Yetty Williams, CEO ‘‘Lagos Mums’’ is such a go getter! I mean, who uses her maternity leave to start and successfully run a business? This mumpreneur has a knowledge bank that never gets dry. As our lady boss today, Yetty educates on the importance of innovation and tech to business owners and how she has managed to stay relevant in a very challenging sector. Dive in!
Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My name is Yetty Williams, I am a Digital Media Marketing expert, life coach and run a social enterprise. My business evolved out of my passion and interest to create a community for mums, parents and caregivers. LagosMums was birthed when I was a stay at home home with my second child, I started it to be a one stop destination for mums. As a new mum I was a google warrior always reading up on parenting. At the time I was a new mum, there were no resources for me as a mum in Nigeria. Which led me to start Lagosmums, the first Nigerian blog for mums in Lagos and Nigeria. The concept started growing steadily and from there a business has grown.
What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose to be one?
I did not start out thinking I would be an entrepreneur. I have a bachelor of science in economics and math, after working a few years, I went back for my MBA with a focus in strategy and finance. I was always in 9-5 until I took an 18 month break from 9 – 5 with the birth of my second child. When he started school I went back to work, but by now I had started LagosMums as a hobby. Fast forward to a couple of years from then to when I got my first call to send my rate card, a multinational called me and wanted to enquire to pay me to write a blog about a new product. That was the first time I saw this hobby as a potential business. From there the journey started, I started understanding the content world, blogging and social media. I still remember when I got an Instagram account and didn’t understand how to use it! Seems like a million years ago now.
What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
I call LagosMums the google for mums, parents and caregivers in Lagos and Nigeria. We offer information about everything that has to do with raising children in the 21st century, in addition to the website, a newsletter is also shared weekly. We discuss everything such as choosing the right schools, events for the family on the weekend, product recommendations, work life balance etc. In addition to the content we share, we hold an annual parenting conference once a year to bring parents and experts together to discuss parenting matters. I had never been to one before and this was definitely something new I introduced. The first one held in 2014 with 70 mums in attendance.
Since then we have grown to having over a 1000 mums register to attend, The events have been well received and well attended. We discuss so many things and keep it real. We just had our 5th conference on Sat Oct 13th 2018 at Harbor Point VI. I also offer several digital media marketing packages to businesses – both SME’s and large corporation who want to reach out to an engaged community of mums and their families.
What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
I am always learning! I am not scared to try new things and I always ask – my motto is the worst that can happen is you will hear a “no”, but usually there are too many Yes’s we leave on the table. I went back to school this year to get an Executive degree in Digital media marketing from the University of Cambridge and Upgrad. I wanted to improve what I know about digital media marketing. Because of my role in helping mothers on the parenting journey, I got certified as a life coach. I love to truly help women thrive and grow in every area of their lives. I always want to go deeper and understand whatever sector I am in better.
In your opinion, would you say that there are any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face?
I would say women sometimes are too timid, too worried about not being good enough so when we should be bold enough to step forward we would rather not. Secondly too many women/female entrepreneurs are scared of technology and innovating using digital tools, the world is too connected nowadays – it is a borderless world. We cannot afford to say we don’t understand. This led me to start a new consultancy called “Slay with Digital” where I help women business owners to grow their business with digital media.
What values and principles have helped you so far?
I believe in being prayerful, trust worthy, dependable and offering value. I also love innovating and keeping things exciting.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced, and what’s kept you going?
Getting enough business from advertisements can be a challenge since this is the main revenue model. I continue to understand the industry, build relationships with agencies and other contacts who are looking for platforms such as mine. I keep building my network.
What’s your five-year plan for your business?
To be the one stop destination for mums, parents and caregivers in Lagos, Nigeria then Africa and the world. To be a trustworthy site that links parents with the information, products and recommendations they need when raising children and their families. To also be a trusted destination for top notch companies that offer products and services to mums and their families.
What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
They need to love learning and keep trying new things. There are so many free sources for online learning that there is no excuse.
Be consistent when it comes to your business on social media – people need to know what you are about. Don’t leave them guessing. Have the right mix of original, curated and promotional content.
Be comfortable with data, I use a lot of data and feedback to know what is working and what isn’t. Don’t be shy to get feedback. Understand your customers psycho-graphics, what they like, what they value, what they are talking about – this helps you know what to offer to your audience.
Understand your numbers – if you don’t understand your finances you can never know if you are growing or not, there is a difference between revenue and profit. Pay attention to your numbers on a monthly basis, you might be surprised to see that 20% of what you do is bringing 80% of your revenue.
Have a business plan and strategy, write it down and review regularly. Find yourself some good mentors and a network who help you to grow.
If you are a niche business like me, you need to constantly stay plugged into your niche to understand their pain points, and what they need to make life easier. Be comfortable with going a bit wider as well, there are opportunities for collaborations with others.
Lastly, have a set of analytics you review regularly – these include analytics for your website and insights to your social media accounts. With this you can deep dive into your audience and serve more of what works. Offer value and never just sell sell sell.
The LLA Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.