Content Creator, Social Media Manager and soon-to-be a global brand, Izegbuwa is harnessing the power of social media to craft a career and a brand for herself. Though fame and fortune has its place, Izegbuwa is of the school of thought that Social Media can and should be used for Social Good.
Ever wondered what a Social-Metrepreneur -just invented this- looks like, take a good, long look at Izegbuwa; she shares a truckload of information on monetizing Social Media.
Learn. Think. Act. Repeat.
You have been able to harness Social Media and create a name and a standard for yourself; how did you become aware of the opportunities inherent therein?
Create a name? I am still in the process of creating that name, I am headed in the direction but I am still far from there now.
Anyhow to answer your question, I mostly stumbled on social Media, developed a passion for it and realised I could monetize the skills I was developing, so I became part of a team called “adopt-a-tweep” and have spent time learning so much from them & swapping ideas.
I also registered for several online and offline courses and improved as I went.. I am still learning & improving though
Social Media in its entirety; you have utilized social media and made it a money-making tool; kindly give us a few tips for engaging social media profitably.
Well… The first important thing to realise is that Social Media Marketing is more than just running a couple of tweets on twitter or posts on Facebook.
Secondly, it’s important to know, you can never know enough, always learn, follow other social Media marketers, register for online courses and gradually re-invent yourself as you go.
How do you convert online discussions to offline action?
It’s important to go for networking events, it gives you an opportunity to connect face to online profile, And face to face Interactions are best to close sales.
However, there are some online businesses that have remained online, I meet folks online, we discuss, agree on a price, it’s transferred, I do the job and then request referrals. Luckily for Social media marketers, businesses can be kept online, especially if you have integrity and manage to keep your words to your clients.
You are a trained Biochemist; kindly share your educational journey, from the cradle upwards.
That’s a really, really, long story, I went to a lot of secondary schools, I think 3 or 4, I got expelled from one, and No, I wasn’t a truant student, I got caught with food provisions, which was not allowed at the school at the time.
As for the others, I also couldn’t pass Physics; on paper I aced it, in class I aced it, I taught my friends to ace it, but with the West African Examinations Council exams, I’d get a pass.
I wanted to be a Doctor, I was passing the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board Exams [JAMB] and got admission twice into the University of Benin to study Medicine but I did not have the credit in Physics requirement. So, I studied Biochemistry instead in Ondo State at the Adekunle Ajasin University and Dazall!
I could not afford a Master’s degree, so I am mostly “self” taught. I sign up for a lot of free courses online, and work religiously at it, watch videos, do my assignments, peer reviews, et al.
I also read a lot, I follow up on a lot of people involved in my area of interest, see what they doing, how they are doing it, their results and try to come up with ingenious ways to best their accomplishments or at least improve on it.
Did you ever have a ‘regular’ job? Was it an easy transition to a career as a Social Media Consultant? Did you face any challenges or opposition? Was it slow start or a quick one?
Several, I have had a lot of regular jobs, from being the Personal Assistant of a Branch Manager to being a Business Development Executive to being a Branch Manager. I have been a Biology and Maths teacher.
I even used my certificate one time and worked at the Chemical Pathology Lab; and I was a bread seller for a bit.
However, I don’t do well with 9-5s, I like flexibility, I can’t sit still, I like free reins with creativity, coming up with something new and fun, trying to reinvent myself on zero cash.
I have always written content, but mostly for business plans and company profiles. The transition to Social Media really was not planned, in the middle of my highest point of using Facebook and Twitter, I was desperately broke and I started tweeting for business, but with my 98 followers, everyone ignored me.
Then I “met” Blossom Nnodim online, she had about 11,000 followers at the time, I was truly impressed. I sent her a Direct Message and she agreed to tweet for me. She sent out only 5 tweets, “Meet Ized @zegbua for business plans… etc” and the feedback was crazy! I got business worth almost N800,000 in a few weeks in 2012, it was an eye-opener.
I quickly contacted Blossom, I wanted to learn from her which I did, I joined the “adoptATweep” team that she started and so, it sort out of panned out from there. It wasn’t all easy, Blossom had built online credibility which I hadn’t at the time- so no one listened to me, but it takes time, in the end though it eventually works out good, still we are on our way there.
What is the best part of your job/work on Social Media?
Seriously the flexible work hours… I can work from anywhere I have wifi or internet service, my bed or even the Loo! I don’t have to leave the house on the daily and get snagged by hold ups.
I also love meeting people, travelling; I get a lot of invites to Live tweet at events around and out of the country, but mostly just African Countries.
Social Media for social good; kindly expantiate.
As Simply as I can, Social Media is a meeting place of sorts, people from around Nigeria and the World can easily “meet”, discuss and plan. Activism meet-ups, Stand offs, protests can be planned easily via Social Media.
