"Create Content for Viewers and Not for Views." - Sandhya

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I am Sandhya, a middle calls girl from Visakhapatnam. I was a state level Hockey player and a postgraduate from Hyderabad Central university. 

I currently work for an IT firm as a Project Manager and life was good and all in control until I met someone and spent my valuable 6 years with that person, built my world around him only to realize that this person has taken me granted. 

I was a victim of physical & emotional abuse for 6 years in my past relationship.  I was depressed & felt like a failure & as a result, I lost weight & eventually my job. 

I started focusing all my energy on playing sports, took up fitness goals, and yes started my solo travels. It took 3 years and counting and I look back only to smile on how far I have come & how I did not get lost. We all have our inner strength to fight our battles & shine again. 

Remember you will not find your happiness in a day or two, be prepared to heal slowly and let go off your past. Please come out and share your insecurities with your loved ones, we all need help and it’s okay to cry or feel sad but more importantly, when you are sad, you have to focus on your positive growth.  

Slowly you will realize it is so much you can achieve and one day you will look back and smile about your journey. I am now so proud and happy, still learning to let go of my past, focus on my goals, my travel & still trying to live life.

2. What led you to start your page on Instagram and what is it about?

While I was busy travelling solo and discovering myself, I use to post my pictures and talk about my experiences on Instagram. During this process, I used to get questions from my friends asking for travel recommendations, etc. 

I spent most of my time responding until one of my friends suggested I should start blogging as it will reach wider audience and will be more helpful. 

My Instagram Page Pinkpebble and my YouTube channel Travel With Pinkpebble is about my travel experiences and mostly I would like people to know how liberating is to travel and explore new places and different cultures. 

Most of my travel stories talk about how women should start traveling solo and how this can help them over come their insecurities.

3. How would you distinguish the term blogger from an influencer?

Most people mix blogging with Influencer, but they are totally different. A blogger is someone who writes about his/her experiences about a place/product etc and give suggestions accordingly.

Bloggers would have their website/blog page or a YouTube channel where they document their experience to share with wider audience. While, an Influencer is someone who influences people about their lifestyle by posting pictures and recommending products/services to their audience.

A blogger can be an influencer based on their reach of audience, but an Influencer cannot be a blogger.

4. Is it financially sustainable to be an influencer today?

Yes, to a certain extent but given the current scenario where every second person is an Influencer who is willing to do collaborations for free or in exchange of products. 

For instance, I usually do not Internal Use - Confidential work for barter deals as I spend a lot of time creating quality content but most of my fellow influencers are ready for barter deals and as a result no one is earning money. 

Brands and PR’s would approach Influencers who are willing to work for free and its surprising to see they don’t consider quality.

5. What do you think influences consumer behavior?

Consumer behavior has changed over a period and they have become much smarter and aware of their choices in the market. Creating a need and value of a product/service can enforce consumers to think they might want to invest their money in it. 

Consumers now look at better quality, unique, and better service now. Its no more of meeting the expectations as most brands are ready to delight the customers.

6. What is your idea of success or your mantra in life?

Keep it real and work hard as there are no short cuts for success. I started working from the age of 18 years and I am proud to call myself as self-made person.

7. How can someone become a successful social media influencer?

As an influencer, we need to think about our audience and their pulse. Create content for viewers and not for views. Understand what your audience love about you and improvise and more importantly evolve by retaining your originality. 

Also, be responsible for influencers, which means we need to know what to promote and how. Try to check the history of a company and what value it gives to your audience. 

For example, When ever I see a sustainable and ego friendly product I don’t like to bargain much on the cost of post as I personally believe in promoting more eco friendly choices to my audience.

8. Which is your favorite book and why? 

My all-time favorite book is PS: I love you. 

This story is so beautiful and relatable to all of us in so many ways. I love the way how the author narrates the pain of loosing someone you really love and what stages a person goes through to overcome the grief. The journey, the struggle and the wisdom are so beautifully written.

- Sandhya
  IG: Pinkpebble

- Interviewed By: Foram Thakkar

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