I’m not the guy to talk to when it comes to building a big audience on social media. I’m not a social media person.
I do study a lot of the people who have very large social media followings, though, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there are a few things you need to do be a killer on social media.
I’m going to share them with you, but I’m not sharing these points to help you. I’m going to share them with you so you understand why I don’t pay much attention to building social media properties…
Okay, so the first ingredient to success is to be a masterful curator of your life. In other words, you have to be great at manufacturing certain parts of your life and documenting that.
You have to turn yourself into a shiny magazine that serves a specific audience. It needs great pictures and great stories, most of which would never happen to you if you weren’t trying to get people’s attention on social media (don’t underestimate the importance of this point).
Now, to avoid being accused of highly curating your life and coming across as fake, you have to develop what I call “exposé-style content.” This is content that exposes “secret” and perhaps even “slightly undesirable” aspects of your life. Doing this showers you with “social vulnerability points.”
Make no mistake, though, what seems like vulnerability for almost all the top social media players is just more highly curated and planned content. That’s why I put “secret” and “slightly undesirable” in quotes.
Social media “glimpses” are really no different from scripted reality television “segments.” Nothing is ever shown that isn’t “relatively safe” for public consumption. No matter how vulnerable these people seem, you’re never seeing any of their real baggage.
What’s next? Consistency. You have to be very consistent. You have to post multiple times a day on multiple channels. It’s a form of self-promotion that requires extreme diligence and you have to constantly find new ways to self-promote without coming across as blatantly self-promotional.
When you’re stuck and still *need* to post something to fulfill your daily quota, that’s when you rely on the obligatory selfie paired with some “deep life insight” that was most likely inspired by a Pinterest inspiration search you did 60 seconds earlier.
Okay, so that’s the core strategy. Now put all the stuff I just mentioned on repeat for months and months on end. But…
…Only do that if you’re at least tolerably good looking. If you’re ugly, there’s a fairly low ceiling on your potential unless you’re also either [A] legitimately fucking brilliant (see: Neil deGrasse Tyson — not saying he’s brilliant, he’s just perceived as brilliant) [B] entertaining/interesting as fuck (see: Casey Neistat) or [C] willing to make bank on letting other people mock you (see: Backpack Kid).
Now, if you’re hot and willing to flaunt that, definitely leverage social media because you have a huge advantage. Just know that most of your popularity and influence will be superficial (I really love seeing hot “social media experts” give advice as if all their success has come from their social media marketing brilliance — it’s like listening to someone who lives off an inheritance give business advice).
So that’s it! Are there outliers who break this analysis? Of course. But this is the vast majority of what’s going on with social media and it’s precisely why I just use social media casually and don’t focus on building a massive following to leverage for business.
I really have zero fucking interest in this kind of game.
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Kevin Michael Geary is the founder of Six-Figure Grind and host of the Six-Figure Grind Podcast. After building three successful online businesses in three separate niches in less than five years, he turned his attention toward helping other people start an online lifestyle business so they can escape the rat race, make an impact, and live life without limitations.