Use the filter to find people by keywords in their bio or even location. You can also choose whether the profile belongs to a person or a company or has a certain follower ratio.
Once you have a list of relevant influencers, let’s dive into the rules of Instagram growth:
1. Post a new picture every day.
2. Test to find the ideal posting time as it’s different for every niche.
3. Post the same type of photos as the influencers in your niche post.
If they post pictures of beautiful San Francisco, then you should post only pictures of San Francisco. Don’t mix it up. If they don’t post pictures of San Francisco food, then don’t post pictures of San Francisco food.
4. If you want to post pictures of yourself, you can’t entirely automate the process.
You’ll still have to take pictures. Again, look at what works for influencers in your niche and take the same pictures. They know what works best. After all, that’s part of how they got a loyal following.
5. You don’t get exceptions.
If you’re taking the pictures yourself, they need to be on the same level of quality as the influencers in your niche.
Getting Over the Hurdle
To avoid getting your Instagram account banned, you must gradually raise the automation settings for the first month. It takes time, but you’ll see results soon after.The gradual raising of Instagram automation took me months to learn. I had to restart each time my account got banned. Now, I have settings that work every time.
You may be wondering if this works for your business. Ninety percent of the time, the answer is “yes.” If you sell software, you can still market your team using lifestyle pictures with quotes from industry events.
Implement Cheat Codes
First, grab a username. Make it memorable and easy to find.
Add a retargeting link to your bio using ClickMeter. This allows you to keep track of followers and retarget them on Facebook. Next, buy and install Instazood. Post three photos every day for the first four days.
Pay Instaboostgram for 500 fake followers = social validation. Remove 150 fake followersfor every one thousand real followers. Make sure to turn off your automation settings the entire day you remove fake followers.
Run Instazood on slow and only Like tags with “like4like” and “likeforlike” posts for 4 days.
Add 2-3 highly relevant hashtags in addition to “like4like” and “likeforlike.” If you’re in a yoga niche, the added hashtags might be #yogini or #yogi. You get the idea.
Continue to post 1-2 photos a day.
Once you’ve posted 20 photos, remove the “like4like” and “likeforlike” hashtags. Now, change your targeting from these hashtags to followers of relevant influencers in your niche,
Scale Your Profile With These Steps
1. Once you have, at least, 15 pictures and 500 followers, move your Instazood settings to easy. Only turn on the auto-liking feature.
2. At 600+ followers and 20+ pictures, begin Instazood auto-commenting.
3. Once you have 650+ followers and 22+ pictures, use Instazood follow and unfollow settings on easy.
4. At 700+ followers and 34+ pictures, move the settings to normal.
5. At 800+ followers and 50+ pictures, move the settings to fast.
6. Manually turn off the follow/unfollow settings to see faster results. Try to keep a 2/1 ratio.
Pay Attention to the Details with Auto Commenting
Automated commenting is powerful when used right. When used wrong, it can hurt your brand.
The first rule of automated commenting is to use mostly comments that mention the entire profile, not the picture it’s on.
Here’s what we know:
People love their Instagram profile
People post random pictures
Having an automated comment of “that’s cool” on a baby picture is not cool.
Use comments that reflect their overall love for their profile such as “awesome profile,” “nice profile,” “great photos,” and “cool photos.” You should have at least nine comments you switch around. Make sure you don’t comment on the same users!Posting the same comment on a user’s profile screams spam.
Let’s Get Rid of the Work
If you’re looking to repost content without ever creating your own, then discover photos by searching hashtags on Instagram. Make a list of the most relevant hashtags and influencers so you know where you can quickly grab photos to re-post. Outsource this process to a virtual assistant through Upwork.
To help with organization, add photos to DropBox folders labeled by month. Download the DropBox app. Now you can easily log in and log out of Instagram to post pictures by simply saving them from DropBox to your phone. Posting 5 pictures to 5 different accounts takes about ten minutes. Don’t worry, there’s an even easier process.
Include the description of the photo in the DropBox file name. This enables you to quickly copy and paste the description when you upload photos. Just click “Rename” in the DropBox app, then copy the description.
On average, you should collect and add a description to 30+ photos in an hour and a half. Make sure to remove “.jpg” at the end of the description before posting.
What photos should you repost?
Look for ones that have quality contrast and a significant amount of likes and comments compared to other photos the accounts have posted.
