This is my story

There’s something that’s been playing on my heart and in my head, so this seems like the perfect place to share it.

Especially considering the nature of it.

You see, I recently received some negative feedback about me and the way I present online.

At first, I took it on board as constructive criticism. Fair enough. Noted. But then it began to bubble away inside me. I began comparing myself to others. Picking apart my stats. And getting really, really down on myself – almost to the point of not wanting to do this anymore.

{Let’s stop right here and note: this is NOT a pity party. No way, no thanks.}

Even though I’m nearly 5 years deep with this whole blogging and social media influencer thing, I’m not a robot.

I’m very much a human being who takes things to heart when not-so-lovely comments are directed at me. About me.

So I’ve taken some time to process this experience and I’ve come to realise that people who aren’t in the blogging / social media influencer world probably don’t realise all that’s involved in it.

And so there are a few things I want to share – from my perspective because everyone is different and has a different story to share…

This is my story.

Sonia Styling

I choose how I present myself

I feel best when my hair is done, my nails are done and I have a spray tan.

I’ve been accused of being vain more than once in my lifetime, but guess what? I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.

It may have something to do with my younger years. Growing up in a back brace with acne and braces on your teeth will really knock around your self-esteem as a teenager. And it takes a long, long time to move forward from that.

But also? I just really bloody love those things – the hair, the nails, the tan.

They make me feel good. And that makes me feel like I look good. And that gives me the confidence – as someone who does not have model proportions – to stand in front of a camera, have my photo taken, and post it on the internet for anyone and everyone to judge.

I choose to work with a photographer (mostly)

Most of you know that Sonia Styling is not my full-time job. It never has been and it may never be.

These days, my job is my business – Scribe and Social – and that takes up so much more of my week than any corporate job ever has.

So, to balance my client workload during the week with my precious weekends spent with my husband, I schedule a photoshoot with a photographer on a fortnightly basis. Usually a Friday morning, as most of my client work is done by then.

We photograph any outfits I want to post and any extra photos I need taken.

I choose to do this because not only does it produce beautiful photos I’m really proud to post, it also frees up my time.

It means I no longer ask my ‘Instagram Husband’ to forego half of his weekend nor am I that friend anymore, asking for outfit photos or preventing anyone from eating or drinking until I get the shot.

It may not mean that 100% of my Instagram feed is “instant” but these days – whose is?

Having said that, I’ve relaxed my standards a little and I’m posting the odd candid/spontaneous photo when the time is right, because it’s still nice to share some of the other real life stuff that happens when my phone isn’t in my hand.

I choose the brands I work with

Above all, I see Sonia Styling as a platform of privilege.

I have an amazing group of people who follow me and I see that as an incredible opportunity to be able to pay it forward.

I may not be the biggest fish in the pond, but this little fish loves nothing more than showcasing brands – particularly small businesses – so that you can discover them, fall in love with them and want to support them.

Not every post is “sponsored” (paid for). Not every item is gifted. But everything I feature I’m 100% passionate about, love and would buy for myself or as a gift for a friend.

I tag the brands/businesses that I’m wearing or have been to see, so that you know who they are. You can then choose to check them out and buy from or visit them, if you wish. It’s information sharing – just as you would do when chatting with a friend. And I’m using my platform to share that information and support those brands and businesses.

If I could share one piece of advice… before you dismiss a collaboration between a blogger/influencer and a brand, think about the people behind that business who are really excited to have their product showcased to a whole new audience. They’ve put their trust and faith in us – the bloggers and influencers – to deliver their message to you with the hopes of the best possible outcome. It’s a big deal to them. And to us.

I choose the hours that I work

One of the “perks” of working for yourself is being able to set your own hours.

Again, I share a lot of my life, especially on Instagram Stories.

The new Snapchat, Instagram Stories allows us to share more of our everyday lives and behind the scenes – spontaneous and in the moment.

What you may not realise is that Instagram Stories also allows you to upload any photos and videos from your camera roll, from any time in the past. So, that could be right now or a week (or month!) ago.

