Why your business strategy needs to include women by design – Beatrice Cornacchia, SVP Marketing & Comms, Mastercard (MEA)

Beatrice Cornacchia is Mastercard’s Head of Marketing and Communication for the Middle East and Africa and the creative force leading the company’s brand strategy across the region’s 69 markets.

In this op-ed, she shares her expert opinion on the benefits of a woman-centric approach to business strategy.


As a marketer, I appreciate when creativity meets great insights and data to deliver an approach that achieves its objectives. As a woman, I also especially love seeing these kinds of successful activities share commentary on the way our world interacts with women, or shed essential light on how much of our world was designed without women in mind.

From Ariel’s powerful #ShareTheLoad campaign to Dove’s inclusivity campaigns, there are some fantastic examples of brands actively shifting the conversation to include women and expand on their contributions to the world we live in. But it’s not just about recognizing changing times or joining a social impact drive, it’s about much more than that.

There is a clear business rationale for brands that adapt their business strategies to include women by design. – Beatrice Cornacchia, SVP Mastercard MEA Click To Tweet

By incorporating the diverse perspectives that women bring, championing female role models as ambassadors, designing fit-for-purpose products that meet women’s needs, and creating content that encourages women to pursue their passions, brands can effectively tap into the spending power and influence of women.

Take sportswear apparel for example.

We took note when Nike put the spotlight on tennis star Serena Williams through its ‘Dream Crazier’ ad encouraging women to dream big and aired a TV spot calling for acceptance and respect, featuring the tenacious South African Olympic 800-meter champion Caster Semenya. These are just some of the prominent and provocative content from multiple brands that put women at the center of the conversation. The sports industry clearly understands the business growth opportunity that exists when we incorporate the true – not imagined – perspectives of women.

By drawing attention to the strength, unique shapes, and differentiated athleticism of women, and showcasing real role models in better designed active-wear clothing, the women’s sports apparel industry has done just that – tapped into a significant consumer base: women. How significant? According to the ‘African Women’ Ipsos Study, women represent the most significant consumer base — 89% of African women are the decision-makers or co-decisionmakers for household purchases.

When we design products, services, experiences and solutions for women, we need to envision them through the viewpoints of women – Beatrice Cornacchia, SVP Mastercard MEA Click To Tweet

When it comes to products and services, are we meeting the actual needs of women? Do we have insights that can help us incorporate women’s experiences into the design and innovation process? We must consider the functionality and practicalities of women’s interaction. In short, we have to help design and develop a world with both women and men in mind.

To do this, we need women to be part of the design and innovation process, especially in this age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We need to inspire young girls to consider and pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) through initiatives like Girls4Tech. As part of this program, Mastercard has committed to reaching one million girls globally by 2025, including thousands in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

So, what exactly is the value of a world that includes women by design?

In addition to the humanitarian benefits, it’s a considerable amount. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank estimates the loss in global wealth from gender inequality at $2.5 trillion. And while five Sub-Saharan countries feature in the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs’ global top 10 countries with the highest number of women entrepreneurs, the IFC says that more than half of SMEs in Sub Saharan Africa with one or more women owners lack access to finance and puts the financing gap at $42 billion. Clearly, there are huge opportunities for finance.

Global management consulting firm Oliver Wyman agrees. It estimates a global revenue opportunity of $700 billion is currently being left on the table by the financial services industry not fully meeting the needs of women consumers.

Think of the increased speed in which we can close the gender gap in terms of financial inclusion if we design better, more helpful digital financial products for women – Beatrice Cornacchia, SVP Mastercard MEA Click To Tweet

As a payment technology leader with global insights, Mastercard has invested significantly in understanding women’s financial priorities, and mapping out those priorities across different life stages. After all, a specific position in time often influences our need for specialised support and ingenious innovations – in sportswear as much as financial solutions. 

Just think of the more than 10,000 female unbanked informal traders, street-side vendors, and township salon owners who can safely accept payments through QR code as a result of Mastercard’s partnership with uKheshe, a financial inclusion platform in South Africa.

Indeed, for the large population of excluded women, financial inclusion is about more than getting access to a bank account. It also means helping level the playing field for the women farmers who are growing Africa’s food, by providing access to buyers, pricing and speedier payments. It’s about hope for the future through financial payment solutions such as Kupaa – which facilitates school fee payments in budgeted amounts – increasing the ability of remote families to keep girls in school.

