My Twin Is Me Teaches Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is no longer a luxury.

In this COVID-19 era, it is necessary for business survival.

Ezigbo Nnamdi and Chiemezue Nnamdi, members of D.I.S.S Alumni, Class of 2016, and founders of My Twin Is Me Enterprise, explain 5 easy steps of digital marketing in a new video.

You can read a transcript of the video below.

TRANSCRIPT

Hello everyone, this is My Twin Is Me Enterprise and we offer (modelling services), as well as graphic design.

I hope you all know that brand and product modelling is a form of digital marketing.

Digital marketing is just a way to entice your clients to patronize (your products and services) using social media platforms.

Today, we will be telling you about 5 easy steps in digital marketing.

Create Content:

  • You can create content about your goods and services (with) comedy skits.
  • You can also use models, (especially) for those of you that are into hair and makeup services.
  • You can make videos to educate your clients. For example, if you’re a cook, you can teach your clients how to make a buffet.

Collaborate

  • Partner with someone who offers similar products and services. For example, if you’re a fashion designer, you can partner with someone that (sells) shoes online. You guys can come to an agreement that you (will) tag, comment and refer each other on various social media platforms.

Use Multiple Social Media

  • Don’t restrict yourself to one social media platform, like Instagram. You can use other platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and Twitter. You can even create your own website, so that you can get a wider clientele base.

Advertise

  • Advertising is not posting one thousand pairs of shoes on WhatsApp. You can pay for adverts on TV, radio or a talk show.

Use Influencers

  • You can pay influencers–popular people on social media–to use or publicize your product. You can also pay models, like us, to model with your products and post (the pictures) across social media to reach a wide audience.

Conclusion

My Twin Is Me can help you with digital marketing and the design of your posters, flyers, billboards, birthday cards, complimentary cards, ebook covers and company logos.

Follow us on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/my_twin_is_me

 

 

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How to Thrive in A Tough Economy

graph on global map

Do you know how many global businesses the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated?

In the United Kingdom, more than  800,000 businesses could collapse as a result of lockdown measures.

In the United States, big companies that recently filed for bankruptcy include

  • JCPenney, a department store chain with over 800 locations
  • Neiman Marcus, a luxury store chain
  • J.Crew, a fashion retailer
  • Hertz, a car rental company
  • Whiting Petroleum, an oil and gas company

In Nigeria, the pandemic shut down schools, airlines, hotels, cinemas, religious centres and highways.

The naira lost 10% of its value and the cost of living spiked.

COVID-19 has depressed the global economy.

There are fewer customers, jobs and business opportunities.

But you can take these steps to improve your financial standing.

Limit Spending:

picture of wallet and cash

We all have bad habits that drain money from our pockets.

It could be drinking bottles of cold beer regularly, smoking packs of cigarettes daily, snacking between meals or betting a few bucks at Bet9ja shops.

I have a habit of eating snacks whenever I’m working on my laptop.

It doesn’t matter if I’m hungry or not, once I’m in front of a laptop, I’m munching a snack.

So last month, I conducted an experiment.

I noted the cost of each doughnut, biscuit and ‘chin chin’ that I bought.

At the end of the month, I calculated that I had spent N8,350 on snacks that I didn’t need.

I could have used that money to buy internet data or fuel for my generator.

I could have deposited the money in micro-investing apps like PiggyVest and Bamboo.

Instead, I used it to keep my mouth busy.

No one knows when the economy will improve, so cut down on unnecessary expenses and impulsive buying.

Now is not the time to buy iPhone X  or a Louis Vuitton shoe.

Be prudent.

Learn Marketing

picture of a hand drawing marketing on a blackboard

Marketing is letting people know about your business.

It is getting your products, services and solutions into the hands of people who need them.

It is also a process of inquiring about your customers’ needs, wants and desires.

If you haven’t bothered to find out what it takes to get people to pay for your goods and services, now is the time to do so.

Even if you work for a company or a government agency, you still need to know the basics of marketing, just in case you decide to start your own business.

The two most important questions in marketing are:

1. Who needs this?

2. Why should they buy from me?

Let’s start with the first question. Who needs that stylish handbag you’re selling?

Who needs that consultancy service you’re offering?

Who needs those delicious cakes you’re baking?

