Quit Instagram

Quit, Instagram?

It’s not without hesitation that I express frustration over Instagram.

Because without it, we would not be where we are today; Independent artists that get to work with our passion. Without it we wouldn’t have met such incredible people and get to share our passion with YOU.

I am grateful for all of the opportunities it has brought to us and others in the creative field. Simultaneously I also feel an increasing urge to recognise the reality; That it takes more than it gives. Frankly, it has been slowly draining us for the past 2 years…

But before I go into further details on our case, I just want to extend the intro a little:

Social media revolutionised the way artists can share and spread their work independent from the traditional galleries.

When it arrived, you were suddenly able to communicate directly with a potential buyer without a middle man such as a gallery. However, as time progressed so has social media.

In some way, the algorithmic developments have almost turned what used to be a “neutral image sharing platform” into a middle man that controls who sees what and when.

This doesn’t only apply to political messages, but also to small creative arts businesses (virtually to everyone who uses the platform).

A classic example is the chronological feed. From being able to see all the posts from people you follow in chronological order, to only see what the algorithm think you want to see is a huge drawback.

Not only for the user, but also for the creator.

Because suddenly (though this change happened already some years ago), you get influenced with what to share in reference to the potential spread it will have. Instagram reach

With each update (and there are new ones constantly), it becomes increasingly difficult to just share what you’re truly passionate about. Because if it doesn’t fit into the box of what is instagram-able, it will not be seen. If it’s not seen it cannot be interacted with. And if it’s not interacted with, there is no art business.

Furthermore, the speed of the changes keep increasing to the point where it’s close to impossible to stay on top of the game of what “works” and what “doesn’t”. In other words, what works today may not work tomorrow and you won’t know why.

No more photos

To give a concrete example; The CEO of Instagram announced a couple of weeks ago that photos will not matter any more. This means that you have to post videos if you want to have the chance to get seen and spread. More specifically reels.

But what if you just want to share photos?

Too bad.

A picture will not have as much reach as a video these days (speaking from experience too). And it’s not just any video – it has to be edited in a way that catches the viewers attention. Matched with a trending music. Have a story line that builds retention rate.

So what do I do if I prefer photos over videos (or just find videos overwhelming)?

One idea is to compile 20 photos into a “photo video”, where you share each photo for approximately 0,4 seconds with a fitting music background.

Personally I have done a lot of process videos where you get to see small snippets of the process and that’s ok…

Or, is it?

With this algorithmic constraint, the creative joy seems to fly out the window. Artist doing embroidery in the window

You quickly run out of inspiration and ideas of what to share. And when you do share something it doesn’t have the reach it used to and it’s difficult to not take it personal (as a reflection of yourself or your art).

Additionally, as you wait for inspiration of what to share to hit you, you will easier fall into the “death-scroll”.

Essentially, the never ending scroll of imagery that seems better, smarter and more beautiful than anything you do.

Simply put; you enter the paralysis of comparison which can be killing.

It’s been almost 2 months since my last Instagram post

Each week that I don’t post I get more and more lost as to what I can post.

If you’ve been an Instagram follower for a while you may have noticed a significant decrease in sharing the past couple of years.

Charles and I used to share every day.

If not a post or video, it would be at a minimum an Instagram story. But since June 2020, we have hardly posted.

It has been hard. Mentally. For many reasons.

What 300 000+ Instagram followers has taught us

As a couple with over 300 000 followers split between the two of us, I hope you may find some of our insights interesting and/or useful.

1. To have more followers doesn’t make you more special.

It doesn’t mean that you are rich. It doesn’t mean that you are more successful.

The only thing that I can confirm that a lot of followers facilitate is the social proof. By being able to show that you have a lot of people that likes you work, it is easier to bring new people on board.

2. You need to be prepared for criticism

First, I think a general point is that you cannot expect to succeed at anything without criticism. Critics and haters will always be there and they seem to grow exponentially along with your success.

So from the get-go having your eyes set on growth for your brand and yourself, you need to be prepared fro criticism.

But this doesn’t take away the reality that some haters do take the best from you.

In our case, it didn’t take the best from us (we are still fiercely passionate about arts and to get to share that with you).

But it did take the glamour off social media.

To post became a chore more than a joy.

