Carrot Cashflow: Kevin Espiritu – How to Grow Your Instagram Following (CC10)

Listen to more episodes of Carrot Cashflow

Episode Summary

In this day and age, if you’re a farmer—especially one that’s just starting out—one of the first things you can do to start marketing yourself is establishing an online presence. And what better place to be for a new farm to start than a simple photo-sharing site like Instagram?

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow, Kevin Espiritu of Epic Gardening talks about why and how we can leverage Instagram to build a following that will engage, support, and purchase from us. He also shares some easy, insightful tips on how to be the big, shiny object that people would want to engage with.

Today’s Guest: Kevin Espiritu

Kevin Espiritu is the founder of Epic Gardening, a gardening education platform that aims to teach ten million people how to grow plants. Since its founding in 2013, it has now grown from a hobby site to a reader-supported educational platform and gardening supplies shop.

Relevant Links

Epic Gardening – Website | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook

The Epic Gardening Podcast

Epic Gardening Shop

In this episode of Carrot Cashflow:

  • Diego introduces the episode’s guest, Kevin Espiritu (01:03)
  • Ready Farmer One: The Farmers’ Guide to Create, Design, and Market an Online Farm Store by Diego Footer & Nina Galle (01:53)
  • What branding a business means for Kevin Espiritu (03:34)
  • How much of Epic Gardening overlaps with Kevin’s own identity (04:39)
  • Working through the fears of being seen and judged (05:44)
  • Would Epic Gardening be the same if Kevin stayed behind the curtain? (07:34)
  • Supporting a brand because of the person or people behind it (08:47)
  • How to go about building up a core audience as a small business (10:23)
    • Two ways to look at audience building (11:26)
  • A strategy to get product out there (13:20)
    • Pick your platform (13:42)
    • Make the content interesting to someone who has never farmed in their life (14:27)
  • Strategic posts vs. posting for the sake of posting (16:15)
    • Think about your own online behavior (18:17)
  • Putting out content that would make people stop scrolling (18:40)
  • Adding layers of education on what would have been a simple photo post (20:22)
  • The overlap in the education and entertainment Venn diagram (22:12)
  • The shareable aspect of a post (23:28)
  • How effective is adding long text in Instagram posts? (24:23)
  • Key points in doing education on Instagram (26:04)
  • Does blogging have a place in building a brand? (27:51)
  • Dedicating time to email your email list (29:24)
  • Building an audience takes time…a lot of time (30:48)
  • Trial and error between posts that work and post that don’t work (33:00)
  • Delving into why certain posts don’t work (35:14)

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CC10 - Kevin Espiritu

[00:00:00] Diego Footer: Carrie Cashflow. Profitable farm business starts here. Today, it's all about upping your Instagram game to gain more followers and get more engagement. This one's full of tips and tricks that you can put into place right away. Let's get into it.

[00:00:32] Welcome to carrot cashflow. I'm your host Diego, DIEGO. Today's episode is all about Instagram. How do you get more followers? How do you get more engagement and how do you find your own voice? How do you differentiate and not become this bland photocopy that people just scroll right by? Instead, you want to be the bright, shiny object that people stop read, engage wit, and double tap.

[00:01:00] In order to talk about that, I'm talking to my friend and founder of epic gardening. Kevin Espiritu. Kevin's built a huge following online over the past few years on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube today, he's going to share his story of how he did that. He's going to give you a lot of practical tips and techniques that you can do to try and be the best poster that you can.

[00:01:29] For your own account. So we're not trying to copy Kevin, we're trying to copy his process. How does he do what he does? How does he think about what he does? You take that process and you adapt it to your own unique context. And if you do that enough and monitor the results, you can eventually find something that really works for you and the people who follow you.

[00:01:53] Kevin's also one of the featured experts in my brand new book. Ready farmer one. So if you want to learn more about social media, check that book out on Amazon. There's a whole chapter dedicated to upping your Instagram game. In addition to social media marketing, we also talk about email marketing and just treating.

[00:02:14] Door-to-door type marketing. How do you get your farm story out there in a world that's becoming increasingly competitive as a farmer, you need to find a way to stand out and reach people who resonate with you and your products. Our book, Ready Farmer One can help you do that. Check it out on Amazon or at ReadyFarmerOne.com.

