Tips on how to get 1 million followers in 30 days with Brendan Kane

  • So, when you talk about Taylor Swift, what few people realize is that she built her fan base one by one herself, she didn't have a huge record label, she didn't have millions of dollars of marketing budget
  • I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.
  • Engagement's the most important thing because what I tell people is, specifically when it comes to large numbers, is generating a million followers is only half the battle.
  • So, the first step is setting a hypothesis. The second step is the testing phase. And the third step is analyzing the results, analyzing the data and the response from the low-cost proof of concept that you just created.
  • So, when I look at testing, I break it down into key five elements of a variation…

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I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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Doug: Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast, and today this is gonna be a real fast episode. I look forward to introducing you to our guest Brendan Kane. Now, Brendan was recommended to me as a guest and I looked at his bio and his background, I was super impressed and excited. And then during the interview, he just totally blew me away.

So, if you are looking for a way to seriously crush your competitors, have massive growth in your business, and outperform everybody else in your space, you need to tune in, pull over your car, get out your notepad and take some notes. He's gonna cover some topics today on how to grow your business, grow your social media presence, but more importantly, on how to get engagement and move the sales dial.

So, Brendan is a digital marking and business strategist. He works for Fortune 500 companies, he works for global brands, and he works for many celebrities who you will recognize. He started his career in the entertainment industry managing digital divisions for two prominent movie studios. He went on to build applications and platforms and campaigns for many celebrity clients such as Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Katie Couric, Michael Strahan, Jason Statham, and supermodel Adriana Lima.

Now today, Brendan is best known for his recently building one million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days. He's passionate about helping his clients find new ways to engage new audiences worldwide and he's driven global growth for brands like MTV, Viacom, Yahoo, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Katie Couric. He's here today to share his framework and his knowledge for leveraging digital platforms to grow your brand and my brand quickly and efficiently.

So, with that, I'd like to welcome Brendan to the Real Marketing Real Fast podcast today. How's it going?

Brendan Kane: It's going great, thanks for having me, I appreciate it, Doug.

Doug: Hey, super excited to connect today. I mean anybody who doesn't know you will be excited when they're done with the episode, and having had a chance to creep through some of your social media accounts and looking at your background, you've had some massive success and I also see that you've got a book, which I will order when we're done the episode today.

So, do you wanna share with us a little bit of, you know, how you got started and how you had such massive, massive success in such a competitive business.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. It's a great question. So, how I got started, I've been in digital for about 15 plus years, and my background's quite diverse in the fact that I've pretty much touched every aspect of digital over the year, 'cause I'm of the mindset that I wanna be constantly testing, challenging myself, learning new things. So, I started off in the entertainment industry, and the funny story, I actually went to film school to run the business side of the film, and I quickly realized they don't teach you anything about business in film school.

Doug: That's funny.

Brendan Kane: I figured the best way to actually learn about business is to start your own in the most cost efficient way at the time and still holds true today is to start internet companies. So, I started a few internet companies while I was going to school to really learn and experiment and just get a firm grasp of what it actually takes to build a business. And then, when I moved out to LA in about 2005 to pursue a career in film, it's when the entertainment industry started to reawaken to digital after the bus.

So, basically, I'd leveraged all that knowledge that I had gained in creating those internet companies to really get my foot in the door and gain projects and forge connections. So, I started off in the entertainment industry managing digital divisions for two movie studios, overseeing the theatrical campaigns of films ranging from 15 to 100 million dollar budgets. And then also afforded me the opportunity to work with actors, directors, celebrities, firsthand on the films we were working with.

And then I quickly got bored with the corporate structure of the film industry, everybody thinks it's this fast-moving creative space, but I found that I was asking for permission more than actually creating and building things. So, I left and started building technology platforms that I was licensing out to major media companies, so I built platforms and licenses [inaudible 00:04:15] of MTV, Viacom, Yahoo, Vice, and those partnerships and licensing opportunities opened the doors to work with some of the largest celebrities on the planet. So, that's where I got to work with Taylor Swift for about two and a half years and build technology platforms for her and her team, through a joint venture partnership with MTV.

And then from there, when the success we had with Taylor Swift led to building a technology platform for Rihanna, and so on. And, those opportunities really opened up my eyes in terms of organic growth and really understanding how to get people to share content at the highest possible velocity. So, when you talk about Taylor Swift, what few people realize is that she built her fan base one by one herself, she didn't have a huge record label, she didn't have millions of dollars of marketing budget, so that experience really taught me how to tap into brand advocates and get to fuel word of mouth sharing, and that's what really seeded the idea and kind of the journey for the past seven or eight years to focus on shareability around contents.

