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Entrepreneur Office Hours: Issue #197
Is social media worth your time as an entrepreneur?
It’s time to get serious about the importance and value of branding yourself on social media.
Yes, I realize this is a newsletter about entrepreneurship. However, as I’ve written before, you can have the best product in the world, but, if nobody knows about it, then it won’t sell. Because of that, being great at branding yourself on social media will create more visibility for you and whatever you’re building, and that will, in turn, make you a more successful entrepreneur.
I realize, of course, that I can write those things all I want, but, sometimes, actions speak louder than words. That’s why, as you might recall, six-ish weeks ago I committed to posting one entrepreneurship education video on Instagram per weekday. At the time, I had ~400 followers and hadn’t posted to the platform in three or four years. However, I was determined to reboot my Instagram and see if I could turn it into another valuable tool for teaching entrepreneurship.
I’ve mostly kept that daily posting commitment. It hasn’t been fun. To be honest, growth has been (very) slow. But I’ve been steadily getting 10-20 new followers per week, a few hundred views per video, and an occasional video that “popped” for a few thousand views.
I was OK with that level of growth because, after years of creating content, I’ve learned that social media audience building relies on consistency and perseverance. I knew if I kept posting, eventually I’d see good results.
Those results started pouring in this week thanks to this Reel:
As of this writing, the Reel has over a million views on Instagram in just 48 hours. It’s also helped me add ~1,000 followers to my account.
For what it’s worth, I posted the same video to my “professional” TikTok account (i.e. not the fun one with lots of followers, but the smaller one where I do more educational content). On TikTok, the video has already hit 1.7 million views and added ~1,700 followers.
I’ve also added a handful of new subscribers to this newsletter, tons of new LinkedIn connection requests, and all sorts of other interesting little odds and ends that are clearly coming from the video’s popularity.
And that’s just one video. As the account grows, my reach will grow, and my ability to successfully “entrepreneur” will grow.
Don’t you want the same thing? Then you should be posting on social media!
To be clear, I’m not suggesting it’s an easy or quick strategy for entrepreneurial success. After all, six weeks worth of videos haven’t been quick or easy. And it’ll probably take me another six weeks to get another decent-sized hit. But the opportunity is clear as day: Create content on social media and build your audience into an asset that’ll bring immense value to your career.
Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from one of the most successful companies in history. Just make sure to learn the right lessons.
In this article, I share a simple framework that can help you learn to give a perfect pitch every time.
Office Hours Q&A
I’ve been trying to grow my audience on Instagram for a few months, but I haven’t been getting any traction. It seems like none of the pictures I post actually get seen by anyone.
Do you have any advice for how to post on Instagram? Is it even worth trying to build an account on Instagram for someone just starting out who isn’t well-known or famous for any other reason?
I figured I’d answer this question because it fits with some of the other themes in this issue.
Yes, as I’ve suggested earlier, trying to build an account and audience on Instagram is definitely worthwhile, even for people who aren’t well-known or famous. But you have to do it the right way.
The key to audience growth on social media is discoverability. In other words, how are people going to find you?
On instagram, the original “feed” feature isn’t where anyone is going to discover you or your content. Instead, if you want people to discover you on Instagram, you need to be making Reels. Reels are like TikToks, which means they get shows to lots of people even if they aren’t already following you (hence the reason the Reel I shared earlier got 1 million+ views even though, at the time, I only had 500 followers).
Discoverability works differently on each platform, and the different platforms have different levels of discoverability. For example, this newsletter is being published on Substack. Substack is a social media publishing platform, but it has terrible discoverability. If you want readers for your substack posts, you generally have to push those readers in from a platform with better discoverability.
Keep this in mind as you pursue a social media strategy. Don’t just randomly create content. Create content in ways that’ll help ensure people will see it. If you don’t, you’re just wasting your time.
Got startup questions of your own? Reply to this email with whatever you want to know, and I’ll do my best to answer!