[00:02:37] Now let's jump right into the episode. It's upping your Instagram game with Kevin Espiritu.

[00:02:47] Kevin Espiritu: The thing I think you have to think about is how do you make this interesting to people who are never going to farm ever in their whole life and may actually not even ever purchase from you? Now, I'm not saying that's who you want necessarily to follow, but if you could make it interesting to someone who's never going to farm and might not even live in the same.

[00:03:07] You better believe it's probably going to be interesting to your core market and that'll help it spread and get it out to those people. Hi, my name is Kevin Espiritu. I run a company called epic gardening, which at this point I believe we're one of the bigger gardening education platforms out there with the mission of teaching the world how to grow its own food, how to teach people how to grow their own food.

[00:03:25] So we're at epic gardening on pretty much any social platform and we've got a store shop at epicgardening.com.

[00:03:34] Diego Footer: You've done a great job building the brand of epic gardening over time. When you think about branding a business, what does it mean to you now?

[00:03:45] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah, I think when I first started, it was called something different. I had called it ExPonics. I was only doing hydroponics at the time. I think when I changed the name, that's a huge component of the brand. The idea there was to contrast the market in a way it was probably more subconscious than conscious way back then, but the idea was okay, it's about gardening. Maybe I'll put gardening in the title.

[00:04:10] Simple will help with SEO will help with people just typing gardening into YouTube or however they're searching online. And then, I went with the epic, because a lot of these gardening companies have a flowery or softer branding, and I wanted to reframe how you would think about gardening and decided to go with that route and sort of try to make it a little bit larger than life.

[00:04:31] And that was, that was the way that I approached at least the naming. Now, obviously there's a lot more that goes into branding that we could, we could talk about, though.

[00:04:39] Diego Footer: When you think about the main brand, Epic Gardening, how, how close would you say that brand overlaps with Kevin, who you are?

[00:04:47] Kevin Espiritu: Over time, more and more because I've become more free to post more of my flavor and my approach to things versus being more stayed about it all and keeping the personality behind the curtain a little bit of certainly with the blog. It's taxed. It's, it's tough to get a lot of personality in there. And that, that still runs like a very informationally dense blog.

[00:05:14] But as we've evolved with YouTube and the podcast and these sorts of things where you can showcase more of the personality, I've added a lot more of that in is I've seen that people seem to enjoy it. I seem to enjoy it. So it's a win-win and things keep going on from there. And to me, the more you do that, the more you solidify the uniqueness of the brand.

[00:05:33] Because someone could try to be you or do the video the way that you do it, or however, but it'll always come off like they're trying to do it. So there's only one you and that's to me, a huge thing.

[00:05:44] Diego Footer: How hard do you think it was for you to find that voice? Like we all are who we are when the camera's off, but then when you start creating content and it could just be as even an imposed, the language you use in posts or how somebody might interact at a farmer's market.

[00:06:01] I think, I think a lot of people dial down who they are. And it's only when they lose that reservation and kind of just say, Hey, this is me, that I think you start to see creators brands, content, creators really start to take off because people just, we're all people looking to connect with other people and they say, oh, okay. That's who that person actually is.

[00:06:24] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah. I think it's, it's tricky. I think for me, there's a, there's a self-discovery of things you do in your own life. Like I, I did Toastmasters for a long time public speaking club. I did improv comedy for about 18 months. I went through all the levels and graduated out of the class and did some performing here and there.

[00:06:43] And so that, that helped me because that was, in a real-world situation, desensitizing you to acting silly in front of people you don't know, or giving a speech on something in front of people that, you know, and I feel like if you can do those sorts of things, then not only in your normal life are you more free to be who you are, but also when you're putting things out there in the world, you're free to just say, you know what, I've done more�

[00:07:09] Quote, unquote embarrassing things that didn't really seem to harm me that much. And so this should be no problem. And I also think just you, you do have to like, it's, it's a personal thing of working through the fears, I suppose, of being judged or being seen, especially when you're putting content out with your face on it.

[00:07:27] A lot of people are afraid of that and that just takes time to get over. Some people I've never really do get over that.

[00:07:34] Diego Footer: Yeah. And for the people that don't, do you think Epic Gardening could be the brand that it is today if people never saw you? So if, if, if all your content was just how you see the world through your eyes, it's all looking out at a landscape at a garden. you talking off video, but it does not you on camera. Do you think you can make at work?

