The award-winning marketing maven and business consultant Cleo Anastasia Johnson is a triple threat specialising in hospitality, marketing and e-commerce.
Opportunity came knocking and Cleo answered and the rest as they say is history.
Receiving recognition across the continent for the work she does, earning spots on prestigious lists such as FORBES 30 under 30, TOP 50 influential CEOs in Africa and the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans, read below for more on Cleo’s entrepreneurship journey.
Describe entrepreneurship in 5 words
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My entrepreneurship journey came about by chance. I wasn’t looking to open my own business. After a contract fell through at the hotel group I was working for, I decided that I wanted to travel to India for the next 6 months to do the whole “eat, pray, love” journey. In the process of leaving, I decided to start a blog and needed to register a business in order to monetize it. Through that process I met my first client at Starbucks while I was busy registering as a freelancer.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about the work you do?
That I’m either in PR or I develop websites lol.
Hardest lesson you’ve learnt on your journey thus far?
Don’t take anyone’s word no matter how small the project, have a contract for everything!
Best memory as an entrepreneur?
The international influencer campaign in Togo for Hotel 2 Fevrier – I loved every minute of planning the campaign and watching my vision come to life through content.
How are you innovating in your business?
After the pandemic hit, we moved our services online and we are working on software of our own as well as collaborating with industry peers to develop software and platforms to combat the changes the pandemic has brought about.
We have also started assisting more SMEs to digitize their businesses and get setup on e-commerce platforms. We will be launching an academy not only for e-commerce but hospitality marketing too.
A song that perfectly describes a day in your life?
In this season it’s been “Not Giving In” by Rudimental.
What are you reading?
“The Practice” by Seth Godin.
The best business advice you have ever received?
Pick a niche! You can’t be everything to everyone.
What advice can you give to people who are new to business/entrepreneurship?
Don’t despise small beginnings.
When you start, just start, don’t get caught up on small details and scaling your business before you’ve even begun. Your business will unfold over time, and you will see what work really adds value to your industry and clients… you won’t have it all figured out in the beginning.