Ian Cleary is an award winning tech blogger on RazorSocial and Social Media Tools Guy. He is the CEO of RazorSocial. He has dedicated his working life to figure out the best tools and technology for social media. He is a contributor for Social Media Examiner, VentureBeat. Ian is also a professional speaker and kick boxer. In the following interview Ian shares how he started and built RazorSocial into the leading social media tools and technology site.
Success Harbor: Thank you for coming on Success Harbor, Ian. Can you share your entrepreneurial background with our audience?
Ian Cleary: Original background was working in technology companies and after a company I had a shareholding in got acquired I left to explore new opportunities. I was selling gadgets on line, selling property internationally and building software products. I tried many things before I settled into something I was really passionate about.
Success Harbor: What was your reason to transition into social media?
Ian Cleary: When I took time out after working with software companies somebody asked me to do a presentation on social media. I knew nothing about it but the best way to learn is to teach someone else so I took up the challenge and loved social media ever since.
Success Harbor: What was your roadmap to make Razorsocial.com the wildly popular website as it is today?
Ian Cleary: Pick a niche that I was passionate about that nobody else in the world owned – I’m the go to guy for social media tools and technology. Picking a niche that you own helps you stand out in the market.
Success Harbor: What can other bloggers or businesses do to achieve similar level of success?
Ian Cleary: If you’re looking for bloggers that I look to that achieved even more success look no further than Syed Balkhi who is founder of WPBeginner, I learned a lot from Syed.
Success Harbor: What type of content have you found the most effective to build the popularity of razorsocial.com?
Ian Cleary: I focus entirely on the tools and technology side to social media. I am the only site globally that I am aware of that focusses on this.
Success Harbor: You have selected a great niche. What process should aspiring bloggers use to identify underserved niches?
Ian Cleary: Spend a lot of time reviewing their competition to find that gap in the marketing place.
Success Harbor: What content promotion strategy has been the most effective for you?
Ian Cleary: Build relationships with other influential bloggers and be helpful to your audience. If you do both of these that will help. Also make sure to optimize your content for Google because most of my traffic still comes from Google.
Success Harbor: What are the social media tools that are important to you?
Ian Cleary: Postplanner, dlvr.it, semrush, canva, optinmonster and many others!
Success Harbor: How much time is reasonable time for a small business to spend on social media?
Ian Cleary: Consistency is so important, spend 15 to 30 minutes every single day and each day try to add value to your target audience.
Success Harbor: What social media routines do you recommend to maximize value?
Ian Cleary: Build an editorial calendar for your content. Even if you are a one person band an editorial calendar is extremely important.
Success Harbor: How many other blogs should we follow to still be able to actively comment and network with the people behind the blogs?
Ian Cleary: Follow the blogs of the bloggers you want to build relationships. Pick out 10 to 20 blogs at any one time and focus on these.
Success Harbor: What are some of the most important WordPress plugins to help with our social media efforts?
Ian Cleary: Coschedule, Optinmonster, Gravity forms, WP Total Cache.
Success Harbor: What are common mistakes businesses make using social media?
Ian Cleary: Treating it like an advertising channel and just broadcasting and not engaging.
Success Harbor: What is the biggest mistake that you have made in business?
Ian Cleary: Taking massive risks with purchases of expensive investment property just before the market crash. Luckily I realized the mistake and sold before the market crashed completely.
Success Harbor: How to deal with the roller coaster ride of entrepreneurship?
Ian Cleary: Accept that you will have knock backs all the time. It’s not the knock back it’s how quick you get back up on your feet!
Success Harbor: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Ian Cleary: Listen. When we meet people we tend to just look for an opportunity to speak rather than intently listen to what the other person is saying. Give that person your full atttention.
Success Harbor: What are some of your favorite books that have helped your business?
Mike Stelzner – Launch
Nancy Duarte – Resonate
Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferazzi
Success Harbor: What is the most important thing for an entrepreneur to do during the first 12-months of being in business?
Ian Cleary: Bring in Revenue from day 1 and focus on optimizing you conversion funnel. Build relationships with the right people.
Success Harbor: What do you think is the biggest time waster for entrepreneurs?
Ian Cleary: Not scheduling your time. This means you can spend what you like on tasks. Schedule your time the way you’d schedule a meeting.
Success Harbor: If you could train someone to be a successful entrepreneur what would be the first thing you’d teach them?
Ian Cleary: How to build effective relationships with influential people in your industry.
Success Harbor: How can people connect with you?
Ian Cleary: razorsocial.com
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