[00:08:01] Kevin Espiritu: I could make it work because it was technically working. But certainly the level it's at now, I think there would be less than a point, 1% chance you would ever get to that point because people don't connect with faceless accounts in general to get to scale. How many people can you name that are extremely well-known or brands that don't have a face attached to them, maybe Banksy.

[00:08:27] And that's it. I can't think of anyone else. And so that's very, very, very hard to do. The truth is pretty clear that we connect typically just with people even less so brands, even though they do have mascots or faces attached to them. And even less than that, a faceless account, that's just looking out at the world and opines. I think it'd be very difficult if not impossible.

[00:08:47] Diego Footer: How big of a factor of your audience do you think it is? That, that I, that just supports epic gardening because they�ve read everything you've put out, they've watched the videos and they want to just support you and be a part of what you're doing. And if they get some good product and that's a bonus.

[00:09:09] Kevin Espiritu: Along the way, I've, I've really wrestled with that� And I've tried to design the business in such a way that even if that's true, As in, they are supporting it simply because they like the content that connected with it. I am still offering best in class so that I don't have to rely on that because to me it feels like, I think what you're saying is accurate.

[00:09:31] I think a lot of people have, especially during the pandemic have connected with epic gardening and have discovered a new love, and it's persisting. It's not just something they picked up in the pandemic, and they're leaving behind. So maybe it's influenced their life in some way or flavored their life. And they have some gratitude to the content and to the company for that.

[00:09:51] And I guess to myself and so they want to support. So that's certainly part of it. Maybe even it's more than half right now, but my goal at least is. Look, that's, that's great. And I'm very grateful and humbled by that, but I still want to be offering best in class products and services so that it's not the requirement.

[00:10:08] I don't have to rely on the fact that you like me to purchase the product. You should, you should have an amazing experience with the product so that it itself becomes its own marketing. And then if you've got both of those playing in concert with one another, then it's unstoppable.

[00:10:23] Diego Footer: If you think about people now trying to build a following and let's say they're not even content creators. Like they're not going to content creator out there. They're running a small business and for businesses to survive, you need that core audience, that core customer base that just comes back over time. How would you advise them to think about building up those in the thousand true fans?

[00:10:54] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah, the way that I see most people do it. I look at I'm more, I'm way more in touch with the smaller profiles and platforms in the gardening world. And then the rest of the content I consume because generally the people I consume in those worlds are already established, but I see a lot of people in the garden and farm.

[00:11:13] Trying to build the audience and it's clear that they're trying, right? Cause they're doing certain things and there's a tell that that people are doing. I think the thing that people forget is there's two sides. There's two ways to look at it and both I think are a bit wrong and you have to forge some sort of middle way.

[00:11:31] And so the one way would be someone who's not concerned really about the value that they're offering, the people that would follow them. And so I see a lot of people that, that post, I don't know another way to put it like selfish content where they're really just blogging about their day to, and they're hoping people follow along and are interested in that now that certainly can work, but that's like sort of aspirational lifestyle content that I think.

[00:11:57] It's difficult to establish that unless you have something extraordinary about yourself, right. If you're really attractive or you're living in a really interesting place or something like that, that of course would be easier. And the other people. I think that perhaps do it incorrectly are those who they know the tactics.

[00:12:15] Right. For example, right now on Instagram, if you're doing reels, you're probably going to have a better time than if you're posting just normal static image posts. That's just the way that it's working right now. So I see a lot of people that are doing that, but at least this is all my opinion. They're putting out reels.

[00:12:34] Our engagement bait type of content, where you have to wonder, what are they following you for? What do you want someone to be following you for? And putting out that type of content to attract that type of person, a classic example would be the Instagram model who has a lot of followers, but the followers don't really care about her at all, in some sense, because they're probably mostly male and they probably just want to look at the photos.

[00:13:03] And so it's difficult if that's what you want. And that makes sense. And there's ways to build a business around that. But you have to think about the type of co what's, the type of content you're putting out. How valuable is it? And then who would it attract? Do you want those people to be the followers of your content?

