Interview with Success Digest Magazine, one of the most thriving entrepreneurial publication in Nigeria. Enjoy.
1. Your Name ?
My name is Asoto Emmanuel Adeola.
2. Please provide brief bio.
Hi, my name is Asoto Emmanuel Adeola. I am an interactive art director, specializing in the fields of Brand Strategy, Brand Identity & Digital Branding. I prefer to call myself a creative cook. Well i guess i have a passion to communicate and do so creatively.
3. How long have you established a presence online ?
Two years but I have been in the online business for over 5 years now
4. What informed your choice of going online ?
First of all, some years back, I said to myself that in 2 to 3 years time, people wont be asking for your phone numbers or your yahoo address any longer but rather your personal website where an individual can get to know you better and can engage, interact with each other, so embarked on defining and creating a brand for myself online which in a way is small step today that represents investment that i can build on later, developing a major competitive advantage and, later, incorporate into more ambitious online brand-building activities.. Secondly, let me say this, I wanted to make extra money through a platform by showcasing my skills and expertise via my online portfolio which can be viewed by a huge number of people which helps get the attention of potential clients
5. Why did you decide to create a website that focus just on your personal brand profile ?
Today, consumers start their buying, shopping and decision making online by looking on the internet in search engines such as goggle, blogs, therefore in order to remain competitive, I decided to relaunch my website precisely on my birth date 27th September of this year in order to showcase my skills and expertise online and maximize the web as a marketing tool. Also, because its my passion to impart knowledge I felt the need to inspire other young folks like me to wake up to the fact that economic reformation can be achieved via entrepreneurship. My personal website would hosts my portfolio, as well as a blog which provides tips, articles & resources on various subjects ranging from design, branding, advertising, digital marketing, self development, entrepreneurship, business news.
6. How has this site translated into cash for you (give specific samples) ?
Let me start of by saying that for online business rakes in a lot of money, but that said, it not for the lazy and desperate, I would never tell you making money online is easy, if I did, I would be lying because businesses takes time and work to develop. You have to give value for the money to come in. For now though the site, has given referrals and I have been priviledge to meet clients such a charity organization I did a pro-bono job for because giving back to the society is important rather than focusing on profit as a start up. For now I am concentrating on creating and helping personal & company brand to understand how to participate, engage and optimize their online presence to drive results. However, achievement of the site after relaunching a month ago includes over 1,700 hits a month, the blog has been read in over 26 countries worldwide, I have increased numbers of twitter followers, the site after 20 days was worth $917 and is currently ranked 1,883,616 which is in the top 6.06% of all websites according to Alexa, an online service that measures traffic for millions of sites on the internet. But to be frank, as I speak, I am getting emails from across the country to help out with their branding projects and that would obviously translate into cash.
7. Give an estimate of how much you have made being online.
As I speak, work is still in progress on referrals gotten on the site after a month so its difficult now to give an estimate of money made. But on an average a branding project could go for as low as N20,000.
8. What are the steps to creating a personal profile website?
In creating an online presence, Aside from skills required the three most important things are confidence, commitment and discipline. Confidence in the sense that the information you take for granted is valuable and deserves to be shared with others. Commitment is required to get started, taking small steps that benefits you now, while provide building blocks for later projects. Discipline is to prioritize and manage one’s time, so one can develop the habits of on-going personal brand building. Also people are not going to stumble on your website because you created it, you have to market it. The web is much different, it is not for the lazy and desperate, without traffic, no money and to get traffic, you must give value. First, one must learn the ins and outs of website creation and marketing, secondly get creative and market the site in social networking sites such as twitter, facebook, youtube, tumblr etc. One more thing is that , you have to be passionate about what you are going to do online an example is that, just because someone has a site on car repairs or branding and design like me and makes N100,000 monthly, one shouldn’t go in that line because you definitely wont be effective, I personally realized I eat and sleep branding and design so I have started writing articles and topics on it and hopefully overtime, people will begin to link to it slowly but surely builds traffic.And as traffic begins to grow, so does income.
9. Can it be done using a blog site or full website?
Yes, it can be done using blog, one needs to first consider one’s objective before going online asking questions such as how do I get more traffic?, how do I get more people interested in my product/service. How do I adapt my business to become more engaging with my customer base? If this is answer then whether you website should include a blog or not. I personally recommend every brand either individual or businesses to run a blog such as wordpress because it helps engages your consumer base and it helps you build contents and helps you deliver traffic in the long run.
10. What are the major features that must be present in the site?
A good site/blog design isn’t about laout but about features that makes it complete and fully functional. An attractive website navigation ease either at the top or by the sidebar also important to allow readers to concentrate on content not fancy designs . take a queue form google, they can afford to emoly the best graphic designers and put all sort but they choose to use a simple white background focusing on content and usability. For those hoping to make money from blog, its important to create strong pages that convert readers to potential costumers. Vital for a very good site should include a very personal and emotional “about me/us” page, a “service” page which describes what you are able to offer, I have realized that listing it is much better than describing all your service because people have less time on a particular webpage now, a “contact” page which should include a form for people to get in touch. Other extended features includes social media links, RSS subscription via email, etc. The websites must be light and they must be cross browser friendly i,e show well on major browser especially Internet Explorer and they must not take time to open and must not come with hassles.
11. What skills is required to build this site ?
Now before making your website or online portfolio you should think of your needs and accordingly choose the platform for your website such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or simple CSS/HTML. Each one has its own pros and cons. Also a good knowledge of FTP is required to transfer your files to the internet, a good knowledge of design package such as photoshop or perhaps a little knowledge about how to resize images using your basic microsoft picture manager. One more important thing is that you need to update your websites quite often, so make it less complex and get in touch with technology blogs or news where you can learn the simplest ways to do changes and all.
12. How do you create awareness (platforms used) for your site ?
There are various digital marketing platform that can be use such as blogs, twitter, facebook, linkedin, youtube & search engine optimization. At the moment am using the pay per click Ad campaign on facebook because they can work with just about any budget, thay can be highly targeted, and thay can be turned on and off at will, I also comment on other sites by leaving comments which in a way atimes attract visitors. I also feel interviews like this are great for getting exposures to new people and allowing other to get to know more about you.
13. Can one make a business out of creating personal profile site for others?
Oh… definitely making money by creating personal profile is a nice venture to go into. I believe any young or budding entrepreneur should tap into this as quick as possible as I mentioned earlier in two years time people would ask for your personal website. Imagine one starting up by building website for family and friends which I did when starting, imagine the referrals one could get from that.
14. How much can one charge?
Well depending on one’s expertise, value being provided and other varying factors to consider, I would say from small to large projects a price range of N30,000 to N 200,000.
15. Have you started making monthly income in your business or just occasional ?
Well for now, I would say you freelance business has its ups and down but I can tell you that monthly income do turn up once you give value to your clients, you get to get other referrals and watch your business.
16. How much is the highest figure you’ve made singlehandedly from your business?
Lol… I would say I have handled a branding project close to half a million naira before. Yes, I can even remember that my first major gig was quite well over N300,000 and that was when I was an undergraduate, I did the job for the president of my professional institute which included redesigning the firms logo, stationery design, website design, etc .