An Interview with Akinwale Akinboyo, Freelancer for Hire

Updated: Aug 31

"In terms of my client's challenges, mostly they face the problem of getting online sales. That's the why they come to me. Most of the requests I get are for sales, and most of the questions relate to whether I can guarantee sales. I will tell them YES ..."

Unable to find a job directly related to his degree upon graduation, Akinwale Akinboyo turned to freelancing online to make ends meet. Today, he’s a digital expert, highly capable of working across email, social media, SEO, and CRM to drive sales for SMEs. With many happy clients across the world, Akinwale has helped multiple businesses, by setting up their email marketing strategies from scratch, and using his coding skills to build conversion-centred landing pages and customised email templates.

Find out more about his full stack marketing skills in our short interview below, or checkout his Fiverr page to see his latest gigs.

Short profile

Name: Akinwale Akinboyo

Location: Osogbo, Nigeria

Occupation: Freelance Digital Marketer

Could you tell us a little bit about your background, and your career in marketing so far?

My name is “Akinwale”, but I'm known as Jaifik. I am a freelancer from Osogbo, and I have been working as a freelancer for many years now. My expertise is in email marketing and promotion, and I have strong working knowledge of it, having accumulated a lot of freelance experience for different organisations.

Although I can try my hand at most, if not all channels. I've worked on different freelance platforms before, but I only came across Fiverr recently, which is where I've found many short- and long-term clients. Having read about their operation, and completing a few gigs on Fiverr, I can see that it's better than those that I worked on in the past.

What was your first job? What did you spend money on back then?

My first freelance job was in traffic generation, I think from memory, I used the money to subscribe to some online traffic generator, which the buyer could get more organic traffic from.

You have an enviable amount of freelance experience. Can you tell us how you got started? And what sort of projects that you have worked on?

The way I got into freelancing is very funny, because I was so frustrated after having completed my university education in computer science, and I needed a way to gain income, so I started looking online and found Upwork. I tried to sign up, but couldn't as it said that my registration could not be completed due to my country IP. But I wasn't discouraged, I instead continued with my research and I found another freelancing website. I had to decide what to specialise in, and I chose digital marketing because I know how to promote something very well, mostly on social media.

At the same time, my friend told me about email marketing, and was prepared to give me some training. I then researched the rest on my own so I could become a professional in it. Without going into more detail, what helps me to be a successful freelancer today is still research, combing the internet for solutions. I'm still doing a lot of research and I read a lot online.

At the moment I mostly work with clients who need help with their email marketing. I create HTML templates for them and advise on best practices in terms of CRM. I can also do B2B lead gen and research, if asked to do so.

Did you always want to work in marketing? What made you fall in love with the world of digital and pursue it as a career?

Oh, seriously, I can't live without my work, because I don’t joke with people’s projects.

What are three components of a successful inbound or digital marketing strategy? Why?What is the biggest digital marketing challenge your clients face?

In my experience in digital marketing, the three main channels that convert are (1) Email marking (2) Social media marketing (3) Press release campaign submission.

Like I said, the reason why I chose digital marketing was because, I know how to use social media to a great extent, and that fell under digital marketing when I first signed up to freelance websites. I really fell into digital marketing in a way. I later started to teach myself more about the other main digital channels, and decided to pick a couple to specialise in. I think if I can handle five to an expert level, I can bring in more revenue for my clients.

I wanted to help people get more organic traffic and sales, so that my clients would be happy working with me. To be a professional in digital marketing, you have to do a lot of research and practice all the time. And that is what I do and it’s what helped me till today.

What sort of marketing challenges do your clients typically face?

In terms of my client's challenges, mostly they face the problem of getting online sales. That's the why they come to me. Most of the requests I get are for sales, and most of the questions relate to whether I can guarantee sales. I will tell them YES, but only if they can follow the strategies I set for them. If I'm honest, most cannot. They will say that it's expensive. All I can do is explain that you have to invest in marketing to generate sales, so you have to follow the strategy. Anyone that tries my services and follows my strategies will get the best sales ever!

What does data-driven marketing mean to you? How do you leverage data to inform your decision making?

Data-driven marketing is the strategy of using customer information for optimal and targeted media buying and creative messaging. It is one of the most transformational changes in digital advertising that has ever occurred. It makes it possible for one to monitor performance on a regular basis. Marketers must use the data collected to gain insights into the tastes, preferences, behaviours and habits of their audience and then make the necessary changes to improve their conversion rates.

How have you structured your work since the COVID-19 pandemic?

As freelancers in Nigeria, we are coping, though it has not been easy because it affects so many things like sales. But we are moving forward gradually.

In terms of the jobs I have been offered, most during this period are for social media marketing through Facebook Ads, and also email marketing, from optimising pages to setting up autoresponders. It is really amazing when I am working on those strategies because I know that they will drive a lot of sales. I really tried to make sure that I made myself a professional when it came to both social and email, and I am happy that these channels always worked for me.

In terms of the recent shift towards working from home, do you think this is long overdue for many organisations or unsustainable in the long run?

Seriously, it’s not easy, because with this pandemic, so many people have lost their jobs. Even when you work from home normally it affects you. As a freelancer, it's made it harder to get inspiration and ideas, as I don't get to interact with people who do the same thing very much, so getting new ideas from them is also difficult. I don't think it's sustainable in the long run.

What are some digital marketing trends that you believe we should watch over the next 12 to 18 months?

The best digital marketing trends are (1) Social media marketing (2) Press release campaign (3) Email marketing campaign (4) SEO.

As a freelancer working in digital marketing, you should be an expert in these four strategies because they are the ideal tools to drive sales for clients. Especially those with small businesses that really needs sales fast. I am very happy to work as a professional freelancer, utilising these marketing strategies, but continue to have to educate clients on the fact that they must be ready to spend money on promotional tools and campaigns in order to see results.

What advice would you have for young professionals working in digital?

My advice for them is to make sure they carry out research into online marketing very well, and spend a great deal of time educating themselves, before they start to call themselves a pro in digital marketing.

In the ever-changing digital marketing environment, learning is a constant cycle. Which websites, blogs, and/or courses, are your go-tos when it comes to staying up to date with industry developments?

The truth of is that I don't use a specific website - I do all round research so I look at many, I also practice a lot, and I make use of people in respect to seeking them out for their knowledge.

If you had the time, what marketing skill would you like to improve? Why?

Well, nobody is Mr. Know-it-all - I like improving myself in all aspects of marketing and that is why I regularly take the time to research new things.

What are you currently reading? Are there any marketing books that you’d recommend to someone fresh out of university?

Right now, I am not reading any books, but I do a lot of research into social media marketing and email marketing, so for someone that is fresh out of university, I would recommend “The 1-Page Marketing Plan” by “ALLAN DIB”.

What did you last watch on Netflix? Any recommendations for us?

I don’t watch movies on Netflix because I don't have time for it, I use my time to read or research mostly.

What do you do to push yourself out of your comfort zone? What did you learn?

I challenge myself everyday on what I think i can’t do or achieve, because when you challenge yourself, you gain more knowledge and achieve more things.

Is there a question you want to answer that we haven’t asked?

Well, I think you should ask me if I ready to be your freelance digital marketer, and I will say “YES” 100% READY!

Thank you Akinwale!


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