Nathan Chan is the founder of FoundrMag ( https://foundrmag.com ). In this episode he walks us through exactly how he grew his Instagram account to 600k followers, collected over 150k emails, and how you can copy his exact method!
→ He is the creator of Founder Match.com
→ Digital magazine, podcast, and content powerhouse that helps entrepreneurs
→ He has gained a lot of attention in a short amount of time
→ How does he deliberately get that attention
→ Specifically, how he got Founder Mag featured prominently in app stores next to big names such as Entrepreneur, Bloomberg, and Fortune
→ He discussed App Store Optimization (ASO) as a growth hack
→ They leveraged a Richard Branson interview and cover feature to drive trust and leverage in their marketplace
→ Piggybacked off key search terms to increase visibility in app stores
→ Focused on getting five-star reviews and using a tool called Sensor Tower to track and improve app store ranking
→ And a whole lot more
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV and Bronson Taylor. And today I have Nathan Chan with us. Nathan, thanks for coming on the program.
Nathan: Thank you so much for having me, Bronson. It’s an honor to be here, bro. Like, I’ve been watching your stuff for a long time, man.
Bronson: Same to you. I’ve been watching your stuff. You’ve really come of age in the last year, so it seems like you’re everywhere. But let me tell people a little bit about you here. You are the creator of founder Match.com and that’s founder of you indie. Ah, so drop the E! Founder Match.com. And it’s a digital magazine. It’s a podcast. It’s a content powerhouse, really helping entrepreneurs. And like I said, here’s what’s really interesting to me. You’ve come seemingly out of nowhere and you’ve gotten a lot of people’s attention. But it wasn’t an accident. You did deliberate things that got their attention. And I really want to dig into those things that you did deliberately that we can learn from, because you have a lot of eyes looking at you. And that wasn’t the case two years ago. So sounds good to you.
Nathan: Yeah, sounds good. Let’s do a man or phone book.
Bronson: All right. So question number one, when I go to the App Store and I look at founder mag, I see your icon right next to entrepreneur, right next to Bloomberg, right next to Fortune. Those are big names. And then there’s the founder mag icon. How did you get featured so prominently in these app stores for founder mag?
Nathan: Yes. In the early days, that’s been a really big growth hack of ours. And what we’ve done is, is app store optimization. So instead of when SEO search engine optimization, app store optimization. So the way we’ve done that is we’ve re-engineered back in the early days, you know, when we launched the magazine, we were lucky enough to get an interview with Richard Branson. And to be honest with me, and we put him on the front cover, we interviewed him. And to be honest, Brunson would be running that for a while now. And that and that interview was a massive game changer for our business, because what it allowed us to do is allow us to have ridiculous amounts of leverage to get other interviews with other influences. And then also, it’s also allowed us to, I guess, build a ridiculous amount of trust in our marketplace and in the niche that we’re trying to serve. And what we’ve done from there is, you know, if you go and search founder in the App Store or if you go and say it’s like entrepreneur or startup or any of these key search terms, we’re piggybacking off them. And then we’re using the Richard Branson cover and getting all the downloads. And then as time has gone on, our rankings have driven, driven, driven, and we get a lot of downloads and sales from the App Store. So it’s to the point that we are, you know, one of the top ten biggest sin investing magazines in the App Store sitting next to, as you said, Fast Company, Forbes entrepreneur. So there’s a few things that we did. The first thing we did was we we really re-engineered the funnel. So what does it look like if someone finds your app? So we we, I guess, started piggybacking off key search terms and we did whatever we could to get as many five star reviews in the App Store in the US in particular. And that’s that’s the big part of search in the App Store, similar to podcast as well or similar to, you know, SEO. It’s all about those backlinks or those recommendations and the backlinks to that recommendation. So one thing we know is that Apple used these five star reviews or even any reviews as an indication of, you know, how, how high they should rate your app. So we used a tool called Oh geez, I’m just thinking what the tool was called. So if you have an app, this tool is absolutely gold. Just give me a second.
Bronson: You got to find it then. You can’t tell us it’s golden.
Nathan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I will. I will. Don’t worry. I’m just Google searching it now. Sensor tower.
Bronson: I say it again.
Nathan: Tower sent. Saw seen is 0rtower dot com. Okay. So Sensor Tower allows you to run searches on popular keywords. And what happens is you can work out how you can actually rank for keywords. So it’s like the old days of Google where if you have certain keywords in the name, then you will get priority in terms of ranking. Then they also look at how many people are using your app, and then also the reviews. And the reviews are a big deciding factor on how you rank. So what we’ve done is we’ve, you know, if you look if you search for founder like in the App Store, you’ll see that. You’ll see that we have in our name, you know, a young entrepreneur magazine for a. Startup founder. That’s actually in the name of the app. And then also we’ve in our keywords, you’re allowed up to 100 characters in the app, like when you submit your app. So you can have like we actually use, you know, Forbes Fast Company and we just piggyback off those big brands. So when people do search for us and then, you know, founder comes up like the first thing people say is the Richard Branson feature and like, oh, boom, you know, and then, you know, we get them on copy and then once they download the app, you know, they download it and this big pop up comes up and then, you know, the funnel takes care of itself. So that’s what we’ve what’s what we’ve been doing from an ISO standpoint to leverage and piggyback of these big brands. So having the keywords in the name of the app, they really think about the screenshot because you screenshot is your biggest real estate. Now the first screenshot that you have on your iTunes landing page and then you’re using those using that thinking about what would people search if they were going to look for anything interesting in entrepreneurship or looking for entrepreneurship magazine or anything about start ups. And yet we’re just piggybacking off all of those keywords. It’s doing really well for us.
Bronson: Yeah, so it seems like a so for you guys, it’s really three things. It’s the text, it’s the reviews and it’s the imagery. So getting the right words in the text, whether it’s the title of the app, whether it’s the description in the App Store. So the text getting the the right five star reviews in the country to going for and imagery that really captures their imagination. Richard Branson is a striking figure around the world for entrepreneurs, so having that is the image there. So it’s those three things and the interplay that really allows you to get where you are, right?
Nathan: Yep, 100%. And we’ve used a tool like Sensor Tower to do the keyword research because it allows you to like it makes estimates on the top keywords in your niche, which is really, really powerful. I have to say, though, the app or not concerned with the description that has no difference in your ranking. Really, it’s only the key. Yeah. They don’t care about the description. They only care about your keywords that you submit in to. Apple’s the 100 character count of keywords, the name. And then also you could you could do something cool with the author title is like the all the titles of you know your business if you want to get really savvy and then also your reviews if you have if you have some of those keywords in the reviews, that would help as well.
Bronson: So it’s not just about values. You think maybe having the word entrepreneur in the reviews could actually help you, you know, or startup or whatever? You’re going to.
Nathan: Get 100%, I’m sure.
Bronson: That’s good to know. This is the new SEO. It’s going to change rapidly. It’s, you know, when you master it, you can rank really high. I mean, this is where it’s going.
Nathan: Yeah, I think so. And a lot of people haven’t caught on to App Store optimization. A lot of people have. But I can tell you this is someone’s going to launch an app. A lot of people don’t know about this and it’s just really low hanging fruit because you get free traffic. You just you know, Apple has such a massive platform. Why not utilize you know, people are paying, you know, Facebook for ads and doing content marketing, you know, doing all these things. But I we saw it as the lowest hanging fruit because people are already searching for what you’ve created. Why not just try and link that up?
Bronson: Yeah, I guess it’s just, you know, for me because I do Facebook ads and I do content marketing, but I don’t have an app and I guess for me it feels like a bigger investment. It feels like, oh, to get an app, you need app developers and to get in the app store, you have to learn a new domain. But you’re saying it’s worth it because you’re throwing money, all these other things. It’s worth the investment to get a presence in the App Store.
Nathan: Yeah, well, look, it really depends, right? So I wish I could tell you that was super strategic around that, bro. Honestly, I started founder, you know, close to three years ago and it started just as a digital magazine on the App Store. And the whole play there was I wasn’t going to start a print magazine because cost of production is, you know, 100 what we pay to produce it now. And also I think prints are a bit of a dying trade and distribution and scale mattered to me. So, you know, that was the play. And then, you know, I didn’t know anything about App Store observation. I just knew that I wanted to get as many people as I could. And it’s a boot. We are we’re a bootstrapped startup. I didn’t have any funding. We’re not we’re not funded. And I didn’t have any capital. I wanted to just get as many or get like as much free paid acquisition as possible. So I just had to look at the market that I was playing in and look at the lowest hanging fruit that I had available to me. And yeah, I found that to work really, really well. But yeah, it just depends on your business model. Bronson Because then what we’ve found is, you know, having a mag is. Is it a may amazing way to build influence in your market or your niche? So now we’ve got this magazine, we’ve got all these influencers on the front cover. Even if you come to the, you know, the home page of our site, we showcase that and really put that up there. So we’re we’re using these influencers or ambassadors as a way to build influence and grow really, really fast and use that as leverage to get more users, get more email subscribers, get more people into our community and all sorts of things like that. So the magazine really positions us really, really well.
