June Story Challenge Reflections
For the month of June, I committed to showing my face on Instagram stories every. single. weekday. And I’ll just be honest… it was terrifying at first! Showing up in video form is vulnerable. I have never felt “camera ready” and have always been more confident in my writing abilities than my speaking abilities.
The heart behind the challenge:
To be honest, I just hadn’t been “feeling” Instagram lately. One day I looked at my feed and tried to figure out what to post and just couldn’t help but wonder… Why am I doing this? Is it because I am truly bringing value to my audience? OR is it because I feel pressure to put something up so that I don't miss out on clients, lose relevance or be "punished by the algorithm"? This led me to take a look at my posts from the last couple of weeks and evaluate what kind of value I was truly bringing to the table. To be honest, the value was lacking and that was a tough pill to swallow. Two of our core values here at Studio Antheia are community and authenticity and hiding behind pretty posts just doesn’t align with our mission.
Here is what the challenge taught me….
It’s ok to show up imperfect.
That’s how true connections are made. It’s no secret that there is a major shift happening in the social media space right now. While I still think that branded, beautiful images are important, showing up as MYSELF and how I really look & feel 99% of the time is important too. I’ve said this a billion times but I’m going to say it again: Social Media can either be used to show off or it can be used to make people feel less alone, let’s use it for the latter.
Feel the fear and do it anyways.
Want to grow? Do something you are scared of. Honestly, almost anything worthwhile in my life has come from over-coming some sort of fear. Maybe your fear is showing up as yourself on social media… Or maybe it’s fear of starting your own business, switching careers, confrontation or something else. It’s ok to feel fear… As long as you don’t stay there.
You have experiences that will help others.
I think that so often we limit our impact because we are afraid that we are un-qualified. Imposter syndrome is REAL and will keep us playing small if we are not careful. If you are a living, breathing human (hopefully you are or that would be weird) then you have experiences that will be helpful to others. You have made mistakes, learned from them and grown in tremendous ways. People will get value out of your experiences no matter how “unqualified” you may feel.
Social Media can be life-giving.
File this under “things I never thought I’d say.” Yes, social media can be time-sucking and anxiety inducing if we are not careful… BUT if you use it as a way to truly connect, empathize and cheer others on, It can be an amazing tool.
An authentic community trumps numbers.
Would you rather have 100 associates or 5 close friends? Hopefully you said friends. ;) I like to think of social media in the same way. While having a ton of “followers” may seem glamorous, your life (and your business!) will see the most benefit from having a small engaged community over a large audience that doesn’t truly care about you or your business.
So what did the #JuneStoryChallenge do to my insights?
While I definitely did not do this challenge for numbers, I thought it would be interesting to track the numbers (nerd alert) to see if posting everyday is really as important as I’ve always been taught. Here is what I found:
My Page views and Profile Visits remained (basically) the same.
I was definitely expecting these to go down. I only posted about 1/4th of what I normally would, so I figured that the chances of new people stumbling on my account would significantly decrease. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not showing up in my feed did not hurt me (goodbye posting pressure!)
I gained ~350 followers during the #JuneStoryChallenge
I wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to followers during this challenge. I have never been one to really care about the number on my account and was perfectly ok with the assumption that this challenge might make me “lose followers.” According to my Plann app, my monthly follower growth is usually more in the 400-600 range, but I was still pleasantly surprised that my account continued to grow during this challenge, despite not posting often.
My website clicks doubled!
This one was the craziest one to me. I think it just goes to show that while showing up imperfect may not “reach” as many people, it will have a larger impact on those that really do care. That is more important to me ANY DAY.
My DM’s have been crazy during this challenge, which has been so fun! Direct messaging is the most authentic form of communication on IG and is the best way to really foster community on the platform. I had so many thoughtful conversations during the challenge and truly feel like I have served my community in the BEST way I have ever in the past.
So what now?
Thanks to this challenge, I am definitely stripping off the pressure of constantly posting to Instagram. I still plan on using the platform to showcase my work, but I will be more intentional about providing value AND I am only going to do it when it feels truly authentic to do so. I also plan to utilize Instagram stories more in hopes to further provide value to you guys and to show the real life behind Studio Antheia.
THANK YOU to everyone who has supported & engaged with this challenge. I am so thankful for this community and can’t wait to continue to serve you guys. If you missed the #JuneStoryChallenge or would like to refer back to any of the videos, they will be labeled by topic in my Instagram Highlights.