Eeeeeeek! *takes a deep breath to calm down*
So recently, I came upon an idea. I wanted to interview someone that I looked up to in the Business world. Therefore, I emailed Chaitra (whose emails I adore and wait for) who is the founder and owner of PinkPot – a blog about design and photography, asking her if she’d do an interview with me. And she said yes! Her blog is all about helping creatives make their businesses stand out with stellar photography and design. Aside from blogging, she develops websites for creative entrepreneurs and teaches photography courses and workshops to creatively-driven women.
This is a little interview of Chaitra. Read on to find out how she got into photography, narrowed down her blogging niche and made a living by blogging and designing. She’s even shared her tips for finding clients and building a successful online presence.
Without further ado, here’s Chaitraaaaaa!
Tell me a little bit about yourself, Chaitra.
Hey there! I am the dreamer, founder, all-hats-wearer behind PinkPot, a design and photography studio for creative entrepreneurs. An year and a half ago, I quit the corporate software world to pursue my passion and haven’t looked back ever since. Its one of the biggest decisions I’ve had to make, but I am glad I did it!
What made you start a blog? Is this your first blog? What was the experience like when you first started?
Yes, PinkPot is my first blog/website. 3 years ago, I moved from India to the United States for a research scholarship at the Carnegie Mellon University. I was away from my family and friends and suddenly had lots of time on my hands. So I started PinkPot as a beauty and lifestyle blog to journal my interests in beauty and happenings of everyday life. But within the first few months, I realized that my passion was in the web design and photography aspects of blogging, so I slowly transitioned into starting my own design business. Phew!
How did you get into photography? Because dayum, your photographs are so chic and beautiful!
Ha ha, thanks 🙂 I got into photography because of blogging. I didn’t know the ABC of photography before that. Once I started, I quickly realized that photos were a really important part of growing a blog. So I taught myself photography. Basically a lot of reading, googling, practice by trial and error (read pulling out hair 😉 ) got me going with it. And now I LOVE it 🙂 It is a great creative outlet to immerse myself in when I want to get away from the technical parts of running a business.
Why ‘PinkPot’? What is the story behind its name?
Ah good question! Actually there is only rhythm, no reason behind the name. My favorite color is pink. So when I decided to start a blog, I was just trying out some names in my head. And PinkPot just struck. I liked the sound of it. It was short and catchy. It had an alliteration. It was easy to remember. So I just went with it. But now as my brand has evolved, I feel the name embraces the community and growth aspects of my brand which I love. I’ve tried to imbibe this concept into my logo.
When did you feel that your blog started resonating with your audience? How long did it take you to narrow down your niche and find your true calling?
Without a doubt, my audience started to grow once I started taking better pictures for the blog. But it took me close to an year to figure out exactly what I wanted to write about. I realized that beauty and lifestyle were just my interests but there was no way of helping my audience through these posts. I wanted to share what I knew with my audience. So I transitioned to writing about design, photography and business and have stuck with that ever since. Also I feel the whole “finding your niche” thing is an evolving process. It keeps changing as you grow as a person too. Right?
You recently revamped your website. Why? Tell me a little bit about the process.
Oh yes. Although I enjoyed writing about photography, my business was mainly design-centric in 2015 which was when I first branded my business. But in 2016, in addition to design, photography became a huge part of my business too in terms of creating stock photos, styled brand shoots and e-courses.Now my brand focuses on helping creative entrepreneurs build an effective visual strategy for their businesses via both design and photography. So I rebranded to bring in this vision into my brand and website.
If you are curious, I wrote a blog post all about my rebranding process, you can read it here!
For people who are new to blogging or have been blogging for just a year, what tips would you like to give them to help them grow their online presence?
My biggest tip would be to do things your way. Write about things you are passionate about. Do things that seems authentic and right to you. Run your blog and business the way that feels true to you. Sure, it can be tempting to do things the way others do it – especially when they are seeing success through it. But there is no way you ‘ll stand out if you do things like everybody else. Be unique. Be authentic. And you’ll see your audience grow! But most importantly, I think it pays to be patient. Growing an audience can take time and it is really important to give it the time and space to grow organically.
You have a blog, an online shop, you juggle client work and you’re launching a brand new course. How do you do it all? The public must know!
Ha ha 🙂 I won’t lie, it is hard. Sometimes it is messy too in the background. Things almost never go as planned. But that’s the whole beauty of running a business. I love the unpredictable nature of it which makes me super excited to get to work every morning. I try to keep all my projects organized using Asana, which is a life saver. Also setting strict work boundaries has helped me be more productive and get more done this year.
What are a few things you feel people should keep in mind when they are trying to search for their first clients?
Patience and strategy. First it is important to understand that it takes time. And second, you need a strategy to attract the right clients to your business. For me, blogging brought me my first best clients through which my business took off. I think the most important thing here is that whatever your marketing method maybe, it is super important to build trust with your audience. Your audience needs to trust you to work with you. So building that trust by providing immense value to them is the key to get started!
Enlighten me about your course. What makes this photography course different from the rest out there?
My new and first course is all about iPhone photography. Photos are extremely important for growing a blog or a business – whether it is on Pinterest or Instagram or for product photos . And while starting a business, it is hard to afford a DSLR and dedicate the time to learn to use it. So I created this course to help creative entrepreneurs take high-quality photos using their iPhone 🙂
You can check out the course here.
What are your future goals for PinkPot?
I am definitely dreaming up some big things for my studio this year. Collaborative design is on the cards. I am hoping to expand and bring in some designers and web developers onboard to work on client projects. Meanwhile, I want to create more e-courses about photography and design for creatives. We ‘ll see how it all goes. For now, I am taking a little break to travel Europe in the summer. Looking forward to it!
And that’s all for now. Don’t forget to check out Chaitra’s amazing iphone photography course right here!
Do you take your own photos for your blog? Or do you use Stock photos? Or do you have a completely different approach? (because I use my very own illustrations in my blog posts) Let me know your views in the comments below!