3. People get unrealistic expectations

To add to the mix, we also became first time parents in June of 2020. And if you have children, you may recognise the feeling of being protective… If anything, all you want and care about is the well-being of your darling.

Charles and I decided already early on in the pregnancy that we didn’t want to share our daughter on social media. Because we want her to have the choice as to whether she wants to be there or not.

To this day I am so thankful for that decision. But you may find it astonishing that we had people reach out being upset that we didn’t share our baby publicly.

I can understand that you may get disappointed, but I also feel that it’s such a private and personal matter that owes to be respected.

Not your clients

What’s interesting with negativity and haters is that they take up most time and energy but with no reward. Because they are not your clients at the end of the day.

Taking the active decision to reduce our Instagram presence a couple of years ago was scary. I thought we would lose our business. But we didn’t.

It was fascinating to see. All this time and energy that we put into this little app on a daily basis…. and NO sign of impact on our sales.

WHAT?!?!

Now our minds were boggled to say the least. I couldn’t believe it. After 4 years of nearly daily posting…

Reality is that our clients had looked for more. They were the ones who had clicked on our website and joined our mailing list (maybe you too?!)

Ps. If you haven’t joined yet fill out your info below and we’ll send you a pattern for free ❤️

What happened was the inverse of what we had expected…

Of course, social media brings you traffic that can potentially expose you to new clients.

So by reducing our social media presence we also reduced potential new traffic coming through the door. But it was a risk we were prepared to take.

What happened was that by freeing up the time and resources that we used to invest into the app and placed it onto our existing customers and email followers, we actually increased our revenue.

So for the second half of 2020 (naturally take into account that many people also had more time on their hands, but with it was also increasing financial insecurity), we increased our revenue despite being less active on social media.

So what’s the plan?

Eventually we’d like to quit Instagram altogether and all other “social social media apps”.

What does that mean?

Social media apps can generally be considered in two categories:

  1. Social social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Snapchat are those where you get exposed to content ONLY on an algorithmic basis.
  2. Searchable social media platforms such as Youtube and Pinterest allows you to use the platform to solve your problems via search (naturally still algorithms involved, but in a different way).

A couple of months ago I sent out a survey to our audience, where a majority of people reported they’d found us on the web, mostly through Youtube and Pinterest search… INTERESTING!

At least I found that extremely interesting considering our big Instagram presence – the majority of our clients still doesn’t come from that platform.

Why do people put so much weight on Instagram?Social media

Naturally, your conversion rate varies depending on for example type of business and how active and engaging you are with the audience. And of course… How up to date you are with what type of content to create when, and how.

But perhaps a cynical perspective is that the platform allows for attention and validation.

It’s dangerous when you begin to count your self-worth in relation to the amount of followers or social media engagement you have. Yet, we see it happening all the time.

Personally, I find it quite sad and is another reason why (especially since becoming a mum) I have felt a need to distance myself from the app.

Self-Preservation

From a personal stand-point I also see limited social media use as self-preservation. I simply don’t feel good to go on Instagram too much.

Almost every time I log onto the app I just feel stressed out and I end up wasting valuable time that I could have spent doing for example the 10 Minute Magic stitching or frankly ANYTHING ELSE that would actually have a positive impact in my life. Whether it be art creation or just cleaning (which needs to be done whether you’re on Instagram or not…)

Self-care?

Now I know that many consider mindless scrolling relaxing and a way of getting a pause in the chaos of everyday.

But does your brain really get a paus in reality?

Consider all the visual impressions that gets pushed in your face?

Even if you cater your feed to accounts that brings you inspiration, the app will still find ways to propose new content and accounts that it thinks interest you…. and which can potentially (HUGE POTENTIAL if you ask me..) drag you down a rabbit hole.

The algorithmic loop hole

I didn’t suffer too much from this before becoming a mum. But since becoming a mum it’s as if the algorithm decided I needed to see every pregnant and post-partum mother out there.

And for each image I felt more and more miserable.

Truth is, we had a difficult baby who still at 2 years old don’t sleep through the night. For the first year she would wake me up almost ones an hour… Yep, you figured that right. I was hardly a human at the end of that year, so to see the picture perfect baby stories were just DIFFICULT and I felt like I was failing as a mother (even if I know I wasn’t).

