Image Courtesy: MKBHD on Instagram
Image Courtesy: MKBHD on Instagram

What Does it Take to be a Social Media Influencer?

This articles is a follow up on my immediate previous article about who a social media influencer is, I’ve also written about how to be a social media influencer in the past.

The rule book hasn’t changed much. It still plays by the rules of creating specialized content for a particular audience.

Find the Audience you seek to serve

As a rule, many digital content creators think about content they wish to create before identifying the target audience they seek to serve. However, initially identifying the audience you seek to serve makes it easier for you to create content they will appreciate.

This is the hardest part, the idea that every creative needs a thousand true fans is an idea I cherish. This idea has also been popularized and championed by Kevin Kelly The idea is simple, if you have a 1000 fans who’re willing to pay for your creative work then you have a source of income.

Likewise to be an influencer worth your salt, its important to know that the audience building process will take time. 

Create Hyper Focused Content

Pick a specific interest to post about it can be cooking, sports, cars, swimming etc. The next step is to focus on a subsector of this area. It pays to narrow you focus to a level where targeted audiences know what exactly they can expect from your social media page.

For example, if the focus is on cars and vehicles, there are various forms and types of vehicles in various price ranges. Ranging from luxury vehicles to budget vehicles to family and sports vehicles.

Once that focus is narrowed audiences know what to expect and can count on you as an expert in a particular field.

Courtesy-Instagram- @kwadwosheldon
Courtesy-Instagram- @kwadwosheldon

Who Is a Social Media Influencer?

The exponential growth in the usage of social and digital media has led to the rise of a new type of celebrity called “The Influencer”

Influencers create content purposely for social media and are noted for a certain type of content.

They create content in a wide range of areas

Food

Fashion

Vehicles

Comedy

Art etc.  are examples of areas Influencer create content in and build a massive following in the process.

Within these broad areas, there are Influencers who specialize in subcategories of various topics. For example, there are fashion and lifestyle influencers who focus on street wear, tech wear, high fashion etc.

Likewise there are food influencers who specialize in Steak, African dishes, baked items, pastries etc. and different types of dishes

These creators are valuable to brands because they serve a specific type of audience and brands want to reach these type of audiences. Hence they reach out to Influencers to help them in selling their products for a fee. The goal for brands who reach out to Influencers is to convert a part of the Influencers followers into customers of their brand.

For example a vegetable oil brand partnering with a food influencer

Athletic wear or Vitamin Company partnering with a fitness influencer

This is basically the essence of Influencer Marketing.

Influencer Marketing also works for brand affiliation and partnerships. Companies scout social networks and spot specific content creator on social media who they believe they can associate their brand with.

This is good for brand perception as people will begin to associate certain brands to a particular aesthetic.

In the hyper active and “always on the move” world we happen to find ourselves in, consumers are weary of explicit advertising and the forceful nature of internet promotions hence using influencers is a fresh approach that brands can deploy to target new audiences.

On the other hand, social media presents an opportunity for anyone to be an influencer. Creating content that attracts a specific audience is the first step.

The future of brand and product influencing looks bright as social media continues to grow.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

How do I start a business with 2,000 Ghana Cedis?

This is a question someone asked on Quora, my answer is below

2,000 Cedis in dollar term is about $350.00 (using the Foreign Exchange Rate) which is not much of a capital to begin business. Also note that new businesses have a high risk of failure in their early stages and most businesses fail within the first 10 years of opening.

I’ve noticed the answers on questions like the this is generally geared toward trading, i.e buy products for cheap and sell them at a marginal gain which is an OK idea.

I have another simple alternative, invest that 2,000 ghc in yourself and learn a valuable skill. Preferably a skill that can be used to satisfy client needs remotely.

Skills Such as

Coding

Graphic design, video editing,

Writing

Digital marketing

Excel

Data Science

Animation

Etc.

are constantly in demand.

Basically, log on to sites like Udacity, Udemy, Coursera and the likes to scan through some of the courses that are most in demand. Go through each of the course material and select one that is of interest to you and has the potential to provide decent source of income once you have mastered that skill.

Benefits

Pays Higher in the longer term

Having such a valuable skill pays off in the longer term. Once the skill has been acquired and you start charging clients a fee for rendering service to them, the skill becomes a long term source of income. Over time the payments made by clients will offset the initial 2,000 ghc invested

Constant Demand

These type of skills are constantly on demand on the labour market hence businesses are always on the lookout for such skills. There are greater opportunities with small business or solopreneurs that cannot afford bigger agencies to help them with their needs.

Acquired for life

Skills are acquired for life and will pay off in the longer term, once this skill is practiced and you become better.

Possessing quality skills make you valuable.

