3 Ways to Tackle Engagement Problems on Instagram

August 1, 2021

Collage of flowers, leaves, and a rhinestone and text that reads 3 Ways to Tackle Engagement Problems on Instagram

Hey, everyone, welcome back to Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy. My name is Rochelle Sanchez, and we're here to talk about different ways that you can have a little more compassion for yourself and for your business and for your mission and for your clients while you're trying to build your Side Hustle.

So that eventually (and this is usually the case, but not always) you can leave your day job and make your side hustle your main moneymaker. So today I wanted to talk about how to increase your engagement on Instagram, and I feel like this requires a little bit of like lesson time.

Let's let's learn a little bit more about Instagram and kind of remove ourselves from the overwhelming feeling that most of us get when it comes to Instagram and doing it right and getting more exposure, getting more engagement and all of that.

And just take a moment. And think about how you personally use Instagram.

I know that a big thing that's happening for pretty much everyone is that you're noticing that your engagement is going down. And what I mean by that is that you have, maybe like a thousand followers or something and then you post something and it's just not reaching anyone, right?

You're actually looking at your numbers, at your analytics, inside your business account, which I hope that you have on Instagram.

And it's not showing up. Like it's just not being shown to anyone, even though people decided that they wanted to hear from you or see things from you.

And that's the whole point of following!

So let's talk about what it means to be active on Instagram. Because, you know, Instagram is always changing. It does its thing where something changes and then nothing really helps you anymore. And everyone's just like all scattered everywhere and getting really emotional.

And really, I think we need to, like, I don't mean this disrespectfully, but we all need to calm down a little bit. Because this is social media. If you let it run out of control, if you're like, "My entire business runs on Instagram and I absolutely need this to work for me!" Then, you know, there there are a few things to talk about with that.

History Lesson: Why Engagement Sucks on Social Media Platforms

So let's go back a few years and let's talk about what Instagram and basically Facebook, what they are.

Okay, so they put themselves out as social networks.

And the idea, like the marketing that they have is that they're intended to allow their users to stay connected.

I think the the mission statement for Facebook, if you Google it, it says stay connected with friends and family and discover what's going on in the world. So, like, that seems very like heart centered and wow, they're going to do really good work.

And, you know, it's it sounds like something where if they say that they want to do that, then they should be doing that, right? They should be allowing us to they should be allowing our content to be shown to our friends and family who are following us.

But here's the thing, Instagram and Facebook. And honestly, from from now on, I'm just going to be saying Facebook, because for some reason, people are forgetting that Instagram is Facebook, like Facebook bought Instagram.

When you're on Instagram, you're basically on Facebook, but just in a different app, right? And they bought the app and then that's when all the algorithm changes happened.

So, you know, if you have, like, beef with Facebook and you're like, I'm not even on Facebook anymore, I left it, but I'm on Instagram.

Well, it's it's still Facebook. So just keep that in mind.

OK, so I'm going to go ahead and use the word Facebook for it, because I feel like that will help help drive this lesson home, because for some reason we all think that, like, Instagram is different, but it's really just the same thing.

So. Instagram/Facebook started, some dude decided to start it as a business, as as an app, right, as software. He didn't start it as a nonprofit.

He didn't start as B Corp or as a political action committee.

And, you know, him and his team decided to make this and put it out there and allow people to use their software for free.

And side note, believe me, I hate Mark Zuckerberg as much as anyone. But like, we're just trying to stick to the facts and what we have control over because, you know, when there's a time and place for leaving space for emotions.

But if we're actually talking about engagement on an app and the fact that it's having a seriously negative impact on your business, then sometimes it's important to just kind of like look at the bigger picture and understand where every party is coming from.

And, of course, you know, it's you versus the Facebook. So let's look at both sides.

So Facebook is a business. It happens to be a free app that you can use and you have a business, too. And you also probably already provide things for free.

Like maybe you send out an email and you write email content or you have a blog or maybe you have a podcast. Or maybe you spend a lot of time writing very good, informative healing captions for your Instagram posts.

But you also charge for the product or service or packages that you sell, right? You charge for those. And that's how businesses work. We need income and we can't keep everything, giving it giving everything out for free because that's not how it works.

You need to get paid. You need to pay off all of the expenses and then you need to be able to make a living and a significant profit in it so that you can scale up eventually and make a bigger impact on whatever it is that your mission is.

