How to keep up with other influencers (and the disease of comparison)

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Photo by Ruvim Noga on Unsplash

‘How has she just stared and already has 10 thousand followers on instagram?’

‘I need to start doing video, everyone is doing video nowadays.’

‘I must go to more parties and events, she’s going to all the parties and events so I need to. How do I get invited?’

These are the constant inner thoughts of most (all) influencers. The pressure to keep on top of every single platform and kill it whilst doing it is insane. Every influencer spends time looking at the next person and thinking ‘god I wish I had the time to post as much as she does’ or ‘I wish I was as connected as her’, ‘I wish I had as many followers as her’ and so on.

There are so many social media platforms to keep on top of as an influencer. Things like learning and understanding all the new algorithms so that you might just have the best chance of someone seeing your new pic before they suddenly change overnight and you have to start all over again, or spending hours and hours of wasted time trying to learn how to edit videos in iMovie because ‘everyone is doing it’, so of course it must be a necessity (even if you waste hours trying to cut together some kind of witty video).

There’s always a new tactic to try.

‘So and so has been doing this and they got 10 thousand hits overnight’.. better get on top of that one then. Let’s not even start to talk about the now constant need for influencers to also become Vloggers / YouTubers, just because it’s the way the online world is heading. Oh and of course, keeping your bread and butter income running smoothly and churning out good content, oh yes, that little old thing called your career. The one thing that we should all be focusing on and giving the most time to but are slowly being dragged into the quicksand that is being ‘visible’.

I’ve had numerous calls with friends and coaching clients over the last few weeks and it’s always come back to this. Constant comparison again and again to XYZ influencer who is doing it bigger and better. Sometimes they even reference me as being said influencer who is making them feel shitty because my following or engagement is higher, which feels awful. Because I know the feeling. One of my close friends and a fellow influencer was saying something to me about how this newbie had come along and already had so many followers and had everyone talking about her. ‘Do you know what?’ I said. ‘I used to think that about you.’

At the end of the day, we are all swimming around in the same pool, admiring each other’s bikinis.

You know how it is. You slip that bikini on, feel good about yourself and take a lovely little stroll to the pool thinking, yeah, I look pretty hot. I am feeeling myseeeelf!

Then along comes the svelte, sexy newbie who’s got a much better body and her bikini is AMAAAAZING. We start to feel shit and that feeling of being on top of the world all but disappears. Suddenly what we have isn’t good enough and we need to start to compete. Hmmm I’ll get a new bikini (insta feed layout) and I’ll do my makeup better (social media) and I’ll get a personal trainer (consultant) so my body looks as good as that. Now I’m not saying those things shouldn’t be things you invest time and money in, because we could all do with outside help and let’s face it – we are in an industry where you need to constantly be visible and working on your ‘brand’ (god I feel like such a douche saying that). But do it for yourself, not because you are trying to keep up.

The ironic thing is, you spend so much time trying to look and feel as good as the svelte sexy newbie and you forget about the one important thing you should be doing…

THE WORK.

That’s right. You get so caught up in competing that you forget about the people that matter. Your work suffers, your stats drop off, you don’t get as much interaction and if you’re really honest about it, your content starts to suck.

You can’t compete.

Every person, even that sexy svelte newbie has worries. There will always be another sexy newbie to compete with. So what’s the point?! Fall into that trap and you’re about to enter a cycle of years and years of competing.

We never have any idea of what goes on behind closed doors. Some people are born with a genetically good body. They never work out and eat shit food and they look great. Some people get given amazing bikinis every day because their best mate works for the coolest bikini brand. Amazing for them! That’s not you and it will never be so why focus on those points? If someone has left a job of being the editor of so-and-so magazine or went to school with bla-bla or has sooo much money to invest in their blog / video / hire-staff-to-comment-on-photos-on-instagram then of course they’re going to make their moves faster. Don’t worry about it! There is more than enough room for everybody and them moving faster doesn’t affect your ability to move.

Do you. Focus on you.

It’s your journey, your blog and your life. Don’t spend it being miserable that so and so came along and did it faster. We all have our own journey and our own path. Focus on yours. Don’t try to get in someone else’s lane because at the end of the day, it’s not your destiny. You have advantages that they don’t have, believe it or not. You might be the one person that they are looking at and thinking ‘I wish I had her way with words / camera skills / great sense of humour’ (delete as appropriate).

You just don’t know.

We’re all in the same pool, admiring each other’s bikinis.

Now work the shit out of yours.

S x

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