To make a mark as an influencer on social media, Kuljyoti Dhingra feels authenticity is key as it is always appreciated by audiences.
Content creators seldom have a fixed schedule as they are often juggling with commitments and editorial requirements. For Kuljyoti Dhingra, the day begins a little late for she often stays late at night editing videos. Away from the social media gaze, cooks and devours her breakfast. On most days, a significant number of hours are spent on shoots or creating recipe videos. She tells us more about her content creation process.
Looking back, where did it all begin?
Honestly speaking, even I have no clue. I just started a separate account on Instagram to put up my food pictures as initially, I wanted my personal Instagram profile to have only my own pictures or with friends and family. I just wanted to segregate my picture collection so that it’s easier to share, specifically, my food pics with my friends. Somehow other people started discovering this and now, here we are!
What’s in the name?
Very few people know that initially it was called “Dilli ke Pakwaan” but I wasn’t very satisfied with the name. After a certain point, I felt the need to change in order to sound ‘premium’. Delhi Eats is generic, and easy on the mind and tongue.
What is your USP in this cluttered space? How does your content give you an edge?
My content is simple — let people know where can they have good food, irrespective of the budget. I do Food Reviews — where I honestly let people know how the food tastes. I also share my own Food Recipes and Cooking tutorials. There’s a saying related to food — keep the ingredients simple, and spices complex. I feel my USP is that whoever visits my feed either on Instagram or on YouTube will find something that they can relate to.
Please take us through your content creation process. How do you stay relevant and relatable?
Content creation might seem very glamorous and lucrative but there is so much pain, tears, and efforts which are required to create content. There is so much brainstorming involved in the process of ideation of content, a lot of my time goes in scribbling down new things that I can do for my platforms. Further, creating content involves travelling, clicking pictures/ shooting videos, editing and then uploading it on the right time. The process is even more tedious for youtube since one YouTube video requires at least 3-4 hours of shooting and 5-7 hours of editing.
How do you make moolah with your efforts?
It might sound as if I’m earning truckloads of money through this but I personally feel the amount I am earning is quite similar to what I would have earned with some other fulltime job. Further, as far as channels of earnings are concerned, I get a few promotional campaigns for my Instagram account, further through YouTube AdSense and by producing content for various online video platforms who pay me for the same. It is true that my earnings have increased tremendously in the past two years but I am still trying to increase it even further.
How do you maintain editorial objectivity with the influx of brand briefs?
At times, brands just want a space where they can advertise their products. I promote stuff myself only when I like it. I have a reputation of not being a sellout and I work really hard to maintain this objective image. I have lost brand campaigns just because I have said no to many brands as they wanted me to make false claims about their product on their behalf. I know how to fight my battles for the things that I believe in.
One instance/experience that made it all worthwhile
One simple expression of happiness — smile. Smiles are becoming rarer and rarer on people’s faces nowadays. By god’s grace people now know me. I have been to other cities outside Delhi like Mumbai, Nashik, Chandigarh, Agra, Jaipur etc. and people even in those cities came to meet me and told me how much they love my work, and how they have been following my food review videos. I didn’t even know my small little Insta food blog touches so many lives. The best out of all was when Michelin Star Chef Atul Kochhar texted me on Instagram that he loves my work and he finds it inspiring. That indeed was the best moment for me.
Weirdest brand brief/request ever
One of the brands actually asked me to create a video demeaning the image of their competitive brand, which I obviously denied. They had to give up on that clause of the agreement and then I agreed to work on that project.
If not blogging, you would be?
I really wanted to be a lecturer. There is something about providing value and knowledge to people that I really enjoy. I talk about food history, food details and reviews in the caption because I love imparting knowledge. The major reason I started my YouTube channel was that I love communicating about food in a long-form video format.
A day in your life…
The weirdest part of making social media your full-time job is that you don’t have a routine. There is no fixed time when it comes to promotional events, they can be early in the morning or late at night.
Waking up early in the morning seems extremely difficult because I spend my nights editing my YouTube videos. But my morning starts with me cooking my own breakfast and enjoying it in peace away from social media. This is the major reason I upload content mostly after 11 AM.
Rest of the day is all about shooting content. It could be at a restaurant or for a brand or for YouTube or a homemade recipe video.
My evenings are mostly about working out a bit, that can be a walk or a workout at home. Since I am the most active human being on the planet at night, all the important work like editing and content planning is completed at night.
Message/tips for upcoming bloggers
There’s no special tip for social media. Only thing is — be honest, be regular be original, and do not plagiarize. Be yourself and don’t try to fake anything on social media. Don’t be a clone of some other influencer you love, you can’t really fake something for a long time on social media. Be real and authentic because that is what your audience will appreciate.
Phrases like — ‘Content is king and ‘Audience is your God’ might be cliché but it holds true. Don’t try to befool your audience because they are the one who makes or break you.
Have a lot of patience for growth on social media is painful. Produce good quality content, which is a bit different from others. You might not be producing the content for the masses, but then you’d be catering to a certain niche market. You don’t have to search for followers for your content, but the potential followers will find your content themselves. That’s internet blogging in a nutshell for you!
Your Favorite Influencer
I personally love Sonny from Best Ever Food Review Show and Dennis Prescott on Instagram.
The Future you foresee for your Personal Brand
My focus is to be active on YouTube and produce amazing content for my channel. As far as my content is concerned, it has always been inclined towards food. I want to expand and include travel and explore food and different cuisines. I am also trying to experiment with food-related content and people will get to see it super soon. My goal is not only to make it big on Instagram but also on other platforms. Initially, I was apprehensive of being on camera but now, I am really enjoying this job of expressing my views on camera. I personally feel that is the reason I am showered with love from my audience, I am planning to continue with this in future.