I am super excited to introduce, Blake Jamieson, a dear friend and incredible social media engineer who is taking the social media marketing world by storm. Blake’s mix of social media marketing know-how and his economics background make him truly lethal when it comes to marketing strategies. Mark my words folks, you will be hearing much about Blake Jamieson in the years to come. Let’s dive in and get to know the guy with a big smile!
1. Tell us where are you from and a little about your work history?
I was born in San Francisco. I went to high school in Marin County and then to UC Davis where I studied economics. After college, I moved to Sacramento, CA for a few years and recently moved from Nor Cal down to Santa Monica. I’ve always wanted to live in LA and very happy that I finally am. As far as work history, I have had a nice mix of graphic design, customer service, sales, and business management. Now I work full time in social media and use skills from each of those job fields.
2. How did you get into the social media industry?
I got my start in social media in 2009 when I got a job with Zynga. Originally I was hired to analyze iPhone advertising reports, and test mobile ad variations. But soon after starting there, I was asked to make a demo video for an upcoming game (Scramble Live on iPhone). The video was a success, so Zynga transfered me from the iPhone department to the marketing department. Then I began making videos for all the different games and departments. Essentially, I was creating content to be used in social media – so I started to study what people responded to on those channels.
3. How did you learn the mechanics of social media?
Although Zynga got my feet wet in the industry, content creation is just a small piece of the puzzle. I really learned the marketing and engagement side while working for PoolSupplyWorld. I have helped grow their Facebook page to over 73K fans (starting with 37 Fans on February 7, 2012). PoolSupplyWorld gave me complete creative control to experiment and find out what really drives results. I was able to hone my skill set very quickly, and recently the PoolSupplyWorld page won ‘Top 10 Facebook Pages’ award from Social Media Examiner. Because of this award, and a few key relationships I built this year, I was asked to speak at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in NYC next month.
4. What were your biggest obstacles with taking over an account like PoolSupplyWorld?
With that specific business, the biggest challenge was the industry itself. I was taking control of all social media, but knew nothing about pool supplies. As I was learning about the social media industry, I also had to build my knowledge about swimming pool care, pool chemicals, and equipment. I got very involved in a forum called TroubleFreePool.com, and the community of pool owners helped me with the technical knowledge. Then I took what I learned over to social media to spread the word!
5. What do you love most about social media and working with clients?
I know it sounds cliche, but I love that every day is different. I work with a variety of clients in all different industries, and for each client, my strategy is a little different. I really enjoy putting together a social media plan – and seeing it through to completion. Clients always get excited the first time I show them a measurable ROI from their social media, and that makes me feel great!
6. When did your first ebook, Twitter For Actors launch?
Twitter For Actors went live on November 23, 2012. It has been a long time in the making, so it’s very exciting to see a live product.
7. What inspired you to write Twitter for Actors?
I moved to LA in August 2012. As I began to familiarize myself with the area and network with new people, I met a lot of aspiring entertainers. I quickly realized that most of these people already use social media as the cornerstone of their personal branding. But over and over again, I found their profiles very disappointing (from an internet marketing perspective). I also realized that most of these aspiring actors could not afford my consulting rate for social media coaching. I decided that writing an e-book was the best way to help the most people. After some research, I realized there are no social media products built specifically for the entertainment niche. And I started with a Twitter book because I find the platform (Twitter) to be much simpler than Facebook.
8. How difficult was it to produce an ebook and what elements went into its production?
The rough draft came together very quickly. But once the revisions started, I kept getting ideas of things to add. The original version was text-only, but I decided that adding screenshots with step-by-step instructions would add a lot of value to the book. After all, I am a visual learner myself. To capture the screenshots I needed, I had to create a new Twitter profile with custom artwork and images. All of the graphic designs were created by me, and that can be tedious. As I was building these visual assets, I decided to help the actors with artwork too. I created photoshop template files with built-in guides and tips, to speed up the process for my readers. These photoshop files come with the book.
Once the writing was done, I hired an editor to polish the text for me. She was absolutely amazing! I really understand the technical practices that work on social media, but sometimes explaining them clearly can be difficult. I was very pleased with the final draft of the book, and can’t wait for more readers to check it out!
I also decided to add a few case studies specific for the entertainment industry. This way readers can see the practices in the book being executed correctly, in a space that’s relevant. Once I had chosen who to highlight in the case studies, things came together quickly. But the process of finding the right people to highlight was quite time consuming. As it turns out, very few entertainers (even famous movie starts) have impressive social media profiles. And just to clarify, lots of them have impressive followings on social media, but few take the time to make a nice profile design for personal branding.
Lastly, I decided to build a WordPress website template to complement the book. Since I am no coder myself, I hired a talented developer on eLance to program it for me. I created a mock-up in Photoshop and explained the functions I wanted. In the book, I encourage actors to create their own website. After all, you never know when one social media platform will be replaced. Having your own website is a good idea because it is entirely in your control.
9. Are you working on future books?
Yes, absolutely. I actually have another one in the works, and ideas for a bunch more. I’ve written a rough draft for a book explaining how to break into the social media industry, as a career. Whenever I tell people what my job entails, they are always curious to learn more. The book talks about how I transitioned from sales and customer service into social media full-time. There is a lot of content to cover, so the book is already pretty long. I know the editing process will be very time consuming, so I put that one on the back-burner for now.
When the book gets some traction, I plan similar guides for other social networks. I also might re-purpose the content in this book for other entertainment industry professionals (ex. Twitter for Musicians).
10. What types of clients are you currently working with?
All types! I am still very active with PoolSupplyWorld, and also am the Director of Social Media for Glyder (an iPhone app for small business). Beyond that, I am working on social media for a charity called bGiv, an apparel company (Design by Humans), an author, several life coaches, and also a few actors.
11. Please tell us about the December event. Where will you be speaking and about what?
I will be speaking at the AllFacebook Marketing Conference in NYC. The conference is on December 4-5, and covers anything and everything to do with Facebook! I am speaking on a panel about Facebook EdgeRank.
I was invited onto the panel by the moderator Mike Maghsoudi, who is a co-founder of an awesome startup called PostRocket. I was introduced to Mike because PostRocket is part of 500Startups alongside Glyder. When I won the Facebook page award from Social Media Examiner, Mike invited me to speak at the conference!
12. What advice do you have for anyone trying to become successful in the social media world?
Read. Read. And read more. When I was getting started with PoolSupplyWorld, I consumed as much content as possible. Then I would go try the things I read about. The most challenging part can be knowing what to believe and what not to. There is so much content circulating, and only a portion of it is accurate. I really enjoy reading the blogs at KissMetrics, PostRocket, AllFacebook, and Social Media Examiner. All of those sources tend to be spot-on with my experiences in social media.
13. Do you have any mentors in marketing/social media that you want to emulate?
Gary Vaynerchuk. I really respond well to his raw speaking style, and blunt attitude about the industry. Gary is a business idol to me, which goes well beyond social media, but he understands the (social media) industry so well! His ideas in ‘The Thank You Economy’ are very similar to the things I did at PoolSupplyWorld (before I read his book). When reading the book, everything clicked. I suddenly understood why what I was doing was working so well.