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164 – Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison

Wandering Aimfully Through Our Podcast: What is it all for?

164 – Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison

After coming back to Instagram for just TWO days to post a "9-grid", we felt the incredible comparison traps that happen.
Jason ZookJason Zook Jason ZookJason Zook

Written by

Jason Zook

Listen to our full episode on Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison below (with full transcript) or find our podcast by searching What is it all for? in your favorite podcast player.

Five Key Takeaways for Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison

1. Consider the return on investment of any social media app

We believe in the power of social media, however, if you cannot directly tie social media to a return on investment (ROI) in your business and you have other means of marketing, promoting, and having potential customers hear about your offers, it needs to be a real consideration of whether you should be spending 10-20 hours a week using social media. At what point do you, as a smart business owner, have to say, “I have invested enough time without seeing enough of a return on investment and it’s time to put my time elsewhere.

2. Choose the platform/marketing channel that matters to you and your business

Especially if you’re at the beginning of your business, your time, what you choose to work on, what opportunities you choose to pursue, and which ones you choose not to pursue are incredibly important for how your business moves forward. Don’t just use Instagram or TikTok because it’s the “hot new” thing. Use the marketing channel that feels right to you AND that you’ll enjoy spending time on (and won’t negatively affect your mental health).

3. Branding moves your business forward

Branding is all the intangible things in online business. It’s the stuff that you can’t tie directly to making a sale from a customer who followed you on Instagram. Branding is the way that someone feels about your brand, the personality fit, and the way that they think that you align with their beliefs and thoughts. We DO believe social media is a great place to build your brand and that informs the decision that you ultimately make in another channel. But, that doesn’t mean you have to stay on the hamster wheel of content creation forever to build a brand.

4. Use your Instagram (or social media) real estate intentionally

Creating a brand experience or touchpoint using social media (or Instagram) does NOT have to be created ongoing and forever. Ask yourself what is the “enough” amount of being on social for you. Take the rest of that time and do things differently. Do something that’s way out of the realm of what people in your industry are doing. Put a bunch of effort into outreach where you can see tangible results. Also, be open to the idea of something like a “9-grid” like we created for our (now dormant) Instagram account:

Instagram 9-Grid Example for WanderingAimfully

5. One month ON, one month OFF strategy

If you feel like you’re at that point in your journey where you can’t take off completely from Instagram (or any other social media app), imagine if you used a strategy where you spent one month ON and then one month OFF. Where you said, “I’m gonna post for a month, then I’m at the end of that month, I’ll do this 9-grid thing where I tell people, ‘Hey, for a month I’m gonna go work on my newsletter. Come find me there!’” For a month you take the pressure off to post every day on Instagram, you get to work on a more integral piece of your business, your email newsletter, and you’ve now told people on Instagram that that’s where you’ll be hanging out.

Bonus: Be aware of the invisible noise of comparison

We’re not saying you have to quit social media completely or that it’s a bad thing or you’re wrong for wanting to continue to use apps like Instgram. We just want to be the people who remind you that comparison exists and to watch out for thoughts like, “Do I actually think that this is a thing that I need to be doing in my business? Or do I think I should be doing it because I saw X, Y, and Z do it?” Titrate that exposure a little bit because you may run the risk of losing everything that makes you different by trying to fit into what other people are doing.

Show Notes for Episode 164: Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison

After being off IG for over a year with our business account (@wanderingaimfully), we hopped back on to create and share a “9-grid.” Essentially, it’s a way to show what we’re up to, in an interesting visual way for anyone who comes to our account.

Because we’re still not using Instagram, we wanted all the traffic that might be finding us there to know what we’re up to… without having to always be creating content talking about what we’re up to. Hence… the 9-grid!

In this episode, we meandered through some of our recent thoughts on social media and how much comparison reared its ugly head in just the 2 days we were using Instagram again to create the 9-grid (and then immediately sign off again).

Some links we mentioned:

Are we ever going back on social media? (ep 140):

Embracing YOU in social media (ep 119):

Do we NEED social media? (ep 052):

Full Transcript of Episode 164: Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison

⬇️ You can also download the .TXT file of the transcript

Caroline: Welcome to What Is It All for? A podcast designed to help you grow your online business and pursue a spacious, satisfying life at the same time. We are your hosts, Jason and Caroline Zook, and we run Wandering Aimfully, an un-boring business coaching program. Every week, we bring you advice and conversations to return you to your most intentional self and to help you examine every aspect of your life and business by asking, What is it all for? Thanks for listening. And now let’s get into the show.

Jason: And I’m here too.

Jason: Well, hello and welcome to our podcast.

Caroline: Thank you for being here.

Jason: Wow, what a great day.

Caroline: Who is in a good mood?

Jason: Hey.

Caroline: Raise your hand if you’re in a good mood.

Jason: Hey.

Caroline: Because it’s a visual media.

Jason: I told you this, but I’m just gonna share with everybody because it’s very apparent when I’m talking.

Caroline: Uhhuh.

Jason: I’m curious, you’re usually the person who does this thing where you’re like, Does anybody, does this happen to anybody else? Because I think I’m a robot and I just go through life. Like every day is like a normal, like I get up and I go to work and I move my machines.

Caroline: Where is this going? Like get there.

Jason: Today, I woke up.

Caroline: Uhhuh.

Jason: In such a weird part of my sleep cycle.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: I’m not tired. But my ears feel clogged.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And my eyes are slightly blurry.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: It’s almost like my body was like, we’re in repair mode.

Caroline: And got interrupted.

Jason: In between. It was like, we weren’t done yet. Hold on.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And so like, literally.

Caroline: That’s so interesting.

Jason: It’s halfway through the day. And my ears, I’ve tried to pop my ears a couple times and my eyes are still.

Caroline: You’re just on the fritz.

Jason: A little bit blurry. It’s so wild. It’s a weird… does that happen to anybody else? Like, it never happens to me, but like once every like six to eight months.

Caroline: I… it doesn’t happen as much anymore, but definitely, there… I can relate to the waking up and your eyes are a little blurry.

Jason: Well, yeah. That’s a whole different thing.

Caroline: No, I know, but I’m just saying I can relate.

Jason: Yeah. Yeah. This was more like…

Caroline: It’s frustrating.

Jason: This was more for, for us normal people who are robots and I’m, I’m, I’m not saying that’s normal, I’m saying…

Caroline: Yeah. I’m not someone who gets offended by that word, abnormal. I know some people do, which is okay, but I don’t, so I’m abnormal and I’m proud of it.

Jason: Anyway, that’s just, it’s weird because now that I’m talking on this podcast, because I, we haven’t been talking too much today, which yesterday we talked a ton, but today we haven’t. And I can hear myself in my ears.

Caroline: Oh, do you wanna record a different day?

Jason: No. I love the sound of my voice. Speaking of the sound of my voice.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: By the way, this is gonna be a little bit more of a rambly episode. We have a topic to discuss, obviously.

Caroline: We do have a topic, we’re gonna get to it, but it’s also a little chat lab.

Jason: Yeah. Chat lab. It’s a chat lab. Our podcast is gonna sound very different very soon.

Caroline: Whoa, teaser.

Jason: To some people like you probably won’t sound different whatsoever. Probably won’t notice.

Caroline: You’re just… he’s pointing at me.

Jason: Yeah. To you, Carol.

Caroline: Not to you, listener.

Jason: My wife.

Caroline: To me, the wife.

Jason: Pew.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: Yeah, that was just like the laser, like a pew laser.

Caroline: Okay, great.

Jason: We ordered new podcasting gear.

Caroline: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Jason: Now, for those of you who don’t know, I love gear. I love it.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And I think this is something that some people just don’t understand, but it’s like how you love art supplies.

Caroline: Oh, definitely. Yeah.

Jason: Like a new set of paintbrushes.

Caroline: Oh my gosh.

Jason: OMG.

Caroline: OMG.

Jason: But the problem is your hobbies are like $23.

Caroline: That’s correct.

Jason: 23 euros.

Caroline: That’s correct.

Jason: My hobbies are like 280 euros.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: For every item.

Caroline: You have very expensive hobbies.

Jason: It’s the worst.

Caroline: He loves gear, he loves cars. He loves just bags of money.

Jason: I do have this weird hobby where…

Caroline: He likes to rearrange his bags of money.

Jason: Where I’m like, Ooh, could I, could I get like a bag of money? You know what I mean? And I just like carry it around.

Caroline: Yeah. But yeah, but he collects bags of money. It’s very, it’s a very high brow.

Jason: Speaking of collecting things, we’re as of recording this, less than a month away from Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom.

Caroline: You are… great. I’m happy for you, but can we just… So many side quests. Come back. Come back.

Jason: Oh yeah. Sorry.

Caroline: First of all, I do want you to know, very excited for you.

Jason: You’re validating my excitement.

Caroline: I’m validating you. Zelda is some of the things…

Jason: And all the other, all the other, What Is It All For? Listeners.

Caroline: BOTWs.

Jason: Who are BOTWs.

Caroline: That’s right.

Jason: Nice.

Caroline: And everyone listening, like, so excited for you.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: If I could just for a moment.

Jason: Keep me on one tangent

Caroline: Phase us back.

Jason: Yeah. To, to the podcast gear.

Caroline: To podcast gear. And you love gear. Yeah.

Jason: Yeah, yeah. So we are gonna get, so we, we’ve had this mobile setup for our podcasting.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: So when we did our year of travel, we, we had to get something that could fit within a backpack basically.

Caroline: Correct.

Jason: And so I got this little audio interface. We got these handheld microphones.

Caroline: Which we’re on right now.

Jason: One of the things that’s really bothers me, My hands are gigantic. And if you don’t know this about me, I have humongous hands.

Caroline: Jason has abnormally large hands and I have abnormally small hands.

Jason: Yeah, I can’t hold the microphone. If I hold it normally, you will hear handling noise because my hand is so big that it covers where the mic meets the cord that causes noise in the microphone.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: And for an entire year I’ve held it like you hold a teapot with just like my fingers.

Caroline: I wish you could see him right now.

Jason: There’s little like two fingers holding.

Caroline: He has it just so daintily between his fingers.

Jason: It’s like a, it’s like a Fabergé egg that I talk into every single week. So, anyway, this was a great setup for on the go because it fit in everything. It worked really well. But a couple of weird quirks have come up with it lately, which I think it’s just the nature of like, it went through the rigor last year, like…

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: Through all the planes and trains and automobiles, I mean, thrown around in bags. So like, I know a couple of you emailed, I think it was two weeks ago’s episode, had some RF interference. It was like…

Caroline: Definitely not reverb. Wouldn’t call it a reverb.

Jason: It’s not called that.

Caroline: But we are…

Jason: So I do, I appreciate you pointing that out because when you folks do that, I mean, listen, I edit our podcast episodes. Truth be told, I don’t listen to every single minute.

Caroline: You don’t listen all the way through.

Jason: But, but I do, I do.

Caroline: You scrub.

Jason: I do scrub through to look for any like inconsistencies.

Caroline: But that’s why we’re grateful that those of you.

Jason: Who do listen to every minute of this who.

Caroline: Who listen.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Tell us when something is awry. So we’re very grateful for that. But, but this got the wheels turning because you had already kind of been like, I’m ready to have a more stationary setup.

Jason: Yeah. Because while this setup is good, because I love how minimal it is, it’s also just like I, I don’t love holding a microphone for an hour while we chat.

Caroline: I agree.

Jason: And we got used to it, so it’s fine.

Caroline: I mean, it does sometimes make me feel like a game show host, and other times I feel like feel like.

Jason: Or like a pop star.

Caroline: Like a pop star.

Jason: But then there are times when you do a little mic drift.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Like, you’ll do this and I, and I have to like… you’re in the middle of a great thought, but like the mic is, you’ve literally pulled the microphone out here 6 feet from your face. And I have to be like, you gotta bring it back here, babe. And so, I put together a presentation.

Caroline: You did. This is how we do big purchases in our household, is we, because whatever we share money. And so, but we we’re always like, okay, if it’s a big purchase, like sell me on it. Like, like I need to know what we’re investing in.

Over five

Jason: hundred bucks is what we’re talking about. Euros.

Caroline: So usually we do a presentation.

Jason: If you wanna walk people through, just very quickly, you don’t have to go slide by slide, but just very quickly, what I did.

Caroline: First of all, Jason used this like hilarious… the template.

Jason: Very corporate.

Caroline: The template he used was like extremely corporate, like very like Apple default settings.

Jason: We’re in Keynote by the way, like…

Caroline: Keynote.

Jason: PowerPoint, basically.

Caroline: And then for some reason he chose, as a secondary font, this like very medieval Breath of The Wild font.

Jason: Tears of The Kingdom. Yeah, getting ready.

Caroline: He also used one of those fancy new like dynamic backgrounds.

Jason: Yeah, it was just moving the whole time.

Caroline: So that was pretty cool though.

Jason: But I used the one that wasn’t very distracting because there were a couple that were like, like waves and I was like, Ooh, this is kind of like audio. It was too distracting.

Caroline: Jason’s walking me through like, what’s our current setup? What do we wanna upgrade to?

Jason: By the way, it’s five slides long. It’s five slides.

Caroline: It’s five slides. But still the, he’s, I just want everyone to picture this. I’m sitting on the couch. He has put the…

Jason: I almost want to offer this up as a link in the description, the show notes for people to click through.

Caroline: No, just picture this. He has put it on the big screen. It’s air playing to the big screen of our TV.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: In our living room. Okay. He’s standing up.

Jason: Holding my laptop.

Caroline: Holding his laptop next to the TV as though I’m out in a corporate meeting.

Jason: First slide has the name of the presentation, my name, and then the date.

Caroline: So he goes through what is our current setup?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: What do we wanna upgrade to?

Jason: Pros and cons.

Caroline: Pros and cons. What are the reasons for upgrading?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Why has he chosen this gear?

Jason: And now the real, the real kicker.

Caroline: He doesn’t tell me the price yet.

Jason: Again, it’s five slides long.

Caroline: Okay. He hasn’t shared the price of all of the upgrade gear.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And so he goes, before he gets to the price, he’s like, so you might be wondering how much does all of this cost?

Jason: What’s your investment today? You gotta use the, the Internet speak.

Caroline: So then he proceeds to bring up statistics from our Wandering Aimfully Unlimited survey that says 7% of people purchase our program.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: From this podcast.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And he proceeds to do an entire slide about what ultimate revenue that…

Jason: Leads to.

Caroline: Leads to.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Anyway, I have just have to…

Jason: So when… so.

Caroline: Appreciate it.

