It took me a year to get 1,000 subscribers.
It took me another three months to get 14,000.
For the second, I applied a framework to leverage content that gets subscribers.
Over the same three months, we used it to drive over a thousand website leads.
This is not any framework – it’s a repeatable framework.
This means you can use it to get the same results.
Here’s how you can set it up:
1. Put the Right People in Your Network
When producing content, you need an audience.
It starts with optimizing your profile for a high add-back rate.
You can find instructions on how to do so in our book, LinkedIn Influencer.
Next, you want to skip over the pain of manually connecting to people who’d be interested in your content. Tools like Linked Helper and a custom Facebook auto adder will automate this for you.
For Linked Helper, you can connect to a couple of hundred people a day on LinkedIn if you have a Sales Navigator account.
You can get granular – searching by job title, company, or keywords in their profile.
The next tool is a Facebook auto adder.
You need to outsource it.
The good news is it only costs a couple hundred dollars to do so via Upwork.
You upload a list of Facebook profile URLs, then it sends out friend requests.
I recommend sending 150 friend requests every day.
To get Facebook URLs, there are three ways:
1. You can extract members from a Facebook Group
2. Extract friends from Facebook profiles
3. Export a custom list from Crunchbase
For the third, you need a Crunchbase account. I prefer this method because it provides the highest quality Facebook URLs of influencers, and there’s a lot less data to sort through.
Once you have your LinkedIn and Facebook automation set up – you’re adding hundreds of relevant people to your audience every day.
It’s time to nurture them with content.
2. Create an Audience with High-Value Statuses
Let’s pretend you have zero subscribers.
All you have are new connections.
To build rapport with these new connections to turn them into subscribers, you need to write statuses that pull their attention.
To help, I wrote an entire guide on how to stylize your statuses for engagement.
This guide helped me get over 100 million views on my content.
Here’s an example status:
You should aim to write an engaging status a couple of times a day.
Post it on your LinkedIn profile, personal Facebook, and your Facebook Group, too.
This brings me to my next point: You need a Facebook Group.
There are four ways to drive traffic to a Facebook Group.
- Emailing people after an in-person event
- Inviting your existing Facebook network
- Emailing your LinkedIn connections
- Cold emailing targeted people
Once you have a Facebook Group, it’s important you establish yourself as an authority.
This happens by producing ridiculously helpful and original industry content.
This comes mostly in form of step-by-step tutorials.
Ideally, you should produce 1 – 2 of these pieces every week.
This tutorial gets tons of engagement.
And I don’t even put a lead magnet on it – it’s pure value.
I also include it in a Google Doc so people can add it to their drive in a couple seconds.
Use LinkedIn for distribution.
I repurpose each one of these tutorials for my company blog and LinkedIn Pulse:
The best part about these how-to articles is they drive traffic back to your website.
Never give them all the tips on your LinkedIn Pulse.
Leave the last few on the full-written piece on your blog.
Create credibility, connections, and addictive loops.
With enough guides, you can create a drive folder like this one below.
This is a powerful way to establish your credibility.
It’s not all about posting value.
It’s about giving people the opportunity to create their own.
In the status below, I present the opportunity for people connect with each other.
If you post enough valuable industry content, you will create an audience who will buy from you.
When they see the Facebook or LinkedIn notification that you posted – they’ll click it.
Then they’ll like, comment, and share.
Before they even read it.
Because they know you post valuable content consistently.
3. Leverage Traffic into High-Value Weekly Content
You finished the hard part.
It’s time to leverage this engaged audience into your initial subscriber base.
This will take a few posts – that’s it.
Here’s an example LinkedIn post that leads to an optin to get notified of my book release.
You can copy it – then do the same.
Here’s another example post of me asking people to join my Messenger to get viral post templates.
With several more posts, I hit a subscriber base of 1,000 people.
This initial amount gave me the momentum I needed to leverage another 13,000.
