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Are You Falling Into Social Media’s Validation Trap? What It Is and How to Avoid It

The Struggle Is Real

For many of us creatives, we can really struggle with a need for constant validation. Are we talented? Is our work edgy enough? Do we have what it takes to be a success?

Just a decade ago if we wanted to know those answers people would simply tell us. Now we have this beautifully complex world of social media that can make our brains do back flips and run around in circles most every day and sometimes every hour of every waking day.

After a few minutes scrolling through our feed, we can find ourselves up to our necks in feelings of comparison, envy, and inadequacy. We can get overwhelmed, defeated and never end up posting that shot that we were excited to share in the first place. All of a sudden we can find ourselves deep in what I call The Validation Trap. The social aspect of social media marketing can confuse our objective to simply “teach consumers why they should buy from us.”

A Better Social Strategy to Reach the Right Clients

The best way around this is to set it and forget it! Build a solid social media marketing strategy and separate the process of posting from our need for validation. Marketing should never be done for validation. Period.

The truth is our service is great for some people, but not everyone. The people we are right for and who book us end up raving over our style, personality and product. They give us compliments and sing emotionally charged praises for the work that we put out.

When posting to Instagram, we need to approach it with the mindset of attracting more of the right clients, not getting validation from our peers or even our friends.

Leave Your Emotions at the Door

There are many tools out there to help people schedule posts from a computer desktop rather Instagram or Facebook’s app. This is the best way to treat the task like a marketing part of our job rather than a lunchtime hangout with the coolest kids on campus.

I use I spend an hour or so every few days collecting images for my feed and scheduling them to auto-post at different times of the day during the week. I can even save captions complete with hashtag lists and vendor credits to draw from when regularly posting from a shoot.

You can even look into analytics with Later, which is something I avoid more than embrace because of my personality type. I’ve found the greatest freedom when using Instagram not as a social channel for affirmation but rather a simple platform to share my brand message. I do look to see how many likes I get and how my followers grow, but I can’t camp out there.

Say Yes to Marketing, Say No to Validation

I need to post what I want to communicate and not be emotionally effected by how popular it is. This is what will help us separate our marketing from our need for validation. That, in turn, helps us keep posting consistently to share our unique marketing message. No amount of likes and/or followers will ever satisfy! It has to come down to knowing who you are, why you do the work you do and how to communicate that consistently and in the best light possible.

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