The feelings of frustration with Instagram come up time and time again… yet I haven’t been able to really articulate how I feel and how I think many of you feel. Which is why I’m always thankful for the community we’ve fostered here… after replying to a recent post in our private Facebook group I had the inspiration I needed to put my thoughts on Instagram into words, so here’s to all of you. I’d love to hear your thoughts below…
To all those frustrated with Instagram’s fickle nature.
You may feel you’re getting passed over for opportunities…
You may feel you’re not trusted as a small brand…
You may feel you’re putting time and energy in for little return…
I know the numbers feel like such validation… whether it’s likes or your follower count that just won’t budge. Believe me, I know. I’ve been anxiously awaiting 3,000 and have my sight set on 10k just for that darn swipe up feature and to feel like I’m “legit”.
In a breakdown of transparency here, I constantly worry about the fact that I teach Instagram tips without having achieved wild success on the platform. I question whether you’ll trust me, if I’m good enough, and whether someday I’ll be able to prove with my numbers the value I provide.
It seems that our favorite fun social media platform has become a place of bots, spammy comments, attempts to game the system, and a lot of people telling you to “follow this strategy if you want more followers”.
I’ve felt more than a little disillusioned with it myself. I took more than 2 months off from regular posting because I felt overwhelmed and started questioning everything. Dramatic much?
Over an app…!!
When I’m frustrated with a piece of my business, I let those feelings start to seep into everything I do. Suddenly it’s not just this area I’m struggling with, I’m a failure at everything. And my thoughts quickly turn to, If I can’t figure this out, that’s it. Maybe I’m not cut out for this.” And I want to bail on everything I’ve worked for.
And I’m worried you might be letting those negative Instagram feelings seep into your business too.
But the thing is, I came back after my break… having given some time and space to let emotions pass and I remembered:
It’s okay to do things your way, you’ve LOVED meeting people you never would otherwise, and the passion you have for your work can be seen + felt by others which has been the coolest thing.
When you build a community that connects with your work, looks forward to talking with you, and wants to know what you’ve been up to… the fear of “when will I reach 5k??” disappears a bit.
Not because big numbers don’t matter – they’re certainly helpful.
But because finding a true community that connects with your brand and the value you offer feels pretty damn good.
And I believe when you feel good >> You do good work. It comes from a joyful place, a creative place; instead of “I have to find something to post because I can’t miss a day or I’ll lose followers”
So here’s my advice to myself and now to you…
Just because we don’t have the numbers doesn’t make us “less than’. I know the strategies I teach to turn followers into buyers are proven because I’ve used the same philosophies to run multi-million dollar buying offices – they’re not strictly Instagram specific. And I’ve seen the success students have reached on a smaller business level. And I know YOU know your product is valuable and tells a beautiful story that can make an impact on someone’s life… even if that impact is just a gorgeous new top to wear on date night, a simply luxury like a candle to curl up with a good book, or an easy dress for that mama learning how to fit her new role as ‘mom’. Unfortunately, we just have to work a little harder to prove it. Because while follower numbers don’t really matter – they’re an easy metric for everyone to size us up.
Instead of getting worked up about your numbers, focus on making your account visually represent your brand + an extension of your shop’s community…. go beyond your products, share your story, connect with your customers by sharing what matters to them and you WILL get noticed.
Whenever I feel pulled to ask ‘why not me?’ I’m always pleasantly surprised by what I get in return when I focus on my existing audience and improving on how I serve them.
What can you give to your audience today to make them feel special, heard, and of value? Most of the customer service reviews from companies that you see again and again are that “you’re treated as more than a number”. Is that how we’re treating the wonderful people that follow us? Or do we see them only as serving quantifiable proof of our worth?
I have one question to help you:
If your current followers were standing in a room and you’re at the podium, what would you share?
I’d bet all the tacos that you wouldn’t take them for granted then.
In fact – I’d bet all the tacos and margs that you just sweat through your shirt staring at all those lovely people.
So how would you inspire them to stay…?
I’d love to hear from you… have you been feeling the same way? How do you overcome that ‘less than’ feeling that seems to consume us while we’re building our Instagram?
If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to invite you to join us in IG90: Creative Instagram Plans. It’s not like the regular Instagram courses out there, but if what we were doing was working, we probably wouldn’t have felt this way to begin with.