Perfectionism makes starting on a new social media platform extremely daunting, intimidating, and draining. And explains why so many people who are interested in trying to build community on a new platform don’t ever start.
It’s not your fault. Perfectionism is not your fault. I don’t view perfectionism as a quirky personality trait or something we should secretly love to embody. I don’t see it as a personal failing. I don’t see it as your fault. Perfectionism is a tool of oppression, shame, and de-humanizing ourselves. It is everywhere.
Perfectionism might tell us things like:
“I have to have it all figured out before I can start.”
“I need a plan.”
“I need to know how to do it in a really good way in order to start.”
“I don’t have enough to say yet, so I won’t start now.”
TikTok has been the major new platform within the last couple years. As a social media coach, some common areas of questions I get about TikTok are:
✨How to make videos on the app
✨Going viral & comments
✨What kinds of videos to make & which will do well
For each of these topics, as well as other areas of the creative process & building a community on TikTok, perfectionism can quickly show up & make things so much more complicated, frustrating, & meticulous than necessary.
I recommend working smarter not harder with the app —meaning learn some strategies, tricks, & techniques that will work WITH your energy & capacity AND help the app help you. This alone can help us start to gently release perfectionism’s grip on our process by having some direction.
Example of working smarter not harder on TikTok:
Break a larger topic down into smaller, short videos to help you spread out ideas, have more content to share. This works well with TikTok that likes to push out snappier, concise content that people will more likely watch to the end. This helps you not have to come up with more content ideas than is really necessary. It is also super great for your audience, as it will be easier for them to take in your ideas and remember more of what you said. People aren’t paying that close attention on social media – keeping things simpler is actually better for everyone involved and helps you work with the algorithms.
My work is to take as much of the content creation and online community building process as possible and reframe it into these kinds of standards –
low-energy friendly (meaning can be accomplished with low effort and capacity), compassionate and anti-perfect (meaning not in a way that makes the creator feel shitty about themselves and likewise doesn’t make the audience feel shitty about themselves), and educationally inclusive (meaning the way we go about sharing information uses what we know about how people learn to maximize the impact we have on our audience).
I want low-energy entrepreneurs & creatives especially to be able to take advantage of TikTok if they want. Y’all have messages & art the world needs to hear & see. There are people out there needing your voice and vision. Our social media strategy needs to intentionally disengage us from perfectionism while not placing the blame on us. That kind of approach is what helps make content creation sustainable long term – more than just one trend, one viral video, one dance, one batch of content. You and your message deserve that kind of space and autonomy online.
If you are interested in getting started on TikTok OR have been on the app & would like some gentle strategy that’s low-energy friendly, Check out my new free guide “3 Things to Do Before, During, & After Posting on Social Media”
Also, stay tuned for more details about TiredTok: My new self-paced offer that is the low-energy guide to creating on TikTok and building community while prioritizing your mental wellbeing.
⇣I’ve written out some gentle words of compassion, validation, & suggestion for whenever you find yourself creating a new social media page from scratch:
🥪 Hey, if you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious at all, exit out of this thing. It is not more important than you not losing your mind. Try again later.
🍟 Hey, if you are telling yourself that setting up a new social media platform should be simple & easy, & therefore why haven’t you done it yet….say outloud to yourself “this is actually not simple. This can actually take a lot of capacity & thought. I’m allowed to take my time getting this off the ground. Quickness does not signify a better social media profile or community.”
🍿 Hey, if you start comparing yourself to other people who look like they have it all figured out based on their follower count, likes, etc … remember that everyone had to start from zero, many humans have a team helping them, & there is so much magic in your unique journey of building a community that is special to you & your message.
🥞 Hey, if you start spiraling about posting your first piece of content because you’re not sure what to post next, or the day after that, or next week, or next month… take a deep breath.
Tell yourself this:
“Making a plan for the rest of time before I start is not a supportive use of my energy.
It can be unnerving to start without a master plan, but trying to make every decision before I even start isn’t serving me or my community.”
🍕 Hey, if you are anxious thinking about “all the people who will be watching you,” maybe people from IRL, humans on the internet, strangers who find you… I want to inform you that people actually aren’t paying that close attention on social media.
Perfectionism tells us all our actions are on display, waiting for critique, but in reality, people have their own lives & shit.
Use that information as your invitation to do stuff half-assed or not at all, remembering people aren’t really paying attention.
🥨 Hey…. You are an amazing human for doing this.
You are an amazing human who deserves to rest, find joy, laugh.
Go forth & get some sleep 😴 😉