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What losing 14,000 followers in a month on Instagram taught Brock Johnson

What would you do if you lost 14,000 followers in one week? That is exactly what happened to Instagram growth coach Brock Johnson, and what he learned from that might surprise you. Brock is a seven-figure entrepreneur who has a passion for helping business owners grow their following and their businesses all on Instagram. 

In one year alone, Brock gained 400,000 followers. Instagram has been a tough platform to navigate these past few years, but Brock is here to give us the strategies that he used to see success on the platform, and how we can apply that to our own business.

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Losing 14,000 Instagram followers in one week

Brock actually loses around 14,000 followers every month on Instagram, every single month. However, his follower growth is still a net positive. When he lost 14,000 in one week, he also gained a total of 17,000, making for a 3000 follower count growth. 

Creators should not feel personally tied to the number of people who unfollow them each week or month. There are several reasons why someone may unfollow you. 

Oftentimes, the followers you’re losing are deleted accounts—whether they were real to begin with or bots. When it’s the case of an Instagram bot, you should consider it a positive thing because fewer fake accounts will boost your engagement.

If someone unfollows you because your content doesn’t resonate with them, then it is unlikely that they would’ve purchased something from you anyway. This gives you the opportunity to focus on your active audience instead of losing sleep over someone who isn’t your target client.

How to get out of a rut on Instagram

For the past few years, Instagram has been a tricky platform to navigate. There have been so many changes to the app and it’s valid to feel discouraged when your content isn’t performing well.

Across the board, Instagram engagement has been lower in 2023. The average reel is getting 76% fewer views than it did in 2022. The reason is that more people are posting reels, so there’s more supply in 2023 than there was last year. The demand for content is also down because people are spending a little less time on Instagram this year than previous years.

Three ways to revive your account and reach new people again

If you feel like your views have dropped off, you are not alone. There are ways to revive your account, bring back your engagement, and get things trending in the right direction again. 

  1. Create better quality content
  2. Increase the quantity of your content
  3. Strategically improve your engagement 

The better quality content you publish, the more people will watch it and come back to it. Posting often is a proven way to grow faster on Instagram, so posting higher-quality content more often is a great way to revive your account.

There are several strategies you can use to increase your engagement, such as creating better hooks and call-to-actions, upgrading your video and sound quality, or improving your editing.

The best way to grow on Instagram is still by posting reels. However, in 2023 photos and carousels have made a massive comeback. A healthy and effective strategy should include reels, photos, and carousels. 

Test your Instagram content 

Brock loves to test his content to gather data and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. There are a few ways he does it:

  1. He posts the same content at the exact same time but changes the hook or call-to-action
  2. He posts content on TikTok and YouTube, where he has fewer followers, and sees how it performs before posting it to Instagram. If it doesn’t perform well, he fine-tunes it and posts it on the smaller platform again. Once it starts performing well, he takes it to his bigger audience on Instagram.

Finding inspiration for new content & repurposing old content

Brock shares around 150 posts across all of his social media channels every week. On Instagram, he posts on his feed three to four times a day. The way he is able to maintain such a high output is through repurposing his content.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Brock reshares his old content in a new way. The truth is that most people won’t remember the content you posted six months ago, and if they do it’s because they liked it and won’t mind seeing it again. You can freshen it up by changing the hook or rewriting the caption, but the overall message stays the same.

For new content, Brock looks to other top creators in his niche for inspiration. However, he still infuses it with his own creativity. If he notices that another creator is having success talking about AI, he can also talk about AI but put his own spin on it.

Using Manychat for DM automation and engagement

One of the best ways to increase conversion on Instagram in 2023 is through Manychat, an official Instagram partner that sends automated DM responses to Instagram comments. On average, Brock has seen a 46% sales and conversion increase when he uses Manychat. 

In his opinion, using Manychat is more effective than pointing people to a link in your bio or sharing a link on your story. The reason is that Manychat boosts engagement on your post instead of telling people to leave your post. 

Additionally, you can track potential customer activity through Manychat, but you can’t tell who’s clicked on a link in your bio. With Manychat, you can follow up with the people who commented on your post and you can see whether or not they clicked on the link in the DM.

Out of the people who clicked on the link, you can see who purchased and follow up with anyone who didn’t.

How to have a good mindset about Instagram

If you want to have a healthy mindset and feel encouraged to keep investing in Instagram, you need to detach your self-worth from the results. There are so many factors that are outside of your control on social media, so you cannot tie your worth or identity to how well your posts perform. Instead, look at your performance as data points to inform you in the future.

The biggest differentiator between businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Brock believes that the biggest differentiator between businesses that succeed and the ones that fail comes down to consistency, not overthinking it, and learning as you go instead of trying to be perfect.

