As an introduction, can you please tell us about yourself, your background, and what brought you to create content to empower entrepreneurs?
My name is James Mumo. I developed a passion for empowering entrepreneurs back when I worked in banking. Part of my job involved helping small businesses with micro-financing. Spending a lot of time with entrepreneurs inspired me to start my own business in photography in 2016. I started buying gear for my photography work. In 2017 I started doing live videos on Facebook and one day I decided to share a video on Youtube. I didn’t post another video for six months. In January 2018, I made a new year resolution to be serious about creating content. That is how I started with 21 subscribers, all of whom were close friends and family.
How do you pick the topics you address and how long does it take you to prepare?
I share my journey and experiences to inspire people who want to do business, I analyze the performance of the videos that I have done in the past and use that to inform the content for future videos and I look at trends in search of topics within my niche that I can address. For example, I did a video on ‘how to file your returns’ in June because most Kenyans file their returns at that time.
What drove you to start doing content creation?
My full-time job is photography. However, I create content as a form of giving back to the community. I hope to make some money out of it someday but all that matters right now is that anyone watching my videos derives value from them.
What’s your greatest achievement in your industry so far?
Last year, I was one of the four Kenyans selected by Youtube for a program called the Youtube black voices fund. In this program, the four of us were assigned a manager to help us grow our channels. I also got to meet content creators like myself from other countries and I got to ask them questions and learn a lot from them.
What motivates you to keep creating content?
The comments and the emails I get from strangers who have watched my videos telling me that they have learned something. An example of such a comment is when a house help reached out to me and said that my video gave her an idea of a business that she can start.
What challenges do you encounter as a content creator?
The biggest challenge I experience is when I have put my heart and soul into a video and then it does not get the views that I thought it would get. Another challenge is when you start a channel and after sharing 5 videos or so, you do not get subscribers and your views are still low. This can be discouraging. Thirdly is finding the rhythm of consistency. When you are starting and you are excited you may be tempted to share a video every day but in reality, you may not be able to sustain that.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone shared a nasty comment on your video, and how do you handle it?
I have encountered such. I did a video recently called a letter to the president. The video got about 54,000 views with close to 1000 comments. Most of the comments were insulting. I deleted the nasty comments as soon as I read them. It helps me stay sane. As content creators, we always attach value to what we have created. Your videos feel like your baby and you think everyone should love them. We get offended when people do not love it.
In your opinion, how frequently should content creators upload videos?
I would say once a week. If you have a full-time job you will not be overwhelmed. If you haven’t yet started the channel, I would advocate you have at least 4 videos done. In the event where you are unable to shoot any content, you will always have a buffer and this helps you remain consistent.
What words of advice would you like to share with upcoming digital creators who are finding it hard to stand out in this saturated industry?
Do not buy equipment when you are starting. Use what you have now, if you have a mobile phone use that to shoot your videos. When you start making money through content creation then you can start upgrading. When you upgrade the first thing you should invest in is your audio, then lights, and then you can think of buying a modern camera.
Do not come to the platform expecting to make money. The money will come. Focus on creating a brand and community.
Listen to your audience and they will tell you what to create.