Jason: When you get the pricing slide, which is the last slide.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And it’s a, it’s more than 500 Euros. It’s less than 1500, but it’s right in between there and the total cost of this upgrade.

Caroline: You do the math.

Jason: You can know, oh well, yeah. But the podcast makes this mu– you know, helps us make this much money. So.

Caroline: Anyway. Just, I wanted to paint that picture because in case you’re wondering what do we…

Jason: We’re just weird.

Caroline: What do we do when no one’s around? We do that stuff.

Jason: Listen, I understand those of you have kids and like other things, you don’t have time to put together a Keynote. It took me 20 minutes, like it wasn’t very long, but it’s just a fun.

Caroline: But we do have time at this stage in our life. So will we do a little, a little sales meeting role play? Yes, we will.

Jason: When was, when was the last one that I did? I did another one of these. What was I trying to sell you on?

Caroline: Probably the TV. It was, it’s always…

Jason: Oh, it was the TV.

Caroline: Gear. It’s always…

Jason: It was the TV.

Caroline: F-ing gear.

Jason: It was like four years ago when we upgraded our TV for the first time.

Caroline: Always an electronic presentation.

Jason: That’s really what it is. Yeah, because again, it’s like over 500 bucks, so I gotta like, Really sell you on it. Anyway, so.

Caroline: So the point is we’re gonna upgrade a little bit. We’re, we’re, we ordered everything we, the sales presentation did…

Jason: It did work.

Caroline: Work. In fact, I upsold us.

Jason: Yeah. Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. So I went with like a very affordable, I tried to find everything as affordable as possible.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And I went with like, the cheapest, like microphone stands possible.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: So these are just like picture, like the most old school microphone stand, like someone playing a guitar is sitting in front of with a mic. Those are the mic stands I got because I was like, listen, I’m not gonna spend a bunch of extra money on fancy mic stands.

Caroline: Which I appreciated.

Jason: To which my wife goes, I don’t want those old mic stands because that’s what we used to use and they’re fine.

Caroline: I had lots of reasons for my pushback, which was I don’t like how cumbersome it is to set… Anyway. You don’t need to know. There was lots of reasons. So I basically upsold us.

Jason: I just thought this is just a fun silly aside. Yes.

Caroline: Yes. So I thought if we’re gonna reinvest and it’s not that much more, I had a preference to the, the podcast arms that I would like. And so that’s the thing we did this morning. So all of that is to say thank you to all of you who have been listening through the travel era. We hope that better sound quality will be coming to your ears soon.

Jason: Yeah, absolutely.

Caroline: And you know, listen, we could continue this podcast for years to come using the setup we have right now.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And we tell people all the time, like, definitely don’t focus so much on the gear. It’s about consistency, it’s about quality of content. But you do reach this point where either… whether it’s for the better experience of your listeners or if it’s just for you to get re-excited.

Jason: Yeah, and I will say, if you just look at like the, the, the journey of our podcast in 164 episodes.

Caroline: Mm-hmm.

Jason: I would say we’ve had basically like four or five different setups.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: So it’s basically like every six months-ish we kind of changed the setup, although some have lasted longer than others, but yeah, it, it’s been very helpful to…

Caroline: That’s really not six months-ish.

Jason: Well, if you think about it, I mean, 160 episodes is three years.

Caroline: I know you’re thinking that from a math perspective, but just think of it from an actual reality perspective.

Jason: Yeah, because last year was all the same and then like a year and a half. So yeah.

Caroline: What have we ever upgraded within six months?

Jason: Well, when we were, when we went from a recording in our home.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: When this podcast first started to then the watch pod, and then from the watch pod back to our home, that was all within like one whole year.

Caroline: Okay, the watch pod was an anomaly.

Jason: Yeah. If you don’t know what the watch pod is, this was our friends literally had a second room in their home that they set up as a recording studio for us because my friend, Caleb, loves gear as much as I, I mean way more than I do actually. And it was just an incredibly nice thing.

Caroline: And our apartment at the time was very small and we didn’t have room for a studio.

Jason: It was just really nice of them. That was a really nice thing they did.

Caroline: I can’t believe they did that for us.

Jason: Gosh, what a great thing.

Caroline: They didn’t charge us.

Jason: They did not charge us. No. But maybe they had a, like a part-time recording studio business they didn’t tell us about. And other people came in and used it? It was a very fun…

Caroline: What was the benefit for them?

Jason: I think they just got to hang out with us?

Caroline: I think that was it. We just like to hang out.

Jason: Really suck us into coming over to the house.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Anyway, that was very fun. Those days.

Caroline: And they had children. And they have to use that room to like…

Jason: Yeah, we could’ve recorded…

Caroline: Let them sleep.

Jason: With a baby in there. We could’ve recorded. You just, you know, babies can be quiet, right? That’s how they work?

Caroline: Oh, babies are notoriously quiet.

Jason: Part of this, sharing this whole gear setup is just sharing that we’ve tried to be really intentional about purchases, about things that we’re buying. A couple weeks ago we took you on our plant babies journey.

Caroline: Mm-hmm.

Jason: That we added some plants to the house. I just, one of, it’s my birthday coming up here, by the way. It’s three days away from Tears of The Kingdom launching. So it’s basically a birthday present from Nintendo to me. But I got myself, a little Bluetooth speaker for the house, like a nice, one of the Marshall ones. For anybody who’s seen these, these are super cute.

Caroline: Looks retro.

Jason: His name is Acton because the brand of it is Marshall Acton, but we call him Acton.

Caroline: Mm-hmm.

Jason: He has been great so far. Syncs up to my phone quickly.

Caroline: I think one of the most fun parts of, you know, this is the second time that we’ve sort of like sold all of our things.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And started over from scratch. And one of my favorite parts of that process is it’s very fun to be so intentional about the things that you bring into your home again, because inevitably you do reach this place where, You know, like for example, we lived in Carlsbad for, what, four years or whatever.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And so you do reach this place where you’re just like, oh, I need this or I need that. You’re just, you end up being less intentional.

Jason: Yeah. You accumulate.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Everyone knows the accumulation phase.

Caroline: There’s gotta be some sort of ratio where it’s like your overall number of things is so much that like bringing one new thing into it is just a small percentage of the overall. But it’s like when you have nothing, when you could fit everything into a suitcase, every new thing that you bring in percentage wise, like let’s say you own 30 things, you…

Jason: Especially if it’s sizable.

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: Because when you’re going from living in suitcases, you don’t buy anything of any size.

Caroline: No. Any size.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And you bring something in and the overall percentage that it represents in your like possessions…

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Is larger. And so I just think it carries more weight in a way.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: That’s my, like weird math angle on this sort of minimalism angle. But I do find a lot of joy in thinking through what those items are going to be.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And considering them.

Jason: And like, yeah, we have a, a blank wall in front of our bed that we, I mean we’ve now been living here. Almost six months, five months-ish. And we’ve been wanting a picture there. So you wake up and you have like something beautiful to look at.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: But we haven’t bought anything yet and we’ve been looking at certain things, but there’s one that I think we’re pretty close to…

Caroline: We’ll see.

Jason: To grabbing. But it is, it’s a very intentional thing, right? Like…

Caroline: It’s a very intentional thing.

Jason: We didn’t just buy something to throw something up on the wall at IKEA when we were there.