A lot of people start a business first then look for customers later.

That’s why 60% of new businesses fail within 3 years.

It’s like a tailor sewing a cloth first, then measuring her client later.

Doesn’t work.

Before starting a business, you need to know who your ideal customer is.

You need to know her age group, motives for buying, preferences and dislikes.

picture of hand writing who is your audience?

If you don’t know your ideal customer, you risk offering products and services that nobody wants.

Let’s move on to the second question. Why should people buy from you?

Why should I buy that handbag from your shop, instead of the boutique down the road?

Why should I use your consultancy firm when KPMG has a better track record?

Why should I order a cake from you when my sister bakes?

WHY?

Remember those useless snacks?

I bought them from provision shops on my street.

There are ten of them in the street and they sell the same snacks.

Same biscuits, same doughnuts, same ‘chin chin’.

When I buy from the first shop, the owner of the second shop frowns at me, obviously unhappy that I didn’t buy from her.

When I buy from the second shop, the owners of the first and third shops frown at me.

Instead of getting annoyed, the shop owners should have asked themselves:

Why should a customer buy from me instead of the next shop?

How do I ensure that customers buy from me most of the time?

Competition is a part of life. But in business, competition can destroy you financially.

You have to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Offer a unique product, customer experience or special price that your competitors can’t imitate.

Stand out from the competition.

Marketing is not easy, but it’s worth studying. You can get free marketing courses from the National Open University of Nigeria.

Go to nou.edu.ng/courses and type ‘marketing’ in the search bar.

You will be shown different topics on marketing. Click on a topic and download the courseware in pdf.

If you want a more intensive study of marketing, enrol in A Professional Africa’s Strategic Marketing Course.

One of our members, Urenna Onyewuchi, founded A Professional Africa to offer world-class online education to entrepreneurs and executives of African origin.

Get Better at Selling  

 

Marketing is about identifying and satisfying your customers’ needs.

Selling, however, is converting your products and services into cash.

It’s about getting paid.

Marketing promotes your product while selling gives you money in exchange for your product. 

When I started my web design company, I got an inquiry from the director of a well known psychiatric hospital in Aba.

He wanted to know if I could design a website similar to that of Life Crest Medical Services.

I said I could.

We met and discussed the web design project.

He accepted my proposal and asked me to send an invoice to his office. I sent it.

He never paid.

Later, I realized that my proposal hadn’t communicated two vital components of selling: trust and value.

People buy products and services from companies they trust.

If a customer hasn’t done business with you before, you have to earn her trust.

You have to prove that your business is reliable.

How do you do that?

By showcasing testimonials from satisfied customers.

By offering free samples of your products and services.

By displaying awards and endorsements from relevant organizations in your industry.

By acting like a professional.

A customer may not think twice about purchasing an item priced at N1000.

But she would hesitate before buying a product priced at one million naira.

picture of a thinking black lady

 

She would ask herself, ‘Do I really need this?

Am I spending too much on it?

Can I get it at a cheaper price somewhere else?

Will I regret buying it?’

Those unspoken questions are the biggest obstacles in selling your products. And the only way to answer them is to show value.

The higher the price of your product, the more you need to earn your customers’ trust and demonstrate the value of your product.

In my proposal to the hospital director, I should have shown him how a website would increase the hospital’s revenue and attract clients who needed privacy.

I should have shown him how a website would train his staff and educate the public about the dangers of mental illness.

But I focused mostly on the technical details of creating and maintaining a website.

He wasn’t interested in web design, he just wanted to improve his hospital’s services.

I lost the contract because I didn’t demonstrate value.

Customers don’t want to be persuaded to buy your products, they want answers to their situations and concerns.

You have to show how your product would change their lives for the better.

Like marketing, selling is a fascinating subject.

There are countless books about selling.

The book I enjoyed the most was You Inc: The Art of Selling Yourself by Harry and Christine Beckwith.

Go Digital

picture of smartphone and the globe

Here are interesting facts:

  • 45% of the global population own smartphones. That’s 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide.
  • The average smartphone user checks her phone 58 times a day. And spends up to 3 hours each day on the phone.

The mobile phone is no longer a calling or messaging device.

It is a personal assistant for shopping, travelling, dining, exercising, learning and sharing ideas.

It is an indispensable part of modern life.

