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InfluencerViews: Lesson Learned And Tips Earned From Celebrated Influencers! -

interview with influencer

Featured Image: iStock/ThomasVogel

When it comes to online business, the small and midsized businesses (SMBs) are zapped by the lightening of online small business trends and tech. In order to survive the digital impulse, SMBs deploy their secret weapon – blogging.

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Blogging helps these businesses come around several aspects of the industry and keeps them updated on the latest trends in the market. The best possible way to deliver some exceptional blogging content is to interview someone who has his roots in the industry depths and knows it like the palm of his hand.

Today we bring to you an interview with some specialist influencers – contacted via Twitter – to boil down the lessons they’ve learned in 2017 along with their top 5 tips for startup empowerment in 2018.


But first, let’s have a formal introduction.

Dan Gingiss

Dan Gingiss
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Dan Gingiss is a multi-discipline one-man show, who – with his 20 years of customer-centered career – has always been enthusiastic about pleasing his customers. As an executive, he has also tested the waters of Fortune 300 companies, such as the McDonald’s Corporation, Humana, and Discover. Moreover, with all the hands-on experience, Dan is also a credible author of Winning at Social Customer Care: How Top Brands Create Engaging Experiences on Social Media. He also co-hosts the podcast Experience This! with customer expert, Joey Coleman. Last but not the least; Dan is also a motivational keynote speaker who’s got the upper hand in speaking about customer-related context and social media. He now is the VP of Strategic Group at Persado and runs Winning at Social to help entrepreneurs with customer services.

Ian Paget

Ian Paget
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All the way from Manchester, UK, Ian Paget is an avid graphic designer who shares the same title as his professional design agency, the Logo Geek. He specializes in professional logo design and is keen to help entrepreneurs and businesses establish their brand identity on a distinguished level. Ian also runs a social media account going by the same name as the company with more than 88,000 followers, which includes some well-known designers and agencies worldwide. In his field, Ian has a massive block of experience (10 years), which has made him popular enough to be featured in various design magazines, such as Logo Lounge, Net Magazine, and Photoshop Creative. He’s also a member of the jury for several design awards and is humble enough to provide advice, help, guidance, and logo design services.

Ryan Foland

Ryan Foland
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The proud #GingerMC aka Ryan Foland, also known as the problem solver, is determined to help business people with his inspirational walk-and-talk attitude. Ryan has covered a multitude of TEDx events, which makes him a 3x TEDx speaker and he can be viewed on stage at some grand startup events. He hosts a radio show Get Notified on KUCI and the famous podcast World of Speakers. When he’s not onstage, Ryan mentors leaders across the globe to master the art of simplifying the verbal and written expression. Apart from enjoying the titles Top Youth Marketer 2016 and Top Personal Branding Expert 2017 given by the Inc. Magazine and the Entrepreneur Magazine, Ryan is a communication strategist who – via his company, InfluenceTree – specializes in helping entrepreneurs and businesses build and strengthen their brand identity. However, there’s a lot more to expect from Ryan’s flow of high-energy powers, not to mention the long list of his extraordinary accomplishments.

Related: An interview with Adobe Spark

Here, we’ve gathered all these three wonderful personalities, asked them for some influencer views, and here are their responses:

What Lessons Did You Learn From 2017?

Dan Gingiss

What I learned from 2017 is that there’s no longer such a thing as an offline experience. Take the man being dragged off the United Airlines flight; it used to be that ‘what happened on an airplane stayed on an airplane’. Not anymore. Any experience can be captured and shared on social media.

Ian Paget

2017 was the year that I planned the future of my personal brand Logo Geek, which led me on the path of starting a business logo design specific podcast interview series and a supporting Facebook community.

Ian Paget Quote

I’ve always been very much an introvert and have struggled a little with anxiety growing up. Because of this, starting a podcast was certainly no small feat. Interviewing people does not come naturally to me, and when hitting that record button too… it’s incredibly daunting. All these fears and feelings seem to quadruple when you get to interview your design heroes, and you don’t want to screw up…

Despite my fears, worries, and concerns… I did it anyway. Did I mess up? A little yes. But, I learned a lot by pushing through my fears:

  • When you record something, you can edit it. You can also re-record your questions too… so there is nothing to lose.
  • You get better as you do it more.
  • It’s great for networking. I was able to speak in depth with influential designers such as Chris Do, who eventually invited me on his podcast too!
  • Facing your fears and getting through them is incredibly rewarding. The rewards at the other end of your fears are worth it.
  • Being open about how you feel is ok – It makes you more relatable, people support you, and it inspires others to start projects of their own too.

Ryan Foland

One valuable lesson learned in 2017 was the simple fact that the way you react to challenges is a big part of your personal brand. Let’s face it; things will go wrong. You will face walls that seem impossible to scale. Things won’t always go your way. Life, business, relationships, and even politics can derail your success and trample your well-intended goals.

