During the presentation of the Techpoint Awards 2021, there were a total of five people who were put forward for consideration for the Tech Influencer of the Year Award. Fisayo Fosudo, a Nigerian YouTuber and content creator who works independently, was determined to be the winner based on the votes that were cast by the audience of Techpoint Africa. During his emotional acceptance speech, he shared the news that he had won the award, which demonstrated that the hard work he had put into his work had been worthwhile.
Fisayo began his YouTube channel six years ago, and after 249 videos, 295,000 subscribers, and almost 18 million views, he is still working to establish a name for himself in a niche that did not appear to have many opportunities at the time.
Because I gambled on my own abilities, I was able to get my videomaking career off the ground. In the beginning, I did things with a certain degree of intent. I had a sense that this was the path I should take, and I was determined to make it happen regardless of the obstacles.Fisayo Fosudo. Visual Storyteller and YouTuber
The idea of content distribution has undergone massive change over the course of the past decade, with the video-sharing platform YouTube, which is owned by Google, driving much of this development. According to the most recent statistics, Nigeria has over 650 channels, all of which have more than 100,000 subscribers combined, and 35 channels have more than 1 million subscribers each. There is also an increase in the number of channels making a minimum of seven figures in revenue compared to 2021, and over 75 percent of watch time on content produced by channels in Nigeria comes from outside the country.
Fisayo Fosudo has been able to put his skills to use and pursue his passion for storytelling thanks to YouTube. Today, his brand has gained recognition across continents, and he is one of the 26 YouTube Black Voices Creator Class of 2022 grantees from Africa. The Nigerian visual storyteller and YouTuber is popular for his videos about smartphones, accessories, apps, and the tech in finance.
The process by which Fisayo acquired the many skills he uses in his work is an excellent place to start telling his story.
Fisayo, who was born in Lagos, enjoyed the good fortune of growing up in the company of encouraging individuals whose passions coincided with his own. To begin, his parents made it clear that they expected him to take his education and his academic performance seriously at all times. However, Fisayo's fascination with technology and his ardor for reading were both inspired by a relative who was very close to him.
Since before Fisayo can remember, he has always had an inventive mind.
I used to work in the field of graphic design. I was able to draw, and prior to enrolling in college, I worked as a cartoonist selling comic books.
As soon as it was brought up, Fisayo's parents quashed the notion of their son taking art classes while he was in secondary school. And with regard to that choice, Fisayo is still thankful to this day that he was prevented from making it, as he eventually wound up in the commercial class, which is what sparked his interest in economics. This explains how he ended up earning a degree in economics from the University of Lagos.
Despite having an introverted personality, Fisayo took an active role in his department while he was a student there. He was responsible for developing ideas and coming up with programs. He was the Social Director for the Nigeria Economics Student Association, a position he earned and maintained because of his ability to create content, raise funds, and design brochures for the organization. He was also the President of the Nigeria Economics Student Association.
During the time that he spent working as an executive for the department, he made a concerted effort to improve his graphic design skills.
Because I came from an artistic family, graphic design was always one of my favorites to work in. Things that are visually creative are appreciated by me. Because of the combination of my art training and my study of graphic design, I am now considered a competent graphic designer. I was really impressed by the technology that went into the designs.
Therefore, his two internships, his first official job, and several other paying gigs were all in the same field. Since its inception, Fisayo has maintained a keen interest in innovative businesses.
Fisayo has always had a fondness for creative businesses, and the graphic design industry was the setting for both of his internships as well as his first official job and several paying gigs.
Fisayo got his first official job as a brand developer and social media strategist at MAX.ng, one of Nigeria's earliest logistics startups, right after he graduated from university in 2015. MAX.ng was one of the earliest logistics startups in Nigeria. Because of his responsibilities at that location, he decided to learn how to produce videos.
It was the first job that I had that provided me with a role that I could experiment with quite a bit. I became a better designer as a result of working at MAX, and I also gained experience in video production through my employment there.
