Buckle up, buds. In this episode, we talk to Lisa Kilgour about how she grew her TikTok to 288k+ followers. Spoiler: It's part strategy, part energy, part accident.
Funny how these conversations about achieving massive social media growth for your business often come back to more woo topics, like trusting yourself, being ready to be seen, and doing inner work.
Lisa went viral over and over and over again after YEARS of hearing crickets, and in this episode, she's spilling on what changed to make all that growth appear.
Links we mention:
Lisa's viral Chocolate video
Lisa's book: Un-Dieting
Get a free chapter of Lisa's book (all about food cravings) here:
Shiny New Clients episode about the Energy of going viral:
✨Tap here to watch a FREE masterclass about “How To Get Clients From Instagram (without wasting hours glued to your phone)"
Tap here to get your free Posts That Sell Template (This caption got us 10 sales calls in 3 hours)
Tap here to try Later.com (Jenna's favourite social media scheduling software)
Music by Jordan Wood
Hosted by Jenna Warriner, Creator of Magic Marketing Machine
You might not know this about me, but I am a salty, salty girl. I love salt. Actually, some people that I went to college with still comment about how me and my best friend would like commonly be found in bed with a bag of chips. Not in a weird way.
Don't be weird about it. But I've always loved salt. And so when this woman popped up on my TikTok talking about salt and salt cravings, I was hooked. Immediately. And today I've got with me Lisa Kilgour, who is a nutritionist. Who has amazing TikTok content and almost 300...
thousand followers north of a quarter million followers she has on TikTok. And guess what? She's just like you, no different than you or me. So we're going to talk to her about how she got there and how maybe we can translate some of that following over to Instagram where she's having a little bit more of a struggle.
Oh, I'm so happy to be here. This is so fun. And I love salt cravings. Salt cravings are my favorite thing to tell people about. Oh, and I've always had low blood pressure, like since I was a teenager. It makes everybody so happy because you tell me you have salt cravings. I asked you, do you have low blood pressure?
I'm like, then you need more salt. That's what your body needs. Go have more salt. And then they love me forever. And they're great fans. Do you want to know what that was my exact experience? Someone is validating me and letting me have more salt. I was literally like, babe, guess what this woman on the internet just said.
That's exactly it and that I use cravings in my practice to learn the body and understand the body because they get so loud and they always have a reason and some of them are just really direct and some of them are a little indirect and we have to like find why your body wants that. Well, we're not going to dive into the intricacies of that because that's what you, dear listener, need to go follow Lisa for but one thing that I'm already thinking about is how nutrition on the internet and content about nutrition is super, super common and someone else might have gone, oh, what does my voice matter?
Oh, why should I bother posting? Everyone's talking about nutrition. But one, you knew you had a strength of public speaking so you gravitated toward it. Performing, right, which is what I do to performing in my content, but also you inadvertently found this niche of nutrition content that was a little bit different than what other people were talking about.
Yes. I, what I did was I found what annoys me, which is all the nutrition content, not all of it, but a lot of it just is there to scare people and it sells. But mine is the anti scaring technique and people like that. And they come to me specifically because I'm not there to scare them. I'm there to empower them, to help them understand themselves.
And therefore there's space for me, even though I'm not playing the same role that everybody else is in nutrition. So I would say that that's like kind of marketing homework, that's branding homework, figuring out what makes you different than other people and these like things that you're passionate about and then those get translated into, if we're talking marketing jargon, your brand values.
But it sounds like, did you do that as homework or did you just sort of come to that naturally? I am very bad at marketing homework and I sit and stare at blank pages on a regular basis saying I need to figure out these pillars or these strategies or all of this. And instead, I just started writing and started speaking and out came what I do.
And I just noticed also what resonated with my clients and what I did with my clients. And it's, I've been doing this for 15 years. It's taken me a long time to be able to say this is what I do. But I still had content 15 years ago, even when I didn't know what I did. I just was. Trying to be me whenever I could.
