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Making Real Instagram Connections

Published on: December 5 2022 by Social Media Examiner

Making Real Instagram Connections

Making Real Instagram Connections

- What are some of the mistakes
that you see people slash marketers,
'cause we're all marketers whether we're creatives or not,
what are some of the big mistakes that you see people making
on Instagram from your perspective?
- I think, the thing I see a lot and it frustrates me
and it feels natural to do,
but it's when people are chasing,
they chase new followers at the expense
of their existing community.
(upbeat music)
- Today, I'm very excited to be joined by Jonny Keeley.
And if you don't know who he is,
you need to know Jonny he's a multi strategist,
musician and photographer.
His YouTube channel helps people be more authentik
on social media, Jonny, welcome to the show.
- Hey, thanks for having me.
- I'm super excited you're here.
Today we're gonna explore how to make real connections
on Instagram.
Now, before we get on the path of exploring
your perspective and experience on Instagram,
I would love to back up a little bit
and tok about your story.
How the heck did you get into Instagram?
Start wherever you wanna start.
- I mean, I dunno how old I was,
but I'm sure that some of your audience can relate to this.
I started on MySpace and as you've already mentioned,
I was a musician.
So we used to, had quite a funny relationship with MySpace.
MySpace was obviously the first real social media.
I dunno how old I was.
I'd been about 14 or 15 and we formed our band
and we used to travel city to city
and visit these different places.
And we would jump onto MySpace and we would one by one
find individuals who we thought would be into our music
and we would message them directly and say, hey,
we're playing at this place.
Do you wanna come see?
And we'd add them as friends.
And we build up these quite deep relationships
before the gig on an individual basis.
And that was just how we used it
was a bold way to use MySpace but that was how we used it.
And then as you've already mentioned,
the things I tok about on my YouTube channel
come from that original culture
of being bold and connecting to individuals
and respecting the individual, that one follower, I mean.
- Yeah so give us a little bit more of the background
on the music side of things.
Like what a band were you a part of
and give us a little bit more of that story.
- Yeah so the easiest way to describe it
is we were like a scar reggae band,
but I think we very quickly realized that we weren't,
we were something slightly on the side of that.
So we turned into a alternative Brit pop I wanna say,
a mixture of scar and reggae and maybe joy division,
something like that.
That's what we played that.
So for 15 years I was a musician,
we were an independent band doing all the social media,
learning about marketing without really learning
about marketing, 'cause music, the budgets are tight.
So you just have to do you have to do what you gotta do.
And social media was being born at the same time
as our band was growing up.
And we learned so much about how to connect to communities
and how to build something around what you're doing
just through the music communities,
'cause as people will be aware that music community
is super important to music.
We've had fan clubs for as long as we've had bands.
- So you were part of a band and were you a vocalist
or were you an instrumentalist or you everything,
what's just?
- Yeah, sorry I was skipping over all of that
and I was the singer of the band played guitar.
And there's four of us.
We had loads of fun.
- Yeah, very cool.
So somewhere along the line
you went from MySpace over to Instagram.
Give us a little bit of that backstory.
What was your first experience with Instagram
and why'd you decide to jump on it?
- It was a sort of a meander really.
We started off as musicians on MySpace
and then I actually became a local counselor where I live
and I sort of continued that reaching out to local people
and that individual basis.
It was only when I left, I did a lot of that on Facebook.
It was when I left that counselor role a few years ago
and I'd been a photographer for that whole time
and sort of enjoyed photography and filmmaking and videos.
I actually went to film school before all of this,
but it was only at that point that I sort of wanted to bring
that same, I guess I brought that same culture with me
onto Instagram when I wanted to share more
about my photography and the things
that I was passionate about in a much more deeper way
than the things I was more or less promoting
for that whole time.
And that was when I went to Instagram, not too long ago.
I mean, I've had an Instagram account
for as long as it's been possible, but I decided
to get serious with my photography on Instagram
only three or four years ago.
It was after the big boom on Instagram,
but there was still plenty of fun to be had
just posting images.
- So what kind of photography were you posting on Instagram
and what kind of photographer are you?
And then tell us a little bit of like along the way,
obviously it must have worked in some sort of capacity.
So tell us a little bit more about that story.
- Yeah, it did.
I mean, I'm a passion wise, I'm a landscape photographer.
I love climbing mountains, going hiking
and taking pictures of the world
in the most sort of interesting conditions that I can get,
which I loved almost the gamble of that.
But professionally, I'm also a sort of interiors,
I guess you call it a real estate photographer,
but it tends to be in cabins, tree houses
and more sort of adventurous luxury spaces.
