Rich Cardona Media

148. That Time I Paid for Followers

On this episode of The Leadership Locker, Rich talks about the time that he paid for Instagram followers, and why it was a mistake.

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Personal Branding | Rich Cardona Media

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Transcript
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Welcome back to The Leadership Locker.

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It is Rich Cardona, your host, and this is the place.

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This is the place for new entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs or people who

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know everything about entrepreneurship, but like to relive their painful lessons

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or relive their amazing victories.

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And I'm going to talk to you in a second.

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One of the stupidest social media related mistakes I've ever made.

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Well, first I'm not really a sponsor guy, but I'm going to talk to you

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about my sponsor, who is rocket station, because they helped me

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find my ridiculously talented Savage as fuck virtual assistant, who, I

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mean, like she's an operations lead.

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Okay.

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I'm not even playing that game anymore of saying virtual assistant.

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She project manages calendar.

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She is in touch with clients.

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She's in touch with prospects.

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She handles emails.

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She handles operations in terms of podcast operations.

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She handles video operations.

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She handles so many different things county, and now it's time.

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It's like she's absolutely positively deserves an extra person, even

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though she's able to manage herself.

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It's time for another person and guess who I'm going to hello, rocket station, number

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one, whatever it is that I need, they are going to do a process outline with me.

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And then from there we start interviewing candidates and then away we go.

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But look, it's not just about the time that I get back from

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having that kind of thing.

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Uh, more importantly, it's a support system that I get the

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company's based out of Dallas.

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Uh, the workers are overseas.

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Uh, they make a very good salary, you know, for where they are, but I get

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so much support from the actual team.

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Okay.

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Like they check in on me, they check in on holidays and be like,

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Hey, do you want so-and-so working?

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Um, just all the different things.

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Progress reports, ratings, just, just the status updates are huge.

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This is not what you would get.

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If you go to Fiverr, Craigslist, I'll work or any of that stuff.

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Okay.

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Like you pay your initial fee, they map out your process and then away you go.

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soBrooks@rocketstationdotcomiswhereyouwanttogoorlandingdotrocketstation.com.

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And, uh, check them out.

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If you mentioned me and the leadership locker, you'll get $500

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off that, uh, initial kind of fee.

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Uh, but after that, man, I mean like, dude, you're playing with house money.

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Like you're just making wins, wins, wins with the help you're going to get.

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Now let's get into the mistake that I.

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It was fuck shit.

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I had just quit Amazon.

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I was living with my in-laws in freaking this small ass town

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called Blackstone, Virginia.

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I mean, just a few months prior, I started an Instagram account.

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I literally had no idea what the hell was going on.

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Okay.

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So here I am just kinda messing around with Instagram.

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I have no idea what I'm supposed to do.

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No idea how to follow people, unfollow people.

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I mean, like all the most basic benign things were just completely.

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I was oblivious to them.

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I had no idea what was going on.

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It's very similar to when your parents.

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You know, need to reset their password for something.

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And they act like you're the freaking Nobel prize winner because, uh, they

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just happen to have someone who's a little bit tech savvy in the family,

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and all you did was reset a password.

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So it was that kind of level of savviness that was non-existent, uh, in terms of

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my Instagram knowledge, but I was like, okay, Gary V is always talking about it.

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And I had just, you know, found about, about him a few months prior to that.

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So I'm like, all right, Instagram here.

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So I'm living there in Blackstone, Virginia in my in-law's basement.

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And I'm like, all right, here we go.

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I'm going to start, I'm going to start doing some Instagram content.

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I had a, um, in power shot, mark something.

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Great.

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Awesome, awesome.

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Little camera.

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I actually want to get another one.

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It's so good for blogging, crystal clear.

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And, um, anything you record on it transfers directly to your phone.

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So I was just kind of like experimenting with creative stuff.

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I'm not, I wasn't a creative, I didn't know what was going

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on, but I started making some.

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And then I would start kind of posting it on Instagram.

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I had no idea things needed to be square.

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I had no idea there was a time limit on posts.

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I had no idea about hashtags, about how many do you use or any of that stuff.

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But I started my little journey and it was, it was really interesting.

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Every 50 followers, I would make a post and circle the number of followers I had.

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And I would just put little bites.

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And I would just do whatever random freaking hashtags

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and then, and then whatever.

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But the thing is like, it was just steadily increasing.

