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EXCLUSIVE: This Entrepreneur Built A 15M Follower Instagram Empire. Here’s How He Did It

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What’s up, WealthGANG… so we all know the importance of social media in today’s media and business landscape.

In a world where follows and likes are currency, the ones who know how to win on social media, win big.

(Just ask The Rock. He charges studios $1M just to tweet about the movie he’s in…)

In this WealthLAB exclusive, we sat down with NuMedia CEO Brandon Harris, who’s built a modern media powerhouse by acquiring popular Instagram handles and growing these accounts to seven figures in annual revenue.

Across the board, Brandon has over 15M followers and gets more than 1B views a year. Here’s how he did it…

WealthLAB: What’s good, Brandon?!

Harris: What’s up.

Let’s get right to it. What is NuMedia?

NuMedia’s a hybrid media-company-slash-influencer-marketing-agency with almost 15 million followers. We generate over 1B views per year. And, we help brands reach and engage with Millennials at scale.

How did it come about?

I’ve been in the sports industry since I was 19 and I identified a huge opportunity. I was on the buying side of a large basketball apparel brand, and I was seeing 12, 14, 15-year old kids make over $50,000 per year off us because of these enormous Instagram channels they built.

No way.

Yeah. And, the crazy part was, even with the high prices they were charging, it was insanely profitable on our end, too.

I knew Instagram influencer marketing was a rare win-win niche. I decided I wanted to be the biggest sports network on Instagram.

And, outside of Bleacher Report, ESPN and other huge corporations, there are pretty much no other companies with our level of reach in the extremely passionate sports media industry, available at prices that small businesses can afford.

You’ve gotten crazy follower numbers on IG. How did you do it?

Many people are social media gurus/experts. I’m not. I’m an entrepreneur. And, that’s probably my greatest advantage in this industry.

Do tell…

I am super passionate about finding growth hacks. I constantly look to find scalable methods of growth. And, the biggest driver in this case is basic understanding of unit economics.

For example, this person has this many followers, they get this much engagement per post, their prices are x, their daily sales volume is y. What levers can I pull to squeeze more dollars, more followers from this channel?

We always look to invest in consultation and staying with a finger on the pulse of the latest social growth techniques. First it was share for share, then giveaways, then private/DM technique, and now it’s essentially impossible to gain followers organically.

Who do you work with and how do you decide to go about it?

We hire under-appreciated young content creators. I hire operations people so I can focus on sales and business development. It’s a daily grind of looking at ways to improve the people and processes. We strive to get better every day.

It’s been a lot of growth hacks—social growth and sales growth—a lot of reinvesting, and a lot of strategic acquisitions to help us get to where we are now with the business.

I gotta ask you this. How the hell did you get those popular handle names?

I would love to say I have the secret sauce. To be honest, it’s mostly relationships.

The same person who helped me land the username @sports, helped me acquire @peace. @Acknowledge was someone who I spent over $100,000 on shoutouts with. @Legal was someone who wanted to work for me.

Which one? 1,2,3?

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So acquisitions mainly?

Yeah. And I made sure that everyone who was doing major things in the industry knew who we were. And, I got in very early and collaborated with the biggest influencers in the game. They knew they could trust me, given my history of making many of them very wealthy when I was solely on the buying side. So there wasn’t very much I had to do other than respond to incoming inquiries.

Lots of channels sell shoutouts. You have a different monetization strategy. Why is that — and how does it work for you?

I think the biggest difference is, like I touched on earlier, I’m much more of a general business person than a social media expert.

While others were focused on content and social growth, I was focused on scalable content systems, sales processes, other services, branding and so on.

Our monetization model is super balanced. We sell shoutouts like the others, but we’ve also built such a large network that we can offer guaranteed growth at a firm cost per follower.

We sell seven figures in apparel, we drive traffic to media content for a fixed CPC [cost-per-click], we create viral branded content and we help popularize hip hop artists, among other revenue sources. We’re always looking for new ways to profit without damaging our network.

Lots of entrepreneurs—budding entrepreneurs—are reading this. What’s your number one advice for someone who wants to start a business but still is on the fence?

I’m a big believer in taking risks and jumping at opportunities. Learn as much as you can, be great at what you’re doing, and understand that failure, at its worst, is temporary.

I got internships to learn SEO, I bought courses on social media, I’ve spent six figures on conferences and masterminds. There’s nothing more powerful than investing in knowledge and experience. Then, all it comes down to, is moving quickly and jumping at opportunities.

You can follow Brandon and NuMedia on Instagram here and here

Travel or clean? 🔥 (via @kobi_simmons2 h/t @bestcrosses)

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ENTREPRENEURS

This Grammy-Nominated Singer Built A Nostalgic Video Gaming Experience—And It’s Pretty Freakin’ Awesome

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lettajig

The gaming world is discovering the power of community, thanks to one of New York City’s most hip musicians.

Grammy Award nominated singer songwriter Letta J is on a mission to make gaming more social. The singer, raised in Dallas, now juggles a vibrant tour presence, songwriting, and building one of the most promising gaming events to check out.

With Love From The Grammys

singing

Letta J singing

Letta J has performed in genres spanning pop, R&B, all the way to country and soft rock. Her work led to a Grammy Nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album of The Year in 2016.

Not only is she a talented performer, she’s done songwriting for labels such as Sony, Atlantic, and P Diddy’s hop studio Daddy’s House.

Somewhere in the midst of it all, Letta J reconnected with a nostalgic passion for video games.

She’s not alone.