Furthermore, something that I’ve also discussed extensively with my dear husband, is the other side of the coin. With that I refer to the “real accounts” that displays the hardships. For some people that may feel comforting, but for me I don’t feel any better seeing other people struggle too.

I would just feel better if we all felt better haha but maybe that’s a naive thing to say (and that’s ok too).

What does the reduced Instagram posting mean for Charles and Elin?

Over the past 6 months we’ve been working on some big changes of our business + relocated our family across the continent.

If anything, the last couple of years have brought about a lot of reflection (including social media usage), and it made us revisit the structure of the business and how we can best serve you in the community.

If social media has made us loose time and energy, perhaps it has done so for you too? As a result, we wouldn’t want to encourage you to go somewhere to consume our things that does not align with our values.

We primarily focused on two things:

  • Where do we ACTUALLY put most of our time and does it serve the audience?
  • Where do we WANT to put our time and how can that transform our students lives?

The answer is always the same. We really want to spend our time creating valuable content about life’s pleasure: ART. And we want to share it with you so that you get to enjoy a creative and happy life too ❤️.

Our ultimate dream (and what we work towards) is that the Academy becomes a space where you look forward to log onto at the end of a long day (off social media).

We want to fill it up with inspiring and encouraging tutorials that not only teaches you practical skills related to embroidery, arts and creativity at large, but also give you that boost that makes you feel awesome.

Arts has incredible healing powers. It invites for relaxation, reflection while simultaneously bringing new energy, inspiration and ideas.

Upcycle-your-denim-shirt-with-hand-embroidery

It’s true – creativity fuels creativity, which is why it’s so important to incorporate it as a regular part of your daily life.

To place social social media at the bottom of our priority list, means that we have more time to focus on what matters:

You who really care.

And you who care search for the information you are interested in and you most likely join our email list.

I ADORE to write and I love to be able to communicate to you over email and blogging as it feels much more intimate than for example an Instagram post.

Hopefully with re-organisation of my priorities I’ll also be able to create more frequent blog articles that invite for even deeper reflection and conversation that can simply not fit into an email.

Last but not least, the shift of the Academy to focus on the Membership also frees up time and energy. Because now we can focus on developing and improving one thing instead of a million things.

Everything we create from small workshops, livestreams to bigger Masterclasses will all be added to the Membership to turn it into a growing resource.

In short,

the Academy will be your guide on your embroidery art journey from Newbie to Artist.

And to realise that we still have tons of practical art lessons to create PLUS develop a new section of how to take the next step… We hope you want to come and join us for the ride (I think you’ll love it).

What could be the next step?

It’s been 6 years since we started Charles and Elin and I dare to say that we have learnt a thing or two that could be hugely useful for you who may have a dream to explore your artistry further.

This would not only involve developing a road-map for how to go from newbie to confident creator. But it would also include lessons on how you could potentially earn money from your art too.

To give a couple of examples, it would include things like copywriting (email, blogging, social media posts, video scripts, outreach for exhibitions) and even tutorials on how you could host your own workshops too.

I have ventured down this road a couple of times before but haven’t made the jump, so I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments below!

Here are some more questions that I’d love for you to reflect on and maybe give me your thoughts in the comments:

  • What is your relationship to Instagram and what do you think/feel about it?
  • What would you like to see more of from us?
  • What would your dream online art school include?

The dream

I dream of Charles and Elin Academy to turn into your dream online art school. The art school that you wish you went to when you were younger but you didn’t have the chance to do it for whatever reason.

You can see the Academy like a gym membership but for creative nerds instead of fitness nerds haha. It’s simply A NECESSITY to feel great!

If you haven’t joined us yet, have a look at how the Charles and Elin Academy can benefit you.

Charles and Elin Academy membership

See behind the scenes

I am also working on the development of a Behind the scenes series, where I intend to film regular updates of the most recent updates on the platform.

The aim is to be as transparent about the process as possible, so that you become a more involved part in the growth of the Academy.

The videos in the Behind the Scenes course is available for free preview, so anyone can check them out and see if the developments fits your needs/desires. It’s also a good way for members to follow the growth in real time and to easier give feedback and wishes for added material.

Behind the scenes

YOU are important

To join the Charles and Elin Academy is not like joining any course platform. To join our Academy means that you join the family.

You become a part of the development and can influence how it’s being built out so that it satisfies and serves all your needs.