For your uploaded content, people like worldly descriptions, such as “A beautiful day no matter rain or shine because yoga replenishes your soul.” That took me two seconds to write. It doesn’t have to make sense. Most of my descriptions don’t. It just needs to sound nice.
If you repost someone’s content, then @ them in the description = “A beautiful day no matter rain or shine because yoga replenishes your soul @username”
Don’t ask permission to repost their content. It’s fine as long as you tag them. Trust me. You won’t get sued and ninety-nine percent of the time they don’t care.
After the worldly description, write the “benefit+ solution +CTA @[your username].” For example, “A beautiful day no matter rain or shine because yoga replenishes your soul @username. For a little more sunshine in your life, check out my [i.e. free eBook, free tickets, free PDF] in my bio @[your username].”
If you’re a noob marketer, ideally the link should go to a dedicated landing page. I’ve created a two-hundred thousand dollar sales funnels with this strategy.
It’s Time for a Major Upgrade
Once you have 1000+ followers, use Jarvee (only works on PC – need a VPS for Mac) to auto schedule every post so you don’t have to do so manually or simply hire a virtual assistant from Upwork. I’ve started on Jarvee with accounts that had only 500 followers, but there’s a risk when doing this to getting banned.
As you notice, the follow setting in Jarvee is at an average of 230 followers/day.
I make sure to be selective about the users I follow. If you follow more quality users, then you can have an increase of 1000% in your follow-back rate. I do this by skipping non-English Users, making sure they have a profile image and are active on Instagram. I also don’t want to target people who are influencers because they won’t notice my follow. So I target smaller accounts, but not too small.
For Follow Sources, I target the most active engagers of target accounts. That means interacting with people who interact with the target posts on a relevant influencer profile. They must’ve interacted with recent posts as well.
Settings for Unfollowing:
For Unfollowing, feel free to do up to 250 people/day. Notice in the first setting how we give a one-day barrier to ensure whomever we followed has a chance to follow us back before we unfollow them.
It’s important that when you unfollow people you do it to the people who don’t engage with you. This feature will enable you to only follow the people who provide the most reciprocity.
Settings for Liking:
For Liking, we engage with upwards to 400 pieces of media content/day.
Similar to commenting and following, we ensure we only engage with the most targeted users.
For sources, we split between hashtags and users who engaged with posts on targeted profiles.
Settings for Commenting:
For Commenting, we engage with upwards to 400 pieces of media content/day.
I make sure to be selective about the users I comment on. If you engage with more quality users, then you can have a huge increase in your follow-back rate. I do this by skipping non-English Users and making sure they are not already in our network. I also make sure to target people who are active.
I make sure to be selective about the users I comment on. If you engage with more quality users, then you can have a huge increase in your follow-back rate. I do this by skipping non-English users and making sure they are not already in our network. I also make sure to target people who are active on Instagram.
In regards to commenting, I use spin syntax to engage with relevant comments on relevant users. That means either targeting by geolocation, hashtag, or interactors of posts on a target account.
Notice how we use comments that compliments their overall profile. This way, the comments look genuine.
Put the Followers, Leads, and Revenue on Autopilot
You’re done setting up your account for Instagram automation. Still, there are always more advanced tricks you can use if you’re running many accounts at scale.
Before you jump into asking how you can work horizontally with more accounts, let’s see how you can improve the processes we already have – that’s thinking vertically. One way is to use the right hashtags and engagement groups for even more follower growth. Engagement groups are communities of influencers who engage with each other’s posts to boost them in the feed. These are both proven strategies to get more followers.
Now that you have less work and more time – you have all the opportunity to think of new ways to grow your company’s online presence. Best of luck.
It’s one thing to start a company, but to start, scale, and manage three is an incredible feat.
Sania never had an official job. It was easier because her family is entrepreneurial. Seeing a father who right out of college started his own business encouraged her to do the same. To succeed, she took her ability to thrive in school because she loved learning and applied it to her tenacity of solving problems.
That’s why when she left college, she jumped into running a company, a franchise in Texas called Kids ‘R” Kids.
It hit seven figures within its first two years. She was only 23. When she turned 25, she got an itch to create something from scratch. To prove it to herself.
It was time to give herself that challenge.
How did you grow your first business?
When launching a franchise, management skills are critical. You have the brand name, you just need to ensure the right people are leading the charge.
“At my preschool franchise, the top management is my Center Director. If that person is not strong everything else will collapse underneath that. I’ve got assistant managers, curriculum managers, lead teachers, and assistant teachers.
I don’t do any of the hirings for the teachers.
I just hire my management team.
With my top management, a lot of my focus is making sure that they’re trained that they’re excelling at their goals. Now that I’ve hired a good team I can disappear for probably three weeks or a month and it would be okay. So much of starting the business is ensuring the right people are in the right place. If that’s the case, then everything comes together.”
How did you grow your second business?
There’s a craze in the business world and it’s for subscription model startups. it’s simple: more predictability; better margins. Sania realized this and decided to take the plunge.
“So I got this idea of a subscription box for baby brain development. My husband and I bootstrapped that business with about $10,000 as an experiment. I’ve never been in a product business. I’ve always been in service and that one was exciting because it got a lot of press early on. Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine featured it, but it didn’t translate to sales.
However, we mastered social media with that business. All of our business primarily came from Facebook and Instagram. Eventually, we scaled that up to over a six-figure business in about a year.
I learned that subscription is the fastest way to make a lot of money. So all three of my businesses have some component of subscription. The preschool model – they pay every week for their kids to attend. And social media is a lot of retainer work.
The business subscription box grew fast because I wasn’t just selling a one-time product. I would get you hooked to the product and – hopefully – get you on for, at least, a year. I know subscription boxes are on the rise and people are getting in with every niche. It’s okay if there’s a lot of competition. People will fall in love with the way that your marketing is curated.
The number one factor to keep in mind with the subscription box business is you must make sure that you are over delivering. You must make sure your customers are happy. Their lifetime value can be dramatically altered by their happiness in their first month or two.
Everywhere you went there were boxes. It was exciting to see how much product comes in and out every month. In that business, I had a doctor that I was partnered with, a psychologist who helped me create the curriculum. That was a huge learning lesson – a takeaway for anyone who’s reading is you don’t have to be an expert in every business you go into.
For example, I am not an expert in writing curriculum about baby brains. However, I partnered with someone who was and we worked it out. She wasn’t on salary and got a percentage of equity.
You don’t have to go into business and do everything. I don’t know how to teach kids. My family just started a health care clinic. We don’t have medical degrees. If we hire the right people and we learn the business part, we’ll succeed.
At the tail end of the subscription business, I had several herniated discs in my spine. The challenge became I was managing three businesses from the franchise to a subscription box to my family business. It was brutal.
And I was a newlywed in my first year.
The physical pain coupled with the stress and never sleeping, always hustling, had also caused a panic disorder to develop. It feels like a heart attack and I was having three of those a week.
Moving in with someone for the first time to having to manage a household – there was no room to breathe. With a subscription, you put one product out, then you put another product out. There are such tight deadlines and my health completely collapsed.
Some people thrive in that situation. I’m open and transparent when I say it was difficult for us to found a company as a married couple because it was growing so fast. We were working all the time. Our house turned into a warehouse.
It doesn’t matter if you’re running million-dollar businesses. I was in a complete nightmare state with my physical body and health. It got so bad that I had to sell the subscription business.
I’m blessed that an offer came right when we needed it most. I may have killed myself trying to keep going. It took a couple months to recuperate. So my spine is back in order with lots of physical therapy. Now I’m rock climbing to stay healthy.”
How did you launch your third company?
Once you’ve done it a couple times, there’s room to help others. That’s what Sania saw in her social media consultancy. She realized there were so many people who didn’t know where to start that they could use a nudge in the right direction.
“I just launched another business about social media training because that’s the main takeaway from the subscription business – the importance of social media for entrepreneurs.
Across businesses today, I manage about 120 employees roughly and that’s not easy.
There’s a lot of fist bumping.
The way that it comes together is that you have to have good top management in place. Ideally, you want to step away from your business and have it run without you.
For my social media business, I’ve got contractors for everything. People come to me for support in web development, logo design, and Facebook ads. They want Instagram management of their accounts and I direct them to the right people. I’ve got partnerships in place and I hold those companies and contractors accountable.
I do have a partner, an influencer with 50% in the business. He has a network of about 3 million plus followers on social media. The four parts of my business, include:
#1 Playing a Salesperson Because the company is so new, I’m playing the role of a salesperson. I’m bringing in the business.
#2 Always Learning The second part is also putting about an hour a day into learning something new because if I don’t stay sharp, the people that are following me will not get the best content.
#3 Creating and Distributing Content Every Day The second part is that I create content every day and I post content every day – everything from Facebook to LinkedIn to blogging.
