Harrison Obiefule's playbook to Web3 marketing dominance in Africa

May 2, 2024
5 min read
Harrison Obiefule

If Harrison Obiefule was not a marketer he'd most likely be an investment banker or corporate lawyer because of his drive to make money. 

"I think money is a very good motivator, although it is not a thing that a lot of people care to admit."

Obiefule highlights the fact that as the first son of his family, he is expected to earn good money. He has delivered on these expectations by becoming one of the most sought-after marketers in the Web3 space.

Interestingly, he didn't start out to become a marketer. He studied political science at the university, but marketing came to him unexpectedly and he jumped at the chance to change his story through it.

In his years as a marketer, Obiefule has 20xed his earnings, a testament to his proficiency, and surprisingly he has a simple process for marketers who want to be on top of their game.

The marketing journey

Before encountering marketing, Obiefule had his eyes set on broadcasting. In his undergraduate years, he worked with his cousin who had a small broadcast company and joined him to host red carpet events.

After graduation, he went to broadcasting school before working for Africa Magic and becoming an assistant on the Rubbin' Minds show on Channels TV.

Harrison Obiefule while he was a production assistant at Channels TV
Harrison Obiefule as a production assistant on Channels TV

The broadcast dream was coming together nicely but the money part was not.

"The opportunities were very limited and the money was not as forthcoming as I wanted. My salary as a broadcaster was ₦25,000 and this was between 2017 and 2018."

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The marketing light shone on him when he saw a friend's employment letter. This friend had gone on to advertising school while he went to broadcasting school.

The salary expectation was ₦400,000. "It was unbelievable," but his friend assured him that the salary was low compared to what seasoned professionals in the space earned.

He was advised to go into digital marketing since he was good with X (formerly Twitter).

Obiefule took the advice, started courses on digital marketing, and joined digital marketing communities.

He got his first job as a digital marketer and that was the beginning of his journey to becoming a marketing professional.

Recipe for becoming a successful marketing professional

An image of Harrison Obiefule speaking on stage
Harrison Obiefule

"Start with an agency" is the first advice Obiefule shares with his 32,000 followers on X when someone asks how to become a successful marketer.

This advice is based on his experience during his journey as a marketing professional.

"I got my first job as a marketer in a real estate company, but I didn't stay there for long because I realised that I didn't have the right marketing foundation to do great work."

To get this foundation he started with an influencer marketing agency that managed campaigns for international brands like PepsiCo and HP.

From the influencer marketing agency, he went on to a creative agency where he held social media manager, community manager, and content writer roles. From there he moved to a digital marketing agency.

His final stop for building agency experience was with a PR agency that worked with Facebook.

"That was where I cut my teeth working on tech accounts."

Armed with agency-level marketing experience, Obiefule was set to work with a company as a marketer.

In July 2021, his first client-side job (working as an in-house marketer) came with a ₦500,000 salary offer at a financial organisation in Nigeria.

He accepted the awesome offer, but just before he started working he received an offer from FTX.

The FTX job

Harrison Obiefule
Harrison Obiefule

The FTX job positively altered the trajectory of Obiefule's career. According to him, the salary offer was more than triple what the Nigerian company offered.

His strong personal brand played a huge role in landing the FTX role.

"They were looking for someone to launch their global marketing push in Africa," and one DM later, Obiefule was plunged into the world of crypto marketing which he won't be leaving anytime soon even after the fall of the $30 billion crypto company that hired him.

Interestingly, Obiefule started work in July 2021, but left in October the following year, just before FTX shut down in November.

The fall of FTX was a painful one. "It affected me like it did most staff. The betrayal of trust was hard because we worked so hard for the brand."

Like customers, he also had a significant amount of money on the platform. He lost so much to FTX but it didn't stop him from working in the crypto space.

In fact, the good work he did at FTX got him offers right after he left the company. He is now a marketing consultant for several brands and working to build Superteam, a Web3  community by Solana. These jobs have seen him increase his earnings.

Without sharing more specific details, he lets on that his last salary, was $5,000 monthly and he has gone over that.

"I wanted to leave at some point but the only people who can pay me what I want are crypto brand."

Obiefule can command the kind of salary he does because he possesses a unique set of qualities.

Be unique and stand out

An image of Harrison Obiefule

Harrison Obiefule

Personal branding is a key part of Obiefule's career and is one of the reasons he got the job that has made him one of Nigeria's top crypto marketers.

"Personal brand is you being a thought leader. Share your opinions and share your work."

While Obiefule shares his work frequently on social media, he is not oblivious to the dangers that come with building a personal brand at the expense of one's skill.

"Spend a lot of time learning and upskilling, doing the work you tell people you're amazing at."

He's currently doing a master's program in sales and marketing at Rome Business School, Nigeria, after which he'll do an MBA.

This zeal for knowledge also ties into his other unique trait — hard work.

He believes "If someone is better than you in actual skills, there's no excuse for that person to outwork you."

Obiefule is comfortable with where his career is, but his final destination is becoming a world-class marketing consultant, and sharing his wealth of knowledge like a Seth Godin or Victor Asemota.

And while money remains a major motivation, he has developed a soft spot for blockchain. He has now become an idealist for the promises and use cases of blockchain technology, especially in Africa.

This ties in nicely with one of his posts: "A rewarding PASSION is something that is built over time by applying HARD WORK to your TALENT. Your mission is to find something you’re good at and apply the thousands of hours of grit and sacrifice necessary to become great at it."

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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.
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He's a geek, a sucker for Blockchain and an all-round tech lover. Find me on Twitter @BoluAbiodun1.

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