In the recent Social Media scene, we have seen a rise of Influencers. A new class of celebrities that don’t feel like a distant fascinating figure, on the contrary, an Influencer’s charm lies in the fact that they feel like a common man – like one of us.
Brands carefully look at an influencer’s audience and only choose those whose audience is the brand’s intended customer base. So an influencer’s endorsement doesn’t feel insincere, rather it feels helpful because you are being advertised something helpful to your demographic.
However, there lies a huge discontent between brands and influencers. Many influencers have had to wait 120 days before getting paid even though their endorsement brought instant results to the brand. Brands face risk on their cash flow when influencers ask for upfront payments.
Lotanna Ezeike’s app XPO helps solve this problem. The influencer puts in a request with XPO for immediate payment for delivered content. Then XPO requests capital from its partner Sonovate and charges 10% on the invoice value. The brand then pays XPO the total invoice amount in 30-120 days.
We sat down with Lotanna Ezeike for a conversation and he shed some light on his past, his future plans and what keeps him going.
Q: XPO provides a very innovative solution to the problem in the creator industry. But this world that we live in, many scoff at innovative ideas, because they don’t think it will work. Have such people ever been a source of demotivation?
Lotanna: No, they haven’t. I would not say that they were a driving force for me or that I worked harder to prove them wrong because that would be giving them too much credit. I worked towards achieving my vision and whenever I came across someone that was sure that my vision of XPO would fail, I would just shake it off – I had enough confidence in my abilities. I had more than enough faith in the abilities of my co-founders. I’m never going to let anybody who doesn’t know us, dictate my actions or sway my beliefs.
Q: This vicious cycle of late payments in the influencer industry is barely talked about. How did you notice it?
Lotanna: I was a National 200m Sprinter. And I used to showcase my journey through Instagram. This time on Instagram is what gave me insight into the influencer culture and business.
Q: What about your future? Any specific vision and plans?
Lotanna: On a personal level, I would love to travel the world. You can learn so much from every culture and place, I want to soak in all the knowledge I can. On the business side, I of course want to grow my company and scale up my operations to help out more people.
With XPO, waiting 120 days for payments is a thing of the past.
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