Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz Connecting Great People with Great People to do Great Things!
Brian is a proud dad of three girls under the age of 7, a Pittsburgh loving sports fan, a self-proclaimed change evangelist which makes sense as the one constant in this pager wearing millennials career has been changing. Brian is a proud geek that majored in computer science that found his niche of “translating geekspeak” while working 9 years for the DoD in Cybersecurity.
Brian’s DoD career includes leading a team of 30+ developers & trainers with a mission of training, implementing and developing solutions that empowered the different branches of the military to share and collaborate leveraging social business tools their cyber security policies and procedures. If that doesn’t sound tough enough Brian’s role included 2 trips to Afghanistan & 3 to Iraq while also briefing the joint chiefs of staff at the pentagon. Brian discovered his love for workshops, training and speaking while at the DoD for which he leveraged in his next job as the Technology Evangelist of a booming datacenter startup based out of phoenix Arizona was known as IOdatacenters.
Brian became the face of that company over his two years at IO, developing and implementing the social business and training strategies with the focus of transparent collaboration between new hires, management, executives as well as partners and customers. In those two years, the company grew from 256 employees when Brian started to 612 when Brian left. The role of technology evangelist was one that Brian designed at pitched the CEIO himself, as it was a role that two of his idols Guy Kawasaki at Apple and Robert Scoble of Microsoft, later Rackspace mastered creating cult-like followings while connecting internal and external community for the company. Brian had the luxury of reporting to the CEO with a dotted line to both the CIO & CMO where he was able to be the face of the brand speaking and evangelizing the IO data center and cloud solutions at the largest technology events in the world including Amazon ReInvent, VMworld, Gartner Symposium, CES and many more.
Brian’s passion for social media began back in college where he was the assistant captain of the Ice hockey team and the president of his fraternity leveraging social media to stay connected with classmates and professors allowing him to be a leader while being a full-time student both on the ice and with his fraternity. Brian likes to say he went to YouTube University after leaving college as he never took a course in cyber security but quickly scaled an entry level help desk position into the largest IT training program the DoD had ever contracted. In 2014 while still at IO Brian received his first of many social business awards as he was named Top 25 Social Business Leader of the future by the Economist and IBM. Brian leveraged the visibility and opportunities afforded to him with this award to travel to Ted Talks and the world’s largest technology events as an influencer, speaker and the personal brand of iSocialFanz.
In November of 2014, Brian made it his mission to tell his story and go all-in as an entrepreneur and speaker with less than 2k followers on twitter, a digital footprint of less than 14k total social media followers and very little notoriety in the digital marketing. Brian cohosted twitter’s largest twitter chat & video interview show known as Social Business Hour from 2014 to 2016 and still hosts today the longest running technology-focused video twitter chat show known as Cloudtalk that has had sponsors by the likes of IBM, Avnet, SAP, and others. Brian’s also launched a podcast with his cloudtalk co-host Daniel Newman called S.M.A.C.talk which is a podcast around the acronym standing for Social Media, Mobility, Analytics, and Cloud. The podcast now has 60+ weekly episodes that are recorded on live video which spawned the technology event show known as SMACtalk Live. SMACtalk live is the podcast formatted show broadcasted live at the brand’s event on the brand’s media channels focused on bringing analyst level discussions and interviews to the digital community not at the event using the latest in live streaming technology. SMACtalk Live has been hosting some of the largest events in the last two years including the Superbowl with SAP, Capgemini, IBM, Deloitte and iTelligence, CES, SXSW, IBM Partnerworld, SAP Sapphire, Dell World, HP Discover, Mobile World Congress and those were all in 2016. The SMACtalk podcast is currently sponsored by Adobe and has booked out 10+ live event shows for 2017.
Over these last two years that Brian has dedicated to telling his story, becoming an industry influencer and thought leader and a global speaker he’s grown his digital footprint to almost 200k followers including the iSocialFanz twitter account to over 100k followers. Brian credits this growth and success in such a short period of time to his dedication to being transparent and authentic with his followers while not focusing on building just a following on social media channels rather a digital community of friends, fans and thought leaders that support and follow him to events wherever he goes. Beyond the twitter chats, podcasts and social media following Brian has become the Live Video Industry expert building out and executing on 30+ live streaming brand strategies while also streaming 1700+ live streams himself lead to being a shorty awards nominee in 2016 for Periscoper of the Year. Brian was one of the strategists and co-hosts for one of the largest brand live streaming projects with Applebees where we brought in 20 influencers and took over the Applebees accounts and website for an entire day leading to over 1 billion impressions on the camp again hashtag known as #TasteTheChange. Brian also built the strategies and launched the live streaming accounts for IBM, Dell, SAP, LeTV, SanDisk, HP and was paid to cover major events, including 20 hours of live content over 4 days at the Superbowl, Social Media Marketing World the largest social media event in the world, CES and SXSW. Brian’s goal in 2016 was to establish himself as an influencer and thought a leader with analyst level insights and access to the worlds largest technology brands while staying agnostic and authentic with his community. In a 45 day period in the fall of 2016, Brian did what fellow analysts said couldn’t be done and hosted Dell EMC World, HP Discover Live, IBM World of Watson and SAP Tech Ed.
Brian’s second goal of 2016 was to transition himself from a technology and marketing industry speaker to a professional global corporate speaker covering a vast range of topics that brian has accumulated knowledge in over the years. As 2016 wraps up Brian will have spoken in 11 countries at more than 50 events catapulting his global presence and allowing him to increase his speaking and hosting fees 4 times what they were just 12 months ago.
For many who see Brian from the outside, they associated him with his backward hat, his many different bright colored shoes, his unapologetic fast talking and he’s always on passion for community, social media and technology. Brian is very grateful for the massive success he has found in multiple different industries with a vast range of experience nobody would assume a millennial would have. Brian embraces transparency more so than probably anyone else and more than most would advice, so his community is well aware of the bumps, failures, failed business partnerships, and roller coaster ride brian has been on to get where he is today.
But Brian believes to be a true leader and to transform a mindset and an industry you must do more than live it and transparently expose it, you must teach it, train it and educate the global world of entrepreneurs, influencers and hard working digital natives.
Brian credits his success to what he calls “A Millennial Mindset” that comes down to living his 3 C’s. Embracing Change, empowering and building Communities and driving a culture of Collaboration.
Brians background and expertises in these 3 C’s are deep rooted in everything: From reverse mentoring relationships that he established as a new hire for the DoD to becoming fraternity president as a sophomore having to learn how to manage and build trust with upperclassmen. To building out a 30+ person team of cyber security developers and trainers were only 2 of the employees that worked for him were his age or younger. Brian also plays semi-professional poker focused on the human dynamic and non-verbal body language science allowing him competed in the world series of poker and have 6 figures worth of career earnings. Poker is what Brian credits for transforming his on stage speaker presence and innate ability to think on his feet and roll with the punches or what some might call “master of bullshitting”.
With the mindset of community and collaboration with Brian’s professional speaking career, his digital strategy consulting, podcast hosting and soon to be author, Brian is launching a first of its kind strategic digital amplification agency focused on helping successful entrepreneurs, business leaders and professional speakers be discovered and form partnerships with any and all events and brands worldwide. The agency’s mission is simple, Connect Great People with Great People and Brands To Do Great Shit!