The number one advice spewed out into the social media world by successful “influencers” is: “Be Yourself!”
Just the other day I was looking for some information regarding music gear and stumbled upon a music vlog where the host was sitting bare-chested, clearly intoxicated, mumbling barely audible instructions into his microphone.
I’ve been in the receiving end of links to brand new YouTube channels featuring hosts doing everything in their power to come across as hyperactive, frantic and basically crazy.
Advising people to just be themselves makes it easier for smooth talking charlatans or brand aware entrepreneurs to gain even more ground while their potential competitors self-sabotage by simply “being themselves.”
Let’s take a look at the way that I’ve used Instagram in the past for an instance.
I did my first post on the social media site in 2014 after receiving my first smart phone.
What did I post? A photo of the Ancient Aliens box set I received for Christmas. Currently my like count on the picture stands at: 22
Now Instagram was never our number one marketing tool. I did not have much of a following on there, had other pages that were our main focus and was never consistently active on the site.
Fast forward to 2019 and so far this year I’ve posted 51 posts with:
- 38 of them falling into the “self-promotion“ category (since they are photos/videos of me),
- 2 of the pictures are still of me but they are joke posts, (so that’s 40 out of 51 pictures being of me),
- 3 are of fans (pictures sent to me from my followers posing with my CD)
- 5 are of personal objects including artwork for sale and
- 3 features written text (a giveaway instruction, a thank you flier and a screenshot of my Twitter)
Any picture of me whether professional or self-taken has over a 100 likes with many going into the 200 likes category etc;
Music posts with clips from my music videos + pictures of me = awesome.
Pictures of personal objects and/or text/quote posts = not so much.
Which is what I observed when going through my Instagram posts from previous years and why I made a conscious decision to change things.
The irony of course is that someone might look at all of this drawing the conclusion that this “commander-in-chief chick” must surely be a narcissist!
Several years ago I remember that a photo of me rehearsing with a bare belly was uploaded to Facebook and the reaction was of course very positive.
This was not done to fish for compliments or to boost a fragile ego, it was put out there to increase buzz and social media reach!
This is why online-profiling can be so very inaccurate, because what is more important to you? Posting a picture from your favourite passage of a book receiving maybe 30 likes or posting a photo that gets you 300 likes and lots of engagement from your followers? The more people engage the more your content spreads which is why it is wrong to claim that “unfiltered-be-yourself“ content seals the deal!
Likewise I love writing on my blog. It is my number one favourite hobby yet even though I’m not a beauty blogger I find that my number one most popular entry of all times is the one that I wrote about skincare!
Blog posts where I write about myself or posts featuring pictures of me even if there is no interesting content in the post itself gets lots of buzz.
Self-help is also high on the list along with “how to“ articles.
What do I prefer to write about? The world, society, ideas, thoughts, books. I like to think about ideas and concepts so if I was to be myself I would just write about this while bombarding my Instagram page with all sorts of nonsense that wouldn’t mean anything to anybody else but myself!
What do I like more than anything else?
To sell music because this is ultimately what I’m all about and what I know!
This is my passion, my craft and my talent!
So keep this in mind next time someone tells you to just be yourself on the internet! ❤