I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few days. If I’m honest, as a blogger and micro-influencer, it’s a thought process that is often rolling around in the recesses of my mind – how not to implode as an influencer and go down in a sea of controversy and infamy. How do I protect my personal brand.

Implosions, implosions everywhere….

Our local mommy blogger/influencer community has been rocked by a number of big name implosions and controversies in the past few months, but in truth, this is not a new phenomenon and certainly isn’t one exclusive to mommy bloggers,  I mean just look at Donovan Tooth?! When you open up your life to public scrutiny and you share your opinions openly online, you know that this is a risk you take.

You’re not a sandwich, so you can’t make everyone happy and quite honestly, social media is a strange creature with a portion of your followers following you because they actually dislike you. You just won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

Bizarre, I know!

There have been allegations of plagiarism, buying of followers, racism, and plenty of other unbecoming and flakey behavior in our community over the years.

To be honest, I’ve thought about it a lot, in terms of how to avoid it. How to not have this happen to me, nobody wants to be on the receiving end of this kind of publicity.

I could be wrong, but I think I have the answer and I think it’s pretty easy….. BE AUTHENTIC…. Maybe not so easy after all.

What is authenticity?

When a person is authentic, it means that they act in ways that genuinely show how they feel. They do this rather than putting on different faces around different people, or tailoring their personality based on context. Personal authenticity is the daily expression of your core beliefs and personality.[1] To be authentic, you need to accept yourself for who you are, and treat others with respect. Authentic people display a consistent set of values and don’t change their behavior from one conversation to the next.

Credit: WikiHow

I know authenticity is such a buzz word in our community, but I do think it’s true meaning is often misunderstood. Authenticity doesn’t mean that you can’t have a curated feed. It doesn’t mean that you can’t focus on honing your photography skills and spending money on props and presets. It doesn’t mean you’re being inauthentic when you present a beautiful grid. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get to enjoy and share experiences and opportunities that you may not have otherwise been able. And it doesn’t mean that you have to share outside of your niche or outside of what you are comfortable with.

So what does authenticity mean?

To me, authenticity means showing my true self in everything I present online. It means that I don’t present myself as something I’m not. I don’t talk with authority on subjects I don’t feel confident about by stealing the words of others. I don’t pretend to be anti-racist if I don’t truly understand what that means, even though I am still learning. I don’t prop up my following with fake and bought followers in an attempt to look more influential that I truly am. And I don’t stand up for a cause and then drop it like it’s hot when a better opportunity presents itself.

Authenticity to me means showing up in all my flawed glory, with my core values intact, admitting that I don’t always have my shit together or that I don’t necessarily understand a movement but that I want to learn. It’s humbling myself and showing the less than perfect parts along with the magnificent parts of who I am that make me authentic.

Being authentic isn’t about being right. It isn’t about being popular. It isn’t about being relevant. It isn’t about doing things for the gram.

For me, authenticity is a core personal value and one that

I really wanted to share this, not just because I think it’s something that’s on so many of our minds, but also, as a reminder to me of who I am and how I choose to conduct myself online.

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this?