Ghosted: Why I removed my Business from Instagram

banner image reading why I removed my business from instagram in bold text infant of black and white images of myself

I just signed out of Instagram, and while this isn’t an unusual thing in itself, I won’t be logging in again, for at least a year. For many years I had used Instagram as a useful tool for marketing my photography business but having left Facebook and Twitter behind a long time ago, recently I had been feeling increasingly distracted by the ever changing algorithms of instagram. It was a space I used to market my business and connect with my creative community with which I enjoyed sharing photography. However, as you probably know, it has become more of an advertising monster rather than a creative community, with ridiculous demands that expend a lot of our time and energy. And in the same way I would walk out of anywhere that treated its community so badly, I decided it was time to leave this room too. So, on 31st October 2021 I finally signed out. Here’s some of the reasons “Why”.

Clarity of Mind

As a creative professional and an internal processor I need time for my mind to flow along an idea. Concepts and projects, both mine and for my clients need space in my head in order to grow into reality. So far in my life, I am very thankful to have a good history of mental health. I know what’s good for me and how to take care of my mind, I never had any issues temporarily removing instagram from my phone and switching off from the “call” to show up in order to focus on my work. However, it got to a point where that just wasn’t enough. I had found myself increasingly disengaged with all my own projects and purpose in my work. As I primarily used instagram for marketing, there was no getting away from the thoughts in my head that I should be continually promoting my business and that I was missing out on potential customers by not being on there.

Since instagram went down a few weeks back, it made me ask why am I putting most of my effort into marketing into this platform, especially when its getting increasingly hard to shout loud enough to be heard.

I am hopeful that leaving instagram will help me focus on what I am doing with my work away from the “noise” of the never-ending scrolling, polls, questions and sponsored posts.

Time

I’m looking forward to testing this one properly, what is my time going to look like when I don’t have to think about posting photos every week, thinking of and finding good hashtags, and consuming everyone else’s daily content. A lot more of my work time is going to be focused on creating new products, as well as better serving and communicating with my amazing photography clients. My website and marketing both online and locally will also be a high priority focus. Plus, reading books, learning new skills and taking more photographs. This is something I will share as the year goes on.

Creative Freedom

Back when facebook was a mere youngster did you ever find yourself thinking in statements… “Vance is… eating a delicious breakfast”, “Mindy is… fed up of hearing people moan about life” etc etc…? Well I did, and I realised it started to happen again on instagram, but with photos. I started to take photos that I knew would be algorithm friendly and get a good response from people, which is fine for marketing but I’m a professional photographer so I should be thinking about more than that when I take a photograph. I want my work to be from a place of creative freedom, not a marketing perspective. I want to read books, go for walks and notice details that inspire me to create, not just be continually influenced to produce marketing material.

To be Inspired

I can pinpoint all the things that inspire me most, as I’m sure you can too, and instagram isn’t actually one of them. Despite being inundated with hundreds of beautiful photographs daily, I would never actually go back and use those images for inspiration like I might do with Pinterest, and definitely do with my sketch/note books. For me inspiration comes from so many other places (new post coming soon) so I am making the choice to go and spend time there instead.

To Inspire Others

With all the thoughts in my mind about instagram being a place I no longer wanted to invest in, I couldn’t keep encouraging my customers and creative community to spend time there either, it just didn’t feel right. I hope that this next year I can show that life and business can be run well (I know so many people are doing it already!) without the social media beast.

Social media lies, it tells you you need it, for work, for friends, for life. But you don’t. You just don’t. This wasn’t an easy move though, I really enjoyed the community of people I had connected with over the years and will really miss being able to pop on to say hello. However, for me, it was just time for a change, to connect in new ways, to stop being influenced by the algorithms, to read more books, talk face to face and find new ways to grow my business. For me that just all seemed to enticing not to try. Braving the wilderness as Brene Brown would say.

I will keep you updated on how it goes. Sign up to my mailing list for monthly inspiration and news!