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ONEXTRA: Wanjiru Njiru

Sunday February 3 2019

Wanjiru Njiru.

Wanjiru Njiru. PHOTO|COURTESY 

KAREN  MURIUKI
By KAREN MURIUKI
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The 25-year-old quit her job to become a digital content creator and a brand influencer, which, as she says, is just a fancy name for a YouTuber.

How did you get your brand off the ground?

That really came with consistency. Also it matched a need in the society, because people wanted to consume content with a digital shift. My channel was at the centre of this digital shift so they happened to complement each other.

When did you first put up content?

In August of 2015. I’ve put up a lot of content over the years, but not as consistently as I would have loved to. I took lots of breaks in between. 2019 is the year to do that.

What three things does anyone starting in your industry need to know?
One: You need to start. (Laughs). Two; be consistent. I wish someone had advised me on that in 2015. Lastly, you have to be very focused on what you want to achieve.

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As much as our job is to put out content that people want to consume, we are also opening ourselves up to opinions of people. Content creation and influencing is a new career path that’s really mostly with the millennials. Others may use that to discourage you, saying that it’s not a profitable career. It’s up to you to be focused.

Would you do anything differently if you started now?
Consistency and dealing with the demon of self-doubt. People kept pushing me to put out content but I had a lot of self-doubt and thought to myself that I wasn’t good enough.


Who has had the most influence on your growth?

God, for one. I am a big believer that nothing happens by chance. He orchestrates everything that happens in our lives. If I was to accredit a person, it would be my boyfriend Bernard. He brought out the vulnerable side of me which I think people relate to better now.

How did you build your following on social media?

I think it’s more about knowing what you’re putting out because people relate to content. You have to establish your niche for people to identify you with. Consistency and frequency also help, something which I learnt from the vlogger YummyMummy.

What’s a typical day in your life?

Normally, I’m up by 6 am so that I can leave for the office by 7 am. I leave at around 10 am whenever I have a video to shoot since I use natural light for filming.

The work sets in as soon as I get to the office. I have to do reports, schedule content and work on emails and proposals which more or less take all day. I leave the office at around 5 pm.

Are there any challenges you face in content creation and influencing apart from creatives bloc?

Perfectionism, which is why I kept taking breaks. As I said, I struggled with a lot of self-doubt and comparing myself to others. I had to come to the realisation that it’s okay to be myself. I also learnt to do it while afraid.

It beats me why Kenyan YouTubers get less viewers and subscribers in comparison to foreign ones yet the content is equally good.

Another challenge is that YouTube does not pay enough money to live by. This is why most influencers rely on brand deals and endorsements, because it pays more. Getting brands to work with is also very challenging.

Talk about the biggest failure you’ve had. What did you learn from it?

I would say when I let a couple of haters make me go off the grid some time last year. I let people whom I had never met make me cower, and let them control my thinking and my life. I overcame it mostly through prayer and talking positively to myself.

Which rules do you live by?

Again, do it afraid. That’s the motto this year. Also, to secure the bag.

What keeps you going when things get tough?

The goals that I take time in setting for myself. Whenever that happens, I re-read the goals and remind myself that I am not where I want to be yet. I take myself back to the frame of mind and spirit I was when writing them down and I get reenergised almost immediately.

How would you want to improve yourself this year?

Really by staying on my consistency plan not only when putting out content, but in everything I do. When I do, I need to be taken out for lunch or a holiday. (Laughs).

What do you like doing in your spare time?

I could say reading, but that would be a lie. (Laughs). But I like scrolling through Pinterest for style inspiration.

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