221. ☀️ Social Media Wrecked My Brain [Summer Series]

Social Media Wrecked My Brain

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Social media is designed to be addictive. Summer can be a great time to evaluate your social media usage– both consumption and creation. I recently scaled back on social media and have really enjoyed it. Here are some things to consider if you are thinking about scaling back too.

221. ☀️ Social Media Wrecked My Brain [Summer Series]

In this episode, you’ll hear… 

  • Why you might want to scale back on social media
  • The power of evergreen content like blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos
  • How to approach the social media content you do decide to make

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Why Scale Back on Social Media

As a business owner, scrolling through social media can feel like an easy, productive use of your time. After all, you’re collecting ideas of what might work to bring customers into your own business. However, this kind of scrolling is probably keeping you plugged into stress and it probably isn’t the most effective way to spend time on your marketing strategy. Consider scaling back on social media so you can scale up on other things– whether that means stepping away from work entirely, or stepping into more productive marketing work.

The Power of Evergreen Content

Blogs, podcasts, and YouTube videos last much longer and usually reach a much bigger audience than social media posts. This kind of evergreen content keeps working while you aren’t. Plus, there’s no need to post everyday to keep up the high volume of content demanded by social media algorithms. Consider working more on evergreen content than social media content.

Changing Your Approach to Social Media

Just because you scale back on social media, doesn’t mean you have to abandon it entirely. If you do decide that social media content creation is a good choice for your business, the next step is to evaluate your production approach. Resist the urge to squeeze your area of expertise into the latest trend. Figure out how much production time and energy is truly needed to create a solid piece of content– make sure you aren’t overdoing it. In fact, consider completely offloading it to your team if you have one.

Scaling back on social media has been a tough habit to break for me, but totally worth it. I have found more time and energy for higher-value activities in my personal and professional lives. Give it a try and see how it works for you!

Download Episode Transcript

Sam Vander Wielen:
I would encourage you to maybe revisit your relationship with it and even just start by like auditing your time, how much time are you spending on it? And it’s not just how much time are you spending on social, how much time are you spending on creating evergreen content elsewhere that’s foundable, searchable, right, something that can come up in a search platform. How’s your website doing?

Like, to me, it’s like, if you don’t have all that stuff in order, then let’s like cut back a little bit on how much we’re posting on social, especially how much time you’re spending there. And let’s like take care of some of the foundational marketing pieces.

Hey. And welcome to On Your Terms. I’m your host, Sam Vander Wielen. And welcome to this very special summer series that I’m calling Summer School, Online Business Summer School. So here’s the deal, this summer, I’m going to be sharing a brand new episode every single Monday, but these episodes are going to be a little bit different than what you’re used to in my normal week to week content. Instead of sharing all my best legal tips and how to do stuff in your contracts, instead, I’m going to share quick little episodes with you each Monday where I’m out and about and sharing about something that I’m learning right now in my business, something that I have learned, a mistake I’ve made, a thing I’ve overcome, and obviously share it in a way that would be most helpful to you too.

So these are going to be a little bit less produced, a little bit more out and about, taking a walk, on the way home from the gym, all the times when I probably think of things or have relatively good ideas. So I hope you’ll join me this summer for these quick little episodes. After you listen to this episode, I hope you’ll reply to my email if you get my emails. If you don’t, make sure you go click the sidebar link down in the show notes below, or send me a DM on Instagram and let me know what you’ve been thinking of Sam’s Summer School Series. So I hope you love it. I’ll see you in a few minutes on the other side.

Good morning and welcome back to Sam’s Summer School. I’m outside on a beautiful, beautiful morning, just enjoying the sounds of the birds, which you will probably, yeah, there you go, you will hear a lot of that if you hang out at my house. Where I live in New York is like, summer camp for adults. I swear. It’s just so beautiful here. I live on the North Shore of Long Island and it’s just so beautiful here. And like so many things to do outside, so much wildlife, so many places to go, so many beaches. Like I just love it. So we’re in our high season right now. That’s for sure.

So with that, I guess that being outside a lot more and all that, I don’t spend, thank goodness, as much time on my phone. Actually, I’ve been noticing that my screen time has been going down and down and down because I have essentially repositioned my relationship with social media, which has then really, like it’s so funny, I didn’t realize until I got off social so much and like started deleting the app and have the team doing so much more for me than I used to do. That like being on social so much would then also make me use my phone in other ways so much, right? So my screen time has just gone like down and down and down.