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I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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And then, from there I went to help build one of the largest paid optimization firms in the world, where we would manage to spend for Fortune 500 companies, brands, at the largest scale. And, it was an eye-opening experience, 'cause I'm sure you've seen this, is we would have the biggest brands in the world come to us and say, “Here's a piece of content we just spent hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars on, and we wanna spend another million dollars promoting it to a specific audience. Let's say it's females 35 to 50 years old.” And, when you ask them, “Well, how do you know whether or not that piece of content is gonna resonate with that audience?” Nine times out of 10 they didn't have the analytics or data to support that decision. They're essentially just betting all this money into hopes that their creative hunch would pay off.

And, I kept seeing this over and over again, and it was a re-occurring theme, so I knew there's gotta be a better way to go about this instead of just risking all this money, because for a huge corporation or a huge brand, yes you can lose on one of those bets. But, doing it over and over again, your company will ultimately fail and also, the smaller companies or startups, they can't risk all that money.

Doug: Yup, that's right.

Brendan Kane: Nope. So, I left working in that media company and starting building a set of testing methodologies and predictive calculations on top of the Facebook and Instagram advertising platform, so I can really test content and scale and really understand what content themes, formats and stories resonate with the specific audience that you're trying to reach. So, you don't have to risk all this money to really understand how to package your content and really get intelligent about what it's going to take to engage your audience.

So, I spent about three and a half years of building that and started working with the brands and corporations again and also started to apply it to individuals like professional athletes, journalists, and celebrities. I was seeing a lot of success in that capacity, of testing content and scale and really understanding what content themes, formats, and stories work to really generate an intended response from the audience that you're trying to reach. And, it seeded an idea in my head, it's great for a celebrity or a huge corporation where I generated a lot of success. But, what about the rest of us? What about people that are starting from scratch? Whether you're an individual or startup or brand or even somebody within a corporation that's just launching a new product and you're literally starting from ground zero, how do you go about that?

And, I wanted to see what was possible and taking all the learnings over all those experiences, in addition to really understanding whether the success that I was seeing through this process I had developed, could be applied from somebody starting from zero. And, when I thought, “Who would be the perfect person to run this experiment on?” I thought, “Why not myself?” ‘Cause I'm definitely not a professional athlete, I've never been on television or film, and I guarantee you I'm not a rockstar because I can't carry a tune, and I won't even do karaoke.

So, I figured I'm gonna go off and do this. So, I took all those learnings that I had generated and over the course of 30 days I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days. So, that was a culmination of all these experiences and what I had learned over the years and applying it to myself, to not really become a celebrity or an influencer, but to see if could use this process and share this information with the world.

Doug: That's amazing. I mean those numbers are absolutely crazy. And, one of the things I noticed even on your Instagram account is, you know, when I look at social media, I'm really looking for engagement, are people engaging in commenting, not how many followers you have or however you may have acquired them.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. Engagement's the most important thing because what I tell people is, specifically when it comes to large numbers, is generating a million followers is only have the battle. Your job is not done because generating a million followers in a short period of time is very different than generating over the course of years. But I also see with certain clients that I work with, that you'll see a huge corporation that'll have millions of followers but only a hundred people liking a post.

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I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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And, what's the real value at the end of the day of having this huge following, having this huge audience, if you can't engage them around the content you're producing.

Doug: Yup. Absolutely. So, how does somebody get started? I mean those numbers are really scary, and I don't know what the numbers are today, but I remember at one point saying the average person had 500 connections on Facebook. So, there's a big difference between 500 and a million obviously.

So, for our listeners that are tuning in going, “Hey, I would love to have my social media grow. I'd like to have it organic, I'd like to be able to sell stuff and connect.” What's kinda the starting point, the first thing you should consider doing?

Brendan Kane: Yeah. So, the baseline of the system that I've developed, I really break it down into three key steps. It's an adaptive process, it's an agile process. So, the first step is really setting a hypothesis. So, what is the content theme, format or story that you think is going to best represent your brand, your product or your service?

And, once you've identified the hypothesis, then the second step of this adaptive process is the testing phase, where we create a low-cost proof of concept that represents the hypothesis that we just set forth. And, when I say low cost, I mean low cost. I don't want my clients spending thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on content, 'cause we're really in this testing phase and we really need to figure out what works.

So, whatever that agile process that you can do to set up to create that low-cost proof of concept, whether that's using stock photos, stock videos or even just sticking yourself in front of an iPhone camera just to record the hypothesis that you set forth, so that you can quickly go and test and validate whether it holds true. Whether you're able to generate the intended response that you're looking for from your audience, whether that is purchasing a product, clicking, commenting, sharing, whatever that may be. And then the third step of this adaptive process is really analyzing the results, analyzing the data and the response from the low-cost proof of concept that you just created.

