Dozie Anyaegbunam, known online as the Writing Nerd, is one of Nigeria’s recognizable and effective content marketers.
We had a virtual interview with him to learn about what inspired his quirky moniker, how he worked with the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) to attract 79,000 Twitter mentions within minutes, and new, interesting projects he’s working on now.
Let’s get into it.
You call yourself the Writing Nerd, can you tell us what inspired it?
My friend, Matt Augustin, inspired the moniker: Writing Nerd. He’s called the ‘social nerd,’ and I loved the name so much I had to coin something similar that fits something I love to do, which is writing. The ‘Writing Nerd’ seemed perfect.
I am super geeked about the power of writing. I believe writing is one of the most relevant skills for professionals today. From how to write better to how to copy-edit with precision, I’m passionate about all things writing.
You’ve achieved interesting feats as a social and content marketer, was this a deliberate career path you chose? If no, how did you get here?
It wasn’t exactly deliberate. Initially, all I wanted to do was marketing. So, I started out by working in an Ad agency for three months; then I moved on and founded a startup with a lecturer while running my MBA.
Along the line, I realized I love learning how social platforms work, what drives certain behaviours, and the sort of content that drives engagement. So, I said to myself, “why not focus on social and content marketing and see how it goes?” It’s seven years later, and I’m loving every minute of it.
You worked as the Communications Lead for the PEBEC and attracted 79,000 mentions on Twitter within minutes. How did you pull that off?
In the lead up to this, Nigeria had just moved up 24 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking.
The secret to the campaign success was first pinpointing the right story to tell. The second step was picking the right platforms that would be a perfect fit for the story we needed to tell the Nigerian public at that point. The platforms we chose were Instagram and Twitter.
We also had budget constraints but needed the conversations to pick steam as soon as possible. So, we crafted a message and started with Twitter as the major platform, supported by a select group of influencers to help with amplification. While I hoped for significant engagement, I didn’t expect it to happen as fast as it did.
Overall, I think having a good message and choosing the right platform were the major keys to achieving such traction on Twitter within minutes.
You executed a full-year e-commerce strategy that grew revenue by 170% at Diageo and left that to focus on copywriting. Tell us about your interesting projects in the pipeline.
Interesting is relative. But I’m at the phase where I’m going back to my first love – advertising.
I started a career in advertising; then, I jumped into edutech, classifieds, startups, e-commerce, communications and then spent some time at Diageo. Presently, I’m schooling at the Miami Ad School Toronto – Social and Content Strategy. Once done, I plan to get into the ad agency world full-time. I’m not sure how I’ll go about it yet. But I’m sure my career will solely focus on social and content strategy, either freelance or in-house.
My current focus on copywriting is because it’s a fundamental skill needed in marketing; I want to sharpen it as much as I can. But my future is social and content strategy.
What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about starting a content marketing career today?
My one-liner advice? Do it afraid.
We’re always learning and evolving. As such, every single day is different as far as you put in the work. Some day, you’ll look back at your humble beginnings and wonder why you didn’t start earlier. So, just do it afraid. Start now.