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The Comprehensive Guide to Starting a YouTube Channel and Making Money From It

The Comprehensive Guide to Starting a YouTube Channel and Make Money From It

By 2021, it is estimated that 82% of all internet traffic will move towards video. This indicates that in less than 5 years, marketers are going to broaden their content from text-based to video. It also tells us that this is the perfect time to start a YouTube channel and cash in on it as well. With more than 1.57 billion monthly active users around the world, YouTube is the channel to build your personal brand as an influencer and boost your visibility.

Video blogging is the new popular culture and YouTube has levelled the playing field and given everyone an opportunity to become a celebrity while getting an income from it. So if you are looking to tap into this growing field, here are some few insights to get you off the ground;

Do Your Research

The first thing you need to do before creating a YouTube channel is conduct some background research.

The 3 basic questions to ask yourself are:

  • Why do I want to start a youtube channel?
  • What is my YouTube channel going to be about?
  • What are the current YouTubers doing that I can learn from?

The Why

People start YouTube channels for different reasons, the most common being to promote their business, build a personal brand, showcase their talents and share their hobbies. It is great to experiment and try out different things but it’s better if you figure out from the beginning what exactly you want your channel to be about.

The Topic

Before you settle on your topic, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I really have passion for this topic?
  • Is there demand out there for this topic?
  • Is Youtube oversaturated with this topic? If yes, how can I stand out then?

Some topics that are currently really popular on YouTube are: tutorials, vlogs, tech, product reviews, healthy lifestyle, how to’s, fashion, beauty, food, travel, comedy and life stories.

What are others doing

  • Take time to watch other people’s content in your field:
  • What kind of content do they share?
  • How do they engage with their audience?
  • What kind of comments do they receive?
  • What can you do differently?
Young lady vlogging

Young lady vlogging
Image Credit – FreePik

Getting Started

Once you have completed your background research, and settled on what exactly you want to do on YouTube, you are need to have a few things in place before you’re ready to click the ‘create a channel’ button, and these are:

  • A content plan: This is a calendar complete with dates, topics, when to do the shoots and anything else that will go into creating your YouTube content.
  • A catchy and memorable name for your YouTube channel: Your channel name is crucial since that is your brand. An important tip is to have the same username throughout your other social media channels to brand consistently. You can also use your other social media channels to promote your YouTube content but first study how each works so as to make the best of each channel.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): For people to discover and watch your content, you need to rank highly on YouTube search results. That is where SEO comes in. Ensure you always put up high quality videos that draw people to like, comment and share your videos which in turn boosts your search result rank.
  • The right keywords in your title and description box of each video: Keywords are those words/phrases that searchers enter into a search engine and that is why they must be included in your title and description.

Example: Notice how Google has used their main keyword, ‘content marketing’ both in their title and description

Notice how Google has used their main keyword, ‘content marketing’ both in their title and description

  • A launch date: Set aside a day when your content will be going out. This is important because it will help your subscribers know when to expect new content. Start out by posting once a week and you can increase the frequency with time.
  • A pipeline of ideas for future videos: Always carry a notebook and pen to note down random content ideas so you can build a pipeline of ideas.

Basic Equipment

Among the things you need to be a YouTuber are basic video equipment. YouTubers make it look so easy but creating good quality videos that are visually appealing is harder than it seems. However, you do not need to be perfect when it comes to the whole video production process. All you need is the right equipment.

  • Camera: Obviously, your most important equipment is a good camera. You do not need the most expensive camera when starting out but any camera that can record high quality videos of at least 1080p. You can get a good quality camera from Ksh. 10000 – Ksh. 25000.
  • Smartphone: A smartphone with high resolution front and back camera is also a necessity. This is because at times you may want to shoot outdoor vlogs where you don’t necessarily need to carry a camera. A good smartphone will set you back Ksh. 15,000 – Ksh. 20,000.
  • Microphone: It doesn’t matter whether your video is of the best quality, it’s hard to keep your viewers watching with poor audio quality especially since the built-in microphones in cameras and smartphones are not always the best. A lapel mic is the best to start with since it can be easily clipped onto your clothes. You can get a good one for only Ksh. 1800 at Jumia.
Lapel Mic

Lapel Mic
Image credit – califone.com

  • Tripod: A tripod basically ensures your video footage is steady. One goes for Ksh. 2500 on Jumia.
  • Lighting: If you plan to shoot most of your videos indoors, lights are important to stabilize the brightness and mood of the video. One approximately costs Ksh. 17,000 but you can get them at discounted prices at Jumia.
Soft box lights

Soft box lights
Image Credit – adorama.com

  • Flash Disk: As you keep shooting more footage, you will eventually fill up your computer space so having at least a 32GB flash disk can help with the storage. You can get one for Ksh. 2500.
  • Laptop: It is essential to invest in a good laptop where you can edit and post your videos from. You can get a second-hand laptop at Ksh. 20,000 but it’s better to invest in a brand new one that might cost anything from Ksh. 40,000.
  • Video editing software – After getting all your basic hardware, you also need to invest in a good video editing software for post-production. There are a variety of software’s you can use either as browser or desktop apps both free and paid. Most of them have a 30 day free trial after which you have to pay a fee. As a beginner, we recommend Wondershare Filmora which most youtubers use. You can also check out ShotCut, HitFilm Pro and Cyberlink Powerdirector 18.

