TDW #039: Counting Likes, Lacking Wealth: The Harsh Reality Behind Social Media Influence

Counting Likes, Lacking Wealth: The Harsh Reality Behind Social Media Influence

I learned early on that you can't deposit your follower count at the bank. You can't eat likes. You can't pay your mortgage with "engagement".

A quick story...

The richest person I've ever known personally (with a 10-figure net worth) flew a private jet everywhere.

But he swore off social media.

He wouldn't touch it.

He was genuinely a good person with a loving, supportive family...

And if I said his name, you wouldn't know it.

Contrast that with the guy behind the largest account I ever worked on personally in my old agency.

He was super famous.

Had millions of followers.

He was even able to sell out auditoriums when he went on speaking tours.

But what shocked me was that his business barely cracked 7-figures. I couldn't believe it. All those followers, such a small payout.

...and if I said his name, you would know it.

The goal, of course, is to blend the two approaches in a way that best suits you.

I don't think there's necessarily a "right" or "wrong" way.

Just one that we prefer.

But basically you have four options:

  1. Poor & Famous
  2. Unknown & Poor
  3. Unknown & Rich
  4. Rich & Famous

The terms are subjective on purpose. What you consider to be “poor” is someone else’s “rich”. Likewise for “famous” and “unknown”. But here’s a brief overview of each quadrant:

Unknown & Poor: The Wishing Wannabe

The person who finds themselves here isn’t well-known and has no money. It’s hard to do much of anything in this quadrant, simply because you have no resources. No assets. I don’t advise anyone to stay put in this quadrant.

Poor & Famous: The Fleeting Influencer

In my opinion, this is the least desirable of the quadrants. Yet, this is what most social media accounts are geared for—fame without the ability to monetize. The person in this quadrant is a “here-today-gone-tomorrow” phenomenon.

My speaker client from the opening example is near the middle of the “rich - poor” axis, but I’d still put him firmly in this camp.

Unknown & Rich: The Invisible Expert

Most business owners are in this quadrant. They’re better off financially than 80% of the population, but they may not enjoy as much visibility as they’d like.

I’ve shown this diagram to dozens of clients and many of them are quite content to stay put in the Invisible Expert quadrant. They have the income they want. They business they want. The life they want. All with zero desire to increase their visibility. Totally cool!

Rich & Famous: The Established Authority

Jordan. Beyoncé. Picasso. Warhol. Oprah.

These are the folks who sit atop the game. They’re the absolute best in their industry—the authority. They’ve also found a way to convert the attention that comes with fame into income. Super important point.

Chart Your Path

So I want you to self-diagnose. Where are you at now?

Got it? Good.

Next, I want you to identify where you want to be.

The goal isn’t to arbitrarily move through the quadrants without thinking. The goal is to see where you’re at, identify where you want to go, and make a plan to get there if those two quadrants differ.

Here are some quick ideas to get you moving in the right direction of your preferred quadrant.

Wishing Wannabe: Do more research

If you find yourself here, there’s only one way to go and that’s up. Good news! If you’re unknown and not as financially successful as you’d like, you’re missing market signals. We have to get you on the radar somehow—the best way to do that isn’t by guessing. It’s by researching.

Research the:

  • Fears
  • Dreams
  • Frustrations
  • Wants

…of your dream client and start talking about what you find.

Fleeting Influencer: Launch more offers

You’ve got the eyeballs, just not the dollars-and-cents commensurate with your exposure. I want you to start launching a ridiculous amount of offers. Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. You’re likely under-monetizing your audience, so we need to address that before you can move on.

Invisible Expert: Build more relationships

I’ll preface this by saying many folks choose to toss out their anchor and stay in this quadrant. Perfectly okay decision. But if you do want to move up a quadrant, I want you to become your company’s Chief Friend Maker. Serendipity transmits along relational lines.

Established Authority: Create more partnerships

What do rich and famous people do? They form partnerships with other people who are more rich and/or famous than they are.

My favorite example of this is Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul. After the wild success of Breaking Bad, the two teamed up to create and launch Dos Hombres, a mezcal company. With successful partnerships, it’s not:

  • 2+2 = 4
  • It’s 2+2 = 1,000

Who are a few other folks who have similar notoriety and financial success you could team up with? Once you nail this part down, the game is endless.

Final Words

In conclusion, there are four quadrants of social media success:

  1. Poor & Famous
  2. Unknown & Poor
  3. Unknown & Rich
  4. Rich & Famous

Figure out where you are and where you want to be, and then make a plan to get there. Take one of the quick ideas from the quadrant you’re in now and try something different.

Private jet or on-stage sellout? You get to decide!

See you next week,


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