#CreatorStories: Meet Oladimeji Ajegbile, The Multifaceted Creator Working as an Architect, Brand Designer, and Podcaster
#CreatorStories showcases the honest personal experiences of digital creators who monetize their knowledge of a skill and sell it on Selar. We share these stories every week to inspire you to create and sell a product out of your wealth of knowledge and be a part of the digital creator economy.
This week, we turn the lights on Oladimeji Ajegbile, also known as the Christian Creative who doubles as a creative, architect, visual designer, podcaster, and CEO.
Let’s get to know him, shall we?
Can we meet Oladimeji Ajegbile?
My name is Oladimeji Ajegbile. I’m mostly known as the Christian creative online based on the look on my face and the type of content I create. I’m very passionate about seeing how creators can express themselves in multiple ways without being restricted to one thing. I’m also the founder and CEO of Virtu. Virtu is an agency that focuses on brand environment development or design. It’s a mixture of interior design, architecture, and brand identity. That’s Dimeji in a nutshell.
What was your career journey like before becoming a designer, storyteller, and podcaster?
I studied Architecture in the University and I was always fascinated by the way things could just start up from nothing. You could be looking at a site (i.e. an empty land) and between six months to one year, there’s a building out of nothing.
It was interesting getting started as an architect. But I wanted to explore design beyond buildings and spaces. I wanted to understand design as a way of life and how it pertained to every other thing.
I became interested in brands like Apple, Google, and Coca-cola, and how they were able to use design as a way of life to influence the things they created. That was where my journey into Graphic design started.
At the time, I was able to find photoshop as a tool and I started using it to create different things. Learning on Youtube, my passion grew to get more involved in design, and that was how I went into learning brand design which eventually brought me to UI/UX design and has graduated into all the things I’m doing right now.
You’re also called the Christian Creative. What inspired the name?
Being a Christian by faith, the bible makes it very clear that in the beginning, God created. And that was the very first definition of God that we received, that God is the creator.
So if God is the ultimate creative, you can’t separate creativity and Christianity.
Also, people keep saying digital creator or video creator and I’m not just a video creator or a digital creator. I create across multiple platforms, different spaces, and industries. The best way to give myself a name that stands out was to be myself and Christian creative was the perfect way to get started.
Do you have any digital products on sale?
I have quite a number. While exploring design, I started creating content in 2019 and the first place I invested in was podcasts. I hosted a podcast for 2 years before I took a break. Within those 2 years, I created an ebook “How to Podcast” which is currently on sale on Selar. I also have another ebook, “A Guide to Short-form Video Creation”, also available on Selar. Those are the major ones I’m really excited about. I have other free products like “Simple Insights for Creators Who Are Starting Out” and “Who Sets The Standard.” I have productivity planners as well.
What made you decide to create a digital product?
It all started with my passion to share knowledge to anybody who needs it. I’m a fan of knowledge transfer. I realized that in becoming who I am today, most of the things I got value from were free resources like YouTube, blog posts, etc. A lot of them felt generic and not tailored to a particular thing. I felt I needed to create something more specific.
I’m a designer and I’ve taken a couple of design classes in the past with a lot of people who turned up. Converting most of these sessions into products people can easily consume to get the results that they desire was just something that became very easy for me.
Not just creating content that is very bite-sized, but expanding more on the knowledge you shared in bites on social media into a compendium of knowledge someone can just have and read through in less time and get as much value as they can from it. That’s how I started creating digital products.
What was your first digital product?
My first digital product was the “How to Podcast ebook”. I hosted a podcast for two years and a couple of webinars and workshops. From those workshops, I was able to create a detailed ebook on “How to Podcast”. It contains all the tools you require, how to get started with podcasting, how to reach out to people to be guests on your podcasts, etc. Basically, everything I did when I started podcasting. All the strategies I used to be successful at it, everything went into the ebook.
When did you earn your first money from creating and selling digital products?
Talking about digital products, I think services also fall under them. So I did a number of services as well that were running before the podcast started. The very first time I earned was from the first podcast webinar I organized. The webinar ran for three hours and it was a paid webinar. It was the “How to Podcast” webinar and after that, the ebook was created.
