Social Media is constantly evolving. Listen and learn about what it takes to make it as an Entrepreneur in today’s content saturated world…
What’s going on everyone? This is Steve Larsen, and you’re listening to a special episode of Sales Funnel Radio. I’ve spent the last four years learning from the most brilliant marketers today, and now I’ve left my 9 to 5 to take the plunge and build my million-dollar business. The real question is how will I do it without VC funding or debt, completely from scratch?
This podcast is here to give you the answer. Join me and follow along as I learn, apply and share marketing strategies to grow my online business using only today’s best internet sales funnels. My name is Steve Larsen, and welcome to Sales Funnel Radio.
What’s up guys? I’m super excited for you to be here. This is going to be a massive treat for you. I’ve got to tell you, the topic we’re going to go through today and frankly the person that I’ve brought on today, at first this topic I discredited just a little bit. I’m not going to lie, which is shame on me, poopoo on me, right, but I’m very excited for you guys to learn more about this. The longer I’ve been doing this game, the longer I’ve been part of this, the more I’ve looked at what this person’s doing, it’s just with sheer awe.
I cannot believe everything that he gets done, and I’m very excited. I’m super honored, actually, to have him on the show. It’s going to be great. Anyway, I want to welcome to the show, though, Mr. Josh Forti. How are you doing man?
Josh Forti: Hey Steven. Good to be on here. Thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it.
Steve Larsen: I’m super excited. I was thinking right before you got on here, I was thinking through kind of the different times we’ve brushed shoulders.
Josh Forti: Yeah.
Steve Larsen: But not really actually spoke. You know, I know you came to the Viral Video launch. You had an invite for that for sure. I saw you over there taking pictures with Gary V., and I was exhausted by the time that event came up.
I barely remember anything. Everything was hazy…
Josh Forti: I got roasted by Gary V. at the Viral Video event.
Steve Larsen: I remember that. He was standing right there.
Josh Forti: Remember that?
Steve Larsen: Yeah. He roasted you hard, man.
Josh Forti: That’s right. That’s right. I think you handed me the microphone for that, too.
Steve Larsen: Yep. Yeah. I had no idea we’d work this much together and have you on the show.
Josh Forti: Who knew, who knew?
Steve Larsen: Who knew? Yeah. And then it was really, right, we did that Mastermind together.
Josh Forti: Yeah.
Steve Larsen: And I heard you speak and I swear gold was just spraying everybody in the audience, just all over the place. I could not believe what you were saying. It was amazing. It was incredible. This whole other side of the funnel where the person is the funnel and really diving into personal branding.
You’re clearly, in my mind, I actually believe that you’re like the foremost expert on personal brand creation. I’m just so honored to have you here…
Josh Forti: Oh man, well I really appreciate, really appreciate that, and I don’t know if I’m the number one, but I certainly try to be. Yeah, we’ve had a lot of fun with it.
Steve Larsen: I’ll say it for you.
Josh Forti: Okay. You can say it for me. I like that. I like that. Yeah. We’ve had a lot of fun with it.
Steve Larsen: Honestly, it was when we were standing outside right after that Mastermind and I saw not just that you were like, I mean, dude, you’re very smart. You get a lot of stuff done. You’re a go-getter and a hustler, but then also you’re intent on helping the world. That’s when I was like, man, I’ve got to get close to this guy. That wasn’t long ago. That was like a month ago.
Josh Forti: It feels like it. It was a little longer than that. I think it was, back in January. That was in Vegas.
Steve Larsen: Oh, that’s true.
Josh Forti: Right? That’s when that was. We spoke there. That’s when we first officially met. We had brushed into each other like you said, but we officially met. We spoke on the same stage. I remember at the event someone was like, Steven Larsen’s going to be speaking. I was like, well, if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. So, I’m super happy that we got to meet up there and, yeah, form a friendship that eventually led to us speaking together again down at the Mastermind before Funnel Hacking Live.
Steve Larsen: Oh, yeah, that’s right. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. Yeah. You know, so for those in the audience who may not know who you are, how did you actually get into this, this area of personal branding? I think the area, like I’ve had such an issue with it just because I’ve not ever known really what it is. It seems a little bit fluffy and you’re so clear on how to do it. How did you get into this?
Josh Forti: That’s a great question. So, actually I grew up through high school, I was home schooled and I grew up on a farm. I had no online presence at all. In fact, I wasn’t even allowed to have texting on my phone until I was 18, so like really knew nothing.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: I got into insurance. Long story short, dropped out of college, got into insurance sales and realized that the internet marketing space was this huge trend that a lot of these businesses that we were working with were totally missing out on.
And so I went from there and I was like, man I’ve got to start studying this, so I started studying e-com and started studying all the different things and blue like several thousand dollars with no success, no results whatsoever. I was like, man, it can’t be this hard. I mean, like I’ve got to figure out a way for me. How I started into it was I was just trying to figure out a way to grow an audience so that I could test like landing pages.
Even if I was giving it away for free, I just wanted to be able to test it without having to pay for it…
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: And get the audience’s response. Tell me what I was doing right, tell me what I was doing wrong so that I could service them better without having to pay thousands of dollars up front for not getting any results. So, I actually started on the Instagram platform. I thought that was, for me, the fastest way to like grow an audience.
I didn’t really understand Facebook at the time. We hear all the time, organic range on Facebook is dead…
Not entirely true, but I started on the Instagram platform and played around with just some different accounts. I bought a course on it. I loved the Instagram game and I loved everything that was there. It is. It’s a game.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: Just finding the little trends and pieces there. I launched a company with a business partner of mine, and together we grew and managed several million followers on the Instagram platform. aCtually, it was just the beginning of last year we decided we had kind of different visions for the company. He wanted to go kind of more the agency route and specifically just servicing that, and I really wanted to help like people launch like Instagram accounts.
