We had the good fortune of connecting with Vivienne Okafor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vivienne, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It didn’t really start as a business? I kinda stumbled upon my business as a brand and content strategist after asking my Instagram audience at the time what they were struggling with and gave them some time to chat. I had started my brand as a travel blog and thought I would make it a business planning people’s trips/experiences but I quickly realized that, that wasn’t it. During the pandemic, I had signed up for a 12-month business mastermind to explore the travel business but in the meantime I was just simply creating content on social media and when I went on my Instagram stories, and asked that question, 50 calls later and I realized people saw me more as this storytelling and content person than a travel person.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think the biggest thing for me is that social media brand coaching and content strategy really fell into my lap. It wasn’t something I even thought was a business opportunity or that I would go into business for. I’m Nigerian-American so a lot of what I learned growing was study study study study, get into a great school, get a good job and climb the corporate ladder (in that order). My corporate ladder was medical school and after 4 attempts at the MCATs and 2 application cycles that yielded no interviews, I gave up and decided to give up on that dream. I started my business as a travel blogger but I realized my passion was less planning and more sharing experiences and telling stories about what I’d learned from the country. I’d always been an advocate for finding the right travel experience that brings you join.
When I decided to pivot from the travel industry, It was after a random instagram story I put up in March. I asked my followers that they were struggling and that I would jump on a call with them. After 50 of those, I realized I was onto something. My audience was struggling with content, and how to create it, plan it and even know what to say on social media and for some reason they saw me as the go=to person for that. I went all in. Besides the most successful people in business are those that focus on solving problems for they audience.
After a year of doing business while working a 9-5, which I recently quit, I realize that grit is more important than anything and not only grit but you have to have a love for what you’re doing or you’ll leave the whole business all together. its so easy to get discouraged during the down months but your WHY has to be greater than the WHAT to figure out your HOW. If you are grounded in why you’re in business (and this can be different for anyone) you’ll figure out the HOW no matter what the circumstances look like around you.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well you’re sorta asking the wrong person haha because I’m an introvert and a homebody tied into one so covid-19 was sorta like my saving grace. However If I was supposed to pretend to be an extrovert I’ve always wanted to explore Atlanta. I don’t live there but I have friends from ATL who swear by the different restaurants, running trails and touristy sites like the World of Coca Cola and the Aquarium, cause who doesn’t like to see some sea-life. I think my introvert is really telling on me now.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My fiancé and soon to be husband Dan because when I’m done being Vivienne on instagram, he’s the one that sees the tears, late nights and work that have come with growing this business and supports me through it all.
Ritchie King aka Dvvinci Fashion editorial & lifestyle photographer