[00:13:20] Diego Footer: If you think about that from a farm example, say, say, you didn't have epic garden and let's say, now you're running a market farm, and you're selling locally in the San Diego area.

[00:13:33] What would, what would you try and do? What are some strategies you try to do to build up that following which in turn helps get product out there?

[00:13:42] Kevin Espiritu: So I would pick my platform first. So if you're not a video person, you don't want your face on video, then you have to accept that YouTube is probably not for you and maybe even like a TikToK or an Instagram might not be for you as well, unless you're going to just do photos. So first of all, you got to pick your platform.

[00:14:02] And, and second of all, I would triple down on the platform that you decided to go with, because it's going to take some time, the first platform you build. Is the hardest from there. When you have a core base of followers, you can direct them to the other platforms. Hey, if you like my longer form stuff, I have YouTube channel or I'll say, Hey, if, if you prefer to read, then go check out the epic gardening blog, for example.

[00:14:25] So there's the platform selection. And then as far as like the nitty gritty practicals of the content, I might put out if I was a market for it. I would be really interested just thinking from the perspective of someone who goes to a farmer's market. Although I do know a lot of market farmers, so I know the ins and outs, but I would, I would be doing cool tool profiles.

[00:14:44] Hey, here's how we can. Your lettuce for you. And here's how it gets to the market. Or I would do maybe a, a collage or a montage of that using the quick cut greens harvester on the row, dumping it into the laundry machine washer, the bubbler, drying it out, bagging it up. It shows up at the market. You hand it to a customer and you, you have this little quick video where it's the full loop of, of that product's life cycle.

[00:15:08] If you got really crazy, you'd go from seat and you just save the video. That that'd be one thing I might think about. I might do behind the scenes of different types of tasks that a consumer might be like. Hmm. It's, it's interesting to see every step that does go into making my food, or I do farm humor behind the scenes.

[00:15:28] Like funny things that happen on the farm, or I might do day in the life lifestyle content. Here's what happened. Hey, I'm a, I'm a San Diego market farmer and here's my day. And then you do a whole, maybe it's a YouTube video, maybe it's Instagram posts who knows, but you do a whole thing. I wake up at this time.

[00:15:44] My first task is this, you're narrating it. You're giving us a slice of life. So I think there's a lot of ways to do it. The P the thing I think you have to think about is how do you make this interesting to people who are never going to farm ever in their whole life and may actually not even ever purchase from you now, I'm not saying that's who you want necessarily to follow, but if you could make it interesting to someone who's never going to farm and might not even live in the same city.

[00:16:09] You better believe it's probably going to be interesting to your core market and that'll help it spread and get it out to those people.

[00:16:15] Diego Footer: Yeah. I think that those are some interesting strategies. Cause you look at a lot of farm accounts these days, and it's like what you were saying around seeing tells like a lot of them are the same and I think people have lapsed into, I need to post something.

[00:16:33] So something is better than nothing. Instead of thinking about, what's the best use of this post and maybe I only post twice a week, but they�re strategic posts, meaning like what you said, what, what are you, why are you cultivating this customer? What is the brand stand for? What do you want this customer to do or to know about the brand and understand?

[00:17:01] And in too many just are like, I'm out here. I got my phone snap, a shot, throw it up. And there it is. And it is like some of those posts that you talk about, here's the sunrise on my farm. Okay. Why am I coming back for more of that? If it's just so much of it?

[00:17:19] Kevin Espiritu: I agree. I think maybe when you look at people's farm accounts, I think there's only so much to be said for taking a shot of your.

[00:17:29] Produce or taking a shot of your, the thing is we, we fatigued to content online. Our attention spans are short. We fatigue to certain things to the point where you do become functionally blind to certain things that you're watching or reading because you've seen them so much. And every time you do stop and look at them, you don't get the reward that you want.

[00:17:52] And so every time you stop and look at that sunrise, like you're saying, it probably just says, beautiful morning on the farm. Can't wait to get some produce into your hands tonight. So there's no re unless I know that farmer personally, it's hard for me to, to get some sort of big interest in and a lot of value out of that.

[00:18:11] So I think you're totally right. Video plays. We're in a world where short form video is absolutely dominating right now. You just got to think of the best thing I would say is, think about what you do online when you're scrolling around looking at stuff and really get honest and be like, if I saw my own post in my own feed, What I just scroll by it.