Bronson: Yeah. You know, I think that might be the greatest hack right there. I mean, that’s what John Lee Dumas said when he came on our show. He said it’s building the audience that is the hack, because then whatever product you have, you have a distribution channel. And I felt the same thing with Growth Hacker TV. It’s the audience that I’ve built up over the years that allows me to have this distribution channel for things like growth geeks or whatever else I might be involved in. And then you’re finding the same thing. That’s almost like content marketers. They have a product and then they try to build the audience. People like you and I, we build an audience, and then we build a product.
Nathan: Hmm. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. And I think that’s the bit like we’ve found that way to work really, really well for us. Like we, you know, we didn’t know that we get into the online education space and that’s like a multibillion dollar industry and we’ve just kind of, you know, now we’re starting to tap into that and we’re really tapping into that from finding out what our audience is asking for. And it kind of makes sense. Like, you know, there’s so many people out there teaching courses and doing all sorts of things. And, you know.
Nathan: We’ve got this massive audience all, all, you know, focused around entrepreneurship, a massive community. And, you know, you know, we’re well positioned to to teach and connect people up with other experts that can teach them things.
Bronson: Absolutely. Now, you know, at one point you received 100,000 downloads of founder app in 18 months. Was this all through app store optimization or was there something else clever you did there to actually achieve that goal?
Nathan: Mainly app store optimization and. Yeah, mainly app store optimization. Yeah. No. So yeah, mean.
Bronson: Yeah. That really shows you like how much, you know, ISO can do. I mean, that’s a striking number, 4002 months. So you mentioned you’re getting into education and you’re doing some courses. If I’m not mistaken, you have some Instagram courses that you’re working on. Before we talk about the course, I want to talk about Instagram marketing because you sent me over some numbers earlier today that were kind of mind blowing. You’ve generated a list of 155,000 emails in 13 months using mainly Instagram. So, yeah, walk me through that. I mean, I’m dying personally to learn how you did this.
Nathan: Yeah. So dude, it’s funny. Like, when I started the magazine, I didn’t even know the power of email marketing, didn’t even know, like, you know, how powerful that is. And and everyone said, you know, the money’s in the list, but.
Bronson: The little stuff is getting really serious.
Nathan: Yeah. And I didn’t know it. I didn’t get it. I remember I was even scared to send emails. You know, it took me a while to even get over that daunting fact of mailing out to people. And, you know, we were looking for channels, so we had ISO. So, you know, that’s been one of our biggest growth channels. And we’ve had this influencer marketing play like, you know, Tony Robbins, Seth Gordon, all these other influences and big startup founders that we’re aligning ourselves with. But you know, you know what, like any marketing Bronson, you know, you got to throw things against the wall and see what sticks and about see. So we started on Instagram November 2014, and the way that came about was I was bringing on an intern to help out and we had an Instagram account there had I hadn’t looked at it or opened in about a year and we had like 20 images, you know, a couple hundred followers, nothing major. And I thought, you know, just get my intern to do this, you know, just to work on Instagram because, you know, that’s one of our channels. You know, how you just post on channels because that’s what people should do. You write what you post on Twitter because that’s what we say to do Facebook. And now people are saying Snapchat, you know, so before I jumped on it, like before we started, like literally the night before we started, I thought, I’ll just log in here and see how this Instagram thing works. And what I did was I, you know, we had a couple hundred followers there and I had some friends that were killing it on Instagram in the House Nation. I would generate, you know, tens of thousands of dollars every single week. And they said to me, oh, look, here’s some cool things you can do, but I don’t know if it’s going to work for you because, you know, you have an entrepreneurship brand. I don’t think people hang out there on Instagram and I don’t know if it’ll work. And, you know, I opened up the account and I did a couple of those things and I did a couple of posts and dude on a Google Analytics. It wasn’t much at the time, but I saw a sales spike overnight and we made an extra couple of hundred bucks and it was just like this massive spot. Of uses that come in like an extra three or 400 downloads and just a massive spike and all. It’s just like, Wow, what’s going on here? Mm hmm. And then this took me down this path to just absolutely grotesque, the absolute crap out of Instagram. And and at during that time period, I work, you know, just this time period, I’ve worked out the power of building an email email list. And now, you know, instead of pushing people to the the app, the magazine app, you know, we push them to to download a lead magnet and then, you know, nurture that person to, you know, download the magazine or, you know, try one of our courses or sign up to something else or, you know, any of our other paid products. And, you know, to be honest, it’s only really been this last you know, we’ve been on Instagram for about 14 months and we’ve, you know, back then we had an email list of about 2000 or 1000. And now we’ve built up to, you know, closer to 160,000. And we’re generating anywhere between 20 to 30000 email subscribers a month. It’s only been yeah, probably the latter half of that 13, 14 months that we’ve really been aggressive on lead generation. And I think the coolest thing is as well is we’ve built that following up from zero to over 620,000 followers, which has been massive for spreading the message, you know, the founder message of helping entrepreneurs, promoting entrepreneurship and, you know, just building out brand equity.
