Over the past year I have been struggling to keep our Instagram page alive. It has always felt like a chore and never been something I actually enjoy doing. The past few months I have spent way too much time looking for a social media management company to take over that part of my business in hopes of augmenting my time and energy spent on social media to someone else who could be more consistent.
Fast forward to a women’s retreat I just attended where I listened to other women who own businesses set themselves free from the lie that we are dependent on social media for growth. Hearing their stories about making the decision to put social media aside, most specifically IG, and focus on developing real, tangible, and physical relationships—caused something to switch. I admire and respect these womens’ talents and businesses… and they each have/had tens of thousands of followers. Maybe it was the cider talking or maybe it was just the affirmation I needed about not needing IG, like they didn’t, but I came home with a strong desire to let it go.
So in processing my reasoning, here are the facts that solidified my decision:
In the past three years of StruckSured, not a single referral came from IG. Not one. When I thought about that and took a step back, I am not really sure what made me think I was obligated to participate and didn’t just trust the current process for lead generation that has proven successful so far.
The more I am on IG, the more anxiety and fear based decision making happens. The more I see others and their number of IG followers and likes, the more I feel the pull to compare and be jealous of other peoples’ successes. That’s a pretty tough thing to share, but it’s true. If I am not getting any leads from it, and am still worried about growing it, the questions is why? Why do I care about it? The truth is that I was seeking affirmation from social media, when I already know my skill set and value. I don’t need to try and get likes and followers to affirm that.
I know we use IG as a tool for inspiration. I follow a lot of accounts. But the reality is that not a single account I use as inspiration got their work or growth from their social media channels. They were featured and awarded because of their good work, not because they had a big following. They are businesses and companies who have hustled long before IG existed, and will be there after the next platform arises. Yes, because of their large accounts they get affiliate funding and more vendor donations, BUT, they got those things from focusing on their projects and businesses first. And honestly, if I want to see what they are up to, they have websites or I can certainly visit their IG from my computer.
I’m finding more and more that IG is both inauthentic and, at times, a poor reflection of what we actually do. I have done IG pods (people in DM groups who commit to commenting/liking each others posts in an attempt to beat the algorithm). I have done boosting apps. I have done it all. And the more I found myself doing these things, the more fake it felt. I’m not generating true likes, comments, or followers. I’m doing everything in my power to get to some phantom number that will somehow make me feel better about the work I do. Furthermore, I’m presenting a watered down version of myself to appeal to the masses. Friends, my hair is hot pink. It’s been that way for two months. And yet, you don’t see that because I have been told my hair is unprofessional and allowed that to shift what I am willing to present publicly. We also don’t have a style or particular type/typical client. All of our projects are vastly different—yet we showed a pretty consistent look on IG to try and guess what we thought would draw a wide audience. I don’t think I was wrong in my thinking, but I am not sure why I even cared so much. We are a bad-ass team and we do bad-ass projects. Period.
By stopping my efforts to try and maintain something I actually hate, it gives me (and my team) more room to think creatively about other avenues for lead generation. Our focus this year is to step up our game with communication and client service, and make sure that our clients are sharing the good news of the work we are doing. We want to continue to dive into deep industry partnerships, and continue understanding the needs of the community, and be sure we tailor our services accordingly. We are a highly relational community, and these things matter.
Anyways, wish us luck as we make some big changes this year and focus our efforts on serving you well. If you have any feedback or advice, reach out! We would love to hear from you and learn what success or failures you have had along the way! If you want to join in our journey, sign up for our email list — that’s where updates and information will be shared!
Sam & the Team