I wanted to like give back the information that we had and like really help that and you know, different strokes for different folks. So he went one way and I ended up selling the agency that we had built to him. That allowed me a whole new world of opportunity. I was out on my own. I had contacts and I’d just sold a company. I went out and invested in a couple different coaches and some programs and really just dove into all things branding and social media.
I read Expert Secrets and Dotcom Secrets and everything that Russell talks about and came up, and I’m only 24 years old right now, and so just studied and studied and worked and applied and worked and launched a Facebook group shortly before I sold my company, about, I don’t know, six months or so before I sold the company out and have not run a single dime of paid traffic to it. It’s about 18 months old.
Steve Larsen: Wow.
Josh Forti: We just hit 30,000 members in it.
Steve Larsen: Holy crap.
Josh Forti: Being able to use a lot of the tactics that Russell talks about in marketing with the attractive character and really being authentic with your audience and really going out there and showing them the behind the scenes, a lot of people are like, man, you know, you are authentic or you’re showing them the good, the bad and the ugly, like they’re never going to buy from you, right?
Steve Larsen: Yeah.
Josh Forti: And the thing is, we live in the world of experts, but we also live in the world of influencers, right?
Like, you do need to be an expert at what you do, but you have to understand that if you have a single follower, you’re more credible than the person without one, right?
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: And so if you’re one step ahead of whatever it is that you’re doing and you show them the good, the bad and the ugly, what that does is it builds trust, so people can go out. We live in an overwhelming world of information.
I can go onto YouTube and figure out absolutely anything, so if you’re full of crap, I’m eventually going to figure it out, so if you’re lying to me, you know, I’m eventually going to see that, where if you just show, hey, this works, this doesn’t, here’s what we’re doing over here, here’s what we’re doing over here, people love that and people eat it up because then they know that you’re going to be honest with them. We’ve had so much success with that.
In fact, I’ve done, this is a funny fact, two six-figure businesses now and I’ve never spent a single penny on paid advertising for either one of those.
Steve Larsen: That’s so cool. I mean, seriously man, congrats! That’s incredible.
Josh Forti: I appreciate that, man. Does that kind of give you a background there of everything?
Steve Larsen: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. I guess, when did you realize that you were getting it, you know what I mean? When did it start clicking?
Josh Forti: Well, I must say, my parents always taught me to work hard. I grew up on a farm. I was homeschooled, and I have seven siblings, so you kind of partner all those things together and you realize you just kind of have to work hard in life.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: I wouldn’t say I felt … I still don’t know if I get it, Steven.
Steve Larsen: Sure. I know we’re all still getting it.
Josh Forti: Yeah, yeah. I think that the point in my life where I understood that I got it was when I realized that I was willing to go learn and do above and beyond what everyone else was willing to go learn and do.
When everybody else was out at the movies, and I have nothing against going out to the movies or taking a night off, but I spent two years of my life studying and going to conferences, seminars and things like that and when I came back and when I realized that just simply being around those type of people and just simply being immersed in that versus being immersed in say pop culture of like movies or music or whatever that thing was, you know more about that.
For me, that was a really like a first step in the right direction for me because, I mean, we as an entrepreneurs, I really believe that we all, at some point or another, struggle with a lot of self-doubt.
Steve Larsen: Yeah.
Josh Forti: While I’m a very confident person in myself and what I can do, being around those type of people and realizing that, hey, I’m at least making actions and decisions that drive me in the direction that I want to get close to was an encouraging reminder to me.
So that was kind of the first step in the right direction and then as far as like making it, what do you mean, like having it figured it out? Like, specifically when I thought I knew Instagram or when I thought I could do this or like what specifically?
Steve Larsen: Sure, sure. I just like to ask that because we all kind of go a different route with it, which is kind of cool, but, yeah, really with Instagram, when you realized that like, oh my gosh, this personal branding thing like it’s suddenly is clicking, you know. I see the path at least far enough where I can have results for the people and make money with it.
Josh Forti: Yeah. I’m going to take us back to Funnel Hacking Live.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: Remember when Russell was on stage and for those of you that weren’t able to attend, uh, you missed out, but he was on stage, and on Friday he was talking about, and really, the whole theme of the conference was if you just follow a proven formula for success, you will be successful with it. Remember when he was talking about that?
Steve Larsen: Oh, yeah.
Josh Forti: Yeah. So, I think I realized that I had figured it out when I was first able to duplicate my results and so on Instagram I grew my first account to, I think it was 30,000 or 35,000 followers, and I got the idea that I was like, well, I did it once. I wonder if I could do it again.
So, I do everything kind of over the top, so I went and opened like eight other accounts…
Steve Larsen: Love it.
Josh Forti: And tried to do it on eight different accounts and figured out the niches. I think five of them stuck, and so I had five or six accounts at this time and all of the sudden all of them were at 10,000 and then 15,000 and then 20,000 and then 30,000, and then I realized this is just a system.
Like, it’s a formula and when I realized that there was just a formula for growing accounts and a formula for growing social media, people often complicate it and they’re like, oh, you know every platform’s different, every platform’s this. They are, and the content that you post on those platforms may be different types of content, but the concepts of social media, of the goals that you’re trying to accomplish are all the same.
