Celebrating the July Creator Instagram Hero, Foyin Og

You may know Foyin Og from the viral makeup challenge #7days7faces , her YouTube channel, as well as her collaborations with brands such as Netflix, Foschini, Essence, and Levi’s Haus Africa, but do you know how she built her loyal and diverse beauty community? Read as we find out all about July’s Instagram Hero in the ‘creator’ category and how she’s using the app in innovative and inspirational ways.

August submissions for the Instagram Heroes awards series are now open. Enter here.

“What started out as a lockdown makeup challenge has grown into a makeup community that spans all over the country (and often, globe). It spans gender and racial lines to be an inclusive and positive space that people look forward to because it inspires them to be creative and acts as a form of catharsis from the world we live in. It helps people hone their skills and is a delight even for those who don’t participate. It’s grown to unbelievable heights, gaining millions of impressions and reaching so many people in its 7 iterations and it’s only going to get better.”

  1. When did you start your Instagram account and what inspired you?

One of my most arbitrary flexes is that I had Instagram before Justin Bieber, but I only started posting at the end of 2011 when I was in grade 9. I’ve always been on social media and in the blogosphere, and as such, you alway have to have your ear on the ground for the next hottest app – and once word spread about this new photo app, I had to see what it was all about! A decade later, here we are.

  1. In a few words, what does your page stand for? 

I stand for black women who want to enhance their lives on a budget. Be it beauty, fashion, lifestyle or just the occasional laugh. 

  1. How has the brand grown since launching and what has this journey been like for you? 

I think my story in the influencing and content creation space is similar to the concept of 10000 hours. In the past year or two, my brand has grown exponentially and for most people, I just came out of nowhere all of a sudden – but in reality, I’ve been building up to this moment, dare I say, all my life. I’ve been creating content since primary school but in the past year and a half, when I decided to dedicate myself full-time to this career, I truly found my stride and my tribe. When I started the makeup challenge #7days7faces, I didn’t necessarily expect it to grow into what it has, yet I know that building this community and platform – as well as being able to monetise it without losing its essence – was something I was uniquely able to do. Reaching this point in my journey has been nothing short of humbling and exciting because the opportunities are endless! 

  1. You’ve succeeded in not only producing beauty influencer content but in creating a community on your page, tell us a bit about your audience and how you engage with them (do you ask your followers what they want to see from you or just give them the content that you want to produce?)  

I think one of the best things about my audience and how I engage with them is that it truly does feel natural. I talk to them as if they are my friends and they do the same. Some people have been following me for years so we’ve gotten to a place where we can banter with each other so casually and I think that’s also what makes me reputable as a beauty influencer. They know how I talk, they know I’m honest and transparent, they know they can trust me and they know that they can ask me for advice or assistance and I’d help if I’m able to. I think one of the most important things an influencer can do is engage with their audience – and do it like a regular person, on a regular basis. Boundaries are important and if you state them, people will respect them, but nonetheless, just be yourself (it sounds so cliche, doesn’t it?) and that’s how you build a great relationship. With regards to content, I try my best to plan so that it’s value-based, with hope that they will enjoy or learn something anyway, but I also do take requests or ask them to participate so that their insights are also factored into the content. 

  1. What does winning the “1000 Grams of Likes” award mean to you? 

It’s a really great form of validation. Having been in this space for a long time yet only finding my niche and hitting my stride so much later than my peers, it really feels good to be acknowledged and it’s a sort of sign that I’m on the right path. I’m exactly where I need to be doing exactly what I need to do.

  1. Do you have any tips for local creators just starting out – both in terms of their product or offering, and how they go about marketing this?

I think every creator (especially someone who wants to do it professionally) needs to have 3 plans – a content plan, a marketing plan and a business plan. Your content plan is basically something as simple as understanding your niche, how you will create content around it and the different types of content you can make as well. Your marketing plan involves the strategies you’ll use to get your content seen – such as a challenge, a series, a giveaway, boosting posts, cross-posting on the platforms, etc. And your business plan relates to how you’re going to make money out of it, because unfortunately, creating content can’t always be for free and the paid work pays for the unpaid work. So how will you leverage your community and your content with brands? Which agencies and marketers do you need to pitch to? How do you cost your time and your work? These are all equally important plans that should be balanced in your mind when you’re trying to build. 

  1. What is something that 10and5 readers may not know about you as a person?

Well in case they didn’t know, I’m very proudly Nigerian – I’m also left-handed and once upon a time I was a Gauteng Central Gold Medal Rhythmic Gymnast. I also used to write for Superbalist, Cosmopolitan (RIP cutie) and I have a byline or two from Seventeen Magazine SA from when I was 17, and I was also on their Style Counsel when I was 15. 

  1. What can we expect from you in 2021? Any projects or collaborations to keep an eye out for? 

I’ve definitely got some exciting brand partnerships on the cards but #7days7faces remains my passion project and I try to make each round bigger and better than the next! I’m excited about the remaining rounds for the year because I hope to add a twist to it, too.

  1. What is your favourite Instagram feature right now and why?

I love Instagram stories more than anything! It’s such a fun and easy way to share and engage with people. Every few months or so I do a Chaotic Poll and it get’s me sworn at

for sure but it’s so much fun.

Are you next month’s Instagram Hero? Be sure to submit your creative brand or business here and stand a chance to win your own ‘1000 Grams of Likes’ trophy!

Between 10 and 5