I would be embarrassed to tell you how many hours I used to use my phone. And I know that like for a while, then I was like hovering around four. And then I was like, okay, I want to get closer to three. And then I was like, okay, I want to like, could I go into the twos? That would be crazy. Now remember, this includes all time like Google Maps and Spotify. And like, I do workouts on my phone. I do my meditation on my phone. So this counts absolutely everything you do on your phone.

But in general, it’s been going down. So I am very happy about that. I really don’t think like — I’ve been thinking a lot about social media. And I mean, I’ve been thinking a lot about social media in general, and this would be a whole separate episode for a different day, but ss it relates to like how much time you spend on it and how it impacts you and how it impacts the rest of your life and how it impacts your business, I think is really the part that I wanted to focus on today. Because I think that what I’ve noticed the most since reducing my time on social media and then therefore reducing my time on my phone is just how much more time it’s opened up for me in my life in general.

So like, I’m writing a book right now. As you’re listening to this, I’m literally writing the last chapter. So I will be done by the time you listen to this. But I better be or I’m in trouble. But I am writing this book right now and I have never also read more in terms of fiction on the personal side in my life. And like, how would a normal person do that when you’re writing a book, you’re running a business, you have a life, right? But I’m telling you, I got so much of my time back from being off of my phone.

This probably sounds very obvious to you and you’re like, yeah, duh. Like maybe this is what everybody else has been doing all along. This is not what I’ve been doing. I was very bad. I had a very bad addiction to both my phone and to social. And I think for somebody like me where my brain just runs so much on marketing mode all the time, it really is like a drug to me because I can’t stop thinking about it. So if I even see something on social or I see somebody else do like something really creative, I’m like, ooh, I see how I could do that. And then like, here’s this whole strategy or I think of a new product idea, or I think of a new sale I want to run and it’s just exhausting, let alone distracting. Like it has you constantly on this hamster wheel.

So yeah, I’ve just been thinking a lot about how much time I’ve gotten back both for that and yes, from the personal side, like I’m not kidding about how much more I’ve been reading, but also on the business side. And I think that’s something that I would encourage you to think about is that you have precious time probably in your day to day in your life as it is, right? Then we have precious time with our business.

And it’s really important that you carefully consider like how you’re spending your business time. If you’ve come to any of my workshops or if you’re in the Ultimate Bundle already or if we’ve ever had a conversation, you know how passionately I feel about evergreen content and focusing on content that has more lasting power, that has searchability, that has the ability to be found and still be relevant down the line. Because the more that you create that type of content, the more it will build up over time and you will create a nice little steady stream of leads to your email list and then clients obviously as well.

So it’s very, very important that in my opinion, that we focus on like how we spend our time and spend that time wisely. And if you’re on social all the time, or if you’re just spending, even just like, forget, maybe you have a healthier relationship with your phone and with social media. But you spend the primary marketing time on social media, like the primary of your marketing budget or your mental energy, mental budget goes towards social media instead of other evergreen platforms or one of the big three content platforms, which is YouTube, podcasting or blogging, in my opinion, it’s like putting your money into a regular savings account versus like a high interest savings account or investing in the stock market, right?

So we want every effort that you make towards your marketing to go towards the long term. Like to be building towards something and have the potential to continue to work for you, even when you’re not, right? That’s really the ultimate goal. So the other day, I wanted to share this with you quickly, the other day I was watching this really good YouTube video that I will share in the show notes. It was a woman on YouTube sharing a calm marketing plan and either this woman and I share the same brain, or I don’t know what, but like literally everything that she said in here is, I’m not saying this from a copy perspective, I’m just saying we have the same perspective. But like literally everything that she said in her training, I have said in my own trainings for my Ultimate Bundle members or in content on social media or something like that.

And really, it boils down to this, which is that you have a decision to make, right? Like we live one life. I know that I’ve reached the point where I had gotten to this point where I was like, I’m going to look back and be like, what happened in my twenties and thirties, because I was on my phone the whole time. Like, can someone let me know? Like I was too busy thinking about my day in terms of documenting it for social media and like how a certain thing would look to create a story out of it or to create a reel or whatever and not being present in my life. And I just knew that I didn’t want to do that anymore.

So when I watched her training the other day, she shared about a couple of reasons why she doesn’t believe in focusing on social media, and I just wanted to quickly bring a few of them up. One of the — a few of the ones that stuck out to me, especially given what I do, teaching the legal side of online business to online business owners is how, like, shallow and clickbaity and very distracting and like poor quality a lot of the content is.

Now, I don’t mean poor quality in terms of like, I mean, the production quality of a lot of stuff is like, unbelievable, right? It’s over the top. I’m like, how did these people have time? I don’t know. And I also know that you can do really great social media content with very little. Like, you don’t need to be singing and dancing and lip syncing. Thank God, that’s all over. But — or at least I hope it is. But it doesn’t have to be so fancy in order to be effective.