We know who you are and YOU matter. It’s thanks to you that we are able to continue to share our passion and expertise and allow more people to find their way back to a creative life.

Charles and Elin - Academy Membership
Thanks for being with us! We appreciate you

x Elin

24 thoughts on “Quit Instagram?”

  1. Before joining the Academy I NEVER went on Instagram, Snapchat, etc. Nor do I care to now. My main sources of information when looking on the internet (besides the Academy) are Pinterest and YouTube. That is what I feel comfortable scrolling with, and I will continue to use.

    I hope this helps in your decision. You two are great, and so sweet! Good luck with whichever way you choose to continue with!

    1. Dear Karen, Thank you so much for your input! It’s super valuable in making this decision to slowly shift off Instagram. We still plan to post on Pinterest and Youtube as we find that it provides more and deeper value.
      Warmly, Elin

  2. I found your academy through YouTube before CoVid and have never regretted it. At first, I was a bit hesitant because of my past experience when other websites would take me to Instagram or others to access more information or photos of an artist or instructor. I have been told by friends/family that I am loosing the connection some of those websites can offer, that I am “old school”. It may be my loss because I choose not to access many of the social media such as Instagram, Tiktok and others, but it is my choice. With the Charles and Elin Academy I can go to a specific class, video, etc. and know that I will not get a portion and then be sent off to another site to get more information where I can only access if I sign up. I joined the monthly membership when it was first intruded and love the direction that both of you are taking the Charles and Elin Academy. Keep up the GREAT work!!

    1. Hi Liz,
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience. You can share with your friends and family that you’re new school instead haha “The new in is to be out”. Joke aside, I think it’s admirable that you’re standing up for your choice, which is the most important at the end of the day. There is no one way of doing internet and I’m so excited to have you on board with us in the Academy, you’re a ray of sunlight! Thanks for the feedback on the new developments as well,
      warmly, Elin

  3. Hello!

    I thank you for sharing your thoughts about IG, other social apps, validation and connection, and where you see yourselves – it’s an evolution, isn’t it?!

    As someone responsible for a major brand (including all aspects of marketing that brand), and as a former social media and branding consultant, I’m not at all surprised by your realizations and feelings about social media and IG specifically. We’re all feeling the squeeze of these new ‘requirements,’ and those who are paying attention are deciding on what’s next for us – how will we connect, communicate, nurture, sell and retain ‘customers’ and community in the future?

    Anytime we’re using someone else’s business to promote our own business, or we’re reliant on a platform (especially one that’s ‘free!’) for exposure and sales, we’ll be beholden to the whims of the owners of those businesses and platforms.

    For a while it may be the best thing since sliced bread, but there will always be changes. And we must change with those businesses or platforms or risk wasting energy on something that no longer works or serves us well.

    The most important thing is to focus on YOUR goals for YOUR business and to only invest in activities that help you reach those goals. It’s ok to change your direction and to change your mind about things. The world evolves and industries evolve and so must our focus.

    Social was actually never meant to be a ‘sales’ tool – it was meant to be a ‘connection’ tool. You’d never know that now because the requirement of these platforms to generate significant revenue has led to the focus being on selling.

    And while a business can’t survive without sales, there are more efficient and effective means for selling.

    Social platforms are great for meeting your audience, for building a relationship, for daily interaction. But they’re really not great for selling.

    That’s why I’ve always coached those I’ve worked with to use the platforms in the ways mentioned above, but to drive their potential ‘customers’ to their own properties, places where you can control the conversations, keep visitors focused, gain knowledge based on direct response, build a long-term relationship and sell – your website, blog, email list or newsletter are examples of this.

    If you built an audience by connecting with them on social platforms, and that was your goal, then it’s a wonderful outcome.

    But if those platforms are not a major source of your sales and your goal is selling what you offer, then those platforms should be looked at as simply one step in the sales funnel, not as THE place where you focus all your attention.

    I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do moving forward. It’s tough letting the past go, but it’s only be doing so that we can open ourselves to new possibilities, to enable us with the time and energy to focus on that which serves us moving forward.

    Steph

    1. Hi Steph,
      I really appreciate you taking the time to respond with your experience in the field. What a treat!
      It sure is an evolution the way things are going – we’ve felt it for some time (a concrete example is to compare conversion in sales from different sources as you mention), and decided that we could not sit passive watching the changes and maybe lose our business, but instead be proactive and take ownership in the development of our business.

