With more than 40,000 subscribers and 2.3 million views till date, Chetna Vasishth of ChetChat is riding the YouTube high. An XLRI Jamshedpur alumnus, she has setup a channel that defies benchmark numbers for Indian web-based talk shows.
Establishing authentic virality, is one step ahead of generating advertorial revenue.
While many YouTubers dream of launching successful talk shows that attract hundreds of thousands of views, with the aim of monetizing these into a respectable revenue source, Chetna Vasishth has gone a step ahead and established an actual talk-show, which caters to an established demographic of students aged 13 to 25. 70% of her viewers are from India, and her channel - which serves career advice, passion-to-profession tips and successful video stories, is now viewed in over 140 nations.
This is an Exclusive Interview with Chetna (Founder, ChetChat), as a part of the #TimesStories initiative by The Times Blog.
ChetChat has touched upon a space that still remains largely aspirational for Indian content creators. What inspired you to launch a business on YouTube?
All ‘Bout Communication (ABC) is a boutique PR firm. We cater to several lifestyle brands and act as an extended marketing arm for them. Our aim is to not just help a brand create or achieve the desired positioning, but also facilitate them to smoothly run their communication division by bridging the gaps, as and where required.
The objective of All Bout Communication is to create a timeline of campaigns suitable for the diversifying and unique needs of the brand. Having spent years in the industry and 4 years back during the start of my entrepreneurial journey, I learnt that most of the firms have a hectic and toxic work environment. My vision was to, therefore, build a working space that is free from such elements as we spend most of our awake hours at work and if it is not a relaxed place to work at, leads to frustration and unproductivity beyond a point. After all, we all now know that employees don’t quit companies but quit their bosses. For me, the success of an organization comes from its culture and how happy people are during their tenure with the organization. So far, we thus handle several credible brands and are backed by a team of happy professionals who nurture the agency on an everyday basis making a sustainable growth possible.
What challenges did you face while going about your launch, and in the subsequent years?
As a startup, every day brings with it some unique challenges that nobody warned you about. In 2014, I formed All ‘bout Communication (ABC), an agency that is bootstrapped and profitable from Day one, so we never had to struggle for revenue, touchwood. One of the barriers that not just us but any PR firm face is that customers don’t understand the strengths of PR and communication as a mechanism and how they can leverage it. This causes teething issues for a brand and therefore not every brand can reach the same heights. Educating clients on what PR is and what it isn’t is an area that needs constant work.
One of the unique achievements of ABC is that it handles six competitors simultaneously in a sensitive space like PR, without any conflict of interest. Our aim is to establish an agency that can become an extended marketing arm of a company. We have built expertise in lifestyle as well as business PR to make sure a campaign receives a holistic approach.
It was assumed that PR is for Limited companies or corporates. Contrastingly, in last few years, startups have emerged and so have the boutique PR firms that cater to them. We, however, don’t just cater to startups but also help old-school businesses to transit from the traditional communication strategy to the new age models.
How did your family react when you told them you wanted to run a YouTube channel to support yourself?
I feel and believe that behind every successful woman there is a father who believed in her. My parents are very supportive and my dad is one of the reasons that I have a basic business acumen. I worked part-time with him during school and travelled with him during vacations. My parents were initially a little sceptical about my venture as there is always a risk. But, now they are quite proud of me and do brag about my agency behind my back from time to time.
Was there ever a time when you felt overwhelmed and unable to continue? What made you continue? What kept you motivated at your worst moments?
When there is a good day, I tell myself don’t get too excited this too shall pass and when there is a bad day, I tell myself to hang in there and this too shall pass. There are always good and bad days whether you are working for someone or yourself. The key is not to let either of it affect you beyond a level of staying humble is as important as staying motivated. One of my prime motivators is my team and our clients that help me snap out of a bad moment and keep going
Any specific influences that have helped you shape up your content creation strategy so far?
I love meeting achievers and have been lucky to meet many people from a very young age who have inspired me. I still remember, once the Ex-Editor in Chief of Zoom, Omar Qureshi said to me in a candid chat that, ‘I believe in earning relationships and not money’. This quote has since then impacted my life and belief system a lot and has influenced several business decisions till date.
What are the Top 3 Business Takeaways that you did not know when you first started out?
A) A business without a process is a hobby or a stint.
B) Relationships are more valuable than money
C) When a BD pitch ends, a relationship begins. Therefore, always under commit and over deliver
What advice would you give to your ten-year younger self, if given an opportunity?
Party more than you did.
Any words of advice for aspiring publicists out there?
Don’t become an entrepreneur because your job is too demanding as having a business is 5x more demanding than your current job and you definitely can’t call in sick in your own company. Start a business only if you want to work harder than you currently do.
Any product that doesn't exist yet, but you wished it existed, to help you in your business?
There's no data management software available for the specific needs of a PR firm.
How much of a role does consumer marketing/publicity play for you? What challenges do you see here?
Our business is B2B in nature. We use tools like social media to make sure our work is showcased but ATL platforms aren’t for us. For us the best form of publicity is the one our clients do for us when they are happy.
Is there anyone whom you want to thank on The Times Blog?
Well there is a long list of people who have worked with me and supported me to establish the firm. My dad will be the first person on that list for making me my current version.
The Times RapidFire
Name The book on your bedside table.
Answer: Sharp Objects - By Gillian Flynn
An original quote for your loyal customers?
“We are here because you've let us get here!”
Do you operate with goals, or systems? Pick one.
Answer: Systems. Of course, systems!
Cricket, or no Cricket?
Answer: Cricket. If there's a cricket account, that is :)
Print, or Digital?
Answer: Print. Newspapers, especially.
And finally... what comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘The Times Blog’?
"A credible source of info."