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Started a business, now what? (Text Version)

Reaching thousands in a Click

This magazine features stories from some of the top social media influencers on different platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube) around the world (USA, Italy, UK, Rwanda).

How do the world’s top best social media influencers grow their audience and make money from it? What should you do as a new business to succeed in marketing and social media?

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Mag0003 – Started a business, now what? | Promo

Our journey began with thanking people that helped us launch, then we shared what we do and now we will be answering one of the biggest questions in business “Started my business, now what?”

Although most entrepreneurs know they should start a business and have their business ideas laid out, etc. Starting still comes with problems. You might have the wrong name. You might be attracting the wrong customers. You might not have the right designs for your products. You might be marketing the wrong way. You might be spending a lot of money on something you shouldn’t be spending a lot of money on, etc.

In this magazine, we will be sharing the next step to starting your business which is “finding and reaching customers” through stories of entrepreneurs and businesses from all over the world that have been there and done that.

We will also be talking about how to leverage social media influencers and influencer marketing to reach the right customers. We will also talk about other marketing ways your business should be using.

Contents

Here is the page of contents

  1. Editor’s note
    1. Previously on The African Boss
    2. Magazine timeline
    3. Started your business, now what?
  2. Branding your company
    1. Naming your company
    2. Design quality
  3. Types of marketing
    1. Traditional ways
    2. Modern ways
  4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
    1. Marketing smart – less lost money
    2. How to choose the right influencer for your brand
  5. SWOT analysis – Planning
    1. Competitive advantage
    2. Internal
      1. Strengths
      2. Weaknesses
    3. External
      1. Opportunities
      2. Threats
  6. Sales psychology: what makes people buy
    1. Love
    2. Compassion / Vulnerability
    3. Sadness
    4. Anger
    5. Fear
    6. Disgust
    7. Deceit
    8. Surprise/thriller
  7. Goal setting
    1. SMART – Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound
    2. EOD/COB – end of day/close of business – deadlines
  8. Sales and strategy
    1. Pitch formula – AIDA (purchase funnel) / ABC – Always Be Closing / SPIN – Situation, problem implication, need
    2. FAB – features, advantages, benefits – focus on benefits for the customer than what you’re selling
    3. FUD – fear, uncertainty, doubt – to make customer doubt the competition
    4. Overcoming objections – LAARC – Listen, acknowledge, assess, respond, confirm / LAIR – listen, acknowledge, identify, reverse
    5. Journey to closing – 0-10 constantly assess where the customer is
    6. Selling mistakes
    7. Long term strategy – Recurrent revenue
      1. Good Vs Bad client
      2. Firing your client
    8. Establishing a system – automation
  9. Online marketing tools
    1. Know your marketing acronyms
      1. B2B / B2C
      2. AIDA – Attention interest desire action 
      3. BANT – budget, authority, need, timeline
      4. ICP – Ideal customer profile
      5. KPI – Key performance indicator
        1. CTA – Call to action
        2. CPC – cost per click
        3. CPA – cost per action
        4. CPL – cost per lead
        5. CAC – customer acquisition cost
        6. CR – Conversion rate
        7. LTV – Lifetime value
      6. LTV:CAC ratio
      7. ARPA – Average monthly recurring revenue 
      8. ROI – Return on investment
      9. NPS – Net promoter score (% of promoters – % detractors)
      10. CCR – customer churn rate (customer retention and value)
    2. Automated tools
      1. Email marketing
        1. Great marketing email
        2. Follow up
      2. Messenger bots
      3. Social media ads
        1. Targeting broad
        2. Retargeting
        3. Promote for engagement
        4. Targeting for conversion
        5. Media content
      4. Instagram bots
      5. Website bots
    3. Non-automated
      1. Instagram messaging
  10. The African Boss
    1. Services
    2. Make money with us
    3. Knowledge center
    4. Download app
  11. Working with influencers or marketing agencies
    1. The Influencer/agency brief
    2. What to ask/know about the influencer or agency you are hiring for marketing
      1. KPI – Key performance indicator
        1. CTA – Call to action
        2. CPC – cost per click
        3. CPA – cost per action
        4. CPL – cost per lead
        5. CAC – customer acquisition cost
        6. CR – Conversion rate
        7. LTV – Lifetime value
    3. Who is the best influencer for your campaign?
  12. INFLUENCERS
    1. Maria Brighton CHIZA
    2. Cyrene Quiamco
    3. Patrick RUKUNDO
    4. Didier MANIRAGUHA
    5. Liliane UMUHOZA
    6. Cedric RUGEMA
    7. Nodreen Kiwanuka
  13. BUSINESSES
    1. Agakoko Clothing store
    2. Brooklyn Goddard
    3. Rebero Fashion
  14. Fan of the month

Editor’s note

Welcome back to The African Boss Magazine.

It has been a couple of months since our last issue. But it was worth the wait because we have brought the best of the best on this issue to make up for that time. We release four issues a year and each issue is a sequel of the previous one.

Since the last issue, we have defined The African Boss much better and defined clearly what the purpose of The African Boss Magazine is. And now let me reveal that to you.

The African Boss is a marketing company that uses modern online tools to help their clients reach more customers and generate more revenue. We help businesses and entrepreneurs with their branding, their design, their content creation and management, their social media marketing and management, and their website and apps. We provide and improve on whichever one of the above services they might be lacking or might need improvements on to reach their ideal customers, On top of that, we tell stories of entrepreneurs and businesses in The African Boss Magazine and TV, then we market featured clients to the individual ideal audience.

