In the first post in this series, I looked at how to Find your Insta-peace and uplevel your Insta-game and in my second post in this series, I talked about How I found my Insta-peace following the strategies that I created.
In this post, I want take a look at what might be stopping YOU from taking those steps which ultimately will help you to find your Insta-peace and up-level your Insta game.
Before I implemented the strategies and systems that I now use on my Instagram account, I was an odd mix of “I have no idea how to start” and “I’m going to do it my way.”
80% of what I felt related to the first statement of not knowing where to start and 20% related to the second statement of “I’m going to do it my way”. By and large that 20% of “I’m going to do it my way” applied to my resistance to improve my photography game and that, I think, stemmed partially from a fear that I didn’t know how to go about doing it and also because in my head, Insta was meant to be a snap-shot view of the world, rather than a perfectly curated and somewhat artificial show reel of someone’s life. That was a game that I didn’t want to play because it felt disingenuous, if that makes sense!
I try really hard to be very much a “feet on the ground” blogger/Instagram type person and I don’t like to feel as though I’m being disingenuous with people – which is why I went for the natural approach when it came to photography. The “this is how IG is going to fit in with my life” approach, rather than the other way around. In all honesty I’m still not quite sure what I feel about overly curated and heavily edited photographs – do they just serve to make others feel inadequate, or are they works of art that should be shared with the world? I guess the answer is that it is up to us to chose how we wish to respond to them and of course, everyone is entitled to make their account look exactly as they wish.
Having accepted (as I did many years ago) that I am wrong about most things in life, I upped my photography skills – we’re talking marginally here, not radically. I also worked on putting some emotional and physical boundaries between myself and the ‘gram. I gave thought to what being authentic meant, how to deal with comparison and criticism and how I was going to deal with unwanted male attention. I made a concerted effort so that I chose how I would respond to Instagram, rather than it determining the terms of engagement. I also gave serious thought to my strategy, paying attention to my captions, my bio and how to engage with people.
Now on reading this, I can imagine that some of you might be thinking the following:
- That all sounds horribly complicated and I don’t have time for any of it
- That all sounds horribly complicated and it’s way beyond me
- I’ve accepted that Instagram just is what it is and I can’t change how I respond to it – I just have to get on with it
- I’m fine as I am and I don’t need any help
- I’ve never even given any thought to why I’m on Instagram and what I want to achieve
- I’m only on Instagram for fun so what’s the point?
- I would never use Instagram in the first place – it’s a pointless self serving waste of time
In all honesty, I have thought pretty much all of those things at some point along my journey. And you know something? Try as I might to quash them down, just as I metaphorically sat on one of them, another one would pop up in its place. And just as I dealt with that one, another one would replace it – a little like the martians game from Early Years that we had when the children were little. As you bashed one down with a hammer, another one would pop up in its place. Eventually we broke the hammers!
So let me see if I can answer some of those questions for you:
“That all sounds horribly complicated and I don’t have time for any of it”
If you’re committing any time at all to Instagram, you may as well use that time that you have available in as time effective and as an efficient way as possible – or else what’s the point? That time is totally wasted and you may as well be using it for something else.
“That all sounds horribly complicated and it’s way beyond me”
If you think that this is all way beyond you, believe me it’s not! I spent many years of my life as a lawyer and I was not in the least bit tech savvy when I left the law and started on my styling/blogging/Instagram journey. But I learnt as I went and it’s not at all scary now.
I’ve accepted that Instagram just is what it is, and I can’t change how respond to it – I just have to get on with it
You absolutely do not have to accept that Instagram is what it is and that you can’t change the way that you respond to it. Because if it’s causing you any kind of distress at all, you need to be taking control of the situation and making it work for you.
We spend our whole lives getting the balance right and yet we seem to have to sing to Instagram’s tune. Not so much anymore! And I can vouch that it is possible to change how you respond to Instagram. You just need to let me show you how.
I’m fine as I am and I don’t need any help
Really? You’re fine as you are? Hmmm, I’m wondering if that’s really how you feel? There’s room for improvement in all of us (and I absolutely include myself in that but let’s not beat ourselves up here!) and I suspect that if you’ve read this far, there’s a niggling doubt at the back of your mind that things could be better between you and the ‘gram!
I’ve never even given any thought to why I’m on Instagram and what I want to achieve
If you’re spending time on Instagram, you really do need to give some thought as to why you’re there and what you want to achieve, even if the answer is “because it provides ten minutes light relief at the end of the day and because I like seeing what my friends are up to.” That is absolutely OK!
But if Instagram starts creeping into your life in the insidious way that it can, you need to be clear on what you’re putting into it, what you’re getting out of it and whether the balance is in your favour. Unless you have an end goal in mind – whether that’s bookings, increase in sales, raising brand awareness, gaining brand collaborations, what is the point?
I would never use Instagram in the first place – it’s a pointless self serving waste of time.
Oooh now this is a good one. You would never be on Instagram because it’s a self serving pointless waste of time. Yep, I totally see why you might think that. And that’s a great place to start because if you do ever decide to go onto the gram, you will have probably sussed out your “why”, what you want to get from it, how you’re going to go about getting there – and you will probably fly! From little seeds and all that.
Having read my answers above, perhaps you now see the point of Instagram, or perhaps you’ve had a lightbulb moment and you can see what it could do for your or your business. Perhaps you have a clearer idea of what you would like to achieve or maybe, just maybe, you can now see that none of this is beyond you and that you CAN change the way that you respond to Instagram.
If I’ve managed to answer the above questions, and if you’re feeling a little more positively disposed towards Instagram than you were before you read this post, hopefully you will enjoy my next, and final post, in this series.
In the meantime, if you would like a little bit of help on your Instagram journey, I have created FIVE free downloads, just for you – with the latest one The 3 steps that you can take to improve your confidence when engaging on Instagram (which is like a little podcast) being released TODAY! Simply enter your email address when prompted and shortly afterwards, the audio download will ping into your inbox. You can find the links for the rest of my downloads, below. 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!