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For Twitter addicts, about 61, 500 Nigerians, most especially Lagosians, know what @Gidi_Traffic handle is and what it does. It was created to ease Lagos traffic stress by providing on-the-go traffic updates and information for its followers. The creator of this handle, whose desire to remain anonymous did spark intrigue from different followers and quarter, was recently nominated for the globally known Life-Saving Hero Award and won The Future Awards. In an exclusive inspiring interview with this person, Ruth Olurounbi found several lessons young entrepreneur should learn from @Gidi_Traffic.
Seek to rectify a problem with your product or service
When asked what motivated @Gidi_Traffic, which now has its own application, thanks to Nokia, the response was that the desire to remedy the road traffic palaver was what birthed the services. “We all hate the traffic menace except of course you’re a traffic hawker. So thinking about ways to remedy the situation, I came up with @Gidi_Traffic. We can whine, curse and snarl about the traffic all day but it isn’t going to disappear. So I figured the best cost-less way to remedy the situation is by keeping people informed with the traffic situation at All times so that way you can choose to avoid traffic or make better decisions when commuting. No more running blindly into traffic again.” (Smiles).
Be passionate about what you’re selling
@Gidi_Traffic was never a business venture, but an avenue to “basically to offer a unique service. I was actually asked by a couple of people on Twitter at the initial stage if this was supposed to be a ‘Money’ making venture because a lot of them thought this service was too good to be free, and I answered with a honest “No it’s just for the cause”.
Make your brand strong enough other people can notice
As soon as @Gidi_Traffic was created, various entrepreneurs and business enterprises both local and international started zeroing-in on it like sharks before bait. GidiTraffic has the most viewed Twitter profile in the country as well as a very “Huge Klout Influence” on the social media. And guess what? Because of these reasons, business enterprises all over the world are seeking to leverage on that influence and also to identify with a credible brand to promote their businesses.
Always remember, you do need other people’s help
When asked how @Gidi_Traffic keeps tabs on traffic situation in Lagos, the response was as amazing as shocking. “I have a huge follower base cultivated for the cause of looking out for each other, “Lending Each Other An Eye” sort of thing. So they report traffic situation from all over the city. Therefore, my timeline is always nourished with traffic status all over the city.” (smiles).
It’s alright to see the challenges, just don’t dwell on them
Since @Gidi_Traffic was born on the September 23, 2011 “I have never been offline or unreachable. Now even the thought of that seems challenging right? It’s certainly not an easy task both physically and financially but, I’m committed to the cause and I enjoy seeing GidiTraffic make someone’s day less stressful, so I don’t dwell on the challenges.”
Guard your ideas jealously, but have trusted backups too
The initiator of this service-delivery product handles all of the updates full time, the handler however does have “a trusted rep that fills in for me at seminars, conferences, press briefing and all public appearances GidiTraffic gets invited to.
Be available, at all times
To get updates to its followers, @Gidi_Traffic is “online round the clock.”
Do not be afraid of competition
When asked if the handler would encourage traffic controls in other states, the response was: “sure why not, GidiTraffic blazed the trail and many others have followed. It’s a welcomed change on how we use the social media to affect lives positively.”And for those willing to toe this exciting path, here’s an advice directly from the master: “sincere service to the people is the greatest work you can ever do, it’s also the most demanding. If you’re doing it for some projected gain or profit other than rendering a sincere service, you can as well quit before you start.