Creator economy is the future: Social media creator Faisal Shaikh
Faisal Shaikh is among the most sought after creators today — popularly known as Mr. Faisu, Shaikh has amassed as many as 58 million followers on short video app Josh and another whopping 28 million on Instagram. This was, however, not achieved in a day. There was a time when Shaikh worked as a salesman in one of the many unbranded shops in Mumbai’s bustling Linking Road market. He was an avid follower of social media but had never hoped that he would be the face of the ecosystem someday — thanks to the digital boom India embraced riding on the back of cheap internet, providing room for a plethora of digital platforms to flourish.
Shaikh, whose tryst with digital video curation began with Dubsmash some four to five years back, went on to garner 24 million followers on TikTok and was close to closing gaps with the Chinese platform’s then leading creator in the world when the app was abruptly banned in India, disheartening many. “Had the app not been banned, I would have been the platform’s number one creator in the world,” says Shaikh. The birth of homegrown short video platforms like Josh and Moj ensured that creators like Shaikh continue to find their footing in the corridors of social media.
Shaikh says that the creator ecosystem has undergone a sea change over the past years. Today, a small and a big creator alike are getting opportunities to work with brands and engage in other promotional activities. “There is scope in this space... you just have to build yourself and your positioning. Everyone wants to become a creator today as this is a space where everyone can showcase their talent. The fact that I went on from being a social media follower to a social media creator makes me happy,” says Shaikh.
His advice to aspiring creators is to be regular in terms of posting content and to be distinct when it comes to curating the content slate. “Trends change everyday... it can be good, it may not be that great... but you have to choose and you have to stand out in terms of your content. Also, make good content throughout because building a good audience is crucial to building your positioning. Brands take note of your audience,” says Shaikh. Shaikh loves what he does. “I have never taken leave for myself. I feel I am in a good place today,” he signs off.