So, did it generate the intended response you were looking for? Did it generate a click? Did it generate a purchase? Did it generate a share? Whatever that response that you were looking for. If it didn't, then you start that process all over again. You set a new hypothesis, you test, and you pivot. And, you do that over and over again, until you find the hypothesis that holds true, and generates the intended response that you're looking for. And, once you have that, then you can scale and see if you can produce more content, invest more in that direction and see if it keeps producing the results that you're looking for.

So, at a high level, that's what I always advise people to do is, is really embrace and generate this testing methodology, this testing process, to ensure that you're not just producing content and spending all your time on a few pieces of content and not learning anything, but to create this system within your organization, within your small business, or even if you're doing it yourself, so then you get really intelligent about the content that you're producing.

Doug: Now, do you use a technology to do this? ‘Cause I mean I've heard you say several times that you build technology platforms for several of your clients. So, is this a manual process that, you know, a marketing manager might try to set up for a new brand or is this a piece of technology they would license from you to set up and use?

Brendan Kane: Yes. So that's a great question. When we talk about testing, there are a few different ways to go about it. So, the system that I've built, I've actually built on top of Facebook and Instagram advertising platform, because the technology they built is extremely robust and extremely in depth. And, I use that advertising platform not really as a media buying tool, but more as a market research tool. Because you can control every single element of the content that you're pushing out.

So, when I look at testing, I break it down into key five elements of a variation. So, with the variation, the first element we have is the actual content itself. So, when we have a video or a photo, we try and create as many variations or elements of that as possible, so for example with videos, with Facebook and Instagram, you have less than three seconds to capture your audience's attention. Because the fact of the matter, there's over 60 billion messages sent on digital platforms each day. If you don't catch them in the first three seconds, you've lost your audience.

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I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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So, what we'll do with that, that first element of a variation is, we'll create as many variations of it as possible, so we'll test the first three seconds, multiple versions of the first three seconds, versus putting a meme card or a headline at the top of the video burned in, versus putting captions, the color of the captions, in addition to what is the outre of it, do you ask them to take a specific step? Do you ask them to register their email virus sharing, and testing all of those different elements?

The second part of a variation is the headline description where you're describing your piece of content. So, we'll test as many variations of that.

And then, the third element of these variations is, the demographics. So, you can control whether you're pushing it to males or females, or to a specific age group, and test those against each other.

And then, the fourth one is the interest level. What are these people interested in? What type of products and services do they buy? What competitors are they engaging with? What types of music and television do they consume? What type of cars do they drive? Are they college educated? Are they single? Are they married?

And then, the final one is the geolocation. What part of the world they live in, all the way down to the specific zip code. And because you can control all of those variables, you can interchange each and every single one of them to create new tests. So, literally, you can take one piece of content and create hundreds of variations by interchanging whether that's the age and gender, the headline, the geolocation, the interest level. And, that's where the real scale comes from.

So, when I talk about, when I generated a million followers in a hundred countries in 30 days, I tested over 5000 variations of content in that 30 day time period. And, that sounds like a huge number, but because the Instagram and Facebook platforms are built to scale and you can control all these variables, again you can take one piece of content and create hundreds of variations of it and test every single way to position it, truly maximize the potential of it. And, the way that I like to at it, is it really gives you more chances to win. Instead of just putting one piece of content out there and just hoping it works, is that you can create as many variations of that content, giving you more chances to win and generate the intended response from the audience that you're looking for.

Doug: Yeah. I'm super excited about this. I mean we used to do this when we started doing multi-variant testing, just for landing pages and trying to convince clients of copy because, everybody's got an idea, like you said, of what they think is gonna work. So, for those listeners that are using an agency, the agency goes off in isolation and creates something and pitches you and says, “This is it,” like you said, you've spent the money, but you don't really know if it's gonna work, but you're likely to apply a huge budget to one piece of content.

That's really brilliant, I've never seen or heard anybody do this sort of scale for digital. That's really, really, really cool.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. And I can give you a specific example that's kind of interesting. I can't tell you the name of the company, 'cause it would kind of make them look bad, but I was brought in by a major technology media company, which if I told you the name, you would know the name of it. And, I was brought in by one of their top thought leaders within the organization, and I had looked at the campaigns that they had done, and they had done a media campaign of about $500,000 and they only had tested 47 variations of content.

