What I learned over the weekend social break by Helen Perry @notaboutthekids

What I learned this winter social break

I took a bit of a break from work over Christmas and the New Year. I’d like to say that it was intentional self-care-family-downtime that I’d mapped out when I planned my year last January. Alas, I simply I ran out of hours to batch Instagram and blog content for the holidays as I’d intended to. Christmas arrived, houseguests arrived, overeating and drinking happened, and I had to accept a slowdown of my social media output. I didn’t disappear entirely from my Instagram, blog, and Pinterest, I enjoyed a bit of pointless faffing and lurking, but my engagement dropped to levels that would have sent me into a blind panic a few months ago.

As I know you’ve already guessed (roll-your-eyes-at-me emoji), this step back resulted in exactly no change to anything whatsoever, except for my outlook. Steps back are always good for the mind and soul. Here are a few of the reflections that I’ll take into 2019.

Instagram growth

I grew my following on Instagram in 2018 by doing several things. Posting consistently and often to my main feed and Stories. By being generous with my time and spending lots of it engaging with other people’s content. And, significantly, by my account @notaboutthekids being very, very kindly mentioned by others. When I slowed my posting and engaging over the holidays, my growth stalled. And that’s ok. Instagram doesn’t owe me a single follower. Not one. It is a completely free marketing tool and it is my choice to use it as I see fit.

In order to grow quickly on Instagram (unless you are either utterly uniquely genius or a celebrity), you need to be on the platform a lot. As my work commitments have grown and my ambitions have changed, it’s not always possible for me to spend lots of time actively seeking new followers on Instagram. I am at peace (ok, trying to be at peace) with a slower rate of growth this year. I’d like to put more energy into the awesomeness of my content, and trust good things will follow that.

Along the same lines, click here to find out how I’ve made taking pictures for my blog and Instagram quicker and easier.

Comfortable evolution

I’ve noticed a bit of New Year chatter about change on social media. More to the point whether we are allowed to change.

The gist of it is this. We start our accounts, and name them, and post what seems like a good idea at the time. Then, we realise that we might like to try different things, that the stuff you used to post (and that is popular with our followers), doesn’t feel as right anymore. That it doesn’t reflect our current tastes or what we’d really like to chat about. But what if you start to change and, horror, people don’t like it, and greater horror, unfollow or don’t like and engage with our content.

To be clear, these are crazy thoughts. Our social media accounts are OURS and they will be at their absolute best if they reflect our most up-to-date selves. Whether that’s your personal thinking, business goals or a mix or the two.  If you like something, other people will. The right people will. Evolve happily.

So much of what you will read around growing social media followings will tell you to think about what the ideal follower likes and what they aspire to. How about 2019 being the year or sharing of what you like and aspire to? I’ve been chatting a lot about this to Antonia, my partner in a social media events business Elevate. I think that our Saying of the Year is going to be Be More You.

Click for Elevate events

Persist at persisting

In my life professional life, I have niggling insecurity that I have never stuck at a project or job long enough for it to really bear fruit. Often, I wonder what I would be doing now with work, where my career would have taken (or not taken) me, if I hadn’t gone all-in as a mum.

No matter, I shouldn’t look back, I’m not going that way. Looking forward, I feel intrigued about where this content creating, writing picture-taking Not About The Kids journey will take me. So out of interest and no matter how silly I feel (which can be often) I will persist.

I was chatting the other day to a gorgeous lady who is publishing a book, and she said this,

   “You overestimate what can be done in one year, but underestimate what you can achieve in three”.

One down, two to go.

Going boldly into 2019

Finally, between mince pies, I settled on a Word of the Year. It’s my one nod towards a New Year resolution. Choosing a word to hang your hat on for the next 12 months is something that I’ve noticed a few people doing, and I think it’s a useful idea. You can’t fail at a word or notion. And it can anchor you, providing something to come back to if you find yourself adrift.

So my word for 2019 is going to be bold. How do I hope to be and do bold? I want to put more of myself into my work, and share more of my work (accepting that not all of it will be wonderful). I’ll be bold about what I want and how I will make that happen. And I am going to boldly push negative thoughts to one side as much as I can. I want to be less self-conscious in 2019. What is your word going to be? Share it in the comments box below.

Here’s the concept of a Word of the Year better explained by Inc.

Wishing you a happy and hearty 2019, thank you so much for reading.

What's your View?

6 comments on “What I learned this winter social break

  1. Pia on

    Love this post Helen! I definitely have similar thoughts.. I’m really struggling to get my mojo back lately but I have some exciting projects coming up which will hopefully help. Xx

  2. Mackenzie Orrock on

    Totally relate to all of this Helen. We are not slaves to Instagram after all. Struggling with my word of the year but have found a quote instead that I’m planning to incorporate into an Insta post very soon. xx

  3. Helen on

    Ah, thank you, Pia and thanks for reading. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got lined up. Our mojo’s go missing a bit in January I think. Hx

  4. Helen on

    Well I really look forward to reading your quote. It’s just about finding something that speaks to us, and give us a YES, THAT feeling isn’t it? Lovely to see you’ve stopped by. Hx

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