Our #LadyBoss today is a barrier breaker and a mountain mover. After a successful time as the Online Manager of Genevieve Magazine, Liz Osho started her own digital agency and her success is proof that hard work and persistence are important for every female entrepreneur. In our interview with her, Liz shares the secrets to her success and much more.
- Can you briefly describe yourself and your business?
My name is Liz Osho. I am the head strategist at So.Me Solutions. So.Me is a digital agency focused on providing creative, strategic and technical development of products and services for our clients. We help brands to engage with their specific target audience and markets. We are currently a team of five.
- What is it like being a female entrepreneur, and why did you chose this path?
It’s dynamic, no two days are the same. It’s a rich journey, filled with risks, but also endless possibilities. I have been fortunate enough to meet with so many amazing people with an array of skills. I’m dealing with so many different personalities, and that by itself gives me an adrenaline rush. I’m a true creative and I wanted a lifestyle that isn’t bound to 9 – 5, even though I have always worked round the clock anyway. I wanted to create an organisation that had meaning to me, something of my own where I could provide a service and then perhaps even create our own products.
- What new innovation have you introduced to your business?
We’ve been able to allow SME’s to accelerate and communicate to a global audience through digital media. There is a faster turn around through customised strategies. Also, whilst I wouldn’t say it’s a new innovation, but what we seem to be doing quite well is connecting brands with their specific influencers. We’ve been able to access the digital space and model a formula that already works very well abroad, and we hope it can be the norm here in Nigeria
- What will you say is responsible for your success so far?
Hard work, and God on our side. Hard work beats it all. We have a system in my small team where there is no hierarchy. Everyone rolls their sleeves up and gets stuck in. We do everything to deliver.
- Are there any unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face generally?
Defying social expectations. A lot of the executives around me are male. Business sometimes can become aggressive, competitive and harsh. As a female entrepreneur, I have to remain true to myself and find my own voice, not conforming to anyone’s idea of what a leader should look like. Balancing business and family life is also very tough. Traditional gender expectations prevail in our society, so looking after a home, being a wife, having time for immediate family, friends, and simultaneously running a new business can be very challenging but I’m learning to find the balance, and develop a routine, though I’ve been told it will all change again as soon as I become a mother.
- What values and principles have helped you so far?
Authenticity. Loyalty. Courage. Integrity. With my team, I strive to build a positive and family spirit. I like to work with people with the same principles as me: open and honest with communication.
- Why did you decide to go into this particular line of business?
I have always been a people’s person, and communications is a strong point for me. As of right now, there is no social media expert degree. After 4 years working as Genevieve Magazine’s online manager, over time I discovered my knack for digital media driven campaigns, and strategies. I was able to capitalize on the massive following we were able to amass over time. I was able to create content that drives engagement and triggers actions, and I worked on making it a winning formula.
- What keeps you going when the odds are against you?
Whenever I have struggled to get an idea off the ground, to get my weight under control (story of my life) or overcome any type of fear, because just like everyone else, I have my fears and self-doubting moments. Whenever the odds are stacked against me, the most effective strategy has always been to keep pushing. I usually pray to God for clarity, and then I reach out to my support system, which consists of my husband, family, mentors. I remind myself about my long term goals, and I’m not so hard on myself because often we forget to appreciate how far we have come. I keep trying. I keep moving towards my goals, and I continue to build my network.
- What’s your five-year plan for your business?
I started with a three-year plan, to grow my team with the focus on becoming a leader in the content marketing space. We want to grow into a strong content hub, with a focus on building strong databases and being market experts. The plan is to grow our technical competencies and of course collaborate with other experts to provide value added service to clients. We are working towards a digital hub which allows our clients to continue to start conversations and influence trends, as well as giving influencers an organized platform to monetize.
- What do upcoming female entrepreneurs need to do to be successful in this path?
Get organized. To be successful you need to be organized and detailed, always looking at the bigger picture. The key is to provide a great service because most of the clients you get in this business is by word of mouth or repeat business. Be prepared to make sacrifices. Stay focused. There are so many distractions so keep your eye on your goals. Understand that there will be risks in business, but there are also rewards. No guts no glory. To succeed in digital you need a very strong network and you have to be very creative, so keep learning. take courses. I’m always reading up on the new trends, new apps, and how I can add value to my clients.
Catch up with Liz’s work here: http://somesolutions.online/
Follow her on Instagram: @liz_osho and @somesolutions