A visionary and achiever at a very young age, Shikha Shetty built a space for herself in the business of food as a Chief Foodie Officer (CFO)! From styling and reviews to recipes, innovation and consulting, her blog is a haven for all folks who are passionate about grub and delicacies. With the Food and Beverage industry being among the hardest hit by the pandemic, Shikha’s working on reinventing her brand and content delivery to stay relevant and relatable in the times of Covid-19. And that’s exactly the right spirit with which this young entrepreneur and trailblazer soldiers on.
In conversation with TC46, Shikha Shetty shares the inspiration behind her blog, key elements needed to be a successful content creator in the digital age, and some vital investments every aspiring creative entrepreneur needs to make to find success.
1. What’s your educational & professional background?
I have done my BMS and MBA in Marketing. Working with a leading retail organisation as a content specialist, I am also the owner and founder of Chief Foodie Officer: A blog which covers food styling, food consulting, food innovation, and food recipes.
2. What prompted you to start ‘Chief Foodie Officer’?
My passion for food and food accessories always lead me to believe that there is special value-add I can share and offer to my followers. Friends and family were my inspiration, and they helped me kickstart this page and be motivated to turn my passion into a career.
3. Did you always want to be a content creator?
Yes. Content creators should have a natural tendency to connect with people. My love for food and connection with people surely led me to what I always wanted to do, which was mapping my food experiences for my followers.
4. What was your first milestone & how did you get there?
About 8 months after starting my blog, I got an invite from a classic restaurant to come and review their new menu. This kind of endorsement is big for content creators. You know you’re doing something right when brands and industry folks start noticing you and are interested in your critique and opinion. Consistency in my content and work helped me evolve and grow.
5. How long did it take you to monetise?
I got good traction and response in the first year of my blog. My turning point was when I started collaborating with brands for various aspects in the food category like menu designing, food styling, consulting, etc. It was more than a blog where I was just reviewing restaurants.
6. What kind of marketing strategies work best for your content?
Understanding the pulse of your followers and giving the content which they would like to read and see helps you recreate or find inspiration for your page. Also, people like to be able to relate with your personal experience, which is why all my content is very personal and I take my followers on the journey with me. In my opinion, the best strategy is to know your followers.
7. Do you have any tips for an aspiring content creator who wants to enter this space?
Don’t start a blog because someone else has done it and is doing well. Only start a blog/ page if you love the space you want to explore. Also, consistency and responsibility of your start-up are two factors which are strong influencers for you to grow in whatever field you decide to enter.
8. Are there any online or offline courses that you would recommend before entering this space?
More than a course, blogging and content creation are about one’s own flair and interest. However, in food, there is always an added advantage if you have a degree of hotel management or culinary arts since you would know food science and the ingredients better.
9. Which networking groups & showcasing events could help an aspirant meet the right people and generate work opportunities in this field?
Connecting with fellow bloggers on the same platform, food exhibitions, influencer events, and attending webinars are some of the ways to interact with your industry and generate opportunities for work. It also helps you network and understand what’s trending and new in the space.
10. What are some investments one should be ready to make when entering the influencer or content creator space?
A good camera, lighting, crockery, flat lays, food props, backdrops and going to where your imagination can take you.
If you are also looking to enter the food industry or start a small-scale food business, then these tips on how to start tiffin service from home can be helpful.
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