Instagram is interesting and complicated, filled to the brim with influencers and content creators it is the first place one looks for inspiration and entertainment. Sadhique Aboobacker is one of the early influencers from Kerala on the platform. The path that led Sadhique into the world of influencing was his love for photography and fashion. From an unexpected mail titled “Collaboration”, he has now done over 500+ collaborations domestically and internationally. He earns his living through Instagram and is a very talented individual. Sadhique is very open about his journey of being an Instagram Influencer and shares his story with us!
Tell us a little about yourself?
Hey, this is Sadhique Aboobacker, a Robotic Engineering graduate in his late 20s. I live with my family in a small town called Changaramkulam in Kerala, India. I work in the field of Fashion and Lifestyle and it is something I have immense passion for. At the top of my list of favorites would be travelling and exploring food from all over the world.
How did you become an Influencer? What inspired you to venture into this field?
I was crazy about photography since childhood. I captured pictures on a mobile camera when I was very little; my first couple of photographs came from a Nokia 5500 slide. As I grew older I realized that I had great passion for fashion and photography. Some of my friends started to notice my potential and helped me. I joined Instagram in 2010 and with time started gaining followers and support. One fine morning, browsing through my phone I found an email subjected “Collaboration”. Not even knowing what it actually meant I replied and that is how my first brand collaboration happened. It further astonished me that it was with Daniel Wellington; they delivered a watch of INR 21,000 and asked me to do some Instagram posts tagging them.
Soon I started to send collaboration requests to other brands and they showed interest to send products. My dream of owning different products was getting fulfilled and I felt more encouraged and motivated. Later on, I came across all the potential ways to get paid promotions. So I decided on making a team consisting of a photographer, editor and a content writer to handle my Instagram and started doing paid posts.
Now here I am, choosing blogging as my career.
What are the three things one should know when entering this industry?
1. Identify Your Niche and Content Pillars
You’re scrolling through Instagram’s Explore page and you come across a beautiful fashion lifestyle image. Since you love fashion and are always looking for more inspiration to jet set, you visit the profile.
The likelihood of you following a page that is filled with equally stunning fashion imagery is much higher than if the page was filled with random images of a dog, a family, selfies, and flowers etc.
When people come to your page, they want to know what they can expect by following you and feel confident that they will consistently receive that type of content. Because of this, niching down is absolutely vital because it will help you grow your audience faster.
Identifying one specific topic to post about can often times be really difficult, though. We are all multi-faceted with many interests, so it can be strange to post only about fashion, travel or wellness.
Here are some questions to ask yourself that will lead you to your niche:
- What am I most passionate about?
- What am I most knowledgeable about?
- What content could I consistently and happily create for a year without making a dime?
Once you have your overall niche established, you’ll need to nail down 3-4 content pillars to get a clear picture of the type of content you’ll post on your Instagram. These content pillars are smaller, more specific topics that fall under your broader niche.
Here are examples of other influencers’ content pillars:
- Beauty, street style, and luxury fashion
- Travel, fashion, and interior design
2. Don’t Be Shy
Want to become an Instagram Influencer? Then ditch any insecurity you have and get ready to BARE IT ALL. The most successful Instagram influencers today are the ones that let their audience in, that share all the ups and downs, the good and the bad of their lives. By being open, honest and truly yourself, you create a space that makes people comfortable, trusting and happy to connect.
Being an Instagram influencer is all about your relationship with your audience – you have to be able to influence them of course! So by showing the deepest, darkest sides of you and not being shy about it, you create a safe space for people to connect to you, relate to you, and build those impactful relationships needed to be successful in this career.
3. Capitalize on Your Uniqueness
What makes you different than everyone else on this earth? That’s what you need to focus on and be willing to show everyone! This is what makes you special, sets you apart and makes an impact. Maybe you’re a comedian, have a rare condition, or can touch your tongue to your elbow (dare you to try it!)
In a sea of over millions of Instagram users it’s important that you set yourself apart.
Find that uniqueness and FOCUS on it! It may be uncomfortable at first but it’ll be worth it.
What does fashion mean to you? How important is it to you?
