Close your eyes and imagine you’re a wealthy collector who’s just entered a gallery in an art museum. On the wall facing you, there are gigantic canvases, each more than 10 feet tall. Both pictures depict a harbor at sunset.
From across the room, they look identical; the same ships, the same reflections on the water, the same sun at the same stage of setting. You go in for a closer look. You can’t find a label or museum tag anywhere.
You become obsessed with the paintings, which you nickname painting A and painting B. You spend an hour going back and forth from canvas to canvas, comparing brush strokes. You can’t detect a single difference.
Just as you go to fetch a museum guard or someone who can shed light on these mysterious twin masterpieces, the head curator of the museum walks in. You eagerly inquire as to the two origins of your new obsessions.
The curator tells you that painting A was painted in the 17th century by a Dutch master. And painting B was forged by a college graduate.
Which canvas would you pick now?
It’s the same with Instagram and social media generally. A lot of people create similar pieces of content yet we connect more to some and care very little about others. Give your personal brand some context by telling stories.
The story about the 2 paintings is from the book “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon.