Expert Interview Series: Ian Lurie of Portent, Inc.by Anvil on May 7, 2014Expert Interview Series
What inspires the leaders and experts in the search engine marketing industry and community? In our “Interviews with Experts” blog series, Anvil features fellow experts in an interview-style post discussing what inspires them, how they got into the search engine marketing industry and more.
We’re excited to have the chance to interview Ian Lurie and look forward to sharing his insights and passion. Ian is Chairman and Principal Consultant of Portent, Inc., which he founded in 1995. He is also the co-author of “The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies.” Ian will be speaking at the SEMpdx Member Appreciation Event on May 13 and was kind enough to share his insights with us.
And now for the interview, enjoy!
How did you get into the search marketing industry?
I started my agency in 1995. In 1998, a client called me asking “How do I rank higher on Yahoo!?” I started researching search and information retrieval, and I was hooked.
What keeps you passionate about the industry today?
The community is a HUGE part. There are so many great people out there. Also, the move towards ‘real’ marketing has me excited, because it’s my roots, and because I think it’ll be fantastic for clients and practitioners alike.
What is your greatest success and/or failure (what accomplishment are you most proud of)?
Greatest success? I’m pretty hard on myself, so it’s hard to spot one without a qualification or a “I was lucky.” But I’d have to say I take the most pride in keeping my company together and growing while not becoming an absentee husband and dad.
My greatest failure: Every employee I ever hired that didn’t work out. I either hired badly or set them up to fail, and I find that very, very hard.
What are the top three tools you can’t live without?
Python, the LINUX command line and my brain.
What is the best piece of advice you have for folks looking to get into the search industry (or best piece of advice that you ever got)?
The best piece of advice I ever got is more generic: As a leader in your company, your first duty is to remain standing. Putting in 15 hours days until you collapse (and you will) doesn’t help anyone.
And: Never, ever hide risk from a client. Make sure they know the risks of what you’re doing.
Finally: Don’t believe everything you read. If something doesn’t make sense, dig deeper and read other posts. Ask folks in the industry. Make sure you aren’t picking up bad advice.
What do you hope (or predict) to see happen or evolve in our industry in the next 6 months? 1 year?
Search will be less siloed and become part of the marketing team. Of course, I’ve been saying that for 19 years…
What industry blog or book has influenced or inspired you the most?
Blog: Moz.com – so much great stuff
Also: SEOByTheSea.com by Bill Slawski. His patent analyses teach more about SEO than just about anything else.
As for books: Influence, by Robert Cialdini, is the best marketing book I’ve ever read.
What aspects of the digital marketing industry in general do you appreciate the most?
The support. (how’s that for a short answer!)
Where can we find you online?
I’m @portentint on Twitter, and I blog at www.portent.com/blog. You can find me on Google+, too.
What do you love most about your city?
Seattle is absolutely beautiful. It’s also a fantastic city for raising kids and, in spite of what cyclists and drivers say, a good place to ride a bike.