Many digital content providers or ‘influencers’ may be found on Instagram, covering everything from travel and fashion to banking and cryptocurrencies. Someone who has earned credibility in a specific area or business is perfect for a social media influencer. Isa Khan (32) of Delhi, a travel blogger and photographer, prefers to avoid the moniker. “I’d rather be labelled a content producer than an influencer,” he says, “since my job is to create stuff for my digital audience.”
Esa, a former Economics teacher, left his job in 2020 to focus solely on content creation. “During the epidemic, teaching was no longer a practical job for me. “Content production allows me to have more financial stability while also allowing me to pursue my passion for travel,” he adds.
Deena Pinto, a 42-year-old lifestyle influencer, discovered that being a content creator has additional benefits. “I used to be an investment banker, but over the previous decade, a chain of circumstances led me to blogging and subsequently to creating social media material, and I’ve never looked back.” She tells DH, “This job has given me both flexibility and financial stability.”
Similar trends have been observed across the country, with many young people choosing to work full-time as content creators on platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
“Influencers have increased dramatically in the recent year.” Many more creators are starting to join platforms, particularly from tier 2 and 3 locations. Mrunali Dedhia, Director of a Mumbai-based influencer marketing business, says, “The branded content ecosystem is only getting started in India, and it will surely continue to develop.”
‘Work is never done.’
While it may appear gorgeous from the outside, there is a lot of labour that goes into it. Vlogging has become a part of Sharan Nair’s (28), a content creator based in Kochi’s everyday routine. “It’s like my work never ends as someone who vlogs regularly since shooting my life is my main job,” he explains.
Khan is under the same strain. “Creating content is the polar opposite of a 9-to-5 job.” While the work may appear to be easy on the surface, “there is a lot of planning that goes into being consistent,” he continues. His weekly goal is to post seven reels, 35 Instagram stories, three photographs, and two to three videos.
“This is a never-ending cycle that I must maintain in order to maintain consistency.” “There is no way you can make it big if you aren’t consistent,” he adds. Diksha Sharma (29) manages a marketing position and creates content, and she believes that digital media spares no one because it is continuously growing.
“In theory, I’m doing two full-time jobs.” As an influencer, I spend a lot of time researching to stay on top of what’s going on online. I’m always answering emails, developing concepts, and shooting. “Editing takes a lot of time on top of everything,” she adds.
Deena believes that in order to live as an influencer, one must have thick skin. “On Instagram, there’s a new trend every day, so you have to stay on top of it.” Along with this pressure, there is also a deluge of hate comments and abuse. “You have to constantly remind yourself not to be affected by these comments,” she adds.
Isa adds that learning editing and filmmaking skills along the process is just as vital as providing regular content. “As a creator, you must consistently improve your editing, shooting, and marketing skills; this will significantly improve the quality of your work.” “It’s part of the job to learn new abilities,” he explains.
‘In the long run, YouTube is a safer platform.’
While the number of followers on your social media profile is essential in terms of producing revenue from social media, engagement metrics are the decisive factor. Creators are primarily concerned with analytics such as comments, reach, and views per post.
Brand affiliations, affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and freelancing jobs account for the majority of revenue made on social networking sites. According to Karan Pherwani, Director, Influencer Solutions at an influencer marketing business, a social media influencer with a following of one lakh can earn between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 15 lakh per year.
“When it comes to a creator’s income potential, it’s not only about how many followers they have — it’s about their content category, as well as the quality and engagement of their content.” Their income is determined by these two elements.” The income potential, on the other hand, differs per platform. In contrast to YouTube, Instagram does not enable its creators to profit from adverts.
“In India, according to Instagram regulations, digital producers do not receive any percentage of ad money, which is a little unfair.” This is why I’ve been concentrating on increasing my YouTube audience. “Not only does YouTube have a secure revenue model, but it is also the finest platform for building a long-term audience,” Isa explains.
Sharan is in agreement as well. “As a content creator, YouTube provides far more value than Instagram. While the audience on YouTube is devoted, it’s easy to be lost in the shuffle on Instagram, where there’s always a race to go viral,” he says. With around 60,000 YouTube subscribers, he is currently focusing on expanding his audience by publishing three to four vlogs per week.