In the past week or so I have felt a renewed warmth towards wanting to create again for Adored Vintage. In truth I have replicated my own creations over the past couple of years because it was what "performed well" on Instagram, but in the past 6 months or more, this has not rang true.
Like all other small business owners and creatives who in various degrees of reliance, depend on social media platforms for marketing, this alarming drop in engagement and visibility gnawed at me. Not only was I not enjoying creating content for Instagram, it also started to feel gimmicky and predictable. There have been several points when I've posted where I thought, "Why am I doing this?"
But instead of taking a break to rejuvenate my creative spirit, I doubled down. I only created what did well in the past because surely THAT would bring back the visibility, though that proved not to be the case. I learned how to create Reels and while I had fun learning and creating and my efforts were awarded at first, lately Reels aren't performing as well as before. Crickets again.
It seems the only way to get traction even in my own audience is to create ridiculous reels with obnoxious music. You better be funny, dancing, have a hook, throw in several transitions, and don't forget at the same time be raw, vulnerable, real, and point to random spaces around you where attention grabbing words will POP UP! Then and only then, perhaps, perhaps, your "creativity" shall be awarded with viewership amongst the audience you worked so hard to cultivate and organically gather.
And while I have wavered between the line of staying "on brand" and partaking in trending audio as I do think it's fine once in awhile, but does it feel rewarding for me creatively? An easy answer: No.
I've grown tired of creating the same images over and over again. I want to look at what I am creating and feel SOMETHING again. Something different. Everything was starting to feel stale and not to mention I felt lost in a sea of other people copying and replicating what I had created in the past. Look, I am the first to say that there is nothing new under the sun. We all borrow ideas from one another. What was most bothersome to me was I already was not enjoying replicating the same things over and over again but my content also didn't look all that different from other shops that were jumping on the "romantic, feminine, cottage, prairie" train. I was bored with my own content. Yikes!
So I decided to create new content again. And yes, as I predicted, NO ONE is seeing it, but what's important to me right now as the creative head of Adored Vintage is that I love the imagery I am putting out there and I feel inspired to create again. And it's working. I have those butterflies again. It's been awhile. And while many, many of you are not seeing these new images, I have renewed hope that "If I build it, they will come" (to borrow and misquote a line from "Field of Dreams"). If I remain true and steadfast to creating imagery that speaks to me, I know those that are kindred spirits will find AV, seek it our, or perhaps rediscover it.
Where does one go from here? I truly feel like the days of Instagram are really numbered. It seems like they're trying to figure out who or what they want to be and instead of focusing on becoming the best version of themselves, they're trying to copy so many other platforms. The platform itself is becoming so muddled and the algorithms are completely messed up and I can feel the frustration from other users. Eventually we'll all abandon ship.
As for myself, I will continue to create and hold tight to this feeling of renewed hope. I am asking myself, what does it look like to create for just for Adored Vintage again and not Adored Vintage for Instagram? I am navigating this right now and well, we'll see shall we?
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Through our stories, imagery, and products we offer, our hope at Adored Vintage is to inspire you live life a bit slower, to celebrate the everyday ordinaries, and to live the life you have always imagined. If our posts resonated with you or you found them inspiring or useful, won't you leave us a comment below? We love knowing you and want to foster connection.