So I had an interesting conversation on Friday night. Sitting in one of my favourite bars just south of the river and well into my second vodka and coke of the evening, I entered into a heated discussion regarding Youtube, and the influencers we find ourselves exposed to on the regular.
I entered the debate from a staunchly pro-Youtube, pro-influencer stance, and felt the need to loyally defend those that I watch on a daily and weekly basis, however listening to the conversation and the opinion of those who perhaps aren’t in the standard demographic for watching Youtubers was really interesting and it actually prompted me to ask myself a lot of questions regarding the content I create and the audience I create it for.
See I am finding myself frequently ignoring the videos of those I used to love watching a few years ago in exchange for different creators that I’ve either only just discovered, or that I’ve grown with the last few years. When I first got into watching Youtube, I loved Zoella. I found her videos upbeat and fun, and I guess she inspired me. I wanted the lifestyle that she had whereby I could buy a nice big house, hang out with my friends all the time and buy loads of makeup, but as I left my very early 20’s and really learned what the adult life was about I understood that the picture Zoe paints may be her reality, but for the vast majority out there it isn’t attainable.
When you look at her demographic and the age of the people most likely to watch her videos you realise that really her brand is now aimed at predominantly girls from the age of perhaps 12 – 18. And that just isn’t my age bracket anymore.
More and more I find myself inspired by and consuming content from people like the amazing Megan Ellaby and the gorgeous InTheFrow. These girls present two different ideals to me, both of which are equally inspiring and aspirational, but also relatable. I related to Megan. She’s from the North like me, she’s around my age, and she has a quirky and gorgeous style that I love to learn more about. She really knows her shit when it comes to fashion and the content she creates really reflects that – if I ever want to learn more about how to dress my figure or how to embrace a certain trend I always head to her blog or her channel and I always come back feeling inspired.
On the other hand there’s Victoria of InTheFrow – another fellow Northerner who has done incredibly well for herself. I find Victoria less relatable as her lifestyle is undeniably luxurious and something far out of my means at the moment, but I find her hugely aspirational. Her gorgeous flat, amazing holidays and wardrobe full of designer items are something I’d love for myself, and her work ethic never ceases to inspire me. She’s worked so damn hard for what she has and I want my hard work to pay off for me too. She’s the person I watch when I need a reminder why I’m burning the candle at both ends to create my content, why I continue to push myself when I’m broke and exhausted, and why I’ll never cease to do what I love.
Shortly after having this conversation, I saw an article by Chloe Plumstead on her blog essentially addressing the same issue – can relatable and aspirational be mutually exclusive or do you have to plant yourself as one or the other?
I’ve considered not only the content that I’m producing, but also the content that I’d like to produce and the audience I’d like to aim for. As a marketing professional I’m actually really ashamed to admit I’ve never had a clear picture in my head of my own audience and the people I’d like to write for, and now when I look back at it I wonder if that’s why, over the past few years, I’ve struggled to find my blogging identity.
I definitely think that I want to produce the kind of content that I’d personally love to watch or read – I want to be aspirational for people once my lifestlye allows that, but for the moment I’m content with providing a true reflection of what life in your 20’s brings – never having enough money but enjoying yourself regardless, opening the fridge and realising you forgot to adult again so all that is left for dinner is a block of cheese and maybe a can of beans if you’re lucky, spending your weekends in a whirlwind of laughter and fun with your friends that leaves you dreading heading back to the office on Monday morning but knowing that really it’s all totally worthwhile if it lets you lead the life you want to lead after 5pm.
My style has matured recently too – my days of always favouring sportswear and ‘athleisure’ has been replaced by a craving for more mature, tailored items to mix with my usual alternative style and I am so excited to bring you the content that reflects this – it may be a slow burner considering my current bank balance but I’m having fun working with what I have for the time being and learning how to love my wardrobe again.
I guess I’ve also come to the conclusion that it’s time for me to rebrand LJLV again. I always get the urge around spring to do some kind of spring clean over here, but I’ve only ever really rebranded once before when I brought LJLV to life properly. Before that, this little space was called ‘Lucy J Loves’ and well, that just didn’t fit the image I wanted to portray. Now that my image is once again changing, this little space is going to change with it and I couldn’t be more excited.
So relatable or aspirational? Which do you prefer, can the two be mutually exclusive and do you like the new direction I want to take my content? Let me know!
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