When I deleted my Instagram account in January of this year, it was a gamble. I was acting on the theory that, if I started over and did everything right, the payoff would more than make up for the cost of losing all that I’d gained from my old account. It was a leap of faith.

It’s a leap I would take again in a heartbeat. I only wish I’d made it sooner. 

Reporting from the other side

I’m writing this now to report back on what’s happened since making that leap and starting fresh on the platform. I’ve been transparent about some of the shady tactics I used before, mainly because these were tactics that were more acceptable in times past. 

More followers = more credibility, right? That’s what motivates a lot of us to try solutions that we’d rather keep to ourselves. But when I started over with the commitment to avoid anything I couldn’t freely admit without the tiniest reservation, I felt freer than I had in a while. 

Every single follower on my new account is there because they want to be – because they like what I’m putting out there for them. I’m proud of what this account has accomplished so far, and I’m thankful for every follower who has joined me or stayed with me throughout this experiment. 

I know some folks out there are thinking of doing the same thing. And I would 100% encourage them to take that step. Because for me, it’s made a huge difference. 

Fewer followers but more engagement

I get more engagement from the nearly 4K followers on my new account than I was getting from the 13.9K followers on my old account. 

Not only that, but I’m gaining more new followers every day. 

It might sound cheesy, but the confidence I’ve gained from making this leap has carried over into my attitude toward the content I put out on Instagram. And that alone has made a difference for me. 

I also think my followers – the ones who knew me from my old account – have picked up on the difference. My goal is less about reaching a high number of followers and more about sharing content my followers will not only enjoy but benefit from. 

Maybe it helps that I no longer feel a need to prove my credibility as an agent and as a content creator. Follower numbers don’t tell the whole story, anyway. Engagement is what I’m after. 

And to really engage with people, you’ve got to connect with them as you are – not as the person you think they want you to be. 

More views, more comments, and more reach

My Instagram Stories are getting more views than ever – and 50% more replies. That’s not surprising when you consider the difference in reach between my old and new accounts. 

Back in January of this year, my total reach per month was about 33,800. Within the first month of creating my first account, my reach was over 164,000. 

Did I know this would happen? No. I had some faith that everything would work out, but I did not foresee the numbers I’m seeing now. 

Paving the way

One of the inspirations behind this move was Neel Home (aka Neel Dhingra), – the founder of @forwardacademyusa  – who did this a few years ago and who walked me through it. He’s one of the biggest entrepreneurial influencers on Instagram

What I learned from him led to the making of the “Goodbye” Reel on my old account – and this new “Hello” from the other side. 

My hope, with what I’ve learned, is to be able to encourage others out there who are thinking of doing the same thing. Honestly, I know about the uncertainty. 

While I don’t know your exact situation or what you’ve built, I can at least tell you that starting over hasn’t slowed me down one bit. If anything, it’s steered my Instagram presence in the direction I was trying to go with my old account. It’s changed everything – in the best way. 

I mention my inspiration because I know I didn’t invent this idea. It’s not new. But it is scary when you’ve built something and invested so much of yourself and your time and money into it. 

I’m just one voice saying, “You can do this, and you won’t regret it.” And if you decide you’re up for it, and you want someone rooting for you, I’m here.  

You can connect with me on Instagram and TikTok, using the same handle: @massiveagent. You can also get more of my content at the Massive Agent Podcast