The African Boss Magazine Issues take you on an entrepreneurial journey that follows a certain timeline. This timeline started with our first issue this year that shared stories of people and entrepreneurs that supported The African Boss launch and it talked about what happens before you launch your own company. The second issue followed in on the journey sharing what we do at The African Boss and how to define your company once you have started. This third issue is going to tell you once you have established your company, what comes next. It is going to elaborate on how to reach customers, research the market needs, and how to market to the ideal clients. It is going to also talk about modern ways of reaching customers through influencers and we will share both sides of the story featuring both influencers and entrepreneurs in this issue. Our next issue will be sharing how to scale your company.

We hope you enjoy this issue and we thank you for staying on this journey with us.

Branding – Naming your company

Let me ask you something. How long does it take you to think about and answer the following question? “What is your name?” You do not have to even think about it, right? Why is that so? Why does it take people almost no time to answer what their name is. Names give us identity and without a name, then I do not know what to call you. See what I did there? Names are powerful words because they are usually there to stay and it is usually the responsibility for someone else to give you a name. All of the above also apply to company names. So when naming your company, you should choose the name carefully.

You might not believe how many entrepreneurs name their company a name that another company has already taken. As a matter of fact, most clients we have had at The African Boss who needed a website, we have had to slightly rename their company to get a new name whose domain had not been taken yet.

So here is a checklist of qualities a good company name should have:

  • It should be unique
  • It should be memorable and short
  • It should tell your mission and objectives
  • The equivalent social media names should be available
  • The equivalent domain name should be available
  • The name itself should be respectful

The best practice is to create a good name that no one else has used. A good name also should not be long. The most memorable names are one-three syllable single words. Because these names sound good to ears and are easy for most people to remember. That is why babies and children’s first words are usually single or two-syllable words. And people with long names usually get nicknames that shorten their names. So you want to go with a short name.

A good name should also tell the company mission and objectives in the most understandable way possible.

And in the modern-day and age, a good name should also be available on social media platforms because your social media presence is also part of your business identity and branding. And also your name should also be available as a domain name with the extension of your choice but we recommend looking for the .com extension for branding, search engine optimization, and indexing purposes.

And last but not least, a good name should not be derogatory, insulting, or disrespectful in any way. It should communicate company values and respect to the ones affiliated with your business instead.

How to set better goals in life and in business

As you might have learned from Goddard’s story in our magazine, it is very important to know how to set your goals. Planning your life ahead is a very hard decision to make. We constantly adjust and develop our goals depending on where we are in life. When I was in college studying biochemistry and business administration, I wanted to become a doctor capable of marketing his own medical practice so I can reach thousands of patients. Then after my premedical studies, I realized that my main objective was always to help suffering people whether it is a patient suffering from a disease or an entrepreneur that is not reaching enough clients and since I had learned website development, design and marketing skills I did not have to wait but I could start helping as much as I can. It is hard to start a company or accomplish anything major without SMART goals. SMART stands for Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound. Without goals, life becomes a series of chaotic events. So do you think it is possible for any business or person to achieve success without having SMART goals? 

What are the SMART goals?

A SMART goal is defined as one that conforms to the following criteria:

specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused/Realistic, and time-bound.

So let’s take an example of a goal many usually take: losing weight. Losing weight is not a SMART goal because it is not specific, measurable, and time-bound. However, losing 10 kgs (22.0462 lbs) in three months is a SMART goal. But losing 10 kgs (22.0462 lbs) in three days is not a SMART goal because it is not realistic.

When it comes to business, it is very important to set SMART goals because they keep you motivated because they create a timeline of events that have to happen to achieve milestones towards your goal. Any goal can be made S.M.A.R.T. and as such, easier to turn into reality.

How SMART goals are set?

In this magazine, you will learn about SWOT analysis, a high-level strategic planning model that helps identify where your business or life can improve and where it’s doing well. Some goals are very tricky to measure. From the starting point, it requires defining what exactly it is that you want as a measurable goal. Concretely, measurable goals mean that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear, and feel when you reach your goal. To ensure that, it is important to break the goal down into measurable elements with concrete evidence.

It will also be necessary to do market research, internal and competitive benchmarking, and identify the necessary resources that will enable executing all the actions as stated.  

The SMART goals setting process Execution

In this process of setting SMART goals some key fundamentals must be taken into consideration:  

  • Ensure that each and every goal ties back to the mission and the vision of the business company.
  • Goals must be measurable. It will be confirmed that it has been achieved only once you can analyze, measure, and track it.
  • Ensure that the goals are realistic. The goals should be within the realm of possibility and achievable.
  • Ensure the goal description. It must be understood and known what it is by all the stakeholders involved in achieving that goal without any confusion.
  • Identify and assign who will be responsible for each goal. One must stay on track for each goal and keep reporting on progress.
  • Make sure the goals are well sized. They shouldn’t be too large or too long. In due case, break down the goals into multiple steps and apply time bound for each component.
  • Ensure proper actions plan that can help to achieve the goals
  • Identify the needed resources to achieve the goal. It may be financial resources, technology, Budget, skilled human resources, etc.

The SMART goal setting also creates transparency throughout the company. Within a company, SMART goals can be set within departments or divisions such as Human Resources, Research Development, Marketing, Finance, Assets Management, Debtors and Creditors Management, Production, Customer Satisfaction, among others. Such goals subdivision will end up in making the company goals.

Once the process has ended, the implementation follows whereby the stated goals must be Communicated internally (and if possible externally) to all the stakeholders, regular Meetings to check in on the progress, and ensure you have good data for the related measures for each and every goal. In due case, the employees of the company at different levels will be invited to give their inputs. Surely it will improve teamwork and collaboration within the business and hence help everyone understand the direction the business is heading in, finally expand and make profitability.  