Opportunities

Being a YouTuber comes with a lot of benefits:

  • You have the freedom and flexibility to run your channel as you wish. You don’t need a degree, work experience, office, etc. All you need is your equipment and great content.
  • You can earn money directly from YouTube by enabling your channel for monetization through setting up a google adsense account where you can earn a certain amount every time YouTube runs an ad through your video. You can learn more about this here.
  • With time, you can approach or be approached by brands in your target content area to market their products at a fee.
  • You do not need startup capital. Even if you do not have all the equipment from the beginning but start with what you have and you can get better equipment with time.
  • YouTube is also the only video platform that makes it so easy to share content on other social media channels, embed videos in websites etc. This makes your video distribution so much easier.
  • You will also get to meet and interact with a lot of new people in your comment section only if you actively engage them.
  • Managing your YouTube channel will also boost your confidence, you will gradually learn how to present yourself better, you will learn so much about the topic you are creating content around and all these will contribute to your own personal development.

Challenges

A few challenges you will encounter as a youtuber are;

  • If you are starting from scratch, with no smartphone, no laptop etc, getting all the devices may be more expensive than someone who already has some of them.
  • YouTube is extremely time consuming. The whole process from planning content, setting up the shoot, shooting the footage, editing, posting, engaging with the comments takes more time than you can imagine. Especially if you have an 8 – 5 job with YouTube as a side thing, you may end up spending most of your free time working on your content
  • One thing that for sure you will not avoid as a youtube beginner is negative comments. Even the best of the best in this field get them. You just need to have thick skin, learn from the criticism and encourage yourself with positive self-talk.
  • Also be prepared for a lot of competition and at times even copycats. Don’t let this derail you though. Stay true to yourself.
  • Prepare yourself for a lot of work. As a YouTuber, you take the role of a whole production process. From graphic designer, video editor, social media manager, content creator, etc.
  • One thing we’d like to stress is the numbers will not be encouraging initially. Your first videos will probably get 2 or 3 views but don’t obsess about that. Be consistent and your following will grow with time.

Final Word

Is being a YouTuber something you would consider? Let us know in the comment section.


Blog business Experiences Learning Team

Five tips to run a successful business

Five tips to run a successful business

Kuza biashara had a community engagement day on the 3rd of October 2018, where a number of entrepreneurs were invited to learn, connect and grow their business. The speaker, Mr. Edward Ndegwa was invited to give the topic of the day, “How To Grow Your Business”. As an entrepreneur who has built five successful businesses and one failed one, Mr. Ndegwa gave several tips to the entrepreneurs who attended the workshop.

Evolve

As an entrepreneur, it is important you recognize that the world is dynamic. Technology as well as techniques keep changing. You have to make sure that you are up to date with current trends. If you were using the traditional ways of marketing, then you would need to change to the new ways such as social media. In other words, do not get stuck in one way of doing things. Just because you think your way is the best doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best. So constantly keep up to date with what’s happening around you and be willing to learn new tricks.

Reputation

Reputation is everything when you are starting out. Create trust between you and the people you interact with. No one wants to do business with an untrustworthy person. Having a good reputation will come in handy when you need financial support or someone to vouch for you when you’re engaging with clients and investors.

Resources

As an entrepreneur, use what is readily available to you at the time. Do not use scarcity of resources as an excuse as to why you haven’t started your business. Start with the idea and the little resources (financial or human) that you have and work to expand them.

Alignment

Make sure to align your goals with who you are and your values. Live within your means as it will take your startup some time before it starts making you money. This means that most of the initial profit will need to be recouped back into the business. Do not be in a hurry to acquire  the latest car model or move to a posh estate because you feel that your new status of ‘entrepreneur’ requires you to. Who you are at this point is a startup and your  goal is to take it off. Shake off anything that does not add value to that process.

Pitch

You have this great business idea, what is the next step you think you should take? Find investors and clients abroad? Wrong. Pitch to the people closest to you before you can take the idea farther. Also remember business don’t do business with business but people do business with people so pay attention to details by listening and pitch according to client. Each client is unique.

Final word

Mr Ndegwa emphasizes that entrepreneurship should be about solving a problem rather than just making money if the entrepreneur is to succeed.

 


Blog business Experiences Learning

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Let’s talk food. Have you ever stopped to think about where it comes from? Have you ever sat and contemplated about the farmers and all the struggles they go through? We all need food to survive so it is imperative that people understand some of the challenges the farmers go through so they can leverage on their skills and technology to come up with solutions.

