Since getting serious about growing my social media this year, I've been struggling to jump on the Snapchat and Insta-story bandwagon. I totally understand and believe the importance of the platforms, but for some reason whenever I would go to Snap or Story, I would find myself spending 15 minutes to get a 10-second clip. I could not stop over thinking things like:
- How is this angle?
- What's with this lighting?
- Should I look at the camera or the screen?
- What am I even talking about? Should I be funny? Informative? Ranty? Motivational?
- To filter or not to filter?
Needless to say, I felt like a total spaz and super anxious about the whole situation.
Still, I really wanted to break through the discomfort and tackle my fear. I know Snapchat and Insta-stories are the way of the future. Plus, I don't want to be in another Instagram situation where by the time I'm moving and shaking, the entire platform is changing and most people are either farther along or onto the next thing. I read this post where a creative entrepreneur Insta-Storied her entire week and felt inspired to challenge myself too.
You see, if you've been with me for a while, you might remember my “photo-a-day challenge” from March-June 2016. When I started this challenge I invited people to join and use #TCMillennial, but the truth is, I did the challenge to hold myself accountable with posting every day because I was really struggling with consistency. I know challenges work for me, and it seemed like a challenge would be the only way I could jump on video. (On a side note, drop me a comment if you want me to bring the photo a day challenge back in the New Year!)
So the first decision was Insta-story or Snapchat?
I dabbled with Snapchat in the past, mostly between friends, but my story on Snapchat always seemed boring.
I decided to take on this challenge right around the time Insta-stories were released, and many Snapchat loyalists were coming out of the woodwork encouraging people to get over there since Insta-story is basically a cheap rip-off of Snapchat. Despite the seemingly massive push for Snapchat, I felt overwhelmed with the filters (were they too much? was it cheesy?) plus my audience is primarily on Instagram as of right now. I would post a Snap and get 50 views, versus posting an Insta-story and get 500 views.
So I decided to do the challenge on Instagram where I shared a behind the scenes peak of my life every hour of my day during my wedding week. Here is what happened:
I LET GO OF FEAR.
Before I would totally freak out if what I was sharing was boring. I would always think, “who cares?” But since I “had” to share something every hour I had to really let go of my concerns that I would be judged. Plus, it was easy to rationalize and calm my nerves by telling myself I was doing it for the challenge, not because I thought I had share-worthy moments happening.
I BUILT DEEPER RELATIONSHPS.
Once I started sharing video daily, I started having more personal conversations in my DMs. I was able to better connect with my audience, and I always started feeling more comfortable about responding to others stories or snaps!
IT BECAME MORE NATURAL.
Before the challenge, I always struggled to share video content in real time because I would totally forget about it. Typically hours later at home, I would kick myself thinking “I should've Snapped that!” One reason I also missed so many moments in real time was because I struggled to easily navigate the app. By doing it every hour of my day for a week, I could navigate the apps with easy. Since the challenge ended, it's also become second nature to Insta-story or Snapchat. I know longer find myself trying to remember to share something, it just happens habitually like posting to Instagram every day.
I FELT CALMER AROUND INSTAGRAM.
This year in particular, there seems to be a ton of anxiety in general around Instagram. I can't tell you how many emails and comments I receive, posts I've read, or conversations I find myself in, where people are telling me how much they are freaking out about their “aesthetic” of their feed. I totally get it, Instagram is a carefully curated scene of the hi-lights of people's lives. Figuring out what to share, when to share it, and whether or not it will fit is frustrating at times. Consistency is definitely key with Instagram, and what I've found is on the days I can't find the perfect photo or quote to fit into my feed, I can still be consistent on the platform with Insta-stories. Once I got used to sharing things and having a “conversation” via stories, I started to feel way less pressure to post seven days a week. In fact, I've actually cut it back to five or six!
So if you've been struggling to jump on the video bandwagon, I definitely recommend giving yourself this challenge. When we grow as bloggers or entrepreneurs, it's so important to lean into the discomfort of new technology and trends.
If you're already Insta-storying or Snapchatting, I would love to hear in the comments which platform your prefer and why? And how do you determine what to share?