Overcoming an Instagram 'Flop Era'; Updates on FTC Guidelines; & More - Ep. 71
Last updated on
August 31, 2023
In this episode, James discusses what it means to experience a "flop era" on Instagram. He also shares tips on how to navigate a dip in social media engagement and emphasizes the crucial role of rediscovering the passion behind content creation.
Below is a portion of the episode transcript for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes, and watch the full episode below.
Viewer question: What do you do when going through your 'flop era' on Instagram?
Wow. That's a great question. Something I worry about, especially as these platforms shift to rely more on the algorithm, is entering a death spiral.
Your posts don't perform well; fewer people see them, making them less exciting for you and giving you more anxiety about the posts. And then the next post does even worse. It just starts to spiral and spiral, and you start to dread even posting. And it sucks.
It sucks to have had a community and feel like you don't anymore. It sucks to be on a platform where you used to be successful, and it's not working anymore. And I think it can start to get into your brain and make you resent the whole platform, the experience of creating content, and that anxiety and insecurity.
All of that goes into the posts. And what does it do? It makes them worse. Which means it perpetuates, right? And that's the death spiral. And then, over time, doing something else with your life or giving up on that dream, whatever it might be. It's important to remember that nobody is entitled to a following.
You're not entitled to a community. Their attention might go somewhere else, and that's their choice. The world moves on, and you need to adapt to it. All these things can create what the question asker defines as a flop era.
What do you do in that situation?
What do you do in that situation? Do you push through, keep publishing, and try turning it around? Do you put paid behind the posts to try and get back in front of some of your audience and re-engage them?
First, what's probably nice to do is give yourself a little bit of grace, give yourself a little bit of space. Maybe take a week. Just take a beat. Step back.
The first thing I would do is probably take out a piece of paper after that week's break and write down why you even do this. Why did you start your account? Why do you create content? What is the why? What is the reason that you get up and do this? That should be the first question that you're answering.
James’ flop era experience
Now, I'll tell you this. You know, we stopped doing this show. It wasn't getting a huge amount of views. You know, I was doing okay in podcasts, but it wasn't that popular, and I was embarrassed and I was like, ‘I'm a decently busy guy. Is this worth my time?’
And also, after 200 episodes of the show, it should be more popular. I felt embarrassed to have something on YouTube that just kept getting a thousand views, you know? And so I stopped for a while.
Then I kept running into people or, you know, people would go to sales meetings and ask, "Oh, are you bringing back a drink with James?” or, “Why don't you do it anymore?”
I missed the show. And, you know, I remembered that I started this because I felt there wasn't a lot of good advice for influencers. I had a unique perspective that I could share with this community. It would be a good way for me to stay connected to what's happening in the industry. And stay on top of trends, right?
And none of that had anything to do with follower count or view count. And so I felt like, you know, even if it's a hundred, 200 people that I'm helping, that's more people than most people usually get to help in their lives. I just got a really nice message from someone the other day who said that the show had helped them with their career and helped them grow their account and work with brands more effectively and that it was changing their life. And that's a cool thing. And I think that's probably worth 30 minutes a week of my time to do that.
I was being vain and lost sight of why I was doing it. You know, it was important for me to recapture that and remember. I'm doing this to be in service of those who are watching.
Of course, I'm human. I want it to be more popular. I would love for more people to watch the show. I would like to be more famous, of course. Like, who wouldn't? But that's not the why, right? That's maybe a hope, that's a goal, that's something to work towards, but that's not the why.
So write down your why. I can't stress enough that if you can't get back to a place where you are excited about the content you're creating that you are excited about hitting publish, it's just never gonna work.
If you don't want to post it, why would I want to consume it? You know, if that's where you're at, if you're not enjoying content creation, if you're not enjoying putting this stuff on the platform engaging with people, there's really no path to this working. I think that's an existential threat, and you need to deal with it.
That could mean doing things to try and reconnect with what you love about content creation. That could be, I don't know what that is for you. Every person is different.
But people can tell when you care, and they can tell when you don't care, and they can tell when you're phoning it in versus when you're putting an effort in.
You cannot create entertaining content. If you are not entertained by it, you know, and if you are not enjoying doing it. And so I think it's really hard to get out if you're in that place.
What's the other option? You're just gonna do something you hate for the next 20 years? You know that that's not gonna work, right? You cannot do something you hate for the next decade that doesn't bring you joy anymore. Even if it makes you money.
So, in closing, try and reconnect with the why if reconnecting with the why is still being blocked by your inability to enjoy what you're doing and be passionate about it. I think you have to try and take a break until you can come back and get excited about it, or you need to change things up and try something different every week.
You have to do something to reconnect and have fun with this. Cause it should be fun. Like, at the end of the day, this should be fun. Even if it's your job, it should be fun. Certainly, the content creation part. It's not going to be fun to consume it, and it's not going to work, and ultimately it's probably not worth doing.