Maximizing International Opportunities through Social Media Management and Gaining Financial Independence: Meet Esther Nkechi Udotong, A Nigerian Social Media Strategist who earns dollars monthly. A true magnetic social media icon. With unwavering determination and an unyielding commitment to financial excellence and women’s empowerment, Nkechi has forged her path as an expert social media professional as well as building her own agency, the Social Media Connoisseur.
Hi Nkechi, thank you for joining us. We are big fans of your work in social media management and find it highly inspiring for job seekers interested in the industry. Could you please provide us with a brief introduction about yourself, including how you got into social media management and started working remotely?
Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to be here. My name is Nkechi and I am a social media strategist and the founder of Social Media Connoisseur. Our agency specializes in providing social media services. I developed an interest in social media during my secondary school days where I quickly learned and taught others about Instagram growth strategies. However, it was during the Covid-19 pandemic that I got my first professional opportunity in the field. A friend of mine, who had a substantial following, wanted to pursue influencing seriously and asked me to become her manager. This experience propelled me into the world of social media, and since then, I have transitioned to working with various brands and international clients. Working remotely has allowed me to expand my reach and collaborate with international clients.
Could you share your experience as a social media manager? How have you acquired International clients and positioned yourself to attract high-paying clients, especially considering the challenges faced in the Nigerian job market?
Certainly, I’ve been fortunate to have a positive experience with clients. When it comes to acquiring clients, I always emphasize the importance of establishing your own social media presence. Even if you have client accounts, having your own account showcases your work and serves as a powerful tool to impress potential clients. I remember my first international client didn’t even ask for my portfolio. Once she saw my page and the quality of my work, she was already impressed.
Moreover, positioning yourself in the industry requires consistent effort on social media platforms. Actively engage and showcase your expertise. Additionally, don’t hesitate to promote your services to friends and acquaintances. For instance, one of my best social media clients came from simply mentioning my services to a friend.
In terms of income, it is true that the Nigerian market may not fully understand the value of social media management, but this is a global challenge. Social media management is still an evolving field, and many people are unaware of its intricacies. People often ask if I’m a content creator or a brand manager, highlighting the lack of understanding. However, this also presents opportunities for growth.
To overcome the low-income perception, I decided to target international clients. By taking my social media career seriously and investing in my skills, I gained the confidence to charge higher rates. While I cannot provide a specific salary figure, I encourage individuals to research what others in the field are charging and consider the value they bring to the table. Charging what you feel comfortable with, while continuously improving your skills, will help you negotiate fair rates.
Thank you for your insights. Based on your extensive experience of over three to four years in the industry, could you shed some light on the standard salary rates for social media managers, both in Nigeria and internationally?
Determining the appropriate salary or rate can be subjective, and it varies depending on different factors. When it comes to setting your rates, I recommend considering your comfort level and conducting research. Ask questions about what others in the field are charging and earning. Personally, I started with an income goal that was inspired by someone I learned from who was earning around 200,000 Naira per month at the time. However, it’s important to understand that reaching higher rates takes time and requires continuous improvement. Now, my agency’s rates are in the thousands of dollars, but it’s a result of consistent growth and investing in my skills. Ultimately, you need to establish a minimum rate that you’re comfortable with and that reflects the value you provide.
What do you think are the necessary steps or factors you believe are crucial for someone looking to enter social media management? Is having a resume or portfolio necessary?
Absolutely. Beyond the physical requirements, I believe mindset is crucial for success. You need to believe in your ability to succeed and have a determined mindset. Mindset plays a significant role in achieving your goals.
In terms of physical requirements, having a portfolio or case studies is essential. It sets you apart from other candidates. To stand out, be creative and think of unique ways to present your work. For example, I incorporated a Heyzine flipbook element into my portfolio, which made it memorable and unique. Remember that competition is high, so finding ways to differentiate yourself is vital. Always consider how you can make yourself and your work stand out among others.
Interesting! I would like to delve deeper into your business and brand. Could you please provide us with more information about your brand and how you effectively manage your business while working remotely? Specifically, I am interested in learning about your brand identity and your experience as a remote social media manager.
Certainly. My brand is Social Media Connoisseur, LLC, and I am incredibly thrilled about its growth, both in terms of my team and client base. It’s truly amazing to see my long-standing dream of establishing this agency finally come to fruition. This is just the beginning, and I believe there is so much more to achieve. The name is derived from the word “connoisseur,” which signifies expertise. Our brand positions us as social media experts. It took me an entire year to register my agency in the US after receiving the name suggestion from a friend.
Essentially, while we provide social media management services, our primary focus is on selling the value of reclaiming time for busy business owners and assisting them in achieving online conversion. When prospecting clients, we emphasize the end results rather than simply the service itself. We take pride in helping busy entrepreneurs regain valuable time while addressing their main goal. Additionally, a significant aspect of our agency is our commitment to gender and women empowerment. We exclusively collaborate with female founders, and our team comprises entirely talented women. This aspect further differentiates and energizes our brand.
Regarding remote work, I have previously worked in several agencies, some of which provided excellent working environments. However, I discovered that the experience of remote work is distinct from being physically present in an office. Remote work may not be suitable for everyone, and individuals need to identify what works best for them. As for me, I realized its potential during the COVID-19 pandemic. To effectively manage remote work, establishing and maintaining productive habits is crucial. This is especially true when working independently. Moreover, practicing financial discipline is of utmost importance. Recognizing that running a business requires reinvestment rather than mere spending, one must consistently allocate resources back into the enterprise.
To summarize, our brand represents expertise in social media, and our focus is on enabling busy business owners to reclaim their time and achieve online conversion. We are passionate about gender and women empowerment, exclusively collaborating with female founders and maintaining an all-female team. Remote work demands discipline, including the cultivation of productive habits, financial prudence, and the ability to resist comfort-driven temptations. It is essential to remain focused on accomplishing goals and meeting the necessary requirements for success.
Now, for our final question directed toward you: What motivates you on a daily basis? Is there a specific mantra or sentence you repeat to yourself each morning to stay motivated?
For me, women’s empowerment is a significant driving force. My vision in life is to inspire young girls to believe that their location, age, or gender cannot hinder them from accomplishing their goals. I want them to understand that once they can dream something, they have the potential to achieve it.
Additionally, I firmly believe that if I can envision something, I can eventually achieve it, even if it takes time and doesn’t progress at the pace I desire. Maintaining this mindset, along with trusting in my abilities and guidance from a higher power, propels me forward. I know that with perseverance and a steadfast commitment to my vision, I will ultimately succeed. Financial independence is also a personal aspiration that serves as a constant motivation. These factors—women empowerment, personal beliefs, and financial independence—consistently inspire me to push forward and make a difference.