This week on our Micro-Influencers spotlight section, we feature the multi-talented Harriet Urevbu. Harriet Urevbu is a content creator, blogger and entrepreneur. She is a graduate of Accounting from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Harriet is also a Chartered Banker and CX professional in the Financial Services industry.
In this interview, Harriet gives us an in-depth look into life as an influencer and shares some trade secrets and advice for influencers who are just starting their journey.
Harriet was into modelling and doing freelance jobs in her earlier years on Instagram, but last year she took the plunge before covid 19 hit and decided to go into influencing. At the beginning of 2020, she created a travel and lifestyle blog that birthed the whole idea of her brand ‘Teirrahlifestyle’, but then lockdown happened. She didn’t let that deter her for long, as she quickly realized she had a lot of free time on her hands due to the lockdown, and it seemed like the right time to channel her energy into her passions and interests. And that’s how the journey into being an Influencer started for her.
This queen of aesthetics has multiple niches of influencing. We were intrigued to know what sparked her interest in Travel, Fashion and Lifestyle.
“I’ve always been a vivacious and adventurous person and a lover of life. I also have a passion for fashion. All these reflect who I am, what I represent and the nature of my content. When I started my Instagram journey I would naturally see myself gravitating towards content that promotes exploring places, trying new adventures and experiences while experimenting with and showcasing fashion choices. Because I already had an innate love for travel and fashion, it was easy for me to create a niche around those topics.”
Harriet has worked with several brands; Dodo Pizza Nigeria, Krispy Kreme Nigeria, MastercardMEA, Lost In Lagos, Enjoy.ng, FairAcres Lagos, Vitality Sports & Leisure, Floatherapy Lagos, Confetti Beauty, Moonshine Café, Perries Restaurant & Café, Scoop’d Ice Cream Bar, OAMA, Pj Couture.
Being an influencer is not just about being in the spotlight, getting free stuff and stunting on the gram; It involves a lot of work. Brands pay influencers to get visibility and potential sales. Of all the brand partnerships Harriet’s had, we wanted to know which she considers the most successful; in terms of the brand getting more sales and engagement.
“My campaign for Dodo Pizza and Krispy Kreme enjoyed over 40% more engagement (likes, comments and shares) than my usual average and saw a cumulative reach of over 12k impressions in the first week of the campaign. Based on the performance of both campaigns, I have enjoyed positive feedback, recommendations and referrals from parties who engaged during the campaign.”
The idea of working with brands is fun, but one has to be cautious when choosing who to work with because reputation is on the line, and a wrong move could potentially ruin a lifetime of good work. As an influencer who has worked with several brands, we asked Harriet how she selects brands to work with.
“When choosing brands to work with, I look out for brands whose values align with mine and whose message resonates with my audience. I have worked with brands across different industries such as; fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle and recreation. I wouldn’t say there are brands I would never work with. I never say never; however, I don’t see myself working for brands that may have questionable integrity or legitimacy.” We also wanted to know how she gets these Influencer jobs, she replies. “I do not have a management team at this stage; I handle brand interactions by myself for now. I’ve had brands reach out to me for collaborations, and I have also reached out to brands in the past.”
The ability to generate content ideas is major for every influencer, so what’s Harriet’s secret to doing this?
“Creating concepts for content is the biggest part of the job. I do this by first understanding the requirements of the job. I have a very imaginative mind, and this helps me to be creative with my ideas. I draw ideas and inspiration from my immediate environment, and I surround myself with other creative minds. This challenges me to constantly improve my content and be more unique with my delivery.”
Harriet’s 3 favourite apps for content creation are; Lightroom, InShot and VideoLeap. Her Instagram page is incredibly aesthetically pleasing, it immediately caught our attention, and we had to know her secret to this as well. she responds, “I take time to plan my feed with feed-planning apps before I post on Instagram. I also have a keen eye for aesthetics. I create my own presets on Adobe Lightroom, and I also have these presets for sale on my preset page @teirrahpresets.”
Most people shy away from content creation because it involves taking pictures and videos; and being masterful at it. As part of her job as an influencer, Harriet has to create images and video content, and what we’ve seen so far is really good. We sought to know if she took classes on this, learnt on the job or has a professional do them for her.
“I shoot some of my pictures and videos myself. I also have friends who help me shoot as well (big shoutout to them). I edit all my pictures and videos myself. I learnt how to edit pictures and videos from sheer passion and genuine interest. I didn’t take any classes. I just experimented with different apps; until I found what worked for me. And now, I teach lessons on how to edit.”
Outside of being an influencer, Harriet has a full-time job as a banker in one of the leading banks in Nigeria. She also runs a digital store where she sells digital products like; presets, e-books, and online courses, as well as an online retail clothing store for beachwear.
We asked Harriet, If what she’s doing now is different from what she envisioned as a kid, she answers. ”Haha, for the most part, yes. Careers like influencing and being a creator did not exist growing up. These are new age concepts and to be honest, it’s interesting to see how the world has changed. I also did not envision myself as a banker growing up either, but I’d like to say I’m doing a killer job there too.“
We were interested in knowing what Harriet considers the best and worst thing about being an Influencer.
“I think one of the best things about being an influencer is having the freedom to be completely yourself. Being in charge of how you choose to project yourself to the world, coupled with doing what you love is a different kind of freedom that gives you a sense of satisfaction and control over your life and your narrative.
In the same vein, putting yourself out there also puts you in a position to be openly criticized and judged by others. This, I would say is one of the downsides of being an influencer. Everyone gets criticized on social media no matter how good you are at what you do, and it takes a high level of tolerance and thick skin to be able to withstand the judgement.”
What makes Harriet unique from other influencers?
“I am the only version of myself and that alone is the differentiating factor between myself and others. I infuse my personality into my craft and that shows. The way I see, interpret, and present my content is completely different from how someone else would. Adding that personal touch that is mine alone is what makes me different and unique.”
Before letting her go, we asked Harriet to share some advice for potential influencers going into her niche. “My advice to anyone who is interested in being an influencer is to just do it. Do it scared, do it unsure, do it with trembling hands, just do it! You don’t have to have it all figured out. Start and learn as you go, and you’d be more grateful to yourself for trying than for not treading the road that could possibly lead to a great life for you.”