Badass Is The New Black (Season 4) Episode #25 - Should I Start Over On Instagram? Here's What You Need To Know with Katie Flemming

building community business strategy digital marketing instagram online marketing social media social media marketing Sep 12, 2022
BNB 25 | Share I start Over On Instagram

Let's welcome. Katie Fleming to the podcast. She's the founder of the ambitious mom brand. She has the unique ability to build a wildly successful and profitable business empire and a family legacy at the same time. She's serving her community in such a beautiful way and today she is going to share with us about what happened when she had to restart her Instagram from scratch.

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Should I Start Over On Instagram? Here's What You Need To Know


Let's welcome. Katie Fleming to the podcast. She's the founder of the ambitious mom brand. She's known for profitable presence and what she calls both end light. This is her unique ability to build a wildly successful and profitable business empire and a family legacy at the same time and her deep belief that we don't have to choose either, or, but we can choose the both and life and have it all now, which I absolutely love and resonate so much with me. She's serving her community in such a beautiful way and running the ambitious moms podcast and Katie, that was actually how, you know, what prompted me to reach out to you to have you on the podcast was an episode that you aired.


I think it was episode 156, the tell all the new Instagram 20 weeks later. And we'll dive into this topic here, but I just want to first and foremost welcome you to the bad-ass is the new black podcast. I'm so excited to be here with you. This is awesome. I can't wait to talk about this crazy Instagram thing that we both have done for different reasons.


And that is starting a brand new Instagram account. Oh my gosh. It's so crazy. We haven't chatted in a long time. I was on your podcast so long ago. And so it's so nice to reconnect. I mean like, unfortunately for this topic, but I think it's such an important one because social media isn't going anywhere. It's changing drastically.


Yes. But it's not going anywhere. And it seems to be like, increasingly I don't want to say like getting unsafe, but like at the same time, like this wasn't an issue so long ago and now just left and right. I keep seeing people, you know, getting their Instagrams hacked and you know, various things happening. My account people will take my photos and create new accounts with different names and try and get crypto, like tell them they're selling crypto. And like, I even had one woman reach out to me and say like, oh my gosh, I'm so glad I found you. You know, you're so you're so sweet and someone's using your pictures and they totally scammed me out of some money. And I felt awful. Like I felt horrible that she, you know, wasn't upset at me or blamed me. She was like, I just want you to know like there's people out there using your pictures. And it wasn't the first time someone has told me that. So it's kind of a scary thing, but you also, my Instagram was hacked. I've talked about this on the podcast before.


So some of my listeners have kind of heard that, but you actually consciously chose to like restart your Instagram. So we're just going to dive right into this topic. Like I want all the details. I want to know why I want to, and I got some insights. And you mentioned as we were talking before that you had another episode that I think I missed about Instagram.


Why did you start your IG over?


So maybe you shared some insights on why you were going to do what you did. So the one you listened to was like 20 weeks later after I've done all the crazy things, here's what's actually happening. Cause like in October, I think it was October 11th, the episode. I don't remember the number, but it's no, that's not it.


We'll link it up for you again. And we'll put the link in the show notes. You guys it'll be easy access, click, click, you can live that. But the first one was like, here's what I'm doing. Here's my fears. Here's how I'm navigating myself through it. Cause there's tons of fear around this. And then the 20 week one that you listened to was like, okay, did my income actually dip? Cause that was like the number one question most people had is if you start this new Instagram account, did you see like a plummet in revenue? And the answer was no, it was actually higher. And engagement was higher. Like when we look at a percentage, it was actually so much higher. And so we there's so much, I would love for you to like ask me any specific questions, but okay. Let's just like, we'll pause there. Like we'll go back and start at the beginning and I know you've maybe covered this in your podcast so they can go listen for more and more, but we'll cover these topics. Like why, why like what made you even think like, Hey, cause you had thousands and 13.5, 13,000 followers. And so you're like, I'm just gonna start over, like from scratch at zero and just poof be gone. So like, what was the first thing that made you think that that was something that you should do? So it was may of 2021. So about this time, last year I was starting, I was starting to have the impulses and I'm like an initial impulse kind of person where I have like the, the knowing to do something. But then I also really, I didn't do it right away. I sat there and really regulated my nervous system because I know if I had jumped into it and just started fresh immediately, I would have been like, there's no people here, nobody likes me I'm we won't fail. 


You know, it would have been all of the drama. So I did not go there. And I love to just kind of say that because like, it doesn't matter how successful you are in business or who you are and what you've done and how many followers you have. We still all have this intrinsic fear that like, nobody's going to come with us and we're going to fail and we're gonna, we suck. And like the world hates us. Like, it's just the way it is. So I spent a long, probably six months being like, I feel like I want to start a new one, but it's not time yet. And I think it was October. 

Engagement Was Really Low


October was when I did it. And the reason why was because number one, like I was just, my engagement was really low. Like a 13,500 account, it literally had 50 story views some days or 30, 50 on the weekends, 30 in the week. And I'm like, where are my people? Like what in the world? And so when we look at that percentage of viewership, it was terrible. And so like in those numbers, like my numbers have drastically gone up since then. And I give you specifics in the podcast, but fair warning. I don't do good math on the fly. So my math is actually wrong, but the point still remains. So like it grew, it was, you know, I don't know about you, but like my initial entry into this space, my Instagram, I started it when I was 18 dating my husband. And like our first picture is like us with like emo hair and like filters that are like orange, you know, you remember that? And so, and then it went through iterations like network marketing and this company and then coaching and then this pivot and I bought followers and I did the follow for follow thing and like all these bots and stuff that just kind of compromise the integrity of my account.


And also didn't resonate with the energy of who I am as a human in this connection that I just truly desire. And I don't need a bot between you and I like, so in that sense, I was just like, I want to just connect with my people. And like the vision I got for it was, I'm a very visual and I love to like think in movies and if you've ever seen the great Gatsby, there's the scene after the party or the party's done, everybody goes home and it's Daisy, Nick Careway and Leonardo, what's his name? Gatsby. He they're, they're in like his library and there daisies kind of like lay on the couch and they're drinking whiskey. And I was just hanging out. It's like that kind of vibe, like the party, the 13.5. That was the night before the crazy. Nobody really knows Gatsby. Nobody really knows Katie. Nobody really knows her heart or like what, what she's here to do. Or like, nobody actually knows they're just there for the party. But I actually was craving this intimate, like after everybody's gone this like relationship of like you and I.


And so it was kind of from that place where I decided I'm just going to start fresh. And if it's a hundred people, it's a hundred people, at least it's a hundred people I know and love and I'm building this active relationship with, and then it grew to two and three and now we're like over 600. And is it slow growth? Can I be honest with you yet?


Quality Over Quantity


It feels slow, but I also don't care because it's really real and it's really strong. So Instagram has evolved and like the way that we view likes and followers has evolved over years. So when you were like, you know, I bought followers, like all this stuff, I was like, oh my God like that, me too. And, and the reason I did it was because at the time the swipe up feature, you couldn't get the swipe up feature without 10,000 followers. So Instagram was putting a lot of pressure on having a large amount of followers and incentivizing by offering you the swipe up feature, which as a business, you want to make your call to actions and allow people to take action incredibly easy.


So if people are now watching stories more than posts and they're in your stories, and then it's like go to my link in my bio and click, you know, it's like swipe up and there's the page to get whatever it is giving you, whether it's free or paid or whatever. And so that was super enticing to me. And so follow campaigns, you know, they weren't fake people. It was real accounts, but it was not anyone that was going to be interested in what I was actually doing, you know, but it was like, oh, I get the swipe up feature. And so I did that and met massive amounts of followers. And I didn't really realize what was happening the very first time I did it.


I thought that it was an entrepreneur that was doing this follow campaign. And so I was going to get other entrepreneurs. And the people that started following my account were like the total opposite of anyone I would want to attract. And I had this panic moment where I was like, oh my God, my Instagram is ruined. Like, how can I come back from this?


And I remember going out to dinner with my husband and just like freaking out and like thinking about it the whole time and just like so much panic that the next morning I woke up with a giant cold sore. Like that's how stressed I was about it. Like if people, we do not need to get so stressed about our social media, I think that experience really helps me when getting hacked and being like, shoot, like there's nothing there now. And I got to start over and I was like, so cool, calm and collected. Like no big deal. But Instagram has changed. Like now it's not sure. Like people still think like, oh, they have a ton of followers, but there's so much value in like even having the small amount of followers that are engaged.


And you mentioned that like there wasn't engagement, no one was paying attention. No one was seeing there's so much competition. And I don't know if it's like, because of, I'm guessing that the lack of engagement just has this snowball effect and like creates even less engagement probably. Right. So it's like, once you're kind of on that cycle, you feel like you're kind of stuck there.