What is your sales strategy that other digital creators can employ for their digital products?
Offer value at no cost. For example, I take a particular post and share consistent value around it and I do this so that people know that I’m knowledgeable about this. Even though the original idea of creating such content is to open people’s minds to the idea that I do stuff like that. Eventually, when I create a digital product and make it available for the public, it doesn’t make them feel any way because they’ve heard me talk about it in the past.
Using the podcast ebook for example now,
The original intent was to host a podcast workshop that will last three days. But then I started with Instagram live every week for about a month and after seeing the turnout of people, I switched to making short videos about podcasting and how to get started. After doing that for another month, I did the webinar first before the main event which was the workshop. The webinar was for three hours, after which I made the recordings available for sale as well.
In a month, I did a proper workshop that lasted for three days. As I was doing all that, the original idea was to post about the workshop and tell people that it’d last for 3 days and they’d be paying over 20k Naira for it. But I started doing free value content. That was my strategy.
Give value for free and let it build up. Don’t just bring up your product in people’s faces. People buy from people. So if they don’t see you as someone trustworthy, they wouldn’t want to buy from you.
How much do you make on average from selling digital products?
Between 500k to One million Naira. I really didn’t keep track because there were some that were hosted on different platforms, some of my stock photos from Pexels, and a few other places. This is from 2020.
Would you say you leveraged the power of community to make sales as a digital creator?
I started podcasting in 2019. When I started, I had about 700 followers because it was a carryover of my followers from when I was creating architectural content.
Starting with a new space, and becoming a creator, I started sharing my podcasting journey, the insights from the episodes, and the step-by-step journey. Slowly the numbers started increasing.
After a year, I decided to let people in on what it took to start a podcast. I ran a series of Instagram live videos on how to podcast and then people started requesting detailed sessions on how to podcast, that’s where the webinar came into play.
So I’d say my community made it easy for me to scale that particular event because it was requested by people. And because they requested it, they did the publicity for me. Someone even told me that he’s confident that I could teach them how to podcast because they’ve been following me and they saw the growth. I didn’t have to convince people to be a part of it, they just did.
What is the BTMpod all about? We see you do that with the social media oga, Bolaji.
The BTMpod means Beyond the Metrics. I and Bolaji Ajibare came together to start that particular project, not because we wanted it to be a podcast, but because we wanted people to know that content goes beyond the metrics. Creating and sharing value or doing anything goes beyond the metrics of social media.
We realized that people got discouraged because they were not getting the likes or the following they desired and it limited how well they were creating. So we decided to bring it up and share our own experiences of how we were able to grow our communities, build a business in the creator economy and thrive above the limitations the metrics and the algorithms bring.
It’s just a way to encourage people to realize that you can create beyond the metrics and not get stuck thinking that you don’t have a community so you can’t sell digital products. If you can put in the work, you really don’t need these numbers to define what you can do or what you can’t do. It is just there to guide you on what to do and how to do it better.
We also talked about how to leverage the right metrics to grow and to scale. So if you’re someone who owns a physical store, the number of likes shouldn’t really affect you. It should be the number of leads and the number of clicks that you get on your website.
So how do you know what metrics matter and how do you leverage them for growth? That’s what the BTMpod is about.
For most creators, these metrics are important. So how do you use this Pod to convince people that they should focus on the content, not engagement?
We’ve all been there, where you do something with all your strength, put in the work, and do not get results. I figured that the reason I wasn’t getting results was that my mind was on the results I’m looking for.
So instead of focusing on the results, I focus on the people who are engaging with this content and actively communicate with them, trying to get them to share their thoughts and ideas with me. Because 80% of my content doesn’t really come originally from me. They are from discussions in the DM’s, the comments, suggestions, etc.
Listening to the audience or my community allows me to create better. Even though the metrics matter, ignoring the people who make up those metrics is not a good strategy. It’s not about the numbers per se, it’s about the people interacting with your content. Most of these metrics you’re looking at happen through people.
