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Unleashing Free Instagram Traffic with Edward Collins

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Episode Recap:

After months trying to craft a perfect daily publishing strategy, Edward Collins hit gold by accident! Now his current business is almost entirely fueled by free Instagram traffic. This is the perfect process to craft a ‘free content’’ strategy that makes your online sales & funnels take off!

Follow My Daily Instagram at @russellbrunson

​And model Edward Collin by following him: @edwardcollins_upleveled

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Best Quote:

Everyone is best positioned to coach the younger version of them. So, I can help people who have been through the journey that I went through, because I literally went through it and I knew the steps that you could take in order to get to the other side, sort of giving an opportunity for people to shortcut through their journey, get the similar outcome without similar scars.

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Transcript:

Edward Collins:
The only thing that gets outcome is action, like quite literally. The only thing that gets outcomes you desire is taking action, but you have to be in the right rooms with the right people, asking the right questions, so that you can get the right answers upon which you can take action.

Russell Brunson:
Yeah, I love that. In the last decade, I went from being a startup entrepreneur to selling over $1 billion in my own products and services online. This show is going to show you how to start, grow, and scale a business online. My name is Russell Brunson and welcome to The Marketing Secrets Podcast.

What's up everybody? Welcome back to The Marketing Secrets Podcast. Today, we're going to be talking about Instagram, the Gram, whatever you want to call it, and how do we grow a following very, very quickly. I know that in the Traffic Secrets book, I talked a lot about how one of the things... That if you want to be successful, you got to publish every single day, and I told people, I'm convinced if you publish every single day for an entire year, you'll never have money problems again. And by publishing it could be publishing a podcast or writing a blog or whatever it might be.

And so, our guest today is actually someone who heard me say that and started doing it and started posting and was very, very consistent posting every single day for a year and four months, and the end of a year and four months only had... You hit it on the interview, but like five or 6,000 followers, and was ready to give up and then decided to make one little shift, one little tweak to how they're actually posting. And the very first video they posted this direction got them 8,000 new followers, more than double their follower count, and then went on to build a following of millions of people in the last 10 months. This is like cutting edge, brand new, cool stuff. I'd heard about this person, he's in my Inner Circle, everyone keeps talking about what he's doing, but I wanted to find out exactly what he's doing, so I could replicate it.

So by the time this goes live, I'll have done a bunch of these on my channel. You can go and check it out, but this is a new way to do Instagram posts. They go viral and I'm pumped to test it out and think you guys will as well. It's a fascinating interview, really cool story about the backstory about how he got to this spot. But on top of that, you're going to learn some very tangible, very practical tips that you could implement today for Instagram, for TikTok to go viral, and get a lot of views very, very quickly. So if you're interested in growing your following, tune in for today's episode, it was a lot of fun, and with that said, let's jump right into the interview.
All right, everyone, today I've got a special guest and I'm excited to dive deep with him, because he's someone who comes from more of a traditional business, not really an internet marketing business, but was trying to get into internet marketing. We'll go deeper into the story, was trying to post on Instagram, having some success, but it was really slow. We'll talk about the numbers and then shifted their model and went from six or 7,000 followers to over 1 million followers in record time just by shifting what they were doing and how they were doing it.

And honestly, he's been talking about here at my Inner Circle meeting, everyone keeps telling me stories about it. He spoke on stage last time, I think, or two times ago, showing the strategy, enough where I got excited, but not enough where I understood it, and then can actually go implement it for myself. So, this is my evil motivation to bring him here today, to find out all the answers for myself, and you guys can listen in as well. So, our guest name's today is Edward Collins, and thank you so much for hanging out with me today, man.

Edward:
Also, it's definitely pleasure.

Russell:
So I'm curious first, because again, you're not the traditional internet marketing person.

Edward:
No, definitely not.

Russell:
What is your background prior to jumping into this?

Edward:
Well, I own a variety of different companies. So, I got my start as an adult owning my own first business back in 1998. I launched a financial planning firm, a small little practice, but that was really my escape from what I was doing at the time, because I was on the dark side. For anyone who's following my content, they know what I'm talking about. I worked for the government. So, I had this dream when I was a teenager that I wanted to be an FBI agent. So, I eventually got started working for the United States Department of Justice, but I saw behind the curtain and learned I really don't like the government, and a lot of the challenges there. So when I decided to make my break, I went to the thing that I always had an interest in was money, like the concept of money, and how it works. So, I launched my financial planning practice in 1998, so I predate Google, predate YouTube.

Russell:
The year I graduated high school, so there you go.

Edward:
Exactly, but you grew up with technology, I did not. So, what I built out was all built by literal handshakes. I actually had to meet people in person.

Russell:
Face to face, talk to them.

Edward:
Face to face-

Russell:
It's the worst.

Edward:
Build out those networks. I know, it was an interesting journey. I had a lot of challenges in the beginning of my career, but eventually I got to a point where I started having traditional milestones of success, then started building other businesses that were complementary to it, because I saw a need in the space that I was serving. So beyond my financial planning practice, I started a fractional CFO company, a tax practice, accounting firm, eventually got into a real estate, residential, commercial real estate. That's part of our portfolio now. We still own all the companies, but my latest push is my coaching business where I'm actually trying to coach business owners on how to quite frankly, outsmart the IRS, keep more of their own money and then use their money to put it to work to create real wealth.

Russell:
Yeah, very cool. So, when was the transition from, I'm going to be shaking hands to build the companies, and things like that, to I'm going to become a huge success celebrity on Instagram. What was the transition to that?

Edward:
It definitely wasn't mindful in that regard.

Russell:
Yeah, for sure.

Edward:
I recognized that one, I sort of retired almost completely back in 2014, because all my companies were running, I had all the infrastructure in place and I was essentially the advisor and I got to a point where there's only so many beaches that my wife and I could go to and visit.

Russell:
We've seen them all.

Edward:
Exactly, we've definitely traveled the world and it's amazing, but one of the things that a lot of people don't talk about in this concept of retirement because of Instagram age now, everyone's looking for it, it can give be really, really boring, like really. So, my wife essentially encouraged me to get out of the house, go back and do something.

Russell:
Get back to work.

Edward:
Exactly. Actually, someone said something pretty interesting to me recently. He had a phrase and he's like, "When you're married, your wife's going to look at you sometimes, and she may say something like, 'For better or for worse, but not for lunch. Go to work, get out of the house.'" And that's essentially what I did. I started going back into my companies and started getting more active and figure out what we could do to take it to the next level. And then COVID hit and then that was like, "Oh my goodness, what do we do now?" Because again, all of our companies were brick and mortar oriented, very, very old school, and I had to figure out technology, because we couldn't meet with people like face-to-face.

So, I started learning about things like Zoom and go to meetings and all that sort of stuff, and I started seeing a lot of your content at the time. I'm like, "Oh, there's this interesting thing called a funnel. What is that?" And I'm like, "Okay, let me dive a little bit deeper." I eventually got hooked into a webinar that you were hosting, I think it was in either January or February of 2021, and then it sold me on Two Comma Club Live, which was your event, I think it was in June of that same year. Dove in, I was like, "I'm hooked. This makes a lot of sense."

I actually was at one of my companies in one of the boardrooms. I was streaming Two Comma Club Live to that boardroom, and I literally had a whiteboard and everything that was being taught, I'm like, "Well, wait a minute, if I could do that there..." And then I was sort of really just bubble charting everything out. And by the end of the event I'm like, "Well, wait a minute, scratch that. I can create a whole new company that is the coaching arm of the business, and then we have all of these other brick and mortar done for you services that could be complementary to it." And that's when we launched Uplevel Entrepreneur.

Russell:
Very cool. It's interesting the transition, I see that... Especially in the Dan Kennedy world, when I bought his company. Most entrepreneurs come to him and they learn how to grow their business. That's like phase number one. Then phase number two is then they start coaching people who are like them, so they become the gurus of the dental industry and then the chiropractor industry, but it all starts using principles themselves and then using it to train others, which is interesting that you probably didn't even use them for yourself initially. You figured out how to work and then the transition is like, "Oh, we should go deep on the coaching side."

Edward:
I think it's everyone is best positioned to coach the younger version of them. So, I can help people who have been through the journey that I went through, because I literally went through it and at least for myself, I knew the steps that you could take in order to get to the other side, sort of giving an opportunity for people to shortcut through their journey, get the similar outcome without similar scars. You and I have both been through some interesting scars-

Russell:
Oh, yeah.

Edward:
... Experiences during the development of our career.

Russell:
It's funny, people tell me all the time, "I'm starting a business. I don't know who my dream client is." I was like, "Fear who your dream client is." And one time I was frustrated with someone telling me that, I'm like, "Your dream client is literally you five years ago." And then the light bulb went off and I was like, "Oh, that's it. That's who I was, that's who you are." Most of the people, it's like you five years ago, what was the path? What's the result you figured out? And you're going back in time to the young version of you. And when you look at it that way, it changes everything. So you're like, "Oh, this would've resonated. This is the thing that..." I told the story before, but when I was in elementary school, I was buying junk mail for how to get rich quick schemes and stuff.

And my nickname was Rusty, and so my parents called me Rusty. And so, I remember when I was first writing copy for my very first how to start a business offer, I always think back 12-year-old rusty... Because I would get all this junk mail sent to me and my mom... I come from junior high and she had me my stack of junk mail and I'd go in my room and I'd read every single one. And I remember, I'd get like 10, 20, 30 letters a day sometimes because I was calling all these places and it was fun, because I would read the sales letter and some of them are like, "This is dumb, this is dumb." The ones I was like... I had two different piles and the piles, these are the ones that I believe in enough I'm going to go beg my parents to buy them for me.

And they never did, but I always do that. And so I always think, what would 12-year-old Rusty... Would he have gotten excited by this? And it shifts how you create anything like, "Oh, this would be..." Anyway, so I want to ask you a question then. So, you started doing this stuff, and I'm specifically interested on the Instagram thing, because it's such a fascinating story, because I know that when you started there, you spent a lot of time posting and nothing happened, which happens to a lot of people. They're like, "I'm doing the thing, I'm posting every single day. Why does nothing happen?" I love to hear that part of the journey.

Edward:
Well, I think one of the things you have to also understand about me is I didn't grow up with this stuff. My very first social media post was in October of 2021.

Russell:
Oh really?

Edward:
After Fun Hockey Live, and it was because you said we had to post. I'm like, "Okay, I'll post," and then that was very inconsistent. So from October through the end of the year, it was not happening, but then you made another comment that you have to make a commitment, do it every day. So I sort of held myself accountable by announcing it to my team that I was going to post every day starting January 1st, 2022, and that's what I literally did every single day we posted across all of our different social media platforms daily, and for a year and four months, we got crickets, no traction at all by-

Russell:
I always thought that's insane that you stuck with it. Most people quit after like two days.

Edward:
My issue is I'm very, very stubborn.

Russell:
"It's going to work. We're going to make it."

Edward:
It's going to work, it's going to work, and again, since I didn't grow up with it, I didn't really understand how to do it. So, I was constantly asking different people, "What should I be doing?" And I was changing it all the time. So, it was a very inconsistent look and feel. I did talking heads, I did carousel posts, I did picture posts, and quote cards. I did all the different things that everyone was telling me to do. And we got to a point where in April of 2023, so a year and four months in, I walked into the studio and across all of our socials: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, everything, we had less than 6,000 followers. That's with posting every day, and I walked in and I basically said to my team, "I'm done." And they were like, "No, you're not." And I'm like, "No, you don't understand. I'm done." And they're like, "No," especially my director of implementation, Jose is like, "You made a commitment." And I'm like, "Ah."

Russell:
What a good person, by the way to do that. Most teams are like, "Okay." Probably on them, it's like, "Cool, this is a lot of work for us, too," but instead they held you the-

Edward:
Held me accountable.

Russell:
Held you accountable.

Edward:
Because again, I'm very stubborn. So, if I say I'm going to do it, if I say I'm going to be there, and I break my leg, I'm going to get there. It doesn't matter. I'm going to do that. So I said, "Okay, if I'm going to do this, I can't keep doing what we're doing, because what we're doing is not clearly working. It just doesn't work, so let's look back." And we started to look back at some of our posts that had gotten some traction and we noticed that there were these consistent posts that were getting traction. And for us, again, you have to understand the timeframe, traction for us, the most views was like 100 to 150, 200 views in total. That was a lot for us back then. Again, we had like 6,000 followers, less than in total, and they were these reaction videos.

And the way I was doing them was I was doing a lot of research into what videos I thought could make a lot of sense, and we're aligned with my thought process and the way I talk and the subject matter. And then I would choreograph it and script it out and fine tune it and do like 18 million edits to it, and then I would film it. It would take me four hours to do one video. And I said, "We're not going to do that. Just pick one of the videos, put it on the phone, hit record on the camera, I'll hit play, and you'll record me watching it for the first time," and my face did weird things, because it was the first time I saw something and I was like, "Well, that's not true," because my subject matter is I'm a lawyer.

I specialize in tax estate and business law, and obviously pretty heavy into the financial arena. So, when I hear a lot of the stuff online that is not true, I get a little frustrated, and so my face started doing some weird things and I literally just put the phone down and I just spoke, no script, and that was about three minutes of videoing. And the editing that the team did is they just took out the ums and the ahs, chopped it up, and just posted it. And I went home, came in the next day, and the team was like bustling. I'm like, "What's going on?" And they go, "You don't know?" I'm like, "Know what?" Again, I'm not the social guy.

Russell:
You're not on TikTok.

Edward:
I'm definitely not scrolling. And they're like, "We got 8,000 followers last night."

Russell:
8,000 followers, not views, followers.

Edward:
Followers.

Russell:
Wow.

Edward:
And I'm like, "What? We more than doubled our follower account in a day? What happened?" And I'm looking and I'm like, "Oh, we're we're going to do this." And that's what we did. We went all in.

Russell:
Do you remember how many views that first one got?

Edward:
Oh my goodness, by now, in the millions.

Russell:
To get 8,000 followers from a post, that's a lot of views.

Edward:
A lot of views. And then we just went all in, and what a lot of people don't realize is that we don't even source the videos. The community sends our team videos. We don't do research-

Russell:
People want your opinion on other videos.

Edward:
None at all, and then the team just picks the one that were submitted the most, and they don't even go through it. They put it on the phone, they hit record, I hit play. I watch it for the first time being recorded. I literally put the phone down, I just talk. There's no scripting. Again, I have an unfair advantage. I've been doing what I do for 26 years, so I can just talk about this stuff, just like you could talk about marketing. You're able to teach people pretty much on any subject related to getting traffic and understanding how to build an online community and all of those aspects of things, and I could do that in the area of finance and legal structure and things of that nature for entrepreneurs here in the US.

Russell:
So, the videos people are sending you, are these videos from other people or the news or all sorts of stuff?

Edward:
All different things, so mostly online gurus in the financial space of some sort.

Russell:
Are these people your friends or they all hate you?

Edward:
Actually, it's remarkable. The vast majority of people are really happy that I'm doing these reactions, because in certain cases, I'm affirming what they're sharing. And in those areas where they are lacking, I'm adding additional context and additional value. And then the areas that are wrong, I'm never attacking the person, I'm attacking the concept.

Russell:
That's a big deal, don't attack their character.

Edward:
Never.

Russell:
Attack the-

Edward:
Because we're all human and I've made plenty of mistakes in my life and I would never want to call someone out for a mistake they're making, but I do want people to be well-informed about things that could potentially impact their real life. So, when I talk about a subject that has been shared online that is not quite accurate, I try, again, to be tactful about it, but it's always about the item, the topic, the subject matter. It's never about the person, and I think that that's endeared a lot of people, even when I disagree with what they're sharing, and I'll tell them exactly why I disagree, they're always pretty happy about the experience. I had a situation that just happened within the past two weeks where I commented, the person made an outreach to me saying they were really unhappy about the experience, and then we just got on a call and he's like, "You're so right. I'm so happy we had this thing."

And now we're probably going to do some collaboration in the future, because his goal is to teach athletes about finance, because a lot of professional athletes leave the sport and they leave and don't have any good financial management, and they end up making major mistakes with their money. So, he's aimed at a really good outcome to help people become financially literate, and I want to support that, but yeah, we took our following by just doing these reaction videos to that less than 6,000 followers in April of '23 through less than 10 months to now more than 2.9 million followers, all organic, no paid ads-

Russell:
No paid ads.

Edward:
No paid followers, all organic and a highly engaged community, too. So when we post, we typically get somewhere between 40 to 60,000 views the same day, and then we'll get hundreds of comments, hundreds of DMs per day, per post, so very, very highly engaged, and it's just been remarkable. It's totally something foreign to me, because I didn't grow up building businesses this way, but it has been a dramatic shift in the amount of humans that we're able to actually serve and add value to, and it's been quite remarkable.

Russell:
That's awesome. So, you said that your community sources the videos. Are they DMing it to you or do you have a form or how does that work?

Edward:
Yeah, we did a couple stories early on in this immediate growth, because we had a few days where back-to-back days, we'd get like 8,000, 10,000 new followers. Over a course of a couple of weeks, we'd get 50, 100,000 followers, within a month or two, we already hit 300,000 followers across the social. So, we started doing these stories where we were saying... Or we would add a call to action at the end of whatever I was sharing. And we'd say things like, "If you are interested in or you find content that you'd want someone else to take a look at, send them our way." And then we actually by accident created this tagline, which has now become pretty infamous or famous, I guess, in some way on socials called Edward Verified. So, a lot of people now send us these videos and they want to know, "Is this Edward Verified?" And that was a complete accident, by the way.

Russell:
Just one time you dropped that or something?

Edward:
Yeah, so again, the way I do my reactions is again, I don't know what I'm watching ahead of time. So, I'm watching it for the first time and then I'm putting the phone down and I'm either correcting something, adding additional value, trying to do something, and I watched this one video and I put the phone down and I'm looking at everyone, I'm like, "I don't have anything to add. This is correct, 100%. If I were saying this, I would've said that." And they're like, "Well, you got to say something." And I'm looking and I'm like, "What am I supposed to say?" And they're like, "I don't know, you have to say something." I'm like, "Okay, this is legit. It's Edward Verified," and that was it. That was the end of the video.

Russell:
That was the thing.

Edward:
And then literally that day people started DMing and commenting and making comments on other people's posts with the hashtag, is this Edward Verified or Edward Verified, it was crazy. It was literally within a day or two of that post. And now that's become the thing, so people send us these DMs and these comments, is this Edward Verified? Or they'll comment on someone else's post, is this Edward Verified? And then enough people send it.

Russell:
They were tagging you on everything.

Edward:
Yeah, 100%. It's crazy.

Russell:
So interesting. Are the people in your market modeling and copying us now or are they-

Edward:
A lot of people are. I think again, there's value in finding what works for you. I think the real reason why we've had such a rise, if you will, is because of the fact that I'm just me now on camera. In the beginning, I was trying to be someone that everyone was telling me I should be.

Russell:
Being the social media influencer.

Edward:
Yeah, I was trying to be all proper and focused and I wasn't being my authentic self. And when I was just literally watching it for the first time and then commenting based on my initial experience, there's no script. So, obviously it's going to be me, and then I think that that's what resonated with people. Now, don't get me wrong, I know that a lot of people don't like me, because not everyone will, because I have very strong opinions about certain things. I literally hate the IRS, and I think taxation is theft, and I have major problems with government for a variety of reasons. So, a lot of people don't like that and are very vocal about that.

Russell:
But just adds to the algorithm, more comments, more-

Edward:
It does, 100%, but those that do resonate with your authentic you, they are really resonating with it, and you can make a connection with people in so many crazy ways. I know you are truly celebrity when it comes to this sort of stuff. I am very new to it, so I get stopped in the airport from people like, "Hey, you're Edward Verified." My family and I, because we don't believe in giving gifts to each other, we'd rather give experiences, so we travel a lot. I have two little ones, so my son, Ryan, who you know, my daughter Victoria, who you know, 10 and eight respectively, we go away a lot for the holidays. So, we went to South Africa this past Christmas season. So, we went through Christmas and into the new year, but we flew by way of Heathrow to get to South Africa. And in Heathrow, two different people at different locations at the airport came up to me like, "You're Edward Collins, Edward Verified?" I'm like, "Oh yeah, man," it's so surreal.

Russell:
What do your kids think about that?

Edward:
My son Ryan has this statement that he often says, and I try to discourage him all the time, "My daddy's famous," and I'm not. I'm just a guy who's online telling people what I believe to be of value. I share who I am pretty authentically, make tons of mistakes in my life, as every human does, and I just try to serve.

Russell:
My kids, the same thing. They always like, "Dad got spotted, dad got spotted," and it's pointing out every time we go out, I get spotted somewhere and they're always just waiting and they're like, "Oh..." Nora, my littlest one's funny, because she always wants to talk to the people, or she'll see someone with a ClickFunnels shirt on and she's like, "Dad, he's got a ClickFunnels shirt. Go talk to him." I'm scared, "I don't want to talk to him." Okay, I actually want to do this.

Edward:
Sure.

Russell:
So, I got your Instagram pulled up and we'll make sure everyone can see at home, but do you want to show a couple of these and just talk through them and just curious the thoughts of how you do this, because some people, you hear the concept, but I think when I started looking at them and seeing it's like, "Oh, this is what you're actually doing," so you can grab any random one and show it.

Edward:
I just literally plug anyone, because they're all pretty much the same. Let's go again.

Speaker 3:
How are you protecting yourself from liability with the gym and the pinball court?

Speaker 4:
We have a LLC that owns that property. It's an Arizona LLC, and then we have short-term rental insurance above that, and then I have an umbrella policy in addition to all that, and then the Arizona LLC is owned by my holding LLC, which is a Wyoming LLC. You always want to set it up like that and have a holding LLC in one of these three states: Wyoming, Delaware, or Nevada because they're non-piercing states. And what that means is it protects you from the inside attack, but it also protects you from the outside attack. An inside attack would be a tenant slipping and falling or a guest drowning in the pool. An outside attack would be you getting in a car accident with a motorcyclist here in San Diego and that motorcyclist suing you to get into properties that are out of state. So when you have an holding LLC in Wyoming, Delaware, Nevada, it prevents that piercing from happening.

Edward:
This is legit. It's Edward Verified. What's being described here is layering of entities in order to get all of the protections possible. You see, I have something called the Real Wealth Matrix, which is the ideal hierarchy of ownership over everything in your life. When you leverage an LLC by itself, you get statutory protection, sort of like a force field around your business, but when you layer in a Wyoming LLC, you get sort of like a cloak of invisibility, because no one knows what you own, because your name is not on public record. Now, if you don't know how to put all these pieces together, you want to be in the right rooms with the right people, asking the right questions, so you can get the right answers. I have such a community, it's called UpLevel. If you want more information, drop the word UpLevel and I'll send it your way. So, that's an example of I did a CTA at the end.

Russell:
Do most a have CTA or no?

Edward:
No, not all the time. From time to time, and we're trying to be strategic with that, but quite frankly, this is not scripted. So, if I feel it in the moment that it makes sense for me to say something, I'll just say it, because that's not prerecorded, that's not like a separate thing that we're adding to it. I'm literally saying it in the moment based on what I just watched, because I don't know what the video is. So I'm clicking play, I'm like, "Oh, okay, well this is now structure and a lot of people have questions about that. It's hard to get answers because there are a lot of people who don't understand that, even lawyers. I'm a lawyer, so there's plenty of lawyers have no clue about how to actually organize your life, both from a context of just statutory protections, but also understanding the practical application of doing that and whether or not it's simple or challenging and what are the tax ramifications of doing certain things.
So I'm like, "Okay, well, this makes sense for me to then say something about a community," so I'll literally just say it, but... Your phone locked. But that's the same concept. All of our videos are relatively similar in structure. I'm watching someone else's content and then I'm going to say something. So, I've essentially hacked you with the concept of hook, story, offer. Why? What is the hook? The hook is there's some guy watching someone else talk about something. What's going on here? And there's this suspense that gets built because the question is, "What am I going to say"?

Russell:
Is this going to be positive or negative? You're probably trying to guess…

Edward:
Exactly.

Russell:
As I watched that, I was trying to guess like, is this legit or not?

Edward:
Exactly.

Russell:
Is he going to like this or not? I was just curious.

Edward:
And then the story is when I put the phone down and I comment, and then the offer is either an overt one, like a call to action, jump into our community, get this PDF, because I try to deliver as much value as I can, so we give a lot of stuff away for free. Or if it's more of a hidden CTA, the hidden CTA that's ever-present is, if you like this content, follow so you can make sure you get the next one. So, it's sort of always a hook, story, offer. It's just on how we've designed it, and all the people that I've been noticing now on social media, because trying to become a student of this, since we are putting a lot of effort into it, everyone seems to be doing something like that. Everyone has some sort of hook, and again, whatever the concept is, it could be something that's physical, maybe something they're wearing.

It could be a visual. What is the room they're in? If you look at my feed, I have an amazing team behind me, because it's definitely not me. I don't know any of that stuff. I don't know how to get the lights to turn different colors and all that sort of stuff. I have an amazing team behind us that physically curates the visual experience and the audio experience. And then I'm just the talking head of I'm just doing me, and that's the thing that's interesting, but if you notice, anyone who's doing well in social media, it's always again, hook, story, offer. It's always present, and that's why I'm obsessed now and looking at what other people are doing and saying, "Okay, well, what's working and why does that work?"

Russell:
Reverse engineering it…

Edward:
That's really the big thing. That's pretty much what I teach other business owners how to do in business and in wealth creation. If anything is possible, you can reverse engineer the steps to get there, and that's what we've been doing now.

Russell:
That's so cool. I love this, because I feel like so many ways that we are taught social media, there's a lot of ways that are great, but a lot of them are... I know for me as a creator, too, my team's like, "Here's a script you got to read," and it's so hard, because someone had to come up with the idea and they write a script, and I got to perform it. It doesn't feel like... It's so much work and anxiety and it's hard, versus this is you just show up and it's like-

Edward:
I just show up.

Russell:
Yeah, it's so much faster to create something that's working so much better.

Edward:
Yes.

Russell:
Now, first question is, how often are you posting? Is it daily, the weekly, is it-

Edward:
We do post every day, but I film in batches, so I'll walk in and my team will load like five, six different videos on my phone and I'll just hit play, hitting record, I hit play, put it down, talk, pick it up, hit play, put it down, talk, so just getting through it. It's pretty quick, relatively speaking to batch through them. And then I have an editor, my editor does all the editing and we literally just put it then on the calendar for when it gets published, because we have a whole project management system that we try to leverage in order to be as efficient as we possibly can.

Russell:
In a batch day, is it a day, an hour, how long?

Edward:
It's usually about an hour, maybe up to two hours, depending on how many trying to batch, because I do travel a lot still. We have businesses in different states, we have real estate in different states.

Russell:
You got to come to Boise to hang out here every once in a while.

Edward:
Yeah, come out to Boise to hang out with you and learn the real sauce, but it's definitely necessary to coordinate that because I have learned that if you are not consistent, it does become a challenge. If you are interested in really growing a community online and being able to serve, you do need to be present. And if you take too much time away from doing it, it can be a challenge. Now luckily, I have an amazing team that helps facilitate all of this. One person, I could not do it, and at least not with my technical lack of expertise there, but we have been posting now literally every day since January 1st, 2022.

Russell:
And so the first, again, a year and four months, you said before the first reaction video, and since then it's just blown up.

Edward:
Yeah.

Russell:
I think you said there's multiple accounts, right? It's not just all one as well. What's the model of that?

Edward:
We have an Instagram account, we have a Facebook account, we have a TikTok account, we have a YouTube channel, which we are just launching. So this will be fun to figure out how we can try to repurpose some of this content, but yeah, it's all the socials essentially, and collectively now across all of them, we're at just about 2.9 million.

Russell:
And is the same reaction working on these other platforms?

Edward:
They have, they've worked across the board. We are evolving our YouTube presence to be much more long-form. So, what I'm doing is I will do a reaction video, but it's really hard to get a lot of good value in just 90 seconds. So, to me it's logical, the next step is to give them more. So a CTA, if you love this, comment the word YouTube, and I'll send you a link to a video that we'll post on. Or if I get enough comments on this, I'll create a video on this subject.

Russell:
Yeah, a 30-minute video deep on this thing, whatever.

Edward:
And that's been some of our best performing content on YouTube. Here's the one thing, you want me to say something secret?

Russell:
Yeah, please.

Edward:
A lot of people are concerned about the algorithm and how the algorithm works. All algorithms are exactly the same. What I mean by that is they just care about keeping people on their platform. So if you create content, whatever that is, whatever your hook, story, offer is that keeps people there and present and interacting, they're going to reward you. They'll push that content out to more people. So again, whether it's 15 seconds or doing this, whatever it is, it's about, can you keep someone's attention for a period of time where the algorithm notices and then wants to send it to more people who just paid attention to you? So, you can sort of hack that concept, but here's the thing, a lot of people will use things like LinkedIn bio to get them to move. The algorithm hates that, because that gets people off the platform.

So, the way you can get a similar outcome is to just request the viewer to comment a certain word as an example, and then that could be used in the DMs to link them to outside content, to link them to things like your YouTube channel or to a landing page or to a lead magnet of some sort, an opt-in, whatever it may be. Which is amazing, right? Because now you get to essentially capture an audience that currently TikTok owns or Facebook owns or Instagram owns in some way. And you can capture that lead and then continue to cultivate that through email campaigns and newsletters and community building. There's so many different ways to do it, and again, this is all something so new to me, comparatively speaking, because I've been doing what I've been doing for 26 years and what I've been doing in this environment, this ecosystem, this iteration has been only about two years old.

Russell:
So cool.

Edward:
So fascinating.

Russell:
My next question then is, you see a lot of people, especially the famous people, people my kids all follow, they've used social followers, all sorts of stuff, but most of them are broke, they're not making money, or whatever it is. I'm curious, how has this affected your business now?

Edward:
Oh yeah, definitely.

Russell:
What does that actually look like?

Edward:
So, I think one of the things you have to recognize is you have to have a plan. If you're going into it without a plan, then yeah, that's why you end up broke. If your goal is to get to California, you can figure out, wherever you may be, how to get around obstacles. But if you don't know where you're going, how do you get around an obstacle when it presents itself? And a lot of people will go into things and they'll wing it and they won't have a game plan and even an idea of what they want to get a return on their investment for, and I think that's the biggest challenge with a lot of things in life. So, I go into pretty much everything I do with a mindset of I want to know what my return on investment's going to be before I decide to commit anything.

So, we've noticed that when we are generating a significant amount of attention, that we can redirect that attention in ways that potentially could turn into a customer or turn into at least a relationship that we can cultivate over time, that eventually could turn into a customer. And that curation process, that's what I'm referring to internally. We're essentially curating our audience and cultivating them into an opportunity where I can convert them into a prospect. And my definition as an audience is just someone who's interested, as I got a little bit of their attention, but that prospect is someone who's like... I'm in a position to essentially buy whatever it is you have. It doesn't mean they've bought, but they're in a position to, and then the closing environment is where you actually make them an actual customer, an actual client, someone who's exchanged their dollars for your value.

Russell:
I view the world in funnels. It's a funnel you have. Here's Instagram with our 3 billion people, and then from there you've got your millions, so the million followers, and then from there... And again, I think a lot of people stop at step one to step two, because they want influence, they want to be famous or whatever. I'm the same way so…

Edward:
I really don't care about that at all. I care about it, because I want the attention, and I want to be able to direct the attention in a way, because again, I'm trying to do value forward in everything I do. So even if I can direct your attention, and you never become a client, everything I'm trying to do is you are better for having given me your attention. You will have learned something, you will have been able to say, "Okay, at least now I learned enough where I could ask the right questions of those who are in my life that actually I rely on," whether that's an accountant, and a lawyer, or a financial professional, whatever it may be. So no matter what, they're better for what I've done. And if they become a client and I'm actually positioned well to be able to serve them, if I can actually add value, I want to do that, because I am an unapologetic capitalist.

I 100% believe if I can add value, it's my moral obligation to tell you I can, because if you have the cure for a horrible disease, you would be horrible not to share that, right? So, that's my thought process across the board, and I think a lot of people will jump into social media for the celebrity aspect of it, and I've just never been interested in that. I know that there's a reason to go that route to capture more and more attention, but I'm not doing it for the celebrity aspect of it. I'm doing it to be able to push people into an environment where they're better.

Russell:
So, walk me through what your funnel looks like, your goal... So again, here's all of Instagram, here's your people, they're seeing your stuff. Where are you traditionally... And maybe there's one funnel, maybe there's a lot of doing webinars free, for the most part, what that looks like, where you're pushing people towards.

Edward:
We're essentially redesigning everything now, because we're purely organic. We don't do any paid advertising, although I need to change that based on your... Because you've told me, why not Edward, you hate money?

Russell:
As long as you're doing stuff, might as well, yeah. It's funny, because I always get the paid people, "I don't do any organic." And organic people, "I don't do any paid." I'm like, "Why don't you guys do both?"

Edward:
Exactly, I get it. It makes all the sense in the world. So, my team now has that direction, and they're the ones who are going to support us in that transition process, but we essentially have an organic funnel. So, our short form content is essentially leading to long form. So, we want to shift people from TikTok and Instagram and Facebook to YouTube, because that gives me an opportunity to really spend time with people virtually, and I could get to leverage that experience, because I can record that video once and people can watch it over and over again or thousands of people can watch it, hundreds of thousands of people can watch it. So, you get economies of scale when you do that, and what we're doing is from then the YouTube or the long form, then we push into community. And inside of community is where we essentially funnel everyone. So, it's designed to be able to…

Russell:
Is it a free community?

Edward:
Free community that is still gated, meaning we need to capture your name, your email address, your contact information, and then you get access to the free, but inside of the free community, there are things that you don't have access to, because they require ascension, they require some sort of upgrading, but they can see them. They can see all the different things that they have the potential of accessing and taking value. And depending on where they are in their journey, I can help navigate them to, "You may want to consider this course or you may want to consider this mastermind, or you may want to consider this private client group."

And then they can choose to raise their hand and say, "Hey, Edward, I'm interested." So, the conversion process for us is relatively, I don't want to say easy, because nothing is ever easy, but it is simple. It's like I'm developing a relationship with people over time, leveraging something that I put in a lot of energy in upfront, but I get to use it over and over and over and over again like infinitely and essentially still continue to add value the entirety of that time. And again, give people an opportunity to say, "Hey, listen, Edward, I'm over here. I'd really like that," and they essentially are closing themselves.

Russell:
Did you ever do this? It's always fun for me. The first time I ever did it was at an event. It was a Fun Hockey Live event, we had 5,000 people, we talked for four days. I started doing the math. If I was to sit down with one person, and the next person's like... How many hours that would've been and how many years, it was like 30-something years. I think about it with YouTube, for example, this video probably gets who knows, 30, 50,000 people. And from that we had a chance to...

If we were face by face to 30,000 people and explain what you're doing and give them enough belief and then the tools to do it, it would take us 10 years, but one video now does that and it leverages it. You think about how much content you put out there. Again, I'm a big ROI guy, less on the money side, more on everything. If I'm doing a video or a conversation, like what's ROI on the thing? And I start thinking about this and it's like, "Man, this conversation we're having right now, the ROI that'll come from that," and then every video you post on your scene. And then I was thinking about this, when we pass away or whatever, those videos are still there. It keeps-

Edward:
It's true legacy.

Russell:
It's going for so long.

Edward:
It's true legacy.

Russell:
A lot of times I think people get nervous, because like you, you jump in there and it's like, "I'm going to spend a year and nothing's going to work. Is it worth it?" It's like, man, it's hard upfront, but it's so worth it because of the long tail and now who knows next how long, five years, 10 years, whatever your career is going to be before you decide you're disappearing back and ready to go to some more beaches, all of the stuff you're creating, the impact that'll keep coming for generations to come is cool.

Edward:
It's pretty amazing. When people really embrace technology... Because There are only four ways to get leverage in business. You have collaboration, which is you working with other humans, whether they're your team, your employees, your staff, whatever it may be, your customers even can collaborate with you. Then you have technology, code, that environment where you can leverage the technology to enhance the collaborators, the things that the collaborators are doing. Then you have community, which is an ability to take a vast number of other humans and make them your marketing team for you. And then you have capital, putting other people's money into work to enhance all the other three. But when you look at that concept, it is remarkable what you can actually accomplish if you go into everything with how can I leverage? How can I leverage my time? How can I leverage other people's time?

How can I leverage the outcomes that those that I serve are going to get? All of that concept, and if you go into it with that mindset, you can dramatically change things. For instance, if you're in a sales meeting, so we're experimenting with this thing now, which is pretty interesting, where typically you do these one-off sales. If the audience doesn't know the whole sales environment and the process, like book to call funnels and things of that nature, it was very intimidating for me, because it takes so much time and other humans' time. So, we're experimenting with this thing where our sales engagements, our sales conversations are going to happen in group. We just did one where we had a bunch of different individuals on the same call and I delivered the same exact pitch, if you will, and we saved, I think it was seven or 10 hours worth of time-

Russell:
This is one-on-one calls?

Edward:
With one-on-one calls for that few minutes that I was able to spend on with just the group at the same time, and they convert it. Then, I start to then analyze, "Well, how much leverage did I get there? Was that a good return on the investment? Are there ways to enhance it even further? How could I add things like video warmups to that call where they can then experience precursor events prior to getting on that call? And even on the call, how do I curate the call, maybe curating other content and do a facilitated oriented event like what you're espousing?" I'm sitting in an Inner Circle meeting and I'm taking notes from what you're sharing. I have my director of implementation here, and he's taking notes and we're like, "Well, we're going to have to sit down now on Saturday and redesign this process."

Because again, it's all about taking advantage of the resources you have available to you in the most efficient and effective way of possible if your goal is to have success. Now, everyone's going to have a different definition of success, but the milestones of success are usually pretty similar, whether they're monetary, whether they're time freedom, whatever it may be, you just have to figure out what your definition is, and as long as it is a possibility, you can reverse engineer the steps, but I have this way of talking about it. I never try to teach someone that it's impossible, because I have no idea if it's impossible. For instance, if someone asked me how to get to Pluto, I have no clue. I don't know anyone who's ever been there. But if you ask me how to get to 30,000 feet, I can tell you that, because it's possible.

Go to the airport, buy a ticket, go through security, get to the gate, get on the plane, and basically stay on the plane while it takes off. You'll get to 30,000 feet where they fly. So, since it's a possibility, you can basically reverse engineer the steps. But here's the thing, most people will just stop in the reverse engineering, meaning they'll do the research, they'll sit down, they'll come to mastermind events, and they'll take plenty of notes and they're like, "Oh yeah, that's great," but that's not actually what gets outcome. The only thing that gets outcome is action. Quite literally, the only thing that gets outcomes you desire is taking action, but you have to be in the right rooms with the right people, asking the right questions, so that you can get the right answers upon which you can take action.

Russell:
I love that. All right, so those who are watching this video right now, let's reverse engineer this for them. So they're like, "I want to grow my Instagram and I'm going to use this concept reaction video," stuff like that. They're just getting started, walk us through the steps in order and then now they'll have a blueprint to go and execute on to develop theirs.

Edward:
Find a video.

Russell:
On any topic?

Edward:
Watch the video, record you watching the video, and literally comment based on your zone of genius, whatever you are authentically good at or have knowledge about. And you don't have to be the most genius person in that topic. You just have to know more than the person who's going to align with you. You have to just know just enough more than the person who needs the information that you have, and then build a connection. And the best way to build a connection is just to be you, and I know that's really, really hard. It's hard when the camera goes on you for the first time. I struggled a lot with that, but if you're just you, you give an opportunity for someone to actually genuinely connect with the you, which means then you don't have to try to be someone else. That's really tiring. It's really, really exhausting to put on a mask. If you could just be you and connect with those who resonate, your life can change.

Russell:
One of the principles I think about a lot, because I think most people when they first get in this business, they do exactly what you did. They try to do it the way that everyone's doing it and it's not authentic and doesn't work. And I hate that word like, "Your authentic self, but it's interesting because there's a biblical scripture I love that Christ talks about it, it says, "My sheep will hear my voice and they will come to you with one fold, with one shepherd." And while that was obviously true with him and Christianity and everything, it's true for all of us. I'm going to put myself out there, and there's people that hate Russell Brunson. You go on page three or four of Google, there's people that hate me down there.

But my people hear my voice and they're here and you're in Boise, and these are my people and I can serve them and everything like that. And so, you got to stop worrying about all the rest and just put yourself out there your way, and your people hear your voice. They'll come to you and you can serve them, and I strongly believe that everyone's been called to serve somebody on this planet. And it's like, until we're willing to put ourselves out there and do it, they're not going to hear our voices and they can't come to us. And so that's the call, that's the thing for you guys to do, is to go out there and be willing to do it.

Edward:
And you and I have an unfair advantage though, right? We've come to realize that that's a truism, that's a real thing. I'm a stoic, so I try not to invest any energy I have in things I can't control, and I try to put everything into those things. And when you think about it, you can't control anyone else's opinion of you at all, you can't control it. You could do so many good things and people can still have a bad opinion of you. So if that's true, why do you waste energy in what they think? Just be you and those who resonate will come to you, they'll hear your message, they'll hear your voice. They'll come in and they'll be interested and then serve, because that's always the prerequisite. You want to talk about the steps. The first step is come from a position of actually wanting to add value, because all money follows value creation.

If you go out and create value for someone, money is the natural byproduct of that process. And if you're concerned about the money thing, well,, the reality is, again, I'm a non-apologetic capitalist, money is just a tool, and there's nothing good or bad about it, it's how it's utilized. And you can actually get financial resources and do amazingly good things with those things. And again, I think you could do... If you're a good steward of your resources, you're way better at managing them than anyone in Washington DC ever would be. Again, I'm pretty firm in my beliefs and-

Russell:
I 100% agree with you, by the way, so yes. That's why we resonate.

Edward:
Yeah.

Russell:
That's awesome. Well, thanks, man, for sharing. I think it's cool, so I'm going to commit to you right now.

Edward:
Please.

Russell:
I'm going to do my very first reaction video next week.

Edward:
I love it.

Russell:
And so my team's back here, we got to find a really cool video for me to react on, and I'm glad you told me about the surprising thing. I was going to bet him ahead of time, so I could be like, "That's actually better."

Edward:
This way you don't have to worry about scripting it out. You just get to talk and you are also amazing at what you do. So, you can talk about almost an infinite number of ways to tackle similar option.

Russell:
For me, and I'm seriously saying, "Dude, I don't have to pull it from just marketers." It's like anything, I can talk about an ad or this or all sorts of-

Edward:
Everything relates to what you do, but that's true for everything. So no matter what you do, anyone who's watching this, no matter what you do, everything relates to it, because that's your zone of genius. You can always connect and make ties to it. And as long as you speak from an authentic position, speak about something you actually know, and come to that particular scenario from the position of wanting to add value, it's hard to lose. That doesn't mean you're going to get the first video to take off, I didn't. It took me a year and four months to get anything, so just be diligent. That's where it comes down to. You have to put in the reps. At the end of the day, you're not going to get six-pack abs from three visits to the gym.

Russell:
I'm excited, because I have a couple of different content types we're really focusing on, and I'm going to add this as one of them, so it should be something we're doing once or twice a week just in the queue. And so I'm excited to see, so next time you back here in Boise-

Edward:
I'm looking forward to it.

Russell:
... I'll share it and I'm very competitive, so with YouTube, I'm trying to beat Myron Golden to grow on YouTube, but now my next goal is to... So, what's your biggest reaction, the most views you've got so far? Because that's my goal I’ve got to shoot for.

Edward:
3 million.

Russell:
Okay, that's a big goal. All right, 3 million views. I'm going to get 4 million…

Edward:
I think 3 million is-

Russell:
A bit more?

Edward:
Yeah, something like that.
I think we have one that's like 8 million.

Russell:
8 million?

Edward:

Yeah.
Russell:

Man, you just made it way harder. All right, so we're going for nine figures.

Edward:
Well, 3 million was just recent. That was like last week.

Russell:
Okay, all right. 10 million and hopefully you don't pass me, so we're racing now-

Edward:
I love it.

Russell:
You officially know, the gauntlet has been thrown down.

Edward:
I'm very competitive, too.

Russell:
It's going to happen.

Edward:
This was fun.

Russell:
Awesome, man. Thanks for being here, you guys.

Edward:
100%.
Russell:

Create a reaction video, be consistent, put some stuff out there and change the world. That's the game plan, so thanks everyone. Thank you, man. I appreciate you being here.

Edward:
You're welcome. Bye for now.

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