Why Mallika Dua doesn’t like being called an influencer
Are you an influencer? Definitely No.
Are you an entertainer? Maybe…
How about a content creator? Yes please!
Mallika Dua is quite perplexed these days with the usage of a “fuzzy” term influencer around her. As a tsunami of creators flood the internet today, the vague term is being used quite loosely and Mallika is certainly steering clear from identifying or associating herself with it.
“I am definitely not an influencer. It's something that you earn and not by the virtue of something you do. It's quite an assumption. It's a big responsibility to influence people,” says the unapologetically transparent Mallika Dua.
Most people who follow Mallika would agree that her online presence echoes impeccable sarcasm, unabashed and honest opinions, and an undying sense of both satirical and nonsensical humour. As she completes six years in the space, Mallika proudly identifies herself as a content creator before anything else.
“It's a term that puts everything into perspective. I don’t always put funny content and it could change categories depending on my mood. You have this luxury once you have earned an audience which is loyal and wants to hear from you,” she adds.
Don't fall for the trap
Looking back at her content creation journey that started six years ago, Mallika considers herself “quite fortunate” to have entered the space back then as compared to today, where things are rather complex for creators.
“A sort of syllabus has been created for creators in terms of algorithms, viewer span, creating relatable content and so on. It is encouraging but also sort of a trap because you look for shortcuts and don’t know exactly what to do because you will try every shortcut in the book,” says Mallika, as she puts out a word of caution for new-age creators to not get stuck in the “syllabus trap” and focus on being a good performer.
“Spend some time offline, cultivate a skill and perform”.
Reminiscing of her initial days and the learnings from them, Mallika advises aspiring content creators to not shy away from posing simple questions to a talent management company or an agent before making a career or city shift. A leap of faith is not enough sometimes!
“After my first few videos, I was approached by a talent agency to turn my hobby into a legit career. The first question that came out of my mouth was—this is my current salary, will I be able to make an additional amount plus rent?”
Like any other newbie, Mallika had the fear of failing, but feared regretting it later more. “I had the passion, was educated and skilled in the field and more importantly, people liked me.”
Dividing her time between Bombay, Bengaluru and Delhi, Mallika, the one-woman-army, now plans to hire a team to manage her work.
“It's high time! I write my own scripts and am very old school when it comes to social media. But now I might get a team together to better manage my things,” says Mallika, who is also quite overwhelmed by the response towards Decordidi, her new page dedicated to interiors.
Interestingly, the audience is seeing Mallika in a completely new avatar with Decordidi these days. Now, it might be difficult for a creator to move past their forte and explore something completely new, but for Mallika, it became a mode to display another dimension of her personality. While the page was born out of Mallika’s pure passion for interiors and decor, her inbox is now flooded with requests for brand collaborations and people asking for more.
“I just wanted to create a space where everyone can find something for themselves. It's an extension of my voice which doesn’t want to be funny all the time, but also creative sometimes. Eventually I will start to strategise on brand collaboration,” she adds.
Another field that may receive more of Mallika’s time and dedication in future would be ‘stand up comedy’. Though the creator doesn’t hold too much experience in the category, she is ready to add that discipline in her life to hone the craft.
“Earlier I thought I didn’t have the voice for ‘stand up’ but that is changing. I feel like I don’t have to hide behind my characters and say things anymore.”
So for all the Mallika Dua fans out there, brace up, because she’s coming to a stage near you very soon to serve laughs!
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Recognising the burgeoning creator ecosystem and the new wave of entrepreneurship that comes with it, YourStory is celebrating the works of both established and emerging influencers in an initiative aimed at identifying, celebrating and accelerating the journey of digital creators who make extraordinary, unique and engaging content. We've partnered with Trell to bring you the Top 100 Creators challenge, which you can apply for here.