113 episodes

The Business of Blogging, Photography, Influencer Marketing & Professionalism, specifically from the point of view of India.

I bring 16 years of experience working as a professional photographer, artist, social media influencer & business consultant to the "podcast-table".

Online Brand Building, Social Media Strategy, Influencer Marketing for Brands, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, The Business of Photography, Professionalism & Pricing, Pricing Your Services, Professional Photography in India, Launching Your Brand Online etc. are just some of the subjects I talk about.

The Naina Redhu Experience | Digital Marketing, Social Media, Online Brand Building in India Naina Redhu

    • Business
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

The Business of Blogging, Photography, Influencer Marketing & Professionalism, specifically from the point of view of India.

I bring 16 years of experience working as a professional photographer, artist, social media influencer & business consultant to the "podcast-table".

Online Brand Building, Social Media Strategy, Influencer Marketing for Brands, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, The Business of Photography, Professionalism & Pricing, Pricing Your Services, Professional Photography in India, Launching Your Brand Online etc. are just some of the subjects I talk about.

    Naina's Monday Ask Me Anything 29th June 2020

    Naina's Monday Ask Me Anything 29th June 2020

    Workshops : workshopsbynaina.com

    Art Shop : khaosphilos.com

    Subscribe to the Newsletter : naina.co/newsletter

    Any photography session in the coming weeks?

    Yes! Definitely one free webinar for an hour where I plan to talk about the absolute basics for those of us who know a good photo when we see it but don't know how to get there.

    And then a 2-3 hour structured workshop taking participants step-by-step through the basics whether they have a smartphone or DSLR.

    Both in July!

    (Announcements are always first made on the newsletter, swipe up to subscribe.)


    If I want to start a brand/business online how important it is and how difficult/easy it is to register the business?

    It is important to get everything done officially in line with existing laws / procedures of your country. I work solo, so I have a Sole Proprietorship registration. Best to start the process early.

    Definitely retain the services of a good CA (Chartered Accountant) to help you out with this. This stuff can get complicated when your grow, best to hire someone who knows what they're doing & can help you make informed decisions. I recommend Pallav Narang & have worked with him for more than a decade.

    Don't forget things like Trademarks etc.


    As a professional freelancer, how important is it to invest in software?

    It isn't an investment, it is a necessary business expense. Anything that helps me reduce time spent on doing tasks, I will happily pay for. For example, I pay for CoSchedule, which is a social media scheduling & marketing calendar software. INR 18,000 for the year. It is less than a monthly salary I would have to pay to hire someone on my team to do that. I used to think, "I am efficient, I can schedule manually, why waste all that money?" Now I think, "Why waste time, it's only about Rs. 1,000 per month!"

    Similarly Adobe Creative Cloud subscription : I can edit images, videos, create illustrations, create invoice template & e-books, illustrate logos etc. all in one connected suite of software. Yes, some free alternatives exist - that one has to evaluate & see what works.

    Would you want someone to steal your work and make money off of it? That's what we do when we pirate software. Practice what you preach.


    How do you overcome a creative block?

    My problem is usually the opposite : I have so many ideas & I can never find the time to execute all of them. I cannot recall if I've ever had a creative block.

    I guess the key for me is that I have absolutely no qualms about failing - even publicly. I mean, I am a sore loser but I get over it quickly. It is better to experiment, fail quickly & move on to the next thing, than hesitate to do something, take forever to do it & then not quit even when you can see that it's not working. I have this urge to "get it out there" aka "publish" because I am dying every day - literally. And if I'm actually DEAD dead, then I won't get to do shit.

    Creative block is just fear of failure IMO. Make 10 paintings, all 10 are trash. Make 10 more, those are also trash. Make 10 more and maybe 1 is decent. Who are you to decide? Make, publish. Your job is to create the art.


    Which varnish is suitable to use for paintings done on MDF with paint pens?

    What is the trick to coating varnish evenly over a surface without it dripping to the back?

    • 9 min
    Naina's Monday Ask Me Anything 22nd June 2020

    Naina's Monday Ask Me Anything 22nd June 2020

    How do you differentiate between positive criticism & unwanted advice?

