10 Things that requires Zero Talent

“ The only skill that can’t be transferred is your attitude, you don’t learn it you exhibit it, that's who you are ”

5 am in the morning the first thing I pick up as every regular millennial is my phone but what I did differently today was to click on my LinkedIn app instead of Instagram; The welcoming post was Barry Newman’s article on “How to Get that Job” where he explained more on Molly Fletcher’s concept of ’Things that require ZERO talent’.

As an HR practitioner, I have heard discussions and attended round-tables centered on how millennials have positioned themselves in the job market with demands in high perks, flexibility and control of their time, request for attractive offices.

Generation Z is approaching the employment market with more employee disruptive strategies based on the evolution of digitalisation and a mindset that leverage both offline and online extensive access to information. According to McKinsey & Company, ‘the members of Generation Z are true digital natives who are creating and interpreting new trends to suit their integration into the job market’.

Majorly shaped around the perception/principles that made the ‘Boomer Parents’ achieve a lot in less prosperous times the digitisation of the world and the capital inflow to back the biggest innovations in almost all areas of the technology ecosystem.

An opportunity for every graduate or smart individual in the Nigerian market is the opportunity gap between refined skill set and the informal market which rules a large portion of the economy because technology and innovation have not diffused into all areas of the market except the principal cities.

Below are 10 things that require zero talent for you but are the most profitable things to invest your life in and guidelines that guarantee you success in every individual.

  1. Being on Time: Approaching an economy where the old few rules the vastly populated young people. Respecting time and strictly being punctual is a sign of respect/seriousness that will always give you a foot in the door in all engagements. And it's noted that there are 2 clocks; the normal time and the Nigerian time.

  2. Work Ethic: Your work ethic is mostly built around your passion. The work ethic at different times outshines talent, it shows hunger and fire to succeed and this is most times self fueled.

  3. Effort: Ability to try despite all odds and uncertainty makes people place a bet on you. Lots of outstanding testimonies have come by people putting in an effort in widely uncharted territory.

  4. Energy: according to Benjamin Franklin “Energy and persistence conquer all things’. No matter the hurdle, challenge and aspirations, positive energy has been seen as a connecting dot between you and your goal. A little bit more energy the closer the glory.

  5. Body Language: The most intuitive people understand their environment and individuals in the first 5 minutes they arrive in a new space. Body language is the conscious and unconscious movements and postures by which feelings are communicated. Its important people understand you always have a positive mindset.

  6. Passion: As defined by Cambridge dictionary ‘passion is an extreme interest in or wish for doing something, such as a hobby, activity’ Though the word passion is overused because it has a strong in-debt meaning but its a skill that will pick you out of the lot if its channeled to effective output in any project you find yourself on.

    “ ...your competence can be questioned based on the result but the ability to outwork others by doing extra work builds your capacity and output.”

  7. Doing Extra: An established leader once told me at an entry-level or graduate-level competence is not a defining factor because your competence can be questioned based on the result but the ability to outwork others by doing extra work builds your capacity and output. The bible says “show me a man diligent in the ways he will sit with kings and not mere men’ always put in extra when you find the platform to outwork the rest.

  8. Being Prepared: The most common quote that welcomes you into Adulthood is “if you fail to plan then you plan to fail”. Abraham Lincoln popularly said ‘ I will prepare and some day my chance will come”. All you need to do is always be prepared and BE READY! When preparation meets opportunity… success is inevitable.

  9. Being Coach-able: At the early career stage your ability to gain positive feedback is a core for progress, you must have an open mindset and be coach-able in an environment like Nigeria. The school curriculum teaches you to learn but the society/ job trains you on essentials skills to survive and succeed in a given circumstance.

  10. Attitude: The only skill that can’t be transferred is your attitude, you don’t learn it you exhibit it, that's who you are. No matter how skilled you are, a bad attitude will always make your talent irrelevant because it is an essential recipe for success. Attitude simply shows your mental fitness in different situations.

Leveraging Digital Media For Business Growth With Adewale Adetona iSlimfit

This is a tweetchat with Adewale Adetona, @iSlimfit also known as Adewale is a professional digital marketer and the convener of Lagos Digital Summit! Hello Adewale!

@iSlimfit
Hi guys, good to be here. Keep the questions rolling.

@_Ingressive_
Awesome, it’s good to have you here. What is digital media?

@iSlimfit
Digital Media simply put, refers to the various platforms where people communicate electronically, in form of text, image, video and audio.‏

@_Ingressive_
Awesome, as a digital media professional, how would you advice a small business to leverage on these platforms and how do they identify which is best for their businesses?

@iSlimfit
1. Stay abreast of the trend as it relates to your business, so as to help you make informed decisions.

2. Ability to research and learn from successful brands of similar interest.

3. Develop meaningful relationship with others for collaboration.

@iSlimfit
Per identifying the right platform, the onus is on you as a business owner to study and identify the platform where your TA is located. Some businesses are positioned to sell better on Instagram than you would sell on LinkedIn. #IngressiveChatWithIslimfit

@_Ingressive_
Nice, to our third question. To have a presence online, one needs to create content and do content marketing. Can you please explain what content marketing is and what’s involved in creating a content marketing strategy? #IngressiveChatWithIslimfit

@iSlimfit
Content marketing involves the generation of highly effective and engaging content (videos, blog post, tweets, memes etc.) intended to stimulate the interest of people towards a particular service or product.

@iSlimfit
The basic thing is to understand your audience, test out diverse contents and see which resonates better with them. Then of course keep refreshing and dishing out more of such contents to meet your objectives.

@_Ingressive_
Thank you Wale, let’s ask a quick one on social media. Chances are audiences are active on one or more of the major social networks. Why is social media really important and how can a business use social media to get sales?

@iSlimfit
I think the first part of your tweet answers the first question. The idea is to be able to reach your target audience in a cluster where they are easily found.

@iSlimfit
Conversion often times is the major challenge businesses face using social media. But with the right budget and tactics, ROI is guaranteed.

@_Ingressive_
Nice, to round it up. What is influencer marketing and why is it important for businesses to include it in their marketing strategy?

@iSlimfit
Sorry, had to pick an urgent call... This involves leveraging the influence of brand advocates who have a well defined audience in a particular niche as it relates to your brand.

@iSlimfit
It has become imperative for brands to include Influencer marketing in their marketing strategy cos it's a guaranteed way of taking their brand message to desired audience who are readily established within the reach of the influencers.

@_Ingressive_
Thank you very much Adewale for your time, it’s been amazing and insightful!

@iSlimfit
My pleasure. 🙏


Follow us on twitter to be a part of our social media conversation, it is always fun on that side.

Best Ways To Increase Engagement Within Your Community with Peter Ekene

We had a #tweetchat with Peter Ekene, he is a Software Engineer and facilitator at AndelaNG. The topic of the chat was focused on “Best Ways To Increase Engagement Within Your Community”. This conversation is for community managers, community members, and communities that are looking to grow engagement within and also increase community members.

Below is the conversation between Ingressive and Peter on Twitter. You can check out the hashtag here #IngressiveChatWithPeter

We're about to start our tweetchat with @kenny_io, and we'll be chatting about community building and how to increase engagement in your community.  Join the conversation #IngressiveChatWithPeter

 
peter_ekene.jpg
 

@kenny_io 

It's good to be here!!, thanks for this opportunity to share my thoughts on this amazing topics.

@_Ingressive_
Welcome Peter! We are happy to have you here. Let's start with the basics, what is community building? 

@kenny_io

Getting courses for developers/designers at free/subsidized rates, organizing events, conferences, hackathons, volunteering, mentoring, teaching, attracting opportunities are all different ways we can all help build our immediate communities. 

@_Ingressive_ This is awesome! To the next question, how do you do community building?

@kenny_io 

Anything you do for the benefit of the community is community building like I mentioned, it could be volunteering to take up roles at community events, helping developers get access to more opportunities, organizing and co-organizing these events 

@_Ingressive_

Ah, nice! To the main topic of the day. How do you increase engagement in your community?

@kenny_io
There are a few ways you can go about this, First, I’ll say that one of the best ways to increase engagement in communities is to initiate engaging activities for the community.
With this feeling, next time, he/she will want to do more than just attend because generally, people are more inclined to give their best when they know that their best will make a difference.

@_Ingressive_
That was a lot and it was very insightful, you mentioned tools earlier. Advising a community manager, what are some effective tools for community building online? ‏ 

@kenny_io
First, I’ll say, have a Slack channel, Telegram group or whatever works for your community. Somewhere you can all come together online and talk about your ideas and activities.

You can also use Trello for task assignments. If there’s an upcoming event or program, it will help you in managing individual tasks and collaborations within the community. 

Discourse is also a great tool for dynamically managing discussion threads. Finally, social media is your best tool, I'll say: use Twitter to your advantage and you will have an amazing community both on and offline.

