For the first episode of Formal Gossip, our online video call series, I hosted a creator still relatively new to the field. It’s been a year since Kriti started producing content, yet in that time she’s built a community 132k strong.
The conversation with her was all about giving new creators a glimpse of the journey, the challenges you face, and how to balance a full-time job with a creative career happily.
For the second episode, I opted for a veteran creator – Sone Kanwar. The chat with her was an attempt to understand what it takes to quit your job, start something of your own while managing multiple mediums.
Here’s the lowdown on the session, but it categorically doesn’t do justice to it. I suggest giving it a listen when you can.
The entrepreneurial start:
The original influencers were bloggers, just ask Sone. She began Glossy Polish, her blog dedicated to all things beauty, five years back, long before social media became the ‘it’ thing in India.
Initially, her focus was to build the blog and YouTube channel enough to make it her sole source of income. It was around 2017 that the strategy changed and she diversified to socials.
Don’t fall under the pressure:
New platforms will always crop up, but for any creator, it is essential to not fall under the pressure.
Don’t venture to another medium simply because you need to do it to churn out more content. Then it becomes a job, not your passion.
Taking the gamble:
Sone frankly accepts all her failures, a few tanked websites that took a good chunk of money. While she does call them stupid now, she doesn’t regret them.
Her advice on taking the gamble on new things is to go ahead because we live only once. But don’t spread yourself thin.
Working 18 hours a day will not get you anywhere. Work smart so that you still have enough time to do other things, be it playing cards with your dad or watching Netflix.
Tips for creators:
Don’t wholly switch your style based on the platform. When Sone branched out to Instagram, she continued with her content style because that’s her expertise and comfort zone.
If you’re worried about one platform cannibalizing the other, don’t. The mediums – blog, Instagram, and YouTube for Sone – work side by side because the target for each is slightly different. For instance, social media pushes out content, and blogs pull it in.
Always keep your content aspirational but utterly relatable.
On the new normal:
Even though the fun and zing of creating brand campaigns are missing, there is a good side to lockdown. Followers have become less critical and more accepting of content.
Even better, the circumstances have given the freedom to dabble into more content and put yourself out there. There is a liberation from the constant worry of a brand’s hawk eye on your posts.
To do or not to do vernacular content:
Vernacular content creators have always been around. They are just getting their due now.
While she does produce content in Hindi and English, her advice is to take a call. Because even though vernacular content is here to stay, it is still a niche, and that limits your follower base.
Coping with comparison:
A challenge every creator goes through is competition. For Sone, it was not a source of demotivation but anger. To quote her, “she used to get pissed,” now she doesn’t bother with it.
Her mantra is never to compare yourself with another creator. If their posts and stories still bother you, mute the profile. It’ll help you focus on yourself.
My take on the session:
Throughout the lockdown, Sone had to make do with one IKEA lamp and her phone. My take on that is when you are in a pinch, use what you have at hand to create content.
Another thing that stood out was her creed of “Jaise hain waise rehne ka.” All her content and even the creator she looks up to (Bhuvan Bam and Mallika Dua) embody this maxim.
That’s my other learning from the session – be true to yourself, and everything else will pan out.
Cover picture courtesy: Sone Kanwar