Thinking of becoming a content creator? Facebook’s most-followed creator Sanjyot Keer has some tips
- Hear from India’s most-followed Facebook Creator, Sanjyot Keer, about starting your own page in today’s highly cluttered market.
- He shares with us a few monetization avenues that content creators can explore, arranging the right equipment, when to find a publicist in your content creation journey, standing out in the clutter and much more.
To find out how budding content creators can supplement their income, arrange the right equipment, set themselves apart in a pool full of creators, we reached out to Sanjyot Keer, Chef, Owner of Your Food Lab and Facebook Content Creator. He told us how he got where he is today and how you can too.
Known for bringing his uniqueness to Indian cuisine, Keer’s diverse recipes are lip-smacking yet healthy. He has 5 million followers on Facebook, 116k followers on Instagram and 2.16 million subscribers on YouTube today.
Keer found his love for cooking when he was 12. He saw an artist at work at a pav bhaji stall and wanted to recreate the magic. Thus began his culinary love story. He created a fusion of Pav Bhaji Bruschetta, which was his first-ever creation. His first recipe on Facebook was another fusion, Pizza Dosa, which garnered 10,000 views in a day in 2016 and he only had 335 friends on Facebook then. His third video went viral and got 1.3 million views in four days. In a month's time, he had a lakh followers on Facebook.
“Your Food Lab started at one of the lowest phases of my life. I wasn’t cooking. I was working at my dad’s factory and that is when I decided to start creating content. I dedicated my weekends to content creation. I didn’t have the money to buy or rent out equipment. So I used my phone and Canon 550D. I made DIY ceiling lights and started shooting on my dining table,” recalls Keer.
Today, Keer has a team of five people who help him out in content production. He also has a househelp and an external PR team.
Sharing a few factors that have helped Keer hit the 5 million mark, he says, “A lot of people relate to my recipes, which are one of a kind, and they like what I cook in my kitchen. The kind of ingredients and equipment I use is something that you would find in your kitchen. So all YFL recipes can be made at home, you won’t need any kind of professional equipment for it. Secondly, consistency has surely played a role. I started by uploading one recipe a day for three-four years and that helped YFL grow really fast. My production quality has skyrocketed now because I have constantly invested what I earn into YFL in terms of building a team, renting a studio space, which has paid off.”
Keer upgraded his equipment once he started working with brands. His first brand was an FMCG Oil brand, Fortune Sunflower Oil. He ended up making 100 videos for them. Now he is eyeing to work with a lifestyle brand or an automobile brand, and to be a part of a food-travel show.
While becoming an influencer seems glamorous, it takes a lot of time, requires patience and hardwork before you actually get to start monetising your content.
“No doubt money is important to be able to sustain but initially, you should just focus on your content. When I started out, Facebook didn’t have in-stream ads and I was completely dependent on branded associations. Brand collaborations are always going to be the bigger chunk of money that comes in for you as a content creator and on Facebook, with branded content tools, you can easily work with any brand. It is very transparent now. When you work with a brand, Facebook doesn’t charge you for that. You can directly work with the brand, you just need to declare on the platform. It is similar on the other platforms too. In-stream ads, which were added 2 years ago, are a boon for creators because you can upload your regular content and those will also earn money for you,” shares Keer.
Apart from that, a content creator can also explore merchandising, consultancy and workshops. YFL and Keer earn their lion’s share from in-stream ads and product shoots.
Finding the right publicist
As a content creator, it is important to be in media’s good books or this interview with Keer wouldn’t have happened. So, if you find the right publicist, at the right time, they can really help you improve your brand presence in media, which will eventually land you brand deals. Brands usually look for creators who have a huge following on social media platforms and are active on the media front.
Keer onboarded a PR agency, Monk-E, after 4 years of content creation.
On when to find a publicist, Keer advises, “It depends on the creator. I was doing everything by myself for the first four years because I wanted to learn it first-hand. I wanted to understand the brand's expectations, goals and negotiate deals. And when a PR agency comes to you with a problem at a later stage, you’ll be able to understand and be more empathetic. It got overwhelming after a point and I was swamped, that’s when I hired an agency. It is not a luxury per se to get an agency, but it is more about getting things done on time and in an appropriate manner at a certain stage of content creation. If you are getting a good deal at your beginning stage, go for it but I would suggest that you wait and learn the ropes of the game.”
Tips for beginners
The only secret behind Keer’s growth trajectory is that he believed in his ‘stupid idea’, as he calls it. He was consistent and he did not let other people’s opinions on content creation influence his decision.
So, his advice to budding content creators is to never kill your stupid idea. “I started off in a very low phase of my life and I never thought that I would make it this far. At that time, I told a lot of people that I want to start creating content, people pulled me down and said it is stupid to share videos on Facebook -- it is just for connectivity. I still gave it a try and it worked. I hear a lot of parents say “ Hotel management koun karta hai, hum Bawarchi thodi na hai” and people just kill their idea at a very young stage. Just bring your idea into existence and if you are hardworking enough, you will be the next Sanjyot Keer or you would even do better than me. So whatever it is that you want to do, do it today!”
Before wrapping up, Keer had another message to give to fellow content creators and influencers. “Please help people around you. To all my influencer friends, please reach out to your followers. This is the time we should use our influence at its best. Be kind and take care of yourselves.”