Your number of followers is based on the number of people actually following you. Not a number that is inconsequential. The number of views you get on a video are people who view these things. The number of likes are likes from people too.
Focus on the people and these numbers will increase. But if you focus on the number, the people won’t come because you’re all fixed on how many likes you’ve gotten, compared to how many people need to see this video and like it. It becomes a people’s need rather than a numbers game.
Also, the metrics matter. They help you know that you’re growing. But if you focus too much on those metrics, you neglect the people who make up these numbers.
We correct this by sharing our experiences, examples that we’ve seen, and how you can do the things we did. We share practical examples, we pick topics that we know relate to people, and we get them to ask questions based on what they are struggling with and answer them as clearly as we can.
What does being a creative mean to you?
I strongly believe that creativity is innate in everyone. But as much as it’s innate, it’s a skill that needs to be developed. Because you have the ability to think and to actualize whatever it is you think, makes you creative, but it doesn’t make you “a creative”.
Everybody has the ability to be creative but very few people master it which then gives you this distinction of being “a creative”. A Creative is a person, creativity is something that is common to everybody.
When I realized that I was creative, I wanted to find a way to master it. Just like a muscle, you need to exercise it, master it and create it until you get better. You’re creative as long as you can think, come up with ideas and actualize the ideas you have. Which I believe everybody can do but very few people actually DO IT.
And it’s in the process of doing it that you become “A Creative”. So, that distinction at the beginning of my career helped me know that I have talent but it’d be nothing if I don’t exercise them.
Are you saying being a creative means practicing your creativity?
Yes! For most people who call themselves creatives, it’s not just a hobby for them, it has become a career or a lifestyle. So they are living it consciously and actively. Some people can do things but they don’t express it, there’s no way you’d call them something because you don’t know what they can do. Everybody is creative but not everyone wants to be a creative.
Would you say this is an idea that has formed from your years of being a creative?
I’d say it’s something that has been known to me since I was little. My years of experience helped fashion it into something more presentable and appealing to people.
Then, the word creative wasn’t used all the time. It was talent or skill that we knew about. Getting into the University, I saw being a creative as a way of life, not a job or a profession. As I live daily, my creativity is being expressed. And one of the ways you can find an expression is through platforms or by putting things out there that are tangible.
A lot of people who are doing the most in the creator economy aren’t expressing what they studied in school. This means that there’s something everyone has that they can express if only they can reach in and find that thing.
Anybody can start a YouTube channel but it takes people who are disciplined and master their skills that can scale or get better at it. The more you improve, the more you learn, and the more you grow. It’s not just a magical thing that happens because you’re a creative, no. You have to master this thing. You have to learn, you have to improve, and keep finding ways to not remain the same.
Some months ago it was carousels that were reigning, today it’s reels over the place. The world is not stopping for anybody. Being a creative is not a stagnant thing if you keep improving yourself.
Aside from showing us what being a podcaster, brand designer, and storyteller looks like, what else do you do?
I’m an architect. I have a firm called Virtu, that focuses on brand environment design. That is, setting up interior spaces and architecture for brands and startups in the hospitality and recreation industries but not residential.
What advice would you give to digital creators in Africa who are inspired by you?
Start now and don’t consider the limitations. Use them as a space to grow because you’d always find things that’d hinder you and make you feel like you are not good enough or it’s not yet the right time to start. Because those things are coming, it just means that you’d succeed if you take it seriously. If you go against the odds, you’d definitely make it. Start now and don’t be scared in the face of opposition.
Is there any other thing you’d like to tell your followers, friends, and fans?
I’m not just that dancing guy on IG. There’s more to Dimeji. I strongly believe that creatives are multipotentialites, so don’t get stuck trying to do one thing. Explore every skill and talent. You never can tell which one would make you the next big thing. It’s in exploring that you find yourself.
Harness your creativity and join the creator economy. Selar was created for you at every stage of your creator journey.
Here’s how to get started.
- Sign up on Selar.
- Set up your online store and bank details.
- Upload your product.
- Share store link with customers and start selling.