Once I figured out that formula I knew I was set. I was like, there’s nothing I can’t do on social media now if I have either A) The time or B) The budget. If I have one of those two things, I can do anything. I think that’s when I figured out that there was a proven formula that I could just duplicate over and over and it looks different for each account, looks different for each niche that you’re in, but the formula of what you’re trying to accomplish is the same.
Steve Larsen: That’s awesome. That’s super powerful. It’s powerful insight for sure. I just want to ask too, so, okay, you obviously are like me and you’re constantly diving deep into the thing you’re trying to be like the best at. You’re constantly learning.
I’m sure you’re constantly moving as forward as fast as you can. Out of your own curiosity too. It’s like no one’s forcing you. I’m sure you’re the same…
When you were diving deep into this stuff and you start getting into social media, you get into personal branding, how did you choose what to learn and what not to learn?
Josh Forti: Oh man. That is such a tough question.
Steve Larsen: I know. Sorry.
Josh Forti: No, no, no. This is really good. You know what’s interesting is the reason that I got into personal branding I think is because of this question right here.
Steve Larsen: Interesting.
Josh Forti: Because you think about it and you go, who do we learn from? I look at the people that I modeled after. The only people that I followed were people that I wanted to become like because in my opinion and especially in the way of the world that we’re going right now, if you’re taking advice from people that are not doing what it is that you’re trying to learn and you can’t relate with what they’re trying to do, why would you take advice from them.
That’s like the mentality that’s going through my head at the time that I’m starting…
Steve Larsen: I believe that.
Josh Forti: And so as I looked back, like who did I model? I modeled after Russell Brunson. I modeled after Tai Lopez. I modeled after Gary Vaynerchuk. I modeled after Grant Cardone.
Those are my four big top influencers in all of marketing right now. If you were to say, Josh, who are the top four? Those are them. What do they all have? They all have a personal brand. They’ve all gone out there and established what it is that they’ve done, and so, I think for me, I look at the person as who they are. Now, do I agree with everything Tai Lopez does?
Or Russell or Grant or whoever, but because they have elements in their business that I want to model after and I like who they are as a person in that area, I’m going to go and I’m going to learn from them.
So, for me, I decide what I’m going to learn or not learn by actually studying what the person stands for and looking at the life that they have. I hardly ever buy, even like a lead magnet or download anything for free until I go out and actually study who that person is. And so I just got a book in the mail, Millionaire Success Habits by Dean I can’t pronounce his last name.
Steve Larsen: Graziosi.
Josh Forti: Yeah. But I saw his ad probably 100 times before I bought his book. I finally sat down and was like, okay, who is this guy. I went and I looked at his brand and I looked at what he was and I looked at what he stood for and that’s the power of personal branding. Everything that I do and everything, like if I choose to study someone or something or learn or not learn, I look at who they are as a person because I think that’s really important to me.
So, I got into personal branding for that matter because I was like, if someone’s going to look at my content, whether it’s a physical product, a digital product, free paid whatever, I want them to be able to come look back at me and know exactly what I stand for and if that aligns with what they are going to be doing then they are going to come learn from me and be up front about it.
Having that personal brand, I mean, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve asked and say, why do you use click funnels? The click funnel platform is awesome and I love it and it’s so much fun, but a large majority of the people were like, I wasn’t that interested in click funnels at the beginning. I was interested in Russell Brunson and then he showed me click funnels and it was like, oh my gosh!
This is awesome…
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: But it was Russell that brought them in and that’s the power of a personal brand, and I think that we really need to realize in the online space if you don’t have a personal brand you’re either on your way out or already dead. You’re just becoming irrelevant after awhile.
Steve Larsen: I completely believe what you just said right there. That’s so true. As far as from a top level, I just want to ask a few questions here because you think of like, I mean, you service a lot of like these funnel builders of that community as well. You’ve helped a whole bunch of people like that.
You’ve helped some massive individuals…
Josh Forti: There’s definitely been some Instagram touchpoints with some big, yeah, big influencers in that area as well as a lot of people in my inner circle and a lot of people in really all areas and all industries, yeah.
Steve Larsen: You’ve been all over the place. You’re very much, and what’s interesting too, I mean, when I think about, like, what I do, right, I go through and I help people get their phone off the ground, their message, their offer and get that out the door and, yes, totally, I mean, you obviously don’t need a personal brand to go get that off the ground, but the personal brand becomes this vehicle that just explodes and accelerates in this ridiculous way.
I want to ask a little more how someone actually does that, but how do you define a personal brand? You know what I mean? Like, what do you even say that actually is?
Josh Forti: Yeah. Yeah. So, summed up in a very short phrase I say, your business is what you do, your brand is what you stand for.
Steve Larsen: Cool.
Josh Forti: If you think about that, in the message of personal branding, we’re shifting as a society and I think we really need to understand that while we still definitely have big corporations and big things like that, we’re going very much to a freelance society, to an online marketing society and things like that and really you have to go make a name for yourself, and it’s expected because it’s so simple. I say that hesitantly, simple to do.
Not easy, but the concepts there are simple. It’s almost like required, like as a prerequisite…
What I tell people is you want someone to be able to look at you and your profile and content online and know exactly what you do, what you stand for and how you’re going to go about doing that because if I can’t look at your profile and know not only what you do, but really like the vibe that you stand for and who you are as a human, I’m not near as likely trust you as if I know who you are and what you stand for, right.
If you don’t give me that information, like, yeah, you might be great at eCommerce, but if I don’t know your personality, if I don’t know if you get my agenda, there’s so much information.
People look for what they can relate to. And so if they don’t understand what it is that you stand for or if you’re relatable or not, then you don’t have a very good chance of them buying from you. That personal brand is your message and your statement of what it is that you stand for and your statement of the type of person that you’re trying to attract and sell to.