Just as a lawyer, doctor, teacher can practice till death, these skills can be practiced till you choose not to do anything with it.

Read my original answer here

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay
Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

My Personal New Years (2020) Goal

The goal is to create podcast daily.

Make daily podcasts for where I talk about all things startups, marketing, effective living and the regular Productivity Discipline and Focus stuff

I have been getting into cryptocurrency lately and I want to make podcasts for cryptocurrency and its rapid growth but I’m not sure whether that will be part of this podcast or will be a separate podcast.

New episodes shall be released every weekday on the topic areas listed above.

Specific days have been devoted to specific subject areas

Startups (Monday)

Dedicated to all things startup, especially in the field of lifestyle businesses because that’s where my business goals are headed.

On Mondays I’ll be making analysis of how successful lifestyle and online businesses built their brands and how future entrepreneurs can follow this path to sucesss

 

Marketing      (Tuesday/Wednesday)

I believe marketing is the final lap of the product development journey every entrepreneur goes through to push their products to success. Sometimes average or not so great products are able to make it on the market because they have good marketing.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I’ll look into the marketing world especially in the world of online marketing to investigate what works and how we can channel that into our respective businesses.

PDF lifestyle (Thursday/Friday)

Productivity, discipline and focus are basic attributes every entrepreneur needs to build a successful business.

Productivity because one needs to consistently deliver good results in order to create success.

Discipline because without discipline our goals will be outside the window

Focus because success comes from consistent attention to our work over a long period of time.

The new phase of the podcast will be touching on these key areas with short daily podcast to breathe fresh ideas as you go about your day.

Long Term

In the Long term (ie last quarter of the year), the goal is to bring on guests who are successful entrepreneurs unto the podcast.

Explore new ways of making money using digital channels and creating digital products

Stay tuned for much more good great content in 2020 and be my guest.

Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay
Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

This episode is focused on digital marketing strategies for

2019 has presented several successful paradigms in the world of digital marketing  

Marketing Budgets

95% of organisations have increased their Digital Marketing Spend,

9 out of 10 marketing professionals expect their Digital Marketing budget to grow

41% of marketing professionals expect to invest more than $500,000.00 into their Digital Marketing spend

Sources Target Marketing/ Inc/ Digital Marketing Institute

Internet Usage

  • Internet penetration is also growing rapidly in developing markets hence there will be opportunities for growth in the digital marketing and advertising space. Over half a billion people on the African continent accessed the internet according to Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)
  • Across Africa internet coverage is growing but internet prices are not dropping fast enogh.

On key question to discuss going into 2020 is how internet data prices will affect social media and digital products in general?

HotTrends

There are other hot trends marketing industry people are also looking at such as

Shoppable Posts on Instagram

  • Micro Influencer (We will talk about influencer marketing and how it works)
  • Interactive Emails
  • Building strong personal brands
  • Vanity Metrics 
  • E-Commerce

Marketing Industry Predictions for 2020

Below are some predictions of the future in the marketing sphere.

  • Many people will begin to order online. Although one-click payment is something we struggle with, ordering online and paying on delivery will grow even exponentially
  • Digital currencies such as Bitcoin will continue to spur conversation about trade and finance and how we need open systems that can encourage cross border trade
  • Data and analytics will be a key resource that will help businesses make informed decisions about product testing, marketing, pricing amongst others
  • Research can be carried out in much simpler and cost free forms 
  • Brands will be serious about their online reputation and more community managers will be employed to monitor brand reputation and correct brand notion where necessary
  • A lot more brands will hire agencies to help them with their digital strategies

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Unsplash

The Right Social Media Channels for your Business & the “Rule of 2”

Social Media has become an ubiquitous part of daily business and it’s being used to drive strategy. Many growing businesses have made a conscious effort to make social media an integral part of their marketing strategy.

For upcoming entrepreneurs working hard to grow their business, Social media can be a hazy place whether there are many options for them to choose from.

 Messaging platforms such as Whatsapp have become social media platforms in their own right where content is created and distributed.

The growth in channels aside, there’s the cost of content creation which can shoot up quickly especially when an entrepreneur is not adept at design or has no graphic design skills.

There’s been times where I’ve had good ideas for social media posting but because my design skills are limited I could not bring them to life.

This podcast explores the conversation around the various social media channels and how they can be optimized for growth.

On this episode, I discuss the “rule of 2”

By sticking to just two channels we have the leverage to create content to suit targeted audiences. The goal of social media is to increase engagement and brand awareness for the products.

Hence finding the spaces where are targeted audiences are showing up there with quality content is imperative.

The growth of social media presents exciting opportunity for the transformation of business. Opportunities that would have cost much more in years before.