So I, it kind of makes sense to me to be like, okay, the only way to get around this and over this is to start fresh. And I had 29,000 followers and let's be honest, like only a few thousand were probably actual people that would want I'm talking about. And so I also like got to the point where I, well, I don't know if you did, but I hated having that big a number knowing like, it wasn't really my people. It wasn't real. Right. But I was like, go ahead. It was interesting too. Once I started the new account, it became easier to create content again. And I don't know necessarily why, but it was just like, I had people that actually wanted it. And I had people that were engaging and asking questions and listening to the podcast and giving the feedback and giving a question and deepening just stuff. So it really was like this just back and forth conversation with my audience that we didn't have in the 13,000 account. I love that.


So when you decided to switch and start fresh, now, the one thing I am very jealous of is you, I think you got to keep your same handle, right? Like, so that was true. Switched over. Okay. It was tricky, but now you have it.  No, I haven't. Yet. Every time I look at mine, I see that underscore at the, I dunno, like cringe just a little bit, like every link out there is wrong. So amazing that you, it was tricky. It sounds like, but you got to keep your, and you can't, you can't use your, you have, there's like a 14 day wait period. So the way I had to do it was the new one had I put it's Katie Fleming.


And then after the 14 day wait period where it's like sitting out in Instagram, limbo not being used by anybody. I then put the it's Katie Fleming on the old one and the Katie Fleming on the new one. So it took 14 days. And I had it in my calendar because I'm like, I don't wanna, I don't want Katie Fleming who owns Katie to go steal my thing. Cause she won't say she, no, that's funny. I've been trying to for like eight years and she will not sell it to me. And she recently went private for her email and it's her maiden name. And I'm like, lady, come on, come on, Katie Fleming. So there's another Krissy Chin out there, which is funny because she was a bodybuilder. I don't think she does it anymore. So, people will like Google. I remember joining this program is like a side tangent. I remember joining this program and I was on the sales, call it like,  I'm in take my money. Let's just give it to you. And he's like, okay, I'm going to add you to the Facebook group and be like, Krissy Chin. That's probably not me. I'm just, I'm a white girl. No bodybuilding. Nope. That's my married name. He was like, okay. So, Krissy Chin, like the amazing Krissy Chin out there that was a bodybuilder has all the Krissy Chin staff.


So I was that Krissy Chin. I'm the Krissy Chin underscore, but it's cited as it is love that you got to keep your handle. Tell me, because this is the thing that I'm missing a bit on content that you had posted that you did really like. And have, did you keep that repost that like, tell me how that kind of worked or were you just like, Nope. Starting over  just wiping all out. Don't care. What I posted before, it's all still there. You can see if you want, I will sometimes go back and grab and repost new stuff. But for the most part, I write my content offline anyway, like it's in a notes app or something like that, which I would highly recommend because I'm sure you didn't get to keep any of your content.


 And that's the thing it's like now I have definitely done posts that I had kept in my highlights for various things. Maybe it was a program or like I had just a fun one that was like parents, like parenting, like on-point parenting or something. It was basically horrible parenting situations that I was in, like my husband in the airport pushing the stroller.


And my two-year-old at the time was hanging on dragging behind like my kids sleeping with the iPad on their face. So like some fun stuff like that, that I had posted. And it's like, I don't have that anymore. That's like, doesn't matter. It's not business. Business-related thought it was fun. But yeah, there were certain things like test like things from a program that I had offered or we had just launched our quiz, our margarita marketing quiz. And so, so many people when they took it and shared the results and they reshared it in their stories. And I was able to put that in a highlight reel to promote the quiz. And so it's like all that was lost. Right. So those kinds of things that I just had that I really wanted to keep in the highlight reel so people could come and kind of see things that had been going on and testimonials lost.


I might have them in my phone because I have like 20,000 photos possible. I could go back and probably find screenshots and whatever and piece it together. It just feels a little bit daunting. So I write offline. So I I'm, I didn't lose any content. And then as far as reposting, I will, from time to time, like if I need a post, but for the most part, my stuff's pretty fresh. That's great. So what would you recommend to someone like, who would you recommend think about like switching their account or starting over? I guess I should say the number one thing is you can't just decide to do it because Krissy and Katie did it. Right?