Last week together with different stakeholders in the agricultural sector including German Cooperation, Make -IT, Africa Agency for Business and Economic Development, Strathmore University, IBM among others, the Kuza Biashara team had the privilege to meet a few farmers in Ngong to learn about the issues affecting them. One thing that stood out was the passion these farmers carried for their work, despite how it seems like a game of gambling when it comes to their farms considering the risks they have to endure.  For example, they don’t have access to relevant information like weather patterns and market information, which are two of the most important aspects of farming.

Let’s take the case of Pauline Ndumi who grows vegetables in Ngong area. Having grown up with a very strict father, Pauline was introduced to the world of farming by her father who owned a coffee plantation and it was mandatory for Pauline and her siblings to tend to the farm every day.

“I went into farming because I had been doing it all my life, I did not need any training as an adult as my father took care of that, I started going to the farm at an early age of 3 years and so growing up I knew I wanted to do something I was familiar with and also good at.”

Pauline’s parents may have taught her a lot in regards to farming but none of that prepared her for the challenges that farmers face. This she has had to tackle on her own as every season came with its own challenges. These include unpredictable weather patterns that make it difficult to know when to plant. Low market for her produce and the struggle of getting labor force as most of the youth in the area have taken to alcoholism and therefore cannot be trusted.

In an effort to create a bright future for her children, six years ago Pauline decided to buy a greenhouse for one of her sons so he could be able to sustain himself but that did not work out so well for her.

‘I bought the tent for my son Maverick who is mentally challenged to give him a better chance at surviving in this world. It has been such a disappointment. I bought it at a price of ksh. 400,000 nevertheless it is yet to recover the capital I invested. All it has been doing is take take and I see very little progress.”

viewing Pauline's greenhouseVarious stakeholders at the event viewing Pauline’s greenhouse

Clearly Pauline is not giving up as she has already prepared the land for another planting season. She mainly plants spinach but says its market is very low since most people in Ngong plant spinach. She also plants capsicum and tomatoes that tend to do better in the market since they are seasonal vegetables but with her green house she can plant them anytime especially when they are out of season.

“We are still struggling with different issues though. For instance, we use the normal weather applications to know when it will rain and most of the time they fail us because they are not localized. If we could get access to localized weather applications and market information that would be great as it will allow us to focus on farming knowing that other important issues have been handled.”

Kuza biashara has an agripreneur program where farmers are provided a platform to access the agricultural content such as crop advisory, quality inputs, credit and insurance etc .The most unique aspect of this program is its distribution. The content is easily accessed via mobile phones and is distributed through an edge computing device that provides a local Wi-Fi connection that can be accessed even in remote areas.

With a visit from different stakeholders in the agricultural sector Pauline is hopeful that some of the challenges she has been facing will be a thing of the past.

Alice enjoying pumpkinsKuza team member Alice enjoys freshly made pumpkins with some new friends she made at the event.

 

Related article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/agripreneur-program-case-study-kuza-biashara/

Related Video; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVL3JQ9fl2o&feature=youtu.be


Blog business Experiences Learning

5 Distractions That Stunt Your Growth and How to Avoid Them

5 Distractions That Stunt Your Growth and How to Avoid Them

I am sure that whatever you are working on right now, you are probably struggling to fight off some kind of distraction.

Being able to focus is an important habit to cultivate and it’s key in determining whether you succeed or fail. If you talk to anyone who has made it, they have had to filter out the noise and focus on their goals.

Today, we highlight 5 common distractions you need to be aware of and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Not Having A Plan for the Day

If you want to get distracted and not be productive, then don’t make a plan for the day. It doesn’t matter whether you generally have a busy schedule or have only a few tasks, planning is key. A daily plan is a step by step guide of how you are going to tackle tasks through the day.
You can dedicate a note book/diary for the activity to be more organized and arrange them in order of priority from the most important to the least important. If there are tasks that you were not able to complete, you can easily note them and plan for them in the next day so nothing ends up neglected.

Cultivate a habit of creating a plan for the next day in the evening so that you are mentally prepared to handle your tasks the next day and you don’t waste time in the morning figuring things out.

Personal Challenge: Buy a notebook/diary that you can use to write down your daily plans so as to focus and avoid distractions.

2. Listening to too many opinions

Many ambitious and self-driven people start off with brilliant ideas, a great vision and a clear plan of how they intend to achieve their goals. However, many of these ideas never see the light of day because of over consulting and listening to too many opinions.

It’s cool to talk to people about your plans and seek advice but it’s important to note that some people will be genuine while others will just be detractors. In this case, it is important to be discerning enough to filter out the important advice from the noise.

Everyone has an opinion, good/bad and when starting something new, getting negative opinions can lead into self-doubt and distract you from your vision.