#4 Service Quality Rules All The last part is servicing clients – making sure that they’re happy with the current contractors.
I take on the role of project manager to make sure everything’s running. I’ll hire someone to do all of these tasks for me. What I love about the business is that you can’t automate a brand.
It still has to be you.
When you see Gary Vee still making his videos, you realize he still creates a lot of his content.
Social media is where my heart and soul is. Even if it takes two to three hours a day, I’ll commit to that for the rest of my life because that’s where I want my legacy to be.”
What’s your advice for starting a company with your spouse?
Sania notes that this was the hardest part about running a business. She learned a lot from her parents and realized the value in their wisdom once she experienced it herself.
“My husband is a geophysicist by profession and he’s very analytical. I’m a lot more all over the place, but things get done. I’ve never been in a corporate environment. We have a different dynamic as co-founders and that’s what was hard for us in this process. We hated working together. And ultimately, that was one of the reasons for having panic attacks. It got to the point where I had to be open and honest about it.
If we had continued, it could have led to divorce. Everything was work and that was really tough on us. It’s funny because I see my parents working together every day and things are just fine. They have a beautiful working relationship.
There were some beautiful aspects to working together so I don’t want to paint an all negative picture. We saw our garage fill up with boxes and then started looking for warehouses together. That was beautiful.
Anyone who’s considering working with their spouse, know that if it doesn’t work out that only means you have a bad working relationship. Your overall relationship comes first. Make sure to go on walks and disconnect from your cell phone, email, and business from time to time. Because if all you do is work together, your business will die.
One of the reasons my parents working relationships has worked out is they’ve weekends off. That’s their time and they’ve done this for 30 years.”
How do you manage everything?
In one shape or form, Sania is involved with about six to seven businesses on a day-to-day process. Her day is spent primarily communicating with those teams to ensure everything’s on track whether on-site visits or phone calls.
“Entrepreneurs will say talking to their team and putting out fires is what they do every day and that is a hundred percent my life.
I have a lot of checklists.
I work six days a week. A little bit on the seventh day as well. It’s non-stop if you like what you do. I take the time to learn because if I don’t stay sharp, my businesses won’t stay sharp. I go to business conferences, listen to audiobooks, and take online courses.
Now when I sense that I’m starting to experience tightness and pain in my body, I stop what I’m doing even if that means fewer sales and productivity.”
Today, she knows that she needs to delegate more and that her business is only as good as she’s feeling.
It’s no longer all about work,
And more on having a healthy mind, body, and soul.
Because as Sania has realized – the most important characteristic for an entrepreneur is their longevity.
Leila fell into entrepreneurship from a young age.
When I was a young girl, I asked my dad if I could get a job.
He said, “You’re too young; you need to be thirteen to have a permit.”
To, at least, go to work, there was a bikini shop near my house and I kept talking to the owner.
I said, “One day you will give me a job.”
She replied, “Sure when you’re 13.”
“I can try bathing suits on for you and that can be my job to see how they fit.”
She caved and Leila started at her first job
She remembers thinking, ‘‘This is great. I’m only 13 and I got my first paycheck.’
Her mind wouldn’t stop.
While she was in the bikini shop, she kept finding flaws in the processes.
“You should put this on the mannequin.”
“Your entryway is too dark.”
There was always something.
Then when she was in high school, she would take clothes that she’d bought and change the pieces on it. Her friends would ask me where I got it.
Instead of telling them where she got it, she’d say, “You can buy it from me.”
That spark of entrepreneurship turned into a clothing store she’d eventually sell.
It was then when she learned how to operate a business.
Then a pivotal moment happened in her early entrepreneurial career.
When she came back from college, the camp that she went to as a kid was going under and she was devastated. So she started a program to keep the camp alive.
The kids would get picked up by a school bus and go on a field trip every day. And that way they kept the older kids coming to the camp and the younger kids in the camp. The camp survived. It was the first time she’d helped a business not fail and didn’t have equity in it.
That was the beginning of her saying, “Wait a minute.”
It was at this time, Leila knew the next venture would be entirely in her hands.
All it took was patience for the right idea.
How did you come up with Sphynx?
Like many successful companies, Sphynx was founded on a problem that wouldn’t go away. In fact, Leila would experience the problem for years before she had enough of it.
When I was younger, I was on the dance and cheerleading team. I would constantly realize I had missed spots shaving. When you’re younger, you’re just learning how to shave so I’d go to the gym carrying a razor around with me.
