This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Zach Benson. Zach is the CEO and founder of one of my favorite services and sponsor of the show, Assistagram. Assitagram creates campaigns that helps people get their message out to millions on a daily basis. I have to say, as a client, their teams are amazing.
Zach is also a TEDX speaker and world renowned, award winning dancer. The thing that I absolutely love most about Zach is how he has designed his life. Zach travels the world living where he wants when he wants helping people grow their business and message with Assistagram and also teaching dance workshops. In today’s episode, I not only want him to share his best Instagram success hacks, but also teach how you can design the life you deserve.
It all started with dance. In high school, Zach got a DVD on breakdancing and started practicing. He began to win competitions and made it on So You Think it Can Dance. Now, he teaches dance clinics all over the world.
How did you design your life and make it possible?
- He saw other dancers that tried out multiple times for things So You Think You Can Dance and over time make it. He took a lesson to never give up from them.
- He also dreamed big as a kid and put together what he wanted his life to be.
- A producer for SYTYCD gave him the idea and advice on how to go teach dance clinics around the world and leverage his stardom that way.
What did you have to do to make it happen?
- Zach is more impulsive
- He takes action on things he wants to do and doesn’t think too much about it
- But he also seeks and finds people who have been there and done that- and listened to them, taking their best advice and putting it to use.
- In the beginning, he got a lot of no’s before getting to his first yes on teaching a dance clinic.
- He changed his business model to start offering really cheap rates to get in the door at places.
- From there, he used his experience and relationships to build great relationships that could reference him and grew from there – upping his rates as he got more consistent.
- Playing the long game is important.
You mentioned being more impulsive in your younger years. Are you still that way today?
- Things have changed. He still embraces taking initiative.
- “I’d rather burnout than restout and take advantage of opportunities when they come up…”
What advice would give people to go out and create the life they deserve?
- You need to know what you need to be happy. Zach volunteered to live on $2 a day for food to help a cause and learn what really matters to be happy.
- Whatever it is that fulfills you – you need to know. If it is a lot of money, great. If not, ok too. But know what it is.
- Self-educate and keep going
- Play the long game and outlast
- People give up to close to their success
What have you learned about life and success by traveling abroad and working throughout the world?
- That people matter most and to put them first.
- For Zach, traveling helps him grow. He gets to expand his network, see how others live, learn other cultures, and network with other entrepreneurs.
- Life is all about people and relationships. All it takes is a simple question or compliment to create a conversation that turn into a huge opportunity.
- Be curious
How do you travel and get to stay at 5-Star hotel for free?
- Through the power of Instagram
- 5 years ago, he bought an Instagram account with 400,000 followers
- From there, he started to grow it and build up the empire
- Businesses don’t know that much about social media marketing on platforms such as Instagram.
- Instead of negotiating a free to stay by just posting about it to his following, Zach offers to teach them how to improve their Instagram accounts and their footprint.
What is the process of how you do it? Do you need to have a massive following?
- Zach has a step by step process in his Tribe Influencer academy
- You don’t need a big personal brand
- You don’t need a huge network
- Think of something you have of value that a hotel can use such as a specific skill or process
- Use that as an offering and do a barter with them
- Make sure to have a clear offer of what you will do and what it will do for them
- You can do this with all hotels.
- It starts with an email to the reservations department
- Then follow up with phone call and ask to speak to the sales and marketing director for the property
- Then pitch them
- Usually the training last about 1 hour
At the 23 min mark, Zach talks about why Instagram is such an important medium to use for business in today’s age.
- The attention shift from Facebook to Instagram is happening faster than ever.
- It is the fastest growing and most engaging platform in the world with almost 1 billion users
- Twitter and Snapchat are dead
- Instagram gives you more organic reach than Facebook
- Now is the time to get on the platform.
Top 3 things people need to do to succeed on Instagram?
- If you are going to start – build a page/account around passions, something you are really into and interested in.
- By looking at what other accounts do in your focus, you can learn what they do to be successful and even reach out to them.
- You can also buy an Instagram account, a niche page. You can growth hack your business with it.
What is the best way to grow a following on Instagram?
- Utilizing engagement groups is one of the best ways
- Engagement groups should be larger and have high quality
- Doing manual follow and unfollow is another, but can be damaging if you don’t know what you are doing.
- Post 4-6 times per day
How do you get people to go from following and engaging to buying?
- First, you need to become a legit brand which is a minimum of 10k followers o This gives you credibility
- In looking legit, it will attract more followers and engagement
- This helps you rank higher and helps you to show more in key words and top posts
- Once you have a larger following – you can collaborate with other influencers
- Then you need to make sure you have your online and offline sales process in place and dialed in.
At the 32 min mark, Zach gives some hacks for optimizing your profile and his free Growth Hacking Guide which you can get at www.MisfitEntrepreneur.com/Assistagram
- An easy SEO hack is putting key words in your short bio that when searched for will lead to your profile
- Research your hashtags very well. Look for hashtags that don’t have millions of posts. Instead focus on hashtags that have smaller amounts of posts.
- Look for ones with 10-20k posts which will allow you to get noticed more often
What is your best advice for entrepreneurs to be successful in business today?
- You need to remember that it is all about timing
- Knowing and respecting people’s timing and make sure you are there when the timing is right.
Best Quote: “I’d rather burn-out than rest-out and take advantage of opportunities when they come up….”
Zach's Misfit 3:
1. Read books and find mentors. Grow yourself.
2. The ones who make the most mistakes grows the fastest
3. Stay consistent in every area of your life you can. The small things add up to big results.