Yeah. I got to tell you something. So I was just at this craft show and I'm just walking around. I'm mesmerized by small business owners. I'm always watching you. And I saw this one guy and he was like selling knives that he, I don't know, forged. And he's like, I only heard a fragment of the story.
It was like, so I've got this knife and it essentially it didn't have what I wanted and I thought I could make that. And then he started making knives and I was like, Oh, an origin story, huge for marketing. My brain's like, does he know he's doing it? Or is he just telling his story? Then I went over to this skincare person and she goes, so this company was made by a mother daughter and it's all natural.
And, uh, you know, environmentally friendly. And they've partnered with some other mother daughter companies. They all have the same values. Like she led with a value statement without even telling me like what the product was going to do for me or why I should buy it. She led with the values. like, interesting.
I wonder if she's doing that on purpose. So I think sometimes people like yourself. Just have this innate understanding of marketing. And so you're sitting here telling me and before we got on the call that you're like bad at marketing or bad at doing your marketing homework when really it's just that you got to kind of play one to skip a few because you had really impeccable instincts.
And good friends who would mirror back to me what I did. So a lot of like, one, one friend in particular has written a lot of my, my content, not specifically wrote it, but gave me the ideas for it because she would mirror back what I do and say, I'm like, yeah, I say that. Don't I? I was like, so helpful. Yeah.
Yeah. It was really, really helpful, especially in those really hard years where I didn't know what I did and I didn't have a, have a words to go behind what I did. So someone came to me who's in my program Magic Marketing Machine and I, some of the content like I made a long time ago, , I don't always remember like the exact content that's inside the program, but someone messaged me and was like, Jenna, I just did your exercise where you have to ask your best friend what makes you awesome.
And I got all this great feedback from her. And now I'm so inspired. And I was like, I don't even remember telling you to do that, but it is such a useful exercise because. If we cheered ourselves on like the way we cheer on our besties, it would be a game changer. Absolutely. And when I was the most stuck, it would be my bestie who would actually give me exactly what I needed.
Um, I did a Ted talk about seven or eight years ago. She wrote the title and what the topic was because I couldn't do it. And she's like, I'm bored today. What's the topic? And then she gave me all of the stuff that I couldn't do, but I could do the talk. We love her without, yeah, without her, I don't know what I would have done.
Okay. So. And what does it inquiring minds want to know? What's that expression? Yeah, I think that's what the inquiring minds want to know. How did you get hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok? Do you know how you did it? I've been trying to get a larger audience for a long time.
I've done the inner work of like, of being able to hold the larger audience because I could see myself throwing wrenches in my own machine everywhere I turned. And so then I just said, okay, what am I the best at, or what do I feel most comfortable at in that speaking? So why am I not on TikTok?
TikTok is the thing that I don't need to know how to edit. I don't need to have anything perfect. I just need to talk. And so I started on Tik TOK in about May of 2022. So just 18 months ago. And, , in the first six weeks I gained about 60 followers, which isn't bad. And then on June 30th, I did a video on chocolate cravings because I was sitting outside working desperately craving chocolate.
So I was like, well, I'm not the only one. And, and so I talked about why we crave chocolate. And that video was. My first to go viral. And I did a whole series on cravings because that one did so well. And from June 30th to July 30th, I gained a hundred thousand followers and had seven or eight videos going viral constantly in that.
And it was just, it was, it was so fun. The most fun thing was the number of duets of people simply eating chocolate while watching my chocolate video. It's like still to this day, my favorite duets are those ones, but it just gave me this, this place of like, Oh, okay. This is the environment that I feel most comfortable and this is the one I understand the most let me just keep doing videos.
And so I did a digestion series in the fall and gain another hundred thousand followers and it's been slower and this year but I'm not complaining I have 288, 000 followers and. If I don't grow at thousands a day, I'm not sad anymore. It's okay. My ego took a hit, but I have so much. I have so much I want to talk about.
Okay. We have another episode of the shiny new clients podcast where I brought someone on who basically just decided to go viral. And you kind of alluded to the same sort of thing where. I don't know, it's like kind of woo, but I really believe what you said, when you said you had to do the inner work, like if we're scared of being seen, it's hard to go viral, and I think kind of, like you can self sabotage a little bit, or maybe it shows up in your confidence, but there is inner work that kind of needs to be done.
