I haven’t personally known Aaron for very long, but his reputation has proceeded him for a long time in the social community. I’ve heard tales of his love for his family and his ability to tame any and every new social community and digital mechanic. Apparently, he’s a jack of all trades AND a master as well. Besides his enjoyment of all things social and digital, his family holds the top spot in his heart and he’s one of the few lucky enough to marry his high school sweetheart. Let’s get professional and personal with Aaron Biebert.
1. Where are you from and what is your day job?
I currently live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and spend quite a bit of my time directing/producing videos for remarkable brands and people in Chicago, Milwaukee, and all over the world. I also lead the company as the executive producer of all our productions.
2. You have a full family, please tell us about them.
I’ve got a wonderful wife and partner in Jennifer. She is one of the best artists I know and runs Biebert Studios, an independent maker of custom gold and gemstone jewelry. She also uses her artistic skills to plan great events and create wonderful meals. On top of that, she’s been an awesome mother to our five year old daughter, Sydney and three year old son, Frederick. Both of my kids got my “naughty” genes. They are very curious and always looking for trouble. I think that’s healthy though.
3. Why is it that @Biebert is so well known online, especially on Twitter?
A couple years ago, I implemented a personal branding strategy that focused on using the @ symbol before my last name in all of my writing and artistic work that is online. You’ll find it in my business blogs posts at AttentionEra.com, my personal blog posts at 8pmWarrior.com, and in many of my films/videos in the credits. I also use Aaron @Biebert for signing emails to social media folks, comments on blogs, and name badges at networking events.
It also helps when you talk about twitter a lot. I used to give a bunch of talks to groups about social media when it was new, and I always discussed my twitter name and invited people to ask questions afterwards via twitter. Many of those folks since 2008 are still connected to me on Twitter.
4. How involved with social media are you?
When I’m not directing, producing, or developing new video projects, I’m using social media to learn new things and share my work with the world. It’s not just a tool, it’s a way of life that I’ve embraced. See something cool? Share it. Know someone that needs something? Connect them with your network.
I’m actively using Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and WordPress on a daily basis. I’ve got about 30 pages on Facebook, 40 twitter accounts (mostly for the Attention Network), Linkedin groups, Google+ communities, and I just tweeted my 28,888th tweet. Some would say I’m pretty involved. Some would say I’m obsessed.
5. What strengths and weaknesses do you see in the social network communities these days?
The biggest strength is that there are many new voices actively using other networks besides Facebook. It’s been great to get perspectives from people who are doing the work, not just talking/teaching/blogging about it. I used to see mostly “social media ninjas” running around everywhere on social media, now I’m seeing many new thought leaders online.
The biggest weakness I’m seeing is that folks are getting overwhelmed with all the messaging coming at them. As if emails, phone calls, text messages, commercials, and snail mail weren’t enough to digest, now we have tweets, updates, blog posts, messages, and other social messaging coming at us all day. We’re definitely entering a new era where attention will be harder to get than information. We have enough of that.
6. How did you get into the digital online world?
I started using MySpace back in the day and saw all the hype that was created by Facebook. Even though I was too old to use Facebook at first (only college kids could use it), I could tell something huge was on the horizon. Never one to ignore an emerging trend, I started using Facebook groups to market my business the first day they opened it up to non-college folks. The rest is history.
7. What types of jobs have you had in the past?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2005, so I’ve held pretty much every position imaginable. It’s been a crazy ride filled with tons of ups and downs. Prior to that, I held marketing and leadership positions at several companies including McDonald’s (my first management position), Securitas, and Best Buy.
8. Currently, your biggest focus is Attention Era Media. What do you do for them and what is their main focus?
Attention Era Media is my latest venture created to serve the growing need of brands and remarkable people that need help with creative video production. We focus on making short brand films, event highlights, and pretty much any other video our clients need. We also do photography when our clients need it. I direct a lot of our videos and serve as the primary leader of our team.
9. Where did your love of video come from and how did it become your main job?
I’ve always loved film and the magic it possesses to evoke powerful emotions. I studied business and art in college, and video production is right up my alley. It combines my love of visual art, acting, music, technology, and leadership. I absolutely love it!
10. You have a personal blog, 8pm Warrior. What is its focus and how long have you been blogging.
I’m an extreme extrovert, so I created 8pmWarrior.com in 2010 to make new connections and discuss thoughts on marketing, leadership, and the life of an entrepreneur. I’ve also created communities on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter to help connect the group of fellow 8pm Warriors (people using late hours for projects they care about). It’s been an amazing experience.
11. Aaron @Biebert seems to wear many digital hats – which is your favorite and why?
I love wearing my writer hat. Writing blogs, scripts, and social media updates allows me to flex my creative muscles when I have time.
12. What is it about digital media that attracts you?
Digital media is the most powerful communication tool ever invented. We’re in a revolution here and I love being a part of it.
13. Why are you such a fan of social media/social communities? What draws you?
I think it’s my extroversion. I don’t sleep much, so it can get lonely sometimes at night after everyone has gone to bed. Social media allows me to connect and re-energize during breaks from late night work. This is probably why I made so many friends on the West Coast. They’re still up when the East Coast has gone to bed.
14. Why is video so important in today’s marketing strategies?
It’s a big mobile play. People don’t want to read pages of text on their phone, and video (at least on YouTube) provides them an easy way to learn about your people, your products, and your personality. As internet download speeds continue to improve, visual media have been hugely popular (think YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) on the internet. Video’s advantage is that it allows you to utilize the power of a voice, a look, an inspiring music track. It’s the most social way to connect with people online.
YouTube videos are also big for search engines. It’s the #2 search engine in the world, owned by the #1 search engine in the world.
15. A little birdie told me that you are married to your high school sweetheart! Is that true?
It is true. I met the love of my life at 17 and I knew it. We dated for five years until we got married. Best decision I’ve ever made. I am super lucky and I try not to forget it.
16. What is your favorite part about being a father and husband?
Looking into the eyes of my kids, I see the future. Being their father is an awesome way to help make the future better. Their unconditional love is great, too. As for being a husband, the best part is the companionship. I also love how beautiful she is. It’s always a treat to see her at the end of a long day.
17. What advice do you have for newbies entering the digital frontier?
Engage. Don’t just create a profile. Go hunting for others. Discuss. Learn. Comment. Don’t quit if it seems quiet. I just means you haven’t met the right people. There are brilliant people out there right now, sharing amazing information. Take the opportunity.
18. Do you have any mentors or people who have played a significant role in your life?
My father was always trying new things in his work and I think that stuck with me for my career. My mom was also amazing. She never quit finding ways to fix things and love people. I hope to be as great as them someday. As for direct business mentors, I haven’t had the honor of finding that mentor yet…someday hopefully. Maybe James Cameron or George Lucas need a protégé. If I’m going to complete my life’s goal, I’m gonna need to go big.