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I've been "off" Instagram for 3 months and my business is still growing

Here's what I've been doing instead

Doing Business without Social is a monthly series for paid members. But today I’m sharing this episode for free. If you want to join our community of mindful mompreneurs exploring slow living and feminine business, catch up on my past two updates and get access to my other exclusive resources, consider becoming a member for just $10/month.

Month 1 Recap:

Month 2 Recap:

It's been really interesting to see, now that I’ve been “off” Instagram for 3 months, how differently I feel about marketing (and my relationship with my work.)

In hindsight, this experience has showed me how much I was relying on one platform to bring in all of my business. My mindset (that I’d guess has been ingrained in you too) was that if I focused on “consistently” making all of my marketing content in that one space, then I would see results.

The biggest thing I’ve come to recognize (and literally see in the sales this last month) is that my success has not been from one thing- it's been from a mix.

And that honestly feels like such a relief…. that I don't have to put all my eggs in one basket, especially if it’s draining me and I'm not seeing real results. Before I’d feel like I’m out of luck and have wasted my time but now I feel so much calmer and like when one thing isn’t working I can pull a different lever.

Even though, I’m doing multiple things and “a lot” of things, each of them are reaping me different rewards. And each activity is happening with a different intention behind it.

I don't think I would have seen this if I didn't leave Instagram, reassess how I wanted to show up and share about my business ….. and really what the point of it all is.

For example, some platforms, I'm using solely for awareness- so that people know the studio exists (LinkedIn + Instagram Ads). Some of them I'm using to nurture and deepen the connections I’ve made (blogs, podcasting, networking, retargeting ads.) And some of them are just long term activities for my passive income strategy (something I plan on focusing on when the studio is completely at capacity- Substack, Pinterest + Youtube.)

While I didn’t necessarily start on each platform with those whys, this month I’ve noticed this natural intention immerge which explains why showing up in all of these places feels easy. Each platform has a specific job and that makes taking action and assessing their “success” easier. (Plus a huge shoutout to our teammate Spring who helps make so much of this possible on my 10ish hour/week schedule.)

There's been a lot of new things that we've been trying based on this month’s results too.

I'll have those stats next month- it’ll have to be a tune in next time situation.

Now that we're getting into summer, I’ve noticed how seasonal I am in the way I live my life. Come October- I'm hibernating. I don't want to be out and about. I don't want to be chatty. I want to go away and sometimes work on a creative project or just rest.

But now that spring has come and we're really getting into summer, I'm noticing that I'm drawn to a little more visibility. I’m blooming if you will.

Last August, when we opened our studio, I felt that same urge and (summertime) energy for a big PR push. I got on local stations, in magazines, and on a bunch of local Instagram accounts. I did all of this in one foul swoop and I'm still seeing benefits from that effort six plus months later. And I feel like I stand at this place now- craving and ready for it again.

I'm also noticing that views are down across all channels, which makes sense, seasonally right? So I was excited and surprised when the seasonal drive I’ve felt matched up with where everyone is at too. I now feel pulled to spread awareness- offline.

So before I head into the stats from last month, here’s what I’ve been working on based on those results.

Direct Mailers

I coincidentally created these direct mailer postcards this week:

as another way to meet people where they're actually at.

What started out as: how do we leave no stone unturned in letting Cleveland know we exist? Has now also answered the question, if you're not on social or your phone as much, especially in the summertime, how can I still let you know that we’re here?

  • I’m excited to see how this goes. I plan on posting these postcards on coffee shop bulletins too.

Blog posts for each way we’re supporting clients

Since viewing our studio as an “Airbnb for businesses” we’ve seen a surge in unique uses for renting our space.

This month alone we’ve seen rentals for:

We’ve also found that when people come to our website, they gravitate towards our blog to better understand how to use the studio.

So with that in mind, we decided to create specific posts for each creative way to book our space. Not only do they paint a picture showing what it would look like to “work with us,” but it's also a great reference tool when we’re explaining an idea to a potential customer too.

Pair that with our Pinterest, SEO and LinkedIn strategy and now we’ve juiced our one effort for more visibility but also become more discoverable for those who are looking for what we do.


Discoverability is really important to me.

I’d rather focus on:

  • SEO

  • and smart targeting

    • meeting people where they're at when they’re searching for it or expressing interest in it


  • adding one more thing to people’s feeds (especially when I’ve seen such a great improvement in my life from being out of that flow myself)

  • bombarding them when they're not ready

  • or burning myself out creating to keep up with an algorithm.