[00:18:30] Chances are maybe I probably just would, because think about what you do. Would you scroll by your own posts? Probably don't post it. Why would you submit someone else to the, that, that content then?

[00:18:40] Diego Footer: Yeah, I'll never forget a, I interviewed somebody once and they said, oh, you, my wife, when she scrolls through Instagram, it's just, her thumb is not stopping.

[00:18:48] And I'm like, Ugh, that doesn't sound right. And then I watched some people on Instagram and that is exactly what they're doing. Like the screen is not stopping. So it's, what are you doing to make them stop where they know, Hey, I got to stop at this account or whatever I'm seeing, I got to stop.

[00:19:04] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think to go back to something you said earlier, Diego, where you were saying, would it have gotten as big without me getting on there and putting my face on, on the platforms? And that's why I think the answer is no, because part of it is now that I've put out hundreds of videos on YouTube thousand, over a thousand podcasts, like there is this piece of.

[00:19:27] Me out there online. That's, that's connecting with everyone in some way. And so if they know my face or my voice, they do stop and see what's up. But what did Kevin put out today? Because I don't post, I do post quite often, but I really try my hardest to not put anything out I don't think is like in a baseball metaphor, like at the very least like a double.

[00:19:49] And so if that's the case, like if it's good, every time you look at my content, you're going to look at it every time. If I start wavering, and I have 15 posts in a row or 15 YouTube videos in a row where I'm just missing the mark, that's all it takes for someone to be like, I like this channel for three years, and now I don't like it anymore because he messed up five times in a row.

[00:20:10] Mean that the fickleness of your collective audiences is astonishing. And the, you really have to be careful to not waste it.

[00:20:17] Diego Footer: Do you plan out your posts on things like Instagram looking weeks ahead, countering it out?

[00:20:22] Kevin Espiritu: No, I don't really, I don't really� I have ideas on what is coming down the pipeline based on what I'm growing.

[00:20:33] But a lot of the times, the last couple posts I put up on Instagram were just things I noticed that were happening in the garden. So I have my first figs came right. And I had some purslane and growing in the garden that a lot of people would think as a weed. It's really common, but it's actually quite edible and quite nutritious.

[00:20:51] And there's a lot of things you can do with it. A lot of cultures actually just use it as a vegetable. And so I was like, okay, my options are just eat the fig and move on with my life or pull the personally out and cook it or compost it. Or is it interesting enough that I could share something about it that, that someone would like?

[00:21:11] And if so, how would I package that? That they would find it engaging when, so you do have to think about it from that lens. In my opinion, you you've got. The lens of is this, is this harvesting this big, is that interesting? Not really. Cause let's say someone who was a, maybe more new at creating content might just hold the fig in their hand and take a photo and say, can't wait to eat this.

[00:21:37] It's been a year. This is going to be so delicious. And so that's not, that's like level zero effort, whereas I guess the next step would be like, cut it in half and show a cross section. That's more beautiful than then. Oh, could you do some sort of video around it? Can you edge add education on top of that?

[00:21:53] Can you add a good pace? Almost like you're directing a movie. Can you add some humor to that? Some sound effects. So some texts, what are you putting in the caption there? There's all these different layers to it that you're building a micro movie, almost.

[00:22:12] Diego Footer: How do you view with your content, the Venn diagram of entertainment and education? Where are you going for, for an overlap there?

[00:22:18] Kevin Espiritu: I would say until recently, it's been almost all education, but I've added more entertainment in because it's sort of like multiplier on the reach of the education side. And as long as I'm not going full entertainment, because that's not really the mission of what I'm trying to do.

[00:22:35] If I can add in 20, 30% of something that makes someone chuckle or someone laugh or some stupid little saying that I'll make up, then that helps people because they're going to watch it longer. They're going to maybe engage with it more. They might send it to a friend cause they think it's funny. That friend looks at it.

[00:22:50] They learned something. People are going to comment on it more. They're going to remark because the thing that makes things spread is human emotion. For the most part. It's. Uh, hopefully you don't play on this side, but it's anger or fear. And then you have joy, surprise, and humor or aspiration, like these sorts of emotions.