Can you elaborate a little more on what yours look like? Well, I recorded a TEDx talk in, 2015. It went viral in 2019. So it barely got any views. And then went crazy four years later. And out of that, I got a book deal. And that got launched right in the middle of COVID, right at the beginning of COVID in September 2020.
And it started selling when I went viral on TikTok. And it's like, I could see how my own nervousness of being seen Kept throwing wrenches. Like my book got into target and it still didn't sell very well. It was on the shelf and target. And I still like, this has to be me. It's I got everything, like anything you could imagine for this book launch.
And still it wasn't really selling all that well. And so I had to sit and say, what am I afraid of? And how am I not being myself? Cause that's obviously. Part of it is, is this fear of being myself. And so I did a lot of meditation. I did a lot of Wu things and really worked on that until I could say, okay, now I feel comfortable.
I could picture a larger audience and I pictured the size of audience I have now. And maybe that's why it's slowing down because I haven't been able to picture a bigger than that. Wow. I didn't realize that until I started talking.
I want practical, I want tactics. That's why when you listen to the show, like I give away a lot of actual strategies you could walk away and try, but then we get into the woo side of things and , I don't have a three step process for how to open up your heart to be ready to be seen, but it is part of it.
It's a big part of it. And one day I'll crack the code and then I'll do a TEDx talk. I think it's part practice. Like, , if you just keep doing it, even if it's not landing, then when it lands, it's like, okay, at least I know what I'm saying, because I don't think I could have handled this audience 15 years ago, because I didn't know I knew what I know.
Now that didn't make any sense, but I, I, like, I've worked with enough people to know what, what my skill set is, does help people. And so now when I have this larger audience, I'm not afraid that what I'm doing is wrong or won't help people. I know it. And, and that was just the 15 years of waiting and just continuing throwing things out there.
Okay, I do actually have a tip that's in line with that. I just said it to the class this week one tactic is to have a folder of testimonials, before you go on camera, review the testimonials as a reminder to yourself that you are helping people, that you are the shit.
That you have something to say and that the tips that you're giving now, have helped people in a practical way. Absolutely. Yes. And I have been, I have been given the gift that every single time I want to give up and I'm done, I will get an email from a client telling me how much I've helped her every single time that I'm just like, I can't do this anymore.
I'm tired. The more I need it, the more I get. And that's the also the Wu side of business. I don't understand it, but I I'm so happy that it's kept me. So I got to this place here cause I would have given up at least 10 or 15 times otherwise. Ugh, that's so cool. Okay, so from a more strategic standpoint, when you first had that video take off, the TikTok, and then you said, so then you had a whole bunch in succession take off, did you, like, mimic the same structure, the same hook formula, like, how did you then try and repeat the process, or were they all different?
I really tried to repeat the process. So I noticed why it took off. I had a good hook. It immediately asked them to tell me what you crave in the comments, which helped build the comments. And then I use their comments as fodder for more videos. So I ended up being like 25 or 30 different videos, including stuff that I never thought of as cravings simply because they kept popping up.
Like my pickle cravings. Video was really popular. And the one that pushed me over 100, 000 was craving ice and cold things. And I was like, I've never talked about that before, but it kept popping up. And that ended up being the last of the series to really go viral. And it went viral for six months, like it kept, kept picking up.
What I love about TikTok is that conversation is the fact that people will tell you in the comments. There is a time to ignore the comments because when things go too viral, you just don't go there for your own mental health. About at the beginning, it's gold. It's absolute gold and when I asked people for comments that really push things forward.
It was a very practical solution to I want to repeat this. Lisa, I need you to stop saying that you're bad at marketing, because all of these things are tactics that I teach. People pay me to teach them tactics that you are innately doing. Like, we refer to it as an engagement attractor, when you tell people to comment something very specific that's also fake.
fun for them to comment. Like, a lot of times people are asking questions that, like, aren't super fun to answer, but you asked a question that's really fun to answer. I would say, you know, sour cream and onion potato chips and a heartbeat in your comment section, which then gives you more comments, which then drives the algorithm to show your post to more people, and it gives you built in content.
