Flashy cars, trips all over the world, and consistent educational insight on a daily basis?! Gerard Adams isn't your typical Instagram Entrepreneur looking to make a couple bucks off of aspiring young people. No, he's far from that. Gerard Adams is THE man you want on your team if you're looking to take your idea and make it blossom into a multi-million dollar company. How we do know? He's already done it...at the young age of 24. We had the honor of sitting down and talking all things branding and success with this young entrepreneur. This is one interview you can't afford to miss!
How did you manage to break through from Co-Founder of Elite Daily to becoming the Millennial Mentor?
In the early stages of Elite Daily, I was nowhere on social media. I had an instagram but never really posted. I didn’t really care about posting all the time, but what caught my eye was the business aspect of it. I then started analyzing the "role models" of today's millennial age group, and didn't feel like they were portraying what an entrepreneur really was and the sacrifice and hard work it really takes.
I grew tired of these "role models" selling people “the dream” and not representing the real struggle of it all. That's where the inspiration for being a mentor came from. Ever since then, mentorship has played a huge role in my life. I became the “big brother” of millennial entrepreneurs, sharing the insight I had gained from creating and selling Elite Daily. I just felt like there were so many fakes out there, spreading false knowledge on what it takes to truly work hard as an entrepreneur. I stepped out of my comfort zone and wanted to really show what it takes to become successful. I wanted to become more of a role model and leader for the generation.
How do you establish a brand/voice in a crowded social media market?
It is tough, but I think what is most important, is staying true to myself and not paying attention to what everyone else is doing. I stay focused on what I’m doing on an everyday basis and how that can bring value to someone else’s life. Aligning myself with like-minded thought leaders and entrepreneurs in our culture and building relationships with them has also been a huge help for me. I felt that by doing this, I was creating a unique way to differentiate myself. Rather than focusing on followers or clicks, I was focusing on culture, and creating content around that. I became a storyteller and shined the light on fellow entrepreneurs. It’s how I came to create my motto, Leaders Create Leaders, I wanted to bring to the surface the incredible work of the people I was associating myself with.
How do you create content that stands out? Before you had a team of people helping, what type of content did you see beneficial to be posting?
The best content is “edu-tainment”, it’s content that is both entertaining and educational. Be creative. Get outside! Figure out different locations, travel, and try to create a really cool creative post - and be as educational as possible in the caption, give your readers value. Educate people. EDUTAINMENT. Add storytelling. Create a story line. What is your goal? How do you want to make people feel? Write out that story and create a narrative. Be vulnerable with your community. You want an account that people can trust, and you need to earn that trust..being vulnerable is key.
What was your thought process behind FOWNDERS? What is your overall goal with the program?
When I first started this journey 14 years ago, I was primarily focused on money and material items. I went through a huge change in my 20’s and had a major reality check. My mother inspired me to really focus on the things that mattered, how could I create actual change? After years of overcoming crazy obstacles, I felt alone a lot of the time because people didn't really understand what i was trying to do. With Elite Daily I didn't take an income for 3.5 years, I was working solely on passion. It was an unbelievable journey to take an idea and turn it into a platform that was averaging over 80 million unique visitors a day. To see how this was inspiring people around the world was incredible, it was such an amazing experience.
Once that I happened I realized my bigger calling. I wanted to do something that would help foster the creative spirit, give people the capacity and the resources to turn their ideas into realities.
I saw a lot of these ecosystems being created for the economy and entrepreneurs, and I wanted to bring this same system to my neighborhood and minorities across the country. I wanted to provide a place for them to grow and be apart of a community of like minded individuals.
That is essentially what Fownders is. A system where aspiring entrepreneurs can come together to bring their ideas to life. We provide mentees the education, insight, and tools they’ll need to become successful in their fields. I’d like to take FOWNDERS on a global level, that will be the next step for us.
What advice would you give someone looking to build a personal brand online?
First off, congrats to Instasize, when launching Fownders the first master class I created was on social currency. It includes all the strategies I used to build my personal platform. I have used InstaSize many times! Because of my presence online, I have been able to grow my circle of influence, host speaking engagements, make deals with Inc. 100 companies, and travel the world. Most importantly, it has allowed me to shed light and have a voice as a founder on what I’m passionate about. Follow what you’re passionate about. NOW is the time to create a personal brand, it’s essential in the entrepreneurship realm. I have several hours of work that I’ve done that explains HOW I built my own brand, I urge anyone who’s interested in learning more to take the Social Currency course on Fownders.
What’s the number one mistake you see people making when it comes to building their brand + social media presence?
Procrastination. A lot of people get caught up in overthinking and overanalyzing, and then never get around to actually posting. I call it “over analysis paralysis”. Get the content out there! Don't worry too much. Be consistent. Use your own voice. Don’t get overwhelmed. It's like another job, it's a daily commitment. Time management is huge in this field. Over time, use all platforms, but in the beginning go all in on one platform. Then expand to other platforms. Pre-planning posts is huge, a content manager is key. Me and my team plan out as many posts as possible, we have to. Never stop the hustle and never try and imitate someone you see online, stay true to you and your passions.