Why You Don’t Need Instagram to Run Your Business
2020 was a peak moment in my relationship with social media for a lot of reasons. It surfaced a lot of my insecurities. It made evident how and where I was wasting my energy. It made clear the practices and interactions that weakened my mental health which made me less able to show up to and for the world, my family and community. I even wrote an angry post last summer called “I am not a content-making machine.” And I’m not! And neither are you.
I didn’t get paid to write things for Instagram. I didn’t even like posting; and, often, I wasn’t getting the traction, traffic or feedback I needed in order for posting to be worthwhile.
And that’s not how it needs to be! If you run a business, side hustle, freelance life, creative projects or have to fundraise for a cause or non-profit, social media should not be your only mode of communication with your audience — in fact, I would say that it is professional suicide to make it your only mode of communication.
If you’re someone who cares about the world and cares about people, we need you! The world needs you. The world needs your work, your perspective and your heart. We need you to show up in a powerful way, we need you to be well! We need you to feel good (great, even) so that your work can have the impact, healing and vision necessary to bring the change that you long to see.
So let’s talk about some of the challenges of social media.
BURNOUT + MENTAL HEALTH
I don’t know about you, but I would catch myself feeling super disheartened and depressed after putting an insane amount of work into crafting the “perfect” post, thinking about my message, curating the right photo, making a cute graphic and then getting very little response or results.
Then I would find myself scrolling, seeing other people’s apparent success and “engagement”. This would make me feel even more disheartened and depressed to the point where I didn’t want to make anything! What’s the point? No one’s gonna like it. No one’s gonna buy it. These were the kind of things that would go through my head.
And, if you’re a sensitive person or empath, social media can be very over-stimulating and make you feel like the whole world is happening to you all the time. It is an understatement to say that this has a very negative impact on your well-being, mental health and overall perception of reality.
ENSLAVEMENT TO THE INSTAGRAM ALGORITHM
Instagram makes being a creative, cultural leader or thinker almost impossible. I don’t know about you, but my creativity doesn’t function on the algorithm’s schedule; and innovative leadership, cultural change-making, is not about following other people’s rules to avoid being censored or shadow-banned.
If you don’t have someone to run the social media for you, it is A LOT of time and energy that goes into making graphics, posts and staying updated with all of the new algorithm rules. For me, it was way too expensive for me to keep devoting my time and energy to a platform that didn’t give me the results I needed.
Following the IG rules, I had to make up a post whether I wanted to or not. Then, I was expected to do LIVES. Then, I’m supposed to learn REELS (suddenly, I’m a video editor?!). Then I’m supposed to keep my STORIES stocked all the time. AND also have enough energy to come up with original, helpful, content in all the other channels of my life. AND still have the inspiration and energy and time to actually DO my work.
It wasn’t adding up. I didn’t have that much time and energy, and again… it didn’t feel good! Did I mention it wasn’t working?
I want us to be able to make more decisions based on whether something feels good instead of decisions based on “I have to” or “I should” or “That’s the formula.”
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
If you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix yet, and you’re using social media, I would highly recommend you watch it. Informed consent is a really important value for me, and I think we should know what we’re using and how we are being used.
Personally, I found the documentary deeply disturbing, and it made me want to focus even more on other ways to build community and support relationships for my work.
You Don’t Need Instagram for your Business
What happened after I deleted the app?
After Instagram’s new data policies came out in December of 2020, I saw so many entrepreneurs freaking out because they didn’t want to be subject to these new polices (I mean policies), but they also didn’t want to lose their audience. This is not the position we want to set ourselves up for! And, thankfully, it wasn’t me.
I had a backup. I had channels of communication that already worked so much better and more effectively; so deleting the app was less stressful and very possible for me.
So, actually, something happened when I deleted the app. I felt better! I instantly felt like a huge load was taken off my shoulders, my chest and my mind. I experienced way less anxiety, started sleeping better. I felt more creative and had more energy (and time!) to put towards the things that matter (like my work). And… I became more profitable!
Your business can feel good. It’s just a matter of aligning your energy, your creativity and your values with modes that actually work. Want to know more about how to do this for yourself? Click below, to watch a free class!
Watch this class on how to set yourself up for success (and sustainability) in your business without using Instagram.