Steve Larsen: Yeah. It’s not really enough to just be, I mean, you can get by for a while just being amazing, but, I mean, after a while people want to know who you are as a person. It makes total sense. Okay. I’ve never heard it explained that way. How does somebody go about doing this?
Obviously, they hire you…
They give you a whole lot of money, which everyone should, but like what are the most important parts of this? I know we can take it to the enth degree, but I mean, is there like a base level someone should at least have?
Josh Forti: Well, I think the first thing that everyone needs to do is they need to define themselves and understand their why. Before you go into anything else, I think the most important thing is understanding your why and if you don’t start with your why I think everything else really gets kind of pushed off track.
So a lot of people are like, oh, man, my why is I want to go out there and use entrepreneurship skills to change the world. That’s not your why. When I sit down with people to find out what that why is I tell them, you should be able to tell me your why and I have no clue what you do.
Steve Larsen: Cool.
Josh Forti: Because if I can go and hear just like your vision and your purpose and passion in life, there’s a lot of different ways to make something happen, right.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: And, so I can change the world in eCommerce. I can change the world in sports. I can change the world in the oil fields, but if I don’t know what my why is, if you can’t clearly identify what that why is then I think that you’re really off track, because everything needs to lead back up to that.
I think step number one is identify what your why is and then step number two after that is very clearly defined, and I cannot stress the importance of that enough, very clearly defined.
Then, step number two from there is you need to pick the avenue or the industry that you’re going to get into to make that why happen. And so your what is kind of what you believe in and who you’re going to go about implementing that vision to the world.
I’m not talking about the product necessarily. I’m talking about the avenue or the vehicle that you’re going to use to get that why message out there. Once you kind of determine what that is going to be, then you can go out and start crafting your brand from there.
So, start with why and then from there go to the how and then go to the what from there. Start with why, how and then what.
From there, you have to understand you need to publish a lot of content.
Steve Larsen: Yeah. Everyone hear that. I know I shove it down your throat, but say it again, baby, whew!
Josh Forti: Yeah, like publish your face off. I’ve heard you say it before and I know that’s your saying, but it cannot be more true because in a world of unlimited information you have to be able to stand out from all your competitors and from everybody else that’s out there that’s putting out similar information.
If you expect to be seen, if you expect people to build trust, then what do they say, 8 to 12 times before someone is willing to buy from you?
Most of you guys and most of the people out there who are putting out content, it’s like, I’m going to put out one video a week. I’m going to post one status a day. Those are not even rookie numbers, you know what I’m saying.
Like, you’ve got to step it up to where you need to be omnipresent. I need to be able to see you, and I’m just going to take it back again to the Gary Vaynerchuk, the Russell Brunson, the Greg Cardone, Tai Lopez.
Go look at their YouTube channels, their Instagram page, everything that they’re doing. Those people put out way more content than you do, and way more content than almost every other person out there.
Steve Larsen: Yeah.
Josh Forti: And so you don’t even have to be that good, and I say that hesitantly. Be good. Be an expert.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: But if you can produce more content to the next guy, you don’t even have to be an expert, you know. Your message is out there in front of everybody else and so if you start with why and you craft all of your content around making that why come true and showing people your vision with that why and whatever avenue or venue it is, whether it’s entrepreneurship or fitness or music or what have you and publish a lot of content to move that forward, you’re going to have an audience.
Steve Larsen: That’s huge. Completely believe that. Just there’s power in just being present, just being out there when people are ready to look and ready to see you, fresh stuff that’s available.
Josh Forti: Yeah.
Steve Larsen: Um, okay …
Josh Forti: Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
Steve Larsen: No. Go for it.
Josh Forti: I was going to say, the one other thing that I would mention in there that I think is really important for entrepreneurs, especially for entrepreneurs in the business space and for people that are trying to grow a personal brand and trying to grow an audience, you’ve got to pick something and be all about it because I see so many people.
In fact, I just got off a phone call earlier today with a lady who she’s really smart. She’s really talented and she’s got seven different projects that she’s been working on, and she’s been working on seven different projects for the last 20 years, and they’re still not, you know, nothing’s still happening.
Steve Larsen: That’s because there’s seven of them.
Josh Forti: I asked her, I said … Right, and I’m like, so which one are you going to pick. She’s like, well, I love them all. I’m like, and for the last 20 years you’ve gone nowhere. I mean, she’s dumped money into them and she’s dumped time, and her videos are good. Her content is good, things like that, but people don’t know what she’s about. It’s 22 different things.
Well, in her case, seven different things. Pick what it is that you’re going to do and be about that and then once you have an audience and once you’ve grown you can kind of push your audience from one to the next or kind of incorporate different brands and things like that, but if people don’t know the one thing that you are about, then they’re not going to follow you.
You know, what’s Russell Brunson known for? Funnels…
Steve Larsen: Funnels.
Josh Forti: Funnels. Right. Think about that when you’re building your brand as well.
Steve Larsen: I totally love that. Oh, man. So huge. Gain the clarity and then move on. When you take somebody who’s, I don’t know, I’m trying to figure out how to ask this.
When you take somebody who’s just starting out, right, what are some of the basic things somebody could go do once they have the why, how and what?
They figure those things out, they’re publishing frequently. I guess what’s the routine look like for them?
Josh Forti: Yeah. For sure. I’m not going to pick a specific platform here.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: I mean, I’m going to kind of give you an overview basis of what we’ll look for. Russell Brunson talks about this in his book, Dotcom Secrets, but when you’re publishing content you want to make sure that you’re getting your content in front of the right audience.