For a short illustration, The African Boss CEO is a visionary Executive who really aspires to make his company grow. Currently, you won’t hear him setting to make a profit of 1 million US dollars within 12 months since he knows it may not be realistic, achievable referring to the SWOT analysis results of the company.

By willing to serve users of this platform in business marketing, he is also taking that advantage and assist those who want to know how to set  SMART goals so that they can easily network and make money. Knowledge of accurate information within the company and related external data such as the industry and the global market is a master in the process of SMART goals setting.

  1. b) EOD/COB – end of day/close of business – deadlines

EOD stands for “end of the day.” It’s used to set a deadline for a task that should be complete by the end of the business day. When no time zone is provided, the end of the day is relative to the sender’s time zone.

Close of business (COB) and end of the day (EOD) refer to a business day, generally Monday through Friday.

Those Acronyms EOD/COB are often used interchangeably. Depending on the type of business one may encounter 24-hour operations, on a shift basis, or working days on weekends. It is important to note that while using the above COB and EOD acronyms, ensure clear expectations are set with individuals in concerned countries and time zones. Avoid creating confusion, ensure your readers are on track of clearly understanding what you really mean by using those acronyms. 

Starting your first online shop – Interview with Peace Gikundiro, CEO at Agakoko Clothing

Please tell us about yourself as an individual?

I am 25 years old, I am in my third year at Ottawa. I work full time as an admin assistant & payroll officer at GDI Ottawa. I am a passionate dancer. I dance in Caramel latte (afrobeat dance) and Indashyikirwa (Rwanda traditional dance). I love clothes where I recently started my collection Agakoko Clothing. What else, I love God, family and my friends.

Please tell us about your business/company/service/talent/work?

I make African print bow ties and suspenders. I do Agakoko shirts for men and women for now, but i will add more clothes like jackets very soon.

Please tell us your talent/work/service rate per hour/project?

They are between 20 cad-35 cad

Our readers would like to know more about your business. What is unique about your talent/work/service?

My uniqueness is my African print bow ties with cristal jewelry on them and African print suspenders matching with bow ties

Tell us about how you got started. What are you passionate about that keeps you going?

I didn’t want to study and work like everyone else. I wanted something for me that I can do and share with others. I love dressing up especially, I love bow ties and suspenders. so I asked myself what can I do to share with others. I started making bow ties and I ended up doing suspenders too. I am myself in this, I sell me(Peace). as long as I will stay myself, I will keep going.

Who/What inspired you? Who/What inspires you now?

I recently learned that a human being shouldn’t inspire a Christian. Now, I try to follow Jesus’s steps, however, it is not easy. But my mom was my inspiration.

What mistakes have you made in the past that have shaped you into the person/professional/company you are today?

I just started so I haven’t made a lot, but I used to rely on myself too much but now I learn from others. I am more open-minded.

Please tell us how you prioritize your social life, friends, and family while staying on top of your work

It goes together. Friends and family are my support system, I can move forward without them

What advice would you give to other professionals or brands that want to be successful

Choose something that defines you and sell it. It will easier than creating something new. You are unique, people will love you through your brand or services.

How to succeed in business: Coaching Tips from Brookly Goddard

When you hear stories of great entrepreneurs or great achievers today, it is easy to forget that the earliest days of their journey were different from what we see today. All we see are the great and successful leaders of today. But the entrepreneurial journey is not flat-lined like many might think. It is a very difficult road and depending on who you ask 30-50% of businesses fail in the first two years. That’s where professionals like Brooklyn Goddard come into play.

Goddard, a business strategist from Canada, started entrepreneurship at a very young age. 

“I have been an entrepreneur since I was a little kid selling lemonade on the street corner, or selling cell phone cases to my friends in middle school. I have always tried to think of the next big invention or sales idea.”

But like many other entrepreneurs, Goddard’s family and friends were constantly telling her that she had to go to school, get a full-time job, and basically keep it “safe” despite all her efforts and desire to have a successful business from a young age. “I hated that.” Despite the hate she had for playing it “safe”, she gave in and went that route. When she got in college, she had to determine what the rest of her life was going to look like.

“I always struggled with carrier placement questionnaires. I couldn’t find a job that suited me. But when I decided to take Business Administration and to follow my business passion, it was apparent that this was something I was destined for. I was passionate about my work and I loved to learn more and more every day.”

Although Goddard was in school for business administration, she did not have enough experience to run a successful business. So when she graduated, she got a job as a manager at a local coffee shop in her town, Terrace in British Columbia.

“I have always wanted to own a business so I assumed this would be a great place to start and I could learn the skills necessary to get me to the next level.”

She quickly realized that she was wrong.

“I felt like I was being treated like a child, I worked over 45+ hours a week but only got paid for 40 (managers salary, but basically minimum wage), and my ideas to improve the organization were being disregarded. I was miserable. I was constantly looking for a way out, and believed there was more to life than this.”

A lot of people have felt the same as Goddard did. You might already be feeling this way while reading her story. The feeling of not being happy with where you are in life and constantly seeking more. This is never a bad feeling. You should be thankful for this feeling because it is the same feeling Jeff Bezos felt when he realized he could be doing more and decided to move from Walt Street all the way to Seattle to start an online book shop that later made him into the Jeff Bezos we see and hear about today. He took the decision to change his life around but for Goddard, she struggled to take the leap.

“I’ve made MANY mistakes in my past, but I don’t consider them mistakes. I consider them obstacles I had to go through to become the person I am today.”

Goddard lost her father at the age of 19 and went through a terrible depression. 

“I had never felt this much pain and agony before. I fully believed there was no point in life but to suffer and die. I lost my way. I was so low. I became addicted to partying and drugs, forever feeling that there was nothing more than this pain.”

