Dr. Ope Banwo is an author, lawyer, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and digital business consultant. In this interview with EDWIN USOBOH, he speaks on the need to train and empower Nigerian actors, actresses, musicians, producers, and others, to further understand how they can step up their income earning
You are currently working on a project for the entertainment industry, what is it all about?
We are doing a seven days digital income streams workshop for the entertainment industry.
What inspired this workshop?
This workshop was inspired by the need to train and empower our creative artists, entertainers and executives to further understand how they can step up their income earning potential using the internet in their areas of talents and gift. We recognized that even before the COVID-19 pandemic came and decimated the finances of many individuals and companies in virtually every industry, many creative artistes have been struggling to understand how to use the internet to generate extra income from their talents, artistic catalog and huge fan base without the investment of capital, technical skills or digital business experience. Truth be told, many of our talented entertainers and creative artists have millions and hundreds of thousands of fans on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms, but still complain of lack of sufficient income because they do not understand how to turn those social media assets into recurrent income while providing value added satisfaction for their fans.
As a digital business consultant who has had tremendous success helping different sectors globally to harness the potential of the internet for income generation, we know that while most serious creative artists, entertainers, and executives do have some impressive presence online, most have barely scratched the surface of the amazing potential of the internet to multiply the returns on their creative assets. As we audited the profiles of some of the most prominent, and some average artistes, we could see that most have really not been utilizing the internet to the max to create sustainable levels of income that will far outlast their active days as creative artistes. This breakthrough workshop is therefore to throw some light on at least seven different options that are easy for anyone of them to implement beyond the current obvious options some of them are exploiting.
Is it what Nigerian entertainers need presently?
Well, encouraging artistes to get deeper into understanding and utilizing the internet for more streams of income is not an ideology. It is an inevitable reality. More and more, the internet is becoming the centerpiece of the global marketplace and any creative artiste that is not raising their game in maximizing the internet for their income and careers, would soon be left far behind. Contrary to the assumption in your question that digital monetization is only for developed countries, the idea of digital monetization for creative artistes is actually more needed in Nigeria now than in the USA. Most artistes have practically been rendered unemployed by Covid-19. With the lockdown and social distancing, most creative artistes cannot go to film locations; they cannot premiere their movies offline; they cannot perform at events and they cannot perform at parties and meetings where they earn their daily bread. Yet people ask if digital monetization is what they need now or not? When you are locked up at home and your client’s offices or venues cannot open, does anybody need to preach to you about learning how you can still continue to make money with your talents and artistic works on the internet while sitting in your house? Frankly, I cannot presume to know what the average Nigerian artist thinks he or she needs, but I do know that everyone all over the world, myself included, could use extra income at any point in time, especially if we do not really have to go create new materials. Most Nigerian artistes are earning well below 10 percent of their income potential because they either do not understand that there is 10 times more money to be made online than offline or how to actually go about getting the money even if they were aware of the possibilities.
I can tell you that everyone, and every industry, especially in third world countries with struggling economies need to know how to expand their income base beyond their local environments. Whether they realize that need right now or not, is a different matter and only time will tell.
What do participants stand to benefit from this workshop?
Digital Income Survival Workshop will provide a simple step by step blueprint that creative artistes, actors, actresses, musicians, producers, and executives, can follow in using the internet to create multiple income streams for themselves through their talents, catalog, brand and fan base. Every day, for three hours, during the seven days conference, we will be breaking down one digital business income stream peculiar to the entertainment industry, providing attendees with the process blueprint on how they too can get started in monetizing their skills, creative assets, and fan base as entertainers or entertainment executives.
With room for only 100 participants, would you be doing another workshop?
I am not sure. Since I am not a charity organization and I am not the government, I can only do what I can to be a blessing to serious members of the entertainment industry who take this serious enough to attend. So, as for doing a season II for free, I am not sure. I will have to wait and see what the response is. Frankly, the idea of limiting the free conference room to 100 free attendees is a good idea. Those who consider it serious enough should take the opportunity to register now and attend for free. Typically, I charge $997 for my one week Bootcamps.
How will you profit from all of this?
As you know, I am a straight shooter, so I can tell you that one of the ways I will make money on my free conference is to sell the recording of the event to those who didn’t attend. I will pour everything I know into the workshop, regardless of the fact that it’s free. The value will be massive, and as those who didn’t attend start hearing about how great it was, I expect them to start requesting for recordings and that will not be free. Some people would always be cynical, even of free workshops that cost them nothing to attend. Nothing new there. I got sceptics when I did a free boot camp for the church. I got sceptics when I did a free boot camp for Real Estate people and I got same when I did for banks and finance houses a while back. Many will initially be sceptical, and that’s good for me, because as they start understanding the value of what I preached at those workshops, they would ask me to teach them what I already taught, and then I charge big money for access. Like I have said many times, I believe I was created to be a solutions provider and a catalyst with no industrial boundaries, so I am excited to dive into the entertainment sphere one more time to present some weird, but practical crazy ideas that can move the industry forward. Remember long time ago when I first started ‘preaching’ about ways to exploit fast foods, post offices, and other crazy avenues to market music and movies while at Dove Media, most laughed at me. Less than two years later, selling movies in fast food restaurants and post offices and through shopping malls became the order of the day. Many didn’t even remember I pioneered those initiatives. Believe it or not, by the time I am done, the frontiers of digital monetization in the entertainment sector for artistes would have been so extended that it would be the new craze for an industry with the limitless potential that we have in Nigeria’s Nollywood and rest of the creative industry.