Her Journey Revealed with Lolu Olufemi Founder of The OTM Collective.
At what stage of your life did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to do something entrepreneurial. I launched The OTM Collective at the age of 31.
How did you develop your business idea, and what inspired you to proceed with your business idea?
I love to enjoy life and live a full and purposeful life – I volunteer, I travel, I socialise, I’m a manager in the Big 4 , I have an MBA and I love to put an outfit together…..and I’m single (as at the date of this interview!!). However I see women around me who are also single, but are unhappy or are not making the most of this season of their lives. Thinking that their lives will only truly ‘begin’ when they get married.
Yet this shouldn’t be the case. God created us to live full and purposeful lives NOW regardless of whether we are married or single. Being single is also a great time to work at becoming the best version of yourself- spiritually, mentally, emotionally, professionally etc. So after many a conversation with God, I felt led to start The OTM Collective – a social media driven movement that encourages and inspires single women to OWN THIS MOMENT, live their best lives and flourish in their God given purpose during this season of their lives. We create and post content on a regular basis on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for a great community of single women.
What steps do you take to market your business and to make people aware of your brand?
Using the relevant hashtags when I post to social media really helps. It helps attract the people that would find our content useful. Also posting regularly is key. The more you post, the more opportunity that new people have to see your content and be made aware of your brand. I have also had ‘shout outs’ and features on other Instagram accounts and was invited to be a contributor on The Unrivaled Road blog where I’ve been able to share about The OTM Collective.
What is your personal secret to developing healthy business habits that support you to stay on track?
Having someone to be accountable to! If I know that someone is going to ask me about my progress, I’m more likely to get things done faster. This is particularly important for a social media based business since the world of social media is fast paced and it’s important to ensure that the content you are putting out is relevant.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced on your journey so far and what steps did you take to overcome it?
Being consistent in creating content and staying motivated. I overcame this by joining Brands of Colour! It gives me the accountability I need to make sure I plan properly and stay on track to move my business forward. The mastermind calls and engagement with Danielle the founder and the other female entrepreneurs in the group is really helpful for this.
Where do you see your business in the next five to ten years from now?
I would love to see us continue to create and share content in a relevant and engaging way. The rate at which technology is advancing, who knows what social media will look like in 5 to 10 years time and what platforms people will be using to consume The OTM Collective content! Regardless of how things develop technology-wise, I would love for our community of engaged followers to keep growing. I hope to eventually be able to start providing them with great inspirational products that can inspire them to OWN THIS MOMENT in their day to day lives.
What’s the best business advice you have received and how did it positively impact you and your business?
Focus on providing quality content that adds value to your community of followers. Also be genuinely interested in and engaged with them and what they are doing. This has helped me to attract an engaged following on Instagram. Our followers show up, ‘Like’, comment and support our content no matter what type of content I share.
One of the most exciting thing I have done in my business was….
Starting to use The OTM Collective Instagram stories to talk about topics that are relevant to single women. It’s been a great way to connect with the community of women that follow our Instagram page. They are able to watch the videos in almost real time as I record them. They will often DM while watching, to share their own experiences and give comments. Many have messaged to say that they have found the videos to be encouraging and helpful particularly as I make a conscious effort to be as honest and transparent as possible about my own journey as a single woman.
When I feel discouraged I tend to….
Pray. God can sort out what I cannot. It also helps to go to sleep! It’s interesting how differently you can feel about a situation the next day after you’ve had a chance to sleep on it.
If I could start all over again I would….
I probably would have concentrated on just one or two social media platforms from the start. Instagram is currently where we get the most engagement. Initially, I had launched The OTM Collective on all the social media platforms but soon found out that Instagram – with its video, picture and stories capabilities – is really the best place for us to reach our community of followers in the most varied and engaging way. On Instagram, I’m able to share snippets from our YouTube/Facebook videos; share inspirational quotes and cover relevant topics via our Instagram stories and videos.
The OTM Collective is also still on Facebook (as not everyone is on Instagram yet!!). The content that I share on Facebook is the same as on Instagram. We are also able to upload full videos directly to Facebook, so have recently started to upload there the same videos that we upload to YouTube.
My favourite business app/tool is….