How I Changed My Relationship With Social Media

by | Jan 31, 2024 | Podcast

Social media is a hot topic for a lot of business owners, and for good reason. Some love it, most don’t love it, and everyone’s trying to figure out how to use it to grow their business, Many times, when the topic of social media comes up, it comes with a lot of heaviness, frustration, disappointment, and confusion. No longer is it just an app to share photos and stories. For many, it’s a source of stress and resistance. In this episode, I’m going to share the 5 ways I changed my relationship with social media that helped me go from stress and struggle to peaceful posting.

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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

Social media. It’s a hot topic for a lot of business owners, and for good reason. Some love it, most don’t love it, and everyone’s trying to figure out how to use it to grow their businesses. And many times when the topic of social media comes up, it comes with a lot of heaviness, frustration, disappointment, confusion. No longer is it just this great app where we can share photos and stories. For many is a source of stress and resistance. So in this episode I’m going to share the five ways I changed my relationship with social media to help me go from stress and struggle to peaceful posting. So stay tuned. Hey, hey there, friends, welcome back to the Flow Business podcast. I’m Shawn, your host, and this is your place to build a business that excites you, not overwhelms you. And here we are. Look at us talking about social media yet again. It’s funny that someone who is not remotely a social media expert has so much to say, so much to talk about when it comes to social media. That is me. That is me talking a lot about social media as a very, very non-expert of social media. But here’s the thing the topic of social media comes up during almost every group office hours that I hold for Signature Program Lab, which is a lot. We meet twice a month and we’re talking about social media probably twice a month because it’s just such a sticking point for a lot of people and, like I said in the intro, brings up a lot of stress and struggle and disappointment and frustration and just not knowing how to handle it, not knowing what to do, what to post, how often to post all these things that go on in the social media world, and so I think we do need to talk about it as often as we do here, and I actually think it is important that this info is coming from someone who, like I said, not a social media expert. I’m not going to talk about how to get more followers, how to go viral, how often to post, what to post, when to post all these things, that is. I mean, there’s millions of social media experts talking about that stuff. So if that’s what you want to know, definitely there’s way better places to go than here to find that info out. That’s not what we’re talking about here. I want to talk about the mental, emotional struggle that comes from social media and how we can make that better, because maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Maybe we can find this happy medium where we are using social media as a business growth tool but not getting our emotions in our mental state wrapped up in it. Is it possible? I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s possible for you. I have found it is possible for me and that is what I’m going to share with you today. Now, first things first. As I’ve said before, and let me say it here again, you do not have to be on social media to grow your business. There are many other avenues for you to do so. So if you really just have this like huge revolt when it comes to social media, like full on body, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual revolt, don’t be on it, don’t use it. That’s okay, and then start learning and start exploring those other options for you to grow your business off of social media. But now, if you have any sort of willingness to use it as a space to get your work in front of the right people, while still holding boundaries and holding space for yourself, then let’s talk about having a good relationship with it, because it’s just not worth it to stress about it and to have all these negative emotions coming from this space that could be used in a very detached way and do really good things for your business. So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. So I realized that I needed to do this episode back in December, the end of the year. I always do this kind of ritual at the end of the year where I’m switching out my journals. I start a fresh journal at the beginning of every year and as I’m switching out, I go back and read past journals, which is kind of a fun thing. I mainly do it because my journal writing practice is usually about a vision for the future, so I usually use it to create a visualization of what I want the future to hold. So it’s fun to go back because then I can see how much has come true of that vision that I had at that time. It’s just fun. It’s a great, great thing to do at the end of the year. However, I went back to I think it was like August I want to say 2019-ish, maybe a little earlier, actually mid 2019. There was this period of time where I was writing in my journal about Instagram, literally about Instagram. It obviously stuck out to me because, like I said, 90% of what I write in my journal is creating this vision is very positive. It’s like all these great, amazing things that are going to happen in my future. This was very different. I was clearly very distraught about it, and that was right at the time. It was during one of my big pivots in my business, where I was starting to talk about other things besides just food and nutrition, which is what my entire Instagram platform up until that point was about. And it was also at this time for Instagram, when they really started making major changes to the algorithm and to where your followers don’t actually see your posts, and everyone was all up in arms about that. That was right at that point too, and so obviously it wasn’t going well for me. It was really affecting me mentally and emotionally. Now, if I go back, this was what three, four years ago. I don’t even hardly remember this, but leave it to the