So since Facebook doesn't charge you a monthly fee, as far as I know, I mean, like they might be rolling this out tomorrow for all I know, but they don't charge you a monthly fee to use the platform, right? You didn't have to enter your credit card number to start your to start your account.

So that means that they're allowing you to use their product like their main product. Instagram is Instagram. They're allowing you to use it for free. And that means that they as a business have to make their money some other way. And of course, that is via advertising. Now, just to let you know, I'm not going to go into a rant about, like, how you should start using advertising. You have to do all the...

I hate that phrase that people use where they say, like, "You have to have some skin in the game." It's kind of like the the idea that everyone says you should never, ever do free calls with anyone. You should always charge for your time and energy. And they say, you know, people who get something for free are not as committed as people who pay for it.

And I don't I don't believe that I understand where it's coming from.

But I think it's also a dangerous way to make things make it so that basically things are limited only to people who have financial resources. But anyway, that's another rant for another day.

But, you know, we kind of face this with advertising, right? You kind of have to acknowledge that you as a free user of Instagram are getting all of these benefits. But some people are paying. Some people are paying Instagram and they have an entire team working on ads and a whole funnel running through it. And they're, you know, all the all the fun ad stuff.

So this is where things get kind of muddy, right? Because we as consumers, you know, like if you think about all the businesses that you have bought from via Instagram, we're used to scrolling on our phones and just consuming content.

We need a break from work. So we pick up our phone and we hit that Instagram logo and then we start scrolling.

And it's kind of an escape, right? And if you've curated your timeline well enough, then ideally (and maybe this isn't true right now but) ideally when you sign and then like, it should make your life better to see the kind of content that you're seeing.

And yeah, there's a lot of great content on Instagram because all of us put a lot of effort into doing things as best as we can within reason to participate and to show up, because showing up is part of the selling process.

But of course, the problem that we have now is that when you post things, they barely get seen by anyone. So like if you have a thousand followers and then you check your analytics and only 30 people have seen your posts at all and they're not responding. Two people liked it. You know, the rest of them didn't even know that you could double click, double tap on a video. And, you know, it's just really frustrating because it's like, are you here for your business or are you here to be a marketer?

And most of us, unless you are a marketer, you're not here to be a marketer. You're here to do your thing and to help people and create change and to make a statement and do all of the things that you feel called to do. But we get wrapped up in the marketing and the frustration. And, of course, everyone would like to have everything for free, but that's not really how business works. So this is where we are.

So I thought that it might be helpful to take you back a few years because some of you I know are somewhat new to this.

Like, yeah.

A little bit of my background as a social media marketer

So my background is that I got into social media marketing around 2012? 2011. So this is after I graduated from architecture school, having decided I didn't want to be an architect because I, I learned unfortunately, through that very expensive process, I was very good at being a student in architecture, but I didn't want to be an architect by the end of it. I was like, "Oh, this is like very elitist."

Like, I didn't know that word at the time, but I was like, oh, this is like rich people designing for rich people and deciding what everyone needs. And I don't like it. And so by the time I was done with architecture school, I was kind of over it. And so I tried. I did the usual like, "oh, where can I get a job? Where can I go?" And I ended up getting this gig for the Salvation Army.

So it's Salvation Army, but it was the Kroc Center, if you're not familiar with them. Ray Kroc is known for things starting McDonald's, but they also have like a second or I don't know how many sectors of their money they they created, but they have a series of community centers. And somehow my little suburban city with a population of like twenty eight thousand at the time got picked to have one of our community centers that used to be a YMCA and it got revamped.

It got chosen to just be given a lot of money. And, you know, they built a community center.

Now, I could tell you the whole story, but basically that's that's kind of like my first professional heartbreak scene because it didn't go well.

But what I can say about my my role there, my official title, I think was, "Social media... Social media and graphic design specialist," which is two completely different jobs now that I have all the experience I have.

But what are you going to do? You're young and you know, you're excited about joining a very well known nonprofit for a community center and you're like all about a community. And so I was like all for it. And I went ahead and you know did the job.

And here's the thing, I, I may not have had a great experience there, but I did learn a whole lot about social media because really I had gotten the job based on a volunteer project that I had, I had proposed for them. So I actually designed like the printed flier that they sent out to everyone. And so it was me bringing my graphic design skill to the job.