If you want to profit in this social distancing era, you have to reach your customers through their smartphones.

How?

By building a home online:

  • Register your business in an online directory like Google My Business, so customers can easily locate you.
  • Set up a Facebook Page for your business. You may also set up accounts on WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media networks.
  • Establish an online store for your products by creating your own website or getting an account with e-commerce companies like Shopify, Flutterwave Store and Ecwid.
  • Engage with your customers online. Check their comments, complaints and suggestions. This will help you refine your marketing and selling strategy.
  • Learn digital marketing, which is all about reaching customers through electronic channels such as the Internet, smartphones, social media and search engines.

You can get a free, certified digital marketing course from Google.

Conclusion

Tough times require not only tough measures but smart ones also.

With a combination of frugality, marketing, selling and digital technology, D.I.S.S Alumni members who are entrepreneurs and business owners can thrive in a COVID-19 ravaged economy.

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10 Tips for Staying Productive During Lockdown

picture of a man working from home

With half the world under some sort of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most people have been forced to work from home.

The benefits of homeworking outweigh the challenges once you’re used to it. Although the temptation to watch a movie, complete chores, or play with the dog exists, there are major benefits to working from home.

These include taking breaks when you want and avoiding counter-productive office chats.

By following these tips, you’ll be more productive while working from home.

1. Create a dedicated space

do not disturb sign

If you have an extra room available, use it exclusively for work. Have an adjustable chair and enough working space on your desk. If you don’t have a separate room, section off part of the dining room table or shut yourself in the bedroom. Tell your family that you are working and shouldn’t be disturbed for x amount of hours. If necessary, put a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.

2. Write a ‘to-do’ list

picture of pen and paper

Writing a to-do list on a piece of paper or on your computer will allow you to see exactly what’s needed and crossing it off throughout the day lets you have the satisfaction of seeing how much progress you are making. Review what you’ve accomplished at the end of each day.

3. Don’t spend all day in your pyjamas

picture of a person working on a bed

 

Shower and get dressed at the usual time you prepare for work. Why bother getting dressed when you probably won’t leave the house anyway? The old saying ‘feel smart, work smart’  applies here. Your appearance affects your energy level, efficiency and quality of work. Don’t neglect the way you look just because you’re working from home.

4. Take regular breaks

picture of a shoe sole

It’s tempting to work long hours at home without taking breaks. However, it’s still important to take breaks. Work in time blocks of thirty minutes or one hour at a time before taking a short break. Be careful not to overstretch your break, you may lose concentration when you get back to work. A five or ten-minute break should be enough. Exercise a bit, listen to music, walk around the house, or go to a different room during breaks.

5. Keep in touch with colleagues

picture of a guy with headphones

Working from home can be a lonely task. Some people struggle with isolation. Use Skype, Teams, Basecamp, Zoom, Whatsapp and other collaboration tools to keep in touch with your colleagues. Remember to avoid office gossip while chatting with your colleagues. Focus on completing projects.

6. Put your mobile phone out of reach

picture of smartphone

 

Your phone notification alert goes off. You check it, then decide to scroll through your email. Then you check the news, then Facebook… before you know it, you’ve spent ten minutes watching trivial videos. If you don’t need your phone for work reasons, put it on silent mode and out of the way, where you can’t reach it.

7. Ignore your housework

lady cleaning house

 

Don’t impulsively decide to clean your bathroom while working from home. If you were at the office, would you come home to clean the bathroom? House chores can wait until you finish working for the day. You can’t be productive combining housework with office work. Finish one, then face the other.

8. Good luck with the kids

picture of kids

This is probably the hardest part. Only a superhuman can concentrate while the kids scream and play around the house. That’s why it’s important to have your own space, a room preferably. If there are other people in the house, you may ask them to supervise the kids and ensure that they don’t distract you. You can also give the kids assignments or games to keep them busy while you work. Every household is different, you have to figure out when and how to work without your kids distracting you.

9. Be safe from viruses

computer virus

Stay safe from COVID-19. But as you work from home, don’t forget the other virus–the computer virus. Follow the same cybersecurity measures that you apply at work. Install up-to-date anti-virus software on your home computer, use strong passwords and encrypt documents where necessary. Alert your company if you suspect that your computer, email, work portal or data has been compromised.

