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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

I began my first influencing/content creator account on April 19, 2023. 151 days have passed since then. I am writing this article on September 17, 2023. Since that original creation date, I have created 392 posts: 159 on Instagram, 169 on TikTok, and 64 on YouTube. 

I began posting on social media about six months ago because I lost myself. I was working a job that wasn’t me. I was isolating myself and missing out on experiences. I missed my old self. It didn’t have to do with the girl who made videos when she was younger, but rather the girl who used to sing in her room, do coffee reviews, make other people hysterically laugh, create vision boards, explore the city, etc. She had been missing for a long time, and I kept wondering when she would be found.

I remember calling my boyfriend and telling him I wanted to start something on the side of my 9-5 co-op job. I thought about selling clothes on eBay, dropshipping, taking courses online, etc. It wasn’t necessarily about the money but more about having a separate outlet to do something more than just working my HR job. The ideas I brainstormed were great, but they weren’t me. 

And then, one day, it dawned on me: Instagram. Social Media. Make content. I had done it before when I was in high school, but those accounts had been deleted. I hadn’t been consistent with it, and it had been so long. I kept toying with the idea of starting a new Instagram. 

“What if people laugh? It’s different making one of these accounts in college. What if I’m not consistent again? I’ll be a failure.” All of these thoughts became storm clouds draped over my mind. 

So, what did I do? I overrode these negative, anxious thoughts and created my Instagram account anyway. And boy, it has been a blessing for the past 151 days. I’m me again. I create content on mental health, wellness, fitness, being real, showing my favorite places in Boston, embarrassing stories, etc. 

Aside from falling back in love with myself due to each and every post I create, I realized that I have gained true insight into who I am through this personal brand.

It has always been my goal to get views, likes, etc. But regardless of whether my content is performing super well or not, I have realized that I have the capacity to inspire others as well as myself. By posting two to three times a day on different platforms, I have proven to myself that I can be consistent. How can I apply this to other areas of my life? If I am interviewing for a job in the near future, I will use social media to display how I am dedicated to my craft even when life gets busy. Additionally, this personal brand shows my creative side: my posts consist of fun fonts, bright colors, positive vibes and authentic messages. Again, in the future of my career, through my posts and videos, I will be able to show that my personality is fun, bubbly, funny and real. 

Finally, this personal brand is helpful in college. The number of people in clubs, when I’m walking on campus, etc., who have come up to me and told me that they love my account is something I am truly grateful for. People respect me because of my content, and the goal of my content is always to display a direct reflection of who I am. 

My Instagram, TikTok and YouTube could be viewed as this try-hard college girl who just makes cringey content and embarrasses herself. But from my perspective, it has shown me who I am again. And I will continue to make loads and loads more content while being authentic to myself and building a personal brand.

So, if you’re scared that people will laugh and judge you, outshine them. Do what scares you. Be risky and try. Remember that there are so many easy ways to succeed and only one way to fail. What’s stopping you?

My username on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube is @michellesyllvester
Follow along and let me know if you came from this article! 

Michelle Sylvester

Northeastern '25

Michelle Sylvester is a third year communications and media studies major minoring in psychology. She loves to do her work in coffee shops around Boston, create social media content, journal, watch sunsets, work out, and sing.