I built a specialist business around that.
I photograph all different types.
I'm just really passionate about these home built cabins,
log cabins and things like that.
It's also a big sort of industry that's popped up in the UK
in the last five to 10 years as well.
So that's part of what I share on Instagram,
but I also really just share my landscape photography
and everything around that.
But the thing is with Instagram, as you will know
the community building on it, it's not so much
that I'm sharing my photography
'cause the majority of people that follow me
are other photographers.
So we're really just sharing what we are doing.
We're sharing it as a group together rather than me,
in music where you'd be putting your music out
to music fans.
That's not so much the way that we do things
with landscape photography community.
- I discovered you because of your YouTube channel.
So tok to us a little bit
about what you're doing on YouTube
and content you're creating there specifically if,
especially the stuff that's related
to what we're gonna be toking about today.
Was that part of your journey from the beginning
as a filmmaker, you just decided to go in
on YouTube as well?
- Yeah, I originally started my YouTube channel.
It was about photography
and it was about all of those things.
But I quickly realized that I was getting lots and lots
of questions on my Instagram, just about what I was doing.
It was a reasonably small account
compared to the hundreds of thousands that some people have,
but the community is a much smaller place
and I was getting lots of questions.
So I decided to just upload a few videos
about the way I did it.
'Cause I'm getting so frustrated
with this social media culture where it's really mechanical,
it's robotik and it's almost like everyone
just wants to take, they just want to take followers
and make their number go up.
And it just frustrates me.
And I was trying to think of the best way,
I used to complain to Instagram about this.
I was like what's with all the robots.
And I decided, why don't I just make a YouTube channel
trying to convince people to just do things
maybe differently.
It sounds silly to say differently because everybody knows
how to be human being.
We do that day to day.
When someone comes up to you in the street,
you don't just take from them, you have a conversation,
you tok with each other.
And it was really me wanting to share
that way of doing things on social media.
Everyone knows that being authentik and being real
is a good thing to do on social media.
But I think people still need reminding
that we're all human beings.
We're all sat the other side of each other's screens
and there's a barrier, which is whatever platform you're on,
but really you're just two human beings toking.
- Well, we're gonna dig deep into some of this stuff.
And I really appreciate your story.
Especially as a creative slash creator, who's got the music,
the film background, the photography background.
I think there's so many people who have little bits of that
and are gonna be fascinated
about what we're gonna tok about.
There are some people listening right now
and they might be creators, they might be marketers.
And they might be like, I don't know about Instagram.
I don't know if it's for me.
Maybe they're just thinking they can't do
what they see other people doing.
What's the benefit for them if they do it the right way.
And some of the things
that we're gonna be toking about today
without telling,
we're not gonna tok about the right way,
but what's the upside to doing it your way, if you will?
Why ought they maybe consider Instagram?
- I mean, I think there's a big caveat here,
which is how big an audience do you really need?
Some people do need a massive audience.
A musician probably needs a massive audience.
They couldn't survive on a few hundred
to a thousand followers, but a lot of people,
they focus on how big their audience is
forgetting how deep is the relationship
between you and your followers.
So, I mean, I wouldn't say that I'm doing things
partikularly in a sort of groundbreaking way.
It's just remembering that community spirit and if someone,
I think there's more common rather than people
not being on Instagram.
I think a lot of people have actually left Instagram
or they've given up on Instagram and there is still,
I mean, if people think about them giving up on Instagram,
what they're really doing is giving up on communicating
with all those people that they've worked hard to amass
into that account.
And I think it's a real shame that people feel that way,
that people have feel so frustrated by a platform that has,
it has taken things away from people,
it is a much harder platform to build on now
for lots and lots of different reasons,
partly because of the way
that they've changed their content.
Reels are really big now and it's much harder
to reach people on with statik posts,
with photographs and things like that.
But I think also there are, you can't have a bigger audience
without there being more eyes on the platform.
And I think everybody who's wanted to have a go on Instagram
has already had a go.
So for anyone who hasn't yet,
I would absolutely get on there,
but I think for the majority of things,
it's the people who've left and given up.
- Well and I think there's also a lot of people
that maybe wanna recreate a new identity for themselves,
because there's plenty of people listening right now
that maybe have a creative vent but they've been working
in a corporate job and they haven't really had a chance
to express that.
And this is an opportunity for them to do it
because you see the same thing happening
on Twitter for example, with the world in the crypto world,
you've got a lot of people who have never had any audience
and all of a sudden are using this platform, Twitter,
which for them is brand new.