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I went from 100 to one 50 to 200, 2 50, blah, blah, blah.

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And then it just kept.

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And what happened was the momentum was good for someone who was documenting

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the journey and kind of starting to fly didn't even have a business yet.

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Like it was in my opinion, completely respectable.

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And at some point.

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About a year later after I had really, really started to get, like,

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in my opinion, massive success on LinkedIn that led to, you know,

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thousands and hundred thousands of dollars of, of, you know, revenue.

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I didn't give a shit about Instagram.

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I was like, fuck Instagram until I started to think, well, what happens

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if something happens to my LinkedIn or what am I missing out on, on Instagram?

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So I didn't want to do the tedious stuff I was doing prior because I had blown up and

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just been able to garner such a better, more engaged following on LinkedIn,

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but I felt like I was missing out.

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So what did I do?

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I bought followers.

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I bought 5,000 followers and that was the stupidest shit ever.

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Number one, it means I wasn't willing to put in the work.

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Number two.

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It meant my inner bitch was screaming and inner bitch is gender neutral.

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So if you're somehow offended by that, then you don't need to listen,

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but we all have an inner bitch.

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So my inner bitch was there.

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Number three is it was a shortcut which any paid shortcuts for

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engagement or following you should know is never the right time.

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And then lastly, like I didn't actually know what I was trying to accomplish.

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Like, what was I going to do with that?

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Following, you know, the, the whole concept of buying followers is that your

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reach is going to expand exponentially because you now have all these followers,

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but you had no guarantees that they were actually going to be engaged.

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So here's how it went down.

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There's a guy he's still on.

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He's on LinkedIn and he's on Instagram.

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He's a guy.

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Uh, he had, uh, he, I heard him on a podcast.

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He had a good LinkedIn page, but it was or Instagram page, but it was one

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of those things where I'm like, you only have this many posts, but you have

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like, like a hundred thousand followers like that doesn't even make sense.

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Like how, how is that even possible?

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And I didn't know then to look like, look at the engagement, look at the

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likes and be like, dude, no, one's leaving any actual comments here.

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Like this is kind of ridiculous.

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So either way I was like, okay, this, this is going to help the business.

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Somehow, somehow I convinced myself this is going to help the business.

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I bought the 5,000 followers.

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Um, and, uh, you know, literally I paid and in just a couple

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hours, all of a sudden I had.

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A couple hundred and then another a hundred.

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And then, um, you know, it kind of stopped right before 5,000.

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I'm like, dude, what's going on?

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And then it went past 5,000 followers that were added on and I was like, holy shit.

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And I felt so cool.

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I felt like awesome.

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Uh, and I was like, wow, like people are gonna notice me.

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And the funny thing is my real friends were like, dude, what's going on?

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Like you're blowing up.

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And they probably didn't tell me what I needed to know, which was

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like, that's such a punk move dude.

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They knew what was going on.

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But I think they, I don't know, maybe we're going to feel bad about

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it, especially because I couldn't admit it on my own like men.

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So I got all these followers and every single day there'd be.

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10 on a follows 20 on follows.

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I looked at where they were all located.

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My audience was all in Mexico city and somewhere else international,

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all the freaking comments were just like dog shit, ridiculous comments.

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It meant no nothing.

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So I think my following got all the way up to like 6,000 or something.

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I don't know what.

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And then, and it trickled down, trickle down, trickle down, trickle down all

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Part of that was potentially because I didn't make any content, but the

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other part of it is anytime you buy followers, they have absolutely no

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obligation through whatever kind of weird system that whole thing works through.

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They have absolutely no obligation to like comment share, or save your stuff.

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This is a tactic like I did that people use when they're insecure, when they

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care about vanity, when they don't have patience, when they don't know

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how to build a community, when they don't know how to make good content,

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when they're fucking completely lost.

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And that's why it didn't work out.

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And I got exactly what I deserve now.

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Thank God.

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It was only 500 bucks.

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I could live with it.

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Funny lately, I've been trying out a bunch of new stuff and I'm like, I got

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to commit to doing better on Instagram.

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I got to commit and I'm back in that little by little phase.

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Okay.

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Little by little by network is expanding.

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My reach has expanded.

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You know, I'm in a, you know, our tastes indicate for example, and a lot of, uh,

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there's a lot of good people in there.

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Uh, people who've heard my podcast, so they start following, uh,

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there's friends of friends start following I'm a podcast guest.