By making a conscious decision to integrate women’s perspectives into our business, marketing and innovation strategies, more women will benefit from solutions specifically designed for their needs. More companies will see revenues climb. More societies will experience elevated productivity. More economies will grow and thrive. 

After all, a world that works better for women, creates limitless possibilities for us all. 


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HOW I WENT FROM MY 9-to-5 TO PERFORMING ON A WORLD TOUR WITH MR.EAZI – SINGER-SONGWRITER, TOME

Building a successful brand is challenging whether you are a small business or individual. Historically, breaking out has especially been a tough job for women in music and entertainment.

One talent who seems to have cracked the code in navigating the music business is a 9-to-5’er turned singer-songwriter Tome. In just 2 years of becoming a full-time singer-songwriter, she has performed with Burna Boy, Wizkid and Mr. Eazi on world stages, and she is just getting started.

In March 2019, she debuted her single L’amour and released her debut EP, The Money, in February 2020. With her mantra, “I am enough. I am TÖME”, she’s determined to become a household name and empowering voice to African women across the world.


Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Michelle Oluwatomi Akanbi. I’m a Nigerian-French Canadian Singer-Songwriter born in Montreal, Canada. I was raised in the diverse city of Toronto where I grew up listening to Fela, Erykah Badu, and Alicia Keys.

Music is a very important part of my life. I am my art! I put 100% of me into my music – sound, vocals, lyrics – all of it.

How will you describe yourself as an artist?

My music is what I like to call Afro-fusion. With a fun mix of genres, my songs have messages of love, fun, and empowerment. As an artist, I would say I am a lyricist with a message.

What influenced your passion for the arts?

I honestly can’t say there was any specific influence on my love of the arts. But I remember watching Superstar (1999) with Molly Shannon as a child and thinking to myself, I’m going to be a superstar one day. #Day1Dreams

What motivates you to get up every day to make music?

My motivation to keep going in my career is to make my family proud. I hope to provide them the ability to live the lives they want to.

Other people also motivate me. I am so lucky to be around people I can learn from. They add to my experience and view of the world which makes it easier to write music. There’s always a story to tell apart from my own.

Tell us about your career journey.

I’ve always been making music. I released my first project on SoundCloud in 2015 – an EP titled One with Self. It was a really personal project of 5 songs I recorded on my phone while I played guitar. 

In 2018, while I was still working as a Marketing Executive at my full-time job, I recorded Tomesroom Chapter 1 and many other songs. I didn’t release any of the songs at the time because I had no team and didn’t want it to go “nowhere”. I planned to do another year working at my 9-to-5 job and “learn more about the industry”.

In 2019 my dad (who is now my manager) heard my song L’amour and asked me if I was ready to work. I said yes and officially started my career as a full-time artist.

So far, I have been really blessed. In my first year as a professional recording artist, I have shared the stage with incredible talents like Wizkid, Burnaboy, and done a tour with Mr. Eazi in Europe.

I have learned so much and improved my craft in such a short time. It’s amazing to know that it’s only the beginning.

What influence do you want your music to have on the African woman in today’s world?

I hope my music helps women accept their own strength. Every time I get on stage, I remind myself – “I am enough. I am TÖME”.

I want to show that the African woman can be and do anything. You don’t have to limit yourself to what anyone wants to tell you to be. All the obstacles in your way are only temporary. 

You attract what you think and if you are focused and know what you want, you can never fail.

What are your top 3 tips for young African women looking to make their mark in their career or business?

  1. Stay on-trend. You have to continuously push yourself to experiment to stay as relevant as possible and grow. 
  2. Stay open-minded and knowledgeable. It’s the same whether you have a 9-to-5 or business.
  3. Stay true to yourself. People can tell when you’re not being genuine. You will never make your mark if you don’t know yourself and get lost in other people’s vision of you.

Follow Tome’s journey and vibe to her music.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/Tomeofficial_/
Fanlink: https://fanlink.to/tome

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Do what makes your heart sing – Tumi Sebopa

Tumi Sebopa is the powerhouse brand manager behind one of the continents leading food brands under the famous brand’s umbrella.

Having worked extensively in the FMCG industry, Tumi continues to lead in her chosen field and is an inspiration to marketers across the continent.

She is also leading the culture of reading on the continent through founding Inception Book Club which has the vision of bringing women and men from all walks of life together in celebration of words through books 


Tell us about your professional journey 

I studied marketing and started my career as an intern, after my internship I moved to the FMCG industry where I worked in client services as a Franchise Specialist for a couple of years before moving to a branding role.

