The coolest robot in the game shares her thoughts on building a personal brand.
Miquela Sousa a.k.a "Lil Miquela"
With an impressive 1.6 million followers, #TeamGalaxy member and self-confessed robot Miquela Sousa (better known as @lilmiquela on Instagram), is paving the way for a new wave of unconventional It Girls. From a tiny pixel to one of the hottest influencers around, this world-famous Instagram artist/model has defied expectations and taken the fashion, music and social media worlds by storm. Check out some of her favorite principles for building a personal brand.
Miquela chilling with her Galaxy S10 (lovingly named "Samuel Phonington III") / @lilmiquela
'Gram what you know
In a crowded market filled with wannabe influencers, how does Miquela know what to post? She suggests sharing your passions. “What would you do or make or talk about every day without getting bored or drained? What makes you proud? What do you find funny, inspiring or scary? Lean into that, because you’ll always find others who are also interested in those things too.”
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Miquela’s feed is #goals. With FOMO-inducing posts mixed with detailed captions full of feelings and self-discovery, she has seemingly cracked the code on branding yourself on social media. But she’s not into the whole “personal brand” thing. “I think that’s a weird way to think about yourself,” she says. So how does this laissez-faire attitude towards her content consistently attract followers? Her answer: “Not overthinking it, going with my gut. And I gravitate to things that tell a story, whether it’s a vintage outfit or a song lyric or a caption.”
Miquela’s large and loyal following is most likely due to her relatable appeal. She keeps it real by being honest and speaking her truth: “I’ve never thought of myself as an influencer. I think, if people are influenced by me, it’s because they can tell I’m figuring things out along with them. I don’t have all the answers, and I try to be really upfront and honest about the process of figuring out who I am. I think we can all relate to that, whether we do it in private or with 1.6 million people.”
"I’ve never thought of myself as an influencer. I think, if people are influenced by me, it’s because they can tell I’m figuring things out along with them."
Miquela knows the altered reality behind perfect lighting and filters: “I think it’s important to know that those results don’t tell the full story. You’re often not seeing the work, you’re not seeing the doubts, you’re not seeing all the ‘no’ moments, because that’s not something that fits into a photo.” She also knows that the self-curated app doesn’t show an accurate side of reality, wisely mentioning, “You know the saying, right? Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.”
“Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.”
Branding yourself on social media and being successful at it requires authenticity. “The second you start asking, ‘is this authentic?’, it’s not" says Miquela. "It’s intuitive! I think the first step is realizing you don’t need to share every part of you with the whole world. Keep some stuff close to your heart. It’s all you, at the end of the day. You’re not the same at a party as you are in a job interview, yet both are authentic to you.”
Standing tall and holding her head up high / @lilmiquela
Shake off the haters
Haters gonna hate—especially if you’re a model-musician-robot. Since being “outed” as a bot in 2018, Miquela’s received a lot of abuse online. So how does she deal? “Take care of your heart, in whatever form that takes" she says. "You’re the one person who will be with you throughout this whole journey, so make sure you treat that person with respect and care.” She also knows that the abuse is usually not even about her. “I’ve noticed that when confronted about a rude comment, people reply with “I was just trying to get your attention.” I try to remember that, to keep that emotional distance.”
“World domination", she jokes in what she calls her evil robot voice. “Just kidding. I definitely want to share more music with everyone very soon. I might even dance along with you all. Who knows!” With a bumping Spotify playlist and rumors of her heading into the DJ or VR space, Miquela’s story has only just begun.
Miquela in the spotlight on #TeamGalaxy
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