TWiP #282 – How to Build a Social Media Following of 8 Million People


Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Trey Ratcliff

Episode Overview

This week on TWiP:

Frederick Van Johnson sits down with Trey Ratcliff to discuss his remarkable rise to the top of the social media stratosphere. With over 8 million followers, Trey has found a way to “live the dream” – creating great photographs, running a successful and dynamic business, and living in the exotic location of his choice.

TWiP Contests Are Back!

Our new TWiP Promotions Coordinator Adam Silver is helping us bring back the TWiP contests. We'll be giving away all manner of goodies in the coming weeks, months, etc…

Time is ticking away in this week's contest. We're giving away TWO copies of Syl Arena's Lighting for Digital Photography book, courtesy of our friends at Peachpit Press!

Click the new “Contests” item in the TWiP menu bar to enter this week's contest. If you win, we'll announce your name and URL (if you like) on the very next show.

  1. Frederick and Trey's video conversation
  2. Frederick's Essential Web Marketing for Photographers course
  3. Thomas Kinkade
  4. Social media management:
  5. Kevin Kelly's book recommendation of Art & Fear – a book about the way that art gets made.
  6. Excerpts from Art & Fear
  7. The Four Hour Work Week, by Timothy Ferriss
  8. – hire people to do your tasks
  9. – the world's largest marketplace for small services, starting at $5
  10. – a free social media platform for sharing all forms of digital content
  12. Trey's publishing arm:
  13. Stuck On Earth – Trey's free world travel guide

Please Support our Sponsors:

This episode is brought to you by: The New Squarespace. Squarespace introduces a new content management system, making it faster and easier to create a high-quality website or blog. Check out the new mobile-responsive designs with automatic device-scaling and more than 50 other new features. For a free trial and 10% off your first purchase on new accounts, go to and use offer code TWiP11.

This episode is also brought to you by:, find over 20 million stock photos, vectors, illustrations, and video clips. For 30% off your new account, go to and use offer code TWiP11.

Connect with our Hosts & Guests:

Trey Ratcliff: or Google+

Frederick Van Johnson: or or Google+


Pre-production by: Patrick Reed

Post production by: Suzanne Llewellyn

Bandwidth provided by: Cachefly

Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro

Photo Credits: Luke Stephen Severn

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  1. Hi Frederick I’d argue that there is less than zero chance Trey or anyone else has 8 million followers if these are G+ followers. There have been numerous articles debunking G+ claimed user base. A better marker would be Facebook followers or Twitter followers.

    1. I am still waiting on a study for Pinterest. FB and Twitter numbers make sense to me. G+ numbers are pure BS – I suspect same with Pinterest but maybe not. Doing some research. None of this has anything to do with Trey. My comment is more about G+ and ANYONE who claims xxx followers on G+ isn’t really quoting a number that correlates to individuals. I could have Trey in 10 circles. That means 10 followers on G+ – everyone who signs up for GMAIL now pretty much HAS to have a G+ account and gets recommended follows like Trey. It doesn’t mean they engage. I’ve seen Trey’s comments on Twitter make waves. I believe those numbers. I hope I am making my point clear. Not attacking Trey at all. I am a fan. Just want to clarify the G+ thing.

    2. Yes, making waves to artificially pump one’s social media stats. We don’t know anyone else who does that, do we Scott? That would be the sign of someone who’s morally bankrupt, wouldn’t it?

    3. Hey thanks IAEPUB for the comments. I should clarify one thing – I think you are wrong in one thing you said. If you put me in 10 circles, it does NOT count as 10 more followers. Each follower is a real person, and with 1.5 billion people using the internet, it’s quite believable that a third of them (500 mil) use Google a lot and have clicked to join Google+.

      **Also, 1.2 MILLION Android phones are activated PER DAY. Each one of them is integrated with a Google+ account, where they choose people to follow via their phone.***

      Now, not everyone posts on their streams…a lot of lurkers… like here is one of my followers, for example… who knows where the heck he is from, but I guess he followed me because he likes photography or whatever: — anyway, all these people on G+ and Pinterest are real people (well, 98% and 2% fake porn accounts)… the G+ accounts are tied to people’s personal emails and personal connections.

  2. This was a really good interview, Frederick. I especially liked the idea of a vertical crop for Pinterest images, which I spent the rest of the night doing.

    And I love the idea of just not being scared. This has been my biggest stumbling block with social media. I just need to do it. Trey is a great example of someone that has great ideas and is not afraid to try them. And when an idea doesn’t work, he just tries something else. Reminds me of Steve Jobs.

  3. I enjoy TWIP and I love Trey Radcliffe and follow him on GooglePlus and I’m a FEMALE trying to improve my photography.I know MOST photographers are male, but just like to say, Frederick, that there are some girls out here!

  4. I totally agree.. I greatly love these tips.. The usefulness of it, truly has its significance.

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