In Her Shoes: Dorothy Ghettuba

I was utterly inspired after reading about Dorothy Ghettuba, a daring African entrepreneur who left her job at a venture capital firm in Canada , packed up and moved to Kenya to follow her dreams and  work toward the creation of a major African entertainment company, called Spielworks Media. Dorothy Ghettuba believed that there was a great need for local media, talent and stories that represent the people in African entertainment derived from racial pride and cultural heritage. Ghettuba provides an uplifting tale of her journey and urges African youth to continue to dream and remained empowered.

 In her interview with “How We Made it in Africa” Ghetttuba describes the challenges  and lessons she experienced during her journey to success as a “baptism in fire” but enriching her with lessons she will forever remember. One of the lessons Dorothy Ghettuba learned was:”Giving up cannot be an option. If you fall down, because we do, you get up and go again.” After almost having her dream destroyed before ever coming off the ground due to lack of financial resources, Ghettuba looked to her inner-circle for support. Her message is :”people don’t buy into an idea, they buy into people.” She believes that no matter how impossible her dream seemed, people that believed and cared for her were willing to support her.  I encourage everyone to read about her amazing story and how this amazing African entrepreneur is building her brand and empire in the continent.

Check out the full article: How We Made It in Africa

photo taken from: Dorothy Ghettuba Twitter

The Importance of Branding YOURSELF! What’s Your Gimmick?

Nunu Ntshingila, CEO of Ogilvy South Africa

Nunu Ntshingila, CEO of Ogilvy South Africa

I stumbled upon the topic of branding after watching an episode of America’s Next Top Model in which Tyra Bank’s competing models were taught a lesson on the importance of redefining themselves as a brand as a marketing technique to their targeted audience. But whether a top model, celebrity, company, or businessperson branding is a key necessity that can help  you to achieve success on a much greater scale.

As a businessperson it is also critical to market oneself to an intended audience and sell a quality to an employer, investor, or consumer that sets you a part from your competition.   Branding, gives you the opportunity to market yourself, solidifying all of the listed skills on your resume and prove to your target audience that you are both a memorable  force and an asset to your field.

So,what exactly is branding and why should you care?

Women, Success & Money blog define branding as ” when you give yourself a unique spin that differentiates you from others in your field, so you are seen as the only one who can provide a specific solution”.  A brand embodies who you are, what your mission is, what you stand for and what sets you apart from other competitors. Think of any business for example, Nike. We as an audience know exactly what we are getting when we buy Nike’s products.  Branding creates a sense of clarity to your audience and guarantees trust and consistency.

Here are some tips to help you build your brand in the business world:

1. Define your brand. And be an expert in your field! This is the time to do major digging and soul searching. Figure out who you are, how you would like to be perceived and what exactly your mission is. Then, establish an expertise that correlates with what you stand for both as an individual and as a business.

2. Be Memorable! When you walk into any room have a presence that makes you unforgettable.  No one likes to see the same old thing on repeat. The same thing applies to the business world. Don’t be like every other candidate or competitor on the market. Be different. If you represent a company, have a name or slogan that is simple and compelling to its audience. Offer a different quality than any other business or individual they have ever seen before.  Market yourself as though you ready from Day 1 for your dream position.

3. Network, Network, Network! Whether it is through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or face to face interactions, it is important to represent your brand everywhere. This is an opportunity to spread awareness about your brand and convey your value to your audience.

4. Incorporate the “Holy Trinity of branding.” You want to have consistency, clarity and authenticity, says Roffer. “Translated correctly, how I present myself and how I speak about myself should be a true reflection of who I am at the core.”  Start with what you know. Build on passions, strengths, talents and past success. As Roffer says, “redefine you in a fresh new way,”consistency is key. 

5. Share Your Story. Women Success & Money point out that it is important to be relatable to your audience. A good way  to show this is by sharing your experiences that have helped to shape you and your brand.  No one has stood where you have.

Photo: Flickr; by Ogilvy Joburg

Sources:

http://womenmoneyandsuccessmag.com/why-you-should-brand-yourself-now

http://sixrevisions.com/project-management/why-branding-yourself-is-important/

What Makes Someone An Entrepreneur?

