Let’s have some real talk about social media. If you aren’t careful, you could spend all your time staring at other people’s accounts and feeling like crap about yourself. This is no good for you or your business. As a social media consultant to creative biz owners, I fully understand how easy it is to continually compare yourself to others on social media. Aside from feeling down in the dumps, this can lead to every creative business owner’s worst nightmare – complete creative paralysis. If you find yourself in such a state, then put down your phone. I repeat: Put. Down. Your. Phone. Get outside, go for a walk, and eat some gummi bears. When you’re ready, put your sweat pants on (that’s my ‘power outfit’ of choice) and read what to do the next time you find yourself in one of the following traps.
It’s A Trap! A Comparison Game Trap, That Is.
Trap #1 :: Their photos are so-o-o much better than mine.
Yours will get better. I promise. Lucky for you, perfect photography is not necessary to build a successful business on Instagram. Good photos, yes. Perfect, no. Over time, your photography will improve. Just keep at it. Pick a famous Instagrammer. Scroll to the beginning of their feed. The VERY beginning. Feel instantly better. Everyone sucks at the beginning.
What makes a good Instagram photo?
- Good lighting. Natural light is best, but there are plenty of cheap photography kits on Amazon.
- Clear focus. A blurry photo is the kiss of death. Invest in a tripod for your phone or drink less coffee.
- Good composition. Remember the rule of thirds.
Trap #2 :: They have have 275 bazillion followers and I have 3. Waaah.
We all start somewhere, dudes. If numbers are important to you, focus on the rate you are gaining followers and avoid obsessing over your total number of followers. There are simple tasks you can perform to gain 5, 10, 20, or 30 followers each day that don’t take more than 35 minutes to do. No magic needed, just good ol’ fashioned strategy. Schedule a session with me and I’ll spill the beans. Just make sure that you are focusing on relevant followers. A relevant follower is not your grandma, it’s someone who fits your customer profile.
What are best practices that lead to increased followers?
- Post consistently. That means every day.
- Develop a clear customer profile so you will know exactly who you are trying to reach.
- Reach out to new people who fit your customer profile. Don’t wait for them to find you.
Trap #3 :: Their whole feed looks so pretty and mine is full of grilled cheese photos.
Well, that’s an easy one. Stop posting photos of grilled cheese. I know it’s hard to find time to post something every day. I’m going to tell you a little secret that will save you hours of anguish: Don’t post in real time. Each week I set aside 1-2 hours to hammer out 7 photos that are post-worthy. I have a bag of props ready to go so I don’t waste any time looking for things to add. Not only will planning ahead save you massive amounts of time, it will keep your feed visually consistent.
How do you create a consistent feed?
- Choose a color palette.
- Recurring subjects. (For example: Monday, Wednesday and Friday are for product shots. Tuesday and Saturday are for work-in-progress shots. Thursday and Sunday are for inspiration. Done.)
- Consistent brightness and color saturation.
Trap #4 :: Everyone else is a millionaire. I just know it.
Time out. Just because someone has tons of followers and a few pretty pictures does not mean they are rolling in dough. Believe it or not, some people buy followers to give the impression of success. You never know if their followers are actually buying stuff. Businesses are presenting their ‘best self’ on Instagram. So, nobody’s going to post a selfie of themselves crying in the shower because they haven’t had a single sale on Etsy in three months.
How do you know if someone is a millionaire?
You don’t. Stop worrying about how your financial success measures up to someone else’s.
If you are feeling like social media is taking over your life, then please join my FREE private Facebook group. You can sign up directly from my website and instantly connect with other creative biz owners who are looking for social media support. Remember to follow me on Instagram and meet other creatives through the hashtag I created, #mycreativebiz.
*Editor’s note: If you want some great tips on Instagram for creative business owners, check out Caitlin’s awesome three-part series.
About Caitlin Bacher and Little Farm Media:
Little Farm Media is a social media agency for makers, artists, and designers. Join our private Facebook group: Social Media for Creatives to get real about your social media strategy in private setting. Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest for more social media tips and inspiration.