‘I wasn’t brought up with silver spoon, but today it feels good to be richly blessed’
Tosin Ajibade is the brand director of Olorisupergal blog, a social media entrepreneur and convener of New Media Conference. She recently launched her autobiography titled: From Social Misfit to Social Media Hero in Lekki, Lagos. The book narrates her history as a social misfit who eventually evolves a success through the tussles of life. In this interview with The Guardian, Ajibade talks about her experience as an individual and a brand
Tell us about yourself and what motivated you to become a social media entrepreneur
I am a graduate of Lagos State University with a BSC in Accounting and a strong believer in my passion, faith and nation. My passion and drive for valid information, news and stories started on my Facebook page, then afterwards I started my own blog and garnered a lot of skills in making positive impact in the society and the world at large via social media beyond the regular petty activities people assume it is about.
How did you come up with the brand name Olorisupergal
The name Olori means Queen in Yoruba and it represents royalty. I love royalty, which is why I chose the name Olori, while Supergal came from the name Superman because my life experiences and the bridges I have had to cross have turned me into a super girl.
How true is the conception that social media entrepreneurship is an easy way to make money?
First of all, that isn’t true, as there is no such thing as easy way to make money. A lot of young people delve into social media entrepreneurship because of the hype or the attraction that comes with it, but they forget it’s a lot of hard work and dedication. They miss the important lesson of maintaining the brand to stay relevant. This is where my new book From Social Misfit to Social Media Hero comes in to help correct the misconception of the industry and also guide them into turning their passion into profit.
Tell us about your book and what motivated you to tell your story
Because of the space where I thrive which is a new social media space, I needed to tell my own story because most people make it seem as if social media is for a certain set of people, but it takes a lot of consistency and hard work. The whole essence of writing the book is to inspire people, I told my own story from my background. I was a misfit, a shy type, you wont find me in any gathering, and I just keep to myself. But I was able to become a well-known person in the social media. People naturally assume that those who have achieved success in life are those from wealthy backgrounds, but I needed to tell the world that you don’t necessarily have to come from a wealthy home to become successful, as I was not brought up with a silver spoon but today it feels good to be richly blessed.
What are the challenges of your job?
The most challenging times are when there is poor Internet to connect, it can be so crippling. Also, content creation, this is the nerve center of my business and sometimes, putting thoughts, experiences and events to words can be challenging.
Finally, getting the right team to achieve set goals can be difficult as some get it and others don’t, but I have learnt to be patient as we progress.
How lucrative is your job as a blogger and social media entrepreneur?
I could give a lecture on how lucrative blogging and the social media entrepreneurship is, but I’ll keep it simple by saying, it is very lucrative for those who know the business angle of the job.
How do you deal with competition in the industry and do they affect you?
I have a fabulous team that helps me work better and come out distinct amongst my contemporaries, so competition just helps me get better.
What strategies did you put in place to stand out among competitors?
I am a very organised person and make sure we keep our clients happy whilst working closely with them on their projects.
Will you support any move to regulate the activities of bloggers, especially in terms of ethics?
Ethics are an element of morals and values and, as far as I am concerned, if we can be morally responsible, we won’t need regulations. If we can do things for the right reasons and not just for clicks, we will be fine. Sometimes, regulation breeds rogue behaviour but people need to learn to just be good.
Have you had any controversial post on your website or social media platforms and how did you deal with it?
We broke a story in 2016 that went viral about a schoolteacher and we had to deal with different issues during that period. It was an eye-opener and also a learning curve for us.
What are the biggest misconceptions you feel people have about your job?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that bloggers are jobless or mere bloggers. I have changed the narrative and I have evolved over the years. If people are still having that in mind, they need to wake up.
What is your advice for young ones who want to become social media entrepreneurs?
A lot of people don’t know the drill of the business and, along the line, get swayed into illegal activities and fraudulent acts. So the first thing is to get your priorities right and stay truthful to yourself, but more importantly, believe in yourself and do a lot of self-investment.
Are you married?