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Um, and sometimes thought that audience of the podcast host follows me because maybe

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I did a good job or whatever it may be.

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But I was just on with Ellie actually, uh, who I mentioned at

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the very beginning of the show.

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And the percentage of people who are consuming the content that weren't

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following me, um, is substantial.

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It's over 20% kind of regularly right now, which is a very positive sign.

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It's like, okay, we're finally kind of catching a.

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Now look, you could laugh if you want, but I think I'm at like 4,100 followers,

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but at least I know I'm doing it right.

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Okay.

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And Instagram may never make me a dime, but at least I know I'm providing value.

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Okay.

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At least I know my word is getting out further.

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Okay.

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So that is really important to me.

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Um, but the lesson here is this.

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Don't fucking pay for shit when it comes to paying for anything on social

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media, because you hate the algorithm so much and because your content is

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so good that year, you're going to circumvent the process by paying for

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followers or getting an engagement groups or getting an engagement pod.

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So that way you can feel good about yourself.

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Cause you can't stomach people not liking or engaging with your shitty ass.

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It's a punk move.

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It's a punk move.

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So what can you do?

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You can.

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Evaluate yourself, evaluate your content and commit to doing better.

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And again, it could all be for nothing.

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You may never get a single client, a single sale from these social media

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platforms, but in the end, it is going to educate you in one way or another.

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What resonates.

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What doesn't resonate.

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What kind of content you like to make?

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What kind of content you don't like to make?

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What's trending.

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What's not trending.

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And I mean, look, I have some really good friends on Instagram

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whose shit I can't, I can't stand.

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I'm like, this is so Instagrammy this stupid picture with this stupid quote.

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It does nothing.

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For anybody.

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And I, lot of these people, you know, and, and colleagues and people in the

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And then I'll go look at the comments and it is just like an emoji of

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something I'm like, oh dude, why?

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Because I know what they're doing.

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So.

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You're either confident or you're not.

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And if your confidence is based off, uh, your social media following and your

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social media engagement, then you're wrong and your confidence should be based

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off how well you can serve, because if you can serve and you commit to serving

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people, and then all of a sudden, all that other stuff falls into place.

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And you, you could give two shits about how well your content performs, because

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you're probably going to be getting DMS of be like, that really resonated with me.

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I literally, literally, I just, I just got, um, a notification, like, as

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we're doing this and it was, let's see here, your posts spoke to me today.

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I can't wait to continue following your content.

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Okay.

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That's that's a DM.

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Okay.

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That's not a con.

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Let's see, great to connect.

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I completely enjoyed your presentation today.

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There was so much, I didn't know.

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And that was for a workshop I gave.

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So look, those are the types of things that are going to make your day.

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Once in a while, if you have something that pops off and it gets a hundred

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times the likes or comments or whatever that you're used to, then you're

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probably going to feel good about it.

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But look, that's usually short-lived okay.

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A mountain is moved one stone at a time.

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There's nothing wrong with giving up on a platform.

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If it hasn't been good to you.

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Okay.

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80, 20.

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All right.

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If LinkedIn and Instagram aren't working for you, then maybe you

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should pivot to LinkedIn and take doc.

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Maybe you should pivot to LinkedIn and clubhouse, whatever

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it is, but do not do what I do.

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Do not do what I did and make a stupid financial decision will yield you very

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likely no ROI because these people on the other end are maybe, well,

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number one, they're not committed to you in any way, shape or form.

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And two, they might not even be people.

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Come on, man.

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I mean, you know, Instagram is full of bots.

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So think about that next time you are contemplating making a decision.

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That is going to give the appearance that you have a better following than

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you do, because if you're doing that, it's usually because you care deeply and

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innocently about what other people think.

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And I'm sharing this because this is part of the journey of self-awareness.

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I couldn't, I wouldn't, and I won't pay for followers again.

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Thank you for listening to leadership locker, leave it a rating, share

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it with a friend, write a review.

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I want to continue to be sitting in the top 100 globally across all

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platforms and education and business.

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I want to make sure that I am able to continue to get amazing guests for you

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that are industry experts and influencers.

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And I also want to be able to share with you all of these lessons,

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I'm learning along the way.

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So, hopefully this was valuable to you a little longer than usual.

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Uh, but thank you.

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And don't forget rocket station check out rocket station.

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If you need that help, if you need that virtual assistant.

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All right.