Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
I started my journey on Instagram 5 years back. Throughout the past couple of years, I've had the privilege of working with some brands that I absolutely love and also learn a lot about social media along the way.
They say that with great following comes great responsibility and I couldn't agree more!! I've been asked a lot of questions varying from "How did you get so many followers?' to "How do you have the money to travel all the time?"
This is why I'm writing this particular blog.....to answer all the questions you guys have been asking all these years.
Note: I've made this list of questions from the messages that have been asked by my Instagram followers on DMs and comments and it's a compilation of the most repeated ones. I've tried to answer them to the best of my capablities. Read away!
1. How did you start/ get so many followers?
I've been in the Instagram scene for quite some time (August 2013 to be precise). Some of my friends jokingly labelled me as an "Instagram Veteran".
To be honest, growing or even becoming a Photographer/ Social media Influencer was never the plan. A humble Micromax phone as the device and my college campus as the muse is what I started with. I kept getting appreciated for my pictures on the platform and on 16th May, 2015 I got suggested by Instagram.
2. How does a suggestion by Instagram really work?
For a brief amount of time between the years 2014-16, Instagram used to follow accounts that they saw potential in.
The message by Instagram after an account gets suggested goes like this:
"CONGRATULATIONS! You're currently featured on Instagram's list for suggested users. Our suggested user list is a dynamic list that highlights some of the top community members. An account is usually featured for a few weeks before it is cycled out to give others the opportunity to be featured".
In simple terms, they follow the said account for a period of 2 weeks and as a bonus, you get a sudden rush of traffic and followers on your account.
You might ask "Does this boost help?". It actually does but only for those 2 weeks. After that 2 weeks of fame, you need to work really hard for people to stay and like your content. I went from 3k to 32k in 2 weeks but most of the accounts following me were either very new (and eventually became inactive) or spam and hence didn't help with the engagement. It was a rocky road after that and the rest is history :P
As I was consistent enough with my pictures and didn't let the fame get into my head, I've finally grew a decent amount of audience.
3. How did you start working with brands?
Luckily, I didn't have to pursue anyone. I did my own thing and gradually started getting emails from brands that wanted to work with me. I initially did barter collaborations and gradually moved to doing paid collaborations after reaching a certain level. Working with brands is my other source of income which is decent enough and helps me in my travels.
4. How to become a GoPro Family Member?
*POPULAR QUESTION ALERT*
I've been asked this a MILLION times since the start of my association with them in 2016. There is no process or a list that you can follow on how to become a GoPro Family Member/ Advocate/ Ambassador/ Athlete. The brand handpicks people themselves and does not look for recommendations or any sort of assistance. As far as I've noticed, they select different kinds of people to generate different kind of content. My advice would be: Just keep doing what you do best with sheer determination and everything will fall into place.
5. What are your educational qualifications?
HAHA! Don't ask! -_-
I took up Science after 10th Grade and did my graduation in Pharmacy (BPharm) from SNDT Women's University, Juhu. I graduated in the year 2017, was ALMOST ready to take up a job in that field until I went to Spiti for a trek and that changed my perspective towards life completely. I came back from the trip and decided that I didn't want to continue with Pharmacy. My mom was concerned yet supportive about the career switch but being a teacher, she believed that I needed an educational qualification for the same. As I didn't want to take up a photography course, I took up something really different from what I'd studied in my growing up years which you'll come to know in the next paragraph :P
6. What do you do for a living?
I've been working for a Mumbai based apparel brand called Chimpwear as a full-time Photographer and Social Media Executive for one year now. While doing my job, I also took up a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Advertising and Media from Mumbai University which is a part-time course. I would work Monday to Friday and study full-time on weekends and do my other freelance work on weekends too. Trust me, it has been one HELLUVA year!
I recently quit my job (the social media part of it) but will keep doing photography for them as a freelancer. This was my steady source of income and I'm glad that I took up this job (even if I showed that it didn't) but the job has taught me a lot of things, the most important thing being PATIENCE.
7. How do you get to travel so much?
I took 2 big vacations this year, each lasting 10-15 days by accumulating all my paid and casual leaves at work. These two trips were Rajasthan (Feb-March,2018) and Sar Pass in Himachal Pradesh (May 2018). Provided that I did all my work in time and in advance, I was allowed to take these trips by the company that I work for. The rest of the trips you see on my Instagram are all strategically planned (1-3 days) so that I don't waste all my work holidays. I've also faced pay cuts during the financial months and lost a part of my hard earned salary for all the pending holidays but actually never felt bad about it :P
Some of my travels are with brands or travel companies where either half or the whole trip is sponsored by them in exchange for Content creation, Photography services or Social Media Influencing. As easy and lavish as it may sound, it's way too tedious and sometimes takes away the fun and charm of the place that you're visiting because of deadlines and itineraries that don't leave you enough time to even fit a good night's sleep. But I feel honoured to be invited for them because as human beings, we always crave and chase good opportunities and I'm grateful for people who've trusted me with the job.
So these were some of the famous FAQs that I keep getting on a daily basis! ;)
Drop me a DM on Instagram or leave a comment below if you thought this article was helpful in some way and also if you've any other questions that you'd like to ask me!