Caroline: And it’s also like prioritization. So like, You know, we were talking about, I think why we haven’t done that is because, so we did plants.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: And then we, and then the weather took this turn where it’s like so lovely right now.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: In terms of, it got warmer and so we finally were like, we need to get beach chairs. So that was our big purchase.

Jason: We got the, the old backpack folding beach chairs. So we can walk down to the, the praia.

Caroline: We have not used them yet, but there’s this, any way you get from the praia to our… it means beach… to our house, there’s a massive hill. There’s three different routes you can take.

Jason: They’re all hills.

Caroline: They all are hills. There’s just no way around it. And I am just waiting for our first trip.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Like we are fit people and they, I’m out of breath every time.

Jason: Oh yeah. There’s…

Caroline: And so put a chair on my back and let’s see how that works.

Jason: With a couple cans of Coca-Cola and a sandwich.

Caroline: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Jason: With some Cheez-Its. Can’t get Cheez-Its here, but we can get a type of cracker cheese cracker. Anyway, that’s our preamble for this week’s. That’s just like the fun shares, that you know. Kind of like rebuilding your life and like the things that you, you know, kind of get into. Oh, we also did have a medical insurance interview call today.

Caroline: That’s the big news, y’all.

Jason: So we, we got called, and they asked us all the standard questions of like, do you have any pre-existing conditions?

Caroline: Are you healthy?

Jason: But it was just kind of funny because I don’t remember doing this via the phone when we did this the last…

Caroline: We did, you…

Jason: It was.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: I just completely tuned it out.

Caroline: We did, we did. And then they also obviously do one for like life insurance. So if you remember back, we did that.

Jason: Oh.

Caroline: Do you remember when someone came to our house and like took our blood pressure for life insurance?

Jason: I do remember that, yeah. Yeah. And you had like perfect blood pressure at the time. She was like, you are perfect.

Caroline: I do have perfect blood pressure.

Jason: She didn’t say mine was perfect, but she didn’t say mine was bad. So.

Caroline: It’s not bad. But I, I… this is a thing.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: My, my blood pressure is always, even at the doctor where they say that it’s always like, inflated or whatever.

Jason: Good for you.

Caroline: Thank you.

Jason: I probably eat too many pastries for mine to be good.

Caroline: That’s okay.

Jason: Or fine. I don’t know. Who knows? Anytime I ever go to the doctor, I’m like, feeling awful. So it’s like, well, of course my blood pressure’s up. I’m feeling awful.

Caroline: Like I, I just heard a podcast where they’re like, actually it’s incredibly inaccurate to take your blood pressure at the doctor.

Jason: That’s what I’m saying, like every time I’m sitting there, I’m sweaty and uncomfortable. So of course my blood pressure’s on the rise.

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: Jeez. Sheesh.

Caroline: Okay.

Jason: Sheesh. Can’t my Apple watch just take my blood pressure yet? What’s going on here?

Caroline: No.

Jason: Come on, Steve.

Caroline: You can’t do that.

Jason: Figure that out, Tim. Steve and Tim. Let’s get into the episode. Do you wanna, you wanna blab chat about some stuff?

Caroline: Yeah, let’s, we’re just gonna do a little blab chat episode. You all know we like to vascillate between, sometimes we like to do heavily like…

Jason: Scripted.

Caroline: Scripted and tip.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Podcast episodes. We like you to get a ton of value out of them. We give you tons of those. Other times we just like talking about just doing a little blab chat about what it feels like to be an entrepreneur. What are the emotions of it? What are the things you struggle with? And this topic, this is gonna be one of those.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Spoiler alert. Also just email us and let us know which do you prefer or do you like the mixture?

Jason: Sure.

Caroline: Do you like the heavy hitting, tip driven, value-driven episodes, or do you like the more meandering, just thought driven ones? Email us.

Jason: I bet people like a mix. Also for those of you who are on the edge of your seat in your car, in your house, on your bike. And you were like, wait, weren’t we getting a launch recap? Because you just finished your Spring enrollment?

Caroline: Yes.

Jason: Teaser alert.

Caroline: We…

Jason: I think that’s coming next week.

Caroline: I think it’s gonna be…

Jason: We gotta get all our ducks in a row. But do you wanna give ’em the teaser?

Caroline: Right. It’s either gonna be next week or the following week, we will do a launch recap. We wanted to get all the stats for you and the full thing. I didn’t wanna phone it in.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: But the teaser of that episode is that we got the most members in a launch ever this launch.

Jason: Wow.

Caroline: And so we’re so excited for all of our new members. It feels incredible.

Jason: That’s why, that’s why we were able to buy the gear. That’s it.

Caroline: The gear was, the gear was heavily tied to this.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But it felt really good to, again, have a business that… All the hard work, all of the strategic marketing and building these systems and the fact that we were able to do this without being on social media, which is…

Jason: So we’re…

Caroline: Something that we’ll talk about.

Jason: Yeah, so we’re gonna get into the full launch recap here either next week or the week after, depending on we get our ducks in a row. But I think that’s a nice curtail into what we wanna talk about with this episode, which is, You bopped back into the world of Instagram.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: Specifically. And just to, I wanna give people an overview of, we started our Wandering Aimfully Instagram when we started building Wandering Aimfully in 2018. Our intention was Instagram would be kind of like our go-to social media marketing promotion.

Caroline: Mm-hmm.

Jason: In the four years that we basically had that account active. I think it was, I would say like three and a half is more, more like it, posting fairly regularly. We got up to almost 8,000 followers, which the vanity metrics don’t matter, but it’s not nothing. We had a real go viral that got over almost, I think 3 million views.

Caroline: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Which is just ridiculous. You told me the other day when you were getting back on Instagram and we had a hundred thousand likes, which was just wild.

Caroline: I had never even seen that before, like seeing that number next to the like meter because you know.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Most stuff you post, you’re getting a hundred likes if you’re lucky, you know what I mean? In this, in this environment.

Jason: And we, and we really don’t care about these analytics. Like, that’s not the point. But it’s just like, it’s a wild thing to see.

Caroline: To see that. I was like, this is, this is weird.

Jason: Yeah. So, what I wanted to get to though is like, all that stuff is great and I think a lot of, you listening to this, you WAIMers who joined us and they, not a lot, but I think some of you found us through Instagram, but at the end of 2021, we decided to stop using Instagram for Wandering Aimfully and that was a very intentional decision. I had been taking breaks on social media platforms since 2014, so I have been at this for a long time of just like forcing myself to take breaks, these detoxes. But I think we both, as we were getting ready to leave to travel for a year in Europe, while it was the most Instagramable thing we possibly could have done, we also were both feeling this like, It doesn’t really feel great to be on Instagram. And so we have…

Caroline: Well, it was two things.

Jason: Well, we do have a whole episode if you wanna hear us talk more about that. I’ll link it up in the show notes of our latest episode about social media, and maybe even the one before that as well, so you can listen to the whole thing if you want. Sorry, I just wanted to mention that.

