Instagram without the Imposter Syndrome

27 May, 2020 | Podcast, Season 4

How often do you leave Instagram feeling rubbish about everything in your business? 

When competitor research becomes comparison negativity, how can you claw back from the fatigue?

This week’s podcast is all about combating Instagram comparison chaos and embrace competitor research for the positive activity it should be.

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Six steps to controlling your Imposter Syndrome

Competitor research is a useful and practical tool when tackling marketing. It’s a great way to work out how to position yourself in your area of expertise, and it can be inspiring to see the excellent ways other people use the platform.

Unfortunately – there is a darker side to competitor analysis. When it tips into competitor comparison, it can lead to feelings of imposter syndrome, anxiety and lack of self-belief and confidence.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, it’s all too common. So let’s look at some inspiring and easy ways to beat the negative aspects and get a shine back on your business marketing efforts.

Need to chat?

Imposter syndrome and competitor comparison fatigue can be really difficult, and at times you might feel very alone. Please take heart these feelings can come to anyone, at any time. If you want to talk to me or to someone else on this week’s topic, we’ve included links at the foot of the page. If you would like to reach out to me here at the podcast, please do so. We’re always here for you, and I read and reply to every email.

The world needs you. It doesn’t matter if other people do the same things you do 

If there were only one personal trainer in the world – we’d all be in trouble, wouldn’t we? We used this example and others from the art world to remind business owners everywhere to show up, add value and keep going. No matter what your competitors or similar businesses are up to.

“Your audience looks to different sources for inspiration. That could be you, or someone else. But, they’ll never find you if you’re not producing content and providing value.” – Katie

Say goodbye to competitors and hello to your peers

A simple change of language can make all the difference to our outlook. Instead of doing ‘competitor research’ how about looking at the same group of people as our peers? Remove the idea of competition and replace it with a more favourable position.

Look to your peers as inspiration, instead of frustration 

If you’re used to looking at your peers’ accounts and feeling deflated by how great their content is, it’s time to turn it to your advantage. Save the content you enjoy using the bookmark icon. You’ll soon have a swipe file full of great ideas, inspiration and motivation to get out there and create great content for you.

“If you find yourself wishing your content was as good as your peers, save it to a swipe file. In the future, you’ll have a saved folder full of great inspiration to create your own great content.” – Katie

Streamline your Instagram grid but keep hold of the inspiring stuff

If scrolling through your grid makes you feel negative, here’s a great way to keep hold of the content your peers share, without having to see it every time you go onto Instagram.

  • Find an account in your feed which makes you feel a bit demoralised.
  • Save a few posts you’d like to be inspired by to your swipe file
  • Unfollow the account
  • Repeat as required
  • Enjoy a positive grid that makes you feel good
  • The content that inspires you is still in your swipe file

When mindset and practical tools are still not enough – you’re allowed to stop

When peer research makes you feel rubbish more than it inspires you – you can stop doing it! The point of the practice is to inspire you, but if you feel bad and you don’t want to create any content – it’s counterproductive. Remove anything from your business strategy that doesn’t serve you.

“If peer research makes you feel bad, stop doing it. You didn’t need my permission but I’ve given it to you anyway.” – Katie

You. Are. Awesome. Don’t let anybody else convince you otherwise

You’re freaking fantastic. You’ve set up your own business. You’ve found your creative ideas. It’s awesome. And if there’s someone out there – in real life or online – telling you that you’re not good enough, get rid of that feedback.

  • Set boundaries – tell people you don’t like the way they speak about your business, and you’d like to change the subject.
  • Block online negativity – block, delete, unfriend, unfollow, remove email sign-ups. Whatever it takes – you don’t need to hear this. Just get them away from you.

When it’s your inner critic convincing you otherwise

Sometimes more work in this area is needed. Our negative self-talk can get us down. Every business owner can use a boost in confidence from time to time – so seek out the available help.

  • Download self-care and positivity apps
  • Consider counselling, or try business or confidence coaching
  • Affirmations, gratitude journals, meditation – find something that works and stick to it
  • Reach out to business groups with people like you – you’ll soon see others feel the same way

Big steps or little steps – be kind to yourself

We hope you enjoyed this week’s podcast and have found some ideas to help you feel better with your Instagram marketing experiences. Take time to pause and reflect on how you’re doing and always be kind to yourself – you really are doing a great job.

Links to other resources & websites

To find hashtags without browsing your peers’ posts: 

Display Purposes Only

Focal Mark

Counselling in Edinburgh:

The Next Chapter

Search for online counselling:

Counselling Directory

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy


Our latest posts about Instagram

What it’s really like to grow your business with IG Reels, with Abi Sea

Today’s guest is the wonderful Abi Sea, long term friend of the podcast and returning guest. Our conversation today has been all about growing an audience with Instagram Reels, but maybe a little different than the conversation you’re expecting. We talked about the imperfections of our approaches to Reels, the ...

How to make your Instagram feed exactly what your customers need

Want to know what to post on your Instagram feed right now in 2021 and going into 2022? You’re in the right place! Welcome to episode 96 of The Whin Big podcast, where we go behind the scenes of The Whin Instagram masterclass and take another look at one of ...