Fashion is a way of introducing yourself without having to say a word. You can tell the whole world about your personality just by the type of clothes you wear. It is also a way to express yourself. It provides us with a creative outlet that we can constantly change and improve. To me, fashion is a way to express and discover myself. You can challenge yourself to go out of your comfort zone and try new things and thus give yourself confidence. Fashion is how I give myself confidence, because I always feel better when I look my best and feel my best.
“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.”
What are some of the interesting projects you have worked on?
Well, even my 1st project was a surprise and a very interesting one. I never thought I’d get a branded watch for free in exchange for some IG post/s.
I also remember my 1st paid partnership with Unlimited brand, this again surprised me that they were willing to pay.
And another was for Hershey’s Kisses’ Indian launch, my first collaboration invitation outside of Kerala. They arranged my flight tickets, stay and everything else, plus I got a big box of kisses too, lol. And I had lots of fun.
I collaborated with Japan tourism. It was a very interesting project. It was my first international project and I had an official invitation from the Japanese Government. Indian film actress Noorin Shereef also came with me for the shoot.
I was also invited for the Indian Influencers party organized by Hyundai in New Delhi. I was the only influencer from Kerala. And yeah I enjoyed every project because when we do our dream job we’ll definitely happy.
Tell us about your personal style? What is your favourite item in your closet?
Many a time, men have often been referenced to having it easy when it comes to style, fashion and general dressing habits and procedures as compared to women. Perhaps the reason for such claims would be because most of them fail to find the right choice of fashion or style for them and end up wearing the first thing they see out of what is available, thus claiming to be comfortable.
A signature scent is your primary weapon and style secret. My personal style is inclined towards my love for dark colors and the color black, but I’m comfortable in all colors. Just being comfortable in what I wear.
My philosophy is “I feel more confident when I dress well” and my favorite item in my closet are “hoodies” but you have to get the right fit.
What are the challenges you faced while venturing into this industry?
There is no doubt that influencer marketing is a rapidly growing marketing strategy that many brands are leveraging, resulting in a significant increase in budget allocation by businesses for influencer marketing.
The popularity gained by influencer marketing has inspired a lot of people to become influencers in their niche. But in order to become a successful social media influencer, you need to be able to generate a higher engagement rate. In my personal experience there are many challenges every influencer faces now.
Some include not getting paid on time, clients/brands changing requirements last minute, clients don’t have a clear brief, clients/brands are stifling influencers’ creativity (most faced challenges).
Do you think Fashion blogging is a field of work that does not receive the attention and recognition it deserves?
Creating a fashion blog can be extremely beneficial to a professional in the fashion industry.
But it is true that fashion blogging doesn’t receive enough attention. Big brands and companies have started to work with fashion influencers/bloggers; they are aiming mainly at micro Influencers. But in Kerala it needs a little more attention because we still use the old advertising methods. Maybe this is because they don’t know “power of social media marketing”. Most of the fashion brands have started, so very soon everyone will turn and fashion lifestyle influencers/bloggers will receive maximum attention and more benefits.
What are the platforms you use to promote yourself and your talents? What role does Instagram play in your success?
In my case, I accidentally came into this filed, I love fashion and I posted my pictures on Orkut. And then Facebook after which came Instagram.
And as I mentioned earlier, it was the mail from Daniel Wellington that changed my social media game. Now I post only paid/sponsored content. Instagram is the only platform I work with. And about Instagram’s role, Instagram is the only app I am earning from thousands to lakhs per month. It is the most important part of my life. I am now an official creator of Instagram (born of Instagram community).
What are your future goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
And about my future goals, I already started a influencer marketing platform famepays
My goal is using famepays for helping budding artists to collaborate with brands. I have 5+ years experience in digital marketing and influencer marketing plus I have already connected with many domestic, national & international brands/agencies so I can easily build famepays and help people who wish to join this field. In short famepays; fix the gap between artists & brands. And another is that I wish to start my own clothing brand, but it’s a challenge. There are many brands but I’ll start very soon.
Digital marketing is one of the most powerful marketing techniques now and every year the demand for digital/influencer marketing will increase. So I guess influencers/artists like me have a good opportunity to show talent and earn well.
I failed in my 10th public exam and failed in my 12th as well, got many back papers in engineering. In short I never passed my 10th and 12th in my first try. But I am Robotics Engineering graduate now. I own an internet company and I am Kerala’s first and most popular influencer. This is all thanks to the wonderful Instagram family I have.
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