Listen now (52 mins) | In today’s episode we dive into this letter from a listener: Over the last year, I’ve found myself becoming less and less engaged and connected to Instagram as a form of marketing. I don’t enjoy creating videos. I don’t like being pressured into buying a blue tick just to stop my work being copied.
Thankyou for sharing this episode Jen and Sara. It very much resonates with where I am now. I have tried periodically to like Instagram and I make myself use it. To the extent where I have paid for at least 3 different products including the Insta Retreat to try to coerce myself into showing up there with joy.
But it's just not my happy place. I have found a huge amount of value from doing the Insta Retreat even though I still haven't learnt to love Instagram itself, as there was a lot of solid business advice in it. I have also had a tough time in my personal life recently and have used a lot of the techniques that Sally Hardie shared for emotional regulation in the mindset calls and they have been enormously helpful. But for me right now with my Instagram account I am in the process of shutting my Instagram down for an extended break just so it does not worry me that I'm not posting during the summer, and I've made a 9 grid block to say 'find me on these places instead' that will be going up from Thursday. I know that Pinterest drives a lot of sales for me and brings people into my world so that is where I will be focusing my energy for the coming months. I am also considering paying for Google ads. I do have a new strand I'll be adding to my business in the next year or so and I don't know how to sell if I don't use Instagram. It will be heirloom quality soft toys made from my sewing patterns. Any advice on how to market these will be very welcome.
Hello loves! Thank you so much for answering my question in such an open and honest way. It's given me so much to think about - especially Sara, your comment about leading the way of finding more magic in my business. You're so right. If something isn't working for me, and I'm not feeling aligned, I need to be the lighthouse for people and take the risk. I have to remind myself that nothing is permanent in business so if in a years time I want to come back on, I can! Who makes the rules?! I do! Maybe it gets to be a fluid as setting Instagram up as a directory of all my other arms of the business so when people land they know where to go, and if and when I feel like jumping on Stories and chatting, I will. But without the pressure of needing a structure or a plan. Thank you again my loves, you're bloody amazing. P.S Jen, can I hire you as my publicist?! 🤣🤣💕💕
Great episode, thank you!
I am in Camp Jen and only post on Instagram when I feel like it, it's not a major marketing channel for me and I rarely plan out content for it. I think I've been on Instagram 10+ years and basically still use it like in the old days, it's my creative outlet for visual storytelling and microblogging, and where my audience and students can get to know me on a more personal level. As a very visual person I do still enjoy Instagram for inspiration and connecting with others.
For me, to enjoy Instagram, two key elements are... 1) I mostly follow 'quiet' account that soothe my nervous system, so more photos than reels, and 2) I don't follow a ton of people, as soon as I hit around 200 I start purging. That's because my attention span cannot handle more and this way I don't feel overwhelmed on Instagram and can truly enjoy content from people I like, and engage in a meaningful way.
Generally, like both of you, I am a big believer in running our online businesses in a way that is aligned with our personality and energy capacities. That's why I, for instance, don't use Pinterest. As an HSP I find it way too overwhelming and deciding to stop forcing it was one of the best business decisions I ever made. I also love what Jen said about being audience-focused but not -led. I often use the lighthouse analogy for this, shine bright and your people will find you. You two are certainly awesome lighthouses in our online world, thanking for shining and guiding so brightly ✨
These episodes are always so inspiring to hear you talk through what’s on all our minds. Some days I want to burn my Instagram to the ground, but there are still people there who I love to connect with and I still want to see all the beautiful pictures. But I’ve decided to use it to just point everyone over here. Where I want to be right now 💛
I so enjoyed this ep, it was exactly what I needed to hear last night, and I may have listened to it three times in total. It is so empowering to remember we aren't actually beholden to these apps - it is so easy to forget that when you have been wrapped up in the dopamine hit of positive interaction, and think that is the norm, so keep working hard to get the same when forces out of your control have completely changed the entire narrative of the app while you weren't looking. I have been thinking a lot about something someone in our SYS community said last night, paraphrasing - this is our story, we get to choose what tools we use to help us tell it, the tools don't get to use us. And we can use them in whatever ways not only help us tell our story, but in what ever ways we find FUN. Listening to this conversation has also really got me thinking more about a podcast idea I have had for a while too - and that sort of content feels so much more intimate, nurturing and community driven than a tiny post in a feed that is not getting seen. You two are such gems (and thank you Vic for asking the question!)
Thank you for this episode! It was so helpful and I can definitely resonate with wanting to move away from Instagram but it’s not easy as a photographer because it was our main marketing platform for so long.
Ouf, I really really appreciated this episode.
It was a does of good medicine.
Fran of Woollen Hearted, who I met through Sara's InstaRetreat recommended it and in the first few minutes it sparked so many ideas for me about how I could change how I'm using Substack for my business instead of Instagram.
Currently I cringe with my past use of Substack so instead I am on Instagram all the ding dang day.
I have put most of my time and effort in the Instagram platform as a designer who teaches women how to unleash their creativity to make the frocks of their dreams
...but what I really teach is a healthy spoonful of self love, letting go of all the universal disappointment in what we aren't so we can grab ahold of the life we dream of. What platform should I be using for that gals? Ha!
I've struggled with how to use and work with my regular newsletter versus Substack as well.
What I do is very very visual, but I'm not a photographer.
What I do has a good amount of writing that goes alongside it, but I'm not a writer per se.
Would love to hear thoughts and since Sara said to come on over and cry for help, here I am!
Ever grateful for you and this podcast!
Congratulations on a great episode! I think it speaks to what so many people are feeling right now about Insta fatigue (making videos is tiring). Am I in the right place for the ‘Sell Your S**t’ list mentioned in the podcast? I’m absolutely going to enrol on the course in the autumn 🙌
This has come at the perfect time!!!
I recently had my main account on Instagram suspended because because someone claimed that my artwork was theirs... it’s NOT a safe place anymore.
To hear everything that you both commented on explaining that we really don’t need Instagram to grow our businesses anymore. Over here we can make deeper connections. I really want to grow my Substack as there are some wonderful wonderful humans over here.
It’s incredibly visual here on Substack so I can still share my art.
Thank you... I’m REALLY going to put more energy here.
I’m so looking forward to listening to this one ☺️
Really enjoyed this episode, thank you for your honest insights as always. It really helped consolidate where I’m at and give me permission to let it go more or use it differently, it’s a real shame but I guess everything is constantly evolving and now we have the Stack ! 😊
I love the hammer analogy :) “Hello hammer, how are you today?”
But a tool being just for when you need it was a lesson I learned this year - I told my psychologist that I wished I journaled more frequently because it helps, and she told me using a tool when I need it *IS* being consistent!
The most intriguing moment was Sara’s comment that was along the lines of “if I were to start my business today...” I ❤️ these kinds of conversations. Please consider for a future episode the topic what you would do if you were starting your business over today. Great 👍
Please please add the ‘Sell your S**t’ list Sarah mentioned in this episode. I’m a paid up member of the Substack & it would be really helpful to me. If it’s already been added somewhere then please could you point me in the right direction? Thanks! Tom 👍