It’s impossible to go from the little guy to a star in this modern world without a social following it just cannot happen anymore at this point and time. Social media has always been a strength of mine but I would never consider myself to be an expert.
On November 20th, 2015, I launched a podcast Podcast called Create Your Own Life; this article is not going to be directly about that, I’ll cover it in a later article. This is about how it would not have survived and thrived were it not for a social following. Why is that? One single reason: obscurity. No one knows you and your message.
I had done a good job through my numerous business ventures over the years in building a following, but it was nowhere near what I needed to do in order to be successful. I had the idea that if I was really going to not only survive but take things to the next level, then I needed to take some of the right actions.
Here’s what I did that changed the game for me:
- Hired a Professional: Justin Matthew is the founder of iBoom Media, and shot me an email after I interviewed one of my Good Friends, Jim Mathers, a client of Justin’s. He worked and grew mainly my Twitter following and Instagram following, taking them from 400 to 7,200 and 2,100 to 19,000 respectively. That sheer reach has been incredible, and honestly it was only my own being cheap that held me back.
I’ve come to understand how important it is to hire a professional, because honestly I just could not get the same results that someone that does it for a living could; not that I want to spend my time on it anyway. We targeted the right accounts that would resound with my message and enlarged my megaphone on a daily basis.
- Got Professional Advice: Zach Benson works with a lot of influencer’s accounts on Instagram, and I can’t say that I remember how we connected, but his world travels are well-documented on Instagram.
Earlier this year, I really wanted to refine my content on Instagram and got some amazing advice from Zach that allowed me to speed up the journey from 15,000 to 19,000 followers in only 10 days. I learned how important three things were: 1. Working with large accounts, 2. Having the correct hashtags and more to maximize exposure, 3. Working with quote cards — People love quotes and I have no idea why.
Zach also pushed me to start using the link in bio option to push more podcast downloads and saw an additional 50-100 hits per episode, linked to a Pretty Link URL shortener on my WordPress site. I learned that Instagram when used correctly can be a traffic driving monster, something that I did not think was possible with the limitation of only having one link.
- Wrote About Influencers: I am thankful for all the retweets by people such as Brian D. Evans, Lewis Howes, Clinton Senkow, John Lee Dumas and Grant Cardone. I like the flavor of the content that they write and produce and for me it fit very well with the content that I produce. So, when I wrote an article I used them as the expert source, because at the time I don’t feel I was an expert.
Taking such action allowed me to help people I admire by exposing their name to people that may not know them, gave me an air of credibility and helped to expose me to a healthy serving of retweets from their followers. It helped me to add more and more value to the correct type of people that I wanted to reach. That’s why I think it is so important to write about influencers, but it’s important that the influencers that you include must be ones deeply connected to your own message. If they are not, it will show just how hollow what you are writing is and make people question you, not support you.
- I Engaged My Followers: I really took it to heart when Gary Vaynerchuk mentioned in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook about how important it is to engage with people on your social platforms. For me, that main engagement has been on Twitter due to the strength in the platform of reaching people that do not know you and your brand.
Too many entrepreneurs think that it’s just as simple as setting up Buffer or Hootsuite and you’re done. It’s not. I use tools to schedule content because it would be insane to try to do it all real time, but an account that shows just a one way conversation is one that’s not making an impact. Gary has criticized accounts that look like they are just shouting their message from the rooftops. When you do not listen yourself, then your social message will fall on deaf ears.
The Create Your Own Life podcast has changed my life, but most people do not realize that it is my second shot at making a podcast work. Other than a more professional outlook and better content, social media has been a massive part of what I have done. Would I have survived without it? No. Businesses will no longer be able to survive not only without a social media following, but without one that’s engaging, has the right content and constantly has attention on growth.