By taking advantage of this tool, we create opportunities for our business to be exposed to a great number of people both home and abroad, who will be able to contribute tremendously to our businesses

Music Courtesy: Podsummit

Content Marketing for your Small Business: The Basic Principles You Need to Know

The feedback I received from my last article on content marketing ROI has been awesome.

Read the article if you haven’t.

 It appears many small business owners have a basic understanding of Content Marketing and its potential impact on revenue but don’t have an idea of how to implement or rationalize it to make it work for their businesses

Here are the basic principles you need to know and understand

Make an Assessment of the Brand Persona

What does your brand stand for? Is it serious, playful, fun loving, action-oriented, creative, demure etc.? Doing an assessment of the brand you’re looking to build will inform the type of content to create.

Who inspires the brand?

If your brand was human who would it be?

For many years I’ve come to admire people who write in a conversational style and that has influenced my writing to a large extent.  

Writing that is playful yet serious and cuts to the chase with no long talk is the mantra for all my written articles.

I’ve been inspired by the writing style of Penelope Trunk, Joan Westenberg and Vladi Vasilev. These writers have a few things in common.

Their writing style is punchy

It is straight to the point

And they are not afraid to use expletives where there’s a need for it.

I channel that writing style into all my writing. 

 Likewise, you model your small business brand on a persona.

Use Free Tools

A mistake small business owners make is to quickly invest in a type of a software or internet product tool as part of preparation to create killer content marketing.

Some of these expenses most of the time includes expenses on

Photo editing software

Video editing software

Film making software

Hi-Tech camera gear etc.

 Although an initial investment into custom software seems like a great idea, you’re better off holding on unto your funds for now.

Create with free versions of Filmora, Adobe, Canva etc.

If the software that you can’t do without has a free trial, use the free trial as long as possible to have an appreciable understanding of the software and how it works before committing money to it.

Overthinking Stifles Content Marketing Creativity

Overthinking is like a cancer, which fills you with doubts, fear and unnecessary anxiety as it paralyzes you and slowly eats your content marketing ideas into oblivion.

In the past, I overthought every situation, conversation and scenario and played it back in my mind countless times. Always wishing there was a better way I could have done something.

Overthinking leads to waiting for the perfect opportunity to initiate your content marketing project, yet the perfect time or opportunity to bring your ideas to action never arrives.  

That shouldn’t be the case for your content approach, the goal here is to not overwhelm yourself.

Do a Deep Dive  

As a follow up to escaping overthinking and perfectionism  is that you don’t over whelm yourself one thing to do is not to overwhelm yourself.

 There are several forms of content to create. Ranging from videos, infographics, images, articles, white papers etc. It is not necessary to create content with all these mediums.

Select two and do a deep dive of how you can create content with that medium. Play to your strengths and choose a medium that you’re comfortable spending a considerable amount of time on.

This approach should also be used in your approach to social media as well. Select two (maximum 3) social media sites where you’ll be distributing your content.

Doing a deep dive and building expertise around a particular content has a peculiar advantage which outweighs trying your hands on all forms of content.

We’re in the golden age of content, social media companies has created the ecosystem in such a way that people are constantly looking for killer content to consume. Stand out by practicing these tips

It Takes Time

Know that it takes time, don’t be heartbroken if your content marketing idea is not a hit from the start. It takes time to get good and like any skill constant practice will make you exceptional.

What’s the ROI on Content Marketing for Small Businesses?

Content marketing is a hot topic in the marketing world.  And this conversation is happening for very good reasons.

The Statics Are Eye Opening    

86% of highly effective organizations has someone steering the direction of their content marketing strategy  (Hubspot)

On average people consume 285 pieces of content every day (Hubspot)

60% of B2C marketers are committed to content marketing (Point Visible)

 64% of marketers want to learn how to build a better content strategy (Marketing charts)

Content creation is a top priority for 53% of marketers, according to the State of Inbound report (State of Inbound)

From the statistics shared above, Content Marketing has real value and impacts the bottom line. I’ve been a champion for Content Marketing in the past as you can read from my articles here and here.

The insights appear all well and good yet for entrepreneurs and small business owners who are considering content marketing, the question still stands.

What will be my Return on Investment (ROI) on my content marketing initiative?

This is a legitimate question because money is limited and has competing demands.

For small business owners, cash invested in content marketing could be channeled into other aspects of the business.

 I’ve had casual conversations with small business owners about implementing content marketing strategies due to its potential strong return on investment and its impact on the revenue bottom line but it appears they’ll rather go for traditional advertising instead.

Business owners categorize content marketing, inbound marketing and social media marketing as the same thing.

Most business owners actually believe social media marketing has more of an impact than content marketing. Their reason being social media is more visible hence there are chances of going viral and metrics such as likes, comments and views can be tracked to review performance.