      So valuable to hear that you’re coaching your clients in alignment with how we’ve operated our business for years – it gives a lot of encouragement even on our small scale! For example, to run our own Academy instead of having our courses on other course platforms (Almost all have reached out to us through the years…), but if we had sey yes we wouldn’t have the business we have today: We wouldn’t still be in charge of our content or audience and how we show up and serve.
      Thanks a million wishing you a great Sunday!
      Elin

    2. Steph,
      Your comment and views on social media as a person that specifically works in this field were very interesting. It’s sad seeing so many small business owners (or influencers, or anyone that gets revenue from these social media sites, but specifically small business owners) struggle so much with the stress and pressure that the social media whirlwind brings. I have seen so many people I follow have to post about taking a break due to the pressure and stress and in turn the negativity, anxiety, fear, and sadness that it can all cause. It’s amazing how it’s so easy to get caught up in this whirlwind of having to post something different, or relevant, or viral, that it becomes all consuming until it is slowly sucking the life out of them. One girl I follow even started losing her hair from the stress. The lucky ones realize the spiral they get into and can have the presence of mind to realize that this negative impact on their mental health is not worth all the money, the sales, or followers in the world. They make that decision to take a break and they post it and it’s amazing to see how many of their followers support them and are still there whenever/if they come back. I think the worry of the break and losing sales, revenue, or followers is usually so much bigger in their mind than the actual outcome.

      I love that you coach people on how to prevent this and how to use social media as a tool, but only a tool, which points people to their own site or blog. I think by doing this you can probably prevent the sad outcome we’ve seen so much of recently.

      It does make you wonder though as to why Instagram feels this new algorithm is so much better than the old chronological way, which it seems all of the creators & followers alike prefer.

      Just wanted you to know that your comment was super interesting to everyone else reading.
      ~ Brandi

  4. I’ll be honest with you, I stopped reading your emails long ago because babies, too busy, subscribed to too many things etc… But this one really caught my attention and I’m glad I opened the article. It’s exactly what I needed to read! It’s so spot on. I related to this in so many ways…I don’t have many followers on IG but I am an artist embroiderer and I do feel it has been a little poisonous for my work: the “death scrolling” , comparing myself, feeling stuck for not having “ instagramable “ ideas, or feeling a failure because i don’t have many followers, etc. Not to mention the waste of time!!
    And also being a mum (I also have the not-children-on-instagram policy), the fact that they see us so often completely lost in our phones and the message they get from that I think it’s awful.
    Anyway, this got a bit longer that I thought lol ! But thank you again and wish you all the best. I know you will thrive.
    P.S: how can I get your ebook? Are you still selling it?

    Lots of love

    1. Hi Isabel,
      Thanks for your honesty and please don’t worry! Life happens for all of us, I’m just glad that you found great value in this one <3
      And you're so right about the part of kids seeing us lost in our phones - we try to be very intentional and not use our phones when our daughter is awake, which means that the time she sleeps and we work it's even more frustrating to lose that short time to useless activities like scrolling...
      You can find the e-book here: https://charlesandelinacademy.com/p/artist-case-study
      Just a heads up that it doesn’t include updates on how social media has evolved. I will include the past year’s development in the expansion of the Academy so keep an eye out for updates on that 🙂 But the content is still very valid in a greater scheme.
      Xx Elin

  5. I do not like Instagram and these days try to avoid it. I also try to avoid videos – I prefer still photos that I can look at for as long as I choose and zoom in on for detail. I think social media has become more of a curse than a blessing.

  6. This resonated with me so well. I’ve had so many similar thoughts. As an emerging artist right now,it has been difficult getting a boost on Instagram because of the algorithm that only favours reels and certain things.And I’ve let it affect me,my creativity and sense of self so much,in a most negative way. I’ve been thinking of quitting Instagram too,to go back doing art for the love of it,but I worry about how to make my business grow without social media.Nevertheless,thank you for writing this,for voicing so many things that I’ve felt but thought I was the only one. Thank you,because now I feel a little less lonely. Love and hugs to both of you.

