Using competitions can be a great way to get followers to tell their friends about your business — We use competitions all the time and we’ve found the best kinds that work well are giving away something that is going to attract the same target audience you’re looking to attract to buy your product. For example for our physical product business in the B2C space it’s a time marked drink bottle, so we do weekly giveaways where we team up with other brands and someone has to tag a friend to enter the giveaway. Super powerful. We get over 1000+ comments every time!
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nathan Chan who is the CEO of Foundr Magazine. Foundr is a global media and education company founded by Nathan Chan, an aspiring entrepreneur with a fire in his belly, launched Foundr back in 2013 with “nothing but a laptop and a fistful of dollars.” because he was frustrated with the lack of quality actionable content for entrepreneurs and founders. Fast-forward to the present, Foundr now connects millions of people every month with some of the most successful living entrepreneurs of our generation. Their magazine covers have been blessed by the likes of Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Arianna Huffington, Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss and many more. They break down strategies and experiences into actionable, battle-tested content through digital magazines, podcasts, videos, blogs, and online courses — so that everyone can build and grow a successful business.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was really frustrated with the work I was doing (working in IT support) so I decided to pursue a career in marketing. After trying (and failing) to get a job in marketing even after going back to university to study marketing, I decided to create my own passion project product to market. This product was a digital magazine on entrepreneurship. Little did I know I would fall in love with this whole process and from there Foundr Magazine was born. Purely stumbled onto it, and never planned or thought I would ever become an entrepreneur.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I don’t like to consider myself an authority and more than anything I see myself as a practitioner. I’ve built multiple businesses of my own from scratch using Instagram and have generated millions of dollars using this platform. These businesses are in different markets as well, ecommerce and publishing, I know what works because I’ve practiced and tested everything in my own businesses Instagram accounts.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
When waiting to interview Tony Robbins for a foundr magazine cover story, I conducted the interview via skype, and due time zones I had to wake up to do this interview at 4am. When I woke up to do it, and Tony was waiting for me on his computer from the otherside of the world the power to my whole house wasn’t working. I panicked and stressed out so much, in the end he was cool that we re-scheduled. What were the chances the power wouldn’t be working in the whole street?
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
We were sued for trademark infringement in the first 4 months of starting Foundr (it wasn’t called that back then it was called Key to Success Magazine) by one of the biggest business magazines in the states! I had to change the name to Foundr. This was crazy!
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
Instagram by far. You can use it to increase business revenues without spending any money to acquire a customer. It takes time to build up, but if done right can be insanely powerful, especially in the B2C space.
When I first discovered Instagram for foundr, I was told it wouldn’t work for our business because we’re not in the health, food or fashion space by a friend that was crushing it on Instagram for his business. After playing around with it, after a few days I saw a massive spike in magazine subscriptions, and from there I dedicated a big part of the first few years of Foundr to understanding the platform and how to best master it.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
- Use influencers to grow your Instagram page and business, this is the key to rapidly growing your following and reach. At foundr to rapidly grow our Instagram page from 0–1m followers in 2 years we sometimes were getting influencers to post about our brand 10 times per week!
- Using influencers on Instagram isn’t just about accessing their audience and reach. It’s about content also. In one of my other businesses in the B2C physical product space, we work with many influencers by sending them the physical product to get exposure, but what’s even more powerful is getting the actual content with influencer using the product. You can use this to post on your Instagram feed + use in FB ads etc. One of the biggest requirements to grow an Instagram page is great quality content
- Using competitions can be a great way to get followers to tell their friends about your business — We use competitions all the time and we’ve found the best kinds that work well are giving away something that is going to attract the same target audience you’re looking to attract to buy your product. For example for our physical product business in the B2C space it’s a time marked drink bottle, so we do weekly giveaways where we team up with other brands and someone has to tag a friend to enter the giveaway. Super powerful. We get over 1000+ comments every time!
- Use Instagram to build awareness for your brand, then re-market to them using FB ads to bring them to your site and down your sales funnel. One thing people don’t realize with Instagram it’s an incredible platform for brand discovery. You can’t expect to generate a sale straight away, however over time you can, and if you can FB ads to re-market to your followers you can get a very strong ROI on time and money spent.
- Instagram stories are an incredible way to humanize your brand but also sell your products or services. At foundr we promote a lot of content via our stories using the swipe up feature (blog posts, magazines, books, free training etc.) — it’s super important to also to build a relationship with your followers, you can do with IG stories and show behind the scenes!
- Use Instagram DM’s to get personal with your customers and close sales. One really powerful strategy is using Instagram stories and using yes or no widget. If you’re talking about a product a few stories before you ask someone a question using the yes or no widget, you can segment and see who taps yes, then DM that person and close more sales. It’s super powerful!
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Exactly what we’re doing now at Foundr — helping build and develop the next generation of entrepreneurs from the movement we’re creating. I truly hope that our content can lead to someone or multiple people / groups/ produce a start up that drives humanity forward via the content we’ve provided to assist them on their journey.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Elon Musk — What he’s doing to drive humanity forward is incredible, would love to understand how he thinks and who he learns from, it would really help push my mindset to think 1000x bigger. The way he thinks about the world and our human existence is incredible.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!