There are so many people who dish out advice, including myself, as to what makes a person/brand successful or what success means from their point of view. While I agree with a lot of what I read on the topic, I think there’s a critical component of the narrative that get’s left out by way of appearance or face value of the images/lives we project as people. Aside from spirituality, which I believe is the number 1 component to success.
Before I dig into that, I’ll say I believe things like quality output, consistency, work ethic, drive, and numerous other things are extremely important to achieving success. But most importantly, building something that truly represents who you are and what you stand for. In my case I’ll speak from the perspective of being a blogger/influencer. It’s not just about how beautiful you look, the clothing you wear, how many products you sell, or the curated appearance you project. While I support and respect peoples output and the to each his own philosophy. What I feel is important to convey to my audience is balance and completeness. I have two children, when I think about them, I think about how what they see influences them. Similar to what I think about considering my audience as a blogger. Many people want to be influencers for themselves, which is fine, however I believe there’s a responsibility that comes along with influence.
This responsibility is something I have fought with throughout my years as a blogger and I’ve finally wrapped my mind around where my inconsistencies stem from. In the social media landscape we navigate through today, the narrative that gets left off most feeds is the impact of the messaging. What does your output say to the people you're influencing.
The MESSAGING, I repeat that because I see so many resources...this is how you get brands to work with you, or here is my guide to accomplish “X”, or feeds where every shot is carefully crafted/professionally shot and everything seems “perfect.” If you provide resources a good question to ask is why? I almost never see people question why they should invest in these resources. As a result I think consumers think these resources are a quick fix. When in reality, we know there's a lot more work by way of the commitment that has to be made in addition to just the resources. So the messaging becomes buy my services because there is a need, but I can't really support a successful result. Because that takes heavy involvement and is almost impossible to tech the masses. I’ve been doing this a while now and I support those things in moderation absolutely. But I ask myself as both a consumer and producer of content. What does what I’m looking at say?
As a consumer, you can easily get to a place where all you see is “perfection” so subconsciously you begin to aim to achieve that. Now, I debate this topic all the time, I know people generally understand that work goes into output. My friends mention all the time, the amount of work that goes unseen. I ask my blogger/influencer friends, is it beneficial for your audience to primarily see output and not the grit of the work? Further than that, I personally think about the effects of messaging that everything appears “perfect.” I post only beautiful images, want you to like them because engagement drives influence, but rarely do you see the amount of energy/grit/work it takes from me or how it impacts the people in my life. While I know many people do just want to see a beautiful image and nothing more. There's still messaging being delivered that seems incomplete to me.
As a producer, I really love getting dressed! I started blogging because I really fucking love clothes, shoes, fashion...like I really do. I also LOVE writing. Which is why this platform is the perfect avenue for me, I’ve tried to quit many times, I just can’t. Understanding that messaging is more important than the influence for me, has been super transformative because whether I have 1 reader or 1 million readers I am giving you the truth about me. Success, failure, curated images, real in the moment images, my thoughts via my podcast, my viewpoints as a writer, and everything in between. WHY? Because it’s important to me that people understand we are not perfect and we don’t have to appear to be. We can step off the set of a photoshoot and into the role as mothers, career women, hell you can find us in Target in a bathrobe because we don’t care (or is that just me lol). But seriously though all that matters is that you can be yourself.
The title of this blog hasn't changed because 6/7 years ago that’s all I wanted to empower people to do...just be yourself! I still believe in that today. I hated being labeled an “influencer” until recently, because I made the decision to depict the things I love how I have changed and people don’t always get it, which is cool. If that means a brand won’t work with me or I won’t have a 100K followers, FUCK IT! If I’m going to influence people, I’m going to do it being the complete all over the damn place ME I am, and I’m ok with that. I want all of you to feel safe owning who you are, even if it means going against the grain you’ll end up where you’re truly meant to be.
I said I’m done with outfit posts like a million times...looking at these images which are very curated and beautifully captured by Ksenia. I realize one of my God given talents is self expression by way of fashion/styling, finally, I respect it fully as an art form. I respect it’s power to make people feel good about themselves and that’s important. But I stress that style only enhances the beauty and creativity inside you. It really has a magnetic way of connecting people to pieces of who you are. I often wanted to quit because I’d say, “I’m tired of taking pictures of myself,” but it goes beyond that. I’m approached daily weather it’s seen or not about my self expression and the energy it passes to other people. Most of the time I’m not even trying, I don’t say this to come off conceited, I say it because it’s just who I am! I can’t escape it if I wanted to, and I don’t, because hell I’m extra haha.
Anyway, no matter what, I’m intentional about the messaging depicted through this blog and every other channel connected to it. It’s important that messaging conveys what I intend for you. Which has always been...be loud be you baby...there ain't no guide out here that can tell you how to write your story (except the bible, amen)! Just live your life and place yourself around people who are brave enough to live their’s too spreading messages you believe in xx
*Wearing vintage pants, bag, & Lingerie with Steve Madden shoes