It does. It could. Cause that's one of the things I, I see a lot of people like to distract themselves with doing whatever they hear on the podcast or whatever their coach does. And I remember like a lot of my clients, when I did it, they were like, oh, I want to do it too. I'm like, well, hold on. Like, it may not be the right match, the right next step for you. Like, what are you hoping it's going to solve? And sometimes it was almost like masking. They were hoping it would solve a problem that it's like, it's like moving houses because you, you live in a disaster house, but when you move, you're still gonna take that disaster with you. So if we don't go fix the underlying issues, like maybe clean out some stuff, purge some stuff, maybe make some systems to where we don't bring more junk into our house and we don't actually solve the underlying issues. You're going to still laugh. I was watching on YouTube. You can see me laughing over here that was listening camp because I always think about like, I hate my kitchen. Like, I'm like, it's outdated. I just, oh my gosh. If I could just move to a house it's like beautiful and all and still worthy. And then I'm like, who am I kidding? What I hate most is all of the junk all over the counters and the toys everywhere. And the reality is I don't care how beautiful my house is.


How Do We Get Daily Paydays?


Like maybe I'll keep it really clean for the first month or something, but like, it's just going to be a disaster. Like, so I'm laughing over here. Like that is so true. Like think about what's really causing the problem. And is that going to be continued over with the new account?  Like, is your engagement really low or do you just rarely ever post content?


Are your sales really low or do you just never actually give calls to action? Like I speak about it in my everyday payday method. Like three to five times a day, we should be selling in some way, shape or form telling people how to take the next step on whatever the thing is three to five times. And it's actually really easy when we realize like, you know, doing a story and saying, Hey, click this link or, Ooh, listen to this podcast on the podcast, you talk about your thing or you update your cover photo on Facebook and you add a call to action there. Like these are actions that count as your three to five, but most people aren't actually doing that. And so they think switching Instagrams is going to solve that problem of more sales and more connection and all that.


And just, it's just not most likely. That's powerful. So rewind guys, listen to that again, because that was, that was incredibly powerful for you to sit back, you know, after this episode, take some time and think about like, what if, what am I really struggling with when it comes to social media and is starting over, we're going to solve that problem. And it sounds like for you, it did, for me, even the forced starting over is kind of solving it for me. I'm finding that it's fun again. And I liked that. You mentioned before, it's like, it's easier to post now. And I feel the same way. Like I'm kind of just posting whatever, whatever's relevant, whatever my people are talking about or what's relevant with me right now. And I don't feel like there's all this pressure to keep up like, oh, she's got, it appears that she has 29,000 followers. So if someone comes to the account, like it's gotta be perfect and be amazing. And all of that now I just kind of feel like this is for the people who, who really want to be here and we can talk. I'm so grateful that I have an email list and we can get into that. Like, how are you going to the people that don't don't need? Like, that's the other thing I noticed that was interesting was I had this initial urge to put in my new bio new account, close my 13.5.


And I was like, why do I want to do that? And I realized it was like this, like, well, they need to, they need to see that I'm legit. I'm not some new coach. Like this isn't a new account. I'm not some like, you know, whatever. And I was just noticing my ego around it and I never put it into my account.


Building Trust Online


I worked through my own stuff, but I've seen other people closed their accounts and they make sure to tell the world that they've closed down their 22.5%, you know, thousand accounts, mostly men from Pakistan on it know.  I didn't have that. I did. I think when I initially put it up, I put like original account hacked new account, but I did not put the amount of people because that was one thing that I like, I wasn't that proud of it because it wasn't, it came from follow campaigns. So I think it depends on the energy. So it's not even, it's not even the thing. That's actually the issue. It's the energy of the thing. So like the people I'm referring to, I can actually read the energy where it's like this. You've seen the bios where it's like Forbes featured in Gary V and all this other stuff. And you're like, where are you? Actually? I've never seen that before. Or how much did you pay? What'd you guys, that's the name of the game and I'm not bashing anyone that does that. Like, it costs money to make money and, but you can pay to just be in those things then. You, you, you might have to be in the running for other people and not everyone is going to get in, but I don't hold weight when I go to a website and I see all of these things, like on all of these things, I don't think like, oh my God, you're amazing. You're on those things. I look at it as like thing you're actually really smart in business because whether you're paying for that or putting in the energy to do that, like you did that, right? Like it took effort to do it either seeking out or having someone on your team seek out that, that publication or whatever to get in there. So regardless of if you paid for it or they sought you out, like you put in the energy to make it happen. And that's actually what I care more about, but I'm not like, oh my God, like you were in Forbes. Like you must be like, there was a time when I wasn't growing my Instagram.