    "Criticism" has two definitions : "the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes" & "the analysis and judgement of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work".

    The former is negative & unhelpful. The latter can be helpful in identifying weaknesses.

    Rarely will you find someone critiquing you / your work unless they themselves are invested in you, your work, your growth or the subject / industry. If you've paid them for their advice, if their previous advice has been helpful, if they are known to you, if they have been through the same things that you are going through, then consider their advice with a pinch of salt.

    If it's an internet stranger, ignore them entirely.

    Book recommendation : Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (swipe up).

    How do you focus between your different ventures?

    I could do better in this department. For now, I'm forced to consider the possibility that my photography career might never recover from COVID19, so I have more time to focus on my hand-painted brooches & my workshops.

    Simple equation : how many workshops (how many participants / subjects, without diluting my brand) should I do in a year so that I can earn enough to cover my Cost Of Doing Business (CODB). Same for Brooches : how many do I have to sell in a year? And then work backwards & invest time accordingly. Works the same for every product / service / brand.

    Can you share something about Twitter, as a social media platform?

    Like any other platform, it is great if we know how to put it to use. I see it as more geared towards sharing expertise / positioning yourself as an expert. Sharing news about you / your brand. Getting newsletter subscribers (again, dependent on subject matter / industry). Engaging in longer text discussions, which are visible publicly. Reaching out to other experts in your industry & engaging with them. I haven't sold anything via Twitter but I have had people visit my blog, download desktop wallpapers & appreciate my photography over the years. Depending on a brand's target audience, if it includes young people, those will rarely be found on Twitter.

    Your Twitter feed can be highly customized, which is not possible on any other social media platform. Don't want to see anything related to "Trump"? You can mute the word "Trump" & even if someone you know tweets about him, you won't see it. You want a chronological feed? You got it.

    Will an Instagram blog work as well as a WordPress blog?

    Instagram is not a blogging platform. It is a social networking service / app. An Instagram page is not a blog. Writing Instagram captions is not "blogging".

    Blogging is a much larger activity than simply posting on Instagram. If you have an Instagram page, technically, you don't own it - you have very little control over it. If you have your own website / blog, you own all of what you produce and post.

    It is always better to have a website & blog and then, presence on a handful of leading social media networks.

    Workshops : workshopsbynaina.com

    Art Shop : khaosphilos.com

    Subscribe to the Newsletter : naina.co/newsletter

    • 8 min
    Naina's Monday Ask Me Anything 15th June 2020

    Naina's Monday Ask Me Anything 15th June 2020

    As a new brand / creator, how do I get visibility? How will people get to know about me?

    ...... Online + offline approach.

    1. Do / make / be good quality.
    2. Meet people in-person / interact online.
    3. Talk about what you do, consistently. Share.
    4. Repeat. Give it time.

    If you have money, advertise to reach larger audience for the purpose of brand awareness. Or, be born into an already famous family.
    Think, #GoalKyaHai : why do you / your brand want visibility? Define "visibility". Who is "people"? What does their "knowing" you entail?


    ...... Your advice to someone who has just begun blogging.
    Why are you blogging?
    What's the goal?
    Are you trying to make a living? Are you trying to document your life / work / journey?
    If you continually remind yourself of your goals, you'll do a better job of being consistent and actually doing the blogging. Goals can be tweaked as you go along. Consistent blogging with a soul is a pain in the ass. Even after 16 years of blogging, I still have to remind myself, "I must blog more consistently!"


    First words, which you think of, when you hear "happiness".
    Ranikhet. With the family.
    (The family : mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, husband & I : we try to take an annual vacation driving down to Ranikhet & staying there for a week or so. Swipe up to see all the posts and photos from those trips on my blog and I guess the "happiness" is evident!)
    Thank you for asking. Brought back lovely memories.


    ...... Can you do a workshop on basic product photography for a website?

    ...... Yes! I have been thinking of creating a workshop module for something on these lines. Perhaps "Basics of SmartPhone Photography for Small Business Owners". What do you think? Maybe I'll start with a free webinar to gauge interest and find a direction. Subscribe to the newsletter if you'd like to know about any upcoming workshops!