Different social media platforms do this differently. You know, on Instagram it’s more hashtags and on, you know, Facebook it’s more groups and things like that, but that’s very important because if you can go and get your message in front of the right audience and always push them back to a centralized location, that’s really, really important and you’re going to start growing an audience that way.
The first thing I would say is make sure that you’re getting your message in front of the right people and then second, kind of like what we talked about when we went over your stuff is have a centralized hub of where you’re pushing everyone to, so for me and a lot of my clients that I work with, that’s a Facebook group because that’s the most interactive way for us to be able to communicate to our clients.
Maybe for some people that’s an Instagram page or whatnot, but once you have them in that centralized hub where everything is pushing, also push them back out to other platforms as well.
All of your content, all of your most valuable information is going to be at your centralized hub, but then you want to be able to cross-promote, because if someone comes in from YouTube, it’s like, okay, they’re coming in from YouTube and have an Instagram channel and a Facebook page and a Facebook group and a Snapchat and a Twitter, like where do I push them.
I always push them back to wherever my centralized location is. All right, for me that’s the Facebook group.
And then from the Facebook group I then diversify to different platforms and push them from there, but I want to make sure that they’re all in my Facebook group because that is where my most valuable content is.
That’s where I know my warmest leads are going to be and that’s where I’m going to get a majority of my traffic from. Does that make sense?
Steve Larsen: Yeah. Totally. Okay. That makes sense. You’ve got centralized hub.
Josh Forti: Yeah. To have that centralized hub to where people know because it’s like, okay, Instagram is great, but would I go to Instagram to be able to get in contact with Steven Larsen?
Would I go to Instagram to watch a full-time tutorial about that?
Would I go to Instagram for this?
No, but I would go to Instagram for valuable tips, for motivational tips and to stay in touch with that side of your life. Whereas YouTube I would go for more how-to’s, but there’s probably no information for me to get a hold of you or interact with you. I can’t message you or anything.
What I have found is a Facebook group is the most valuable place because it encompasses everything, posts, videos, text and video and image. It allows people to interact with you, you to interact with them and them to interact with each other and there’s multiple places where you can put information, contact information and push them to different lead magnets.
So, I take all of my traffic, I send them there and then I take my traffic from there and I go, hey, if you want to learn more about blah, blah, blah, make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel and that way all of my Instagram traffic that I’ve just gotten off of Instagram and into my group, now I have it on Instagram and in my group and now I’m pushing them out to a third platform so I can now have them in three different places as well.
Steve Larsen: You have like the main communication hub, but as needed you can shove them to the rest of the things you’re doing in your marketing or campaigns or whatever else you’re doing.
Josh Forti: Yes, and it’s very important to diversify on social media, but I do like to have my one main hub where everything goes because it’s just so much easier than, especially when you’re starting out.
Now, as you continue to scale and you’ve got $10,000, $20,000, $50,000 a month behind you, then you can talk about different things, but in the beginning when you’re starting out and you’re just trying to grow an organic audience. We have a course coming out called Six-Figure Audiences.
Steve Larsen: Sweet.
Josh Forti: It’s going to be so cool. I’m so excited about that, but it really talks about having that main hub and then diversifying from there. That’s how people know where you’re at most and for people like us, people like you, we don’t have time to be posting and going live on four different platforms.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: Go live on one and push everyone to that one and then diversify the content out from there.
Steve Larsen: That’s amazing. Okay, so say somebody who’s maybe brand new or has an existing business and they’re starting to set these things up. Got the centralized place. Got the message.
Josh Forti: Yeah.
Steve Larsen: When can you tell? Like, what are the things that need to be in place in order for the person to, I guess, blow up for lack of a better term? Like, when can you tell that someone’s about to just go nuts?
Josh Forti: Yeah.
Steve Larsen: Most likely.
Josh Forti: Yeah. When their branding is consistent across all their platforms, that’s really important. If I can click on your Facebook profile and see that that is optimized and clean and clear, has a clear call of action in the timeline photo, things like that, you have a Facebook that’s growing and is there as well. Your Instagram, no matter how big it is, I don’t care how big your pages are, right, I don’t care how many followers they have.
I care about the quality of the content that you’re putting upon those pages. When they’re all set up right and well and I actually, I really look a lot at the engagement and the copy and the type of content that you put out, whether that be written or video, my favorite is video.
I overwhelmingly do more video than anything else because it is the most engaging, especially live video, but if their content is engaging, even at a small amount and they have clear branding across all platforms, that says to me, okay, this person knows enough to at least understand that this is important and that maybe they’re just missing the traffic piece right now, but they can figure that out and I would encourage everyone to optimize all your profiles no matter if you have followers or not.
I mean, Twitter is like I never am on Twitter, and I only have like 2,000 followers on there, but it’s still optimized to if anybody were to click on my Twitter they could come back and find my other social media profiles and things like that.
So, when everyone’s optimized across that platform, when they’re putting out good consistent content every single day and it’s branded there, I think that says to me, okay, this person is doing the right things from that standpoint, but then on a more like psychological side standpoint, things that are maybe a little bit harder to teach, if I can see that your brand has a very clear message and it is speaking directly to your target audience, that’s probably the most, like the number one telltale sign of being able to say, okay, this person really has dialed in their audience.
When you go, like we’ve worked with all sorts of people, the people that have the clearest message to their audience are the ones that grow the fastest, hands down, almost without question unless you’re running massive amounts of pay traffic. From an organic-grow standpoint, from an audience creation standpoint and a brand standpoint, the more precise that you can get with your message across all platforms with that branded, says to me okay, you’re ready to blow up.