@_Ingressive_ 

It’s been amazing, with you enlightening us with massive information. To cap this #tweetchat, we’ll be asking the last question, is community-building mission-critical for knowledge sharing?

@kenny_io 

I'll say that community building plays a vital role in sharing knowledge, but I wouldn’t say it is ‘mission critical’. 

Of course, things like conferences, free courses, community projects are all avenues that expose members to learning and collaboration but as much as they do help... #IngressiveChatWithPeter

I still believe that people who are not privileged to have access to these things can still learn and be great at whatever they want #IngressiveChatWithPeter

Would I rather learn alone than with a community of like minds? I will choose the later, but that’s just me, if you choose to go a different route, you will still be fine. 


Follow us on twitter to be a part of our next tweetchat and also join over 1200 developers, designers, and entrepreneurs in the Ingressive community.

How to Increase Sales with Chatbots - Digital Marketing

I wrote an article on Chatbots, explaining what a Chatbot is, the advantages and how it is growing significantly, you can check it here. We all know what digital marketing is and the amazing thing digital marketing uses in beating the traditional form of marketing, which is Data.

Gaining insights into user behavior really changed the game of marketing, now companies and brands know what their customers like and what they do on the internet. If you search for a ring on jumia, it is possible that for the next few days you will keep seeing ads about rings from jumia everywhere you go on the internet.

Technology has really changed the way brands interacts with their customers and the means of communication today has developed to a level that provides more human treatment of consumers. Social networking sites, for example, is like a hangout spot on the internet, a lot of people are always on these sites having fun, brands saw this and started using it to interact with their customers to engage them more, because being in their faces makes them more relevant and this leads to an increase in sales.

Over the past years, instant messaging apps have been growing significantly and statistically, they have taken over from social networks. If you study yourself, you’ll notice that you spend more time on WhatsApp and messenger than you do on twitter and facebook, this is because chatting is more engaging.

sn_chart.png


The rise of messaging apps

As a business owner who wants to sell his/her product, the next thing to do is to take your services to where your clients are spending their time. That way you make it easier for them to gain access to your services and you get to spend less on marketing. This is where Chatbots are playing a big role.

Let me give you a quick brief on the five Cs of Chatbots

  1. Consistent :  Since Chatbots are driven by Artificial Intelligence, they eliminate any possibility of human error, making for smoother lead creation and conversion. Chatbots are also self-learning, so they constantly adapt to grow even more efficient over time.

  2. Context-driven :  Chatbots are capable of gauging emotion and tweak their behavior based on the customers' pre-determined profile, like age, gender and location.

  3. Conversational : Chatbots replicate everyday human interaction more accurately than actual humans do. The vocabulary we use with our friends and family doesn’t cross over in companies interactions with clients. Single word commands on FAQ pages like “download”, “log-in”, “click here” is how businesses suffer from social communication disorder and lose customers.

  4. Compatible :  Chatbots are endlessly malleable, regardless of business or function from simple lead generation to full-fledged automated sales, all made possible by a little pop up on the bottom right of your screen.

  5. Cost Effective:  Chatbots aren’t just less expensive compared to their alternatives, they’re an outright steal.

In conclusion, messaging apps have become the top destination for brands to reach consumers, it’s no surprise why chatbots have become so popular. By implementing a chatbot into your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to learn about your audience, tailor your marketing efforts, reach new consumers and monetize your social media profiles.

This is the part where I tell you to do something but I don’t have anywhere to redirect you to, so just clap for me if you enjoyed this article.

Financial Literacy for Techpreneurs

The foundation of any successful small business is selling a product or service for a profit. However, that level of financial acumen is not enough to make a business successful. There are many additional ways to make money if you have the financial knowledge to do so.

On the 29th of June, we had our Ecosystem Hangout at Hub One and our guest speaker for the day was Rolayo Akhigbe, the founder of High Impact and the Divisional Head, Transactional Services, at FCMB. 

The day was filled with insightful tips, tactics, and strategies entrepreneurs can be more financially tactic with their businesses. ⁣

The hangout started at approximately 12:00 PM, Ayobamigbe Teriba, the HR & Operations at Ingressive started the conversation by introducing himself and everybody present at the venue also introduced themselves, their businesses and what they planned to achieve from the event. This was followed by a giveaway announcement by the Ingressive communications lead, Wasulu Habib.

The guest speaker started by introducing herself and also explaining what she wants everyone to go home with.

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She started by asking the attendees three questions:
1. What are your business goals –list 3

2. How do your current practices match your goals?

3. What do you need to change?

She further explained that every entrepreneur needs to have a clear goal on what they want to achieve, and what they need to change, by tracking and monitoring. Growth can not be measured without tracking and monitoring.


She touched down on the key factors to consider when choosing finance:

  • What is it for? Long vs Short term business goals

  • Repayment terms – from tight to flexible

  • Impact on Ownership

  • Impact on Control

  • Interest rate and Fee Structure

  • Personal reputation

  • Internal v External finance

You can download the rest of the slides below 

**download here**

After the presentation, came the QnA. Rolayo answered questions and also gave resources that can help the ecosystem hangout attendees get better with the finance of their businesses. 

The Ecosystem Hangout was rounded up with networking and refreshments. 

The next ecosystem hangout would be happening on the 16th of July, which will be focused on collaboration and partnership, our partners will be giving up to 60% discounts on the deal day. You can read more and register here.

You should also join over 1000+ entrepreneurs, designers and developers on the EDG channel.

5 Quick Ways To Validate Your Idea

If you have a business or you’re thinking about starting one, it’s going to be in the real world. Not in your mind. Your audience and customers are going to be real people, not imaginary. So why are you validating ideas in your head? You need real, hands-on feedback. This feedback helps you make better business decisions.

Idea validation is the process of testing and validating your idea prior to launching your business name, tagline, product, service or website.

I know the next question on your mind is “Why Should I Do this Idea Validation Thing?”

The quick answer is, it will save you a lot of time and money, as well as generate interest in your idea. Since you’re testing your idea, you will be exposing it to the marketplace.

Let us dive into the 5 quick ways to validate an idea.

1. What problem are you solving?
Successful products solve problems – plain and simple. Most successful entrepreneurs take a problem/solution approach to their startup brainstorming. You can do this by first identifying a problem and then building something that is a solution to that problem. If you can solve someone’s pain through your product then that product adds value to the user’s life and he or she will continue to use it and even pay you for it.

A great example of a startup that solved a problem is Gokada. I live in Lagos, I can tell you firsthand that before Gokada came along it was a very painful experience trying to get to your destination quick on the streets of Lagos. You’d be stuck in traffic with other people & cars, who are all competing to get to there destination quick, you could be in the yellow bus, yellow cab, or even an Uber or Taxify cab. You would still spend over 1hr on a 15minutes trip. This is the same process for every Lagosian that is stepping out of their house. This could be a 2 hour to 3 hours hold up during rush hour.

Gokada and other bike hailing services launched and solved that problem instantly. Now you can push a button and your bike man arrives and gets you to your destination within minutes. Problem solved. Pain killed. And now Gokada is valued at over $1 billion dollars.

2. Would you use it?
One of the best tests for validating your idea is to honestly ask yourself if what you are building is something you would personally use.  It is important to build something that you would use personally. If you don’t understand the end user or the market well, it is going to be a more challenging road to building a successful product and business. If your expertise is in consumer products and you are trying to build the next great robotic company, you might want to rethink that. Anything is possible, so don’t let me stop you if you want to go after a totally new space than you are used to, but your path to success will be smoother if you stick to what you know.

3. Would other people use it?
You’ve identified you are solving a problem, and you are building something that you yourself would use. But, will other people use it? That’s your next big question to answer.

This question is actually a simple one to answer. Build a simple online survey and share it within your community. You can even use Google Forms for this. Write out a set of generic questions designed to uncover the pains and problems your product will solve. It’s important to make sure that other people view these issues as pains and problems too. Make it anonymous so your friends and family feel comfortable answering honestly.

If you need more responses to gain statistically significant survey results, you can use a service like Survata. For $100 you can get 100 people to answer your survey and you can target a specific demographic. The results of a survey won’t lie. You’ll get real feedback from target users. It’s best to listen to what they say!

4. Does your idea already exist?
You may have an awesome idea. It may solve big problems. Users may love it. But, did someone else already create it exactly like you were planning on doing it? If your great idea already exists in the same way you planned it, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be successful. It does mean your market exists and there is a demand for your product.

If you do feel passionate and motivated to go ahead, amidst a competitive landscape, your next objective should be to figure out a way to differentiate and position your product as the best solution in the marketplace and why it is different and better than the other options.

5. What is the size of the total addressable market?
Total Addressable Market (TAM), is the indication of how much revenue opportunity there is for a product, or what the overall universe for the business opportunity is. If you could capture 100% of the available market for your product or service, what would your annual revenue be? That’s another way to look at it.

