Welcome to Think in Color Summit presented by Thinkific and XayLi Barclay! In this series, we’ll cover how to grow your business using online courses, create a lasting impact, and thrive in any space you occupy! View all available interviews here.
Oluwatosin “OloriSuperGal” Ajibade is the Founder of leading lifestyle and entertainment website, OloriSuperGal.com. One of the early adopters in the Nigerian social media space, she has also founded Media Exposure, a digital marketing arm of Olori SuperGal Limited. Through the OSG brand, Tosin recently championed the New Media Conference (NMC), an annual gathering of key stakeholders with the aim of improving marketing and advertising standards in the Nigerian online/digital media space.
We caught up with Tosin to learn more about how she established her OloriSuperGal brand and grew her audience over time.
We’d love for you to share a bit about Olorisupergal.com. How did this all begin?
Olorisupergal.com is an entertainment and lifestyle website founded by Oluwatosin Ajibade. The website was created in 2010.
How did your journey to being growing your online business and being an entrepreneur begin? Did you always know that you wanted to work for yourself?
My journey began in 2008 when I joined Facebook, I started from there. I never thought about being an entrepreneur at that time because I had a 9 to 5 job. I found social media marketing easy because I understood the dynamics and what people wanted. I eventually grew to understand how to use every platform, and began to grow my audience. My online business started with me working my phone before it ever grew to become a real business with team members working with me. So far, the journey has been great!
Can you tell us about one of the most difficult times that you’ve had on your journey and how you were able to overcome that difficult period?
I’ve definitely faced difficult times in this business. One thing I know for sure is that challenges often come when you are not prepared. During these times, a lot of things are tested and how you react to them determines what comes out of it. One of the times I remember was when our Instagram page was hacked in 2017. We had client’s work we needed to deliver and we lost our account due to hackers. I was in panic mode for hours and didn’t know what to do until I reached out to Facebook help and the issue was resolved within 48 hours. We’ve also had challenging experiences with our website, Twitter page, but the issues eventually get resolved. Being in business for a while now, getting past it’s about the experience in knowing how to deal with them, not the preparation for these things.
Is there one thing that you regret that you didn’t do sooner or better in business? Would you have any advice for the woman of color who might be going through the same thing?
One thing I regret is not having a structure because I didn’t know I was going to do this for years. It started as a passion for me. It was a different thing when I started, and now its serious business that I make a profit from. One thing I would have loved to know at the early stage is how to create structure in the business, which is one thing we lack today.
For any woman of color going into entrepreneurship, you must have a strong will for your business, focus, passion that will lead to profit. Don’t just do it because others are doing it. What differentiates you from any other person is what you bring to the table – your value, problem-solving abilities, and dedication towards the goal to make profit.
What has your business journey been like as a woman of color? Have you experienced any hurdles that you’d like to share? Do you have any golden motivational/inspirational nuggets that you would share to your younger self?
The business journey so far has been bitter-sweet. One thing I would say is to believe in yourself. We often feel that we are not good enough or not qualified for certain positions and all. If you believe in yourself, you will break boundaries. One thing that has kept me going for years is believing in myself that it is possible and it can be done. I’ve had a lot of down times and people saying NO to me. All I have left is myself and the vision. Once you are confident with the special gift you have, the world is your stage, so show them what you’ve got!
When did you realize that Social Media was an integral part of your brand/business?
I realized social media was an integral part of my brand/business in 2012. I decided to take things seriously by building my personal brand and business brand. It took a lot of time, dedication and determination to be able to build these brands. Nothing good comes easy, like sustaining a business on social media today.
Can you share two things that helped you to get over charging brands for your influencer services online? What was that process like in the beginning? Were you nervous about charging?
Some of the things that helped me work with brands for the influencer services online are: create trust, have integrity and understand the brand’s goal and objectives. Brands love it when you understand them and when you can also deliver what they want and expect. The process at the beginning was tough because I was not sure of what I was getting into. I had a job at that time so this was a side hustle for me. I didn’t believe so much in it until it became clear to me that this is what I am called to do.
You have an amazing book! What made you want to write a book? Any words of advice to someone looking to write a book as well?
I wrote my first book titled Olorisupergal: From Social Misfit to Social Media Hero. I wrote the book to inspire entrepreneurs like me who want to make a profit from their passion. The social media world today has evolved. I wrote my book to tell the world my story and how I started my career in 2008 and how I created it into what it is today. The book is to share my story with the rest of the world. You can get it on Amazon kindle!
How do you feel about adding your passion and personal experience to your business on social media?
I feel delighted doing so because this is what I do and I am passionate about it.
Can you share how someone should go about niching down? Would you have any tips for how someone could stand out in the online space?
There are ways where people can carve a niche for themselves on social media. As we all know, influencer marketing is the way to go when it comes to campaigns online.
More brands globally and even locally are leveraging Influencer Marketing – working with influencers to market their brands. If you’ve been thinking of becoming an Influencer, this is a great time to start!
Here are a few tips to carve a niche and take action:
- Build a personal brand
If you’ve probably been focusing more on your business and creating content to help business sales, now is time to think about how to create content to provide more value to your audience and build your brand at the same time.
- Tell authentic stories
Social media is built around the stories we tell and the best marketing content leverages storytelling. If you want to build an audience that you can monetize easily, you need to tell authentic stories.
- Create compelling content
One of the ways to ensure that those who already follow you as an entrepreneur and the new audience you are going to attract will listen to you is to keep creating compelling content.
- Grow your influence using videos
Before you start engaging brands, you need to ensure that you have a good degree of influence with your audience. Go live once a week or use your IGTV to tell longer stories. YouTube is a great platform.
Influence is simply about getting your audience to take action on your ideas or recommendations.
If you want to grow your audience, you need to start giving them ideas or things to do within your niche and watch how your audience responds to you.
It takes time to build high engagement with your audience, and influence them to take action. But this is a learning curve you must go through if you want to become an influencer in your niche. It takes time to get this right and start profiting from Influencing, but you can shorten your learning curve by having access to the right knowledge and support.
Can you share how you grew to manage a team of amazing people at your business, Olorisupergal? When did you realize that it was time to hire help?
I started having people work with me in 2012 when it was just me doing everything. Managing people has not been the easiest thing so I outsourced it to an HR company who handles the process for us. It is not easy managing these people, so get help if you need it!
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Want to connect with Tosin? You can find her at: Olorisupergal.com and tosinajibade.com