And, going back to your original question, a great way to do that is through interviews. Once you have everything set up, podcast interviews like this, livestream interviews in other groups. I cannot stress enough the importance of cross promotion within the marketplace with other influencers.
Steve Larsen: That’s huge. Oh man. That’s a gold mine everybody. We should be charging for this. This is awesome. Please be writing notes.
Hey, so this is me with the direct-response marketer in me, when’s the best scenario for me to be grabbing contact information, you know, opt-ins, email addresses, stuff like that so I can continue to remarket to them or is the fact that they’re on my page, is that my opt-in?
Josh Forti: Yeah. That’s a great question. Common misconception there says, oh, if they’re in my Facebook group, I don’t need them on my email list. You’re wrong.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: I don’t ever think you can have people in enough places.
Steve Larsen: Sure. Sure.
Josh Forti: If I have them on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram and my email list I can still get on a chat bot, you know. I think that from a timing standpoint, right away.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: You need to have, and that’s part of putting out content. As soon as I hit your page, like if I want more information, it’s not for everyone. We know that, but if I want more information and it’s not there, you just lost money. That’s pretty much the only way there is to look at it. Being able to provide information in exchange for contact information as soon as they hit your page.
That’s why I tell people, and I know we’ve talked about this as well, cover photos on timelines for people’s profile pictures or in people’s Facebook groups. Have call-to-actions. You look at a lot of the big influencers. You to in there and you hit their cover photo or you hit the cover of their timeline photo and it’s get my free book, get my free this.
That’s amazing advertising and it’s free advertising space. Take advantage of that. Any place that you can go and provide awesome amounts of value, get their contact information.
I don’t think there’s such thing as having them in too many places…
Steve Larsen: Sure. Completely makes sense to me. Yeah. Absolutely. You like to do a lot of eBooks and stuff that’s easy to fulfill on.
You’re still giving value, but that’s what’s actually getting them on the list that way and remarket afterwards?
Josh Forti: Yeah. Anything from eBooks, webinars. I actually really like to be doing a lot of like free training stuff.
Steve Larsen: Oh, cool.
Josh Forti: Where I’ll just go live on my Facebook group and so, you know, when I go live now we’ll have 1,000 viewers, right or 1,000 people, 1,200 people that will watch that, and so you know, throughout there I’ll just be like if you want more information on this specific training, you know, drop a comment below and we’ll send it over to you or click this link below and go to that.
It could be anything from the recording of that training. It could be an eBook. Any form of free magnet. I know you talk a lot about that.
The other thing that I think is a misconception from a lot of people is they think that providing value is only free information and that like you shouldn’t pitch right away with your audience. I actually used to believe that and when I first started my audience..
I didn’t pitch at all and it was like 30 days on my email sequence before I would pitch anything or at least two to three weeks, and the problem that we’d run into with that, and we made a shift as soon as we realized, I mean, certainly we don’t do that anymore…
I mean, you train your audience and your audience is either a buying audience or it’s a not-buying audience. If you can establish right away that you are there to provide massive amounts of value, that you’re there for the right reasons, you clearly identified your why, you know, all those things with your branding and with your message, charging right away upfront, like having an eBook with an upsell, you know, $37, $97 or a pitch to a webinar.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: That’s fine. People don’t always expect to get things for free, and the people that do aren’t usually your ideal customer. I think that’s really important to remember that provide a lot of free information.
Give them opportunity to only take advantage of free information, but having paid content, paid products and things like that, that is not a bad thing and, in fact, if anything it probably will increase the value of your audience when done right.
Steve Larsen: Sure. Completely makes sense. Yeah, absolutely. That’s somewhat of a locked gate, you know, between the good people and those who are there to just freeload a little bit.
Josh Forti: Right.
Steve Larsen: That’s fascinating. Okay, cool. Cool, cool. Let’s say, okay, someone’s gone through and they’ve set the stuff up because they’ve got like consistency in the message, putting all the platforms together, they’ve got a hub. What would you say? I know I’m just kind of grilling you, man, but this is awesome stuff.
Josh Forti: Yeah, yeah.
Steve Larsen: Easiest free ways to grow your following?
Josh Forti: Facebook group and Instagram page.
Steve Larsen: Okay.
Josh Forti: Those are going to be your two fastest-growing organic-growth platforms for free. With very rare exception, if you’re like a ridiculously awesome video editor and you can produce a YouTube video absolutely every single day, then maybe that’s an exception, but for most of us it’s the Instagram platform and a Facebook group.
Two reasons for this. One, Instagram is still the fastest-growing platform on social media right now. It’s the hottest and it’s getting the most users per day over any other platform. They’re almost at a billion users there, so half the size of Facebook already.
There is no way to pay the Instagram platform itself for followers like it is on Facebook. Right. I can run ads with like swipe up ads, like swipe up here. Go to this link and have that link back to my page and things like that, but there’s no ad that I can run that’s like, hey, Instagram, I want more followers and I want to target these people, I want these people to follow my page.
Because of that, the Instagram algorithm still allows us to majorly capitalize on viral content, on Instagram networks, on engagement groups and things like that. So, posting good content, using hashtags. If you’re in my group, Social Media for Entrepreneurs, you can go and we give a lot of free trainings on Instagram and social media like this a lot.
Hashtags are important…
The captions are important…
Getting into different engagement groups or plugging into different networks with shout-for-shouts and things like that. You can still majorly take advantage of a lot of those things and grow 10,000 followers in even a month. I mean, that’s not impossible.
Steve Larsen: That’s amazing.
