The Influencer Network; FriMi Instagram Collaborator’s Forum 2018

Instagram success mantra for promoters and bloggers – “Establish yourself a Niche

All key speakers at Sri Lanka’s first Instagram Collaborator Forum chanted this mantra. The forum took place on 22nd June at the Galle Face Hotel, Sri LankaDilshan Senaratne – Founder of Cyaniq.Social kick started the forum by sharing the philosophy behind the forum. The objective of the forum was to bring together the prominent content creators, personalities, marketers, and brands dominating the Instagram ecosystem under one roof to share, network, collaborate and learn from one another. Instagram has become an influential marketing platform over the years. It is the secret of success behind the F&B, Hospitality, Fashion, Consumer goods and Electronics industries.

The forum had two main segments – Story and Play.


In this segment, success stories of influential Instagrammers were shared.

Yasas Hewage – Director of Ironman 70.3 Colombo

Yasas HewageDigital marketing strategies should focus on the real ‘product’ and create awareness among the people. Rather than being satisfied with the increasing number of followers, marketing should be product oriented and product driven.

Furthermore, Yasas shared some interesting insights on the success of Ironman 70.3 and upcoming plans. In Asia, it was organized first in Sri Lanka and that too in a mega scale. The hardship he went through in convincing the government authorities and the locals who were clueless about it finally proved worth it. The Sri Lankan audience needs to gain momentum to match the pace of digitalization. In addition, the essentials for Sri Lanka to succeed are

  1. Intelligent Entrepreneurship
  2. Ability to take Risks and
  3. Build Products.

The support of social influencers who can build communities and market these products is especially crucial. Finally, Yasas wrapped it up by confirming that success lies in creating content that has a niche.

Christina Peiris – Miss Universe Sri Lanka

Christina PeirisHer niche is a combination of food + traveling. Christina shared three main tips for the day.

  • Understand your followers

She explained the ‘Ego Blogging’ concept where one mostly posts pictures of one’s self. Sometimes the audience prefers to engage when they see the blogger on the picture. It could either be a picture of yourself with the food you blog about or places you explore. Therefore, initially, you should identify what makes your followers engage with your content.

  • Edit your photos before posting

Significant time should be spent on editing your pictures before you share them. Editing helps the audience grasp the message of the picture immediately. The photos you share should be theme oriented. They should have the right amount of lighting, saturation, and other elements to complement your theme. As a result, one would have to go through immense pain to click and make the perfect picture. At the end of the day, it’ll be worth it.

  • Be authentic

You can build your personality through your blogging experience. Likewise, there are many bloggers who can inspire you. Your conduct, attire, and personality should resonate your true self to your audience.

Bhanuka Harischandra – CEO Surge Global

Bhanuka HarischandraThere is a massive opportunity available for influencers on the Instagram platform. Monetizing your content should not be the sole objective or the starting point of an Instagram journey. Influencers should especially strive to

  1. Position themselves as a Personal Brand
  2. Leverage a Product or Service required for a business entity

This requires extensive time, research and effort. The advantage in doing so is not a short-term gain but to amass equity. As a result, this would enable a well-established influencer with a numerous amount of followers to shoulder the responsibility of promoting a brand.

Riaan George – Luxury Blogger

Riaan GeorgeThe last speaker for the day, an experienced influencer from our neighboring land India, shared the following tips:

  • Promoter vs Blogger

There is a very thin line between the two roles and one should play a single role. A blogger is the digital version of a journalist. They have their say for the content they blog. Whereas a Promoter endorses brands but should remember that they are not the ‘mouthpiece’ of the brand.

  • Find a niche and stick to it!

One should find their niche or an area of specialization. It is advised to remain focused in that particular area and expand their content on it. Finally, this will help to establish one’s self as an authority in that relevant subject area.  You can be known either as a food blogger, fashion blogger, automobile blogger or whatever you deem to be.

  • Brand Imaging

Your image is the mirror to your niche. People recognize you through your image. This will help you establish yourself in the field.

  • Learn to say ‘NO’!

To be a credible influencer your content should be credible. Especially, if you are a brand promoter, you don’t have to promote each and every brand that comes your way to earning a quick buck. You have to assess the authenticity of the brand and the relevance of the product you are promoting to the consumer base you have built. Select the best and promote the best!

  • Build an Active and Engaging Community

It is important to develop content that is relevant and engaging. It is courteous and encouraging to the audience when you acknowledge their comments and respond to them. A trick of the trade is to add a personal touch to the comments, by referring to the first name of the commenter in your response.

  • Know your audience

It is important to identify the target audience to whom you are catering your content to. The age groups, cities and economic classes are vital to first filter your choices and then promote your content among them. In conclusion, this would assure a better reach among the target groups.


The second segment of the evening had a hand-picked assortment of performances by notable Instagram artists.

Stephanie Sansoni

Stephanie SansoniHer vocals and skill with the guitar entertained the participants.




Julius Mitchell

Julius Mitchell

In addition, a renowned beatboxer of Sri Lanka left the audience in awe.




Jude Perera

Jude PereraConcluding the event, Jude mesmerized the crowd with his unique voice and love for music.




IVolunteer International was the proud volunteer partner for the event and congratulate the organizers for the success of the event.
Cover Photo by Cyaniq.Social

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