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I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

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of the year

Planning a Social Media Detox? How Shanna Skidmore is Marketing Her Business WITHOUT Chasing the Instagram Algorithm

Reading Time: 15 minutes

Have you ever wondered if you could run your business without Instagram? Thinking about a social media detox? How much time would you get back? How would it affect things like your revenue, your website traffic, and your overall visibility as a business owner? What other marketing tools would you use instead of social media? 

As someone who uses Instagram a lot in my marketing, I'm like the rest of us in that I have desired to throw in the towel from time to time, especially after moments like creating a reel that takes an hour to make and then feeling like it did nothing at all for your business. Raise your hand if you've ever been there. 

So whether you want to try no Instagram for a few months, no Instagram in your business permanently, or even if you're just like, “Hey, I want to be on this app less and not rely on it so much for my marketing”, this episode is for you. I'm chatting with the wonderful Shannon Skidmore who I just absolutely adore and she opens up a TON about exactly what it looked like for her to be off Instagram since 2017 (while still running a business with a podcast, courses, consulting, and all the things).

Shanna really has it figured out when it comes to what it looks like to REALLY break up with Instagram. And if you don't know Shanna, she's a former Fortune 100 financial advisor, turned business consultant educator and international speaker with clients and students in more than 26 countries. WOW!

Her greatest joy besides being a wife and mama is helping others chase after their dreams. She has a background in finance, psychology, and art and she successfully married the world of business and creativity and now uses her 15+ years of experience to teach and consult with business owners around the world through her signature program, The Blueprint Model. She's also the host of the Consider the Wildflowers podcast (make sure to check out episode 43 to hear me talk about going from freelance to full-time!). 

Shanna is truly just a gem of knowledge both in the financial space but also with things like getting your business off social media. So without further ado, here's my conversation with Shanna. 


Subscribe & download the episode to your device:  Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |   YouTube  |  iHeartRadio

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Who is Shanna Skidmore?

I am a former Fortune 100 financial advisor and I started a consulting company for primarily female owned small businesses 10 years ago. I have now worked in finance for 15 years.

In short, I really say my goal is to help business owners in two ways:

  1. To make money 
  2. To manage it well. 

We have a lot of courses on business finance, understanding your money, and personal finance creation, because there really are not a ton of tools out there as a business owner about how to manage your money at home (especially with fluctuating income if you don't have a paycheck). 

Shanna Skidmore shares advice on planning a social media detox

When you started your business, were you using Instagram? 

I started my business in 2012 and I think Instagram was kind of brand new back then? I remember a shift happening around 2015 when I started feeling like Instagram was more of a tool to market my business. We were definitely using it (not well maybe!), but by 2017, it was bringing in 70% of our website traffic so it WAS the main driver of traffic to our business.

Can you share why you decided to do and social media detox and ultimately quit Instagram in 2017?

I think everybody has felt this, but when you start your business, it's almost like you have rose colored glasses on. You are so excited, you love what you do, you're so energetic about this new adventure and how you can show up and how you can serve. And I loved it (and I still love what I do), but in 2015, and definitely when we launched the course in 2016, it felt like it became really serious. There was a lot of my identity wrapped up in my job and I really started feeling more pressure.

That was three years into the business which was making a really good income - more income than I ever thought it would make. 

In 2016, we took three months off to go on this road trip. It was such fun, and we launched this new program that sold over a hundred thousand dollars, and things were going so well. But I remember trying to keep up with this platform and I felt this stirring inside of me which honestly, I think it was God just saying, do you need this? And while I’m on vacation I’m feeling all this pressure to make sure I take these beautiful pictures. 

Feeling Pressure To Make Finances Pretty

Since I do finance, that's my creativity. Spreadsheets and reading numbers, which is not very “pretty”. I do have an art degree as well, and most of my clients, especially back then, were highly visual, aesthetic, creative businesses. And so I was trying to perfect these images, even though I’m not a photographer. So I was frustrated because I felt like if I'm going to show up, I want to show up in a way that I feel proud of. So not only did I not want to really be doing it, but I wanted to do it well, and I didn't have the skills to do that.I was looking at all these beautiful feeds of these photographers and I just could never match that aesthetic. 

So the decision really started with a little bit of just frustration. I'm spending so much time trying to make this pretty picture, but I'm not a photographer. And how do you show a visual representation of a spreadsheet that's fun?