Even though it's been around for a very, very long time,
but they're using it because that's where their audience is.
So I agree with you.
I think there's an incredible opportunity
to do some stuff really, really well.
One of the things I would love to tok about,
because I think you have a good sense of this
is what are some of the mistakes that you see people
slash marketers, 'cause we're all marketers,
whether we're creatives or not,
what are some of the big mistakes that you see people making
on Instagram from your perspective?
- I think the thing I see a lot and it frustrates me
and it feels natural to do,
but it's when people are chasing, they chase new followers
at the expense of their existing community.
I made a video a little while ago, it's on my channel,
but I used an analogy.
Imagine that you've gone to a bar,
there's a band playing on the stage.
A lot of my analogies come from live performance,
but imagine there's a band playing on the stage.
There's a few hundred people in front of them.
There's maybe a little bit more space in the venue,
but there's a band about to play.
But instead of starting the singer of the band
actually gets off the stage.
He goes next door and tries to get a few more people
to come in.
And then he gets a few more people and they enter the venue,
he gets back on the stage and then he looks around
and he is like, no, there's still not quite enough here.
I don't think.
So he goes out again and you can see
the point I'm trying to make,
he's actually just forgotten about the people
that were there that have signed up
that are there to enjoy this band's, this step band forth.
- Well, and I have another analogy.
How about you're starting a live stream
and you're waiting five minutes for more people to show up
while everyone who's there is bored out of their mind.
Or you're about to present
and there's not enough people in the room.
So you just wait at the expense of everyone else.
This analogy is so good.
Keep going, so how does that work now with Instagram?
- Well, yeah I mean, I think what it is that people are,
it's great.
You can absolutely chase new followers.
And the point I made in that video
was that if that band had just started playing
and made sure everyone who was already there had a good time
when everyone left the restaurants next door,
they'd walk by and they'd look in through the door
and they'd say, hey, that looks amazing.
Let's get in there, let's go and enjoy that.
And I think that's almost a perfect analogy
for the way that people can treat their Instagram accounts.
It's a bit more nuanced, I think, than that example.
I think an analogy is an extreme version
of the nuanced behavior that goes on on Instagram.
But I think that the biggest mistake that I see people make
is just chasing more and more and more
rather than just putting all of that effort
into the people that you do see,
and your livestream examples are a really good one,
what an amazing thing you've started your live stream.
You now have a handful of people there
that are probably your biggest fan
and you can have a direct conversation with them.
Or as you know you just start off
as if everybody's watching.
So when it goes up online afterwards, it starts naturally.
But you know.
- I love that.
Let's tok a little bit about the numbers also,
many of us have decent, hundreds, thousands,
or even hundreds of thousands of followers
and maybe this is related, but I would love
to hear your thoughts on focusing on the numbers
and the analytiks and stuff like that
and how that could be a slippery slope.
- Yeah I think focusing on numbers and analytiks,
it's incredibly important, it's a whole business, data,
but I think what it can lead to is something
that's actually really dangerous on social media.
And that is frustration and impatience.
I think somebody who, someone who started
a brand new account is most guilty for this
because they've got something to burn, nothing to lose
and they're impatient.
So that's when they make mistakes like buying followers
or moving too quickly, building a following
without actually building a foundation of content
around that following.
And I think the whole world of following
has actually changed so much
that people need to start toking more now
about active followers, because you have people who have
maybe followers from five, six, seven years ago
and they're not even there anymore.
So that number, I think active followers,
I think actually social media platforms need
to inform creators of active followers
because it'd be so much more useful
and better for people's mental health
if they actually know how many people are there
rather than how many people you're reaching.
So I think this goes both ways on that,
but in patients can lead to a lot of mental health problems,
but also making mistakes with your accounts.
- When we were toking to prepare for this interview,
one of the things you mentioned was forgetting your why.
So tok to me a little bit about that.
- Yeah I mean, so many, so many people,
I get lots and lots of DMs,
I've never really put myself out there
as a social media guru with all of the answers.
However, because I'm approachable on my YouTube channel.
I always tell people to come and say hi
and have a conversation.
I get a lot of DMS from people and they're always asking,
how do I do this, how do I do that?
How do I get these big numbers?
And I'll always just very bluntly say, why do you want that?
What is it you're actually trying to achieve?
And a really good example is
whenever you're creating content.
I mean, everyone always says quantity over quality.
I do think that's true making lots and lots of content,
but you're not making lots of content
because that's the best thing to do.
You're making lots of content because you want to be able
to measure it.
You wanna be able to look back at what you've done
and see what's working,
see what's resonating with your audience.
It's all good listening to someone else's advice.
But really the best thing to do is apply your personality
and your content to your audience
and see what resonates with them
because it's different for different people.
So these kind of things, they lead into each other I think.
- Let's tok about your strategy.
We've toked about how, hey you gotta be careful
to cultivate, ideally, what you don't wanna do
is get so focused on acquiring
a new quote, unquote followers and fans
that you forget the ones that you've already got.
We also toked about how those numbers
can be really deceiving.
And if we just wanna chase more and more numbers,
it's not gonna help us get where we wanna go.
And then we also toked about like, what is your why?
Like, why do you really want this?
And if you can get your why aligned obviously,
then you can know
whether you should or shouldn't do something.
I think that intellectually makes sense.
Now, what I'd love to do is tok
about what is your strategy?
What is Jonny Keely's strategy specifically
to create real connections on Instagram?
- There's two sides to the way
that I tend to use my social media.
Like I say, I've grown up in music.
I've grown up in a small community.
toking to small communities is very natural to me.
But then also I work professionally in marketing.
I've done that for my whole life.
So I do have that mechanical side as well,
that kind of side that has a yearning
to just measure everything that's happening.
So I think that stopping thinking of Instagram
as a content library, this is how I look at it.
It's a communication platform.
Every single piece of content
that you put out on the platform becomes an opportunity
to communicate in various different forms.
Maybe you're inviting people to send you a DM,
or maybe you're inviting people to comment,
or maybe you are simply making a statement
in the content itself that you want to resonate
with your audience, or it could be that
as a lot of creators, it's a business.
Maybe you want them to go off of the site
and check out a course,
or you want them to check out your products.
If you are not measuring those things,
then how do you know whether it worked or not?
And this is I'd say my strategy
is think of every single piece of content
as an opportunity to communicate,
but also make sure every single piece of content
has a purpose.
So for example, if I'm posting a piece of content
and the purpose of that content is to bring awareness
around a product.
I need to think to myself, where am I sending them?
Am I tracking that myself?
Not am I relying on the other company
to tell me whether they're happy,
but am I tracking that myself?
So for example, if I'm putting the link in bio,
am I using a system like Bitly or something like that,
where I can actually see those numbers
and this way you can kind of see how you are doing
on both fronts.
So if my content was to invite comments
and I didn't get any comments,
I know that I need to do better.
I need to find a way to resonate with my audience.
I don't need to get more comments by performing actions.
It's about resonating with your audience.
And also did that content, did that fulfill its purpose
from a measurable point of view?
Like, did I get clicks on here or did I increase numbers
in different areas?
So I think it's, the way that I look at social media
is kind of community first platform first,
and then thinking about numbers and how you can measure it.
And whether you are actually hitting those goals.
- This is really good stuff.
I wanna dig in on some of this.
So on the community first side of it,
I like what you said, which is that every piece of content
is an opportunity to communicate.
I think that's like a tweetable quote right there.
So what I would love to know is some of the examples
of the kinds of content that we can create
that might encourage communication,
because there's obviously ways to do it
in a way that spurs communication.
You already mentioned earlier that you're tracking
some of these kind of things and watching
for what doesn't and what does create
some sort of a communication thread, if you will.
So what are the types of content that you create,
if you will, that encourages your followers
to communicate with you?
- I think something that everybody has heard of
at this point, is asking questions,
asking questions to people that are important
in your community, but asking them in the right places.
So for example, if I'm, a good example is my business
as a cabin photographer, for example,
I can put out a piece of content
and it's for one of two audiences.
And they're very, very different.
So for example, if I put out a piece of content
and my intention is to build awareness around my business
to get more work, then really, I need to be aware
that I'm toking to accommodation, I'm toking to hosts,
but then the other side of it, if I'm building,
if I want to build awareness
around my whole social media presence,
I need to be aware that I have some valuable information
to another group of people who are holiday makers
and people who are looking to stay in those spaces.
And if I can build an audience of those people,
I'm personally of much more value to the other audience,
the audience that, so I become a mediator at that point.
So whenever I'm putting out content,
I need to be aware of who it's going to.
So a good example of this would be
if I'm sharing a piece of content,
it's a great place to stay.
I'm gonna make sure that, I mean, hashtags are,
they're changing.
They're still valid, but there are other ways.
But if I'm, my past strategy was always to use hashtags
around holidays.
So for example, staycations, holidays, UK holidays,
reaching those people who are looking for those spaces.
And at that point, that's when I'll invite conversation,
I'll ask people, who would love to stay here.
These are dry questions, but they do reach those people.
Or on the flip side of it,
I will start toking about how I'll,
how I go about photographing the space.
And in some cases I will tell people
how they can photograph the space themselves,
because it's obviously important
that if people are spending time on my content,
that they're getting something out of it.
So I'd love to help accommodation
to photograph their own spaces.
So I will let them know in the caption,
this is how I've done this and this is how I've done that.
Give it a go.
If that doesn't work, gimme a call.
Asking questions and listening
is the two most important things that people can do.
- I really like your example of showing a picture
that you took of a really cool place,
especially given your story of how you said you're going
to these cool wilderness cabin places and stuff,
and picking a cool picture and saying,
who would love to stay here.
And then you get people interacting with you.
On the other side of it, for the other side of it,
you're toking about giving educational content.
I'm curious how you would pose a question
in that partikular case.
Would you be like, would you like to know more
how to do this yourself or something like that?
Or do you wanna know how to take these photographs yourself?
Is that the question you're asking
or would you be more direct and say,
are you looking for someone to make your venue
look this good?
I mean, I don't know,
is that the stuff you're toking about?
- Yeah I mean, there's lots and things like this
that I can say, but I think that and I will.
So if I'm toking to hosts, I'll be explaining to them
how they can replicate the images I'm taking
on their mobile phone.
So I'm toking about using the wide mode
and I'll ask people if wide mode on your phone,
like a wide angle, that's a really big example
and making sure that all the lines are straight
and all those sorts of things.
But I think it's more fundamental than that.
I don't think it helps people to have these strategies
of ask questions, do this.
What really helps people
is to change their mindset a little bit.
So a good example I used in a video a little while ago
was I used the conference analogy
where you're at a conference.
If you imagine you've got two people at a conference,
you have one person who's just stood there,
making statements, they're shouting
what their business is all about.
They're probably not gonna get much of a,
they're not gonna get much of a crowd around them.
However, the other person actually stood there.
And as people go by, they ask them questions,
what are you doing here?
Can I interest you, inviting them in.
And at that point you just listen.
And when they have something to say,
you respond to it in a natural way.
And that's why I don't have these canned responses
is because it really depends on who these people are.
And in that analogy, I think that makes sense,
because you can prepare for these situations,
but in that conference situation,
the last thing you want to do is have canned responses
and start saying to people, do this, do that,
ask these questions, it's about being authentik.
And I love that conference analogy purely because people go,
oh yeah, I forgot about that.
We're all human beings.
- I love that as well.
In my second book, I told a little,
or maybe it was my first, I can't remember which book,
but I wrote a little story about how this woman was,
it was a hypothetikal story about this woman
who is having heart troubles and this person came up
and said, let me have a look at it for you,
and started asking a series of questions and then said,
you're gonna need an auto mechanic to fix this.
And then the woman said, well, do you happen to know anyone?
And he said, yeah, I happen to be one.
You know what I mean, and I can help you.
And that's more like actually providing
some sort of value to the other person
versus him coming up and saying,
hey, I see your car is broken.
I'm an auto mechanic, get away from you opportunist.
So this is where that human connection
I think is still so valuable.
- I think the important thing is
that I think that people really need to get right.
I'm in a very lucky position
because I've already established who I am
and where I sit in that conversation in that transaction.
So I think what's important for people
is to understand where they are in that community.
Are they an unknown person or are they a well known person
that completely changes the way that you communicate?
My example of my business, who am I in that community?
I'm a service provider
when it comes to hosts and accommodation,
but I'm also influencer's the wrong word
because I'm not an influencer, but I have a lot
of information to influence people's decisions
when they want to know where to go on holiday.
So in that regard, I know who I am in that conversation.
So when I'm posting to hashtag staycation,
or when I'm having conversations in forums
and things about peoples staying places,
I know exactly who I am in that section
and in that community.
And likewise with the other things.
So I think this can be a very difficult thing to do
if you don't understand who you are in the whole world
of what it is that you wanna create.
And I think it's important that people establish that
very quickly.
And sometimes people need to understand
that they are a beginner or they're just getting started,
whether it's a business or whether it's something
they need to understand and feel out the community
before they really enter into it.
- So I think a big part of your strategy obviously
involves back and forth communication,
so we toked about how you can create content
that can spur a comment or DM, but the next step obviously
is to respond and to reply.
So let's tok a little bit about
having real deeper conversations on Instagram.
Like what's your thoughts on that?
And it might sound simple,
but I think so many of us don't do it.
Like so many of us just create the content.
There's a lot of comments
and we move on to the next piece of content.
So if we really want to go deeper,
we need to be thinking this through,
what are your thoughts on this?
- Yeah I mean, step one is if they've got a name,
use their name, that's the best way
to connect with somebody.
If they leave a comment on your content,
you can see their name right there.
And it might feel a little bit mechanical to say,
just use their name,
but it can really make a difference
not just to the person but to the way
that you are communicating with them.
I think you automatikally start to feel a bit more respect
for someone when you register that they are not a robot
on social media, that they are a real person.
They're probably sat the other side of their screen.
They might just put their kids to bed.
They might have just had their lunch and they sat down
with their computer.
So respecting the individual and understanding
that their time is valuable.
And then when they've left a comment,
feel free to ask them a question.
If somebody is interested in what you have said,
it's a good thing to do to deepen that conversation
by asking them a question
or at least answering their comment or responding,
and then leaving something that they can respond to,
this isn't about increasing your engagement
by having more comments on it.
This is about deepening your,
relationship's maybe a strong word,
but your interaction with this person.
A good example, another analogy I like to use
is the shop analogy is you don't wanna be tricking people.
Imagine that you'd trick someone into your shop.
This would be exactly the same
as social media hacking them onto your account.
What would be the point in tricking someone into your shop
if they're not interested in the products,
you're better off them just not being there really
'cause they're just taking up space
and maybe you are spending your time communicating with them
when in an actual fact, they're not at all interested
because you missold the experience
or maybe you are tricking them in twofolds.
You are tricking them into the shop,
but you're also tricking them into buying the product
because they're not gonna buy another product
they're gonna be unhappy.
And they may even tell other people not to buy your products
and to apply that to social media.
I think when people apply lots of hacks
or they're trying to do things in a quick way,
and this goes back to when I was toking about impatience,
impatience starts to make you bypass that human connection
and actually just start to build numbers in a quick way.
Essentially what you're doing
is that you are tricking a lot of people
into engaging with you,
and there's not really much value in it
unless you need those big numbers 'cause some people do.
- What's your thoughts on having these comments happen,
like in a feed post versus DM, direct messaging and stuff.
Do you have any preference to put it out there publicly
versus to just privately message them?
Obviously, depending on the medium,
it's gonna be DM only for example, with stories.
Although I think I read recently stories or reels
are starting to come out with comments,
but what's your thoughts about DMs?
- Yeah I think DMs can be extremely powerful.
I mean, you are having a,
the power in a DM, I think
is that the person on the other side
knows there is zero external value in that conversation
that you're absolutely not doing it
for any kind of vanity metrics.
It's just a conversation between you and someone else.
I struggle to manage my DMs.
I try to answer pretty much everything.
I don't have the biggest following.
I can't imagine how someone with two or 300,000
would do this with DMs.
So really this applies to smaller accounts.
My accounts are what, like 15,000 something like that.
It's everything I need,
but it's probably easier for me to manage DMs,
but I do try to answer everything.
And I notike that those DMs just continue over the years.
They just, I'll put out a story and I'll get responses
and I'll notike that I don't have to approve them
or anything.
These are just people
that I'm having ongoing conversations with.
And I think people sometimes forget the value in community,
and I'm not toking about the monetary value.
I think social media now we understand the mechanics.
We understand the mechanism
of how people can build a following and then build an income
from that.
But I think sometimes we need to stop
and think about the actual internal, emotional benefit
of having conversations with people all around the world.
I mean, what are you gonna use your money for?
You're gonna try and make yourself feel good.
And if you can do that just by having conversations,
then that's great.
- I wanna tok about some of this for a minute
because we at social media examiner
have some really big followings and, gosh,
half million Facebook, half million Twitter,
over 100,000 on our primary Instagram account.
And I've got big followings,
but I will tell you that it's really interesting.
What you're toking about here is so important
because I think the best analogy is going to an event,
a conference or an event of any kind,
even if it's just going to an event with 100 people
and it's a concert and you meet a few people
while you're in there and you strike up
a really good conversation with them.
You're only gonna remember those few people
that you really had a great relationship with.
And before you know it, they're really interested in you
and you continue to communicate with them after the event
and you begin to follow them and they begin to follow you
and they begin to interact with you.
This is the way, the truth of the matter is
that you don't need that many super engaged people
to be really, really successful
because there are people out there
that I call super connectors and I happen to be one of them
and super connectors watch out for their friends.
And when their friends say, I'm looking for someone,
they say, oh, I know who you need.
You need Jonny Keeley.
And you don't need a lot of those people,
but you need just a few of the right people.
And all of a sudden you are absolutely set.
Especially if you provide a service
or you're a creator of any kind.
And when you have as many people following you as we do,
and it's millions across all the channels,
they're just like a sea blur of numbers
but there's a few super fans that I know by name
and I know really well, and I'm friends with them now,
and these people will go to the furthest points
to support me and the organization that we're doing.
And I feel like you're onto something.
And I feel like we understood this in a pre-social world.
You know, if you went to high school or you went to college,
you just have a couple friends
that you know you can count on and they've got your back.
And it's kind of the same way in the world of business.
And it feels like we're maybe moving back to this era
where these relationships can have massive ripple effect,
but we just have been, if you will snookered into believing,
it's not about relationships, it's about numbers.
- Absolutely.
I think you're absolutely right.
The overwhelming comment, generic comment
I get back from my YouTube isn't people saying,
oh yeah, this is amazing I've never heard this before.
Some of the strategies I do get that, but what people say
is, yeah, we all need to remember this.
So everybody already knows.
It's just that we need to be reminded that these,
I say the word communities all the time,
but these are communities, they're people.
And every single one of those numbers is a human.
Not every single one, there are bots,
but you know, for the majority of it,
they are people with lives who have given their time
to explore what it is that you do.
And as you say, you don't need much.
My, this business that I'm toking about.
I'd call it a side business.
YouTube has become much more of a,
it's probably now 50, 60% of my time.
And I have a very small account
that promotes my cabin stuff.
It's a, probably about literally seven or 800 people,
but it does everything I need it to do.
So if you are trying to become a famous person
and you need to use that, those numbers to prove your fame,
to try and get products, to try and get
whatever it is that you need, then yeah.
You probably do need to bulk up your numbers.
But if you are a business,
what you need to do is build relationships
and six, 700 people.
That's a lot of people in a room
that is a huge amount of people.
If you are a musician, just starting out,
you would dream of playing to an audience of that size.
And that is a very, very small account these days.
Partikularly when you look at TikTok numbers
people with millions and millions of followers on TikTok
without really sweating, they're just having fun.
That's what they're doing.
They're having fun and they're communicating with people
and it's blowing up.
So, when we dial it all the way back,
I think the people that find this strategy useful,
the strategy of respecting the individual
and having deeper conversations, it's small businesses,
it's service providers.
It's people that say it might be a personal trainer,
be a great example of somebody who can build up,
'cause you've only got so much time.
They can build up a small following and really then
it becomes the quality of yourself,
the quality of your ideas and the how authentik
you really are as a person.
If you can nail those things.
And that's just really about being yourself,
'cause there's only one of you, if you can be yourself,
then you can connect with those people
and these small businesses,
let's say like a personal trainer, Instagram,
all this social media is a perfect place to do that,
to build a business like that.
- There are for sure some people listening right now
that have slightly bigger audience, but they wanna do this.
And they're saying to themselves, I can't possibly do this
because it would be a full time job for me
because there's a lot of comments I get.
What do you wanna say to those people?
I would imagine they could be super careful
about who they choose to engage with.
And I could also imagine that they could do for a few
what they wish they could do for many.
Do you have any thoughts on how to be strategic
when you do have a lot of people that comment on your stuff,
but you don't have time to respond to all of them.
Any insights on that?
- Yeah I think the perfect tool to use there
is the Instagram Q&A or those Instagram
they're similar to the Q&A they're,
a bigger following means that you are gonna get
a lot of responses to something.
So if you can sit down for half an hour,
put out a question and say, ask me anything and I'll answer,
then you are not so much just commenting back to people
with DMs, you are answering lots and lots
of people's questions,
but also showing that there is a community
around what you're doing.
There's a, I can't remember the Instagram account,
but my partner is wild for it.
It's a confessions account.
And what the people do is they make a confession
and the person then posts it back onto their stories
and says something funny about it.
It's all anonymous, but that is the luxury
that these big accounts have
because they have lots and lots of people.
So they can flip the direct DMs on its head
and just start doing Q&As, and build a show around it.
I mean, this person does it once a week.
And my partner's glued to her phone.
She's just giggling all of these answers
to these people's confessions on this Instagram account.
It's hilarious.
- So there are some people listening right now
that do not have very big followings at all
and they maybe need to figure out
how to find the right people to follow.
Do you have any thoughts on how to go out maybe
and find people to follow you on the socials?
- Yeah, I think this is very subjective,
but I think a great place.
I mean, as I said, hashtags are not a great place
to faultlessly promote to
however they're a good place to hang out.
So for example, if I'm a landscape photographer, which I am,
if I go to hashtag landscape photography
and then hit the recent tab,
which is there for some people and it's not for others.
So I guess Instagram are testing a few things,
but if you head to the recent tab,
you now have a list of people
who are interested in landscape photography
and are holding their phones right now.
Now you can apply that to everything, hashtag coffee time,
whatever, you go to hashtag coffee time,
hit the recent tab and start having conversations
with the people at the very top of that list.
They've just posted and they are just ready to do it.
And then you can make an assessment on that person.
For example, if I want to, if I'm just feeling generous
and I want to stroke the egos
of some brand new beginner landscape photographers,
I can go to hashtag landscape photography,
hit the recent tab.
Look at some stuff that I think is somebody
at the beginning of their photography journey.
And just tell them, this is great, carry on,
or I can pick the opposite and look at something
that looks very well established and I can say, wow,
how did you do that, this is incredible.
You know, I'm just having conversations with people,
but remembering that there are places on Instagram
where people hang out, hashtags are a great example of it.
- I would imagine you probably ought to follow them as well.
Because I know that if you're commenting
and you're not following them
they'll probably not respond I would imagine.
I mean, what's your thoughts on that?
- I think this is a simple one.
It's maybe not, I dunno, in data terms,
it may not be the best way of doing it.
People used to ask me this a lot on a partikular video
that I put out that covered this.
And my answer is always, if you have something to say,
leave a comment, if you wanna see more of their content,
hit the following button.
End of story.
So, yeah, as simple as that.
- Well, the reason I say this is because I know
at least on some platforms if you leave a comment
and you don't follow them, it could be perceived
as if you're just out to get something.
You know what I mean?
And like, for example, on Twitter,
there's a lot of people that I know that are on Twitter,
where if you leave a comment on a tweet or you DM them
specifically something, but you're not following them.
It feels a little bit like a bot.
You know what I mean, they don't know if it's real.
So I guess maybe a better way of doing this
would be to leave an authentik comment.
Maybe you can tok about how to overcome that
with the right kind of comment.
Like what kind of comment would you leave
so that they don't think you're a stupid bot?
- Yeah I mean, it's gotta, again,
if it's a photography thing, I would ask them,
what are your settings maybe if they didn't leave them,
what lens you using?
Say, hey I've got the so and so version of this lens,
what do you, I mean, no one would ever think
that that is an inauthentik comment.
But another thing to point out here is,
imagine you're at a conference,
we've done this a lot in this session,
you're at a conference and someone stood at their stand,
you walk up to them and they make a statement
and you say, hey, you're trying to sell something.
And you'd be like, yeah, I am, this is a conference.
Of course I am.
This is social media, we're all on there to build something,
build an audience, build a community or just build numbers,
whatever it is, we're all on there.
So I think people need to be a bit more bold
and be honest about what it is that they want.
And then push that to one side,
remember that's what they want.
And then just have some conversations.
If you don't have something authentik to share,
just you don't have to share something,
you can just go find something else
that does trigger a feeling.
Do you remember the, is it Mario Conde who says,
does it spark joy?
I dunno if you ever saw that.
- I've heard it a million times.
I've never seen her stuff.
- Yeah.
But again, it's an internal thing.
It's just like, do I have something to say
or do I just want to say something,
it's very easy to know the difference
when you're in that moment.
- Jonny Keely, this has been a really great discussion
and I think we've gone deep.
And I think a lot of people are like, wow, okay,
this doesn't need to be complicated.
I know how to do this in the real world.
I can do this obviously on Instagram
and even on some of the other platforms as well.
If people want to go check out your YouTube channel
or if they wanna check out your work,
do you have any place you wanna send them?
- Yeah I think if people are interested in this conversation
and wanna see more sort of actual actionable tips,
I got loads on YouTube.
They're contextualized so I prefer doing it that way,
but yeah, just go to YouTube slash Jonny Keeley
or just search Jonny Keeley.
There's a mix of stuff on there.
I'm a photographer, I share photography
and my Instagram tends to be geared towards,
sorry my YouTube tends to be geared
towards small businesses, photographers, creatives,
but it's all actionable for everyone.
And then if people are actually just interested
in my photography,
just head to Instagram slash its Jonny Keeley
or just hit Google.
- Yeah and just to spell it out for those
that are listening on the audio, it's JONNY.
And then the last name is KEELEY.
Jonny, thank you so much for coming on,
sharing your thoughts with us
and folks, be sure to reach out to Jonny
and let him know what you think about today's episode.
I really appreciate your time, Jonny.
- Thanks for having me take care.

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