Katlego Tefu believes she has found the sweet spot in micro-influencer marketing. With just over 16,000 followers on Instagram and 32,400 followers on Twitter, the creative has amassed a strong following of middle-income earners who want a budget-friendly style.
Born with the flair for creativity
“I was using my social media pages as a way to connect with people, and I felt that I was building quite a big following and people wanted to hear my voice when it came to product reviews and I decided to take the leap,” she says.
Tefu says she has always been creative as a child, and this naturally led her to become a content creator.
“I have always been creative at heart when it comes to crafts, painting, and sowing. When I was in high school, I used to run a newspaper column and it became second nature to express myself on social media,” she says.
Style on a budget
Tefu who understands the middle and lower-income earners believes she knows exactly what young women want.
“I think the people who are interested in my brand are not looking for something that is too luxurious but still want to look good and they love fashion just like every other person but don’t have the resources,” she says.
The cool creative says she had several challenges when she started out including not having a phone or access to the internet.
“When I started out, I did not even have a phone, I would have to go to my mom’s workplace during lunch to use hers or borrow my neighbour’s phone. There was a time I did not have Wi-Fi and I would send my content to my friends who were working, and they would post it for me, so a big part of my challenges was resources,” she says.
Tefu says an important resource is access to funding because this helps with creating quality content.
“Having resources helps a lot and being able to fund yourself like being able to buy clothes to create content is important and I did not have the money to pour into it, so I would enter a lot of [social media] competitions to get these resources,” she says.
She said she enjoys the work but a lot of planning and editing goes into delivering quality content.
“It’s fun but a lot of people don’t realise the amount of work and planning that goes into it. But I really enjoy finding new ways to express myself every day gives me a lot of joy,” she says.
She has worked with brands such as Neutrogena, Mr Price, Foschini, Witchery, Poetry, and Aldo as well as worked on lifestyle content for brands such as Standard Bank.
Tefu who has been very open about her journey with adult acne says she has managed to attract the interest of skincare brands who understand her need for authenticity.
“I do a show called The Spot where I speak a lot about skincare problems and with its popularity, it has drawn me a lot of attention in the skincare world. And a lot of people recommended me to Neutrogena, to work with the brand, which I did not expect because I do not have clear skin,” she says.
“My new perspective in life is to just be who I am and show that I have problematic skin.”
Women inspiring women
Tefu says she is inspired by many women in her personal and professional life.
"I look up to creators such as Lulama Wolf, Shelly Mokoena, Keneilwe Nei, Sinovuyo Mondliwa who have managed to use their influence and talents to pivot and create services and careers. Asanda Sizana and Mathebe Molise who aren't creators but I've been exposed to their careers through social media and I absolutely love what they do for the communities they cater to and what they've managed to build," she says.
She says she is also inspired by women in her family.
"Generally it's my aunts and my mother. They are so smart, and such hard workers and the lessons they've taught me are the reasons I am who I am today. They are really the type of women I'd love to be when I grow up," says Tefu.
The creative wants to continue building her brand by starting a clothing line.
"Hopefully I can open up a clothing line and I just want to solidify myself and my show and have many more episodes coming out, I want more creation, more hair content, and everything that Katlego loves," she says.
Karabo Ledwaba is a Marketing and Media Editor at Bizcommunity and award-winning journalist. Before joining the publication she worked at Sowetan as a content producer and reporter. She was also responsible for the leadership page at SMag, Sowetan's lifestyle magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org