The Winter Burnout: Some Thoughts on Personal Branding
Over the past few weeks, it’s seemed like a lot of my blogger friends are feeling burnt out on posting, writing, or developing their blogs. I think part of that can be attributed to the fact that we haven’t seen the sun in a few weeks, but I also think that some of these beaten down feelings can come from over comparing ourselves to others. We see others being successful and we wonder why we aren’t seeing the same results. We doubt our outfits, our sites, our posts – and on rough nights, we wonder if anyone even reads or cares about the content we’re putting out. It’s easy to say “community over competition" and support people doing awesome things – but it can be a little more difficult to keep self doubt from trickling in to our mindset.
What, you might be asking, does this have to do with personal branding?
Figuring out your personal brand allows your audience to see that you’re proud of what makes you “you.” Take me for example,
1. I dye my (naturally blonde) hair black, I cut my bangs short and I have a bunch of colorful tattoos.
2. I am lucky enough to travel a good amount (I try to stick to warm, sunny places).
3. I like to take pictures of my outfits.
4. I try to be open about my struggles and failures, in a productive way.
My goal is to have an impact but I don't want to put out empty content - which is why personal branding is so interesting to me. I want to present my authentic self, but I've also grown to recognize that this doesn't mean I need to share every little bit of myself.
For me, developing my personal brand is about figuring out what I do well and what people relate to. My focus is on putting out content that makes girls feel a little less alone – whether it’s by talking about how to deal with bullies or sharing an adventure I went on. I use social media and my blog to share a portion of my life, one that can help people feel inspired, one that can help people feel less alone.
Personally, I often feel burnt out and doubtful of my blog when I feel knocked down. It can be really hard to share parts of your life when you know there are people out there ready to cut you down for doing so. For others, doubt can come when comparing yourself to others who are experiencing success. It’s important to remember that one person’s success doesn’t equal your failure, and that one person’s negative opinion doesn’t have to have an impact on your positive state.
When I first started blogging, I didn’t have any sort of focus – and it lead to me getting easily burnt out and fading off. When I revamped my blog, I had a set focus but I still didn’t feel committed. Over the past few months, I’ve developed an audience, I’ve shared things I never thought I would and I’ve seen the impact that my posts have had. I owe this success to getting serious about personal branding – to becoming more aware of what parts of my life I felt were important to share.
Listen, there are going to be people who don’t get what you do. There are going to be people who make fun of you, who judge you, or who never, ever, ever bother reading a single post. But here’s the thing, when you sit down to figure out your personal brand – what you’re great at and what you want to share – it presents you with so much freedom. It presents you with the freedom to control what you put out without the fear that you aren’t sharing enough, allowing you a break from constant social media scrolling. It lets you realize that you can be authentic without oversharing, you can control your content without being fake and you can be successful on your terms vs. anyone else’s. People will love it, people will hate it – but if it makes you happy, if it makes you feel in touch with yourself, then anyone else’s opinion is just their opinion. It doesn’t impact you.
Figure out what you love and what you want to put out in the world – and the rest will fall in to place. I promise.