When You Feel Lost in the Social Media “Ocean”

After talking to literally hundreds of business owners, social influencers and other successful individuals, I’ve come to one conclusion:

Most people feel like social media is an ocean and they are lost at sea…

Who could blame anyone for feeling this way? Everywhere you look, everyone seems to have it all figured out.

Bloggers posting a sponsored post every day.  Fitness experts boasting about their client roster.  Moms with 6 kids that have all been bathed, fed and are SO happy to take a family photo in front of their garage… People are having success and you’re over here in your PJ’s and Halo Top ice cream pint asking yourself “when do I get my big break?”

Some of you reading this post have been on social media longer than I have (about 3/4 of a decade) and some of you are new(ish) to it – joined within the past year.  After being on social media for a while, an interesting phenomenon happens to us:  We begin to start looking around us (like the guy in the boat above) and we see other people having crazy success.

When we see others around us, one of two things usually happens:

  1. We get jealous of their success and wonder why we don’t have what they have.
  2. We are happy for their success, get our courage and energy up and go make stuff happen for ourselves.

The first option is dangerous. No good comes from negatively comparing ourselves with others and sliding down the slippery slope of jealousy. That’s not good. If you’ve found yourself on that path – get off it as quickly as possible. RED ALERT! Get off that path…

The second possible scenario is much healthier. How do we get to this option? You have to realize that everyone really is different than each other. We all have similarities but we have differences that make us unique and interesting. This is a good thing, trust me.

I’ve seen literally thousands of social influencers and worked with many of them. The ones that “get it” (meaning, the ones who are figuring out the social media game) are the ones who are posting content that sets themselves apart from others. It doesn’t mean they are doing something completely different – they are just doing things sorta different… you don’t have to reinvent the wheel – you have to make it better, faster, cheaper, more expensive… you get where i’m going with this.

People that are bashful or lack self-confidence rarely grow bigger than a few hundred followers. People like following those who believe in themselves and are out here doing interesting things. People LOVE to watch others… it’s true!

Think about when you pass by an accident on the freeway. Everyone drives by at the turtle-ish speed of 3mph. They’re doing it to be safe, but more accurately, they’re doing it to see what the heck was the reason they’ve been stuck in traffic for the past 30 minutes. Then, a miracle happens.  All of the cars that used to be in front of you… disappeared.

People LOVE to watch what’s going on around them. They love being entertained. We crave it. Often times, in short, compact doses. I recently heard a person’s average attention span is approximately 9 seconds… which, if this is true, may mean you didn’t even make it this far in my blog post… 😉   How do you use this to your advantage?  By being unique, interesting and engaging, immediately.

Give people what they want as fast as possible. You can keep people’s attention longer than 9 seconds, you just have to show them value in your content, right away.

Now, I know how hard it can be to set yourself apart and make your feed feel different than everyone else’s… I’ve been there, personally. For this reason, I want to help you out today.

Normally I sell this, but I want to hook you guys up for free right now.

I’ve created a short document called “The 3 Biggest Reasons Your Social Media Isn’t Growing” that I would like you to have, for free. I know it will help you and it is a very quick read (about as long as this blog post).

To get your copy for free, click this link. At checkout, type in the code:  3things    and it will be delivered to your inbox.

I hope you enjoy reading!


Not All Influencers Have “Real” Influence

Influencers… have you heard this word? Do you know what it means? Do you know what it SHOULD mean?

The term influencer means, in essence, someone that can make someone do, say, buy, view, etc., some thing.

On social media, people refer to individuals and businesses (but more-so individuals) that have a following (usually at least 10k-ish followers) as “influencer”. Today I ask a very important question:  Do all of these accounts on social media have REAL influence?

In short, the answer is NO!

I love to break it to you – not everybody on social media is a real influencer… Not everyone with followers can make their audience go do, say, buy, view, etc., some thing.

Over the past several years, I’ve worked with thousands of influencers, from 10k followers to tens of millions of followers, on branded social media campaigns for the world’s top brands. I have seen the results these influencer posts have driven – engagement, reach, brand awareness, sales, etc.

I’ve been absolutely shocked at times by the power some influencers have and dumbfounded at the lack of influence others have.

Does this sound like you?:  I am a brand/product/service provider that has heard about influencers but just don’t understand this whole world. It’s confusing to me! How do I know who to align myself with? How do I know they won’t go rogue and butcher the campaign? How do I know if their rates are fair? Etc., etc., etc.

I’ve spoken with hundreds of brands about influencer marketing. They all have questions and concerns about influencer marketing. The most popular and concerning one is:

How do I know which influencer to use?!

Here are the three MOST important things you need to look for when determining who would partner well with your brand:

  1. Content Alignment – Otherwise known as “brand safety”.

If you own a boutique that sells modest women’s clothing, don’t be tempted to email a female with 1 million Instagram followers that posts in bikinis and goes to the club every weekend. You need an influencer that posts content in a style similar to what you post.