I came in, I was given $100,000 media budget, and I ended up testing 70,000 variations of content, and just off that $100,000 budget, I was able to save them over $31 million dollars in traffic acquisition costs. Just using this agile process of constantly testing every single element of the concepts that they were producing, and taking that testing to really lean what it would take to get people to share their content at the highest possible velocity. And then, once we figured out how to get them to share, then we were able to re-direct that traffic and maximize that [inaudible 00:17:12], and drive it out to the media destination that we were trying to optimize for.

Doug: Well, and I think the other thing that our listeners that you need to think of are that you may not be hugely focused on social, maybe that's not your platform, but if you can get your message right, then you could … I'm assuming Brendan you can take this learning and you can apply it to other forms of media if you're gonna do print or by digital ads or do email or whatever else you may do for media buys.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. You can apply it to anything. So, one of the clients I was advising is Sketchers, which is a shoe company, and they still primarily their medium is television and print. So, I worked with them to leverage these testing methodologies on social, to really test the images and videos, so that they can have a clear indication of where should they, what images should they be using, what products should they putting in print, because as you know, once you're in print or once you're on television, that feedback loops are not as immediate.

So, you can leverage this to really test and understand what products you should be putting out there, what versions of those products, what creative should you be using in print publications, in television, on billboards, or any offline media.

Doug: Yeah. But, it's just probably even your landing pages. Once you know what content resonates, if you're driving traffic through ads to a landing page, so once you get them to make their click and they show up, it needs to be congruent so they can follow the process through and eventually put their credit card in.

Brendan Kane: 100%.

Doug: So, what other learnings have you had? I mean this is a massive scale, so for a lot of people, it's overwhelming to listen to that. So, you're saying test and look at testing at scale, so does your software do all the variations, or is there something their technical or their creative people are gonna have to create themselves?

Brendan Kane: Yeah. So, I built this set up testing methodologies on top of the Facebook and Instagram advertising platform because as you know, building technology is extremely difficult, it's extremely difficult to manage, and the ecosystem is changing so quickly. So, what I like to do is leverage platforms technology, platforms that are already in the marketplace, where they're investing hundreds of millions of dollars on revamping it. Now, sometimes that becomes frustrating because you can't control the direction that they take the technology, but at the same time, it allows you to use these robust rules where people are literally focusing their daily lives on optimizing these platforms to make it easier for you to test.

And yes, it sounds like a daunting task, to test thousands of variations, but once you learn the system that we've developed, it becomes very easy to scale hundreds and thousands of variations. And, I can tell you it'll bring you light years ahead of your competitors if you just take the time to learn the testing process and the methodologies that it takes to really understand how to package your content, what content themes and formats and stories best represent your product, your service, and brand.

Now, with that said, you can start up very simple. You don't have to use these advertising platforms as market research tools and test hundreds of variations, if you just start simple and start measuring that when you post organically a piece of content to your main feed, no matter what channel it is, just measure the results of it compared to the next piece of content.

So, if you post a piece of content on Monday, create a spreadsheet, write down the comments, shares, likes, view through rate that it generated, versus the piece of content on Wednesday, versus Friday. So, that at the simplest level just starts getting you in the mindset of understanding and tracking your performance. And then once you start building that up and understanding how different pieces of content work and just starting to build up that momentum and that confidence, then you can move to that next level of, “Okay. How do we take this testing methodology to the next process, or to the next level?”

But again, what I'm really just trying to instill in people is, don't just go out there blindly. Don't just spend all of your time, all of your effort on a single piece of content, put it out there to find out it doesn't work. Because then you're left with not learning anything, you're not growing as a brand, you're not growing as either an entrepreneur or within your organization or a corporation. Instill this process of really testing and learning what it takes to get somebody to share your piece of content, to click on it, to like, to comment. Because that's really what's gonna set you up for success in the long run.

Doug: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean it's tough, I find it tough sometimes to convince people to test, so they'll spend huge budgets on buying digital media or say, “Well, why don't we do some testing?” Well, no, just send this. And, when we start testing, we'd notice really quickly the audience, how they responded to certain types of writers. So, even just a simple copy test was, “Hey, our audience doesn't like somebody that's kinda middle of the road, they like the more contrarian.” And that makes a huge difference because we're just applying a budget to two writers looking at which one converts the highest. So, a test at the simplest level and it made a huge difference in the client's sales.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. That's 100% spot on. The amazing thing with testing is, you can change one small variable and it can have a huge impact. Just changing one word or a few words in a headline, we've seen make a dramatic impact on the performance of a piece of content, or just changing the headline on the top of a video, like the [inaudible 00:22:24] meme card, or adding captions, or taking a piece of content and testing the first three second of it, has a huge impact.

