Let me get something out of the way: I am a Garyvee fan - to some extent. I follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Mostly so I can send some of his inspirational stuff to my kids, because, you know, if a parent said the same thing, it usually has minimal impact on the kids (“Dad, stop giving me a lecture”).
I was dishing out similar advice to my friends and clients in 2000-2005 (before anyone had heard of Garyvee), telling them that they shouldn’t be watching so much TV and then complain about not having enough time to work on their moonlighting and passion projects. But people will listen only if you have any clout or authority. And at the time, I didn’t have any, because I was working at a job, just like the people I was giving advice to. And even today, I don’t have any, when it comes to my kids and close friends lol!
A lot of his advice is great for young folks - which is why I sometimes forward his post to my kids. “Work your face off”, “Eat $#it”, “Be grateful”, “You’re still so young, so don’t worry about being too late”, (paraphrasing), etc. All that is great for the youngins.
But for most of us, a lot of his advice about growing an audience, is impractical. You and I can’t hire a videographer, editor, and social media marketer to follow us around all day like we were the Kardashians, and create a Truman-show of sorts. And I don’t think most of us even care about doing that.
A lot of his advice about social media is borderline garbage.Like… trying to put content out on all of the platforms, getting on every dang platform that comes along and trying to game “attention” - the kind of stuff that works for a teenager with no bills to pay, nothing to lose, no family or house or chores to take care of, and most importantly, no real products to sell and no real business to run.
Ok, so maybe that makes the case for hiring a social media manager. But still, unfortunately, not everyone can afford to do that, so they all fall for the endless trap of gaming systems.
Case in point: This article.
In the article, he talks about something he calls the “$1.80” strategy of growing your Instagram account. And it basically involves leaving your “2 cents” on 9 of the top accounts for 10 different hottest tags. Get it? 0.02 * 9 * 10 = $1.80.
The above image and the snippets below are all from his actual article:
“I love this! Great way to spread positivity!”
Realistically this shouldn’t take any more than 2 minutes per post.
If you love the post and admire the aesthetic, say so!
If you think a friend would benefit from seeing it, share it with them.
Any of that that sounds like a genuine, deep, thoughtful conversation or discussion to you?
The whole tactic sounds like the sales script given to sleazy scumbag telemarketers in an underground boiler room.
You don’t attract your 1,000 true fans by leaving spammy one-liner comments (“I love this! Great way to spread positivity” is an actual example in the article) on “hottest tags” or other people’s accounts and wasting 2 hours a day on fake engagement.
You attract your 1,000 true fans and develop followers, friends and fans and customers, by putting out epic content, thoughtful and meaningful content that makes people think/learn/laugh/cry/etc, being interesting, having a personality, being funny, inspirational, or educational etc, and creating sustained excellence for a long period of time.
And then hire someone on Fiverr to blast your account with a million fake followers for 5 bucks. Just KIDDING!! :-).
And then spend money to promote your Instagram account and put it in front of enough targeted (as much as you can) audience, and see who is drawn to your content.
This whole rant came about because I saw someone ask about how to grow their Instagram account, and out came a bunch of BS advice, like someone linking to the Garyvee article above.
I would actually say, take a step back and think about whether you really need to worry about promoting your Instagram account. Having followers on any platform doesn’t mean you’ll make money.
Imagine spending that 2 hours a day (as Garyvee seems to suggest that you and I waste on social media) and spending that on creating a remarkable product or service and creating an actual business and providing real value to your audience.
If I were your business coach, and you told me you wanted to grow your Instagram following, the first thing I would ask you is “Why?”.
If attention is what you seek, there are way better ways to build an audience. The quicker you want to build it, the more it is going to cost you in terms of paid ads. Organic exponential growth on Instagram is pretty much impossible even if you put out tons of great content every day.
So a better question would be: How can I reach my target audience?
And there are WAY better ways to do that than trying to grow your Instagram account by leaving cheesy, spammy comments on “hot posts”. When I see someone promoting that, it causes the same kind of visceral reaction and shaking of my head like seeing someone eat Tide pods (laundry detergent cakes).
If you want to do it like grown-ups and non-spammers who don’t have the time to sit around posting spam comments, check out my course about building an audience from scratch, at https://1001TrueFans.com . Solid, fundamental, sensible, practical, proven ways of growing an audience.
Also, check out a couple of related episodes from my podcast https://CutToTheChase.fm where I talked about this stuff.
Likes And Loves Won’t Show You The Money
How to Become an Overnight Success
The Real IG That Is Critical To Your Business
Now go do it.
– Ravi Jayagopal
And check out my main podcast about digital marketing, at https://SubscribeMe.fm