Likes.. They Are More Than A Number
"To many models base their talent off how many likes they have instead of how good they are at their own passion and craft. I see more and more who have so much potential lose their footing because all they want is more likes and instead of appreciating the following they have and allowing it to grow with them, they put aside the potential brand they could have because they want it all to be now. I have worked at this for six years and I am still in the shallow end of the pond. Focus on your content, not how many people are watching it. You want to be famous? Ok awesome. Are you willing to be patient and put the time in for it to get there? Because if all you care about is the amount of likes you have and not even appreciate the people that they stand for, you are already losing." - Emily Doll
Over the 6 years I have had my Facebook page and have been building my modeling career I have changed a lot of things. Always adjusting and evolving, always paying attention to what I like and enjoy and what just isn't for me. I've tried new things and kept them and I've tried other things that I ditched right out of the door. The newest thing I have introduced to my page is posting links to interesting topics and stories that I enjoy so there is more to my page than just my face. Especially since I am a hard working woman who has a million things to do and shooting new photos every week isn't realistic. Some people enjoy these links and enjoy what they share. Others are pretty hateful about it and don't like the idea of "Click bait" type links being shared or that I might get paid for posting them. I don't hide anything from my followers they know that. I have stated numerous times I get paid for people who click the links and if me making a few cents off this one thing I do on my page to help me and my kids, well I just don't know what to tell you. No one is held hostage and you are free to go. That's the thing about Facebook pages, not everything you post people will like and your page likes will go up and down all the time. That's a fact. But you have to try new things to see what people like and what works. Its part of the job. I want people to enjoy my page and that I am a multi dimensional person who has more things to offer than just my own photos. So I find stories and links I like and I share them. I pay very close attention to my page and all things that have to do with it. I pay attention to what people like and don't like. What they enjoy and the things that I post that help them and inspire their lives. I also know when I post things that aren't too popular due to the amount of up roar it can bring. One thing I have never focused on is the number of likes I have. Why? because likes aren't just a number, they are people and the amount of likes I have doesn't fuel my page, my passion for what I do does. If I focused more on "Like my page! I need to reach this amount of likes! Help me get more!" instead of growing and evolving my own craft and passion, I probably wouldn't be as far as I am.
I get asked a lot by other females in the industry starting out "How do I get my page where yours is?" "How do I get more likes?" "Why won't people like my page?" "How did you get so popular?" "Your work is everywhere how do you get so many shares do you just ask for them?" The answer is simple really. I work 24/7 on my own brand and what it offers and not the number of likes my page has because that isn't what makes my page. Social media has put the modeling market in a very different place. It has opened both positive and negative doors for models. One thing that I have noticed more than not is the amount of posts I see on these modeling pages. It isn't real content but "Like Me like me!" "Share me!" "Who hasn't liked my page?" Then I get the email "Emily what am I doing wrong?' Well I will tell you. You care more about your page likes than your actual brand or craft. You focus more on your popularity and that number than the reason why people should follow you to begin with. The even bigger problem is that people seem to forget that, that isn't just a number, those are people.
So you want to be a model and an internet persona and be popular and have people love your work and know who you are. Nothing wrong with that! Everyone has a dream and no one dream is more important than another. The problem is that none of those things happen over night and none of them happen just by being beautiful, taking photos and posting them. The thing about freelance modeling in today's world is that each model is her own brand and unless she acts as such she is just another wanna be on the internet who created a fan page. I also want to state having a hobby page as a model and having a page you are using as a portfolio to show off your brand is different. One is professional and the other is for fun. Everything is different. You become a professional and gain the perks that come with that title by what you do with your name and brand. Focusing on building that and your platform is what gets you places, not a number in the likes column.
I want you to make a note of something. I am Internationally published pinup model The Vintage Doll. I have been in countless magazines across the globe for not only my modeling work but also my writing. I have been featured on hundreds of websites, Facebook pages, personal accounts, marketing posters, and more! I have been interviewed by brands, magazines and personal blogs around the world. I have worked with both large and small pinup clothing brands and businesses and used my name and brand to help small businesses grow. I have promoted some of the best in the market and worked with some of the most talented photographers. I have been mentioned in the same paragraphs as Dita Von Teese as being a "Pinup Icon" (which blew my mind that people see me that way or even close) and I have had more people share my work and talk about me than I ever thought possible. All of this has happened because I focused on my brand, building my skill, evolving, appreciating, growing, and providing content that not only people enjoyed but sharing my passion in a way that helped and inspired others. The only thing I rely on my "likes" for is the huge support system they are. Likes are people, your fans. They aren't there to be used to make you famous or well known. Be thankful that they support and share your passion at all. Appreciate them and let them come and grow on their own. Then you will know you are really doing something right because it is organically growing and not because you are doing nothing but focusing on gaining more likes than gaining more experience in your work.
