Interview Conducted by Leah T. Johnson/ColorBlind Magazine
All things related to weddings excite Nigerian YouTuber, Blogger, Vlogger, Wedding Planner, and Stylist Wura Manola who’s destined to become a force to be reckoned with in the wedding industry. On her YouTube Channel Get Wedding Ready she discusses how to save money while planning a wedding, wedding day beauty tips and tutorials, how to select your wedding party, and much more!
In addition to her love for weddings, Wura is confident in her own skin as a woman. This, she believes, is the standard of beauty more women need to set for themselves.
Learn more about Wura in this exclusive interview as she talks about beauty, weddings, marriage, self- esteem, and social media.
ColorBlind Magazine: What is the benefit of being a YouTuber?
Wura Manola: One of the benefits of being a YouTuber is being able to reach a larger audience. I started off blogging about my wedding journey, and I got frustrated because I only got 500 or 600 views. I felt like I was writing and no one is reading my blogs. So, I asked myself ‘how can I reach more people?’ and that’s when I decided to start my YouTube channel. Now I reach people all over the world from places like Hawaii, France, Ghana, Gambia, Germany, Jamaica, United States. For me, reaching that amount of people is one of the greatest benefits and connecting with people from all over the world
Also, I’m recognized as a voice in the African wedding industry. People send me emails asking my opinion, which I feel is good because it shows I’m making an impact. I’ve only been doing it for 7 months and have almost 2,000 subscribers. I’m not at the point that I can quit my full-time job, but the recognition and reaching a larger audience and growing my brand have been benefits of being a YouTuber.
CB Mag: How has YouTube helped you market your brand as a wedding planner, entrepreneur and blogger?
WM: YouTube has played a great deal in marketing because I showcase my work; I put up work of weddings I’ve done, and my wedding. It’s free marketing for myself. I receive lots of emails from people asking me to plan their wedding.
As an entrepreneur, it’s helping me build my brand as a wedding planner, YouTuber, and wedding blogger. In addition, I’ve been asked by people to be interviewed and to collaborate with them and to blog about their services.
CB Mag: Behind the glamour and fame of YouTube comes challenges. What have been your challenges?
WM: This is a difficult question because I feel I’ve been blessed in that I haven’t had that many challenges. I think Beauty bloggers have more hate and experience cyberbullying because they tend to put themselves out there more, especially without makeup, which in this social media generation is a huge deal. They also have way more following and they quickly become “It Girls” or “Insta” famous which can be challenging. As for me, I tapped into a market that I saw was untapped. There aren’t many people who are on YouTube talking about weddings, to be more specific, African weddings or Nigerian weddings. In Nigeria, the wedding industry is huge. So I went into it [YouTube] knowing there was a gap and I feel there’s nothing to compare me too. I saw an opportunity and I took it.
The only challenge is putting myself out there. Everything is open; my email, my Instagram page, etc. I do keep my marriage private though. Another challenge is balancing my full-time job whilst doing YouTube and wedding planning on the side. Maybe when I get more subscribers, I will face more challenges, but at the moment, none.
CB Mag: What is your end goal?
WM: Get Wedding Ready is a lot more than YouTube… my end goal is reaching and impacting millions of people worldwide. Plan “IT” weddings, be called on CNN, BBC, and top bridal magazines as a voice in the industry giving my expert opinion. I want Get Wedding Ready to be on TV channels across the world. This is when I know I have made it. Also, as I said previously, I want to become a force to be reckoned with in the industry worldwide. I also have some other projects and goals for Get Wedding Ready and my wedding planning industry. Manola Luxe that I can’t mention but watch this space!
CB Mag: In your opinion, what is a compelling story?
WM: YouTube allows ordinary people to become great, and famous. YouTube also allows these ordinary people to become an inspiration to others. There are those like Jackie Aina and Patricia Bright (both Nigerians) that have been able to become inspirational YouTubers. These YouTubers were average people like me and you. For example, Makeup by Shayla used to work at Sephora… Patricia Bright worked in finance. There was nothing special about these people. They were very normal, but they were able to tap into their gift and become inspirational beauty influencers. I feel this is a strong and compelling story because they tell the world that you can do whatever you put your mind to. YouTubers have changed the game. It used to be that you had to be a celebrity to get sponsored and appear on magazines and TV adverts. But now you can be an ordinary person, build your brand via YouTube and get sponsored and appear on TV adverts and I think that’s very compelling.
Visit tomorrow for part 2 of this story!!…