Standout Sri Lankans Q&A:

Lalitha Epaarachchi ~ Health & Fitness Coach and Youtuber

1. Tell us about yourself and your Business?

I’m a father, Health and Fitness Youtuber (Alpha lee fitness) & Online coach ( weight loss,  Muscle building and health & fitness lifestyle coaching)

Over the last 3 years I’ve built the largest online health and fitness community in Sri Lanka with 26,000 followers on instagram @lalitha_epaarachchi and 62,000 subscribers on Youtube, my Youtube channel alone has had over 3 million views in  just over an year. I’m proud to say that I have successfully hoisted myself to the top of the space with zero paper qualifications.

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The way my business works:

What I found out through the initial stages of my work was that there were plenty of influencers who are willing to share their lifestyle, expose their bodies, promote products without considering its impact and provide subjective information convincingly enough to make a sale or push a brand. This is a very lucrative method to earn on the short term but on the long term, in a space where you are dealing with people’s health and fitness it’s a naive, shortsighted method.

Based on this understanding, over time, I fine tuned my approach to:

  1. Delivering accurate information that has scientific evidence. I do this both in Sinhalese (youtube) and english (instagram)

  2. Promote a balanced lifestyle which the majority in Sri lankan’s can afford, emulate, still be healthy and fit and importantly keep building on.

  3. Work long term with brands. This is mainly because I noticed that most influencers worked with brands for a few weeks and moved onto another brand. Brand hoping is lucrative but damages your credibility as a product influencer which means in the longterm brands will not be paying you as much due to a lack of conversions. Engagement is meaningless without conversions – Your audience to Their customers. The 2 best examples from my brand portfolio are zimantra leisure center battaramulla and protein.lk. Both have become top brands in their space.

  4. Build my own paid service (online coaching). This is a service where I build training & nutrition plans for my clients. This was important because I wanted to make sure that brands could not pressure me into promoting anything I don’t like or agree with. If my income is covered through my own sweat equity, I would not have any reason whatsoever to con my audience by promoting products that i don’t believe in.

  1. Why did you decide to start your own business and What keeps you motivated.

I started making content on youtube and facebook while I was working as a software engineer. 3 weeks after I had my son I was very unfairly treated by my employer at that time. In brief, my employer accused me of not working well enough. That experience made me understand that as long as I work for someone else I will never truly be happy or appreciated regardless of how well I worked for them.

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I’m not a believer in motivation. If you need to be motivated to follow your passion i don’t think it is your passion to begin with.

  1. As a Sri Lankan influencer, how would you like to influence other Sri Lankan’s, as well as all others around the world?

I can’t fix the world with the work I’m doing but I firmly believe that I can change the health and fitness space for the better. With my work and approach to my work I hope I can influence more people to bring our space back out from vanity & drugs. In other words, I want to show people you can be honest, ordinary, average looking, earn and live a happy, peaceful life.

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VLOG: Gaol GHOST Tour, Blogger Event & Exploring A Castle

VLOG: Bloggers United Australia ~ Adelaide Event

How To Balance A Busy Social Life With a 9 to 5 Work Life

So this past week has been one of the busiest social weeks for me in a long time. The only night I had nothing on was Monday, as for the rest of the week; read on….

On Tuesday evening I was invited to participate in an Influencers Style Challenge, hosted by The Myer Centre Adelaide, Realm Adelaide, and Little Lion PR. So after work, I walked over to the very fancy Realm Adelaide display apartment which played as the beautiful backdrop for the style challenge. This was such a fun challenge, my outlook on the event was to go in open minded, try new things and to step out of my comfort zone…you’ll see the looks I put together below (also check out the video down below). From here I then rushed of to the second event for the night, which was the launch of The Style Establishment, the new stylish kid on O’Connel Street. I had a browse of the beautiful pieces on offer, took some snaps and finished of the night chatting with some other lovely bloggers.