Important sections of the conversation:

  • [1:32] Losing 14,000 Instagram followers in one week
  • [4:58] How to get out of a rut on Instagram
  • [6:12] Three ways to revive your Instagram account
  • [8:35] Posting reels vs non-reel content
  • [10:53] Testing your Instagram content
  • [17:55] Finding inspiration for new content
  • [22:15] The benefits of using Manychat
  • [30:50] Maintaining a good mindset about Instagram
  • [35:07] The biggest differentiator between businesses that succeed and the ones that fail

Resources Mentioned

Connect with the guest

Episode Transcript

Akua Konadu
What would you do if you lost 14,000 followers in one week? Well, that is exactly what happened to Instagram growth coach Brock Johnson, and what he learned from that might surprise you. Brock is a seven figure entrepreneur who has a passion for helping business owners grow their following and their business all on Instagram. And in one year alone, Brock gained 400,000 followers. Now Instagram has been a tough platform to navigate these past few years. There’s no doubt about it. But Brock is gonna give us a scoop on the strategies that he used to see success on the platform, and how we can apply that to our own business. Hey, everyone, this is your host, a cook and audio and you’re listening to the independent business podcast, more people than ever are working for themselves and building profitable businesses in the process. So on this show, I get to sit down with some of the most influential authors, entrepreneurs and creators to break down the science of self made success so that you can achieve it too.

Akua Konadu
Hello, hello, Brock. How are we doing today?

Brock Johnson
I’m doing so good. So happy to be here. Yeah,

Akua Konadu
we’re, we’re happy to have you because I mean, I’ve just so so stoked for this conversation, because I feel like a lot of us have been in the trenches with Instagram and your content. I mean, it’s fire. And also to you, you do a lot of experimentation on your platform, and honestly, really just leading like the forefront of what’s working on Instagram and what’s not. So I’m just super excited for this conversation. So

Brock Johnson
yeah, yeah, I appreciate that. Thank you. I’m excited myself. Yeah,

Akua Konadu
absolutely. Okay, sweet. So let’s just hop into it. Because you lost 14,000 followers in one week on Instagram. And I was like, holy smokes, what, what led to that? And what did you learn from that? Yeah,

Brock Johnson
I lose about 14,000 followers a month, every single month. And I use that video, I think you got that from one of my reels. That’s a specific hook that I’m using. Because people are really drawn to the negatives, right. And in hooks, when you use these sorts of negative things like I lost this many followers or stop doing this on Instagram, those sorts of negative phrases, they really grabbed people’s attention. And so it is true. I lost 14,000 Something followers in one week on Instagram. But if you actually look at my stats for that week, I was still positive for the week. So 14,000 People unfollowed me, but maybe 17,000 People followed. So I was plus 3000, something like that for the week. But it’s very normal to lose followers like that happens every single day to every single person. It was funny. Earlier this week, I had someone messaged me, and they were like, Brock, I’m feeling really discouraged. Today, I woke up and five people unfollowed me overnight. And I was like, I had to hold back my laughter and I had to hold back, you know, like be thoughtful in my response. Because I was like, hey, for this person. That meant a lot to them that that mattered to them. But I was like, Hey, I lose 1000s of followers every single week, you got to just let it slide like water off a duck’s back. There’s so many reasons that people will unfollow. And oftentimes the reason that we’re losing followers isn’t even that people are unfollowing us but just that they’re deleting their Instagram accounts, or they were a spam like a robot to begin with. And Instagram deleted their account altogether. And so you might look at that as a lost follower. But I’m going to look at that as a great thing. Because that’s one less fake follower, that’s going to help your engagement rate improve a little bit. And if someone’s like, on the fence about unfollowing, you, or if something that you posted didn’t resonate with them, where they felt offended, and they unfollowed you or whatever, that person was pretty likely to never become a customer, right? Like, how often are we like, I’m about to unfollow, but actually, instead, I’m gonna buy something like, that doesn’t happen. So if someone does unfollow me, I have to just remind myself that, hey, I wasn’t right for them at this time. And I’m gonna continue to serve and pour into my audience of followers, who is still active and is still with me.

Akua Konadu
Absolutely. I love that mindset. Because it’s true. Like, yes, you have a very, very large platform. And for some business owners who have much smaller we do like we take that with stings a little bit more. But it is such a good reminder of to really focus on the current followers that you have the people that are rooting for you that are engaging with your content that are supporting your business. And just to not take it so personal. Because it’s true, we really don’t know the reason as to why they followed what matters is the people that are already here and are supporting you. So I like that. And I think again, it’s a really, really good mindset reminder. And so Instagram, all of a lot of people are struggling, it’s really tough platform to navigate these days. It’s constantly changing. There’s different algorithms on the platform, it’s really difficult for us to we kind of find ourselves in a cycle, right? We once you kind of hit a post that’s not doing well, then the next post doesn’t do well than the one after that, and you just feel like your confidence just go way down. So it’s this never ending cycle, like I mentioned, where you feel like almost like your accounts kind of dead. How can we revive that? What steps and strategies have you taken when you have found yourself in that rut to really revive our like to revive your own

