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Ishita Khanna, a grooming and lifestyle content creator, has traversed a journey from aspiring for UPSC to becoming a full-time content creator. In her vibrant world of content creation, brand collaborations play a pivotal role. With a plethora of frequent brand partnerships under her belt, Khanna has underscored the critical importance of brands engaging in consistent dialogues with creators.

She believes that such interactions are invaluable for gaining authentic insights into the effectiveness of strategies in this dynamic space.

In the recent episode of Spotlight by BuzzInContent, Khanna said, “I aspired to become an IAS officer, a childhood dream akin to the ambitions of becoming a doctor, engineer or pilot. I began my preparations right after completing my undergraduate studies, dedicating two and a half years to the endeavour. Each time I faced failure in the exams, I pushed myself to study harder, convinced that success was within reach. However, this pursuit became a relentless cycle, consuming my time and preventing me from exploring other opportunities.”

“Financial independence was also a goal I desired. To achieve it, I delved into freelancing, taking on content writing and social media-related projects. My inclination towards creativity, fostered during my school years as a part of the digital team, led me to discover my passion for content creation. A freelance project involving YouTube video creation became a turning point, prompting me to launch my own channel. This journey has had its share of ups and downs, demanding self-confidence and trust in the belief that success may someday be attainable – a leap of faith I was willing to take,” she added.

Khanna believes that being a full-time content creator is a viable career option in today's age but it's important to consider two key factors. Firstly, reaching this stage requires consistent effort, resilience and months, if not years, of dedication.

Second, the industry is highly dynamic, with opportunities constantly shifting. While it can provide sustainable income, it's wise to maintain multiple sources of revenue to ensure financial stability. This advice holds true not only for creators but for everyone, given the unpredictability of any profession, she added.

Sharing views regarding personal branding for creators, Khanna said that creating an additional income stream is crucial, especially when you have a dedicated and loyal audience. Leveraging your community's support to develop a product or offering they would value is a strategic move. Not every creator needs to establish a brand. It's a choice based on individual interests and opportunities. Monetisation options include workshops, courses and knowledge sharing, aside from traditional product-based branding ventures.

“I firmly believe that creators should retain a significant degree of creative control. Brands leverage our platforms and audiences to promote their products, so trust in our creative judgement is crucial. Often, brand mandates compromise the authenticity of content. For instance, brands sometimes request videos within a short time frame without allowing us to genuinely experience and assess their products. This issue resonates with many creators. While I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with some excellent brands, I had to decline certain campaigns because they insisted on rigid concepts that didn't align with my vision. It's essential for both parties to agree on a concept that ensures meaningful engagement rather than just producing an ad for the sake of it,” Khanna said.

“In this industry, fostering dialogue is essential, and I aspire to champion this cause. Brands need to engage in more dialogues, meetings, roundtables, or conferences regularly with creators to genuinely grasp what strategies are effective and what isn't. This collaborative approach is integral to our progress, and I'm committed to facilitating it,” she added.