Image source: Smart Money Africa
By Adedoyin Jaiyesimi
A few weeks ago, Arese Ugwu, Founder of Smart Money Africa, launched her Smart Money Woman book and it was a hit on arrival. In a few days, the book was completely sold out. Right now, if you place an order on the site, you will see that close to 2000 orders have been made. The cost price of the book is N4, 900. Do the math. And we say there is no money in the country!
I laugh when people make that statement. The truth is people will spend money on whatever it is that is valuable to them. Heavily loaded in Arese’s successful book launch are salient lessons that will help everyone thrive in this economy. Here are the five important lessons you should learn from Arese:
Know your stuff. Arese knows her stuff. She is not talking about or teaching something that she has no clue about. Her book was centered on her area of expertise – finance. So many entrepreneurs fail because they follow the bandwagon. “The fashion industry is looking profitable at the moment; let me also start a fashion business.” Is it your area of expertise? Do you know and understand what it is that you are selling?
Stick to your area of strength and expertise if you want to have long term success.
Have a track record. I cannot remember how long I have been following Arese but she has been consistent. From her articles on Bella Naija to her blog posts and then her show on Ndani TV; Arese has pushed the same message consistently over time. Her consistency shows that she is passionate about what she is doing. She wants to help young people, especially young women, to gain financial freedom and that is what she has stuck with. Her track record gives her credibility. Having credibility as an entrepreneur is essential if you want to succeed.
People do not do business with or buy from people that they do not trust. That is a fact.
Add value. Again, following Arese’s track record, you will discover that she consistently adds value. I do not know if she was paid to write her articles on Bella Naija but in every article, there were practical tips to help you improve your finances. She dealt with real issues. Her audience knew that she had their best interest at heart. That was why when she launched her book, they knew that they just had to get it. It was a no-brainer.
Remember, people will spend money on whatever it is that is valuable to them, no matter how much it costs.
Work on your visibility. One thing I teach my writers at The Sparkle Writer’s Hub is to learn how to build platforms in order to become visible. If nobody had known Arese and she launched her book, it would have been an epic fail. It wouldn’t have mattered that the book truly is insightful. Having a platform where you are visible gives you leverage and provides an opportunity for you to become a thought leader in your industry.
The truth is that people do not really buy products or services; they buy (or invest) in the people or organizations behind those products and services. Of course, the best way to leverage your platform is to add value to your customers. What are their needs and concerns? Can you create content to help them meet those needs?
Timing is everthing. There is nothing worse than launching a great product at the wrong time. Sensitivity is critical. Think about it. Releasing a book about financial security during a time of recession make perfect sense right? Yes it does. People are looking for ways to keep and grow their money. Arese released her book at the perfect time. How did she do this? It’s simply by being sensitive. She was constantly in touch with her audience.
I remember when she started the Smart Money 30 Day Challenge. She used that to gauge the concerns of her audience and the information she received formed a huge chunk of her book. She knew her audience needed this book and she knew the exact time that they needed it. Can you say the same for your product or service?
One well-known principle of customer service is that the customer is king. To thrive in this economy, I believe this also applies to entrepreneurs. Be mindful of your target market. Create products and services that they actually need. Be known as an entrepreneur who adds value. You need to think beyond the money to make it in business. At the end of the day, it’s all about your value proposition.
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Author: Adedoyin Jaiyesimi
Adedoyin Jaiyesimi is a writer, editor, and communications professional. She runs Content Craft, an editorial and social media consulting company which provides content writing and social media management services. Adedoyin is also the founder of The Sparkle Writer’s Hub, a platform for everyone who loves to write.