“I would love to inspire people to live out their dreams”, With James Robinson and Candice Georgiadis

Now more than ever a kid from anywhere can aspire to be whatever they want to be

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I would love to inspire people to live out their dreams. Now more than ever a kid from anywhere can aspire to be whatever they want to be. And social media gives us a platform and a tool to reach those dreams.

I had the pleasure to interview James Robinson founder of Iconic Genius

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I started out in radio and television back in ’04. At the time social media wasn’t poppin! TV and radio was still king and I wanted the throne.

Little did I know… by 2007 I would start to see these traditional media platforms start to become irrelevant in society. That is when it hit me. I am trying to hustle to the top of a dying industry.

Social media was on the rise but I still didn’t know the power of it just yet… but I knew I needed to make a move soon. So I started to use radio and TV to build my influence on social media.

By 2010 I had maneuvered my traditional media career into a marketing executive position for some of the top media brands in Raleigh, NC. At this point social media is on full blast but I am getting a ton of resistance from owners who don’t see the value in it.

Because I was the only one championing the use of social media this is where I got my first full social media experience of it from a business perspective.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting story I can tell you is how I built two of the hottest clubs in New Jersey with social media.

While I was there we created our own ticket master system and threw some of the biggest Latin concerts that New Jersey has ever seen.

I sold out two HUGE concerts with TWO of the BIGGEST LATIN artists out right now. And we did it all with social media ONLY!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I once launched an ad for a pet brand. I thought it was going to bring in a ton of leads because the picture was the most adorable little dog you’ve ever seen. Or so I thought, the ad was a dub… And I couldn’t understand why. The funny part is…the day I decided to stop the campaign I got a comment on the ad.

This lady says “aww he’s beautiful but why so sad”. Now I didn’t think the puppy looked sad and I never thought that this could be the reason the ad sucked. But it was.

I learned from that to always be testing.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

I have seen great success with all of them but Facebook still reigns supreme… for now.

Facebook just knows everything.

Think about it. Capitol hill was pressing Zucks about what Facebook knows. And the people on Capitol hill don’t know shit about technology or social media. So with that being said.

In my experience. I use Facebook to grow company’s customer databases, convert sales and drive traffic to websites. My foundation social media strategy is Facebook and then I build from there. It’s that simple.

Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Instagram Ads: Facebook owns Instagram so the same backend power you have with the Facebook ads manager is the same power you have on IG. You should be targeting your perfect customer with a great offer through ads on IG.
  2. I have seen major success with birthday ads on IG. People have birthdays every day! No matter what industry you are in you can use birthdays to your advantage. I am in the entertainment / hospitality industry so it makes perfect sense for my clients. Again the key is going to be the offer.
  3. Retarget marketing works wonders on IG. I run non-stop retargeting campaigns to people who go to my client’s website and/or who views YouTube videos. I give my clients the same power of Amazon with this tactic.
  4. Influencer marketing: These are the new celebrities. You may not know who they are but your customer does. And they follow them every day. Attach your brand to the right influencer and build instant credibility.The number one key to successful influencer marketing is making sure you get the most bang for your buck. I like to use a scale system. So for example. If you bring me 10 leads I will pay you $100. If you bring me 100 leads I will pay you $1,000. This way you are not overpaying for talent that doesn’t work or help. Some influencers don’t want to play that game. But if you sell it to them right they will be all for it because in the end they will make more money. But if you can’t get a scale kind of deal. BE WARNED!Make sure the influencer you pick puts in real work. How? By asking a company that they have used before. By looking through the influencers comments. Are these a bunch of generic comments and profiles or are these real people talking real shit.
  5. Contest: Who doesn’t love a good contest?? As long as the prize is worth it, people are all for it. And the prize doesn’t have to be a trip around the world. It could be something simple and cost effective. I once ran a free lunch for a year contest for a restaurant. The winner and two friends would get free lunch once a month for a year. The total cost to do this was $587.12. We ran ads behind this campaign for two months.We had over 600 new leads (name, numbers and emails) and the lunch time ROI increased by 10%.
  6. UGC: User generated content is a great way to bypass running ads and garnishing massive amounts of traffic. But you better have something cool going on for yourself. I once ran a pumpkin carving contest for students at a trade school. The goal was to build brand awareness through the students to reach their friends and family. The only money spent was on the prize which was a pizza party for the winner.This campaign drove over 75k views and well over 100k impressions. It also pulled in 6 leads. And not a dime was spent on ads.
  7. Live streaming: If you want to hack the IG algorithm start live streaming more. The key here is going to be what you are live streaming.At first you might not have a lot of viewers but the goal is to provide amazing, educational type of content. You should be sharing secret tips, how to guides, DIY, live tutorials and anything else you can think of sharing. As long as the advice you give makes you the authority you will win.I started having my trade schools start live streaming demos, campus tours and all the other cool stuff the students were doing. Now the campuses get a lead or two a week just from live streaming different content.
  8. Instagram stories: I promise you will get more traffic using IG stories. Again the goal is to provide information and entertainment.For my gym clients I tell them to show their home life. How do they prep for workouts, what do their meal plans look like? These are all things people like to see.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to inspire people to live out their dreams. Now more than ever a kid from anywhere can aspire to be whatever they want to be. And social media gives us a platform and a tool to reach those dreams.

I am teaching my kids now, why wait to start making money. If you love to watch YouTube why not get paid to be on it? If you love to play Fortnite why not get paid to play it?

We are in a different time now. People are getting paid off of their pets IG pages. You can be too and do whatever you want now-a-days.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them:

I would like to sit down with Elon Musk because he is an all-time great entrepreneur / inventor. I would like to know what he thinks about the next recession. What brands he respects and what invention he wishes he made. I would ask a ton of questions.

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