After a few years in the FMCG industry, I moved to a position as an Assistant brand manager for a global fast-food brand. I later moved to my current role, where I am a Brand Manager at Famous Brands.

What lesson guided you through your career professional path?

The 2 biggest lessons I learned along the way were:

• To always be open to learning: 

When I started out in the FMCG industry I wanted to be a marketer but my director at the time told me that in order for me to be a great marketer one day I would need to understand the field/in-store environment.

I had to promise him that I’d work with clients and in an in-store environment for at least 2 years before moving on to a marketing role. At the time, I made the promise even though at times it felt like I was delaying my career progress in marketing.

I kept my promise and ended up staying longer than 2years. Today I am super grateful for his advice because the experience taught me so much about the in-store environment, understanding the end consumer, learning to work with different people on the ground and understanding different consumers segments and their needs.

I eventually moved on to a branding role and to this day when I work on any marketing campaign I always consider the implementation on the ground because I understand the challenges and opportunities in a store environment.

Every bit of experience will be beneficial in your career - Tumi Sebopa Click To Tweet

• Invest in yourself

When you first start working and getting a salary it’s so tempting to want to buy all the nice things money can buy but I would advise any young person to invest in their skills because that is what will help you grow in the long run.

Tell us how you started your book club – Inception book club, and your long-term expectations for it?

A few years ago I’d often post the events I’d attend and the books I was reading. I noticed that a lot of women would ask me about the books or events so I started thinking of ways to bring women together to network on a monthly basis without breaking the bank.

I wanted to create a platform that anyone could come to whether you are a student, unemployed or a Director. That is where the idea of Inception Book Club came from.

I simply wanted to create a platform that allows women to continually learn and network, regardless of your background or life stage. The first book club was in Feb 2017, we read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and there were 11 ladies who attended.

What I originally created as a platform for other women has taught me more about myself and has become one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.

I have loved seeing the networking that has happened between the ladies, new friendships have developed, some of the ladies have gained new clients and we get to read so many different books that teach us about ourselves and other people as every month brings an opportunity for a new topic.

What has been your top book club read so far and why?

That’s a tough one because we have read over 20 books. If I had to choose I’d go with Equal But Different by Dr. Judy Dlamini.

The book covers the stories of 14 women who have succeeded in their careers and they share stories of their career journeys. I am very passionate about the empowerment of women and that book spoke to that.

What I loved is the fact that it covered the stories of different women to show that there is no one way to success, everyone’s journey is different and that is something that I truly believe in.

The cherry on top at the book review was having Dr. Judy Dlamini join us, she is such an authentic and inspirational woman. Discussing the book with her made an already great book even better because she shared her journey and life lessons with us in an intimate setting.

Who are some of the dream authors you’d like to read at your book club?

We have read most of my favorite authors so I can’t think of any more authors I’d like to read, however, there are still many books I’d love to read.

One thing I love is having inspirational guests or authors join us. We have been joined by the amazing Khanyi Dhlomo to review Marianne Williamson’s – A Return To Love.

That was a breathtaking experience and very different because most times when you read about Khanyi Dhlomo or watch her interviews you get to know about her career journey and she got to share some pearls of wisdom about spirituality and self-awareness with us. I would still like to be joined by Redi Tlabi, Dikgang Moseneke, Wendy Luhabe, Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka and Phuti Mahanyele.

It’s always amazing being joined by people who bring different perspectives to the book club and the people mentioned above would allow us to discuss politics, business, women’s issues and the justice system in SA, which are topics we often discuss at the book club.

In 2019 what doors are you breaking open personally and professionally?

“When I leave this world, I’ll leave no regrets” that’s a line from I Was Here by Beyoncé.

I love that song because as each year goes by one realizes how fast time flies. In 2019 I definitely want to take more risks and do the things I have always wanted to do. I want to complete my Ph.D., grow my career, travel and touch the lives of more young women in Africa.

In 2019 I definitely want to take more risks and do the things I have always wanted to do - Tumi Sebopa Click To Tweet

Any advice for our motherland moguls as we begin the new year?

I would advise all the motherland moguls out there to follow their hearts and do what makes their hearts sing.

We often focus on what the world defines as “success” but I think there is no better success than doing what you truly love. Once you find it give it your all, the universe will sort out the rest…

Wishing everyone a fulfilling 2019!


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Ooooota Adepo: Africa needs to connect with the world and itself

Ooooota Adepo is the Founder of Cross Culture Creative, a consultancy which addresses business challenges in Real Estate, Energy and Technology between Africa and the Western World.