But at the same time, on the job, I was learning about social media, which was really awkward, because prior to that, I had not been on Facebook. Like I think I I started... I opened my Facebook account the last year of college, and I think that was like just before Facebook made it so that everyone could have a Facebook account.

And it wasn't just going to be for college students. Because I believe that's how they started out, where they they intended for it to be for college students to keep in touch. And they eventually got rid of that. And then everyone could be on Facebook. And then now Facebook is what we know it to be.

And so when I was doing my job, it was like learning on the go. I didn't know a whole lot about social media other than, you know, people posting stuff, personal stuff.

And then here I was in a position where I was basically in charge of putting us on the social media map, right?

Like using the local analytics, trying to get in touch with, like, you know, connect our accounts so that other people who are were at the time doing a better job at social media than I was. So that we all start like connecting with each other and, you know, just growing our platforms that way. And so that's where I learned it. This is back in 2011, 2012.

And then eventually I started doing things for myself because I learned through I mean, this is kind of the deal with any corporate-like experience that you have where. Basically, you care more about the mission than the people in charge. I mean, like, I can just be honest and say that, like we ended up being very much about that red shield above all other things, more than being a community center. And that was why I didn't last long there, because if you're not swearing your allegiance to, you know, a shield and then you're on the wrong track.

And so what I ended up doing was I remember Googling. Because that's where we all start, right? We're like, OK, online marketing, let me Google this.

And I ended up being really good at it. Like I was good at coming up with ideas or videos, coming up with, like, copywriting. I didn't know what that was at the time, but I was good at it.

And then I, I was smart at the time because I created my own page, so I didn't do all of this for the work page, but I did it for myself. And I also didn't do it on the clock. So I just want to make that clear.

But I started doing it for myself because I was like, you know what, I like this. I could probably do this. And at the time I was like, well, I'm teaching group fitness classes. Maybe I can use it for that.

So I started my own Facebook page and learned how to do Facebook advertising.

The Golden Goose Egg of Facebook Advertising!

So Facebook ads, I learned how to do it.

And it was like the best ever.
Like literally I did... I remember my best success was... I made an ad for my Facebook page, and it was the kind that shows up in the right column when you're looking at Facebook on a computer and of course, this goes back before everything turned mobile. So people are still using computers for everything. And it was so exciting because I did an ad and I was like, oh, my gosh, look at this. I just like boosted my Facebook page up to like 8000 likes. It was a big deal.

I was like, what, eight thousand? And even like I remember even family friends were like, WOW, Rochelle, you have a lot of, you know, like engagement and a lot of people following you and stuff like that. And I was like, yeah, it was so cool. And then of course, 2013 hit and the algorithm changed and that didn't mean anything. My eight thousand people has slowly dwindled down, I think, to like six thousand.

And even now it doesn't matter because they don't even show the "like" numbers. So the whole the whole process, you know, of me trying to get likes and trying to grow my numbers and trying to get engagement, it was like, wow, that was fun. I learned a lot of things, but it didn't actually do anything. So this is this is what I want to bring up for you is that in 2013 likes on business pages ended up not helping you anymore.

Close your Facebook Group! No wait, start a Facebook Group!

And it's kind of the same, I won't go into the whole story, but like kind of in 2017 to 2018 all of the marketing gurus and all the life coaches were shutting down their free Facebook groups because some -- I ended up later on finding out who it was -- but some high level coach was telling them to shut down their free Facebook groups. So all of the groups were closing. And then, of course, like the year after that, Facebook started leaning more into Facebook groups and calling themselves communities and saying that "We're all about community!"

And then everybody reopened there and reopened their Facebook groups and said, "Oh, yes, I just I just decided that, you know, I wanted to still connect with you all. And I'm like, yeah, sure. Anyway.

So what does this all mean? This means that we don't have really any control over the decisions that Instagram/Facebook make. When it comes to their platform and I mean, we all kind of saw this coming, didn't we?

Don't Build Your House on Rented Land

We've heard that phrase, "Don't build your don't build your house or your business on rented land."

And what they mean by that is like social media. It doesn't belong to you, right? Versus making your own website. But the perk is that you get exposure ideally. Right. Well, not exposure, but you get other perks, so the rent, technically, social media is rented land, but the rent is free.

And what I mean by that is that you're not paying any money.

