Watching the rise of Pastor Evan Mawarire I have been so inspired over the weeks he has managed to make politically by airing his voice through social media. I am an early critic of the guy in his first weeks but over-time I began to follow what he was saying and realized he was serios. Note this will come up later in this write up and it is important.
Note that this article is not asking you to support the #ThisFlag movement. You are at liberty to have your own political opinions on any subject. However I am going through some things you can learn from it to boost your brand whether you think it is a good movement or not.
It is no doubt Evan is indeed successfully a big brand. Having 50 lawyers represent him on his case with the state voluntarily and over 2000 people outside the court is not a joke. If you’re going to ignore this article because you hate Evan, do it at your own peril.
Like my friend says, “Air sometimes occupies the space between peoples ears.”
This is not an article for artistes who still want to joke around. It is for people willing to establish more and more momentum than they have ever before.
What’s In Your Hand?
Metaphorically people now refer to Evan Mawarire as the Moses of Zimbabwe. There are quite some similarities too if you know of the Bible story on Moses where God asked what Moses had in his hand. Moses had a stick and so the stick he used through-out to free Israel’s people.
Evan in this case had a phone, a Facebook account to post on, a flag to wrap around his neck. That’s all. No big dinner, rally or hiring out a stadium to tell the masses his concerns. Given the number of views he gets per video it is similar to him holding a rally daily at supper. A rally everyone is dying to attend. A rally no one can get intimidated not to attend because it happens it happens in the privacy of their palm for 3 minutes. Wow
Do you have a phone, do you have a Youtube account? – An idea is all it takes. An Idea was his biggest idea… not the flag… The idea.
No Idea Is Too Small
Now that you have the idea, do not shoot it down for any reason. Embrace the idea, execute it and improve it as you go. This Flag once again began from just the selfie videos which many of us considered redundant rhetoric. We thought the idea would have no life beyond May and i even had friends who study journalism quote that “by the theory of such and such, this should die out by such a time.” – Well it extended.
Obviously the idea evolved into something bigger. There was practical action when the #ThisFlag Movement managed to have a citizens debate with RBZ Govenor and challenged him on the issuing of bond notes. This is now action. The Undenge Must Go petition and the successful ShutDown of 6 July 2016. This is now action and action especially in the physical creates more believers and more ambassadors of a movement.
What action are you taking on and offline? Are you participating in what is going on in Zim Hip-hop, are you present at other peoples launches to support them and even be inspired? Are you going to get up and ask Spencer Madziya for a slot at The Volt even if he says no? Or are you going to sit and assume it’s too small?
With ideas, size doesn’t matter. After-all micro-SD cards have more capacity than 3.5 inch floppy disks.
Social Media Can Out-do Traditional Media
With no support from mainstream media sources #ThisFlag via their twitter page revealed the back end of their social media metrics. A screenshot that proved they reached 1million people a day through their page and it is believable. It is doable. Social Media can out-do traditional media and is measurable.
You have control over it. Despite that State Media and pseudo-private owned media tried hard to downplay Evan Mawarire’s progress people still went on to Shut Down the country on 6 July, 2016. Learn the basics of social media. The biggest rule with social media is to add value to the target market. It is that simple.
Consistency Is Key
I promised I would come back to this. Early in the article I said I once was one of the biggest critics of this flag, because I took it as slacktivism. The consistency with the updates and with improving the modus operandi is what bought me in by May of 2016. I began to see how this was a citizen movement.
Had Evan Mawarire gone silent the movement would die. I am sure in Hip-hop we have seen many blogs that are growing cob-webs on the web. We have seen many weekly events that died down including the notorious Zim Hip-hop News by some dudes who were trying hard to be me. #sigh
Speak To Peoples Self Interest
In all this you can never win till you throw stones at peoples common enemies and make them feel important. The psychology of human beings is not that complicated. Let’s forget all the big words in psychology books.
Influence is related to self interest. Does your idea serve self interest to your audience. How does your album make people feel, does it make them better people. What is the value addition?
What’s in it for them?
In Evan’s case he highlighted the bond note issue which many are furious about, he highlighted police roadblocks and corruption. All these are things the common citizen is concerned about. There is no way he was not going to get support from a hungry multitude with late salaries.
Absolutely no way.
We have known this but we go on to spit Compton’s reality and ask people in Mbare to buy it. Our lyrics selfishly praise us and it’s all about what we have.
Let’s improve on that mentality.
In case you haven’t noticed pastor Evan mawarire has a standard way of greeting people on his videos, “Fellow Citizens…”
I am sure he has a team but he always records the selfie vids holding the camera himself. He always has a flag on and emphasizes it. There type-setting for his graphic text and so forth.
Be identifiable as an audio and visual brand. People should be able to identify your signature in how you address thins. For instance Evan Mawarire says #ThisFlag never meets, their method of communication is by selfie video. No rallies… That’s an identity.
This means if anyone passes a message that there is a meeting on #ThisFlag true supporters of that movement will know that, it is certainly not from Evan unless he appears on video saying it is him.
The identity creates the tribe. The tribe has distinct features and common knowledge within itself that it identifies the brand with.
In conclusion this has been a very lengthy article and i myself am challenged to do all these things to raise myself up. I figured if I shared with you I would grasp it better.
Feel free to follow @Mcpotar on twitter
Other Material To Watch
Seth Godin – How To Get Your Ideas To Spread(This one helps you learn key feature of building a tribe i.e Fan Base that Acts As A Family)