Caroline: No, it’s okay. It was two things really. I think of the decision to not post on the business account anymore, which was the sheer amount of time and effort that it was gonna take.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: I knew we were gonna have so much little, so much less time and focus on the business bec– while we were traveling full-time. So I knew every moment that we could spend on the business needed to be on the most needle, needle moving things, which really came down to just serving our members for that year.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It was just marketing got cut and it was just literally like delivering for our members and making sure that they’re happy. That’s all we could really do. So it was a time thing. And then what happened was early 2022, early 2022. I was gonna still post every once in a while on my personal account and just say like, oh, here we are. And even do like little, you know, updates from our trip. Boy, and I was just not even posting, I was just using it still as a consumer consuming content and I just started to feel like it was really impacting my mental health.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: I started to feel this like level of noise that I can’t really describe, and maybe it was like this fatigue from the pandemic and it was all these things. I couldn’t even make sense of my own thoughts anymore. Like I was starting to just feel like in my head were other people’s thoughts.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Like other people’s shoulds of how I should live my life, or how I should think, or how I should view this, or how I should think about that. And I, and that was the first time in my life where it really, like, I couldn’t even hear my own perspective anymore. And it’s one thing to take in different people’s perspectives to build your own, it’s another to not even be able to. Hone in on what your voice is anymore.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Caroline: And so I said, oh, I’ll take a… I’ll do an experiment and I’ll do a month off of Instagram. And then a month turned into two, turned into three. And then pretty soon I was noticing this huge benefit of, of, I was hearing my own perspective again.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And then having all these experiences. And I was so happy that we weren’t being pulled out of the moment. We were doing just the bare minimum to do the YouTube videos, but not feeling like everything had to be, oh, let me get this vertical. Okay, let get it horizontal. Okay, let me get it. Good composition. Okay, let get it for a reel. Let me get, it was just like, Ugh. And so then before we knew it, we had done two launches and pretty much the entire year off.

Jason: In 2022.

Caroline: In 2022.

Jason: Yeah. And, and part of what I wanted to say here is that that decision to leave Instagram, I, and we talk about this every time we do an episode on social media in general, which is I, as someone who has, was very early in using social media, we’re talking about like 2008 time of like seeing the future of social media and using it. I believe in the power of social media.

Caroline: Absolutely.

Jason: However, however, If you cannot directly tie social media to a return on investment, ROI, in your business, and you have other means of marketing, promoting, having other people hear about your stuff. It needs to be a real consideration of should I be spending 10, 20 hours a week on this thing?

Caroline: This is where we fight because, this is like where our, our opinions differ a little bit.

Jason: Right. But…

Caroline: Although I agree with what you just said.

Jason: Yeah. But I, I have, I have some pretty good data for us, which is in 2022, our business as a whole made more revenue than it ever has before. Totally. In 2023 where we are now, we will continue to be off Instagram and we will continue to make more money than we made last year.

Caroline: Totally. But I think you can’t apply that to everyone who is maybe at the beginning of their journey. And so the only…

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Place where I differ with you, I, I absolutely hear what you’re saying of you can’t tie a direct result. And so what I… what I think you’re actually saying is that especially if you’re in the beginning of your business, your time and what you choose to work on and what opportunities you choose to pursue and which ones you choose not to pursue is incredibly important for how, how your business moves forward.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And I do agree with you that I think a lot of people are caught in the hamster wheel of using it every single day thinking it’s moving the needle.

Jason: Just like we were.

Caroline: When, if they took a step back, the amount of marketing tactics that they could move forward.

Jason: Yep.

Caroline: With that time would potentially have a bigger impact. Potentially. But I will say the one place that we do disagree and like the big caveat is that I’m a big believer in the way that brand moves your business forward, and brand is all the intangible things. It’s the things that you can’t tie directly to, oh, I made this sale directly from this person who followed me on Instagram. But in general, the way that someone feels about your brand, the trust they have with you, the, the personality fit, the way that they think that you align with, you know, their beliefs and thoughts and everything. I do believe that social media is a great place for that to build and that they, that informs the decision that they do ultimately make in another channel. You know?

Jason: Totally. So, I, I actually, and I, forgive me if I haven’t said this before, but I agree with you. I think, I think brand is incredibly important in the landscape of business, and I actually do think, and this is why, if you remember, I have been bringing it up of like, Hey, we should do a nine grid. We should do a nine grid.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: And, and which is like this concept of you put up nine posts on your Instagram account.

Caroline: Wait, can I, can we give more context before you go there?

Jason: Sure, sure, sure.

Caroline: Can I just back up just for a second?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: To, to wrap that.

Jason: Yeah, sure.

Caroline: We’re on the same page.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: We both agree there. It, it moves brand forward and we both agree that you do have to take a long, hard look about how much you’re putting in and how much you’re getting out.

Jason: Ooh. Can I give one other thought? Creating a brand experience or touchpoint using social media and let’s just say Instagram because that’s really what we’re talking about.

Caroline: Sure.

Jason: My whole thing is, that doesn’t have to be created ongoing and forever.

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: So that leads us to what we have been kind of like working up to finally do with a dormant Instagram account.

Caroline: Exactly. So what ha– so now let me go back to the chronological story of all of this.

Jason: Let’s do it.

Caroline: Now that we had that really intense debate where we completely agreed with each other.

Jason: Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Caroline: But we, I will say it, it was sort of accidental the way that we, on our business account and even on my personal account, went off Instagram in the story that I just told, right?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It sort of was like one month to two months and then all of a sudden we’re like, we don’t need social, and, but we never did anything on our account that said like, bye. The only thing we did was we changed our…

Jason: The bio.

Caroline: Our bio so that it said, Hey, like, don’t DM us because we won’t see it kind of thing.

Jason: Yeah. People still do though.

Caroline: They do, but I, we don’t see it.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And that’s okay. So for the longest time it was sort of an experiment. And now once we had two launches under our belt where we were like, okay, we have other marketing channels now, namely affiliates, and our customers like our rave… They give us rave reviews and we get referrals, and that’s how we grow WAIM. And so now that we’ve seen that system working very consistently and very predictably, we, we were kind of like, okay, well I don’t see us going back to Instagram in the near future. We should be more intentional about how we use that real estate so that A, someone can go there and know that we’re not there because I think that is important.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But B, someone can go there and know that we’re, we are doing things other places. Because here’s what’s so funny that I, I recognized we would start to meet people. Even just a few people when we moved here to Portugal and they would ask us about our business and what we did, and I was like, oh, I know exactly what they’re gonna do, right? They’re gonna go to Instagram, because that’s even where I go here in Portugal to go check out a business. And it’s kind of a quick way to even, I think, more than a website sometimes.

Jason: Yeah, yeah. Because it’s dynamic.

Caroline: Like it’s dynamic. Exactly. They’re like, oh, what are they up to? And so I was like, if they go to our business Instagram, they’re just gonna think we just like dropped off the face of the earth.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Right? Like, because we have nothing about our podcast, we have nothing about our newsletter, we have nothing about our program. We have nothing about all the other marketing mix that we do.

Jason: Yep.

Caroline: And so Jason was finally like, let’s do a nine grid.

Jason: Well, yeah, and we, we had, I, I’d actually been saying this for a while.

Caroline: Definitely.

Jason: Even, even when we first were gonna take the break. And, and that’s not to say that you didn’t want to do it, or it’s just more of a capacity thing.

Caroline: Yeah, it was just like, why? Like we don’t, we’re, if we’re, if it’s not a priority, it’s not a priority.

Jason: Exactly. So, we, we finally put it on the to-do list and we were like, listen, if we’re gonna get this done, we should do it right before our launch ends. So, If anybody’s paying attention to Wandering Aimfully during that time and they’re on Instagram, they can at least like see, like if we did it two days after launch, like really, we just like no strategy whatsoever on…

Caroline: Exactly. And so what was so funny is during the launch, obviously it’s not a priority, so things were taking precedence and we finally got to, I think the Saturday before the launch and I was just like…

Jason: Before launch ended.

