Josh Ryan lives in New Zealand. At the age of 15 he started playing around with Instagram. 3 years later he now has millions of followers. He details the steps he uses to gain engaged followers and how he uses Instagram for his personal business and now for his clients. His steps are things you can use to build an engaged following on Instagram.
“Starting again, I probably would’ve built it more around me because it’s just so much more powerful and impactful.”
“It’s much easier to sell if you build a big audience on Instagram then take it to a Facebook group. That’s what I’ve tested most recently and it’s pretty powerful stuff.”
Speaker 1: Welcome to FunnelHacker Radio Podcast, where we go behind the scenes and uncover the tactics and strategies top entrepreneurs are using to make more sales, dominate their markets, and how you can get those same results. Here’s your host, Dave Woodward.
Dave Woodward: Hey, everybody! Welcome back to FunnelHacker Radio. I’m your host, Dave Woodward, and today you guys are in for a treat. I have actually an 18-year-old Instagram influencer coming all the way to you from New Zealand. Welcome, Josh Ryan!
Josh Ryan: Hey, happy to be here. I’m excited.
Dave Woodward: Josh, I’m so excited to have you. I appreciate you being flexible time-wise and everything else. I don’t know if it’s early over where you’re at or if it’s late.
Josh Ryan: It’s just gone past midday.
Dave Woodward: Midday.
Josh Ryan: But it’s Tuesday over here.
Dave Woodward: Good deal. All right. Well, I want to just kind of dive right into this. This is one of those topics that people are always wondering about, as far as this whole influencer marketing type of stuff and Instagram. I was looking at some of the stuff you’ve got over there on Cleverpreneur. Obviously, you’ve got 18-year-old success story here, who’s crushing it using Click Photos and using Instagram. You’re out there basically building other people’s audiences. You’re doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Tell people a little bit more about you, what you’re doing, and what type of value and things they should be looking at as far as diving right into Instagram. Then we’ll dive into some of the stuff you’re teaching.
Josh Ryan: Yeah, sweet. As far as what I’m doing now is I’m mostly just doing influencer marketing, so I’ve got a whole pile of followers in a specific niche, and then brands pay and I’ll promote their stuff. They’re gonna get more sales from that. And then also doing client work on Instagram, so helping them basically do the same thing.
I’ve done a whole bunch of things on Instagram, but I feel like they’re the main two now. I guess I had that sort of shiny object syndrome, went into too many things. That really held me back. Now I’m sort of focused on a couple things. Yeah, I guess, for Instagram, one of the things that I’m pretty lucky with is getting in reasonably early.
Dave Woodward: When did you get started on Instagram?
Josh Ryan: Just over two years ago. I think I’d probably be coming up three years ago now.
Dave Woodward: Okay. You’re basically a 15, 16-year-old. What made you decide to dive right into Instagram? What were you trying to do?
Josh Ryan: Well, I sort of always had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit in me. I sort of had my first business when I was nine, a Coke vending machine, to make money out on the main street, which was pretty cool. And that was passive income too, so I was pretty stoked with that. But then we moved and had to get rid of that.
Then a few years later, I’d seen a few things online like different network marketing things and stuff like that and wanted to do something. I just started creating two different Instagrams. They all failed horribly. Then I found … I just created one that was like a dream board because I’d hear everyone talking about this whole dream board thing. I posted cool cars, quotes, and that. Then I reached out to someone with a bunch of followers, and I asked them for a shout-out because I thought it was just all free. Then they were like, “Sure, that’ll be 60 bucks.” And I was like, “Are you serious?” I saw that people were making this money, and then I realized it was a legit business and just went for it, I guess.
Dave Woodward: I love it. “I guess.” Right now, as you’re taking a look at some of the stuff that you’re doing for yourself, I know you yourself have over a million people following you on … is it millionaire.dream? Is that what it is?
Josh Ryan: Yeah, that’s the main one. I’ve got a bunch of accounts, like 411,000, I think, at the moment. I’ve got like four other … three other pages that are over 100,000, and then a couple of small ones like Cleverpreneur. So it’s like a combined following is just over a million, last time I checked.
Dave Woodward: Perfect. All right, so tell me this: one of the things people are always asking about, so you get all these followers. One of the biggest things these days is engagement. How do you actually get engagement from that many followers?
Josh Ryan: As in likes and comments or actually getting them to do something?
Dave Woodward: Well, when you take a look at engagement, what do you classify as engagement on Instagram?
Josh Ryan: I mean, generally, I would say engagement is just likes, comments, etc. But I think the more important one to measure, besides making money and having an impact, is actually how many people are gonna do stuff when you post. How many people are actually gonna go out there and buy that book or download that thing you promote or join your Facebook group or whatever? I think that’s probably the more important one for people to look at, as far as making money goes.
Dave Woodward: I totally agree with you on that. I know for us, it was kinda fascinating. I really learned a lot more about this whole influencer marketing thing when we did the “DotCom Secrets” book launch back in April or May. I was fascinated to find out, and then also when we did the viral video launch in September, we did the same type of thing. The whole impact as far as Instagram is you approach Instagram different than you approach Facebook, and obviously different than you approach email and some other things. When you’re trying to get the kind of engagement, what are some of the things that you’re doing on your posts and things to get that type of engagement on Instagram?
Josh Ryan: Well, Instagram’s an algorithm, sort of like Facebook, so anything with a call to action does really well. For example, I don’t know, “Double tap if,” and then have the results, like “Double tap if 2018’s gonna be your best year yet.” Then encouraging people to actually double tap, which is a like. It’s gonna get a lot more likes, and then when it gets more likes, it sort of snowballs, and Instagram sees it as like higher value content. They’re gonna push it out to more people.
Anything with that. You can even put it in the captions. You can put a cool quote and then “Tag someone this relates to.” Or just anything with likes, sort of with a call to action on it, will generally do pretty well.
Dave Woodward: Perfect. Go ahead.
Josh Ryan: And just quality content as well.
Dave Woodward: I know that one of the main things I’ve run across is what you were just referring to there, and that is obviously people aren’t going on Instagram just to get bombarded by a whole bunch of call to actions. They’re looking for quality content. They’re looking for the types of things that you can actually … They go through it pretty quick, and yet the way, at least for myself, there’s certain people I follow all the time. I look through their stories, look to see what their posts are. I think it’s that type of engagement that’s a little more unique than Facebook. And as you’re building that type of an audience, Josh, what are some of the things that you’ve done to really connect well with your audience?
Josh Ryan: I’ve actually done a few … I used to do quite a few Instagram stories. I haven’t done that so much now. But I think that’s a really powerful way to really connect with your audience. It might not necessarily increase your likes or whatever, but the other engagement of people that are actually gonna join a movement or join your Facebook group, etc. definitely increases when you start having that personal touch. My pages I’ve built aren’t pages based around me.
Dave Woodward: Right.
Josh Ryan: They’ve been around like quotes and stuff like that. Starting again, I probably would’ve tried to build one around me because it’s just so much more powerful and impactful. But I’m gonna start doing that soon, building up my own personal brand, for sure. Yeah, I think Instagram stories are really awesome because it is a less professional way to get in front of your audience and for them to connect with who you are and get to know you a bit better, rather than just all of these professionally shot images or photoshopped quotes and stuff like that.
Dave Woodward: I appreciate that. I know we were kinda going through, and one of the things that came up with my one channel and the podcast is we’re kind of going through our Click Funnels user group on Facebook and saying, “What are some of the top posts?” The end of the year type of thing. Obviously, your post was one of those things, and I want to talk a little bit about the stuff that you’re using Instagram for and really helping, primarily as far as understanding … The people who listen to this podcast are a lot of people who are in the funnel hacking community. They’re people who are … they’re building their own products and services, they’ve got a lot of things going on. One of the things everyone always asks me about is can you really use Instagram to sell? I wanted to find out. If you don’t mind kind of touching on that topic, how do you actually sell using Instagram?
Josh Ryan: I feel that I don’t necessarily do a lot of direct selling on Instagram. I reckon more of Instagram is about giving value and then pushing people to some sort of free resource, and then from there you sort of sell them. That’s what I use social media for in generally really. I don’t necessarily promote like a $500 cost rate on Instagram or promote a free ebook, a free video series, a webinar, etc. because Instagram, you need a lot of traffic, but it’s not super targeted.
And the Click Funnels group, you guys could post about a new thing, and everyone in there is super targeted, using Click Funnels. You might be able to sell straight off the bat sort of thing. But on Instagram, it’s more of a … you need more of a warming up process, I guess.
Dave Woodward: That’s exactly what I want you to talk about. So tell me what … for our listeners, give them some ideas as far as what would you do to warm up your audience and then take them to something where they can then obviously get them into a funnel and sell from there.
Josh Ryan: Yeah, I think ebooks, video series, stuff like that work pretty well, but I think another thing is actually taking people to Facebook and taking people to a Facebook group or something like that because I know lots of people have Facebook groups, but if you use Instagram to build an audience and then take it to Facebook, to like a group as a community, I feel Facebook is a much more personal connection. Bringing people across to that can actually be another very, very good way to do things.
When I’m promoting my funnel, I will give away a free ebook, and down at the bottom of that ebook, there’s a [inaudible 00:10:01] where I can join the group. Then there’s much more of a personal connection, and I feel people, it’s much easier to sell if you build a big audience on Instagram and then take it to Facebook group. I don’t know, that’s what I’ve had success with recently. It’s pretty powerful stuff.
Dave Woodward: Basically, if I hear you correctly then, you’ve got your audience on Instagram and then one of your posts on Instagram will be for them basically to get access to a free ebook. They then have a link there in your bio. Is that where you’re putting your link? Go to the bio, click the link, link takes them over to a funnel where they then have … on their funnel is access to that ebook where they can opt-in for that. Then the ebook, is that where you’re actually sending them to the Facebook page? Or are you doing that on the funnel itself?
Josh Ryan: No, so in the ebook, at the bottom of the ebook, I have a link across to the Facebook group. So it’s not all over it, but at the bottom, for people that want more, I’ll send people to that.
Dave Woodward: All right. Now they’re in the Facebook group. What types of Facebook … give me an example of some of the groups and stuff that they’d be able to join by going through an ebook.
Josh Ryan: So my one’s just the Cleverpreneur, so it’s not necessarily that specific one. I think it’s more of one where I can just post about different things that I learned and different things that I feel have helped people or different things that I’ve seen are not good and stuff like that. On my group, that’s what I’m talking about. It’s not a specific routine, I guess. But yeah, just as much value as I can put out on Facebook posts and so on, in there. Then you can build up engagement, and then when you do have something to promote, you can put it in there and get a bunch of traction and a bunch of sales.
Dave Woodward: I love that. I think it’s a great idea. I think I’ve seen for ourselves, Click Funnels, and even on Russell’s page and things, we’re using social media for that exact same reason, that is just driving people to other posts, other places where they consume additional content. I think it’s worked out real well for us. I know obviously it’s doing extremely well for you.
You also have created now an agency where you’re out doing this for other people. Is that correct?
Josh Ryan: Yeah.
Dave Woodward: How is your agency working?
Josh Ryan: As in what’s sort of like the structure? Or like how’s it going?
Dave Woodward: I know you’ve got yourself. I think you’ve got two other partners. Is that right?
Josh Ryan: Well, yeah, so I’m like the outright owner, but I do have two people that sort of work for me. They’re, I guess, subcontractors. They are helping out. I’ve only really sort of relaunched it this year, but I was doing there, and I was doing it on my click funnels, and I was doing pretty well in June, July. Then I just got super busy with trying to … because I finished school end of last year, and I sort of took a bit of a step back on my business stuff for a bit. It was not a good idea. I should’ve just done it, but anyway, and now I’m pushing it again. This year so far has been crazy. Yeah, trying to scale that up a lot this year.
Dave Woodward: Well, I think that’s awesome. Again, I’m excited for your success. It’s always fun to … I’ve got a son who’s your age, and it’s always fun basically talking to people who are out there just busting, especially as far as this whole entrepreneurial exciting type of environment that we live in right now. Again, congratulations on your success.
I know a lot of people are gonna want to find out more about you, kind of the stuff that you’re doing. If they wanted to get information, where should they connect with you at?
Josh Ryan: Probably Instagram’s probably the best. That’s @thejoshryan. Or it might be just @joshryan. I’m trying to get that username sorted.
Dave Woodward: So, @thejoshryan and then basically look you up as far as Josh Ryan. The other thing, I know you’ve also got to teach what you were just talking about here as far as if people want additional information on Instagram, how would they find out more about that?
Josh Ryan: Yeah, so I’ve got an Instagram course as well, which is just everything I’ve learned from building it up, making money on it, trying to outsource it. That’s sort of my project at the moment actually, trying to make it more hands-free, I guess, on Instagram. Just starting to build good systems and stuff and using click funnels to then push traffic in and make some money on that.
Dave Woodward: I appreciate that. If they want to find out about your course, where do they get that at?
Josh Ryan: That’s just at instamasteryacademy.co/academy.
Dave Woodward: Very cool. Well, Josh, again, I appreciate your time today. We will look forward to connecting with you and seeing you real soon.
Josh Ryan: Awesome, man. I appreciate you having me on. It’s been great.
Dave Woodward: Thanks so much, Josh. We’ll talk soon.
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