Aditi Ashok, Lifestyle Influencer joined for an exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of its Influencer A-list series. In this conversation, she talked to us about her journey as a budding influencer who has over 16k followers on Instagram.
When asked if her parents are aware about her career choice she said, “It is a very important question as it took me a lot of time to make them understand what I was trying to do. A lot of people from our parent’s generation are not aware of social media platforms, and Instagram being one of the platforms where people are like ‘okay, just like Facebook you must be posting pictures. But how do you say that you are going to make a career with it?’
She continued, “It was very difficult for me to make them understand but eventually due to the pandemic that is still happening I got a really long time to stay with my parents. So, they could see the whole process of it—when the brands were approaching and I was shooting for them. I did not have photographers so my mom helped me shoot a lot of pictures. That’s when got the time to tell them step by step the whole process of it, and that’s how they understood.”
To her explanation, if it gets easier for parents to be convinced about the career option once the money starts flowing in she answered, “Even when the money is not starting to come and you are doing a lot of barter collaborations, you can tell them that ‘you see, I am getting a product for now but when I grow a platform, when I grow my followers, when I grow as a content creator I will start making money out of this.’ So they have seen the process of me doing a barter to me doing a paid collaboration. I think, them being next to me and making them understand the whole process was easier. Had I been in Delhi and had to communicate through a telephone would be difficult. You know, the relatives who don’t understand what I am doing, it’s like ‘I don’t have a lot of time to make you understand what I am doing. Let me first grow in the business and then you will eventually understand what I am doing.’
To answer the question, if it was easy for her relatives to understand what she was doing if they were settled in Delhi instead of Ranchi she said, “Definitely. Delhi with the social media culture and being a metropolitan city, anything that comes to India comes to Delhi first and then gets spread across to other smaller cities. I am not aware of any influencers in Ranchi here, so definitely it is a new culture here. So, it is difficult to accept that okay, clicking a picture and posting it on Instagram can also make you money. It is a totally new concept here. So yeah, city to city, it really matters.
Speaking about the turning point in her life when she became a full-time influencer she said, “It happened late only. So I, got my exposure to fashion when I was studying in NIFT. While I was graduating was the time when Instagram came in. By 2015 or 16 people started on Instagram. During college I used to admire those people but after college I realized, okay I can also do it. It was two years back that I thought that I don’t really care about what people think. I am sure I can create something out of this platform if I give my 100% and the only support I needed was my parents.
When asked if brands approached her based on followers or viewership she said, “If we see this in a generic manner, number of followers doesn’t really matter but there are times when the number of it matter. There are brands that would approach you only after 10k of the following. It was the parameter which I was waiting for when I am going to have a 10k following. But before that, I had smaller brands approaching me on a barter basis. After that, if your work is good enough, the numbers don’t really matter.
Explaining how barter basis worked she said, “Barter basis is usually when brands approach you saying, I am giving you this product, you can keep the product and in return of it you give me a piece of content.”
Clarifying that there is no need to give a good review of the product she said, “No. If you are not getting paid, why would you keep a product which you don’t like and write a good review about it? I don’t think anyone does that in barter but when it comes to paid collaboration I am not aware of anyone who does that. But for me, I don’t promote any kind of beauty products because I don’t use them. There are brands for barter and paid collaboration who approached me for beauty products. But people around me know that I do not use these products so I cannot promote them. It would be very wrong for my audience and that’s how you build trust.
She continued, “When people around me know what you are speaking, using and wearing it that’s only when you promote. So, when it comes to my page I slowly want to divert towards sustainable fashion. And people around me know that, so I do not want to take up brands that are not sustainable. I move on. So, people have their own niche, so it completely depends on them. I think in the long run that’s how you can grow.”
Lastly, speaking about the future she said, “I want to have a life in which I love what I do which is for me, is creating content. I am working harder in my life so that I am loving what I do.”