You're allowed to have an account and you're allowed to post your content and interact with people that you otherwise would never find or run into. Just like going for a walk, holding a sign in your neighborhood. So it's all free for you to be on there, but it's still sort of rented land because it's like, well, the rent is free, but at what cost?

And so the only analogy I can come up with for this is: If you were offered a house and you could live in it with completely free rent, you'd be suspicious, right?

You'd be like, "I can live in here and I don't have to pay a thing? like, what's the tradeoff?" And there the idea would be like, oh, my gosh, it's a house with zero rent. You don't have to worry about, like, paying it.

And, you know, we just want you to have a nice home! And you would probably be like, "Okay, what's the catch?

And it turns out that the house is 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer because it has sucky insulation and no air conditioner. Or it turns out that it has like the worst water heater ever, like in the world. Not really. I'm being I'm being dramatic, but like, it has a really bad water heater. So you basically never get to take a hot shower.

So that's that's what I'm talking about, like when something is free rent, technically it's a good thing.

But there's always a catch and by the way, those are both real examples of real issues with like a place to to live with zero very low rent. There's always a catch.

Instagram and Facebook are Rented Land with Free Rent but Lots of Heartache.

And so it's the same thing with Instagram, like it's free rent, but you have to play by their rules and they get to be in charge and make decisions and tweak things according to however their business plans are going. And we don't have access to that. Right.

We don't have access to their business plan for the year, for the next six months or the next two years. It doesn't you know, it doesn't involve us. We're just using the app.

Now, here's what to do!

So let's talk solutions, okay?

I know that I might have, like, riled you up or maybe you're like, "Wow, this is kind of like doom and gloom. Rochelle, this isn't making me feel good at all."

Let's talk about solutions and what to do now, now that I've brought you into the frame of mind that, like, social media is its own thing and maybe it's time to focus on your own stuff.

And I know that it seems like social media is yours, but it's kind of not. So let's talk about that.

Okay, so the first thing I would say is just to take time to accept that this is a hard career that you've chosen and we're all learning on the go. We're all, you know, pivoting and changing.

And at the same time, you yourself are growing as a human.

And, you know, all of that is happening right now.

Remember to be kind to yourself.

And you're also calling the shots. So the perk of working for yourself is that you don't have anyone telling you what to do.

The downside is that you don't have anyone telling you what to do. So you have to make decisions all the time, every day, even when even if you're doing it right and you're doing the thing where you, like, officially clock out of your business and you're not overdoing it and obsessing over everything. It still happens.

And so remember that you're still human. You deserve a lot of compassion. And this is hard stuff.

Remember your strengths.

I also encourage you to remember the strengths that you bring to the table. 

Remember that you're creative, you're optimistic. Most of the time, you're great at uplifting other people, even if you don't always feel that way for yourself, sometimes.

You're great at seeing what people need at being a helper. So let's think about some opportunities that you have right now, given everything that I've gone through so far, but also keeping in mind that you are a good person, you're here to figure it out and you're hopefully not going to burn yourself out in the process.

So in in reaction to all of this and everything that you're going to do, I'm presenting you with three options. I'm going to call them three choices.

And just a heads up: the third one is my personal preference and also my personal suggestion for you. But I just wanted to lay out the options because there are a lot. So I've narrowed it down to three.


Choice #1: Pay attention to what's working and do it.

So this has to do with like Instagram saying recently that they are no longer a photo sharing app. They don't want you to use Instagram the way that Instagram was originally designed before Facebook bought it, where they're a square shaped picture sharing app. They just officially said they're not that.

And so that tells you that you really do -- if you're going to keep using the platform, then to get the most out of it, you have to follow their rules.

So you have a choice to, well, do it. You know, figure out what's working. And at this point, right now, reels are really taking off. And I can tell you right now that it's because they're trying to overtake TikTok, honestly.

Like, that's that's all Facebook does, it seems, where they're just trying to figure out which other app is doing better than them. And then they put all their resources into making a competitor and then they do it better. And then the other app fizzles and dies or gets bought out by them.

But, you know, keeping in mind that you're not an app developer, you're not here to play by the app game. You don't sell software as a service.

So you're going to be OK.

So what you need to do is pay attention to what works, start doing those videos. Stop using Instagram as a picture sharing service and, you know, see see how that feels if you're feeling up for it. Like maybe you like the sense of competition, maybe you're always up for a challenge. And if you're in a good place with your body and your energy and your spirit to step forward and focus on reels or longer format video or, you know, I'm sure that they'll probably build in a podcast platform or whatever it is that the gurus are really saying that you should be doing right now, then go for it.