Bronson: So now tell me the puzzle pieces of this Instagram hack, you know, saying that Instagram got you there. We want to know, how are you just getting, you know, pieces from the magazine? Are you doing something clever? Like what’s actually happening on your account?
Nathan: Yeah. So, dude, we’ve got a lot here. All right? So pretty much one thing that we’ve done that we found, you know, like, I’ll just go. I’ll just go through. I just give you my best stuff. Sorry.
Bronson: Yeah, I want to think.
Nathan: Was about one thing. One thing we found is, is when it comes to posting content on Instagram or any social media platform, you really have to look at what’s working in your marketplace. So I noticed on Facebook that my other magazines like Success magazine, entrepreneur, Fast Company, they are posting a lot of quotes. And I never, you know, never that being that big into these co quote game. But we just started posting a couple of quotes and and they just like, spread like wildfire, man and people love them. And if you’re an entrepreneur or sparring entrepreneur, people just love them. So, you know, we just started posting a whole time, quotes or maims or whatever you want to call them, and they just really started to help grow account really, really fast. And, you know, even though even getting like shared by celebrities and all sorts of things, we have like people like deejay Khalid, like he follows us on.
Bronson: These everywhere on social media. That guy is social media this year.
Nathan: Is it? That dude follows this like so many people love those quotes. So that’s been the basis of our content strategy. But not only are they just, you know, motivational whatever, but we have like a lot of startup founder type quotes and things like that and a lot of people don’t have which people find really inspiring. And, you know, you can learn like you can take a little bit of that message from whatever that quote is. And you know, as an entrepreneur, things are tough. You know, it’s not easy. And, you know, a lot of people find that quite motivated to see some of these quotes or startup tips, startup tips or infographics we’ve found to be very, very powerful or just content from the magazine. And so the first piece of the puzzle is you have to look at your marketplace, what’s currently working, see if there’s any, you know, companies or services that are serving a similar type market, what content that they posting, what’s working. And you have to reduce that and post that content on a consistent basis. So we’ve found, Bronson, that the more you post, the faster you grow. So we post anywhere between, you know, 4 to 10 times a day and we try and cover all time zones. So I have my VA posting before she goes to bed and then someone in our team or myself posting like I’ve, I, I’m, you know, I get to see our level, but I still manage that Instagram account just because there’s a lot of things going on that we need to keep it. I need to stay on top of the bowlful. So that’s the first piece of the puzzle, posting high quality content that looks visually appealing that we know really hits home with your target audience on a consistent basis and at scale. Because with, you know, Instagram, it’s a very fast platform. You know, your content doesn’t last that much in the news feed. So it’s it’s not spammy to post ten times a day. Some people might think that. But we I’ve proven it, you know, we’ve tracked our growth and we’ve found the more you. The faster you grow. Actually, Instagram’s algorithm rewards momentum. So if we’ve since we’ve been on Instagram for 14 months, I’ve only missed one day of posting. And, you know, that’s that’s pretty standard, right on Twitter. You know, you guys are always posting on Facebook. You guys are always posting. So Instagram is the same thing. The only problem is you can’t schedule with Instagram that day. API doesn’t allow for scheduling tools to actually post for you on automation. There is a tool out there called Sketch Graham that you can use, but I don’t know how legit they are in terms of I guess overwriting Instagram’s API. So you can use Sketch Graham or only pulse pay. I only pay a ult that will actually schedule on your behalf and post on your behalf. All on automation like a bot, but I don’t know how legit that is. So we use a tool called later Graham and that allows us to rapidly schedule our rapidly schedule excuse me, rapidly schedule our post. And then the next piece of the puzzle I guess is, you know, having a high converting landing page. If you if you check out the landing page we have right now, it’s quite it’s quite relevant. What we have is we just give away an Instagram e-book that, you know, super in-depth. You know, we spent about three or four grand putting it together. It’s so good we could charge for it. And people just telling their friends, etc., etc., tagging in their friends and stuff like that and.
Bronson: Having that landing page. How do they get from Instagram seeing a quote to actually ending up on the landing page? What’s the connective tissue there?
Nathan: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So let’s let’s take it one step at a time. Pretty much people you only get one clickable link in your bio in Instagram. So you have your bio like a little bit about your business and you have one clickable link. And for us we have we have a landing page.
