Helping others overcome In the mind of almost every youth corps member is the niggling fear of what is to come after national service. This apprehension stems from the high number of job seekers in the country. While only a few think of furthering their education almost immediately, a larger percentage are burdened by the unpleasant reality of the labour market. Such was the case of Onome Akpoyovwuire, a 29-year-old information marketing coach who is now using the skills she has gained over a period of time to help youth corps members and unemployed people get out of the unemployment trap, by starting flexible and lucrative businesses. She recalls her national service year in Kwara State, which was also fraught with the fear of beinsucked up into the world of the unemployed.
“After serving for one year, all that comes to a corps member’s mind is how to get a job. There was some kind of fear inside me. I thought, what if I don’t get a job, what am I going to do? How long will I stay before I get a job? I heard that there are hundreds of thousands of graduates without jobs in Nigeria. This fear persisted while I was serving,” she said.
How she overcame joblessness
Mrs Akpoyovwuire has had her own fair share of job-hunting. She searched for a job for many months to no avail. But a training programme for information marketing helped her kick-start her career which she has in turn used to touch many lives.
“When I finished my youth service in Kwara State, I got married and I still didn’t have a job,” she said. “So I started searching, applying, writing, sending e-mails, browsing, but I didn’t get any replies. One day, I bought a newspaper called Success Digest and the first thing I saw was an advert to learn a kind of business. It looked interesting. It was a training programme on Information Marketing Business, and when I was done, I was determined to go into the business of selling valuable information to people that need it at a price. I actually set up my project, http://www.richcorper.co m after youth service.”
Information marketing, which is done mostly online is perceived by many as fraudulent. This she says is a misconception. “Some people think that information marketing business is a 419 business but it is not. In fact the business has been on even before the Internet came to be. Even when a pastor preaches in church, he is selling information. Some people may want that information in another form, in tapes, CDs, DVDs, and he has to include the cost of producing those things. And if he wants to make a profit, then why not?”
She adds that she started information marketing as a corp member but did not realise what she was actually doing.
“I actually started while I was a corper, but not until I went for a training did I know that was what I was doing. I was learning some things about forex trading and someone who was teaching me gave me some resources in CD format. I also got some information online and put it together in printed form and bound it. I carried it along with me all the time and other corpers saw it and got interested in it and were willing to pay for it. I sold the spiral bound copies for about N3,000 and the CDs between N1,500 and N2,000.”
Speaking on what kind of information she sources, Mrs Akpoyovwuire said, “Almost any kind of information can be sold depending on the way you package it. For instance, an experienced printer might have information on how to print a book at a low cost. An author somewhere might need this information and would be willing to pay for it. If this information is well packaged, it can be sold in different forms. I do a lot of research on businesses and teach people on how to improve their business. Information is not only sold online. It can be sold in CD form, print, in workshops, and one-on-one coaching.”
Mrs Akpoyovwuire, however, encourages people to venture into the world of information marketing, adding that it can be lucrative for anyone who is determined. Realistically, she says that an average information marketer could earn between N100,000 to N200,000 monthly.
“I won’t call myself an Internet marketer. I am an information marketing coach who uses the advantages of the Internet to run her business. To do this, you need basic knowledge of how to use the Internet; how to check your e-mails, how to carry out research online, and how to visit websites.”