You really can. You can shift. You've done it before. You're doing things differently now than you did when you first started your business.

So this is just a new one. It might not be the one that we all planned for, but, you know, and it's okay. We were made for this. We were we started our businesses so that we could shift and change as needed. And this is one of those times.


Choice 2: Start paying for ads, now that you know how it all works. Instagram exposure is a competition.

So remember, I'm aiming you toward a choice three, but I'm giving you options. So Choice two is to start paying for ads because Instagram exposure is basically a competition.

Since they don't show things chronologically, then it's basically an all out competition for whoever takes up that rectangle of space that's, you know, that you can see at one point at any you know, at any point on your phone while you're scrolling and while the consumer is scrolling. So it's like what can fit on a screenshot, right? Only one post probably can fit on a screenshot if no matter how you how you time it or whatever, there's only room for one business or one post or one, something to be showing on the screen.

And so since they're not showing it chronologically... Because if they did, if you're following like three thousand people, then you're your feed would never stop scrolling like it would always be refreshing itself.

And so maybe maybe at this point, you don't have time to be on all of the networks, sort of like how they say, you know, just spend 20 minutes a day, like engaging, spend 20 minutes a day and you're interacting and, you know, being in your DMS and all that stuff.

And it's just like, you know, for certain personality that works. But for a lot of us, that leads to burnout, like within two weeks, I promise you that if I was like, DM me! Let's talk in the DMS.

If I did that consistently for two weeks, I'd be like a puddle on the floor by the end because I'd be so tired, I'd be like, oh, I'm pulling myself in too many directions. So the way out of that is paying, right?

So the monetary price that you pay for advertising is basically the exchange for manually engaging and spending all of your already limited time on social media instead of with your family. And by the way, that's a real struggle.

I don't want this to end up being one of those, like it's the usual like Beyonce has the same 24 hours that you do, and that's wonderful.

And we all honor and are very impressed and like we all love Beyonce. But Beyonce has a lot of support. She has a lot of resources and not everyone has. So if you want to go to the advertising route and paying for it, then you should go ahead and go for it. Of course, there are battles with advertising, too, like there are rules to follow, certain things that you can't say, certain weird things where you get flagged and your your ad never gets.

Approved because of some weird robot that's reading all of them and thinks that you're suspicious. So it's it's not going to be just like all in one solution. But, you know, it's it's an option.

It does imply that you're going to have to spend a lot of time learning, you know, like teaching yourself how to do them.

You're going to have to really pay attention to what works and what doesn't in advertising. I'd suggest that you have a strong funnel in place that you feel confident about. And really, it doesn't have to be that complicated. Like maybe your funnel technically is just that you run an ad and your call to action is for people to DM you based on whatever it is that they learn from their ad and that's fine.

But keep in mind that funnels and ads take lots of testing and tweaking, so it might not work for a while. But it will work eventually, so just be sure that you're maintaining attention on your energy levels because it can be really draining not only financially but emotionally, okay?

Overall, I would say that the more you can outsource, the better, and if you can't outsource, like if you're just not at a place. To financially or even mentally outsource things, because, like, honestly, I think that most of us who have businesses we can afford, like what? One hundred and fifty dollars in ads every month, honestly.

So at that point, it's more of a mental issue or a fear issue or, you know, self belief or maybe time urgency thing where we're like, I absolutely cannot have any more money coming out of me than what's coming in.

So that brings me to the third choice.

Choice #3: Stop Depending on Instagram to organically show your stuff to people.

The third choice, I would say, and this is my preferred advice again. Is to stop depending on Instagram to organically show your stuff to people, and I know that that might be hard to wrap your head around.

And I'm not trying to say like you need to abandon all of the friends and connections that you've made on Instagram. But I am saying that, like, maybe it's time that we all kind of take a step back and stop doing the whole you know, "If you want to support my business, then, like, comment click share on this, you know, and if you don't support my business and I see you!

Like I see a lot of people kind of going down the bitter route, which makes me sad because we all started our businesses and with the intention to help and now it's kind of turning into business owners on Instagram are angry and they spent all of this time, you know, gaining followers and making a difference, and then now they're like kind of yelling, you're preaching to the choir, I guess.

