Featured Story - Dami Okedara, Founder Clientele Booster and Alumni of the Plug Project 2019
Caught up with Dami Okedara, the 19 year old founder of Clientele Boosters, a digital marketing company based in Truganina. He was a student of the digital marketing class with Harry Sanders at The Plug Project 2019. We discussed his business, experience and takings from the Plug Project, challenges as a young African Australian in business and youth crimes.
Tell me about yourself and how is your business going this year?
So I used the last three weeks of December last year to work out the actions I needed to put in daily, weekly and monthly to achieve my financial goals this year and grow my business. I realised it will be difficult, but my commitment to consistency will help me tough out any challenges that comes out my way. I have a total of ten customers, seven are fee paying clients and three are on free trial. The goal for my business is to grow our customer base and revenue. Personally, I am passionate about basketball and have been active both physically, mentally and stick to the work ethics required to help me develop my basketball skills to pro level before I am 21.
How do you find your customers?
I had one customer before joining the Plug Workshop last year but after a conversation with Harry Sanders, I got ideas on competitive pricing strategies to get customers on board. I made it a habit last year after the Plug Project to go out there and fail. I started with Lux Afghan Kebabs at Werribee and kept going door to door pitching. Because I didn't have a structure back then, conversion was difficult. But I persisted to build my mental muscle to handle rejection and I made about 70 - 100 cold calls per day. I got to having about 20% of customers that were interested and 80% who were not. I focused on the 20% to give them above and beyond so I can get referrals. In January 2020 I revised my pitch and continued my door to door pitch and built momentum up until February where for the first time I had a lucky streak for straight two weeks closing a client daily.
Dami and his new client Billy Paddock in Caroline Springs
How do you manage your customer retention?
At Clientele Boosters, we offer our clients monthly subscription packages and they can cancel at any anytime. We also provide consultancy and educate our customera who have the time on how to manage their own social media strategy to get maximum engagement from customers between 18 - 35 years. We also teach our customers how to identify new trends and convert them to opportunities. In social branding, we train our clients to put their face and story on their brand as customers tend to engage more with brands that they know the face and story behind it. The 2020 trend is moving away from influencer marketing to owner marketing, as more customers are keen to know the person behind the business. You have to put yourself out there.
What were the highlights for you at the Plug Project and how has that shaped how you do business?
My favourite part was meeting highly respected professionals that specialised in different areas and increasing my network. Going into the workshop gave me more confidence to go harder at my goals. I believe it helps young people to develop the self belief to start out and an awareness of self employment alternatives to casual jobs during holiday and after school.
You are young, African and in business in Melbourne. How do you overcome the aspect of likely racism when dealing with clients from other backgrounds?
I had a similar discussion with my dad recently. Racism is real and very much alive. I don't think it is going to go away. I had an experience with a client in a high income suburb who refused to shake my hand and I wasn't even offended. I only felt sorry for the value he is missing out on for refusing not to engage on the basis of my skin colour. The good side of being in business is that most business owners don't really care about your skin colour if you have established a reputation of delivering outstanding results. They may be racist behind your back but rarely to your face, and why complain when they still pay you regardless of what they think about you? (laughs).
What's your take on youths who would choose crime over hustle?
I personally believe it is an environment versus exposure thing. Some of the young offenders have a brother, cousin or friend who glorifies crime and as we know evil communication corrupts good manners. Sometimes it takes a traumatic experience such as death, or permanent disability of a close friend or family member to wake them up to the harsh reality of the life they are choosing. Jail does little to nothing to stop them. You actually gain clout (street credibility) among your peers if you have been to jail. The surprising thing is that these young offenders have enough energy that if redirected to positive hustle they can do amazing things and earn significant amount of money. I have a friend who had a rough adolescence but managed to turn his life around and became a millionaire clocking thirty just last year.
Connect with Dami's Clientele Boosters on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clienteleboosters.com.au/