The problem resurfaced when I got older.
I used to do marketing for Nike, Microsoft, and Red Bull. I would travel the world for them. I’d be at snowboarding competitions where you don’t think you need to shave, but then you go out afterward.
You’re taking off all these layers of clothes because they make it 110 degrees in the bar so you’re profusely sweating. Now all your ski clothes are on a chair somewhere. And then I was like, “oh I didn’t think to shave.”
Then when I was working at a toy company, I was presenting to Target in a meeting. I remember mid-meeting, I realized the buyers were staring at my underarms instead of at me. I was like, “oh my gosh,” I don’t remember the last time I shaved.
It went from being in high school learning how to shave to missing spots because I was traveling, then forgot because I had a demanding professional career.
This problem kept following me.
I had to solve it.
What hurdles did you face early in your journey?
With consumer products, there’s extra difficulty in making it successful. It’s not just about building an e-commerce store. You need fulfillment, distributors, and much more. Leila realized she came into battle with less than what she needed but used her tenacity and resourcefulness to make it through.
“It took me a year and a half in development to create Sphynx, an on-the-go razor set. I was still working full-time. So I would come home at night and work on it until 3:00 am, especially since China is in a different time zone. I had just gotten married, too, and my husband would say, ‘You need to come to bed.’ I’d reply, ‘No, China just woke up.’
I had never worked with China. I had so many bumps in the road because I had so many middlemen since I didn’t learn Chinese. I was plugging away for six months after I quit my job. Then it took another year because I didn’t find any good factories. Then I found the one.
When I finally got the prototypes, I gave 30 out to 30 of my top friends. The prototypes cost anywhere between 100 to 300 dollars.
I’d send emails asking for feedback every week as I was reiterating the product. One friend calls me, ‘Leila, I’m so sorry, but I don’t have your prototype anymore and I can’t give you feedback.’
‘What what do you mean? You know my prototype costs 300 bucks’
‘I just started at my new job, my boss took it off my desk and I don’t have the heart to ask for it back.’“
How did you first gain traction?
The success of Sphynx might’ve been the best April Fool’s prank. Sometimes the unexpected happens and at that moment, Leila had two choose between fight or flight.
“On April first, I get an email from the company, Ulta:
‘Hey, we’d love to meet you. We got a hold of your product.’
I thought ‘Who is this genius who found someone who works there and told them to email me. It’s an April Fool’s prank.’
But it wasn’t.
Turns out her boss fell in love with it and gave it to the buyer and said, “You have to get this thing. It’s the best, hot new product coming out soon.”
That’s when it hit me –
I still had to get the prototype stage done. They wanted it in three months and it takes six months to manufacture in China. I looked at my husband, ‘Listen, I need your help. You do operations. I will do design and product development. Let’s make this happen.’ I quit my job, then went full-time into entrepreneurship.
At the time, I was at a toy company. Dolls were a dying breed because technology is advancing so fast. I took what I learned from the camp because we were scrappy. I tell the kids to go home and bring a water bottle back to camp tomorrow. Then we’d put water, olive oil, and food coloring in the water bottle and it would turn into a lava lamp.
I did the same thing with toys. My job was to come up with concepts for toys and how to market them. So we launched it. We were supposed to be in the Impulse section. It’s the section when you’re at CVS and you see at the front there’s nuts, candy, and chapstick.
I also attended a lot of trade shows. I also did something that you can’t do anymore which is run Facebook ads to influencers if they listed themselves as a Public Figure.
So they would find me instead of me finding them. I started getting a lot of press and influencers talking about us. Then I went to a trade show where I won the Beauty innovation of the Year award.
All these brands came to meet with me and order the product. It blew up overnight and I was not ready for it. I ran out of inventory. Packaging wasn’t closing correctly and there were so many struggles along the way, We only had an intern at the time. And we were in a thousand stores by the end of that show. Good problems.”
What major hurdles did you face in building a lifestyle brand?
Leila learned the hard way that if you don’t define your brand, then someone else will do it for you. Today, she puts her foot down when it comes to distribution and marketing so people know Sphynx is a lifestyle product.
“We ended up in the razor aisle, which was my worst nightmare. I didn’t want to be in the razor aisle because I didn’t want people to position this product in that category.
It’s not a replacement for your home razor because the whole point is it’s for your purse. It’s for the touch-ups on the go. It has the water and the razor so you can do the whole process.
