- It has been more than a year since we have been stuck inside our homes, which has been a mix of boon for a few and curse for many.
- So for our sixth episode of Influencer Adda, we decided to get someone to inspire us.
- In today’s episode, we will be talking to
Ranveer Allahbadia, aka BeerBiceps about his content creation journey so far, the future of social media and his goals ahead.
- Ranveer recently became the first independent creator from India to be associated with Spotify through its Exclusive podcasts.
Interestingly, he is the third engineer we have spoken to, who has quit the field to pursue a career in entertainment and content creation.
“I think engineering teaches you how to learn anything because we don’t understand any of our subjects. We go in with zero knowledge and you figure things out yourself. Then you can apply it to the media world or to content creation and do an alright job,” says Ranveer, chuckling.
To evolve with changing times, stay relevant and connect with his fans, Ranveer gradually diversified his content from fitness to career guidance, mental health, lifestyle choices and mystery around parallel universes.
According to him, “Versatility is a weapon in the world of content creation.”
Sharing with us a little piece of advice he received before starting out, which shaped his career to a great extent, he elaborates, “Indians like masala. That’s why Om Shanti Om would do better than Guzarish because the latter is niche and the former has everything. Indians inherently love masala. And that’s all that I have been playing towards. People tend to get bored with one kind of content piece. So, we do horror, poetry, romance, fitness, fashion, etc. You also have to tweak it for different mediums, keeping in mind that you can’t fake it. Social media is a very intelligent collection of people and they spot out bullsh*t. So, you can’t fake it (versatility).”
In 2019, India had over 1,200 channels with one million YouTube subscribers. At that time, two creators on an average were crossing one-million subscribers and 2,500 creators were touching their first 1,000 subscriber milestone every day. Due to the lockdown, many Indians have turned to content for entertainment, which has led to exponential growth of content creators as well. And this number is only going up by 2025 as the number of internet users is expected to grow to more than 974 million, says data platform Statista.
So, to stand out in this highly cluttered, ever-growing market of content creation, Ranveer suggests, “Offer very fast-paced content which is original, created with consistency and is ideally a value-add to a user's life. Value-add can be humour as well but it has to be fresh and new -- something that hasn’t been done before. And it is not that difficult when you religiously get down to it because every human being has a different personality and an inherent sense of humour. So, it is just about putting your most raw-self out there with consistency at a fast pace. People are using TikTok and Reels and that’s why their attention span is reducing. So, you need to play according to what the demand is right now.”
Ranveer’s social media handle, BeerBiceps, is quite creative and ironic at the same time for a fitness channel, which is why it stays with you. He has been using this name even when investing in other businesses because it has become a brand name now, that precedes him. For example, he invested in an LA beauty brand Ready Set Jet under the alias BeerBiceps.
“If you want to grow in any business, you have to run in the opposite direction. Fitness channels back in the day were only about hardcore discipline and fitness and I wanted this element of taking it a little easy: you can party and stay fit. So, BeerBiceps worked for me and it stuck around.”
Today, many creators have simply used their real name on social media channels to avoid any confusion. However, Ranveer suggests it is important to come up with a creative handle to clearly establish your content offering for your audience. “It is important now to stand out with your name than it was earlier and I am glad I took that decision in 2015. There are so many people who are going by their names that it becomes difficult to remember them. If you go by a gimmick or a brand name, it does better. For example, you remember MissMalini rather than Malini Agarwal or The Rock more than you remember Dwayne Johnson. So in today’s modern world, having a gimmick is great because it stays in people’s heads,” adds Ranveer.
Ranveer recently became the first independent creator from India to be associated with Spotify through its exclusive podcasts, which is a stepping stone for thousands of budding podcasters in the country too.
Taking us to the very beginning of it all, Ranveer shares, “Content creation for me was just an aggressive learning process. I wanted to learn how to use a camera, put a video on YouTube and build brands -- in this process of self study, my learning capability increased and I kept applying it to my career. Today, we talk about modern skills like coding and communication, etc., -- videography is another important modern skill today, which is the key in my overall arsenal and probably more important than my entrepreneurship.”
Ranveer’s first brand deal was with an energy drink for Rs 7000 and he shared a small part of his first income with Monk-E’s Co-founder and his manager Viraj Sheth.
“Viraj earned Rs 1,400 from it and I earned about Rs 5,600 and it was a huge deal for us back then. We were getting around 500-1000 likes on Instagram and we were monetising those likes,” he recalls.
Until 2-3 years ago, Ranveer was still getting pressured into changing his career by people around him. While he said that it is important to ignore those who pull you down, you should heed to constructive criticism to grow.
“In your first three years, you have to listen to what the society is saying because criticism can hold lessons. I started out by doing motivational content and people said, “What else do you have to offer?” That gave me the motivation to start my own business. When we started Monk-E, they said media business is easy to run but can you do a ‘real-world thing?’ That’s my next motivation now -- that I am creating consumer-first products and selling directly to the audiences. So, you need to hear the criticism because it can often help shape your content. This is also what goes with a lot of content creators. They switch off to criticism therefore, switching off their own growth. Go through the things you do wrong, you experiment -- that’s when you grow,” says he.
If he gets a chance to start all over again, Ranveer says (with a small twinkle in his eyes), “I would shave my eyebrows, my head and become a monk. I would go to the mountains and I wouldn’t do this (content creation). I am doing it now because there’s momentum with it and in this journey, I have discovered Yoga, meditation.”
“And from a content perspective, I would go really strong with my Instagram Reels strategy. That’s the key to growth. We are seeing it with one of our Monk-E talents Niharika NM, who started 5 years ago but has popped as a talent now. We always knew she would have this explosion but we didn’t expect this magnitude of the explosion and that’s only due to Instagram Reels,” adds he.
With vaccination drive in full swing, Ranveer is now hoping that the country would slowly get back to normal and he would get to meet a few of his dream podcast guests in person, including Virat Kohli.