I know, you’re shocked. What happened to blogging, you ask? Well, blogging definitely isn’t going away. Throughout the past few months, blogging and even Instagram marketing have been such a whirlwind experience filled with new friends, opportunities, and even new epiphanies about myself. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I don’t consider myself a huge overnight success star or that I’ve made it and am living life extremely lavishly, but I will give myself props for being a highly adaptable and resourceful lady who’s capable of picking up anything social media, marketing or design-related pretty fast. I’m very close to hitting 10,000 followers on Instagram, but still I consider that quite a slow achievement for 4 months because I know I could have done much faster.
Because of my passion for blogging and social media, I’ve come across so many people who have helped me in my journey, and this has inspired me to help others. There is no better feeling than knowing you have some sort of purpose when you’re able to help someone and see their results. However, with the new algorithm changes on Instagram and the recent shut-down of the famed Instagress bot, my email inbox, Instagram DMs and even my cell phone have gotten blown-up with tons of messages from people needing help. And it’s become overwhelming.
My messages usually go something like this:
“Hey, what’s up?” (Nothing else is mentioned in order to mask the incoming onslaught of questions)
“Hi! Long time, no talk. How are you?”
“So, quick question – how do you get a lot of followers on Instagram?” (note that usually, they don’t answer my “how are you?” question. And this really isn’t a quick question, either.)
“Well, there’s no real one solution… it’s kind of hard to explain in a nutshell…” (I’m starting to grow uncomfortable with this question.)
“Well, sum it up the best you can.” (This usually comes from the generalized assumption that all marketing strategies only require a single activity and then somehow you amass thousands of followers.)
“I mean, honestly, there’s too much to really explain through text or messaging…” (Now I’m trying to deflect this question the best way I can without being a total jerk.)
“Okay, well, how about we meet up for coffee or Skype or something?” (Someone is being quite pushy for free information.)
“I mean, I’m kinda busy all this week with a lot of work…” (Unless you’re paying me to help you with your social media business, this is going to be rough for me to find time in my schedule to help you.)
“Well, we’ll only be a few minutes!” (Wrong. So wrong. You can’t decode Instagram in a matter of minutes. It’s not that simple.)
“Honestly, it doesn’t take a few minutes to explain. It’s kind of really complicated.” (Growing immeasurably uncomfortable at this point.)
“You know, you could have answered my question in the same amount of time you spent talking about how it takes a long time to answer, lol.” (YES, I’ve actually received this kind of remark thrown at me before! And no, adding a “lol” at the end doesn’t make it any less demanding.)
At this point, I usually just leave that message to sit and no longer respond to it, simply out of sheer speechlessness.
I love helping others who share the same passion, but after spending several hours a day for the past 2 months helping others with their projects, my productivity for my blog and business have been on the decline.
Let’s face the truth: helping people for free won’t make me money. I’ve learned this extremely hard truth lately and have taken a step back to look at everything from a bigger perspective: blogging is a business. Social media marketing is a business. And I’m sure if you consider your work your business, wouldn’t you be a little worried if you were giving your knowledge and time away for free to others who are trying to create their own businesses? I left corporate America to work for myself, not so I can once again I work for someone else and get paid significantly less (or even nothing) for my labor.
Even though my little baby blog may pale in comparison to the big blogs out there, I don’t want to stop being proud of my work and start undervaluing my brand and knowledge. Hey, if people are asking you for advice, it usually means that you’re doing something right in their eyes!
From being a freelance photographer to an esthetician to a Realtor, I’ve learned this one valuable lesson all 3 fields: never undervalue your craft to please others or earn people’s business. When you offer a quality product or service for cheap or free because you worry about looking bad, mean or even greedy, you are devaluing yourself and your time and therefore, others will too. It’s good to know that others look up to you, but it’s not good to spread yourself thin and make yourself easily available to others to help build their businesses while your efforts take away from building your own empire.
When you’re an entrepreneur, time is money, which is why I’ve decided to begin blogging and social media consulting as a side hustle to boost my income while my blog is still in its start-up phase. This is yet another avenue where I’d love to get paid for doing what I love.
For all your bloggers and social media marketing entrepreneurs, how do you feel about the time-is-money topic, especially when your business is both your passion and full-time job? Let’s chat in the comments below!
If you’re interested in my consultation services, please visit my Blog and Social Media Coaching page for more information.
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