Brock Johnson
account? Yeah, so this is a great question and I want to start by saying that for anyone who feels like, hey, my views are down, I’m posting terrible stuff. And it’s just like really rejecting and depressing. I hear you that I understand that’s valid. And also, I want to validate that feeling and saying that, statistically speaking, that is accurate. The average real has is getting in 2023 76.8% less views than it did in 2022. Like that’s massive, that’s more than cut in half the views. And basically, it boils down to a conversation of supply and demand, people are posting more reels in 2023, than they were in 2022. So there’s a lot more supply, right, there’s a lot more competition, so to speak a lot more content being shared on Instagram, that is true. And you couple that with the fact that demand is down. Because people are spending a little bit less time on Instagram this year than they were last year. It’s it’s pretty equal, but it’s a little bit less time this year than last year. Plain and simple. The math shows that you’re going to be getting less views, there is going to be that drop off, so you’re not alone. But with that being said, there are ways that you can revive your account, you can bring back your engagement, and you can kind of get things trending in the right direction. Really, though, there are plenty of strategies we can talk about, we can kind of go deep on some of these strategies, they boiled down to three things, there are three ways to reach new people and to you know, bring your account back so to speak, and revive your dead engagement, you can make better quality content. Because when you make better quality content, people are going to naturally engage with it more. And when people engage with it more, it will be shown to more people. Number two, you can make more content, which again, let’s go back to that conversation of supply and demand. If you are posting the same number of reels this year that you were a year ago, but on average, there are 30 to 90% more reels being shared, depending on the account size, that means that you are 30 to 90% less likely to get your reel seen than you were a year ago. So not only can you dial up the quality of your reels, or I should just say your content in general, you can also dial up the quantity and start sharing more, because it is statistically proven that the more you post on Instagram, the more you’re going to grow, because each one of those posts is an opportunity to reach new people. So you could improve the quality, increase the quantity, or you can use different strategic ways, different strategies to increase engagement. And that’s really where we can get into the nitty gritty of, you know, improving your hooks, or improving your calls to action, or improved editing in your reel removing like dead space and dead air. You know, you can get into little nitty gritty things like camera quality, upload quality, audio quality, there’s so many different little ways that we can look at to improve our engagement and improve the quality of our content. I think that ultimately, while it might not be our fault, that our views are down, I think it is within our jurisdiction, it’s within our means it’s it’s our responsibility as creators and business owners to bring them back up and to do everything we can to invest in ourselves and improve our content. So that ultimately it does reach more people.

Akua Konadu
Absolutely. And that’s a question I had that I’m really curious about because as you said, like supply and demand since reels now engagement has gone down since the over the past few years since last year especially. Do you see reels as being the number one thing on Instagram to grow? Or are you can we still expand more on post carousel posts? Or you know, just a simple static graphic stories? Or do you still see reels is that number one thing that people need to be doing to be able to grow?

Brock Johnson
I will say I would still put reels at number one, but it’s a very different number one than 2022. Again, to go back to the averages, the average real in 2022 was reaching about 20,000 people. And the average carousel was I believe, around 3000 Or I should say the average non real and when I say non real, I’m referring to photos and carousels. I’m not referring to stories. That’s a whole different conversation. The too long didn’t read version of that conversation is that stories don’t help you grow. I know I might have just blown people’s minds. But let’s go back to the conversation of growth. We got reels and we got non reels. Non reels, again are the photos and carousel. So in 2022 reels were about 20,000 and non reels were about three or 4000. This year, they’re very equal. reels are still a little bit ahead. I think the average reel is a little bit less than 5000 views and the average non reel is around 3000. So reels are still the number one way to reach more people and to reach even your existing followers and to grow new followers. But photos and carousels have made a massive comeback. They have been brought back in a major way. And so I’ve been saying recently that any Instagram strategy that doesn’t involve reels and non reels is in my opinion, an incomplete strategy. I think that no matter who you are, I don’t care if you’re a photographer or a videographer. I don’t care if you do like wedding makeup or if you do real estate, I think that a healthy Instagram account should have a mix of photos, carousels and reels.

Akua Konadu
I think that leads to some relief for some people, because again, it’s like everybody’s been like real Real Reels needing that to grow. And I think that was true at some point. But I think some people are just not as excited about reels or you know, at least providing some more balance to where like, I don’t feel like showing up today via video, but you’re still showing up in a capacity where you’re providing quality content, but also still feels really aligned and feel really good to you. Um, so one thing that I also saw, which I’m really interested to talk about is that you test some of your content, which you shared, that you test some of your content, to where you can get a better idea of how your posts are doing, like how it’s going to do before you actually post it. Can you share exactly how you’re doing that? Because I thought that was brilliant. And I know a lot of us aren’t are not doing that.