Later, she was able to turn herself around.

“One day, I had the realization that my father would be completely devastated if he saw who I had become. I wasn’t me, I wasn’t the bumblebee he loved so much, I wasn’t his little angel. This allowed me to dig myself out of the hole of despair I was trapped in and get clear on my life. I wanted to build something my father would be proud of, I wanted to live a life I was passionate about and I wanted to help others do the same.”

When she was finally able to take the leap, she still did not have enough experience so she invested $10,000 in a coach to help her learn what she needed to start her own business. Her coach helped her align her passion with business and now she is happy with where she is currently in life.

“I help millennial entrepreneurs get clarity and align their passion with their business. I specialize in client acquisition, high-ticket offers, a millionaire mindset, and creating a personal network through relationship building. I give Millenials the ability to create a low-cost/no-cost startup and build a business they are passionate about, no strings attached. I run a 10-week program for $2997. If they are struggling, I will find the solution to their problems and help them overcome them no matter what.”

This great love and passion that Goddard has for business and helping people is what she hopes to transfer in millennial entrepreneurs as a business strategist. She has been where they are and she has felt what they feel.

“I love to help people get clear on their life’s purpose and escape the 9-5 routine. My passion comes from the struggle I had trying to find a carrier that allowed me to live the life I wanted.”

So for all millennials out there trying to start a high ticket coaching business and anyone else trying to start a successful business, Goddard has some great advice for you.

“If you don’t know, ask. If you can’t find answers, hire a coach. Invest in yourself, and you will grow as a person. There is an abundance of knowledge out there, and it can be so overwhelming trying to absorb all of it. I know this because I used to try to teach myself everything, and would fail at anything I tried to do. We go to college for a reason, we take courses for a reason, we hire coaches in sports for a reason, so why is it hard to take the decision to hire a coach for our businesses?”

If you are struggling in life trying to find a way out from what you are currently doing, we advise you to visit Goddard’s website and to contact her here.

Traditional Vs Modern Marketing

Business companies have a common objective of making a profit. To achieve it, many small businesses struggle with deciding which type of marketing to use considering the budget constraint. Marketing is all the activities you must marshal to promote and sell your product or service. How to know if modern or traditional marketing will be effective and who can be trusted to perform it?

As it is defined, Digital or modern marketing refers to “The act of promoting and selling products and services by leveraging online marketing tactics such as social media marketing, search engine marketing, and email marketing.”

Traditional marketing methods usually depend on how far back in history you choose to go but it includes: broadcasting especially radio and TV, which featured their first commercials in 1920 and 1941, respectively, direct mail, print, especially newspapers, brochures, flyers and magazines, and telemarketing.

Since some traditional marketing methods can not produce the best ROI anymore and are not cost-effective for small business owners like TV and radio, businesses have shifted to using social media to reach thousands of new clients. 

In contrast, signage, billboards, and flyers are not just budget-friendly but also effective.

Benefits of Traditional Marketing

The materials can be kept. The audience can have a hard copy of materials of which they can read or browse through over and over again.

You can easily reach your target local audience: a radio advert might play in any location, city, or region.

It’s easy to understand. It can be easily understood by most people because they are already exposed to this kind of strategy.

There is a good reason small business owners rely on traditional marketing: when it’s created and executed well, it can produce results. The reasons have as much to do with the benefits each medium offers as well as the sheer number of people who continue to gravitate to them. Those types of medium are Direct mail or hard copy marketing. Direct mail is not just easier to understand, it also has a greater power to influence readers. Some are elaborated below:  

  • Printed media in newspapers and magazines viewed as trustworthy and credible. This type of marketing is often engendering intense loyalty among longtime readers and also offers the advantages of providing a targeted audience at an affordable price. Billboards using printed or hand-painted images on canvas are still very common in use. A picture is worth a thousand words and compelling images are great for raising brand awareness. 
  • Flyers and Brochures are the Power of Hand-outs commonly used in Brick and mortar establishments, streets, supermarkets, pharmacies, or malls.  They are still the most widely preferred methods for special discounts and offers.
  • Face to Face Interaction: it is more connective and interactive.
  • Event Marketing: networking offers an added-value difference. Networking is the key to attracting top talent besides marketing products and services.

It is believed that no amount of good marketing can sell a bad product, the reverse holds true as well. The core value a sale generates is a superlative product or service. Hence, marketing is an art that derives its value from traditional techniques because this is the way it has been done.

Traditional marketing remains an important secret weapon for interactive, face-to-face, and skilled marketing and it covers a lot of ground. On the other side, digital marketing is continuing to gain ground.

What is the difference between Traditional Marketing and Modern Marketing?

  • Interaction with your audience is possible with the use of social media networks. Traditional marketing methods don’t allow for audience interaction. You can encourage your prospects, clients, and followers to take action, visit your website, read about your products and services, rate them, buy them and provide feedback that is visible to your market.
  • You can target a local audience, but also an international one. The campaign can effectively reach specific audience demographics, such as gender, location, age, and interests on regional, national, and international levels.
  • The audience can choose how they want to receive your content. While one person likes to read a blog post, read facebook articles, another person likes to watch a YouTube video. Traditional marketing doesn’t give the audience a choice. Most people hate receiving sales flyers in their mailbox or phone calls at inconvenient times on stuff that they have little interest in. 
  • Data and results are easily recorded and analyzed. You can check on your campaigns at any time and you can edit them to improve your results.
  • Digital marketing is cost-efficient. The cost is still cheaper compared to traditional marketing.
  • Real-time results: You can see the numbers of visitors to your site and its subscribers increase, peak posting times, conversion rates, and much more at the touch of a button while it is impossible to do the same with traditional marketing.
  • Brand Development: posting on a well-maintained website with quality content targeting the customer needs and adding value to the targeted audience can provide important value and lead generation opportunities.  The same can be said for utilizing social media channels and personalized email marketing.
  • Viral: Often people share links, websites, emails, and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, incredibly quickly while flyers can’t often be shared as much.