Personal Challenge: Figure out two or three people who you can ask for advice from about your critical decisions.

3. Multitasking

If there is one distraction that we can all relate to, it’s multitasking. We always feel like we can handle everything at once and still achieve results. However, if you find yourself constantly switching between tasks, then you won’t be able to be productive and focus on one thing.

The way our brain works, every time you switch between tasks, your brain takes a few seconds to refocus. If you are constantly doing this, imagine how much time in a day you are wasting.

Personal Challenge: List down your tasks and try focusing on one task at a time.

4. External Distractions

Our environment can also be our biggest distraction if we don’t find ways to manage it. Most times, we go out of our way to avoid distractions but sometimes, the distractions find us. To improve your focus and be more productive, you need to train yourself to stay away from the things around you that distract you.

  • Is it your best friend at work/school?
  • Do you check your social media every 20 minutes?
  • Are you addicted to playing games on your phone?
  • Do you spend most of your day answering phone calls?

Whatever it is, the funny thing is when we face things that take away our focus at work or at school, we know exactly what to do but still don’t do it.

Personal Challenge: Identify what external factors distract you and come up with a plan on how to avoid them.

5. Internal Distractions

Internal distractions come from our own internal drives; our thoughts, worries, anxiety, hunger, day dreams etc. If not dealt with, these distractions can lead to bad habits such as procrastination, bad attitude, lack of motivation and eventually not hitting your targets/goals.

Some tips you can adopt to deal with internal distractions are;

  • – Always get enough rest.
  • – Drink enough water.
  • – Eat a balanced diet.
  • – Believe in yourself.
  • – Replace any negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • – Whenever you get anxious, take deep breaths.

Personal Challenge: If you feel like your internal distractions are getting the best of you and negatively impacting your work, don’t be afraid to reach out to a therapist or if you are a student, reach out to your school counsellor. From personal experience, therapy sessions are quite practical and help you get to the root of the problem and fix any issues.

Final Word

Is there a distraction that you struggle with? Let us know in the comment section below.


Blog business Experiences Learning

CAN A WOMAN HAVE IT ALL? A FAMILY AND A GREAT CAREER?

CAN A WOMAN HAVE IT ALL? A FAMILY AND A GREAT CAREER?

Purity Gicheru a mother of two and a wife one day decided to make invitation cards for her niece’s birthday and that turned out to be the birth of her entrepreneurship journey. “When my sister in law saw the cards I had created she was convinced I had to do it as a business, and though I had been thinking about it I had never really thought to act on it.”

Purity is the founder of a Party-cular World, a company that designs cards ranging from birthday and wedding party invitations to greeting cards. She adds that her plan was to start a party design and planning business, but because she was short on capital, she had to start somewhere and designing party cards was the most affordable way to get into the business. With a little financial support from her husband and motivation from her sister in law, she was ready to get a Party-Cular world off the ground.

Her major marketing strategy is online through her social media platforms but this is also one of her greatest challenges because Kenyans are skeptical of online business. However, she has partnered with other businesses that have made a name for themselves and this creates some level of trust among her potential clients.

Asked what she enjoys about being self-employed, Purity said,

“I love that I get to do what I love and I also have flexible timings so I get to spend more time with my family.”

She owes her success to her support system which is her family friends and mentors,

“My family is the best. My mother being an entrepreneur herself understands me and is constantly checking up on me just to know how the business is doing. My clients have also been amazing, I have two types of clients those who know what they want down to the smallest of details and those who leave everything up to me because they believe in my expertise. I appreciate them all equally.”

The young entrepreneur points out that there is no formula for being successful; there is no one size fits all when it comes to entrepreneurship. One needs discipline, passion and to ensure customers are always satisfied.

Purity is hopeful that with all the effort she continues to put into a Party-cular World she is going to get to where she eventually wants to be which is being a party designer and planner.


Blog business Experiences Learning

YOUNG C.E.O COMES UP WITH INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR ONLINE SHOPPERS

YOUNG C.E.O COMES UP WITH INNOVATIVE SOLUTION FOR ONLINE SHOPPERS

E-commerce has really picked up in Kenya since it brings the consumer a variety of online shops at their convenience and shopping is quite easy. All one needs is internet, a smartphone/laptop and the comfort of your home. After placing an order the products are delivered in a given address but if the products are for resale the challenge comes in when you don’t have a central place for your clients to pick up their products.

Njeri Wainaina identified this challenge and decided to come up with a solution for it. She is the founder of Wachia Agencies, a storage unit for e-commerce merchants as well as anyone who may need to store their luggage for a short while as they run errands in town.

