How to balance your roles as a student and a content creator? What skills do you need to market yourself as an individual alongside pursuing a full-time job? Deepak Pareek, the co-founder of Career Keeda, and Avanti Nagral, content creator and musician, spoke on the ‘Future and Scope of Content Creation and Personal Branding’ at Futurebound, a three-day pan-India youth conference organised by AIESEC (Association Internationale des Étudiantsen Sciences Économiques et Commerciales) chapter. India’s biggest virtual youth conference is mentored by Infosys.
Here are excerpts from the session.
The world of content creation
Deepak Pareekh (DP): Presently, content is at a level from where it will only grow. You see a lot of tech-enabled content startups coming up, raising millions of dollars of funding. When the pandemic hit, people started gaining fame by creating content not only on Instagram but on Twitter, Facebook and /LinkedIn too. Seeing it from a business point of view or a personal standpoint, a lot of people look at becoming influencers as cool. Earlier people wanted to become entrepreneurs because it was cool. Don’t leave your 9-to-5 job in your pursuit of content creation because monetisation is something that’s going to take a while.
Avanti Nagral (AN): Content, in general, is our future. Our offline and online worlds are going to merge. No matter what industry you are going to be in, parts of it are going to be enabled by content. So, whether you are directly involved in the creation and curation of the content or whether you are adjacent to that, it’s just important to understand what is happening in those spaces.
No matter what you do in life, even if you are working in an industry that is completely away from the content space, you will need content as a marketing tool. So, understanding the power of a story or understanding how to tell your own story is important.
What success means
DP: The definition of success is subjective. For a creator, success might be reaching a certain number in terms of views, followers or community base. For somebody else, success can be sitting in front of the camera and recording 10 pieces of video. My story would be that of an extremely introverted kid. I was fighting my fears when I started my venture Career Keeda. I started brainstorming business ideas. That involved me going to different schools and colleges and pitching my ideas. At first, I wanted to speak well and become a confident public speaker.
AN: You have to define what success means to you. For a lot of people, success means wealth. But for some people, success means a smile on their parents’ faces or being able to put food on the table. I don’t think you can measure anybody else’s success as your own.
The balancing act
DP: Every single person putting out content on the internet enjoys a personal brand, whether you do it professionally or you want to share your experience. I hope more and more people create because that adds to their branding. As a content creator, you will have to stick to the process, grow a thick skin and think of scaling it as a business and institutionalise it.
AN: I graduated last year, so there was a lot of balancing. It’s not easy because there are so many other things – internships, career, studies, parents, and relationships which take up time. You just have to know that, if it is something important to you, you have to create a habit to make time for it regardless of whatever is going on. It’s hard to build and start with because managing your time requires a lot of discipline, focus and sacrifice.
Building a personal brand as a college student
DP: If you’re fearful about entering the industry, which I’m sure you will be considering its instability and pros and cons, think of who you’ll become after you are no more fearful of it.
AN: You have to prioritise. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a presence everywhere. The best practice is posting a few times a week, ideally every day, but that’s not possible without producing quality. If you’re comfortable in sharing some aspects of your life, you can develop that as part of your brand.