Five years ago, I was in your shoes. My wife (@theshineproject on Instagram) had a business that was selling a fair amount of products for how long it had been open, and I discovered there were some people who amassed 50k, 100k… even 300k followers on Instagram. I thought, “I bet if I send them product and they post about it and tag us, we can increase our sales!”.  I began the arduous process of finding influencers, gathering their email addresses, figuring out how to get them to respond to my email, sending them product, and praying they post about it… Cumbersome and sometimes – not fruitful.

I even got burned several times. I’d send product to these gals and after it shipped, I would never hear from them again. It made me so mad!

I started noticing patterns, however, in the influencers. I learned who to approach and who not to approach. The response rate to my outreach emails started going up. More posts were going up. Sales were increasing. I sent some influencers product that did nothing in terms of sales. I continued learning. It was working.

I learned that if I was not targeting the right type of influencer to sell my wife’s bracelets and jewelry, even if they posted, I would not drive any sales. I had to target the influencers with followers that would want to buy the product. Sounds simple enough… but it’s similar to going to a car dealership and being wow’d by the Ford GT when all you needed was a Focus. Get what you need and can afford.

  1. Engagement – Likes, comments, views

Engagement is a huge indicator when determining if someone has “real influence” or not. If an influencer can get people to like and comment on their posts, there is a higher chance they can get them to do other things.

The great way to tell if someone has real influence is to read the comments on their posts and look at the number of likes and/or views their post has.

All content verticals have different engagement benchmarks, but as a general rule of thumb, an influencer that receives 2k likes for every 100k followers (2% engagement) is normal. Above 4%-5% is good. If they’re above 10%, that is great.

Comments are an even stronger indicator of engagement, but only if the comments are relevant to the post. It takes much more time to write a comment than it does to double tap a post. The follower feels more impacted by the post if they leave a comment.

  1. Their audience – Is your target customer a woman between the ages of 25-35? You’d better make sure your influencers have that audience!

How can you figure out if an influencer has the same audience as you?

Looking at the demographic of the influencers themselves is a great way. What type of content are they posting? Is it something YOU would post on your brand’s channel? Another strong indicator…

Another simple way is to tactfully ask your prospective influencers for their follower demographic. As shown in the below screenshot, you can see the age, location, gender, etc., of their followers. Don’t come right of the gate and ask them for this, though. Once they’ve replied back to your outreach email and want to know more about you/your company, that’s when you start asking questions to make sure it’s a mutually beneficial partnership.

Make sure to come back next week for more tips on influencers and influencer marketing.

How to Make the Most Out of Instagram Stories

August 2, 2016… No, this wasn’t just my 31st birthday… this was an important date for Instagram! This was the date Instagram launched Stories – their way of competing with Snapchat. Yes… it’s basically identical to Snapchat Stories with some variations, but hey, they say imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?

In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about why you need to be on Instagram Stories as well as how to do them the right way…

  1. Your Instagram Story needs to be exactly that – a story:
    a. It doesn’t necessarily matter how long your story is, it just needs to be engaging to your audience. It needs to be complete
    b. Do not just post random things like what you ate for breakfast, then cut 8 hours later to you’re getting ready and doing a makeup tutorial – just no.
    c. Since the beginning of time, people have loved a good story! They are entertaining and teach us things we didn’t know we wanted to know
  2. Stories need to be part educational, part entertaining:
    a. As you may know, one of my favorite words is “edutainment”. This is a cross between educational and entertainment. People go on social media, especially Instagram, to be entertained. They also like to learn… Put them together and you’ve got the perfect formula for an Instagram Story – edutainment
    b. Lean more towards the entertaining side of things… People don’t always want to learn. They go on social media to escape whatever it is they are supposed to be doing. They want to see what others are doing and feel like they’re a part of it
    c. The educational aspect of Stories should be very light – easily consumable, not hard to remember and makes them feel like they’ve learned.
  3. Use the features Instagram has provided you with:
    a. Today, Instagram came out with a new feature called “Type”. Type allows you to write in any text you want in a large variety of new fonts and backgrounds!
    b. The other features you can use on Instagram Stories are:
    i. Live
    ii. Boomerang
    iii. Superzoom
    iv. Rewind
    v. Hands-free
    vi. Stop-motion
    c. Instagram loves… I mean REALLY loves, people who use these features in their Stories. They love them because these Stories are always engaging and they keep people watching the Story longer – aka – they keep us in the app longer which is what Instagram wants. The longer we stay in the app and the more we come back, the more times they can show us an ad and they make more money.
  4. Instagram Stories is super effective at getting people to do something:
    a. About 3 weeks ago, I created an Instagram Story that explains to my followers, “What I Do”. I explain my professional background and what I’m currently doing for work. At the end of the Story, I explain how you can get a free 15 minute 1-on-1 consultation with me. I have had over 120 people fill out that survey and have gained numerous new Clients from it              b. With the new Highlights feature for Stories, you can save any Story you like for an indefinite amount of time! Which means, I don’t have to constantly repost my Story to my feed and lose all my followers because they’re sick of the same thing!

What do you think of this new “Type” feature on Instagram?

Do you think it’s pretty cool or pretty lame?


If you want to watch my Instagram Story I was just talking about, it’s in my profile click here to check it out.

PPS, If you want a chance to win a free consultation, click this link here.