Caroline: Before the launch ended.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: And you and I were both like, we know this is a good idea. I haven’t been prioritizing it because other things are more important, but I’m gonna be so mad if I do this two days after the launch.

Jason: Exactly.

Caroline: So I’ve had, I was like, it has to be a priority.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So, you know, we put our heads together and you were like, I think it should be a nine, you know, nine posts.

Jason: Yep.

Caroline: And then way, way back in the day we used to do kind of like that puzzle grid approach where like all the pieces connect. So that was somewhere in the back of my brain is I was like, I think it would feel more intentional when someone lands there if they connect in some way.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Because it feels different than, Oh, these posts are ongoing, right? It feels more sort of final. So I designed up this little puzzle grid and I decided, okay, each post is gonna represent some other place that we create content that I want someone to know about.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So that’s what we ended up doing. This is the longest introduction to what the actual topic of this podcast is, but I think it’s…

Jason: No, but…

Caroline: Interesting.

Jason: It’s, it’s a lot of context, which is nice. And I do believe that conversations around social media, I think share the antithesis of you have to use social media in your business are helpful to people because…

Caroline: Yeah, give them a, another possibility.

Jason: I think there are a lot of people who listen to this podcast who are constantly questioning all of the shoulds and all of the things, and, and I do agree with your point that you said earlier, like if you’re at the very beginning of your business, you are going to probably have to use social media. Now, do I believe that you could still do it without social media? Yes.

Caroline: Me too.

Jason: You could. However, is it a little bit more difficult? Does it require a little bit more manual effort? Are you probably not gonna see the results as quickly? Yes, because everyone’s attention is in these platforms, so you have to draw their attention out in some way, which takes creativity, which takes time, which takes effort. However, my whole point to this is, It’s just about questioning why you’re using these things and if they’re actually bringing a return. And so I think doing a nine grid post on an Instagram account, even if your account is brand new, is a great way to create the brand experience, is to share with people kind of the dynamic look, if you will, of like, what’s going on in your world? Like where can people connect with you? What, what are you looking to get? What do you stand for? What does your business do? What problems does it solve? And that, to me, I think is just a great use of, okay, cool. I’m basically putting up like a website on Instagram, for lack of a better way to describe it.

Caroline: Yeah. Also, imagine if you were someone, if you do feel like you’re at that point in your journey where you’re like, I can’t take… I can’t take off completely from Instagram. Imagine if you did a strategy where you did it one month on one month off.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: Where you said, I’m gonna post for a month, then I’m at the end of that month, I’ll do this nine grid thing where I kind of tell people, Hey, for a month I’m gonna go work on my newsletter. Come, come find me there. You know? And what that, and then for a month you take off you, you take the pressure off to post every day on Instagram, you get to work on this really integral piece of your business, your newsletter, and you’ve now told people on Instagram that that’s where you’re hanging out. A, what does that accomplish? First of all, you now get focus back because the biggest thing is the reason you can’t make progress on these other really integral pieces of your business, your newsletter, your welcome sequence of your email, your offer, your sales page, like, because that, that’s deep work, right?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: The thing about creating social media content is it’s pulling you out of deep work all the time because you’re on this hamster wheel and you have to keep think coming up with ideas and keep coming up with content and feeding the machine so it does the, the, service to you of giving you your time back. And then also if somebody lands on your page and goes, huh, haven’t seen anyone kind of do this, this is different.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: So you stand out. It also kind of projects confidence because you’re saying, Hey, I’m making this choice. People go, whoa. Like that’s a choice.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So, I don’t know. I think it’s an interesting strategy that if it, if I was back in the, you know, early days of our business and I was not getting a lot of value out of being on Instagram and I felt like it was stealing my time, that’s the approach I would go with.

Jason: Yeah. Okay. So to the point of this episode.

Caroline: Okay, so I get back on, it’s two days before the end of the launch. I, truth be told, it was a Saturday. We were just sitting on the couch, Jason’s watching movies. I was watching like a show in the background and I’m just fiddling around making this design. And it did take me quite a bit of time because again, classic us, I go, if I’m gonna put it up there, of course I could do one static image posts for nine posts and that would be fine.

Jason: Mm-hmm.

Caroline: But I’m, okay. Wouldn’t, wouldn’t it get a little bit more viewership?

Jason: We’re just the worst. We’re just the worst.

Caroline: If I’m gonna post about our podcast, let me have a clip of our podcast.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: I’m gonna post about our YouTube channel. Let me have a clip of a YouTube channel just so people can like, get a, a feel for it. So yeah, it did take me quite, you know, more time than just creating. Sorry, I hit the mic.

Jason: Oh, great job. Well, that won’t be happening soon.

Caroline: If I had just created nine static posts, so I, I was a little bit extra, but what else is new?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So Saturday. Okay, so I’m in our business feed.

Jason: Yes.

Caroline: To post the nine posts and it’s the first time that I’ve been in like a consuming like a lot because a lot of the people we follow are business owners. And so everything in our feed I didn’t see very much. I probably saw, I wanna say five or six posts in our feed. I was in there for like a day.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Okay. Posting and then of course inevitably curiosity also gets the better of me, so I start seeing people that I haven’t literally thought about in a year.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: People’s businesses and that’s, that’s not a knock on them. That’s…

Jason: No, no. It’s just, it’s what happens.

Caroline: It’s like…

Jason: It’s just like we are those people for a lot of people.

Caroline: Yeah. For half the people in our… who follow us on Instagram, they were like, whoa, I forgot about those two.

Jason: Yeah. Didn’t even know you existed.

Caroline: But, okay. The point I’m trying to make is people I haven’t thought about in a year. I see a couple of their posts, and when I tell you I didn’t notice it quite at first. I noticed it the day after where I was like, oh my gosh, the comparison flip in my head turned on.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It was so weird. It was like, And I’m, I’m only sharing this, and I wanted to share this whole episode because I think when you’re in it every day, it’s really hard to see the contrast. But coming from someone who spent a year out of it and then got back into it for just two days, the noise, the amount of noise that is invisible to you when you’re in it.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Is astounding.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Like two days later, I was still distracted by things I was seeing other people do. I was comparing myself. I was like, oh, wow. Like should we be doing that or are we where they are? It was like, and I’m not someone who considers myself really, you know, vulnerable to that kind of comparison, just because we’ve spent so long now doing business that I feel very confident in like our journey.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But it was just so notable to me, the change that I felt, and I wanted to share that because I wanted more, I want more people to be aware of it. I’m not saying you have to go off social media. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing or that you’re wrong for experiencing that. I just wanna be the person who reminds you that it exists so that you can be aware of it when you’re in there and you can catch yourself to go, do I actually think that this is a thing that I need to be doing in my business? Or do I think I should be doing it because I saw X, Y, and Z do it?

Jason: Yeah. And what did you call this? This was the invisible…?

Caroline: I called it the invisible noise of comparison.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Because I do think to some degree it’s just this like static that is almost invisible most of the time because you’re in it. But when you’re on the outside of it, looking in like that noise of comparison is actually so loud.