Ryan Foland Quote

The good news is that you can take these challenges and control two things: Your reaction and your attitude towards the challenge in front of you. The way you react and the way you maintain your attitude speaks volumes about your personal brand. People don’t want to hang out with those who can’t handle challenging situations. Your reaction and the attitude you chose is a key part of who you are and what your brand is.

The trick is to focus on things within your control.

You see, your brand precedes you. That means, wherever you go, your brand is right in front of you. If your reaction to challenges is firing off angry tweets and being a Troll, then that reflects negatively on you and your brand.

Your attitude is something you can control, therefore your attitude is an extension of your brand.

So, how do I react and what is my attitude when everything goes wrong?

I don’t give up or throw a tantrum. I look at obstacles and I react in a way that will result in a positive solution. I keep my positive attitude going the whole time in a way that brings people along with me. Your brand is your attitude; choose your attitude and choose your brand.

What Are Your Top 5 Tips For Businesses In 2018?

Dan Gingiss

So for 2018, all companies — including startups — must:

  1. Pay attention to the entire customer journey, online and offline.
  2. Fix known customer pain points to reduce customer service inquiries.
  3. Prepare your social media team to respond to issues throughout the customer journey; they should know your entire business in and out.
  4. Respond to everyone, on every channel.
  5. Think of ways to make the experience remarkable because people like to share extraordinary experiences too; this way, you’ll make sure that your brand lovers are louder than the haters.

Ian Paget:

  1. Niche down:By doing so, you hyper-focus your marketing efforts on the exact audience and also become the expert in that one specific area. A specific example is Codo Design, who exclusively work on branding projects for beer.
  2. Leverage influencers: Every industry has influencers that have a large reach. Find those people in your space and get to know them. When you have valuable content suitable for their audience, share it with them – they’ll very likely post it to their audience.
  3. Join a mastermind: Joining a mastermind group allows you to share your business plans and problems with other business owners to get honest helpful feedback that will allow you and your business to flourish. The group can also act as accountability partners to ensure you achieve your goals.
  4. Tell real stories:People care more about personal stories they can relate to than they do about your product. This attracts bigger PR and reaches a much larger audience than any paid ad will. Janet Murray of Soulful PR has some great content on this topic.
  5. SEO Matters! Help people find you by optimizing your website for Google – it’ll be the best investment you’ll ever make. Focus on writing great content, linking to good resources, and writing guests posts on authoritative sites to get links back to your site too.

Related: The 20 Most Motivational Entrepreneurs Who Inspired Us in 2017!

Ryan Foland

  1. Focusing On Focusing: Create and share content that reflects the brand you want your company to be known for. Through social media, people aren’t only judging your company by your posts, but are also confirming your brand through what you share.Many businesses invest heavily in brand development but lack focus when it comes to communicating their brand. You are what you tweet about. You are the sum of your social posts. Take a look at your corporate feeds and ask yourself what they say about your brand. Is there a clear focus, or is it all over the place? Focus on focusing in 2018.
  2. Learn To Say No: Do you say yes more than you say no? Get into the habit of saying no to the wrong kind of opportunities. With each opportunity, ask yourself, “Is it on brand?” Saying yes to the wrong opportunities will spread your company too thin. Measure twice, and cut once. Make sure you are investing time in the right opportunities that are on brand.
  3. Be True To What Is Real (For Your Company): Stop trying to keep up with the Jones’. Forget about making your company seem ideal and focus on being real. People see right through inauthenticity, especially at corporate levels. Authenticity is a big deal when you’re talking about your company brand. People want to do business with people who they can trust.
  4. Make Your 1st Impression Count: There is a good chance that when people hear about your company, they will Google it. That means, the first impression likely will come up in that Google search. What is the first impression of your corporate brand? And more importantly, what is the first impression of your executives? Establishing and communicating the brand of your company is directly impacted by how the leaders of the company are perceived. Take control over the first impression of both your company and your corporate suite.
  5. Stack Your (Small) Successes: The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step. The same is true for building your company brand and the brand of your executive leadership. Build brands on the stacks of small victories. Use social media channels to share and communicate your brand story. The reality is that building a brand is not something that happens overnight. In fact, successful brands are those that develop over time. Don’t wait for big announcements to share. Share the small steps that you and your company take towards your goals. If you build on the small victories, the prospects will start to stack up.

A Toast To All Our Influencers

The world is full of advices for small businesses, but the only invaluable ones can be received from credible sources. This is where our influencers step in, who afforded to spare us their precious time for this perspicacious interview. We owe our utmost gratitude to Dan, Ian, and Ryan for sharing their cherished insights and rich tips. It’s only the influencers like these who’re on the run to make the world a better place for everyone, especially the small businesses.

Didn’t mention your favorite influencer? No problem! Just come around and nominate the influencer you adore. And oh, don’t forget to invite them to our InfluencerView Session – where all the great ones collide!

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Author Bio:    

Evan is an Expert in Digital Marketing. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, with a focus on design services, user interface planning, branding and more. Currently, he is leading content marketing efforts at DesignMantic and has played an integral part in the success story of DesignMantic through strategic marketing campaigns. Evan is also a design pro, who has shown a predilection towards DIY design projects.

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