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Taking 3 Months “Off” Instagram and How it Changed my Approach to Business

April 21, 2020

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Taking an intentional break from social media

Could taking a break from Instagram be a game-changer for your business? Sure, it might sound counterintuitive because we all know that showing up on social media consistently is essential in marketing any business. But what if we told you that you can market your business without spending hours upon hours on Instagram every single day? Elisabeth took a 3-month long break from Instagram — sounds crazy, I know! But during this break, she actually managed to gain followers and maintain her social media presence all while increasing her creative flow. Listen in to learn about how an Instagram hiatus might do your creative business some good! 

Let’s be friends! Find us on Instagram @bizbirthdaybash. For all show notes please visit 

Hey friends! Elisabeth took an almost 3 month break from Instagram. Meaning, she didn’t have the Instagram app downloaded on her phone. While she wasn’t completely disconnected as she did check Instagram from Safari or my desktop computer, She did put some boundaries in place to stop the endless scrolling and tune out the pressure to constantly engage. 

We thought it would be fun to cover how this break changed her approach to business and the results she saw on the platform even though she wasn’t actively using it! 

She Batched her Social Media Content 

Elisabeth 5:30

Number one, I was forced to plan my social media strategy in advance. I knew that I wanted to have things still posting to Instagram even though I was off Instagram, but I didn’t want to do it in real time. So, at the end of December, I scheduled all my posts for January. At the end of January, I scheduled all of the posts for February, etc. And I would post three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. I used Planoly to do this. And then I would occasionally check from my desktop or Safari on my phone to kind of like monitor things. 

She was More Intentional With her Time 

Elisabeth 11:21

I think the second big change was that I saved myself a ton of time each day. I was able to use that time to network in person and do other things in my business. I literally went from spending like two hours a day on Instagram to spending less than 20 minutes. And I would almost even forget that Instagram existed at certain points because it wouldn’t even be on my mind to check it because I didn’t have the app on my phone. Plus, everything was being posted automatically. So all of a sudden, I felt a lot more free to like if I needed to spend time driving to a meeting, or like sitting down with a planner for coffee. I could do that because I had like two additional hours in my day.I wasn’t wasting scrolling or like checking something. So I ended up feeling really present and focused during this time. And I would really only check in like, I was logged in to it on safari on my phone. And if you’ve ever done it that way before, you know it’s super clunky, and it totally loses its appeal. But I would occasionally like to open it that because I would want to see what you were doing, Cami. Or like a couple other people like my sister in law, like how are her kids? So it’s not like I locked it out of my life completely. I just developed a lot better boundaries for it. 

Instagram Started to Feel Less Forced and More Fun

Elisabeth 17:09

After a while Instagram actually started feeling less forced and more fun again because it was like, Oh, I have a social media strategy in place and this is no longer dominating my life completely, which now gives Instagram a little bit of room to be more fun again. So if I wanted to make the decision like one evening that I was on my desktop like scrolling through Instagram or checking things out or watching people’s stories, I could be like I’m making this really intentional choice to spend time like browsing Instagram right now instead of feeling like it was like sucking time before. So it became less of a chore and more fun if I decided to check in and see what was going on basically

Cami 18:00

Yeah, I do feel like Instagram becomes part of our business strategy, and so then it doesn’t become fun anymore. So I’m like, Oh my gosh,everyone I’m following is like business strategy this, and I’m doing this and it just is a lot sometimes. When everyone’s like business,business, business, it does sometimes lose that fun personal side of things. 

Her Creativity Increased 

Elisabeth 20:15

I felt like I was actually able to be fully creative and focused on my clients without seeing inspiration everywhere or getting comparison syndrome. So this was a huge plus for me because I can genuinely say, I created one of my most innovative and creative invitation sweets during the time I wasn’t on Instagram, and I can 100% say that inspiration was sourced from anywhere but social media. So I created something truly original for my client and I’m super excited about it.

Cami 21:00

Like you weren’t looking at anyone else’s stuff or being like oh, what if I just like take this cool idea and like use it for like this. And by taking a cool idea, you guys, we mean, not actually taking the cool idea but just taking like a part of that concept where it’s like, I like how they use really bold font on this I’ll use really bold font and my invitation sweet, just not the same one with the the same placement, that kind of thing. So hopefully that clarifies just throwing that out there as well.

She Implemented new Marketing Strategies 

Elisabeth 28:06

I was able to spend time focusing on other marketing methods that will be more beneficial for my business in the long run. This includes things like networking, coffees, in person meetings, cold emails to local vendors and planners, venue meetings at open houses, and email marketing. For example, I did a ton of sales in January for some products. I wanted to retire from my website and I didn’t even announce it on Instagram at all. I just emailed my list and still did an awesome launch. And that was like the best feeling in the world. I was like, This is why I frickin grew my email list in the first place so that I didn’t have to be in a billion places at once. And now this is like really proven that I can Continue to sell in a different way instead of being on Instagram all the time.

The Impact the Instagram Break Had

Elisabeth 26:22

So I’m sure everyone’s probably kind of curious about this, like whether or not I lost followers. And I actually gained followers. So I probably gained about 500 followers while I was quote, unquote, off the platform. Granted, I was still posting content in my feed that was scheduled ahead of time. So it kept people engaged. But like I gained followers, even though I wasn’t doing stories, like I wasn’t doing any of this other stuff that people say you should be doing all the time, you know, to gain an audience. And of course, I didn’t grow by like the thousands or anything like that, but I didn’t drop and I think that was like a huge win. I was like, oh, cool, I can still kind of stay engaged with this platform. But I don’t have to try as hard as I did before.

Cami 29:06

So as you’re going through this time off from Instagram, did you notice any negative impacts?

Elisabeth 29:20

I would say my biggest thing was that I just missed you guys. I just kind of missed seeing what my friends were doing. Or like my friends with kids and babies now like, Oh my gosh, like in three months, baby’s changed so much. So it’s like, I felt like I would miss out on some of those updates. But I really think that was it. Like I can’t think of a way that I felt like negatively impact by not being there besides like the first week my life felt very quiet. Yeah, like because you really do have that like withdrawal period. Where I felt very quiet and I had like fear of missing out like, what is everyone else doing? Like, what am I even doing with my time? Because it was such a different pace than I was used to. But then it was fine once I got used to it.

Overall, it was a super positive experience for me and the only reason I got back on 2 weeks before I intended was due to the COVID-19 outbreak and I wanted to be connected with all my fellow peers, friends, and family during this season.

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