Don’t chase fame or collaborations: Nandini Swaminathan, Sartorial Secrets

Nandini Swaminathan- Sartorial Secrets

An experienced professional in social media marketing, Nandini Swaminathan found her calling in fashion and that’s how her blog, ‘Sartorial Secrets’ was born!

With almost 8 years of experience in social media marketing and management, Nandini Swaminathan shares her journey as an award-winning fashion blogger.

Swaminathan even plans to leverage her blog page to speak on issues such as mental health, social equality, and body positivity.

Looking back, where did it all begin? 

During my college days, I used to experiment with Fashion a lot. My mom was my biggest inspiration because of the way she would plan her outfits each day when she used to work for the World Health Organization. During college, I got the opportunity to style a new outfit each day, and a lot of my friends and peers suggested I do something to take it further. Hence, I became a contributing writer for one of India’s biggest beauty blogs part-time to give it a shot.

The response from its readers was amazing, especially on my fashion-related content. That’s where I found that this is my calling and decided to branch it out into my very own venture. This is how Sartorial Secrets was born!

What’s in the name? 

My style can be summed up as polished yet fun. The word ‘Sartorial’ literally is an adjective used to describe tailoring/style and I wanted to spill my secrets and make a name with an impact. That’s how Sartorial Secrets came into existence.

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

I have nearly 8 years of experience as a social media marketing professional, having worked on social media & content for startups and brands like Zipdial, Chumbak, and Livspace. This helped me understand brands deeply.

I keep my content engaging, creative & always try to tell a story. I like to be selective with the kind of brands I associate with, and even if it’s just an Instagram post, I try to be as out of the box as possible while staying true to what the brand wants to convey through my words, ideas, and visuals.

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

I’m always in tune with current trends both in my niche and in social media. I’m constantly browsing both Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration. I follow a lot of fashion editors, photographers, and creators.

When working on content, I throw tons of ideas around before settling on a concept. After this, I tally it with what the brand/I want to convey. I then create a plan and go ahead and execute it!

I try to stay relatable by staying true to myself, and not chasing perfection. I believe in showing my personality, my experiences, and also ensuring my content is not too ‘perfect’ in this world of filters and Photoshop. I also talk about issues like mental health, online bullying, equality, and body positivity.

How do you make moolah with your efforts?

I partner with brands that are a good fit for my image where I work on high quality, professional content to promote their brand to my audience with my ideas. This is usually either through my Instagram or my blog. Instagram has gradually become the preferred medium for most brands. I’m also working on a couple of projects and events that I would monetize as well.

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

 I have always maintained a readers/followers first approach. It starts from the pitching stage itself. If I don’t personally believe in the brand, or don’t like their products, I decline. I strive to provide a balanced perspective if I’m reviewing a brand. There have been cases where I used the product and it turned out not matching well with me, or had quality issues, and in such cases, I’ve politely declined the same.

Also read: Trust is what keeps your audience intact: Supreet Sidhu, Food Blogger

One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile

There are so many! My parents, though initially didn’t understand what I do, have been like my rock from day 1, and my mom has started Instagramming too post-retirement, which is wonderful.

They made me feel like I could really do something on my own. It’s also so nice to meet those who follow my work. It tells me that what I do is making an impact and that motivates me to work harder. Also, my first award from Women’s Web in 2017 and other nominations made me realize that my work’s worthwhile.

Weirdest brand brief/request ever

I was asked if I would be open to reviewing a restaurant without visiting it. When I asked how that’s ethical or even possible, the brand never replied.

If not blogging, you would be?

Running my own creative agency or styling business.

A day in your life…

Wake up, get ready, go through the day’s mails, get updates from my team, plan the posts for the day, head to my photoshoots for the week, update my Insta stories, plan and ideate for the next week.

After this, I head to any events or launches planned for the day, and once I’m home I finally relax with my favorite shows or out at my favorite café.

Message/tips for upcoming bloggers

Don’t chase fame or collaborations. Put your heart and soul into your content and into building a loyal audience. The rest will automatically fall into place. Be yourself and let your personality shine through your work! Also, network, network, network and never short-sell yourself to anyone.

Your Favorite Influencer

I’ve been a huge fan of Aimee Song since the time she started. I think it’s so amazing how she’s established herself as one of the first names in fashion blogging and has been associated with some of the biggest brands in fashion and lifestyle. All the while she has stayed humble and true to herself.

The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand

I see myself building Sartorial Secrets to the next level across all the channels I’m on. I want to scale up to be one of the best bloggers in the fashion and luxury space in India while using my platform to also speak on issues I’m passionate about such as mental health, social equality, and body positivity.