Bronson: So you use that real estate to get over the landing page, not to founder Malcolm.
Nathan: To the landing page because we build, you know, we’ll build a relationship and nurture that person over a period of time. And and, you know, we want to move as many people as you can from Instagram onto our platform. And what we’ve found is people organically will click on that link. Obviously, you know, the more followers you get, the faster you grow. People will organically will click on that link and went and part of our buyer we have a little bit of a description pointing at that buyer link saying, you know, get our free Instagram marketing guide and that landing page. If you pull it up, if you go to found a mag dot com forward slash free that converts 70%. Wow and it’s a breeze. Some reasons it converts at 70% the relevancy because it’s an epic e-book that goes in-depth, you know, a lot more than what we’re talking about, what we could talk about over the next hour of a half an hour. So it’s super in-depth. So I highly recommend you download it and it’s super relevant. So people that are only coming to this find it on Instagram. The landing page is mobile optimized, so it looks great on mobile and it’s quite minimal. It’s a very minimal style landing page. And you know, we’ve just split tested the absolute crap out of it. Do we use Clickfunnels to, to build our landing pages. And yeah it’s just a, it’s a really solid offering and I think also not only just the relevancy but the title that we’ve used like how to get 10,000 followers, you know, that’s, that’s very benefit driven. So from a copywriting standpoint, you know, people, people want to know that stuff and it’s very, very powerful. So, you know that, that with what we’ve found is people organically click on that. But the biggest thing is Brunson people will only click on the link in your bio if you tell them to. So like because we post, you know, ten times a day, we use Gary Vaynerchuk social media strategy, you know, jab, jab, jab, right hook. So for us, we for us, our right hook might woo might be posting an image of that e-book and actually writing. If you want to know how to, you know, use Instagram to build your business, go to fan, to mag, to come forward, slash free or click on the link in our buyer. And we notice and we’ve tested it and tracked it that when you do these what I call product pushes or like a right hook, people go to it and you know, from one of those every day we can get anywhere between, you know, 200 to 300 opt ins at like we try and do that a couple of times a day and we feel that’s why we that’s another reason why we post so much, because we can filter it out that it’s not spammy and it doesn’t affect our follower growth. So we’re growing at a rate of 65,000 followers a month now, and that doesn’t affect our growth rate. People still follow us. We’ve trained them to be used to, you know, receiving calls to. Action about the podcast, about the magazine, about different lead magnets. Another thing you want to be doing is changing up your lead magnet because, you know, certain parts of our audience might not be interested in Instagram, certain part of what parts of our audience might not have even started a business yet. We don’t we don’t know. But so that’s why it’s really good to do lead capture on hitting all sorts of different target markets and different kind of people in your audience. And so, yeah, to answer your question, the biggest thing is people will not click on the link in your bio and go to that landing page unless you tell them to. And we generate, you know, 50 to 60000 hits a month and it doesn’t cost us anything. Oh, from Instagram. And if we can get it, if we start doing some page stuff, dude, we can generate like 100,000 hits to that landing page. It’s crazy, but yeah, very, very powerful. Do you want to keep going with more growth, man?
Bronson: Absolutely, man. What else? You have.
Bronson: Anything? Anything.
Bronson: That anything.
Nathan: Okay. Okay. So now now you’ve got, you know, the content strategy. You know how often you want to post, you know, the kind of content you want to post. You know, the frequency of posting is really good, like, you know, is going quite well and you’re posting a lot. Then the next thing you want to be doing is, is there’s some fundamental growth hacks here that, you know, can really ramp up the speed of growth in terms of eyeballs on your account and follow account. So one thing that’s really powerful is hashtags. You know, hashtags are what allow you to reference your images. And a lot of people are searching for hashtags. A lot of people, you know, I found an interior designer for our office that we kitted out who the hashtags. She was from Melbourne and she had like it interior design you know I can it turns out you know she because I was looking for interior design inspiration because I wanted to make, you know, office look boss because we’re, you know, start up.
Bronson: And stuff like that, of course.
Nathan: So I was like, I don’t know how to do this shit. I’ve got to get interior design. Is it excessive? Yes, but it’ll look cool, you know, it’ll be exciting.
Bronson: So, you know.