Fisayo was prepared to move on to the next stage of her life because she had a passion for reading and creating art, an interest in the field of economics, and a conscious decision to increase her knowledge of video production. In 2016, he made the decision that it was finally time to take the risky step.
Fisayo started using YouTube for two reasons: first, he was a stickler for reading customer reviews before making any purchases, and second, he came to admire the work of the well-known American YouTuber MKBHD. Therefore, he had the intention of doing something comparable for people of his demographic in Nigeria.
" I really admire the caliber of his work as well as the way that he presents material. That was one of the primary reasons why I worked so hard. I was familiar with him even before I began, but I was unable to purchase the necessary equipment due to financial constraints. Because I was so enthusiastic about technology, I also wanted to contribute something of value.
It became clear to Fisayo that merely admiring a person for pursuing an endeavor that he was enthusiastic about was not enough. He was aware that he needed to take action, and so he made a choice that was both extreme and dangerous.
I made a wager on my own abilities. I took the money that I had put aside over the previous year and said, "You know what? Let me get the necessary supplies, and we'll get this thing going!'"
That occurred in 2016, during which time he worked at MAX.ng in addition to performing gigs. In less than a year, he was able to save $5,000, which was equivalent to about two million naira at the time.
I made off with all of that cash. And I've just thought to myself, 'Maybe I should just buy video production gear and see if I can start making videos on the Internet.'"
After a period of six months, he had not seen any returns on the enormous investment that he had made, but it was difficult for him to give up on something that had cost him so much to get started. As a result, he continued, even though he spaced the releases of his videos over several months. He published gadget reviews of his own products but received very little attention for doing so. Despite this, he was confident that it would be worthwhile in the long run for some reason that eludes him.
Fisayo, who is extremely pleased with how far he has come, reflects on the mistakes that he made in his early videos.
The very first videos that I uploaded to my channel are still there, and I cannot stand watching them. I was speaking with different accents and pretending to be someone I wasn't, and it made absolutely no sense. After the third video, I believe I started to become more genuine and started talking more like myself. And at that point, I became aware that other individuals were paying attention. There was no reason for me to act as if it were true. I could have simply logged on to my account and presented my true self. At this point, people began to take notice, and representatives from various phone companies began to arrive. They reacted by saying something along the lines of, "Oh, this person is just like us; he speaks our language."In conversation with Fisayo Fosudo. Visual Storyteller and YouTuber
And that was the turning point in the story.
Fisayo was one of the early Nigerian YouTubers who focused on the tech and gadget review niche despite the presence of more established foreign creators with massive international reach in the space. He did this despite the fact that Nigeria has a large population and there are many more established creators in other countries.
However, that was not enough to deter him, and in 2017 he began to receive attention for his actions. As a result of his extensive network and positive recommendations, Tecno and Samsung started sending him phones to review. On the other hand, that was just the start of things.
At that point, he had left his job working the standard nine-to-five shift at MAX.ng, and as was to be expected, his parents reacted in a manner that was typical of African culture.
" They asked me when I would get a real job when I had just started, and I still remember that question to this day.
Since he published his first product review in November 2016, Fisayo has thoughtfully and consistently delivered videos of the highest possible quality. Now, more than five years later, he continues to be relevant because he continues to innovate.
When asked what gave him the confidence to take such a huge risk at the beginning of his career and also to persevere through the difficult times, he cites the following as the source of his bravery:
" At the time, I was reading quite a few books, and I was well aware of the fact that if you read books, you are literally standing on the shoulders of giants. When you read books, you create a mental template that helps you anticipate what the future holds.
Because of these treasures, he learned how to maximize his knowledge, concentrate, innovate around obstacles, be thrifty, and be original.
The following are some of the books that particularly impressed Fisayo: The books The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki are all about how to amass wealth. Read How to Control Your Brain at Will by Dr. Roger Vittoz, Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod, Mastery by Robert Greene, and both Stop Acting Rich and The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley. Also, read How to Control Your Brain at Will by Dr. Roger Vittoz.
