First things first...
Social Media is not like accountancy - Brian Mutinda
My name is Brian Mutinda. I'm a digital content creator, a social media influencer, a digital strategist and a copywriter.
Who’s an Influencer?
Someone who uses a platform; and not necessarily digital, to convince people to try out a service or a commodity.
Are you an Influencer?
Ummmm, sometimes I do that. Laughs. Because sometimes not everyone is influenced.
What has your journey into the Digital space been like?
I started out in 2012-2013 back when we were on Facebook. I jumped from Facebook to Instagram . It looked more promising since we were not making a lot of money on Facebook. I got into Instagram in 2015 at the same time I got into Twitter. It was a necessary transition since there was more money on Instagram.
Not for the faint hearted. It's an engaging platform when it comes to real time issues in comparison to other platforms. You need a thick skin to survive in those streets. Once you get used to it, you love it. It’s a nice platform to be on.
So how do you strike the balance between the two platforms?
You have to understand the audiences in both platforms. The audience is on both platforms for different reasons. It also depends on what you want to communicate. You choose platform that best suits your audience. Sometimes I can cross-post content but most times I create content that is different in both platforms.
Your day looks like?
On good days, I wake up at 6:30 AM. On bad days. 10 AM. First thing, I log on to Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok and Telegram sometimes. Check trends and catch up. It sort of gives me an idea on what to plan for the day. I spend roughly 30-45 minutes on social media in the morning. There's no routine past that. Just the wake up routine.
And what about your content. What does that entail?
Mine’s very real time. I also just have fun and like to share with people. I'd like to think people followed me based on my character so I use myself as a regulator for my content. Anything I like, I post; that includes videos, memes and posts of myself sometimes. So it’s mainly trending and current content.
How would you compare Kenyan influencers to African and international influencers?
When we speak of Africa, I believe we are doing better than Ugandan influencers but not better than South Africa. We are trying but there's a big room for improvement. We haven’t got there yet but it's a gradual project so we are growing. Growth cuts both ways for influencers and clients. Influencers face a lot of challenges in terms of creative freedom and most are limited by clients’ budgets. At the end of the day, it is business.
Cartels in Influencing...
I wouldn't call it cartels. Sigh. People work better with who they know especially for collaborations. Most industries look for who they know. Yes, sometimes it blocks people who also stand a chance because they are fairly qualified but it doesn't mean that the person chosen is not deserving. People find it convenient kuwork na mtu hamtasumbuana and someone you know will deliver.
What are your rules in content creation?
Depends mostly on what the client has limited you to, say by sticking to brand guidelines. Personally, I like avoiding chaotic conversations, especially if I'm not mentioned.
Why did you choose this career path?
At first it was passion and slowly it started turning into profit. That's what influenced me to keep at it. I have worked in advertising agencies as a Digital strategist and Senior copywriter. My line of work falls on the same field and it's better for me that way.
Challenges you’ve faced while at it?
Well the space keeps evolving. You can’t really say you have mastered a craft. Digital media is not like accountancy where you have a set spreadsheet. For us, it keeps changing and evolving and if you don't grow with it, guys are quick to forget you so there's the constant challenge to keep evolving.
How do you deal with trolls?
No, I don’t believe it’s trolling. I believe mine is more banter. If I can counter I will. If I can engage I will. If I can't, I just ignore it.
Mind the business that pays you.
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