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ShowLove Keeps Customers Coming Back, And For Good Reason

Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane has created a unique business that is built on solid relationships. Here’s how he ensures clients keep coming back.

GG van Rooyen

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Vital Stats

  • Player: Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane
  • Company: ShowLove
  • Established: 2006
  • Visit: showlove.co.za

ShowLove is an urban youth marketing agency. It organises events (read: parties) for trendy brands, handles social media campaigns and even represents some of South Africa’s hottest talent. In other words, it is very much in the business of setting trends and creating ‘cool’.

So how did Tebello ‘Tibz’ Motsoane manage to turn a penchant for hosting massive parties into a solid business? Well, despite what the lavish trappings of the party scene might suggest, it all came down to hard work. Underneath the glitz and glamour you’ll find a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Related: How Blue Label Telecoms Manages Stratospheric Growth Without Losing The Entrepreneurial Edge

Relationships are incredibly important

When I turned 21, I organised a massive party for myself. Soon, others were asking me to organise parties for them. And before I knew it, I was running a business. I developed relationships with young brand managers back then. Today they sit in senior positions, so these relationships have matured and expanded over time.

That said, you can’t know everyone

So I hand out a lot of business cards. I also follow up leads, though I try to never become so persistent that it starts to irritate people. You need to walk a fine line.

A lot of people ask for money too quickly

I believe that before you ask a new client for money, you first need to prove that you can offer real value. If I can suggest a good social media strategy ahead of an event, I provide it to a client for free. I let them experience the traction.

By the time I submit a quote, a client is generally happy to pay what I ask. They know that I can offer value, so they don’t ask me to drop my price.

Related: Where Others Run From Challenges Daniel Tall Is Running Towards Them

We create a lot of online content

Even though ShowLove is not a traditional media company, there is a lot of value in creating content around the events that we host. An 18-year-old might not be able to attend a fancy event, but he or she can feel like a part of the action through our blog posts.

Creating content also provides the company with a certain amount of credibility. Through it ShowLove is positioned as a tastemaker that has its pulse on the latest trends.

ShowLove-founder

You can’t be a brand slut

If I work with a sneaker brand, I’m not going to work with one of its competitors. Consumers aren’t stupid — they can tell when engagement is inauthentic. I only work with brands that I believe in, and where I think there’s real synergy. I’m not afraid to say no to work if I don’t think my vision aligns with that of a client.

There is an opportunity cost to every job you take on

I’ve stopped taking on one-off jobs. I think it’s better to create a long-term relationship with a client. When considering a new job, you have to ask if the job is worth your time.

Is it big enough, or will it only be diverting you from jobs that are potentially more lucrative?

You need a plan B, C and D

Things go wrong. It’s inevitable. Because of this, you need a contingency plan. You need to just deal with any problem that arises. Always remember this: It’s not the client’s problem — it’s your problem. You need to find a solution.

You also need to draft contracts with clients and suppliers that protect you, should something go horribly wrong. As I said, it is pretty much guaranteed that something will go wrong, and there’s often nothing sinister behind it. A car might simply break down or someone might get sick, but a lot of hassle can still arise from it.

Related: Farah Fortune Of African Star Communications On Choosing The Right Clients

Outsource as little as possible

A great way to ensure you deliver a certain level of service is to bring as many functions in-house as you can. ShowLove owns a lot of event equipment, because this makes it less dependent on suppliers. Doing stuff in-house gives you more control.

Being authentic doesn’t mean being critical

ShowLove is about exactly that — showing love. I only promote things that I really like on social media, but at the same time I won’t be critical of things I don’t like. I never post negative reviews.

I also ask a lot of questions on social media

Too many businesses forget that social media communication should be two-way. It’s not just about talking to consumers, but about listening to them as well.

Social media is a great place to discover the latest trends.

Go beyond the brief

If you want to build a real relationship with a client, you need to go beyond the simple limitations of the brief he or she provides. It is all about adding value. How can you help a client reach an audience or make an event a huge success? It might mean recommending a great supplier or performer. I started representing AKA, for example, because I was always booking him for events. 

Remember this

Getting repeat work is not about being the cheapest, but about being the best. If you can show that you really add value, clients will be more than willing to pay.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

CEOwise

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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