TT#023 - 250,000 views and counting: What I learned from my viral post

Aug 09, 2022
 250,000 views and counting: What I learned from my viral post

Last week, a LinkedIn post of mine generated ~250k views organically. 

That represents about 23% of my LinkedIn reach... ALL EFFING YEAR. And I wasn’t doing too poorly to begin with. 

I didn’t expect the post to take off the way it did. But looking at the post now, it’s pretty easy to see why it was popular. 

It's a post reflecting on how I felt after achieving - and leaving - the traditional American dream. Ditching the 9-5, all the "stuff" that it bought, and leaving the country with my family for a remote Mexican beach.

That doesn't just resonate with the entrepreneurs that are usually reading my stuff. 

It resonates with anyone that entertains the idea of living on a beach, being your own boss, making your own hours, and taking control of your own income.

So, like, a lot of people.

The attention from that post drove some pretty significant business results, including: 

  • $156k in qualified opportunities booked to my calendar.
  • 2095% increase in "profile views" from prior week.
  • 250+ DMs & people interested in learning more.
  • 1506 new followers (vs weekly avg. of 181).
  • 190+ email opt-ins from my website.

And, interestingly enough, it wasn’t just that post that did well last week. 

Excluding that post, the average reach per post was 4.3x higher than it’s been in recent weeks. 

So, what conclusions can I draw from last week about content, engagement, and marketing? 

I reflected on that quite a bit over the weekend and here are a few ideas and thoughts I have after doing so…

(Note for my Stats teacher in b-school and all my other data nerds: The sample size is too small to be definitive. So, we’re talking ~83% confidence levels in these theories here and they are subject to change.) 

You Can Over-Systematize Content

Few people love systematizing things more than me. I have a borderline obsessive relationship with efficiency. Sometimes to a fault. 

And you should systematize your content marketing. 

I’ve done even more of that these past few weeks while I’ve been on our 6 week “Tour de USA” trip with family. 

With less time to create content, I’ve leveraged content I already had from conference calls, coaching calls, and elsewhere.   

Until last week that is. 

Each of last week’s morning posts were written on a single long walk through my old neighborhood while we were in Dallas. 

After walking by our old house, through my in-laws’ neighborhood, and on the trails we used to run every week, it really sunk in how big of a change we’d made. 

And how far we’d come in a few years - personally and professionally. 

That’s the mindset I had when I wrote those posts. 

Here’s what I take from that: 

Content that I share becauseI have it doesn’t resonate nearly as much as content I create because I feel it. 

You can’t build a marketing strategy without systems. 

But your marketing systems won’t work if your content doesn’t resonate with anyone. 

Don’t systematize content so much that it loses the human element. 

Stay On Message

As I wrote above, last week’s content generated a lot of awareness for my brand and my business. 

That’s great, but…  

Popular content doesn’t automatically mean profitable content. 

All the attention last week resulted in a lot of traffic. And it took up a good chunk of time for me and my team to respond to emails, direct messages, qualify people that booked time on my calendar, etc. 

Since the post was very much related to what my business does, that’s great news. 

But all that attention, and the time it took responding to it, is worthless if it doesn’t lead to business results at some point. 

So this is a reminder to myself as much as it is to you:  

We need reach + relevance with content to call it marketing. 

One without the other doesn’t leverage the most valuable resources you have as a solopreneur, which we know is time

Haters Are Going To Hate

My DMs were flooded with overwhelmingly positive feedback. 

I had countless messages from people congratulating me on our success in this journey and telling me they were inspired to do something similar. 

But I had a few messages of the other sort, too. 

“You’re a fraud.” 

“Not even sure what you’re selling, but it’s obvious it’s snakeoil.” 

“Did you ever think that moving your children to a foreign country was selfish?” 

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten some hate in my inbox. 

Hell, after I posted a video on Facebook once noting that the best thing I ever did was leave the corporate grind and move my family to a beach, someone commented with this:  

That’s not one of my fun gifs I like to weave into the newsletter. 

That’s literally the comment someone left in response to my message about my real life. 

Check it out, haters are going to hate. But I think Brene Brown said it best in her book, Daring Greatly

If you are not in the arena getting your ass kicked on occasion, I am not interested in or open to your feedback. There are a million cheap seats in the world today filled with people who will never be brave with their own lives, but will spend every ounce of energy they have hurling advice and judgment at those of us trying to dare greatly. Their only contributions are criticism, cynicism, and fear-mongering. If you're criticizing from a place where you're not also putting yourself on the line, I'm not interested in your feedback.

Being a Creator requires making yourself vulnerable. And doing anything new will ruffle some feathers from small-minded people that are threatened by a different way of doing things. 

But don’t let haters deter you from putting yourself out there to help or inspire others. 

Small minds don’t run the world. 

I’m on a mission to help 10,000 Solopreneurs & Executive Freelancers discover and enjoy a new lifestyle by creating income they deserve from wherever they choose doing work they love.

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