Remember the time when the term social media influencer started to pick up? Today, it has turned into a full-fledged profession, and people are doing exactly what they love in the name of it.
Today in our #PassionToProfession series, I’m happy to introduce three such social media influencers from the industry of food, film, and fashion who are not only doing what they love but also inspiring their thousands of followers to follow their dreams — for them, this is not some side project but their passion which they are living and enjoying wholeheartedly!
Who doesn’t love food? But for Shikha, her clear passion was in the food space, and thus she started her venture Chief Foodie Officer (CFO) three years back, with which she is pursuing her passion project.
“I belong to a family of hoteliers, and the creativity one can get to your food has always amazed me. I like to enjoy food styling and like to innovate with various ingredients and cuisines,” says the Mumbai food influencer.
“The three-year journey of CFO has been terrific and has inspired me to the next level. I have connected with hotels, food brands, institutions, corporates, media publications, and so many wonderful people. My followers on my page drive me and inspire me to try out various avenues in the food space,” she continues.
On asking about the type of investment one might have to make while entering this industry, she says that financial investment for any business can be subjective. Still, the investment of time, effort, passion and consistency is what one should make while venturing into any industry.
And every investment brings an ROI. The business process is cyclic. It starts with investments and grows with the product, information and knowledge one offers. Collaborations, partnerships and deal with food brands, restaurants, products are good marketing avenues which create a win-win situation and are strong pillars for success for any influencer.
Shikha, today, has more than 54k followers on her Instagram page, and her venture has already completed three whopping years of success. The major regret she holds though is that she should have started this more early, and should not have held herself back fearing the results and consequences.
In the end, she says, “women, you know, can do miracles! They could be the best in everything, and the sky is the limit for them. All they need to do is push themselves a little more!”
I know her as a beautiful human, adorable daughter, lovely sister and an amazing poet — she is known for her writings and poetry recitations. And probably the zeal and passion for writing made her start Whitebirdtrails which is a platform to celebrate a cross-cultural conclave of artforms that reach us in forms of literature, film, music, etc.
“Our platform brings the struggles and stories of individuals from the various fields of the medium that bring light to the creative process and the idea behind finding an artistic voice, to provide a path of guidance for the youth trying to find their way into the industry, while also celebrating the craft and love associated with these mediums,” says the 27YO founder who started this wonder in April 2020 with her friend Ankit Tiwari.
In just eight months, Whitebirdtrails have got an unexpected response from the speakers and the audience. From notable people like Rajat Kapoor, Sudhir Mishra, Jameel Gulrayz, to the team of Mirzapur, Leslee Udwin, Alokanand Das Gupta, the list is very long. And the Mumbai girl is giving her best to make it a hit.
Few suggestions that Supriya would like to share with our readers are,
“Be yourself and choose & grab your opportunities. Learn from your failures, and keep working hard.”
“Manage your finances well. Don’t overspend. Don’t underspend too. This was a digital initiative, so initially, we only invested in buying a premium plan for Zoom. And now on social media. But before you get into it, find what’s important for your venture and remember: money only comes when you are dedicated and passionate about it. Choose a good team. People who believe in you and your mission,” she further continues.
Once you start getting viewers/ traction on your page/ content, you can consider generating revenues out of it too. Supriya suggests monetizing your content or organizing paid events could be one of those options. But, before that, quality content and dedication is what it demands.
In the end, she says, “all you need to have is dedication, time management, planning, and execution. Believe in yourself, and your dream and things will start falling in place.”
A fashion influencer & designer by profession and a social activist by heart, Delhi-based Pooja is a perfect inspiration for people who want to start their passion project from scratch.
“I started working just after finishing my school in 2004, and I always wanted to do something different and creative in life,” says Pooja who was always fond of fancy jewellery and trendy clothes. She knew what was in trend, and what wasn’t in fashion.
It has been 15 years since Pooja stepped into this industry and with multiple exhibitions in more than 16 countries, people love her work — both online and offline. Her brand offers a complete range of Indian wear including suits, sarees, lehengas, and costume jewellery designed by herself and handcrafted by skilled craftsmen. Apart from this, she also owns My Rajasthan Concept and Moh Essentials Rose Gold Oil.
“Always believe in giving 100% to your work, and you will definitely get a positive result,” says the fashion influencer. “Investment could be the second part; the most important thing is to have the courage and ability to do something different. And this can only be achieved by believing in yourself more than anything else. And yes, invest in creativity and hard work.”
Pooja says that being a fashion influencer has its own perks — one can earn by setting up an exhibition or by affiliate marketing or by selling through shops, social media collaboration etc. and can make up to INR 2-3 lakhs per month. But she also mentions the fact that it takes time and patience to reach that stage.
The soft-hearted social activist also mentions that she regrets trusting people who cheated her for goods/ money. She believes in women empowerment and has encouraged and helped many women in establishing their business by giving innovative ideas. She has also contributed tremendously during Kashmir floods, Nepal earthquake, Chennai floods, St Marteen Hurricane, Kerela floods, and has given ration to more than 3000 families in COVID-19 relief.
In the end, she says, “follow your dreams. Please study hard and trust yourself. Do not give up easily as anything takes time to bring a positive result. But if you remain focussed, you can achieve anything and everything.”
Nothing comes easy, but then who wants it easy? Do you know any social media influencer or an entrepreneur or are you one? Write your #PassionToProfession story to us and let the world get inspired by your wonderful journey!