Variations on a theme are easier to create than the theme itself.  (That’s our fancy way of saying it is easy to improve an existing idea than to start one from scratch.)  But what makes an entrepreneur go out and create those variations?

It is no idle question.  There are literally tens of thousands of people who have ideas for what could be worthwhile companies, and yet they have done virtually nothing to develop what could very well be viable concepts.

What separates those that pull the trigger from those that don’t?

A Venn diagram comprising the attributes that makes the best entrepreneurs.

Consider these three entrepreneurs:

  • Bernard A. Goldhirsh started a sailing magazine because he thought the existing ones too snooty. “They were all filled with Somebody the Third meeting up with Somebody Else the Fourth at some fancy yacht club.” But in the process of starting Sail, Goldhirsh realized he knew nothing about starting or building a business. In talking to other fledgling entrepreneurs he learned they were in the same boat.
  • Arthur A. Jones always had a secret obsession. An eighth grade drop out, he worked as everything from an animal importer to television producer and even hosted the syndicated show Wild Cargo. But through it all he kept a secret.  Jones was fascinated with bodybuilding.  Through conventional weightlifting techniques he had created an impressive physique, “but I wasn’t satisfied.”
  • Perry Mendel was a successful real estate developer in the South whose kids were grown, so there was no reason for him to be overly interested in child care back in 1968. Yet almost every day there was another  story about women entering the workforce and how divorce was increasing and he got to wondering “who was taking care of the children.”

In each case, Goldhirsh, Jones and Mendel identified a need in the marketplace that resonanted with them. Goldhirsh wanted to find a way to help people like himself learn more about business. Jones was searching for a more efficient bodybuilding technique and Mendel was looking for a better form of child care.

Read more at Forbes

How Social Media Can Take Your Business Higher

I know many people would like to see their profits double this year or have more customers get on board with their services. Well you can do this by using social media to benefit your business and ultimately, make more money. Social media will allow you to interact, inform, and create incentives for your customers to have them return to your goods and services. This will allow you to have a better sense of who your customers are and allow you to reach a wider range of possible customers.

What exactly is social media? Social media is a social instrument of communication on the Internet. It is a way for people to express thoughts, events, news, and basically anything else. There are thousands of social media outlets that exist, but to save time and avoid a headache, we will only focus on the three most popular social media outlets: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Wait, but who cares? Why even use social media? Well for starters, you can educate your customers on what exactly you’re trying to sell them INSTANTLY! Whether it be a good or service, it doesn’t matter! Social media gives you the opportunity to connect with your customers within seconds; therefore, they are always updated on what you have to offer them. You can network with other businesses, check up on competitors, and most importantly, you can reach a wider range of potential customers who can potentially take your business to higher levels. Get this, 71% of people will only buy from companies who use social media sites and 91% of people use Facebook to look for local businesses.

Back to the two common social media sites that can help advance your business – Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Twitter allows you to interact with your customers and people world wide within nanoseconds! You can interact by answering questions customers may have about services, wish customers a good day or even ask for their opinions on certain topics. Be creative! Let them know you care for their needs. Inform your customers on new services or policies constantly, so they can always be updated. People want to know you care, so show them!  Tweet incentives such as special offers on certain products or services. In return, this will give a person a reason to follow you and be a loyal customer. The more people re-tweet and favorite your tweets, the more their networks have a chance to interact with you and begin learning about your company.

Facebook is a way for your company to show its true personality to your customers. It is important to create a fan page that allows your customers to contact you including a phone number, short summary of services, and an address. Connect with your customers by showing pictures of events, products and employees. Incentives can be a powerful tool to increase customer engagement and encourage customers to showcase their loyalty to other individuals in their network.

Once you’ve started your social media efforts, stay personal and engaged with your customers and users. Regardless of the platform you use, consistency and responsive are key to maintaining that relationship with your customers and encouraging user interaction. Social media is an excellent tool to increase consumer trust and show the softer side of a company. With a strong plan and consistent engagement, you can use social media to take your business to the next level.

