How I Gained 20k+ Instagram Followers By Speaking To The Everyday Girl
Welcome! Tell us who you are and a quick overview of your brand.
Hi, I’m Anj from Anjli’s Look Book and I love South Asian fashion and travel. I believe wearing South Asian fashion is an art especially when comes to draping and pleating so I share my tips, tricks and tutorials so the art doesn’t get lost.
I love to travel and share my practical tips and recommendations to help you travel in the best way possible. In between, I like to break stigmas and boundaries by talking about things Aunty Ji doesn’t want me to — divorce, depression, death, dating etc.
I like to create content for brands to showcase their products as well as their values in a relatable way and sometimes by taking them abroad to shoot.
How did you come up with your concept?
I combined two things I love — travel and South Asian fashion.
Growing up and watching Bollywood movies often shot abroad with stunning backdrops I realised I can create that for brands too but without them having to orchestrate a huge team to travel and shoot abroad.
I can take their items and shoot them professionally abroad with my equipment — it also becomes more relatable to the consumer as they see more of a “real” person wearing/ using those items rather than fashion models with a huge team behind them.
I also realised over time that the art of draping, pleating and pinning South Asian outfits was dying out and people really struggle so I share tutorials on it so we the next generation still connect to the South Asian culture through fashion.
Plus South Asian clothing can be very expensive and showing how to style items in multiple ways so you can wear them over and over again is just good for the environment.
How did you actually launch? How were those early days?
I launched back in Oct 2017 — when Instagram was very different.
The early days were easy but I also had no idea where this would go or grow. In all honesty, there was no real goal at all.
I had just gotten married and was being invited to a lot of functions which required me to wear a new outfit every time and just mixed and matched things from pieces I already had or added a western crop top into the mix and the reaction from people was so positive and they pushed me to open Anjli’s Look Book.
I just started sharing my tips and tricks as well as my passion for travelling and giving relatable tangible information that it grew from there.
What strategies have you used to attract customers or followers?
The strategy has been to be as authentic and real as possible and to stick to 3 main niche topics that I have experience and knowledge in.
As well as continuing to teach and learning how to create better content that my followers will enjoy. I only work with brands and on content that reflects my values and what my page stands for.
Social media can be such a minefield and full of things that are not real so I wanted to ensure my page gives the behind-the-scenes as well as something that might help someone. Before I create content I ask myself — is this content useful, helpful, entertaining and would I like to see this myself?
I have also spent time regularly updating my skills in creating content such as investment in equipment and teaching it to myself.
For example video gimble, professional camera, lighting, software light editing apps etc. I am just myself.
What has been your biggest hurdle? How have you dealt with it?
2020 was my biggest hurdle as personally went through divorce, depression and death.
This stumped my business as I struggled to figure out what I wanted from my page and how I could help others whilst struggling with this part of my life.
My motivation was very low and there were no clear goals. Taking each day as it came and getting myself some much-needed help got me back on track.
It is all about balance which I still struggle with as I have a full-time corporate job, now also a step mum, a home to run and a family to take care of. There is never just one big hurdle there are always many but each one makes you more resilient for the next one.
Do you have a day job, what is it?
I am a medical sales rep and have also spent some time in marketing and have been working in the corporate world for over 13 years.
Skills as a salesperson and marketing do align with Anjli’s Look Book as essential social media and content creation is marketing to sell another brand's services and products so the skills have been transferable.
There is also an element of working towards deadlines and this is the same when there is pressure to create certain content for a brand's launch/ deadline.
My day job involves a lot of project work and communication across several internal teams and managing and organising skills also translate over to Anjli’s Look Book.
What are your competitive advantages?
I myself am my competitive advantage as I am my brand.
My voice, attention to detail and passion for creating relatable content is something nobody else can mimic.
My experience of working with several brands both South Asian and western and by being myself.
I have an eye for detail and have practised my draping, pinning and pleating skills for years. I am also happy to try new things whether that is to create content or speak on my platform about things that might be seen as controversial or has a stigma attached to it.
Where are you today and what are you most excited about in the future?
Today I am proud to say that I have an organic and highly engaged audience.
My data and engagement statistics are continuously moving upward and is consistent. It might not be the biggest following at 22k followers (combined following across social media equal to 38k +) but they engage and support.
My brand is sitting with the right demographic for my page as well. I have a high conversation rate for brands and the feedback is always positive towards their business.
I really love that I have had the opportunity to work abroad and with some prestigious brands as well as help new businesses grow.
I am excited to help and support more businesses and get creative in new ways.
What are your three top tips for others looking to follow in your footsteps?
- Find your niche and stick to it. Find a maximum of 3 things that you want your brand to stand for and ensure all you do always aligns with it to stop everything from getting confusing.
- Be authentic and be real ensure you only work on projects, brands and people that really reflect you. The more authentic you are the more relatable you will be. Be consistent by having a plan.
- If you want to be a content creator — plan your content, ideas etc so you can charge your worth. Spend time ups killing yourself on skills like editing etc.
What platforms/tools do you use behind the scenes?
- Lightroom for editing photos etc.
- Splice which is a video editing tool, great for reels, YouTube and TikTok. I also use Cut Story for editing Instagram stories. I have newer ring light which I use to record most of my static videos and stories.
- I have a professional Cannon EOS starter camera to capture professional photos when shooting outdoors or abroad.
- A DJI gimbal for steady video recording when on the move.
- Box lighting with battery power so can record indoors (store tour) etc with good lighting. I always record and upload content of the highest quality.
- Several different tripods to hold phones, lighting or camera.
What resources have helped you the most?
YouTube and Google - are my go-to. When I don't know something I utilise those to learn.
Do you have any open job positions or partnership opportunities?
Always open to working with others. Does anyone want to be my PA? I, unfortunately, do not have the capacity to take on any unpaid work at the moment but always interested in hearing ideas.