When I started Simply Audree Kate in 2012, I thought my reader base would at most reach my immediate family, a few relatives here or there, and my friends I forced to read my blog posts. I never thought I would be here today reaching over 20,000 people each week, talking about my life here in New York, sharing a glimpse of what it’s like to work in the fashion industry, or even the struggles of entering adulthood. To some people, even my family, it’s weird that so much of my life is public information online or that I’m sitting here writing down my thoughts and not knowing who will read it or if I personally know you.

In November when I added two new girls, Dayna and Christina, to Team SAK, they asked me a couple questions like, “how do I balance work, my personal life and social media,” “where do I draw the line of what I share online, and do I really share everything online.” Both of these girls have been following SAK for a couple years, so they were familiar with the brand, what I posted on the blog and online, but they both said it was interesting to see what really went on behind the camera of when I’m not posting online. These questions motivated me to sit down and actually put into words my thought process and reasoning behind what I post, and how I balance a private personal life and technology when my entire life is technically online.

My focus for my brand and community is to always be authentic, genuine and positive. I do share a large part of my life online, since my brand is personal (in case you didn’t know… I’m Audree…of Simply Audree Kate) and a high percentage of my audience is young professionals wanting to learn more about the fashion industry and my career. With that being said, I do have strict lines and things that I do not post online, because at the end of the day, I want Simply Audree Kate to be a professional brand and business.

About a year ago, I was still fairly new in the freelance world—I was spending day in and day out by myself in my apartment or coffee shops, working on my own and aimlessly scrolling through social media. It became a toxic relationship where I felt like I wasn’t doing enough in my career, sharing enough about my life, but then again, I felt like my life wasn’t worthy of sharing. Was my day-to-day interesting? My relationships didn’t seem “#RelationshipGoal” worthy to post and I wasn’t jet-setting around the world. I was down deep in the black hole of social media and I felt like I was 13-years old again and feeling so small and alone. Dramatic? Maybe…but then again, I had no co-workers, office setting or other freelance friends to talk about this with. It came to the point where I literally got so sick of myself and my internal pity party that I stopped. I stopped caring what people were doing or posting, I unfollowed accounts I didn’t want to follow, stopped listening or reading rants on social media, and I stopped hanging out with people who only wanted to talk about social media algorithms and complaining about the blogging industry. I slowly stopped caring so much and started focusing on me, Simply Audree Kate and our future and goals.

Day by day I cut back on how much I am scrolling through Instagram and started focusing on creating more balance between work and my personal life. I try and separate the two. I have always had a mental guideline of what I share online, and still to this day, I follow those rules. I don’t post about personal things like politics, religion, romantic relationships, private family matters or personal negative things or hardships I’m going through. I know many bloggers or people online who share EVERYTHING about their life, and if that’s you, or that’s what you like, that’s amazing and there’s some people I love seeing all of those aspects, but I decided to keep some things more private and personal, purely for my own happiness. I wanted to create a space that focused on the fashion industry and was inspiring, positive, inclusive, authentic and a little creative oasis. We all have struggles, we’re all human, we’re constantly bombarded with social, political and personal issues and negative headlines, and I didn’t want my platform to be that. I felt so consumed by the things I was seeing online that I didn’t even feel like I could break past that negativity and create my own content.

Since everything that I do could technically turn into work or ‘blog content,’ I made the conscious effort to turn off my “blogger switch” and live in the moment. When I’m with my family, I still snap a few pics and share things that we do, but I’ve also made a bigger effort to set down my phone and social media and live in the moment. The same goes with friends and dating. I also stopped caring so much about perfecting the food restaurant shot, if my Instagram grid is correct or if I’m wearing makeup on my Instagram stories. If I really don’t feel like posting on social media one day, you know what? I don’t. I turned off my social media pop-up notifications and stopped focusing so much on my follower number count and more on the followers themselves.

Other routines I recently adopted is making an “offline” morning and night routine. When I wake up, I don’t check my email or social media for the first 30 minutes or so until I’m done with my bathroom/beauty routine, make my bed and sit down to do my makeup or eat breakfast. I also don’t check my social media or email during my night routine and never go to bed with my phone or laptop. These little routines, seem simple, but have made a huge difference in my mood and motivation level.

Drawing the line between business and my personal private life was a great decision for me because I felt like I could oddly enough dive into Simply Audree Kate 110% and treat it like a business, not feel the pressure to post about every aspect of my life and be the superstar lifestyle, documentary blogger I thought I needed to be. I (try my best) to stop myself from going into the deep black hole of Instagram and comparing myself to every person, picture or issue. I’m happy where I’m at now, whether that’s just my parents reading my blog, or someone in a small suburb wanting to visit New York City one day. I now treat social media as a business tool to grow my community, connect with my followers and have fun.

My business wouldn’t be possible without social media and I am grateful that I can use social media to have a positive influence. There is so much negativity surrounding social media at the moment, and whether you’re feeling the way I did or looking to curate a more positive community around you, I want to help you with that. I want Simply Audree Kate to be a genuine, engaging and fun platform for my readers and myself. It doesn’t have to be so serious and I love that I’ve had the opportunity to create this brand through the power of social media and meet so many amazing people, like you!

How do you manage your social media consumption and is there anything you want to see on SAK social media? Let me know, I’d love to hear your thoughts! xo

PUFFER COAT (C/O LULU’S) | HOODIE (C/O TOBI) | JEANS (C/O PARKER) | BOOTS (SEYCHELLES – C/O LULU’S) | SUNGLASSES (VINTAGE SERENGETTI)

PHOTOGRAPHY: SAM KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY
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