Ever wonder how Social Media Examiner started?
Are you curious about the obstacles we faced in building a sizable media entity?
Sit back and learn the story that led millions of people to us.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, my friend Mark Mason, host of the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast, interviews me to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Social Media Marketing podcast.
We'll explore the core skills that helped me move into social media marketing.
You'll also learn how I make strategic decisions about the future of the company.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show:
My Entrepreneurial Journey
Before Social Media Examiner, I was known as a writer. I wrote a book called Writing White Papers and helped a lot of out-of-work journalists figure out how to go from writing for magazines and newspapers to writing for businesses.
The job of a white paper is to persuade and educate. Businesses with expensive or complex products or services use white papers to communicate about them. For instance, a big corporation would hire someone to talk to the engineering and sales departments and translate that foreign language into something a customer could understand.
Mark asks how important the helping aspect is to me as an entrepreneur. Whatever I do, I want to help the largest number of people in a way that doesn't place a huge strain on me personally. There's only so much of me to go around, and by creating products that are highly scalable, I can make helping others a big part of what I do.
For example, this podcast has more than 10 million downloads and Social Media Examiner has 60 million readers.
I wasn't an overnight success, however. When I started Social Media Examiner in 2009, I felt like I was really late to the social media game. A lot of people say they feel they're late today.
What I lacked in timing I made up for in my ability to ask questions, understand complex things, and communicate how these things work in a way everyone can understand. This skill has helped me throughout my career.
In the 1990s, my focus was creative agency work and designing websites, which was novel at the time. I also helped people design annual reports, trade show booth displays, and corporate logos. When I transitioned into a writer and later into social media, my communication skills continued to serve me well.
When I started Social Media Examiner, my secret skill wasn't that I knew anything about social (I knew nothing). It was my ability to discern which people knew things, extract information from them, and convey that knowledge to my audience. No matter what you do, figure out which of your skills allow you to travel into a new space. Then you can be really successful.
My entrepreneurial journey has never been easy. By the same token, I think if it had been easy, I would have been bored and moved along to the next thing. I like a challenge and solving puzzles. I'm not one of those people who wants to build a system and then sit back and retire on a beach. I want to keep pushing the envelope and figuring out ways to be better.
When I was in college, I dreamed that I was in a room with a couple of hundred people who were congratulating me on my success. I had the dream when I was around 20 years old, and I'm 49 now. That dream didn't come true for around 25 years. Although I've always had certain levels of success, I've never had something amazing happen overnight. I've always been the tortoise, not the hare.
I realized my dream had come true in 2014, the second year of Social Media Marketing World,