    ...... Buy me a beer : naina.co/beer
    ...... Newsletter : naina.co/newsletter ......
    Workshops : naina.co/workshops
    Art : naina.co/art

    • 13 min
    Selling Art On Etsy: Should I Do It? #TheNainaRedhuExperience 107

    Selling Art On Etsy: Should I Do It? #TheNainaRedhuExperience 107

    TLDR : No. Don’t.
    Some of the reasons that I’ve been able to think of why selling on Etsy is a bad idea for your brand and business :
    You, your shop, your brand and your livelihood is at the mercy of Etsy’s Algorithm. If they decide to de-incentivize the category of products under which you’re selling, how are you going to battle that? You simply cannot. It is similar to the complaint most of us have with the Instagram Algorithm : Organic Reach is at an all-time low and we can do absolutely nothing to change it except buy Instagram ads. But Etsy makes you pay for a listing even before you have experience with their algorithm. So you pay for the listing, you pay 5% of each sale and you still need to buy promotional ad space on the Etsy platform? Fuck off.

    Are you trying to grow your own business or are you trying to contribute to Etsy’s shareholders? You are the product that Etsy is selling to it’s shareholder and YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY TO BE ON THE PLATFORM.
    If it is a commodity, you could even think of selling it via Amazon. Why stop at Etsy? If, however, you are attempting to build a brand ( which is a long-term process ), why would you dilute your brand’s value by listing it on another platform? You’re selling Art, not decorative items. There’s a difference.
    Starting your shop on Etsy first means that that’s where you send all Internet Search traffic. If you do decide to shut down your shop a few months / years down the line and launch an online shop on your own domain, Internet Search is still going to take people first to Etsy where they are bound to get distracted. Own your brand and domain from the get-go.
    What happens to all the work you put into Etsy if Etsy shuts down? Yes every platform faces that inevitability – heck, even the entire Internet might shut down some day ( which would probably mean that the existence of this planet might be in question! ). Are you going to make brand decisions based on what Etsy is going through or are you going to make decisions based on what’s ideal for your own brand?
    If you teach yourself the skills to run your own shop on your own domain and tie in all the elements of your supply chain, it will serve you better in the long run. You will learn more and you will not need to depend on any one platform for the success and growth of your brand.

    $0.20 to make a listing. ( You can make as many listings as you want, on your own shop. This money that’s you’re paying Etsy is even before you’ve made any money selling on their platform. If you’re going to pay them prior to making any money yourself, I would suggest you much rather invest that money in creating Instagram / Facebook ads that bring curious visitors to your own shop directly. )
    5% of each sale. ( For doing what exactly? Use Instamojo.com instead : they charge 3% of each sale, are specific to India so you can use Credit Cards, NetBanking, UPI etc. AND they will set you up with an excellent shipping partner as well. )

    You can do literally whatever you like for the product listing page on your own store – you do not have that option when listing with Etsy. Etsy’s platform has various restrictions, not just limited to the dimensions of images / videos.

    Far too many reason to not be on Etsy. I really do not see any reason to be on the platform – at least my own KhaosPhilos Art Label will never be seen on Etsy. There is only one place where my art is available to buy : on my online shop......
    #EtsyReview, #EtsyShop, #EtsyBusiness, #SellingOnEtsy, #HowToSellOnEtsy, #MakeMoneyOnEtsy, #ShouldISellOnEtsy, #Etsy, #SellingOnline, #EtsyIndia

    • 12 min
    5 Questions on Naina's Monday AMA, 8th June 2020

    5 Questions on Naina's Monday AMA, 8th June 2020

    How to make a shift from Freelancing to Professional when it comes to Photography?

    A Freelancer is someone who is self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments. A Freelancer is a Professional. "Free" + "Lance" : a medieval mercenary - a professional hired to do a job. A Professional might be a Freelancer or an Employee of an Organization. Maybe you're not taking yourself seriously as a Photographer & think that "freelancing" means "hobby"?