Motivated by her drive to simultaneously tackle social issues and capture business opportunities in the global marketplace, Ooooota seeks to build a world in which all cultures are uplifted, and borders do not impede growth.

As director of In-Decks, Ooooota feeds her passion for food and travel through culinary insights and from some of the world’s most interesting food personalities.

She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s degree from Cambridge University in Urban Planning. She is fluent in English, Yoruba, French, Spanish and Italian.

Ooooota recently gave a Ted Talk in Berlin, where she highlighted the need for a more connected Africa, culturally and in business.

As an African, have you experienced travel restrictions within and outside Africa? Watch this Ted Talk by @ooooota1 Click To Tweet

Watch the Ted Talk here:

Here are 5 takeaways from this TED Talk about Africa’s connection with the world and with itself:

1. If Africa is to be culturally or diplomatically engaged with the world, it needs to be
viewed as an equal, not as an object of charity, nor as a fad.

 
2. Our history and our cultures (languages included) must be reinforced internally if they are to stand against the veracity of Western civilizations. With time, histories fade and languages die. We are responsible for ensuring this does not happen if we are to remain relevant as a people in centuries to come.

 
3. Africans need to be fiercely curious about the world but more importantly about Africa. There is so much to discover.

 

Unfortunately, African's still face restrictions in traveling their own continents. How did we get here? - @ooooota1 Click To Tweet
4. When we present ourselves to the world, either in conversations with non-Africans or through our businesses, we must keep in mind our global brand. We must always be ambassadors of our continent. We must also always treat fellow Africans with respect.

 
5. The solutions I outline in my talk towards building a prosperous Africa through infrastructure, trade, industry, and education need urgent attention. I see African women spearheading this.


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What you need to know about Business Marketing

Let’s talk about Business Marketing.

Developing a proper strategy for marketing in business allows you to capture and reach the right audience for your product/service.

If you are an entrepreneur trying to market your products/service on a shoestring budget, developing a good marketing strategy is a good place to start. This way, you are able to manage the resources you have, allocated to marketing efficiently and getting the most of it.

If you are an entrepreneur trying to market your products/service on a shoestring budget, developing a good marketing strategy is a good place to start. Click To Tweet

Here are the overall steps to developing a good marketing strategy for your business:

1. Analyze your marketing environment

The external marketing environment include the micro and macro environment

  • The micro-environment These are forces in the external marketing environment that are distinct and individual to a particular business; such as suppliers, distributors, customers, competition and the general public.
  • The macro environment – These are forces in the external marketing environment that affect businesses in general such as demographics, natural factors, technology, political factors, legal factors, social factors, cultural factors

2. Identify your competitive advantage

Analyze competition. What are your competitors doing, what have they done successfully, what have they failed at? Analyze the internal resources of your company to determine what can be used to create an advantage.

Identify and build up your competitive advantage.

3. Segment your market

This involves breaking down broad markets into smaller homogeneous groups of customers.  Broad markets are broken down based on certain traits.

This makes it easier to understand, focus and connect with potential customers who are likely to buy your product/service; thus making marketing efforts more efficient.

Market segmentation can be done based on different factors such as demographics, lifestyle, geographical locations e.t.c. It is however important that markets are segmented based on factors that are relevant to individuals within each of the groups.

4. Select your target market

From the market segments you have been able to create, you can test to determine your main target audience, test, select and decide to focus on customers your company can best satisfy.

5. Identify core benefits your company can offer to its customers (your target market)

It’s important to understand what value means to your customers.

6. Position your business

Write a positioning statement to consciously position your brand in the minds of your customers/clients. Your positioning statement should determine how you present your business to customers/clients, it should show what you are known for.

Elements of a strong positioning statement include your core value proposition, the unique value you offer customers/clients in relation to your top competitors, target audience and finally benefits your products/services offer the target audience.

There are various formats for writing positioning statements, here are 2 practical ones you can use:

  • Your core value proposition for your target audience who are in need of the benefits your business offers as well as its unique value.
  •  For target market description who target market need, how your business offering meets the need, unlike the key competition, its most distinguishing feature.

7. The marketing mix ( the 4Ps)

 

Product – What product will be sold and what differentiates this products from that of the competition? Are the products on offer relevant to the (target) customers?

Are there related products that can be marketed with the initial products?

Price – This refers to how much a customer is willing to pay for a product /service.

Three factors to be considered when determining the price of a product include the “cost price of the product, what the competitors are selling for and value added”.

Place – Where your product is sold matters. How accessible are your products to potential customers? Consider the type of product to determine where to sell or distribute your products.