Then in 2017, I launched The Blueprint Model again. I think at that point we did 200-300K in sales, which is pretty crazy for our second launch. But, unfortunately, we also had some really tough things that I never expected in the business, like copying, start happening. I just felt really defeated. I felt like my identity was so tied up in my work and I honestly needed less input in my life. I needed more quiet. I needed to get back to the heart and the why of what I was doing. And I think for me, Instagram just became so noisy. And that was in 2017! I can’t even imagine that now. 

My Social Media Experiment

It felt less collaborative and more competitive, and honestly, a lot of that was my own emotions I needed to deal with. So it was 2017, we had just launched this course, we made enough money to sustain us for the entire year even if we never made another sale. And so I just thought, what if I went off for three months? What if I just took a break? I just needed some quiet and some space in my life to think. I called it my social media experiment and I wanted to take time off. 

Since Instagram was our main traffic source, I knew I had to try a different form of marketing and bring in the same amount of traffic if truly quitting Instagram was going to work. But we did completely shut the profile down (although didn’t delete it since it’s my name and the company name is my name).

Read More: Steal My 8 Step System To Profit First Each Month

Trying New Marketing Strategies

From there, I locked myself out of the account and I committed to stay off until I had another form of marketing that would replace Instagram. 

My very last post said something like “we're taking a social media break where for the next year we are running a social media experiment, if you want to follow along, here's a blog I wrote about it.” From there, I laid out some objectives. I wanted to go off of social media. I did not talk so much about the personal side because again, I did not want to demonize social media and I don't think social media is bad. 

In fact, I think it's helped a lot of small businesses grow, but for me personally, I knew I needed a personal break from it and from a business perspective, I wanted to be smarter about marketing. So I wanted to take the time off very strategically to figure out how to market in a more productive and effective way.

Tracking New Marketing Techniques and Fearing Being Forgotten

From there, we tracked everything. I was spending five hours a week on Instagram, just engaging in the platform and posting. I had all the workflows, but it still took 5 hours a week. 

Instead of that, we decided we were going to do content marketing (like blogging, and focusing on SEO). I remember my biggest fear was that I would be forgotten in the marketplace, especially as I had mentioned, I was dealing with a lot of identity in my work. 

That said, I did feel like I had a little bit of protection in the market because to talk about money, I feel like you need a background in money and you’ve got to be really careful giving advice about money. I never thought that people would come in and start talking about money that probably shouldn’t be talking about it.

flatlay of computer and calendar

You had like 15,000 followers on Instagram before you quit, so it’s not like it “wasn’t working”. Did you have any anxiety about giving that up? Or feeling like you should show up for your followers?

I did not feel the pressure to stay, but I definitely felt the weight of leaving, if that makes sense. I really was scared people would forget me. This was the only place I was showing up. I wasn't writing blogs, I didn't have a newsletter, and I really didn't utilize Facebook. It was the only place I was showing up, and that's a problem. 

For me, that was all the energy I had. I think people are surprised when I tell them I am a pretty introverted person and I am depleted of energy pretty quickly. So to engage and answer DMs, I couldn't even imagine with reels now I’m sure it's gotten even so much harder, that takes so much time. And I just thought, is this the best use of my time? If we're just going to take out all of the emotion, is it the best use of my five hours a week? 

Especially now as a newish mom, I work 20 hours on a good week, so to have five hours committed to this platform isn't the best use of my time. And that's where I knew I could volunteer as tribute and be the one to leave because we had enough funds that if we saw a lull in booking (which we did!), that we would be okay. 

I know you’ve asked me before if I would encourage people to leave social media if they’re thinking about it and my answer would be to DO IT but have a plan financially because it did hurt us for good six months.

If someone was thinking about quitting social media, what would you suggest they do? Did you make a game plan?

Yeah, so I think that first big question to ask is why do you want to leave social media? I truly do not want to demonize Instagram or Facebook. I think we can read all the studies that show us psychologically how it's affecting us.I'm not here to debate that. What I do want to say is: if it's not working for you, figure out why. Why do you want to take a break? If you're going to take a break, commit to it. 

I could only imagine now in 2023, I would be so nervous if Instagram was my biggest source of generating an audience because it's so fickle and it's so loud. I knew very specifically I wanted to replace Instagram traffic with another source of marketing, so that was my number one goal.

Before I committed to a social media detox, I looked at how much money we needed to make sure that our business sustains our family. 

If you want to do a social media detox, look at how much money you need. You're going to jump right back on if you get stressed about money. 

