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#MCM: John Laban- What it’s like growing into a Twitter Influencer !

Everyday Ugandan youth’s on twitter are striving to grow their accounts and get a huge following to then be able earn from it through what is known as GIG’S. A lot of strategies are being used from creating “follow trains” to adding I follow back. (IFB).

In our #MCM series, YOLO magazine today caught up with John Laban well known as “ Mwami Laban “ to the Ugandans On Twitter ( UOT ).  Laban is a Twitter influencer with a new but fast rising twitter account @laban256. He lost his old account that commanded a following of over 7OK one month ago. He opened up about what it takes and how its really like to grow an account and then become known as an influencer in an exclusive interview. Enjoyyyyyyy!!!!!

WHO IS JOHN LABAN ?I am a social media influencer, marketeer and a tweleb. I am 21 years old staying with my parents and my full names are senkindu john and I got the laban name from my f.6  girlfriend.


WHAT SCHOOL DO YOU GO TO & WHAT ARE YOU PURSUING ?  I am pursing a bachelor’s degree of social works and social administration at Kampala international university.


WHAT MADE YOU PICK INTEREST IN SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCING ?I won’t lie my love for influencing is from way back, I joined twitter in 2018 but became active in 2019. There were big dogs of the days but I later made 1000 followers on my first gig I was to be paid 6000 and I wasn’t even paid.


HOW DID YOU BECOME KNOWN ON THE TWITTER STREETS & WHEN WAS YOUR BREAKTHROUGH ? I am social and I easily connected with people and engaged in their tweets. I am an extrovert so it was easy but no body knew how I looked like, then one time I attended a twitter pool party and everyone expected go to see a big man but saw a small laban. I took a pic with a big guy and it made its way to the platform, so every body was asking who the small guy was. At that time I got 7000 followers in 2 days. 


WHAT ARE THE STRATEGIES YOU USED TO GAIN THE FOLLOWING? To be sincere before my breakthrough I used a lot of follow trains, I used to have sleepless nights until I reached 5000 followers then I started content creation that brings audience.


WHAT’S THE LEAST MONEY ONE CAN  EARN FROM INFLUENCING SAY PER MONTH ?About money, all I can say is it can not be coming in constantly but its good money if you are getting the gigs. There was a week I got Ush. 1.5m, the moderate amount I get in a month is about Ush. 700,000.


WHAT ARE THE MAJOR HARDSHIPS YOU FACED WHEN GROWING YOUR ACCOUNT & HOW DID YOU OVER COME THEM? I really faced a lot of bad energy from some people. I was on a show on BBS Television and I was wearing shoes with an intention of promoting a certain  brand but people interpreted it as poverty and also some how the shoes didn’t fit me well every body was on my case I even wanted to quit but my friends encouraged me not to give up I even made a tweet saying I am quitting twitter but I didn’t  give up.


THERE ARE PEOPLE WITH BIG ACCOUNTS BUT DONT GET THE GIGS, HOW DO YOU EXPOSE YOURSELF TO POTENTIAL CLIENTS ?What you tweet and how you expose your self to the people which is Branding your self is what brings the gigs. I learnt this from Esther Birungi. She used to tweet about organizations and she was so good at it. So you need to have a target market.My target market was the tourism industry, I tweeted a lot about it and now I am working with kempten safaris.


MANY PEOPLE SAY TWITTER IS HARSH & HAS NEGATIVE VIBES! HOW DO YOU HANDLE IT ?Twitter has very negative vibes, but the best way to over come them is to ignore and keep quite because when you reply you attract more negative vibes.


WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN INFLUENCER IN YEARS TO COME ?I have a dream to influence from the United States ( US ) so I become an intermediator  for Ugandans in the States and those here In Uganda. 


WHAT ADVISE DO YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WITH SMALL TWITTER  FOLLOWING TRYING TO GROW THEM ?They should not give up because we all started with small accounts. But I urge them to create brands and  not base so much on the following  a good brand is better than many followers.


WHAT’S YOUR LAST MESSAGE TO YOUR FOLLOWERS ? I love my followers they have made me what I am right now. I actually lost my old account and started a new one and in 3days I got 3000 followers that shows the love they have for me and I love them so much. 

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Martha Kahunde

Journalist / Voice Over Artist / Media Challenge Fellow / Writer / Radio Host / Mental Health Advocate / Student .

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