Each month, hundreds of gamers now take part in an online community called Coexist Gaming, which Letta J founded in 2018. Coexist Gaming runs a Facebook page where they post regular updates.

From The Grammys To Gaming

The coolest thing about Coexist Gaming, however, is how it gets people together offline for live gaming events.

About once a month, gamers come together at Coexist Gaming’s pimped out space in New York City for gaming fun.

Coexist Gaming is marking its one year anniversary on August 24. With tournaments sponsored by Ultimate Wireless, the event will bring back fan favorite games, including:

  • Smash Bros Ultimate
  • NBA 2K9
  • Madden 2000
  • Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation games
  • Alongside over 2,000 retro games spanning classic systems from the NES all the way to the iconic Sega Genesis

Gaming Together

If you feel like you’re missing out on the fun, that’s because you are. Trust Letta J’s background in the entertainment industry for crafting the most happening gaming event you could imagine.

When you walk into a Coexist Gaming event, you will be greeted by the endless variety of sheer fun.

There’s great food, drinks, alongside all the excitement you could want from pizza and sodas.

So much Pong and foosball

The backyard boasts a beer pong table and a retro gaming arcade.

If you fancy your foosball skills, you can engage in match ups against other gamers, there’s a table for that.

Where Coexist Gaming goes next…

A pool table is also available. Needless to say, this is the event to check out in NYC if you’ve ever enjoyed a video game.

What Letta J has accomplished in one short year with Coexist Gaming is breathtaking. She has brought back the nostalgia of the 90s video game consoles, but with a fresh excitement that’s so 21st Century New York style.

If you’re ready to join the fun at one of Coexist Gaming’s events, you can check them out here. The company has Basic, Pro, and Elite monthly subscriptions.

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ENTREPRENEURS

How Dwayne Johnson Became The Biggest Box Office Draw In History

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Dwayne Johnson’s earnings haul has been nothing short of scintillating. In 1998, at 26, he became the then-youngest WWE champion of all time.

Fast forward 20 years later, Dwayne Johnson’s wrestled his way to top of Hollywood’s food chain: For one, he’s the world’s highest paid actor. And he recently became the biggest draw in Hollywood history.

Johnson climbed the Forbes’ rankings to clinch the top spot as the world’s biggest star, trumping fellow actors like George Clooney and Robert Downey Jr.

The Rock’s scripted a superstar success story when it comes to entrepreneurship. After launching his production house with ex-wife, Dwayne soon expanded its operations to cover content strategy for social media platforms.

This big move helped them increase their global footprint.

Several endorsements, WWE stints and numerous action films later, Johnson now commands earnings of eight figures for films and shows. And his journey has only got more exciting by the day.

Bob Iger Insight

Happy to share a lil’ insight from an invaluable mentor and friend, Bob Iger. CEO of one of the most trusted and beloved brands the world has ever known. Building a global brand takes time.10, 20, 30 years.. even more. Sure it takes relentless hard work, passion & vision, but the main thing it takes is TRUST. Building that trust with your audience where they know and believe that you’ll always do your best to deliver a fun, memorable EXPERIENCE. And like any successful relationship, it takes years to build up and you always gotta take care of it with your own two hands. #TimeAndTrust 🌎

Posted by Dwayne The Rock Johnson on Friday, July 20, 2018

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ENTREPRENEURS

4 Types Of People To Be Around That Will Make The Hustle More Fun

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(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.) 

We all know that hard work and dedication are keys to success. The more you’re willing to sacrifice and go the extra mile, the greater your chances are of reaching your personal goals and passions.

While there’s no denying that hard work does play a major role in reaching success, surrounding yourself with the right people will always help. We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” … In my career, whenever I push myself to be around the positive thinkers and go-getters, it’s always up-leveled me and gave me more confidence to in turn fulfill my own dreams and ambitions.

Finding your network through all the different stages of your life and career is not only helpful in progressing your career, but it also creates amazing relationships and opportunities.

So, what type of people should you be surrounding yourself with?

THE PUZZLE PIECES

Find the network that is your perfect complement —the people that have the skills and abilities you strive for. Not only will this give you more confidence, it will help you learn the skills and abilities you may be lacking.

THE POSITIVE PEOPLE

Who doesn’t want to be around someone who’s happy and optimistic? Even though that doesn’t have to be all the time.

Surrounding yourself with positive and grateful people can have an incredible impact on your life, making you feel happier and more confident. Also, positive people are more likely to encourage you to take smart risks or move up the business ladder.

THE INNOVATORS

Dreamers and innovators are the people pushing society forward. They are the people interested in coming up with new and improved ways to solve problems and achieve success. Regardless of what field they’re working in, it’s never a bad idea to have a few outside-the-box thinkers in your social circle to help you look at things from a different perspective.

THE ANSWER SEEKERS

Just like innovators, people who constantly ask questions are the reason why we challenge old ways and come up with new ideas. When you’re surrounded by people who constantly ask questions, you’re more likely to come across the answers that you never knew you needed.

Ultimately, the people you keep in your inner circle can influence you in a number of different ways, including how you approach problems or whether you’re motivated to achieve greater things or not. Of course, this isn’t to say that everyone around you needs to be someone who’s working those extra-long hours to get to the next phase in life.

However, when you have a few business-minded people in your life, you’re more likely to inherit some of their drive, benefit from their knowledge, and even network in some of the same circles. For that reason, it’s always important to make friends who have the same goals and aspirations as yourself. It might just help you get to the top quicker.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

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