Like, all of these things you're doing are so smart. What makes you, what makes you say that you're bad at marketing? Because I don't, uh, uh, uh, they're usually a fluke to start with. So I did that first video and then had to analyze it. And when I post those same videos on Instagram, they flop. Okay. Is it a, is it a fluke though?
Cause you were saying you've got to just keep trying and showing up and showing up and showing up. So like, is it a fluke or is it that the theorem is? the 20th video cracks the code, you know? Like, like when you're brainstorming and you try and think of 30 titles to something, it's like the 29th title that is suddenly genius.
Yeah, sometimes, but I, like, I've been doing this on Facebook and Instagram for 15 years and I have never been able to crack it. I have no idea what I'm doing there. And I know, and I don't go in with plans. I think that's a major downfall of my overall marketing is I don't know what I'm going to market next week.
I don't know what my email is going to be like. I don't have that plan and structure that I've been taught is necessary for marketing, which is where I, my, I'm bad at marketing comes from. Okay, okay, sure. All right, I guess. Um, so
a lot of small business owners, I would maybe venture to say most, don't have a plan for what's coming up. I've actually had to structure the agency side of my business where we manage people's social media for them. Like, One side of my business, I teach it. The other side, we manage it. I've had to structure it around the fact that most small business owners don't know what's happening in their business.
Next week makes it really hard to work with an agency. And usually when we start with people, one of the things that excites them is we show them content for next month. And they're like, Oh my God, next month's done. Like how. Impressive. They're so excited that they're finally ahead.
So I think that that is totally normal, but we do want to start to look ahead and we do want to also look backwards like you have been, Oh, why did that work? Oh, how can I do more of it? And also I think by planning ahead, uh, it helps you to maybe repeat the messaging that works more instead of getting excited by something new and like shifting directions when what you were doing was working.
So there's definitely benefits to it, but, , When we're service based business owners and we are the face of our business and we're making content, , it's a easy trap to fall into to not be planning ahead because so much of it is based on our own energy levels. So, I wouldn't even say it's bad, it's neutral.
It is a fact. Those are nicer words that I need to play into my head and I could see just by planning ahead, just like the bandwidth that goes into making content would be less because I'm not trying to reinvent the wheel each week or each time I sit down to record.
Exactly. Like in Magic Marketing Machine, we create a content strategy and the idea is. You refer to it all the time, and then once you get to the bottom of like your giant checklist of ideas, you can theoretically go back to the top and do the same thing again, not throw that strategy away and start fresh.
It's like, no, literally just repeat yourself again. Keep repeating your key points. That thing that worked, repost it. Do it again. Um, and then also follow the energy when you have a good idea. That's brilliant. I need to do that. That's like, because I can see that's doable. It's like, I only have to do it once.
Yeah, exactly. Until it's boring. And then if you're like, if you're a, yeah, until it's boring, that's me too, because I'm a generator personality type. Are you as well? I don't know what I am. I always forget. I looked at it once and I forget. One of my, like, core values is fun and, um, like, I'll sometimes go to do the dishes and, like, regularly I stop halfway and Jordan is, like, so annoyed, like, why, why again?
Why did you only do half and walk away? And I'm like, it's So boring. I can't. It's, it's gonna kill me. I just cannot wash another plate. Okay, so I'm looking at your Instagram here and like, I have such a simple answer. It's gonna like annoy you, but I almost think that you put more of your special secret sauce Lisa flavor into the TikTok content and you're being a little bit more generic on Instagram in trying to mimic the type of content that we see typically perform well on Instagram.
And we're editing out some of the personality and then I think you also have probably more quantity of content on TikTok. Is that true? A hundred percent. Yeah. Right. So remember we were just talking about where maybe it is the 20th video is the one that pops off, but then on Instagram, you have a much smaller quantity.
