Creators should be strong salespersons, says social media influencer Sakshi Sindwani
“I want to change how fashion is seen in this country when it comes to diversity and inclusivity” - Sakshi Sindwani.
Sakshi aka StyleMeUpSakshi created history when she walked the ramp at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2019, for designer Rina Dhaka. From there Sakshi went on to become the first ever plus-sized model to be scouted as a pool model for the India Fashion Week. Ever since then, the girl-next-door has been at the forefront of the body positivity movement in India, breaking stereotypes and shattering the image of the ‘ideal body type.’
Sakshi has also been BBC’s poster girl for spreading body positivity. Additionally, Sakshi produced a documentary, Our Body, featuring 13 women of all shapes and sizes. “I was not a social media ‘influencer’ then but I wanted to create a safe space for women, and it ultimately led me to a beautiful and colourful world of inclusivity,” says Sakshi at the YourStory Creators Inc. Conference.
In order to be heard and share stories of women struggling with others’ concept of the ideal body type, Sakshi had to channelise the pain and bullying she faced as a child, and later as a teenager. “I wanted to put everything that I went through and I know others go through…to show how body image issues are actually a big deal,” she says.
Starting with YouTube, Sakshi moved to leveraging Instagram as a platform to showcase her creations in 2019. “Although I loved and enjoyed what I was doing on YouTube, I got tired of following trends and wanted to try something new,” says Sakshi.
Ever since then, with every post, video and reel, Sakshi has been shattering stereotypes. The Delhi-based creator believes, “You are your own competitor,” and that mentality is all it takes to make a mark in the world of internet. “I knew predominantly that I had to create content that would help me set new standards for myself. I wanted to create a wave of change as to how content was seen in our country,” she adds.
Sakshi’s videos are all about setting standards in the industry and aimed at adding value to her followers’ life. “I want to make sure that my content stands out. While the process is draining and exhausting, it is also very rewarding,” says Sakshi.
Honest, relevant and consistent
Sakshi has been associated with several well-known brands including L’oreal, H&M, Amazon, Myntra and Swarovski. On being asked how she shortlists brands and individuals that she collaborates with, and how she manages to stay true to herself while working according to the clients, Sakshi says:
“To start with, only collaborate with brands that you resonate with and learn to say no.”
The social media lifestyle and fashion influencer believes that a creator must be mindful of the brands and people that they associate and collaborate with. With paid partnerships, a creator must ensure that their personal voice is not lost while keeping up with the client’s aesthetics.
“You have to be a strong salesperson for their own brand,” Sakshi emphasises.
While staying relevant is extremely important, a creator must not forget to have fun in the process of content creation. Sakshi highlights how one must give some value through their content. “For every trendy piece of content, try having three original and organic pieces,” Sakshi advises aspiring content creators.
‘Haters gonna hate’
“The more the trolls, the merrier!” laughs Sakshi when asked about coping up with online trolls and bullies.
“You know you are doing something right when being your most confident self offends others. If you are challenging the norms, there will be some backlash,” she adds.
Sakshi’s advice to other creators is to never spend time on trolls and hate comments. While it may get difficult to completely ignore sometimes, one must not spend “more than 15 minutes”. Sakshi says that her best ideas usually come from hate comments, pointing towards her successful series on Breaking Fashion Stereotypes.
The content business
According to Sakshi, Youtube has a long retention type and people relate with creators on YouTube on a personal-level. “With instagram, people are yearning for short-form content. If the video or idea doesn’t resonate within the first few seconds, they will scroll up,” she says.
Thus, creators have to be ready with the idea that platforms are constantly changing, and with that, the content should change as well. Additionally, she believes that creators should try and stay active on as many platforms as possible.
Speaking on building a revenue-generating model for content creation, Sakshi says:
- Do not focus on revenues, for starters. It is good to think about it as a business. But I started with the vision of truly creating content. It sets a standard and soon brands will follow, but be mindful about the brands you are collaborating with.
- Creators can reach out to brands and not just the other way round. All your information should be well drafted in that one email.
On a parting note, Sakshi says she is full of optimism about the future of influencers. She believes that creators should jump at the opportunity of new avenues and stay true to their personalities.
For more on other key initiatives as part of the conference, visit our Creators Inc. website here.
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.