Wednesday evening was not about fashion, rather it was about food…sushi to be exact! I’m so excited to share that Sushi Planet have opened their second restaurant in Modbury, for those of us North-Easters, it’s the perfect location for a good sushi fix. Looking at all the different sushi on offer, it made me think that sushi are like people, each different in their own way, but at the end of the day they’re all one of the same kind. Highly recommend checking out Sushi Planet, they’ve got booths that I think make the dining experience that little bit more comfortable.

Then came Thursday night, Thursday night brought a mix of events. The first was the launch of Ettie Ink Studio. Ettie Ink is the brain child of 2016 House Rules finalist; Michelle Fogden. Check it out if you’re in the market for some amazing paintings and prints. After checking out the studio, I then made my way to the next event, which was the opening of the Lucky Dumpling Market. Located on the Torrens Riverbank, it’s the place to be for a chilled night out and some delicious food…I personally recommend checking out the offerings at the Sookii La La stall.

So how did I survive this week, well my biggest tip would be to have a PLAN. In this plan include rough times of when you’re planning on arriving and leaving each place, this gives you an idea of how long you have at each place and you can make sure you make the most of your time while you’re there. Also in this plan, think about where you can park for each event, if you have an idea in your mind about where you will be parking, it takes out a lot of that unecessary stressing. And finally, think about what you will be wearing and like me if you’re going to the event straight from work, include make-up, shoes and a bag in your outfit plan….trust me, with a good plan in place your stress levels will be practically non-exsistent.

Here are some snaps from the week that was…..

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The Ultimate Gift: Materialistic or Experiential?

When it comes to giving a gift what comes to mind? We usually start thinking about what does the receiver like, what interests have they mentioned recently, what wouldn’t they want….there’s a massive list of questions that come to mind, and because we’re overwhelmed by our lack of answers to these questions we usually end up buying something useless or safe, like a pair of socks or a nice soap. I mean don’t get me wrong these gifts I’m sure would come in handy at some point, even if they get added to the re-gifting pile.

So then what would make an AMAZING gift? Well recently I’ve realised that a gift experience can have so much more meaning rather than just giving or receiving a material thing. I bet you’re thinking: but this will require even more thought and attention right? Well yes, but I’ve got some ideas for you…keep reading….

For my birthday this year my friends treated me to a trip to the Hashtag Meow Cat Cafe followed by dinner at Carmine and Co. This was such a sweet gift because it incoporated my love for cats and zeppole, plus I was able to share the experience with my friends.

Other gift experiences could include pampering vouchers, most people love a good massage, mani, pedi or facial. Taking someone special out for a picnic or to a restaurant. For those of you in Adelaide (or those visiting Adelaide) Mount Lofty House are offering some amazing experiences, see below:

·       Indulge in lunch or dinner at the award-winning, acclaimed Hardy’s Verandah Restaurant complete with a private, Sommelier-led tasting in the heritage cellars
·       A rose petal strewn cellar tour, candle-lit (proposal or anniversary dinner at HVR – with a view, see below)
·       Signature couples’ spa rituals in Stable Day Spa
·       Chocolates and Mount Lofty House sparkling on the balcony overlooking the Piccadilly Valley
·       All-inclusive picnic, set up in front of one of the roaring log fires inside Mount Lofty House
·       Gourmet picnic hampers designed to be shared in the botanic gardens directly below Mount Lofty House
·       Pick estate grown flowers throughout the sprawling gardens developed by South Australian icon Arthur Hardy to enjoy back in a private suite
·       Arrive at Mount Lofty House by helicopter, enjoy lunch or dinner at HVR and stay a night or two before departing in style with a vintage car
·       Taste the Adelaide Hills’ wine delights with a helicopter tour from the estate to prestigious wineries such as Shaw & Smith and Hahndorf Hill with a vintage car pickup to return to the mansion.

So now that you’re equipped with plenty of ideas for your next gifting occasion, I’m sure you’re going to be loved just that little bit more, if one of these experiences is being gifted (and it didn’t even have to take much thought on your end!). Happy gifting.

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