Meet Brian Mbunde; creativity, relatability, football banter and humour. These are just some of the adjectives to describe him by. Brian’s infectious laughter and deep, pleasant voice tell us that this is going to be an easy-going chat. It's a certain easy Friday, the whole office is excited for this interview, and we're just setting up as Brian walks in...
Brian Mbunde: On Influencing, Dealing with KOT and Twitter Cartels.
He has been on the Twitter streets since 2009 and has amassed quite a following on the platform. You can easily read his persona off his Twitter feed and immediately you think; hmm, funny guy, and his 140,000 followers can attest to this.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your journey.
A. My first influencing gig was with Imperial Bank and my clients have ranged from Safaricom, Coca-Cola and Elton John Aids Foundation among others. Influencing nilianza tangu nikiwa mtoi. Si unajua vile una-convince rende yako twende hiyo esto ingine iko na grao poa (I started influencing when I was young. You know how you convince your peers to hang out somewhere else instead of your usual playground)
Q. What's your day to day like?
A. Well, first I wake up. Okay, so I wake up and the first thing I do is check my phone. As a marketer, a social media influencer and a radiohead, it’s only right to check what’s happening on the timeline. I check Twitter mostly and other than my day job, that’s where I mostly spend my time. I spend majority of my day on Twitter. I split this time between checking alerts, checking what’s trending alafu kidogo najipata huko #bussitchallenge huko ndani ndani? (...checking what’s trending and finding yourself down the hole that is internet challenges.) Other than that, I take breaks between working and playing video-games or watching movies.
Q. How would you describe your content?
A. My content style infuses a lot of spontaneity and I gravitate towards feel-good type of content. I don't believe in scheduling or being predictable with content. I prefer posting immediately because then, I have already read the temperature of the timeline and mood of the audience and the energy of the day. I like random, fun content especially since target audience yangu ni young-ins.
Q. What are your thoughts on cartels in influencership?
A. Of course, cartels exist especially in the form of friendship referrals. For example, ju unajua flani anajua kupiga picha poa na unapenda work ethic yake (Since you know your friend knows how to do a certain job and like their work ethic) so you choose them. However, these cartels are being demolished, especially with new content creators coming out and disrupting the norms with unique content especially on TikTok - an example is Esther Kazungu.
Q. Why did you choose this as a career path?
A. Iko na doh! (There’s a lot of money in it) Plus it’s a win when you do something fun that you love doing and at the same time change someone's perception about something. When they actually reach out and tell you that they consumed a product because of you, that makes me content.
Q. How do you handle online ‘trolls’?
A. Aii unawakulisha block. (Block them) Trolls have nothing to lose so I prefer to block or mute them; otherwise utashindana na msee ameamua we ndo target yake. (Otherwise, you’ll keep going back and forth with someone who’s just decided to frustrate you.)
Q. What’s one social media hack that you’d advise other online users to utilize?
A. Content is king. So I’d say post regularly and especially relatable content. When someone asks “how did you end up with many followers” unamshow tu content ni important. Hauezi post kaselfie kamoja and expect mafisi wa-come tu hapo. Lazima ukue regular with your posting na kui-take seriously. (You can’t expect to have one selfie and already have people flocking to your page. You have to take your content seriously and post regularly)
Influencer by Pulse is a weekly segment by Pulse Kenya that aims to know more about Kenyan influencers, their digital journies and how they curate their content online. If you're an influencer and would love to be part of this, reach out to us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (+254) 700 182 701.
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