“This idea came to me in 2014 out of a frustrating experience I had with online shopping. After placing my order, I had to wait in town for a couple of hours before the vendor arrived with my product. That’s when I thought of having a storage space in town where upon shopping online a client could go pick up their product at their own convenience without having to wait up on anyone”

The first thing Wachia Agencies does when they receive a client who needs their storage services is to verify their documents and also confirm that their goods are legal and wont pose any security threat to them and their other clients. Their charges depend on the size of the luggage and the duration of their stay at the storage unit. They currently have a variety of clients that use their storage services and they regard them all with the same importance.

“It’s such a fulfilling journey since I don’t just offer storage space but also have a relationship with my clients. I get to support them with marketing their products and dispatch services. We are in the journey together and it gives me a sense of pride to see each one of them grow with me.”

Located along Nairobi’s Koinange street Wachia Agencies initial challenge was convincing people that their property was safe at the storage unit. This is where referrals came in handy. The first people who took a chance on them were satisfied with their service and referred others. Apart from word of mouth they also use facebook and instagram to get in touch with potential clients.

Njeri is also a beneficiary of Kuza Biashara’s program dubbed She goes digital which was aimed at equipping young women with digital and social media marketing skills. She says the programme molded her in a great way since they were given a wide range of lessons not only in digital marketing but also in life skills and soft skills.

Through her entrepreneurship journey, Njeri has learnt that there is no wrong or right way to be an entrepreneur the most important thing is to believe in yourself. On top of that pray, persevere and be a problem solver.

 

 

 

 

 


Blog business Experiences Learning

How to tell if it’s time to Pivot Your Business

Image courtesy: Freepik

Part of being a good business owner is knowing when your original ideas for your company no longer work. If you want your business to survive for the long term, you have to be nimble. You need to be able to adapt to change and conform to the reality you are confronted with in the market as it actually exists.

Doing so takes guts, but it’s often needed for your survival. If you don’t adapt, your business will surely fail. 96 percent of companies don’t make it to their tenth year. There are endless examples of companies that went out of business because they refused to change. With that in mind, below are five clear signs it’s time to pivot your business.

You’re in a Bad Location

Sometimes, pivoting as a company doesn’t mean changing your business model entirely. Sometimes, it’s as simple as changing locations. A certain location in a city may have provided you with steady business for years. However, things not under you control, like the economic health of the rest of that neighborhood, can dry that business up almost overnight.
Don’t be afraid to move to a different location with better economic prospects if you have to. If one location isn’t performing very well for you, you should consider hiring movers to allow you to move to a more up and coming location in the city.

Your Profits Are Steadily Declining

If you want clear evidence you need to pivot, you should examine your bookkeeping. You may find that revenues have been on a downward trend for quite some time. While you can make up some of those losses by slashing overhead, that may not solve the problem. It may be best to start considering adjustments such as introducing new products that can turn that trend around.

Your Target Market Has Changed

In other cases, your niche market may evolve. Many companies tend to hone in on one target market. However, what if that target market suddenly stops supplying your company with business? You could redouble your efforts to market to that demographic, but you may still come up short.

If that is the case, you need to consider adjustments. You may, for one, want to explore different demographics. The demographics of markets are continually changing in regards to age, sex, race and ethnic background. Making adjustments to better meet the needs of different communities could allow your company to get a foothold with these consumers.

The Tastes of Your Target Market Have Changed

If you start losing business, it may not be that your target demographic has disappeared. Instead, it may be the case that the tastes of those consumers have shifted away from what your company offers its products. If this is the case, you need to pivot so you can better cater to those particular tastes.

Your Fixed Costs Are Too High

In other cases, your product may not be the problem. However, what is really holding you back are the fixed costs and overhead expenses that eat too much into your profits. If that’s the case, you may want to rethink all your different business processes. You may find many different ways to bring those expenses down.

Final Word

Overall, you need to be able to adjust as a business owner. You can’t be stuck in your ways in regards to your products, your marketing or your business processes. Due to the fickle nature of the business world, being too resistant to change can be a death sentence.

Author: Sia Hasan


Blog Experiences Learning

How Tufilamu Pictures Founder Robert Asimba is transforming the Kenyan Film Industry One Film at a Time

How Tufilamu Pictures Founder Robert Asimba is transforming the Kenyan Film Industry One Film at a Time

The journey of entrepreneurship does not have to be lonely. If you have an idea you are passionate about and feel that it needs more than just one person to actualize it you can always look for people who share your vision so that you embark on the journey together for better results.

Robert Asimba is a film director and producer who founded Tufilamu Pictures two years ago in collaboration with a group of likeminded people who invested their time, money and skills into the company. The Tufilamu team considers themselves investors whose shared vision is to leave a positive mark in the Kenyan film industry. They comprise of people with different skills such as producers, scriptwriters, editors, directors each handpicked as a result of work well done in previous projects before the formation of Tufilamu.

Some of the local short films they have produced are Clench: Life of a Creative which was nominated for the Zanzibar International Film Festival, What I love About You and Spensa. One notable project they have worked recently is the 1988 film showcasing the history of Kenya through the terrifying Nyayo torture era. However, besides film making, they also work with clients who need their photography, advertising and film services. Their most successful form of marketing has been referrals but they also use social media.

