the-beatles-instagram

The Beatles get plenty of credit for being social innovators, but few people realize how far ahead of their time they actually were. Hidden between messages of free love and forward thinking, the fab four left behind lessons in something far more important. And we all know the only thing more important than peace and love: Instagram.

So, if you’re looking to grow your page, engage more with your audience, or are strictly in it for the likes, curl up with your Stg. Pepper vinyl and go down this list of Rules For Instagram According to The Beatles.

 

1 “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

Especially when you’re starting out, the amount of love you give on Instagram is proportional to the love you’ll get back. That ancient Instagram strategy of, “If you post it, they will follow,” is a myth.

The Beatles knew that you have to go like more photos than the average user and leave the comments you wish someone would leave you. Find the demographic you think should be following you and give their feed the love.  

 

2 “I get by with a little help from my friends.”

Trying to make your mark in the brave new world of Instagram is hard enough. Don’t try and do it alone. One of the best strategies for growth on Instagram is finding a community of like-minded creators where you help each other move up and get by. Find those who are producing content that compliments yours and then reach out to them. Promote each other in your stories, pages, and tags. Do this over and over.

 

3 “The long and winding road.”

George Harrison wrote “The Long and Winding Road” after a bout of severe IG depression. @RealG_Harrison was posting regularly, giving the love, but couldn’t break past the 5 million follower mark. He even wrote an old b-side called, “Algorithm Blues.”

He eventually accepted that building a loyal audience on Instagram takes an incredible amount of time. If you’ve hit a plateau with your page, you may need to spice things up, but more than likely you need to have patience and stay at it. 

 

4 “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time.”

Just when you think you’ve got the Gram all figured out, a new feature, algorithm, or trend comes along to shake it all up. If you want to grow you’ll need change along with the app and get better each day. As my great-grandfather once told me, “Son, your feed may have been fire in 2015, but you’re gonna need to step it this year.”

If you don’t want to be a slave to algorithm changes or trends, here’s what you should spend your time getting better at:

Delivering high-quality photos/videos; Writing thoughtful, relateable captions that elicit some type of emotion (#Sundayvibes isn’t going to cut it…); and finding your target audience. For the Beatles, that was anyone under 40 with a pulse. You’ll probably have to get more specific.

 

5 “Sounds of laughter, shades of life are ringing through my open ears, enticing and inviting me.”

If you want others to engage with you and follow your page you must entice them with emotion. Look at your feed: Are you inspiring adventure? Laughter? Are you giving your audience ideas that challenge them?

Create photos and captions that entice your audience. Then, invite them to float downstream with you.

 

6 “One thing I can tell you is you’ve got to be free”

John Lennon wrote this after one too many brand collabs clogged up his feed and his engagement tanked. Instagram has proven to be one of the most viable places to market products and services, but if you’re asking more than your giving, you’re doing it wrong.

Whatever your angle is, you should be giving away 90% of your value for free. That’s how you gain trust and earn a following. It’s only after you’ve added enough value pro-gratis that people will support you by buying your product, course, or book

 

7 “I will be there and everywhere. Here, there, and everywhere.”

You don’t need a passport to travel on Instagram. But you do need #hashtags. Hashtags are your photos tickets to lands far away. Use them (all 30) and watch your photos reach new people, places, and cultures.

 

8 “I ain’t got nothing but love babe, 8 days a week”

There are few different schools of thought on how often one should post, but the main thing to remember is to be consistent. And if you have good content, post it! Train your audience to rely on your posting schedule and then keep delivering the goods. The Beatles released 13 records in 7 years! Feeds move fast. No time to rest on your laurels… 

Regardless of how often you post, if you’re serious about growing your page you have to remember rule number one and give that love 8 days a week.

 

9 “I want to hold your hand.”

9 out of 10 marketing experts agree: Be human! This is where many personal brands go wrong, they forget to be relatable humans with cracks and flaws. Give your audience a hand to hold. Underneath those lighting edits, you’re just as vulnerable as they are. Make sure they know it.

 

10 “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.”

This isn’t (necessarily) a call to drop acid and get funky with photo filters. What the Beatles were trying to tell us here is, “Relax… It’s just Instagram. Have fun, make art, and enjoy the process.”

You can be serious about Instagram without taking it too seriously.

 

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I’m sure The Beatles had much more to say on the topic on Instagram, and if you have any favorite lyrics that preach the power of the feed I may have missed, shoot me a DM at @corey.mccomb. And don’t forget to like my photos. Seriously, go like my photos…

 

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5am-club-post

Of all the habits I’ve incorporated into my life this year, waking up at 5 am has been the most valuable. In the early morning, my canvas is still blank and I’m at my most creative. It’s before the colors of a morning commute run down my sides and the sloppy brushstrokes of emails and text messages find me.

