afraid to share our innovations.

Microsoft 4Afrika has been playing their part in Africa’s digital transformation. We have been supporting businesses, government projects, startups and young workers through empowering changes in internet access, service delivery enabled by tech and economic development. 

Launched in 2013, 4Afrika’s approach has seen them partner with projects of high impact that are driving Africa’s technological awakening. The following are some of 4Afrika’s real-world heroes.

Music to our ears

Damola Taiwo, Dolapo Taiwo, and Tola Ogunsola are three entrepreneurs who have come through the 4Afrika community and are transforming streaming music in Nigeria through their MyMusic digital music platform (MyMusic.com.ng).

MyMusic not only gives users access to home-grown music favorites but has a chatbot that helps users discover new songs and download the ones they love.

This bot – built on Skype – was showcased at the Microsoft NexTech Africa conference, and is one of the new technologies that has helped MyMusic grow to 700 000 active monthly users.

Their success is largely rooted in local knowledge – understanding the peculiarities of the cash-driven market. Given this, their smart use of airtime-as-payment lets users buy songs with a single click.

It’s a viable business which creates a powerful ripple effect that supports and monetizes African musicians.

Pay it forward

Another growing Nigerian start-up supported by 4Afrika is SpacePointe. Sayu Abend and Osato Osayande started this omnichannel platform with the explicit purpose of supporting business owners.

They do this by offering an innovative mobile point-of-service application designed for the Nigerian market. This helps thousands of online and offline businesses transact, and streamline their sales, marketing, and payment processing.

Theirs is a superhero narrative of financial inclusion and economic growth in action.

Creative culture

When it comes to creativity and storytelling, Hollywood certainly doesn’t have the market fully covered. Nigerians and other Africans are creating new characters, challenges, and scenarios every day that are engaging local target audiences.

4Afrika grantee Gamsole, for example, has created 50 new mobile games for the Android and iOS platforms in the past two years. Gamsole games have had over 10 million downloads. 

Most recently, in partnership with Diamond Bank, they created Dreamville on Azure, a digital financial platform that lets youth plan their future, save, chat and develop their financial literacy – all while playing games.

Skills for good

Our real-life tech heroes are also using their top skills for good. They are also partnering with other heroes of the non-profit sector to contribute to meaningful change in Africa.

The MySkills4Afrika project has supported four Nigeria non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in their cloud journey. This has, in turn, helped them automate many administrative processes so they can spend more time on their transformative work.

These include Junior Chambers International, United for Education Foundation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and Technology for Sustainable Development. In partnering with the essential NGO space, we are amplifying the trans-formative effects for thousands of more people.

In the cloud, on the ground

Because of Africa’s documented historical infrastructure woes, we have become a continent famous for “leapfrogging” traditional infrastructure.

Cloud makes sense everywhere. But this is more so in Africa, as it provides the means to scale up without costly infrastructure development. It overcomes the issues inherent in legacy technology and software. It also reduces the significant barrier that a difficult and broadly distributed supply chain can become.

Through strategic use of cloud services, young African entrepreneurs are enjoying the same options as their established global counterparts.

The next wave

The real Vibranium of Africa is its people and its potential. The next superheroes of trade, purpose-drive entrepreneurship, and technology are waking up today in Lagos, Accra, Johannesburg, Yaoundé, and Cairo.

They are already discovering their abilities and nurturing their dreams. Let’s celebrate them and tell their stories. Just as much as we relish a different African narrative on the silver screen.

This article was written by Amrote Abdella, Regional Director, Microsoft 4Afrika.


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Kachi Tila-Adesina: Striking a Balance for Every Season

Kachi Tila Adesina is an example of Motherland Mogul goals! After growing up in Nigeria, Kachi moved to the UK in 2014 to work as a corporate lawyer. In March 2017, she was admitted as a solicitor of England and Wales. 

Beyond her career, Kachi enjoys a wide range of hobbies that have led her towards starting her blog – Kachee Tee. KacheeTee.com is a different kind of lifestyle blog that features everything that women would go through. From relationships, travel, career, beauty, fashion, blogging, food and most recently parenting – this blog has a little bit for everyone. 

