Social Media Day 2020: Live Instagram Interview with Royal Brunei

On social media day this year (30 June 2020), in true life-after-COVID style, I had a fun live IG live moment with Royal Brunei.

Basically what happened was, a few days before they hosted this live session, they announced the live interview and posted a call for questions.

I was with the likes of Aziz Harun, Hasna B and Josh Cahill so that was such a fun experience. ❤ Thanks RB for the opportunity.

I’d also like to thank everyone who tuned in and commented! Eeeeee thank u thank you!

If you didnt manage to tune in, check my notes and answers (kinda) below! 🙂

Questions from RB:

How do you balance a full time job and social media?  Do they relate at all?

I work in communications and part of my job is to manage social media for the company I work at. So yes there is definitely a lot of overlap!

It works out fantastic for the company I work at obviously because I am in the industry and can provide insight on how to be the company that influencers are keen to work with, and they get to tap into my network, and trends etc.

However it sometimes means i have to turn down jobs – for example trips that overlap with important dates at work, or when competitors approach me.

When I get offers, for me it’s always my job first then social media. That said, thankfully, my work place seem to understand my ‘position’ and does allow me a good level of freedom to accept jobs.

Finding a niche – makeup/travel/food is it better to focus on one or a few when starting out?

It depends! Niches are excellent and brands love them but eventually i feel there should be some room to grow and express yourself and of course go out of the niche. 

Like my brand used to be associated with makeup, travel, but a new thing now is that I am a #plant mom – i find myself developing, creating, following a community of likeminded first time plant moms like myself too!

So no, I love it when one lets the creative expression grow in this organic way. At the end of the day, if you put 100% work and passion, and do something really well that’s the thing that followers love.

My thinking is while it’s good to have a niche, dont let it rigidly define you and let it dictate what you cannot do – allow yourself to grow beyond it.

Tips for landing your first sponsorship/gig?

As someone with insider’s info, both from the perspective of the Brand, as well as the influencer:

  • Get your media kit sorted! Brands love it when you have a solid media kit (something like a CV or portfolio for influencers) – gives them something tangible to look at and deliberate
  • Be professional! Treat all brands – whether it’s small instagram startups or big corporates – the same. With respect, kindness and professionalism. 
  • Negotiation skills! Know what you are worth, understand the needs of the brand you are working with and meet halfway. If they are unable to meet the value you’ve set, ask yourself why are u doing this? Is the reason you are doing this stronger than your need to be paid a certain amount? Find a balance and decide what is fair.

Questions from Public:

How do you put money aside for your travels, including air, hotel, shopping, music?

This is my favourite question!

I love love traveling – and since I don’t have a money tree growing outside, I do save an amount every month – consistently. There’s no secret to always having money to travel – just save! Save and save more!

In the beginning just a little but as my destinations get more and more exotic, more HAHA. 

In each destination, I have a wishlist. Priorities are experiences – like in Cappadoccia, I MUST go on a hot air balloon. In Morocco I must go to stay with bedouins in the desert. Non priorities are stuff like shopping, and expensive hotels. 

Not to say I never stay in an expensive hotel but maybe i can kind of stay in one for 1 night and the rest in an Airbnb. So think about what are things and experiences that are important to you and work towards that budget. If it means staying in hostels or walking all the time? Then so be it. 

What is your favourite country and why?

Every destination is unique and I love them all.

BUT if i have to choooooose  gun to my head — Japan! 

I love everything about it – food, culture, tech, people. No matter if I’m in the bigger cities of the smaller quieter towns, I feel safe and welcomed. And though language can be a bit problematic I really dont mind and find it as part of the charm.

In what ways can you see blogging can contribute in the development of our country?

(What a question! Thank you for asking)

I’ve been around online for over 10 years now  and have seen social media really change our economic landscape.

Starting a business? The first place the easiest place you wanna start is definitely on social media. You’d build a blog or an Instagram page, put your information on it. You need artwork, images – so you get designers, photographers. Then when you wanna grow more, you work on collaborating with influencers. This not democratizes the information – but also fuels the economy and create jobs.

Back then as recent as 10 years ago, having a creative job for full time employment is unheard of, now you see so many graphic designers, animators, artists, photographers, etc and I think that’s because social media really enabled these career choices to thrive.

Another way social media has contributed to Brunei’s development: raising awareness of our awesomeness. We are the ones who create content about ourselves – when bloggers/online content creators talk about Brunei – it raises our profile as a country. We’re not just this small country in South East Asia with oil money and syariah law. I mean we are but that’s just a small part of who we are – Brunei is also a thriving place with amazing virgin rainforests, beautiful sunsets, delicious food and most importantly creative, welcoming and kind people who have so much to offer!

Hope you enjoyed that! Have a lovely lovely international social media day!

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