Yesterday, I am unwinding after a long week and catching up on Game of Thrones season 1. I am enthralled by the power play and political maneuvers of Winterfell when my friend Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji buzzes me to get my opinion and business lessons learnt from Linda Ikeji’s house acquisition in Banana island. I like Toyosi Akerele – Ogunsiji because she is always on the look out to learn from every positive development. I am hesitant to put my thinking cap on because Friday night is my only ‘time off’. I made a few statements but she kept at it this morning again and shared some of her own learning points with me which I benefited from.
I decided to put on my business consultant cap and think through Linda Ikeji’s business model objectively, especially away from the barrage of criticism and adverse opinions. I have come up with 7 reasons why her business model is working. Please take note that I am not focusing on her grammatical construction or content accuracy or business sustainability which I would comment about at the end, I would be looking at it from a business perspective. So here are my points:
- Early mover advantage: Linda Ikeji started blogging much earlier than everyone else and alludes to the fact that she was inspired by Bellanaija. She started blogging even before any of us in Nigeria knew what blogging was about and she was one of the few people who developed the industry, similar to how Alibaba developed comedy and Tara Feladurotoye developed the makeup industry. Early movers have a great advantage to take a good portion of any market, especially when they maximize the opportunity.
- Passion: She started blogging out of passion, that is what kept her going for 4 years before she actually began to make money from it. You have to be truly passionate about something to stick it out for that long even when you do not get immediate returns.
- Consistency: Linda shows up as a blogger day after day, and you can always count on going to her blog for the latest gist, gossip and information. It takes consistency to build a brand and business.
- KISS: This is the acronym for Keep it simple stupid or keep it simple and short. Linda does not use any complicated templates on her blog. She still retains her blogspot extension an she does not have the most structured content flow. But everyone who goes there more or less knows what they are getting and they go with the flow.
- Share of mind: Linda has the largest share of mind in the blogosphere. This means the product in any category that people remember anytime they think about that product category. When people want to buy detergent, they think of Ariel, when they want to buy Biro’s they think of Bic. When they want to buy recharge cards, they think of MTN! I write for various websites/blogs like Bellanaija, Genevieve and Spreadmedia, but the other day, someone saw me and said; Well done, I enjoy reading all your articles on Linda Ikeji and co! So that is the blog that get’s his top of the mind recall.
- Aspiration/Personality driven: Her blog is driven by a personality that people can relate to. Her rags to riches story is very endearing and makes it very relate-able. Her audience have experience her growth and journey and she gives them ‘hope’ that they took can one day be successful. Most blog in her category are organization driven, but her personal touch seems to be working well for her.
7.Community/Aggregation: Linda has successfully built a community of loyal fans popularly known as Liber’s similar to Lady Gaga’s Monsters. They are loyal and steadfast in keeping her blog vibrant. Her fans have become like family members, and no amount of advertising to bring traffic to your blog or website can build this community atmosphere. It has to be cultivated and she has done a good job cultivating it.
Those are my 7 points, but as a business coach and consultant, brand and business sustainability is key. And my advice for her to make it sustainable, is to build the right structures around it and to extend her brand to other business opportunities. A good personality driven model that has done this successfully is Oprah. She needs a good strategy team who would help her extend her brand likewise.
So that’s my business perspective on Linda Ikeji. Feel free to share this with as many business oriented people as possible and your comments are welcome!