YouTuber Saloni Srivastava shows how to start an online business by investing just Rs 21 a day
Three years after Saloni Srivastava became a successful YouTuber with an interesting blend of tips and tricks for millennials, the 27-year-old is now giving hope to hundreds of Indians by encouraging them to start a new business.
Her success as a content creator became aspirational for a large number of people and she was flooded with messages on how to create a thriving online business.
It was not easy to explain her strategies in a simple message, so she decided to take them on in the way she knew best – start another business.
Hustling for best results
HustlePost Academy, a new business venture started by Saloni during the COVID-19 lockdown, aims to turn creators out of ordinary young men and women with a desire to make the best of social media platforms and earn money.
It was also the time when many had lost their jobs and were looking to earn while sitting at home. With enforced physical distancing and self-isolation, people who had extra time on their hands were also looking at a side hustle – and online was the way to go.
In just three weeks, where she says she had little to no sleep, Saloni designed 13 courses for HustlePost Academy that would help people explore new ideas and use them to start a new business.
“I was always inundated with questions on how one could become a creator or start an online business. While I helped them in every way I could, I thought a detailed and more organised hustling was in order. When the lockdown happened in March and the economic repercussions started becoming more evident, I knew this was the time when people could use my advice,” Saloni tells HerStory.
The idea was to help people leverage social media platforms and make use of the benefits the internet has to offer to start a sustainable business.
“Courses” of action
While Saloni started off, the idea was to have one-on-one sessions, but the sheer size of her audience prompted her to have a dedicated website and programme to help them. That’s when she designed the courses, keeping in mind the needs of the audience and the questions she’d always been asked.
She explains, “There is a foundation course that gives information on starting and running any online business. There are 12 mini courses where a course is released every month, which could be anything from becoming a YouTuber to leveraging Instagram… these 13 courses will set you off on the path you wish to choose.”
Saloni says everything is taught from scratch at HustlePost Academy. If a person comes in with an idea that she wants to be a YouTuber, because that’s what a lot of people are doing, then they start off by discovering what their passion is and what is the niche they can base their videos on.
“From helping find their niche, content strategy, designing thumbnails, dealing with brands, building one’s personal brand, to monetise it, we cover every single cycle a YouTuber would come across. Since I know this space very well, I have broken it down into very simple terms, that’s easy for people to understand,” she adds.
A curated community
The response to HustlePost Academy has been overwhelming and surprising for Saloni at the same time. At the time of the launch, she had not expected more than 100 people to join and had planned accordingly. But within an hour, 100 people had signed up, and within 24 hours, the academy saw 600 people join.
“I honestly did not expect more than 2,000 people to join us within two months, and had to relook the whole picture, the systems, the automation, and hired people to revamp the website and get it ready for more traffic,” she says.
The course has three important elements – a library of recorded lectures to which a student has 24X7 access, assignments and “homework” and live interaction with Saloni and also with other students.
She believes, as everyone in the course is on a similar journey of starting their own business, the online process can sometimes be a lonely one.
“You don’t know whom to reach out to, or the right community to interact with. One aspect of the live interaction is the group we created where people engage with each other, hire each other, and exchange skills. I do weekly live calls where I answer all their questions and give them personalised advice,” she adds.
The course is priced at Rs 7,665 and includes one-year access to all content on the website, live support and according to Saloni, comes up to only an investment of Rs 21 a day.
According to Saloni, what differentiates HustlePost from the mushrooming online academies in the market is its emphasis on a creator-driven community.
“While many online platforms have come up, very few are creator-driven and run by a person whose brand identity is attached to it. Also, our live support feature and the opportunity to explore different platforms and find the one that will specifically work for you makes us different,” she says.
HustlePost Academy has already given rise to many success stories – a chartered accountant who has started an online course in spirituality and healing or a freelance content writer earning Rs 1 lakh a month – the earnings are already pouring in.
While the average age of the users is between 27 and 30 years, the youngest, an aspirational content writer, is 13 and the oldest is 55.
With over 300K subscribers on YouTube and a thriving academy, does Saloni call herself a successful social media entrepreneur?
“I think what really worked well was establishing a strong personal brand. I focus very strongly on making sure people understood what I as a brand stood for. I never ran after numbers initially. I wanted to curate a community of the right kind of people who resonated with what I believed in and stood for. I think the curation has been done so well that if I launch something new, the community is quick to accept it,” Saloni says. I believe in and stood for. I think the curation has been done so well that if I launch something new, the community is quick to accept it,” Saloni says.
Edited by Megha Reddy