How I Started Off as a Graphics Designer to Getting Endorsed by the UK Government

Hi Daniel Nejo, what’s your background, and what are you currently working on?

Hey! So, I started off as a graphics designer at the age of 19 back in Lagos, Nigeria and one of the reasons why I chose graphics design was because I’d already graduated from University and I honestly did not have time to start learning any skill that would take a lot of time (I needed to start making money or be forced to find a job).

So, I chose graphics design and I was providing design services to a few people around me until I stumbled on Fiverr back in 2013. This was a game-changer for me because it allowed me to get a constant flow of clients all over the world.

As time went on, I decided to add some skills to my arsenal.

So, I learned how to design websites with WordPress. Again, I didn’t have the luxury of spending time learning code from scratch, WordPress was an option for me to be able to create high-quality websites without writing a line of code.

So, I slowly became a one-stop shop for design and branding. Clients who needed to have a “uniform brand identity” loved working with me because I would work on their graphical design needs and then ensure their website was on par with their overall brand theme.

Right now, my company Presidential Ideas does more than just digital branding, it has grown to become a full-on, London-based digital marketing agency that works with entrepreneurs and businesses to put their products and services in front of the right people and turn those people into “engaged customers”.

In 2017, I got a Masters in Information Systems Management from Middlesex University and in the same year, I got endorsed by the UK Government as a world-leading exceptional talent in digital technology for my work in the space and potential growth my work and brand will bring to the UK digital economy.

At the moment, I am more into content creation, digital marketing, and customer acquisition.

Daniel Nejo is now synonymous with content and digital marketing (paid ads).

What motivated you to get started with Presidential Ideas?

I would say I was inspired to start Presidential Ideas because as a young 19-year-old fresh out of University, I was scared about my life being like the regular story of – “graduate, get a job, get a wife and kids”.

That fear of the “normal and average life” created the entrepreneur in me and I have not looked back ever since.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Two things have really worked for me.

The first one is delivering top-notch service ALL THE TIME.

My company was named Presidential Ideas for a reason. I believe in delivering presidential-level service at all times

The second is customer-centricity.

I don’t take this lightly. My approach as a business and an entrepreneur is to always be customer-centric.

What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?

My business model is simple.

Great product (that adds value) + Insane level digital marketing (that grabs attention and takes people on a journey).

That’s it.

Very simple but it works like a charm.

What are your business goals for the future?

My goals for the future surround digital education.

I have started to plant the seeds for this via my online university, Nejo University where on average; about 5,000 people are logged in to learn digital practical skills daily.

The reason why this is very important to me and is a big business goal is that digital skill acquisition can take someone from “nothing” to being “empowered” and then create a source of income for them which then translates to people around them and their environment.

So, I intend to create the most robust digital education platform on various PRACTICAL digital skills for the consumption of the masses.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources for you?

The first book I ever read was Art of the Deal by Donald Trump.

This book really set me on the path of being an entrepreneur, closing deals, and believing in my sauce.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss is also a book that opened my eyes to a lot of digital entrepreneurship business models and strategies I was sleeping on.

I read a lot of books, so it would be hard to list them all out but those two stand out to me.

I do need to restart my reading habit though; I have slacked off since I started working on so many projects.

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Which were your marketing strategies to grow your business?

It’s been meeting customers where they spend most of their day, which is on their phones, and on social media.

Video digital marketing has played a key role in my success and it’s because I follow and listen to what the market is saying.

Video is now a large part of our lives and people would rather watch a video than read texts, so it makes sense to “give them what they want”.

Digital marketing as a whole (and doing it the right way) has been a key player in my business growth and brand growth.

What were the biggest challenges you faced and the obstacles you overcame?

A lot of people do not know this but I have a stutter and this was something that could have held me back as an entrepreneur.

There is always a need to speak to clients, persuade them, create content, speak to people, get them to buy into my brand and business and the like and to do this you need to be a good speaker and someone who knows how to use words.

Because I stammered, this was a big challenge.

However, instead of hiding behind my speech impediment, I chose to do the opposite. I chose to pick up a camera and create videos, I chose to get on Skype calls with clients and speak to them about my business, I chose to do the things that the average stammered would run from.

It’s funny now to believe that I am mostly known for my videos on YouTube or Facebook and the impact the content is having on lives.

If you had the chance to do things differently, what would you do?

If I had a chance to start my entrepreneurial journey again, I would choose to learn how to not only learn front-end design but also add a little bit of backend and I would also have learned digital marketing way earlier in my career.

Have you had any failed business?

Yes, I have had some startups that I founded or co-founded that did not really get the traction I envisioned they would but that’s the journey of entrepreneurship, we keep creating and we move!

What are some sources for learning you would recommend for entrepreneurs who are just starting?

I know this might sound selfish but I would recommend my blog, The Presidential Hustle because it is like a diary of a young hustler who started from his grandmother’s dining table in Lagos, Nigeria to being recognized as an “Exceptional Talent in Digital Technology” by the UK Government. 

Besides my blog, I would recommend every entrepreneur just starting out should MASTER and learn the ins and out of digital marketing because regardless of the business you intend to start, you will absolutely NEED digital marketing and customer psychology to be able to properly scale your business to the heights it should be.

Take courses. Watch YouTube Videos. Learn from someone who has done what you want to do (this will shorten your learning curve)

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Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My simple advice is this:

Don’t do what you love, do what makes money first.

Let’s face it; you can only truly be happy doing things you are passionate about if you can afford to buy food for yourself and for the people who depend on you, if you have a place to sleep at night and if you are not always on the run because you cannot afford to pay your bills!

So, it’s important to ensure that you make money first and do things that make money so that you can be in a position to truly starve and grind days, months, or years without success.

This advice is controversial but that is the truth.

Where can we go to learn more about you?

You can google Daniel Damilola Nejo (I always wanted to say that, lol).

Seriously, you can find on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and everywhere with “Daniel Damilola Nejo” or “RainyMilli”.

Also, try to google my name to see what comes up! 😊

If you really want to know me and learn from me, then you should check out my blog The Presidential Hustle, and my FREE online university Nejo University.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Right now, I don’t have any openings in my company but I always post openings on my Facebook business page from time to time.

Would you be available to mentor a few entrepreneurs?

Right now, I am not open to mentorship because I have thousands of students and people to who I already offer some type and form of mentorship.

Anyone interested in mentorship should take one of my many free courses at Nejo University and then send me an email, I am more likely to answer people who have learned something from me either through my blog or courses than random people with who I have no connection.

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