The encouragement and support that he receives from his parents on a regular basis serves as Fisayo's primary source of motivation. And then there is his list of things that need to be done.
A chuckle escapes his lips as he continues, "And of course, it's also profitable."
Fisayo generates revenue by collaborating with a variety of brands and by earning advertising revenue from YouTube videos.
YouTube's method of monetization is based on a metric known as cost-per-mille, or CPM, where "mille" refers to a thousand. CPM, or cost-per-thousand, refers to the amount of money that advertisers are willing to pay for each thousand times that their advertisements are viewed. This is not the same as the total number of views on a particular video; monetisable ad views are only those that last for at least 30 seconds.
Fisayo could earn anywhere from $1 to $40 for every 1,000 monetised views on any content, but the exact amount would depend on the type of content being viewed. It was much later in his YouTube career — before Finance Friday — that he realized that content related to finance, for example, brings in significantly more CPM than content related to technology does by default.
Today, Fisayo can make over $5,000 from YouTube on a monthly basis. This is a significant increase from the $90 that he made in the first few years of his YouTube career.
Fisayo describes a time when he was concerned about his extravagant spending. After that, at the beginning of the year 2020, he made the decision to take action in response to the issue.
" Although I had one hundred thousand subscribers in the year 2020, I did not have any savings. At one point, I was at the point where I was prepared to give up on everything. When I reached that point in time, I made the decision to place seventy percent of my earnings in a fixed deposit account. It was a poor choice that ended up being very costly.
This was an extreme plan for a one-year fixed deposit that he considered to be extreme. However, the bright side was that when it reached maturity in December, he had accumulated a total of $10,000, which he used to rent an apartment that was better suited for his work. In addition, he went on vacation to Dubai in January of 2021. While there, he filmed his very first episode of Finance Friday. Prior to that, he had only produced technology-related videos.
Aside from the profitability, which in Fisayo's opinion is something that can always be improved, another thing that drives him is the need to fulfill people's requests. Since his workplace features a whiteboard that lists the various pieces of content he is tasked with producing, he cannot afford to be inconsistent.
The good news is that he can accomplish a great deal with a group of four people consisting of a manager, an editor, a writer, and an animator. In addition, he is selective about the content that he shares because he understands that providing well-rounded perspectives on various issues calls for a significant amount of reading and investigation.
The production of a video by him and his team takes anywhere from three to seven days. In addition, he acknowledges that maintaining a personal brand requires a significant amount of work, which makes it nearly impossible to strike a healthy balance between work and personal life. In spite of this, he manages to relax by going to the movies, watching animated films and documentaries, and reading books.
Recently, Fisayo has been attending events where he has been invited to speak in order to solidify his position as a thought leader in the field. At the Techpoint Africa Blockchain Summit (TABS), which took place in May 2022, he moderated a panel of blockchain experts to discuss non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), and the era of decentralized opportunities.
Fisayo is especially proud of the recognition he received from Google earlier this year. At that time, he was selected as one of the 26 Africans to participate in the class of 2022 for the YouTube Black Voices Creator program. They were honored for reaching milestones in terms of the number of subscribers they had, their pursuit of new businesses, and their leadership in meaningful conversations pertaining to black life and culture. Because of this, he was able to gain access to funding, the support of partners, training, and a vast network of industry professionals.
Fisayo's ideal future involves him attending one of the prestigious universities in the United Kingdom, such as Harvard or Oxford.
" I would like to get a sense of what it is like to study in an environment that is home to some of the most brilliant minds in the world and find out what it is like to be in that setting.
He recommends that people who are interested in starting a YouTube channel make use of the numerous tools and resources that are available online before getting started, have a well-thought-out strategy regarding the value they intend to provide, and not be so brazen as to make mistakes while still maintaining their consistency.
And don't quit your day job; the last thing you want to be is a broke creative, he jokes as an addition.