Welcome to another instalment of #FlickTalks! In this interview, we spoke with Marcus Smith (@thatmotivatedkid), in order to understand how he connects with his followers on Instagram. Marcus hails from Toronto, Canada, and shares ‘daily actionable motivation’ for his followers online.
How to Connect with Your Followers on Instagram with Marcus Smith
For people who might not be familiar with you, how did you get started with your account, @thatmotivatedkid?
It all started with me being a kid that is always looking to inspire myself. I am really big on energy and that is exactly what you see with me. the way that I look at it with the name ‘that motivated kid’ – ‘That Motivated Kid’ is Marcus and Marcus smith is That Motivated Kid.
The best way to look at it is just that I branded myself. There really are no shortcuts around it, it’s linear. Its just a matter of me presenting with the energy that I wish to see in the world. I’m always looking to encourage and present this sense of togetherness – that’s one of the other big things I focus on too. The main purpose of what I am looking to do Is ‘train the mind, the body will follow’. And just looking at exploring to see the difference between physical and mental growth, and I’m looking to showcase how close they are together intertwined.
Did you start it as your personal account?
Yes. It originally was my personal account, it’s a little bit easier to make that transition because it’s still me. I originally started as @iammarcussmith and I changed it to a couple of names – I was brainstorming for the longest time. That Motivated Kid is easy to remember, top of mind, the awareness is really clear and its descriptive to exactly who I am. It was originally a personal page but because I’m willing to brand myself in a specific manner it was seamless to transition.
How do you reach and connect with your followers on Instagram?
Being authentic is the number one thing. In terms of Instagram, I just came upon it originally as a means to get my message out to individual people, to be like “look, this is my message and this is what I’m telling you.” Now, it’s become more: “We’ve heard about you and we want to know what you are doing, and take the next steps with you going forward.” It’s turned into more of a business tool, but I am building solid genuine connections and friendships. I don’t want to be the one to tell you, I want to be the one doing it with you. I’m showcasing my growth and showing the authenticity behind that.
Who is your target audience?
I would say people generally around my age – I’m 26 – millennials for sure. What I want to do is broaden my audience scale and connect to Instagram followers who are younger than me, and inspire them to make changes earlier rather than later. So, you want to be proactive rather than reactive. This is all about instilling the positive mindset from the get go. I had to grow, I’ve been there, I’m very fortunate to look back at where I used to be and I want to showcase those individual steps. Do I wish I did it earlier? Absolutely. Did I? No. I want to show people that this is what I did and this is how I’m going to continue treading forward.
Do you have any kind of strategy that you go by for your content?
I’m actually rewriting a plan now in regards to that. I have some soft skills that I’m looking at such as storytelling, accessibility, communication, an eye for opportunity and looking at individual brands – so placing myself in the post optimal position for myself to actually grow.
In terms of strategy I can say that you obviously should have a clear call to action, be really coherent in what you are offering, have a positive vibe, and use less words. That’s probably one of the major things that I am looking to do. Right now, a lot of my stuff is very wordy – I ask myself, instead of using as many words, could I use an infographic or pictures, or even audio? Motivation minute is something that will be coming back too – I’m really excited about that. In terms of just generic storytelling and making sure that its genuine and it’s really the way that I want it to be and it represents me as a whole.
And do you have different content formats that achieve those different goals – do you have that one type of content that you feel helps you gain Instagram followers, or one that helps you create a deeper connection with the audience you already have?
Yes, the videos – Motivation Minute. I feel as if speaking is my thing – and words can only excel so much, so sitting down in front of the camera, pressing record and saying “hey Julia this is what I’m doing” is so different from me typing out “hey Julia this is what I’m doing.” It’s a little more interpersonal.
It allows me to showcase me for more than just a text. You can come on my profile and think he’s got to be motivated, but when you see me speaking or you see me getting excited that is where I think I hit a lot of people. Me sitting in front of the camera and being like ok cool I’ve said you can get motivated, but now its time for us to do that together.
With your account, do you plan to use it as a business in the future?
I would love to. The long-term goal is that I want to be speaking in front of a lot of people. I want to inspire more. More than what I currently have now. I wouldn’t say I wanted to expand my reach, without putting in the work and making that happen. And that is exactly what I’m looking to do. If I can travel the world and speak to everybody – if I could speak to everybody and affect many that’s completely fine with me. I would definitely want my message to get out there as a full-time job.
Do you have a process in terms of looking back on your posts to see what performs well?
You want to reflect on whether things are performing the way you want it to. My message can be told in 6 different ways and that’s exactly what I want to do. I don’t want to be creating content every day that comes down the channel in the same way, and you’re expecting what it is. I want to keep people on their toes and provide people with that breath of fresh air.
How in advance do you create your content?
It depends. For me it’s all about the message. If you look in my notes there’s captions upon captions, I have 25-50 captions ready. I wake up every morning and I write. I go to bed and I write. It’s the first thing I do in the morning, and the last thing I do at night. Why? Because it is reflective of what I did for the day. So that’s the way I look at it – I go through a day and think ok cool this is what happened today and this is my reflective input of that day. Then the next day I reflect on what I did yesterday, what I want to do going forward, and how I can make that better.
Do you look to any other accounts for inspiration, what is your process when it comes to creating ideas for your content?
Coming up with ideas, I only have to look at myself and how I feel. A lot of the time, my followers can connect to my Instagram content and it’s because I’m going through it. A lot of the time people think: “I don’t know what to post.” Post what you feel and post what you are living. Post yourself. Providing a sense of humility – human connection and brand connection and branching those two things together is probably the most seamless way for someone’s message to resonate with others. Have the brand message direct itself to human connection.
What advice would you give to people who want to start an account but maybe don’t have to confidence to do so?
Press start. Literally press start. The most seamless and easiest thing to do. – It’s something I’ve posted about – start now, start right now. That is the one thing and the biggest obstacle that people present themselves with is that they don’t have the confidence to showcase their own message. Their message is very special, it’s unique, it’s powerful and it is their own. Make sure you understand that, and when you do that will give you all the confidence you need in order to take the next step forward.
We hope you enjoyed this interview with Marcus, where we talked how to connect with your followers on Instagram, and gained insightful tips for staying motivated and creating quality content!