Sandeep Rai prefers to edit all his pictures and videos himself for he feels it helps him better execute his vision and ideas this way.
The person behind BasicallyMenz, Sandeep Rai feels that the influencer industry is so saturated that you wouldn’t be able to make a mark if you aren’t different. He advises entrants to stay true to who they are and be authentic. It doesn’t help to copy someone for it has already been done. In conversation with Social Samosa, he explains his journey so far.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
It all started about a year and a half ago when I took this seriously. Before that I wasn’t thinking big, I always had a flair for vintage and sartorial fashion, but I had no production knowledge. I taught myself Lightroom and Photoshop. Being a kid with a phone camera to having one of the best in house production and a page which is known for high-resolution content this has been my journey till now. Once I figured out necessary production, my real content creation journey started, and then I fell in love with creating. It served as an escape from everything I had going on, I come from a legal background; hence, this serves its purpose to keep me on my toes.
What’s in the name?
I wanted the page to be a reflection of me, so I wanted to name it “Basically Me” but gosh! It was taken hence Basicallymenz — I like the ring it has and the Z, in the end, signifies the “Zeal” that I have to become the best in the game and rule this space one day.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
My content and edits have been my USP. I still edit all the pictures and videos myself. In today’s time it’s more natural to assign the following work to someone else but I am a control freak, and I think this adds more value to my content because it has more of me throughout. It runs my vision and resonates the ideas that I wanted to be executed. To be known only for content in this space and creating a niche has genuinely come as a blessing. Also, the kind of content we create is different in the menswear space. It had always been about sartorial suits in the beginning but now the new experiments are also received well by my audience.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
I go through the brand brief and then sit on the drawing board planning the shots, script, and camera movements. After that, I decide on locations and keep the shots and edits designed prior with a sharp vision of how the shots should look like.
After that, once we have shot the content, I sit on edits, some of them take 4-5 hours, videos take even longer. After we have the final product ready, I plan my grid according to it.
How do I stay relevant, I think there is a secret sauce called – “authenticity” don’t pretend to be someone else on social media be as real as you are. If you are true to the content you are posting, your audience will relate and resonate with your work. I always run a series of content, and I make sure I build it up and get people hooked to it.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
Mostly through brand partnerships and events.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
The key is to find a sweet spot in between, if the brief really restricts you from executing your ideas, I would instead not do the campaign, but even if there is a tiny scope to play with creativity, I am in. As a content creator, one should take it as a challenge and still create, explore those small details.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
Everyday experience of just getting tons of DMs telling us about how different and inspiring our content is. This inspires me to do better and makes all the work we put in worthwhile. (Not bad for a guy who didn’t know what Lightroom was a couple of years ago). I just did a video for John Miller, people have compared it to a television ad.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
It came from an Underwear brand, they wanted their camouflage underwear to be shot at a Jungle setting. I mean *rolls eyes* Tarzan much.
If not blogging, you would be?
Blogging and content creation is not the only thing I do, I am a Lawyer too. I also aspire to be a Singer and Filmmaker. So I would still be doing something creative.
A day in your life…
Wake up — Yoga — College — Work — Black coffee — Shoot — Edit — Workout Gym.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Stay true to who you are and be authentic. Please don’t try to be someone else, since they have already done it. See what you are good at and then exploit it. The Industry is so saturated that if you are not different, you won’t be able to make a mark. Have no expectations from this industry. This is not as glamorous as it looks, don’t go for instant gratification. Always remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Patience is the key man!
Your Favourite Influencer
Qmike, Kayan Contractor, Tara Milk Tea, Toni Mahfud
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I am going to rule this industry — period, you become what you believe. I am a firm believer in manifestation. I have plenty of gratitude for where I am at life, and I have an even stronger belief of what I will become.