Asked what sets them apart from other film makers the young entrepreneur emphasizes that they are not in the industry to compete with anyone. “We are here to offer 100% of our skills and ensure quality output. We go out of our way to ensure that our production is at its best. We pride ourselves in taking our work seriously”

Asimba loves what he does and says capturing memories is so fulfilling. “If it was not for film makers history would not be as it is today. People are able to understand history better by use of film. Films have been able to change people’s lives, you will find a film that you can connect with and it helps you deal with your situation and for me to be able to do that for people is priceless.”

Robert Asimba in action
Robert Asimba in action

Just like any other entrepreneurship journey Asimba and his team have had their share of challenges, the major one being lack of enough funds which tends to limit their production output. They would like to tell more of Kenyan stories but they are limited by funds. Also there are clients they work for who take long to pay them which means their next projects have to stall as they wait for the money.

As for the status of the Film industry in Kenya Asimba says it is not where they would like it to be. It’s not in a place you can say you will comfortably invest a large amount of money and get it back in due time. The cost of production is higher than the returns that is why they decided to come together as film makers and share the cost so that they could consistently produce good quality film and boost the quality of Kenyan films. He is positive that with all the effort they are putting in, the industry is eventually going to get there.

Asimba advises the upcoming entrepreneurs to pick something that they are good at and go for it. “People will support you when they see the passion and effort that you put in your grind. Also don’t dwell on limitations but find a way to work around them. The Wright brothers were not limited by lack of a good work space they invented a plane in a bicycle workshop!” He also adds that there are three categories of people. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and people who ask what happened? He urges the Kenyan youth not to fall in the last two categories but rather be proactive in making their lives better.


Blog business Learning

How to tap into Influencer Marketing for Your Small Business

Image Credit: Freepik

Small businesses, startups included, are not known for having endless marketing budgets. Usually, their resources are allocated to more practical aspects, like day-to-day operations and maintenance, sales operations, and employee benefits. Marketing becomes part of their priority only when they are expanding, in order to reach more audience or try new markets.

However, with the help of the Internet, there are now new ways to make a name for your business even when you’re just starting up. Through tapping into social media and other platforms to connect with large numbers of people online, small businesses can start their own marketing campaigns and one way to do so is through influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing, from the term itself, is the approach that focuses on individual influencers, rather than your usual marketers. Influencers range from well-known celebrities to experts in niche topics of your industry. You could include knowledgeable bloggers with a sizable following, or social media personalities that tackle topics related to the industry you are in.

Maybe now you’re wondering if influencer marketing would work for your business. Take a minute to think about how well your brand is engaged online: how many followers do you have on your Facebook or Instagram account? How often do you update your accounts, or post something new for your followers? If your answers are leaning towards dismal numbers, then perhaps you should consider going with the influencer marketing route. And no, this is different from social media management.

You’re not getting another person to handle your accounts or post updates about your brand. What you’re doing is targeting influencers with thousands of followers to talk about your products or services and promote them to their followers. Their influence is what you’re after, and just like any other marketing campaigns, your aim is to attract and engage the right audience, only this time, these are the influencer’s audience too.

To have a simplified understanding of what influencer marketing is, refer to this 4-step process:

Step 1 – Identify the experts in your industry, specifically in your chosen niche/field. Learn how well-connected they are, to see if they are influential enough to be an influencer for your business. Come up with as many as you like, so that you’ll have an extensive list of potential influencers before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2 – From the compiled list from the previous step, make a shortlist of those who are closely related to your business. These people should be complementary to your business, meaning, they are targeting the same audience bracket, as well as their reach, and their tone. It would help if you could find some that have the same target audience as yours so that they won’t have a hard time selling whatever product or service it is you are offering.

Step 3 – Start building a connection with your influencers. First step is to follow whatever platform they have so that they’ll know that you are connected through the same industry. Formally introduce your business, and express how well their blog/page resonates with your brand. State that you are looking forward to working with them in the future and are open to discussing a partnership. Share their content on your end, so that they’ll know you’re positively considering them as an influencer.

Step 4 – Once you’ve formalized a connection or partnership, you can now start to create content with them. These could include videos, posts, info graphics, and other items that they could share with their followers. This would be something related to your brand and will be promoted by them in whatever platform they have.

Why is Influencer marketing effective?

This type of marketing works simply because it helps you go directly to your target audience. Unlike typical marketing, which is like casting a net in a wide ocean, you’re cutting through all the unnecessary noise of your usual advertising efforts. From the get-go, you’ve identified influencers whose audience are quite similar to yours, so running campaigns through them would assure you that the ones on the receiving end are at least interested in what you’re offering. This method would be like casting a net on a commercial fishing pond, wherein you are highly likely to catch something.

