What I Learned from 2 Weeks Off Instagram

I took 2 weeks off Instagram to be super present and still made $20K. I tried this experiment to prove that if you have your online business systems set up right, you have the luxury of stepping off the social media hamster wheel! Tune in to this week’s episode to learn my takeaways, and what you should be prioritizing if you want to do the same!

It may sound like a crazy thing to do as a digital business owner, but this week I run you through the 3 things (3:50) you need to have set up to be able to take time off socials and focus on other parts of your business or personal life.

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Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…

Introduction 

Hi guys. Welcome back to The Wanderlover podcast. I’m your host, Danielle Hu. Happy October. It was Ragz’ birthday this past weekend.

We moved into a new villa, a beautiful modern two bedroom jolo and had all of our friends over for a birthday barbecue. Ragz’ best friend is visiting from London, and it’s just been such a fun-filled past few weeks to the point where I intentionally set aside time so that I could be super present with everything going on. I took two weeks off Instagram, and so this episode is going to be all about what I learned from taking two weeks off Instagram. I still reposted stories when I was tagged in them. I still shared in stories whenever I felt called to, but I definitely didn’t have anything planned.

I didn’t have anything scheduled. It has saved me so much time on the content creation side because I wasn’t thinking about what to post next. I was just creating content when I felt like it without the obligation to share. And now that it’s October, I can look back. We still celebrated a 30 K month for the month of September woo, and 20 K of that came in the two weeks where I was inactive on Instagram. And so it definitely was not the highest income month of this year, but it also wasn’t the lowest. We still had sales coming in, we had new clients sign up, and so everything was working on the back end.

I want to include a disclaimer here. The Wanderlover podcast post still went up every single day. I have a social media manager who does that and she does an amazing job. I also tried this experiment because a few of my clients freak out about engagement numbers and missing the perfect posting window and just stressing so much about the content creation process when they really have the luxury to step away. And so I intentionally took these two weeks off to kind of prove to myself and my business that it will still run without me and prove in the grand scheme of things that Instagram is only one piece of the puzzle.

If you take it away, you should still be able to have an income generating business without relying on this one social media platform. 

Build your community first

So the first thing I learned from intentionally taking the two weeks off so that I could spend it with friends and loved ones is that Instagram does not matter after a certain level of trust and awareness that you’ve built your brand around in the past number of how many years. So I’ve been posting consistently since I would say 2017. So that’s five years of consistent posts on this platform where I’ve been able to grow and nurture a large audience who know me like me and trust me, and I have so much content explaining already at what it is that I do and how you can work with me and how you can learn from me, right?

So from this, from this experiment, activity does not equal money. Just because you post more or post more frequently does not mean that you will make more money. And on the flip side, the good news is If, you don’t post it shouldn’t mean that you will make no money. Followers doesn’t equal more income. Frequency does not mean more income. And so If, you are getting hung up with the number of posts you’re putting out in a week. Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality, focus on introducing those pillar posts in your business that’s going to make the most impact in the long run.

Those posts that if someone new finds your page for the first time, they know exactly who you are, what you do, they know your expertise and they want to work with you right away. Instead of filling up your page with lots of filler posts and content just for the sake of content, think about the bigger picture and the bigger strategy. Do you want to stay on this content hamster wheel or do you want to really focus on those posts that will enable you to step away in the future? Also, another disclaimer is if you’re just starting out on Instagram or on any platform for that matter, and your page has, let’s say less than a hundred posts related to you, your business and what it is that you do, this does not mean you get the same luxury and you are able to take two weeks off and not see it affect you If.

You are still new to this. You need that hustle period. You need that consistent posting strategy in order to get you to a place where you can then step back, right? So this does not apply to you If. You are still building up your brand and trying to get your audience to know, like, and trust you. The good news is If you post consistently for an extended period of time like I have. Then know that you don’t have to do this forever. You can really set everything up so that If, you want to take two weeks off, if you wanna take a month off, you are able to do. 

Design your business with purposeful intention

The second takeaway I learned from this experience is you really have the power to design your business around your own preferences. So this year I really took a step back from being an influencer and content creator and really pushed the business coaching side of my business. I believe that people experience different chapters in life, and therefore their business does too, especially if your business is your own personal brand, right? So honor that honor when you are entering a new chapter and really set the tone, what is it do you want to focus on and commit to it?

Because I didn’t want to be an influencer anymore. I had to completely shift my habits, my content creation, my voice, everything about my brand and business. I didn’t want to be posting all the time anymore. I didn’t want to be a content creator, and so I started to scale back the amount of content I created. This doesn’t mean that everything else stayed the same and I just scaled back the content, right? Whenever you enter a new chapter, you have to invite new aligned platforms into your space. So I was still recording podcast episodes, I was still publishing blog posts, Pinterest pins were still circulating, Facebook ads were still running.

