You may remember that a week or so ago I wrote a post about “How to Find your Insta Peace and up level your Insta Game.” Well in this post I wanted to share with you what my life with Instagram was like BEFORE I started to follow the strategies that I created for myself and how I finally found my insta peace.
A need for change often comes from a place of dis-satisfaction, or recognition that something is not working for you as it should. And that is true with Instagram and me. There was a point in time when I didn’t really have a strategy and I didn’t have any systems in place. In fact, I didn’t know that strategies or systems really existed in the Insta world. And I kind of feel a bit stupid about that. Then again because I’d always worked in a legal environment, the online word and in particular, the world of social media, always felt a little alien to me.
So, how did my interactions with Instagram look? Well they were a little sloppy, rather random and not particularly well thought out. You see I didn’t really know what the aim of the game was, or what I was trying to achieve. And I certainly didn’t appreciate the subtle ways that Instagram can start to infiltrate your life and play with your mind.
I felt frustrated and overwhelmed. I compared myself to others and watched as their accounts grew, wondering what they had that I didn’t. I was guilty of mindless scrolling and not really knowing how to engage. I resisted the need to improve my photographs, I didn’t know what captions would work and instead of moving forwards, I retreated into my shell and hoped that people would come and find me (they didn’t!) Boy, I really needed to find my insta peace!
My turning point came in Christmas 2017 when we took a break and went a way to the sun for a few days. I had seen a book in Topshop called “Capture your Style” by Aimee Song and I’d asked for it for Christmas. As I dipped in and out of the book during our time away, it was as if the penny finally dropped. “Oooooooh, so there’s quite a lot that I need to be doing to get this insta thing on the right track.”
Now that book was just about finding your own style and I realised that there was a whole lot more to making Instagram work for me than just the style of what I was posting. So I set myself a challenge. Just after we came back from our trip, I hit 10,000 followers and the challenge that I set myself was to reach a following of 20,000 followers by Christmas 2018.
Now some people reading this will go “Well that’s a bit rubbish. I gain tens of thousands of followers in the blink of an eye.” Others reading this will go “Yup, that’s pretty good going. How did you reach 10k in the first place?”
But you see all of that misses the point because what I have learned over the last year is that it doesn’t matter what the size of a person’s Instagram account may be, there are emotional issues that arise time and time again, because there are always people “above” them in terms of numbers and perceived success.
Whilst the numbers are important in terms of what you may want to achieve with (for example) a business that you may be running on Instagram, first of all you need to feel happy when using the app. People can spend several hours a day using Instagram and if it makes them frustrated, de-moralised, disappointed and unhappy – well, that’s just no way to be. And it doesn’t have to be like that.
So I set about talking to others. I spent hours on the phone and in person talking with people who were struggling. I experimented with techniques and systems, trying to find out what worked to help me find my Insta-Peace. And do you know something? It worked.
So now Instagram and I have a healthy approach. Like anything, there are bumps in the road and I’m not going to pretend that it’s perfect all of the time. It’s like that healthy diet of mine which is peppered with the odd pudding, a glass of fizz, a drop of gin or a good piece of brownie or sticky toffee pudding. But 75% to 80% of the time we are good and I would like to think that I have found my insta peace.
And that goal that I set myself? Well in December of 2018 I hit that goal, doubling my following from the 10,000 followers that it had taken me 4 years to gain, to 20,000 followers.
In my next post, we will take a look at “What’s stopping you from finding your insta peace and uplevelling your insta game?”
In the meantime, if you would like a little bit of help on your Instagram journey, I have created four free downloads, just for you – with the latest one, quick ways to increase your engagement and grow your followers being released TODAY! Simply enter your email address when prompted and shortly afterwards, the download will ping into your inbox. Put your feet up, grab yourself a cup of tea and let’s see if I can help a little.
I really hope that you find these downloads helpful. I’d love to know what you think and keep your eyes open for my next post in the series.
Much love, Beth x
ps If you have any questions at all, you know where to find me!