Another obstacle appeared when I got booked for QVC in Christmas. They called me a week before and said, “Hey, we’d love to have you earlier. So I went on to QVC. Unfortunately. There was a terrorist attack in Turkey that day and it was hard to go on air.
Then they told me, ‘Okay your product will be for grandmothers who are in wheelchairs and can’t shave in the shower.’ I thought, ‘My product is not built for that skin type. It has nothing with that demographic because they don’t even care to shave on the go.’
After that, I decided not to go back to QVC.
I got a lot of orders that day, but it wasn’t the right market. All the stores that contacted me afterward wouldn’t be selling where I wanted. And I didn’t want to dilute the brand.
After that, I was really particular about the stores I went into. I was thoughtful about anyone who wants to sell our product. I wanted to be a lifestyle brand.
Now we’re in about three thousand retailers. It’s on my vision board to get into Target. It’s huge but it’s also scary as hell because you have to be prepared to get into Target.”
What internal problems did you need to solve to scale?
Leila is super mom, super businesswoman, and a super wife all at the same time. No one said it would be easy – and it wasn’t. She’s worked hard to optimize her time while still finding room for creative expression to delight her customers.
“The team is ten people as of today. We had three new hires this morning. Since I don’t have time to work out, there is now a treadmill in my office.
I also just had a baby so it’s been really crazy.
In the beginning, we were fast to hire and then when they weren’t culture fits or the skillset wasn’t quite there. We taking more steps backward than forward. Today, we have a strict hiring process where everyone has a chance to interview the person who’s coming in.
We want to do our own distribution in-house because our product is only $15. It’s costing us way too much. I also wanted to experience the touch and feel of whatever was going out so I could see what consumers are getting.
Sometimes we throw confetti in there as a little treat. We try to keep it fun around here. We’re really focusing on making sure everything that we develop next is disruptive in design and product. Whatever it may be, so when you see it on shelves, we want it to wow you and make you wonder what it is.”
What’s next for you guys?
Leila is expanding by focusing on company culture and innovating in the lifestyle space.
“My favorite part is building within. I love when I get the chance to promote someone from the team; it’s really the best feeling. And our team is growing. We moved into our own warehouse in Los Angeles. Regarding Sphynx, we have three to six new products coming out by the end of the year. So we’re doing a lot of product development and expanding our website.
These big companies use a Band-Aid approach to solve the problem of women on-the-go. So we’re scaling the product but we’re also looking into developing more products. I don’t envision the brand as a razor company. I envision it as a brand for the woman on the go with portable and convenient products for our lifestyle.”
Today, Sphynx is one piece of the on-the-go lifestyle market for women.
Leila has the passion and drive to take the rest of it. With larger companies snoozing, her goal is to ensure women are more empowered than yesterday to experience freedom.
With all the graphs pointing in the right direction, it’s exciting to see where she’ll go.
I was a skeptic about using vlogging for B2B marketing.
The reason is vlogging is notoriously known for YouTube influencers who have almost no association with the B2B space. Yet, everyone is screaming to use video content in your B2B marketing.
Rather than hold back, I jumped right in and created my first vlog.
It wasn’t the best vlog, but I’d taken that first critical step in shooting the first episode.
And that mattered more than anything.
Because now I had momentum even if only a little.
When vlogging for the B2B space, I learned fast what I needed to improve on. There was an entire list, to say the least. To help you skip over all my mistakes, here are the nine steps you need to start B2B vlogging like a pro:
1. Use Your iPhone
You don’t need fancy equipment.
For the first video I made, I used my iPhone and it turned out great. At first glance, I couldn’t tell the difference between my video and the quality the pros use. I figured if I couldn’t tell the difference, then most of my audience wouldn’t mind. It turns out I was right.
Wait until you’ve shot many vlogs before you buy equipment such as lights and a stabilizer. Because if you can’t be consistent, then even the best equipment won’t solve that issue.
2. Provide Context
You’re telling a story.
If you jump from setting to setting without a clear picture of why then the audience will get lost.
For example, in the first scene you’re at your office and say, “Hey, I’m off to visit Jessica to drop off her birthday present.” Then the next scene shows you at her doorstep with the present. Without that sentence referencing what you’re about to do, the audience won’t understand why you’re at someone’s doorstep with a present.