As a final word, it’s not easy to recommend or exclude any type of marketing for a business company.  

The African Boss CEO, a brilliant Executive is now asking you which type of marketing is better for your business company? Traditional, digital marketing or interchangeably you use both depending on the product or service to offer?  

The African Boss would recommend both. Circumstances may influence which one to use depending on various factors: population size and age, geographical area, IT development level, financial and budget constraints, company size, the specificity of the industry, product or service to deliver, seasons, among others.

For the African Boss CEO, the end result of the marketing should be selling the maximum using any type of marketing method and hence constantly meet customer satisfaction. 

How to turn your passion into a six-figure job through Social media with Cyrene Quiamco

By now, you should have read the other multiple stories of entrepreneurs shared in this magazine, especially how they are all motivated by their passion for what they do. But motivation and passion alone do not sustain a business. Innovation and marketing on your products do. That is what makes Cyrene Quiamco’s story very inspirational. She has not only become able to do what she is passionate about but also has turned it into a successful business.

Quiamco is an artist.

“I create interactive art on social media, mainly on Snapchat such as videos, games or augmented reality experiences.”

Quiamco’s ability to stay up-to-date and her creativity has helped her achieve what most are unable to accomplish: turning her passion into a sustainable business.

I learned how to model in 3D and create augmented reality lenses in less than a day. I had no prior skills in either field or software, but I wanted to create a snapchat lens. And I did it.

She is very proud of what she has been able to accomplish in a short amount of time. Over the past four years, her art has been featured in high profile publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insiders, and Mashable. She has also won multiple awards and her work has been nominated on social media awards shows such as Streamys and Shorty Awards. 

Her hard work and appreciation all result from her insatiable need to achieve more.

“I was one of the first to use Snapchat more than just a messaging app. Rather than just using it to take selfies, I used the app’s tools to create art, games and stories. I create a one-of-a-kind experience on the app.”

We asked Cyrene how she has managed to be one of the highest Snapchat native creators making up to $50,000 per project and she said the following.

“I come up with an idea first, then I figure out what skills are needed to turn it into a reality. Time is better spent learning tools that you will actually use, especially in the creative field where there are hundreds of software and new products always coming out. I am constantly learning and improving.”

We then asked her how she manages all that learning with life and family, and she told us how she has found a way to include her family in her work.

“I’m so lucky that I have found a way to make my work more social. My art is a social process from beginning to end since I’m creating interactive art for my social media audience. I also sometimes invite them to be a part of the process. My family is also involved. My mom and my sister are the first to test my new games and AR Lenses. If it’s a video I am creating, they are often part of it and it becomes a family activity and we make memories while I work.”

“But the best thing is I’m able to allow my mom to retire early, travel the world with my mom and sister, while being able to collaborate with top brands on creating mind-blowing artworks that inspire and make thousands of people around the world smile!”

We then asked her how she gets inspired for her work to create such amazing art.

“I’m an artist. I love to show my creativity on all media from paper, to canvas, to clay, to digital! I love art and I get inspired by everything and anything. Whenever I can’t find inspiration, I stop everything and play games, watch movies, even nap. I get inspired through those activities. I do fun things because inspiration comes from things you enjoy doing.”

We also asked her how she deals with mistakes and setbacks.

I don’t linger on mistakes, that’s why I can’t recall any. I know I’ve made a lot, it happens. Mistakes are to be expected along the journey. That’s why I don’t take it to heart when I make them, but I use the knowledge I gain to move forward so I do not repeat the same mistakes.”

More from our interview

Please tell us about your business/company/service/talent/work?

I create interactive art on social media, mainly on Snapchat, such as videos, games, or augmented reality experiences.

Please tell us your talent/work/service rate per hour/project?

Up to 50k per project

Our readers would like to know more about your business. What is unique about your talent/work/service?

I was one of the first to use Snapchat more than just a messaging app. Rather than just using it to take selfies and send it to people, I used the app’s tools to create art, games, and stories. I create a one-of-a-kind experience specific to the app. For example, using Snapchat spectacles, I’m able to create games that make user turn their phone

I also create html5 games in combination with storytelling, Snapchat art on top of videos and AR Lenses

Who/What inspired you? Who/What inspires you now?

I get inspired by everything and anything. Whenever I get in a block, I stop everything and play games, watch movies, even nap. I do fun things because inspiration comes from things you enjoy doing.

How are your relationships with your customers/clients/employees/employers?

I see clients as art partners. We collaborate on ideas and visions to create amazing art.

Please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a professional or business

I’m really proud and thankful to have received so many positive feedback and press for my art. Over the past four years, my art has been featured in high profile publications such as Forbes, Fast Company, Entrepreneur, Business Insiders, and Mashable. I’ve won multiple awards and my work has been nominated on social media awards shows such as Streamys and Shorty Awards. But the best thing is I’m able to allow my mom to retire early, travel the world with my mom and sister while being able to collaborate with top brands on creating mind-blowing artworks that inspire and make thousands of people around the world smile!

How do you stay knowledgeable and up-to-date with the skills you need in your professional life? How do you keep your knowledge sharp?

I come up with an idea first, then try to learn how to make it happen as I go! I always think, why try to learn a skill that you may or may not use? I feel like time is better spent, especially in the creative field, where there are hundreds of software and new products always coming out, that it’s better to just come up with an idea, then figure out what skills are needed to do it as you make it happen. I learned how to model in 3D and create augmented reality lenses in less than a day. I had no prior skills in either field or software, but I wanted to create a Snapchat lens. And I did it.

