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Just Ivy: How I became the financial go-to person on social media

Achieving Woman

Ivy Mugo is a vivacious, self-driven, optimist who believes in working hard and playing hard. She is a big dreamer and risk taker and recently started an initiative dubbed Money Monday.

Although she became known because of the award-winning vlog Over Twenty-five as part of a foursome, Ivy has, over the last one year, quickly made a name for herself as an influencer on her own merit.

She shares her story

What inspired you to get into social media content creation and influencing?

Leaving my marketing job in late 2020. When Covid-19 first hit last year, I was still doing social media influencing but as a side hustle.

However, when my salary was cut in half last year, I realised I needed to do something. It is hard to live on half a salary. I got more aggressive with my online content creation as Just Ivy.

What do you love about being a content creator with influence on social media?

I love the doors it has opened for me. I have met people who are changing the world. The other day I had a drink with a billionaire.

My type of content, personal finance and business space, is niche and so I have had the opportunity to meet extraordinary people and learn so much.

In my business space, I feature everyone from movers and shakers in the tech industry, to young executives, to business owners, to high earning professionals.

What motivated you to start Money Mondays?

Money Mondays was inspired when I came to the realisation that I was financially illiterate. I had no investments or property interest.

Even if I had money saved, I did not know how to multiply it, all I knew was how to save it. At the time I was just saving with my bank and Sacco.

I realised that there were many people out there who were like me. I started meeting people who were doing well financially and understood money and everything from the stock market to investing in index funds.

I would then talk about these topics with my followers based on what I learnt. As I got empowered financially, I also wanted to empower others.

What do you believe has been the biggest accomplishment of the vlog you do with your friends - Over twenty-five?

We began our vlog five years ago and it has been a wonderful ride. I have so many memorable moments, but top on my list include being the only group of four to take the TED Talk stage; winning the best vlog in 2018; being pioneers in the trend of group charts; and the best part is that we have successfully turned it into a business and remained good friends to this day.

What are the challenges of being an influencer?

The first is the issue of privacy, learning how to balance what to post and not to post is not always easy or clear.

Second, people have this misconception that visibility automatically equates to money in the bank. People think that I am rich.

So, there can be that pressure to have a certain image, but as I have gotten older, I do not take that too seriously.

Others also assume because I am talking about money that I must be a financial expert; they do not realise that we are learning together about personal finance as I do my interviews and do content.

Then there is the challenge of how to price myself, people often think that being a content creator is all about just talking about yourself without much planning.

They do not know the strategy and brains behind it, or that you have to invest in a good videographer, and a photographer, or that you have to hire equipment and a makeup artist and stylist depending on the assignment.

Getting people to understand why I charge what I charge at the beginning is not always easy, but it is getting better

What of cyberbullying, is it common?

It is real and very common. There are people who just wake up so they can post mean things about you and to you.

You have to have thick a skin to be a content creator on social media. I have learnt to expect it and how to deal with it, but at the beginning it was not easy.

Further, I have learnt how to deal with trolls in my own way and to leverage any resulting publicity for my own good.

Basically, I turn something negative into something positive. Whenever I find myself trending for whatever reason, I ensure that I post tens of videos so that when people come to my page because I am trending, they see my new content. It’s a win for me as my content gets even more visibility.  

What do you love about being a mother?

I have twin daughters, aged four, and so I got two little best friends. My girls have taught me to be gentle and kind, how to enjoy life and to dream big.

They come so innocent and believing your every word and that makes you responsible. My daughters really keep me grounded.

What do you do for fun?

I am a Libra, so I can be indecisive, but I love people and partying. I also love nature, and going for walks.

What don’t a lot of people know about you?

I am a sucker for romance, I “love” so much. I am those people who love passionately and wear their hearts on their sleeves.

I am an alligator with a soft underbelly. Sometimes you will find me alone watching romcoms and crying but also happy because I am so moved.

Five years from now...

I will be retiring and will instead work off camera, helping other content creators make their content.

Being a social media influencer has a short shelf life, so it is important to maximise on it while you still can.

Parting shot…

Stay humble, and stay hungry. If you are an influencer, make sure you are also invited to strategy meetings. Aim to be in the boardroom where there is formalisation of strategies; be a partner.

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