Driving his passion for food into a Recipe of Success, Abhishek Agarwal Founder of Flavors of Lucknow – Deccan Herald

In his journey, Abhishek has helped countless restaurants and eateries to grow their roots in Lucknow using his garnered knowledge of cuisines and Digital marketing strategies which has made a positive impact in the burgeoning food scene of the city.

How and when did you choose food blogging as a career?

Being a college fresher, I was over enthusiastic about exploring new places in town and had enough time to invest in something I was passionate about. Brought up and taught in a Marwari Family, I have realised food is something that connects people and my love for food has grown more and more ever since then.

Food blogging did not come up as a career initially. I started FLAVORSOFLUCKNOW back in 2017 for a SOCIAL CAUSE of helping the local vendors. Giving due regards to the market demand, I incorporated INFLUENCER MARKETING into my platform. Soon FOL developed as a brand for showcasing Lucknawi food and cuisines and spreading awareness about the city’s best of food hogging places.

Did you know some basics about food blogging, psychology of business and photography before you stepped into food blogging?

No, Food blogging was something that came very spontaneously to me. During my journey as an influencer, I daily experimented with things to come up with new content, worked upon my skills as a photographer, learnt new marketing trends, ideologies, customer base patterns and ways to create brand awareness.

What are the means of income for someone starting a career in this field?

 ” You cannot make money from your blog if people don’t read it or don’t engage upon your platform”. So, creating quality content, is something that holds a top-notch priority.

 

There are two ways someone can make money by influencer marketing.

•    First is, earning through a monetized platform like YouTube, which requires a minimum watch time on videos and a specific number of subscribers.

•    Next up is brand collaborations, wherein you can adopt affiliate marketing or native advertisements to promote a particular brand.

•     Reviewing brand products, Sponsored posts also serves as one of the major income sources.

Since you are the leading food blogger in your city, how do you manage different collaborations professionally? (Collaborations- in reference to different restaurants or brands)

I collaborate with brands on a monthly basis, taking on board only one brand of a particular genre at a time. There are a list of elements that have to kept in mind for successful execution of brand collaborations , namely – brand /product research including market segmentation ,targeting and positioning, framing out content strategies and brand scripts. Proper monthly calendar and plan of action is made for organising brand content, video and photo shoots, outlet visits etc, keeping in hand sufficient time to cover street food vendors as well.

Tell us something about promoting small restaurants ever since FOL started, what inspired you to do so?

I have been helping street food vendors throughout and soon I realised that a significant segment of the food industry were the budding restaurant owners. Some of them had left their job or some were still in college and wanted to start something of their own. Due to limited funds an initial kick-start from our side has always proved to be very helpful for the brands. They needed a good audience exposure initially to flourish and further invest in brand promotions and marketing. 

The enthusiasm and zeal of these Nano entrepreneurs has always inspired me to help them grow.

Your favourite cuisine or dishes and your favourite bloggers.

My love for “Maa Ke Haath Ka Khaana” is over and above any restaurant food. Anything that she makes has always been my favourite. Some personal favourites are Kadhi Chawal, Rajma Chawal, Dal Makhani, Paneer and almost everything in North Indian main course. Not to forget, soya chaap and biryani for sure!

My favourite blogs are- 

•    Dilsefoodie 

•    Delhifoodwalk

•    Veggie Paji

•    Harry Uppal

•    India Food Mania

How much time do you invest towards your work every day?

There is no fixed time span, but yes, a major portion of my day is dedicated towards planning and organising content, photo shoots, promotion strategies, examining the market scenario and insights, audience feedback and results etc. Apart from this, I manage things in a way that makes it possible for me to productively  invest my time in my other business ventures.

What keeps you motivated to stay in this profession?

LOVE FOR FOOD ALWAYS KEEPS ME MOTIVATED!!

Being able to help the poor and needy, the love and support that I get from my audience and positive feedback from the end of the brands collaborating keeps me going on and on.

Seeing FOL grow as a brand of LUCKNOWITE’s CHOICE is heart-whelming.

The key idea behind founding FLAVORSOFLUCKNOW was to accelerate the growth of the city with a pinch of both local street food and elite tastes and cuisines added to it. I want Flavors of Lucknow to be one-stop option for anyone visiting the city.  Apart from this, I want the page to grow more as an influencer marketing platform whereby the best of international brands chooses FOL for their marketing and promotions, making FOL a brand of GLOBAL CHOICE

•    Any notions about food blogging you would like to change.

A lot of people think Food Blogging is nothing but asking for free food and clicking food pictures. But the genuine food bloggers invest a huge time in studying market forces, applying their research work while preparing promotional content and experimenting as much as possible to keep the audience engaged. A lot of hard work, determination and consistency is required to emerge out as a successful food blog. 

My only advice to the budding bloggers is to not involve in negative competition. “Be genuine and true with your content. People follow you for your own style and credibility, so try not to indulge in fake reviews or copying others content. Do what you’re good at, do what gives you happiness, do what helps you earn money but not at the cost of misleading others.