More than fun and games: day(s) in the life of digital content creators
One of the ways Neha Nagar describes her career as a finance influencer is by calling it “a daily struggle.” Nagar, who holds an MBA in finance, started a business and tax consulting firm in 2019 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. She first took to social media during the lockdown to post finance-related content to attract customers to her business, when her posts started going viral.
Now, two years later, Noida-based Nagar is a digital influencer in his own right, with over a million followers on Instagram, around 361,000 followers on YouTube and 33,000 followers on Twitter as of the first week of July. She says she’s created content on virtually every topic — trending and non-trendy — related to finance, investing, and business.
For a growing number of young people, being an “influencer” seems like a glamorous career path, given the popularity of digital content creators in recent years and the growing number of companies investing in them for the image of brand and promotions.
Beneath the glitzy numbers and projections, say content creators and industry experts, there is the constant pressure to stay relevant, operating at the mercy of shifting and non-transparent platform algorithms, navigating the unstable revenue streams and balancing what you want to do, and what brands want, with changing audience expectations.
Diversification of income streams
Non-metro creators, however, could often find themselves with the end of the stick, with “agencies or brands sitting in glass offices in Mumbai or Delhi undervaluing them” and their own lack of exposure or access to advice,” says Rajwani.
“You have to accept that you are going to be as visible as an app decides. This volatility makes me believe that the digital content creator economy still has a long way to go. [before becoming a stable career option]he says, adding that it’s easier for young people who don’t have dependents to get fully into this field.
Last year, ASCI released guidelines for influencers to increase transparency around promotional content. “Fake followers and fake likes are also problems, and there must be an effort from all stakeholders to address this issue,” Rajwani says.
Mehta says she learned that instead of getting overwhelmed or getting carried away by all the other viral trends, it’s better to stick to your own niche, plan and schedule at your own pace. “It’s about keeping your creativity and authenticity intact while balancing audience and brand interests.”
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(This story appears in the July 29, 2022 issue of Forbes India. To visit our archive, click here.)