It is an honor to introduce Robert Caruso and Julia Hull, the backbone of Bundle Post, an automated social content management system that has sent shock waves throughout the social media community. Both Robert and Julia are amongst the hardest working people I know. They are supremely dedicated to the success of Bundle Post’s clients and yet find the time to balance their personal lives. They are passionate, knowledgable and completely genuine people. It’s a blessing to have them on my friend list. Without further ado, let’s meet Robert and Julia!
1. Hello! Where are you from and what do you do?
Robert: I am from Portland Oregon, and I am the CEO of Bundle Post.
Julia: I am from Modesto California, and I am the Director of Customer Support for Bundle Post.
2. What previous positions have you held?
Robert: I have been a sales, marketing and tech executive my entire career.
Julia: I have been in the real estate industry for the last 14 years.
3. How did BundlePost come to fruition and what were your individual roles in its creation?
Robert: We used to be a social media agency. As we continued to grow, it became apparent that the time intensive back-office functions required of effective social media marketing had to be done differently if we were going to be profitable and continue to grow. I designed some tech for us in-house that addressed the content management functions which were so human intensive by our team. It worked so well that after two weeks we knew we were going to become a software company. We spent 12 months turning it into a product.
Julia: I had no role in the brilliant creation of Bundle Post. I joined the team afterwards because I was intrigued by Robert’s ability to do so much on the social graph. I had a hard time keeping up with him. Still have a hard time, but at least I can sleep at night now.
4. Has it been difficult to manage a business together while living in different states?
Robert: We have different roles, so not at all. Today’s world is much smaller than it used to be. Being in an office all day with your team is less of an issue now. We are constantly connected via social media, phone, email and video chat. Many tech startups can be more agile and efficient this way. We are no exception.
Julia: It’s a safe distance.
5. Why is BundlePost important to social media marketers?
Robert: You have to have enough relevant, valuable content in your streams every day. So you are either searching for it, editing and scheduling it, or you are using Bundle Post to help you do it much faster and effectively.
Julia: When I am helping our customers setup their accounts, I always hear a sigh of relief when they realize how much time they will save. Then I hear excitement when they realize that they can acquire more customers with the additional time.
6. Would you say that engagement or content is king in social media?
Robert: Honestly? Neither are king. Results are king. Content and engagement are the methods to getting to become a king. The formula I teach people and we use ourselves is – “Content leads to conversations, conversations build relationships and relationships result in ROI.” So content is the starting point that is designed to create engagement. They work together.
Julia: Love Robert’s answer. Why are we here? We want …. results.
7. What are some of the ups and downs you both have been through with BundlePost?
Robert: As anyone who has been in technology knows, developing something new and innovative has many challenges. Paying for that development and overcoming those challenges are also difficult. Deep into the fund raising process as we are now, and having the wind in our sails with market traction makes those challenges easier every day.
Julia: Working as Director of Customer Service, I can honestly say it’s been a truly rewarding experience. The Bundle Post community has become our Bundle Post ‘family’. I enjoy the setup/training calls with our clients. I get the opportunity to speak to wonderful people like you Miss Ahna.
Awww, you both rock!
8. How do you balance your personal and work lives?
Robert: I am not going to lie, it’s difficult. It boils down to priorities. As a single dad with a 14 year old and a 3 year old, it isn’t easy. Frankly, I tell people that a tech startup is like dog years. What a normal non-tech startup does in a year, a software, online or tech startup does every three months. It’s grueling. You just have to set priorities and limits.
Julia: You can balance the two??? Haha, just kidding. In the beginning, it was quite a struggle and a strain on relationships with family and friends. It also created a strain on my health. As Robert said, you have to set priorities and limits. I used to say, “I don’t have insomnia … I have a global network.” I now go to bed fairly early and start my days earlier. I also make a point of walking away from the computer throughout the day.
9. If there was anything you would change or do differently with BundlePost, what would it be?
Robert: I think we have been lucky to do a lot things right so far. We have a lot of plans in the works and things going on behind the scenes, and it’s working well.
10. How much has BundlePost grown within the last year?
Robert: Short answer = 1000%+. We are truly blessed it has caught on and is growing on its own now.
11. What does the future look like for BundlePost? What can the users expect?
Robert: Our users can expect a ton of additional features and innovations. We are currently in a 90-day development cycle that will add new front end interface, added functionality, and then an enterprise level system. A lot is in the works.
Julia: The software as it stands right now is truly brilliant and valuable, but Robert will continue to excel. He knows the industry and what people need. I say Bundle Post has a bright future and users will not be disappointed as Robert continues to add valuable features.
12. What advice do you both have for newbie social media marketers?
Robert: My biggest advice is be careful who you listen to. There are so many fake experts out there who have never really done it, but have huge followings and name recognition. Read what they write and check it against what they actually DO for their own social media. If it matches, that’s a good sign.
Julia: Really take the time to know your audience. Know who you want to attract. Behind every connection is a person we need to learn to respect that.
13. What mentors have made a difference in your professional life?
Robert: I am blessed with several. There are two that made big impacts on my life. At age 17, my first mentor was Nic Knievel, Evel Kenievel’s brother. An amazing man I owe a lot to. My father and business partner taught me how to be a man of integrity. I can’t think of anything better than that!
Julia: Wonderful question! I know you are asking about my professional life, but for me it’s my parents. They molded me into who I am today. My mother is my mentor in prayer. My father played a huge role in my work ethics and people skills. Both give me the encouragement and support to move forward everyday.