Josh Forti: It’s totally doable, even for the beginner. A Facebook group, on the other hand, typically speaking, it’s going to grow a little bit slower. You’re not going to get 10,000 members in there in a month organically; however, the quality of your lead is a lot higher because it’s important to remember on Instagram, and this is kind of a gold nugget here for those of you who are taking notes and listening, especially in the marketing space.
Instagram followers are not buyers. Now, you might be like, Josh, okay, what the heck?
Why would you preach Instagram then? You get a ridiculous amount of free traffic from Instagram and you need to push them off the platform. Instagram is amazing for free offers, free webinars, free eBooks, things like that, but very rarely do people buy on the Instagram platform. In fact, the same person on Instagram and Facebook I think is like eight times or something like that more likely to buy on the Facebook platform to a paid offer than they are on Instagram.
Steve Larsen: Holy crap.
Josh Forti: I don’t remember what the exact thing is. However, it is probably eight times cheaper to get them on the Instagram platform and then just push them off to another platform, either on your email list or into your Facebook group. That’s why on every single lead magnet that I ever create the last page of that lead magnet is a call-to-action to my Facebook group.
That’s true for both pay traffic and organic traffic, but particularly on Instagram you want to get them and get them off as fast as you can. We’re seeing a little bit less of that. Instagram is starting to make some changes, but as of now that is still very much the case.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: Whereas Facebook, the quality of your follower is going to be much higher, a little bit harder to acquire one, but once you have that member in your group or that follower on your page, they are much higher and Facebook is making a really big push for Facebook groups right now. It’s never been easier to grow a Facebook group. Everyone’s like, ah, the trend is over.
I’m like, oh, no, no. The trend is just starting. To be able to capitalize upon that and really take advantage, yes, obviously, we’re already partly up the wave and so it’s not as easy as it was six months ago, but I mean we’re still launching Facebook groups and getting 1,000 members in a month, all organically and 2,000 members in three or four months.
I tell people the more active you are in a Facebook group the more Facebook will promote you and so if you can be active and you can get your members to be active then Facebook is going to recommend your group to so many other people. Do that and being very, very active in your group, having a clearcut message to that, constantly going live and posting statuses and getting people to engage, answering questions, and then having what we call lots of hoses to fill up the pool. Think of it as a swimming pool, and I got this from my buddy Arnie Getsky, you know, think of your Facebook group as a swimming pool.
If you have one hose in it and if leads are only coming in from one source, it’s probably going to fill pretty slow, but if on the end of every lead magnet, whether it’s an eBook or a webinar training or even paid courses, and in your email lists your constantly pushing and promoting to your group from all your other social media platforms, now you have six or seven hoses in there.
It’s going to grow six or seven times faster…
Steve Larsen: That’s a great way to think of it. That’s going to make me go rethink what I’m doing at the end of every one of my thank you pages now. I’ve got to refix some of those things. That’s interesting.
So, let’s say, lots of free ways, lots of cool ways, and, again, like you said, you pull them from one platform, you can push them to another…
Josh Forti: Right.
Steve Larsen: That’s huge about Instagram by the way. That’s so cool. Gaining them there but pushing them to Facebook through actual purchasing. Those are free methods, right. What are some of your favorite paid methods for growing it? Let’s say you’ve got some cash you’re able to dump behind it. Hire you.
Josh Forti: Facebook ads for sure. Yeah. That’s an option for sure. You know, it’s really interesting because paid strategies are often not always the best strategies for growing an audience.
Interviews, especially with bigger pages, is my favorite way to grow an audience, honestly, getting on podcasts and things like this is honestly my favorite way, but from a paid perspective my two favorite ways are going to be paid Facebook ads and influencer shout-outs on Instagram.
Steve Larsen: Okay.
Josh Forti: Instagram traffic is cheap. It is probably some of the cheapest traffic that you’re ever going to get, so a lot of people think paid traffic, they think paying the platform itself. Find an influencer in your industry and in your niche that has similar products or services to whatever it is that you’re promoting.
On Instagram it’s really easy to find big pages with a lot of followers, a million, half-million, two-million followers in the motivational niche or the quote niche or an entrepreneur space and purchase shout-outs from them for really pennies of what you’d pay elsewhere for the amount of exposure that you’re going to be getting. If you have a good offer, usually we do something like a giveaway of some sort, usually a physical product tied in with cash, not just cash only…
We’ve found that cash doesn’t convert as well as if you do have a physical product with it. Pushing them to either your page or to an offer or to your Instagram account or to your Facebook group, that works really well. And so partnering up with influencers to get exposure is huge.
I know we talked about this a little bit both in Vegas and down in Orlando, but make sure that every one of your pages is pixeled with a Facebook pixel and I hardly ever run a Facebook ad before running that offer first on Instagram…
Steve Larsen: Really?
Josh Forti: What I mean by that is if I’m shooting out of the dark, right, and I’m going out there and I am like trying to figure out what’s going to work. I don’t know who my target audience is, now this is for beginners, all right. I have no pixels. I have no audience creation. I’m just starting out. What I’m going to do is I’m going to go and I’m going to take my offer. Usually it’s a free offer because I’m going to Instagram with it and I pixeled all the pages and I’ll go and for the people that hit my offer I’m going to get lots and lots of traffic on that page. So for $500 on you know Facebook, I might get opt-ins for like $5 and I might get 100 opt-ins. For $500 on you know Instagram I can get opt-ins for $2 or $1, depending on the audience.
So, all those people are going to hit the page plus all the people that hit the page that didn’t opt-in, now I have an audience created and I have an audience created of people that just hit the page and are interested and then another audience created of people that actually opted in, right, because I have that page pixeled too.