So why not utilize and harness this great potential for Good, plan social meet-ups, plan marathons to raise funds for an illness, crowd source funds for charity… #JustBinIt is a Social Good project, there are so many others.
Is a career in Social Media for everybody or a gifted few eg writers?
Can everybody have a career in social media?- No, because like I said earlier it is not just about a few tweets; it requires managed contents and specific analytics. However still, it’s not for a “gifted” few… If you take time to learn the ropes you can be awesome at it.
So I am fresh from Secondary School; should I bother with a tertiary education or get an Android and delve into the world of Social Media? Is there a process to accessing the financial benefits of Social Media?
Get the tertiary education by all means if you can, and still get that Android; it can help you to pay your fees and with side cash, plan your social media schedule so it doesn’t disturb your studies.
Take time to learn, start small, don’t over promise, the day you lose your integrity online, it will spread like wild fire. Stick to reaching targets, dedicate time to learning about using social media for brand management and campaigns but do not let it disturb your studies.
You are also a content creator: what does the scope of creating content entail?
Basically, we Understand the Goals, Mission and Vision of a company, where it is headed, the future plans and all, then build a profile to fit in all of it, that’s content strategy. Then we project this content online.
But besides Brand, Website and Company Profile content online, I also write Business plans and feasibility studies, it requires a lot of research and Mathematics.
How do you meet clients for the work you do? Marketing?
Before I used to do a lot of Marketing myself, I would write and write and write, ask people, but now I realised word of mouth is the biggest Marketing tool; it’s cheap and very effective. Most of my new jobs are referrals from old clients. I do a good job, I ask that they please spread the word, tell someone new or give people my contacts.
And Like I said earlier, I network a lot, and share my cards and details.
Some say ‘content is King’ but I think not every content should be given royal status. How do we maintain sanity on Social Media with the proliferation of violence, pornography and other negatives?
That’s a hard one, because it is not up to you what people write on Social Media; you can tell people not to put up these negatives and get through to a few, get a few of them to listen and stop, but there will still be others.
You can also try to set a tone, people generally tend to copy that. I don’t tweet or post porn or violent stuff, I rarely ever get it back, said to me or written to me. If I do get it, I immediately caution the writer in a firm but as friendly a way as I can.
Do you think Social Media is a fad? While we wait on the next big thing?
Not at all, it’s here to stay, it will evolve in so many diverse ways, new platforms will spring up everyday, but unless humans develop “telepathy” social Media is here to stay.
Enough about social media. We want to know the Izegbuwa behind @zegbua; what’s her ethnicity? Any remarkable memories?
I have a lot of remarkable growing up memories, too plenty. I am from Edo State, born, bread and buttered in Edo State, toasted in Abuja. I’m regular peoples… Nothing fantastic yet, all of those are still ahead. I guess so far my most remarkable moment till date is when I had my Son…
Family is anyone who truly cares, who has your back. It’s beyond blood relationships or family tree…Family is Love and friendship, which luckily I have in my real family but also in some really good friendship, some of whom I even met online. Social Media for (zegbua’s) Social Good. Haha.
Five things your friends would be shocked to learn about you…
1. I am desperately shy.. I try to hide it.
2. I have a crush on… Naaah, I am never revealing that in public. 🙂
That’s it- I really do try not to hide a lot of things from my friends though.
On Nigeria; if you had the chance to implement one policy today, what would it be?
Litter and Go to Jail! Nigerians need to understand the gravity of Littering. It. Is. Not. Okay. To. Throw. Trash. On. The. streets!
On Africa; Is the Africa Rising credo a myth?
You think? Absolutely not! Do you know more than 60% of the world’s youth come from Africa? Our Generation is being set up to Lead. Definitely not a myth. We are on our way up, technological advances, Agriculture, Innovations, still few from Africa but definitely on the rise.
Where do you see the @Zegbua brand a decade thence?
Do you really have the time and the space? If I were to give details, it would sound like bragging, but…Starting in 3 months! In a decade, I’ll probably be a retired house wife (haha) only because I would have accomplished all I have to…I will then be enjoying the fruits of my Labour. Hahaha.
Zegbua will be a global (galaxy! If we discover life on other planets) brand; well known, well liked and top of its Market.
What would you consider your greatest achievement to date?
My biggest and Best achievement till date would be having My Son, he is 7 going on 25, an IT savvy handful, and the best decision I ever made in my Life. I am super proud.
Also majorly, Not giving up, in spite and despite everything, because big accomplishments are in front of me. Being alive long enough and not giving up (on) making even greater achievements.
Inspire an African youth in one sentence…
As long YOU believe in your dreams, regardless of what anyone says, thinks or does, if You Believe, you will achieve, it’s up to You!