journal to remind me. Now let me take it back a little further to explain why I was probably so distraught at that time. So, as a nutritionist, I had a very engaged Instagram account for several years. I got followers really easily, I got a lot of engagement, I had a ton of views on my stories and I made legit, real friendships through that account. It was all just very easy and so obviously, when it stopped being easy, I had a freak out At the time as things were shifting, as I was starting to talk about more things. As the algorithm changed a little bit, it started feeling very heavy, it started feeling hard, it started feeling draining and like a chore. It was like a chore, not like an oh wow, I get to use this free platform to connect with my people and make friendships and get clients. It wasn’t that anymore. For me, it felt really like a struggle and I do remember at that time thinking about quitting and actually talking with my sister about quitting Instagram altogether, and I remember that because she was thinking that too. And for those that don’t know my sister, she is kind of an influencer in a way. I mean, she is an influencer it’s just weird to say that because she also is a full-time high school math teacher and she has four kids, so it’s like how could she possibly be an influencer? But she is and she has a really large, very engaged following and had at the time. But she was also noticing back in 2019 that shift and how much harder it was to get your posts in front of your followers and that kind of thing, and so we were talking about it and having that discussion and I really wanted to quit and I know she did too, and that’s why I remember the conversation but neither one of us did. And before I stop talking about her, let me just shout my sister out. Her name is Paige. She is at Style this Life. If you are into like minimalist fashion and sustainable, slow fashion, she’s your gal. So head over there at Style this Life on Instagram and let her know I sent you. I think she’ll be happy to hear that. Okay, back to the story. Let’s fast forward to now. So about five years later, and in that time, like I said, I obviously pivoted my business hardcore, going from nutritionist to business coach, which means I had to start a new account. That was part of what kind of got me from wanting to quit was. Instead, I just decided to start fresh and start posting what I wanted to post on my new account, instead of making people that were interested in food now hear about business stuff which they obviously weren’t interested in. That means I completely ghosted my old Instagram account of 25,000 people and started a brand new account in 2021. It’s about two and a half, three years ago I think, and I had about 100, 150 people follow me from my old account to my new account. So I was starting really fresh with that account. At the time I was very excited. I was like, yes, fresh start, this will be great. No problem, I can do this. However, starting a new account was very hard, very, very hard. I immediately started questioning that decision so many times, like almost daily, I was like maybe I should just go back to my old account and like slowly it will shift and at least there’s somebody out there listening. But I didn’t. I stuck it out. I stayed with my new account, specifically focused on business coaching. I did what I always preach and I stayed committed to the process. I posted consistently. Even when pretty much every post was going largely unnoticed, I had a very small following. Then there’s the algorithm and all that stuff. So posting and not having people see it is hard, and if you’re in that spot right now, please know that I have very fresh, very real experience with that. I know what it feels like, I know how hard it is and I know how much resistance can come from that to make it where to where you just do not want to post because you just know it’s not going to go anywhere. However, I did not stop. I posted four or five days a week, every week, consistently, and I stayed committed to the process. I never went viral. I never had this windfall of new followers. I never had anything be this like huge hit, but I have seen slow, steady growth since then. So two and a half, three years ago. I have had slow, steady growth since then and it just makes me really proud of myself for continuing to show up from the very beginning of this account, even when, honestly, it just really sucked, like there was a time where it was really not fun. And so, as of this recording, I have about 6,100, 6,200 followers at this point, which is, by a lot of standards, still very small. That’s still a very small audience when you think about the people that have hundreds of thousands and millions of followers, but I really don’t have attachment to that number at all. Like I said, I’m proud of myself for continuing to show up consistently, to stay committed to the process and to start this fresh account talking about what I wanted to talk about. So, yeah, it may be technically quote unquote small, but I’m proud of it and I have no other attachment to that at all. It just is what it is. That period of time really really changed me when it came to social media, because it was hard and I was feeling resistance and I was feeling like I was struggling and I didn’t want to feel that way. I didn’t want to feel that way about this tool that I had at my disposal to get my work in front of the right people. I wanted a very just detached approach to it. I didn’t really want to feel anything anymore. I just wanted to use it as the tool that it is. And so I went through this kind of like transformation. I feel like over the past few years, mentally and emotionally transforming to get to a place where I can post on social media. I cannot post on social media. Things can go well on social media, things can go not very well on social media, and I am it’s nothing for me either way Not good, not bad, not happy, not sad, it just is. It just is a tool that I am using and really what that boils down to is that I don’t have an attachment to social media. My emotions are not tied to the performance of my social media account at all. The typical things that people think about and talk about and get wrapped up in the followers, the likes, the comments, the shares, all