My social platforms have reached the following they have from constant work and building on what makes my work great that gets my following where it is. From networking with others and building a brand that people enjoy to stepping out of my own box to do things to better myself and my passion. The "likes" that I have gained are only a product of that hard work but they are people who love what I do and enjoy following me because they know they are not just a number in a group that I put on a shelf as a trophy, but people that I respect and love for getting me through the very difficult sides of being a model and social media personality. The platform I hold isn't always a fun one and sometime there can be some rough seas. They love me and keep my spirits up. They let me know they appreciate who I am and how I am and it's ok to just be myself and keep sharing. They support me and what I love and in return I continue using my passion and the platform I've built to bring them not only things they love but also help them in their own life.
I will be honest. Doing what I do is very hard at times. It can be demanding and stressful. It can make you question yourself or feel bad about yourself. At times it can be negative. I do this because I love it so much. I don't do it to be famous or make money off of it. If that were the case I would have given up a long time ago lol. This feeds my soul and its who I am and what I am good at. I work hard at it and I take a lot of pride in the brand I have created from nothing. I started it out with bad cell phone selfies. My first ever feature was with selfies! I don't get to shoot half as much as girls who only do this as a hobby or have entire professional teams to put together what I have done all by myself since the first day, but I keep going and I make it work. Even if its taking all of my own photos and using my love for photography to shoot myself more than half the time due to my life and the schedules I have to keep. The times that I get to shoot with real professionals is always that much more of an honor. You work hard and you evolve and focus on being your best. That's how you get well known. That's how you grow your brand. Not by buying likes and paying social media companies to do the work for you. None of that is helpful and none of it will ever benefit you as much as doing it yourself.
If you are new and are looking for exposure, there are plenty of places to network your work and share your images and what you do and have them support and share you. Nothing wrong with that. Just don't focus on the "Geez I've been sharing my photos everywhere and I still can't get past 500 likes" Its ok!!! Don't get discouraged. Just keep focused and keep doing what you love. Focus on improving your brand and let the likes come and go as they please. You will get there if you realize now that this type of thing only happens with hard work, patience and learning that likes are real people who's job isn't to make you famous or make you look good because of how many you have collected. Appreciate the people who love you and what you offer them, and be proud as it grows along with you. Every like is just as important, rather it be a small number or a large number you are being supported by people and that's huge. Don't take that for granted. Love them all the same and focus on whats real.
Morale of the story: Too many of you pay more attention to the number of likes on your page than developing your brand and making that page worth being on and in the long run you are hurting yourself more than having a small number of page likes ever could. If you start appreciating the "likes" or supporters you do have no matter how many and stop focusing on how many more you could have, maybe that number will grow on its own. Begging for likes and shares will only hurt your image and brand. That's not being mean that is reality. I started my brand right before social media really started to be a thing for freelance modeling and I am here to tell you I have seen many a new models give up because their pages started shrinking due to them only caring about numbers. Your page can't grow if you don't start paying attention to evolving in your craft and stop paying attention to your page likes.
I am The Vintage Doll and my Facebook page has almost 1 million followers who are supporters of my work and who I love very much. It has taken me 6 years to reach this point. I let people come and go as they please. When my page likes drop I don't notice. When people unlike my page I don't care. I am not better than anyone because so many people like me. I have worth because I constantly work to have it. I work hard, I am honest, I am true to myself, I love my followers no matter how many there are and no matter what, I do this because I love it. Not to be famous and not for likes.
Thank you for reading and I hope this gave you some helpful insight. I share what I do in hopes to help you all reach your goals. I speak from experience and what I have been through and have seen. I hope you go beyond just reaching your goals but changing the world with them. I love you all.
Emily Doll TVD
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