Falling prey to self doubt is a slippery slope in this digital world we live in. I'll be the first to say that I trip and stumble on doubt more often than I'd like to admit in my relationships with my friends, my family, my business, my art and yes, with even with my Instagram account.
If you don't have an Instagram account, or if you've never used it to showcase your art or build your business - you may not relate to this post. But then again, maybe you will? Have you ever struggled with the feelings of not being enough or not knowing the right steps to take? I'll bring it on home in the end - keep reading for more...
I keep my Instagram account as up to date and consistent as possible with the hope that if I say the right thing, and post the right photos, that it will garner me a huge following, thousands of likes and hundreds of engaged commenters.
Seems silly right?
To leave a something as big as self worth and confidence in my business up to "chance" and the Instagram algorithms IS silly. Not to mention the amount of paid services out there that are created to post nonspecific comments on our behalf so people don't ACTUALLY have to engage with real humans anymore. (Anyone else tired of the "Want more followers? DM me today!" garbage?)
Growing an engaged following is a big deal because a) there are currently 600 million active users on Instagram so you are bound to find your people and lots of them and b) creating our space as an authority in our niches could lead to some pretty amazing opportunities within our community and worldwide - like getting paid to travel, or free clothing and gifts or getting paid to post shoutouts to other accounts. There are countless other positives to building an Instagram following but today I want to address the self doubt that happens in so many of us as we put ourselves out there online - especially as creatives.
What truly gets self doubt all riled up is the comparison to other accounts, other artists, other parents, and other people who seem to have it all figured out. We often forget these are the highlight reels from their lives because no one wants to actually say they are going through marital issues or breakups because, online, they are one big happy family!! Right? Or that they may be struggling to find clients because, online, they look smokin' busy and completely booked up! We all have our own daily struggles and triumphs - and it doesn't mean we should be divulging every last detail of the bad stuff - it just means that to remain real and relatable, we may have to explore your story and put it out there.
It's a tough facade to keep up once you get going. Which means creating authenticity and trust online is a lot harder than it used to be especially if you are like me, and put way to much effort into creating real posts.
I love to connect with other artists and people online, as opposed to collecting more and more nameless followers to the daily tally and I especially hate the feeling that I need to sell out and conform to generic comments and "follow for follow's" JUST to get people to see my content. We need to know that we definitely don't have to and in a way, its a disservice to those who do relate to us.
We are more than enough, and as mentioned above - with 600 million active users on Instagram alone, we're bound to make an impression - we just need to be patient and do our work. Keep showing up and growing as human beings. It's not about us.
Just so we're all clear - the amount of followers, likes and comments you receive are in no direct reflection of who you are, what you do, or how successful you will be.
There are always new tips and tricks to learn when marketing your work and ourselves online, but what I know to be true is people want to connect with people. Its a human instinct to want to find people you match with - so by showing up as you, and me, we can create some pretty powerful connections regardless of where we live in the world.
Numbers are just numbers - but real support is hard to come by. Don't let self doubt get in the way of you doing you.
You may or may not relate to this post, but there will be others to follow regarding all things I deal with on a daily basis. My world is always changing, but my core feelings remain the same. Add yourself to my email list below to receive more about staying true to you on Instagram and through marketing, nurturing ourselves and our relationships, trials and celebrations to building a business and how to remain as sane as possible through it all.