Ian Anderson is live video consultant and the founder of Seriously Social, a blog focused on social media, live video & productivity tools. I’m a consultant and advise businesses worldwide on social media, live video, marketing, and websites. He’s also the partner and co-founder of the Internet Solutions Company. He has more than 10 years hands-on experience in helping youth, small businesses, charities and organizations in digital transformation and presence. He has a great deal of experience in social media & marketing, search engine optimization, web development, hosting, email and web applications. He is the noted speaker at many conferences around the world including, Social Media Marketing World (San Diego, US), New Media Europe (London & Manchester, UK), Social Media Convent (Gdańsk, Poland), Social Media Summit Ireland (Dublin, Ireland), Babel Camp (Brno, Czech Republic). Youth, followers, and businesses can take advantage of this interview:
Social Champ: Hello Ian, Social Champ is glad to catch you for the interview. How did you start your career? Moreover, what has been your motivation to become such an extraordinary social media influencer and innovator?
Ian: Originally, I trained as a singer at the Royal Northern College of Music. I sang as a professional freelance baritone and taught singing and at the same time I set up a web agency to help my fellow musicians market themselves. But it was around 6 years ago, that things changed. I launched my blog, Seriously Social. I started writing about social media tools. I was playing around with a few tools and decided to write about my experience – my frustrations and successes. I must admit, I was just doing this for a bit of fun! I had no strategy, no thoughts of monetization or anything! It was a blog post review of why NOT to use a certain social media management tool that changed things, though! It was a very balanced article, and it quickly became popular with over 10,000 views per month and hundreds of comments. Through that article (and many others I wrote) I ended up being asked to speak at conferences such as Social Media Marketing World (in San Diego), New Media Europe (in Manchester and London) and Social Media Convent (in Poland). I found my years as a singer and teacher helped me make that transition into being an international speaker and coach. My main motivation and passion are to help and encourage people through my business.
Social Champ: As you have hosted the live video and social media streaming on various occasions it must have been a great experience, is there any moment that you hold close and cherish? If so it would be gratifying for us if you share some memories or pictures.
Ian: In 2016, I wrote a post on my blog on how to Broadcast to Facebook Live from your computer. That changed everything! First of all, it broke my website! It’s since had 3.9 million page views and over 1380 comments. From that, I launched my first courses – on live video tools. And now, I am able to combine my passion as a performer and a tech lover, as a confident live marketing coach. It’s been amazing to be able to help so many people around the world launch their live video shows!
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Social Champ: How do you staying up on all the latest trends and changes In this fast social media life?
Ian: The quick answer is that I don’t! A quick way to having a nervous breakdown is to try and catch up on ALL the latest trends! But I have lots of ways I catch up on the most important news. Firstly, I subscribe to some amazing blogs from within the industry and from my marketing friends. I use Feedly to subscribe to those. It also allows me to share the most important news to my social profiles.
Secondly, through my connections on Twitter and Facebook. I have a marketing friends list on Facebook, and I go there to see the latest news and conversations from my marketing friends. I’m also a member of some amazing Facebook groups such as the Social Media Marketing Society, and the Live Video Marketing Mastermind. And finally, through a few communities within the tool, Triberr.
Social Champ: What is the hardest situation you’ve encountered in your business and how did you handle it?
Ian: If I am going to be totally honest and transparent, it’s been my mindset. I love the freedom and flexibility that comes with being a solopreneur, but it also has had its challenges. There have been many times when I’ve suffered from “imposter syndrome”, a lack of self-belief, anxiety or just ended up in an everlasting cycle of procrastination. The best way out of all of this has been joining mastermind groups. These are places where you can be held accountable and are allowed to be honest about the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey.
Social Champ: What is the best business advice you’ve been given and why has it stayed with you?
Ian: Profit first. My passion is to help and encourage people. But I’ve learned that I can’t be an encouragement to others and I can’t help people if my business is not profitable. In the early years of my business, I spent so much time helping people that my business was hardly making any money. That led to me feeling burnt out. Now, I am focussing on growing my business and profit so I can have the time and freedom to be a blessing to others.
Social Champ: Managing Social Media Accounts and gather fellowship looks not easy these days. What strategy should we set for each of our social media accounts, and what does success look like?
Ian: Most importantly, have a strategy in the first place. It’s vital to know what you want to achieve through your social media accounts. It’s very tempting to get obsessed by the vanity statistics of follower counts. I’m not saying numbers don’t matter, but the focus should be on reaching your target audience with the right message. And then, what will the success criteria be? Is it ultimately more sales? Or is it website visitors? My focus has always been about building relationships with my target audience and delivering really valuable help and information. Ultimately, that turns into email subscribers and social media followers who may want to hire me or purchase my products.
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Social Champ: How do you deal with negative comments or a brand reputation crisis?
Ian: I’ve not had to deal with too many negative comments in my time, but I’ve had a few. It’s important to deal with these quickly and positively and to try not to become emotionally involved. Jay Baer calls this “Hug your Haters” and I’ve always seen this as a way to turn your haters into superfans through care and attention. Of course, you’ll never be able to make everyone love you (there are trolls out there who you’ll never be able to sway) but your love for your haters will be seen by others and will improve your reputation.
Social Champ: Internet marketing has become an essential field altogether in today’s world. How do you think Internet marketing helps a brand /product flourish in the market?
Ian: Internet marketing helps brands and products get their word out quickly and efficiently to the right kind of people. Through paid advertising, organic social media and good content marketing, businesses can reach their perfect customer, build relationships with them and grow an army of super fans that will end up doing some of their marketing for them!
Social Champ: Mentors are the lifelines for success. Who were, or are, your mentors who helped you reach where you are today?
Ian: There are so many to mention, and I am afraid I’ll miss someone out! Right from the start, Mark Schaefer and Ian Cleary changed my outlook on social media and marketing when I saw them for the first time at a conference in Wales back in 2013. They’ve become good friends since. Emeric Ernoult has been amazing – he believed in me long before I believed in myself and has helped me achieve so much more than I thought was possible. My lovely friends from two masterminds – Jeff Sieh, Mike Allton, Alisa Meredith, Julia Bramble and Andrew and Pete have also been there through so much. And finally, Kelly Baader is a wonderful mentor to me right now – and is helping me achieve so many good things this year.
Social Champ: Being the marketing field it would be hard to devote time to social media, but it is very important to use these social media platforms for marketing purposes. What do you think about Social Champ, an automation tool that allows you to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms? Have you used any tools? Name your favorite tools for internet marketing.
Ian: I am a total tool geek! Using the right tools (and using them well) can boost productivity and success. I’m a big fan of Social Champ because it offers that sweet spot between ease of use and a geeky power tool! It’s so easy to automate and schedule (in an intelligent way) posts to Facebook, Twitter and beyond! As for other tools, there are so many that I love. I love Buzzsumo, SEMRush, Agora Pulse and IFTTT. For live video, I love eCamm Live and Wirecast. I could go on, but I’ll leave it there!
Thank you for your time Ian 🙂 Social Champ wishes you all the very best for your future and look forward to more of your useful ideas to help boost more businesses!