Patience and Hard Work Always Pay off in the End - Noor Anand Chawla

There’s no secret formula that determines success in any career, especially not one as volatile as social media influencing

1.Tell us about your background and journey.

I am a lawyer by profession. After practicing as a Civil lawyer at the Delhi High Court for a few years, I took a break when my son was born. Six months into my maternity leave, I realised that I didn’t want to return to the stressful legal life, yet I was keen to be gainfully employed. 

I had always loved writing and ventured into lifestyle blogging by creating my website, three years ago. On this platform, I cover topics related to parenting, health & fitness, beauty and fashion, art and culture, food and drink, movie and book reviews as well as travel. Soon after, I began creating visual content on Instagram as @nooranandchawla and discovered my love for the camera.

My website was recently ranked 19th in Feedspot's list of Best Lifestyle Blogs in the World in 2020. This encouraged me to spread my knowledge of this profession, by conducting monthly workshops where I teach the basics of blogging and building an influencer profile on social media, in order to make it a profitable career.

Apart from creating content on my own platforms, I also write a weekly features column for The Daily Guardian, a national online newspaper.

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

I have been on Instagram since its inception in 2013, but I changed from a private to a public profile only after I began blogging. At first, I used my profile to promote the articles I wrote on my website, or the events I attended to cover on my blog. In the last couple of years, however, Instagram has changed immensely. It’s no longer a platform to promote outside content and requires its own undivided attention!

In the last six months, I have changed my content on Instagram significantly. From a broader ‘lifestyle’ account, it’s now more focussed on fashion and beauty. 

I enjoy reviewing the latest TV shows and movie releases, and I have found a unique way to do that within the beauty and fashion mould, by dressing up as a character from the show or movie and then reviewing it. This also includes discussing the fashion and makeup looks of the stars.

I haven’t completely abandoned the lifestyle aspect of my Instagram page though. Once in while I post book/ food/ parenting/ health related content as well.

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

As someone who began as a blogger, it’s easy for me to make that distinction. Bloggers publish content on their own websites, whether written or visual. 

Influencers, on the other hand, use different platforms to reach and influence the pre-existing audience of those platforms. Blogging began to be taken seriously as a profession around 12-13 years ago, however, in the last 5 years, social media has taken over everyone’s lives, blurring the lines between bloggers and influencers. 

Nowadays, most bloggers are also influencers but all influencers may not be bloggers. An all-encompassing term that I prefer to use is ‘content creator’, for one’s own and other platforms.

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

For some people, being an influencer can be incredibly lucrative. Many minor celebrities survive entirely on being influencers! Content creators like myself, however, cannot rely solely on being influencers to sustain ourselves financially. Even the best in the business are freelancers at the end of the day, at the mercy of their next project/pay check.

One must have multiple things running at the same time, including teaching, selling one’s own merchandise/services, content writing, editing, or other media related jobs, in addition to influencing.

5. What do you think influences consumer behaviour?

There are many things that influence consumer behaviour including social conditioning, changing trends, level of education, personal tastes and interests, financial situations, celebrity endorsements, as well as traditional and social media. These are flexible and change over time.

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

Striving for perfection in whatever I do, is my mantra in life. I may not always achieve perfection, but I give it my best shot. In addition, I believe in working hard without resorting to short cuts. Patience and hard work always pay off in the end!

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

This is a difficult question to answer. There’s no secret formula that determines success in any career, especially not one as volatile as social media influencing. Trends and algorithms change at the drop of a hat, popular platforms are banned without notice, and bots ruthlessly copy copyrighted content. There is no guarantee of success, but if you consistently create content that you are passionate about, and keep innovating as per the demands of the day, you are highly likely to succeed in this field.

8. Which is your favorite book and why?

At the risk of sounding clich├ęd, my favourite book is “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell. I’m aware it’s an unpopular one at the moment, owing to the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter movement, but viewed as a product of its time, it’s quite astounding. 

I particularly admire the author’s ability to meld the historic aspects of the American Civil War and its aftermath, with the driven personality of Scarlett O’Hara and her passionate love story with Rhett Butler. Scarlett is an important female icon, who teaches us that women can overcome any situation through sheer grit.

-Noor Anand Chawla

Interviewed by - Manav Malik

Edited by - Vayun Sahni

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