Brock Johnson
Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that. There’s a few different ways that I test my content. And I think that it’s our job as entrepreneurs, not to have all of the answers but rather to be always asking questions always trying to dig and research and figure out like what is working, and as someone whose job it is to figure it out the Instagram algorithm, I have to be constantly testing and seeing, seeing what’s working. So one way that I test on my Instagram account is oftentimes I will post the exact same thing at the exact same time. And I will just have a different call to action at the very end, or I will have a different hook at the very beginning. And that just constantly gives me feedback as to what is working for my audience. Now, I’m not going to do that with every single person not gonna do that every single time, because my audience would get annoyed with seeing that. But I do that from time to time to specifically test on Instagram. But the strategy that you were referring to in the beginning of his question is basically, I will take other platforms, so I’ll use tick tock or I’ll use YouTube shorts, or I’ll use the other platforms, which I call like, my might be tier platforms. Instagram is my 80 year platform. That’s where I have most of my growth, most of my sales most of my followers. So I’ll use those other platforms where I maybe have less followers or less engagement, and I will test out a post. Let’s say I made a new reel about you know how to use hashtags. I’ll post that on to my Tik Tok, and I’ll see how it performs. And if it performs well over on Tik Tok, that’s usually a good indication that it will also perform well on Instagram. But if it doesn’t perform well, I can change some things up, I can maybe post it again, but change the hook, I can post it again. But change my delivery, I can post it again, change the editing posted again, change the caption or the call to action at the end of the reel. And so that way, I’m able to kind of like fine tune it on a platform where I’m getting much less views and much less visibility. Before I share it to my main audience before I share it to the majority of my followers, so that when I am ready to share it, I’m like, Hey, I have a pretty good hunch that this is going to do all right.

Akua Konadu
I love that strategy so much. Because I feel like for a lot of us on Instagram, where we still struggle with perfectionism, we are still afraid of what people are going to think I mean, we all say it’s so easy for people to say like, I don’t care what people are gonna think or how this is gonna look or if this is cringe, but we do care naturally. We do care. And so I think it when you invest on a more lower tier B tier platform, it’s right like not much is at risk. I guess like you care less you care less like for me personally on Tik Tok. I love posting on there. I love just sharing random things, because I know most people don’t care versus Instagram or other platforms. So I think it’s a really great way for people to start getting comfortable, right to where you can try some things out, see if it doesn’t work. Okay, great, then you don’t have to post it on Instagram. But it’s but the thing is people are trying, I think right? I think a lot of us are super discouraged. Right now currently in terms of content. I’m trying to figure out how to navigate everything. But it’s like, this is a great way I think to start and really see what works, what doesn’t work again, experimenting with your content to see what feels good to you. And what also feels good to your audience to move forward. And so another thing that I thought was really interesting, as well of how that I love is that you have taken I feel like every opportunity in your business, like no matter if it’s related to your business or not to leverage it like on Instagram to grow your business, which I thought was really cool. And so you had I think one of your very first viral videos, you went viral, it had nothing to do with Instagram at all or your business. And we hear all the time with going viral that okay, yeah, you can go viral. But if it has nothing to do with your business, or you can’t leverage that to grow, but you did and you also had one of your students who did that they went viral had nothing to do with their business, essentially what they do, but they were able to leverage that to be able to invest more into their business or grow their business. So how did you do that? I was so curious to know about that. Yeah, I

Brock Johnson
think that the primary thing that we have to keep in mind here is that first of all going viral is very rare as it is yeah. But going viral. In a post or with a post that isn’t related to your niche or isn’t related to your business, it’s very risky. It’s very challenging to then like tie that back into your business, the only way that you really can is if it’s tangental. Or if it’s in some way related to your niche, like, let’s say that the ideal person or the average person who is viewing that video, they’re also then going to be like the average person who’s becoming a customer of yours. But I think the opposite end of that spectrum is pretty easy to understand. And that’s something that I’ve dealt with as well over on Tik Tok. So in my first videos that went viral on tick tock, were silly, goofy dancing locker room videos when I was a college football player. This was 2019 when it tic tock was first, like really taken off, it hadn’t even blown up yet. And I posted some like random dancing trends in the locker room and those blew up. But unfortunately, those blew up with the kind of people who want to watch Dancing videos, they were interested in dancing content, which no no problem with that. But the problem for me in my business was that I don’t teach people how to dance. I don’t have a dancing course I don’t have a dancing Academy. So there was no real way to turn the majority of those viewers into customers. And so something that I’ve recently done on on Tik Tok is actually I’ve completely started over so I had over 300,000 followers on Tiktok. But 99% of them didn’t care about Instagram, they didn’t care about building a business, they didn’t care about entrepreneurship is wanted to see me talk a few more times, and my shoulder pads, and so like they, they were never going to become customers. And so ultimately, I was fighting this like uphill battle tooth and nail, trying to show all these people like, Hey, I care about this thing that I’m selling, but they were like, We don’t care about that, we just just want to see you dance. And so I made the decision to start over on Tik Tok. But all of that to say, that’s why I usually recommend for people to when they’re sharing a reel or a Tic Toc, or really any content for that matter. It should relate to your niche, or at least it should be relatable like it should have the same ideal market or it should have the same intended audience as the intended audience for your offer your whatever it is that you’re selling or promoting. Yeah,

Akua Konadu
well, I think again, so you’re you just even proving the point to that like going viral doesn’t really mean anything. And it’s true. Like if you are looking to go viral, where it’s it’s luck in some senses, but also to making sure that it is related to your needs, because it is really difficult to try to convert people within that audience. But I thought that was really interesting, though. And in any sense. I was I had to ask that, because I’m so curious. But you know, another another question that I do have is, I think some business owners are really struggling to find new content ideas, or I guess, new innovative ways to really share their expertise. How are you finding it? Because you push out content a lot? Quite a bit throughout the week. And so how are you finding inspiration for new content ideas? How are you finding innovative ways to to share content? Where are you gaining your inspiration from?