Let’s assume a real-world example by looking at the agriculture industry. If you are building a mobile app for farmers who want a way to find other farmers with the same farm produce in their neighborhood for the purposes of scheduling meetups to learn about oil palm, that’s going to be a niche product and small TAM. The farmer has to have an oil palm farm, has to have a smartphone to run your app, and has to be interested in learning about oil palm. But if you are creating a mobile app that connects farmers to insecticide vendors, for instance, then your TAM is every farmer in the world with a smartphone. Now, that’s a much bigger TAM.


To round it up

Your business is your baby. Show your love and care for it and for your customers. Once you are confident that you have a validated idea you will still need to build an awesome product for it to take off.  You may have the best business plan in the world, but without customers, your business is nothing. Create a thoughtful customer-acquisition plan and marketing strategy and be prepared to explain it to investors, partners, and stakeholders, as this will undoubtedly be the first questions they ask.

Never forget, it is much easier to build a business around a demand than to build a demand around a business.

Whether or not to be a product manager with Dadaben

We had a #tweetchat with Dada Benjamin, he is a Solutions Architect at SoftcomNG, and also Editor in chief @dadabenblog. The topic of the chat was focused on “whether or not to gop into product management”. This conversation is for recent graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset who are thinking about what would be the perfect job for them. It’s also for people thinking about moving into product management.

Below is the conversation between Ingressive and Benjamin on twitter. You can check out the hashtag here #IngressiveChatWithDadaben

@_Ingressive_ It's good to have you here! Aside from intellect, smarts, the power to adapt, think and act on their feet? Product managers are motivated to do the job, can work with multiple types of teams and has the ability to prioritize features that they already know users are looking for.
How would you explain Product Management to a 5-year-old?

@DadaBen_ Well, first of all, whose five-year-old wants to learn about Product Management? Me to a 5-yo: Product Management is what Medicine used to be in my days.
Up until 10 years ago, I wanted to study Medicine because of the times and seasons. But, now even you, Junior has a phone at five! The times are changing; we are in the internet age and some of the world's wealthiest billionaires are Founders/CEOs of "Product" companies built on the internet.

You know Facebook? Facebook is what we'll typically refer to as a product. So the act/process of bringing a Facebook to live is what is called Product management.

(Let's have a deeper conversation when you are 15).

@_Ingressive_

Oh, nice! Thanks for breaking it down. Many people don't know the difference between project management and product management. What is the difference between a project manager/product marketing manager and a product manager?

@DadaBen_

(Phew! Since we are back to talking to adults, it's time to throw in the big-big grammar).

With Product management and its "affiliates", its usually all semantics. And it's true definition can only be found in how the company defines the role.  However, if we wanted to define it based on 'popular' understanding; their differences can be identified when we decouple the terms. Yet, one thing is clear, there is "management" in all three.

So, first, what's a product?

A product is an entity---it can also be a service packaged as a product. LOL. Basically, a product is anything that can be packaged and sold.

A project has 3 major constraints;

- scope (extent/coverage)

- time-bound (delivery) and

- budget

Now, product marketing can be defined as marketing for a product, TBH, it is really that simple.

However, when you start to uncover what it takes to "package" something (as per product), you now begin to see where things like road-mapping, user research and even marketing come in.

So, in the rare cases of companies that have all three, the Product manager is responsible for the delivery cycle and marketing of the product.

To summarise, the other guys like Product marketing manager and Project manager will report to the Product Manager...who has the mandate to build the right product and make it succeed in the market within  resource constraints

@_Ingressive_ Awesome! Very insightful. This leads to the question should a Product Manager know how to code/Is it a requirement for a PM to be a developer or know how to write a piece of code?

@DadaBen_

LMAO, this question na set up.
"Should a Product Manager know how to code?" Maybe not.

But should the manager know how the web works and all those other things, yes.

"Is it a requirement for a PM to be a developer", Clearly, no.

In fact, I'd argue that if there should be a technical requirement for a PM, it should be how to design. Where Design speaks to the "how" things should work. I think the discourse around whether a PM should have a technical background comes more as an advice than the rule.

My advice: Let the role/JD guide what a product manager should know or have. But broadly speaking technical expertise is a plus.


@_Ingressive_ Okay this is amazing but how do you know product management is what best fits you? Well, how do you know Medicine is what's best fit for you? Or Engineering? Or Law? Or Music?

If I were to give a step-wise process, I'd say:

1. Look to your strengths/skills,

2. Interests/Motivation

3. Luck/Times

@DadaBen_

For instance, I wanted to be a PM because:

1. Strengths/skills: I had spent the better part of my education in a technical field, AKA I had a technical background

2. Interests/Motivation: In SV, they are about the most paid!
3. Luck/Times: My desire to work in a Prod. Mgt role is largely influenced by the company where I'd be doing the PM.

Remember, it is the company that determines whether you are an Enterprise PM or consumer (B2C) PM (I think this is sexier but more Snr

In summary, if you want to be "CEO" of a product, can motivate people, learn a few things like the tools and terminologies. Then, go test out (either on a fun project or something) and shoot your shot at the companies you want!


@_Ingressive_ That was supposed to be the last question for the #tweetchat. It’s been exciting, enlightening and fun. Thank you @DadaBen_ , to round it up where do you think is a good resource for learning about product management?

@DadaBen_
Err, tricky. But when I was starting out my first ever prof. PM role, I signed up to @udemy's Become a Product Manager.

@_Ingressive_ Awesome! The conversation is open for questions. If you still have questions on whether or not to get into product management, ask your questions now and don’t forget to use the hashtag #IngressiveChatWithDadaben. Thank you for your time @DadaBen_!



Follow us on twitter to be a part of our next tweetchat and also join over 1200 developers, designers and entrepreneurs in the Ingressive community.

Leveraging Digital Media for Business Growth

On the 1st of June, we had our Ecosystem Hangout at EdubridgeNG and it was a day filled with insightful tips, tactics and strategies businesses can leverage on digital media for business growth. ⁣

Adewale Adetona, better known as iSlimfit was the first speaker and Ized Zegbua, convener Digiclan, and CMO Tora Africa was the second speaker.


The hangout started at approximately 11:00 AM, Ayo Teriba, the HR & Operations at Ingressive started the conversation by introducing himself and Sean Burrowes(COO), Sean talked about his experience and how Ingressive is working hard to push the African tech community to the next level with a community of over 15,000 Entrepreneurs, Developers and Designers. 

The representative of EdubridgeNG was the next person to address the over 50 attendees, about the advantages of digital skills.


 
islimfit.jpg
 

The first speaker of the day was Adewale Adetona, Assistant manager at SystemSpecs and convener Lagos Digital Summit.

He presented the introduction of digital marketing, Adewale talked about the introduction of digital media and the different forms of digital media businesses can use to grow and make sales.

Download presentation here ⁣

When he was done, he received and answered a lot of questions before he ended his session.



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Ized Zegbua of Digiclan and Tora Africa, was the second and last speaker of the day. She came on and took a fireside chat with all the attendees, talked about her experiences in the digital media space, the opportunities and the growth. Also explained the value of content marketing, the process and results.

⁣These are some of the key takeaways from the Hangout:

  • Marketing via digital platforms offers a more affordable alternative to the traditional method. ⁣

  • Digital marketing offers a substantial return on small investments.

  • The success or otherwise of a digital campaign can easily be ascertained.

  • Businesses can use their digital platforms to build their company’s brand and reputation.

  • Digital marketing allows ad campaigns to be visible in any part of the world. This gives small start-ups the rare opportunity to go global via the immense exposure provided.

If you missed the Ecosystem Hangout there will be a follow-up conversation on the EDG channel.

Download presentation here free!


AMA With Joseph Agunbiade the founder of BudgIT

On the 9th of March, we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a Techpreneur, Joseph Agunbiade.

Joseph is the Founder of Univelcity a tech school that teaches young people software development, Data Science, AI and Product Design then connect them to Jobs. So for Devs and upcoming software enthusiast he is your plug.

Also he is the co-founder of BudgIT. A civil organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement, to facilitate societal change. He currently sits on the board.

He is a Techpreneur per excellence with companies like Getmobile Technologies, SmartED with over 15 years experience.


Ayobamigbe:

Yes, and we need you to head over to the ingressive blog to read more exciting stories like this.

Ayobamigbe:

Good evening House. Welcome to another exciting AMA session and today we have @joseph taking the session.

Ayobamigbe:

Great…

So we see that you have started a lot of tech companies and 3 not for profit organisation, can you share your motivation with us.

Joseph:

Thank you for the question.

BudgIT was the first of them. I cofounded BudgIT with Oluseun as a call by CCHUB then for a Tech solution that can solve Governance issue

That was in 2011 and ever since I have worked on a couple of ideas while some survived others did not

So at the Moment apart From BudgIT, I have Univelcity, SmartED, Resolute40(resolute40.com) and a few others in the pipeline

Ayobamigbe:

Amazing.

