Now, hold up a minute. I know that stats are basically everything for us small online businesses. And I don't want to go starting a controversy. So hear me out.
All of our profile pictures have numbers right next to them that feel like a judgement of us. And I totally hold my hands up. I check my stats all the time. On all platforms. Every. Week. And it used to really bother me when it was on the decline.
But then something clicked and I realised that I was putting out content that I thought people would like, not what they actually liked. I was so wrapped up in the numbers that I wasn't connecting authentically with what I was sharing, and doing a disservice to my followers.
So I really want you to just take a minute with me here. Put your phone down (well, unless you're reading this on it - but put it on mute for a minute), get yourself a cuppa and inhale. Think about all the things you like.
For me, that's Janelle Monae playing in the desert with cacti and all my powerful ladies with me. What does yours look like?
Now go onto your favourite social media platform.
Do your latest posts reflect this? Do you actually like the images and content you've been sharing? Or does it feel inauthentic, like it's for someone else's benefit only you're not quite sure just who that someone else is?
When I looked I found I was posting things for the sake of posting. I wasn't sharing anything of value, just basically using Instagram as a sales catalogue.
Because I knew a day without posting would cost my stats and I was genuinely afraid of that. And I felt guilty as hell. I am incredibly blessed to have built a community of strong creative entrepreneurs around me, and I wasn't sharing myself with them. I was keeping them at arm's length and posting the version of myself I thought they wanted to see, not the actual me.
So yes, of course, it is perfectly natural to want to keep an eye on the numbers. It's a great way of measuring popularity. I've also found it great to compare each month to last year. It's helped me see where my efforts are paying off, and where I need to rethink things. But they are not the be all and end all. Why share something if it's not serving you?
Because if you're not doing justice to yourself, you're certainly not doing a service to your followers either.
So if you feel passionate about feminism, plants, your cat, Afro-futurism, colour, owning your own business, share it. And share it authentically.
I put it together to give you actionable steps to re-engage your audience, connect with your passion and really shift your thinking from "how many followers do I have?" or "how many likes did it get?" to "is this content serving my followers?"