Because the other biggest thing that I uncovered this month (which I'll share in the data) is that: not as many people know you exist as you think.

If you're familiar with Gilmore Girls, we basically live in Stars Hollow. Our studio sits on the corner of main street with a huge sign on the wall that everybody can look at when you're sitting at the stoplight. We are in a complex with multiple other businesses.

And, until I ran an ad targeting Cleveland women interested in the work we offer, a fellow tenant in our building didn’t know we existed. I'm literally staring at her office right now as I record and until she saw our Instagram ad, she had no idea that we were literally right above her.

And that to me was just proof that:

  1. Meeting people where they're at when they’re searching for you,

  2. Having a mix of ways to meet them, online, offline and by targeting the right people,

  3. Recognizing that not as many people know you exist as you think and taking action based on that

has been really helpful.

Hosting Local Podcasts

The last thing we started this month and are already starting to see benefit from (that also fits with that summertime behavior as well) is hosting local podcasts.

Here in Chagrin Falls, there is a merchant association. It's like a chamber of commerce, but it's specific to retailers here in the actual village that we live in. And so, as a member myself, I decided to partner with them to help expand member visibility with a Substack podcast. I get to host it and all of the merchants who sign up get to come to our studio to be interviewed.

The beauty of this is that we are not only getting more people physically into our space who can then go tell other people it exists, but I also get to meet more Cleveland Mompreneurs which means in one interview I can create two collaborations (and collaborations are where we’re seeing referrals and views.)

Maybe they're not going to be our ideal client, but the next time somebody says: “I want to create this or I need a cool space” or whatever it is, now we have one more person who could go be our advocate (and I’ve gotten to make some pretty amazing friends in the process too.)

For Mother’s Day I also revived our public podcast and renamed it: Cleveland Mompreneur Guide, where I'm featuring mompreneurs here in the Cleveland area that I’m fangirling over. Again, meeting these women not only expands my friend group but it also allows us to both expand our networks when sharing the interview.

When we've posted and tagged these mompreneurs, they share and then more Clevelanders see us both. It’s a beautiful spiderweb effect that feels so good and has introduced us to new clients and renters too.

The Stats from: Month 3 of being off social

Seeing the results of this month’s stats, recognizing the seasonality of where we're at in the year and how I'm feeling in my business, meeting people where they're at and being open to a mix of ways to show up- these are all the things that are on my mind instead of just siloing and trying to push, push, push, and consistently burn myself out on social.

So high level, here is what happened in month 3 of being off social.


I am there with awareness as my goal. I want to locally let other businesses know that our studio space is available to rent, to start a podcast from, to host meetings from, to create your own content day from. However you want to use our creative space- it’s here, in your town and it’s available to you.

And those are the results we're seeing.

This past month, we've done 30 posts and most of the impressions that we're getting are from our collaborations with other people.

We have:

  1. The Chagrin Falls Merchant Association Podcast

  2. The Cleveland Mompreneur Guide Podcast

  3. And our Substack

And every time we post an episode and put it on LinkedIn, we tag that person who was interviewed which shares it with their network in addition to any sharing they might do.

And like I had mentioned in my last post, the beauty of LinkedIn is that it is a spiderweb effect algorithm.

  • So if I tag one person in it, then their whole network sees it.

  • And if one person from their network likes it, now that person’s whole network sees it.

And so that's where we're seeing a lot of our views which works great because I am there for awareness and for more local people to see it. And when more local people start liking it and sharing it, that means even more local people start to see it.

We've really expanded our network in that way and in doing so, we’ve gotten one client from LinkedIn too.

We've been posting more than just those collabs.

We've also been posting:

  • Substacks that I've done

  • Snippets from blogs or substacks I've created specifically about podcasting or creating a studio.

  • We've shared reels that I created months ago to show off the space.

We are seeing not only a steady growth from our actual Mompreneur Co. Studio page, which a month ago had zero followers because we just started it and now has 40 but also my personal page. Most of the engagement comes from my profile, so we'll post it on the Mompreneur Co. page and then I repost it to my profile and a lot of our views come from that or from the people we've collaborated with.

We’ve tried to run ads, and I'm going to have a whole new post coming out with a friend of mine where we chatted about ads and all sorts of marketing stuff.

  • And I will say, I'm not really seeing a conversion from the ads.

    • Our one client says he knows he saw us on LinkedIn. He's not quite sure what he saw on LinkedIn. But he did convert from seeing us there.

