Written by: Yvonne van Dalen, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
As I was facing some sudden health issues earlier this year, my doctor gave me the advice I did NOT want to hear: “You have to rest and clear out your schedule. You can only work on what’s REALLY a priority, and the rest will have to wait until you feel better.” Ouch! That was a reality check.
As the owner of two businesses, a mom of two, and the proverbial busy bee, slowing down is not one of the first to do’s in my planner. But I also knew that if I didn’t take this time to actually heal my body, my health would deteriorate－resulting in even less energy for my businesses and my life.
Time to slow down
So, that’s when I reluctantly started to clear out my schedule, move projects around and turn down new inquiries. I also knew I felt empty and tired and could no longer keep up with the current flow of content creation for my marketing.
This lead to a full stop in scheduled content on all my social media channels. Nothing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and not even a newsletter or fresh pins on Pinterest. Occasionally I would share a post from someone else, a quote, or an inspiring article that I read somewhere. But nothing new would come from me.
One month of silence
Now, after one month, I can tell you that the number of followers on all social media platforms has remained the same, although I thought that I’d lose engagement. I also saw my email list grow daily, with people signing up to my freebies, joining my free Facebook Group. I got likes, comments, and shares on my existing content, and more importantly－people kept making inquiries, booking discovery calls with me, and hiring me for my services. And all of that without me being “online” with my own content!
That’s why I want to share with you what I’ve come to find out over this month of social media silence and which, for me, are the pitfalls of a disconnected marketing approach.
1. Volume over Voice
As the saying goes, it is “quality over quantity”－the other way around never works. I had a schedule of posting daily on all platforms, but in the weeks before my social media stop, I was struggling to come up with original and authentic content that I felt inspired to write that really resonated with me as a photography success coach and that would benefit my ideal client. I just felt empty, didn’t know what to write about, so I decided not to add any useless noise to the overwhelming amount of content created by billions of users daily. I felt it was better to saying nothing at all if it wasn’t useful.
2. Anxiety over Authenticity
Looking back on the previous months of content, I noticed that the posts I created with my ideal client in mind were, to some extent, driven by the pressure that not posting consistently would decrease my significance as a coach. Who would believe a coach that trains photographers and creative entrepreneurs to post regularly－who doesn’t practice what she preaches herself, right?
I also experienced a certain pressure of keeping up with “feeding the monster” that is the algorithm of all these social media platforms to stay noticed, deemed important enough, current, and what have you. But I’ve also realized that I can’t come from a place of fear when I run my business. I am a person who wants to spread service and value with authenticity. I cannot be anything other than me, and I don’t want to run my business feeling anxious and “behind” on everyone else. For me being an entrepreneur with a strong gut feeling is doing business with ease and flow. It’s all about the right energy! I dropped the stress, and that immediately decreased the anxiety.
3. Beauty over Honesty
I didn’t want to hide what was going on with me, as I thoroughly dislike all those picture-perfect accounts, where everyone is shiny and happy. Those are just distorted realities, and you have to know that Instagram Jealousy (source: Harpers Bazaar) is a real condition that people suffer from, which can cause depression. The perfection of a lot of accounts can actually cause mental health issues, according to Time. For me, I just needed a break and couldn’t find the right perspective to talk about it. So I decided not to until the value of this lesson in slowing down would come to me.
4. Ego over Soul
Despite the infamous Know-Like-Trust Factor, creating content is never really about you. Your audience doesn’t care about you but wants to know what they can learn from your free content and the benefits for them when reading your posts or newsletters－or watching your videos. Don’t go shouting online when you fear you’ll miss out on that one lead or one potential client when you do skip a day of content. Only write/post/record when you actually have something to say that shows your audience that you’re the person they are looking for because you understand exactly what they are going through and what they are looking for. Deep down－on a soul level－you know them, so trust them to find you and trust yourself to write what they need to hear. You have an abundance of wisdom that you can share with your potential clients.
5. Campaign over Connection
What I also dropped was planning all my content around my own calendar. I was busy with the lead-up to Black Friday and the end of the year Xmas deal. Building momentum for promoting new products or a free challenge that leads to a special offer takes a certain strategy and high-vibe energy. And as I lacked exactly the energy, I decided not to campaign but to reach out instead. That way, less would still be more.
I stayed active in the Facebook Groups, where my ideal target audience hangs out and connected with them by responding to questions in network groups, asking questions myself, and reaching out. That way, I kept an active line open with my audience, providing value without constantly inviting them to engage with my own content.
6. FOMO over JOMO
I basically allowed myself to trust the process of letting go of all the should’s and must’s and to drop the ever-present FOMO. I replaced it by JOMO or the Joy of Missing Out. I knew I could have faith in the situation and that with the right amount of rest, distance, really good self-care－my creativity and inspiration would come back to the surface. And they did－as this is the first article that I’m writing since I had to slow down and put my health on the top of my to-do list. I found a truth in me that is universal: There is always enough for everyone, I’m not missing out on anything, and I can only serve others best when I feel aligned and filled with energy.
And the conclusion?
Taking a breather and creating some well-deserved distance between myself and my businesses, dropping the daily tasks from my to-do list has resulted in me getting my health back, seeing my photography and coaching business and my message from a fresh perspective.
And that is that your marketing approach and social media content can only resonate with your brand message, attract your audience and convert clients when you use your authentic voice that offers a message of honesty, joy, value, and coming from a soul-centered alignment. This, and only this, will make it unimportant how often you post or reach out. This will make your crowd find you. This will keep you－the business owner and entrepreneur－inspired and energized. And you will never have to run out of anything to say. Ever.
P.S. I’d love to hear your take on your social media strategy and if and how it has affected your health and or mindset.
For more information - visit my website!
Yvonne Van Dalen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Yvonne van Dalen is a Photography Success Coach & Business strategist to independent photographers and Founder of the Photographers Coach Academy. It’s her mission to help photographers worldwide increase their income for a life with more freedom and flexibility. By using her gut feeling as a compass, Yvonne van Dalen has founded 3 different, successful businesses. With over 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur, she has a huge package of practical know-how. Because Yvonne is a self-made #boss, a busy mom of two and a depression survivor, she knows exactly where you—a hardworking, ambitious photographer and business owner with a dream—are looking for in your life. Whether it concerns entrepreneurial spirit, marketing techniques, productivity hacks or work-life balance: Yvonne sees opportunities and challenges instead of impossibilities! On the Photographers Coach website and socials, Yvonne passionately and authentically shares her journey in life as a photographer, a coach and a mom. She wants to challenge everyone who knows her online (or in real life) to support each other, and thus inspire and elevate each other. Yvonne is the go-to person when it comes to marketing for photographers and creative business owners.