INTERVIEW WITH UMAR ALI - DIGITAL INFLUENCER MARKETING

In this interview on The Logros Show – in association with The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce – Lee Dinsdale talks to Umar Ali – the owner of Pie Analysis, which is a full service Digital Marketing Agency specialising in Digital Influencer Marketing. So everybody who is interested in Instagram, stay locked on!

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Interview with Umar Ali at Unity Radio – An Instagram Masterclass and Umar’s Take on Achieving Excellence.

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Lee: Good afternoon. This is the Logros Show here at Unity Radio – The Real Sound of The City. Each week we invite guests from the world of entrepreneurs, health and wellbeing and sport to share their stories of achieving excellence. This week on the Logros Show we are joined by Umar Ali. Good afternoon, how are you doing?

Umar: Good afternoon Lee. I’m good thank you.

Lee: A little bit of background first. Umar is the owner of Pie Analysis, which is a full service Digital Marketing Agency specialising in Digital Influencer Marketing, so everybody who is interested in Instagram, stay locked on! First Umar let’s talk about Instagram.

Umar: Instagram is not going away anytime soon. Everybody knows it. Over a billion monthly users at this moment in time. Twenty-twenty is expected to get even bigger. It’s main audience is sixteen plus and it’s just going to blow up.

Lee: There are those who really take time with their photographs, really think about what they put on Instagram. Give us your top five tips for being a good or great Instagram influencer please.

Instagram Masterclass

Umar: These top five tips are not just coming from me. In our building we have got JD. All the advertising that you see on JD is done in our building. We see influencers every single day. You have to have,

  1. Passion. You have got to have that passion and that will resonate with whoever sees your post.
  2. A clear message. Some people try to be everybody – you can’t be everybody, you’ve got to be that one clear message.
  3. Your image and video quality. Image and video is not going away and people are just getting more and more clear with their videos.
  4. Connect with your audience. Even if it’s one person, fill them with so much value that they go to tell others. That’s how you start getting your word of mouth. And then Cross Platform. Instagram is one platform. There are so many other platforms and you want to get across to as many of those platforms as possible. What you will find very quickly, is that the more you post consistently with these quality videos and images, whatever your message is, very soon you will have a point called traction within the algorithm as well as within what people see. Then slowly, slowly you’ll start moving up.

Lee: A shout out to my mother and my aunty who are listening. They are just suddenly getting to grips with Instagram and I know they will be listening. So some tips for you both now! On the algorithms is it a case of you have to post daily to keep your pictures or posts appearing in front of as many people?

Umar: No. We were at Facebook HQ in January and the way that algorithms are designed is to give value to the audience. So when you post consistently and people engage with you that becomes one of the big factors of the algorithm. What is going to be the measurement factor for the algorithm to check whose worthy of being pushed to the top – its comments. It’s going to be a big thing in 2020.

What is going to be the measurement factor for the algorithm to check whose worthy of being pushed to the top – its comments. It’s going to be a big thing in 2020.

Lee: So the more comments you get on your posts, the more it will be visual in front of more people.

Umar: That’s right.

Lee: How do you improve then the quality of your images to get your comments? Is there any magic formula, or do you just ask?

Umar: If anyone is scrolling through their phone, you’ll see a couple of images or a video or something and it stops you. That’s called ‘breaking the noise’. In the past you would post and your post would up there for a full day. Now you can post on average – it’s about a twenty minute window. Apart from avid follows like your mum and dad who will go looking for you, it’s like a river. So when you post it’s flowing down the river. You have to post something that catches the imagination. We have our own network of influencers for our clients to get them to post and promote. One of the things we look for is what kind of impact do they have? How do you measure that? We look for the comments and the likes at this moment in time. Then we look at the quality of the images and consistency of the images, and the brand image.

Lee: Are there any theories on what post would capture someone’s attention? Is it bright colours, is it activity. Are there any studies?

Umar: Most definitely.

Lee: We have just got a call in from Isobel. She is asking the question, what is the theory around follow unfollow to build up your followers?

Umar: So when creating this course we have done four years of research. Follow and unfollow is a technique that people used in the past. The more people you follow that follow you back, in thirty days’ time slowly, slowly you take those numbers down and you just unfollow them. It looks like you have a lot of followers and for many people the algorithm has caught that. A lot of people who try that method now will get a message in a couple of days or weeks and Instagram will say you are using methods not allowed. They will tell you to change your password.

Lee: So they are really going in on it has to be authentic content?

Umar: From Instagram’s point of view they want the best quality content for their audience.

Lee: We talked before about how do posts stand out to the client?

Umar: If you are sat at home and scrolling through your feed you stop on certain images. There are certain nuance differences that are within each one of the pictures and it is quality. Some of our Instagramers that we work with that have a million plus followers, will sometimes take fifty or sixty pictures before they even post. It’s a serious job and people are making some serious money from it.

Some of our Instagramers that we work with that have a million plus followers, will sometimes take fifty or sixty pictures before they even post. It’s a serious job and people are making some serious money from it.

Lee: So let’s get into a couple of nuances that people can take away when designing their posts and that they can look out for so that they stand out.

Umar: One of the things is – what will stop the flow? Your caption has got to be so snappy that it makes people stop and think. From the psychology point of view the brain processes the colour yellow faster than any other colour. So wherever that yellow is, that will be the first thing that the brain processes. If that picture is in the centre people will look in the centre.

Lee: So if everybody’s post suddenly changes to yellow you have influenced everybody listening!

Umar: So much in the industry is done with psychology. The colour palates that you see on runways are pre- agreed a year before and people get used to that. Now pastels are in. For next year vivid colours are in. Once you start going with that trend, people psychologically feel comfortable with that trend.