Nathan: I actually found interior designer from from Instagram and and what what a quick little win for people growth hack for people is if they’re just getting started on Instagram go to hashtag four likes, hashtag four likes and that will allow you hashtag for likes jd.com and that will allow you to find the, you know, the top hashtags in your niche or industry. And what you want to do is when you post a photo, you want to you want to get. Instagram allows you a maximum of 30 hashtags. And what you want to do is when every time you post a photo you want to copy and paste those, like, you know, come up, find your list of 30 hashtags, you know, top hashtags that people are using in your niche that are relevant to your niche and post those top 30 hashtags in the comments. Now, here’s the thing. Don’t post it in the caption, because you can you write a caption like when you post an image, you have to write a caption. And if you post the comments, like if you post the hashtags in the caption, it looks spammy. So what you want to do is obviously talk about, you know, whatever your, you know, whatever your image is about, you know, it might be a quote. It might be about your product, it might be about I don’t know what. But, you know, whatever you do, make sure you post those throw hashtags in the comments because then if you get more than three comments on your image, it will hide the hashtags. So then people will not see those hashtags in the comments and it’ll get you ridiculous amounts of engagement for any, I promise anyone, just open up a fresh new Instagram account, or if you’re just getting started or anything like that, posted an image that, you know, obviously looks good, is relevant to your target audience and you know, the hashtags are relevant post the 430 hashtags in the comments and I promise you you will notice a difference in engagement.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, these are things that I want to go and put into practice. Like right now.
Nathan: Yeah, governments can keep going. So hashtags are really, really important. And then another thing that’s really, really important is using a like a method called share for share, shout out for shout out. I was going take a quick drink break. Yeah.
Bronson: Go for it. With as much talking as you’re doing. Yeah. Lube up the pipes.
Bronson: I guess so.
Nathan: Share for share. Shout out for shout out what that is. It’s like, you know, there’s Instagram is like out there, boom, Gerri, millions and millions of dollars, right. Like we have in general, millions and millions of dollars yet because we’ve been on Instagram long enough to and we actually don’t even have enough product to. But once we do, you know, we will hit that mark, too. But I guess what I’m trying to say is there’s Instagrammers out there that are using share for share, shout out for shout out this tactic flat out. And essentially all it is is partnerships for in. Instagram. You want to get as many accounts as you can to post your images and I guess shat you at so post your images and you mentioned your your account in the caption and tag you and we do. Anyway, you know, four eight, you know, at least we try and do at least four share four shares a day. So we’ve fed relevant accounts. So there’s many of these accounts that post quotes. They’re not like our business, but they post quotes in that I have an audience of people interested in business. So, you know, we team up with these guys and say, you post our image and we’ll post yours. And that one thing Bronson has allowed us to rapidly grow our page will be at a million followers by the end of April. And if if I could put it down to one thing, if, you know, besides posting consistently, you know, and having brilliantly designed images is a share for share, just getting as many accounts as you can to share it you out is so extremely powerful, man. Like just exposing yourself to a new audience base. People do click through and they do follow you and it’s like a recommendation or a shout out. It’s like, you know, you you have me on your podcast. If you said, you know, guys, check out Nathan’s Free Guide to get Nathan’s Instagram cause people want to buy it, but they’re going to click on the link. Or if you email people, they’re going to click on Are they going to trust your recommendation? And that’s essentially what a lot of of fast growth Instagram accounts are doing and not just, you know, start ups. These are like big businesses to as many accounts. And it’s they’re paying influencers, though. So there’s a difference. You know, we don’t like paying for customer acquisition. We do. We do now. But back in the early days, we didn’t and we had to do whatever we can. And you know, when you’re bootstrapped start up and you’ve got limited funds or even if you’re a funded start, you still got limited funds, you’ve got to run, right? Yeah. So you want to do whatever you can to you get free customer acquisition. And we’ve found doing share for share. So you scratch my back and shout me out and I’ll scratch. Yours works very, very powerfully. And you know, once you get going you can do paid shoutouts. And that’s what a lot of, you know, big brands do right now. So, you know, it’s you working with influencers and with we don’t really work with influencers per se as an individual to post our stuff, but we have worked with many other accounts and what you find is in so many different in any like there’s account names or account type vision boards where they like inspirational stuff for any kind of niche you could imagine. So, you know, there’s, there’s hundreds of thousands of fitness style inspiration accounts. And to be honest, Ronson, they run by like 14 year old kids. And they have a collection of, like, you know, 10 million followers and they charge people for shout outs and and that’s how they monetize their page. And they don’t understand that they could create a product off the back of it, that their product is the actual Instagram pages that I have. Really, that’s their business. And you can pay people with these, you know, I guess inspirational type vision boards that have, you know, hundreds of thousands of followers to change the link in their buyer and, you know, post an image about your product and you generate a shit ton of leads. And these are like qualified leads or even just shout out your product and then, you know, get people to follow you. And you mentioned in the caption, there’s all sorts of things and all the combinations of strategies you can do there. But the main emphasis that people need to think about when it comes to mastering Instagram and using it as a massive growth tool for traffic leads and sales is getting as many other accounts as you can to post your images, shout you out mentioned in the caption and tag you.