One of the fascinating case studies that I've seen is, again that first, three seconds is so critical when it comes to Facebook and Instagram, because you only have that time period to really capture the audience's attention, is the movie industry actually started to evolve their trailers online, where they'll create a five second trailer that actually plays before the trailer. So, they'll have this first five seconds that's just jam action-packed, of quick cuts, just to capture your attention so that you'll actually watch the rest of the trailer.

So, again it's these small iterations and these small tests will pay huge dividends for your business or your brand.

Doug: Well, and I'd like to get some feedback from you too with regards to market research. And, I'll just start with a short intro on that. I was at a session that was all about testing and optimization, it was put on by a number of companies that supply those tools in San Francisco. And, they gave an example of Siemens, they guys who are making x-ray equipment. So, their marketing team had gone out and done some market research with their potential customers, like the hospitals that are gonna buy the equipment, and showed them all these different styles of ads and asked them which one they'd respond to.

And, then they actually ran the ads. And, the ads that ran and got the conversion were totally contrary to what the market research did show them.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. That's a great point with market research. So, what I've learned is that what people say and what people do are two completely different things. So, it's one thing to go off and ask somebody, “What do you think about this product or service? Or would you buy this product or service?” But that answer could be biased, because they may just feel the pressure to answer a certain way, or they may not even understand at a subconscious level how they would react if they were actually put in the situation to buy that product or service.

So, that's really where I love to actually just tangibly test things in real time, and actually, put products, put services, put content in front of your core audience and actually measure the response in real time of how they actually engage with it. Because the difference between what people say, what people do, is totally different. And again, it's just with the tools that you have available and with social and with digital, it's very easy to actually just put the content in front of people, put your products or services and actually measure the response from them in real time.

Doug: So, what's some of the bad advice you hear, you know, about this, you know, this part of the industry? So, you probably attend lots of conferences and speak to lots of different groups, so what's some of the bad advice you hear?

Brendan Kane: So, I'll talk about some of the experiences because it's interesting that as a digital strategist I'm often brought into situations where companies have burned through hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars on ineffective strategies. So, one of the issues that I see most prevalent with the clients I've worked with is, they'll have an agency or an expert come in and sell them on a specific tactic that may not be right specifically for their business or service.

So, for example, you may have an SEO expert going into a business and all they know is SEO, so they're gonna sell you the value of SEO, when that company, they need something different, they may need a social approach, they may need some additional technology or some additional elements to actually maximize the potential of a strategy like SEO. And so, one of them again, the biggest mistakes that I see people make is, they're hiring experts on their specific field without looking at the holistic approach of their specific business and the objectives that they're trying to achieve, and crafting a strategy that is specific to those objectives and goals.

In addition where I would say that one of the fundamental areas where that I see people go wrong, is they don't know the basic math of what they're trying to achieve because everything comes down to their return on investment. People always ask me, “How much did it cost you to generate a million followers in 30 days?” Well, that's not the real question you should be asking, it's like, what was the return on investment that you got from that?

Doug: Yeah, that's right.

Brendan Kane: Because I call tell if, what if I told you that I spent $2000 to generate a million followers in 30 days, but the return on investment was 0, versus I spent $200000 to generate a million followers, and the investment was one million dollars. Or the return on investment was one million dollars. Which one of those would you take? Obviously, you would wanna take the one that's generating a million dollars on return on investment. So, when you're first starting out and you're crafting your social or your digital strategy, understand what are the metrics of your business? If you're selling a product, what is your profit margin? What can you afford to pay to acquire a new customer?

And then once you have that information, then you can start determining the channels that are best for your business. Is it Facebook, is it Instagram, is it SEO, is it paper click advertising, because then when you're going off and hiring an agency, you're hiring a contractor to help you grow in that specific channel, you can say, “Here are the core metrics of my business. Can your strategies fit within that?” And, if they say yes, you can be like, “Okay. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna give you a two month trial period, and let's see if we can hit that. And, if we can't, you've gotta figure out how to optimize those campaigns or those services that they're providing you to actually hit those core metrics.” If they don't, then you know you're not headed in the right direction with the right vendor, with the right agency, with the right contractor, or you may not be using the right platforms to grow your specific business.

Doug: Yeah. I mean that makes so much sense, that comes back to basic marketing, of knowing what your lifetime value of a customer is, what does it take to acquire them. And then, looking at your audience, where is your audience? So, if your audience isn't on Instagram, if they're on Reddit, then it doesn't matter how much you spend on Instagram, it's not gonna work. So, it's just, like you said, and I say be tactic agnostic, it's what moves the sales dial and it's not the same for everybody. But, you're right, so if somebody, the VP of Marketing is out at a seminar and he hears that SEO's the next best thing and hires an SEO guy, while it might improve their website, that may not be the best strategy for them to move the sales dial to achieve their first quarter goals.

