I just went through my Instagram account where I have 17.800 followers at the moment.
For some of you that may seem like a lot, but for a blogger who gets in access of 800,000 page views every single month, it's a mediocre number.
Some of my peers who have much smaller numbers in terms of blog traffic have much higher follower numbers than me.
My first instinct is to want more followers and raise my profile.
I want to spend more time on Instagram.
Post more images.
Get more POPULAR!
Boost my ego.
But then I remember... It's ok.
Low engagement and profile growth has been partly my choice as I choose not to spend a lot of time on Instagram.
At the end of the day, many of those really popular women on instagram barely make ends meet (or still have their blog or instagram as a hobby) and I have a flourishing business that makes multiple 6 figures.
And I'm not saying that to boast, but to hit it home to you that those nice vanity numbers on social media don't necessarily mean business success.
Social media follower numbers are not a true representation of how successful someone is
Of course, as always, there are exceptions to this rule as for some instagrammers or social media personalities their social media presence IS their business. It can certainly be a good tactic for a business in some instances.
But for me, It was, and still is, a conscious decision not to spend so much time on Instagram.
For 40+Entrepreneur, I haven't even started posting on Instagram yet and I'm still contemplating if I should start a separate account.
The draw of social media
Instagram and other social media can be a lot of fun for sure, but it's also a big time suck.
If I am to raise my profile and get more followers, I need to post on a consistent basis. Minimum once a day.
I would also have to make sure that I post beautiful images. Just average won't do on Instagram as millions of other photos compete for your attention and you need to stand out.
I would also have to regularly update my stories to remind followers of my existence and build a connection with them. Some of you do this so naturally, but I actually prefer my privacy and prefer to LIVE the moments rather than feeling I need to share everything.
I would have to interact more with others. Leave comments and follow more people.
If you let it, Instagram alone can easily take up an hour each day of your time, if not much more, which is time I don't have.
And that's only Instagram.....
I still have Facebook to update as well. Keep an eye on my groups. Post frequent updates on my business pages.
Then there is Twitter.
All these have their own followers to please and to grow and all these networks require their own special treatment.
I'm sure you've read lots of advice telling you that the images you post on Instagram aren't necessarily good for Facebook. They certainly wouldn't work for Pinterest etc. That means that you need to have a strategy for each social media platform.
As you can imagine all that takes time. And at some point in your business you need to make a decision where to spend your time.
What will move the needle in your business the fastest?
It's simply not possible to do everything and be everywhere anymore and do each social media platform justice. Even if you have a team to help you out, trying to do everything will simply burn you out.
It will also not help your business.
I made the decision a while ago that social media wasn't going to be my first priority.
Instead my focus is on growing my email list (get my strategy on how to generate lots of new free leads here), increasing the traffic to my sites and creating new products. At the end of the day, those efforts put money on the table and grow the business.
Here's why I choose to put my effort there
There are a number of good reasons.
#1 You own and control your blog
Remember how Facebook used to encourage you to get lots of likes for pages?
8 years ago everyone was doing that. Lots of free traffic was promised and brands were having lots of (paid) campaigns to grow their pages.
But then Facebook decided that they weren't going to show your content to your page likers anymore. Now in 2018 less than 5% will even see your posts. And there's nothing you can do about it.
You don't own the platform.
Facebook now wants you to pay to show your content.
Not so for my blog.
I created lots of content that sits on MY BLOG and as opposed to Facebook where you can only get a bit of traffic (if you're lucky) to a post for a short while, I get traffic to my pages constantly.
Of course I'm still dependent on my traffic on Google but they benefit from sites like me as they answer the questions of people that search on their platforms.
Google wants to remain popular too so their job is to serve their visitors the best possible pages for their queries. So long as I continue to produce high value content that women appreciate, Google will have an incentive to show visitors my page.
An extra incentive is that Google also benefits from pageviews on my site as their ads are served on it and when someone clicks on them it benefits us both.
Over the last 7 years my traffic from organic search in Google has grown while traffic from my Facebook page is barely noticeable, despite also creating an active group on Facebook with more than 7000 members.
As the image below from the last year shows, traffic from Facebook amounted to 0.6% of overall traffic to my site 40plusstyle, which pales in comparison to what I get from Google.
Instagram doesn't even make the top 20.
#2 I can build an email list that I own
Focussing on traffic that goes to MY OWN platforms lets me profit from the traffic.
Visitors my click on my ads, may purchase the products I feature (which will earn me affiliate commission) and may buy one of my courses.
When you promote your content on your social media channels, you let THEM make money of you. They get paid for the ads that are shown and they reap most of the benefits.
When I promote my own site and focus on that, I also grow my email list.
Building your email list is one of the most valuable things you can do as a business owner.
If you look after your subscribers and give them consistent value, they will start to know, like and trust you and may eventually end up purchasing your products or service.
This is so important in online business and building your email list should be your focus from day one.
Once people are on your list, it's up to you to decide how often you want to be in contact with them. No Google or Facebook or any other platform will get to dictate who gets to see what.
You're in control.
So even if Google decides not to show my pages anymore and Instagram and Facebook want me to pay for any reach of my posts, I can still reach my loyal email subscribers and grow my business.
#3 You build your OWN assets that may produce passive income
Getting huge numbers of followers on social media platforms can certainly be lucrative.
You may get the attention of advertisers who will want you to promote their products for a fee and you may even get a modeling contract.
Again though, you can't control that.
Fist, Instagram (who is owned by Facebook) may drastically reduce the reach of your posts at any given time if they wish. Just like they did on Facebook, you may end up having to pay for reach.
Second, you put your income at the mercy of others.
If it's modeling, you only get paid if someone wants you in their campaign and you get paid per assignment (putting in the actual hours).
If it's an advertorial, you get paid for the post and have to comply with the demands of your customer.
I personally don't enjoy working with advertisers so much, as I find it can be time consuming and I prefer to completely stay true to my own brand and voice.
Rather, I'd like to concentrate on assets that can earn income in a passive way or that I fully control.
Remember, freedom is one of my key motivations!
Pages on my site become passive income assets as they draw lots of traffic and earn income through affiliate commissions and advertising revenue.
My courses become assets as they are created once but can be sold over and over again.
My style club becomes an asset as it has created a learning platform and community that women are happy to pay for month after month since it offers them lots of value.
So is spending time on social media still worth it?
There's definitely a place for social media in all this.
Social media helps you to connect with your audience and it helps them to get to know you better. That can help with the Know, Like and Trust factor that is needed for people to stick around or buy from you.
it's getting more and more important to show the authentic YOU to your followers. That makes you stand out from the crowd and helps you to build a relationship with them.
If you are naturally very outgoing and love to share every detail of your life with otters, then social media may be a good fit as well. Just be careful not to spend too much time there and spend time on creating your own assets. Remember, social media requires continuous activity!
Social media can also be good for certain outcomes, like the desire to become a model for example.
I know some women have build a career as a model just from their popularity on the platform. Please note though that this is tough and you really need to stand out! (minimum of 100k followers at least!).
And of course the vanity numbers are cool. I wouldn't mind having 100K followers!
But knowing the time commitment that would take and the low ROI from that time investment, I'd rather spend the time on developing MY OWN assets instead.
I suggest you take a good hard look at your business numbers too and consider if the amount of time you spend on social media is really worth it.
Would love to hear from you! How do you feel about social media? Do you like spending time there? Do you see it as a good business investment?
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