3. Add More B-Roll in Your Clips
Storytelling is about capturing the smaller moments. If you’re vlogging a scene where you’re doing work, then zoom in on the laptop so the viewers can see what project you’re working on. You can even do this if you’re vlogging a scene of you reading a book. Zoom in on the couple of sentences that really struck you.
If you’re attending an event, then capture the road when you’re driving over to the event. Here’s an example below.
Here’s another example from an airport.
In both scenes, you get an idea that there’s a transition happening. This is where B-roll can have a very positive effect in tying the bits and pieces of your story together.
4. More Perspectives
If you’re in selfie mode the entire vlog, then your audience will get bored fast. They want different perspectives. In one of the Casey Neistat’s vlogs, he has many different perspectives.
Places the camera down and looks directly into it:
Shoots a couple while on the go:
Introduces an object and a person while standing in front of a stabilized camera:
Shows the handlebars of a moving bike:
Each perspective has a seamless transition into the next. By using the different viewpoints, he captures more of the viewer’s attention because almost every scene is different, yet crucial to the story.
5. Follow the Soundtrack
Easier said than done. You may be using several different soundtracks for your videos and that’s okay. The idea here is to sync the sound with emotion you’re aiming to portray. This requires you to have a strong music database in the back of your mind or stored and categorized on your laptop.
It doesn’t have to be anything special. Here’s a clip from this Casey Neistat video where the background music is subtle and helps make the revealing more intimate while providing suspense.
The light sound in the background leads up to the moment the package is opened, then it drops.
6. Walk With the Camera
To keep the story feeling like it’s moving forward, ensure to have scenes where you walk with the camera. Gary Vaynerchuk does this more than anyone I know. He opens up this video with a scene of him walking which grabs the viewer’s attention.
Walking with the video provides momentum, but like any good storyline, you need balance. It’s important that’s there’s walking, then a drop in momentum. By pulling the viewers’ emotions in different directions, they become more entrenched in the story.
7. Look Straight into the Camera
I always mess this up.
When you’re filming yourself, there’s a strong tendency to look at the video rather than the camera. If you don’t look at the camera, then the vlog loses a sense of intimacy with the viewer. It’s a similar effect to a conversation in which you’re looking into people’s eyes.
For some vloggers like Casey Neistat, they always wear sunglasses which makes it easier. This way people can’t tell if you’re looking at the screen or the camera. Still, it’s better to not wear sunglasses and show people your eyes to provide that sense of intimacy.
8. Company Content that Sells
When you’re in the B2B space, take advantage of all the things that make you unique. This means recording pieces of company meetings, moments where you celebrate wins, and diving into the backgrounds of the people you work with. Gary Vaynerchuk is the leading example of B2B execution in the vlogging world. Take a look here at how he documents a company meeting in the intro to this video.
In fact, this entire video is about company meetings and has over 500,000 views. If you thought your business life was boring, well Gary proves there’s a large audience hungry for this material.
9. Overall B2B Content that Works
If you’re not at the office, then as an entrepreneur, you’re probably traveling to events, jumping on planes, and speaking at conferences. Here’s a piece from my first vlog where I interview a couple of entrepreneurs from a conference I spoke at.
It’s a short clip, but gets the point across that I’m meeting high-level entrepreneurs.
Start with a Couple of Minutes
The first vlog I shot, I pieced together from four minutes of video. There were only four minutes of video because of how afraid I was to shoot in public. As a result, the final video was only around two minutes.
Even though I felt self-conscious, I did it anyway. Today, I’m much less afraid to shoot because the hardest step is the first. It’s seeing that even with a little bit of effort you can get results. In the B2B space, there are few taking vlogging seriously making it one of the easiest channels to build your brand on.
Do you ever wonder how some founders can come up with endless ideas?
Yet, other founders can only come up with a couple.
I wanted to learn how to become creative.
I never had the right idea to help my company grow.
Or, at least, enough ideas to choose among.
I had worked for five startups that had failed and had zero to show for it.
If I could figure out how to overcome the creative hurdle, then I could break this pattern. Motivated, I studied the creative process by reading countless books on psychology and then practicing.
The result is I’ve come up with hundreds of original ideas to help companies grow. I’m even the CEO and co-founder of one of the fastest growing companies in Los Angeles. All because I can rely on the most important intangible skill, creativity.
During the process of figuring out what makes a founder creative, I learned six ways you can add fuel to your creative spark:
1. Develop Your Deep Ts
Creativity doesn’t happen on the surface level. It happens deep beneath the ground. It’s where your expertise lies. It’s the T in the T-Shaped model.
