For Javyriah Rajput, one of Pakistan’s most popular social influencer, her digital popularity spills over into her life.
With over a million followers, primarily young women seeking fashion advice, the 24-year-old is regularly stopped by admirers at shopping malls and restaurants for selfies.
But she hasn’t let this fame get to her head, which is why she was able to come to terms with the overnight loss of a majority of her followers following a temporary ban on Chinese video-sharing app TikTok.
It also helped that she had diversified to other platforms, primarily Instagram, where her shared photos regularly get tens of thousands of likes and comments from her legion of followers. This makes her a very tempting prospect for brands, which she has turned into a reliable revenue stream.
Javyriah says the secret of her success is ensuring consistency in posting and to learn from one’s mistakes.
“I began my social media career while still a teenager in 2014,” she says. Having started from Facebook, she soon moved to Twitter, where she joined with a group of people to create trends.
The early success resulted in her expanding to Instagram, and then to Musical.ly, where she was soon ‘crowned’, or made a verified user. It was later merged with TikTok, where Javyriah found a rather die-hard following, with over a million followers and tens of millions of interactions.
But a lot goes into reaching a point where you generate content that compels users to follow you, insists Javyriah.
“I would advise all new creators to try to focus on the content and don’t get disheartened when the views don’t come.”
She says it demands persistence and determination. “You need to set a schedule for yourself and adhere to it.”
She adds that good lighting and a stable camera are some of the basics content creators can ill-afford to disregard. “You also must learn how to edit videos,” she urges content creators, and says not to upload raw, unedited footage.
Talking about the ban on TikTok, she said that it was wrong to judge an entire platform based on a few profiles. She acknowledged that there were issues with community guidelines on TikTok where people make short videos and lip-sync to popular songs, but added that the Chinese app-makers were strengthening checks and removing questionable content with much greater frequency than before. This opinion was inline with the swift removal of the said ban after Bytedance, TikTok’s parent company, assured PTA of strict action in moderation of content.
The young influencer did opine, though, that such actions would send the wrong message to big technology firms thinking of investing in Pakistan.
“It will also hurt people who rely on such platforms for revenue generation.”
For Javyriah, who recently became a mother, family support has been instrumental in her success. “My parents were very supportive of my efforts and encouraged me to try new things.”
She has been equally fortunate in terms of her marriage partner, an English language teacher, who also ‘pulls his weight’ in taking care of the baby.
She also credits her spouse for ensuring she didn’t feel like a stranger in Karachi, where she moved to from Faisalabad.
This means that even with looking after a toddler, Javyriah has managed to maintain her schedule and strike a balance between her personal and professional life.
“I try to upload at least 2 videos to my YouTube channel every week to make sure that my audience is not disappointed.