5 Female Influencers Give Us A Peek Behind The Curtain
We live in an era where you are only limited by your imagination as far as careers are concerned with many examples of professional content creators and video gamers who make millions of dollars annually but that doesn’t take away from the difficulty and uncertainty of venturing into uncharted territory.
We caught up with five hot influencers and social media personalities across various niches and urged them to share their unique stories as well as give insight into what it means to be part of the first generation of digital professionals.
Wantor Toryem @thewantor (Travel & Lifestyle Influencer)
It has been a great but challenging journey. Firstly, it wasn’t an easy decision. You always feel like you are going against societal norms. It wouldn’t
have been easy without my mum’s support, good brand deals, supportive friends and a safe mental space.
The truth is you’ll be criticized, called names, underpaid, belittled but the ability to still deliver under all these circumstances is what makes you unique and that’s my power.
I’ve never really been faced with gender-equality problems but one thing I know is that females are securing major seats in the influencing industry and this makes me so proud.
Personal lows are always when I make bad decisions that land me in depressing situations and not to mention months with nothing coming in but you still have to deliver because “Fake it, till you make it” if you know what I mean.
Every time I see people applaud my creative content, it gives me joy and encourages me to do better and of course good brand deals go a long way.
Anne Nonye Udeogu @thisthingcalledfashionn (Fashion Influencer & Content Creator)
It’s quite exciting and nerve racking at the same time because you know your ideas and what you want to create but you’re not sure how people are going to receive it.
It’s also rewarding knowing your talent/ passion can make you a lot of cash which can sustain you as a full time career.
It hasn’t always been like this in Nigeria not until last year. Corona did open a lot of Nigerian brands to the idea of influencer marketing, they’ve come to realize that we are not just wasting our time online but we also have a trusted brand that these businesses can tap into to connect more to
their target market. There’s still room for improvement especially in the aspects of locations; finding and using locations to tell a story.
One perk is you have the ability to go global cause the internet is your runway. I would advise you to leverage on your own influence and not just make money for other brands but find a business you can start and use your own influence to build that brand.
I should also say no one during my time started out with the intention of being an influencer but for me it was about dominating the fashion industry either as a designer, in marketing or working in a fashion magazine. Hence, I started a fashion blog and told my own story and with time through honesty, authenticity, growth and quality content, I built an audience that trusts me and enjoys the content I create.
Dodo Babs @dodobabs_(Fitness Coach & Artist)
First, I don’t think I’m an influencer (at least not yet)—I’m just doing what I enjoy and what comes naturally… although it feels amazing that people are “influenced” especially as I’ve worked with thousands of women already in such little time. Since I’m doing many things at once (fitness, art, school, etc) I don’t think of any of them as full-time or as a career yet. They’re all parts of me, and many more parts will reveal themselves as I go on.
The only thing I do full-time is me. My life as an artist has been full of highs. I’ve sold all my pieces; some even more than once and I’m currently working on a commissioned piece. I’m having my F.R.K artwork used as merch and even album art too and it genuinely just feels so good to have my work loved and appreciated. The best part about everything I do concerning fitness is how useful all of it has made me feel.
It’s all the women (and men) that have sent me messages thanking me for helping them feel better in one way or the other.
I don’t like to think of lows in my life, they’re gone.
Stephanie Douglas @itz_estefania (Lifestyle Content Creator)
The role of a professional influencer is conceived as a new age phenomenon and rightly so. Having it as a source of income is very exciting, I cherish every second of doing what I love and earning from it.
I have to admit that sometimes it’s scary – like with every business, there’s that risk factor; and with influencing/digital marketing, the risk factor is inclined towards sustainability.
Here are a few things I enjoy in this line of work: Work doesn’t feel tedious, it’s fun and this is a major win for me. I get to tap into my creativity and be fully expressed while inspiring others with the content I create.
Furthermore, the need for digital marketing cannot be overemphasized, and being an influencer allows you to utilize this marketing technique.
If I had to state a downside, it’d be that not everyone has opened their mind to conceive this as a viable source of income and while some might think that this is a Nigerian factor, I can testify to having received an exciting job offer as head of digital marketing from a Nigerian based company to establish a solid digital presence thereby increasing their marketing reach.
I’d end this with a tip for anyone who’s trying to establish themselves or their brand in this regard, “you are your biggest supporter thus hold the vision and take steady strides towards it”. What started off as sharing insights on my instagram page itz_estefania is now Steph’s Acumen on itzestefania.com, there are growth stages to being a professional influencer and I look forward to having you tell yours someday.
EtoroAbasi Michael @kiing_judah1 (Content Creator & Influencer)
Being an influencer isn’t easy, and it was not something I actually planned for. However, I’ve embraced it and it has its perks and advantages just like every other job.
Some of the lows are due to the backwardness in Nigeria. Influencing isn’t regarded as a job because it’s not an office or professional field. Hence, most brands feel they are doing you a favour by wanting to send you their items for free in exchange for a post without the intention of paying you for your creativity and the ability to publicize their product.
When they eventually recognize you, they would want to pay way less as they don’t even believe in the idea of influencing.
For the advantage, I would say exposure. This itself is also a disadvantage as everyone has an opinion of you and actually get mad if you aren’t bending to their will. However, exposure can be very good. It could help you work with brands and meet people you never thought you could meet or work with. If taken seriously and managed well, you could become international.