Brock Johnson
Yeah, well, I’m really just, I’m a creative genius. And everything that I post is brand new, fresh, and no one’s ever thought of it before. So no, obviously, that’s absolutely the opposite of the truth. I’m not a creative genius, in my opinion, everything that is shared online, every podcast, every YouTube video, every real every tick tock, it is ultimately just a regurgitation of everything else we’ve ever consumed. It’s impossible to take all of the inspiration and take everything you’ve ever seen, from the time you were a baby watching cartoons, like all of that influences and in some way inspires or informs the content you’re creating today. So for me personally, my goal is never to necessarily come up with new content or come up with new ideas. Sure, every once in a while, maybe like 10%, or 5% of my content is something where it’s like, hey, you know, I was having a coaching call the other day, and I had this great quote, and I’ve never shared it before. So now I’m going to share it or I had this great aha moment for my client. And I’m going to now share that in a real because I think that might be a good aha moment that I haven’t shared before. But that’s, that’s the minority that’s like the very, very small five to 10% of my content. The vast majority of my content like 70 to 80% of it is a repost of something that I have posted before. So one of the ways that I am able to post so frequently, which is I post like three or four times per day to my feed on Instagram, I have something like 150 posts shared per week across all my different channels. The way I’m able to do that is I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I’m taking something that I shared like five months ago, and I’m either directly reposting it again, because I was like, hey, it did well in March. So I’m going to literally post it again, the most people don’t remember it, the very few who do remember it, they remember it because it was so good. They wouldn’t mind seeing it again. And so I’m going to share it again and it will likely do well again, or I’m taking that post from March a few months ago. And I’m like, Hey, I’m just gonna freshen this up a little bit. I might change the hook. I might swap out some words in the caption might make it a little bit you know, new, but it’s ultimately the same gift just being re gifted again. I am. And so the vast majority of my content is things I have posted in the past. But of course, that means that I had to have had new ideas at some point, right, I had to have had new content at some point in order to repost it now. So where does the new content come from it most likely, most of the time comes from other examples within my niche, other content that has been shared by other top creators, right? There are so many blogs and YouTube videos and creators who are in every niche that you can get ideas from them, you’re not going to copy them word for word, you’re not going to write down what they said, and then just say that in your own script, but you can very easily use someone else’s content and use it to inspire or inform your own content, I can look at another Instagram coach, and say, Hey, I noticed they’re talking a lot about AI recently, and it seems to be performing well for them. So maybe I’m gonna start talking about AI myself. And that way, I don’t have to rely on my own creativity 24/7. I

Akua Konadu
love that. And I think to even just to add on that, because that’s how I find content, right is by looking at people completely in my different industry, just to be able to get more ideas that are original or innovative. But I also love to, it’s a really great way to identify of like maybe if people aren’t talking about certain things, I think that’s kind of even for me how I personally did a storytelling strategist is because a lot of people were not talking about how effective storytelling can be in your part of your marketing strategy. And so I think it’s a really great way as well to identify certain places or gaps in your industry, that things that people aren’t necessarily talking about that you could talk about, that could bring another really fresh perspective to your niche. So I really, really love that I think it’s such a great reminder that there’s power in repurposing, I think we forget that all the time, especially when you see other creators that are pushing out content constantly, you’re assuming that, hey, they’re spending all of these days and times on Instagram on a platform, but it’s like you have a life too. So being able to take old content and repurpose it. And it’s still just as equally as effective as the first day that you posted it. So I absolutely love that. And so I want to talk about switching gears a little bit. Talking about Mani chat. I have seen it I’ve seen a lot of people using it. Can you share with us what many chat is? Yeah,

