One of the biggest struggles a creative business owner and artist faces is whether to be true to themselves or cave under the pressure of expectations surrounding them. Should we present ourselves as we truly are, or should we pretend to be what we think people want us to be? Should we answer questions in a “right” way or in a true way?
I see this battle raging across every aspect of many photographers’ online content. And to be honest, I see it wreaking crazy havoc.
“Should I stick to what’s marketable or should I be myself?”
The reality of the now is that people are parched for authenticity. And I’m not talking about the kind of “authenticity” that inspires Instagram influencers to post pictures of themselves without makeup or of their house before they clean it. Believe it or not, that’s the easy stuff to share.
I’m talking about the kind of authenticity that leads you to totally embrace who you are and allow your art, your business and your interactions to flow from that place of honesty. And if we stop to think even for a moment, we quickly realize that our favorite photographers — favorite people, even — exist within that place of authenticity.
And yeah, that’s a totally scary thing to do! What if people don’t like who you really are? What if they think your art is too goofy, too old fashioned or too bizarre? What if they think your personality is “a little too much” or “not nearly enough?”
Do you want the truth? Yeah, that’s going to happen.
Some people are going to be put off by the reality of who you are, but, and I can’t emphasize this enough, THAT DOESN’T MATTER!
Here’s the deal: you can’t be anyone’s favorite without being someone’s least favorite.
It’s true in soap scents and kitchen spices, and it’s true in people and art styles, too. So rather than allowing your business to produce cookie cutter art as created by Blandy McBlanderson, embrace your uniqueness and don’t worry about the rest. Your unique stamp will act as a signal fire to your ideal clients, and once they find you, they’ll never let you go.
So, how can you implement more honest pieces of yourself in your written web content? Here are a few quick questions to explore and work into your website and blog posts:
- Can you define your unique signature style using words that you didn’t hear from someone else?
- Can you explain why you are so drawn to this particular style?
- Can you define the tone you use to write written content? Would you use that some word to describe yourself?
- Can you define the experience you hope to give clients? What does that flow from within yourself?
- What are 3-5 things you love to do when you aren’t working? Do you share those pieces of yourself anywhere on your website?
- Did you always want to be a photographer? If so, why? If not, how do your previous hopes and dreams play into how you approach photography?
- Do you ever say in your web content that you LOVE something that you just kind of like or don’t really even enjoy?
- If your best friend or closest family member looked at a piece of your writing, would they find your heart in it? Or would it look as though it was written by someone unrecognizable?
Pretending to be someone you’re not, whether in daily life or online, is one of the quickest roads to a serious case of burnout. Spend time reflecting on these eight questions, and rework your written web content to present a face to the world that looks more like yours and less like the person you wish you were.
Then take a deep breath, and just be yourself!
You are fascinating. You are talented. You are driven. You have a story worth sharing! So share it, with all its honesty and glaring imperfections.
You have nothing to prove to anybody.
So be free, and be yourself!