Bronson: Yeah it’s the the old school looper leverage other people’s audiences. Yeah, it’s hard to build your own, but if someone else has already built it, you can have a quick dialog and leverage it. Now, you’re taking advantage of years of work in a few minutes.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s exactly right. And what you’ll find is if you start using these tool, like these tactics that I’ve shared, you can build an organic following. And from that organic following, you can you can start to build that momentum. And that’s exactly what we’ve done. You know, we started at zero. You know, we didn’t spend hardly any money on on growing our account. And we got it to 100,000 followers in four months. I think we spent about $1,000 on shout outs, not really much at all. And, you know, the rest of it is organic. And then from that were built leverage. And now we do, you know, share for shares with, you know, accounts that are half a million followers and that that massively helps our growth.
Bronson: Would you say it’s true that right now the bulk of your business is coming from Instagram? Is that really the powerhouse of what you have going on?
Nathan: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely. It’s been I couldn’t I could say at least over 50% at least. I mean.
Bronson: That’s incredible, you know? I mean, we’re used to these things being on the fringes, like, oh, we’re adding five and 10% because of this tactic. But I mean, half your business is coming from Instagram and you’re a big product.
Nathan: That’s right. So I have to say, though, Bronson, one thing I’m very mindful of is I don’t ever want to have relying on somebody else’s platform. That’s why if Instagram went away, we’ve got this massive email database that we’ve, you know, built this relationship and built this massive community of people and entrepreneurs, dot families that trust us and love the content that we produce. So, you know, we a lot of that growth also comes from word of mouth, our podcast, you know, the interviews we do and also, you know, our content because we’re a content powerhouse. But yeah, dude, like over 50% at least.
Bronson: Yeah. I mean, it’s just it’s inspiring to hear a story like that because, you know, it’s one of those things that I think you’re one of the early ones to figure this out. You know, like when Facebook used to be early, at one point, Twitter was early, at one point, you know, AdWords was early at one point, but they’re not now. That is the stuff we talk about all day long. It’s the old stuff, but there’s these new things, you know, Instagram. You also mentioned Snapchat. I mean, is that something you guys are looking into as well to try to figure out if there’s a growth thing there?
Nathan: Yeah, yeah. I so it’s funny, like I interviewed Gary Vee the other day and he’s like, he’s like super impressed with what we’ve done on Instagram and he’s like, Yeah, you guys are crushing it. And he’s like, I was like, Yeah, you know, what you do right is you just find one growth channel and you just smash the absolute crap out of it and just keep focusing on that channel. Right? And he’s like, is like, Nathan, dude, you got it all wrong. He’s like, Don’t listen to what anyone says. They’re all idiots. Now that you’ve mastered Snapchat, you are sorry. Now that you’ve mastered Instagram, you need to move to Snapchat. It’s like Snapchat is where it’s at. If there’s one thing I could tell you, focus on Snapchat and try and master all the channels once you master one. Move on to the next one and try and master all of them. So, you know, Gary’s the boss man. He knows photography. This is that’s what you got to do. That’s what we’re going to do, man. And what is some really interesting things that I want to tell you that I think will be very powerful with Snapchat and why we’re going to start working on it soon. The first thing is Instagram is owned by Facebook. So we know we’re getting quite technical here, but we know that the reach is going to go away, like the organic reach will naturally go away. You know, it’s going to go for the same life cycle because the way they monetize Instagram is through the newsfeed. So the, you know, you’re going to get less and less reach less and less eyeballs, right? And they’re going to force you to want to pay. And we love it. We love Facebook. Our customer acquisition is super cheap in terms of paid on Facebook. It’s killer. You know, we spend tens of thousands of dollars on that platform now every month. But, you know, if you want free acquisition, who wouldn’t want free? And I think snap the thing with the thing with Snapchat is I don’t think they’re going to implement a news feed that’s going to, you know, hurt your reach. The way the platform works, it’s quite personal. It’s like getting a text message from a friend, right? And the scarcity around that text message. So you get excited because you’re not going to you know, you’re not you want to you don’t want to miss it. So the thing with Snapchat is if they were to monetize it, right? Brunson I think the only way they would do it is I don’t think they going to bring in a news feed because they want to make it exclusive and the way you get at it is, you know, you have to use that snap code and all these other cool ways that they do it. So the way they’re going to monetize it is they’re going to have a section for paid ads like, you know, right now they have a section for these big companies like Vice or like, you know, you know, the Daily, you know, the Daily Telegraph or all sorts, things like that. So there’s a section there for those guys and they’re obviously paying truckloads of money. And then I think the way they monetize it is like YouTube, where before you might see your snap, you’ll get an ad and that doesn’t hurt your reach. So I think there’s going to be a lot. Now, Snapchat’s in its infancy. I think there’s going to be a lot of people, not just the younger demographic in the millennials, but a lot of people starting to move to Snapchat because, you know, it’s just an amazing platform. It’s fun. They’ve definitely got the gamification, gamification down pat that that your reach isn’t going to decline either. So it’ll be a massive asset you can build over over a long period of time. So yeah, we’re just pretty much like what we’re going to do is we’ve got this magic platform on Instagram, we’ve got a big email list, dude, like you had from the growth of our email list. I think we were able to be at least 400,000 by the end of this year. If we keep growing at the right, we’re growing. So dude, we can just email, you know, every now and then to get people to follow us on Snapchat. And in terms of new acquisition and find new customers, we just use our. Instagram page and just posting images of Snapchat and then just really work out how to match that platform in terms of layout and getting people to share our Snapchat and getting people to follow us. And then we’ve got to work out how we can work at that lead generation. But I’ve already got a whole ton of thoughts and ideas in my mind. So yeah, yeah. Maybe that’s another.