What advice would you give to other professionals or brands that want to be successful?

Success is finding something you love doing. If you do that, everything from then on will be a success and feel successful, no matter the challenge because it’s something you enjoy.

You can find out more on her social media @cyreneq on all platforms but mostly on her Snapchat and her website.

 

Why you should consider YouTube for Video Marketing with Nodreen Kiwanuka

With over 1 billion hours of videos watched daily, YouTube provides the best video marketing platform (when comparing the average percentage of video content viewed with other social media platforms). Although YouTube’s CPM* is higher than Facebook and Instagram’s, it still amasses  30 million views daily. It is a market that you should be tapping into. “What are you waiting for?” says Nodreen Kiwanuka, a successful YouTuber with an audience of over 37000 subscribers in her interview with The African Boss.

Kiwanuka is a YouTube vlogger/influencer based in London, UK and her portfolio includes marketing, finance, fashion, and interior design content. In 2015, she started posting videos weekly on her channel “Style With Substance” and has since gained over 37,000 subscribers. The channel name and content embodies her personal brand and core passions.

“I am a personal style enthusiast, with a thirst for knowledge. I love all things fashion and design (mostly interiors), but I crave the fire that comes with reading a kick-ass personal development book. You could say I’m style with substance personified.”

Kiwanuka has a great love for personal development and digital marketing, in particular personal brand marketing, which ties nicely into what has been her career path for the last ten years. To stay up to date and knowledgeable about the world of video content marketing and YouTube, she watches and seeks advice from her peers (other creators) and reads a number of digital marketing blogs and articles. 

“I test out techniques that other creators are using with my audience (e.g. creating community posts, really short and long forms of content) and see if it works for me. With YouTube, I think it’s really about choosing the features that suit your audience and demographic”

This strategy has been very successful for her channel. When looking back on her journey, modelling others success has definitely been a learning curve.

“I started out trying to mold myself to the status-quo on YouTube, but I have since learned to make content for people just like me and that has never steered me wrong. I began my journey not wanting to pigeonhole myself or, put what I do into a particular box or category. I fully embrace all the different parts of my personality and the varied facets of my life and let that shine through my content. I’m passionate about creating fun, yet inspiring content experiences that make my subscribers sit up, pay attention and believe/hope for a brighter future.”

Learning from her mistakes and constantly developing her content has resulted in the uniqueness that we see on her YouTube channel today. The content she creates and the way it is delivered keeps people coming for more weekly. This has naturally resulted in an exponential increase in subscribers.

My website and YouTube channel are an extension of me. They house content that speaks to my passions and my profession (marketing) and represents the polarity that I see in my everyday life.”

Kiwanuka began her career on YouTube as a means to build an extra revenue stream outside of her marketing career. What she quickly realized was that she really enjoyed creating beautifully worded and thought-provoking video content! In her day job, she spends her time crafting engaging marketing communications to a B2B technology-focused audience. And yet somehow, she also still manages to upload one video a week for her tens of thousands of her fans on YouTube.

Kiwanuka attributes her success to authenticity, which she advises is a key component for anyone who wants to build a unique and successful personal brand (and life).

“Be authentic, and learn to listen to your instincts, for that is often what inspires the creativity to produce memorable work. For example, I had no idea that people just wanted to see the mundane things I get up to on a daily basis. When I started creating content around my morning routine, the audience growth I saw was remarkable.”

But authenticity and listening to her own instincts are not the only things that inspire her creativity. Her immediate family includes two other YouTubers, and as a collective, herself and her siblings combined, have almost 90,000 subscribers.

“My younger siblings inspire me daily. Their free spirits and tenacity to chase their dreams and document their uniqueness keep me going.”

Kiwanuka comes from a large family. As a result, her social life revolves around spending time with her loved ones because for her, “quality (in people and in time) is everything”.  But despite a huge audience and a 9 to 5, she still makes time for her audience and always tries to respond to her direct messages within 24 hours.

“It has gotten a lot harder to respond immediately to my YouTube comments because of how much they’re steadily growing in number, but I do make it a point to do a bulk reply session once a week.”

She is slowly building a portfolio of clients which she hopes will bring repeat business, strong relationships, and long-lasting partnerships. She likes working with fashion brands, professional bodies, and high growth tech startups.

Kiwanuka finished off by giving us some tips on how to organically grow a loyal audience.

“I always make sure to have the keywords that people will be searching for in the video title, the description, and tags for search ranking purposes. I also pay attention to popular trends and topics and I look for viral videos with content that interest me. I then repurpose that with my brand in mind and make a video of my own in the hopes that YouTube will recommend my video to people who are watching the more popular alternative on the topic. A hot topic/trend related piece of content generally increases my subscriber count and impact engagement positively, but as I always say, if you have an engaged audience anything you post will perform well. I think it’s also important to own your audience and not rely on a third-party platform. For example, having an email list or alternative web property of your own (a website or blog) that you can divert your audience to, is always a safe bet.”

So now that you have learned these tips, “what are you waiting for?” It is not too late for you to start using YouTube for branding and marketing and if you have already started but are looking for inspiration and more tips, check out Style with Substance on YouTube or @swsblog on Twitter and Instagram.

You are leaving money off the table by not using your YouTube for business success.

Engaging your social media audience – Reaching thousands in one click with Liliane Umuhoza

“There is an art to growing your Instagram. You have to constantly deliver high-quality posts to your current and new followers”

“I find that using new features like questions and polls help marketing campaigns significantly”

Liliane Umuhoza, a 22-year-old commercial Instagram model, spends a great amount of time growing her audience on Instagram. Her audience of over 75000 followers exponentially grows at a rate of 2000 -3000 people a month.