    The new Instagram algorithm has turned organic reach into a trickle. Is there a way to get around it?

    No way to get around it until you're the CEO of Instagram. Instagram will do whatever it needs to do to stay profitable. Instagram is a business and you are their product. If your business strategy is to rely only on Instagram - or any other social media channel, there's going to be nothing but disappointment in the future. You want to reach more people? Who are those people? Paid clients? Blog visitors? YouTube subscribers or YouTube viewers? Instagram Followers? Why? #GoalKyaHai Establish these and then go from there. What is "reach" and why do you care?

    Can you please suggest how to get students for my Podcast Workshop?

    Advertise ( paid ads are an option ), build the workshop brand, figure out the sales funnel, etc. The approach would be similar to any brand wanting to get paying clients / customers. ( For brand-specific advice - whether podcast brand / jewellery brand / whatever brand, I'm available for hire for a consulting session. Swipe up to read more and book. )

    IGTV or YouTube. Which one is the future of video content?

    Neither platform is going anywhere anytime soon. In both, you are at the mercy of an algorithm that you don't have any control over. Video is especially complicated when it comes to "owning" your content. Rare to find an individual who can afford to host their own video. YT & IGTV are both video distribution & hosting platforms and they rule the roost. YT more than IGTV currently. I don't see that equation changing.

    How can one find the audience for art? Or does the audience find the creator / artist?

    Depends on how one defines "audience". Is this audience going to admire my art from a distance? Or is this audience going to pay for and purchase my art? Or is this audience going to "like" the photos of my art that I post on Instagram? In all this, however, the bare minimum an artist must do : make art, document art ( process / final piece ), show art ( online / offline by way of still photographs / video etc. ). If one doesn't SHOW it, there will be no audience.

    • 13 min
    The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast Moves to Spotify : What Does That Mean? #Podcasting #SocialMedia #Spotify

    The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast Moves to Spotify : What Does That Mean? #Podcasting #SocialMedia #Spotify

    Read related blog post here on the Naina.co blog.

    Naina Redhu is a professional photographer. Her career, spanning 16 years, started with an MBA in IT & Systems, to a job as an Innovation Management Consultant, to branding & graphic design work for international clients, to a full-time solo-entrepreneurship as an Experience Collector. Naina has her own podcast called The Naina Redhu Experience, where she talks about the business & professional aspects of photography, blogging & influencer marketing in India. She started her blog 16 years ago & it has evolved from writing about Creativity & Innovation, to sharing case studies about Branding & Graphic Design to, finally, a destination for some of the leading Luxury & Lifestyle brands as Naina writes features for these brands & photographs them.

    Her abstract art, under the KhaosPhilos label can be shopped on the Naina.co online store & she is available for bespoke commissions as well.

    “The New Rules of Online Brand Building”, Naina’s on-ground workshop, recently wrapped up its 7th Edition. Launched in 2018, “Workshops By Naina” is going to be seeing more editions across the country & online.

    Having traveled all over India as a child ( the advantage of having a father serving in the Indian Army ), she is also well-traveled across Europe ( Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy & France ), Asia ( Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, & Vietnam ), America ( New York, Los Angeles & San Francisco ), Canada & the Middle East.

    For those who are not located in / around NCR & are hence unable to attend Naina’s workshops, she is available for online video consultation sessions.

    Naina is also available for hire as a Speaker. She has been invited as a Keynote Speaker at a blogging conference & also speaks about the business of photography in India. Always learning & evolving online, she has presence across several online platforms.

    I started working in the Influencer Marketing space in 2009 both as an Influencer myself & as someone who provides advice & consultations to Brands on this subject. I focus specifically on this industry in the Indian context.

    Website | Blog | Shop | Workshops | Art | Consult
    Instagram | Twitter | Facebook Page | YouTube Channel | | Podcast | TikTok | Pinterest
    Naina's art label KhaosPhilos on Instagram | WorkshopsByNaina on Instagram | For business enquiries, speaking engagements, consultation sessions & collaborations, email: n@naina.co

    • 11 min

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