And so it's not giving the chance to try a bunch of different types of content. So my like quick and dirty advice would be. Post three times as much on Instagram. Like, repurpose more of your TikTok content. Get more content going out there so you can see what works. And two, don't feel like you need to look like anybody.
Resist the old way of Instagram. Resist that, like, perfection aesthetic that used to be cool in 2017. And just, like, oversaturate that platform with Lisa's personality. That's what I was about to ask you is, how is Instagram different than TikTok? Because I've never gotten Instagram. I don't get Instagram.
Yeah. Well, generally, it is easier to grow on TikTok because of the structure of, like, the For You page. So if you are not familiar with TikTok, you basically log in and you see a page called For You and a page that's called Following, we'll often call the For You page the FYP.
If you ever see people do, like, hashtag FYP, that's what they mean. When you log into TikTok, you can see a feed of the people you're following, or a feed of strangers.
And it is more common to be on the feed of strangers, because that's where you see all the viral, fun stuff. And I try not to make, like, sweeping generalizations about the platforms because I try and be as evidence based as possible, but I'll say, in my experience, people are watching the For You page more so than they're watching multiple pieces of content by the same creator over and over again.
So, because of that, way easier to grow, way easier to get new eyeballs, but the benefit of Instagram is , you can be seen multiple times by your biggest fans, which means you can almost like push people down your funnel faster and toward a sale with you faster.
If you say, used TikTok as your growth content, but you started shuttling everybody over to your Instagram in various ways, when you do one of your live launches, one of your two annual live launches that I know you do to promote your membership, I bet you would have big results from Instagram because you'll have your biggest fans there who are like hanging off every word.
And then one more thing, if you have like a sales post on TikTok, it got to the For You page, everyone's like, Ugh, what is this person selling me? They're going to leave right away. And on Instagram, that post is still going to go out to your biggest fans. I think that that's where, like what's missing, that's the secret sauce missing from my marketing is that I haven't used Instagram to build mega fans.
I use my email list for mega fans, Facebook. I've been there for a long time. I get Facebook. I have mega fans there, but Instagram feels like strangers to me. And what you're telling me is that I actually could be building my mega fans there.
Yeah, like there's a few people that have gone through my program who had really big TikTok followings, . How we started looking at it was use TikTok for growth, Instagram for sales. And so that kind of becomes the cycle.
I wonder if Instagram will be my, my membership, my, your beautiful life group sales, because that doesn't sell well on TikTok, but clients, I can get clients on TikTok. Yeah. The one on ones I think so. , it's not going to take away from your TikTok sales to start making sales on Instagram.
I think that you have the potential to just get tremendously more business by using both platforms. And I wouldn't normally even tell. every listener to use multiple platforms, but creating content is easy for you and quick for you. So that's an asset. So like, why not, why not use it? I usually tell people to just do the one platform that they love the best, unless you are really good and fast at making content.
I still do put my effort in TikTok because that's what I, that's, that's what's making me the money right now, but can I repurpose my TikToks straight to Instagram? Like, do they convert well or should I do Instagram specific reels? Yeah, great question. I would do both. mean, that's what I do. Not every single piece of content is gonna convert over, like, certain trends happening on TikTok.
Instagram will be like, what is this?. And Instagram isn't loving really long content right now. So like the videos that are 90 seconds and under, I would put over onto Instagram. How often are you posting on TikTok right now? I aim for three to five times a week. My bandwidth has been low for the last few weeks, so it's a bit low, but three to five is average.
Yeah. Okay. So maybe three of those go over to Instagram. Does that be reasonable?
Does it resonate with you, um, when I say that I want you to kind of break free of the aesthetic that you envision Instagram supposed to have?
Absolutely. Yes. That's what I don't like about Instagram. You're not alone there. Like, even when I look at yours, like, I have it open in front of me here, and even when I look at these, um, stock images, I would honestly rather just see your face. Like, just more Lisa. I mean, they're pretty, and it makes it look really cohesive, but I see you taking an extra step that takes more time, and I'm all about, like, eliminating all steps like that.