“In a single story, I can reach 3-5 thousands a day. I have seen that stories are more visible than feed posts the shortest amount of time”

With this growth on her account, businesses and companies have started coming in with requests to partner with her on marketing campaigns.

“I’m always excited to collaborate with small and big companies on their marketing campaigns. It is sad few businesses understand the power of influencer marketing.”

Umutoni opened her Instagram account in 2014 and it has taken off since then. She attributes her organic growth to getting featured on multiple other accounts and networking with the right people in events. She takes careful attention to everything she posts making sure it tells a story.

“I do not randomly post on my Instagram. I post in 3s where every three consecutive posts on a line tell a story.”

You can find more of her tips on her Instagram

Working with an influencer: Preparing a great influencer brief with Liliane Umuhoza

A good influencer brief is one that lets the influencer be themselves during the campaign. It is always better to advertise while staying authentic to your audience.

Once your company has contacted an influencer to run a marketing campaign. The company sends a document that briefs the influencer about the campaign, gives them details of what is expected from them for the campaign and what the objectives are.

It is very important for whoever sends this to have these sections in there:

  • Brand details 
  • Campaign objectives
  • Message and content delivery
  • Timeline
  • Payment plan

A great influencer brief gives as many details as possible for a successful collaboration on the campaign.

The first thing in the influencer brief is details about the brand. It is good practice to share your mission, video promos, etc. Some brands even send free products to influencers for marketing purposes.

The brief should have information and objectives of the actual campaign with a timeline on how much content is needed, and for how long and at what frequency.

It should say what words to include and which ones not to include but it should not be a script. It is in the best interest of both parties for the call to action to sound as authentic and as organic as possible.

Last but not least, it should detail how the influencer with be paid.

Growing successfully an audience on multiple platforms with Patycope

Most of us struggle to be active on a single platform Social media growth on each platform has its own set of rules and it is hard for most of us to keep up with the social media trends and updates on each platorm. But one man, Patrick Rukundo, aka Patycope, has been able to achieve that by growing organically several pages on multiple platforms.

“I am approached by different entities for all sorts of reasons. If a company needs a hashtag to go viral on twitter, I am the guy for that. If there is an event that needs thousands of people to show from my Facebook audience, I make it happen. If an artist has released a video, they can count on me to share it on my YouTube and Instagram.”

With over 200,000 people across his social media platforms, he can reach thousands of people very fast.

Tell us about your company

I am the founder at patycope ltd. we promote online awareness and visibility for our clients. 

Tell us how you got started

Patycope Ltd started initially by featuring other Social Media influencers, but it later expanded to Events and digital marketing.

What is your mission?

Our main focus is making sure our client’s message is delivered in a timely manner to our audience and in  the best quality possible.

What is unique about you?

We understand that our only success depends on our client’s success. this is reflected in our passion and creativity to make sure clients get more than what they expect from the marketing campaign.

 

Following your passion with Maria Chiza

“Be the first one to believe and love your business, stay positive in what you are doing, be a risk taker and don’t be afraid to fail”

Please tell us about yourself?

My name is Maria Chiza but I go by “Marii” (pronounced like Marie in french). I am a single mother of two with a passion of music, dancing and fashion design. I currently live in Italy but I am from Tanzania originally.

Please tell us about your art?

I am a singer. I sing RNB and Afro-pop songs. I recently released my first official song which immediately took off allowing me to get invited in over 10 radio interviews and 3 TV interviews in the first two weeks since the release. Music is my passion. I enjoy what I do and I do it wholeheartedly and when you do something out of passion, the world will notice. I invite you to check my newest song “I need your love” – Marii Chiza on YouTube to experience how passionate I am about music and art.

What is art to you?

Art is a way for me to produce what I feel inside through music, fashion, and dance. I am able to present my personality and who I am through art.

How did you get started?

When I was 13 years old, I used to sing at home, in church, at school, and at events like weddings and parties. Since then, I have been able to sing and dance in front of a crowd, and because I am passionate about it, it makes me feel good.

How do you stay motivated?

Making people happy through art keeps me going. I like to entertain people. There is a lot of joy that comes from music and dance. And when you have trained enough and developed your talent, you should share it with the world.

What mistakes have you made along your journey that have shaped you into the person you are today?

The biggest mistake I made was not strongly believing in myself early enough. And because of that, I lost so much time. But now, I have learned to believe in myself and to stay positive along the journey.

I plan to have my own fashion brand and to use my music to build a strong fan base that will recommend my clothes.

Tell us how you overcome challenges to follow your passions?

I never give up on what I believe in even with challenges and obstacles that come along my journey. Being a single mother of two and chasing one’s dreams at the same time are not easy tasks to do but I have learned to manage to do both. When I strongly believe in something, I will go for it, take the risk, give it my best, and stay positive about it. I have started working on my dream of becoming a successful singer and fashion designer. I have worked hard on that dream and have finally won a scholarship to go study international fashion and design in Italy and it makes me happy.

Who inspired you? Who inspires you now?

When I was young, I told myself that I wanted to be like Vanessa Mdee. I love her music and the way she dances. But her style wasn’t enough for me so I started looking for more inspiration elsewhere. When I saw Rihanna sings and dance, she inspired me as well. I have read their life stories and they both inspire me a lot. Their stories and art push me to become a global artist like them and even better.

How are your relationships with your fans and supporters?

I have been able to develop a social media fanbase of over 30,000 people that I am thankful for. I have made a lot of friends who have been very friendly and supportive beyond what I expected. There is so much love between me and my fans.

How do you balance being a single mom of two and your work?