that engagement stuff. I just don’t think about them that much and I know every social media person, every social media expert out there right now is like cringing that. I said that because it’s data. You got to check your analytics, you got to know all these things about your social media account and I just really don’t. That’s just not the best strategy for me. It’s not what I need to do to feel good, and that is most important to me is that I feel good, and knowing how every single post did or didn’t do that doesn’t really do that for me and it’s not worth it. So let’s go over a few things that I’ve done over the past few years to change my relationship with social media. First of all, number one, I have very clear, very strict boundaries. I do not post on weekends, nights, holidays, vacations I don’t even ever have this, like I quote unquote should be posting during those times. Those are off limits, off hours. Posting on social media is part of my job and if I had a real job it would be in my job description and that means I am not going to do anything in my job description when I’m not working. I do not work on weekends, nights, holidays and vacations. I am not going to post to social media during that time. That is my boundary. Now I will say sometimes I’ll post, like if I’m traveling or something funny on the weekend happens or whatever. I’ll post to my stories sometimes and that takes like two seconds and it’s only if I want to, I feel compelled to. I never feel like I have to, but that’s even rare. I don’t even do that very often, but sometimes I will do that. Now I also only post three times a week most of the time. Sometimes it’s two, sometimes it’s four, but most of the time it’s three times per week because that is what is doable for me. I can commit to three social media feed posts per week and, like I said a few episodes when I was talking about a week in my life, I have one block of time every week where my only job is to get those three posts done. That’s what makes it even more doable, and then I don’t even have to think about it the rest of the week besides taking it from draft and hitting post and being done. Okay, very clear boundaries. Number two I don’t try to create content to attract new people. I focus on creating content for my current audience. So I am focused on serving the people I already have there, the people that have already risen their hand to say yes, I want more info like this, yes, I’m interested in what you’re doing. That is who I’m focused on, because that feels really fun. I like to be of service, I like to help, and so if all I’m thinking about is who’s already here and what can I do to help and support them, it makes it a lot easier. There’s not this like background thought of what do I need to post to go viral? What do I need to post to get the algorithm to like me? What do I need to post to get followers? I’m not thinking about that. I’m thinking about how I can serve who’s already there, and that is really helpful for me. Number three I focus on what those people who are already there need to hear, which makes it a billion times easier to know what to post. I’m not thinking about what I want them to know. I’m thinking about what they need to hear. It has nothing to do with me. It’s all about them. So I’m not ever agonizing over what to post, because I’m thinking about what those people need to hear that day. What do they need to hear to feel seen? What do they need to hear to feel like they’re in the right place? What do they need to hear to help them take the next step for them? What do they need to hear to motivate and encourage themselves Wanted they need to hear to go after what they want. What do they need to hear to see that what they want is possible for them? What do they need to hear to know that there is a solution to their problem? I’m thinking about all those kinds of things that often means that it’s not something, obviously, that’s super salesy or super self-promoting obviously I think that goes without saying, but there are some people who do that, so let’s just make that clear. It also is very rarely like this super highly educational post. It’s very rarely like four steps to blah, blah, blah, because that’s what I want them to know, but that’s probably not what they want to hear. You’re probably not ready to hear that this super educationally content, which is what we want to post as coaches and practitioners, doesn’t often land very well, especially just in the way that the Instagram has changed, or whatever social media platform you’re using has changed. There was a time when a lot of that stuff worked and it’s just not anymore. There’s just been this transformation, which any and all social media platform is going to change quickly. We’re going to talk about that coming up. These things that maybe worked in the past aren’t anymore and it’s got to come from this place of what do they need? That is how you will post the quote unquote, right things, by the way. This is all stuff that you find out very quickly when you do really good, solid work on your messaging, which, again, is something we talk about all the time here. A reminder that if you need help with that, I have a resource for you. I will link that in the show notes if you want help with that. Number four I don’t rely on it for my business growth and success. I have other client attraction systems in place that help me grow my business, help me get my work in front of the right people. I don’t have to rely on it, or I don’t feel this sense of urgency around social media and that it has to work because I have all these other things that are working too. The biggest and most effective client attraction system that I have in place right now are paid ads. Yes, it is using the social media tools, those platforms, but in a way that serves my business way more directly, because people are seeing those ads and then being directly connected to my business to get on my email list, to watch a masterclass, to get a freebie, to become a paying client. It’s just a way better, in my opinion, and as of right now, use of social media for me is to put a little bit of an investment behind it, a monetary investment, and let it support my business growth in that way, really, really supportive of my business. Not only