Interviewer’s Note: I’ve noticed that many people, our current interview subject included, have cited the importance of blogs in their social media work. Nothing else seems quite as valuable to building a brand, presence, or identity as a consistent, useful blog. Here, Ian D. Smith mentions his blog, and talks about how the relationship between it and his Twitter activities.
Good morning Ian! Welcome to the Pluggio Blog; how do you describe your business?
The Portfolio Partnership (TPP) offers Chief Operating Officer services to busy CEOs to help them transform their vision into a remarkable business. We perform the role of COO, working with the CEO and his or her team to deploy our methodology and playbooks to implement a rich process of discovery, analysis, and action. The CEO role has become too complex; it needs to be shared- tasks need to be allocated to ensure stuff gets done. It’s about working on the right stuff that builds business value. It’s about a seamless alignment of activities, driving towards a common goal
How did you get started?
After running businesses in Europe and in the US for 25 years (1985 to 2010) I wanted to change. I wanted to find a model to help CEOs achieve their goals, fulfill the potential of their businesses.
What do CEOs that you work with tend to need the most help with?
Simplicity of strategic objective and alignment of that objective with the right type work/actions.
(Most have too many complex objectives and have a simplistic approach to getting stuff done, ie the wrong way round.)
Are there certain industries or businesses that you specialize in?
The approach I execute seems to work for most sectors but I personally love technology, manufacturing and media-related businesses.
What role does Twitter play in your business?
I use Twitter in two ways: input and output. Input – to gather smart ideas, and research them for possible inclusion in aspects of my Playbooks. Output – publish and share great ideas on entrepreneurship that either I write or that I admire and are worth sharing including events.
What impact or change have you seen due to Twitter/social marketing?
Impact for me has been a connection with some special people that I would not have visibility of in previous business cycles. So whether its LinkedIn, Twitter, RSS feeds for blog posts, comments sections of articles – I’m now connected into a far greater set of ideas some good some bad.
Are there any of your accomplishments with social marketing that you are particularly proud of?
I suppose my blog if one includes that in the social media sphere.
Sure, I would.
I came at blogging in 2008 from a good place – To share openly smart shortcuts to solve business issues. It has been a rewarding experience and I’m proud of the feedback I’ve received and the quality of comments I’ve inspired.
How did you build your following? What kinds of people/businesses are they?
Built it through networking face to face, commenting on LinkedIn Groups, commenting on other blogs, building a Twitter following who came to my blog.
How will you choose who you will follow? What do you look for in a follower
Number of followers exceeds number being followed. Interesting tweets on my subjects of interest, which includes my hobby of competitive track & field
What strategies did you use for social marketing (either online or offline)?
I ask myself, every time I tweet or blog or share – what question am I trying to answer – that helps curate stuff down to the interesting stuff!
What worked for you?
I’m still trying stuff but I like WordPress as a platform, Google Analytics and Mailpress to push out my blog. I tweet every day at lunchtime after reading the WSJ & FT and catching up on blogs. That’s a tough discipline but necessary. I blog every Friday every week no excuse. I post my blog to various LinkedIn groups as a thought provoker and join in.
What didn’t work for you?
If you could go back to when you first began using social media, what is one thing you would have done differently?
Share more, more often.
What does Twitter do for you that nothing else can do?
Extends my reach, gets my manifesto in front of more relevant people
What lessons have you learned about Twitter and online marketing?
Patience helps. It’s a long term strategy. Honesty pays dividends, your digital footprint hangs around for ever.
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