Brock Johnson
in its simplest definition, the simplest way to think about it is, it is a tool that allows you to automatically respond to comments and or direct messages on your Instagram. Plain and simple. That’s what it is. It is an official partner of Instagram, which means it’s officially approved by Instagram, you’re totally in the clear to use it. It’s used by over I think like a million business owners and creators on Instagram. And the reason I love it. And the reason I’ve been talking about it now for like almost two years, which is crazy to look back. It’s been two years now is that it is a massive game changer when it comes to sales and conversions. Because time is of the essence. And I know people might think well, Brock, you know, I don’t want an automated response. Because I want it to be organic, I want it to be me and also Brock, I only get a couple of messages when I like promote something or a couple of messages about sales. And so I’d rather handle those myself. And you can absolutely do that. But likely you have a life that you’re living and you’re not on Instagram 24/7. So you might respond to that message a couple hours later, you might get to that comment a few days later. And by that point, the person’s excitement and energy, their impulsivity that made them want to purchase in the first place, that has likely faded. And so your percentages of making that sale, your likelihood of converting that customer have significantly decreased. We’ve seen on average, like a 46% increase in sales and conversions when we’re using many chat for DM automation, rather than trying to like manually do it ourselves. And so like I’ve been shouting this from the rooftops for like yours, like everyone needs to get on this and get on it now. Because a few years from now, it’s going to be like past the wave, you know, like everyone wearing it, and it will be less effective. But like right now, it’s flippin hot. Like right now it’s it’s tick tock in March of 2020. It’s reals in August of 2020. Like It’s Hot, we need to get on it, we need to start using it now. And it’s also really simple to use. And so I know that was kind of a long answer to what is many chat, but in its simplest form automated responses on Instagram.

Akua Konadu
Yes. Which I love. Because I’ve seen you use it. I’ve seen friends use it and the engagement has gone through the roof. I mean, it’s such a great way I think to grow your email list. It’s such a great way to, again for sales to get leads clients. And so what essentially I have been seeing is people are making a post and they’re putting, you know, they’re providing value in the post, of course, and then they’re saying like, you know, comment, I don’t know, YouTube, or whatever the purpose of the post is they’re giving a key word. And when you typed that keyword, it automatically gives you a DM and I was like and I did that just to see what it was like I responded to a few people and I was like, Oh my gosh, I need to get on many chat. So how are you implementing it into your own business? Since you’ve already seen such a huge amount of sales increase in sales already. Yep.

Brock Johnson
So what you just described is basically what we now do 100% of the time in our business, I no longer share links on my story, I no longer tell people to click the link in my bio, it still is there. Sometimes I’ll put a link on my story, I like to call it my lazy links, like if I just want to be like, hey, go, you know, watch this YouTube video, I’ll just put up a link on my stories. But for the most part, the other 95% of the times, we are promoting things sharing links, within my Instagram account or within our business more broadly, we use dem automation. And the flow is essentially what you just described, where instead of asking people to go click the link in my bio, or go click the link on my stories, which let’s think about what happens when when I say that. Let’s say I make a feed post, I’m promoting some course. And I’m like, Hey, go click the link in my bio, I have no idea who clicked the link, I have no idea how to follow up with them. I can’t follow up with them. I can’t build a relationship, I can’t answer their questions. And that’s assuming they even clicked on the link, the majority of people aren’t going to click on it. And what you’ve essentially just done is told everyone who’s viewing the post, don’t engage with this post, don’t like this post, don’t comment, don’t save, don’t share, don’t engage with this post, leave this post and go somewhere else. That’s what you’re telling people. The Instagram algorithm is not a fan of that any algorithm is not a fan of that any social media where people are leaving your content, your content will be shown to less people. So now your content is getting shown to less people, it’s getting far less engagement, and you don’t know who’s clicking, you don’t you don’t know how to follow up, you don’t know who has problems, nothing. Instead, let’s use DM automation, you saw that you saw the exact same post, you had the same content, you receive the same value. But then at the end, instead of me saying, click the link in my bio, I’m saying comment the word link. And I will send it to you. Now step one, they don’t have to leave, they don’t have to like go to my profile and then find the link. Instead, they are now engaging with your posts, they’re commenting there, thus your post will be shown to more people, right? Because it’s getting engagement, it’s getting those comments is getting those responses. And then now you are having an instant automated DM response. What happens from there, they’re being tracked. So you know who clicked on the link, you know, who opened the message, you know, who got lost, and then you can manually follow up if you want. So you can have that automated link sent to them via direct message. And then let’s say you know, you only have four people who asked for the link, you can see the three people who clicked. And then if you see the only two people purchase, you can follow up with the one person who clicked but didn’t purchase and be like, Hey, I noticed that you had some difficulties there. I wanted to see if there were any questions you had, you could follow up with the person who didn’t click and say, Hey, I saw that you requested this link, but then you never ended up tapping on it. Was there any issue that you ran into, that I could help you out with? Now you’re able to do customer service, you’re able to organically and authentically engage with them. And you’re able to have that automated response to capture the energy and attention in the moment that’s happening. Your posts are reaching more people your engagement rate, your conversion rate, all of that is going up? I don’t see a negative to using DM automation.

