I still remember the day a friend of mine, Owuraku, suggested I open an Instagram account; I took it lightly initially, because I was not too keen on being “out there”. Moreover there were so many questions running through my mind: What if my page is not catchy enough? What if I don’t get a good following so others hear about the website? What if I simply am not able to manage the page? Hey, what if maybe, someone even stole my picture and used it for a scam? I’m sure you may be saying “It’s just an Instagram page!”, but to me it was a pretty big deal. My mental dilemma taught me my first lesson of this whole episode:
•It’s either you allow fear to deter you, or you at least make an effort
That saying really is true, you never know till you try. Sometimes we’re so scared of jumping into the water that we only keep dipping our toes in, whilst others have fully plunged in. I have come to realize that fear is a force on its own, but can be overcome with the right thoughts and attitude.
So after my mental tirade, I decided to give this whole Instagram thing a try. Within a matter of minutes, I was done, but not before learning another thing:
•If you really look around, you will find helpers
I used to feel uncomfortable asking people for help. What if I come across as not knowing my stuff? Or worse yet, what if the person refuses to help out? Granted, we won’t always find help, but I strongly believe we all have been assigned destiny helpers; some short-term, others long-term, and each one plays an important role in our lives, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Owuraku didn’t just end at suggesting the whole Instagram idea, he went a step further to ensure I set it up, took me through how it worked, and even helped out with my first few pictures.
Which took me to my next realization:
•Don’t only talk, support
It’s so easy to tell others we are there for them; but it’s another thing to actually be there. Imagine you were holding a big pack of food and met your hungry friend. All you said after she told you she was hungry was, “Aww, I hope you get something to eat soon”, with the colorful polythene bag staring right at her. Great, you’ve given her some advice, but what if you were actually the answer to her problem or you were positioned to help? Support goes a long way in helping people achieve their dreams. Whenever you can, back your words with actions, it goes a long way.
As time went on, not only did I gain some valuable lessons, I also had a first-hand experience with social media etiquette as well. Before I go on with the ‘life lessons’ here are a few social media tips:
•Don’t post anything you will be ashamed of a few years down the line
•Be human; check on your connections once in a while
•You don’t have to accept every request, especially if it makes you feel uncomfortable
•Be creative; everyone is posting….what makes you different?
•Look around….what are others doing, and how can you also improve?
•Don’t be a clone; everyone has their style. Identify yours and make it your own. Those who really like you for who you are will stick around
•Don’t be deceived; most people tend to post the great parts of their lives on social media, but everyone really is facing a battle you may not know anything about. Don’t be too hard on yourself when your life is not going so ‘perfectly’, and more importantly, be real!
•Let some things slide; you don’t have to comment on everything, reply to everything or get offended by everything. Social media is a good training ground for mastering your words
•Be security conscious; you could change your password once in a while, and be up to date on any potential threats to security especially on whichever social media platform you find yourself on
•Appreciate those who give your brand or business a mention on their pages
Okay, that’s enough Social Media 101, now let’s go back to the classroom of life 😀
With time, the number of followers on my page grew, but the growth was quite slow. At a point, I wondered if I wasn’t doing something right. I had heard how people had grown their following by ‘buying followers’ etc. but that seemed pretty desperate to me. I decided to wait and see just how long it would take, and whether I could ever even reach a 1000. I eventually have after a whole year and a half! That may be slow alright, but it proved something else to me:
•It’s really not a race, and good things often take time
It may sound cliché, but the race is really not for the swift. I was on the brink of comparing myself to other bloggers and writing myself off, but eventually reached a point of contentment and patience where I told myself I was going to keep doing my stuff and let my work speak for itself and not be forceful. I am not where I aspire to be yet, but I am certainly not where I used to be. I still remember my first Instagram post, which was a white background with nanaboatemaa.com written across it :D. I did not have a logo then and was still quite clueless, but now that I look back, I’m really grateful I took that step. It’s tempting to compare yourself to others sometimes, but do so constructively, to get better and not to look down on yourself.
•Appreciate the little things
Well I won’t be surprised if someone says “Ah, but it’s just 1000 followers?”. It is a big deal to me because little is indeed much, especially when God is involved! Don’t be afraid to celebrate your growth and little victories. If you’ll take a few minutes to look back, you’ll realize you have gotten better and are on the way to being your best. 🙂
There are certainly better days ahead, and whether you believe it or not, things will get better, you only need to take one day at a time. Thanks for all your support right from day one till now; be it a comment, suggestion, you sharing any of my articles or following me on any of my social media platforms. I am very confident that nanaboatemaa.com could never be half of what it is without you.
Here’s to more growth, and testimonies, for the best is certainly yet to come!