Joseph:

My Motivation: I am a natural problem solver

And since my training was in Technology, I have always believed that I can use Technology as a tool to help change the world

Funmi Aliyu :

@joseph when is the right time to start/ launch your startup idea or realize a MVP?


Sean:

Nice! I'm curious as to what advice you would give people like university graduates or novice devs who want to start ventures and solve problems.

Joseph:

The result is what we see today as a all this startups/company

@Funmi Aliyu MVP is your first attempt to the market. Before you go out you must have done sufficient market research and possible Market fit


Joseph:

@Funmi Aliyu And on the question of when it is the right time. As soon as you think you have a solution the world needs please launch it

Joseph:

@Sean I always recommend that as a university graduate you work first for some time usually between 3-5Years and gather experience, build your network before starting out on your own.


Olayemi Oluwadurotimi:

@joseph what advice would you give to a start up founder who has been running for almost a year and needs funding ?

Joseph:

@Sean Also develop your skills and volunteer in ventures that naturally you may not qualify by your CV to join

@Olayemi Oluwadurotimi Depending on how far you have gone. I will advice you work first for sometime. When we launched BudgIT in September of 2011 the first time we raised money was in 2013. And we had to travel multiple times pay for hotel and travel tickets. If we had not worked it would have been very difficult


Olayemi Oluwadurotimi :

@joseph I worked for two years full time in the same field before going back for HND and later worked part-time for two years during my HND

Joseph:

@Olayemi Oluwadurotimi then you can reach out to several venture capital out there for funding. You need to join platforms like F6S.com etc. Just be sure you are solving the right problem with the right Market size

Timothy :

@joseph I don't know if you ever had issue getting developers or designers to work with when starting up. My questions it's how do you get people to work with you on a particular product when starting up with little or no funds to pay them.

Joseph:

@Timothy for most of the startups I cofounded I was called in to co-found it because I am the Tech guy. So the easiest way to get a free tech service is to share equity and make the developer(s) your cofounder.

Timothy:

Oh, okay. Thanks for this @joseph

Joel Osoba :

@joseph what are the best approaches for establishing a new product in an existing market,

Joseph:

@Joel Osoba First of all how did you come about knowing that the market exists? My assumption will be that there are other people with Similar product in the Market.  And If that is the case you have to ascertain the Market Size whether you can seize a part of the market

By offering Unique product Offering, better Pricing, additional Feature etc

Joseph:

For Example, Pure Water has a massive Market in Nigeria and you want to launch your own brand of Pure Water you might just add a mouth like that of bottled water to it or make the packaging triangular  etc

Sean :

@joseph Please feel free to come to this later, but what informational resources including reading, networks, and etc.; would you suggest for those ready to launch a tech startup?

Joseph:

@Joel Osoba Whatever you do just make sure you are the PURPLECOW

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable https://g.co/kgs/k9ai4y

@Sean Travel is one of the most powerful informational resources you can have. For example, today if you have a lot of money and you are looking for an idea to start with Just travel to China and spend a week or two(2) the amount of education you will get will be mind blowing for you.

Ayobamigbe:

Wow, I don’t want this round of knowledge sharing and information to end but we just must call it a day…

Hey house it's time to say a big thank you to @joseph i am sure he has given everyone something to think about

Joseph:

Thank you @Ingressive Community, @Ayobamigbe and the entire team. Have a Good evening!!!


Join the Ingressive community to join the conversation!

AMA with Chidi Nwaogu the founder of Publiseer

On the 16th of March, we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a Techpreneur, Chidi Nwaogu.

Chidi Nwaogu is a serial Internet entrepreneur, computer programmer, Westerwelle Fellow 2019, Yunus&Youth Global Fellow 2019, SensX Fellow 2017, winner of Startup World Cup Nigeria Regional Competition 2019, and first place winner of OD Impact Challenge 2018. Nwaogu started his entrepreneurial journey when he was 16 with the creation of 9ja Boi Interactive, a video game development company. Today, Nwaogu is Co-founder and CEO of Publiseer, a digital publisher for African Creatives, described by Konbini as “one of the largest digital publishers in Africa” and identified by IFC as one of the startups “that could speed up innovation in Africa.”

What was the main motivation to starting a company at 16?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Well, for me, I have always been fascinated about how things are created more than how to use them. While playing video games with my peer, what always runs through my mind is "the process in which the game was created." So after graduating from high school, I decided to learn how to develop video games. Before this, I had already starting web design by learning HTML and CSS when I was 13. Within two weeks, I had learnt the basics of ifelse, dowhile, dountil, and a bunch of other statements. I had learnt about sprite and object oriented programming. And in the second month of learning to code, my twin brother and I created our first video game. This was when we decided to start a video game development company.

"Before this, I had already learnt web design" [correction]

How did you build your team?

Chidi Nwaogu:

My team was built gradually though. I started off with my twin brother, Chika. It was only logical since we have done this several times before. We've worked together since we were 16, and had co-founded, grown and sold two tech startups since 2009. My twin and I ran the startup together for a few months, before meeting an old university friend who was also a software developer. He liked what we were doing, and jumped on the wagon. Along the road, we met a blogger with a wide connection in the media ecosystem. He offered to handle our PR, and we jumped in. And that was how we grew until now.


What were the major challenges you faced while building your first two startups, and how did you overcome them?

Chidi Nwaogu:

The major challenges we faced was getting people to know about what we were offering and signing up. It was an easy task, so we had to develop an incentive for them around our offerings, which paid off in the long run.

For the social network we developed, people earned airtime for updating their status, adding new friends, and sharing multimedia like photos and videos. And when the airtime accrued reaches N100 threshold, they receive it into their phones. This made up grow by over 10,000 new signups every month.

What is your primary focus or in a better way what is your african dream?

Chidi Nwaogu:

My primary focus is to solve problems using technology. It is what gives me the most satisfaction in being a tech entrepreneur; the ability to create something extraordinary out of nothing and having that thing change people’s lives for the better.

In a country like Nigeria that there seem to be a different problems facing all entrepreneurs what has been the greatest challenge you have faced in this few years and how have you surpassed it?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Piracy: This is has been one of our greatest challenges at Publiseer. At the moment, we mitigate this by contacting our author, artist or filmmaker when we notice a different merchant selling a book, song or film in our catalogue, to verify if they are aware of this, and if they aren’t aware, we take legal actions against such merchant. The reason why we contact our Creatives first is that we don’t take away their publishing rights, which means they're free to republish their works elsewhere without our permission.

However, piracy seems to top our list of challenges.

How was it easy for you to figure monetisation model and do you still adjust it or you just want to keep scaling users(on the finished model)?

Chidi Nwaogu:

Copyright Infringement: This is a big issue as sometimes some Creatives plagiarize works of others and submit it to us for distribution as theirs. To mitigate this, we always verify the originality of any work we want to distribute. We have several tools we use for this, thanks to the great folks on the Ally team of Google. Their tools have helped us ensure that the works we distribute are free of plagiarism and are 100% original.

@RightSilicon.com when we started, we only had the 'freemium distribution' package because our target was independent creatives who don't have the money to distribute their works. And we monetize this package by taking 25% of the revenue generated when a unit of any work we distribute is sold.

However, we started receiving emails from record labels and book publishers seeking to keep all the revenue from sales, and that was when we introduced the 'premium distribution' package, which lets the right holders keep all the revenue generated from sales of their work by paying an upfront recurring distribution fee.


What is your motivation and what keeps you going.

Chidi Nwaogu:

I'm motivated by my reason "why". It's what keeps me going especially when things aren't working out as planned. When the rough gets rough and the situation is tough, I remember why I started in the first place, and it keeps me going. In my years as a tech entrepreneur, I have discovered that it's better to be the man who knows "why" than the man who knows "how", because the man who knows why something is being done is the man with the vision, and the man with the vision is the man who leads.

Ayobamigbe:

Thank you so much for this session @Chidi Nwaogu it was really amazing and eye opening.

Chidi Nwaogu:

You're welcome.

Hope y'all have a great day ahead!

Join the Ingressive community to join the conversation!

10 Content Formats to Increase Engagement & Traffic On Your Website

Creating a compelling content is the best way of attracting the right audiences to your website. Standing out might be difficult, and what's more important is creating a valuable content.

There are different formats of creating compelling contents that will drive traffic or perhaps increase your audience engagement on your website.These content types can work well for evergreen content that does well with your audience and in search engines.
Here is a list of 10 content formats that will boost your website’s traffic and engagement:

  1. How-to Articles: A how-to article or guide is a step by step list of how to achieve a specific thing. For example, if your audience is interested in learning Excel, then a blog that details how to edit/create a mastersheet would work really well. Ideally it would include instructional text and imagery.

