People carving a living out of Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram tell Larry Bartleet how they're doing it
How to get a million Facebook likes in a year
Who: Philosophical motivational speaker, former monk
What he does: In his own words, Shetty makes wisdom go viral. You know those pics of wise-looking people saying wise-sounding things that pop up in your feed all the time? Yeah, that kind of wisdom. People are well into it.
1. Be shameless
Tell everyone about your page. Promote it on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. Submit your content to big pages like UNILAD and Viral Thread to see if they’ll share it – a lot of pages are looking for unique, quality content to feature.
2. Be ‘on’ all the time
The best pages post daily, on the hour, every hour for 12-18 hours of the day. Have a clear message people can connect to and make sure it’s reflected in your work.
3. Keep your posts brief
You have three to eight seconds to capture someone’s attention: long intros won’t do that. Short videos do well on Facebook – so learning how to convey your message succinctly is crucial.
4. Know your audience
Think about why people come to your page. And when they do, you should be grateful: reply to as many messages as you can, like people’s comments, show people you care. No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
5. Be yourself
Raw passion, energy, charisma, personality and authenticity are the most valuable attributes of any channel. People want to follow a person who has perspective but is also humble, likeable and positive.
How to get a book deal via Twitter
Who: Actor, comedian and illustrator
What she does: Cave is a comedian and actor (Harry Potter, Pride) whose brutally honest illustrations were such a Twitter hit that many of them got turned into a book. She now sells illustrations too.
1. Keep it simple
I like the people who’ve had the same profile pic for years – they seem too cool to care about such frivolous things as updating an avatar. It’s also important not to cram too much information into a bio. Something simple like “cats, burritos and feminism” and then a link to your website, to show you have a job.
2. Be consistent
Tweet three times a day, with your meals. Be reliable for your amazing WWW content. My most honest and, arguably, most depressing doodles about love do the best for me. I like to think it’s because people get home from a bad date and see one and think: ‘Yep’.
3. Don’t over-tweet
Don’t be one of those people that, when we have a moment to check Twitter, there you are, yet again…
4. Show your personality
Consistency, reliability and quality are key – but every so often I like a bit of raw honesty.
5. Be authentic
Be yourself, be a bit rude, be informative and unique. Easy! When somebody famous retweets you, just wait for the onslaught of new admirers.
How to sell your art with Snapchat
Who: Artist and model
What she does: Intersperses promotion of her artistic output with to-the-point Snapchat updates on her day-to-day.
1. Find your niche and do it well
Snapchat is crowded with people posting snaps of their food, their nails and Tube selfies: if you want to stand out and be interesting, you have to be unique. Build your content around a genuine interest and your enthusiasm will attract a following.
2. Be selective
We all love Drake, but do we want to sit through 13 minutes’ worth of 10-second blurry Snapchat videos of his concert? Probably not.
3. Involve your followers
Reality TV stars and vloggers are successful online because they’ve built a following based on appearing accessible. Replicate a similar sense of intimacy with the accounts that follow you to get regular views and engagement.
4. Don’t go quiet
Post regularly if you want to gain a permanent following. I’ve seen a decrease in my following and views if I’ve been inactive for a while.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously
There’s nothing more off-putting than someone desperate to build a following and using cheap, exploitative methods to do so. Be yourself, be original, and
the following will grow.
Follow Minnie on Snapchat @minniemcgee
How to earn money from YouTube
The Lean Machines
Who: Protein-powered exercise gurus
Ages: Both 29
What they do: Since launching on YouTube in 2011, fitness bros John Chapman and Leon Bustin have been providing personal training and health coaching to a growing army of followers. Videos include ‘How To Improve Your Deadlift FAST’, ‘What NOT To Do When Trying To Lose Weight’ and ‘Home Workout With The Lean Machines’.
1. Have a vision
Offer your audience something specific, whether that’s comedic value, advice, knowledge or whatever else.
2. Be dogged
It’s not easy going, especially to start with. You put in a lot of hours and a lot of time for, to be honest, not that many views. But you do it because you enjoy it.
3. Don’t be a clown
Be yourself and people will instantly warm to you. If you’re playing a character, people will go, ‘I’m not sure if I trust that person.’
4. Keep it regular
YouTube now seems to favour regular uploads, which means you have to keep it interesting, fun and different. That puts more pressure on the creator but if you enjoy it, it shouldn’t be too hard to be creative.
5. Make use of the format
Ask other YouTubers what they want to see: that’s a constant stream of content ideas there.
Follow The Lean Machines at youtube.com/user/TheLeanMachines
How to get free stuff on Instagram
Sophie Hannah Richardson
Who: Blue-haired Instagram influencer
What she does: Since launching on Instagram in 2011, this beauty, fashion and lifestyle blogger has become best known for her colourful hair and make-up tutorials, and she’s currently documenting her travels around the US.
1. Have goals in mind
Get an idea in mind of why you’re starting up your Instagram – and theme it. You need to start really strong and have a vision for your shots. Have a look at what other Instagram profiles are out there – can you do something different?
2. Time your posts
Post once a day in the evening – the algorithm’s changed, but you still get a lot better engagement then, and hopefully your post will stay at the top of people’s feed.
3. Take note of what works
You learn what people want to see. When I started out, I was posting outfits, then I started posting a few colourful makeup selfies. Those posts were getting three times the likes – then I introduced hair tutorials, and everyone loved those. Now I know that’s what they want to see.
4. Less is more
Don’t put on more than ten hashtags: it looks needy, and people do think like that. And be specific: if your hashtag has only been used 10,000 times, your picture is more likely to stay at the top of that hashtag feed.
5. Get yourself regrammed
Every time you’re regrammed you gain followers, and I’ve grown my Instagram through being regrammed. I always tag brands and a lot of my hairstyles and hair tutorial videos have been regrammed by hair accounts that have millions of followers.
Follow Sophie Hannah Richardson on Instagram (@sophiehannahrichardson)