“Build your brand” is something that I find myself hearing over, & over, & over lately. Everyone is trying to “build their brand” & everyone is telling you to build yours. Essentially, they are telling you to become something, create this product, (i.e. the product being your “persona”), stick to it, & promote it. I get it, I do. With all these social media sites it’s so easy for us to do this. We create a persona, an aesthetic, & then we capitalize on it. I’m not at all knocking this because I know it works, I see people doing it & succeeding greatly every single day. While I’m not knocking it, I am saying that it’s something I simply have no interest in partaking in & let me tell you why.
Brand: a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.
I am not a product & I am not a company. I am a person. I am Taylor. I am not a brand. I am not a walking Instagram page or a post on my blog. I am an ever-evolving human & if I create this persona, this aesthetic, that I feel obligated to uphold, even when it isn’t really me, or no longer me, then I’m far from genuine, & ultimately that’s what I am striving to be. I’m learning how important it is for me to be genuine & to have genuine people in my life. For me, these two things go hand in hand. One can’t exist without the other. In order for me to have these kind of people in my life, I have to first be that kind of person myself. Our society & generation gets so incredibly caught up in this fake world of social media that I think we forget what it’s like to be a real person. Don’t get me wrong, I fall into the trap as well, but I’m trying really hard to stop doing that, to be more mindful. I struggle internally a lot when it comes to social media. On one hand, I have to use it for my line of work, & that’s a reality I have accepted. I see how much money can be made & have made money from it before. But on the other hand, I see how toxic & how manipulative it really is. Social media is fake. Social media is a bunch of human beings promoting themselves to the world as a “brand.” To me, that literally makes no sense. Now some might argue that I’m using social media right now to promote my writings, to get people to read, & I absolutely am. But the difference is this little blog site, is my safe haven. I’m not writing for likes or validation, I’m writing because it’s something I love to do. If I pretended that I didn’t love to write or share experiences, my experiences, with those interested & willing to listen because of other people’s opinions, that wouldn’t be very genuine of me. This is a place where I can be honest with myself & honest with those who end up here. This a place for me to be open & connect with other people who might find themselves going through similar things.
I don’t believe in the term build your brand because I am not a brand. I am a young woman navigating my 20’s. A young woman who is going to mess up & make mistakes. A young woman who has a lot to say. If I try to market myself to the world as a “brand” then I am stuck. I’m stuck trying to sell you this “product,” but the product is indeed the persona I’ve created. The one I must obtain. If I market myself as a brand, I can’t evolve, I can’t become more, & I can’t become less. I have no interest in becoming this product being sold to the world. Instead, I am interested in being myself. For a long time, I was afraid to share the things I wrote even though I was really proud of them. I was scared of the judgment & criticism that might come with it. As I get older, & learn more about this whole “life” thing, I am understanding that other people’s opinions of you 1. don’t matter & 2. Is none of your business anyways. I’m finally figuring out that it’s better to remain completely authentic in who you are then it is to pretend to be someone you’re not. When you do this, it’s so much easier for the right people & things to find you.
All I’m saying is, at some point in time, the social media madness will fade. The “brand” that we were all so desperate to shape ourselves into & sell to the world will essentially mean nothing. So when those things are gone what do we do then? If we put all this emphasis on creating & maintaining this persona, we’ll never be able to fully figure out who we really are. We won’t be able to live authentically & genuinely. We won’t create real relationships or pursue the real things we love & if we aren’t doing that then what are we really doing?
Just think about it.