Through her blog, Kachi hopes to inspire her readers to learn to live intentionally and have fun. In this interview, she gives us a glimpse of her blogging journey and her great plans for the future.


Tell us about your blog – KacheeTee

I started KacheeTee.com with zero ideas of what I was getting into. My need to get an outlet to write was constantly consuming my thoughts. So, I decided to give it a go and two years later, I am still blogging!

Before starting, I was oblivious to how big the blogging industry was. This was good because not knowing the task ahead kept me from quitting earlier on. Over the years, the blog has evolved from just sharing my own stories. I now also share other people’s experiences, journeys, and stories.

Due to my curiosity about a lot of things, my blog has more of a holistic lifestyle blog. It was important to me to create the kind of blog I’d love to read which is easy to read and I can relax while reading.

 

What was it like publishing your first post?

I published my first blog post on Facebook for my friends to read. Though I was nervous and almost regretted my decision to ‘come out of my shell’, my friends were very receptive. Many of them subscribed to the blog and sent messages of how they were looking forward to the next post. At this point, I couldn’t quit.

It’s been a learning curve and an interesting couple of years. Now, my posts are much different to the initial ones. But, what’s remained consistent is the amount of passion and effort poured into every single post.

What values have been critical to your personal and career growth? 

My top three values are – Excellence, Integrity, and Christian faith. I have a genuine desire to truly excel at most things to the best of my ability and this constantly pushes me.

To me, excellence also ties in with impact. I am very keen to inspire, educate and add value in some way. So often, in my career and personal life, I ask “what’s to be gained from this?“. This has guided everything that I do from my career to even on my blog. 

I strongly believe, where there’s value, there’s often growth. In all this, I’m conscious of acting with integrity and authenticity – making sure I stay true to who I am and don’t lose my voice. Finally, my Christian faith and beliefs guide me all the way and I believe is very instrumental in my growth.

 

In everything you do, it's important to strike a fair balance and identify what are your current priorities Click To Tweet

How has your lifestyle blog impacted you?

Launching my blog is definitely one of the toughest things I’ve had to do. But it’s had a lot impact on my life. It’s given me confidence and made me believe in myself a lot more. I’ve also met many amazing people! 

But interestingly, I’ve also developed a creative mindset I didn’t think I had. Even when I’m tired, my mind is always spinning all these creative new ideas for the blog.

Overall, the blog has brought a lot of fulfillment in my life. During my 28th birthday – the first after I launched my blog – I received many overwhelming messages from people saying how much I’d inspired them through my blog. This was a great sign of how fulfilling my blog is.

You’re a very busy Motherland Mogul. How do you manage it all?

Two words – balance and support. As an adult, it is important to know how to balance the many things that demand your attention.

In everything you do, it’s important to strike a fair balance and identify what are the current priorities. There have been times when my priority was work or family, and my blog had to take a back seat- and that’s okay! The most important thing is to become organized and resourceful. 

It’s also instrumental to have the right kind of support. My husband knows I enjoy being a lawyer and a blogger, therefore, being able to do these things allows me to be a great wife and mother. He’s happy to give his 100 percent support when necessary. I’m also very open to other kinds of support – from outsourcing the house chores to volunteers who edit blog posts.

What kind of partnerships and environments are necessary for bloggers to thrive?

Blogging is hard work! Many bloggers put in time, effort and money to produce great content. However, without engagement from their audience, fellow bloggers, and brands, it becomes tough.

Therefore, support is very important for the growth of a blog. Support can be engaging with the content to partnering with fellow bloggers to get advice and even create content. Though sometimes it may be uncommon for lifestyle bloggers to collaborate with others, it’s important as it helps reach new audiences.

Does living in the diaspora influence your style of blogging in any way?

Living in the UK does influence my style of blogging in a couple of ways relating to content and standards. Knowing that my blog is being read by a diverse set of people,  I especially pay attention to ensure my content is relatable, and the language is not overly limited to Nigerian/ African lingua.

