Battling Instagram Realities and Pressures: The Design Twins’ Best Advice
Instagram realities are tough. The Design Twins share honestly about struggles & rewards found on Instagram and what you can expect on your IG journey.
Is Instagram worth it? Let’s be honest, Instagram realities and pressures are real.
After writing 45 posts about Instagram most of you are probably asking, “Why has it taken you this long to bring up the topic?” Well, it’s not that we haven’t thought about this. We are, in fact, acutely aware of the challenges. I don’t think there has been a single Instagram post when we didn’t mutter the words, this is hard. However, we haven’t tackled the topic head on until now.
Is Instagram Really Worth All the Work? And Why Are We Addressing This Topic Now?
Why tackle this complicated question now? One of our Insta-besties recently had her Instagram account hacked. They deleted her account and she had to start over. As we tried our best to console her it inevitably brought up the question: Is it worth it?
Another reason for the timeliness discussion stems from the recent Instagram climate.
What “climate?” It’s hard to define and hard to say for sure but we and others have noticed some serious ups and downs in the past months. And when I say, “ups and downs,” I don’t mean huge growth. I am referring mainly to huge downs that are seemingly unexplainable.
Instagram Realities: Crackdown on Fake Accounts
We do know that spam and fake accounts are being deleted systematically by Instagram because of advancements in technology. Spam accounts are pervasive across the platform so all accounts will feel some amount of decline due to their deletion at different times. We all know that we lose a certain percentage of followers on an on-going basis. It’s just a matter of balancing that loss with daily growth. Lately the amount of loss has increased and the amount of new accounts has decreased. The overall result is slowed growth for most.
The result? Julie and I have experienced a lower relative growth rate than we have ever experienced in our past four plus years on Instagram. So yes, it is enough to make us take a look at the daily commitment, time and effort and ask the big questions.
Instagram Realities: The Daily Challenges
Before we dive into the answer let’s just acknowledge the daily challenges. This is a quick summary of the daily commitment IG can take:
- Schedule your life around posting times
- Prepare content in advance
- Keep the creativity flowing
- Come up with interesting topics to discuss
- Did we mention the daily content?
- Commit time and energy to commenting, answering DM’s and connecting with followers
- Give back to the community by liking and commenting on others’ posts
- Create daily stories
- Create Live video
- Share on Instagram TV
This is our daily reality and it’s a lot. Looking at this list we are honestly wondering how we maintain this.
And this is nothing new. We have done this and been committed to this for years. For the most part we’ve been all in. We have loved it. Why?
Instagram Realities: The Rewards
Here are the reasons why we have loved it and the rewards we experience:
- Motivation to learn and grow
- Joy in the creative endeavor
- Connecting with people, making friends
- Encouraging/mentoring people
- Creating a loyal following who are interested in what you are doing, teaching, saying and yes, selling.
- Creating brand awareness that you can then use to launch your career or business in whatever direction you choose
- Earning a real living to contribute to both our families
Yes, Instagram is powerful. Julie and I came on Instagram with zero intentions beyond numbers one to two. Quickly we realized that numbers three to four were an unforeseen bonus and motivation for us. Then slowly we realized numbers five to seven were possible. That’s when we started collaborating with brands and started our blog.
Instagram Realities: The Long Haul
Another challenging Instagram reality is the never-ending treadmill it creates. Once you step on it’s hard to get off. And, to be successful you shouldn’t get off. One of the keys to success is tenacity and consistency. How do we deal with this? We have some coping skills to recommend.
- Make a posting schedule and stick to it.
- Take photo shoots on a schedule and produce visual content in bulk.
- Create posts ahead of time and save in draft when needed.
- Take time off your phone. (This is for sanity and to avoid burnout.)
- Listen to your mood. If you are not “feeling it” try waiting to comment for when you are feeling generous.
- Feel the love. Really take in the kindness, ignore the negativity, and treat your followers like old friends.
- Maintain an attitude of gratitude and joy.
Using these coping skills your time on IG will feel less tedious and more enjoyable. Be strategic with your time, but also help yourself stay authentic. When you feel like you are in charge your IG responsibilities and posting feels less like a job and more fun.
Instagram Realities: The Pressures
One of the toughest Instagram realities the trap of comparison. It is hard to be on Instagram day after day seeing spectacular talent, beautiful homes, swoon-worthy beauty square after square. It can also be difficult to watch others growing faster. Comparison can be harmful when it leaves you feeling chronically inferior or depressed.
Remember that success on Instagram is not a measure of worth.
Everyone’s path is unique, and it is created by countless elements, unseen forces, and uncontrollable factors. Try to stay in your own lane. This may be the most difficult challenge of all, but also the most imperative. If you fall into this trap you will not find joy in the journey. Without joy you will ultimately not succeed.
Take Your Instagram to the Next Level
If you are ready to take your Instagram journey seriously, then we invite you to join us for our up-coming online Instagram course. Sign up to receive our blog by clicking on the link below so you’ll be the first to know about it. You will also be one of our VIP’s and receive plenty of bonus freebies when you sign up for our email.
Read Sprout Social’s article, “How to Be Successful on Instagram in 5 Steps,”for more Instagram realities truth and inspiration.
Attitude is Everything
Everyone has their own path, their own pace. Our brand would have developed more quickly if we had started with a vision and a plan. But we needed to discover our dreams along the way. That has just been our path.
Instead of focusing on the idea of being bigger, having more followers, and the future keep you focus on the present. Think about your current followers and keeping them delighted and loyal. They are your bread and butter. If your current followers are thrilled IG will see the quality of your posts by their reactions. IG will automatically show your posts to others, and you will grow.
It’s also a more satisfying outlook. It keeps you in a state of gratitude and not dissatisfaction. It’s the difference between being in the future vs. the now. Keep all your energy focused on the now and you will succeed.
Find your joy and you will find your power and your purpose.
We have talked about the importance of being authentic with your audience and how creating real relationships with your followers will help grow a loyal and engaged following. Why not take this to the next level? I find that when I am stressed or upset about something in my life if I share it with my followers not only does it connect me to them in a real way but it actually helps me.
Talking honestly with my followers is like therapy. I’m not saying you should complain about every little thing. That could get old very quickly. But looking to your followers for support can be really helpful.
Be real. Share what is stressing you out about Instagram realities or life in general. It is likely that many others are feeling the same things, and they will empathize with you.
Keep Things in Perspective
Yes, Instagram can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be. I heard a friend say recently that for her Instagram account is her “me time.” She looks at her posting time every day as a moment she takes to herself away from her family to share her creative side with the world. What a lovely way to think of it.
So take that time away from your family for a few minutes. Remember why you are doing this. And don’t feel guilty about taking this time. That will only create stress where there doesn’t have to be any. Take the time for you, for your account, for your dreams. And enjoy your little “Instagram Break.”
It’s all in how you think about it.
What are your current Instagram realities? We would love to hear from you in your comment below.
Julie & Jodie
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