It can also help to track some statistics before you leave. I knew Instagram was taking me about five hours a week, so I wanted to take the exact same amount of time and do something different for us. We chose blogging and Pinterest, and now when I look at my statistics every month, I see organic traffic and Pinterest as our top two drivers of traffic. And I just think that's so much more sustainable. 

finding new ways to market her business during a social media detox

Podcast Success Blueprint

Hey! It’s me, Elizabeth and I’m interrupting this interview to ask you: are you interested in starting a podcast to grow your business or taking your current podcast to the next level with more monetization, more strategy and maximizing your time and efforts on each episode? Great, then you need my program Podcast Success Blueprint. Inside, you'll learn all the basics like how to name your podcast, get it distributed and all that good stuff - but that's where most courses stop. In Podcast Success Blueprint, that's where we're just getting started. In these eight modules, you'll learn how to turn your podcast into the most powerful marketing tool for your business while saving you time, repurposing your hard work, increasing your impact, and ultimately making you more money. Get on the waitlist here!

What do you wish more people knew about running a social media free business?

This is such a good question. Distraction can come in so many forms, whether it's reading a book, watching TV, listening to a podcast, being on Instagram, watching YouTube videos. When you take the distraction out, it can be hard to reconnect with a loved one. I had pretty good boundaries before and I thought I had Instagram down. I had my images pre-scheduled and was batch-writing my captions. 

When I started my social media detox, people would be like, “Shanna, what do you talk about with your husband?” And it’s real. So relationship wise, it taught Kyle and I how to just “be” together again. I'm so grateful. Kyle has never been on social media so he doesn’t get it. While social media can be great for our businesses, it really can be hard to turn off. 

Being off Instagram has made me be more present where I am. People should not have instant access to you.  We are not built for that much connectivity all the time. And so if we're so drained from emails and DMs and chats and all the things, how do we engage with our family at the end of the day? And being off Instagram for so long now, I don’t even think about it.

Read more: Email List Building Tactics That Actually Work

Social Media Should Be The Cherry On Top of Your Sundae

I think we've all had that experience too, where we get a negative email or we get a negative DM, and it ruins your day. I was on Instagram five hours a week, but I was emotionally dealing with Instagram for a lot longer. Why did that post not do good? That was such a great caption… why didn't people engage with it? We all know that emotional toll. I think social media for me became an unnecessary tool in my business. I say now that it should be the cherry on top of your marketing sundae, but it's not the ice cream, it's not the whipped cream it's not even the sprinkles. It's the very last thing, and only if you have time for it. 

How does your podcast play into your overall marketing strategy?

I think content marketing is smart because content lives on so much longer than any kind of social media post. At first, we wanted to focus on blogging, but I'm a terrible writer. I'm extremely slow. For years, I struggled to show up consistently and I knew that I was hurting the business by not being consistent. 

That’s when I decided to start my podcast, Consider the Wildflowers, where we just talk with entrepreneurs and the journey of entrepreneurship and the real behind the highlight reel. Wildflowers survive in the harshest of circumstances, and I've shown up every week for it, and I'm so proud. The hardest thing about not being on social media, especially with a podcast, is I cannot promote our guests as much as I would like to. We do promote them on the blog and in our newsletter (and we have big numbers on both), but that’s the one tough piece. It’s the only reason I have ever considered outsourcing social media.

Why go through a social media detox instead of just outsourcing?

So in 2017, honestly, I probably just didn't have a resource to outsource to so I just never considered outsourcing it. First, I want to say to all the social media managers out there, I think you are amazing. You are doing amazing work. However, we have to recognize runs on an algorithm and the algorithm is designed to keep people on a platform longer. 

For me personally, I work with business owners every day. That's what I do. I coach them. If I were to coach every business owner, I would tell them to get off of social media. So I have this real issue with then showing up on social media and performing in a way that's going to keep them on there longer. I also thing that when you DM people and when you comment and when you're engaging, the algorithm is going to reward you more. 

So we have to really ask: Are we okay with showing up that much or having someone on our team show up that much? What is the cost of that? 

Throughout the years we have had a very small team and social media has just never been at the top of our to-do list, and that's why. But now that we have the podcast, we have a bigger team, things are running really smoothly, I think we could hire a social media manager or someone on my team who is a great copywriter. It's open to consideration. 

I know you use Toggl, what does your Toggl look like?

If anybody feels short on time, do a social media detox and quit Instagram, you'll get a lot more back. But all jokes aside, I'm a numbers person. I read data. Now as a working mom, I work about 20 hours a week. I have one team member, and then my husband also works for the company. So we have a very small team of three, and then we have contractors. 

