At the beginning of the year, I decided I was going to invest in growing my personal brand on social media.
I’ve gained thousands of subscribers and generated an addition $11,000 a month in revenue.
The best part? I am just getting started.
In this week’s article, I will cover how to …
- grow your following
- properly position yourself and your brand
- turn your social media following into money
The Only Reason to use Social Media
Most of you waste time on social media. Worst of all, you spend hours on social media every day and spend that time comparing yourself to other people.
It’s so important that you recognize the potential trap that social media is setting for you.
Understand that social media is not free. You are the product.
To me, social media is nothing but a marketing channel to spread my message and grow my business. I use social media as a tool to serve my mission and I refuse to let myself fall into the trap of allowing social media to use me to serve their mission.
I can’t emphasize this point enough. Unless you are willing to set boundaries and are willing to stay the course with your objectives, you will easily fall into the black hole of social media.
In which case, you’re doomed.
Now let’s get to the fun part.
I WILL GIVE YOU A FREE MARKETING AND BUSINESS AUDIT!
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How to Grow Your Following
All the social media gurus give the same stupid advice.
Gurus want it to seem like they have some secret formula to generating a massive following, but most of the time, the system is cut and dry.
Sure, there are plenty of examples of people getting on social media that have a natural persona and buzz about them, and their personality alone is the driving force behind their growth.
But these examples are rare. They are few and far between. There are actual tactics you should follow to force the growth.
The standard guru advice such as “be consistent” and “post great content” isn’t enough to separate you from the crowd. You need leverage.
In short, you need to know what to post and you need to know how to get your posts in front of other people.
What should you post?
I used to struggle with this a lot. I would sit by my phone and hit record and stare into the camera with nothing good to say. Inevitably I would start to feel stupid, delete the recording, and say “fuck this I’m not doing it.”
Then, I discovered the secret.
Don’t give advice. Don’t even create content. Simply share your experience.
One of my slogans is this …
“I have no advice to give, only experience to share.”
In order to create content that is helpful, relatable, and engaging, all you need to do is share your experience.
There is no arguing with your experience. No one can rebuttal it and counter your opinion. How could they? It’s your experience.
In addition, your experience is unique to you. Your story is built into your experience. You will never run out of ideas to talk about because you are always living one day at a time.
I don’t create content about anything other than my own experience.
Now of course you will be able to improve your ability to tell a great story or take a life experience you had and make it more relatable to your following, but that is simply a matter of practice.
What’s important is that you continue to share and collect data. In time, you will discover what content most resonates with your audience, in which case, you can double down.
When should you post?
As much as you can.
I can’t stand when gurus come up with time slots for “maximum engagement.” Planning your social media content around unpredictable metrics is incredibly stupid.
The only way to truly grow your social media presence is with volume.
Post multiple times a day.
Granted, there are natural limitations. You should have better things to do than be creating social media content all day. If you’re posting 20 pieces of content every day on multiple platforms, it probably means your priorities are out of order. You still need time to focus on sales or work with your team or even maintain your health and fitness. Your posting shouldn’t become an obsession.
The point I am making is that it’s impossible to predict what content will go viral, so your highest probability of success is to publish as much content as you can and letting the social media gods determine which content will spread.
I recently created a video about this exact topic.
Don’t look for hacks. Don’t look for an easier softer way. Post as much as you can.
How do you get people to see your content?
Social media growth is all about amplification.
That’s a fancy way of saying that you need other people to share your content.
The slow death of social media desperation is to post content every day for months or even years and hardly see any growth. Then, you might ask Gary Vee “why isn’t my social media growing?”, in which case he will tell you to be patient.
The reason your social media isn’t growing is because other people aren’t sharing your content.
What you need is …
- reposts on Instagram to story shares
- people texting your content to their friends
- getting your content featured in other people’s newsletters
- getting invitations to be on podcasts
The secret of social media is that everyone is paying each other to re share each other’s content.
You may not like it, but if you want to grow, that’s the game you need to play.
If you want other people to see your content, chances are you will have to pay other people to retweet and repost your content for you.
How to Make Money
In order to fully understand how to generate income from your social media, you first must understand the role social media plays in the sales funnel.
Social media serves best as a “top of funnel” mechanism. That means it collects all the raw attention and then filters that attention down to the next, more specified level of the sales process.
Let’s look at how I have mapped out my funnel.
The purpose of your social media content …
… is not to get likes, or praise, or hits of dopamine.
The purpose of your social media content is to drive traffic to your website and subsequently to your email list.
Now look, of course there are other tactical ways to use social media. There are plenty of influencers who monetize their social media through brand sponsorships or maybe even as a way to land speaking gigs.
However, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Focusing all your effort in generating email signups does not mean that you can’t also generate addition revenue with sponsorships and speaking gigs.
But email is where the sales will come from. Email is what turns attention into cash.
For the sake of this article, I’m not going to get into the email marketing, but if you want to learn how to write emails and sales funnels that convert, you should click here to read this article about monetizing an email list.
How to get people to want to buy from you
Out of all the sections in this article, this may be the most important one.
The reality is that attention and trust on social media is not spread out evenly. The majority of people, regardless of their best efforts, will not be able to generate much traffic or sales from their social media content.
You’ve heard me talk about the pareto principle many times over, and the concepts apply here as well. The majority of the attention on social media will be focused on a small minority of individuals or brands.
So how do you become one of accounts that attracts the attention?
You need to teach.
When you teach what you know, you are giving evidence that what you do works. People will take you seriously because it’s obvious to them that your results speak for themselves.
Regardless of what you may think, people aren’t interested in gimmicks or hyperbole. People aren’t stupid and they can tell if you’re treating them like fools.
Creating social media content that teaches your audience is an immediate and effective way to gain trust and a way for people to take you seriously.
If you teach people what you know, they will appreciate you and be eager to follow you.
It’s much easier to be a teacher than to be an entertainer or an pundit. Anyone can have an opinion, but not everyone has something to teach.
To make money on social media, you should become an expert in a particular field and then share your knowledge. It’s a much more effective strategy for generating income than trying to become popular.
Remember, there is a difference between getting followers on social media and making money from social media
A social media following without a reputation is worthless.
This advice may be contrarian, but it is my suggestion that you completely ignore trying to generate sales through social media until you have first built a business or a reputation in an industry.
You don’t want to sell until you have trust. At first, it’s much more effective to generate sales by working personally with people, having one on one conversations, and building your reputation organically. Once you have the reputation, sales become easy.
This is one of the reasons why my social media has generated so many sales for me in such a short period of time. I didn’t start actively selling a product until I first had established my reputation.
People immediately take me seriously. I don’t need to use social media to convince people that I know what I’m doing. I actually don’t care at all about whether you think I know what I am doing or not. All you have to do is look at my track record.
The results speak for themselves.
Social media is simply an avenue for me to expand upon what I have already been working on.
There is a fundamental difference between the two philosophies. One sees social media as a means to an end, the other sees social media as an end within itself.
Annie Miller is a great example …
Annie Miller started off as a personal trainer. Once she created a successful personal training business, she then created a coaching business that works with aspiring personal trainers.
She is successful because she has the track record to prove herself. She doesn’t need to create social media content to qualify herself and as such, she can get right to the selling.
In addition, you can see how her social media content is used to teach other coaches some of the tricks she has learned to grow her own coaching business.
She has already qualified herself as an expert through her results, and now she can get right to teaching.
Here is another example of a social media post Annie created that shows her own track record. It was this post that first attracted me to Annie, because as a person who is also interested in fitness performance and physique, I thought the vulnerability and rawness of the message was powerful.
It’s a prime example of “don’t listen to what I say, just look at what I’ve done.”
Annie’s results are self evident by looking at her body and listening to her philosophy.
One Last Thing, Don’t Be Shy
I will end this article with one final message.
The most basic and simple tactic you can deploy to make money with social media is adding calls to action.
Why is it that so many people create content and never tell people the action they want their audience to take? It’s so simple, and your insecurity of “not wanting to be salesy” is the biggest hurdle you have.
I want you to commit to adding calls to action to your content. Simply tell your readers, viewers, or listeners the action you want them to take. You’re not coming across as salesy, I promise. In fact, it’s the opposite. Your audience is already consuming your free content because they are interested in what you have to say.
The fact alone that they are paying attention to you is proof that they are interested in learning more. So be sure to direct your following to your email list, to your sales page, or to whatever action you want them to take.
I will use my own social media as examples…
My Twitter Bio
My bio has a literal arrow pointing people to the action I want them to take.
I have created a setting that automatically generates an email signup CTA to attach itself to any tweet that gets 50 likes or more.
My Instagram Videos
I have an email signup CTA at the end of EVERY SINGLE VIDEO I create and post.
The worst thing that can happen is that you spend time, energy, and resources creating good social media content and generate no conversions.
If that’s your situation, you’re better off not doing social media at all, because at least you could use those resources for something that is generating actual results.
So don’t be a wuss. Promote yourself. Tell your audience what you want them to do, and you will be surprised how willing they are to do it.
It’s working for me, I know it will work for you.