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The Authenticity Factor: Why Posting With Passion Is The Key To Social Media Success

If you’re trying to unlock the secret of social media success—STOP looking at others to emulate.

Posting what you love on social media (and not what you think people want) is how regular people become influencers. Case in point: “Aveda It Girl” Naomi Dove.

For years as an Aveda Artist and texture specialist, Naomi used to crank out videos promoting Aveda products, trying to get the brand’s attention so they’d share them. “I’d create content with Aveda in mind. I was doing things the way I thought they would like,” she says. “It wasn’t getting me anywhere.”

Nothing worked, despite her efforts to get noticed. “Aveda didn’t see it; it didn’t get visibility,” she recalls. “I’d get so disappointed and hard on myself and try to figure out what I needed to do to get their attention.”

THAT LIGHTBULB MOMENT: FINDING A NICHE

When her Arizona salon shut down in March 2020 for COVID-19, Naomi had time for self-reflection, which led to her first aha moment. “I realized I was a jack of all trades and master of none,” she says. “I had to try and find my niche. I wasn’t focused on what it is that makes me, me. I narrowed it down to three things that stand out about me: technology, texture, and inspiration.”


Now that she had that focus (and time), “the result was great content,” Naomi says.

 

“THIS IS FOR ME, AND ONLY ME.”

She also refocused her own delivery. “I had to take a step back and try to figure out why I’m creating content. Am I doing it for myself or someone else? I stopped thinking I was going to get on Aveda’s channels and started thinking, this is for Naomi.”

“I was depressed during quarantine and I figured I’d make a video about self-care, how to maintain your scalp at home. Finding a purpose in it for me was how I could display my passion authentically. I wasn’t doing it for Aveda … I was doing it for me.”

This was her first video that caught the brand’s attention.

“As soon as my shift happened, they became intrigued,” Naomi says. “I started to create content for my followers and for me.

“Aveda saw the video and used it on their Instagram. And that was it.”

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Aveda (@aveda)

 

WHEN AUTHENTICITY PAYS OFF

A year later, Naomi is not only Aveda North America Artistic Director, Texture and a member of Aveda’s Global Texture Team, but is now an Aveda Influencer Artist. She created Aveda’s 2020 holiday videos. She was a host/artist for the 2020 Color Jam and Texture Jam and the Virtual Mentor Jam in 2021.

Working with Aveda as an influencer has been amazing, she says, and has solidified her philosophies about producing her best creative content. “They don’t want to tell you how to do your work. They don’t want to take your creativity.”

She recalls having a few moments of hesitation while producing the holiday videos. “I started to go back to that mindset of, ‘I need to create this for Aveda,’ and I had to shake myself from that. I said to myself, ‘you know what, Naomi? They asked you for a reason. You create it based on what you want to do.’”

“There is a reason why you create content—because you enjoy it. Once you start losing that, it starts feeling like a job.”

Her personal brand, Aveda It Girl, has exploded as well. Besides her work with Aveda, she’s teaching classes on creating and editing videos, and even has an Amazon storefront featuring equipment she uses and endorses.

Unlike most people who look back on 2020 with a shudder, Naomi says it was her best year ever. “It all started during quarantine, with me doing me and embracing what I love.”

She points to a green plant behind her that she considers a physical embodiment of her year. “I’ve never been great with plants, but I bought this one in my first week of quarantine and it has thrived!” The plant, which Naomi named “Quarantina,” was in her first breakthrough video and has been featured in all her videos ever since, like a subtle Easter egg to represent her own personal growth that began during a hard time.

Naomi client and products

Naomi

Naomi client and products

Naomi’s “It Girl” brand revolves around her central message: Be You, Do You, For You. It’s wisdom that comes from experience. “Stop doing things for others that you think is going to make them happy,” she says. “I’d be much further along if I’d listened to my inner self from the beginning.”

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