written by
Garrett Adkins

"Going Viral" Will NOT Solve All Your Problems

viral social media digital marketing garrett adkins storytelling growth hack 4 min read

People want to be seen. People want to have an impact.

I want to be seen. I want to have impact.

… but compare being seen by 1,000 raving fans that fit your niche or 100,000,000 who like a meme saying “it’s 5’oclock somewhere” on your page? I would choose the former.

Why? One has depth where the other is high numbers but little to no substance or true value to the viewer.

In a world where we hear of overnight celebrities through social media, it is easy to feel that this level of attention is our big break to really making it in business.

Let’s first break that misconception…

  1. Many “overnight successes” have put in hours of work perfecting the art of content and have a full catalogue of failed attempts that they would rather you not see.
  2. Going from 0 to 100 (as Drake would put it) can be massively overwhelming and damage a brand who isn’t ready for that level of exposure.
  3. “Going Viral”, or being an influencer, doesn’t always translate into the Benjamins. Let’s take this woman, for example, who had 2 million followers but couldn’t sell more than 36 shirts.

Although lots of “eyeballs” sound nice; it isn’t necessary for most entrepreneurs or creators.

What you should first be figuring out is what your true desires are as a business and creator while also aligning that to your income goals and needs.

Before we put all the chips in on going viral, it is important to have financial stability and clarity on how you can continue generating revenue through mass exposure.

Once we know our income goals, offer, and desired impact through our message we can reverse engineer this outcome with what is truly necessary for achieving this.

For many, it won’t entail mass exposure but deeper relationships with fewer people that are die-hard fans of you and your message. These individuals will yell your message from the rooftops and become recurring customers for all future launches.

If you still feel you need 100,000 consistent eyeballs to build a business online… please read Kevin Kelly’s 1000 True Fans Theory.

In it, he shows how $100,000/year businesses can be created from a small group of fans/customers regardless of how micro your niche may be.

Someone else who has really cracked the code to gaining authority in a market very quickly through engaging content and targeted ads is Scott Oldford.

A mechanical engineer in Alaska probably has no idea who this guy is but in the business circles he leads the pack in many ways.

He coined the term “ROI Method” for his methodology in gaining a hyper-engaged, paying audience.

What does ROI stand for?

Quotes pulled from Scott's site.


“Relevancy is what often springs to mind when you think of marketing.

In essence, when I say Relevancy, I mean your marketing message and your funnel.

If the key to making a sale is giving the right message to the right person at the right time and place… Relevancy ensures you have the right message to begin with.”


“Omnipresence is where you appear everywhere to your target audience. You become ‘top of mind’ and start to dominate their newsfeed (and everywhere else they go online).”

This is achieved through making multiple pieces of content relevant to your offer that target a small group of your audience. The use of multiple pieces of content makes each engagement fresh for the viewer with packed value in each post. Targeting a small audience (website visitors for example) keeps costs low compared to targeting anyone on Facebook with an interest in “entrepreneurship".


“Intimacy is about creating real relationships.

In today’s world, we face constant automation and technology. The people you serve crave a real connection with a real person. Somewhere along the way, online marketing became about making a quick buck rather than offering to help real human beings.

When you focus on Intimacy with your audience, you develop insanely strong relationships.”

With this approach and the authority it gains in the eyes of his audience he has been known to casually do a 6 figure launch from start to finish in 13 days. No big deal though.

Mass attention (virality) on topics you are passionate about is not a good or bad thing. The question sits with, “is this the most effective use of my time and beneficial direction for where I am at on my journey?”

I invite you to take a look at where your true income goal and desires lay.

Maybe you are still focused on figuring out your offer and vision.

Maybe you are still looking to set up a converting funnel and early fans that will reach your $10,000 a month goal and overhead.

Maybe you know that your message on “climate change” NEEDS to reach millions and that is the sole goal... exposure.

Maybe you are hitting $100,000 monthly on auto-pilot and want to start investing in growing your personal brand to a larger audience because the time is right. Your current goal may be to impress your book publisher or put you on more speaking engagements.

Just be aware of where you are truly at and what you truly need in the phase of life or business.

Act on logic, not ego.


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Note: This is not to put down the desire to reach millions or become an influencer. I have built a career on helping creators and stories go viral consistently on social media. Being known for that skill brings a lot of people to me asking for the same when they should be focused on sales and reaching a small group of hyper-targeted fans... not everyone.

Some should focus on making their content go viral. Others should focus more on a thousand true fans model. Both can have a major impact and financial reward if done right.

Influencer marketing digital marketing Social Media viral