This does not mean that I refrain from telling our stories or experiences. On the contrary, living here propels me to tell more of our stories and push for greater representation and diversity in blogging.

Finally, being in the UK exposes me to a higher standard of professionalism and expectations. I’m constantly challenging myself to write better and produce a blog that I can introduce to anyone, anywhere.

What are your goals for the future?

Essentially my goal is to build a blog and platform that is so much bigger than just ‘Kachi’. I plan to do this through increasing readership across Nigeria and wider Africa – as well as Africans in the diaspora.

However, knowing that there is a lot of content out there sometimes scares me. But I’ve realized it’s not just about me. I’m ready to build a team to help me take this blog to the next level in terms of quality and quantity of content. I’d also love to create a network where bloggers can share knowledge and exchange ideas through seminars, workshops, events or even virtually via podcasts.

Finally, I’d love to partner with more brands, companies, and organizations to reach my target audience and add value. From parenting to travel, fashion, lifestyle, and careers – there’s so much opportunity for such mutually benefiting partnerships.

What three movies do you think should definitely have sequels? 

Me Before You.  I cried so much watching this movie, and perhaps a sequel where I get to laugh a lot might be good. There’s a book sequel now (haven’t read it yet though), so we just might get a movie sequel

Black Panther. I absolutely enjoyed the movie and I think a sequel that further raises the issue of diversity and representation is very much welcome! Rumor has it, there’d be a sequel and I hope we see more of Shuri – loved her.

Pretty Woman. I’m not sure what the plot of the sequel could be, but I’d pay to watch it. Such a classic.


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.

WEBINAR WITH SUPRIYA SHARMA: TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR BRAND WITH DIGITAL MARKETING (APRIL 19)

Building a successful brand can be risky business and quite a challenge, especially in this forever evolving digital space!  FYI – that’s all about to change…keep reading!

While you should tailor your brand’s strategy to its specific goals, how can you ensure that your brand stays ahead of the game, amidst the disruption, through digital marketing?

Allow us to school you!…

Join Supriya Sharma, on Thursday, 19th April, as she teaches us how to take your brand’s success to the next level with digital marketing.

Supriya Sharma is the Managing Director of SAS Business Solutions, a global service provider catering to big business houses, SMEs and educational institutions.

She has spoken at some international events of repute on topics that include Leadership & Women, Time Management, Effective Business Communication, Being beautiful, Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, Digital Marketing (take charge of your business) and Entrepreneurship.

Take charge of your business through digital marketing with Supriya Sharma on April 19th. Reg here: http://bit.ly/SupriyaSharma Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Steps to choosing the right marketing network
  • Best practices to curating valuable and shareable content
  • Tips for leveraging the right brand influencers
  • A guide to effective content promotion via social campaigns
  • Building a sustainable brand strategy with digital marketing

Register below to get access to this opportunity and submit questions you would like Supriya to answer.

Facebook Live Details:

Date: Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Time: 11AM Lagos // 12PM Johannesburg // 1PM Nairobi

Watch here:

About Supriya

Supriya Sharma, is a certified corporate trainer, coach and motivational speaker who began her academic journey as a scholar (gold medalist) in aerospace engineering. She was offered full scholarships at renowned US and UK universities and further developed her skill set to be an astute management professional gaining valuable experience in HR, corporate communications, sales and marketing.

Seeing the current status of the world’s economy, Supriya decided to pursue a course in entrepreneurship from one of India’s Ivy League business schools, where the idea of SAS was born.

In 2014, Supriya represented Nigeria in the Dreamforce Conference which was held in San Francisco, USA. To add, she has conferred the title of Ms Intelligent – Lagos & Ms Talented – Lagos in the Beauty Pageant organised by ICA in 2017.

Supriya strongly believes in giving back to the society as a part of her responsibility. In this view, she actively volunteers her time to develop employability skills among the Nigerian youth and is closely associated with women empowerment missions across Asia and Africa.

Nnanke Essien: The Visibility Expert

Nnanke Essien is a visibility strategist and business transformation coach. She helps individuals with awesome ideas, products and services to get seen and found by their ideal clients.