Brendan Kane: And, one of the other frustrating things that I see with clients is that, let's just say that Facebook or Instagram is the right real channel for them, they'll hire a contractor or an agency that just under-performs, and then it puts a bad taste in your mouth.

Doug: Yup.

Brendan Kane: Now you think that Facebook or Instagram's not right for your business, so it's really critical for you to look at the growth channels that you think is right for your business, and then make sure that you're testing different vendors and different ways or different agencies to achieve that. Just because one person fails in hitting your objectives and goals with a specific channel, it doesn't mean it's not the right fit for you. So, you have to really balance that out.

And one thing I always advise people to do as well is, actually dive in there. If you think that Facebook or Instagram's gonna grow your brand, learn as much as possible about that, even if you're not gonna manage it yourself on a daily basis, the more knowledge that you can gain how these platforms work, whether it's organically or leveraging the paid platforms, the more intelligence you have to make the right decision on who you should hire to help grow your brand, grow your business, sell your products or services.

Doug: Wow. That's super good advice. I mean it just totally makes sense. I mean I think that's why when we hire other agencies to work because we have an understanding of what we're trying to achieve and a good understanding of the platform. I think it makes for a better partnership well because we can have a deeper discussion and look at different testing methods.

Gary Vee recently, this was on a rant about if you're not learning Facebook, he said, “Your business is gonna lose.” And he said, “For all of you who've said that Facebook doesn't work,” he said, “Your experience didn't work, but just try it again.”

Brendan Kane: I couldn't agree more people say Facebook's dead, everybody's leaving Facebook, the fact of the matter is, there are over 2.2 billion people on the platform. It works if you know how to leverage the platform. If you know how to use it, there's so much scale there. Just with the clients, I work on alone, I was able to push upwards of eight to nine million visitors a month outside of the platform, using the tools. And, one of the reasons I love Facebook, it's really a democratic platform, it's all about just getting your content in front of people and they will share it for you. The platform's designed as a shareable platform, it's one of the few platforms out there that's all about just getting your content in front of the right people and they will spread your message for you, versus Instagram and YouTube and Twitter and some of these other platforms, it's more of an algorithmic play, where you have to play to the algorithms in order to maximize the potential of those platforms.

So, by no means is Facebook dead, and if you have not generated the success that you're looking for, you're probably just using the platform wrong.

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I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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Doug: Yeah. That's funny, I'm laughing here in the studio, because I've just published a book on email, Three Big Lies, and the first big lie is that it's dead. And, what we do is we rent third-party data, so we get influencer brands to send out our client's message and people say, “Well, that doesn't work.” So, it doesn't work for you but we spent hundreds of thousands of dollars a month doing it, and it works for our clients.

Brendan Kane: I couldn't agree more. Email is a hugely valuable asset, especially when you're talking about E-commerce. So much product and services are sold through emails. And, going back to Facebook, you can build massive emails lists in a very short period of time if you know how to leverage the tools that the platform's built on, like the level of scale that you can generate is enormous.

I just started working with the first-time author, and he was starting with zero emails and we took him to 11000 emails and 11000 email list, in less than seven days. And the power of email lists and those tools are just tremendous.

Doug: Well, we'll work the other way sometimes, so we may have a big brand, maybe like a Washington Post or somebody like that send out a message to their subscribers, so they sent out half a million emails to people who like to receive their emails, and we'll pixel them with Facebook and with Google, so we have a chance to follow up and move them out of the email platform where we've rented the data into data that we control.

Brendan Kane: Yeah, that's great. That's a great strategy.

Doug: So, what are you most excited about as it relates to kind of your business or technology, what you see coming in the next six to 12 months?

Brendan Kane: In terms of the next six to 12 months, some of the areas that I'm very [inaudible 00:32:38] on, is again is leveraging Facebook to generate enormous growth. So again, with the example of generating a million followers in 30 days, presents a huge opportunity. Now we're extending those methodologies to Instagram and growth on Instagram, in addition to building massive emails lists as well, so that you can really own that audience. And, one of the things that I always talked to clients about is, social's an amazing tool, it's an amazing platform to get your message out there, to get your voice heard, to get your products and services exposed to.

But, you also have to think about how you migrate that audience off of social channels, to a place that you can own them. Whether that is on your own website, whether that's building an email list, because that puts more power to you, versus relying on these social platforms. ‘Cause one small change in the algorithm or one small change in any of these platforms, and you can be left trying to figure out the next big thing at the last minute and fighting to get that audience that you spent all this time and effort to build.