[00:23:10] That's what makes you physically take your thumbs and tag a friend and send it to them because you want them to experience the emotion you just experienced. Right? Like you sent a funny video to someone you want them to laugh. And so if you don't have any of that in your content, then it's probably not going very far.

[00:23:28] Diego Footer: Yeah. I love that shareable point where you think about the content that we interact with, that somebody said earlier, too, the best content that I consume is stuff where I'll watch it, and I'll want to send it to my wife or send it to a friend or somebody and be like, oh, check this out.

[00:23:40] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah, I agree. I think you have to strike a balance, right? �Cause sometimes just because a piece of content looks like it underperformed compared to your past history or whatever the case may be, it might be the case that it just is a smaller topic in general. And it's meant to reach less people because less people are interested in. I don't know, flame weeding your crop or something like that.

[00:24:02] Although I think that has a chance to go viral. If you flame weed it, if you filmed it correctly. That aside, there are certain topics that have large reads certain topics that have small reach. So sometimes you, you can't judge a piece based on just the raw metrics, because you know, sometimes it's just not as interesting as, or not the reach is not as big.

[00:24:23] Diego Footer: What have you learned about text in the body of your Instagram posts? So we're in a world. We just mentioned throw where people scroll fast and an image stops them and then maybe they read, maybe they don't. And you're somebody who actually posts long blocks of texts in your Instagram feed. How have you found that that�s worked?

[00:24:46] Kevin Espiritu: Ah, that's a good question. I don't really know. I think what I try to do is you have this idea of the classic marketing funnel, right? Where you have top of the funnel, bottom of the funnel and you sales coming are coming out at the bottom of that funnel. And so I almost think of, for example, Instagram is a great one because it's my favorite social network, for sure.

[00:25:08] So I think about it more than the others, even though YouTube is definitely more important. So I should probably fix that, but either way. Let's say I'm doing an Instagram reel. I really want the real itself to stand on its own. The caption exists as a bottom of the funnel bonus for those who are more engaged.

[00:25:25] And so given that framing, the caption should be meatier. It should be more detailed. It should have some more than Nick. Less interesting. Quote unquote stuff, because if you weren't interested in it, you weren't going to read it anyways, no matter what it said, you'd scroll onto the next reel or the next video, the next post.

[00:25:44] And so for those who are, I think the caption is that sort of, Hey, look, you're you really care about this? Okay. Here's how I spaced that pumpkin. Here's how I pruned it. Here's how I fertilized it. And here's some problems I experienced some of the really detailed stuff that really is what serves the mission �cause that's really teaching people how to grow.

[00:26:04] Diego Footer: For people who are doing educational content, I'm sure you see a lot of people who you, I don't wanna say are doing it wrong, but you maybe think they're shortchanging themselves in terms of how they're presenting them, their material on a platform like Instagram and you have an education focused brand.

[00:26:24] What do you think are some of the keys to educating on a platform like Instagram?

[00:26:28] Kevin Espiritu: Something. I think a lot of people do wrong is they assume too much about the audience or the people watching. So they assume. These people watching know every piece of terminology that they know, obviously that's not true there.

[00:26:43] If you're educating by definition, they would hopefully know less than you or aspire to know as much as you. So to me, I try to speak in plain English, or if I'm going to define a term, I will define it. I'll say, oh, this means, but tomatoes, stem has toda potency along the whole stem. And I'll say basically all that means is it has the ability to produce roots kind of wherever.

[00:27:08] And so is that, is that the botanically perfect definition? It's not, but it's pretty, it's close enough that it doesn't really matter for the end watcher that they get the point. And as long as I play in English of fi any real terminology I'm using, I think that's, that's really smart. I think that. It's this idea of, of sell them what they want, give them what they need.

[00:27:32] And so you could think of the whole Instagram format as something highly engaging to make them watch it so that they then come out the other end having learned something as a byproduct of just consuming the content. It's a nebulous phrasing there, but that's how I think about it.

[00:27:51] Diego Footer: What about written content itself? You started with a blog it's evolved over time as just how we consume content has evolved. Do you think blogging is still something that has a valid purpose for a brand?

[00:28:04] Kevin Espiritu: Yes and no. I think that if you were a market farm, for example, I don't think there's a lot of value in developing a robust blog.