Jason: Yeah. I, I, when you were talking about this, it made me think about. And this is a very silly comparison, but I think we all have had phases where, you let like a lot of little details go in your house. Just as an example, like there’s scuff marks on the baseboards. The front door is dirty with fingerprints. The kitchen hasn’t had a deep clean in a long time, right? It’s like all these things just like pile up and then all of a sudden you decide to do a Spring clean right, or whatever, and you, you just do a deep clean and it’s like a weekend. You just like get after it and afterwards, wow. I didn’t realize like how much mental clutter that was taking up that like…

Caroline: Right.

Jason: It feels so much better that I don’t have that anymore, and I think that is exactly what this invisible noise of comparison is on Instagram and other social platforms as well that so many of us don’t know is that you’re constantly, constantly looking at the scuffed up baseboards and the fingerprints and the, the dirtiness and you’re just not realizing it because you’re used to it.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: But if you take a break or, and this is something that I started doing, I think this was like 2017, was as soon as I had an account that made me feel a certain type of weight negatively.

Caroline: Yep.

Jason: And that’s not to say like, you should every negative account unfollow because you, you gotta be a group thing and whatever. I’m just saying, like, I would watch an account and be like, oh, I, I’m, this person makes me mad because I could do something better or whatever. Like, it makes me feel like I’m not doing enough, just an immediate unfollow, like if I have a tinge of that feeling, an immediate unfollow because what you don’t realize is you, you’re now like constantly consuming that message and you’re just saying like, oh, it’s okay that like, I feel bad about myself because this person’s popping up in my feed.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Which is just not a good place to put yourself in.

Caroline: Yeah. And it’s so hard too because it’s such a fine line between, you wanna learn from people who have gotten to where you wanna get to, right?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Like, that’s part of it. And, and I do think it’s really easy to kind of convince yourself that you’re doing like research or that you’re learning. I mean, I’m someone who is obsessed with learning. I love learning. But there’s, the difference is like, I can tell when I’m learning from someone who doesn’t… the, my, my feeling, the dominant feeling that I get when I walk away from that interaction is not that I’m not doing enough. It’s like, oh, like there’s so much opportunity and I, it’s up to me to choose which one of these things to like really go after. Right. But there’s something about the Instagram experience specifically. So for me, like I still consume tons of business education content on YouTube, for example. And for some reason that, I don’t know if it’s just that the feed doesn’t feel quite as, I don’t know if it’s not as glamorized.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: It, it’s it’s own thing, but it’s something about the Instagram thing that’s so glamorous or the, just the sheer amount of volume as you scroll through. I don’t know what that is. Maybe the autoplay feature where you’re just like, it’s auto injecting into your eyeballs, you know? Especially with reels now. I don’t know what the scientific difference is between those two platforms, but I’m telling you, I was in there for 48 hours y’all, and I was like, we gotta do that. We gotta do this.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: We gotta change your marketing to that. And I’m like, and then two days later where I had a, had detoxed again where I was like back into my own thoughts and I was like, no, I’m not doing that.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: There’s a reason we don’t do that. You know, there’s a reason why we don’t do do this and that, that way.

Jason: Right.

Caroline: So I just, I share that again, I don’t know what the takeaway, the helpful takeaway is. I just… I, I think it is something that needs to be talked about.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: In terms of, and brought awareness to, so that each person can individually decide what level of exposure they want to have and to have a deeper awareness of what’s the emotion, what’s the dominant emotion that you have when you walk away from someone’s content.

Jason: And, and I, I want to be the person, and this is just me speaking for myself personally because we can debate this, but then agree that like, I don’t believe social media does enough for people’s business that you should be continually spending time on it. I believe that for many people, the amount of time you spend every week on social media is a waste of time, and I think that you could take 10% of that time and continue to put it into social media to like still be in DMs if people reach out to you, maybe post once a week to give people an update, whatever it looks like to you. That’s like the bare minimum, the enough amount of being on social. Take the rest of that time and do things differently. Do something that’s way out of the realm of what people in your industry are doing. Put a bunch of effort into outreach in some way that actually, like you can see tangible results. If I send 10 cold outreach pitch emails to clients I wanna work with, and I hear back from one of them every week. I’m now hearing from more clients than I was when I was posting on social media every day for four hours a day.

Caroline: Well, that’s the other thing too. You brought up a good point about doing things differently, and this is always the hardest part about marketing, is that it’s this like weird thing where you want to both quote unquote fit in to like how people are doing things in your industry, but you also are trying to stand out. And I feel like this is why when it comes to branding or marketing or business in general, people feel this tension all the time where they’ll like look at like what other people are doing because they wanna A, do that because it appears to work for someone else. Right? But B, it’s like, oh, in order to be considered a professional, you know, designer, I need to do X, Y, and Z or be a part of X, Y, and Z community, or have done this or whatever. So there’s a little bit of fitting in, but then you’re like, the point of marketing is to stand out.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: It’s so weird. So I always remind myself if I’m going into that like research mode where I’m trying to see what other people are doing in order to learn, there’s value there for sure. But I always in the back of my head, go, the more I learn from other people, the harder it’s gonna be to be original.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And so that’s why you also have to titrate that exposure a little bit because you run the risk of losing everything that makes you different by trying to fit into what other people are doing.

Jason: Exactly. And then people wonder why, oh, like this was working for a little while and then it stopped working. It’s like, yeah, because everyone started doing it.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: And so that’s the thing, like you fall into the pattern of everybody else who’s doing the same thing that everybody else is doing because it worked for one person and everybody else started doing it.

Caroline: Yeah. And by the way, like we’re not immune to this. Like we do this too. Like we…

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: We look to inspiration from other businesses to go, but it’s more like we’re building up our toolkit of experiments to run.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: By looking at other people and then going, okay, how can we bring our spin to it? Like running it through our own filter of values and being like, oh, I wouldn’t do it quite like that because it’s just not my vibe. I wanna soften it in this way. I wanna do it differently. In that way, you kind of like put it through your own little like washing machine of your own filters, your own differentiators. You spit it back out and go, okay, now let me test this with my own business. Let me experiment. And then you get data where now it’s its own completely different because it’s your business and you have real tactics and real data, right?

Jason: Yeah. Yeah. And I, I just think that there, it’s the, like if you go back 30 years, there was a time from… some of you listen to this is not even gonna make sense. There was a time when like, if your business was not in the yellow pages, like how in the world would people find your business? But guess what? There were plenty of businesses that like weren’t in the yellow pages that were getting people buying their products. It’s the same thing right now, 30 years later, Instagram is just the yellow pages. It’s just a lot fancier.

Caroline: Right.

Jason: It’s just like everyone’s there. But like, guess what? You don’t have to be there for your business to get customers because your business solves a problem. It, it gives people a solution to something that they want. It exchanges the value and like you move forward and. You just find different ways to get your business in front of other people that aren’t Instagram, that aren’t TikTok.

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: That aren’t YouTube, that aren’t Twitter, that aren’t Facebook, that like aren’t all of these things. There are so many other things to do.

Caroline: Totally. In fact, we’re putting together our March coaching right now.

Jason: No, April.

Caroline: Oh yeah.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: We’re putting together our April coaching right now, which is all about, that’s right. Anyway.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: February was mindset.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Our April coaching right now is all about marketing and promotion, and so I’m working on a framework right now to show people just how many options there are besides content marketing even though we’re big believers in content marketing and all, you know, different, that includes social media, that includes SEO articles, but I just putting together this coaching. Session, I’m reminded just how many…

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Different marketing tactics there are.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And a perfect example is like, you know, selling WAIM Unlimited through affiliates and referrals.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Like that is the engine that drives the revenue of our business, which is just proof that there are other avenues and, and actually in a weird way, like the more time that you spend on social media, if you are someone who it’s not enjoyable to you. It affects your mental health and potentially you are experiencing this noise of comparison all the time, and I know that’s not everyone. So if you’re someone who loves it and it’s working for you.