So I always look at what the main drivers of revenue are in our business and what is going to support that. My only roles are coaching clients or in marketing. That is where I spend my time. I have a team member who does a lot of the emails and handles a lot of student support. My husband does all of our geeky text stuff. So he's doing ads and he produces our podcasts and all of our videos. So my role really is to create content for the blog and then to coach. 

So if I think about it, there's something we do in the blueprint model, called “our time bank.” We look at time like we're depositing time and we're subtracting time, just like you would a bank account. You put money in, you take money out, and we want to make sure it balances right? We want to make sure we're not in the negative. So I sat down, I did this years ago, what are all the things I need to get done in the week? How much time does it take me?

Most of us feel so short on time because we're trying to cram so much in with such little time. It was a really eye-opening exercise. What are all the things you need to get done business-wise? Personally? How much time does it take you? 

If you're thinking about when people talk about an ideal schedule, I don't think about, I schedule it. I would like to work 20 hours a week. That's what I have to get. What is the most effective use of my time? How much money do we need to make? How big does our audience need to be to support that? What could I be doing that's the most effective way to bring in that audience? 

I think the reason people don't get off social media permanently or by doing a social media detox is that I think social media has this way of convincing us that it's doing good for our business. And I'm not necessarily saying it's bad, but it is bad if it's distracting us from doing what could grow our business. It's offering a quick win versus a slow build. Content marketing, blogging, SEO, Pinterest, that's a slow strategy.

But what if you took even just half your time on Instagram and put it towards something else? If you can't go cold Turkey, what if you could just slowly transition time? It would just be so much more effective. 

Read more: My Top Secrets for Your Most Productive Day Ever

Do you have any last thoughts for anyone who wants to either reduce their time spent on social media for their business this year, do a social media detox or completely quit it altogether?

First of all, you can shut down your account but not delete it. Don't get rid of your name. But the other things I wish I'd done is apply for an Amazon storefront, LTK account, and a Share a Sale account. We have had such a hard time and we still cannot get a share of sale account because they look at your Instagram following for things like that. 

shanna skidmore shares social media detox tips

Before you leave, ask: How are you feeling? Why would you like to leave? How much money did the business make? What are your stats? What are your Google Analytics stats? How many people are coming to your website now? That's all important to know. When I left Instagram in 2017, we had about 2,500 monthly visitors to our website, and 70% was from Instagram. I'm so glad I have that data so that when my emotions boil up I can remember, we're making the money we need to make. We're tracking the data we need to track. So that's what I would encourage people to do.

Lastly, create an alternate plan, I would choose one way that you want to transition your audience. Starting a newsletter is a great idea and blogging has been great for us. But give people another way to get to know you because you have to have something. People buy from people. So if you love webinars, do a weekly webinar. You can still have Facebook and figure out one way you can still show up for your people. But please just hear me say, you can do this. 

Rapid Questions with Shanna Skidmore

What unpopular opinion do you have about finance and finance education for business owners?

I struggle when people say, “price what you’re worth”. Worth is not a dollar amount, and so I get what they're usually trying to say, you are worth charging for, but I don't think it's a helpful strategy. 

Read More: How to Price for Profitability as a Showit Designer

What's a recent purchase of a hundred dollars or less that's positively impacted your life?

I love coffee table books. I'm obsessed with them. And I bought Sid and Shea McGee’s “Make Life Beautiful”. I thought it was a coffee table book, but it's not. For years, I didn't read it because I was mad that I thought I was getting a coffee table book, even though it was clearly my fault, I read it this year and it was such a wonderful read because they both really talk about the real of entrepreneurship, the hard, the good, the not understanding the numbers. So it was probably one of my favorite books of 2023.

What's one habit you have that you think has made the biggest difference in your business?

We already talked about it - tracking your time. 100%. If you’ve tried this before, the biggest thing you have to do to make it work is to batch your tasks. That makes you more accurate and it’s a better way to work.

Where Can You Learn More From Shanna Skidmore?

The podcast, of course, Consider the Wildflowers, is full of stories of entrepreneurs and a new episode comes out every Thursday. Or, if you're someone who is struggling in your business to make money (or understand money), of course, I would love to help. We have a 35-page ebook (for FREE), called The Profitability Playbook. Get your copy here!

Links Mentioned:

Watch the Episode on Youtube 

Grab The Profitability Playbook

Listen to Consider the Wildflowers (Elizabeth is on #43!)

Connect with Elizabeth on Instagram

Check Out Shanna’s Website

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February 6, 2024

Explore more categories:  Business, Entrepreneurship, Interviews, Marketing, Podcast

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listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year


Let's be friends, yo.