And even like these beautiful, photos of food, are you taking these in your main feed? No, I hire out by Instagram mostly, so I, I provide her with content. It's all my writing, but somebody else puts those together because I'm, I don't do pretty. Yeah. I mean, have you seen my feed? I don't either. Like, these are really beautiful and, , knowing this is someone, , working to be professional for you, it makes perfect sense, so no shade at all to your social media manager.
I just, we've discovered your ability to talk to a crowd and riff and chat is your superpower so I would just. heavy lean into it and for a little while not even care about aesthetics or what it looks like. Okay. That's coming from someone who shows up with at bare minimum kind of clean hair.
And you're like, your content is so, so friendly that when we, when we started, I was like, Oh, I feel like I already know you. My, my business coach was like, maybe you should try creating some more aspirational content. I'm like, okay, once a year I will put on a nice outfit. But other than that, what you see is what you get.
And people want that because Instagram was so perfectly polished for so long that you're not alone in resenting that a lot of people resent that. And then A lot of experts would tell you, I think, that the reason TikTok blew up so quickly is because it was so much more authentic, and especially the newer generation.
What is it? Gen A, Gen Z, Gen Q, or S, T, U, V, I don't know what it is, but they, they want that authentic content too. Well, we want connection. We're human. And, and Instagram was the opposite of that to me. Cause I had this filter of perfection that I can't, I can't create.
It's not for me. Screw it.
And like, look at you right now. Like you've got a denim shirt on, is it denim? Yeah, I think so. It's, it's the shirt I wear in almost every video because I can just throw it on to whatever jammies I'm wearing. Like if you know, if you, this is a secret of my content, you will see this shirt and one other shirt.
Hilarious. Okay, I just, I just, I love that. Life hack. I just wanted to say like, you're still showing up completely professional right now. What's not professional? You know what you're talking about. You're giving eye contact to the camera. Like, this is professional. We don't need. perfect photos or like blazers to be professional.
This is professional. You know what I mean? And that's nice to hear because doing a video on Instagram always made me feel like I was 20 years older than I actually am because it would just like accentuate my 46 year oldness. Whereas TikTok has that nice, like just smooths everything out.
It just made me feel so much nicer. Um. But you're right. If, if, if Instagram is no longer requiring that perfection, I won't feel as self conscious when I feel like I look 90 when I not actually, there's nothing wrong with being 90. I just, I'm 46. I don't want to look 90 yet. I hear you. I don't think that's a, uh, unreasonable desire.
Yeah. Okay, so let's do some really quick marketing homework . This is some marketing homework that I make people do inside Magic Marketing Machine. Can you tell me why people should follow you? People should follow me. Because I'll, I'll help them learn how to understand their own body so they no longer need to look at, look for outside expertise to figure themselves out.
Ah, yeah. Google is a rabbit hole of misinformation, so come to Lisa instead and follow her on TikTok. And eventually you won't need me anymore. It's written in my business. Oh, I love that. Oh, the business coaches are quaking. I know the business bros. Okay. Is there anything else that you want to tell everybody?
Um, I have a book on dieting freedom from the bewildering world of fad diets, and I have a group program. I do one on one, uh, clients. And if you want to see me find me on Tik TOK, but if you want to see me attempt to grow into me on Instagram, follow me on Instagram. Yes. Okay. So who is the book for? How do I know that I'm right for the book?
The book is for people who are tired of dieting but they now don't know what else to do. So if you've, if you've dieted in your life or just been surrounded by dieting culture and you just simply don't know what is healthy and you want to tune back in with your body and make friends with your body and know that it's there to keep you healthy, that's what my book is about.
It breaks down food politics so you no longer are as Influenced by it, it breaks down the dieting industry and how it has tried to manipulate you. And then the half of the book is how to tune back in and learn what your body's trying to tell you. There's a whole chapter on cravings, which I'm also giving away right now.
You can go to my website and get that chapter and 📍 download it for free. Lisa, I have really good news. You just did like a week's worth of marketing homework. That's great. I don't have, I don't have a week to do it. Thank you so much for being here. That's all for today. We will see you next week