It is very important for me to balance work and family since I have two young children. I plan ahead weekly so that when it’s time for work, I work and when its time for family, I put my work apart to take care of my children.

What does the future look like for you?

I plan to have my own fashion brand and to use my music to build a strong fan base that will wear my clothes.

What advice would you give to other professionals or brands that want to be successful

Be the first one to believe and love your business, stay positive in what you are doing, be a risk-taker and don’t be afraid to keep trying because you will never know if something will go through or not until you try, never take negative compliments or comments personal or give up because of what people say, take them as a challenge to make your business better, love, respect and Carry your self with dignity because you know what you are doing, you strongly believe in what you are doing then go for it because if you don’t believe in what you are doing don’t expect other people too.

You can watch her song I need your love here.

The dilemma: Should you get a carrier or follow your passions? Interview with Diane Umutoni, CEO of Rebero Fashion

In life, we all hit a certain point where we want to do more and make a greater impact. You might already be looking for some answers on what you should do, how you should do it, when you should do it, etc in these stories of entrepreneurs, influencers and businesses.

You might be feeling like your hard work is not appreciated enough at work, or you might remember a time where your coworkers made you feel like you should quit, or even a time when you put everything on the line, only to be stabbed in the back by the people you had trusted.

If you have endured that and feel the urge to start making a bigger impact in the world, then you will certainly love Rebero Fashion Founder, Diane Umutoni’s story.

“It was a terrible experience and I remember telling myself that if I get out of this life I will never go back”

6 months later, Umutoni got a scholarship to study in the agricultural studies. But she was not happy with this because she did not want to go into that field of study – in Rwanda, university scholarships are given based on the field of study and not by universities i.e you get a government scholarship to study in a certain field and then the school that offers that field of study picks you. So since she was fascinated by civil engineering, she decided to go pursue that in Canada.

But unfortunately, her family could not pay for her throughout the studies. So she got multiple jobs to pay her own tuition. She worked 60hrs/wk while going to school full time.

“I worked 40hrs overnight monday-friday at walmart – one of the biggest retail stores in the world- in inventory management, and 20hrs on the weekends as a hotel housekeeper while going to school for civil engineering.”

But with all that work put in, she was still going broke because of school and she was not feeling like she is making a huge impact in the world.

With her drive, work ethic and passion, she was able to graduate in civil engineering in 2016. Not long after, she joined the workforce and worked at a construction company and she rose to a managerial position. That is where it all started to decline again.

“I have had coworkers call me a b**** just because we disagreed on how I managed them. And there have been times at which I have to delegate work to coworkers at a construction site, and once I am done delegating, I can overhear coworkers calling me names in French since they do not know I am fluent in French.”

It got her to a point where she could not keep wearing the leader’s hat anymore and she started looking for an exit, and she went back to what she holds dear and to her passions. She loves fashion and entrepreneurship so she decided to create her new store “Rebero Fashion”. The name “Rebero” means influencer, example,  leader, inspiration. She wanted her story to inspire a lot of people to look at her and see that if she was able to do it, so can you.

This time, she decided it was a good time to have her own brand of custom made clothes. So she hired a tailor in Rwanda who makes clothes that she designs. And every 3 months, the tailor ships new inventory to her. 

“I have learned that as long as you don’t ask for money, everyone supports you. You have everybody’s emotional support.”

Her brother is always actively sharing her posts and marketing her clothes and supporting her a lot. Her friends and the rest of the family are also very supportive. Some of her friends help her market her brand across their social media. Her mother works with the tailor to make sure everything is of good quality before shipping it to her from Rwanda to Canada.

“I used to give up easily. I used to start something and if it didn’t go as I expected right off the bat, I would just give up. But now, I know that success takes time and you can not rush it. I learn as much as possible so I can avoid failure because I do not want to go back to where I was before. I constantly keep myself motivated and learn about new ways of marketing my clothes.”

Have you been in such a situation when you are not happy with where you are in your life? Are you currently unhappy with where you are in your life and wish you could be doing more out there in the world? Go follow along her social media and let her know that you are in this together.

Capturing beautiful moments: Content is key with Cedric Rugema, a Photographer and Content Creator

Effective use of social media for business requires great curated content. You need a camera and some editing skills or even better to get a photographer with such skills. Making beautiful content whether they are pictures or videos requires a lot of attention and an artistic eye.

Cedric Rugema is a photographer that uses his photography skills to create great content for his 7000 Instagram followers.

“I am always looking for the best content to post to engage my audience.”

Photography is an art. And just like any art, it is not for everyone. On top of being creative, you have to keep practicing and constantly develop your skills.

“My father is an artist and my mom is a photographer. I think I get it from watching them. They inspire me”

To check out more of his content and inspiration, go to his Instagram account @cedric_kb69

Sharing your Creativity with the world with Didier Maniraguha

It has been said countless times that to master a new skill or art, it takes an average of 10000 hours. This only happens when you are passionate about what you are learning because, otherwise, you would not be able to go through the 10000 hours. That is why Didier Maniraguha, a professional dancer, ask us to share your progress with the world.

“I started professional dancing in high school. I had a dancing crew where we would practice together. And anytime we performed, people would approach me and congratulate me. Some wanted to learn my moves, and I was always open to teach them to dance. You have to be willing to share your passion with the world.”

Maniraguha’s skills have attracted a large social media audience where his posts are followed by over 10000 people around the world. He attributes that growth to never giving up and staying motivated.

“My dream is to become an internationally recognized professional dancer. I do not let haters bring me down. I keep dancing and share it with the world as much as I can on this journey.”

If you would like to see him dance with your own eyes, we invite you to check out his Instagram @didier_mdizzo

 

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