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The ever-increasing rise of social media users means having a strong online presence has never been more important. Social network platforms almost tripled their total user base in the last decade — from 970 million in 2010 to an estimated 4.48 billion users in July 2021. This staggering growth has seen an increase in online influencers and entrepreneurs who are now able to make a comfortable living creating content for their fans.
Although social media “clout” has been so strongly sought after, many social media influencers struggle to grow an organic audience. The ability to buy followers and boost one’s social media stats with the click of a button has blurred the lines of what an influencer truly looks like. That said, having an organic audience is still vital for successfully building a lasting personal brand online.
Australian content creator, actor and serial entrepreneur Harry Jowsey has grown an organic audience of millions of followers, originally taking advantage of his moment on Netflix‘s popular reality TV show, Too Hot To Handle. His TikTok account amassed over 4.8 million followers to date, and his Instagram account has grown to over 4 million active users. The entrepreneur — alongside his manager Jeff Duncan, CEO of Ingenuity Live — has since leveraged his mass following to dive into other ventures, including his own podcast, a sunglasses company called Kensgntn, all while being heavily involved in venture capital endeavors investing in a range of startups like Versus Game and ChargeFuze.
Jowsey shares five critical tips that helped him grow an organic social media following in today’s wild online climate.
Tip #1: Be consistent
One of the most important tasks of growing an organic audience, Jowsey explains, is being consistent with your posts. “I think that consistency is always key when it comes to anything, especially when it comes to social media presence,” he said. “You can’t just post for one week and expect to be a superstar overnight and then not post the next.” Sticking to a social media posting schedule, Jowsey says, is essential. “The best thing people can do is try and aim to post every one to two days in feed as well as using a handful of relevant hashtags and keeping their profile on the public setting.”
By posting multiple times a day, you can keep an audience engaged, whereas posting inconsistently could hurt your growth. Social media applications run on algorithms that push content more when it’s consistently posted. Consistency is key here.
Tip #2: Monitor your analytics for insight on your content & adjust
Keeping an eye on your analytics when posting, Jowsey explains, is an absolute must. “As you post, look at what your audience responds to. Maybe I posted a photo this week, and it got 200 likes, but another one got 500 likes,” he says. “Use the more popular one and steer your posts more in that direction instead of just going with the flow.”
By studying how your posts are performing by closely looking at the analytics, you can get a good idea of what content is better to post. It’s important to keep your posts interesting, and it’s okay to look to others for inspiration.
Tip #3: Collaborate with other content creators
Collaborating with other content creators is vital for growing a bigger audience. Collaboration allows for a creator or brand to be exposed to a different audience than they normally would be. “Now, it is more about collaborating and being with those that are bigger — whether that’s people in mainstream media, social media stars or other celebrities,” he said.
“I am focusing on TikTok because it is an easier platform to grow on, nail down my niche and what kind of content gets my audience engaged. When you post on TikTok, it gives you the best platform to experiment on and fine-tune your content before you post on other platforms like YouTube and Instagram.”
A good way to start out is to make a list of people you want to collaborate with and reach out to them. It’s also best to start with people who might actually work with you, people at your level or above.
Tip #4: Look at yourself as a brand
Taking a step back to look at yourself from an outside perspective is always helpful when trying to pinpoint one’s unique personal image. Everything about you, your personal brand and your content should align to create a clear picture or personality. “If you look at yourself as a brand, you have to think of the image and the vibe you want to give off and move in that direction, “Jowsey explains. “So maybe it’s not posting something that might appear controversial or anything not aligned with your particular brand — that doesn’t align with your vision.”
When refining your brand, Jowsey’s biggest piece of advice is to look at someone you want to be like and move in that direction. “Justin Bieber would never pose naked on OnlyFans. Look at yourself a little more carefully and think about things before you do them.”
Tip #5: Focus on posting exciting content that engages your audience
One of the most important parts of growing an audience is keeping your followers engaged. Without new, interesting and fresh content, fans might lose interest in what you are doing. Concentrate on posting interesting content that your target audience will likely engage with.
“After you’ve found someone that you aspire to be like, get inspiration from them. Look at their stories, their posts, their poses, what colors they are using as an example,” Jowsey explains. “Maybe they use a lot of bright blues or reds, making sure their stuff isn’t too washed out — study them and go from there.”
Posting content that is exciting and engaging is what sees interest spike. “Examples include polls, questions, maybe doing things like confession corners, stuff like that where people stay engaged and locked in, essentially make them crave your content keeps them coming back for more,” Jowsey says. “I always try to do giveaways and focus on giving back to those that have really helped build my career.”
There are many growing pains associated with building a personal brand online. And while growing an organic audience can seem daunting, if you are consistent, post exciting content and collaborate with other people, it can help you grow an audience faster than trying to amass a following on your own.
Harry Jowsey continues to capitalize on the momentum that could have ended a while ago, and the viral star has leveraged his fan base to build a lasting online brand. The tips in this article will help you get started on your journey of building an organic following, just like Jowsey did.