Daniel Kofi Ayinor Johnson, known on social media as “dannysworld”, is an entrepreneur and content creator and has been working as a brand influencer for close to three years now.
He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana, where he majored in Accounting.
His journey to becoming a brand influencer and owner of an influencer hub is very interesting.
In an interview with Kuulpeeps, Danny detailed how it all started and what he had to do to establish himself as one of the most sought after brand influencers in Ghana.
And it all started with a post on Instagram…
“Back then I was very active on Instagram. I am a big fan of Ice Prince and when he released the Aboki song, I saw an attire he wore in the music video and I just wanted to recreate how he looked. So I went to town to buy the kaftan material, went to see a tailor to sew a similar one for me. I wore it to church, took a picture in it and then I made a collage and then I tagged him and captioned it Ice Prince Taught Me How To Do This… And now I Know Imma Get A Shoutout From A Rapper I Respect.”
“After I posted it, my friends commented under the post and tagged him as well. He eventually saw the post and replied: Major shoutout, on point!“
After Ice Prince reacted to his post on Instagram, he made a huge gain with regards to his following. “So my following on Instagram grew. I got over 1,000 followers on Instagram within a very short period,” he said.
This experience propelled him to find ways of ensuring that he got more followers.
“And later on, I changed my Instagram handle to ‘All Because Of Tonga’ after Joey B released his song Tonga. And I realised I was getting a lot of followers because of these things. So for instance you go on IG and you see the handle, ‘All Because Of Tonga’, you would want to know what it’s about. So that drew a lot of attention to my account because around that time the song was a hit and I got a lot of followers because of that.”
And that’s how he started growing his following on Instagram.
Danny is also a lover of dogs. So, before he started creating content for brands, he was creating a lot of content about dogs on Instagram.
“Before going to the university I was creating a lot of dog content on Instagram as well as organising dog walks. And so far, the biggest dog walk that was held in Ghana was organised by me and some friends at Dansoman which saw close to 200 dogs.”
Danny revealed that he never thought of becoming a brand influencer until he got to the university and joined the EchoHouse campus group at the University of Ghana.
“When I got that large number of followers, I didn’t think of becoming an influencer. Nothing like that crossed my mind. So when I first came to the University of Ghana, one Friday evening, a friend of mine called Adom told me she was going for an Echo meeting and asked me to join her. I think after I joined, that’s when I realized that I have the capabilities of creating stuff for brands,” he said.
“It started with doing photoshoots for brands for free, cos at the time I had still not understood the business side of the whole thing, so I was just doing it for fun.”
“So as an Echo member, I was called upon to do photoshoots for brands and invited to do my internship at the office during vacation. And of all these were learning experiences that prepared me for what I am doing today.”
While interning at the office of EchoHouse, he was asked to help find a group young people who are active on social media to form an online hub for Vodafone.
“Back then I wasn’t really active on Twitter so I didn’t have a lot of followers. So I went on the TL and looked out for people who had a lot of followers, but when I saw them I realised I know friends who have a lot of followers so I decided to use them instead,” he said. “So I reached out to some friends and even asked them to suggest their friends. So I started with them, and that was the first influencer hub I created.”
“After that, we got another gig with Dalex Finance for Swift Hoops. They were organising a basketball competition at Aviation Social Centre and wanted it to be amplified on social media, so we were contracted.”
He also got an opportunity to work for Stanbic Bank and got their hashtag to be among the top trends on Twitter at the time.
“A guy linked me to Stanbic bank. They were carrying out a campaign. They were celebrating popular English reggae and pop band UB40. The hashtag, I think, was ‘Nostalgia’. So I put together a team and started tweeting. We were working on it and realised that the hashtag was in the trends. Back then we didn’t know it was possible to trend that way. We then realised that this is another thing we can do for brands as a different package, so we restructured our packages to include trends. So that was the first trend job we did and got paid.”
“When we started we were getting as low as GHC50 and GHC70 for some gigs. But that was another source of income for us while we were in school. But I’ve also charged clients from GHC10,000 to as low as GHC1,000 as remuneration for the hub depending on job description and duration… We had a main group of 20 people. But when the gig needed more people, I create another group to include more people. That’s when I started thinking of a name to give it and I decided to call it Influencer Hub. I just wanted a name that when it is said, you easily know what it is about. Influencer Hub came in 2019,” he revealed.
While most of the gigs he was getting were mostly based in Accra, he got an opportunity to create a Kumasi-based influencer hub.
“Most of the gigs and activations we had were based in Accra. So I had a gig from Fidelity Bank… They were opening a branch on the KNUST campus in Kumasi and needed a hub. I was going to use my main hub but decided to create a new hub with people based in Kumasi and on KNUST campus because I wanted to deliver the job well. So I found the people and created the hub and they did a very good job. After this, I had a Kumasi Hub and an Accra Hub.”
Other brands that he has worked for include MTN, Samsung, Access Bank, Enterprise Insurance, Ecobank, Yango, Standard Chartered, Close Up, Dettol, Maybelline, Boomplay, Dano Milk, OrijinAxe, Frytol, Roxona and Guinness.
Danny revealed that combining business and academic work became a challenge for him when he started getting more gigs.
“At a point, I had to be skipping class to meet up with representatives of the brands I work for because I had gotten to the point where I was getting a lot of gigs. At a point, I had to pay my mates and some teaching assistants to help me catch up with what was taught in class.”
However, what kept him going was the fact that he was making money for himself and for his friends that he worked with.
“I’m staying on my own and I believe that as a young person, even though your parents give you money, you also need to make money for yourself.”
“So what inspired me was my determination to make money. I wanted to make money on my own. A lot of my friends see me as a Dbee but they don’t know this is what I actually do, that is the influencer jobs, to take care of myself. I also wanted to help my friends make money.”
“The car I use now, I acquired it through the money I got from influencer gigs and other things. Renovated my room with money from influencer gigs. clothing, food everything.”
How he lives on influencer gigs.
According to Danny, he is able to live on influencer gigs based on two principles he has set for himslef, which are “setting targets” and “saving”.
“First of all, I don’t set my targets very high, in terms of payment because from the way I see it, it’s just data or WiFi that I use. So I feel if for instance I’m carrying out a project for someone and the person is paying me GHC 10, I ask myself, is it worth the data I use? If it is worth it, I take the gig. Because some of the things I do for people I don’t get paid, so how about getting GHC10 in return?
“So for me, no amount is too small for me when it comes to gigs. First of all, I look at the client, what he wants me to do, and how long he wants the job to be done, and if it involves going to the field.. Does it involves taking a video, taking photos. So basically, I look at what the gig entails before I make a move.”
“So at the end of the day, I know I am doing something for Vodafone, and they are paying me GHC50, I know that another brand will pay me about GHC150, and another brand will pay me about GHC200. The amounts are not the same but the end of the day, they add up to become a substantial amount. So if I can add up what I get from these brands in a day or week, I get quite a lot of money.”
“I also save, I save a lot. It’s through the money I get from influencer gigs that I used to pay my school fees, hotels fees and other expenses while in school. And I’m now taking care of myself now through the same business.”
“I always have money because I save a lot, when the payment for gigs don’t come on time, I depend on my sayings.”
“Most of the money I get from Influencer gigs don’t come right away. It takes months for us to get paid.”
“So while I’m waiting for the payment, I get paid for gigs that I have done some months back that I hadn’t been paid for. So that’s what I will use while I wait to get paid for the recent gig.”
“Sometimes I get money coming in every week, when the brands are now paying for the gigs we’ve done for them some time ago. So it depends how the payments come.”
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