In the last six weeks, I have doubled (or more) in terms of growth in all areas on my social media channels. This has happened on the heels of partnering with The Gauge Collective who is helping with my community management by building authentic and real connections with like minded followers and brands. This is something I have always wanted to do, but did not have the time to devote to it. I always want to be incredibly transparent about this process, because I know this world can be confusing. Building up a brand across the blogging and social media world takes work. And it also takes some money.
With the fast growth has come the pressure on myself to deliver quality, unique, and authentic content. My mind is always swirling around. And at times it can be hard to get out of my own brand and into, well, me.
My Instagram Stories provide a wonderful place for me to show some of that authentic side. A bit while back I had friend say to me she was surprised at how open and natural I was on my stories each day. It just ‘doesn’t seem like you to put yourself out there like that.’
That stuck with me, it really did. All along I thought I was being so perfectly ‘me’ on those stories. Was I wrong? Was it all a show?
These are the thoughts that go into my head. It’s a very weird space to be in. To know that people are watching you day in and day out. And to deliver content that you feel is relevant and relatable all the while staying ‘you.’ Or at least, the ‘you’ that you want to show.
And then it hit me.
Those of you who know me in ‘real’ life know I’m pretty introverted. I don’t talk much, at all, unless I am super comfortable with who I am with and my surroundings. And when I do talk, it’s rarely about myself. I almost intentionally always flip conversations back to whomever I am with. I am way more comfortable listening than talking.
But that would never be reflective of my stories, right? It’s all me. All day long, sharing and talking. It almost feels freeing in a way. A space that is all mine and that I feel comfortable with because I built it. Also, there is no one else to shift the focus on which I tend to do in my face to face conversations.
They say comedians operate this way. That most are generally quite introverted until they are put on a stage. (I am in, no way, comparing myself to an actual comedian, just the concept here). My Instagram story is my own little stage and I can control what I share and when I want to share it.
And what to share crosses my mind more than you may think. I’m very intentional about what I put up there, from the smallest of details to what music is playing in the background to what I’m wearing. It’s all apart of it, and sometimes if you look or listen real close you may see more than what may be obvious. The upbeat positive feel of my brand could not be more true. I have close girlfriends who have been asked if I’m always really like that in ‘real life’ and their answer is instantly YES. I don’t really have bad days, that I let really affect me anyways.
And yet, is my life really all that is shown? Obviously we all know that people paint the prettiest of pictures in their social media. It’s only natural to share the good stuff. The best stuff, even. At times I struggle with showing more vulnerable sides and yet it’s not always my full side to show. So I protect the story until it has past or it has become fully mine. I’m not sure if this is even making sense, and it may not for some time. But everyone, everyone, has a story. And I’ve found the best ones are told over time with grace and understanding.
Another big part of all this that I struggle with is the scheduling of posts. A content calendar was introduced to me when I partnered up with The Gauge Collective. Some brands build theirs out months (/a year!) ahead of time. For the huge planner that I am, you think I would jump at this opportunity to get everything lined up day by day for all outlets (Blog, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, whew). And while the concept is generally great, for sure, and something that I would love to figure out at some point the only thing I’ve been able to be truly consistent with scheduling are my blog posts. Everything else, especially my Instagram space, really needs to be day by day from me. It’s the only way it feels authentic. There are days I want to talk about motherhood. There are days I randomly organized the mudroom and want to chat about it. There are days I sporadically bake lemon bars and I want to share them because they look pretty! And while I realize this may not be the most optimal plan in terms of creating a consistent rhythm or the perfect Instagram feed it is as real as it can get. And I hope, as I continue to grow, that it is enough.
Another comment I get often is that my ‘world’ looks so FUN! And oh my yes it is. Motherhood is my greatest joy and every single day that goes by I honestly can’t believe that those two boys are mine. The fact that I get to share them and that people recognize that joy in me fills my heart. And of course there is the food, always the food. Having an outlet to share my love language day in and day out is a wonderful creative space for me to have. One that I actually feel like I would be lost without.
So the brain of A Life From Scratch. It’s a weird place to explain, actually. I hope, at the very least, I have created a space that is fun to check in on day to day and that, at some point, makes you smile or inspires you in one way or the other. I promise those are my intentions, and that I think about them endlessly for you. Too much at times, even, but I’m trying to be better about that as well. I’ve always thought the brand was me, but I’m learning, slowly, that the brand is what I make of it. And that the ‘me’ part can hang back.
Just every once in awhile.