Restoring the balance

YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, podcasts and blogs.

We have the opportunity to take in a lot of information every single day to the point where we can become overloaded.

But more importantly a lot of this information is other people’s thoughts, opinions or just things we don’t need to know or don’t benefit us.

I think online content is great in moderation but if you find yourself at a point where it feels like too much, the best thing to do is reduce your consumption.

That could mean unfollowing, unsubscribing, logging out, taking a break or setting a time limit.

You need to do those things for long enough so that you can restore the balance between online and offline or creation and consumption.

The balance should always be in your favour so create more than you consume or be offline more than you’re online.

The problem with being attached to where you share your work

On one hand you could stick with sharing your work on a blog because that is what you know, are good at and are familiar with. There is a big difference between being closed off to new things and knowing what works for you.

If you’ve been doing it for years, chances are you’ve grown attached. The problem with getting attached is that this can end up clouding your judgement. Instead of migrating or expanding to a new platform, you end up choosing to stick with what you know. You end up doing this even when you know the current way is not working and there are better options out there.

An example of this could be YouTube. If you’ve been doing YouTube for a while and it isn’t going particularly well it probably won’t hurt to give Tik Tok a go. You don’t need to alter your message because it’s on a different platform. Find a way to share the same message whether on Instagram, YouTube, a podcast, or on Tik Tok etc.

Conscious consumption

Over the past few weeks or months, there has been an increase in posts related to social media. In particular, I have been writing about Instagram more.

Aside from the fact that I find it interesting, I also find that writing about social media enables me to consume it a little more consciously.

Instagram has become such a prominent part of many of our daily lives, at times it can become a little excessive.

Writing about Instagram (or just social media in general) means I’m much more reflective when it comes to what I use it for and how I feel about it. But I’m also developing more of an interest in what it can be used for and how it is changing.

All of this combined has changed my thoughts on social media and made me want to use it much more intentionally but also use it a little bit less.

Could Instagram Guides replace blogging?

From November 17th, you may have noticed a new feature on Instagram, Guides.

Guides allow users to ‘find, curate and share the products, places and posts you love’. They can feature your own content or the content of others. Tech Crunch have a good article that explains things in more detail.

Aside from captions this feature is the first that allows users to create longer form content similar to a blog post.

It could be considered as an easier way to create blog posts that are based around shopping, pictures and recommendations. In fact, it’s likely to become what many creators will turn to and what many brands will start paying creators for.

On the other hand, for a blog that is focused on the words, where the images aren’t the main focus, guides won’t work as an alternative.

It will be interesting to see who uses this new feature and how. It will also be interesting to see the blogs this feature may end up replacing.

It doesn’t matter where you share your work

When it comes to being someone who is creative, puts stuff out there and has ideas to share there is one piece of advice I’ve heard from two people that will never grow old.

It is something worth remembering as things change and develop over time.

The advice is to not become attached to the platforms where you share your work but to use them to your advantage in a way that works for you. Instead your focus should be on the work, the idea or the message.

When you do this, it doesn’t matter where you share your work. It could be on IGTV, pictures and captions on your Instagram feed, Insta stories, IG reels, a podcast, YouTube videos, blog posts, a newsletter, Facebook, or even snapchat.

And when a platform changes or becomes obsolete you can seamlessly shift to something else.

Instagram CV

If someone took a look at your instagram account, what would it show?

Would it help you gain employment in the area you want to work in or is it something you have just for fun?

I think that for many people, especially now with social media which is essentially a CV of sorts, you have the opportunity to show a much wider audience of people what you do. You could be a photographer, writer, creative director, textile artist, chef, singer, life coach or a poet.

You won’t necessarily get hired from Instagram but it can be used to showcase your work, like a portfolio.

11 Ways to make your work more visible and find your audience

They’re out there maybe you just haven’t found them yet.

When putting your work out there it is important to put it in the line of the people you’re creating for. If they right people never see it, how will they find it?

These days it can be easy to fall into thinking that simply having an Instagram account is enough. Of course we can’t deny that Instagram is an incredible useful platform but there are plenty of other things worth doing to find and grow your audience.

I think there are 2 main ways: creating content on more platforms and making yourself visible.

It’s about giving people the opportunity to find you. This is something I’m working on and so this post is as much for myself as it is for you.

Here are some ideas to help increase your visibility and find your audience:

  • Write articles for other sites
  • Create YouTube videos
  • Twitter
  • Start a podcast
  • Attend events relevant to your work
  • Speak at events relevant to your work
  • Create sharable content
  • Talk about what you do
  • Pinterest
  • Host an online event
  • Start a mailing list

Your audience might not be on Instagram

When it comes to putting your work out there it’s really important to consider your audience.

I think these days because Instagram is such a popular social media platform, we automatically think that our audience will be on there. We think it’s the only way to find people that are interested in our work.

I think that the issue we sometimes end up having is that we can’t think of any other possible way that we can put our work out or connect with new people. It’s Instagram or nothing.

However, I think it’s valuable to seek out other ways because sometimes the truth is your audience might not be on Instagram.

Free information

It’s out there, you just have to know where to look.

If you ever have a curiosity, want to learn more or are looking for answers the information is out there.

It’s east to forget that the same thing you use to scroll twitter, watch YouTube videos, double tap on Instagram and swipe on dating apps can be the very same thing to educate you.

In so many cases you don’t even need to ask questions because the answer is only a few clicks away.

Take advantage of that and seek out knowledge on the things that matter to you, simply because you can.

Putting more thought into branding

As much as you might want to focus on other stuff, it will always be worth putting some time into branding. It’s important to think about how things look to an outside eye and understand if you’re able to deliver your intended message.

I’ve always wanted The Daily Gemm (TDG) to be a space with writing and simplicity at the forefront and that’s what I focused on when I started posting to the Instagram account a few months ago.  However, I’ve realised that although the simplicity element works well on the blog, it doesn’t translate the same way on Instagram. I realised that I might need to do start doing things differently.

After giving it things more thought and thinking about the grand scheme and my future plans and aspirations, I came to the conclusion that I wanted the TDG Instagram account to represent my long-term plans as a brand, rather than just to represent this blog.

And so over the past week or so I’ve been coming up with ideas for how I could do things differently in a way that works for me.

One the first things that came to mind was more visual content and more colour. Currently the TDG feed is full of quotes from my blog posts in black and white. But it turns out the ‘just words, no pictures’ philosophy that I have for this site doesn’t fit for Instagram.

On one hand my grand plans for Instagram have come crashing down but on the other hand it taught me a lot. I’ve now gone back to the drawing board and spent time planning and creating things that I’m looking forward to sharing.