An Interview with Michael Crosson

Michael Crosson Interview

Michael Crosson is a successful entrepreneur with a distinguished background in Internet advertising, website development and social media marketing. He has been online since 1979, literally before the invention of the Internet as we know it today. He was the founder of a top high tech ad agency in the Boston area in the 80’s, as well as several technology publications.

He is currently the publisher of, a private community for social media marketers, as well as the founder and moderator of the largest social media group on LinkedIn, with nearly 300,000 members. He also consults and counts Technorati, Blinkx, MediaZone and SocialTwist as past clients.

In this interview, Michael shares his biggest business mistake which made him stronger and what helped him get to where he is now. Learn more about Michael’s insights in the following paragraphs, be sure to give him a shout out on Twitter!

What was your first business idea? Is there a biggest lesson you learned from it?

Believe it or not, when I was 7 years old, I went to the local grocery store and told the manager I could do a much better job of producing his weekly flyer. I drew superhero cartoons and other nonsense on them, pushing the veggie of the week, and then mimeographed it and took it around personally distributing it house to house. I learned it was a lot of work to make a little bit of money.

How did you get the idea for Social Mediopolis? Is there something you wanted to do different or better than your competitors? came out of our LinkedIn group when it was around 300,000 members. We were the first on LinkedIn to focus on Social Media Marketing. We now have over 1,500,000 members between 24 groups.

What attitude/habits helped make you successful while starting Social Mediopolis?

First, social media marketing would become the pivot point for successful online marketing. Second was having an extensive background and many contacts in the online advertising industry so that I knew what would make a successful business model.

What was your biggest business mistake and how you did you come out stronger at the end of the day?

I’d have to say taking on consulting projects that I didn’t believe in but needed the money. They were massive time sucks that led to nothing but a minor paycheck. Turning those kinds of jobs down was difficult but it allowed me to focus on things that turned out more successful, like my LinkedIn groups.

Are you using any Apps that help run and manage your business?

We use HubSpot, Marketo, Dlvr.It and other social media distribution tools.

What are your visions for Social Mediopolis? Where do you see it in the next 5 years?

Being acquired by Adobe.

What makes Social Mediopolis unique from others? How did you find your competitive advantage?

First, we are by far the largest organization in the world focused on social media marketing. We have built an enormous user base and we know our audience inside out, so we provide services that engage and compel the audience participation. No one else is doing it quite so well.

Do you have a specific question or test when hiring a new employee? What is your hiring secret?

We don’t hire, actually. Our group is very small, 5 people total, that have been working together from day one.

How do you stay focused on a day-to-day basis? Do you have a key motivator that keeps you going and fighting the good fight?

The key motivator: our audience. They are overwhelmingly successful professionals with great backgrounds, be they independent consultants or senior CMOs in F500 companies… they are smart, experienced, savvy marketers and I and my group work very hard to keep up or slightly ahead of them. If you put your customers first and foremost, and provide value to them, you will succeed.

What advice would you give to our readers who want to start a business in California? Where should they start?

Honestly? Don’t even start in California. The taxes and the insufferable bureaucracy will pummel you into the ground before you even get started. Check out Nevada (no taxes) or New Hampshire (no taxes) and get registered in Delaware, even if in fact you live in or work from California. Get a second address in the other states.