Promotion – This involves the way you tell customers about your products/services. Activities involved include adverts, personal selling, PR efforts, and sales promotion.

Overall here are tips that can make your marketing strategy better.

  1. Marketing strategies should be flexible
  2. Define the right marketing message to determine the right marketing method.
  3. Think of your brand in terms of your customers’ needs and how you intend to satisfy them.
  4. Selling is not marketing and marketing is not selling.
  5. Don’t always use pricing as a basis for competing; especially when you don’t know the depth of the pockets of your competitors so you don’t end up pricing yourself out of the market.

I hope this helps you market your products services better…


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Elom Ayayee: Photography for me was a fortunate accident

Elom Ayayee never thought photography would be a part of her life. Her career path was in international relations, policy, linguistics, and publishing. But her love for beautiful images in magazines ignited her desire to pursue a career in photography.

She wanted to recreate these looks which seemed limited to only models for the everyday woman who could be a wife, mother, entrepreneur / employee, believer, citizen and role model.

Elom started with no knowledge of photography. She didn’t know how to take photos and had no clients. But with time, constant practice and determination, she opened her photo studio Elom Ayayee Portraiture where she takes magazine-worthy images of women to remember for the rest of their lives.


How did you start your photography career?

Photography was a very fortunate accident and I fall in love with it more and more every day. It’s all about meeting someone for the first time and finally creating a timeless piece of art that speaks to the essence of who they are or who they want to be in the moment it was created.

To me, that is the amazing power of portraiture. Photography for me is the power to exist in time. It’s a way to say “I was here. I lived, I loved, I hurt, I suffered, I rejoiced, I was silent, I was loud. I held this space”.

Why do you focus on women?

I started photographing family and friends and before I knew it I had a client base. My move to photograph women was not just a great business plan. But, it was also a way to highlight these women who are sometimes invisible in the roles they play. Women often get lost in their responsibilities and forget to appreciate themselves.

My initial desire was to give women just one day off. A day to get pampered and remember and document who she is outside of all the hustle.

To get her hair and makeup done and the most beautiful images of herself that would be loved and cherished and appreciated for all time.

What were some of the hurdles you encountered and how did you solve them?

Marketing has been the biggest hurdle. I’m naturally a very private person and 90% of my client base is from referrals. Putting myself out there is still a very uncomfortable experience for me.

That being said, my target market is small and very specific so that tends to minimize the effort I would otherwise have to make in marketing myself. It’s a lazy way of marketing I guess; give great service and let happy clients do the talking for you.

How do you get your photographs to spread your messages?

I don’t create my photographs for the general public. I create images for my clients to hang on their walls in their homes – this is very intimate and private. Images that hopefully their great great great grandchildren will see and talk about.

My images are about time, legacy and emotion. All of my images say different things in the different homes they live in. I can usually tell by spending enough time with a woman who she wants to see when she looks at an image of herself. I pull on every resource within me during a shoot to be able to give her that.

Click To Tweet

How do you improve your photography and get inspired? 

I do this every way that I can. I enjoy constructive criticism from people I look up to in the industry and my clients. I’m always on the internet trying to figure out how to get what I see in my head right.

My clients are all the inspiration I need. I’ve met such incredible people. Every woman has a story, every child has incredible potential. One day what I create for this person will be a timeless treasure to someone else.

Are you working on anything exciting at the moment?

Yes! I’m doing a series for women that I’m very excited about. It’s easy to promise to take the most amazing picture a woman has ever seen of herself when she’s been pampered and dolled up and looks like the jackpot.

Can I take the most beautiful picture of a woman make-up free? This is my challenge to myself and all my clients. So far, it’s been amazing. Women are so deep and they carry so much behind their eyes.

Each of my clients who have trusted me enough to put themselves in this vulnerable place has been won over. It’s literally the most powerful image you could ever take.

What photography gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best?

I started with a Nikon D3300 and I’ve always used natural light. My first studio was robbed and all my gear was stolen, that’s when I switched to Canon. I’m now shooting on a 5DMark iii.

I own a 50mm lens which I shoot 80% of my shots with and a 70-200 for my outdoor portraits. I use Adobe Photoshop for my editing.

What advice would you give young photographers who want to make it in this industry?

I really don’t feel like I’m qualified to speak for the whole industry, but I would say you need solid people skills and know the basic fundamentals of how to run a business. There’s a huge difference between a business and a hustle.

