Interview: Stay true to yourself and your audience: Pallavi Singh Ruhail, That Delhi Girl Blog

Social Samosa
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Pallavi Singh Ruhail

Meet Pallavi Singh Ruhail, multi-tasking between her way being a global trotter and beauty blogger.

In a candid conversation with Social Samosa, Pallavi of That Delhi Girl Blog talks about weird brand deals to how to maintain authenticity in this cluttered content world.

Looking back, where did it all begin? 

I have always had a thing for styling, fashion and everything around it. I still remember flipping through mom’s magazines all the time as a kid. Back in 2013, when blogging was still picking up as an industry in India, I decided to give it a try as a hobby. I already had a full-time job and this became a weekend thing for me. Over time, things picked up well enough for me to quit my job and take this up full time.

What's in the name? 

To be honest, I never gave too much of a thought to the name. Now I wish I gave it some thought though haha. I had been out of Delhi for a long time and somehow wherever I went, people always kind of saw that ‘Delhi’ vibe in me and would always be me ‘oh that girl from Delhi’ about me. So be it during my masters in Pilani or my corporate job in Hyderabad, I was always that Delhi girl for people. So the blog name was more like an epiphany because of the same.

 What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?

I try to keep things as real and relatable as I can. I want to share content which people can connect to otherwise what’s the point. I also never shy away from sharing the real/personal me. So be it my cooking stories or no makeup instalive answering queries, the idea is, behind that glamorous avatar or crazy travel shots, I am still a regular person just as anyone following me. Further, I try to make sure my feed isn’t too heavy on paid content. I like to post more personal posts than sponsored and for the same, I am highly selective with the brands I work with, brands I can personally vouch for because credibility and people’s trust is more important to me.

I also like to create content on as much as variety as I possibly can so I have something to offer to everyone. Dabbling in different genres helps me keep up with that.

 Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?

It definitely varies with each day. Some days I am out shooting all day, while some days I am taking meetings, brainstorming ideas or even just sitting on a laptop and invoicing.

But it usually starts with getting a concept in hand after some research and working around ideas, be it for a personal project or sponsored. Then location recce for a shoot if it’s something outdoors. Then comes the shoot day, followed by a selection of pics/footage. The editing, be it pictures or video, is handled by my photographer. Once I have the ready content, if it’s personal I’ll just post it when I think it’s I’ll get a better response based on backend insights. If it’s sponsored content, we send it across to the brand for approvals with some options. Captions and text/blog posts too go for approvals. Once everything gets a go ahead, we take it to live on a mutually agreed timeline based on my backend insight and brand’s favorable timeline. So be it just one picture or an entire blog post or video, the process is pretty much the same. There’s obviously some paperwork involved too like vendor registration or contracts, invoicing or even an NDA or MOU. There’s lots and lots of email exchanges right from the beginning when the brand approaches the end of the project. A lot goes in the back which people don’t realize and see as just one picture haha!

As far as staying relevant is concerned I read a lot, I research a lot! I try to follow the right accounts on social media and read the right magazines/online portals to stay inspired and updated as to what’s going on and what can be done.

 How do you take moolah with your efforts?

Brand associations/collaborations, event coverages or participation, giving masterclasses organized by a brand and freelance writing projects.

 How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?

I have never had much of a problem when it comes to creative freedom. I think by now people I work with or who approach me know that I am someone who can’t just take instructions in the name of brief and post content. I have to be a part of the inception of the idea. In fact, most of the times I come up with multiple concepts as options for brands to pick one and give their inputs as add on when there’s a need. In the end, I think brands/agency people/PRs do understand that I know better as to what my audience will react best to. But if I am approached for projects which have set brief or don’t go with my audience or my personality, I simply refuse to take them up.

 One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile?

I think my family is proud of what I do and how I have shaped myself in this profession over the years, so I think that more than worthwhile for me.

 Weirdest brand brief/request ever.

Last year a dating platform approached me to get on their platform and talk about the dating experience and I am like, guys, I am married and I had an arranged marriage so probably not the best person to work with for this haha!

If not blogging, you would be?

I was working as an epidemiologist before I took up blogging full time and had my last job at Novartis so I am guessing I would have been still at it.

 A day in your life….

Pure organized chaos. Getting up, making breakfast and packing lunch for the husband. Then I am off to the gym. After that I am either out for shoots and/or meetings or sitting at home working, taking calls, emails, working on content creation. Then there’s attending events too sometimes. At night I cook dinner and call it a day unless I still have some work to finish off before I go to sleep.

Message/tips for upcoming bloggers

As cliched as it may sound but don’t be in it for money or fame or the fancy stuff. It never works like that. Blog because your heart’s in it and then work hard on it, stay true to yourself and your audience. Rest everything will fall in place.

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Also read: Interview: Be your own unique voice: Prerna Sinha, Maa Of All Blogs

Your Favorite Influencer

Chiara Ferragni and Negin Marsalesi not only because they excel in blogging, globally, but also they used their social media reach and resources to launch their respective brands which again are doing brilliantly well!

The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand

I definitely don’t want to stick to just blogging and branch out or venture into other shores. I am already working on a few things, the idea is to go big this year but it’s too soon to say much. Wish me luck! 

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