The returns on investment for content marketing is enormous when content marketing is executed right.

It’s a matter of carefully tracking how much we spend on Content Marketing initiatives and the ROI it returns in sales. I use this worksheet I created for my consulting clients to track content marketing initiatives and its ROI

Content Marketing ROI Worksheet

E.g of the worksheet in use for a hypothetical business owner who makes screens for printing t-shirts at home.

Content Marketing Worksheet

From the worksheet above, a $100.00 investment in creating content led to a conversion of 50 people and sales of $2,000.00 when the content was promoted via ads, the business made an additional $9,000.00 offsetting the price of the content and the ads and making an extra $6,800.00 in return

Do you follow Neil Patel? He’s the founder of Crazy Egg, kissmetrics and Neil Patel Digital

His blog ranks for almost everything online marketing, SEO, email marketing and content marketing related.

Hell!!! His blog even ranks for Joseph Sugarman when I decided to research and write my lessons from Joseph Sugarman’s book that “Adweek Copywriting Handbook”.

Neil is an example of a blogger who has witnessed exponential ROI on content marketing.

His blog has detailed, well-written articles on these niche topics and due to the crazy traffic he gets on his blog other well-know writers are willing to write for his site which further improves his search engine ranking.

By understanding the power of writing helpful, educational and insightful content for his readers, Neil has built successful businesses.

That will also be the case for ROI on content marketing for your small business if you take it seriously.

Content Marketing has a wider reach and appeal  

Content Marketing initiatives that helps prospects has a higher reach and a greater tendency to go viral.  People enjoy sharing content that is quality, educational and helpful. The more content is shared, the higher the exposure it gets.

Relying on search engines for any topic has become a daily ritual for prospects. The higher our ranks and impressions for our keywords, the better we’re at getting our brand in front of people.

Marcus Sheridan of River Pools and Spa is the poster boy for creating content that was helpful to his prospects and turned around his business. He achieved this by writing educative blog posts for prospects about swimming pools when his business hit a dry patch.

Due to the helpful content he created, he made a lot of sales for his business and his story has been well documented on Hubspot’s courses and Forbes.  

Longer shelf life

Content Marketing initiatives such as newsletters, e-books, guides and educational video possesses a longer shelf-life than content that is created to be consumed in the moment.

An e-book with educational and helpful information can be promoted for many months across various digital channels due to its relevance.  

The same cannot be said for a commercial. Once the prospect has seen it a couple of times, they get dismissive of it as compared to a “How-To” guide that can be referred several times which increases the Return on Investment for your small business

Expert Positioning

By understanding and effectively using content marketing tools and strategies, we as small business owners build expertise in our markets.

Credibility and trustworthiness are important factors in the buyer’s journey, especially in the Awareness and Consideration stage. Having content that is useful and can be referenced helps us to build authority and trust which eventually has a greater Return on Investment for our inputs.

Another advantage of a content marketing approach is the fact that we can repurpose our content into other forms of content initiatives for distribution.

Considering a content Marketing approach today? Go ahead and make it happen, let me know when it is ready so I can check it out.

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How I Built a Website in 10 Minutes

One thing I enjoy doing is helping businesses design a Digital Strategy.  Most of my entrepreneur friends want an online presence for their startups.

Their budgetary allocations for Digital Strategies are usually pretty tight therefore I’m always looking for creative ways to help them without breaking the bank.

One such friend/client approached me a couple of weeks back and he wanted an online presence for his startup Food Processing company but did not have a lot of funds to spend.

I went researching for various free tools and web builders to build a website that won’t require contracting the services of a Web Developer to build a custom site.

 I decided to give Wix a shot. I had seen a couple of their ads on YouTube and their commercials seemed pretty convincing .

The steps for creating the website on Wix was simple an d straight to the point

  1. Signed up for wix, using my email address
  2. Answered a couple of questions regarding the type of website I wanted, the industry the business is in etc.
  3. Chose an existing template
  4. Populated the website with pre-written information on the “About Us” and “Contact Us” content
  5. Filled the site with stock images and I was done.

In all, it took about 10 minutes to go through complete the process of building the site.  I’m a big believer in “Action over Perfection” therefore once there is a minimum viable website up and running I can then update it to the clients needs as and when they request. What matters now is the Client has a fully functioning website that prospects can be pointed to

Check out the site; Note the selected domain has not been hooked yet.

I used Pixabay and Unsplash for all my stock image needs. All photos on there are royalty free and are of high quality.

The purpose of this blog post is to tell you there are no excuses any more especially if you have a desire to build a personal brand, start a business or a movement, then go for it.

Give Wix a shot or try the other free website building tools available

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