The world of social media is competitive, but enormous and with endless possibilities for those who excel. Alessandro Riggio got started in the social media game in 2010 and today manages some of the largest names in the industry. Khaby Lame (who this week became number 1 on TikTok with 145 million followers, ahead of Charli d’Amelio), Serena Williams, Douglas Costa, Brahim Diaz, and Alvaro Morata – to name a few.
Few have been around since the early days of social media, let alone to rise to the top. However, Alessandro proved not only his abilities, but also his passion when he rose from a film student to become one of the world’s top social media managers. As an example, Alessandro took on Khaby Lame as a client when he had 1,000 Instagram followers – fast forward to today where Khaby boasts around 80 million.
Ale is an Italian entrepreneur who built a name for himself by bringing his clients to the forefront of the social landscape. With strong names on the Iron Corporation client list along with acclaimed brands, his brand has grown strong within the community.
Based in a brick-office in central Milan, Italy, Alessandro says he always strives to add value to the world. As a result of his dedication and passion, he has been able to build a top digital marketing company centered on his values.
“I always dreamed of building a job that could allow him to travel around the world, and get to interface with different people, markets, and cultures.” Alessandro said on his path.
Alessandro’s agency, Iron Corporation, is equally innovative as it is a powerhouse. Currently, the Milan-based company has three main focuses – management, creative, and investments. All part of Alessandro’s balanced view of the digital space. The digital agency prioritizes client’s social success, but also works to properly manage and monetize the opportunities that follow as a result.
Alessandro’s expertise helps his clients, including Paulo Dybala and Madalina Ghenea, take advantage of the endless opportunities and reach offered by social media. Within six months since its establishment, Iron Corporation has already climbed to the top of the industry.
Iron Corporation made waves at the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards during the Cannes Film Festival when Alessandro accepted the title of 2022’s ‘Influencer Marketing Management Company’ as Iron Corporation’s founder.
Thanks to Alessandro’s life experience and his talent for managing both business and people to grow their influence in the Passion Economy, he says he has tried to take on the digital marketing industry from a new angle. He attributes his sense of perspective to the fact that he took care of his family during childhood. As a result, he wants to add value to the world and to those who are at a disadvantage.
“I’m happy to have a job where I can fulfill both my personal and business objectives” Ale explains. With a clear vision of the journey ahead, Alessandro’s passion is all part of his strong sense of identity. His ability to predict what people want to see before they even know what they want themselves is an example of entrepreneurial excellence.
Gustaf Lundberg Toresson: In your own words, who is Alessandro Riggio?
Alessandro Riggio: I’m a restless dreamer, who has a clear vision of his identity, values & journey. A defender of change and believer that innovation should be always used as a strength. I’m determined to preserve my true identity and always prefer quality over quantity.
Lundberg Toresson: When you were a student, how did you get involved in social media?
Riggio: I’ve always loved the cinema and social media. While I was studying film between the USA & Italy, Zuckerberg purchased Instagram. I saw the potential and how social media could affect the market and people’s lives so I started doing research on the digital space. Suddenly it became my job.
Lundberg Toresson: Your company is only six months old. What is Iron Corporation?
Riggio: Iron Corporation is a family. The activities have been developed according to three main dimensions: management, creative, and investments. Iron Corporation Management works on the growth of social media profiles and the creation and monetization of the online content. Iron Corporation Creative deals with content creation. creation, visual elements. Everything from pre to post editing for companies, brands and celebrities.
Lundberg Toresson: What is Iron Corporation Investment?
Riggio: Iron Corporation invests in young companies that need to tout for business but cannot allocate huge sums to increase their visibility. Iron Corporation co-invest in the companies, forming part of the share capital, and in return we provide social media management services.”
Lundberg Toresson: Who are some of the people you manage?
Riggio: Iron corporation works with many clients. Some are athletes, celebrities, or even international brands. Some creator or celebrity names are Khaby Lame, Serena Williams, and Inaki Godoy.
Lundberg Toresson: The US has a far more developed creator economy. What do you feel the benefits of being in Europe instead of the US are?
Riggio: Right now the American market is much stronger than the European, but the new European generation is evolving, We see more events, start-ups, and creators who are working in order to align to the American Market. We have already opened a new company in the USA and in a very short time we will be there in order to sustain the market with new contents in order to give to the audience what they’re looking for.
Lundberg Toresson: You’ve repeatedly grown clients’ social and advertising success. How does one stand out and succeed in today’s rapid social media landscape?
Riggio: There should always be an objective, a message you’re trying to get people. My first questions to talent are always; “Why should people follow you?” “What’s the message that you want to deliver? “Who is your target?”. Success is a consequence of a talent, of a pool of skills that come together that is aligned to your target audience and what they want to see.
Lundberg Toresson: You represent a lot of different clients in different industries. What are some of the ways you think about building business around your clients or extending their brand?
Riggio: It depends on the talent. If the talent is a content creator, the potential business could be related to the cinema, while talent that’s a singer or musician could have potential business related to tv shows. If a talent’s core content is fashion, then the business opportunities would likely involve a private label or merch.
Lundberg Toresson: You’ve accomplished a lot, and in a short time too. What are the accomplishments you are most proud of?
Riggio: My company, Iron Corporation. I rejected a lot of opportunities in order to be solely focused and be able to build up my vision. Following that, obviously Khaby. When we started working together, Khaby had only 1,000 Instagram followers and 100,000 TikTok followers.”
Today, Khaby has amassed 214 million followers across platforms and has been featured on billboards aside supermodel Kendall Jenner – a representation of what Iron Corporation’s management is capable of.
To be where we are right now in such a short time makes me so proud. My dream is to see him on a Hollywood big screen as an actor.
Lundberg Toresson: For anyone who reaches a certain level of success, they have to deal with some aspect of hate or jealousy that just comes with it. What are some misconceptions about the manager job?
Riggio: There’s a huge misconception that a manager should be ‘famous’. A lot of managers fall for it and follow this path to become ‘famous’. It should absolutely be the opposite, a reference in the business field, but not a celebrity.
In my everyday life I actually have to deal with more consequences related to the job than misconceptions. Which is people trash talking and the challenges around it. Misconceptions are just the consequence of envy, and a wrong perception of how much there really is behind this job.”
Lundberg Toresson: What do you see happening for Iron Corporation in the near future?
Riggio: We aim to open a new Iron Corporation branch in LA & NY. We’re planning to travel over in the next months to finalize some projects and to lay the groundwork for the next steps.
Lundberg Toresson: What are some long term plans for the future of Iron Corporation?
Riggio: In the long term, Iron Corporation will have the most powerful creative team in the world. We select the best video makers, editors, and content creators to create a young, powerful team who share the same vision and objectives. Iron Corporation’s aim is to consolidate both our business and its presence over the years. And of course, to continue building a solid & stable growth of the company’s value.
The future vision? Wall Street.
The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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