She does this using a 5 step visibility building process to build an effective and efficient visibility roadmap. Nnanke believes that the path to success is littered with awesome but poorly marketed ideas, hence her mandate is to support businesses find this sure pathway.

She is a John Maxwell Certified coach, a HR professional and a visibility builder round the clock. She has been supporting start-ups and businesses since 2007 even through college.


Why is it important to stay visible?

If nobody knows you exist, nobody will buy from you. It’s really that simple, you must always find a way for your ideal clients to remember that you exist. We call it top of mind awareness. In other words, if at any point your client has a need, your brand name should be top of mind.

How can brands stay visible despite strong competition on social media? 

Truthfully, social media isn’t going anywhere and the earlier business owners understand this and take ownership the better for brands. Firstly, to stay visible, brands must adhere to a stellar mindset.

Beyond this, brands need clarity on why they are in the business. This is in terms of the business mission, vision, values, identifying their business playing field (niche), their core message and their brand positioning on the value chain.

Brands also need clarity on their ideal clients. Who are the people whose lives and businesses will be transformed by virtue of the fact that this business exists?

Understanding the client’s exact needs, desires, challenges, what they need to transform, lifestyle, spending power and motivation is key to business visibility success.Finally, brands can also stay visible by authenticating their authority in the market. Having consistent, attractive and meaningful bio’s on their social media platforms can contribute to this. Their bio must contain relevant information on who the brand is.

Also, nurturing communities i.e groups, leveraging on content and becoming an information reservoir for clients can be a great way of authenticating authority. In all of these, consistency and building revenue generating models, systems, processes and assets are key to success and visibility.

What are your top three tips for business owners to incorporate into their brands?

  1. Have a consistent brand voice and visual appeal that is easy for people to spot and recognize.
  2. Focus on building relationships using KLT (Know, Like and Trust) techniques like live videos, Instagram stories, guest appearances et al.
  3. Leverage on content that your ideal clients need.

How can women balance putting themselves out there while not appearing too forward?

Woman know what you want. Don’t do things out of compulsion or pressure. The woman you buy shoes from didn’t shy away from her calling, the woman who sells human hair didn’t shy away from her calling.
Recognize your hustle. Validate it! Look for a group of persons or coaches and mentors who can help you identify your hustle, find your sweet spot, stay there, flaunt it and own it.

What do you wish more entrepreneurs knew about today’s changing marketplace?

I wish they would spend more time actually researching than copying and wasting endless time doing idle and non-income generating activities. Behaviors are changing. The spending power of your ideal clients is changing. Algorithms on all the social platforms you are using are changing.

What is the next step for you in 2018?

I want to have intentional positioning. This will include focussing on my visibility cure show and collaborating with industry veterans.

WEBINAR WITH HODAN NALAYEH: HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL PLATFORM (APR 5)

Digital platforms are taking the world by storm and as a digipreneur, leveraging these platforms can help you to connect with your audiences in a natural and personal way.

So since digital storytelling has become a popular channel for curating various narratives, how best can you, as a digipreneur and Motherland Mogul, maximize on platforms like YouTube to tell amazing stories?

We’ll be chatting with Hodan Nalayeh, on Thursday, 5th April, who will be sharing strategies on how to successfully build a digital community using platforms like YouTube – through storytelling.

Hodan has over thirteen years of experience in client management, sales and production in radio and television. Before founding Integration TV, she also worked on a number of TV shows, including the popular TV shows American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance.

She has changed the society with refreshing content that uplifts the spirit and shares pioneering stories of success.

Join @HodanTV for a webinar on April 5th, to learn about building a digital community. Click To Tweet

Some of the topics we’ll cover

  • Building a community with the power of storytelling
  • Tips for innovative storytelling using YouTube
  • Building your confidence as a digital entrepreneur and African woman

Register below to get access to this opportunity and submit questions that you would like Hodan to answer.