Creator and owner of Unique28

Creator and owner of Unique28


Compliments of Dammy Oshodi, Creative Officer and Founder of Unique28 Designs

In Her Shoes: Dentaa Amoateng

dentaa

Dentaa Amoateng: Female icon and African Women in Europe 2013 Award recipient

Dentaa Amoateng is an amazing trailblazing businesswoman that demonstrates African women’s ability to lead, multi-task and reach thousands of people internationally.  But, Amoateng’s most recent achievement was the recognition of her endless entrepreneurial contributions with the prestigious African Women in Europe (AWE) 2013 Award.

Amoateng’s sets an exemplary standard for young aspiring entrepreneurs all over the world. Amoateng,  30 year-old-entruprenear and businesswoman was born in Juaso, Ghana but moved to the United Kingdom at the young age of five. Since growing up in the UK, she dedicated her work to both celebrating Ghananian people and there achievements internationally. Dentaa Amoateng has proven to be something of a visionary and a female icon being the founder of the annual Ghana UK Based  Achievement (GUBA) Awards, manager of  the Ghana Black Stars Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan,  and a humanitarian supporting her charity that supports autistic children in the Ghana and the British-Ghanaian community.

This icon has achieved success in sports management,  medicine, business, humanitarianism and the list continues. Dentee Amoateng’s work cannot be stopped!  She has helped to empower African women all across Europe encouraging them to contribute to their homelands. Dentaa Amoateng is most certainly a well deserving  recipient of the African Women in Europe Award. In additions to her charity work, founding of the Ghana UK Based Achievement Awards, and managing Ghana Black Stars athlete she also devotes herself to the sick and to her family working as a pediatric nurse, and wife and mother.  There is absoultely no question that Dentaa Amoateng is an incredible role model to women everywhere. Ladies, be inspired! You, too can achieve great heights.

Sources:

Harvison, Anthony. “Dentaa Wins Prestigious African Women in Europe (AWE)2013 Award,” Buisness. My Joy Online.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The Perfect Start in the Digital World: Start Your Own Store Online

lost in lagos

Lost in Lagos by Tope; a 22 year old Nigerian American Big Cartel online store owner

Ever want to start your own business? Have your own store? Or sell a product you know the world will love? If so Big Cartel is the place for you to begin working toward your dream of starting your own business!

Websites like Big Cartel, Etsy, and even Ebay represent a recent phenomena that makes it easier than ever for young aspiring business people to start their own company and receive access to a worldwide audience at significantly lower costs than the price of a local boutique.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the trend of buying and selling items through creating your own personal store on the website Big Cartel. Big Cartel allows aspiring company owners access to a fully customizable online store and domain. Each seller or virtual business owner receives an exclusive separate domain to promote the products of their online store without the intrusion of visible competition or advertisements. On this site, the storeowner is fully in charge of providing advertising to promote traffic into their online store. However, Big Cartel does offer a store directory listing all stores using the Big Cartel domain to seek the certain store or business of your choice.  Similarly, Etsy and Ebay provide a place for sellers to display searchable products while providing sellers with a community and page to display products.

How do you start? Sign up! Becoming a seller or storeowner is so simple and easy.  The price to signup for a domain or online boutique at Big Cartel ranges from free for gold users looking to sell a maximum of 5 products to $29.99 monthly for titanium users selling a maximum of 300 products.

With this new digital age owning your own store has never been so easy or profitable! What’s stopping you from being the businesswoman of your dreams? Start your own store now.

Check out these sites:

http://bigcartel.com/

http://www.etsy.com/

http://www.ebay.com/

Photo Credit: Lost in Lagos; http://www.lostinlagos.bigcartel.com/

Malehlohonolo Moleko at TEDxWomen

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“…I am not alone. I know there are hundreds of millions of women like me throughout the developing world who can achieve what I have achieved. We have the passion. We have the determination. Bring forth more partners and mentors like I received, and you’ll see a world where that gap between poverty and plenty closes more and more each day.”

Photo Credit: Coca Cola