Did you know that posting a photo of yourself on social media garners more likes and engagement than posting a photo of nature, a flat lay or other people?
If you never realized this, scroll through your own feed and compare the numbers of likes, comments and engagement with a photo of yourself (preferably a close up shot with you smiling) to one that's of a cup of coffee or a pet. The numbers of engagement for the photo of yourself is likely to have had twice if not three times more interest than one without your face in it.
I recently met someone who was asking about my writing and brand. I told her to search Struck Inside Out on Instagram so that she could check out my daily content. I noticed how the moment she landed on my page I wanted to explain to her why there were so many selfies and photos of myself.
"I promise I'm not vain! The photos I post of myself always have higher numbers of engagement and visits to my websites, so I stick to what works. Influencers mainly post photos of themselves for this purpose, but I try to switch it up sometimes, even with my lack of camera skills and when I know nature shots or photos of my home don't do as well."
I don't know why I felt the need to explain this to a woman I had just met. I realized how self-conscious I was about my own brand and image. I thought of the few family members and friends who had told me in passing that I post too many photos of myself. That old swell of sublimation grew and my cheeks flushed.
The truth is, I understand this criticism and I've caught myself thinking the same thing when looking through other people's accounts. I think, "God, is this what our world has become? A constant stream of egoism?"
But honestly, deep down, that's not what I really think.
When I was offended by a family member pointing out the number of photos I posted of myself, albeit, with quality content and pieces of writing that I believed in, I wondered why this person couldn't see the woman working toward her dreams, rather than a display of pretentiousness. Why was it easier for them to tell me what they didn't like about my feed rather than what they did? Why are we so quick to judge someone for being cocky, conceited or arrogant rather than confident and happy with who they are?
I'm someone who puts myself out there pretty much every day. I write honestly and from the heart and I share parts of my life that I think will help others. This means that I not only put myself on public display to receive commentary, but I'm welcoming criticism as well. And that's okay, I accept it.
Because the truth is, you're always going to be judged by someone for something. And if you're like me, someone who believes in herself and the validity of her dreams, then you must continue putting yourself out there, regardless of what others think or say.
You're going to be judged anyway. So believe in yourself, love yourself and do what makes your heart happy.
Because at the end of the day, this is all up to you, anyway.