Jim Gibson - Publisher, Online Media Today
By Jim Gibson – Online Media Today

As a part of Online Media Today’s continuing effort to share valuable internet marketing education with business owners, while, at the same time, allowing our readers to gain a little more insight into the personalities of professionals in our industry, we are pleased to introduce internet marketing expert, Zeke Camusio.  

Zeke is a serial entrepreneur, Internet marketing expert, published author, speaker and CEO & founder of The Outsourcing Company.  His company provides a full range of internet marketing services including social media marketing, search engine optimization, pay per click and conversion rate optimization.  But Zeke’s real passion lies in helping business owners realize tremendous returns using enterprise social media as a low cost marketing channel and community building platform.  

Looking like he just stepped off the cover of GQ (are all the social media pros like this?  I cite Mashable’s Cashmore, WebSeries, Mbariket, etc.), I recently sat down with Zeke and discussed how and why local business owners should consider incorporating a social media strategy. 
Zeke Camusio - The Outsourcing Company
Zeke Camusio - CEO & Founder, The Outsourcing Company
OMT: How important is social media for smaller business owners?

ZC: It's very important. Most small business owners don't have a lot of capital but they have some free time.  Social media is free and all it takes is time, so it's a great match.

OMT: What is the most important first step for a small local business that is considering a social media strategy?

ZC: Let's say that you do the taxes for small businesses in Seattle.  The first step is to understand who your audience is (business owners in Seattle).  The second step is to find out where these people are (look for Seattle small business message boards, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups, etc.).  The third step is to understand what they need (advice on how to pay less in taxes maybe?). Once you know who your audience is, where they can be found and what they want, all there is left to do is for you to give them what they want.

OMT: How has social media changed the way businesses market online?

ZC: Never before in history was it possible for a business owner to reach thousands of qualified prospects for free.

OMT: How does blogging fit into a social media strategy?

ZC: Your blog should be the hub of your social media campaign. Invite people to your blog for more content and on your blog, tell people how they can follow you, subscribe to your content and share it with their friends.

OMT: For a business just starting a social media strategy, which social media platforms would you recommend focusing on to start?

ZC: Start with LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Use forums too. If you want to do videos, YouTube is a must.

OMT: What metrics should a business owner consider when measuring social media ROI?

ZC: There are a lot of metrics but there is one that is more important than all the others combined: profits. Ask your clients how they found you and segment your profits by marketing campaign. Write down how many hours you've worked doing social media marketing and assign a dollar value to each hour. That will allow you to see how much money social media cost you and how much you got in return. Don't expect social media to be profitable the first month. Commit to it for at least six months if you want to see real results.

OMT: Can social media be integrated into traditional marketing campaigns?  How?

ZC: It's all connected. Someone finds you on Google, sees your Twitter badge on your site and decides to follow you. A week later, he re-tweets one of your posts, his friend sees it and she happens to be a journalist. She thinks your company is really cool and writes a story in the local paper. Someone reads that story and markets your company through word of mouth. I could go on and on... It's all connected and you couldn't separate it no matter how hard you tried.

OMT: Where do you see your company in the next 5 years?

We don't want to grow much more. We're happy helping only 30 clients make a lot of money. I like working with people who appreciate the fact that we help them skyrocket their sales, and that's hard to do if you have 100 clients.

I love consulting projects because I can create step-by-step Internet marketing plans for business owners to follow and it doesn't require a lot of ongoing work from me. This way, I can help a lot of companies instead of just a few. In five years, I see myself doing a lot more consulting work and a lot less campaign management.

OMT: What area of online marketing that you are currently not servicing do you see your company moving towards in the next 3-5 years?

ZC: We won't add any more services. We believe in doing less, not more. That way, we can be the best at what we do.

OMT: What are your company’s core strengths?

ZC: We're business people. We understand it isn't about "having 10,000 Facebook friends" or just being first on Google. It's all about increasing profits. Our goal is to make our clients at least $3 for every dollar they invest in marketing.

OMT: What is your company’s primary product/service and what makes it unique?

ZC: We do Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Marketing. What makes us unique is that we measure profits, not just traffic. Driving qualified people to your site is important, but converting them into paying clients is even more important. We think as business owners, not IT people.

OMT: Relative to what you are doing today, what is your educational background?

ZC: I went to business school, but 95% of what I know I learned from trial and error, reading books, going to seminars and talking to mentors. Business school was great to network with link-minded people but the lessons they taught me there rarely apply to the real world.

OMT: What is your professional background?

ZC: I'm a serial entrepreneur. I've started seven Internet companies and I've helped over 200 business owners to grow theirs.

OMT: How long have you been involved in social media marketing?

ZC: Four years.

OMT: Do you have a mentor or someone who influenced you tremendously in your life?  Is there someone who is an influence in your industry?

ZC: I have two mentors but they asked me not to tell who they are because they're really busy and don't have time for more "students" at the moment. People whom I really admire in my industry: Rand Fishkin, Aaron Wall, Eric Ward and Lee Odden.  I'm sure I'm missing at least 20 people I really look up to.

OMT: Tell us something unique about yourself.

ZC: I'm weird!  I travel all over the world doing the most incredible things.  I spend a lot of time reading.  I love sports.  I don't talk much.  I work too much sometimes.  I'm still trying to figure out what I can do to make this world a better place.

If you are an industry professional and would like to be considered by the publishers of Online Media Today for an interview for our blog, please email us at: info@onlinemediatoday.com.  One of our staff will get right back to you to set up the interview.  If you are in Los Angeles and want to be included in our Spotlight Video Series, please let us know and we'll send a video crew out to conduct the interview.
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About the Author:

Jim Gibson is a certified search engine marketing professional and serial entrepreneur.  In addition to Online Media Today, Jim is a principal at GibSEM Group (http://www.gibsem.com) and has founded several internet properties including online B2C directory, Service Omni, Inc. (
http://www.serviceomni.com) and QuakeDog, Inc. (www.quakedog.com), a network marketing company focused on the sale of personal survival gear.   You can follow Jim on Twitter: @GibSEM.
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