Anthony Bus Stop, Lagos. 24th November. 8 p.m.
“Oga, I wan go Ikoyi.”
“Ah, Oga, how much last?”
I try to haggle more. He refused to shift ground.
“Bros, see traffic naa. To go Ikoyi by this time na N4,000.”
“Oga, abeg collect N3,000. Na wetin I hold.”
“Bros, I no fit go Ikoyi for N3,000.” N3,000 is a stretched drawl – tiiri taasan. He is Yoruba.
I peer into the faces of his colleagues, meaning to extract sympathy from any of them concerning my situation. Their expressions were stoic, flattening any flicker of expectation. I see that they’re united in their stand.
I pull out my Wifi, turn it on. 40 seconds, I tap my Taxify app. Less than 40 seconds I’d keyed in my position and destination. In another 30 seconds I’d found a cab. I dial the driver’s number.
“Hello Sir, you just booked me. Your information shows me that you’re at Anthony. Please can you walk a little distance to the GTBank to your right and you’ll see me there in about 8 minutes.”
In less than 8 minutes, a neat read Toyota Camry gently rolls to a stop where I was standing.
I open the door and settle in.
“Sorry Sir for the stress. Where you were, I’d have gone to turn to get you. With the mad traffic, it would have taken a long time.”
His spoken English was impeccable. He looked young and I guessed he could be in his late twenties.
“Would you want the AC on and music?”
“Oh yes,” I replied.
Sweet sounds of music fill the car. The air caresses my frazzled face. I rest my head on the headrest, serenity coursing slowly through my being.
I imagined myself in the yellow taxi with the driver I’d earlier spoken to. Surely, there would not be AC. He’d probably play Yoruba music, not caring if I loved it or not. Rants may accompany our journey, waving waka (this is when you splay your five fingers derisively at someone), occasional lobs of sputum dished to recalcitrant drivers.
We get to Aries Suites, Osborne Foreshore, Ikoyi. When the driver told me we had arrived, I couldn’t believe it. Buoyed by the comfort of the ride, I’d buried myself in my phone that I didn’t notice the passing of time.
“Sir, your trip cost N2,200.”
I smile as I remember the N4,000 the yellow cab driver had told me.
For the week I spent in Lagos, I’d taken Taxify to many places. I remember when I was to make an early movement. My host had called her own driver, but the guy insisted I had to pay N5,000. She pleaded, but he refused to budge.
I used my Taxify app at 4:40 a.m in the morning. The trip was N1,200. Check the difference.
Over the course of the week, I began to look at how technology is currently disrupting things.
Uber, Taxify and Pam Drive are apps that help me move around promptly and with ease when I travel.
Iroko TV app lets me watch movies on my phone.
Cryptocurrency is changing the way money works, handing us power and turning unknown folks into millionaires.
If you take a look at the above, you’ll see the obvious benefits.
First is convenience. As opposed to the taxi driver who had no AC in his car, I moved in Taxify, comfort assured.
Secondly, costs are lowered. N3,800 cut off from taxi fare is something that can be used to take a sweetheart to lunch.
Thirdly, time is improved when doing deals.
Finally, I just love how technology is lowering barriers for all of us. This is the part that gets to me.
It’s amazing how one can stay at home, dish out content, and have people buzzing inbox for collaborations, help in one or the other, consulting gigs, and speaking engagements.
Between December 11th and 13th, I nailed two corporate gigs – training facilitation for two oil-servicing companies. All because I decided to show up daily to showcase value.
It’s amazing how it helps Temi Ashabi knock it out of the part as a millionaire housewife.
There are infrastructural gaps.
There are skills gaps – inadequate skills to support growth in corporations.
There are security gaps.
There are personality gaps.
You can fit in somewhere!
You can fit in because all you know, your gifting, all you’ve been experienced, and all you have been taught can be packaged into solutions to bridge these gaps. What’s more, you can do so from your home!
When it comes to making money from an enterprise that you’re building based on gifting, experience, expertise, and knowledge, you cannot make money if you don’t have products. Your products can be digital or physical.
For me, I love digital products because I can spend the time to create it and it’s eternal, except there are changes or the Internet ceases to exist.
One night I woke up to go and pee. When done I decided to check my phone. When I turned the data on I got an email notification from Paystack. I t was a payment from someone who was paid for a course on book marketing. That course had been designed based on my experiences.
In 2011 when I published my first book, I was a complete novice at marketing. I had borrowed N4,000 from the company I worked for at the time to publish it. I was able to sell a little over 500 copies to my friends and family. The rest I had to share and give them away for free. I managed to pay the debt I owed the company back.
