The past year has been an interesting one filled with opportunities I am grateful for. There have been some annoying moments. The Blogging/Influencer Marketing Industry in Nigeria isn’t as developed as in other parts of the world. So many brands & PR people do not understand the role that bloggers play, and how Influencer Marketing works.
Some brands still offer exposure/free clothes to established bloggers as compensation which is wrong as there are a lot of expenses that come with running a blog.
- The monthly cost of Internet Data
- The price of a Laptop
- The price of a Camera, lenses and lights
- Money paid to photographers for shoots
- Time spent editing pictures, coming up with ideas, writing and editing articles, etc
You wouldn’t give a photographer free clothes in exchange for his services, so no double standards please.
Lifestyle bloggers don’t blog solely for money, but time is money. When collaborating with a brand we are providing a valuable service. No one is smiling anymore due to the current state of the Nigerian Economy. People are investing time & effort strictly into work that yields fruit.
In the course of a Blogger’s lifespan, they have sharpened their skills through workshops, online courses and the lessons learnt from experience.
They curate high Quality Content to have maximum impact.
Exposure & Free Clothes don’t pay the bills.
Brands, please treat Bloggers the way you would like to be treated.
Shout out to the Brands and PR Companies that understand how Influencer Marketing works.
Now unto the lessons:
Read Books & other blogs to expand your vocabulary and help your writing improve. You also discover different styles of writing/passing across a message.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
With family members going to heaven, my ABRSM Grade 6 Sax Exam, a 9 to 5, broken laptop and travelling it wasn’t easy to be consistent all year through. It’s understandable. We are only human and have to take out time every once in a while to rest and recuperate.
People like to do business with those they know and trust, so maintain relationships and don’t burn bridges.
All things are possible
God knows your every desire and will bring them to past once the time is right and he knows you can handle it. The #JoziWithGoogle trip I went on for BellaNaija last year was a prayer point answered.
Quality over Quantity
All day every day, you never know who is watching. Always push out work of a high standard.
Don’t fight change
New Bloggers are popping up every day, so to stay relevant you have to keep innovating, sharpening your skills, attending workshops and improving your photography.
Don’t undermine your value/worth
Reach a compromise where necessary e.g. if the brand’s budget truly isn’t up to your rate – but do this with wisdom.
Go with your gut feeling
If you aren’t comfortable with a collaboration, don’t do it. It is okay to say NO to a brand that doesn’t fit in with your aesthetic/whose values you don’t believe in. Think long term when accepting collaboration offers, even if they are offering a lot of money, it is okay to turn down the offer. If you think it will have a Negative Impact on your brand, don’t do it.
Be conscious what your readers & followers enjoy reading; take note of the posts with the most engagement and the work that brings your heart joy when it is created. I did a lot less style posts in the past year and more food and hair posts which were really popular. This isn’t because I don’t like shooting outfit’s but because I am more in control of food and hair posts as I take the pictures in my house and can control all the element’s involved in the shoot.
Always have your gear with you especially if you’re going to a place where a Blog worthy opportunity may come up. If you want to work with global brands, have your international rate card ready so that when a global brand is ready to work with you, you don’t waste time trying to figure out what rate to charge. Remember that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
Contact Bloggers you would like to collaborate with/brands you would like to work with. I sent an email to Sharon of This is Ess when I found out she was coming to Nigeria and we had such a nice day visiting café’s in Lagos and having a Mini Shoot.
Create the type of content you want to get paid for
Many people only think you are capable of what you put out so if you want international travel opportunities, start by writing about local tourist destinations so you have travel related content in your portfolio when you decide to pitch a proposal or when a brand asks to see similar content you have created.
Keep your Blog Scandal Free
Think of your Blog as a platform to show your skills and expertise as well as a digital portfolio so potential clients can see what you are capable of. The Internet never forgets so don’t post half naked pictures if you’re planning to run for President one day. Yes, I know Melania Trump sort of broke that rule but you might not be so lucky.
Be Polite Always
A blog client today could become the chief decision maker at your job/for a major deal tomorrow so treat everyone with respect. This world is too small, don’t tarnish your reputation or lose out on future opportunities because you can’t control your temper.
Provide a positive experience at all times. People always remember how you made them feel. Go over and beyond within reasonable bounds to ensure that your client is thoroughly satisfied.
Don’t get discouraged
Don’t be discouraged when you’ve put in a lot of effort into creating work and it doesn’t get as many comments or likes as expected. Someone is always watching and taking notes.
Prevention is better than cure especially when it comes to Communication
Communication with brands & Potential Clients is best done via email so everything is clearly stated and both parties are clear on the expectations and obligations. If the conversation starts over the phone or in person, provide a recap via email and let the other party agree to it/change whatever they aren’t fine with.
Let Integrity be your watchword
Don’t put up a post up saying this is the best chapman in the whole of Lagos when it tastes like dishwashing liquid.
The more you do something the better you get at it. Like Proverbs 22:29 says, Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
Remember that everyone’s race is different
You don’t have to practice every single piece of advice you receive. It might be said with your best interest at heart but what worked for one person will not necessarily work for you.