Maggie: Unfiltered

I recently had dinner with a friend in the marketing industry. When I told her I was starting my blog back up again, she eagerly asked me, “Ooh, what’s the focus of it going to be?”

Admittedly, I didn’t have an answer for her.

As a good little marketer, I know that if I want to attract a dedicated, loyal audience, I need to understand my target audience, and my target audience has specific interests. I firmly believe you can’t be all things to all people, and to that end, you need to have a niche. You need to have a focus. To be successful, you have to narrow yourself into a neat little box that you can target ads to.

But you know what? I’m tired.

I’m tired of doing what I’m “supposed” to do instead of doing the things I want to do. I’m tired of trying to fit my life into what the internet thinks it should be, because that’s the cool trend of the day. And I’m really freaking tired of trying to edit my photos to all look a certain way so that my Instagram account has an “aesthetic” that doesn’t represent my life in any way, shape or form.

I’m also tired of feeling like I’m supposed to fit my life into a neat and tidy box to begin with. As humans, we’re made to be incredibly complex beings. I am more than “fitness” or “makeup” or whatever niche I thought I belonged to.

There’s a lot on the internet about building your personal brand, especially in marketing. And I really do believe that having a personal brand is super important - you need to be able to accurately reflect who you are in an online persona, especially these days when potential employers look up your LinkedIn profile (and more) before they hire you.

So many times I see people going to the extreme and focusing on one specific area of their life to focus on. I get it, I really do. Been there, done that. It’s effective to hyper-focus yourself so you can create content around your target audience. You can easily build a loyal following by creating content and interacting with people with a common interest.

But you know what’s also effective? Being yourself. And for me, being myself isn’t just powerlifting. It isn’t just having pink hair, or liking makeup, or any of those things. Being me is a whole bunch of things, like music and travel and faith and adventures and fitness and homeownership. It’s joy and laughter and friendships. It’s struggling to fail well and having moments where I ugly cry so hard I run out of tears.  And you know what? I am totally, amazingly in love with all of that.

If you’re building a business, of course, having a niche is important. I totally understand the need for it. But here’s the thing: I’m not out here trying to sell anything. I’m not trying to “get sponsored,” build a business, make money off ads, or any of that. I just love sharing my corner of the world through words & photos in the most authentic way I can.

The world has enough edited photos and inauthentic influencers. I actually made a little pact with myself about a year ago that I would stop altering photos of my face or my body in any way. In a world with apps like FaceTune, it’s all too easy to swipe your finger and have all your imperfections disappear. But you know what? Our imperfections are what make us human. Sure, I have wrinkles on my forehead and lines under my eyes. But the wrinkles on my forehead and eyes are probably from laughing and enjoying life and if that’s the cost of laughter, I’m okay with that.

I’m tired of being tired of trying to edit my photos, to come up with clever captions on my posts. I’m over attempting to make my “personal brand” be about something that doesn’t represent all the fullness that is my life.

So from here on out, I’ll be writing and posting basically whatever comes to my mind. Business stuff? Sure. Random life advice? You bet. Lifestyle articles? Yep!

Is it going to make me money or get me advertisers? Probably not. But am I going to enjoy it? Absolutely.

Today, I bring you my life: unfiltered.