Can You Have A Social Media Presence Without Showing Yourself On It? (Yes You Can)
July 13, 2020
During my blogging break, I began to think about my social media sites including this blog. I enjoy blogging and writing is something I enjoy doing, but after looking at other lifestyle blogs that focused on topics I wanted to talk about on this blog I became worried. The bloggers of the lifestyle blogs I looked at showed their faces. They had great photographs of themselves featured in many of their posts. And their other social media profiles also had beautiful photographs of them on them. Although everything about their blogs fit the style of the blogs and the subject matter they talked about, I felt self continuous about being a blogger because I never post photographs of myself.
Although I have photographs of myself, I don’t like posting them because they were taken while I was sick and didn’t feel very well. I didn’t mind photographs taken of me, but I didn’t want to post them until my health improved beyond a certain point. I still have not passed that certain point so I don’t post photographs of myself online. Despite this, I wanted to have a blog, an Instagram, and YouTube channel. So, I needed to get creative with how I approached my social media presence. I didn’t post selfies of myself on Instagram. Instead I posted photographs I took that I’m proud of. I can’t post photographs of my outfit of the day, so I share pictures of clothing I enjoy owning. But as for YouTube, things are a little bit harder.
I know certain YouTube videos I want to make will make it impossible to be hidden behind the camera and doing a voice over, but others can. Sadly, I can’t make as many YouTube videos as I want to because of this. So, I focused on making videos that allowed me to be hidden and keep a list of future videos I want to make that will need me in front of the camera.
Even though I decided to refrain from posting photographs of myself, I still wondered if there are bloggers or YouTubers that are like me and don’t show themselves on camera. Like I said before, after searching for bloggers that chose to stay offline that blogged about topics I wanted to blog about was hard. I know there are bloggers who don’t show themselves online or if they do it’s sparse, but during my search I couldn’t find anyone. I found this strange because I have followers on this blog that don’t show themselves much if at all online. So what’s going on?
The problem with my searches is that I turned to Google to help me find new bloggers. Google likes to put certain blogs at the top of the search results because the blog’s follower count is high. In fact, after looking at the blogs and bloggers’ social media pages, I realized they are influencers, not passionate blogging hobbyists like me. Although I hope to one day earn some extra money from my blogs, I’m not interested in turning it into a career. I always had other jobs that helped pay my bills and, after seeing what lengths some influencers go to in order to keep money steadily flowing into their bank accounts, it’s not something I would like to do for a profession.
Since I’m not willing to become a full-time influencer, I have the freedom to choose what I want to post, when, and why. I don’t need to focus on showing myself online when I’m not physically, mentally, or emotionally ready to do so. Instead, I can have blogs, YouTube, and other social media profiles and not feel pressured to enhance my persona online by posting photographs of myself or needing to show myself online in order to have the potential for a sponsored post or video.
Yet, is it possible to take sponsored posts without showing yourself on social media? It depends on a variety of things. After following Japanese and South Koren YouTube channels for a while, I know they do receive requests for sponsored videos. One YouTuber, Rhea Y., mentioned it in her video called “It’s Payday! Do You Need Money to be Happy? My Payslip & Monthly Budget” that she does receive sponsorships for products in her videos. So, can this style of product placement and sponsorship on social media work in the United States?
In my opinion, it could, if the company wants to work with the influencer. The problem is companies that normally work with social media influences in the United States and Western countries generally expect the person to be more of a model and/or a spokesperson instead of showing off their product. Sophie Shohet, an influencer who works a nine to five day job as a marketer, made a video talking about how and why luxury brand gift bags to influencers. Although this video focuses on luxury brands, she does talk about other brands in general and how it fits into the marketing budget of companies and touches briefly on some criteria for influencers brands want to work with.
So, back to my original topic of this post: Can you have a social media presence without showing yourself online? Absolutely. I’m doing it. Others are doing it. And many more will do it in the future. The key to doing it successfully is focusing on a broad topic you can talk about without needing to show yourself. But can you become an influencer or internet famous because of it? Probably not. Unless the topic you pick for your social media is something that is generally accepted as a topic that doesn’t need a human presence to be viewed, it will be harder to be seen as someone who has the potential to become famous or make a career out of social media. And that’s not counting how hard it is to become Insta-famous or a professional influener even if you do post photographs and video of yourself online.
As for me, I don’t mind. I keep my blogs as a way to share my interests and hobbies with others. Also, after years of being sick, having a blog serves as a therapy for me. Many years ago, my doctors recommended I start a blog for sewing, art, and photography because I felt as though my passion for my hobbies in any way shape or form was gone. Talking about them online and forcing myself to interact with others brought me out of my comfort zone and made me more confident in who I am, what I like, and what I don’t like. Although others may come to social media and blogging for other reasons, this is mine. And I’m happy I can do it without the pressure of showing myself online while I’m sick and not ready to because it’s my job.