Content creators need to justify audience’s time while putting out paid content: Mohammed Salman

In the latest episode of Spotlight by, Salman traced his journey as a content creator in the often-overlooked niche of interior design and delved into the intricacies of merging entertainment and educational content alongside accepting brand deals

Niveditha Kalyanaraman
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Mohammed Salman

Mohammed Salman

New Delhi: Content creators are often looked upon as the bearers of entertainment and recreation after a hard day. People throng to their social media screens to infuse their time spent with content that lightens their hearts and makes them press the share button to spread the few minutes or seconds of entertainment. 

Having said that, when content creators take up brand deals and publish 'paid partnership' content, it becomes imperative for them to justify the 'entertainment' angle as well. With the belief that creators need to justify their audience’s dedicated time, Mohammed Salman, an entrepreneur and interior design content creator, addressed the synergy that needs to exist between creators, brand deals, and their audience.  

In the latest episode of Spotlight by, Salman traced his journey as a content creator in the often-overlooked niche of interior design and delved into the intricacies of merging entertainment and educational content alongside accepting brand deals. 

Salman has been in the interior design business for the last six years, with two firms: one in Chennai, Tint Tone and Shade, and another in Hyderabad, the name of Infinity and Beyond Interiors. His content journey on Instagram and YouTube is relatively new; he has been tracing for about two years. 


Being an introverted person, Salman found his breakthrough when he wanted to infuse authenticity into the branding of his firm, and he decided to rise as the face of his own brand.

He said, “I couldn't find people in our niche who talked about interior design like we understood it to be, so that gave me the spark to talk about it myself.” 

Talking about his breakthrough reel, he drew attention to his content on Indowood, an eco-friendly substitute for plywood. The reel reached more than 1.5 million views, which propelled him to tap into the audience’s latent need to know more about materials and substitutes that work well. 

He talked about how the insides of places evoke emotions and how he finds inspiration by visiting restaurants, meeting people, and getting to know their preferences.  

The ‘Audience First’ perspective

The predominant content on social media platforms caters to entertainment to garner likes, views, and shares. But when it comes to a niche like interior design, a lot of educational content is involved.

Finding the grey area between education and entertainment became pivotal to Salman as he put himself in the audience’s shoes to legitimise his content. 

He explained, “I create my own concepts, like a cooking show. Whenever the audience starts the video, they are welcomed to Sunday's cooking show, which would be a masquerade to content that educates on interior design.”

He also explained that it’s crucial for creators to test different types of materials, and the important question to ask is how one can fuse entertainment and also provide solutions to the audience’s problems.  

Regional connect

To further his connection with his audience, Salman delves into tapping the regional nerve. Being a South Indian, he expressed his desire for his content to be watched across India. 

He gives instances where his content related to Chennai people uses the Tamil language, like ‘hello Chennai makkale,’ translating to ‘hello Chennai people!’ 

He believes that it is important for the audience to resonate with the creator, and using regional language is one way of doing it. 

Brand-Creator synergy

Salman laid out several guidelines he stands by as a creator that can benefit other creators in dealing with brand collaborations. 

  1. Win-Win: Salman highlighted how the collaboration needs to be a win-win for both the creator, their audience, and the brand. Finding the common ground that drives this proposition is key. 
  2. Consumable by audience: Salman believes that as creators, it becomes their responsibility to not get carried away by catering content only for the brand and to create content that is ‘consumable’ by their audience as well. 
  3. Freedom to create: Ensuring that there is enough trust between the brand and the creator to give each other the freedom to create fixes many problems, according to Salman. 
  4. Accountable to the audience: Creators need to create content that not only justifies the brand deal but also the time spent by their audience in procuring that content. 
  5. Brand and creator awareness: Oftentimes, brands lay out terms and scripts that creators need to follow in their paid content, but as creators, Salman believes they understand their audience better and need to have a conversation with the brand to ensure that both of them have awareness as to what would work and what would not.  

Looking forward to influencer marketing

Talking about the future of content creation and influencer marketing, Salman opined that social media has become another avenue for marketing, and upcoming entrepreneurs need to tap into this platform for marketing.

Talking from the perspective of content creators, he opined that content is not always about something toeing the ‘trend’ line.  

He added, “Whatever content we do or consume has to have some value so that the time that we spend watching each reel or video should be something that gives you that exact thing that you need, like money or networking.”

Salman also holds a very hopeful gaze towards monetisation for content creators, which he believes would encourage more people to create content. He lauded the ‘insights’ provided by Instagram that help creators understand their views and engagement and help differentiate their ‘performing’ content from the not-so-performing ones.  

AI: A threat to content creators? 

Taking the ‘co-pilot’ stance on AI, Salman emphasises that AI is just a tool and the creator is the one who is giving the direction.  

He said, “I don't see AI as a threat, but I see a threat where people themselves believe that AI will replace us, so that is a threat like you can't assume or believe yourself that it might overtake you soon because it is you who are going to collaborate with it at work.”

Salman’s interior design thumb rules

Talking about his favourite thumb rules to follow as an interior designer, Salman expressed his liking for the minimalist approach to design. 

He also highlighted that designers need to focus on the functionality of the design more than just on ‘how it looks on the outside.’ 

He is also a fan of the ‘clutter-free’ design, to not overdo it and keep it simple. 

Watch the full Interview here: 

brand deal Mohammed Salman Spotlight content creator