    • I'm trying a handful of styles of ads (video, static, etc.) and I am seeing clicks. I'm just not seeing calls booked.

      • So I'm going to keep trying that. I'll keep you posted.

Instagram (Ads)

In that same vein is Instagram, and my goal there is also awareness. I have an ads only approach with Instagram right now.

So we've got our 18 grid up which looks like a website, and tells you all about who we are, what we do. So if people stumble upon us, they'll see, very intentionally, what they need to know.

You will occasionally see me post reels, and the only reason I'm doing that is because I'm creating them, posting them, and then boosting them to a specific target audience I’ve created locally here to Cleveland.

Based on my conversation with Ruthie (the marketing specialist whose episode I'll be sharing soon) I just created a second ad that retargets people who engaged with the first ad that we've created.

  • The first ad shows all the different spaces here in the studio and tells all the different ways you can work with us or use the space.

    • And we've been seeing a ton of great views and clicks on that.

  • So we've been trying additional reels to see is there any other ones that would match the impact that one is making.

  • And also we're putting those into meta ads using a retargeting audience from our reels and website to nurture them further.

    • We're still testing this, we just started this approach last week. So, these results will be in next month's video.

The point is, we know people need multiple touch points, we know that we're seeing a ton of views and clicks. And in comparison to the amount of clicks, we’re not seeing a super high conversion rate into calls from one touch point.

So how can we juice that a little bit more?

  • How can we show people another side of the studio?

  • Maybe information they’re missing?

So when I am posting reels, that's what I'm looking for, is testing and seeing what performs well. Does it perform and convert better if I boost it to the local audience that I've created, or is it going to do better if I put it through meta ads and have it retarget people who are already warm and familiar with us.

But the end of the day, I'm noticing that I'm getting more conversion with less effort when it comes to Instagram.

We spent $520 last month and we got a client which completely covered that and we profited from, so our ads are not costing us. We're making back from them.

  • But if that stops happening, and I still don't want to create content there because I'm not seeing actual conversion from just posting, then I'm willing to completely let that platform go.

I do wonder sometimes if I brought back my old strategy of when somebody enters my world and follows me, I send them an audio message and connect with them. But that’s very effortful and I have found my favorite clients are the ones who are very similar to me. They see us and are like heck yes! This is just what I needed and they come through and book.

So I'm really sitting here analyzing and thinking, which I'll report back on next month: am I leaving money on the table by not connecting more with the people who are following us because of the awareness of the ads? Or am I doubling down on my favorite type of clients?

So, I'll keep you posted. And it'll probably just come with trying and seeing, does that still feel good? Or can retargeting ads handle that for me so I can continue to stay off Instagram and enjoy my favorite ways to connect and create?

Last but not least, my biggest aha, like I said, is that not as many people know you as you think. If I wasn't running these awareness ads, the woman who's right next to us and has been for a year, wouldn't know we exist. And that would be a shame because I'm so excited to get to connect with her! She's another amazing person in our area who now knows we exist and can advocate for us. So that has been “Instagram.”


The next side of the work that we've been doing is, of course, Substack.

My goal with Substack is twofold:

  1. Awareness and nurturing the people who are currently in our world. Reminding them about our philosophy and what we offer.

  2. But really, a lot of what I'm creating on Substack is just to be a creator. To share: this is my slow living, entrepreneurial, familypreneurship, unschooling life.

    1. And so my goal really with Substack is, once the studio is booked at capacity, to be able to just focus on creating and growing my paid side of Substack. I plan on writing my book here. That way it can always be up to date (and updated), it can be a multimedia book (e-book, audiobook and video all-in-one-place,) people can comment, connect and grow in community on it (like a built-in book club,) and I can grow my passive income side while creating my work on my terms.

So, as I start to move forward and as we continue to book out the studio, I'm going to give that more and more of my attention. Substack is really going to become that passive income place and that creative place for me to go.

Overall, we did five posts this month:

The Cleveland Mompreneur Guide podcast round-up was a very big push of a project. It was a lot of work that needed to be done in a short amount of time and I do feel like creatively that sustained me.

In addition, Substack has their version of social media called Notes. And in there, I was able to post when I had a little aha. Normally I would sit down and do a live journaling episode on something like that but since I didn't have that much energy to do that this month, I was able to go into notes and share a picture or a video with my micro thought (which we also turned into some SEO blog posts that we shared on Pinterest.)