Also, advise often depends on what area of photography you venture in. So, the first thing I would say is, find your niche, and contrary to popular belief, the smaller your niche the better. Too many photographers are doing too many things. You can’t have it all.  Give great service. Master your craft.


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5 things you can learn from Talaya Waller’s Ted Talk on personal branding

Dr. Talaya Waller is an internationally known, award-winning personal branding consultant, speaker, and marketing scholar who works with thought leaders from a variety of industries.

She combines professional experiences with years of marketing research to build awareness, influence, and credibility for personal and organizational brands. Her mission is to help leaders share their stories and leverage their expertise to make a positive impact on society.

Dr. Talaya earned a Doctorate of Business Administration in 2015 and is currently conducting independent research on personal branding. In 2011, she completed an Executive Education at Harvard. She also holds a BSc and an MBA in Managerial Sciences focused on Entrepreneurship.

With an online presence of over 35,000 followers and haven being published in Forbes, Fast Company, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dr.Talaya gave a TEDx Talk where she shares her insight on personal branding.

The future of branding is personal - Talaya Waller Click To Tweet

Watch the Ted Talk here:

Here are 5 things you can learn from this TED Talk

 

1. Technology has caused a major shift in influence. Today, one employee can have more influence, and also consumer trust than their entire organization.

2. People are tired of being sold. In business marketing, we have moved away from humanizing objects to influencing people with other people who they know, like, and trust. Individuals who want to build an influential personal brand can use the know-like-trust formula.

3. Everyone has a brand, but most people don’t manage it strategically, effectively, or consistently. Individuals who have a well-defined personal brand usually generate increased value for their company, whether they work for themselves or someone else.

4. Your personal brand is the most powerful tool you have to accomplish your goals. A branding strategy is essential to success in fundraising, growing a business, or changing careers.

5. Branding is no longer about companies trying to manage our perception. Today, it’s about people creating and sharing human experiences.

The future of branding is personal.


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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.

5 Marketing Tips from Business Guru P.Diddy

Sean “Puffy/Puff Daddy/ Diddy/Brother Love” Combs is one of the greatest marketing geniuses on earth. He has remained relevant and dominant to hip-hop music, culture, fashion, business and entertainment over the past 20 years.

Last year, Sean was also recognized as one of the Forbes 100 Greatest Living Minds. He is also often considered one of the top 3 of 5 wealthiest hip-hop artists on the Forbes list.

Amidst all these, you may wonder, how does he keep all eyes on him? In this article, we will discover 5 tips from Diddy that can help us improve our marketing game and slay!

 


1. Say Your Name

If there is one thing Diddy always does, is use every advantage to promote his products or name. Whether its an interview on Ellen or a cameo on The Breakfast Club, Diddy always has his products such as a bottle of Ciroc.

You should take advantage of every airtime you get to promote your brand and products. Through being strategic, you should find a way to guide the conversation in a way that allows you to talk about your products.

This will help increase your revenue and the reach of your brand.

2. Make The Circle Bigger

The fact is you can only be in one place at a time, but you need to get the word out about you, your brand or business. You need people spreading a positive word about you to others.

 

 

Diddy figured this out in his early days as a music producer when he started Bad Boy Records, which celebrated its 20-year reunion tour last year. Diddy has been instrumental in the careers of musicians like Notorious BIG, Mase, and more recently French Montana. Whenever a record of their plays, it will at some point announce “Bad Boy.”

Through shaping and promoting the careers of the musicians he worked with, Diddy also extended his marketing reach. When you help other people achieve their goals, you also, in turn, grow your circle of influence and people who will do anything for you.

3. Stay On the Beat

Is Diddy an expert of the FMCG, Film and Music industries? Probably not, but he knows enough of the field to spot a real opportunity. You don’t want to seem like you are all over the place, but rather that you ‘happened’ to be in a certain place or sector because you keep your finger on the pulse.

Whatever you are working on, you need to know all the new developments and contribute to the conversations in a meaningful way that elevates the topic. Diddy lost his father to gun violence at a young age.

Though he became successful, he didn’t forget to empower his people. His response to Black Lives Matter through building a world-class school in Harlem, the neighborhood he grew up in.

5. Have Fun

Diddy always looks like he is having a great time, from salsa dancing in his underwear to the energy he brings when he is hosting shows. People are attracted to someone who is upbeat, so plaster a smile on your face and get hyped about whatever you do!

We are always exchanging energy so make sure you put out positive vibes only!


DO YOU HAVE ANY BUSINESS LESSONS TO SHARE?

Let us know 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.