Walking the tough terrain of brand collaborations, Dimple Arora finds it's important to draw lines and keep audience interest first.
A blog is an influencer's platter for the world to see and experience, where they share the best of everything they love. It's a documentation of everything they explore. In conversation with Social Samosa, Dimple Arora talks about the evolution of her blog, Food Lunatic.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
I started this page in June 2017. I have always been crazy about visiting new places and trying new restaurants but this page wasn't started with any planning. I just randomly created it and started posting pictures I had already taken for my Snapchat stories or as memories. I had no idea it would become a platform for me to showcase my love and passion for food.
What's in the name?
Since I was creating a food page, I was sure it should have the word 'food' in the username. I have always been passionate and crazy about doing things in life. May it be a school assembly speech or a final year college project. Food Lunatic is all about me, my passion, craziness. It sums up my insane love for food.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
I have been working with a few restaurants as their marketing consultant and I also blog for them. It helps me understand the restaurant's view on content, lessons I can then use while creating content for other brands who approach me to work for them. I always try to make content that's unique and out of the box.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
I am always excited and curious about creating content for my blog. I keep experimenting and though things don't work each time, I like to bring new things to my profile. My audience looks up to me for exploring new restaurants, cafes, street food and places to go to for specific dishes and cuisines. I remember the very first recipe video I had posted — cheese Maggi — the response motivated me to keep often put up recipe videos. I always make sure my profile looks attractive and colourful.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
When I started this page, I had no clue that I can earn through this platform. Gradually I started getting invitations from restaurants and cafes in order to promote them. It used to be a barter deal wherein I used to create content and promote them in return.
After reaching a good stage, I started charging for promotional posts from brands. After reaching 10k followers, one should start charging 1/10th of the followers, I was told. I did my first paid collab with a home baker when I had 15000 followers. Since then I often work with brands, QSRs, restaurants, different applications and charge from them to create content and promote them on my social media platform.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
It's tough to say no when you get a paid collaboration. It's very important to draw a line because my audience trusts me. Whenever I collaborate with a brand, I make sure I try the product myself before coming to any conclusion and make this thing clear that I can’t lie or defame the other company product in competition. I always try to integrate the brand into my content without sounding a complete sellout.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
While travelling in a metro recently, I offered my seat to a lady standing nearby. A few seconds later, she asked if my name was Dimple and even recalled my username. It instantly brought a huge smile on my face. It may sound like a small thing but it seriously made me really happy. I felt very proud of myself.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
I was recently asked to visit a restaurant-cum-gaming zone. It was a barter collaboration that came with a huge list of deliverables in return of 3-4 games and prefixed 2-3 drinks/food items. They were asking for a review on every social media platform. When I denied the offer, they told me about another influencer who had agreed for it. I wonder why brands consider bloggers as freeloaders and take them for granted.
If not blogging, you would be?
I wanted to do B.Ed. after my graduation as I loved teaching and had been taking tuition since first year. However eventually, I got into blogging and started loving it more, sticking to it as a professional. Although I still teach as a home tutor and have been doing so for over seven years.
A day in your life
Waking up to my little nephew's hustle-bustle to sleeping after completing endless chores, my days are very long. Full of fun, entertainment, love, travelling and creating content — each day is tiring by fruitful.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
Always do what you love and love what you do. It's very important to be genuine, hardworking, dedicated and sincere towards your work. If you want to stand out in the crowd, you will have to have to make your content worthy of it. You work will definitely speak for itself.
Your Favorite Influencer
Sonny Side from the Best Ever Food Review Show. I never skip his Instagram posts or YouTube videos. I have watched him travel to unique parts of the world in search of their best food offerings. His work inspires me to explore more and be more creative.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
I will soon expand my blog on YouTube. I am very much excited to create some great content for my audience. I really hope to succeed.