When you are first starting out, no one knows who you are. You pick a platform pump out some content and you get crickets. No traffic, no impressions, no likes, no comments, and no shares.
The mistake a lot of people make is just to create more content. Eventually, they will get seen or heard, right?
There are really only two ways to grow your audience with content, Gary Vaynerchuk said on a recent podcast. You can:
- Create a piece of content that goes viral.
- Be a valued member of a community.
The latter gives you the potential for much more long-term growth and it’s more enjoyable.
The ultimate practitioner, Gary Vee provided a great method for increasing your connections and your engagement. He calls it The $1.80 Strategy.
The $1.80 Strategy for Instagram
Before you get started, do two things:
First, make a list of all the hashtags that align with your work. What hashtags are people using to post content similar to your work? Use the search tab in the Instagram app to find ideas.
Then, make sure your profile is updated to align with this list. When someone interested in those topics looks at your profile, will they be interested in learning more about you? Some people even put those hashtags in their profile (they won’t be hashtag links on Instagram, but they will be links in Twitter). That works, too.
Now you are ready to go. Here are the steps Gary Vee says to follow:
- Search for a hashtag in the Instagram app.
- Instagram shows nine “Top Posts.” Read the description of the photos and watch the videos, then add something valuable to say in the comments. Share your 2 cents.
- Repeat this for a total of 10 times: 9 top posts x $0.02 comments x 10 hashtags = $1.80
Two lessons learned in applying this strategy:
1) I just tried this for one hashtag and it took about five minutes (so The $0.18 Strategy). It was actually great to use Instagram for some engagement and not just consumption. I even found a few profiles with big audiences that I hadn’t heard of before. I’ve written a book about the topic of the hashtag I used and there were huge profiles with platforms I didn’t even know yet.
2) The other thing I immediately started to think about is what kind of content I could create on Instagram that would do well like these top posts. I’m asking myself what works about those images and descriptions? What could I create like this. Gary Vee pointed this out as a major benefit in the podcast, and I immediately found it to be true.
Whether you do the full $1.80 a day or settle for just $0.18, this strategy works.
The best part is, this community-focused strategy works in any platform where you want to grow: Facebook (search by topic not necessarily hashtag…even better get active in a Facebook Group), Twitter, Medium (topic rather than hashtag), YouTube (keyword search).
By the way, this approach to growing and audience on this post works really well, too: The Hacker’s Guide to Instagram
You might also like:
- The Ultimate Book Launch Guide: 33 Ideas Any Author Can Use
- The 80/20 Analysis Template for Personal Productivity
- Document Your Journey Like It’s 2007
- Book Elevator Pitch Template