But there’s a catch – unless you’re in the top .01 percent of your field, then you need two deep Ts. Yes, two skills you’re highly proficient in to be creative.
The reason is creativity happens when you combine ideas. If you can combine them from deep expertise in two verticals, then the chances the idea is original increases exponentially. For example, if you combine your knowledge of programming with content creation, then you might come up with a brilliant software idea.
If you had surface level knowledge of both areas, then you might come up with what you think is an original idea. Then you share the idea with an expert and they’ll probably say, “Yeah, that’s an old idea. It doesn’t work.” That result is fine because it shows you that you have much more room to learn.
2. Become an Expert
If you’re not an expert, then you need to know the steps to become one. The good news is this is the easy part. The hard part is the execution.
To become an expert, follow this four-step model:
1. Find an expert to mentor you
Use LinkedIn, Facebook, and email to reach out. Mentorship is a big time commitment on their part so asking right away will deter them. Start by giving them value no matter how small, then ask for coffee. Get them to become your friend before you ask for them to become a mentor.
2. Deconstruct the skills that will deliver 80 percent of results
Ask experts, then research on Google and YouTube what those few core important skills are to get results.
3. Stop multitasking
You’re learning one skill, not a hundred of them.
4. Practice until you can recognize your mistakes
Did someone say practice?
Yes, you have to show up every day if you want to be good at anything.
World-recognized learning expert, Josh Kaufman, explains that all you need is enough information to self-correct. That means you need the ability to recognize your own mistakes, and then make adjustments when this inevitably occurs. Over time, you become mistake free.
Rinse and repeat, and you’ll eventually get to your desired level of proficiency.
3. Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Most people quit soon after they start.
The major barrier to skill acquisition isn’t intellectual; it’s emotional.
Whenever you start learning something new, you get frustrated because you feel inadequate. It’s easy to lose hope. And nobody wants to feel like they’re no good at doing something. They key is to recognize that feeling, then do it anyway.
That’s what the best leaders do.
They feel the fear, then still take action.
It’s not that they’re more confident, it’s that they internally process the idea of fear better.
4. Get it out of Your Head
In 2013, Sciencepublished a study by economist Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University and psychologist Eldar Shafir of Princeton University describing how reminding people with a low income of their financial trouble reduced their capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations.
A subsequent study found that Indian sugarcane farmers performed much better on the same cognitive performance test after receiving the once-a-year payment for their produce, temporarily resolving their monetary concerns.
The learning lesson?
If one’s mind is constantly occupied with urgent problems, such as paying bills, there will not be much capacity left to come up with long-term solutions or creative ideas.
In other words, your mind only has a certain amount of capacity to carry thoughts. Your job is to constantly open up this capacity by externalizing your thoughts whether through writing, video, or audio. As long as you’re not distracted by thoughts at the forefront of your mind, then you’ll own your creativity.
5. Store it in a Compartment
If you’re externalizing your thoughts, it’s best to organize them to the best of your ability. That means writing books, using your Google Drive or Dropbox storage, and even creating how-to lessons and uploading them to YouTube. Here’s a peek into my Google Drive. There are over a 100 guides in here about marketing. That’s 100 tutorials I no longer have to keep in my mind. And that’s exactly why I can keep coming up with new ones.
If you’re not a writer, then record yourself on video documenting your creative ideas. This only helps to an extent when removing the idea from your head. The next step is executing it to see if it works. If it does, you’ll now have room to come up with more creative ideas to improve it. If it doesn’t, then come up with new ideas to chase.
6. Find a Partner
Not all of us have time to learn a new skill or document all our processes. Sometimes we need a little help. When I co-founded my company, BAMF Media, I partnered with Houston Golden, the former director of growth for an agency. Here’s a picture below when we opened up business for the first time.
I didn’t understand much about founding and scaling an agency. I knew a lot more about marketing, writing, and building an audience. So I found someone who’d already helped build an agency. This way, when we founded the company, we had two deep Ts that we could rely on for creative ideas.
Take a Leap of Faith
Chasing creativity requires an abundance mindset. You need to get all your bad ideas out to come up with good ones. It doesn’t always work out in your favor, but if you try enough times, then it will.
The secret: trust in the process.
Know that creativity only comes once you’ve documented and executed on your already existing ideas and problems. If you can stand on the plate and keep batting, then you’ll hit that home run.