This week marks a whole year without using Instagram – and so I thought I would share the ‘results’ of what that has looked like for me? From both a personal perspective, and from a business perspective.
So much has changed since I decided to close that little App almost a year ago!
It came at a time where I needed the space to gather my own thoughts and feelings around my business instead of absorbing what I saw and felt while on Instagram.
I would say that has probably been the best result of being off Instagram for an entire year – I actually got to get closer to my own thoughts and my own feelings instead of always feeling like I was ‘doing the wrong thing’ or ‘I should be doing more’ or ‘that I was only one course away from figuring it alllll out’!
I wish I could tell you that it’s 100% possible to run your business without Instagram, and while I do you think that is true, I can also see that there are a lot of benefits to being on Instagram and being able to share your work in a way that is creative and accessible to people who are interested in your service.
Through this experience, I realised Instagram was not the problem, it was my need to always search outside of myself for answers and how much easier it is to get lost in the scroll, than what it is to be human (especially a human running a business, because oh my goodness it is hard sometimes!) Through this process I have had to journal and feel my feelings, sit with unanswered questions and search inside of myself instead of Instagram / social media for the answers. No amount of scrolling, shopping, or (insert numbing method here) could have helped me make the changes that deep down I knew needed to be made in my business!
I think that this is a problem that we’re going to have to learn to deal with, not only when it comes to Instagram, but being in an age where information is so readily available. We are going to have to learn to filter – to see what we need to keep and what we need to let go of.
I started my first business 10 years ago, in a time where there was absolutely no information available, all I could rely on was experimentation, failure, and feedback! And I want to go back to those early year processes of trying something and not letting the result mean anything about myself, and to see everything as feedback. That way, no likes = feedback, something not working out like I hoped it would is feedback. It doesn’t have to mean anything about me.
Just like this experiment has been feedback:
- Yes ,Instagram did help me to grow a business, but so did referrals and creating loyal customers
- Yes, Instagram was bad for my mental health, but so are a lot of other things that are a part of being a human in this modern world
- Yes, I can run a business without Instagram, but I can also chose to use it with boundaries
- And finally, experiments are fun, and I will definitely be doing more of them (with less attachment to the results).
This leaves me with my final thought on whether or not I will be going back onto Instagram?
Maybe / probably not?? I’m still not ready for the noisiness of the online world yet.
If I do go back onto Instagram it would be with a whole new set of boundaries. I definitely don’t feel the need to ‘play a role’ or be ‘liked’ in order to feel valued, because this year has taught me to love, appreciate and value myself.
And if anyone had to ask me if it is possible to have a business without Instagram – the answer is, yes definitely, it is absolutely possible to have a business without Instagram! I’m a firm believer in the power of referral marketing / word-of-mouth marketing. I am choosing to do things as I have always done – give my clients the best possible service, and trust that the word will spread and the right people will find me.
I know that I need to market my business, but there are 101 ways to market your business without Instagram. So for now, I will be focusing on Pinterest, if that doesn’t work out I will experiment and try some other things.
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