How do you get to be an award winning food and travel blogger as well as a solopreneur, focusing on social media marketing, consultancy and management? And what is a solopreneur? Ask Binny Shah-Patel.
How Binny turned from banking to focusing on her blog and social media management
After a 10 year career in banking, Binny Shah-Patel made a drastic career change and decided to focus on her passion, a food and travel blog. She told us,
“I had been running my blog for two years whilst still running an investments platform as my day job. Limiting factors such as annual leave days allowance meant that I would sometimes miss opportunities to travel or attend events.
I had begun to make a second income from my blog through collaborations. I also had savings in the bank and the support of my husband, so I decided to take the leap, leave my career in banking and focus on my blog.
I had certain skills from my MSc. in Marketing, as well as from running the blog and my own social media platforms. These made me into a solopreneur, offering social media marketing and management services, as well as consultancy. This gave me a second income stream.”
The Lifestyle Binny Shah-Patel has now
Social media workers are a-plenty, but how many of them can turn a profit and have a nice lifestyle from this platform? Binny Shah-Patel has managed it.
“It does turn a profit for me as my overhead costs and expenses are relatively low. What I love most is the freedom I now have to travel, as I can work from anywhere in the world as long as I have my laptop, iPhone and WiFi. I am also able to schedule my day on my own terms and I have no regrets.”
Some journalists can receive invitations from businesses wanting coverage from them. We wondered if any opportunities had come Binny's way through social media. Yes! Came the reply.
“I have been lucky to have some amazing experiences. A few of them were attending the Latin America 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Mexico City in 2016, interviewing the legendary Antonio Carluccio, having dinner cooked by James Martin whilst on a cruise on the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, travelling to wonderful destinations and meeting some amazing individuals.”
What is Binny Shah-Patel’s own use of social media, apps and technology?
The tech-friendly Mrs Shah-Patel tells us,
“I use social media constantly. I check my own platforms as well as those of my clients regularly. I post frequently. I primarily use Instagram, where I have 13,900 followers, Facebook, where I have 8300 fans, Twitter, where I have 5400 followers, and Pinterest, although I hope to experiment with Podcasts and YouTube in the near future.
I use my iPhone 8, GoPro Hero 5 and a Canon DSLR Camera for photography.”
How Binny sees social media evolving
“I think social media will become more prominent in coming years. Platforms like Instagram are emerging as shoppable fronts, as an example. I also think the use of videos will become important. There's a trend already visible with the popular use of Facebook and Instagram Lives.
We wondered how much social media controls Binny Shah-Patel, and if she has her phone by her side 24/7. She appears to have a healthy attitude to her industry's tools.
“Due to the social media platforms being my primary work outlets I spend time switching between my own accounts and those of my clients on my phone. I do enforce a no phone rule for a couple of hours a day to relax, though.”
The importance of social media and its uses in 2018
“I think social media is important. It is where I find out news first, which is important in our increasingly volatile and unpredictable world. It can be used for good purposes, such as sharing wonderful causes, helping to find missing people, alerting people of danger, as well as for positivity.
My favourite example is from December 2017 when a newsagents in Twickenham, called Meet and Deep News posted a photo on their Facebook page with the message “We are open Christmas Day from 12-2 PM. If you are alone pop in for a hug and a mince pie! You don’t have to buy anything. We are family.” It went viral. It was shared in multiple Facebook groups and pages and was a wonderful way to spread Christmas cheer.https://binnyskitchen.com