How the Lockdown grew my business

By Tinashe Ashleigh Nduku

The coronavirus lockdown created such a drastic hiccup in my career. A month before the lockdown I was celebrating finally joining a social media team in Zimbabwe. However, unfortunately, due to businesses closing down and budget cuts, I was soon out of that job. I was super frustrated and a bit anxious. 

I then decided to focus all my energy towards building my brand and getting my name out there. With most business moving online, it made no sense to me as to why they wouldn’t see social media as a key component of their marketing and sales. A common misconception I was trying to re-frame is that Social Media is not just posting pictures. It really is an extension of marketing (and sales). In an age of globalisation, a shift in buyer behavioural patterns and demographics, social media now plays an integral and pivotal role in business growth and survival. Concepts like Influencer Marketing, Gen Z Brand Ambassadorship and various social media strategies and campaigns are still in their infancy in Zimbabwe.

So the first step was helping and equipping people with the knowledge they needed on Social Media for business with a focus on Instagram. I shared on my personal Instagram my situation and decided to use the extra time I had to help young entrepreneurs and creators with some basic knowledge to help boost, optimise and grow their accounts. 

For four weeks every Tuesday to Friday, I would share a post under these categories: 

  1. Social Media for Business 
  2. Metrics & Numbers 
  3. Creators, Creatives & Brands 
  4. Aesthetics, Curation and hacks.

Under these four headers we covered quite a bit and every Tuesday to Thursday I would go live and go into more detail on each topic of the day as well as answer questions. 

Over the four weeks, I managed to gain a total of 2,000 views on these live sessions and videos and a total of 1200 unique visitors. I had an average reach of 5,000 and average impression of 20,000. 

I went live with two awesome Zimbabwean creatives. 

A Canadian-based Zimbabwean model who has recently been signed with World Management Canada. World Management is a North American Modelling Agency with models placed in the USA, Mexico, Australia, Italy, France, Turkey, Greece, Spain, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and South Africa.⠀

We went through how we could grow her account to attract business and what she would like to do in the future. 

A South African based Zimbabwean Makeup Artist who has worked with Netflix South Africa, NYX Cosmetics, Revlon South Africa, among other brands and has been featured in a lot of newspapers, magazines and online articles including but not limited to Glamour Magazine South Africa, The Sowetan Live, and Times Live where she was dubbed “The Makeup Shape Shifter. ⠀

In that week she celebrated being verified on TikTok with just over 150k followers (currently at 200k now!) and her most viewed video sitting at 21.5 million views and 1.3 million likes. ⠀

She took us through working with brands, contracts, negotiations and everything influencers and creators need to be aware of. 

I also managed to sign 4 new Social Media Clients. Most importantly though, I engaged with so many beautiful, hardworking creators, creative and entrepreneurs some of which scored their first PR gigs and others who gained the courage and confidence to step out and start their business!

Although the lockdown greeted me with some sad news it gave me the push I needed to put myself out there and share and show people what I can do and how I can help. 

You can check out the posts on my Instagram Business Page and some of the live videos on my Instagram Page. 

I will be sharing more content! I am super excited. 

Tinashe Ashleigh Nduku is the name and I am a 23-year-old Digital Marketing and Branding Freelancer specializing in Social Media and Influencer Marketing and Management based in Harare, Zimbabwe. In the future I aspire to own and run my own digital marketing firm based in Harare, Zimbabwe, servicing and managing accounts spanning throughout the Sub-Saharan region and beyond. 

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