In addition, one of the other areas that I'm very [inaudible 00:33:40] on is, looking at emerging markets. Because one of the biggest scales for major corporations and brands and celebrities is looking at emerging markets. For example with Facebook, people don't realize that India's their number country in the world. There are about 260 million people in India on the Facebook platform. Yet there are over 1.3 billion people in the country and India's gonna become the world's largest population over the next five years. So you see some of the biggest companies and smartest people in the world, whether that's a Mark Zuckerberg in Facebook and Instagram, or an Elon Musk with Tesla, or companies like a Nike and a Coke, focusing on emerging markets because that's where the real growth potential is.

And, the interesting thing about WhatsApp, which was one of the largest tech acquisitions of all time, I don't remember the exact number, I think it was 17 or $18 billion dollars, the reason it was acquired for that amount of money is because they had built up audience in all the countries that Facebook didn't have. Because Facebook already had saturation in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, but what WhatsApp did that was brilliant is they went to emerging markets, they went after India and all of these different companies or countries that didn't have the scale that Facebook did.

Doug: That's amazing, that's so cool. So, tell us a little bit more about, before we get to where people can connect with you, kind of, some of the offerings you've got online, so I've looked at a few of your websites, I don't wanna promote the wrong intent, so where should people go look for you to learn more, do business with you and then talk about your book?

Brendan Kane: Yeah, so, if they're interested in the book that breaks down a lot of this, they can go to and one is spelled O-N-E. And, if they wanna dive further into the book, we're launching a new program where they can learn more about it at Or they can just simply email me as well directly at, my email is B as in boy, [email protected], so that's [email protected] and seakers again is spelled

Doug: Cool. And, tell us a little bit about your opt-in TV?

Brendan Kane: Yeah. So, basically, that's the program that we're launching that where I've learned over the years that no one strategy works for everybody. So, through that, I teach all of my methodologies, my processes, of how I was able to gain a million followers in 30 days. But then what I also did, is I went off and interviewed the top experts and partners that I have in different growth channels and the different growth strategies that they have. So, for example, I interviewed a friend of mine that was able to build the largest comedy network in Europe that's generating over 400 million views a month, in addition to an influencer friend of mine that was able to generate 15 million followers in 15 months. And, another friend that actually started a business out of our apartment, about 10 years ago, that's generating over three billion views a month organically, and it breaks down all of their strategies, methodologies and the ways that they approach growth.

Because really what I wanna share with the world is, is multiple channels and multiple ways of achieving your specific goals and your aspirations, because the last thing I wanna see people do is just follow one specific piece of advice, only to find out it doesn't work for what they're trying to achieve.

Doug: Yeah, absolutely. So, maybe a slightly off topic conversation or question, what do you see happening with the changes to policies for advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Recently they banned specific sectors like no cryptocurrency, no medical marijuana, no CBD, do you see that growing or what do you see in the future?

Brendan Kane: It's a great question. It's a struggle. There are all these changes that are happening based on what happened with the election and political-based content's being restricted. As you mentioned, cryptocurrency content being restricted. Cannabis content being restricted. And, the scrutiny that Facebook has been under from a political standpoint has really forced them to lockdown what advertisers can do on the platform. And, what I think is happening at this point is they're just trying to figure out how to police this, how to go about this because with cryptocurrency and what the scale of advertising on these platforms, it's really impossible to police every single piece of content that goes out there.

Doug: Sure.

Brendan Kane: So, I think what's happening from a technology standpoint is they're trying to get up to speed with how they can actually control the scale of people promoting products such as cryptocurrency, cannabis, and political-based content, so that they can ensure the integrity of their platform, ensure that people are not advertising malicious things, not getting them to opt into things where their data gonna be stolen or people that are just going to be stealing people's money and running with it.

So, I think it's gonna take time some time, I think it's gonna be probably 12 to 18 months before you actually see a significant shift in that, and at the end of the day, it's really frustrating for those people that are trying to advertise for those specific industries and products and services. But you've gotta look at it at the long-term scale of these companies like Google and Facebook, because the majority of their revenue is not gonna be generated off of those industries, and again, they have to protect the integrity of their platforms, of their users and make sure they're giving them the best experience possible.

Doug: Yeah, I mean we've had conversations directly with Google and their legal team, with some of the clients that we work with to address what do we need to do to be compliant. Because you're right, they're trying to protect their users to make sure that there are no problems money-wise or as you said or fraud or stealing their data. So, I just thought it was interesting. I mean you obviously spend a ton of time and money in that space and I'm watching as it changed and evolves as well. So, it'll be interesting to see how it plays out, but with you I'm super [inaudible 00:39:27] on the opportunities in the media and I tell people that I don't think it's ever been a greater time in the world to start a business with the low barriers to entry now with both social and online media.