It was a very traumatic experience. I decided not to write any book, but to settle in to learn and understand the what book marketing was about. For 5 years I didn’t write a single book till this year. I also decided not to print any book, but to focus keenly on ebooks. I’m not yet published on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Okadabook or any of the bog platforms. Everything I’ve done so far has been on my platform – email, blog and social media.
By utilising the strategies I had elicited and learnt, I published an ebook every month, starting from February. Since then till now, I’ve written 7 books.
The good news is than in less than 6 months I made over a million naira selling the ebooks. Yes, I know that may not be a lot, but selling ebooks only to Nigerians in a nation where they say people don’t read, that’s something I can be very proud of.
It’s not just about the money, but the books have given me recognition so much that I’ve shared speaking platforms with some of the names I admire in my industry.
So, what I did I decide to do? I decided to package all my learnings into a 15-day email course and began a campaign for people to pay, especially frustrated authors like how I used to be before, to learn how to do so.
So I ask :
- What experiences do you have that can help others experience positive transformation in their lives or business?
- What expertise do you have that can help others get results?
- How can your gift help others? Perhaps, you sing or draw or paint or write or design?
- What knowledge have you gained that can help a business, a pastor, a politician or a consultant?
Those can be packaged into a digital product.
Digital products that you can create are online courses delivered via emails, audio or video courses. They can also be softwares designed to solve problems for businesses.
Let’s get into the meat of the process. What are the steps?
The first step is to define the problem you’re going to solve.
This is the holy grail of all enterprises. You have to define the problem you want to solve. That must be a frustration that someone is eager to get off his or her shoulders. For me, marketing books is a thorny problem for many writers.
In your space, what’s that thorny problem?
- To help men overcome erectile dysfunction?
- To help photographers develop better shot?
- To help a business to processorize?
The second step is to define the persona.
Every business serves a peculiar or unique kind of client. Your enterprise will not serve everyone, so it’s pertinent to define who they are.
For my course, they’re writers who cannot market their works profitably. There are quite some parameters, but the basic thing is that the persona must be willing and able to pay you. For example, if you design a product of say N15,000 for primary school students, will they be able to pay?
The third step is crystallise the steps.
Your digital product must be simple to consume. Your words should be simple and uncomplicated. So, you can define the steps one by one. This is the process they’re paying for.
Let’s take it that you went from 135 kg to 75 kg in weight, and you want to help others, your steps can be how you worked on your mind, how you exercised, how many minutes, what food portions you ate and the like. These steps are crystallised and collated into a total package.
Let’s say you’re doing an email course, Day 1 can be an introduction and telling your story of transformation. Day 2 can be stating the problem and why your product is the best to help your client. Day 3 can be how you started the journey and then on and on.
The steps must be clear, practicable, consumable and simple.
The fourth step is to domicile what you have created within a platform.
If you’re doing a course on WhatsApp that’s so easy. You bring everyone into a group you created and show them.
If it’s an email course, there are so many applications. Mailchimp is the cheapest to start with that I know. I use Sendlane now and I can set up everything to run on automated mode without my physical presence. That’s the beauty of it.
If you love to do videos, they can be hosted on your website to which people can have access to when they make payment and it runs for them without your presence. You can kick off with some free ones like Teachable or Thinkific where you give access when someone pays.
The fifth step is to set up your payment portal.
You have to have a way of collecting money from those who want to pay for the product you’ve created.
The easiest way is through the bank. Once you receive payment you send them the product via email or you open access to them to the website or email.
However, that’s so manual. Imagine having to sieve through scores of payments after launching a course. I can be overwhelming because of details lost in transactions due to various bank apps.
An easy way is to use an automated payment system. Since I’m in Nigeria, Paystack is one phenomenal one I use. It’s automated such that once someone pays, it opens up the landing page where you fed your name and email. Once that happens, it triggers the email sequence that begins to deliver the goods.
From experience, I’ve learnt how to give options because not everyone wants to go the route of paying via the links I create on Paystack. They still love the feel of walking into a bank and making a deposit, so I give them that alternative. Never leave money on the table.
The sixth step is commence the campaign.
Your campaign is to let people know that your product is up for grabs. Post about it on social media. Tell friends to post about it. Email affiliates who can spread word and also make money together with you.
Do Facebook ads. Go on Twitter and dish out tweets. Pay for radio jingles and TV appearances. Be as creative as much as you can.
Finally, sell, sell and keep selling.
Keep selling. Your product is a product. Your role is to keep selling it because others need it to survive and experience transformation.