[00:28:17] Because of the raw amount of time it takes to get a blog really going. I, I had a friend recently asked me she was in a completely different area, but asked me if it was worthwhile to start a blog for the purposes of selling more copies of her book and speaking engagements. But also maybe that blog could generate some income as well.

[00:28:36] And I said, it is worth it. Blogging still can work. You can start a blog from nothing today and it can still work except for the fact that you probably have to go at it for. I would say at least two years and be committed to it, pretty dedicated, pretty high level for it to really start paying back. And so if you're not going to do that, I think it's smarter to take the example of the market farmer in San Diego.

[00:29:00] Obviously you'll have a website and you can put some basic stuff up there, but use the platforms. People are already on to communicate your message like Instagram or YouTube or Facebook or whatever. Because that's where people already are. Did they already did the hard work of getting people to one place blogs you're going to have to build from nothing in the eyes of Google and your audience to get people to come there. So it's much harder now. I think.

[00:29:24] Diego Footer: What about another form of written content? Emailing. What are your thoughts on dedicating time to consistently emailing a list?

[00:29:37] Kevin Espiritu: I think it's extremely smart because you have to think about what you truly own online and what you don't own. And so what you do own emails, so an email list, you own that, a blog, you own that.

[00:29:51] And that is another good reason to start. When you have an owned asset that you actually know, no one's taking your blog down. Someone could delete your Instagram tomorrow. If you do something weird and you own, I suppose if you get into this, you own people's phone numbers. If you have some sort of texting signup list or something like that.

[00:30:07] So you own contact lists, you own a blog. Every other platform are fantastic, but the trade-off is that you don't really own the audience there because if that account doesn't exist, neither does anything else. And so I think it's extremely important to email I've undervalued it slightly. Mostly because before I started selling products, I didn't really have much to say in an email or at least I felt I didn't.

[00:30:31] But yeah, I think if you can do that, you have a one-to-one direct line to each person in that list that they can build a personal relationship with yours. Plenty of people out there and all verticals that have email lists that are absolutely crushing it. And that's, that's their main asset is their list.

[00:30:48] Diego Footer: How would you convey to somebody today the long cut, like to build an audience, to build a following? While everybody now gets instant gratification on these social platforms to actually I think, build an audience, for most people, it takes a very, very long time. Now there's obviously some people who go viral very quick, but those are the outliers.

[00:31:20] And I don't even think they should be looked at for most people like platforms are built over years. Like you said, two years for a blog. You don't long time. And a lot of people, when they start this, they want to see results. Like I'm post today. I want to see it tomorrow. They have a hard time thinking, oh, I got to do this for two, three years before I might see results? What would you say to that?

[00:31:50] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah, I think we're�there are phases online. It seems like where it's easier and harder to build audiences. We were recently in a semi dark phase before Tik TOK existed for a couple of years. It was just hard in all areas to build your presence. Unless like you said, you had a breakout with tick-tock coming out.

[00:32:09] It disrupted a lot of things. And now it's a lot easier to build fast if you're doing the right things and providing value. That said it's still not overnight. And I guess I would say if you want it, if you want it to be fast, then just go do something else. I don't really know what to say. Like there's, there's very few things that.

[00:32:27] Are fast and honestly, two years to develop like a pretty solid platform that you can then build on for the rest of your life is actually quite fast. If you think about it, it's much faster than almost any other career path I can, I can think of to get to a certain level. If you're an investment banking or you're in all these like a doctor or whatever, you're looking at taking on debt.

[00:32:48] You're looking at years and years of schooling working your way up through a grueling process, it's really not as hard as that. That's for sure. And it's also shorter. So I don't think it's honestly too long at all.

[00:32:59] Diego Footer: You think it takes a while to settle into what works for you that might mean your product, your market, your audience, who you are, your personality, like you probably were refined down pretty well now.

[00:33:11] Okay. If I make a post about this and I make it in this way, it's going to do pretty well. But for somebody new, you might have to try. It's almost like the same posts, five different ways and say, okay, which one worked? And then I'm going to do the next post this way.

[00:33:28] Kevin Espiritu: Yeah, it's, it's tricky because when you're starting like very quickly, these days, I can know if something I put out hit or did not hit because I'm publishing to.

