Customer story with Seleman Abdallah
How do you market a consulting business? Seleman Abdallah has a few useful tips you can try out. As owner of his own consulting business, NICE Tanzania, Seleman has experience with a variety of consulting services, and has also put his business on the map with the use of online marketing.
We sat down with Seleman to learn more about the online marketing efforts he uses to promote NICE Tanzania.
What is NICE Tanzania?
NICE – NAMA Integrated Center for Excellence – Tanzania is a social consulting firm, based in Tanzania, East Africa. I launched it in 2018. We mainly work on three things. First, we provide capacity building workshops for various small businesses. These workshops focus on skill development and adaptation. Second, we provide consultancy services for nonprofits, small businesses, educational institutions, and more. Our consultancy services include a needs assessment to determine what solutions a particular client needs. We follow that up by providing strategy consulting, coaching and mentoring sessions, and operations consulting.
Third, we help manage projects by nonprofits. Currently, we’re working with a Malaysian NGO on the NAMA Foundation project, which is based on empowerment and aid for children in need.
How big is your team?
I have an office staff of 6, including myself, plus 16 external associates. The office staff works on the management and coordination of our training and consultancy sessions, which are then hosted and led by our associates.
1. Offer services that cater to a range of customers
Which of your services is most popular?
Our primary service is consultancy, so we incorporate that into our major projects as well. We train management staff for many organizations to help them learn leadership skills, financial management, financial sustainability, strategic management, and more.
Our main customers are CSOs – civil society organizations – in Tanzania. These are local nonprofits that work toward economic and educational development. We’re currently working with about 25 CSOs.
Our involvement in the NAMA Foundation is also related to consultancy services. Since the foundation supports educational development in schools, we’re helping provide training sessions for both teachers and students.
What is the biggest challenge that you face?
Our main challenge is coordination. This includes everything from planning out the training sessions, to shortlisting the right associate for the event, to ensuring that our clients are made aware of the training sessions.
The most difficult part is getting this information out to our customers and letting them know that we’re here to help them solve their organizational problems. We use a variety of marketing strategies to reach our customers. Coming up with informational content for donors, training content for clients, and promotional content for prospective customers isn’t easy, but we’re working toward getting a better grasp on it.
2. Keep up with evolving marketing trends
What is your marketing strategy?
Initially, we started with offline marketing, like door-to-door marketing, radio and television ads. That didn’t really work out for us because people don’t really engage with those mediums anymore.
The world has changed. People around the globe, even in Africa, are more drawn toward technology. They’re using Facebook, Instagram, and even Whatsapp, to get information. So that’s what we’ve shifted to; online marketing.
Social media marketing and paid advertisements are our go to tactics, because they’re inexpensive and they help us reach a wider audience.
Which social media platforms do you use?
We use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin to promote our training sessions and workshops. NICE Tanzania has a good following on Instagram, so we make sure to post about all of our efforts there.
We also send out a lot of promotional messages through Whatsapp, because it’s easier, quicker, and has a very wide reach.
3. Create content that is relevant to each category of customers
What type of content do you create?
We have multiple content types. The first type of content we create and post is related to sharing opportunities. We post our training calendar, which mentions all of our upcoming sessions. We also create special promotional posters for our training sessions.
The second type is specific to our stakeholders, and includes client specific updates, reports, and recommendations. While sharing client-specific updates with stakeholders, we also share more general updates about our services and successes on social media for other people to see.
The third type focuses on future sessions we’re working on, and whatever is new that we want our clients to know about.
4. Personalize your content
Do you have any specific design guidelines you follow when creating content?
We create all of our content on PosterMyWall, which is helpful because we don’t have to start from scratch. We usually just find templates that match our requirements and edit them to fit our brand image. And then we can share those designs directly to social media.
When editing templates, we have three goals:
- Make them relevant to our brand by using our brand colors, blue and white, and adding our logo.
- Add key information about our events. If we’re promoting a training session, we have to make sure we’re highlighting the session’s main objective.
- Include an image from a past event to add a personal touch to the poster.
What type of posts gain the most traction on social media?
We tend to post live images and videos from the events we host, which get more engagement than basic static images. This is why I believe you should always supplement your posters with more personal posts, like a photo or video of guests engaging in one of our sessions.
5. Boost your posts to gain more traction
Tell us about how you use paid advertising.
We’ve used paid marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. We regularly boost posts whenever we want to promote a particular event or speaker.
Our target is usually business owners, CSOs, and entrepreneurs, so we set our requirements for our audience accordingly.
Have you seen positive results from your paid marketing efforts?
It depends on what event we’re promoting. Some trainings that are targeted toward a specific audience do well at times. But this is a work in progress and we’re continuing to expand our reach by experimenting with paid marketing everyday.
6. Use social media to drive website traffic
Do you gain traction on your website?
The key to building web traffic, even though people engage more with social media, is to have all of your social media content lead back to your website.
When you share information, it’s important to know what to include and what not to include. This is why we only include high level information on our posts. A link to our website is available in our bio, so that people can click through if they want more information.
What are your future plans for NICE Tanzania?
Our goal is to onboard more CSOs and work with them to ensure growth – both ours and theirs. And as we continue to do that, we’ll continue to use PosterMyWall to promote our efforts.
Thank you for joining us, Seleman! We wish you the best of luck for your business.
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