new(ish) instagram and (re)branding

totakeinsta

yesterday i read an article on getting more followers on instagram.  i wish i would have liked it on twitter or remembered who wrote it, but i can’t seem to find it anywhere.  the gist of the article was to be a leader rather than a follower.  what i took it to mean is being proactive with finding people to connect with.  one idea the writer mentioned was letting people in your social network know you have an account and asking them to follow.  i tried that on twitter last night and 3 more people added me on instagram.  i’m going to call that a success.  i may do the same on facebook tonight.  i will keep you posted on the results.

p.s. if you want to follow, you can find me here: www.instagram.com/totakethetrain

you may be wondering why this is important?  well, let me explain.  i’m in the middle of a branding process, so to speak.  i’ve had this blog for 6 years now and it really hasn’t progressed.  it’s mostly my fault.  actually, it’s all my fault.  i’m the only writer on here.  internet 101 says you have to create content on a regular basis to be successful.  i haven’t done a good job with that lately and that’s ok.  i’m not mad about it.    

i miss writing.  i miss creating.  for the last couple of years, i tried to drown my creativity.  any time it would come up for air, i would push it back down hoping it would stay down never to come up again.  why?  fear.  i feared my blog wouldn’t be as good as it was when i first started.  i feared being criticized by people i don’t know and people i do know.  i feared i had lost touch with what was cool and couldn’t provide a unique spin on such matters.

fear is a killer.  it’s a destroyer.  it’s your worst critic.  it’s the great preventer.  it prevents us from moving forward in life and living the life we want to live.  i’m over it.  i’m ready to call it on its own bullshit and take those first baby steps to living a life free of fear.

this blog is one of those first steps.  i’m ready to write again and write about whatever the hell i want to write about.  i’ve been hesitant to change up the format for fear of losing some readers.  lol.  let’s be honest, the old format of red wing boots and random shit was not necessarily killing it.  to take the train needs / needed a jumpstart.

so where do we go from here?

to take the train is going to be a work in progress until i can figure out exactly where i want to take it (no pun intended).  i love to travel, so there will be some travel.  i’m still into #menswear, so there will be some menswear.  golf?  yes, there will be some golf.  the two new additions will be 1) inspiration and 2) marketing and branding.

the inspiration component is a direct tie in with the book i’m writing.  it’s a self help book for people in their 20’s and 30’s.  i realize “self help” is a taboo subject for a lot of people, but i think there will be some good stuff in there that will resonate with our generation (and some others).  i’m hoping to finish it this spring and shop it around.  i will post my progress on the blog as well as bits and pieces of the book to see if it anything sticks.

now we get to marketing and branding.  it’s a lot easier to sell a product if you have an audience.  one of my goals for the rest of the year is to build an audience.  i am going to try to grow my instagram account to over 25,000 followers.  holy shit.  i currently have 250 right now.  if this seems like an insane task, it is.  i’m not an attractive female that posts workout videos while in spandex, so i already face an uphill battle.  my girlfriend and i spent some of our date night last week discussing why a man would follow another man on instagram.  i still don’t have a great answer, but what i do know is that i’m drawn to others that create amazing things and/or are living their lives the way they want to.  my hope is to do the same for 25,000 people out there.  i can do it and i’m going to document the grind here on to take the train.

when people find out you have a blog, they usually want the name of it to see if they’ve heard of it.  the next question is usually why did you call it to take the train.  in the past, i might have said something about the train scene in north by northwest or how trains used to be considered classy and elegant.  today i might say something different.  to take the train is now about the journey.  i may not have a destination in mind, but the train has left the station.  if you want to join me, you can add me on instagram (see what i did there).

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    • Buck
    • March 17th, 2017

    Cooper, I like it. Just discovered your blog online and you’re about to get another follower towards 25k. I’ve started a separate Instagram going on a couple years now called Life is Food, and it’s been all about food pics and food I’ve made/eaten (so your next post about IG followers, which I read, made me laugh when you meantioned the prepared food pic). The points you’ve made are absolutely true. Mine is about 2k followers right now, trying to hit 5k this year. Would love to get together and talk about our approaches. Consider me a fan. Take care and best of luck! -BP

    • cooper
    • March 17th, 2017

    @Buck Dude! Thanks so much for the kind words. I just added both of your IG accounts. Let’s hang soon man. I’ll shoot you an email and we’ll get coffee or beers on the calendar.

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