Do you want to blow up your social media channels and drive potential photography clients to your website? 

If you have ever heard of Gary Vee, you are probably aware of his $1.80 method to grow your social media, let’s take a deep dive on how we can use it to grow your social channels!

What is the $1.80 method?

If you’ve not heard of the $1.80 method, you may be asking what it is.

It’s a social media strategy where you leave your 2 cents on the top nine trending hashtags, relevant to your business, brand or industry, every single day.

By the end of each day, all that effort has come together so that you leave a full $1.80’s worth of valuable interaction in your niche market.

All that interaction allows you to create a community around your niche and get eyeballs on your profile. 

Conversations = conversions

So let’s take a look at how we can use the $1.80 strategy in 3 easy steps.

How can we use the $1.80 method to grow our social channels?

The whole $1.80 method revolves around creating an active community in your niche.

The days of putting a photo on Instagram with the right hashtags and getting hundreds of likes are over. The fabled “algorithm” rewards conversation and having a community is the best way to achieve that.

If you want to go down the rabbit hole of the Instagram algorithm, check out this great video from HeyDominik:

In order to get that conversation going, you need to actively engage with others who have the same interests as you.

1. How to find the best hashtags related to you niche

This is the easy bit and after a few hours you should have all your hashtags ready to go.

First off, we need to identify hashtags relevant to your area.

Luckily, Instagram recommends related hashtags, making it super easy to get a list.

So for my niche, i’m going to use “#architecturephotogtaphy”

As you can see Instagram suggest other related hashtags in the drop down and if you click into the hashtag:

It gives you even more to go at.

Now what you need to be looking for, is not just the most popular hashtags, but also lesser known hashtags that relate to your niche where you can begin to make a real impact and get noticed.

Now go into the top nine posts on each hashtag and begin to identify who the popular accounts are, how many likes they are getting and also how active they are, i.e. do they respond to comments and are people actively engaged with their profile.

This is where you begin to notice that followers are often just a vanity metric.

If you find an account which only has a few followers but has 20 comments on each post, it’s time to start reaching out and leaving your 2 cents as they are highly engaged.

You’re more likely to be seen in these small markets so concentrate most of your effort here.

This may seem like a time consuming process but there are ways to make it quicker.

Free tip: Use Google Sheets to organise your hashtags

To speed the process up, once you have identified your relevant hashtags, bang them into a spreadsheet, I like to organise them by:

Hashtag > Amount of images in the hashtag > Average likes on the top 9 

You may end up with a list of hundreds of hashtags but it allows you to quickly identify hashtags which have a small amount of images but a large amount of likes i.e. higher engagement.

If you spot a hashtag which has higher engagement, use it!

2. Start leaving your 2 cents

Now you have a list of the hashtags you want to use, it’s time to start leaving your 2 cents.

It’s important here that you’re not just banging the heart emoji or typing “cool”, try to type something which adds value and relates directly to the image so they know you have looked at it.

If you think the post can benefit someone else, tag them in the comments.

If someone has put a question, which you know the answer to, answer them!

These are easy ways to leave your 2 cents and overtime will increase your own interaction as others see how active you are within the community.

Remember to connect with others too, if you like someone’s profile and want to see more, connect with them then drop them a DM telling them what you like about their profile.

It’s all about starting genuine conversations, don’t have a sales pitch or anything sleazy, ask them if you can help them in any way and cultivate it from there.

3. Continue to leave your 2 cents to grow your following

That’s the process, now you just have to stick to it.

Leave your 2 cents on 9 posts for 10 hashtags, every single day.

Over time you will start to see that more and more people start replying to your comments as they begin to recognise your name and see that you’re adding value, not just to them but to their followers.

The idea isn’t just to follow/unfollow as many other Instagram growth hacks practise, it’s to add value and gain meaningful connections. 

This means you will probably receive fewer connections but when you put out a piece of content, they will be engaged and you have a higher likelihood of them engaging and sharing your content.

What’s the biggest win in all this?

Outside of all the followers and positive engagement?

You’re going to learn more about your niche.

You’re consuming 90 pieces of quality content, every single day.

This isn’t just going to inspire you, it will show you what others are interacting with and allow you to tailor your content to your audience.

How long does the $1.80 strategy take?

Check your screen time on your phone right now.

Pretty shocking, huh?

Imagine using that time in a proactive manner rather than just scrolling.

Once you get this strategy down it can take as little as a minute per image, meaning it’s 90 minutes out of your day.

So if you do 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in your lunch break and 30 minutes in the evening you can make a massive difference to your community.

How can I adapt the $1.80 strategy to other platforms?

If Instagram isn’t your bag then this strategy can be used to grow your connections on any social network.

Just use the same idea of giving you 2 cents until you have $1.80 in your piggy bank!

$1.80 strategy for Twitter

Twitter is one of the easiest channels to convert this to, again type in you chosen hashtag:

Then Twitter handily shows you the top 9 tweets at the moment for that hashtag.

If you already have a spreadsheet of hashtags from your Instagram research, this is a great way to get another quick win!

$1.80 strategy for LinkedIn

LinkedIn is beginning to see a rise in hashtags so now is a great time to be using this strategy.

They have even started suggesting related hashtags on the platform too:

It’s exactly the same process, reach out to people and comment, like and share their content.

If you’re going to add them as a connection, LinkedIn allows you to send a personalised request. 

Use this feature.

Starting cultivating meaningful connections and people will begin to associate your name with a certain niche.

$1.80 strategy for Facebook

Facebook isn’t big on hashtags.

You’re going to want to use groups and pages here.

Find groups that are relevant to your niche and add value, throw those 2 cents in and you’ll soon start seeing results.

What results can I expect from the $1.80 strategy?

As with all social media strategies, the key to the $1.80 method is all down to consistency.

You have to show up every single day and put those 2 cents in.

Like any investment the more you can put in the more you are going to get out.

As you can see, adopting this strategy can make a HUGE difference to growing your channels in an organic way.

UPDATE: I tried this for 7 days on my own account, you can check out the results here: Gary Vee Results

Have you tried the $1.80 strategy, how have you got on? Drop me a comment below and remember to share this post if you found it valuable!

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