But of course, it still takes a lot of work for this kind of campaign to work. Going back to Step 4, you’ll need to coordinate with your influencer in order to create a content that will capture your audience. You can’t just go and ask your influencer to say something about your brand and tell your audience to buy from you. Just to give you an idea of what they can do, here are some of the tactics that influencers usually employ:

– Your influencer gives you precious blog space so that you can write a content that’s related to their blog theme, and find a way to mention your product. In a way, you’re projecting yourself as an expert, and it builds trust from influencers’ audience, drawing their attention to whatever your brand is offering.

– You create a content for your own platform, but this time, you’re using your influencer as a subject matter expert. By interviewing your influencer for your own content, their audience (fans, followers, etc.) will likely go visit your site to see the content. You can also ask the influencer to promote it by sharing the URL on his or her accounts.

– The influencer will create a content that includes your product, either as a part of a tutorial (how-tos, FAQs, etc.) This can just be a subtle mention of your product as an ingredient, or as a material to whatever they’re creating. The influencer can also allot a post especially for you, to review your product or service. If they’re pleased with your brand, their followers would know about it and most likely try it out, too.

Final Word

Going back to the original question, should I get an influencer for my small business? The answer is obviously, Yes. It’s a great way to make your presence felt in a jam packed industry, and hopefully, help you make a name even when you’re just starting out. You can couple influencer marketing with other marketing strategies like mobile marketing in order to achieve best results.

Author’s Bio

Francis Mansueto has been writing for more than a decade now, focusing on Digital Marketing in the last couple of years. He is currently in charge of writing web-optimized content for RingCentral, an industry-leading cloud phone systems provider. Francis is also a voracious reader, spending most of his free time immersed on fictional worlds. You can reach him through Twitter.


Blog business Experiences Learning

3 Ways to be Taken Seriously As a Young Entrepreneur

Image Courtesy: Freepik

With the current shocking rates of unemployment, more and more young people are turning into entrepreneurship as a full career with most youth even starting a business while still in university. However, despite all the challenges young entrepreneurs face such as raising capital, lack of experience, balancing personal and business life, and lacking mentors, one other major obstacle they face is struggling to be taken seriously in the first place.

Young entrepreneurs are often dismissed by doubtful investors and most times they have to prove their worth more than their older, more experienced counterparts.

Are you a young entrepreneur? Here are a couple of tips on how to be taken more seriously;

Surround Yourself with Successful People

You cannot expect to be taken seriously as a young entrepreneur when the crowd you hang around are ‘jokers’ and people with no vision or goals in life. The saying, “Show me your friend and I’ll tell you what you are” rings true in this situation.

Make sure you hang out with people who:

  • Push you to be a better person and not distract you from your goal.
  • Have a positive attitude towards life and cheer you on.
  • Challenge you by asking the tough questions and giving you a different perspective.
  • Listen and are genuinely interested in what you do.
  • Have their own vision and goals. Seeing them work has a direct impact on your mindset.
  • Are more experienced and can give you advice and direction.

Work on Your Personal Appearance

One of my most thought provoking quotes is, “You never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” Whether you like it or not, investors and influencers in the business world will always judge you based on your personal appearance, intelligence and the first impression you create.

When you are smartly dressed, it boosts your confidence and others treat you with respect even if you are just starting out as a young entrepreneur. Always strive to look your best regardless of the type of business you are in.

You can do this by making your appearance a priority and investing heavily in yourself; invest in a good wardrobe, a good hair stylist/barber and other self-care practices. It is also important to prioritize quality over quantity. You’d rather have 5 good quality handbags for example than have 20 cheap handbags that do not compliment/boost your appearance.

Focus on Building a Good Reputation

You might look at your age and the fact that you are starting out as a disadvantage but on the flip side, it is actually an opportunity to build a great brand from scratch and lay a good foundation for yourself and your business.

Here are some tips on how to do this;

  • Always keep your word – Be known for results from the beginning. In fact deliver beyond people’s expectations.
  • Know your industry inside out – Read, research, be up to date with current trends in your industry. This way you’ll be able to hold your own when having conversations with the who’s who in your industry.
  • Associate and keep close ties with the influencers in your industry, follow them on social media, attend their events. Basically, stay visible.
  • Be aunthetic – Present yourself as a serious, authentic entrepreneur who just happens to be young. Also don’t be afraid to be honest about the challenges you are facing.

Final Word

Do you have any more tips for young upcoming entrepreneurs? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

 

 

 


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WHY I QUIT MY INSURANCE JOB TO BE A MECHANIC – SAMMY MACHARIA

WHY I QUIT MY INSURANCE JOB TO BE A MECHANIC – SAMMY MACHARIA

Have you ever gone to work but deep down wished you had your own business? That is the story of many Kenyan employees, they are employed but most of them hope to be their own boss someday. It takes more work obviously but knowing that all the efforts you put in are towards your own growth and not anyone else’s makes it all worth it.

