When we're able to see how well other people are doing on social media, it's very easy to get caught up in the idea that we may have left things too late to ever achieve that same level of “success”. I've just started something completely new myself, so I thought it’d make for an interesting blog post, about why we start new things and what we do when we feel like we’ve “missed the boat”.
I’ve just started doing something new, something that I “should” have started ages ago, something that I’m not sure will work, but something that I’ve wanted to take part in for a long time: I’ve created a new Instagram profile.
I know, I’m only years “too late”!
I created my first Instagram account years ago but just used it for very bad, very personal photos shared with my Facebook friends. I kind of ignored it until about a year ago when I joined again and started following loads of amazing humans on there. I especially loved the feeling of really getting to know people through Stories, and through the heartfelt captions that often accompany each photo.
But I was scared to participate. I didn’t even leave comments on things I liked, and I most certainly didn’t share my own stuff. Firstly, because I have a fear of putting myself out there and getting visible. And secondly, because I didn’t really need to use Instagram for my business (I’ve always made the bulk of my income through email marketing and the rest through my website and organic traffic).
Why I'm Starting Now
After so long lurking on Instagram I’ve grown to love it more than any other social media platform. It seems to be where I’ve found my kind of people, and I want to be a part of that. I’ve only just joined and am already making friends there, it seems super-friendly which I love.
But it’s also just a creative outlet for me, which is an important part of my intentional life & business philosophy. Yes, I want to use it as a platform and hopefully, it’ll help me build this new site into a business (which I’ve decided, for now, will take its own path – I’m not quite sure where I want it to go). But even if business weren’t involved, I have always had this urge to get more creative both with my photography and with the way I interact online.
I say it a lot, but I’m a huge introvert, and I’m also shy. This makes it quite hard for me to put myself out there, especially on Instagram stories, but I’ve decided that it’s time. For so many years I’ve had a voice inside my head telling me I’m not good enough for whatever reasons, and I’ve realised that it’s just not worth it to live my life listening to that voice.
My Experience So Far…
So a couple of weeks ago (at the time of writing) I went all in. I deleted my “lurker” account and created a brand new one where I followed all the accounts I’d already found before, I posted a photo of myself, and I introduced myself in the caption.
And a week before that, I signed up for Sara Tasker’s Insta Retreat course, which I’d been eyeing up for a long time. I’ve found that investing my money into a course – as long as I don’t just buy on a whim and really think it through beforehand – can have a very positive effect on my mindset and motivation, so I decided I’m going to do this Instagram thing properly.
I started playing around with Stories on the first day. Only a few people saw them, of course, but it helped me get the hang of how things work, and I actually found it super fun! Then a couple of days later, I recorded my first video story showing my face. It was easier than I’d imagined – because I’m so new, I don’t have the pressure of loads of followers seeing it! I’m honestly so proud of myself for showing my face, as I never really thought I would.
And already I’m making real connections with some of the people I follow, and from fellow students of the Insta Retreat. Yes, I am super intimidated by how GOOD everyone’s photos are. They really, really are. I am not a photographer at all (though I’ve always enjoyed taking photos). I am a writer, so I’m working hard on my captions. But I’m already enjoying learning more about photography, and the course will be a great way to practice.
Of course, there’s that lingering question – have I missed the boat with Instagram? Although I’ve not been active there myself, I’ve heard all the talk of the algorithms, the difficulties everyone else faces… how can I even compete when I’m brand new in 2018?
But the truth is I want to do it, so I’m doing it. I also have to remind myself that everyone starts somewhere. There’s that quote that says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” So I’m doing it now.
And the great thing is, right now I don’t even care how many likes/ follows/ views etc. I get because I’m new so there’s no pressure. I know I’ll have to be mindful about not getting hung up on the stats as I get further into my journey, but for now, I’m really having fun with it!
If you want to follow me, I’m @ruthpoundwhite on there – and I’ll be sure to update you on how my journey goes.