Isaac Irvine: The Unexpected Personal Brand Coach

06/06/2017 05:33 pm ET

Sometimes consumers don’t realize quite how big certain companies might be.

Take GoDaddy. Many know them best from Super Bowl ads or buying website addresses or even using full their suite of digital services such as email, web hosting and more.

But what’s lost on many is the company’s scale – it has a $7.25 billion market cap and is the world's largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures with nearly 17 million customers worldwide and over 71 million domain names under management.

And at a company like GoDaddy, the last thing most outsiders would expect is for someone who looks like Isaac Irvine to have the job he currently occupies. Indeed, Irving, who joined GoDaddy in 2007 and prior was a tattoo artist and bouncer, dropped in for a random interview wearing a borrowed shirt

To his surprise, Irvine landed the job and began his tenure in the often not-so-fun role of customer support.

“I was the guy that answers the phone when you call for help setting up your products,” he said.

A decade later, however, things have changed markedly. Irvine now serves as a social media community manager for GoDaddy, but it’s a rather misleading and surprising title for what he actually does day-to-day – especially for a guy who looks like he just rolled off the set of “Sons Of Anarchy.”

“I’m in charge of our customer advocacy program and helping our employees discover, build, and cultivate their own personal brand online,” he said. “I coach them on writing content to share with the world as well as how to leverage social media networks to join in the conversations around tech that the rest of the world are having. We have brilliant people working here and they have lots of knowledge to share.”

Set aside the impressive beard and tattoos, ignore the cover on the book. It takes maybe five minutes speaking with Irvine to understand that Irvine – who earlier this year developed some celebrity through a video he made with his son discussing bullying – has the soul for helping his colleagues succeed in the digital space.

“My goal is to get our employees sharing great content online – period,” he said. “Just share and engage in conversations on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Reddit. If I see that they’re just sharing GoDaddy content, I’ll ask them to slow down and stick to the 80/20 rule. Meaning, I only want them sharing GoDaddy content 20 percent of the time. The other 80 percent of their posts should be about topics they think are important. It’s an employee first approach and it works.”

Of course this can make many c-suite executives rather nervous, but according to Irvine, it comes straight from the top.

“Our CEO Blake Irving has really changed up how we do things and it’s fantastic,” he said. “He started with a solid company vision of helping our customers find life fulfilling ventures. So we want our employees out there doing that. Writing articles, speaking at events, sharing tips and tricks on social media – it’s all part of that.”

Irvine believes many companies don’t want to help build their employees’ personal brands because they are afraid that employee might then leave, which he cites as being indicative of a hiring problem, not an employee advocacy problem. More than anything he realizes he’s a shining example of why companies should help employees build personal brands, grow and advocate for themselves and their organizations.

I speak at conferences all the time and see people from big companies like ours up there on stage in a suit,” he said. “That’s just not me though.I’m the guy in jeans and a t-shirt with my backpack. I’m a laid-back guy and I think that gives me an advantage. I might look like I walked off the set of ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ but I’m also the guy hanging out in the hallway after my talks answering questions, following up with anyone that has questions, and most importantly asking questions.”

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