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How One Entrepreneur Grew a Massive Online Community

How many of us want to grow a massive online community?

Ever have "envy" of that page with 250,000 Facebook fans and a million hits on their website monthly?

If so, I think you'll want to listen to this real life success story of one man growing a Facebook community to over 500,000 in one year with no Ads, and now this Page is up to over 800,000!

whitetail-overload-collin-story-800k-facebook-fans-no-ads

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Growing Whitetail Overload Community:

It's the story of how one entrepreneur grew a massive online community that drives residual income of $5,000-$10,000+ per month!

Collin Cottrell from Pancake, Texas, was my guest for this episode and we had a great time!  I had known Collin online for a little while and we recently had the opportunity to connect in person at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.  We immediately hit it off and I was enthralled by Collin's story.

collin cottrell smmw15

It's the story of taking one's passion (hunting and being outdoors) and combining that with one's skill-set (web design, social media & digital marketing) and growing a business that allows you to then do both!

Passion + Skill-set = Lifestyle Business

Side note:  We had this interview in the afternoon because Collin was out hunting in the morning!

collin_cottrell_hunting

Collin launched Maxima Media as a digital agency geared towards helping clients in the hunting and outdoor community.  From that experience, in August of 2013 he launched a Facebook Page called "Whitetail Overload."  On this Page he began posting engaging content and photos 3-5x a day and good things began to happen!

Facebook Page Success:
No Ads and Zero to 500k in 1 year

Collin covered the story in the podcast and you can read more about it on the Post Planner Blog but the basics are:

  • 0 Fans in August 2013
  • 800,000 fans soon after August 2014
  • No Facebook Ads were used, simply Engaging Content, Contests, and Giveaways

Collin noted in the Post Planner interview:

To get the page started the guys drove fan traffic from a few other hunting-related pages they run — none with this many Facebook Likes.

We started the page by doing some different promos & giveaways… to get the whitetail hunting fans excited about joining our page. Then we mixed in creative, unique, engaging content… to make sure that the fans would convert into true Whitetail Overload fans.

At the same time, they reached out to other hunting-related pages to cross promote one another with giveaways, etc.

The number of Facebook Likes skyrocketed!

whitetail_overload_facebook_page

So what do you do with 800,000+ Facebook fans?  Start a website!

[Tweet "From zero to 800k Facebook fans in 1 year with no Ads! Wow! Podcast via @Mike_Gingerich #halftimemike"]

It wasn't until July of 2014 that Collin launched WhitetailOverload.com.  The site is a blog dedicated simply to content related to whitetail deer hunting and other hunting related information and news.  This became the content source for his Facebook page and with Ads on the site he's been able to generate over $10,000 in a month of income!  Not too shabby!

And did I mention that the site gets over 1 million unique website visits per month?  Yeah.

We covered his Facebook posting strategy and his blog posting strategy, as well as how he manages his Facebook page, often from a hunting stand or blind in the wild!

What's Changed for the Facebook Page?

  • Photos used to work the best, but now links from posts on his website are generating the most clicks
  • He continues to use Post Planner to help with some recurring posting and finding engaging posts
  • He does on occasion Boost posts that are performing to get extra traction for them

The Launch of Outdoor Overload:

Based on the success of Whitetail Overload, Collin recently launched a new Facebook page and website: OutdoorOverload.com. The same concept from Whitetail applies, great content on a niche topic.  This time the niche is broader, all things outdoor, but the concept remains the same. Collin is up over 3,000 fans simply by sharing a few posts from the website on the Whitetail Overload Facebook page!  Not bad for the first month!

We also discussed his Morel Mushroom Hunting Facebook Page. This niche site dedicated to that topic now has over 37,000 fans, and no website, simply some posts about Morel Mushroom Hunting and mixing in a few post shares from his other websites!

In total, with a number of niche Facebook Pages and a few websites in the outdoor and hunting arena, Collin has a community of over 5 million Facebook fans that he connects with and drives to his websites!

That's a synopsis of our time.  Listen in for all details and fun!

What are your thoughts and questions?

Share your thoughts below!

Links:

Inspiration:

As I've noted, I want to start including a inspirational spot.  We all need to be moved in our heart.  This elevates our thinking, encourages us, and inspires us to live higher and better than any negative around us!

My inspiration this week came from a audition for "America's Got Talent".

Anna Clendening is a 20-year-old singer overcomes her anxiety disorder to connect with the judges and audience in a moving performance.  Take a moment to watch Anna Clendening's stunning cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

C'mon, it touched you didn't it!

Next Doable Task:

It’s always about taking away learnings and applying them!  What’s the key takeaway that you need to act on in the next 24 hours based on listening to this?
Help Spread the Word! Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast. Simply click here now to post a tweet >>.   If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please “go over to iTunes,  leave a rating, write a review and subscribe!   Thank you so much for your support!

Why the Halftime theme Mike?

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create a updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn't. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

Subscribe via iTunes: Halftime Mike on iTunes | Android users via RSS | Listen on Stitcher.

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