They're yelling at the people who are there and are seeing their stuff. So it's a little ironic and it makes me sad. And the only thing I can say is maybe we should stop expecting the robots that Instagram built to show our stuff to people. For me personally, like I always keep in mind that Instagram does not give a shit about me.

They do not care. My entire business could buckle, and maybe I could get sued or maybe something bad would happen and I'd have to completely give up on it and like never coach again and Instagram wouldn't care. They wouldn't buy a bat an eye because they don't have eyes.

So personally, I don't spend any of my energy and emotion thinking about what Instagram should be doing, like on a moral basis. It's just it's just not worth it. And I know that there are places there are certain like committees and there are certain political figures that are really going after the social media folks to make it more fair and make it, you know, have a little more justice in the world with all the power that they have in the tech industry.

But that's not me. You know, I'm not part of that. I, I might contribute to certain people who are leading that fight.

But for me and my own business, I know that Instagram isn't paying attention to me. Like, I know that they don't care.

And so instead and especially if you're feeling this, too, like if that applies to you and you're like, oh, yeah, I guess Instagram doesn't care about me. And no matter how many posts we bring up and how many times we tag the official Instagram account, they're not going to pay attention.

And so I say we stop, I say we stop expecting Instagram to save us. You know what I mean?

And maybe we need some action steps for this.

So I would suggest going back to your mission statement for your business if you have one.

And if you don't, maybe it's time to borrow some books from the library or, you know, talk to your local small business development center and put together a written business plan that has a mission statement and a vision statement and all of that.

So that you can remember what your intentions are and where you're going with this, because chances are your mission statement isn't going to include, "Be highly and organically visible on Instagram to save money for the continuity of the business."

Like no mission statement says that we're all here for a bigger purpose.

And you know what? If some some app is doing sheisty things, then we can take care of that as a community, you know, in by supporting your political action committees, by giving financially to the people who are really going after those people.

And, you know, we can do that.

But in the meantime, when you're having your own business meeting, (even if it's just you, right? We still have to have like our team meeting with ourselves every once in a while to make sure that things are on track.)

So the alternative, I would say, is to... well, let me pause there, that was that's that's basically where I'm going with this, and I'm going to give you some ideas for how to go about it, because I know it's it's easy for me to just be like, "Oh, yeah, just stop. And that's it!"

So I can have a few... I have a few tips for you to wrap this up. But I did want to pause there because I know that this is a lot, right?

Especially if you're feeling very emotional about Instagram and you're like, my entire business depends on this and it's not working. It can be hard to be at that point in your business. And so I do want to honor you just by taking a moment and acknowledge that you're going through a lot.

You're deciding on a lot. You're probably pretty tired. And also, there's a pandemic that's not over. So you're doing a lot. And I hope that you're going to have a little more grace for yourself, because this is big stuff, right? This isn't just a little side thing. Despite what I call this podcast, it's not really a side hustle.

This is, like, your work. So keep that in mind. Take a breath and pause. Pause the podcast if you need to. But yeah, I do want to say that I'm here for you and I know that this is a lot to take in.

But with that, let's let's move on. Let's talk about what we can do.

What we're going to do is we're going to break up with Instagram. We're breaking up, it's over, it's not working, and instead we're going to figure out a way to make it work to so that Instagram is part of what we do for our businesses so that we're not fully dependent on them anymore, okay?

Try this, instead: Talk to people one-on-one.

So what I would suggest is to get on calls and see if you can talk to people who understand what you're going through. Now, what I mean by that is I don't want you to go through your phone and just be like spamming everyone.

I know there are a lot of like multi-level marketing companies like Beachbody and, you know, all the essential oils ones.

They all like to say, "Well, make a list of everyone that you know and then, you know, DM them and call them and, you know, do all of these things."

And I am absolutely against that. That's like the worst ever for me. I tried it and it was just awful. So I'm not going to say, you know, you're going to try to sell to everyone manually.

But, what I'm saying is that you probably know other business owners, right?

Like, you know me, you can DM any time. I'm just telling you that. You know about people like me and like you who are all going through this stuff.

Like maybe not everyone talks about it so openly on Instagram.

Like maybe when you scroll through your stuff, through your feed and you notice, you know, like, "Okay, these are the people who are getting exposure. These are the people who are, you know, doing something right. Because they're obviously showing up on your screen versus not showing up on your screen, right?"

