And it’s not as out of reach as you may think! But it is a marathon, not a sprint…

Woody & Kleiny have 4.7 million Instagram followers – probably more by the time you’ve read this article. If you haven’t heard of them – if, for example you’ve been living in a cupboard for the last year – Paul Wood and Paul Klein (yes, Paul2) are a comedy duo who have shot to social media fame with their sketches, pranks, magic tricks and social experiments – and now vlogs and podcasts. They started with YouTube clips back in 2013. Since then, they’ve become significant disruptors in the marketing sector – although this is not a label they use for themselves. So, make a cup of tea, grab a hobnob and take just a minute or two to find out their secrets to social media supremacy.

Woody blows an undersized Kleiny from the palm of his hand over a city backdrops

“It’s like a golf handicap…”

First of all, what does it feel like to be looking nearly 5 million Instagram followers in the face? Well, interestingly, and this is a lesson for anyone wanting to build their online presence, Woody & Kleiny are far from resting on their laurels. In their words, “You can always better yourself and reach another step higher. It’s weird really as each time we grow another half a million followers, which reflects in engagement drastically (higher likes/comments etc), you seem to acclimatise and get used to the numbers and targets really quickly”. It seems, therefore, the number of followers you have is a good indication of success, but it’s only a small part of the story.

Beware the brands you work with…

It’s very easy to partner with the wrong brands, in a bid to gain influence quickly. While many of Woody & Kleiny’s sketches are autonomous and inherently theirs, they do collaborate – but their advice to all is: choose wisely, or you could alienate your – until then – loyal following. They warn, “With a very engaged audience, comes a level of influence that you hold. It’s a very powerful thing to have at your disposal, but one that should always be respected and never taken advantage of or abused. That’s why we pick and choose brands we work with to make sure we don’t upset our following by selling out and ensure we only give them value when we do choose to work with a brand. Gaining a good, solid, engaged following is tough and it can be lost in a snippet of that time, so the key is to always be thoughtful and mindful of all outcomes when it comes to every single upload!” The upside and downside of social media, is, after all, that recognition and reputation can be gained, or lost, in an instance.  Something that our post with Elle Bracher about Instagram algorithm updates touches on.

Lose and learn….

Then again, that’s not to say this double-act hasn’t made some mistakes along the way. And their attitude towards this is a powerful message for all of us trying to win at the social media strategy game. “We don’t make wrong decisions, because many have taught us the most valuable lessons of how not to do something and we’ve gained important education to help us grow and be the best. We don’t LOSE, we LEARN and it’s this learning that empowers us to become a solid force as we move forward,” say Woody & Kleiny. 

Kleiny dangles an undersized Woody from his fingertips over a city backdrop

Truly believe in your own brand…

Paul2 have invested £50 thousand into their enterprise over the past six years. They’ve both held down day jobs at the same time as growing their social empire – it’s only now that they’ve been able to step back from these jobs and purely focus on brand Woody & Kleiny.

Patience is certainly a virtue they both hold, as they’re only just starting to reap any financial rewards of all their investment and efforts in the last year. “Picture throwing five years’ worth of money at camera gear, props, travel, edits etc, without gaining a penny back and not knowing when it was going to come back around. Why you may ask? Because we truly believed in our brand and product, to the point that we knew it was only a time game that we were playing before we reached the light of success. If you are good, there is only so long you can go unnoticed, it’s up to you to push it and push it, until you simply can’t be missed! So, the key word above is ‘WHEN’, as it was always going to happen for us. The real price we paid in our eyes, was not financially in money, it was in ‘TIME’…. keep grinding, appreciate every success and enjoy the journey,” they advise.

The three Ws: work, work and even more work…

It can take Woody & Kleiny up to eight hours to film a one-minute video clip, so viewers shouldn’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of hobby. It’s very labour intensive for the duo. While the world sees 60 seconds of pranking, that’s a day of hard graft for them. And this is their biggest lesson of all when it comes to social media influence: above all, hard work is the not-so-secret, but certainly key ingredient. They insist: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the thing every successful story will have behind it. That tip is HARD WORK! It’s top of the list for top tips for life in general and applies to everything in our eyes. The three ‘W’s’: WORK, WORK and more WORK! I ask you: what was the biggest mountain in the world before Mount Everest was founded? Still Mount Everest, it was always there, just wasn’t found! So, think about your brand in this way and eventually there’s no way you can be missed.” 

And finally, dream big… 

If their achievements to date haven’t made you feel exhausted just by reading them, Woody & Kleiny’s future success strategy might. “We have a book which we plan to release in the summer, have a clothes line that is launching too, alongside our merchandise. We have built a studio which opens the door for us to create our very own podcast, create bespoke content shows for IGTV and all alongside our new style vlogs for Youtube. Lastly, with our new representation, we are going to explore the avenues to continue creating social media, but also bridge the gap between that and mainstream TV, while we pursue our dream of becoming TV presenters or hosts,” they reveal. And breathe…..actually, don’t just yet.

They have one more important message to those wanting to follow in their social media fame footsteps: “Do your homework regarding each platform, make bespoke content for each platform and give blood sweat and tears to take it to the world. If the product is good, it’s simply a time game before you reach the light!” Wise words from the duo.  With the new reel feature dropped by Instagram earlier this year, it goes to show the need for tailored content for each social media platform.

Instagram influencers Woody & Kleiny drink from over sized beer bottle on a beach