  2. Case Studies: A case study is a written account of a real customer's experience with your business. They describe the customer’s success thanks to your product or service. They typically include the problem the customer was facing before they used your product or service, and how you helped overcome that problem.
    Example: https://www.ingressive.co/case-studies

  3. Webinar: A webinar is essentially a communal seminar conducted online. It is usually conducted by one person who leads a discussion or tutorial to several other connecting users who can all individually engage with the presentation from their respective locations.

    Example: https://www.ingressive.co/blog/2019/3/5/notes-from-our-ama-session-with-gholahan-t-fawale-at-the-ingressive-community-finding-your-niche-as-a-designer

  4. Templates: A template serves as a starting point for new documents. Templates are pre-formatted, for example, you might use template in Microsoft Word that is formatted as a business letter, templates can come in different forms and can be very useful in driving traffic to your website.

  5. Videos: Videos are always great at engaging audiences, and there are different forms of videos e.g. traditional, live videos, interactive videos, interview videos. Videos could be expensive to create but the rewards could be very remarkable.

  6. Quotes: Quotes are good sources of traffic, a lot of people go online to search for inspiring and motivational words from greats and successful people in different industries.

  7. E-books: Ebooks are online leaflets or reports filled with educational or informative things that can benefit the end user. They can be made available as free downloads or even as part of an email sign-up transaction. Using it as an email sign-up transaction have been very useful inbound marketing strategy.  

  8. Interview: Interviews are very good and can be a source for very good content. Interviewing people, especially thought leaders in specific industries and getting their opinions on specific topics can produce brilliant content.

  9. Surveys & Results: Running surveys is an effective way to extract general opinion – they are made up of targeted questions designed to collect valuable data. Once the data is collected, you can use the results to form a separate piece of content in its own right.

  10. Podcasts: These days, people are mobile and mostly on the move. Podcasts are a great way to reach people whilst on the move. Podcasts are usually longer recordings, which can be serialized into multiple episodes consisting of interviews, discussions and debates.

Hopefully this list will be useful for you. If you have any other suggestions, or if there are other formats that have been successful for you, leave us a note in the comments below. And join our community of Entrepreneurs here at bit.ly/ingressivecommunity

A conversation between Ingressive and eWorker

Tweetchat with Sean Burrowes, COO Ingressive
In this Tweetchat, you’ll read about:

Why Developers and Designers are leaving Nigeria?
What Can be done to reduce it?
Governments part in helping the Tech community?


eWorker: Looking at the trend, why are they leaving? Who is to blame for it?
We are here with @ingressive to talk about the issues, cause and discuss a solution around it.

Ingressive: Hello Everyone! I can't wait to tackle your questions. Initiatives span 5 different countries and we have heard it all, and I'm here to tell their stories!

eWorker: You have an active community of developers on slack and other online platforms, what are your thoughts about the rate at which developers are leaving for opportunities abroad?

Ingressive: It feels good knowing our developers are awesome enough to be offered opportunities abroad. Do you feel the rate at which they are leaving is a blessing or not?
Two great examples in a collective mind dictating terms on a national level is the Tata Motors story in India (bought crappy cars until they got better) and the US vs China (crush foreign competition).
We're hopeful everyone who sees this gets inspired and take on the challenge to make our ecosystem better and stronger for us.

eWorker: You've had the privilege of working with lots of developers, what major reason(s) do they give to justify leaving the country for opportunities abroad?

Ingressive: But for the pure coders out there, some really want the opportunity to push their craft to the farthest limits. They want to step into arenas with more funding, progress, and support in areas like robotics, edge computing, AI, AR/VR

eWorker: Do you feel the reasons given by most devs are legit and justifiable or you feel there are other underlying factors that could be responsible for the flight of developers in the Nigerian tech ecosystem?

Ingressive: Parents don't understand paying school fees and seeing their child at home on their laptop all day. I've heard stories of newly graduated freelancers getting kicked out because their parents think their job is 419...

eWorker: It might not be possible to stop this developer's flight but I believe it can be reduced. What is your opinion about this?

Ingressive: Corporates need to start investing in the tech ecosystem and preparing themselves for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) or get left behind... it will take the help of the public sector as well...

eWorker: If we are enlisting the help of the public sector, what do we have to offer in return?

Ingressive: It is the job of the government to create economic opportunity. By creating jobs and helping the flow of money, they collect more taxes. A better question is what do they have to offer us in return of creating entirely new economies through technology?

eWorker: We have some brilliant young minds coming onboard, becoming a part of the ecosystem and we don't want to lose them to opportunities abroad. What can be done to retain them?

Ingressive More businesses need to consider how they are integrating technology. There are jobs there, but the sad part is on tech job can displace hundreds. Informal economies also don't want the transparency or efficiency.
What did the creation of the internet or semiconductor do for the American economy? What has Amazon, Google, and Facebook done for the world? There is money in tech. Corps and govt support isn't help or a loan, it's a vital investment in survival...
We hope authorities see this and get stirred to work.
Investment in tech is probably the most lucrative investment anyone or company can make!
Our government takes a wait and see approach. Techpreneurs will have to be brave and create ventures that can't be ignored. We can't complain, because right now, the lack of regulation plays to the tech sectors advantage.

eWorker: Yeah, that's correct. We might have created our own Silicon Valley before the government decides to get involved.
Technology is usually faster than the government lol. Silicon Valley had support in the US but only after it showed it's potential...
A lot has been learnt during the course of this discussion. It's great having you on here Sean.

How to Attract Venture Capital Funding for you Startup/Product

On Friday, 26th of April. We had our Ecosystem Hangout at Venia Hub and it was an exciting and insightful day filled with tips and ways to attract Venture Capital funding for startups. ⁣

Damilola Thompson of EchoVC Partners was out first speaker and Mary Joseph from Greenhouse Capital was the second speaker. The two speakers touched on many subjects surrounding What VCs look for in a startup. ⁣

The hangout started at approximately 5:30PM, it was planned to start 5:00PM but due to the famous Lagos traffic and registration, the event started 30 mins late. Ayo Teriba, the HR & Operations at Ingressive started the conversation by introducing himself and Sean Burrowes(COO), Sean talked about his experience and how Ingressive is working hard to push the African tech community to the next level with a community of over 15,000 Entrepreneurs, Developers and Designers.

Damilola.JPG

The first speaker of the day was Damilola Thompson, Senior Counsel, Legal Compliance & Corporate Development at EchoVC Partners. She highlighted on having a valuable team “A team with vast experience and strong expertise will boost your chance of getting an investor to invest in your startup.” Received and answered a lot of questions before she ended her session.

Mary.jpg

Mary Joseph who is a Senior associate at Greenhouse Capital, was the second and last speaker of the day. She came with a presentation and highlighted on major things to take note when pitching a startup.

⁣These are some of the key takeaways from the Hangout, more details will be on our blog post on the ingressive website. ⁣

  • Your product should solve problems for a lot of people at the right time!!! Market size and Market timing is very important.⁣

  • The product is the very first thing. But, investors have to go through your presentation to get to you. Make sure your deck is standard. - Write a script: writing a script gives you a guideline on how to make your pitch smoothly.

  • Spell check: It gives credibility to investors that you can handle your numbers too. Practice.

  • What people say about you is super important.

  • One of the major things investors look out for is your team. There should be consensus amongst yourselves.

  • A team with vast experience and strong expertise will boost your chance of getting an investor to invest in your startup.⁣

If you missed the Ecosystem Hangout there will be a follow up conversation on the EDG channel on the 9th of May, join the conversation.

8 Social Media Hacks For The Growth of Every Startup

Growth hacking is a data-driven, full-funnel marketing strategy based on rapid experimentation. It is the overall term used for initiatives focused only on growth and usually used in relation to early-stage startups that want to achieve rapid growth in a short period of time on a small budget.

As much as it is used to grow revenue, sales and app users, growth marketing can also be used to grow audiences on social media. As we all know, follower numbers aren’t the only KPI to be measured for social media growth. There are other KPIs such as clicks, likes, shares, brand mentions, profile visits, and etc.

In this article, I will be giving you 8 social media growth hacks that can help the growth of your startup.

  1. Lead Magnet: This is an incentive you can offer your followers in exchange for their email address or other contact information. It could be in the form of a resourceful ebook or webinar. The idea is to use lead magnets to grow your list and engage with your community.This will also give you something to talk about repeatedly on social media.

    After building your list, the next thing is to work your social media fans through your funnel, and ultimately convert them into customers. Always make sure that you provide value with your ebook and/or webinars, value in terms of uniqueness, resourcefulness, and align initiatives with the goals of the company.

    At Ingressive, we provide weekly webinar sessions to our community, by having thought leaders in the tech community come on as guests and provide valuable information for startups, entrepreneurs, designers, and developers. This strategy has increased our community members as well as our social media audiences.

  2. Visual Content:  32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business, 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing. Without any doubt, this is a top social media hacking strategy for growing a business.

