In the past five years, entrepreneurship and internet activities in Cameroon have been on the rise with leading entrepreneurs taking to social media to create more space and market for themselves–and the rise of a breed of entrepreneurs who are building on the coming of the internet and making a name for themselves
Somewhere in the conversation, anyone active on the internet space in Cameroon for the last 5 years would be familiar with a new wave of names including Arrey Bate who has been building a solid niche and a name for himself
Today we would like to bring to you an exclusive interview with Arrey Bate, founder of ARREYB Media
Arrey Bate is a Cameroonian internet entrepreneur, journalist and author who over the past 4 years, has built a following of thousands of entrepreneurs and has been featured on the BBC, British Council, Fox, NBC and CBS. He grew famous for his work on social media and for initiating AB Afrikpreneur, a community for entrepreneurs and career starters across Africa
Among several accolades, Arrey has been listed among the British Council’s top 100 young journalists worldwide in 2019, listed among GLC2021 top 100 young leaders from 30 countries, winner of the 2021 Global Leadership Challenge by Oxford University and St Gallen Symposium, and was Cameroon’s first blogger to tour the country in a series of events called the ARREYB Media National Tour. He has also authored several writings including his Cameroon’s bestselling internet book “How To Make Money, Build Right Relationships With Social Media”
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get started?
The journey started in 2017 while I was in my second year of University.
At the time I had an $18/pm feeding allowance and I decided to move from it to start a company from my student laptop and a phone which my elder brother gifted me. That was when I launched a new company called ARREYB Media . As a non-techy naive student with no skills in social media, I wasn’t able to make any money from it in the first year
All my life I grew up in Cameroon and when a heavy political crisis began in 2017, I remember fighting tooth and nail to survive amidst the heavy gunshots, random shootings, arrests and torture
Every of those days I stayed alive, I needed to feed, to make ends meet and make sure I survived the crisis. Sometimes the shootings will pause for some hours, and we had to rush out to stock the house with food or basic house groceries
I couldn’t rely on my parents because they lived about 228 kilometers away from me, and when my allowance came, I usually had around $18 (10,000FCFA) a month
That’s how I started to brainstorm. Social media seemed like my only hope at the time
I wanted to learn how to fish for myself and find a way to pay rents, foot my bills and survive in all these troubles
But the big question for me was “how do I start?”
That year I dropped out from school and during that time, I almost lost almost my brain. I started a blogging business, but it was very hard to get people to advertise on our website or even take a space for a banner ads. I tested many things, and if someone said this will make me money online, I remember jumping on it desperately without a second thought
Most of the things I tried didn’t work but a few of the real secrets that did work, started to compound on each other over time. Each new trial kinda helped me to discover another thing which led to another and another…
That was how I started to find my voice. What seemed completely impossible before (living off my social media), was slowly a reality
Because of the social media secrets I have learnt and practiced in my three years online, I have now set up my business with a small team making a living from social media.
My company ARREYB Media runs a news website and a marketing agency called ARREYB Is Marketing. ARREYB Is Marketing is currently helping entrepreneurs and small business owners from different countries to generate consistent clients online through Facebook Ads, Instagram ads, Sales Funnels and email marketing.
Being invited and interviewed live from the BBC headquarters in London, listed among British Council’s top 100 young journalists worldwide in 2019 and writing one of Cameoroon’s best selling social media books has been one of my successes as an Internet entrepreneur the last 4 years
This equals several conferences and workshops me and my team have organized, training more than 2,000 young entrepreneurs and youths and starting a community for African entrepreneurs called the AB Afrikpreneur Community
Let’s talk about the work you do with ARREYB Is Marketing. What do you guys specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
That’s a great question! I run a news website and a marketing agency called ARREYB Is Marketing. I may not be able to go over everything in our marketing offers because we could be here for hours but the bottom line is that we currently help entrepreneurs and small business owners from several countries to generate consistent clients online and produce spine-chilling RIO through Facebook Ads, Instagram ads, Sales Funnels, and email marketing.
When I was writing my first book, we sold 57 copies pre-ordered before the release date. On the actual day of release, we found out we only sold 7 copies
I nearly went crazy that day
We had actually budgeted for ads and also used at least 7 social media influencers to join the launch. So we were sure to hit hot sales.
The book was getting attention online but not making the sales and money that we wanted. That week, I had just flown into Nigeria where I spent over 6 weeks on some project in Lagos.
So the entire month, I tried everything we could to sell more copies but we now had a total of 16 copies sold (after the book release).
I tried many other strategies but ALL OF THEM FAILED
So I quickly hired a friend and asked him to walk me through (on zoom) what they were doing differently at their own Agency. Honestly, it was a small tweak that was so simple to understand, yet we had missed it.
From my hotel room in Nigeria, (on call with my team) we made clicks after clicks to our funnel, and rebuilt a new sales system for the book from scratch.
We set some ads on Facebook and Instagram and saw an almost instant 4X increase in sales that week.