Brendan Kane: I would agree with you 100%, it's one of the best times ever in the history to create a business, to create a brand. At the same time, there's so much competition because anybody can open up an E-commerce store, open up a social channel, you're fighting all this noise. There are over 60 billion messages sent on digital platforms each day. Because there's that huge opportunity, there's that huge competition level, so really going in and creating your own business, your own brand, or trying to scale something you've already built, you've gotta really figure out how to differentiate your product, how to differentiate your service or your brand. You have to find a way to overcome the noise and stand out and get people to really share your content, your products, and services at the highest possible velocity. Because that's the only that you will win in today's climate, is really to get in how are you providing value to the world? How are you providing value through your brand, through your product, through your service?

And use a testing process to really figure out how to package that, so that you can get your audience, your customer base to do the heavy lifting for you, and to share your content at the highest possible velocity.

Doug: Well, a question then on the testing, because I think obviously where you're at, I think is a brilliant space to be, but, so for our listeners that are listening and saying, “Okay, this sounds really good. It sounds like a lot of work.” And, to your point, that there's a lot of competition out there if we looked at 100 people that are running digital advertising right now, how many of them do you think are testing at your level?

Brendan Kane: Less than one percent.

Doug: Okay. So, there you go listeners, there's your opportunity if you wanna crush it and really make money online. Go look at the-

Brendan Kane: And then I'm saying that going up against some of the media agencies in the world, so I mean I've lived and gone up against literally people that are managing hundreds of millions of dollars a budget. And, they're not going to this level of granularity and you say, “Is this a lot of work?” Yes, it's a lot of work. But to build a business, to build a brand, you need to spend the time, you need to spend the effort. If you're not willing to put in the hard work, to test content, and to figure out how to package your message in the most effective way possible, you're in the wrong business. Because everything takes work. Are you willing to work harder than your competitors? Are you willing to get smarter than your competitors?

If you're not, if you're not willing to take the time to figure out how to package your content, test your content and really learn what it takes to get customers or your core audience to engage with your content or purchase your product or services, you're ultimately just gonna fail.

Doug: Yup. Absolutely. That's so true. Yup. So, I'm a big fan of the blue ocean strategy, so go where your competitors aren't and that's gonna be doing deep testing and analytics and making sure that you're super fine focused on who your customers and where to find them.

Brendan Kane: Yeah. And, just to give you another example and I'm not into politics at all, but there was an article released about the past election of Clinton versus Trump. And, it was amazing that they said that Clinton generated I think 70000 variations of content that they were testing on social channels versus Trumps' campaign tested over six million variations of content. That just tells you the level of effort and work and time that went into really optimizing and understand what core messages are gonna get people to take an intended action and in this case was to vote in the upcoming election.

Doug: Yeah. And, I think lots of times that's what business miss, is that you know, this may be the first time they've heard it, they don't realize that people are doing it, but the guys who are really moving the dial are paying attention to this.

Brendan Kane: 100%

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I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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Doug: Well, I'm gonna say thanks so much for taking time out of your day and you live in a great place, we love hanging out in Santa Monica. I normally come down there at least once or twice a year and do the Gold's gym and the Bullet coffee and down to the Firehouse and yeah, so I like where you hang out.

Brendan Kane: Great. Well, let me know next time you're down here, we'll have to meet up in person.

Doug: That'd be awesome. One question before I let you go, who's one guest you think I absolutely have to have on my podcast?

Brendan Kane: Oh, that's a great question. What topic is most interesting to you? What topic are you underserved on?

Doug: I think right now I'm looking for AI and bots.

Brendan Kane: AI and bots. So, there's a guy named Neil Sahoda that I'm working with that was one of the chief officers at IBM, that was creating a lot of their artificial intelligence technology, and he is so well-versed on the topic and where it's at. So, I can make an introduction to him, he's really intelligent in a great conversation.

Doug: That'd be awesome. So, thanks again for taking your time. Listeners, we're gonna transcribe all the notes, I'll make sure that there's a link to Brendan's book, One Million Followers as well as his website and his social media platforms. It looks like your favorite platforms right now are Facebook, Instagram and I see that you're also on LinkedIn, is that the best place for people to find you on social?

Brendan Kane: Yup.

Doug: Excellent. So, thanks for tuning in and I look forward to serving you in our next upcoming episode.

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[just click to tweet]


I used the process and everything I learned from Taylor Swift, these brands and corporations, and proceeded to generate a million followers in a hundred counties in less than 30 days.

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