10. When work finishes, finish work

playing with the kids

If you normally finish work at the office by 5 p.m., then finish work at home by 5 p.m. Shut the laptop down, switch it off and head out of the room. You can now check your phone, browse the Internet, play with the kids or do all the things you set aside while working. Once you get used to working from home, you may discover that you’re getting more things done at home than you did at the office.

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Entrepreneurship and Nation Building

Adaku Omidosu is a member of D.I.S.S Alumni, Class of 1997. This article is a shorter version of a speech she delivered in D.I.S.S auditorium on January 4, 2019.

 

 

picture of Adaku in DISS

Adaku Omidosu giving a speech in D.I.S.S 

Entrepreneurship plays an influential role in the economic growth and standard of living of a nation.

As a startup founder or small business owner, you may think that you are simply working hard to build your own business and provide for yourself and your family.

But you are actually doing a whole lot more for your local community, state, region, and the country as a whole.

Wealth Creation and Sharing: By establishing the business entity, entrepreneurs invest their own resources and attract capital (in the form of debt, equity, etc.) from investors, lenders and the public.

This mobilizes public wealth and allows people to benefit from the success of entrepreneurs and growing businesses.

This kind of pooled capital that results in wealth creation and distribution is one of the basic imperatives and goals of economic development.

Create Jobs: Entrepreneurs are by nature and definition job creators, as opposed to job seekers.

The simple translation is that when you become an entrepreneur, there is one less job seeker in the economy, and then you provide employment for multiple other job seekers.

This kind of job creation by new and existing businesses is one of the basic goals of economic development.

This is why the Govt. of India has launched initiatives such as StartupIndia to promote and support new startups,

Balanced Regional Development: Entrepreneurs setting up new businesses and industrial units help with regional development by locating in less developed and backward areas.

The growth of industries and business in these areas leads to infrastructure improvements like better roads and rail links, airports, stable electricity and water supply, schools, hospitals, shopping malls and other public and private services that would not otherwise be available.

Every new business that locates in a less developed area will create both direct and indirect jobs, helping lift regional economies in many different ways.

The combined spending by all the new employees of the new businesses and the supporting jobs in other businesses adds to the local and regional economic output. Both central and state governments promote this kind of regional development by providing registered MSME businesses various benefits and concessions.

GDP and Per Capita Income: India’s MSME sector, comprised of 36 million units that provide employment for more than 80 million people, now accounts for over 37% of the country’s GDP.

Each new addition to these 36 million units makes use of even more resources like land, labor and capital to develop products and services that add to the national income, national product and per capita income of the country.

This growth in GDP and per capita income is again one of the essential goals of economic development.

picture of Adaku Omidosu giving a speech

Adaku Omidosu speaking at an investors’ forum in Lagos

The standard of Living: Increase in the standard of living of people in a community is yet another key goal of economic development.

Entrepreneurs again play a key role in increasing the standard of living in a community. They do this not just by creating jobs, but also by developing and adopting innovations that lead to improvements in the quality of life of their employees, customers, and other stakeholders in the community.

For example, automation that reduces production costs and enables faster production will make a business unit more productive, while also providing its customers with the same goods at lower prices.

Exports: Any growing business will eventually want to get started with exports to expand their business to foreign markets.

This is an important ingredient of economic development since it provides access to bigger markets, and leads to currency inflows and access to the latest cutting-edge technologies and processes being used in more developed foreign markets.

Another key benefit is that this expansion that leads to more stable business revenue during economic downturns in the local economy.

Community Development: Economic development doesn’t always translate into community development. Community development requires infrastructure for education and training, healthcare, and other public services.

For example, you need highly educated and skilled workers in a community to attract new businesses.

If there are educational institutions, technical training schools and internship opportunities, that will help build the pool of educated and skilled workers.

So, there is a very important role for entrepreneurs to spark economic development by starting new businesses, creating jobs, and contributing to improvement in various key goals such as GDP, exports, standard of living, skills development and community development.

Over twenty years ago we sat here like you are sitting presently and were told that we are the future generation.

Today like our principals then I wish to remind you alongside my colleagues that you are the future generation.

You can change the status quo, you can change the present narration with the education you are receiving here as well as the ones you will acquire in the future.

Nigeria is yours to build.

 

 

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