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Success Spotlight with Brad Cameron: Owner of Build Your Empire
Brad Cameron is the owner of Build Your Empire, an entrepreneurship focused community of over 1 million on Instagram that he started with his strong passion for entrepreneurship. Brad is currently working on expanding the community beyond Instagram by creating ways that aspiring entrepreneurs all around the world can learn from successful entrepreneurs and connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs from around the world seeking success.
How do you define success?
Success to me means living a life by design doing what I love and what makes me happy. It’s setting goals, achieving them and then setting new goals, but most importantly enjoying the process and journey along the way.
I’m on a life mission to provide value to millions of people. Even if I fall short in my time alive and only provide value to thousands of people, I’ll still consider that a personal success as I was in the pursuit of my goals giving it my all.
On top of that, I think of success as having a work-life balance. I can’t be successful if my relationships with my family/friends is a disaster or if I neglect my health/fitness but have a profitable business.
Everyone has his or her own journey and story to tell. Can you talk about your journey up to this point?
For sure, so I’ve always taken an interest in finding ways to make extra money since the age of 15. Whether I’m attempting to flip electronics on Ebay (I failed), build niche “how-to” websites to whack ads on (I failed), or hire freelance ghost-writers to write kindle ebooks in different niches under various pen names (I failed).
In December 2013, I started an Instagram page called @entrepreneursofinstagram posting entrepreneurial related quotes. It took me 6 months just to get to 10,000 followers, then another 6 months to get to 100,000 followers. Now after a couple of name changes, @buildyourempire_ has over 1 million Instagram followers and tens of thousands of email list subscribers, allowing me to make a full time income online.
Now I’m in a position that if I can execute right, I’ll be able to leverage this Instagram audience to build a business through other platforms and projects that can (hopefully) help millions of people!
It’s been a great journey, I never thought I’d meet so many amazing and inspiring people in online and in real life (Such as Jake!).
You now have over 1 million followers on Instagram! What are some of the strategies you’ve used to build such an amazing account?
The three main strategies I used when starting out (and still recommend to others) were:
Shoutout for Shoutouts: This is when you repost a content piece from another Instagram account (and recommend that your followers follow that account) that is in the same or similar niche to your account and has a similar sized following number, and then they return the favour to you by reposting one of your content pieces on their page recommending people to follow your page. This is a great way to get advertising from other accounts if you don’t have a budget to pay.
Hashtags: Use all 20 available hashtags to you in the first comment (looks cleaner than in the caption), with hashtags that are related to your niche. For example, if you own a lawn care business, your 20 hashtags will be based around Lawn care. Potential customers interested in your niche that look through the hashtags will see your content/account.
Give genuine comments: Go through the 20 hashtags you have chosen from the above step and give genuine comments on the photos of potential followers/customers. Tailor each comment to the picture, so the person doesn’t think you’re just another “auto commenting bot” or copy and pasting generic comments such as “nice!”. Also don’t ask for them to follow you back or sell anything, you just purely provide value to them and in time some of these interactions will turn into valuable relationships/customers.
What are some ways people drive revenue from Instagram?
If you don’t have your own product, you can either sell someone else’s product for a commission or doing advertisements for a fee. Obviously for people to want to pay you for advertisements or be able to sell products you will need to take the time to build a community in your niche. The advertisements can be of a product with a link to purchase in your bio, or to promote someone else's page by creating a post with a strong call to action to get people to follow them.
What are you looking forward to most in the next 6 months?
I’m looking forward to seeing where I can take the Build Your Empire brand. I have a couple of courses in mind I want to create and I’m putting together a free digital magazine, so that will be interesting to see how it all goes.
What are your biggest goals?
From a business standpoint, I want to find ways to help millions of entrepreneurs for free by providing a ton of value, whether that be entrepreneur interviews, how to guides, courses, resources, etc.
From a charity standpoint, I’m in the process of slowly raising $50,000 to build a school in Laos for children in need. I have a long way to go on that one haha.
Besides that, I want to spend a lot of time traveling, trying new experiences and meeting new inspiring people whilst I’m in my twenties (I’m 23 now).
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Give first, ask later. I’ve built so many relationships this way with people I wanted to get into contact with. Whether that’s work for someone for free, get more creative and think outside of the box, or to just find ways to provide value to that person. Then later on they’ll help you back. If possible, build something that you can leverage to give value to people in your industry, such as a big social media page that you can promote them on.
If you could have lunch with 3 people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Elon Musk- The dude’s seriously next level, a true visionary with his fingers in so many diverse cutting edge technology companies. Anyone having a lunch with Elon would come out realizing just how small of a level they are thinking on.
Gary Vaynerchuk- Gary’s killing it at the moment, and he’s quickly becoming the go to authority in the whole entrepreneur niche.
Casey Neistat- Casey is a film maker and entrepreneur. He posts daily Youtube videos and is the co-founder of Beme, a video sharing social media app. Casey’s a cool guy that travels around the world doing whatever he wants; he’d be a great dude to grab a beer with.
The Fundamental Round
Favorite food: Chicken Parmigiana
Favorite book: The Millionaire Fastlane - MJ Demarco
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite athlete: Scott Pendlebury (Google “Australian Football League” ;))
Favorite sports team: Collingwood FC (Same as above haha)
Favorite song: Avicii - Bromance
Favorite quote: “It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” - Mark Cuban
Biggest role model: Gary Veeeeee
Animal you most resemble (looks or personality): Oh man, no idea what I resemble haha, I do think orangutans are pretty cool animals though!
You can connect with Brad here:
Build Your Empire Instagram
Brad Cameron Instagram
Brad Cameron Facebook