    1. Hi Rushati,
      I’m so glad you found this content in the good moment – always know that you are not alone! It doesn’t matter how many followers one has, the changes are impacting us all. It’s so difficult to not let it affect you. From experience I would advice you to rather focus on building an email list and invest time to create content that has long-term value rather than for example Instagram posts. What we found is that Instagram posts have a life of about 24hrs, whereas for example Pinterest and Youtube lives forever and can still gain momentum months or even years later. We still have mostly old pins (didn’t have time to create as much content the past two years) and it keeps bringing in new people to our audience.
      Warmly, Elin

  7. Guys, I just love you both (and even 3 of you 🙂 and your art! I’m so agree with you, I can’t agree more. I don’t know what we all will see in the future, but if I’ll have any chance to be in your space and watch your art, I’ll be here. Thanks for sharing all these thoughts.

    1. Dear Sonia,
      Thank you for all your support through the years! We really appreciate it. Sending you warm wishes, Elin

  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I think they’re shared by a lot of us on Instagram (particularly the push towards reels, which I do not enjoy as a consumer or poster). I like some aspects of Instagram, and it’s how I first found you years ago, I think it can be a nice way to add a bit of humanity to a brand, seeing behind the scenes a little. Some accounts I engage with largely via stories as I enjoy seeing what the creators are up to, and I do with you both too. However, probably most of my real engagement with you had been through other means – the podcast when it was active, the Academy, and your newsletter. This post has definitely convinced me to start a newsletter as a better way of keeping in touch with those interested in my work than struggling with the algorithm on Instagram (although I’ll stay on there for now too).
    I’ve loved the Academy so far, and felt that I’ve learnt so much through it that benefits not just my embroidery but the composition of drawings etc too. I love that it’s an evolving platform and that you’re so engaged with what the users want. I love the idea of a series on setting up your own creative business.

    1. Hi Melanie,
      Thanks for taking the time to read and reflect and thanks for sticking around these years! I couldn’t encourage you enough to start a newsletter for your audience – in fact much of the feedback I got to this article both in comments here and via email made me see that a discussion around newsletters should be one of the first videos for the creative business series… I’ll get to work on it asap! Keep your eyes open 🙂
      Thanks also for your feedback on the Academy, it truly warms my hearts as I’m falling more and more in love with the shift of the structure and how it allows for deeper transformation of the kind you mention to enhance not just your embroidery but your whole art practise too.
      As always, if you have any requests for topics and content, you can always send them over to me and we’ll do our best to get it out there 🙂
      Warmly, Elin

  9. Hello Elin–I always look forward to messages and updates from you and Charles, regardless of which method you choose to deliver them. I do not have Facebook, and use Instagram primarily for artistic inspiration (and seeing cute puppies). I appreciate that you and Charles continue to evolve your business and create the paths that work best for your family, as well as the integrity you exhibit which is very apparent. Your focus on customer service without compromising your values is refreshing. Thank you for all you do and for the Academy Membership.

    1. Hi Stephanie!
      Thanks a lot for your feedback and support, so grateful to have you with us in the community! (Ps. I can also relate to the cute puppies ha ha, our daughter loves cats, so she sometimes gets to see compilations of kitties on youtube instead of her kids show and she loves it ha ha!). Warm wishes, Elin

  10. Hi Elin,
    Social media in general has been such a blessing and a curse for me. I have never been on Instagram so I don’t have a perspective on that, but the algorithm thing on other platforms drives me nuts! Sometimes I do discover some interesting things but I find I can just scroll all day and never have time to actually create. Don’t get me started on the haters.

    I discovered you through an embroidery blog that recommended your book Mindful Embroidery. I bought the book and I was hooked on you two, your story and your art. I had been embroidering since I was young but the inspiration you give in the book and through your emails is priceless. My family purchased a master class for me last year and I have since created an architectural embroidery of my home and a portrait of a family member. I had never done original pieces before taking your class – I never thought I could do it! Your mindful approach to creating makes everything you produce valuable to me, especially in stepping back and trying to get off the social media rollercoaster (except for Pinterest – I just love it). Keep doing what you are doing as you add so much beauty to the world and help others to find and create their version of it too.