Check Out My Notes

I was able to work that muscle of sharing my thoughts without more production over it. But I will say, I'm missing my live journaling style recordings and so I’m looking forward to diving into that a bit more. (I have been working on our YouTube, which I'll explain in a minute. And so that has sustained my itch for that a little too.)

All in all, Substack has been consistent for me in terms of open rate and views. That has not changed month over month. So that to me is good. I'm showing up in my flow of what feels good and people are finding it.

We did get one new paid subscriber- we're so happy to have you here. And that felt really good to bring somebody new into our world and be able to support in a new way.


So, Substack for me really goes hand in hand with YouTube.

My goal with YouTube is to be able to create a more visual, storytelling, very cinematography style of: this is what our life looks like and pairing that with the audios that I've already done for Substack so that it gives it a more holistic picture. And the end call to action is to join our community on Substack to learn more about this topic and have a conversation about it. And, if people aren't ready to convert there, just their views, their subscriptions, all of that will also eventually allow us to get paid for our creation because when you get 1,000 subscribers on YouTube, you can also start earning money from ads.

Check Out Our Youtube and Subscribe Here

So, for me, Substack and YouTube really go hand in hand as this passive income strategy.

I now see that I am a creator and one of the facets of my business is that I share my studio that I create in. I’m leveraging this asset, booking out this space, making money from it, and ideally we'll start to support more and more people through simply creating our content.

Overall, YouTube has been interesting. We've had 735 impressions this past month, all just because we took our old Instagram reels and posted them there.

So, It's 104 views, which is down 99% from the last 28 days, which is when we first posted all of the shorts, so I assume that some of that downtick in views is because it’s been a month since they were posted.

But it was really interesting to see how people were coming into our world.

  • 56% from the shorts feed.

  • 26% from channel pages, which to me is a great indicator. People are on somebody else's channel and we are aligned and they want to click over and see what we have to share.

  • 9% is from YouTube Search, which again feels really good because my goal is discoverability and to meet people where they're at when they need it. So the fact that they searched something, our content came up, and hopefully supported them, that's my ideal goal.

  • 4% is from the Browse feature

  • 3% from Playlists. Which again, shows me that the right people are finding it and compiling us together.

The traffic sources were interesting too.

  1. Content Studio is one thing people searched that brought them to us.

  2. Substack

  3. And Cleveland.

So again, to see that YouTube and Substack really can go hand in hand, and that's what people are searching for, makes me feel really good and means that I'm hitting my goals in those spots.


Last but not least, along those lines is Pinterest. So I feel like Pinterest, YouTube, and Substack all really stack up for this more online and passive approach.

The three top things that people are finding us from on Pinterest are:

  1. Podcast Studio Tech

  2. Podcast Studio Inspo

    1. which those things are great and I'm so glad they can be supportive. But they don't really match up with anything else for us because those are not specifically local people finding that, which is fine.

    2. If it's bringing people in, then maybe eventually they can come over to the last thing that they found us from, which is Substack.

  3. Substack

Those are pins that are doing the best. And on top of that, they're from February and March- months ago.

So that feels really good to know that, while it is a longer term game to see conversion there, we're also seeing that it has a longer life when it lives there.

So I really feel like:

  • The more I can get this first YouTube video posted

  • The more I start focusing on growing this community here on Substack.

The more that Pinterest can help with it all and they all will really work together.

Whereas my LinkedIn, Instagram, local PR and my direct mailers are really focusing on the awareness and nurturing for the studio.

Leads Breakdown

All in all, this month, we’ve gotten:

  • 4 leads from Instagram

    • two very specifically from an ad.

  • We’ve gotten one from a speaking engagement I did in November.

  • We've gotten two leads from our segment on Fox8

    • which was in August from our PR push.

  • One from the sign literally here on our building

  • Two from referrals

  • One from LinkedIn

  • And six new women are coming into the studio to record from the Merchant Association.

    • Not that they'll necessarily be clients, but they're new people who can go out and share that we exist. Or if somebody asks for a space to rent or mentions starting a podcast, hopefully we'll be top of mind.

Paying Clients Breakdown

Last but not least, paying clients.

  • One from Instagram

  • One from Google

  • One from that Fox8 segment

  • One from a referral

  • and one from LinkedIn.

So that is how I am growing my business “without” social this month.

I hope this was helpful!

Make sure you leave a comment and let me know:

  • What other stats or feedback would be helpful to hear?

  • Or if you have questions.

That's what this community is here for! For support in being a slow living mompreneur, and I'm just so grateful to have you here.

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