Lee: So if you look at what colours are coming on the fashion runways, then you adopt them into your Instagram because it’s habitual and you feel comfortable. I know you are chair of the International Institute of Entrepreneurship and Professional Development which is an accredited training provider specialising in digital and marketing professional development. How can people get involved? Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Online Training Course

Umar: This was set up as a passion project and we have been doing it for four years. Our research and development have been working with schools, colleges, universities and businesses to provide an online training platform that people can come into and benefit from. From our research what happened in the past is a lot of people go to online courses. There is a ninety three percent fail rate. That’s because a lot of people are left to their own devices and only that sliver of people that have that full passion, devotion and skill sets that are required to achieve do achieve. Everybody else fails. In education, and I had twenty years in education myself, and if you go anywhere near the eighty five percent mark, Ofsted comes in, it’s regulated. So we have merged the two sides together.

Lee: So what sort of impact do you hope to have for the people coming on your course?

Umar: It’s about getting them ready for mainstream industry. So if it’s for their personal self and for their own business, how do they take their business to mainstream? If it’s for getting a career, how do they get the skills required that the industry is looking for at this moment in time? One of the big challenges with universities is because it is such a big institute, for them to change their courses they can’t do that as rapidly as on liners.

Lee: How do people access the website?

Umar: Google IIepd.com and it will come up.

Lee: Now we have Yusuf who is on a work placement at Pie Analysis. How old are you?

Yusuf: I am seventeen and I am on a business admin apprenticeship at Bury College and my placement is with Pie Analysis.

Lee: What are you learning at Pie Analysis?

Yusuf: Things like social media, every type of social media. I’m also learning Photo Shop. I am also learning Instagram through the course.

Lee: Have you started to apply what you are learning into your everyday life?

Yusuf: Yes definitely. The course covers everything about Instagram. There is not one bit that isn’t touched on by the course, so you will come across something and think, yes I can use that on my own page. I have started implementing them and have seen a good growth.

Lee: What is the one thing that you have taken away from the course that you could say; this is Jusuf’s Instagram tip?

Yusuf: Hashtags. This is a most important tip because people can find you a lot easier when you use hashtags. I didn’t know that before, but now I do. Now I try to use hashtags as much as I can.

Lee: Thanks for coming in and good luck with the rest of your course. We also have Ru who is Umar’s wife. You are the founder of Mona Living. Tell us more.

Ru: Everything we have formulated is here in Manchester. It is vegan friendly. We sell cleansers, toners, moisturisers, bath salts and everything that you need for your skin.

Lee: Is vegan more beneficial?

Ru: I think it’s because it’s natural. It’s about prevention, not cure. Nothing is a miracle so at Mona Living we practice not only skin health, but inner skin as well. So drinking water and natural remedies as well. We do a Mona Living DIY on our Instagram and are always doing fun things on there.

Lee: Give us an example please.

Ru: We’ve tried using avocado masks, so avocado with a bit of yoghurt and a bit of honey. It works very well for the skin. Also turmeric masks. I have slight psoriasis and using our body oil has helped me more than anything else on the market. I can only put it down to the fact that it’s all natural and no chemicals in it.

Lee: With the cold weather it can come out more, so for anyone listening, what is that product?

Ru: Mona dry oil.

Lee: You obviously run an e-commerce site. You are linked into the on-line digital side of the world so, what are some of the tips for running an e-commerce business in terms of getting success, traction, sales?

Ru: I think it is reviews. It’s online, so people can’t try it, they can’t smell something or physically touch something. I know as a consumer and business owner when you are looking for something if you look at reviews, you know real people have tried and tested it. Good or bad they can give you their opinion.

Lee: What is the website?

Ru: It is monaliving.com. Also monaliving Instagram, check us out.

Lee: You were showing me before, Bosswomen.

Ru: Bosswomen is women sharing their stories – all women. Whether you are a business woman, someone who hasn’t figured it out yet, a stay at home mum – it doesn’t matter. We want to hear your stories, so if you have something to share, drop us at dm at Bosswomen news. We would love to speak to you on our page. It is about all real life people.

Lee: Thank you very much for coming in Ru.

Achieving Excellence

Lee: We are just going to wrap up and finish off and the strapline is, Achieving Excellence which is achieving greatness and being the best you can be in life. Looking at wellbeing and different ways in terms of performance and Umar, I just wanted your view of, in your individual life and work, what do you do to be the best version of you, and in business as well?

Umar: For your personal self, it’s about setting your own goal – its person centred. What is most important to you? Don’t worry about what the world has to say. I know what I want and what I’m passionate about. I have to become blindsided to the negatives and just look at the positives. If you take a couple of minutes out in the morning just to recalibrate every single morning and say, what is it that I want to achieve today, and where is that taking me for my longer term life? For myself personally, my goals might not inspire others, but if it inspires me and drives me and gives me a passion and desire, that’s the best that I can do for my life. For the listeners out there if they find something that resonates with them, that’s what they need to go for. In a business, you are only as good as your team. The team that you have around you are the ones that will share your journey with you. In life it’s individually, but as a society it’s collectively. My team, we all work together, we love working together, we appreciate each other and every day becomes wonderful. That’s excellence for me.

The team that you have around you are the ones that will share your journey with you. In life it’s individually, but as a society it’s collectively. My team, we all work together, we love working together, we appreciate each other and every day becomes wonderful. That’s excellence for me.

Lee: Thank you very much for coming in Umar, all the Instagram tips have been fantastic.

Article Transcription by Terry Capostagno 

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