Contrary to what many people and businesses might think, investing in your brand online is not just about spending money on the brand.
Instead, it’s about building an entity that will resonate with your customers and keep them coming back again and again—even when there’s no deal or promotion to entice them.
Who is Vaida?
Vaida Odongo is a young woman living in Nairobi who’s passionate about empowering women and leveraging on technology for sustainable development.
She studied Gender and development studies while in university but came to love marketing after a short stint working as a trainer in the Google Digify Bytes Program that was being implemented by Livity Africa, a youth-focused nonprofit based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Vaida loves seeing businesses grow and coming up with strategies to solve various business challenges. “You might be having a challenge with selling a product online, what I do is that I sit down and look at all the possible solutions that might help solve the problem then we choose one that works. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with brainstorming”.
“I have always been interested in empowering women. When I was younger, my dream was to work in an NGO that would enable me directly work with women.
I hadn’t figured out yet what exactly I wanted to do when I actually landed the job, but I knew things would become clearer with time.
When you empower a woman, you empower the society - @vaida_odongo Click To Tweet
Fast forward almost ten years later, I have found myself working with women though not in an NGO.
I now help women brand and market their products and services online. I am very passionate about helping women grow and sustain their businesses because I believe that when you empower a woman, you empower the society.”
Why Digital Marketing?
“The world is increasingly going digital. With more than half the population using online platforms such as social media, companies are now forced to look at how they can leverage these platforms.
The social space is set to grow and there’s a need for training so that the teams which are set on marketing online have the capacity to do so”.
What does your work involve?
My work involves training women-led business and enterprises on branding online. This means creating a brand story that their online audience will be attracted to. I have been working on this for the last two years and I’m loving it every day.
My pieces of training are conducted over a one to two-day period and tailor-made to fit a customer’s needs.I love the adrenaline rush that comes with brainstorming - @vaida_odongo Click To Tweet
Whether you are in beauty, fashion, construction or advocacy, I have the right curriculum to help you amplify your online voice. I also help companies come up with strategies that will help amplify their voices online.
I also offer mentorship sessions to my clients. Maybe along the road the strategy we picked might not work, I’ll come in again and we’ll come up with another one. I also offer refresher training to me customers for free. My aim is getting their businesses to grow so we do whatever it takes to make sure this happens.
To empower more businesses to grow, I also offer pro bono services to customers who are just venturing into business and need some advice.
I do this because at the beginning some people just need to know different ways they can market their products and services.
When building your online brand, you need to:
- Make sure you understand your audience, their needs, and why they interact with you.
- Create an online persona that is fun and captivating at the same time.
- Be consistent. Make sure you post when you are supposed to.
- Take time to appreciate your customers e.g. through give away.
- Remember to have fun. Captivating your audience is trial and error. Have fun while at it.
How do you manage your business?
Being your own boss is a challenge because most of the time, you never know when to stop and take a break. I have learned to schedule myself so that I have enough time to catch my breath and relax.
Also, I enjoy reading and watching animated movies and cartoons.
I also love cooking and discovering how I can use different spices and herbs from all over the world in my food.
What is your advice for young women who are looking to venture into Digital Marketing?
My advice to young women out there is that you can start a business anytime and with the right mindset, you can take it to the next.
Becoming a digital marketing expert requires you to do a lot of research to know what’s happening in the online space.
Remember that deciding to be your own boss doesn’t mean lots of free time on your hands.
You have to be willing work overtime because most of the time you will have to do everything on your own without a cheering squad.
If you’d like to share a story with us at She Leads Africa, share your story us here.