JB Favour’s story is about breaking free from the norms that limit females in contemporary African society, as well as building a brand during COVID. Her current career path emerged as a result of the pandemic and her consistent efforts to survive after losing her job because of the lockdown. Favour was originally a medical laboratory scientist who does not now remember where her lab coat is anymore as she has shifted into a different field that she now enjoys more passionately.

JB Favour is the founder of Favs Pen, a digital content creation and branding agency. She also has a book show called Bookterviews, where she interviews authors from different parts of the world to share their behind-the-scenes stories and writing journeys. She enjoys being creative and has always believed in dreams and pursuing one’s passion. This conviction played a role in her decision to change careers and work in the creative industry.

Before Covid, Favour had never thought about freelancing or even running a brand. But when the pandemic forced her to scout for other means of survival, she learned she could earn money by simply writing. She loved to write and read books from an early age, so the discovery that there were opportunities to get paid to do something she enjoyed struck a chord with her. That was the starting point of her journey into digital marketing. From then on, she delved deeper into learning and bettering herself.

Favour, being a dreamer, dreamed up and birthed the idea of Favs Pen in her mind. “Once I got better at freelancing,” she says, “I started brainstorming.” It began with the writing and editing services I provided for clients. I discovered that I was very good at spotting things that could be done better and at coming up with ideas to help my clients gain audience leverage. These were things I did with ease. So I thought to myself one day, “Why not do this?”

Favour started in digital marketing as a self-taught. She learned 90% of what she knows now through reading and self-study. “I would google, research, ask questions, and find those in the same niche I was interested in so I could interact with them and learn.” She has also taken several training courses online but is yet to have an official diploma in digital marketing. 

I am very spontaneous. Once I get an idea, I don’t waste time thinking it through because doubts will creep in. Originally, FAVES_PEN used to be my pen name for offering ghostwriting, poetry, editing, and voiceover services, which were the kinds of freelancing I began with. But as I learned more, I decided I did not want to limit myself to offering only writing services. I wanted to create something that would use my skills as a writer and still involve my creativity and brand-building skills, which was what inspired the revamp of FAVES_PEN and led to its establishment as an agency.

Favs Pen manages and creates content for brands in bulk, offers branding and marketing support, creates and directs audio and visual advertisements, and carries out target market research. The kinds of content range from articles to generating niche-focused blog topics and posts, social media branded content, email copies, and scripts for ads. The agency helps brands build their identity and increase profit with our market surveys and customer retention advice.

Being a dreamer is easy. The hard part is bringing your dreams to life. It’s an even harder task in a country like ours. JB Favour recounts some struggles she’s faced: From the beginning, FAVES_PEN has aimed to present itself as an international brand, offering its services to foreign brands and businesses. One of our biggest challenges was capital and the restrictions of running a digital business in Nigeria. It is almost like the system is set up to make you fail. There’s always one restriction or the other, and processing payments from foreign clients was an initial hard nut to crack. Another challenging aspect was dealing with stereotypes as both a Nigerian and a woman. “Do you have a male co-founder?” I’ve been asked, and “Prospective clients are backing out because they discovered I’m Nigerian.”

As with most entrepreneurs, who had to fund their business out of pocket in the early stages, Favour has also had to do the same. She has yet to apply for or receive any external funding. So far, she runs the agency from her income as a freelancer and ghostwriter, but this is limiting for the agency because she’s unable to hire full-time workers and only uses contract workers per project. She is very open to investments, collaborations, and any other deals that may come up in the future.

JB Favour shares the secret behind the success of her agency. She explains, “I’d say consistency, faith, passion, and a good support system.”

I have been consistent, and so has the brand. Sometimes running a brand is my least favourite thing to do. And if you’re like me, without funding of any sort, you have to learn to be everything. I had to learn graphics, how to make and edit videos, how to build a website, everything! I couldn’t afford to pay for every single service, and sometimes cheap deals get you awful designs, so I learnt early that if I wanted to do it right, I had to do it myself. Faith kept me going on the dark days when I did not know why everything seemed to be failing, and of course, the passion for the days when I’d be with no motivation or desire because I was simply too exhausted. My passion reminded me why I started, even when people did not take me seriously. It kept my dream alive and even helped me aspire to become better. And as for the support system, I have a partner and best friend. With this person by my side, there is no limit to what I can achieve. I would have given up many times, but every time I’m reminded that we don’t give up here. This unconditional love and support have helped me hold on during some of the hardest challenges I have ever faced. I’d cry hot tears with this person, and the very next day, I’m sending twenty emails to prospective new clients.

Before letting her go, we asked her to share some advice for potential entrepreneurs. She says, “My advice would be to ask yourself how badly you want this to work.” You have to want it so badly because the hard work will initially overwhelm you. Also, do not start out expecting to hit it big in a few months or even years, or else the disappointment might cripple you. Be consistent, original, and resilient. As much as possible, try to network. Find those in your field or those helping those who’d like to be in your field. Dream big and ignore the doubts. Get ready for the rejections and failures. Take breaks to recharge, but don’t give up. Keep whoever supports you close. There’s nothing like a sound support system. Last, stay true and avoid illegal shortcuts. They never work out for the long term.

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2 Comments

  • Cass says:

    JB Favour is my friend and she inspires me! If there’s one thing I know, it’s that she’ll become a household name someday. Keep going girl, the best is yet to come!!! And congratulations on being featured, I’m so proud of you!

  • JB Favour says:

    Thank you so much Cassy. Coming here to see your comment gives me so much joy. Thank you for all your support my very own baby girl!!!
    Thank you for always!

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