I wrote back and thanked him again for holding my hand and showing me this secret.
And since then, I tried the same strategy for that book, tweaking some little bits and improving on it every month to resell time and again. Over the next 6 months, I’ve spent time travelling around, trying to build some connections but our ads and the funnel were up and running as we set up an automated system to deliver the digital book copy directly to emails right after purchase. That has led to 3,000+ copies (and counting) sold over the past months.
But it didn’t just end there!
I tried the same strategy on some of my friend’s businesses and they had huge results which excitedly make me try another. One of them as a university which we helped get students for the next academic year, another was an academy, and another was a fashion line. All of them had incredible results.
That was how I journeyed into marketing and since then, my small team and I have been helping several entrepreneurs and business owners to generate clients online. Our clients allow us to professionally build their sales funnels, run their Facebook and Instagram ads to bring a flood of sales. They let us do everything for while they sit back and collect the orders.
So If you’re looking to relax and let experts with whom with two clicks, you can get a clear breakdown of how much was spent, how much was made & what your net profit is – I’m throwing this opportunity to your nose today
When it comes to marketing that actually makes the sale, I’ve worked with a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners who burn themselves out asking a lot of paralyzing questions
What’s the best ad copy to write for an ad? What image should I use? And how do I even know what funnel system to set while running Facebook ads? What if my business does not have a website? How do I even make sure I optimise my ad to ensure I spend $1 dollar and get $2 back? How do I even fix an ad that’s breaking? How do I adapt ads to my particular business and make sure it works?
I can 1000% relate! (And trust me, I get these questions everyday). Remember, you don’t ever have to be the one to get all this stress (unless you want to!). And that’s where we come in to help and do all these. The best part is, we actually offer a guarantee. As an agency, if you pay us $1 and we agree to raise $2 dollars at the end of the month–and we do not–we actually offer a 100% money back guarantee (By the way we haven’t had to refund any one at this point but that’s how confident we are as a team)
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
A lot of friends ask me “Arrey what’s the best advice you’ll give to anyone just starting out?”. I’ve spoken to hundreds of friends and I honestly think there’s never a ‘best advice’ for everyone because we’re always going to be at different stages of our lives.There are 3 secrets I always share with them about finding their paths and building their lives.
The first secret is about finding one thing you want to be known for (or one business you’re passionate about) and stick to it for a while. A lot of people think trying a hand in several things gives you a safety net if one of them fails but I think for a starter, it divides your energy. Focus is important when you’re starting out.
The second is what I call the 1,000 Rule System. In July 2017 when I started out with political blogging, it was one small promise to myself that made all the difference for me and brought me here. I remember setting a challenge for myself that I was going to consistently write and publish 1,000 articles on my news website ARREYB.COM. That year I was writing and publishing one article a day which means I was challenging myself to write one article every day for the next one thousand days of my life. It was a process I later called THE 1,000 RULE (The 1k Rule) .
Do you know what happened?
Some days I published one article, other days I did two articles a day. I failed some days but on the days when I missed the routine, I tried to catch up during the week. Around my 400th article, I remember my thoughts began to open to many of the opportunities around the Internet.
So imagine working on your dream for the next 1,000 days of your life NON-STOP (beginning from TODAY) or devoting 1,000 hours of focus to your dream
Do you think you’ll be at this same level?
My third and last advice to anyone starting out will be to FIND A MENTOR. We live in an era where there’s nothing you’re trying to do right now which someone somewhere has not done before (or something similar to what you’re doing) When I just started, I didn’t have anyone to hold my hand through so I tried to figure out everything all by myself. I’d say I made some success but it was different around 2019 when I started to meet mentors. Many things changed for me.
That’s because things you’re going to succeed alone but it’ll take you many more years of your life to figure it out alone through a continuous try and error process.
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Growing up, my fulfilment and purpose has always come from serving and supporting people on their journeys. This is now demonstrated in my entrepreneurial and journalism work now serving an audience of 66,000 online. On September 20, I remember I emailed my community of 21,000 emails about a lesson I learnt from my mom on ‘finding purpose in serving people”. ‘John’, one of those who replied shared his situation and secretly revealed he was on his way to suicide.
I remember that I quickly asked him for a call. We jumped on call and after some talks I led him to a therapist who is currently helping him on his journey.
This is just one of several stories that are defining moments of my purpose and this right here is what I personally consider success – that my work not only makes me earn a living but that I share my journey, my struggles and my successes, and it relates to people and they feel supported enough.
What’s next for you?
So much! I have a couple of projects which I’m excited to release which me and my small team have been working on. I hope I can share all the details soon but all these are going to be in line with all the work I have been doing with my marketing agency ARREYB Is Marketing and our entrepreneurial community AB Afrikpreneur which I truly care about. I have a passion to serve and support people and the projects we launch onwards will always center around building people. Connect with Arrey Bate on Twitter or