*This post has been updated April 30, 2020 with my discoveries on this topic. Please see the bottom of this post. Thanks for sharing the journey!
After a lot of consideration, I have decided I need a year without social media. As an author, speaker, and blogger, social media is deemed “necessary” to maintain influence in our world. I have to disagree for three reasons:
1. Jesus never asked me to beg for a platform.
At 16 years old, I received the call from God to be a youth pastor’s wife and to champion the encouragement of others in their relationship with Jesus. Not many years after that, social media seemed to take over the world. And it took over my calling with it.
It seemed the only setting for me to influence people was as an “influencer.” Turns out, at least for me, social media is one of the biggest distractions to real-life investments in actual-in-front-of-me people. This whole “influencer” gig leaves me dried out, insecure, lacking compassion or gratitude, and totally preoccupied.
Plus it’s all convoluted. We mostly only influence those we PAY to see our posts. There are limits on the viewing traffic a post is allowed to receive, and getting spontaneous shares feels like a never ending rat race.
I am realizing that social media influencing is not the only way to make a difference in the world. It is certainly not the most effective share an important message! As I approach my year-off of Instagram and Facebook, I look forward to the real-life ways I’ll be able to encourage people to celebrate their relationship with Jesus!
2: I Want to Position Myself for a Miracle.
One thing I pray for often is for the message God gave me in Joyfully Ever After to spread wildly across this world. I want young (and even the not-so-young) women to celebrate their identities in Christ as the most important thing in their life.
When I published my book, I took a short course on book marketing and proceeded to do all the things recommended to promote my book. The social media marketing techniques became, for me, an endless treadmill. My efforts never feel like enough. I got super stuck. In my mind, Instagram & Facebook were the only way anyone anywhere ever would hear about my book. Way too much time and effort put in for little return.
Then I prayed for a miracle.
I prayed for God to breathe life into my book sales for His glory. I asked for help and a new way to see this whole author branding thing. I thought a miracle would be gaining 3000 followers over night. But He showed me something far more meaningful.
So I stopped believing in instagram to share the good news about Jesus and started believing in Jesus to do so. And I cannot wait to show you what else He showed me for spreading the word about Joyfully Ever After.
3. I am fed up with the anxiety-prison of our culture.
It’s pervasive among the young ladies I work with.
Most of the time, the best thing I could say to these girls is, “get off social media! Find freedom and liberty to soar again by deleting all your accounts.”
If I’m not willing to do this, how will they?
So I’m out, for the sake of the gospel. For the sake of freedom.
Did I grow my career as an influencer without social media?
Sadly, I didn’t. I leaned heavily into emails, and was invited to some speaking events. But the events were canceled due to the quarantine. I have seen almost zero book sales for Joyfully Ever After since my social media break.
Action plan: keep working hard. Grow my audience and sell more books through a calculated social-media marketing plan (instead of winging it every week with underwhelming results). When the quarantine lifts, continue reaching out for in-person speaking events to share the hope God has given me.
She sees that her profits are good, and her lamp never goes out at night. Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she can laugh at the time to come. Proverbs 31:18, 25
Did I get a book-marketing miracle?
Well, I prayed and God provided speaking events. Yay! I stocked up on books to sell at each event. The first event I only sold 5 books. Thanks to the Coronavirus outbreak, the other events have been cancelled.
I’d say my marketing miracle was a little disappointing.
Action plan: For now, I wait with about 195 books on my shelf, asking God for guidance, patience, and courage. Do I return to building a social media platform, playing Twister with all its algorithms and competing with all the people who are doing the same? Do I continue with The Weekly Spark emails, bumping up the sales-y tactics? Do I wait for the social distancing crisis to end and events to reschedule? I am still waiting on these answers.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
For more on what I learned from my social media break, visit here.