To keep the list the active, I distribute my weekly tutorials via Messenger every week.
In particular, I link them straight to the blog posts on our website.
You can see the weekly spikes in website traffic from the Messenger blasts:
This is what a Messenger message looks like on mobile:
It’s just like a normal text.
The difference is I see over an eighty percent open rate – that’s insane.
The average email open rate is 24.71%.
And the average click-through rate is 4.19%.
We’re seeing 4X those numbers.
For a Messenger blast, keep the message short and sweet.
People don’t like reading long texts.
I send out my Messenger blast every week.
I haven’t skipped one yet.
Because consistency makes you memorable.
It’s the one skill most people lack with content creation.
4. Leverage Your Audience for Virality
When you post on social media, you get engagement.
When you send out a Messenger blast, people respond.
It’s time to leverage this base into more subscribers at scale.
In this example, we use Product Hunt.
However, it could also be sites like Reddit.
As long as the site promotes content with momentum, then you have an opportunity to shine.
Not just any promotion, but if your content does well then thousands – or even hundreds of thousands – will see it.
First, study the platform.
What do they like that’s inexpensive?
And what do they like enough to exchange an email for?
For our industry (marketing and entrepreneurship), they want books about growth hacking.
I went ahead and pieced together a 300+ page book about growth hacking.
Submitted it to Product Hunt.
Followed this Product Hunt launch formula.
Then received over 8,000 new subscribers.
Then I repeated it a month later with a new growth hacking book.
And I received another 4,000 subscribers.
By then, I’d also done more giveaways resulting in 14,000 subscribers.
Whenever we release a tutorial, we’re no longer promoting it to the 1,000-person list.
We’re hitting 14,000 people.
Because we include opt-ins on all our blog posts and around our site, this wave of direct traffic from Messenger will generate organic traffic via direct referrals, sharing, and better SEO.
Direct referrals: People sending the blog post link to friends via Messenger and email
Sharing: Sharing the post on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter
SEO: Increased backlinks, ranking on Google overtime
Here’s an opt-in I use on my personal website.
This led to over 3,000 new subscribers!
You never know where they’re coming from.
The next step is to do one viral release every month on the right platform.
Even though I release books, it doesn’t mean you need to do the same.
You can use physical products or services.
It’s up to you to find out what your audience wants.
Then innovating with a unique twist.
Let’s add some fuel to your content machine.
5. Create Content Faster
To keep an audience excited, you need to realize one thing:
You’re competing for attention.
Not only against people who sell the same product.
But the reason they should read your LinkedIn status over visiting their Facebook News Feed.
If you want to create an audience, you’ll need to produce valuable content often.
I’d set these numbers as your monthly metrics:
- 6 long-form tutorials
- 30 social media statuses
- 1 big product release on a viral platform
This sounds like a lot of content .
This doesn’t have to be all you.
You can have a team help you make it a reality.
And broken down, you’re creating only a status and part of a long-form tutorial once a day.
That’s the easy part.
The hard part is testing different aspects of your industry.
If you like fitness, then test a different diet every month.
If you like designing, then test out different software and design workflows.
Our designer, Meg, does this.
She has over 15,000 views on her YouTube videos.
By testing, you create the content worth writing about.
Use the Pressure to Perform
This is the most common question I get asked, “How do you produce so much content?”
By creating tutorials, it frees up creative space to think of new content.
An excellent read on how this works is The Organized Mind by James McGill, Professor of Psychology and Music at McGill University.
The pressure to perform will have you testing every part of your industry.
For my industry, I’ve tested every social media platform to discover content worth writing about.
As a result, I’ve found untapped channels for high growth, including LinkedIn statuses.
That channel alone helped me accumulate 100 million views on my writing in less than six months.
You never know which test will give you the home run.
So keep up your high-tempo testing.
And never take your foot off the content creation pedal.
If you do both, you’ll build an audience faster than you’ve ever imagined.
Are you ready?