    Optimize your growth strategy by sharing visual content on social media, it could be in the form of images, infographics, or videos. Aside from producing engaging and professional visual content; you have to optimize it for the company’s goal. Always align your content with each platform you are using.

    You need to know what works best for the different social media platforms you are using. Watch the size or dimension, for example Instagram contents are more engaging when it is 640 x 640, and the video length is not more than 1 minute, consider these features when creating your content to achieve a smooth experience for your followers.

  3. Influencer Marketing: If you’re looking for a social media strategy that will give you an instant result, Influencer marketing is your go-to strategy. Due to the industry competition, companies are using influencer marketing to register their brands in the minds of their audiences and as a way to shape their opinions.

    If you want to leverage on Influencer marketing, you should focus on relevant Influencers in your niche and reach out to them for collaborations. This can help boost your brand awareness, increase followers, sales and build trust for your brand. Brands are collaborating with Influencers in different ways and some are even having social media influencers as brand ambassadors. You can read more on Influencer marketing here.

  4. Ask Questions: When you build strong relationships in real life, the more time and effort you put in the better the result. It’s almost the same with social media; you have to engage your followers, ask them questions and acknowledge their answers.

    Tweetchats are another example of how we have used this strategy at Ingressive to increase our social media followers on Twitter. At least, once a month we have a tweet chat with someone from our community, and these tweet chats allow questions and answers from us and our community members.
    This gets us an average of 400,000 impressions and 200,000 reaches every tweet chat. Always seek out new opportunities to reach out to new followers, rather than wait for them. This might sound hard but the authenticity in this is what builds great communities with loyal followers.

  5. Social Media Analytics: The importance of social media analytics can never be underrated when it comes to growth marketing; every account requires a strategy and there is no strategy you want to implement that won’t require the use of social media analytics. Your analytics will tell you what works, and what it is that doesn’t.

    This will help you optimize your social media presence as you progress. For example, Instagram insight will tell you the best time to post your content, the most engaging type of content, call to actions that are driving engagements, and so much more. All this information helps you get maximum engagement. Check your analytics weekly to quickly determine what is working and what isn’t. This is where you apply the ‘Iterate and Release often’ philosophy.

    There are so many social media analytics tools that you can use to determine what’s working for your social media presence. Hootsuite, Iconosquare, keyhole, socialbearing, and others have been found useful in this endeavor.

  6. Trending Topics: Every industry will always have new trends; creating content around new trends will always make you relevant. Creating valuable content can be hard, but knowing how to use search trends and volumes to identify trending content will help you in creating valuable content that will grow your social media presence.

    Creating content around trending topics has worked for various brands, for example, the lead designer at Kunocreative, created a custom graphic for the season premiere of “Game of Thrones” and earned an incredible amount of engagement relative to their follower base.

    Knowing how to leverage on trending topics would give your social media page that uplift you’re searching for.

  7. Storytelling: The importance of storytelling cannot be overemphasized, storytelling has become a very important part of marketing as it helps brands resonate with their audience. Emotions play very essential roles in how human beings think and behave, the emotions people feel can compel them to take action and influence the decisions they make, both large and small.

    You can tap into this human strength/weakness by harnessing the emotional power of stories within your content, using social media storytelling can help form strong, long-lasting relationships with their audience. When you create content on the topics that customers care about, it gets shared and one of the ripple effects would be the growth of your social media influence.

  8. Collaborate: Collaboration in this sense means leverage. Leveraging on the network of people in your industry/community could get you very far in building your social media presence in your industry. Some of the ways you can collaborate to build your social media presence is by doing Tweetchats, Instagram Takeovers, and/or Live videos.

    Create publicity materials after getting a guest you want to collaborate with, and share with your community. Your guest(s) would also share it and this will help you get across their community. It could be an organization or just an individual who is influential in your industry.

Wrap Up

You cannot copy and paste strategies, you have to learn what is working for you as a startup, what works for one business might not work for you. You have to focus on your focus, define your goals, identify your audience, create a plan to get to them. Never forget to add value to the lives of your audience, and encourage them to take action. Depending on what you want, it could be to sign up for your newsletter, buy a product or join a community.

Value is valuable, and your followers would start sharing your contents if you present this to them. Experiment with your ideas and learn from A/B testing, see what works and what doesn’t. Also, reach out to people in your industry to learn from their experiences.


Join the Ingressive community to get access to a network of over 10,000+ Founders, Developers and Designers. And if you are a Founder in the Sub-Saharan Africa Ingressive capital is funding $50k-$100K investments in top early stage tech companies. Apply for funding here

What You Need To Have a Successful Investor Pitch

Pitching is a very necessary part of scaling your startup, it is an opportunity to share your passion and talk about your business with investors.

Investors see a few hundred to a few thousand deals a year. Bigger ticket funds tend to make less investments (3-5 deals a year), while smaller cheque funds tend to do more (10-20 deals a year). That means there is fierce competition for funding, especially in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa where there are more great ideals than accessible capital.

Many entrepreneurs come up with great ideas but there is a huge difference in having an idea and being able to implement it. This is where seeking for fund comes in, and without a good pitch that idea might just disappear into thin air.

Here are 6 tips that will help you with a successful investor pitch.

  1. Sum it up & quickly: Be concise, but be thorough. and when it comes to your deck and your explanations, less is almost always more.

  2. Know your target customers: You need to know who your customers are and be very specific when describing them. Show investors a picture of a customer along with relevant data points, using demographic and psychographic features to pinpoint your customers.

  3. Explain why your target customers will pay for your product/service: After showing investors that you know who your customers are and where they are, the next thing is to explain exactly how you intend to acquire these customers, this will show investors that you know what you are looking for and how to get them. The success of a business comes down to the marketing, Contrary to the familiar saying, good products don’t sell themselves. You sell them.

  4. Know your competition and differentiate yourself: If you want to convince investors, you need to let them see that you know your business well, and have realistic view over the strength and weaknesses of your product. Also, show that you know your competition as well as their businesses, product and strategies. A quick statement like “we’re the only company who does abc” or “companies recognize we are uniquely positioned to help them accomplish x” creates separation between you and other companies out there who may be claiming similar capabilities. Learn how to define your unique value and make it central to your pitching. Differentiate yourself with your elevator pitch.

  5. Share what any funds you are asking for will be spent on: As an Entrepreneur looking for investor funding, you need to always remember that all money comes with strings. Investor money isn’t free o—they want it back, and 10x+ more once you’re successful. Also investors are interested in helping you scale the business, that means they want to see that your product is working. When pitching your startup, make your priorities clear, simplify your list to no more than three items or categories, with a percent allocation to each, make sure allocation amounts are reasonable, tie use of funds to real traction milestones, and show when you’ll start making money / become profitable. Most importantly, that you’re targeting a billion dollar market and can reach venture capital scale.

  6. Test your pitch: This last step will help you get familiar with pitching, always put into consideration the 10/20/30 rule. The optimal number of slides is 10, you should be able to give your whole talk in less than 20 minutes (even if you have an hour), and the ideal font size is 30 points. Pitching is an acquired skill, not an innate talent, It takes practice.

For more details that will help you in knowing what a VC wants, check out 4 Things a VC wants to see before Investing in your startup.

It is always challenging at any stage to raise money for your startup, even for experienced founders with significant traction in their company, it requires a great pitch. Here is a template that will help you with tips and also help you create a compelling pitch.

Download: Investor Pitch Deck Template

Ingressive Capital is investing in startups all over the Sub-Saharan Africa. Check out IngressiveCapital and, if you need help pitching your business, join the EDG Africa community to get a free personalized action plan pointing you to resources who provide pitch consulting, mentorship and advice.

4 Things A VC Wants To See Before Investing In Your Startup

Many Entrepreneurs spend months and some even years developing an idea. Ingressive Capital have received thousands of application for funding in the past few months and noticed that a lot of startups applying for funds have similar problems that stops them from getting funding for their startups.

There is a big competition in the industry, and there are so many things Venture Capitalists try to find in a startup before investing in one.

These four things are must haves for you to be able to get funding for your startup:

  1. Team: Ideas come and go but an agile team can pivot, venture capitalists take time to look and study the team of a startup because many investors know that a good team can pivot. Investors are looking for a good startup team and not just a good startup idea. Investing in an idea could turn out to be a loss but if the team is great it can lead to a better return on investment. Decisions are largely made based on the people involved, so it is critical to have a team that has chemistry, can move quickly and easily. Some of the things VCs look for in a team include business knowledge, willingness to learn and adapt, passion, communication skill and awareness of weakness.

  2. Skill set: It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. Skill sets are very important to Venture Capitalists when making decisions about startups. Your ability as a startup to sell yourself, get things done, solve problems, identify inefficient business processes, being organized and structured. These skill sets are required for the growth of your startup and Venture Capitalists that want to invest look out for these skill sets. Great tech founders often combine more than one of these skill sets.

