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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Life As A Social Media Influencer – Bukola Wahab aka ShawttyNatt

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Social Media has become one important platform that corporate bodies, brands and individuals now uses to promote their goods and services aside networking opportunities it provides.

Bukola Aminat wahab aka ShawttyNatt is one of the prominent Nigerian Digital Marketing Executives cum Social Media Influencers.

She recently delved into raw food packaging and retailing. In this interview, she revealed her journey into the social media world and also talked about her new venture. Enjoy!

How would you describe your journey into the social media space?
It was quite an interesting one. I journeyed into the social media space as every regular person did, to connect and network with new people. Over time, I realised I could do more with the platform. I created my first blog in 2012 and that was the beginning of what I am today.

How lucrative is it being a social media influencer?
Influencer marketing delivers a strong return on investment for businesses and with this, their budget increases. It’s mostly a good deal in the life of a social media influencer.

When you first joined social media, did you know you were going to be an influencer?
No, I had no idea. The word, ‘influencer’, wasn’t even common then. I joined social media primarily for networking. Blogging and socio blogging/influencing came in later. It was a clear case of passion-turned-career. I had no idea that it would be this profitable.

What brands have you successfully campaigned for over the years?
I have campaigned for a lot of brands and I cannot mention them all here, but the list includes Stanbic Ibtc Bank, First City Monument Bank, Fidelity Bank, Sterling Bank, Globacom, MTN, Airtel, Samsung, Mr Chef, OPay, Chivita, among others. I am currently still running campaigns for some of these brands.

What would make you to turn down a job?
Two things, Firstly, If I am engaged with a similar brand, for example, I am running a campaign for First Bank Nigeria, during that period of engagement, I would turn down a Wema Bank campaign. Secondly, if I am been under-priced, I would turn down the job.

Have you ever thought of leaving social media because of cyber bullying?
Not at all. I believe bullying is part of the process, and when it comes, I translate it to publicity and move on.

What’s the worst case of cyber bullying you’ve ever experienced?
That was in December 2018 over an outfit I wore to a wedding. The picture went viral and a lot of Nigerians hurled insults at me. But as usual, it was just a 48-hour season of fame.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of being a social media influencer?
One of the downsides, for me, is after channeling so much energy into advertising a product or service and it ends up unsatisfactory to the end user. It could be a very tough and unpalatable experience. That is one of the major reasons I request for user experience before advertising certain products.
However, one good side is that it’s invaluable when businesses approach you to be their voice on social media. It means they trust you to deliver and that’s priceless.

What’s your lowest moment as a social media influencer?
When I was combining social media influencing with my regular job, I was not always available for events. I was working remotely at the time and it greatly affected my audience and my clients. There was a particular year I did nothing on social media and I struggled with it. But that’s all behind me now.

Have you ever had any formal training in managing social media?
Working on social media professionally requires constant knowledge because it is an ever-evolving field. However, I have had formal training on managing social media and I have also trained people on social media management.

Why did you go into Food Packaging and Retailing?
I have always loved food and cooking. Over the years, I discovered that lots of food items bought in the open market contain a lot of residue, making them impossible to cook with immediately. I stepped in to bridge that gap by processing ready-to-cook food items, so people could save time and energy and still get uncompromised quality of food.

How have you been coping joggling Digital Marketing and Food Retailing?
They are different entities and time management is key. I am able to manage myself efficiently so I don’t fall short on each ends and I also have assistants in not he sectors.

What have been the difficulties and challenges you’ve faced?
The major challenge is power, I deal with majorly dried farm produce and crops die if there’s not power to properly get them dried. And that makes me run into losses but I am exploring other options like solar and charcoal.

Has your digital marketing experience been any useful for your new venture?
It’s been of immense help and the impact is overwhelming, if I can sell for other brands, I can sell for myself.

Aside Digital Marketing and Food Packaging/Retailing, what other things are you involved in?
I am into celebrity publicity and management.

Do you agree with the complain of many young Nigerians that ‘there is NO job’?
I don’t fall into that school of thought of there is No job. You are the job, create a job and you will end up creating jobs for other people. We all have that entrepreneurial spirit, all we have to do is to explore our options and get started.

What are your hobbies?
I love cooking, traveling and playing games.

What’s your style?
I dress according to my mood. There is a 90 per cent chance that you’d always catch me in a T-shirt, jeans and a pair of sneakers.

Are you into labels or designers? If yes, who are your favorites?
I patronize more of locally made stuffs, especially when it comes to outfits, but when luxury calls; I love Prada, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.

How did you come about your trade name, ShawttyNatt?
I wanted a name that can easily make me stood out from the crowd and which people can easily connect with and remember. Shawtty is a slang for a beautiful lady and Natt was coined from my middle name, Aminat.

Where do you see your media company in the next five years?
When I envision the future, I see us as a leading PR and marketing agency, home and abroad, because we have what it takes to succeed in today’s digital world.

What advice do you have for those young entrepreneurs out there?
No idea is bigger than you; no venture is too big for you, like the popular saying goes ‘Just do it’. Stay true to your dreams and consistency is a major key.

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