Does anyone else remember the days of the Instagram chronological newsfeed, or when ‘stories’ weren’t even a thing? 🧐
I started my first business at the start of 2015, it was an ecommerce business. I was told ‘Facebook is dead, just focus on Instagram’.
The advice I was given was to post a minimum of three times per day and to play the follow/unfollow game – boy did I play that game hard. 🚫
I committed to posting a minimum of three times a day, every day. 🤯
And although I hated the idea and thought the strategy was sleazy and wrong, I downloaded the apps and followed the people that were engaging with my ‘competitors’ and would then unfollow them, some of them also unfollowed me but most of them wouldn’t. I repeated daily.
In a very short amount of time I had thousands of followers.
Instagram became a job of it’s own, I was trying to come up with a minimum of 21 pieces of content every week. I didn’t even have that much content. I would spend hours trying to find images of the product I had, inspo pics, quotes, influencer pics, anything that was relevant! 🤯
Filler posts that read ‘Sunday vibes’ were big – just so we could stay in the news feed.
It didn’t take too long before I completely over it. We’re talking HOURS every day dedicated to Instagram.
And the sales….? What sales? I was focusing on NOTHING else in my business besides staying on top of Instagram. I was giving away so much product just be a part of follow loops to get more followers.
I’d get so many ‘oh your business looks like it’s doing great’ comments from people I knew – but it wasn’t.
In fact I struggled to sell anything that wasn’t on sale. Items that were discounted so heavily the cost of the sale basically only covered the wholesale cost of the item, leaving nothing for me to reinvest, or to pay myself.
It wasn’t at all sustainable – I knew it had to change, and change it did.
For a while I actually walked away from the business, technically it was still open but I wasn’t actively doing anything. I thought about closing it but something always stopped me, and so I jumped back in and made a few big changes…
✨I got crystal clear on who my ideal client was and what they needed from me.
✨I lined up a couple of really great collaborations that weren’t about collecting followers, but to put me in front of the right people that wanted my product.
✨I committed to sending one email per week to my database.
✨I continued to post on Instagram most days, but wouldn’t beat myself up if I missed a day.
✨I used my data and analytics to help guide me.
✨I built strong relationships with my customers and other people within my industry and niche.
✨I gave myself permission to do things in a way that worked for me, that served me, that lit me up, they drove me to do more and to grow my business.
OK, so eventually, after about 3.5 years I decided to close that business – I still own all of the registrations and I toy with reopening it again in the future, but if I do it will look VERY different to what it did back then.
The lessons I learnt:
🔥You need to trust and back yourself every step of the way.
🔥The best strategy will never be successful with a shitty mindset.
🔥If something doesn’t feel right and you don’t want to do it, don’t.
🔥Instagram is an awesome marketing tool – but it isn’t everything and other platforms and activities should be considered.
🔥Followers don’t equal sales, success or happiness!
If you’re looking for the right way in your business I’d love to help! Business doesn’t have to be overcomplicated, there is a simple and easy way forward that will work for you.
If I can help, please get in touch, I’d love to guide you ✨
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash