Going Viral - The BackEnd Work
Many people want to be at the well known in their space. Whether that's hair, gaming, self-help authors, beekeepers, surfers... you name it. But only a few can rise to the top. Talent and skill are one thing, but there is a whole back end process to becoming 'known' or 'viral' in the online world. I consider Nathan Harris to be at an expert in this subject while he has built his name in his particular space. In Episode 41 of MentorZ, Nathan Harris teaches us how to become known with the tools of Brand Equity and the Science of Virality.
for Nathan, brand equity was important because it allowed him a higher likelihood to become apart of top accelerators and gain the capital he needed. This meant looking up to and learning from leaders in the community. By being associated and aligned with them (this meant being in the places they were and spending quality time with them), Nathan got to learn and build more trust with his mentors, or rather new friends.
"They started to believe in me more. They started to watch me grow up from 5 years, 7 years, and all of a sudden by the time I said "Hey I'm starting a new business" They didn't even look at my freaken pitch deck, nothing. "Here's a half a million bucks because we already believe in you" "
And one of the biggest reasons they believed in him was his past actions. Nathan has demonstrated his prowess and execution through his bars and restaurants. So for Nathan, brand equity comes down to this:
"Brand equity - do you have a proven process? It's not about how many followers you have. It's about - What is your portfolio? what have you done? If you can show that... man, you will be able to raise money and build businesses for the rest of your life. And you only gotta do that once!"
Portfolio building at a young age
Nathan was a sponge. He worked at UPS by day and nightclubs by night - where his only job was picking up bottles and wash cups. But on the side, he was also a hip-hop dancer and whenever be working he'd notice that the promoters didn't do a good job. The place was empty. And that's impacting HIS money, the staff's money, and the owner's money. He worked at new bars the owners made and he'd notice how bad the processes they had were and he wondered why. Nathan quickly chalked it up to this: they had a vision and no experience. So he collected information and kept watching how everyone did their job. This allowed him to make powerpoints on gaps he saw, talk to ownership, and climb the ranks in the business.
"But what it took was taking the time to research, strategize, understand what was valuable to the business and the things that made it weak"
He saw an opportunity that aligned with corporate goals and consumer goals. "So, it's all about research, aligning the value propositions, and then learning and doing the best that you can. " Because Nathan had never actually done the things he had done before! But the plan he created and the work he put in allowed him to figure it out.
The Science of Virality
Nathan is also someone who knows how to work the web. When it comes to marketing, and specifically virality, he knows how to draw the crowds in!
"The only way virality exists is if it's a product and offering or a piece of content that matches with the demand. It's the same as the stock market. The stocks are as valuable as the people are asking for."
Virality first comes down to data. Nathan recommends having a business page for your Instagram rather than a regular business page. Analytics are important!
"To reach that scale, you either have to run paid traffic or have a partner distribution network. So with the top guys you see, and girls you see that are going viral is because they have a distribution network and they're licensing their content to other people to distribute across different mediums rather it be different Facebook channels etcetera, but the only reasons they do that is because they either share an audience or they will gain an audience from it. And that's going to be the key to a more organic virality."
Of course, the content quality has to match what you expect. This takes branching your abilities out, strategizing, designing, and planning.
This is what Nathan does with his content, and how he's been able to be a partner and sponsor of so many large conferences around the world. He simply says: "I'll create content, you distribute it. In exchange, I get reach and so do you. "
A great example of this process is Nathan's girlfriend Ceann! She's an incredible woman - I'll let Nathan tell it:
What goes into building an online brand? (Especially behind the scenes)
"First is understanding need, so you gotta go out and look at search traffic (his favorite tool is ahrefs). "It'll allow you to have a really, really, good understanding of all the different keywords that are out there. Put your site in there, see where you rank for them, and just get a data-driven perspective. "
Stop focusing so much on dancing on your camera and focus more on the data and then create the content for that demand. Nathan says gives a great example - which is his own company - here:
"It's just data, design that content around the data from the demand of the consumer, show that you understand that demand, and then grow from there"
And also if you're not utilizing Facebook pixels or Google pixel tracking in your podcast and every post that your making and everything you do, you're actually not building your own audience. You're just building an audience of just numbers."
Pixels are in a way little trackers that retarget an audience. That's why if you like a company's product on Instagram, it seems like it starts to pop up everywhere. Which means more engagement and more growth.
Lastly, Nathan leaves us with some very badass advice:
"(From the perspective of you talking at a younger age:) I know it's boring right now but guys, when I'm 22 I'm going to be banking and have a big brand. And you're just going to be graduating from college... if you do. (Final thoughts time:) So that's where the thought process is. It's really really really diving deep. It's going to take a lot of your free time away from the fun stuff that you wanna do. But I promise you its much more fun being rich at 25 instead of being broke."