There was a time where I was like, I thought if you had a kajillion followers, like you were the ship, I think you were, I think you were in the beginning because there wasn't all those things like the follow campaigns and whatever. So it was more legitimate. And the people that did have all of those followers, you know, were getting people that were really into what they were doing.


So it did create this sense of status and importance, but it was real. And then it kind of became fake inflation or whatever reason that people, and again, not knocking like anyone who did Pablo campaigns. I got at the time, I was like, this is great. Like, you guys should do follow campaigns, like get the swipe up feature.


And, but that's a thing like life changes, apps, change, business changes. And there's a girl in my network who always says, like, what I say today might not be this thing that I say tomorrow. And like, I think that's okay to give ourselves permission to like, explore, like you're exploring and you're teaching other people, like what you're finding that's helpful or, you know, what you think might help them. And I'm exploring as well. Like I don't claim to be the expert in everything, but if I learn something, I'm going to share it with you. And if I realize like, look, I shouldn't have done that. Like, I'm going to tell you and be honest and truthful. You know, that's actually probably one of the biggest things that the shift from the new, old Instagram to the new Instagram did for me was I took myself off this pedestal that I created for myself, that unintentionally separated me from my audience. And it was like, I came off the stage that they didn't want me on in the first place. And I actually just was in the audience with them and really just allow, that's why I think content became easier to create because I was just showing my process not needing to be perfect. I was just documenting my process, not my perfection. That was really what I think kind of changed a lot in terms of intimacy with my audience, which I believe the greater, the intimacy, the greater that conversion is the greater, the cash, the greater all of that stuff. So the more intimacy you can create, the more success you're going to see financially. And the thing is like in the online world, we want to talk about automation and systems and funnels and all this stuff that like, honestly, for the coach, like you and I like, it's not always that necessary to put in heavy automation because heavy automation separates us from the hearts of the humans that we're here to help.


So I think that a lot of business owners automate too quickly before, like it's really necessary. And thus, they kind of, they delay that. A hundred percent love it. Oh, this was a good conversation. I'm glad I brought you on to chat about this. Is there any other little words of wisdom that you want to give someone who is just struggling right now with their social media, whether it's, they're not getting the engagement or they don't know what to post, or they just feel like it's just not what they want to be doing. I know that was like a lot of broad things, but like, what's your one, one tip for that person. That's just like struggling with social issues. I shared with you guys, my intention behind the Instagram account.


And I think we can always kind of grab and feel for like, what's our intention with the spaces that we're participating in. So it takes time and it may not come right off the bat. But if you're diligent, I would sit with the question of like, how do I want my social media to feel, what do I want this to feel like?


How Do You Want Your Social Media to Feel?


And for me, it showed up in a vision of a movie like the Gatsby situation. But if you can kind of define how you want your social to feel, and then also start showing up and speaking to your audience, share that vision with them, tell them the way you want to experience the space together, how you want them to interact with you.


If you go back on my Instagram account and look at the highlight that says why I have a whole highlight that says why I started this, you'll hear how I kind of rolled out the new account and how I also painted the vision for what I wanted the space to be and feel like for both me and them. So I would spend some time thinking about the way you want this container of social media to feel, and then invite your audience into the process with you and tell them exactly how to engage and communicate with you in that sense. Love it, love it. That's so solid. Sound advice. Thank you, Katie, for being here for jumping on this episode and just sharing your nuggets in the process of just ending and restarting, like there's something just refreshing about just shutting it down.


If that's the appropriate thing to do and just starting fresh in a new way that you want to be. So I love that. I admire you for that. Thank you so much for being here and sharing everything with us. You guys, this should not be the last time that you hear from Katie. So definitely go subscribe to her podcast. It's just called ambitious moms, right? Yep. Ambitious. Perfect. Ambitious mom podcast. So you can look her up. Apple podcast, Spotify, wherever, and then Katie Fleming, your Instagram there doesn't work yet. So we'll put the links in the bio for you guys to make it super or in the show notes to make it super easy for you to find Katie and connect with her.


Thank you so much for being here. This was awesome. And I know this won't be the last time that we chat. So thank you so much. Thank you so much for having me.

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