Working for Fiverr offers me many opportunities to grow and learn, and one of them it’s by interviewing successful influencers whether they are entrepreneurs, online marketers or digital nomads just to name few. Today I’ve made a dream come true having had the possibility to interview Jeff Bullas.
Jeff is a pioneer of social media who predicted its power way before most other people. In 2009, after noticing how enthusiastically people were embracing Facebook and Twitter, he founded his now insanely popular website dedicated to conversations about social media and its transformative capabilities to help you successfully grow a business online. Since 2014 Jeff is regularly ranked among the world's most respected social and content marketing experts.
Enumerating all his awards and recognitions would be a little too long but just to give you an idea, in 2015 he has been voted as the World's #1 Best Business Blogger, in 2016 he was ranked as the #1 global digital marketing influencer and this year, he's already among Forbes's Top 20 Influencers of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs).I caught up with him to source his expert tips for freelancers and entrepreneurs who are hungry for online success.
Nico: Hi Jeff, first of all thank you for participating in this interview. It's a real honor for me to have this opportunity to introduce you to Fiverr's community. For those who don't know you, can you give us a little background on what you do and where you're from?
JB: I discovered social media in 2008 and started a blog about my observations and its emerging impact and possibilities. At the time I was between jobs, (code for unemployed).It was at first just a passion project that ended up escaping the lab and becoming a serious business. Today I travel the world speaking about social and digital marketing and training and inspiring entrepreneurs to transform their business and their lives in a digital world.
The secret to my success? A passionate purpose that was made visible by persistent content creation on a platform I owned and that added value to people's lives and business ventures. The other part of the success equation was building distribution on social networks and email that made my content move.
Nico: You launched your blog in 2009, and one of your most popular posts was: “7 Reasons To Use Social Media To Grow Your Business." How did you choose back then which social channels were going to most benefit your business? What factors did you base your decision on?
Jeff: The choice of social networks wasn't large back then, and it was essentially just Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. But Twitter was my secret success sauce.I found out that it was simple to use, it drove traffic with embedded links, and I could also automate sharing of content. I quickly realized that to be successful on social media you needed to scale your efforts with tools.
Nico: There are more than 100 social networks online right now and more are popping up every single day. What are your favorite social channels for business marketing? How many social media accounts can one person effectively manage, and what's your favorite tool to do so?
Jeff: My favorites are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I think mastering three is enough, and my favorite tools are Hootsuite and Socialoomph.
Nico: In 2012, you published your book, Blogging The Smart Way – The Secrets of a Blog Powered by Social Media. Since then social media has continuously evolved. What's the top trend to keep an eye on during 2017? What would be the most effective social media marketing tip you could give to a new freelancer to boost business?
Jeff: The social web's biggest change has been from organic to much more pay-to-play. But I would still recommend a blog as the foundation, and building networks on social media.To accelerate boosting your business, a freelancer should master Facebook retargeting, or hire a Facebook advertising specialist.
Nico: In 2015, you were named the world's number one business blogger. What's the biggest mistake you've made and what's the smartest blogging strategy you have adopted so far?
Jeff: Maybe my biggest mistake was not turning my passion project into a full-time business earlier. The smartest blogging strategy was to use marketing automation very early in the journey. I started applying automation in 2009.
Nico: Many small business owners start a blog, write an article, hit the “publish" button and then move onto the next piece of content hoping for the magic to happen. What should they ideally do after they publish a post?
Jeff: Once you have published, your job has really just started. Content marketing is two words: "content" and “marketing." Tweet it multiple times on the first day. Share it on LinkedIn and Facebook. Pin it to Pinterest and even share on Google+. Flip it to Flipboard and email the post to your email list.
Nico: Twitter seems to be your favorite and highest-performing social channel. What's your suggested Twitter sharing schedule timeline after having published an article?
Jeff: Share it 5–7 times on Twitter the first day, and then share every six days using automation with socialoomph. I also have a bank of 500 tweets that is dripped out every 15 minutes. Also include visuals with tweets. It can double your sharing!
Nico: When it comes to blogging, there are two main tendencies. Either write a lot of content very often OR write less but focus more on high quality. Where do you position yourself, and why?
Jeff: We post five days a week. They are also high quality, at 1,000 words plus. So I suppose you could say that we have quality and quantity.
Nico: Fiverr's community is mainly made of small business owners within the development and growth stage. What are your best suggestions for how they can compete with the big brands using content marketing and social media?
Jeff: You need to embrace marketing automation. That is the only way you can scale and compete. Small business owners need to understand that the journey is a marathon and not a sprint. You will not see any results from 6–12 months. So persist.
When it comes to grow your business online, it's clear that having a blog and producing good content isn't enough, you need to promote it - leverage marketing automation and if you feel overwhelmed hire social media experts to accelerate your business and help you compete with bigger companies and brands. It's your turn now!
How have you used social media to grow your business or brand? What social channels have been most beneficial to you? Tell us in the comments below!