Sophiya Salim Khan is an influencer in her own right, her instagram account KeepingUpWithKhan is a vibrant amalgamation of fashion shoots, BTS and candid photos which make you feel like Sophie might be the girl next door – but one with an amazing wardrobe and aesthetic. 

Khan graduated from the London College of Fashion with an undergraduate degree in Visual Merchandising & Branding and is the curator behind the cutting edge fashion house SASSY. While SASSY conducts most of it’s business online, one can’t help but look forward to their pop up shops. Because just like Sophie’s Instagram feed, the pop-up shops offer an immersive experience into the world of fashion.

We reached out to Khan and asked her 15 questions to get more insight into what goes on behind the stories and photos that make KeepingUpWithKhan such an interesting curation of content.

1. How honest can you be on your social media and how comfortable do you feel talking about real issues such as mental health or body image?

“Depends on how one wishes to deliver honesty. At the end of the day social media can only convey a certain percentage of ones truth, be it through a picture which limits the truth via angles, or a review which is limited by an individuals unique experience.

That being said, I for one most definitely aim to be as honest as I can on my social media by being as transparent as I can about my reviews and the type of content I post. Again mental health & body image issues have various dimensions and angles that anyone experiences, I share the ones that I feel most comfortable talking about – as those are the ones I can do justice by honestly.”

While social media showcases a very curated and edited version of a persons life visually, it is quite possible to present an undiluted and realistic narrative side by side. And at the crux of keeping it real while still maintaining an impeccable aesthetic lies the originality behind the content.

2. Does the social media influencer community exist in a bubble or do you think it’s possible for anyone to penetrate the space?

“To become an influencer, one has to bring something original and unique to the digital space. Therefore any individual out there who is comfortable sharing either a skill, or passing on any form of knowledge or experience of their own do contain the power to influence.

However I do feel that to those who are not willing to join the community, see it in a negative light and as bubble that can not be penetrated.”

3. I think a lot of people will want to know the answer to this, how do you deal with hate comments and trolls?

“I as a person do not let the words of any individual that I don’t know or respect get to me.

In order for a strangers opinion, who only has a limited knowledge and understanding of my personality through virtual data, to really shake me is something that does not align with my thinking process. Additionally I am of the thinking that majority of us are not fully equipped or developed in our communication skills, therefore when I see a purely hateful comment or dm, I jump at the opportunity to make an example of that particular form of communication publicly, in hopes to provide an alternative & more effective way for people with strong negative emotions to express themselves.”

4. How difficult is it to grow an audience organically in your experience?

“Personally in the initial years of starting KeepingUpWithKhan, I found it very difficult to gain followers based on the type of content I was putting out there. However with the consistency of my content and as time moved forward the pace definitely picked up & not only did it become easier, I also became content with the amount of reach I had gathered.”

Source: KeepingUpWithKhan

5. How do you monetise as a social media influencer?

“From KeepingUpWithKhan I initially used to be invited out for menu tastings and restaurant openings which ended up saving me a lot of my monthly income as I would not be spending that certain amount of money.

“PR packages allow you to save a lot of money when it comes to buying products and you also get the chance to try a range of products offered in the market. Once you have reached a stage where you are getting hired, be it as a photographer, influencer model, or whatever skill you are showcasing on your profile, it ends up being a source of a highly viewed resume if you will.

Source: KeepingUpWithKhan

Other than that there are also some brands who will want to sponsor their campaigns & strategise alongside certain influencers to get information across to their target market via paid posts on Instagram.”

6. Do you have a team working with you or do you manage your social media yourself?

“I have always managed my social media by myself.”

7. Which platform is your go-to for content curation?

I was wrong. I drew tomorrow with the eyes of yesterday ??✨ 
Source: KeepingUpWithKhan

That would be my camera + HujiCam. My instagram is mainly about what I capture through the lens of my phone.

8. What are your 3 best tips for making an interesting instagram story?

  1. Be as authentic and natural as you can & don’t pre plan what you are about to say on your story.
  2. Don’t be random on your stories, always have a topic, event or situation that you want to convey to your audience.
  3. Go the extra mile & make sure your frame is aesthetically pleasing for the viewers.

9. Do you actually get free products!?

“Yes I do, they are mainly first timers or a one time product from a brand that is trying to create awareness about the product or service they are offering.”

10. How does being a social media influencer effect your personal and social life?

“Well I’m sure anyone who is not as involved in social media, or documenting their lives will find taking pictures and videos so often a little irritating. Of-course the time one spends on their phone also increases quite a bit, so I try to manage that by finding a balance. I feel blessed to be surrounded by individuals and have a circle that is supportive & understanding to my commitment to social media.”

11. What skills would you tell someone to acquire if they want to become an influencer?

“Being very consistent with their posting as well as having the confidence to fearlessly put their personality out there, even if it may go against the grid at times. Also make sure to use UNUM because having aesthetic is all you need in this life of sin.”

12. Would you suggest for someone to become a social media influencer full-time?

“I would not suggest that personally as I feel being an influencer comes second to what one is pursuing in life. In order to create authentic content and not rely on PR packages. You have to first create a lifestyle that can financially support you if the so called experience you are sharing with your followers is coming at you with zero cost. As they say put your money where your mouth is.”

13. What motivated you to start Keeping Up With Khan?

“I initially started KeepingUpWithKhan as my digital portfolio. Other than photography, I had experience with videography & other fields in the creative workspace, that I needed one platform which was easy to access for everyone to display my work.

I then began posting pictures of myself and my lifestyle to generate more interest behind the girl who was dabbling around in the fashion industry. The name comes from the fact that I was doing so many various projects as a creative, that I just simply wanted my followers to keep up!”

14. Are you are Kardashian fan by any chance? Which Kardashian is your favourite?

“A major YES to this question. I mean the name does give it away, of course other than it fitting my agenda to have a public Instagram portfolio, I was & am a religious Kardashian follower. I keep up! They are all my favourites – its the whole package for me!”

15. Is there any upcoming project of yours that you’re really excited about?

“Currently I am launching my brand, TheSassyStorePk’s latest collection – Season 2 Episode 2. So really looking forward to releasing that!”

While there are influencers aplenty on Instagram, Khan’s page stands out for its originality and rawness. My personal hook for KeepingUpWithKhan is the excellent feed aesthetic, fashion inspiration coupled with just the right amount positivity.