A pre-pandemic day of a typical school-going child was filled with activities, playtime, socializing and a bit of screen time. But with the changed schooling scenario and online classes, the screen time of kids multiplied tenfold. The need for early childhood education that aims at educating parents, caregivers, and educators in formulating and using creative ways to teach a child, by way of involving STEM and STEM concepts, sensory plays, and other ways of hands-on learning was apparent. And Shraddha Fogla’s venture of a digital space for parenting and parenting platform that utilizes children’s learning and development process perfectly for a brighter future!

In conversation with TC6, mom blogger turned entrepreneur Shraddha Fogla talks about the story behind the launch of her venture, monetization via social media and the need to forge a connection with your audience.

1. What’s your educational and professional background?

With a Masters in International Accounting and Finance from Cass Business School of London, I have also made an influence in the private equity sector and construction industry before starting my own venture. I joined MPA Financial Services Pvt. Ltd in Kolkata and got involved in Private Equity, M&A and Debt Syndication. I worked in an Infrastructure company too which was a part of our family business by the name of BFS Infrastructure Pvt Ltd. 

2. What prompted you to start ‘2monkeysandme?

I love teaching my boys in various creative ways so that the piece of information I want them to know about, sticks and remains onto their brains rather than going through the ordeal of learning or mugging up. Since it helped them so much and I was receiving queries from my family and friends about parenting and a proper way of teaching kids so then I thought why not pass this piece of information to everyone in need and I really wanted to make it better for the children out there, teach the parents on how they can be involved with their children, teach their kids, and bond with them, all at the same time. Seeing the children in my family benefit from this method really motivated me and I started my own blog, 2monkeysandme without much reading or plans. 

3. Did you always want to be working in this space?

I had my background in the private equity sector and construction industry but after I delivered my first baby, my priorities changed, and I felt more responsible and wanted to be around him and take care of the baby. As the kids started growing up, I started having some free time to myself when they were at school. I wanted to utilise the time effectively while pursuing my passion and do something where I did not have to leave them. By creating content, I could be with the kids, work with them, teach them, make myself grow and continue my passion. Hence, I took this route and entered this workspace.

4. What was your first milestone? And how did you get there?

The first milestone for me was when 2monkeysandme had hit 5000 followers on Instagram. It took me almost 8-9 months to reach that point. I remember hitting 8000 followers by the end of the year but those initial 5000 took a lot of time and I believe it was my first milestone in this field. 

5. How long did it take you to monetise? What was the turning point?

One needs to have the patience to start monetising in the space of social media. I wanted to help and grow organically so I kept posting with all patience. Soon people started showering their love, followed my content and my methods of teaching and stuck around me and I couldn’t be more grateful. I did my first paid collaboration with only 2000 followers but 2020 has surely been the turning point with so many people joining us and my work coming into the limelight. There were so many variations of brands and people connecting and it definitely made the mark of my turning point. 

6. What kind of marketing strategies work best for you? Which has been the most successful platform in terms of ROI?

The marketing strategy that worked best for me was to post new, informative and engaging content every day.  Engaging with the audience should be of prime importance as it makes you turn into one family altogether. I do lots of interactive stories with my audience as well and undoubtedly Instagram sponsored posts do help in reaching out to more people. The most successful platform in terms of ROI would definitely be Instagram. It reaches a wider audience and mostly because I have invested my time more on this platform than others.

7. Do you have any tips for an aspirant who wants to enter this space?

The one thing I’d like to cater for this is for one to have patience. It isn’t difficult but with lots of competition in this field, one needs to have patience. Don’t expect to get rewarded immediately. I would suggest not start buying followers and let your page grow organically. Be clear in your mind on what you are good at and start with creating and ideating on those videos and posts. In fact, you may ask your audience, every now and then, what they’d like to see you create on your page. You will need to create a niche rather than doing everything under the sun and then your audience will grow accordingly. For instance, I mostly have people between the age of 25 years of old to 40 years old as my audience since my niche is on education and parenting and this is the where most adults have children.

8. Are there any online or offline courses that you would recommend before entering this space?

I don’t believe that one needs to do a course for entering this space but one should definitely keep their eyes and ears open. Observe what others are doing and how they’re doing it and seek help if you need it. One thing that you could do is to ask your audience what they would like to see. Only when you’d connect with your audience, they will be able to understand you better and you would be able to influence them for the better.

9. Which networking groups and showcasing events could help an aspirant meet the right people and generate work opportunities in this field?

I would suggest definitely showing more love, commenting more on other people’s post as well so they would know you exist. When you comment on the brand’s posts, connect with them to define your existence on the platform. You can also make friends from the same sphere on Instagram and they can help in answering your queries and help you sail through. Work opportunities will keep pouring and coming in when brands see your profile and like what you do and could relate to your page for their own products or services.

10. What are some investments (monetary or otherwise) one should be ready to make when entering this space?

If you are very active on your page and making a lot of videos, be ready to either sit and edit all of your videos or have someone to help in editing your pictures and videos. So I’d say that’s the first investment you’d need to make. Some people hire editors for help and some reach out to PR agencies. All of this completely depends on how far you are planning to go but mostly a photographer, videographer and editor is needed to create quality content to showcase. In conclusion, I’d say that to enter this space, the first and foremost investment one should be ready to make is to improve their content quality.

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