Webinar Details:

Date: Thursday, April 5th, 2018

Time: Toronto 5am // Lagos 10am // Johannesburg 11am

Watch here:

About Hodan

Hodan Nalayeh is a media entrepreneur, a social media powerhouse and the Founder of Integration TV, which reaches millions of viewers across the globe.

Known for her commitment to self-empowerment, entrepreneurship, and Somali communities, Nalayeh has changed the society with refreshing content that uplifts the spirit and shares pioneering stories of success. As a trained journalist, she is captivated by the power of stories to change lives.

Born in Somalia and raised in Canada from the age of 6, Hodan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of Windsor and a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism from Seneca College. Nalayeh is also a strong advocate for education, but more importantly, life education.

She’s also a mom of two boys and believes changing society starts with changing our narrative of success for Africans.

Joy Eneghalu: Using Strategy to Conquer Social Media

Joy Eneghalu is a social media strategist. She helps businesses and teaches individuals how to leverage social media to boost their brand awareness, increase their sphere of influence and make a profit.

She is also the founder of the Influencer Marketing platform called Influensah.


Can one thrive in today’s marketplace without social media?

Social media has taken over and has the potential to expose one’s business to a larger audience. It is highly important to have your business on social media so you don’t lose out on the goodness.

However, there is the offline part that people also have to maintain. Social media has become a must-have tool for every business to thrive in today’s marketplace.

So, if social media is here to stay, what are the career opportunities open to young people?

There are tons of career opportunities open to young people and the beautiful thing is that some of them are largely untapped and it costs almost nothing to get started.

Young people can now go ahead and become some of the following professionals:

  • Online TV Hosts
  • Online OAPs
  • Social media and community managers
  • Online event planners
  • Influencers
  • Data specialists and Facebook ad experts
  • Funnel experts
  • Website designers and social media graphic designers
  • Content creators 

All you basically need is a phone, internet, knowledge, skill, and visibility. If you are wondering if people do these as actual jobs and cash out, there are many of them and they aren’t even enough for the market.

What were the mistakes you made when you started out? How can others avoid them?

When I started out, it was basically trial and error. Eventually, I invested in courses that helped sharpen my skills.

The number one mistake I made was not documenting an agreement with a client and that cost me lots of money because of the lacking proof. This lesson was very important for my success.  

Before discovering the essence of a community, I played a lone game for a while. However, I now belong to about 6 communities that have provided me with immense support and knowledge.

With many people coming on to the social media space, what would you advise to stand out amidst the noisy marketplace?

This may sound cliché but nothing beats being authentic, genuinely caring about people and adding value. These have been my own sauce and it works pretty much for everyone you see doing great things.

If you are fake, people will find out. Let your style of delivery on social media speak for you.  

Overnight success doesn’t exist as a social media strategist or manager; you have to put it in the work - @joyeneghalu Click To Tweet

What are the myths in your line of business?

Overnight success!! It beats my imagination when many say to me ‘Joy, I want to blog or I want to start managing an account. They said this thing is like oil money. If I do it like this now, by xxx time, I will have xxx amount of money’. 

It baffles me a lot. Overnight success doesn’t exist as a social media strategist or manager; you have to put it in the work. Some people even take 10 years! Money doesn’t grow on trees in the online world. 

Secondly, just because one is visible and popular online doesn’t mean the person has billions sited in their account. It can be very annoying to have people asking you for money because of your online fame.

If one is being visible on social media, please understand that it is part of the journey and not the destination.

 

Could you briefly share with our Motherland moguls on WhatsApp for business?

WhatsApp for Business is a highly innovative tool that businesses can use to offer fast and efficient customer care services to their customers.

With a range of different features such as analytics and labels for pending payments; WhatsApp for Business is a highly effective tool for online business. 

I personally advice having the ‘Click to Chat’ feature on your website or social media platform. This feature enables people to easily chat you up and maintain a human relationship with your business. 

Final Words

You can do this. You can achieve anything you want with the right mindset.

Hone the skill of recognizing opportunities and jump on it before the crowd does - @joyeneghalu Click To Tweet

I look forward to having lots of young ladies kicking butts in the social media/online space.

 


If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.