  3. Focus on a Scalable market: Affordability is the foundation of scalability, scalability allows businesses to expand and generate more revenue while minimizing the operational costs. A scalable product that can accomodate a large number of clients, will keep developing. Scalability is one of the most important factors to consider for your startup. Successful business growth depends on scalable business models that will over time increase profits, by growing revenue while avoiding cost increases. Venture Capitals are more interested in investing in a scalable product. Before approaching a VC, make sure your startup is focused on a scalable market.

  4. Build an interesting product: To build a great company you need a great product. To get the attention of a VC you need an interesting product, a special product, a good product, a product that can’t be easily replicable. Building a great product is a hard skill, a special skill. That is why this is very important because at the end no amount of money invested in marketing would sell a bad product, as David Ogilvy said: “Great marketing only makes a bad product fail faster.” Also, if it is an easily replicable product, in no time would you have competitors providing same service and this will saturate the market.


If you are a startup in the Sub-saharan Africa with these 4 qualities, you should apply for funding at Ingressive Capital. Also, join the Ingressive Community to meet Founders, Developers and Designers in the African Tech ecosytem.

Why 'Inspiration' is killing your Design career

On the 7th of March we hosted one of our bi-weekly AMAs on slack, our guest for this insightful session was a product designer, Chimdi Chimereze.

Chimdi is a creative and innovative thinker who seeks to change the world with good design. He is professionally a product designer and has worked on products for reputable brands such as Interswitch, OVH Energy and VisaCheck.

Apart from product design, Chimdi also likes to work on visual branding projects as well as motion graphics.
When he’s not looking at his laptop screen, he’s either reading a medium article, hanging out with great people or sharing his knowledge.

Chimdi: Hello Good evening

My name is Chimdi, a product designer and I'll be handling today's AMA session. Feels really great to be here!

First off, I'm kinda shy because I know there are a lot of us who have more experience in the industry than I do, but I'll do my best to share the much I'm able to

Today's session centre's mostly on design, but I believe all the devs in the house can pick something and make input too

Please, I'd really appreciate if the people here can say hi.

I think I'll start by talking a bit about myself. I'm a freelance product designer, and I really love this industry and what I do. Right from time, I've always loved anything that combines science and art and I totally fell in love when I discovered product design, ...and this brings me to the topic of the day

Why "Inspiration" is killing your design career

First off, I'm not about to attack dribbble or anything, not in a thousand years (as long as they don't do anything really stupid like saying dodo is useless :) I've landed great projects from there and have made contact with amazing designers from across the world

But the real problem isn't about the platform, dribble, It's about how designers are using design inspiration today. I feel really sad when designers basically just lift another design without asking the proper questions nor doing the proper research

I've seen designers who design a mobile app for android, then mock it up in iphone x, because everyone is doing it

  1. It reminds me of a story my mom told us once about when she was in secondary school. During their exam, one of the students decided to copy from the next person, but that wasn't even the matter

    The girl not only copied the next person, she also copied her neighbour's name! how dumb right?

    But a lot of the time, designers do the exact same thing!

    Design should be guided by insight, not gut feeling or trends. I spoke a bit about this in an article I wrote a while ago " https://blog.usejournal.com/before-you-jump-to-design-3a512eb267f3 You can check it out when you get the time

    Meanwhile, feel free to throw in a question anytime,

    This obvious misuse of design inspiration can be attributed to several factors such as; The lack of a proper understanding of UI design and UX design and how they work together Some clients just ask for shiny stuff and don't lay much emphasis on how it works, A poor understanding of who you're designing for or a lack of empathy plus other numerous factors that have brought about this trend


    I've spent about 30 mins pointing out the problem, I think it's only fair to now suggest solutions

    1. A proper understanding of UI and UX and how they work together I believe that when a designer understands the basics of user experience, that designer will take research as serious as design because the designer now understands that without UX they could be providing the right solution to the wrong/less important problem


    2. Designers must learn that inspiration is inspiration, not a library of free stuff waiting to be used. The visuals or inspiration should be used as materials to facilitate your design process and the ideas you find should be subjected to scrutiny based on the specifics of the product you're working on such as demographics, user behaviour and so on.


    3. Good designers should invest time into *reverse engineering* . The art of reverse engineering basically has to do with working your way to the foundation from what you can see. Designers should learn to ask more *whys* than *whats* when working on a product. It it far wiser to be more concerned about the thought or reason behind a design decision than just trying to find out how to create that design element


    4. This is something I've observed that a lot of great artists do. Try to look at design inspiration without copying anything. Just look, then lay back and watch your subconscious do the magic. It has worked for me severally so I still do this a lot. After I look at design inspiration, I just soak it in for some time, then I find out that my mind begins to sort of upgrade my creativity in many other ways and I start finding solutions to my design challenges


    5. I also suggest that designers study design systems or libraries that are widely used today especially google's material design and apple's human interface design

https://material.io/design/introduction/ https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/ios/overview/themes/

They are great resources that will help to educate you on certain design principles and guidelines. I'm currently studying material design myself. Try to check them from time to time, because they get updated frequently

That's the much I have to say for now.

Thanks to the entire Ingressive team and community for having me!


Join the Ingressive community to join the conversation!

The Importance of Design Process With Flox Dairo

Like we do every two weeks, Ingressive had another Tweetchat session with our twitter community and Flox Dairo was our Tweetchat guest for the week. Florence Dairo also known as FloxDairo is a UI/UX Designer at OneFico, owner of Paylater. It’s an opportunity for tech founders, tech enthusiasts, developers, and designers in our community to gain in-depth insights on the importance of Design Processes.

FloxDairo: Thank you Ingressive for the opportunity. I am Florence Dairo, UX/UI designer OneFi (Paylater ).

So, we'll basically be chatting about "The Importance of Design Processes".

Kindly use the hashtag "#IngressivechatWithFlox" and "@" my handle and Ingressive's for any question along the line. I will answer all at the end of my session.

Enjoy!

When it comes to design, the strength lies heavily on the steps taken to create the final result than the final product, itself.

Please bear in mind that there are more than one possible solution or thoughtful approach to solving your clients' problem…(so feel free to come up with your process 😉).

The attempt at solving the given design problem demonstrates how empathic the designer is willing to be on behalf of the client.

That said, a design process is a series of steps that helps you (as a designer) define, plan and produce a product your building. Product in this case are applications (mobile and web apps).

Having a design process allows you to be efficient and focused on creating the best product possible. It also allows you design based on facts and not assumptions.

There are different ways of approaching new projects and it is advisable to create a process that works for you. Most importantly, it is advisable to have a process that is strong and flexible enough to accommodate different clients and problems.

I start by "Exploring" the problem...analysing and expanding my knowledge through UX research (collecting as much relevant information as possible at the early stage int the project's lifecycle through user surveys and user interviews <for primary data>)

This gives me an idea of my users, their needs and visions. Then (no.2) "Focus"... I combine my findings and facilitate scoping exercises such as personas, user stories and product maps. This allows me decide how my users will move through the app.

Then I move on to creating "Wireframes" (LowFi and MidFi). In order to ensure that you are designing the best possible experience for your users,

it is advisable to create bare bones of the app (no colours, no photos or icons just boxes and lines) to show the placement of where things would be without getting distracted by how things look.

Then to HighFidelity "Visual design" and Interaction design (ie. animations and transitions). At this stage, you can use fonts, add colours, images and icons. You can basically give your app an identity that brings it to life.

The last stage of my process will be "Usability analysis" and "Production design". Create and test prototypes. Along all stages of your process, it is advisable to always test your design decisions made.

Then finally create style guide and asset slicing. This allows you accurately ship your designs to your engineering team for production.

So, Why is all these really important? Really. 😑

  1. Primarily to cater for your users. UX research gives you more information about your clients' users and their competitors.

  2. With a clear design process, you can establish realistic project deliverables and deadlines with stakeholders of the project. They know what to expect and when...thereby eliminating needless miscommunication.

  3. It decreases the risk of failure. There's a lower risk of having a failed product after carefully and thoroughly gathering your findings to create the product as opposed to pushing pixels first.

  4. It allows you to be more efficient and transparent when designing. Efficient in the sense that you know the next step to take (and you're not just chasing your tail) and you can clearly trace back your steps. Transparent, in the sense that all (major) stakeholders on different teams are involved and can collaborate easily at anytime. There are a lot of amazing tools that encourages collaboration.

When it comes to design, Figma is the best at bringing in major stakeholder to give inputs at every stage of your design. This saves time and effort.

In conclusion, there is no one way (or process) to get through a project. It is advisable to come up with a strong and flexible design process which clearly shows what you need and caters for different clients' problems.


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How To Deal With The Deadline Syndrome

If you’re reading this; you may have the deadline syndrome.

Meeting deadlines isn't difficult, you just need a system that works for you and stick to it.

As designers, we're always dealing with a million tasks at a time – whether it's dealing with client queries or doing research on a new product's user needs. Additionally, we've got real work to do too. You know, designing things and sorting through the high volume of projects (In the case of a freelance designer).

