The ongoing franchise reality show, Big Brother Naija (Lockdown Edition), has dominated conversations on Nigeria’s social media space since the show premiered on July 19, 2020.
As the show progresses, the banters have moved from passive to passionate support, quarrels and series of drama among the fans of the Housemates, as they canvass votes for their favourite contender.
Worst still, it doesn’t matter if you’re not a fan of the show, you will be inevitably bombarded with the BBNaija content by these social media users and even by the mainstream media platforms. So everyone is seemingly stuck until the show is over.
This fan-craze is an upside for the Housemates, especially the ones that have been evicted from the show, as all the attention would naturally gravitate towards the finalists and the winner once the show closes.
So far, 12 Housemates have been shown the door. The evicted Housemates are Lilo, Ka3na, Eric, Tochi, Kaisha, Prince, Wathoni, Tolanibaj, Bight O, Lucy, Kiddwaya and Erica Nlewedim, who was unceremoniously disqualified.
Erica was one of the strongest contenders that many believed could win the grand prize of N85 million, or at least make it to the finals, but her uncontrollable emotions knocked her out of the race prematurely.
During the penultimate eviction weekend, Erica got her third strike, which according to the show’s rule book is followed by automatic disqualification.
Erica was kicked out of the show after she launched a brutal verbal attack against her emotionally-helpless friend, Laycon – and she refused to listen to the voice of caution echoed by other Housemates who attempted to pacify her.
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Although Erica is out of the show, her popularity is far from declining. In fact, her ovation is loudest now that she is out of the Big Brother Naija House. To buttress this, after her disqualification, a GoFundMe campaign was launched for her as a means of compensation and in 22 hours the account had generated $15,863 (about N6.1million). And as of 9.14pm on Sept. 11, 311 fans had donated $28, 410 (approximately N12.5m) to the account.
This is why now is the perfect time for Erica to start laying a solid foundation to monetise her newly-found fame.
Here are five business moves Erica should be making now to set herself up for commercial success.Big Brother Naija 2020 stars, Erica and Laycon
A solid management team
Already, Erica’s handlers have been making commendable moves. Shortly before she was disqualified, a clothing imprint was launched on her behalf named ‘Elite League’. Her fans are referred to as ‘Elites’.
The merchandise which includes Crop Tops, Sweatshirts, Joggers, Tee-shirts, Hoodies, Face masks, Varsity jackets were sold out in the first two hours of launch.
However, it may be easy to milk Erica’s momentary popularity and sell out merchandise but can it be sustained weeks, months and years after the Big Brother show? This is why Erica should not be carried away by the current euphoria and engage the right talent managers and PR experts, who know the terrain of the industry like the back of their palms. These people know how to develop and communicate the brand value of a talent. They can create a marketing-driven buzz for a talent even when no one is talking about the talent.
By now, a website for the Erica brand should be under construction. That should be her virtual office, where potential clients and partners can contact her and view her portfolios – her past, current and future projects. Social Media shouldn’t substitute a website. A good website will make her brand look professional. This will also have a favourable impact on her service fee.
Prior to the Big Brother Naija opportunity, Erica had made appearances in some Nollywood movies – some of which were screened at Nigerian cinemas and featured on Netflix. She needs to consolidate this. Since she’s in a better position to negotiate, she should be talking to some top Nollywood producers for major roles.
However, she should be careful and not go over-the-top with her acting fee as she also needs the features to make a statement. The time to charge a killer fee will come, now is the time to put her face out there as much as possible.
Monetise Social Media
As of Sept. 14 when this piece was published, Erica had 110.2 thousand Twitter followers and 783 thousand Instagram followers, plus massive daily engagements. And these numbers are growing by the hour.
Right now, Erica is a bonafide social media influencer which makes her a hotcake in the influencer marketing space. Both small and big brands would be more than willing to give their money to her. But the question now is, does she have a team that is knocking on the doors of these brands or is she positioning herself for influencer opportunities?
Erica should be looking at collaborative deals with other creatives – comedians, actors, musicians, photographers, videographers, Fashion designers, PayTV owners and even fellow housemates, who have also garnered a large fanbase in the cause of the show.
Sometimes, combined efforts yield bigger, faster and better results than solo grinds. She should also be considering partnership deals with brands. Some brands may not necessarily write her cheques, they may offer their products instead, e.g Real Estate companies. They sign-on celebrities as ambassadors in exchange for landed properties – the deals vary.
At the end of the day, Erica’s management could make or mar her brand which is why it is the most important decision she would have to make. And she should appraise the team from time to time.
Erica should now see herself as a business – she needs the right personnel that can execute the different projects that could take her brand from where it is now to where it should be.
The money Erica will realise from her GoFundMe campaign or the cash gifts she will receive from others will be meagre compared to what her brand has the potential of generating if she works with the right marketing team.
In short, any of the BBNaija Lockdown Housemate who can finetune and implement these ideas will win big. Like Warren Buffet said, “an idiot with a plan will beat a genius without a plan.”
However, the person who executes the plan will be the ultimate winner.