Make space for yourself, it is crucial to staying focused and being a great leader.
The internet has changed the way that we connect with one another, how we buy and sell products, and how we build communities. As a digital marketing and social media marketing expert with a wide range of experience in the marketing and PR field, Amende Okojie knows better than anyone how to adapt to this changing landscape.
Amende Violet Okojie chose a career in marketing because she believes in helping others share their dreams, visions and goals with the right audience. She began her career as an intern at a tech start-up and quickly worked her way up. Based in Waterloo, a tech-city—named Canada’s ‘Silicon Valley’—in the Ontario region, Amende received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Communications from the University of Waterloo in 2007.
Since graduating from university, Amende Okojie has worked for several media companies specializing in digital as well as print marketing. As a leader, she prides herself on working intuitively with clients to bring their vision to life, to connect with consumers and solve real problems. She strives to be as current as possible, using the latest strategies, technologies, and trends to reach audiences.
Amende Okojie currently lives in Toronto, Ontario with her family. She enjoys giving back to her industry by mentoring new marketing graduates. She also gives back to her local community by volunteering with various organizations.
Where did the idea for career come from?
I have always been motivated by my ability as a digital and social marketing specialist to help entrepreneurs make their dreams come true. I consider myself a facilitator, as I am able to help others reach the right audience through meaningful, thoughtful, and relatable content. The inspiration came from my broad range of experience in the digital, social, and print media marketing world, where intellectual innovators were producing incredible products and services, but were unable to share them with their intended audience.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
There is no typical day in the life of a digital marketer. Every day is different and as a result, it is extremely important to stay on top of building lists, calendars, and project plans. To allow myself to get into a ‘flow’ state, I section off time in my day to do nothing other than focus on my tasks. This means no email, no phone calls, no meetings, just focus. Too often people allow every email to interrupt the task they are completing and this makes it next to impossible to get anything done.
How do you bring ideas to life?
In many ways, that perfectly sums up my job description: bringing ideas to life. Working with clients to translate their vision and message into tangible, visual content, is what drives and motivates me. Some of the best ways to bring ideas to life are brainstorms, mock-ups, and sketches.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I love TikTok. Despite being an app intended for younger audiences, it is an incredibly powerful platform that is changing the way people produce video content. This application has amazing capabilities, allowing users to edit, cut, and shoot video in creative ways that other platforms don’t currently allow—it also allows you to save these videos and share them on other social media platforms!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I always take time to meditate and do breath work. As cliché as it sounds, meditation is a fantastic way to help keep your mind clear and your brain focused. Ironically, it is very easy to get distracted in the fast-paced media world that we live in, so being able to find ways to sit down and focus has never been more important.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to enjoy the present moment, no matter what it is bringing you. Often, we look back at the good times and realize that at the time, we didn’t enjoy them the way we now wish we did. There is a misconception around goal setting, where you subconsciously say to yourself, ‘when I reach this goal, I will be happy.’ The real lesson is to be happy now no matter what.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Print marketing is an amazing way to create brand awareness, and yet a lot of people disagree with me. As a digital marketer, this might seem counterintuitive. But as marketing has moved online, a lot of companies have stopped investing in print marketing. If you purchase an item in store and receive an email thanking you, versus a postcard with your name and a custom coupon code, which one resonates with you more? The one that occurs less often. That is the beauty of print and digital working together.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
As an entrepreneur I track my progress. Akin to using metrics and analytics in digital marketing, tracking your progress through journaling is an amazing way to stay motivated. From exercise to reforming bad habits, writing in a journal helps you keep a real account of where your strengths and weaknesses are.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
As a digital marketing specialist, it is important to stay on top of new trends and innovations in the field. Building a learning strategy into my business has helped my team and I stay competitive and has embedded trust within our client relationships, as they can always count on us to be ahead of the curve.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Failure is a key component to success, so I have been lucky enough to have failed several times. One such failure was not over correcting when our team missed a major deadline. If something like this happens, it is important to offer your client a discount, reduced rates on other products, or any other gesture to rebuild that trust with them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I would love to create an app or website that allows consumers to vote on and discuss advertisements. Every marketing campaign deals with the idea of ethics and social responsibility, and it is important to gather customer feedback to become responsive to their needs and desires. This would not only be a great way for consumers to take back some of their agency, but also for companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I spent was on an external charger. As a digital marketing specialist, I am constantly engaging with clients and content on my phone, and it doesn’t often make it through a day without dying. An external charger has allowed me to always have another option when my phone decides to die in the middle of a conference call.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The best web service that helps me be productive is Later.com. This is a social media marketing service that allows you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time, as well as benefit from their analytics.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Marketing specialist Seth Godin has a book called “Linchpin”, which talks all about how to become indispensable in whatever field you are working in. This is a book that I come back to time and time again, primarily because it showcases the power of an individual, not necessarily a leader. There is a lot of focus on hustle culture and entrepreneurship, but very little focus on big thinkers who work behind the scenes. That is who this book champions.
What is your favorite quote?
Another one by Maya Angelou: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.”
- Make space for yourself, it is crucial to staying focused and being a great leader.
- Be present and learn to be happy with the ‘now’; stop setting happiness on the other side of some goal or you will never get there.
- Do something that fuels you, makes you excited to wake up in the morning. No matter what you end up doing, there will be difficult days, but someone with a ‘why’ can endure almost any ‘how.’