Now, I can actually create lookalike audiences on Facebook or re-target those specific people on Facebook for those that didn’t buy or that I want to target them with a similar product and I’m going to get higher conversions right off the bat and I’m going to be able to play around right at the beginning. If you are just getting started in paid traffic and you have under a $3,000-4,000 budget total, to play around with this, I’d highly recommend throwing $500 or $1,000 at an Instagram, a couple of Instagram shout-outs.
Typically, story shout-outs work best, story with a swipe-up feature…
Steve Larsen: Oh, cool.
Josh Forti: That usually works better than a post…
Doing things like that, getting a lot of data, pixeling up those pixels, getting them firing off so that you have an audience and then going over there and retargeting on Facebook for Facebook ads for different offers like that.
Steve Larsen: That’s an amazing strategy. That’s so cool. Pulling from that.
Josh Forti: Yeah.
Steve Larsen: Oh, man. Then you’re retargeting them and okay. Cool. Cool.
Josh Forti: You can create lookalike audiences from there and whatnot. And then as far as growing a Facebook group, so important thing to note is it against Facebook’s terms of service to run a Facebook ad directly to a Facebook group. Just FYI.
Steve Larsen: Right.
Josh Forti: We had an account shut down. We learned the hard way. Avoid that. However, if you did want to grow a Facebook group and you do want to, man, I really want to focus on a Facebook group, one of the strategies, like I said, that we have found is just get your highest converting free offer.
Like, something that’s going to opt-in at like 60-70% that everybody’s opting in at, and then maybe your thank you page, basically a sales page to join a free group.
Steve Larsen: Clever.
Josh Forti: That’s going to be the fastest way to be able to, so instead of an upsell, if you’re like, man, I’ve got $3,000 to dump at advertising for my group, how am I going to do that best?
If you want to run paid traffic just find your highest converting landing page, put the thank you page as basically a sales page for that group and then as long as that group is on the second page and not on the first page that they click on, you should be fine and then you can promote people to that group that way.
Steve Larsen: That’s amazing. It’s a little gray hat action. Zuckerberg, you hear that? Just kidding.
Josh Forti: A little bit. I’m sure he’s listening, so, you know.
Steve Larsen: He’s everywhere. We’ve got Zucker in the air.
Josh Forti: That’s right. That’s right.
Steve Larsen: Hey. That’s super cool. Just a final question here. I guess is there some kind of platform that helps people be able to pull this off and do this? I don’t know, something that you like or are you literally kind of manually going through and doing all this stuff, pushing all these different platforms and stuff? Is there a tool that you’re using?
Josh Forti: As far as like the content, like pushing out the content or creating the content or getting the data or like what specifically?
Steve Larsen: Yeah. I guess not so much curating, pushing it around though.
Josh Forti: Oh, gosh. We have a team, different BA’s or whatnot.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: I think that’s probably going to be the best way for most people is just diversifying content from there, different transcripts and things like that. As far as like pushing it out, like there are different schedulers, like you can schedule content on Instagram, Onlypult and Groom both are like, if you want to schedule content to be automatically posted. Those ones both work for Instagram.
Typically speaking, the reach is a little bit lower because Instagram knows, but they have said, yeah, you can do that. For Facebook we use like Buffer or Hootsuite. Once again, in my experience, reach is lower, so I always like to just post things. For me, I really value the exposure.
Steve Larsen: Sure.
Josh Forti: I really value reaching the maximum amount of people that I can reach. I post everything manually. My BA’s don’t use schedulers. I don’t use schedulers. Everything that you see is done from a real person. As far as analytics and like data is concerned, the Instagram platform, social info is actually mine, so you know, slightly partial, but we have crafted and we coded.
We’ve been working on this for the last eight months…
We’ve been tweaking and tweaking and tweaking it. Social info basically gives you, for the Instagram platform, every piece of data you need from what content is working or not working for influencers to hashtag research to being able to download other people’s content to like everything that you need on there to checking if your account is shadow banned, things like that. From an Instagram perspective, if you’re trying to grow your Instagram organically, social info, it’s my favorite platform for that.
Steve Larsen: That’s awesome. Appreciate that. Thank you so much. Hey, I appreciate it. Where can actually people reach out to you and be following you and be seeing what you’re doing?
Josh Forti: Yeah. The best way to stay in touch is just going to be the Facebook group. Use my strategies that I just told you guys.
Post it all to one place. Social Media for Entrepreneurs.
If you got to socialmediaforentrepreneurs.co it will take you right to the group and you’ll be able to check that out. And then if you want something for free there is an eBook that I wrote and it’s all about how to create a profitable personal brand and actually start generating leads for free with the audience that you have on Facebook and optimizing your Facebook profile and things like that. If you go to joshforti.com/ebook.
My last name is spelled F-O-R-T-I, but joshforti.com/ebook. You can get something for free there. That’s a pretty cool book and there’s some contact information as well as the thank you pages, a call-to-action to join the Facebook group.
Steve Larsen: Yeah, and what better to go check out a live example of everything we’ve been talking about then just to go check out the group anyway.
Josh Forti: That’s right.
Steve Larsen: Social Media for Entrepreneurs. Awesome stuff. Well, I appreciate it. Thanks so much Josh and thanks for taking the time to do this.
Josh Forti: Absolutely, man. I appreciate you having me on, and I look forward to working with you and making the world a better place.
Steve Larsen: Boom. Just try to tell me you didn’t like that. Hey, whoever controls content controls the game. Want to interview me or get interviewed yourself? Grab a time now at stevejlarsen.com.
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