This post is sponsored by Lane Bryant
Someone sent me an interesting question via Instagram DM last night. Here’s what she said:
To me, what she’s asking is pretty simple– how can I be vulnerable and still protect myself?
This is such a good question, it’s something I think about (and work on) all the time.
We’ve probably all seen people online who share REALLY personal things. We see the attention they get, the ways they help other people with their stories and it’s often very impactful. If you’re trying to build a brand it may be tempting to spill your guts to the world in order to gain a following.
I understand that it may be tempting to use vulnerability to connect with people online. You can absolutely be vulnerable, but don’t have to “spill all your tea” if you don’t want to.
Here is a rule I follow when it comes to vulnerability in my work.
It’s important to know the difference between what’s personal and what’s private.
One of the best things about my work online is that I get to set the rules for my brand. I decide what I share and how I use my life story and experiences to help you.
I have an extremely personal brand, while being a very private person.
Here’s an example for you:
You guys typically figure out when I’m in a relationship– that’s personal.
But, you guys never know who I’m dating because– that’s private.
So if you want to make content, how do you determine what’s personal and private without driving yourself insane?
You set the rules!
Like when I went away for the weekend a few weeks ago…
My style is typically pretty modest, so sharing photos of myself in a bikini is a very personal thing for me.
I found some really cute plus size cover ups and the 2020 plus size swimsuits had just dropped. I know how hard it is to find cute plus size swim and plus size beach looks so I decided to take photos to help you with your summer shopping.
I’ve been working on my self confidence and sharing my progress with you for years now, so even though it’s a little more skin than I usually like to show, I’m happy to post pictures of me in a bikini because personal moments like this are huge wins for my confidence… and my prayer is that someone will see my confidence growing and it will encourage them in their journey.
This is the personal side of my work that keeps me growing and learning and leveling up. I shared it with you and I feel good about it.
But there are a bunch of private things I did not share online.
Who was I traveling with?
Where did we stay?
What was the occasion?
Private. Private. Private.
Why? Because I set the rules of my brand.
So, if you want to learn how to be vulnerable– make a list of the things you are willing to offer to the public. Think about the parts of your story that you know can help someone else. Then make a list of what’s off limits. Give yourself freedom to test things and change the rules as you go. Most importantly, have fun!
A big part of my brand is that I want to make impact and income with my work. My job is to serve you and I really don’t want to go back to being a barista. If my work has inspired you, educated you, motivated you or entertained you– feel free to make a donation so that I can continue.
Don’t quit your daydream, dolls!