My canvas gets filled as the day goes on and the window of possibility gets smaller. By the afternoon I’m bleeding. Heavy with half-dried paint.

But in the predawn darkness, my canvas glows white and my color wheel is full. The slate has been wiped clean and everything is new. Everything is possible.

I started waking up at 5 am as a way to get a few hours of writing done before work. I didn’t feel like I had enough hours in my day, so I created more. But now, 9 months in, I can say that waking up early is much more than another “productivity hack.” It’s had a ripple effect that’s touched all the areas of my life and simply put, made my life better.

Here’s WHY

 

Discipline

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” -Jerzy Gregorek

Getting out of bed is difficult in general. Doing so while it’s dark out can feel like medieval torture. And that’s the point. It’s doing the hard things first that sets the momentum for the entire day. It doesn’t really matter what you do once you’re up. Just by getting out of bed at an ungodly hour means you’ve won the first of many mental battles that are waiting for you. 

Discipline is at the root of all good habits. Cultivate it into your routine and it’ll be there when your motivation is still asleep.

A head start on the world

At 5 am the sun is still asleep and the moon is just finishing her shift. It’s the purgatorial, in-between of day and night and you’re there to watch it happen. There is a strange sense of satisfaction knowing that your day is starting while most people are still in bed. 

Whatever you do in the morning is up to you— Read, meditate, exercise, or just play. But knowing that you’re up and ready ahead of the world has power. It’s one of the reasons Kobe Bryant continued to be the first player on the floor for warm-ups, long after he was established as the best player in the league. Being first holds psychological power. 

Silence

It’s easy to overlook just how hard silence is to come by until you actually find it. The sounds of the world will find you soon enough, but at dawn, we more control over the volume around us. By all means, make 5 am yours — play music, watch tv, talk to yourself. Personally, the only sounds I want to hear at that time are the coffee machine bubbling and my fingers hitting the keys on my laptop.

No need to rush

When I wake up late I have to get moving right away. It’s shower, clothes, coffee, “See ya later!”  My mind is already focused on the day ahead before I even breathe in the morning air. 

Just as the relaxed pace of an early morning follows us throughout the day, the frenetic energy of feeling rushed sticks around as well.

Sunrises are better than sunsets

Sunsets are nice and full moons are beautiful. In fact, anytime the sky does things people gather around and Instagram feeds rejoice. But the reason sunrises are extra special is because they take more effort. Chances are you’ll see fewer in your lifetime than their counterpart. 

A sunrise is you and that big fiery ball wishing each other luck for the day. It’s hello instead of goodbye.

Are you convinced? Of course, you are.

Here’s HOW

 

Have a plan

Whether your aim is to increase productivity or not, you’ll need a plan for the morning before your alarm goes off. Taking the guesswork out of the equation is always a good strategy for getting more done, but it’s particularly important here since your sleepy little brain is going to try and bargain its way out of getting up.

Knowing exactly what you’re going to do once your feet hit the floor will give you a huge mental edge over the snooze button.

Don’t Think

Want to know the best trick for waking up early? Set your alarm and when it goes off get the f*ck out of bed. If you give your brain a chance to ponder why you’re getting up before the sun it WILL talk you out of it. Just zombie walk towards the coffee machine and it’ll all make sense eventually.

Work up to it

The first week or so will be hard to adjust, but like most things: Consistency breeds simplicity. If you can’t quit sleeping in cold turkey, try waking up 30 minutes earlier each day until you reach your target. If you want to be in the 5 am club but normally rise at 8 am, this strategy gets you there by day six.

Whether you do it all at once or work up to it, it takes most humans 7-10 days in a row to adjust.

Go to bed!

As much as I’m a proponent of waking up early, I am a much bigger fan of getting enough sleep. “Well, some people just need less sleep than others.” Nonsense. You need 7-8 hours. Yes, you. The benefits of waking up early aren’t worth much if you aren’t getting enough sleep to function throughout the day.

When life keeps me up and out until midnight or later, I push that alarm forward.

Remember, it doesn’t matter what you do

At least in the beginning, just waking up early is the goal. Once you make it a habit you’ll see the morning as your oyster and you’ll make good use of the time. Maybe you read, write, or do yoga. Hey, maybe you wake up early and tag your friends in hilarious memes so they can have a laugh right when they wake up. Not all heroes wear capes.

Whatever you do, make the morning yours and enjoy a head start on the world. 

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I was clenching my teeth again. I know when I’ve been doing it because I’ll yawn and my jaw will go POP! If that’s too much information for a first sentence I’ll just give you the gist of what this is all about now: I stumbled upon one of those little mental tricks, or hacks, that’s helped me find some extra balance. I’m going to tell you what it is.

But first let me ask: Do you ever put everything you have to do and everything you want to do on a mental carousel and get dizzy watching it go round and round? I just realized while writing this that people only get dizzy watching a carousel spin, not riding one.

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