What?! Losing Instagram followers helped you? I know, I know, this may sound a little nutty coming from someone who’s entire job is helping others grow their social media platforms, but read on to hear how losing Instagram followers helped me reprioritize, gain clarity, and increase traffic to my site.
I spent the better part of the past four years curating my Instagram feed, learning about the algorithm, and focusing my energy on beating that algorithm. But in doing so, I was starting to lose sight of the bigger picture. How did I want to grow in the future? How was I diversifying my income? And was this making me happy? In short, the last question is the one that mattered the most to me. I wasn’t excited to jump on Instagram every day and see followers leaving and having my posts only reach a quarter of my audience.
I lost almost 2,000 followers over a year and it was making me miserable. I was hitting a roadblock with being able to be social on social media. So I took a step back. I stopped putting all my energy into Instagram. I diversified my traffic strategy and I brainstormed about where I wanted my business to go and made lists of who I wanted to speak to, and the clients I wanted to work with. Once I took a step back to look at these bigger picture questions, I realized that I needed to reframe my mindset.
Just by taking this short break, I began to see a lift in my traffic. I had created a list of 20 plus blog posts that I was excited to write, and I stopped feeling stressed or number shamed on Instagram. We all know that being authentic online, including on Instagram, is one of the most important things which is why after taking the break, I feel like I have a fresh perspective and energy to connect with my audience.
If you have ever felt like your Instagram account wasn’t growing or that you needed to delete a post because it didn’t receive enough likes or engagement, I encourage you to think about the following things.
- If you put all of your Instagram Followers in a room for a speech, would you feel as if you were talking to a whole lot of people? It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that 100 or 500 or 10,000 people is a sh*t ton of people. Instead of trying to get to the next numerical milestone, remember that each of those numbers is an individual and that if they came to your Ted Talk, you would probably be having an anxiety attack about talking in front of that many people.
- Don’t delete your posts! This is one of my least favorite things to see happen or to even think about. You put effort into your content. Even if only five people appreciate it, I say leave it up. Your posts are part of your story, even the ones that don’t get hundreds of likes.
- Stop complaining. There is nothing more annoying than hearing people complain online and offline about how no one is seeing their stuff and that the algorithm is against you. The fact is that Instagram is a free platform for you to market yourself. Instead of being angry and frustrated be grateful. Be grateful for the opportunity and then let the rest go.
- If you feel like your Instagram feed isn’t aligned with your life. Read this post about authenticity and take time to reset.
- Don’t be afraid to pivot. One of my favorite quotes is from Jaclyn Johnson. She says, “If you’re not pivoting, you’re not growing.” It is not a sign of defeat to change your creative direction or to take a step back from Instagram or any other platform. It is a sign that you need to refocus and are smart enough to do it.
I hope this post will help you if you are feeling overwhelmed or fed up with Instagram. Sometimes the unexpected act of losing almost 2,000 followers can be just the thing to help you further your career.