[00:33:39] Potentially millions of people. Now it depends on the platform and the reach and all that, but I can see really quickly, oh wow. This one tanks. And I can come up with some theory as to why that might've happened. There's a 50 little variables. You could look at it. Why, why it might've happened, but when you're starting out, you don't have an audience by definition.

[00:33:57] And so it's hard for you to know why something is or isn't working until you get a very tiny little feedback loop going. And so when you're starting, I would say. Reach out to every family and friend that you have, every family member and friend that you have that could conceivably be interested in what you're doing in a real way.

[00:34:16] Not just because they want to support you, because if they want to support you, they're giving you bad data because they don't actually care. They just care about you and that's you, you want it to be more pure than that. And so you want to get maybe a hundred people that actually really. Are interested in this new thing.

[00:34:30] You're starting putting out some farming, content, whatever, and then see how they respond to the stuff you put out. And then as you notice, over 10 20 pieces, okay. These were my top two. Why I try to figure out what, what it was? Was it because it was funny? Was it unusual? Was it very inspiring or informative?

[00:34:47] You, you, you build some thesis in your head. You should really then strip down. How can I make more things that are like those too, because those are the ones people value the most. The truth is what people engage with the most. And there's a lot of ways to define that. Whether it be shares, save, sends, comments, emails, you get cussed, product sales, whatever.

[00:35:06] However you want to define it. That is what's offering the most value. So do more of that stuff and, and just you'll build a sort of a third eye about, and I think

[00:35:14] Diego Footer: What you said is really, that's a key to life, whether that's business. Social media working out diet health. It's it's we always have the time at Sam's like to do the first step and we we're like, okay, we're done.

[00:35:33] But very rarely do most of us consistently say, okay, I did A, B happened, why? What was the connection between a and B and we're too quick to say, oh, it just doesn't work. Or I stink at it. I'm no good. I don't like it, but we don't analyze the process. We, if it works great, but why did it work if it doesn't work?

[00:36:03] Why didn't it work? And what did you do to at least try and attempt do to try to, to quantify that relationship between the two. And I think, I think just doing that with anything sales, emails, You can start to notice trends. And then once you start to notice trends, I think at the very least, it puts you on the right track.

[00:36:24] It might not guarantee success, but you're starting to see, okay, this is working. This is not. I'm going to stick with what is working and here's why I'm doing this. It gives you a purpose instead of for just wondering why it didn�t work.

[00:36:34] Kevin Espiritu: and just wandering through the. Yeah. You're I think you're completely right on that. I think really?

[00:36:40] It's all, I think of a lot of life, honestly. I don't know if this is good or not, but I think a lot of life through a probabilistic lens. And so I think if I am paying attention, like you said, analyzing what worked, what didn't work. And I make these tiny adjustments as long as my brain works. So as long as my brain can understand cause and effect.

[00:37:00] Then I should end up at better results if I'm just applying that, that framework. And over time, the probability that I get better and better and better at it in the content gets getting better. Whatever thing you're trying to optimize for, it goes way up and the more reps you have at it and in the world of content, fortunately, you can, you can post a lot if you want to.

[00:37:21] The better you should be getting with each one. Thus, the audience that you're trying to build should be responding better over time. That's it should be bigger. Thus, the platform should grow and then, then you can go from there and apply that same methodology to everything else. So, yeah, it's just, to me, it's all sort of a probability thing

[00:37:39] Diego Footer: there.

[00:37:40] Kevin has spirit too, of epic gardening. If you want to learn more about everything that he's doing, check him out on Instagram at epic gardening, which I've also linked to below. And if you want to learn more about social media, building a following and promoting your farm, check out our brand new. Ready farmer one, that book has several chapters dedicated to marketing, selling, and differentiating your product.

[00:38:06] You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, but if nobody knows about it or cares about it, you're left eating or composting that product at the end of the day. And if you do that enough, you won't be a farmer for very long. If you want to up your sales game and learn proven techniques that have helped many farmers sell more product and build a bigger customer base.

[00:38:30] Check out our book, ready farmer one, available on amazon.com or using the link below. Thanks for listening to this episode. I hope you enjoyed it, but more importantly, I hope you do something with the information in this episode to make a more profitable farm

[00:38:47] Kevin Espiritu: business

[00:38:49] Diego Footer: I'm Diego. And until next time, be nice.

[00:38:53] Be thankful and do the work.

 

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