Jason: Yeah, sure.

Caroline: Like do just that. You do you like, that is no shade whatsoever. But if you are someone who it’s not working for.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: The irony is that all the time that you’re spending on this thing that doesn’t really bring you returns and that you hate is time away from all these other different marketing tactics that you could be building up.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: So…

Jason: And I do think that’s one of the most powerful things that many people aren’t willing to come to grips with, and I saw this when I wrote my, 30 day journal about taking my first social media detox.

Caroline: Mm-hmm.

Jason: Was just how many hours I was spending that I didn’t realize. And now you have apps on your phone that tell you these things, so it’s like, it’s much easier to figure out. But I think a lot of people ignore those things and they don’t look at them. But if you actually kept a journal of the time that you spent on these applications, I think it would surprise you. But maybe it would also empower you to go, wow, I spend 10 hours a week, or 20 hours a week, or 40 hours a week looking at this app, being in this app, doing these things. That is a whole person you could hire to do things for your business that you could now be. That’s it. That’s time…

Caroline: Right. I was just thinking.

Jason: Towards something else.

Caroline: Like step one is figuring out how much that time is, and then step two is like, what’s the thing that you have been putting off for six months that you know needs to be in place in your business?

Jason: Absolutely.

Caroline: Can you do it in 40 hours?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Because if so, you could do it next week if you took off Instagram. You know what I’m saying?

Jason: I’m just like, and there’s just, I, I think that’s also a little bit of the poison of social media in general is that it makes you feel like when you’re there, it’s the only thing that exists, right?

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Because I remember when I was first starting to get off of Instagram and Twitter, I was like, well, where the heck do I do anything? You know?

Caroline: Yeah.

Jason: Like where, where do I even spend my time? And then, then you start to like look around again and go like, oh, well there’s lots of things that I can do. There’s lots of places where people hang out. There’s lots of even small communities that I can be a part of in different ways online that aren’t in the big platforms and that, yeah, it’s not gonna be as much information. It’s not gonna be as many people, but it’s still good places to be, to be around people that want to buy from me and put my products in front of them.

Caroline: Yeah. It’s just, it’s so hard, Jace, because I know that. The reason why these platforms are so alluring is also because when you’re starting a business, like they’re free, right? Like…

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: All you have is time, basically.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: In the early days. And so you need to go, like, I understand social media has the maximum amount of eyeballs for the minimum amount of investment being money, but how much investment being time? I don’t know. It’s a lot.

Jason: But I also to that point, it’s like at what, at what point do you as a smart business owner have to say, I have invested enough time without seeing enough of a return on investment.

Caroline: Right. That I need to pivot.

Jason: I have to move on.

Caroline: Totally.

Jason: And I know, I know that for many of you listening to this, you are like us where you have spent years on these platforms and there has to be a cutoff point where you just go.

Caroline: I gotta try something else.

Jason: I have to try something else. Like I have been doing it. And that could just be…

Caroline: I think that’s a good point.

Jason: That could be six months, that could be one year. Like it’s, it’s whatever feels right to you. But I can tell you dear listener of our podcast, it’s probably been enough time at this point, and you have done, you’ve posted enough things, you’ve tried posts, you’ve tried carousels, you’ve tried stories, you’ve tried reels, you’ve tried lives, you’ve tried all of the things, and none of it can you see a super tangible return on investment into your business. Great. You have done all the branding stuff. Congratulations. Now it’s time to move and do something else. Stand out, be different, come up with some different ideas. We have 13 marketing ideas that you can use if you want. I’ll link that up in the show notes of just different things that you can do. And the most important thing that we would say, and that’s not even really the point of this episode, but like if you don’t have an email list, that is the thing. Everyone should always be continuing to grow and build because it’ll never change. Like these social media platforms are great, but sometimes megalomaniacs buy them and then they become terrible and you don’t wanna be there anymore. And like, no one’s gonna buy your email list. No one’s gonna take this group of people away who have opted in to this thing that you get to keep. So that’s the thing, like…

Caroline: Knock on wood, you know, anything can happen, Jason. But I hear what you’re saying.

Jason: Yeah, I, I just think like, for the, for the majority of things. An email list is like, it’s a insurance policy.

Caroline: Yeah. It’s a much safer place to, that you have more control over. Mm. That wasn’t meant to really turn into like an anti-social media episode, and I hope it didn’t because again, I want to be very clear, these things are extremely nuanced and what works for one business doesn’t always work for another, and but the main takeaway that I want people to get is like, there’s just more paths than just that one.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And the ultimate, main thing, which was the impetus for this whole episode was to be very cognizant of what the cost is of cost of time of being there, cost of how is it affecting your own self image?

Jason: Mental health.

Caroline: How is it affecting your mental health? How is it affecting your confidence in your business?

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: Are you constantly being confronted with comparison that is making you feel like you’re not good enough? Because truly, I can’t overstate enough a year away from these platforms. I just felt so good about what we were doing.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: I was just like, I don’t…

Jason: And you have so many ideas.

Caroline: I was just like, I don’t know what other people are up to.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: But I know what we are up to.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And I’m loving what we’re doing.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And yeah, it, and so many ideas and, and just being able to come up with original ideas again, again, like no idea is truly original of course, but feeling like at least I was speaking in my own voice.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: And at least I was starting to formulate thoughts that weren’t told to me by someone else.

Jason: Yeah.

Caroline: They were my own.

Jason: Great job bringing it back around to a more positive place because obviously I went to a more like practical, maybe negative, place. And…

Caroline: I don’t think it was negative.

Jason: And you wrapped it back in a nice positive bow. Just like a, like a little gift.

Caroline: You need, you need both in life. You need a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Jason: All right, everybody. That’ll be it for this blab chat. We hope you enjoy this.

Caroline: We hope you like to blab chat. Do you like this? Do you like the more tactical? Do you like the mix of both?

Jason: You really want to know, don’t you?

Caroline: I just think it’s good to know what…

Jason: What people want?

Caroline: What people… Give people they want.

Jason: What do you want?

Caroline: What do you want?

Jason: What are you here for? Probably just the preamble, if I’m guessing. The pramble. You know. All right, that’s it. Next couple episodes are last ones you’re gonna get with this sound quality. So get ready for some improved sound quality. Very excited for this.

Caroline: The presentation went over swimmingly.

Jason: It really did, and you did an upsell of my own presentation to you.

Caroline: I upsold myself.

Jason: What a win.

Caroline: Which is just, wow, what, what incredible salesmanship you had.

Jason: All right. That’s it, everybody. We’ll be in your ears next week. Goodbye.

Caroline: Love you. Bye.

164 – Instagram’s Invisible Noise of Comparison

(Big Fat Takeaway)

Instagram can be a great way to grow your online business, but is all the comparison and negativity with it? And can you tie all your effort and time spent to a tangible result?


This article written by

Jason Zook

I'm all about that Cinnamon Roll life (that just seemed like a "cool" way to say I love baking and eating cinnamon rolls). Also, I co-run this WAIM thing as well as Teachery. Currently, 75ish% completion of Tears of the Kingdom 🧝‍♀️⚔️.

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