So instead of thinking that it's not fair that they are getting exposure and you're not, maybe you can get on a call with them. And I really do mean this.

Like I've done this so many times with people.

Well, I will say do this with people you trust and that you genuinely like, not people that you're like, can I can I, you know, bother you or that you're afraid of maybe you are really intimidated by someone. Like, don't talk to those people.

Talk to the people that you see as like fellow friends.


Fellow people in this with you. And when you talk to them, like really all it is, is just a dam and saying like, hey, how are you doing? Would you be interested in just having, like, a no pitch coffee just to catch up?

I swear that works. And sometimes they say no, but it's very, very few times, so I just try it, OK? So find the people that you actually trust and you are attracted to as friends, as business colleagues and see if they're interested in talking.

Start a conversation on collaboration, if it feels right.

But instead of commiserating together, because it's really easy to do that when you get together with other business owners who are struggling, also, I would suggest focusing more on finding a way to engage your network, and by that I mean like to engage with them and basically set yourself apart from what everyone else is doing.

And I think that just by getting on a call with someone that you could potentially collaborate with or someone that you just trust in general, like, even if you get on the call and nothing happens.

Maybe you say bye and there are no plans and you never talk to them again and they don't promote your business or anything, I think that that does more than like just sitting and being miserable, that your stuff isn't showing because we need that human to human connection and we need to be brave enough to let other people know that we need that connection, quite honestly.

So remember that you are resilient and smart and you're creative and you can figure this out. Like if you want to keep creating content for Instagram, if you're like, I just can't break this just yet. Maybe you have, like, a bunch of stuff already planned.

You can keep doing that, but maybe cut that effort in half.

So if you typically spend, what, two hours a day making content. Try doing it for one hour a day and then spending the other half basically doing what you do, if Instagram got shut down completely.

Like you would have, you would have to be really creative if that happened. And hopefully your entire business doesn't rely on Instagram and being connected to other Instagram accounts. But you never know.

But I think that's kind of the... that's the perk of connecting with someone outside of Instagram, because when you I mean, like ultimately you're going to have to not connect with them on the Instagram app. If you have a call, then you're either going to have to exchange numbers or you're going to have to send them a zoom link or something like that.

And eventually you're going to have that connection outside of like this tornado of despair that Instagram is. And so that in itself is already healthy, in my opinion.

So you're going to figure that out. You're going to connect with someone and see if you can just chat with them in real life or maybe not in real life, but like live in an interactive way and just see what happens.

Because there's something really powerful that happens when businesses get together and we stop trying to do everything by ourselves on our own.

And if you open up and you have an... You know, a conversation, even if it's super awkward, like I know that some of you are going to be like, oh, my gosh, I'm so awkward on calls. Honestly, it's OK. And if you're so awkward that they never want anything to do with you again, then that's their problem because awkward people can help other awkward people and we'll be fine. So that's what I say to that.

Another thing that I'll point out is that networking, because that's basically what this is, right? Networking is getting to know people reaching out and going beyond the whole like, "Like my stuff! Comment on my stuff!"

Networking actually brings people full circle and back to your social media channels, to be honest. Like, if I if I reached out to somebody who fit all of my criteria for for a person who's kind enough and compassionate enough, and that won't make me feel like a loser on our call.

If I find if I can, like, peg down who that is and set up the call. I mean, if I'm not showing up on their Instagram, you know, organically, like if they're not even following me, chances are they're going to follow me after our conversation. You know what I mean?

Like, networking naturally brings people back and they say, oh, my gosh, are you Instagram? Oh, I actually prefer to be on Twitter. Oh, let's, you know, connect over on LinkedIn.

It... Social media ends up coming together anyway. It comes into the conversation. So you're going to be fine. It'll it'll turn out better than you're expecting.

Try experimenting with Clubhouse.

And then also if you're nervous and you're not quite ready, because I know that some of you are going to be like, "I can't! I just... I just can't!" Then I would say try getting on Clubhouse. And I know that everyone's like Clubhouse was really hyped up, like really, really hyped up when it first came out. And even I was like, yeah, no thank you.

And no, but I will say that as someone who is really slow to the movement, it's not a movement, it's an app. But like if someone who came on really slow, I actually get the hype because. Here's the thing, like we are so isolated as business owners that sometimes you can actually believe that you're the only person you and your phone and the digital screen are the only people who care about your business and what you're here to do and the big work that you're doing, which is totally not true.

