Surviving in Nigeria as a Newbie Creator: Your Location Girl’s Story
For many creators today, their early days were one for the books. From making lots of mistakes to underpricing, and lacking clarity on their content direction, the list is endless. Vee Obi (your location girl), although a newbie, is gradually beginning to get a hang of this creator thing and is finally charging her worth.
In this edition of Creator Stories, she tells us how she is navigating the creator economy and staying afloat.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Vivian, the internet people know me as your location girl. I am a graduate of law who developed an interest in content creation and social media management. Before that, I’d always been interested in DIYs and noticed that I always received compliments for the pieces I created. So I decided to post about it online and today, I’m a creator.
How did you develop an interest in content creation?
In 2021 I just wanted more for myself, I was tired of being a regular user on Instagram. Since I was already good at creating DIY pieces, I started sharing them online. I was also inspired by other creators – Alma Asinobi and Oyin. Oyin did DIY at the time while Alma is a travel creator. What I really liked was that she came off as natural and showed that creators were also human beings with regular lives. That inspired me to start posting my DIY processes online.
In 2022, I went on a trip to Obudu Cattle Ranch, and while on the trip, I noticed that people were interested in my Instagram stories to know what I was posting. I wasn’t perfect in editing and I used only Instagram to edit then. But I kept receiving questions about the trip, everything I spent, and lots more. I tried to answer them as much as I could. I wasn’t even a travel creator yet and I still had the name Vee Obi.
One day when I posted skincare products, I got over 20 people asking me where I got them from. And I just decided to create content around the places I visit since people always ask me. That’s how I started showing location content and changed my name to yourlocationgirl.
Why do you think the need to do something more for yourself came from content creation?
I see myself as a very resourceful person. I always have ideas in my mind and things I want to do. My friends also always trusted me to help them find places to do things and get stuff in general. So I put it to use. With the DIYs, I just wanted to show people they could get things without breaking the bank. More importantly, I love impacting people and teaching them how to get things for themselves. I guess I just wanted an opportunity to express these parts of myself.
How did you learn DIY in the first place?
l wouldn’t say I learned it. I used to go to Pinterest a lot to save a lot of DIYs and try to recreate them myself in my room.
When you started, did you know how you wanted your content to look?
I sincerely had no idea. You know when they say, “Just do it afraid,” I have truly been doing everything afraid.
Last year when I came back from my Obudu trip, I wrote an e-book on Exploring Obudu – that was me doing it afraid.
I just got into content creation and I already wrote an e-book. At the time I wrote it, I made only 2 sales. Fast forward to today, I’ve made numerous sales from that ebook. I just did it scared and I didn’t know how I wanted my content to look like.
I wasn’t following any location or restaurant creator at the time because my niche then wasn’t location, I was just transitioning into it and doing my thing afraid every day.
Nice. What was the motivation?
I’d say that the motivation was the community I was building. When I started, I had a positive community. People were engaging with my content and that gave me the push to do more. I got some rejections especially from brands because of my low followers. so I just focused my attention on people who were engaging with my content. I held on to the 1000 followers I had at the time and kept on showing up for myself and the brand too.
When was the first time you were paid for creating content?
It was in 2022. A Cafe paid me to shoot content for them, highlighting their services and location.
How much was it?
How did you feel?
I was excited. It felt huge for me. But they wanted to cheat me.
They wanted me to create content for them 4 times for 20k.
Ah.. They should fear God. What did you do then?
“We may be hungry, but we can manage our hunger.” (laughs)
I knew I was a newbie but I also knew what slavery was. So I said no.
Virtual high five
Have you had similar situations like this?
Yes, lots of them. One time I managed a page for a brand and they refused to pay. They wanted me to get 10k organic followers weekly.
(laughs)..I explained to him that it wasn’t possible oh. But they didn’t understand it.
I did another one for another brand where I was managing their page but was also learning on the job, so there were some things I didn’t know. Thank God for my friend who helped me in some areas. When they eventually wanted to pay, I didn’t want the money anymore because they made me feel bad about my work.
There was another brand I created content for, they said it wasn’t what they wanted, but they used the content. I was so angry when I saw it that I wanted to take down the other video that was on my page because they called me a second time to create another content for them. I should have sued them.
Wow..you’ve really seen shege on these streets.
Yes oh. But we thank God for growth.
What takeaways did you get from that?
Don’t underprice yourself. Don’t think your services are not worth it, because you will feel like you are not offering too much. You are offering much. For you to share ideas with a company is much. Your presence alone is much.
I used to downplay myself a lot till I realized that I’m an idea girl and having me on your team is enough already. Sometimes, these companies are willing to pay more but you now shoot yourself in the leg and give them a small price because they will say you are too expensive. You know your worth – add price, and add tax.
Yes, girl! So how much do you charge for a gig now?
It depends on the brand. When I reached 10k followers, I changed my rate card to 50k and above, but it all depends on the brand I am working with. Nonetheless, I don’t go below 50k anymore.
Rich babe! So what is your content creation process?
I really just get ideas. You know how they say when an idea drops in your mind, just write it down? That is what I do. Any idea that drops, I write it down – I have a book for it. Even when it is not well developed, I write it down and properly develop it later. I also believe once an idea comes to you, it’s not just exclusive to you alone. If it comes to you, it has also come to other people. The faster you act on it, the better for you.
Also, it’s not all the things I show in my videos that I buy. When I started, I used to buy a lot of stuff but now, most of my content is sponsored by brands. I go with my friends so they help me shoot most of my videos from various angles. I don’t carry a tripod, I just go with my friends.
Did you have any countries you wanted to visit when you started?
Yes, one of my goals this year was to take my first international trip, but I didn’t have any specific country in mind. I saw some countries from Alma, and I just wrote: Senegal, Kenya, and Rwanda. Fortunately, I took my first international trip to Ghana, Togo, and the Benin Republic.
Thank you! Funny thing is I didn’t know I was going to take that trip until I got a gig. I did travel creation for Lárìnká The Wakaholic, a travel agency. I was the lead creator and my job was to create content from the entire experience.
Moral lesson: Speak it until it comes into existence.
True! Were you paid for the gig?
Not really. But they took care of my travel expenses, food, and accommodation, and gave me a stipend. It is not a paid thing, we are a group of friends doing things together.
Interesting. What have you learned from your journey so far?
I will say just start. You can be anything you want to be if you make up your mind. You can start with where you are and grow big. You can start small and grow big. just start from where you are – just do it. It might be that you are not appreciated but trust me, people are seeing your work and they are watching.
Do you have any other advice for content creators who are inspired by you?
I always say – I am motivating you to explore various locations, starting from your location. So if you are doing it for fun, come out and have fun, sometimes come out and see things.
For people who want to start content creation, just start with what you have and where you are. When I started content creation, I was using an iPhone 8, and it wasn’t giving me what I wanted but I kept doing it. I didn’t even have light. It was this year I got light and other tools I invested in. So I know you’ve heard it countless times but just start where you are and with what you have – you will grow.