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The Side Hustle Of College Life

The world’s moving fast, everyone is online, Millennials are being replaced by GenZ and influencer marketing is peaking. Campuses are abuzz with the latest fancy lingo, the coolest new music and talk of the latest Netflix shows. As students return to campuses, they’re constantly checking their Instagram, Snapchat and other social media accounts. Companies are now realizing that these students have a strong voice in their networks and are opinion leaders in their own domain. This environment brings with it a new wave of opportunities for college students.

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Back when I was a student, no matter how many times I successfully negotiated my pocket money, it never seemed to be enough. There was always an upcoming concert, a brand new restaurant, or a new band tee shirt that I wanted. Making money was on everyone’s mind, but our options were limited.

Maybe I could organize the freshers party and make a small cut on the passes? Perhaps I could find a paid internship and somehow balance it with my college life and attendance? Wait, I know! I could just open a lemonade stall and go from rags to riches, right?

It was too damn hard! Only the true sorters and hustlers, with the most connections and popularity, would somehow manage to make money while the rest of us watched in awe as we munched on our grand sada dosa lunch.

Fast forward to 2018. The world’s moving fast, everyone is online, Millennials are being replaced by GenZ and influencer marketing is peaking. Campuses are abuzz with the latest fancy lingo, the coolest new music and talk of the latest Netflix shows. As students return to campuses, they’re constantly checking their Instagram, Snapchat and other social media accounts. Companies are now realizing that these students have a strong voice in their networks and are opinion leaders in their own domain. This environment brings with it a new wave of opportunities for college students.

The Classic Campus Ambassador

Internationally, the world’s best brands have always been active believers in the student community. Brands such as Apple, Amazon, Uber and Nike have well-established student programs and even work with student reps and ambassadors for on-campus activities. In India too, companies such as Freecharge had seen high rates of adoption and virality at campuses. A quick search for campus ambassador internships on any of India’s leading internship portals will show you that hundreds of companies attempt at creating these programs. They hire ambassadors to push their products and create brand awareness among their peers. However, most campus ambassador programs invariably fail, for reasons ranging from mismanagement, improper structure, unrealistic expectations and lack of engagement.

The New-Age Student Promoter

Osaid Butt, a student of SM Shetty College, Mumbai bought his dream pair of Nike Jordan shoes with his earnings as a student promoter. He has worked with over 10 brands to promote them on campus and on his social media including Starbucks and Universal Music. He applies for these opportunities via Frapp - a platform for brands to engage with students. Osaid is not alone. On Frapp, students from across the country can participate in Missions where they complete a handful of simple tasks for brands, in exchange for a reward or cash. Over 15,000 students have completed Missions on Frapp and earned over INR 10 lakhs in rewards and cash. For these students, it’s a simple and fun way to make some money on the side or get rewarded with free products and benefits.

Authentic Engagement

These students are able to create authentic engagement for brands in a structured and seamless way. Typically, they have a higher engagement rate on social media and are more than happy to create customized and unique content for the brands. They are the perfect conversation starters for brands and a simple way to reach more students and to amplify existing campaigns. Additionally, they go beyond the scope of influencers and can complete various tasks including putting up posters, sampling products on campus, driving footfalls to a store, completing product surveys and even completing minor jobs such as mystery audits

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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