Meeting people and networking comes easy for some people, but for others, it could be a herculean task. Yet, because man is and can never be an island of himself, meeting people is a necessity.
As a matter of fact, networking is a great key that could open the door to bigger successes in just about any aspect of life – professionally, financially, or even just the social benefits and even more, it does something to one’s self-esteem.
For the extroverted ones, making new friends or simply starting up conversations does not require a “special skill” – it just comes naturally. However, for the introvert, if there would ever be a conversation even as short as exchanging pleasantries with a new fellow, it would have to take extra effort.
Lotanna Ezeogu is the brain behind Skills Tribe, an online platform that trains the introverted to be great at networking. She is an introvert who also found it difficult to establish relationships with new people. She had personally struggled with putting herself out there as an introvert without losing herself, and in the midst of this “struggle”, she realized that other people also struggled with the same thing.
She is graduate of Business Administration from Middlesex University and has always had a flair for business. However, she did not have “networking” in mind when she she first set out. She wanted to create a business around natural hair, because people constantly stopped her to ask about her hair but when she was validating the idea (of a business around natural hair), she realized that most people in her network did not want to pay to learn about natural hair due to the amount of free information available on YouTube.
During these periods, as Lotanna took time out to discover herself and decide and area in which to carve a niche for herself, a few things stood out to her:
- She wanted a business that is not location independent; that would allow her pick up her laptop and go, without having to stop working.
- She was keen about passive income (not trading time for money); she wanted a business model that would allow her create a one-to-many product and have it work for her over and over again.
To this effect, she studied various materials online and also learned about the Online Business/Infopreneurship model from Mariah Coz and Stephanie Obi. She was now left with the question of which online course to offer to the general populace that they would be willing to pay for.
Taking stock from people in her network in 2015, Lotna, as she is fondly called, discovered that the people in her network would gladly pay a significant amount of money for her to teach them how to network, especially because she is good at it.
About Skills Tribe
Lotanna commenced operation with Skills Tribe in January 2016. At this time, there was no one in Nigeria or Africa who was teaching Networking as a topic, so she took a huge leap of faith with that topic.
She had initially offered free networking consultations to creative entrepreneurs and received a lot of positive feedback from participants, most of which were introverts who were extremely happy about their results. Then she decided to share her story on Facebook about the incredible and numerous opportunities that became available to her once she started networking. She asked people to pay for one-to-one consultations, and that was how she got her first two paying clients.
Incorporated in April 2016, Skills Tribe has trained over 200 students and several one-to-one clients across four continents, with over 6,000 introverts continuously engaged online.
To create (an online) one-stop shop for introverts who want to learn to network
To create digital products that show as many people as possible how to network in a practical, down to earth way while turning their network into an asset
To drive economic growth by continuing to respond to unmet needs and demands in the market
Skills Tribe’s CSR
Skills Tribe provides various tools for free training including a weekly newsletter, occasional webinars, a free course and a guide. These are made available because to help people to understand how truly important networking is and to get results regardless of whether or not they buy the organization’s products.
Impact of the Trainings on Participants
Lotanna has this to say about the impact her trainings have had on participants:
“Most weeks, I wake up to emails from people who have implemented something I shared and have gotten results, some write to say that they are glad that someone understands their struggle and they’re glad to know they’re not alone. These emails and messages mean the world to me.
“I’ll pick 3 examples from this quarter and one from the early days. A lady practiced a tip I shared in one of my free emails that go out every week and ended up interacting with the French President, in a private setting, when he was in Nigeria.
“One lady was at the point of giving up on a project but practiced what I wrote in another email and ended up having 70% of her conference sponsored (venue, speakers, hosts, volunteers etc).
“One of my first clients was able to 7x her clients by improving her networking skill. She implemented what I shared with her, over our 1 hour consultation call.”
How Skills Tribe Contributes to the Progress of the Nation
Introverted entrepreneurs realize that once they start a business, customers will not fall into their laps; they need to get out there and tell people about their product/service in an organic way that is not pushy or sleazy.
Skills Tribe helps these introverted entrepreneurs get more clients through networking. That way, it adds to the nation’s economic growth and cuts down on unemployment, one client at a time.
Awards & Nominations
- Rotary’s Vocational Service Award
- Connect Nigeria “Top 100 Emerging SMEs” Award
This article was put together based on an exclusive e-interview held with Lotanna Ezeogu.