The scale. The ruler. The measuring tape. The followers. These may be relevant in certain situations. But these numbers don’t define me.
I came to the realization at FLBlogCon that I admire the media’s digital advances, but I want to limit my exposure. I don’t need to be on every social media platform (then again, no one needs to, but they choose to), and I mean no disrespect to people who rock it or have an account on every platform. This is my story.
Why numbers don’t define me
I want to reach an audience and help people with my words, sharing experiences and thoughts. But I don’t want it to come down to flashing my blog followers in anyone’s face or interfering with my in-person interactions.
This isn’t the first time I’m writing about this – and I’m sure it won’t be my last!
I have my writing, my portfolio, and my personality to back up my experience. No two bloggers are the same. No two people are the same.
We can mimic and be mentored. We can follow along similar paths. But at the end of the day, we are responsible for deciding what’s really important (and if we’re doing something that matters to the big guy above).
Below is a screenshot of my device:
You’re not using social media?
“What’s your handle?” “Where can I find you on Instagram?” “I’d love to follow you!”
I either get the WEIRDEST looks, or the BIGGEST smiles when my answer is, “I’m not on social media, but here’s my website!”
By the end of these conversations, I’ve either convinced people that this really is a great thing, or they are still a little weirded out by it. And that’s okay.
Will write for followers
Some brands are looking for bloggers who have 5,000 – 10,000 followers.
Sure, I may never work with brands that require something like that. But I will reach out to companies on my own with values and people I believe in, regardless of my lack of social media.
I look at this like a job application. There’s a job description, which contains information on some general tasks we’re expected to complete, and then there are job qualifications, which are the skills, programs, and years of experience necessary to fulfill the job role.
Have you ever seen a job description or a job title that sounded PERFECT for you? Yet, maybe you didn’t quite have the 8 years of experience they were looking for, or you weren’t familiar with a program they used?
In this case, I might think I’m the perfect writer for a story, believing in a brand’s values and wanting to share their product on my blog. But maybe they’re asking for at least 1,000 social followers – which I definitely don’t have.
It can be discouraging, but it shouldn’t stop us from applying. We should still contact an employer, apply, and sell them on why we would be an awesome addition to their team. That’s exactly what I’m doing to work with brands.
Since I don’t have social media followers, I’ve got Google Analytics if they need numbers (page views, time spent on the website, number of users). But most of the time, I simply send an email, pitch myself / why I’d be a great fit for a story, and then BOOM. I get a yes or a no.
It’s okay if you don’t have the official social following. It all comes down to your skills, your deadlines, and your ability to connect with people. Get the story, get the product, follow your passion, and don’t let social media be a roadblock.
I’d like people to think about social media and ask themselves why they use it, how often they use it, and if it will make them happier in the bigger picture. Do what’s right for you.
We define who we are
The movies we watch, the music we listen to, the people we engage with, the jokes we laugh at, the books we read, and the words we speak reflect who we are and what we believe in.
If something’s not working, or if you feel the slightest need for a change, then make it happen! I adjusted when I no longer felt a need to be part of the slippery slope of social media.
As a result, I created this blog. I customized my website to fit my professional and creative needs, and to share what I’ve learned.
Change is never easy, and paving your own path isn’t easy. Being true to yourself and filling your life with positive influences will help you in the long term.