Email marketing was still running, so the business was still growing, right? And I was still communicating to all of my clients, to all of my customers, But the nature of being a coach is so different than the nature of being a content creator. So when you shift into a new chapter, you have to learn how the business works in that industry. You can’t just go along with the status quo and decide, Hey, I wanna try something else, so I’m going to completely cut away this one thing that’s working for me and do nothing else. Learn about what it is that you need to be doing in this new chapter, in this new business so that you can reap the benefits and the rewards and really have a business that is designed around your preferences.

You don’t have to be doing something If you don’t want to, but disclaimer here, I feel like I have so many disclaimers because it’s so easy for people to just take one sentence and apply to their business without really thinking of what it means in the grand scheme of things. Disclaimer here is If. You are in an industry where that is your core focus. You need to be continuously doing that. So If, you want to be a content creator, you need to be creating content. If, you want to be a coach, you need to be coaching, right? If, you want to be a digital course creator, you need to be creating an optimizing digital courses similar to If. You wanna be a surfer, you need to be surfing.

And so when I say I took two weeks off Instagram, it’s because I’m no longer in the content creation world and the content creation industry. My business has already grown and evolved so that I can step away from that. Okay? 

The importance of an email list

Third thing I learned from this phase is that email list and searchable content should be your primary focuses. If. You want to step away from chronological time sensitive social media posts. And what I mean by that is Instagram, TikTok, all of these new social media platforms, your audience only sees your content as soon as you post them, and the lifespan of your content is very, very small because you can’t search for older posts, right?

So as a content creator or a business owner, you constantly need to be creating. However, with your email list and with blog content, with evergreen content, a YouTube channel, your audience is able to search for your content and have it available to them as soon as they find your page. If, you are not a content creator and you find yourself spending so much time creating content and If, you take the content creation piece out of your business and you have nothing else going on. That is a huge red flag. Look into email list marketing and blog post content creation or even a podcast, right?

Something in addition to a social media platform that you can really optimize so that your business is not reliant on a social media algorithm. You wanna have full control over every aspect of your business. And this reminds me of a concept from The Millionaire Fast Lane by MJ DeMarco. He is one of my favorite authors, and this is one of my favorite books that I recommend, and in it he says, Any business where you have the intention of scaling to upwards of a million dollars, it needs to pass these five criteria checks. The first one is control. So you need to have full control over your business. It cannot be reliant on one platform, one website, one supplier, one algorithm.

And so for example, like Amazon FBA sellers, if Amazon goes down, your business goes, bye bye, right? If you’re working for any other company, if that company goes under you, lose your job. So with your own business, as we all have in my community, we have full control. I won’t go into the other four criteria, but I’ll list it out. If, you are interested, barriers to entry need for your product or service, independence from your time. And lastly, ability to scale. So scale internationally, scale across all markets, scale independent of your time. I really recommend checking this book out because even from the first criteria of control, that’s where email lists and searchable content reigns king.

So with your email list, you own every single subscriber. You are able to continuously market to the sell to them, nurture them. Even when you’re not posting on Instagram, even when you’re not selling anything, they are always going to be all yours, and every time you have a new offer or a new launch, your whole email list is there for you to sell to. Searchable content as in blog posts that are optimized for SEO and keywords, really prioritize your workflow with that as well, because it drives so much organic traffic that builds up exponentially over time.

So I actually hired Ragz and his SEO team at Fern Colab where every month they will be writing blog posts for me, optimize the keywords, optimize the titles, the headings, the alt texts, like whatever it is to rank well on Google, insert the photos and schedule them to go live every single week. I outsource that process, and I’ve already seen so much more traffic from building up my SEO and my Google presence. This then gets shared onto Pinterest via my Pinterest manager, and it’s just so freeing when it’s all operating without you having to physically be there.

So set up your systems, set up your workflows behind the scenes so that you don’t have to be relying on front user facing social media content that expires after a day or two If. You want a sustainable business that grows without you having to do that. Then focus on the strategies I just talked about in this episode and focus on cutting back the amount of content you create. If. You don’t want to identify as a content creator, so ask yourself, am I a content creator or am I a coach? Am I a therapist? Am I a fitness trainer?

Do whatever it is in your zone of genius and outsource the rest. Get help with the rest and design your business so that you can focus on the one thing you are cut out to do. This is how you’re going to grow your business to millions. This is how you’re really going to have the luxury to step away. If, you are interested in introducing consistent blog content for your website and you want to also work with the team at Fern Colab, I will link their website here. It’s completely done for you, so you can focus on whatever it is that you do best. If, you enjoyed this episode, please share it to your Instagram story.

So take a screenshot and tag the Wanderlover and the Wanderlover podcast. Don’t forget to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify or wherever you’re listening to this. This month is going to be so great. If you have any questions, my DMs are always open. Have an amazing week and I will see you in the next episode.

~~~

If you’ve enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much if you could leave a review on Apple Podcasts. This helps us spread The Wanderlover mission to those who need a dose of inspiration today.

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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My mission is to help you design a location-independent lifestyle through online entrepreneurship, to achieve time freedom, location freedom, financial freedom.

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