I recently had the delight of interviewing Neil Patel, the global best digital marketing expert. I am grateful he made time to answer questions. I hope this interview will be helpful for digital marketing aspirants
Co-Founder at KISSmetrics
Co-founder at Crazy Egg.
Mentor at Founder’s Co-op.
Advisor at Cheezburger.
Advisor at Docstoc.
Advisor at WhitePages.com.
Advisor at BuddyTV.
CEO/ Publisher/ Co-founder at The Daily Caller.
CEO at MolarGeek.
- He is one of the top influencers on the web according to the Wall Street Journal. At the age of 22 his worth was $1.8 Million.
- Mr Neil he has spoken at over 100 web marketing conferences, including: SMX, PubCon, web 2.0 EXPO, and more.
- He is the regular publisher at Entrepreneur Magazine, TechCrunch, Mashable, Business Insider, SEOmoz,Geekwire and many more.
- As a digital marketing expert, he gives the services to AOL, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard ,Amazon,Microsoft,Samsung and many more.
Hello Neil, it is great advantage to have you on this discussion. Tell us something about your childhood. What inspired you to develop your first job board Advice monkey?
Well my family didn’t have a lot of money and as a child I had different hobbies than my friends. They were into sports, while I was into money. I started out cleaning toilets at an amusement park and quickly realized I wasn’t going to get rich from it. That’s what led me to bigger things like trying to find opportunities on the Internet. While I was searching for a job online I saw how job board companies were making millions, so I decided to copy them and create Advice Monkey.
A job board and then online marketing, how was the switchover?
It was good. Once I made friends with a few internet marketers and saw how much potential there was for making money, it was an easy transition for me.Plus I had to learn how to market my own job board, so I eventually got pretty good at it. This made the transition smooth.
In this society where people look for secure jobs, what made you an entrepreneur? Wasn’t it a courageous decision?
I got such an early start that I didn’t really know any other way. Most people start out working for a company and after doing it for years it becomes hard to make the transition to working for yourself. Usually you have bills and responsibilities and if your “entreprenurial excursion” doesn’t work out, you have a lot to lose.
Digital marketing is a fresh field. Who are best suited for this genre of work according to you?
Analytical people tend to do well with digital marketing. It’s not hard to see what other successful people are doing and replicate it. The challenge is analytics. Know what’s working what isn’t, optimizing, etc.
How important do you think was the effect of education and schooling in this journey?
Not much. I learned very little in school compared to from just learning on my own and going to classes. Reading information and blogs online helped a lot.
You are known as an icon for young budding entrepreneurs. How do you handle this popularity?
I have a heart for them. And that’s a big part of why I have kept at it with Quick Qprout for this long. It’s my way of giving back to the community and showing my compassion for young entrepreneurs.
What guidelines would you give to someone trying to make a mark in digital marketing?
I would tell them to keep up with the latest news on what’s working, read often, and always focus more on the quality of your work than the amount of customers you can convince to pay you. I’d rather have 2 clients paying me 250k a year each than 10 clients for 50k a year each.
You have advisor’s like Eric Ries, Seas Ellis, Jeff Vean, Jeff Hammerbacher and Ed baker associated with your company. What do you learn from these masterminds?
I wish I could tell you, but a lot of what I learned is related to KISSmetrics and we tend not to share private/sensative information.
ProNet advertising was a breakthrough in the world of blogging, elaborate your journey.
I spent a few years on Pronet Advertising. It was a top 100 blog, but I eventually got burned out. As I was just blogging for the traffic and I wasn’t enjoying the content quality. Eventually I stopped blog and I continued my journey a year later with Quick Sprout.
How makes your current blog Quick sprout different?
What makes Quick Sprout unique is I write all the content myself. Most people hire writers when they can either a) afford it or b) get too lazy to do it. By writing the content, it keeps me involved and I care more about providing my readers with valuable information than if I were to pay someone else to write it.
ACS consults various fortune 500 companies. How did you come with the idea of ACS? How is the experience working with these world class companies?
I’ve always better at helping a company grow rather than starting from scratch so I decided to leverage that skill with ACS. Working with big companies is great if you are able to deliver. They are easier to work with and the pay is higher.
Crazy Egg is a fantastic concept in the visual world; please tell us how the idea came up to you.
The idea came while using an old analytics tool called Clicktracks. My co-founder and I wanted to see if we could create a more visual way to represent data like Clicktracks was doing.
KISSmetrics is known as crazy egg 2.0, how is it different from your other ventures?
KISSmetrics focuses on customer analytics. It’s all about tracking the user across multiple platforms so you can make better decisions. Crazy Egg on the other hand is more of a usability analytics tool. It will show you how your visitors engage with your site as well as how you can improve your conversion rate.
What are you future professional plans?
I would like to eventually grow my company or start another that hits a 100 million dollar valuation. I’d like to say I would retire if I got there, but I wouldn’t. I don’t think I’ll ever stop working. I enjoy it too much.
What message or piece of expert advice would you like to convey to the strugglers in digital marketing?
The best way to be successful is to first find a problem in the digital marketing world so you can come up with a solution. Then provide great quality of work and service, and you will always end up on top.