I think moreI think what she was saying, or at least the way that I interpreted what she was saying, was that like, it is, I’m so done and so over trying to squeeze myself into a social media algorithm of like seven seconds here or like a splashy thing there or saying something that’s like hot takes just so you can be like controversial.

Yeah, I don’t know. I just, like for me especially, it feels so irresponsible to squeeze myself into trends when I don’t see that as being like the most responsible option for you, the consumer, because when you’re talking about legal stuff or financial stuff or lots of other things, I mean, mindset, like mental health, like there’s so many areas I can think about this for.

But when you’re talking about things like a serious is this, I don’t think you’re doing people a service when you’re like, here’s this like one tip. It’s like, I know this one tip is not enough. I know that that’s not all you need. Right. And there’s a way to do that. There’s a way to like share a tip and say like, of course, there are many other things you have to consider. And like, I get that. And the pressure is also to be like, no, no, we got to keep it short. We got to keep it tight. Like we can’t — it’s got to be catchy. It has to be fast. It has to be this. And like, I don’t know. Personally, don’t like what it does for the content because of my consumer. I feel very protective of all of you. I also don’t like what it’s like doing to all of our brains.

I also realized I sound like I’m 89 years old because that’s me like pretty much every day. So I get that. I’m very much an old lady and I accept that. Maybe I’m just having like a weird life crisis and maybe this happens after your parents die and you just like start to question what is life, and like what are we doing here, and how much time do we have and am I taking advantage and what really matters and like I don’t know that what really matters are numbers and views and likes and algorithms. I don’t know. It’s just not where I want to spend my time in business.

What I’m not saying is that you have to be off of social media. I mean, first of all, I would never tell you what to do. I do think that there’s a healthy way to be on it. I think, especially as your business grows and you can swing it, having team members do more on social to get you off of it a bit more is a great way to balance that. Treat it like a business would. The president of Target is not on there posting reels himself or herself. Right.

So there are ways. I think there are ways it can be done. I know that there are also lots of people who I respect and admire who are barely on social media and who do really well. Although I also feel like when I hear people say that or the people who do say that or do that tend to be pretty far along and kind of have like the luxury of not like they were really far ahead of the game. Like people who are really big on YouTube sometimes have very small Instagram presences, so I don’t know. I don’t know.

It’s just something to noodle on to be honest. And I would say it’s more of a repositioning your relationship with social so then it is kicking it to the curb. I kind of like to think of this as you taking social media out of the driver’s seat of your business and asking for it to be either in the passenger seat or even in the back seat. Right. And you’re driving this thing. You’re controlling your time. You’re controlling who sees your content more than anything, because that’s what really, to me, what social media like robs you of is that you create all this wonderful content and you might pour your heart out or do this or that and you have no way of knowing who sees it.

In fact, I mean, you know for a fact that the people who have chosen to follow you don’t see it. Most of them, the truth is most of them don’t see it. Like that is like a soul crushing statistic when you think about how much work and effort you’re putting into it.

So yeah, I would encourage you to maybe revisit your relationship with it. And even just start by like auditing your time, how much time are you spending on it? And it’s not just how much time are you spending on social, how much time are you spending on creating evergreen content elsewhere that’s foundable, searchable, right? Something that can come up in a search platform. How’s your website doing?

Like, to me, it’s like, if you don’t have all that stuff in order, then let’s like cut back a little bit on how much we’re posting on social, especially how much time you’re spending there. And let’s like take care of some of the foundational marketing pieces instead.

So I apologize for my voice, by the way, I have something called Sjogren’s syndrome. My voice is very messed up from it. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for the last couple of months. I don’t think I’ve told anybody that yet, but yeah, my eyes and my mouth and my throat and everything else are just extremely dry because of of Sjogren’s syndrome. And so it messes up my voice and it’s been a whole thing. So I appreciate your understanding.

With that, I’ll leave you for a few seconds to listen to the beautiful sounds of the North Shore of Long Island. And I hope that you have a very peaceful and restful part of your day. See you later.

Thanks so much for listening to the On Your Terms podcast. Make sure to follow on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts. You can also check out all of our podcast episodes, show notes, links, and more at samvanderwielen.com/podcast.

You can learn more about legally protecting your business and take my free legal workshop, Five Steps To Legally Protect and Grow Your Online Business at samvanderwielen.com. And to stay connected and follow along, follow me on Instagram at @SamVanderWielen and send me a DM to say hi.

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