It goes without saying that missing deadlines is bad for business whether you're working freelance or in-house and to keep track of all your responsibilities, you need a system. If you don't have one well you're in luck because I'm going to touch on how to do exactly that in this article.

The State of Zero-Stress

To become a better and more productive designer, the first and most important thing you should always try to achieve is the state of "Little or Zero Stress."

Stress comes in many forms but the most common for designers are carrying unfinished projects around in your head, feeling like everyone is a better designer than you and dealing with negative feedback from your client or boss. These things affect you mentally and subsequently leaves you exhausted, feeling miserable which then compromises your productivity. In a nutshell, reduce stress levels, and you'll become a better designer.

Make A List

The first step to meeting your deadlines is to make an exhaustive list of tasks including everything you have to do and everything you want to do. You can do this with a pen and paper or a task management app (more on this later)

Prioritise

After making your list of tasks/projects, the next thing you want to do is prioritise. Starting from the top of your list, sort each task by level of priority. Doing this will help you figure out when you want each task completed by, how much time each will take, which tasks you will delegate to someone else and which one you have to do yourself.

Do Hard Things First

It's pretty common to start with the easiest tasks first and leave the harder ones for later. But if we're not kidding ourselves, this approach automatically means saving the difficult tasks for “tomorrow” which probably means the day after that and before you know it, your whole schedule is down the tubes. Tackling more difficult tasks first means that by the time you’re exhausted and energy levels are low, you only have the easier ones to get to and it gives you such relief to know that the hardest ones are out of your way.

Be Accountable

There are times when you just want to chill even though you know it in your guts it's just not the right time but you easily convince yourself you'll get back on track. 9 out of 10 times, you won't!

Set up an accountability system for yourself. It could be a friend, a fellow designer, or anyone you feel comfortable with. Share with them what you hope to achieve in the coming days or weeks. That way when you want to “chill” at the wrong time, there will be someone to put you in check.

Tools you can trust

There are several ways to keep track of your projects and tasks. You may choose to go the traditional pen and paper way or explore a digital approach - I would suggest the digital approach. There has been a lot of different online task managers over the years but Todoist is my favourite of the bunch. You can organise your tasks into projects and subs. For example, you can create a project “UI Design”, then break it down into sub-projects: emails, prototyping, invoicing and so on. Each project or sub project can be colour coded. Todoist even goes as far as turning your productivity into a game of sorts where your efficiency over time is charted and you get little congratulatory notes when you hit milestones – nothing tops that!

Source:  UIJar

Source: UIJar

If Todoist is too complicated for you, there are more simplified tasks managers out there, Gtasks, Microsoft To-Do, Trello, Wunderlist and a bunch of others. Find what works for you and stick to it.

Conclusion

Ultimately it's not the tools you use or the order in which you tackle your tasks but the general change in approach and figuring out a reliable way to organise your time and deadlines that's most important. Anything that lets you get on with your core work of designing things!

Try out a few of these techniques and see if they keep you on track. Tweak them all you want to fit your own work style and flow. Make them your own. You will discover that even if you’re unable to achieve everything on your list, about 80% will be done perfectly. The joy you derive from this will energize you, and keep you going.

Notes from our AMA Session with Gholahan T. Fawale at the Ingressive Community: Finding your niche as a Designer.

Finding your niche as a Designer is a somewhat delicate subject as most designers become overwhelmed trying to choose a path. Technology today is a very competitive that everyone is always striving to be the best they can else they become outdated.


It even becomes harder for us as creatives, trying to stand out, create a style or build a following for our work, it increasingly seems to appear unachievable because of the countless number of amazing talents all over the world, be it as a result of socio-economic background, exposure to technical training and experience or just innate talent of these great individuals.

In this fast paced industry of ours (Technology), we are all trying to get the best of it as we advance in our individual fields and respective career paths, it can be very overwhelming to pick a niche and focus. It even becomes harder for us as creatives, trying to stand out, create a style or build a following for our work, it increasingly seems to appear unachievable because of the countless number of amazing talents all over the world, be it as a result of socio-economic background, exposure to technical training and experience or just innate talent of these great individuals.

Different types of Designers

  • Graphic Designer

  • User Interface Designer

  • User Experience Designer

  • Illustrator

  • Interior Designer

  • Fashion Designer

  • Animator and Multimedia Designer

 

Yet every expert, professional seems to have something that makes their work stand out, recognisable amongst many others be it an artist, designer, developer, musician, sound producer and the rest of them.

What does this mean for us as designers? How can we hone our skills up to the level that we have our personal style, brand, voice and our work can easily be recognised, we become the go to person in our different chosen paths, an individual with domain knowledge and expertise? I will be highlighting some few tips that can help us on.

Learn as much as possible

This very first step is to gain as much foundational knowledge possible, this is what every other step and next stage of our careers will be built on. This can be achieved in different ways, from reading books,blogs,to buying courses online, attending workshops, trainings and meetups or even getting a formal training on design at a college or university if possible.

Quantity over quality

Yeah, this is a very common stage for many designers, experts recommend creating as much as possible to find your style not minding the final quality of the work or design. Here one will find repetitive patterns and trends in once work, also one would have learnt how to express one's creativity and personality into the work.

Always try to showcase and share your work/designs

Many of us try to shy away from showcasing that incomplete or not so good project or design we worked on because of the fear of criticism but remember one of the characteristics of being a good designer is being able to accept feedback and you are also a week, month, year better in experience than someone who hasn’t started at all. People are watching, following the progress of our work as we share them on social media sites and design portfolios, you might be surprised someone sends you a message for a small gig.

Every level of technical expertise as its level of equivalent compensation or value, so the more you create and share your designs you start to attract value, people will compensate based on your current level of experience. Don't wait till you become an expert, before you start sharing your designs and building your portfolio, there is no such thing as an expert, learning continues everyday throughout our careers.

Write blogs

Sharing and writing about your progress, findings, mistakes and solutions your found while working on your projects also helps, they say writing helps to give more clarity and understanding of whatever it is your write about. There are also beginners who will find your articles useful, it doesn’t always have to be very  technical.

Writing also establishes you as an experienced designer , that is how people can actually have an idea of how you approach your designs. Inspire someone today!

Sidenotes

My first post about figma in 2017 has about 2k plus views and 1.5k reads to be precise and also ranks 2nd on google when you search for things related to using figma offline, it was just something i discovered then out of curiosity and wrote about, apparently the stats shows that people esp beginners have actually being searching for ways to use figma offline.

Link below
https://medium.com/owerritechgroup/using-figma-offline-well-not-totally-8899757243e4

Work on side projects

The importance of this can’t be overemphasized, it is very easy to get caught up in office work or whatever pays the bills and not have time to try out or channel these ideas or concepts we have into design projects, you know the work that pays the bills is also important but could sometimes limit our creativity.This brings me to my next point.

Work on projects that you love

One of the ways we can truly identify with ourselves and personality is to work on projects/ideas that we truly love or find interesting, projects that gives us the freedom to try out different styles or do something unconventional.

Your Illustration/Graphic style doesn’t need to be excellent; it needs to be original. - Johny Vino

Work and try challenging designs

Another way to find  a niche is to try hard or challenging designs to work on, there will be a lot of learning and mistakes which can lead to mastery, once mastery has be achieved one becomes an expert  in that skill or design style.

Specific knowledge is knowledge that you cannot be trained for , if the society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you - Naval

When we work on challenging designs or concepts we acquire specific knowledge which can make us one of the most sought after persons in the skill.

Pick One

After exploring different styles and ideas

Check out

UI Engineer, Daina A Smith  http://diana-adrianne.com/
Find a mentor if possible
It could either be someone who you just like their style, look up to or even want to emulate. They don't have to know you in person.Study the great and become greater.”

Most designers belong to at least one category mentioned above, you can focus one(probably pays the bills) while you explore another (passion) and try different styles, this way we can have freedom to create portfolios of work that might not necessarily have an instant/immediate financial benefit and compensation but that which is truly out of our most innate abilities and creativity.

Check out

Baugasm on instagram, Johny Vino on behance and dribble

Teams & organisations such unfold, ramotion, etc

 Advantages to having and finding your niche:

  • It helps you define your brand and what you are known for

  • Finding and focusing on a niche helps stand out and leads to faster mastery of the skill/style.

  • Easier to get clients

  • You become a  “go-to” person in that skill.

  • It helps on lead a life of inspiration to others

Side Notes

We all seek inspiration from each others work but we all have different ways of interpreting things that we like in these works we seek inspiration from.

Everyone Is Born An Artist, the problem is how to remain one once we grow up - Pablo Picasso. I have heard several people think one has to be an artist or should be able to draw before one can get into design.

Observe what is working, and what's not working then apply it to your work.

Hard Work beats talent

Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have or need more clarifications, guidance or just want to share ideas.

Thanks