Sammy Macharia, the 31 year old founder of Soroti Auto Spares, an automobile repair shop, is one such Kenyan. Sammy was previously employed at an insurance company but realized he could be more than just an insurance agent. He had worked closely with mechanics, especially when their clients’ vehicles had been involved in accidents. The insurance company would work hand in hand with the garage of their choice to ensure their client’s vehicles were fixed. Because of this interactions he learnt the ins and outs of operating a garage and figured he could open a garage and do the fixing himself.

“After watching the company oversee vehicles being fixed when I was employed as an insurance agent I fell in love with the art of fixing a car and decided I should open a garage where I fix damaged vehicles among other services such as spray painting, panel beating, normal vehicle servicing among other things.”

Having worked as an insurance agent had its advantages as most of his clients are people he met while on the job while he gets the rest of the clients through referrals which also happens to be his most successful form of marketing.

“Most of my clients are people who have been referred to us by our other clients, meaning you have to do a good job and it will speak for itself,” Sammy said.

Through his garage business, Sammy has not only been able to sustain himself financially but has also employed 16 others at Soroti Auto Care. He urges young people to embrace the blue collar jobs because white collar jobs are flooded and at the end of the day what matters is your ability to take care of yourself as well as your responsibilities. He also challenges them to create their own opportunities instead of waiting and crying out to the government for help when they have the ability to control their own fate.

How to Start a Motivational Speaking Business in KenyaThe entrance to Soroti Auto Spares located along Langata Road.

Sammy adds that the business has impacted him in so many ways. He is able to pay the bills and run the business efficiently and the most important benefit is networking. He has met people who have inspired him and given him a new perspective in life which helps him to push on and want to get better with each passing day.

 


Blog business Learning

How to Start a Motivational Speaking Business in Kenya

How to Start a Motivational Speaking Business in Kenya

Do you love speaking in front of a crowd, inspiring people and have a likeable personality? Then you should consider starting a business as a motivational speaker. Everyone likes a passionate speaker who motivates them to accomplish what seems impossible and fuels them with hope. Motivational speaking is also a business which once you get right, you’ll reap a lot of rewards while leaving an impact on people’s lives.

Big names like Robin Sharma and Zig Ziglar have all built a strong brand in this industry and so can you. Here are the basics of starting out a motivational speaker business;

Getting Started

One advantage of being a motivational speaker is you do not need hundreds of thousands to start. The major capital you need to invest in is yourself. Start by identifying your area of expertise depending on your back ground, interest and expertise. Some places that are most receptive to motivational speakers are;

  • Schools (primary, high school and university)
  • Corporates
  • Churches, etc

You also need to fully invest in yourself and your skills by;

  • Developing public speaking skills: strong public speaking skills are a must have for any motivational speaker. You can invest in some lessons and tutorials on public speaking and even though you won’t be perfect overnight, practice makes perfect.
  • Gain experience: become an expert in your field by going to school, gaining work experience and trying out new opportunities. Successful speakers have gone through success and failures then talk about what they’ve learnt during their speaking engagements.
  • Maximize on your life story: life stories draw people in and make you more relatable.

Build your Networks

Networks and recommendations are what will take you far in this business. Build your networks by joining professional speaking organizations, reaching out to various trade groups, schools and corporates and joining reputable clubs and societies like Rotary.

Market yourself to your networks by creating and sharing business cards, brochures and having a website which should include testimonials and short clips from your presentations.

Build your Brand

Every professional needs to intentionally build a reputable personal brand. However, motivational speakers should take their brand seriously since that is what will sell you. Before you start building your personal brand, take time to think about who you are, what you have achieved and how you want others to see you.

To get your brand out there, have professional headshot images of yourself taken, build your online presence through branded social media pages and a personal website.

With time you can also venture into other fields. Most successful speakers are also authors, T.V show hosts, etc.

Set a speaking fee rate

Determining what your speaking fee should be can be so stressful especially because when starting out, you may have to do some speaking engagements for free. Here are some important questions to ask yourself before choosing a speaking fee rate;

  1. Will travel expenses be included? What will be the mode of transport?
  2. What audience am I speaking to? Speaking to experienced professionals for example will definitely cost more than a speaking engagement with high school students.
  3. Is accommodation covered? As a motivational speaker, you have to travel a lot. Set your accommodation standards from the beginning and don’t accept anything that is not decent.
  4. What’s the audience size?

Whatever you do, make sure you do not work for free for too long and don’t underprice yourself. However, the more times you speak, the better you get, the more you should charge.

If you are an author or have DVD’s of your talks, you can sell them during the events.

Get Registered

After you have everything ready, register your company and get the relevant licenses. You also need to get certified by the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) to have an edge in the industry.

Final Word

Would you venture into motivational speaking as a business?