Do you ever think, “I can’t keep up with everyone else on Instagram? I might as well quit!” The pressures of trying to post regularly, make reels, and show up in stories all while making it seem casual yet still on brand feels impossible. Not to mention dealing with imposter syndrome that social media can cause, or wondering if anyone is seeing your content anyways due to the ever-changing algorithms. If you’re nodding your head along with me, it could be time for a social media break.
That’s right. A social media break for more than the 6 hours you sleep at night.
There comes a point when the constant pressure to create, to be visible, to beat algorithms, and gain traction in the crowded world of social media, becomes more exhausting than invigorating. That’s when I knew I needed a social media break.
Each summer I take the month of July off of Instagram. This social media break was eye-opening for me. It also lead many other photographers to ask me about my break. Hence, this blog post! Here I will share the worries and fears I faced before taking my break. I will also cover how I prepared for my break, what I did during it, and how I have now made taking a one-month-long social media break a yearly practice.
What is the purpose does your social media serve in your business?
However, it’s essential to clarify that Instagram, in my case, works more like a digital business card and a community hub for my existing clients. It’s a platform to connect, but it is not the sole driving force for my business. My blog, newsletter, and website are the critical channels that bring traffic and business my way.
Figuring out what purpose your social media serves in your business can help you determine the next steps like planning. It may also give you perspective on how you are currently running your business.
If social media is the only way your business is booking clients, I recommend working to set up other systems and avenues for people to find your business. Do you want a specific plan for your business and help to set those systems up? Book a photography business coaching package with me.
Addressing The Pre-Break Worries
Before taking the plunge into a month-long social media break, it’s natural to experience a wave of worries. What if my engagement drops? What if my clients forget about me or what if I miss out on potential opportunities?
Personally, I worried that any momentum I had would be completely lost. That my return would mean starting over and building traction again. These concerns are entirely valid, but remember that your worth and skills as a photographer extend beyond the numbers on your social media profiles.
It was a fear that was honestly holding me hostage when I really needed a social media break. Two things happened. First, another content creator shared that she was taking a social media break. She had thousands of more followers than me, and her business relied heavily on Instagram. I figured if she could do it, then I could too. Further, I realized the content I was creating wasn’t valuable, it was forced. I needed that break to step away and regain my creativity without outside influence.
So again, if you are facing worries about taking a break, I encourage you to dig deep into them. Invite a friend to take a break with you (strength in numbers, right?), then just go for it. What, truly, is the worst that could happen? Plus, I’m about to help you make it go smoothly.
But first, let’s add some definitions here.
Defining a Social Media Break for Your Business
A social media break doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. It is what you need to feel like you have a break from social media. For some, that could mean a full, 100% break. It means deleting the app from your phone and not scheduling a single post. It could mean, having a post go live the day before you begin your social media break letting people know you’re on a break and how to reach you.
Another thing it could mean you do not create any posts, but you show up on stories. For me, it means deleting the app from my phone to avoid casual scrolling and mindless hours spent on the platform. But I do schedule a handful of posts throughout the month to maintain a steady, albeit less frequent, presence. The objective is to minimize the distractions and pressure social media can sometimes create, freeing up mental space and energy for other aspects of my business and life. I knew that if I did not take a full break I would not feel like I truly took a break.
However, you must do what you feel would give you the best feeling of time away from the pressures of social media.
Preparing Your Business for a Social Media Break
How can you prepare your business for a break? This will largely depend on your business, your audience, and your preferences. However, there are a couple of things I recommend.
Before officially beginning my time off the app, I inform my audience about my upcoming absence on social media and guide them toward my website, blog, and newsletter. Further, I schedule posts 2 posts per week for that month that point my audience to these platforms where they can find me, book a session, or stay updated on my availability.
Honestly, there is not a ton to do. Simply let people know you’re taking a break is enough.
If you are deleting the Instagram app, make sure you do this next tip.
On the eve of the break, download all your Reels drafts to your phone. You can move those videos into a folder on your phone titled “reels drafts,” so you’re ready when you return. A hard lesson I learned is that deleting your app will cause you to lose any drafts you had. So save yourself that heartache and download them before hitting delete!
During the Social Media Break
The month-long break from social media provides a golden opportunity to channel your energy into other growth-inducing tasks. This could mean honing your photography skills, taking a class, working on SEO, or creating rich content for your blog and newsletter. The key is to utilize this break for your personal and professional development rather than seeing it as a period of inactivity.
How did it go for me? Wonderfully. I took an actual family vacation (aka, not just a social media break, but a full business break). I also created a course (Blogging Masters!). My Fine Art Children’s Portrait event was also launched during my break. Guess what, it sold out without being on social media. Plus, I read a book, and came up with lots of fresh content. I found when my head wasn’t filled with what I “should” be doing on social media, I was able to create from my heart. Even more, when I returned, I felt truly refreshed and excited to return – not because I had to, but because I had a new approach.
Good times to take a break?
Are you convinced that you, too, can take a social media break? DO it.
If you’re a planner like me and need a little bit of a good time to step away, think about your own business first. Instead of thinking of lulls in business to be a time to take a break, think about times when you are very busy. As a Seattle family photographer, fall is slammed for me. That would be another good time for me to take a social media break.
Other times of the year are
- Summer as many families are on vacation and thus on social media less.
- The holiday season as, again, many families are spending time with family and doing festive activities instead of spending time on their phones.
- When YOU need it. If you’re feeling the pull, struggling feeling close to burnout. Take a break.
Reflections and Benefits of The Break
Taking a social media break might seem daunting at first, but the benefits it brings are worth it. Not only does it allow for enhanced focus on other crucial aspects of your business, but it also fosters a healthier relationship with social media – one where you control the platform, and not the other way around.
Join me in taking a step back from the incessant hustle of social media.
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