Akua Konadu
Yeah, I don’t either. And I love because number one for stories, like for example, my story views have gone down lately. I mean, even especially if I put a link in the story, I’m sure there’s other people too, that are seeing other areas like their story views also going down. And this is stuff because you know, we have heard about how DM strategy can be in the DMS is such a key way to be able to get sales to get leads in your business. And so this is such an easier turnaround than having to go into your stories many chat is the perfect way to do that. And then also to your remote, you’re making it as easy as possible for people to be able to make a purchase or do whatever it is that you want them to do. I think sometimes we forget that it’s such a big ask when we’re asking people to purchase from us. And so really finding different ways to remove those barriers will make them more inclined to say yes, and many chat is literally the answer to that. So I flippin love it like, yeah,

Brock Johnson
you hit the nail on the head, right? Because if I’m asking you to click the link in my bio, you have to first of all, and I know I might say this and everyone listening might be like that’s easy, Brock, it might be easy, but no matter how easy it is, it’s still an extra step. People have to know how to get to your page, they have to know what the word Bio means. They have to then find the link in your bio, which is usually a really small little piece of text, a million different places they could get distracted before that. And then how many of us have a link tree in our bio, then we click on that link tree. And instead of being taken right to the landing page that they were ready for. They’re being shown like a smorgasbord menu of offers. It’s like well, now you got to figure out which one you were even looking for in the first place. So we have all of these barriers before they even get to the landing page. And then we wonder why our sales and conversions are low. It’s not that Instagram hates us. It’s that we’re using these strategies that are literally biting ourselves in the butt shooting ourselves in the foot.

Akua Konadu
Oh Oh my gosh, yes. So if you’re or if like Link trees down, because that’s what happened where I’ve been in the middle of a launch and link tree has gotten to where I’m like no. And like, Yes, I think, again, if you are not using many chat, if you’re listening, I want to encourage you to because I think it can be such a game changer for your business, it can also just make the sales process much more enjoyable. I feel like on Instagram, because that is something that I think a lot of us have just, we don’t necessarily enjoy it anymore. But I love how you said to like, Instagram doesn’t hate us. I think that is such a good mindset shift because we I think it’s so common, where it’s like, oh my gosh, the algorithm hates me or it’s like we can internalize a lot of the things that are happening in Instagram that is essentially just not, that’s really not in our control. So do you have any other mindset tips, too, that we can really just, uh, utilize as we’re creating content and just continue to invest in Instagram? Yeah,

Brock Johnson
I would say there’s a few things. Number one, we have to detach from the results. And I started talking about this a little bit earlier, when I was talking about looking at your posts as data points and just basically learning lessons to figure out what hooks are working, what content is my audience into nowadays, but really, like detaching your own worth, from the results that you are getting on social media, because they’re so fragile. They’re so futile, they change. They’re so variable so unpredictable. And honestly, they’re outside of your control. And so when you get your worth or even other things like your motivation, that’s another thing that I hear all the time is like Brock, how do you stay motivated, when your posts aren’t doing? Well? Well, I don’t get my motivation, as ever, as it stands currently, from the engagement or from the results, because that’s basing your internal motivation or your internal satisfaction or joy or worth off of an external factor that you cannot control. And so I wish there was an easy like, three step strategy that I could give you, like, you know, you know, use this font or try this little design, whatever to figure this out. But it’s this a much bigger conversation, right? Mindset is not, you know, three tips to get more views on your reels mindset is a much bigger, deeper conversation where this is going to take years of practice, this is going to be trial and error, this is not going to be an overnight solution. And even once you do reach the point where you’re like, Yeah, you know, I don’t, I don’t base my worth and my motivation and my, my creativity off of these external factors, you can get to that point. And I feel like I’m at that point now. But there are still days myself where I’m like, I’m looking at my real estate, I’m like, Hey, I’m supposed to be an Instagram Expert. And I’m getting this many views, hey, I’m supposed to be the guy teaching this stuff. And I got this, many likes that come on. And I have to remind myself still constantly that this is something that I can’t tie my worth to. And fortunately, I had a lot of practice, learning that from my background and my sports career, like learning that I can’t I play quarterback, so I can’t base my worth, as a football player, as a human being based off of how many touchdowns I throw, right, I can’t base my worth off of the final score at the end of the game, whether we won or lost. And also it took years of therapy to get to the point where it’s like, hey, for the most part, I can post something and whether it flops or whether it goes viral, I’m kind of the same guy. Today, tomorrow, I’m going to create the same content, I’m gonna show up and put in the work in the same way it took years of of therapy and practice and learning lessons to get to that point. It’s not easy to do. But it’s something that I think is necessary. If you want to have long term success on social media, you can have short term success and overnight viral growth. Like that’s possible. It’s unpredictable, but it’s possible. But if like you want to build an actual business, on social media, like you want to be around for more than just a season, you want to be around for a decade, you want to be around for a few years, you’re gonna have to embrace the suck and learn how to do those hard things like detaching yourself from those results.

