Local SMEs typically lack access to the capital and skills necessary to realize the full growth potential of online/offline marketing. It is a challenge for local freelancers to get into the rather competitive international freelance marketplaces without a track-record, a portfolio, and real-life experience.
GrowthBond is solving these problems by providing small and local businesses with funding for their online marketing campaigns that are used for 1) an advertising budget and 2) online marketing professionals/freelancers to assist with the marketing. This approach enables local freelancers to build a portfolio, a track-record, and valuable experience before pursuing customers on international freelance portals such as Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork.
During the last 6-month, the GrowthBond generated a following of more than 1,800 people from Gambia on social media and a total of 370 student applications to become a part of the GrowthBond platform . From the applicants, 240 formally enrolled in the course. Weekly live for potential internet marketing freelancers initially had up to 180 registered participants, from which a final group of 50 was selected. This number dropped to around 40 students: approximately 30 completed the course, while the remaining 10 completed around 50% of the course. The 30 students who completed the course all created freelance profiles and started to work as online freelancers.
Local internet marketing mentors
GrowthBond hired and onboarded internet marketing mentor Modou Nsz N’jie and local career advisor, Sulayman Sanyang to run operation in Gambia.
The initial freelance onboarding was done using Facebook advertising and qualifying them with predefined Facebook chatbot questions. Later these applicants were engaged with curriculum drip campaigns and pushed down the funnel to join Growthbond’s online academy and register for the Facebook advertising course.
These people were then engaged with our chatbot, which qualified them for the program and was later used as a communication channel for broadcasting our messages.
These activities have also facilitated a steady growth in the numbers of our Facebook group, where freelancers post their accomplishments in Growthbond academy and share their success stories from their first freelancing clients. In order to graduate from the academy, the students were also asked to post the acquired certificates. Currently, this group has reached 1,812 total members, and we use it in parallel with the Messenger chatbot to broadcast our announcements and share many useful digital marketing and design tips and tricks.
Below, you can see the group’s internal activity and the amount of posts and comments, which have increased steadily throughout the project period. Below, you can see the overall post and comment dynamics throughout the project.
Out of the total of 1,812 members, a little bit fewer than half of them are active on the page, either following the academy courses, posting, commenting, or following the materials on different Internet marketing topics that we share within the group.
On average, each of the group posts is viewed by 200–250 people, receives 15–20 likes, and 5–10 comments. Below, you can see the statistics of the Gambia group’s top posts of the last 28 days, the most popular of which involved tips, tricks, and templates, as well as freelancer’s own submitted profile descriptions with reviews.
Live class with internet marketing professionals
We held 18 live online classes to upgrade the skills of the trainees: 6 Facebook advertising classes and 12 Freelancing mentoring classes. Replays can be seen here: https://www.crowdcast.io/growthbond.
Besides the registered students attending the live class, the video of the class was broadcast live on Facebook, generating additional awareness, promotion, and up to 111 more people watching the live class (as in the case of the sixteenth live class, as can be seen in the screenshot below):
A total of 4 local meetups were organized by the local mentor, Sulayman, for 20–30 of the most active students:
The local meetups included an introduction to the curriculum, feedback on the students’ profiles/work, and a general question-and-answer session to help the students with their most pressing issues.
After finishing Growthbond Academy’s Facebook advertising course, a total of 68 trainees registered on the Growthbond expert portal, where they worked on their freelancer profile drafts and posted the jobs required to pass the Facebook advertising course. These posts and jobs were then reviewed and suggestions for improvement given to each freelancer,