    1. Hi Laura,
      Thank you so much for your feedback and I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve found so much value in what we’re offering – it’s means the world to us! It’s also interesting to hear how you discovered our work, content marketing (such as blog posts) is so underrated in the fast paced social media world and your response just enhance that truth.
      Super exciting that you’re now creating your won pieces – what a milestone, I hope you feel proud of yourself!! To see others succeed in their projects brings immense joy and what keeps us motivated to keep creating content that matters 🙂
      And thanks to your family members ofc 😉
      Cheers, Elin

  11. Hi Elin,
    I first found you guys on Pinterest many years ago, but didn’t realize it was you as I just kept seeing this beautiful architectural embroidery but it didn’t always have your name as it was sometimes reposted by other people, or I wasn’t even looking at the name. I then started to clue in it was all the same person (people as it turned out) and started following you guys on Instagram. From there I bought your book as soon as it came out, signed up for emails (mainly for the free pattern which is a such a smart idea) and started watching your YouTube videos, especially enjoying the free livestreams. I completely understand the pressure instagram brings for small business owners and have seen many many people I follow talk about this same issue in the past 2 years. I just saw a post on this today from another embroidery girl I follow. The algorithm has really screwed a lot of things up for people and particularly for small business owners or people that used to make money off instagram. It causes so much pressure and stress about having to keep up with reels in order to be seen, and always trying to think of new and improved ideas to stay seen and relevant. But I know many people I follow that have had to take breaks just to mentally get in a better head space and heart space. I even know one girl who started to lose her hair from the stress. Which is so sad. The one plus that I have seen is that followers are always extremely supportive and always flood the comments letting the people know that their mental health is the priority and that they will be still be around waiting when/if they decide to return. As for my opinion and view of instagram, it’s still one of the only social media sites I’m on. I still love looking at the pictures and the stories of the people I follow. But I do hate the algorithm and that it’s no longer in chronological order. I hate knowing that I’m not seeing posts from the people I follow, and even worse it will suggest new people to follow and show pictures of their posts even though I still haven’t seen everything from the people I do follow. But I also say that knowing that I never let social media affect my mental health. I never allow myself to compare myself to other people and their lives. I continually work on my mind and positive thinking so instagram and social media never affect me negatively in that way. (For anyone reading that does have a lot of negativity, or comparison, or gets sad or frustrated or offended easily, or anything like that, you need to read “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. Incredible book on how to train our minds to be more positive and to not allow ourselves to spiral or go to those places. I actually recommend everyone read this book even if you don’t have any issues. It’s a best seller for a reason).
    So with all that said, I think you guys should definitely slow down or quit instagram altogether. It’s not worth the added stress at all. Especially if there doesn’t seem to be any reward or anything positive that comes from you guys posting. If it has come to a point where you’re literally stressed and dreading posting something or even checking your account, it’s time to cut that crap out of your life. You don’t need that added frustration & negativity.

    As for any other social media platforms, personally, I do still love your YouTube videos, and they’re probably the only other social media platform I follow you guys on. I really love the free livestreams in particular. Because I cannot afford to be an Academy member, I do enjoy whatever freebies you guys tend to throw out & thoroughly enjoy anything that isn’t apart or the Academy right now.
    We support anything and everything you guys decide to do. You guys are killing at running this business and are amazing at making the hard choices that not only prevent burn-out but choices that make it easier on you and still make your business grow. When you do have a small business and have been doing something one way for so long, it’s extremely hard to think out of the box and to come up with new ways to stay relevant and grab peoples interest, especially because trends, social media, and what is in style or popular, are constantly changing. In this era people are constantly having new products & platforms and thing shoved in their face and grabbing their attention and it’s hard as a business owner to grow and evolve as time goes on. But you guys are always doing that, and it works.
    Lots of support & love.
    ~ Brandi

    1. I’d like to apologize for the book I just published above. 😂 I’m known for writing texts and emails the size of a book and no matter how hard I try I can’t seem to get them any smaller. Lol.

    2. Hi Brandi! Thank you so much for your input as always – really appreciate the time you take to reflect and respond. I will also add your recommended book to my to-read list (have read from Joyce before and really enjoyed it!) 😉 Intentionally slowing down social media (at least Instagram) means to actively be better at spending that time doing something else such as reading (for example to not check the feed before bedtime – it’s sooooooo much better to just read a couple of pages instead!). As you say, it’s been years already that creators and artists have been discussing these issues and it didn’t really affect us much until we became parents and your priorities and time availability quickly shift. Ones again, appreciate your continued support and hope to have you with us for many years to come <3,
      xo, Elin

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