With 3 million-plus followers o Instagram, Mrunal Panchal AKA Mrunu has been creating waves in the make-up industry owing to her eccentric looks and glam attitude. Recently, the social media star has been onboarded by Triller as the ultimate Glam Guru where she looks forward to mentoring users about the different facets of makeup.
In a conversation with Social Nation, Mrunal Panchal reveals some interesting details about her journey as a new-age content creator, social media challenges, being on Triller, and more.
How do you manage to have an identity other than that on social media?
I think it’s very important for artists, creators, inﬂuencers, or just anyone in the public eye to practice a little detachment from your public identity. It takes a while to accept that you are not just the content you produce, the way you look, or how people on the internet perceive you. You’re a whole human being with friends and family, maybe even diﬀerent hopes and dreams.
This is not to say that it’s an easy feat, It also took me a while to do that for myself. For some reason, all of us tend to want to force others into a singular idea of who we think they, the subject of our observation should be, I feel like it comes from wanting to control other people’s narrative as a way to feel secure – what helps me is to be cognizant of this and focussing my energy on being my most authentic self.
I mean I also enjoy singing simply for the fun of it, but it’s not something I put on my handles, because that is just for me to enjoy and share with my family and friends. I don’t care about it being validated through my internet popularity or likes or brand deals or what have you.
I think trying to reach that balance is very important for everyone, regardless of your profession so that it’s not what you “do” that is dictating “who” you are.
What’s that one thing that always motivates you to wake up from your bed?
I do love my work. It gives me purpose and my passion. It is what fuels me.
Other than that loads and loads of coﬀee (laughs). No, but seriously I am grateful that I get to do what I love for a living – it has taken me across the world and I’ve had an incredible opportunity to meet so many amazing people.
In addition to work taking care of my health is very important for me – I mean no matter how pumped you are about your goals in life if your body and mind are struggling it’ll slow you down – so yeah what gets me out of bed is my love and passion for my work powered by good health.
How do you deal with creative block and also what is your take on mental health issues teenagers are facing these days due to social media?
So creativity blocks are inevitable, you know? There’s always going to come a time when you’re just stuck. To combat this at the outset itself, to reduce such incidents as much as possible I maintain a schedule of when I create content. That way you don’t have to wait for motivation to strike you, you have a structure you follow and your mind knows it is time for the creative juices to start ﬂowing.
During this process I make sure I am not getting too hung up on perfection, the idea is to have a good mix of quality and get the job done. Having said that, I am only human. So when I reach a point where I just can’t get myself to create new content or feel like it’s getting repetitive – I take a step back and take a break away from everything.
Then once when I’m feeling centered and more collected I take a stab at it with a fresh outlook. Most of us underestimate the role of consistency in creating content – which doesn’t mean to keep torturing yourself about failing to create but to have a structure that allows you to step away but also holds you accountable.
Also Read: SN Spotlight: The reaction and engagement on my Reels really helped in growing my audience- Rahi Chadda
When it comes to mental health, it’s unfortunate how we are dealing with our own and other people’s presence on social media. I don’t want to sit here and sermonize that, you know, it is all just in your hands, and people are not trying hard enough to take care of their mental health, etc – because social media is everywhere.
I do hope all of us, especially kids can ﬁnd the help we need and realize that what you see your favorite creator doing is not the whole truth about their lives. As cliche as it is – that is the highlight reel of people’s lives. So I wish that teenagers would get rid of this idea that folks on the internet have it all ﬁgured out and somehow that speaks to a lack of their ability.
It’s not true – success on the internet is an amalgamation of a lot of things going right including some bit of luck. Having said that, I don’t know how we can ﬁx this immediately but I do hope that we can reach a point where the internet is a safer, healthier place for everyone.
How was your collaboration with Triller can you brief us about that?
I particularly enjoy how easily one can create videos on Triller. The app uses AI to make the process buttery smooth. Also, my association with Triller has got me the opportunity to be the Renee Glam Guru Mentor. This is what I love about the platform, they connect people to the right brands.
Renee as a brand believes in the incredible artistic capacity of using makeup and have designed their products to maximize the beneﬁt for the everyday woman, which is right up my alley.
Also, I can’t tell you how excited I am about the second round #GlamLikeMrunu – the participants are going to recreate my makeup looks, I can’t wait to see that. Plus of course, the point of this collaboration and the contest is to help aspiring makeup artists kick start their careers. It’s one thing to put up makeup content online, and it’s great if you get recognition for it.
But to be able to turn that passion into opportunities to have a career is not a chance everybody gets and that’s why it’s special to me. I will also meet the contestants, we’re putting together an exclusive master class. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
How do you plan to integrate your expertise in make-up and fashion with the Glam guru universe?
Personally, when I’m making content, it sort of ﬂows. Inspiration can strike anywhere, taking a walk in the park with all the colors, someone on the road wearing geometrical eyeliner watching your favorite show, then I give it a whole new spin, maybe add my personal touch.
Or I’ll come up with something entirely new. What’s fun about this is how widely it diﬀers from one person to another. I ﬁnd that very exciting – there is something so fascinating about individuality that inevitably shows through creating makeup looks. So for the most part I am just really thrilled to be able to witness this through Glam Guru, with so many participants from across the country.
As far as mentoring goes I plan to help make the process of creating makeup looks to be showcased on the internet easier for them, things like what works for the camera, lighting, how colors show up and get to connect with them. It’ll be a lot of fun.
What is the one trend on social media that you’re hooked on?
I love makeup and looks transitions but currently, my absolute favorite is the #dropit challenge on the Triller app.
One piece of advice to your old self when you just start your content creation?
It’s just the beginning, so don’t worry too much about what’s going to happen in the future. Enjoy the process and please be patient because eventually, everything is going to work out. I feel a little secure now that I have established myself, but I would just tell my younger self to chill out and shift focus from the result to the journey.
Nobody knows what’s going to happen in the future, after a point it’s out of your hands. So just do the best you can, be honest with yourself, and keep at it.
What is the key to creating content with good engagement?
That may depend on the platform you’re putting your content on. But at the core of it is always just a few simple things. Without these, you could keep trying to ﬁgure out algorithms and whatnot, you won’t be able to build a following that trusts you.
First of course is to be authentic – audiences are smart and don’t appreciate content just being shoved down their throats. So ﬁgure out what you as a creator genuinely connect with. When that is the case you don’t have to force your passion for it – it just shows. Next is to be consistent, this space is evolving at a rapid pace, so to maintain a share of voice it’s important to be consistent.
Lastly, I think engaging with your audience, once you have people enjoying your content it’s important to genuinely connect with them.
Then of course one must ﬁgure out how to best leverage the platform – for instance, I ﬁnd on Triller using trending sounds and music is a great way to get your content traction.
Looking back when and how did you start your content creation journey?
My content creation journey started when I was in college. I have always loved makeup and face painting. I started putting diﬀerent looks online and then it just sort of took a whole life of its own, you know how I have a career doing it.
What are your thoughts on the monetization tools that social media platforms oﬀer how have you been beneﬁting from them?
Sure there are several monetization tools available today but most of the money that inﬂuencers make is from brand deals.
A lot of creators, especially new ones, think they can stand out as an inﬂuencer for brands to notice by gaining social media followers – that is not the case entirely. Being an inﬂuencer is a personal brand, which is not based purely on the number of followers you have.
Marketers who know now that the current generation and the previous one prefer social media over traditional channels don’t just look for general popularity – they care about personal branding and positioning.
If you’re in the “business” of social media – where you’d like to make money oﬀ of your content this understanding is very important.