Honesty hour: What a year without Instagram did to my business
I’m sure if you run a business you feel the pressure to be on all the social platforms, especially the current Queen of social media - Instagram!
We all seem to have this guilt and feeling like we ‘have’ to be on Instagram, especially for our businesses. But let’s be real, a lot of people are starting to get over the social media hype, live more in their ‘real life’ and less in the often very fake world of social media.
But actually deleting the app for a year? Yeah, it’s a hard decision to make and I’m often asked…
“You took a year off Insta? … What’s it like?!”
Here’s what I have to say to that . . .
Why I left Instagram
This time last year I was struggling with IG, the comparison game was real and so much of Insta felt fake to me.
I had it in my schedule to respond to IG comments, but every time I came across another “love your pic,” I knew there was no real convo to be had. I was doing what I thought you ‘had’ to do on IG; post pretty photos, give quick tips on the topic of your biz and hold shallow convos in the comments.
One day I was so over it that I just deleted the app.
I wanted to chat with my audience on platforms where I felt authentic and could share in-depth content.
I’ll be honest, that year off IG was fab! I spent no time scrolling, comparing, and stressing. In that year I’ve truly never been so free of the comparison struggle.
My business was not affected AT ALL!
In fact this past year has killed the last one in terms of personal fulfillment and $ in the bank.
The downsides of being off instagram
IG is a big part of life and business these days.
We don't hand out business cards at conferences, we follow on Insta to stay in touch. I spent a whole lot of time this past year hitting up conferences and coworking spaces where ‘my people’ are and I didn’t want to let those relationships die.
I felt awkward when people said “Oh, here’s I’ll follow you on Insta so we can stay in touch” and I awkwardly admitted I hadn’t posted in 8 months, nor did I have the app on my phone so I wouldn’t see any messages they sent me.
Not to mention, and this may be a little silly but whatever, it’s my true feelings, I also felt like people would think my business was smaller and less successful than it really is.
Let’s be real, all of us look to Instagram to determine how legit a business is.
Because we can’t see how much money most businesses make, how busy their bookings calendar really is, how big their email list is or how much traffic they get to their site, doing a quick check on Instagram tends to be the way we determine from the outside how successful a business is.
“She’s huge, she has 150k followers!” we say.
Now, both you and I know that’s a super flawed form of measurement, I know there’s a ton of big Instagrammers who are still pinching pennies and struggling to afford life because their business really doesn’t accomplish much.
But regardless, Instagram is a way we measure success these days and it was in the back of my mind knowing that my Instagram following didn’t at all align with how baller this business really is.
So why did I go back to Instagram?
The last straw which made me really decide to get back on the ‘Gram was that it would help me connect with y’all in a more real way.
As much as I love my blog, that’s not the place y’all spend most of your time. It’s on Insta and I know that.
I took a minute to think through how often most of my audience would hear from me and I determined for most people they probably just really noticed my business once a week in their inbox when I send out my weekly email.
That’s not really enough to stay top of mind or become a real part of people’s lives at all.
Here’s What I’m doing differently
I feel like I’ve finally come to terms with what Instagram is really all about. Or at least what I want it to be all about.
I know one of the reasons I had a tough time internally with Instagram before was that it all felt fake and like sleazy marketing. No more! I love following the people who are oh-so-real on the Gram and that’s exactly how I intend to show up too.
I want to connect with y’all on a #reallife level.
This time around I’ve decided I’m going to do it right. I want to look back on my feed to see both the highlight reel and the challenges in this season of my life, not some fake marketing BS.
Seeing Facebook memories pop up as I’m one-eye-open-struggling-to-wake-up always makes me think “damn, I’ve had a good life,” and I think that’s because my university self didn’t give a damn and just showed up as a real human.
So get ready for a look at what’s really up when running this business, come hang out with me in Germany + I’ll drop a couple Squarespace site building knowledge bombs on you in the process.