do paid ads bring people into my world that are ready to take the next step and become a paying client, but they also build my email list really effectively. Now there’s a group of people who maybe aren’t ready yet, but will be in the future. It also builds my social media following full of the right people every single day. The growth that I have seen in my social media account. Some of that, maybe even the majority of that, has come from paid advertising, and I know that maybe not be the best route for everyone, but for me, it is a great tool that I feel very, very fortunate to be able to use to make everything really easier in my business. And, just as a little teaser, I will be having a Facebook and Instagram ads expert coming on the show as a guest to talk to you about when and how to start ads for your business, and that’s coming up very, very, very, very soon, so be on the lookout for that. But that’s not all. I also have other client attraction systems in place, so I have this podcast as another avenue to connect with people. I have my website and my blog. I have Pinterest, so I’m not putting all my ads in the social media basket, which means I don’t have the weight of it being the thing that moves my business forward. It’s a tool, it’s one of the tools in my toolbox, it’s a tool I’m willing to use, but it really helps with the detachment of it and not feeling like I should or have to post, because it’s not all I’m doing in my business. So that’s really important for me. And then the last shift and the most important, the biggest shift Are you ready for this? I have transferred my role on social media from being like a poster and an observer to being a social media scientist and researcher. This changed the game. So when I scroll social media now, it is to get ideas. It’s seeing what’s working and what’s not working. It’s seeing what’s trending and what’s not trending. It’s seeing what catches my eye versus what I scroll past. And, just as a side note, by trending I don’t mean in like a trying to go viral way, I mean in a what’s in style these days kind of way, because you got to keep up with the Instagram style and it changes fast. But when you can keep up with that and know what’s quote unquote in style on Instagram these days, then that means more people are going to take notice and more people are going to see it. So you have to be willing to keep up with the style. You can’t stay stuck in the 90s or in the 80s and think that anyone is going to see it or that Instagram is going to think it’s a valuable post XYZ. So I’m looking for the style that is in season on Instagram at the time. So when I’m scrolling, I’m a researcher, when I’m posting, I’m a scientist. So every post that I share on social media is an experiment. Does it work, does it not? If so, why? If not, why? And yes, I’m talking in terms of engagement here and, like I said already, I don’t really spend a lot of time on analytics or look at those things, because it’s not good for me, but I can tell. It’s very obvious to tell quickly, just even when you log in, to see if a post is quote unquote working or not, to see if it is connecting with people or not, to see if the algorithm picked it up or not. That’s very easy to tell without getting too deep into the numbers. And so that’s what I’m really focusing on when I say I’m a scientist is I post something? It works or it doesn’t. It does well or it doesn’t, and then I can take that data to help me create more posts that do well. So, for example, when I talk about overwhelm perfectionism, when I talk about being an introvert, anything like that, it does well. People respond to that. So, guess what? I post more of things that talk about overwhelm perfectionism and being an introvert. That’s what I mean by being a scientist. It’s not like I’m doing some big crazy thing with this. I don’t have like a spreadsheet or anything. I just notice, I pay attention and I take that data and I use it to help me create my future posts. And same thing goes for something that doesn’t work. If it doesn’t work, if that message doesn’t connect, if it’s not written in a way that people need to hear, or not shown in a way that that gets people to stop their scroll, I stopped doing it. I don’t do more of that, and this is what I see a lot of you all doing is just staying stuck in something that used to work and continuing to do that even though it’s not working anymore. And, as I said, social media has a like style of the season, and that style of the season changes quickly, it evolves quickly and you have to stay on top of it and then kind of move your content, move your posts along with it. So let’s not stay stuck back in the 90s. Like I said, let’s move along with social, and the only way that you can do that is to research and collect data. So let’s talk a little bit more about this research thing, because I actually think this is super fun and it got me out of the habit of scrolling just to scroll or scrolling just to consume, and now I really only scroll to help me create. And that’s really how it should be. You should be creating before you consume, or at least consuming, so that you can create, to get inspiration and to get ideas and to see what’s working and to see what other people are doing that are having success, and then using that to inspire your own creativity. And this is not a conversation about copying Obviously we’re not going to do that but you can absolutely see what other people are doing and use that as inspiration in your own content creation, and you should. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can’t be expecting yourself to come up with these brand new, amazing ideas out of thin air. We all need inspiration, and you might as well go to the source of where it’s happening. You have endless ideas of inspiration flowing right at your fingertips. Why don’t we use them for that purpose? So what I like to do? First of all, I’ll just kind of scroll my own feed because, as we know, your feed is not just people you follow anymore, it’s everybody. So just kind of seeing what’s out there, that, like I said, what catches my eye, what do I stop for, what like image or what video attracts my attention, because that likely means it’s going to attract other people’s attention too. And on the other side of the spectrum, what am I scrolling past? What am I noticing just doesn’t look that good. I mean, again, if we’re in this researcher role, we have to notice things where it’s like, ooh, no, that probably isn’t going to work. I know that is a little harsh, but you don’t have to tell that person. It’s just for your own research to see like, ooh, that’s probably not what I do, or I can see why that wouldn’t work. I can see why the algorithm wouldn’t necessarily pick that up and just again do it as research. Then I will move on to the Reels tab and I will just see kind of scroll through some Reels and see what the trend is, because Reels for sure have a very like trendy thing going on and the algorithm likes those trends and picks up on those trends. So if you can find video and a text combination that you think you could also do, then you need to remember that and use that as inspiration. And let me just break in right here to make sure I tell you so when I see something on Instagram that I want to use as inspiration, I will either save it or I will take a screenshot of it. I don’t know how or why I choose what to save versus what to screenshot, but I guess I save it. If it’s a video because I want to watch it again. If it’s just like a static post or I’m just really focused on the like how the words look of that video, then I will screenshot it and then it goes into my phone, and in my phone I have a folder called Instagram inspo and I put it into that folder and anytime on a Monday when I’m ready to create my social media posts for the week, I go to my save folder in Instagram, I go to my Instagram inspo folder on my phone and I have endless ideas. It’s really great, it’s really easy. So keep that in mind. But then also go to your explore page and just see what pops out at you there too. So another great place to see what catches your eye versus what doesn’t. Another great place to see what’s trending, because they will probably show up on your Explore page if it’s trending. I mean, I know obviously on our Explore page we’re getting fed things that we’ve been interested in in the past. So, like one time I saw one video on my business Instagram page I liked one video of a kitten being fed milk or something, and then all I got for like a week was kitten videos, kitten on my Explore page, kitten on my Reels tab, all that stuff. So you may have to kind of go through a little bit of that. If you have one thing that you’ve shown interest in lately, but still you can always. You know it doesn’t have to be your industry that you are getting inspiration from. It can be anything. I could get inspiration from a kitten video for what I want to post to my business account. Absolutely, it’s not necessarily what they’re saying, it’s more so how they’re setting up the shot, how they are putting on the text, that kind of thing. And that can come from any industry, any person posting any kind of thing. We’re just getting inspiration for how we can create our own posts out of that idea. So that’s what we’re looking for. By far the biggest shift I have had to really create that detachment from Instagram and make it fun to create posts again is having that role of scientists and researcher, because a scientist isn’t going to care if something doesn’t go well or something does. They’re more in their analytical brain of like oh, that didn’t work. Let’s find out why, so that we can change it. That means that if a post doesn’t work, oh well, it’s just giving you data, no matter what. It’s giving you data. Data if it doesn’t work, data if it works, and that’s what you really want, because that’s how you become an expert of your social media. You don’t need to be a social media expert, you just have to be an expert at your social media, and that is how you do it. So, taking on the role of scientists and researcher, give it a try. It’s going to be a game changer for you and with that, we will wrap things up here. The main thing, I think, is finding a way that you can use social media in your business that feels good to you, that doesn’t bring in any negative, low vibe emotions, because that’s going to project into the content that you create. So how can we get to this place of detachment and just like? This is what I do, this is how I do it, and I have a really thriving business and life outside of social media and it’s just a cherry on top, it’s a tool that I use. That’s really where we want to get, and hopefully these tips have helped give you some ideas of how you can get there yourself. And speaking of Instagram, while you’re heading over there and following my sister at Style this Life, head over there and connect with me too. If you’re not already at Shawn Mynarover there, send me a message, let me know what’s up. Let me know a little bit about your business and what you may need support with right now, and I’d be happy to provide that. And until next time, take care, hey, wait up before you go. Do you want to know the biggest reason why your business may not flow? Because it’s not in alignment with your personality type. Building the right business for you means knowing your strengths, weaknesses, energetic expression and what’s most important to you, so you can build your business accordingly. Before you spend one more minute working on your business, let’s make sure it’s the right business for you. I’ve created a fun two-minute quiz to discover your flow business personality type. With the results of this quiz, you’ll know exactly what to prioritize in your business so you can feel confident knowing your building a business you love. Head over to shawnmynar.com/quiz right now to find out your flow business personality type and once you find that out, hop over to Instagram and let me know what you discover Again. That’s shawnmynar.com/quiz. As always, the link is in the show notes.

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Hey there, I'm Shawn!

I’m obsessed with nitro cold brew, 90% dark chocolate, and helping coaches and practitioners build a business they love. With nothing but a passion for helping others and the desire to never have a boss again, I quit the corporate world and built my own million dollar coaching business over the past decade. Now, I help others do the same.

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