Akua Konadu
I love that so much. There’s so many key things that you shared within that of, because number one, you’re showing the work because I mean, you have had such amazing growth and an amazing business, but you are showing that the nitty gritty of what it takes to get there. And I think especially on Instagram, when we see it’s we see everybody’s highlight reels we see all of okay, like we’re producing this really nice content, but you don’t know the work that it took to be able to produce that content. I think that’s something that we forget all the time. And so it’s just such an important thing of like, you are more than just an Instagram post, you were more than social media. And so your results are not a reflection of who you are and what it is that you bring to the table. And I love when you said that, when whatever niche that we’re in, we feel like we have to be the expert. So we feel like we always have to have the best engagement and that is just not like I feel like I hope that gives people permission still to post, right? Because we do like even my son I’ve been guilty of that where I’m like, I’m a storytelling strategist like Does that mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about? Are all of these different types of things? And that’s far from the truth, right? Like again, it’s we don’t have we don’t own the platform. And so what matters is that you keep showing up through the hard times even through the the slow growth and so just remembering that you’re planting your roots and growing something that is going to be so powerful and benefits so many other people so, so much goodness that you shared with him that and so the last question that we always love to close out with a is what do you think is the biggest differentiator between the businesses that succeed and the ones that fail? Yeah.

Brock Johnson
No one’s gonna like hearing my answer to this question. Because it’s, again, it’s not some magic strategy. It’s not some sexy insider tip. It’s not some like magic hack that you haven’t thought of before, or it’s not tucked away in chapter 14 of that book you just haven’t read yet. Everyone knows what it is. And I’m not some genius to say it. But the difference between the business owners who are successful, and the ones who aren’t Ultimately, it comes down to consistency, on Instagram on social media consistently showing up, it also comes down to not overthinking it, like stop trying to make perfect content, stop overthinking everything you post is this good enough? Most people aren’t even paying attention to you anyway. Well, I have this one hair out of place. Well, this filter isn’t right, while I made a typo, who cares? No one’s gonna notice the vast majority of your followers ain’t paying that much attention to you. They’re too busy worried about themselves in their own mistakes in their own imperfections. So the creators, the business owners who are successful are the ones who first and foremost, they’re willing to bet on themselves, they’re willing to rip off the band aid, they’re willing to make the jump, take the leap, whatever cliche expression you want to use here, they just get started, like they stop overthinking it, they have the superpower of under thinking it and just taking action. And then once they take that action, they just keep doing it. They keep showing up, they keep hammering, they keep putting in the work day after day. And they learn as they go, they have that 1% improvement. They’re constantly making little tweaks along the way. Like there’s all those little things that will add up over time. Sure. But ultimately, like 95% of people will fail because they just don’t stay consistent. They just give up they get rejected because of bad results or whatever. And so they just give up when ultimately the ones who are successful and seem like they’re overnight results, and seem like their overnight successes, you look back and those are the people who have actually been consistent for like last 14 years, the person who’s like writing the book about their 100 million dollar business. They’re actually they’ve been doing this for like 20 years, they didn’t just have like one viral Tiktok. They’ve been doing this they’ve been putting in the work. They were willing to bet on themselves. And ultimately, they were willing to just get started.

Akua Konadu
Oh my gosh, you took us to church with that answer. Okay, because that is the power of under they get I was like, oh, that’s me, I overthink. But it’s so true, right? Like the power and unlike under thinking like just because you are getting consumed by we were we are trying to be perfect. And all these different types of but no body cares. Nobody cares. Everybody else is trying to figure out their own stuff just as much as you are. So you might as well have fun while you’re doing it and enjoy the process. And one of our previous episodes with Tori Dunlap she had mentioned just because somebody had just because you first discovered somebody that doesn’t mean that other people haven’t, right, just because they were like just because you discovered them first, it doesn’t mean that they still weren’t doing what they’ve been doing. And so I think it just goes to show again to just to continuously be putting in the work people have been putting in this work for years before they got to this specific moment before you discovered them. And because we instantly will think they’ve been successful all this time. And that’s just not the case. And so that was so good. Such a good answer. And Brock, I have enjoyed this conversation so much. I feel inspired now and refreshed about Instagram where I know I’m gonna go back and look at my account. I hope if you’re listening to that you feel just as inspired because it’s still very possible to have growth on the app, it’s still very possible to be able to build the business that you’re looking for. So this was great. And thank you so much for coming on the show.

Brock Johnson
Well, thank you so much for having me. You are an awesome host and I really enjoyed being here. So thank you.

Akua Konadu
Thank you. And so where can people find you to connect with you?

Brock Johnson
The best place is forward slash Brock. 11 John’s? No, I am on every platform. I am not on MySpace. I just missed the cut off born in 1997. But anyways, the best place to find me is on Instagram. Brock 11 Johnson is my handle Brock 11 Johnson is my handle on YouTube on Tik Tok on Twitter, or x, whatever we’re calling it now. That’s what I am on every platform. So if you search Brock 11 Johnson, shoot me a direct message and you will most likely get a response from me. Maybe my DM automation but probably me.

Akua Konadu
Yes, absolutely. And you know, please check out his content because it is so helpful. And thank you again, so much, Brock, and thank you everybody for listening. And until next time. That ends our episode of The Independent Business podcasts. Everything we’ve discussed today can be found at [email protected] Hedra website to access for show notes, relevant links and all the resources that you need to level up. And if you’ve enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to subscribe to the podcast to make sure you never miss our future content. Drop us a review and leave our guests some love on social and thank you again for listening.

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