Bronson: In a year. Come back and you’ll have, you know, we’ll have killed it on Snapchat and you can drop some more knowledge on us.
Nathan: But yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s my thoughts and thinking bro. I think, you know, once you master one platform, let’s move on to the next. Yeah.
Bronson: I mean, you, I mean, I just want to thank you for bringing the goods today. You didn’t hold back. You know, you really told us, like, step by step, here’s some things to do to really take advantage of it. So tell us, where can we get your Instagram course? You’ve given us a lot, but going to give them a leg. Where can they get more of this?
Nathan: Yeah. Yeah. So, look, if you want to find out more if you sign up to our free guide found imag dot com info un dia mag dot com forward slash free. You’ll be able to find out more about it.
Bronson: That’s awesome. And I wanted to give a shout out like that because like you said, shout for shout out like you’re giving us the goods. You’re helping my audience. I want them to have the link to go and get on your list. You know, if the way this works, there’s a lot of loop everywhere.
Nathan: Oh, yeah, that’s.
Bronson: This has been so good. I got two final questions and these are more of the fun questions that I ask every everyone that comes on the show. So the first one is already working on right after this interview is over. It can be awesome. It can be boring. It doesn’t matter what it is. What’s next on the to do list?
Nathan: Oh dude, we’ve got a big launch for our cool. So we’re doing a Jeff Walker style launch. So man, like, I’ve got like hundreds of comments as a run back to see what you get first video. So that’s what I’m going to do. All right. Straight about there, right in the comments.
Bronson: Also in number two, what is the best advice you have for any company that’s trying to grow?
Nathan: I think test as many platforms as you can. And if you find, you know, just like, you know, old school man, just seeing what sticks, you know, throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks. And for us in our business, we’ve had a lot of success with aligning ourselves with influencers and rock stars in our marketplace and industry, and we’ve found so much power in that. So if you can find ambassadors and a lot of people do it, you just you just don’t really know it or you don’t really think about it. Like if you go to Infusionsoft home page bro, they’ve got Daymond John giving a testimonial.
Nathan: Like if you know Infusionsoft, you’re like, Oh shit. Damon from Shark Tank uses it, dude. If you go to the founder page, we got a testimonial from Daymond John, and if you never heard of Founder, you don’t know anything. You think like, Wow, if Daymond is aligned or if he writes Will found is doing or Infusionsoft, these guys must know what’s up. I’m going to follow these guys. I trust these guys. So if this if they, you know, obviously throw things against the wall, see what sticks and, you know, if there’s something a little more unique, there is is really think about ambassadors and influencers that you can align yourself with and you start to just build ridiculous amounts of trust like we have like Richard Branson, Seth Godin, you know, you come to our home page any way you go, you know that, you know, we’re doing cool shit with rock stars and people that builds a lot of trust and gets people excited. I think I.
Bronson: Love that phrase build ridiculous amounts of trust. I mean, honestly, that’s how you get conversions, build a ridiculous amount of trust, and people will subscribe, they’ll buy, they’ll follow whatever. It’s the trust. It’s such a scarcity in the world. If you can build enough of it, you have their attention.
Nathan: Yes, that’s right.
Bronson: Well, Nathan, this has been an awesome interview. Thank you again for coming on Growth.
Nathan: A.V. Are you welcome? Bronson Thank you so much for having me, bro.
Get the strategies, motivation, and in-depth interview with all the details every week!