But like, you know, especially after how many months we've had with this pandemic, it's going to be hard to keep hyping yourself up and remember that other people care about the work that you're doing.

So, when you get on the clubhouse, it's it's interesting and this is how I've been using it lately, I haven't actually spoken on clubhouse at all, but I have been checking in and listening to certain talks.

And I, I really like just the acknowledgment that, like, in live real time, there are other business owners talking to each other and lifting each other up and saying really encouraging things.

And literally, I think it also depends on how you curate your clubhouse rooms that you follow, whether you join.


The way that I'm doing it is that I intend for clubhouse to be that app and I can go into every time I feel like I just need to have some company, you know?

If I don't want to feel so isolated, if I'm starting to feel like I'm the only person who really cares about anything and that everyone else is just, you know, doesn't care, then I get on clubhouse and I start listening to people.

And it's so cool because it's kind of like... I would say it's kind of like maybe you don't this won't really hit you if you don't like conferences, but it also kind of has that conference vibe.

It's like you know, you you witness people talking to each other and engaging with each other. You can see how many people are in the audience. And it's nice to me because when you go into a room where people are talking, where there's like a panel and a moderator, a host and moderators and all that, you're allowed to come in and you don't have to, like, introduce yourself.

It's not like a zoom call where it's very obvious when people come in. It's not like, I don't know, back in the day when they did like the tele-calls for things, you know, there was always that like someone has entered the room, kind of weird announcement. And on clubhouse, they don't have that because you can go in and out and nothing gets announced. And your picture just like appears up near the bottom where the audience is.

But like, it's totally normal to just be like coming into the room and listening and absorbing what from my experience, is very hopeful energy, I would say.

Yeah. I mean, like it's still social media. So I, I don't want to like, hype it up too much because we all know that even clubhouse will still eventually have its own pivot and then we'll all be screwed over in some way and we'll be scattered again. And you know, all that stuff. Like it's it's bound to happen.

There's going to be some kind of paywall. There's going to be something happening.

So like I know that there's no such thing as like the social media platform that will be for the people and take everything, everything down.

But at the moment, it's pretty cool.

So if you're not ready to reach out to people one on one to have a chat, then I would suggest getting on clubhouse and just trying... trying to listen, like listen as if you're really in the room and trying to absorb things, and then if you find because this is still happening with me like that, I don't really understand their home page, but it seems like.

I would say that you just have to be really mindful of where you spend your time and if there are certain rooms that you don't like, then you can go ahead and hide that room from ever showing up again.

It's kind of like, you know, blocking an ad on Instagram. It's not a big deal.

But anyway, you should try it. Clubhouse is pretty cool for those reasons.

Try Collaborating with other business owners!

And then my final tip for you is to try collaborating with other business owners. And I can't get it too far into that because obviously there are so many ways to collaborate with people. But like, if you're really all about whatever it is that you're about, like your mission statement, your vision statement, the things that you talk to your therapist about, where you're like, I really don't want to give up on this because... You know that stuff? Then that's wonderful.

Like, you should share that!

You should get together with someone who feels the same way and you guys should, like, put together some magical thing that will help so many people. And it'll it'll be great for both of you, for your businesses and for all the people that whose lives are going to touch, because it's just I don't know, it's just going to work. I just believe so much in small businesses and the the awesome things that we do when we step forward and we believe in ourselves, which is a big thing to expect, especially with everything that everyone's going through right now.

I believe in you. Go ahead and DM me!

But I do still believe in you and I hope that you continue believing in yourself and that you continue finding that hope, okay? So, Instagram? Like, screw them. Screw Instagram. You can do this. You can reach out to real people who care about you, who know what you're all about, and you can show up exactly as you are.

You don't have to be better at anything or get better or try to prove that you're worth talking to you like as you are. Just reach out to anyone.

See what you can do when you don't put all of your power and agency in Instagram.

Stop letting Instagram decide what your business is capable of and go and do it for yourself.

OK, let me know what you think of this episode. This is obviously something that I'm very passionate about. So if you have... If you have something that came to mind or you would like to just like reach out to me, you can DM me on Instagram, @RochelleSanch and the handle for this podcast is @CompassionPod, both on Instagram and Twitter.

And I would love to to hear from you. And I would also love to have a chat with you! Like, add me to the list! Okay? All right. So that's all for this week. I'll see you next time.

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