Yes. You may see me getting my nails done on a Monday afternoon, a spray tan on a Tuesday, or my hair done on a Thursday morning.

What you don’t see is that I get up at 5am each weekday to get 2 hours of work in before the day really begins. You also don’t see me in the evenings – The Bachelor on the TV, my husband beside me on the couch, and me with my MacBook on my lap and iPhone in my hand. Working.

And yes, you may see me out for coffee any day of the week. But mostly? It’s a meeting with a client. Or, because I work from home, it’ll be me escaping the house to work from a cafe for a couple of hours to beat the feelings of isolation and writer’s block.

So absolutely, there is freedom and flexibility with owning your own story, but there is no 9-5 and definitely no switching off.

I choose to tell my story my way

I’ve been very honest online these past 5 years. Sometimes to a fault. But I don’t know how to be any other way.

What you see is what you get.

The best possible compliment I ever get from people who meet me for the first time in real life after following me online is that I’m exactly how they thought I’d be. Day. Made!

And so there are different elements of my story that I share here.

Sometimes it’s fashion. Beauty. Lifestyle. Other times it’s something raw, real and incredibly personal.

All of it makes up who I am.

And if that vibes with you, that’s awesome!

And if it doesn’t, that’s totally OK – follow who delights you.

Because I’m going to continue to share what delights me and challenges me here, because…

This is my story.

Comments

  1. Michelle says

    Hi Sonia,
    I personally love your blog! I also love your sense of style, your love of dogs and in general, your ability to keep it real. I am one of the privileged people who have met you. I felt like a crazy stalker at the time but said hello and you were so sweet, up for a chat and a lady who was very grounded and gracious. Keep doing what you love because you do make a difference. Perhaps after reading this edition of your blog, those keyboard warriors might learn to “zip their lip”. . Mich xox

  2. Kirstie says

    Thanks for sharing! Go you! I for one love your blog and how open and honest you are with your readers! Be kind to yourself! Remember you are a human being, not a human doing…. be what you want to be, what makes you feel good and makes your life balance work and bugger everyone else!! Haters gonna hate and all that!!

  3. Nevenka says

    Dear Sonia, It is such a great gift to be comfortable in your own skin and the ones that choose to bring us down are often jealous and not ready to accept themselves. Age brings wisdom and I have been fortunate to have life coach that truly has helped me. I think your site and suggestions are amazing! You truly do not need to explain yourself. The best bit of advice from my boss was the 80/20 rule. 80% will love us and the other 20% want to bring you down. Ignore your20%! Next time you are in Melbourne prosecco is waiting here for you as a thank you!

  4. Anna says

    Good for you! It’s so important to be true to yourself and make no apologies for who you are. You come across as truly lovely and I’m sorry you have received those negative comments. It’s clearly their issue. Keep on doing what you’re doing, you’re fabulous!

  5. Mish says

    I like what you do Sonia!
    How you represent yourself and the brands that you feature. It’s wonderful to see other comments from people who say they’ve met you and you are exactly the same in real life as you are on the blog, because that’s how I imagine you would be. Don’t listen to the people who have nothing better to do with their time than to try and pull you down. They are the ones who will never accomplish anything. Just keep being you 🙂

  6. says

    YOU matter. YOU are enough. YOU are genuine. YOU are gorgeous. YOU don’t have to justify YOU to anyone. YOU write so beautifully. YOU keep doing YOU … because YOU are magnificent. 🤗💜 Thank you so much for being YOU and sharing yourself and your story with us. 😘 #respect

  7. Kerrie says

    I 💙reading your blog l think you are amazing in what you do in a day .l have my hair done and my nails it makes me feel good some people have to put people down maybe it makes them feel good!!

  8. Tracey says

    Well Sonia, personally I think you and your blog are fabulous! keep doing what your doing because there are plenty of us out there who love what you do.
    DON’T listen to those who pass judgement in a negative way…don’t let them bring you down xo

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