I had the pleasure of talking to social media superstar and Twitter legend Aaron Lee. Aaron is a social media manager and entrepreneur from Malaysia. Aaron is globally renown for his social media insight and his work has been featured in Forbes, Social Media Examiner, The Huffington Post and many more leading publications.
In 2013, Aaron made it to #5 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers. Other than his widely popular blog AskAaronLee, Aaron also runs his apparel company.
Q1. Hi, Aaron. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to Stannals. You have built successful businesses and established yourself as a prominent social media figure. How did it all start?
It began with a book called Think and Grow Rich that was given to me by a teacher who saw great potential in me. The book opened my eyes to the possibilities to make my own money. I then started a blog with guides from Problogger. While searching for a way to increase my blog traffic. I found Twitter. I posted a tweet, and someone responded. I was hooked. I knew people wouldn’t understand the power of the platform back then. I spent all my focus on Twitter. People started asking me questions, so I started Ask Aaron Lee to blog my experience and it grew from there to what it is today. Today I’ve been featured on publications like TNW, Success, Forbes, Entrepreneur and more.
Q2. For the benefit of our readers, many of whom are also entrepreneurs like yourself, can you take us through your daily routine and shed some light on how to better manage time.
There isn’t one single routine that I typically follow. I have what you call a “sleep only when I feel tired.” It’s constantly changing to fit my lifestyle when I travel to work, etc. However, my usual routine starts at 12 pm where I wake up. I’ll have lunch with my girlfriend. Next, I’ll go through emails. After that, we run our apparel company till evening. Once that’s done I’ll workout to relax my mind. Next is dinner.
After dinner is where the real work begins, from 8:30-9 pm, I start working til 4-5 am each day. I’ll sleep about 6 am. For me, working from 8-5 am is what works for me. I love the peace and uninterrupted hours. That is where all the work gets done.
I recommend everyone find hours where they won’t be interrupted. It can be 5 am to 9 am if that fits your lifestyle. That’s how you can manage your time and be more productive. Remember, it’s not a number of hours you are working, it’s how productive you are.
Q3. You have successfully built a massive Twitter following and have become a role model for many aspiring social media marketers and managers. What is your advise for those looking to build a quality Twitter following?
Automation! Yup! I know that isn’t the answer people will think I would say. Most will say add value, but we all understand that. Automation is essential because it allows you to focus on better things.
What not many people know is there are tools like Social Quant that can help find and follow relevant people in your industry. You don’t have to do it saving you time for other work.
Q4. Tell us a little about your latest venture.
I’m a go-getter. I love starting businesses. I have an apparel company that I’ve been running for six years now, and recently I started a new style blog called Shortofheight.com which shares styles for short men. Recently I partnered with my girlfriend to start a new company to teach Mandarin online.
Q5. Are there any entrepreneurs that you have always looked up to? If yes, please name a few of your favorites.
I love Gary Vaynerchuk. That man is the legend! He’s a hustler, and I love that work ethic about him.
Q6. What is the most important message you would like to leave for your fellow entrepreneurs?
‘Fail’ when you’re young. The reason why I’m doing so much is that I don’t want to look back one day and say ‘what if.’
Start one business first, spent six months at least doing everything you can. If it doesn’t work, figure out if you need to pivot or not. Many blogs and businesses you see today pivoted from what it originally started. Tech in Asia began sharing tech news like Mashable. It didn’t work, and they pivoted to focus on sharing tech news solely in Asia.