Neal Schaffer, Leverage Your Online Presence with Influencer Marketing – InnovaBuzz 320

Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer, The Age of Influence

In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Neal Schaffer, who is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping companies develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives.

Neal is the President of the social media agency PDCA Social, and he also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). He is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in more than a dozen countries. He is also the author of 4 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social and the recently published The Age of Influence, on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing.

In our discussion, Neal and I talked about:

  • Marketing by partnering with niche influencers
  • Growing your social media presence by building relationships
  • Why content assets are so important for your marketing

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

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Publishing content online especially in social media leads to thought leadership as people find and engage with your content, and start following you. @NealSchaffer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Neal Schaffer, author of The Age of Influence

Key points and takeaways from this episode include:

  • Thought leadership comes from content. Publishing content online especially in social media leads to thought leadership as people find and engage with your content, and start following you.
  • Every professional should at some point in their career write and self-publish a book if they want to build thought leadership.
  • If you want to get that traction of people reaching out to you and getting inbound traffic come to you, then, start creating digital content. 
  • A blog is the best way to start creating content.
  • Consistency and long term are keys.
  • Podcasting is a great vehicle for thought leadership today.
  • Instead of simply creating artificial content and linking back to your website, start to create truly impressive content in your blog that is going to help your SEO. Create even better content through podcasts or YouTube videos, whitepapers, or webinars to generate leads through your content.
  • You need to engage others to talk about you.
  • An influencer is a social media user that has a degree of influence in the community that you are trying to target.
  • Micro-influencers are people who have less influence – they have fewer followers but they perform better.
  • Nano-influencers are people that are even more niched. In Instagram terms, they have 1,000 to 10,000 followers.
  • Start with people who already know, like, and trust your brand, your business, and yourself. Start with your employees, your partners, and your customers. 
  • Well-known influencers are new media celebrities. They work with anyone and everyone. They are very expensive and it’s a one-time thing. Niched influencers take advantage of their community to generate interest in your product. If they have a brand affinity for you, they probably love to work with you.
  • Start with people you already know and create a framework from there. This allows you to truly leverage the power of others. 
  • Approaching an influencer all starts with having a conversation. Don’t just reach out and connect out of the blue. Begin by building rapport over social media.
  • Social media is a great tool for developing relationships. Use that to your advantage. Follow that influencer and engage with them. If they engage back, it gives you a reason to take the relationship deeper.
  • New tools, old rules. There are no shortcuts. Just because you can connect with someone doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy to sell to them.
  • The best technology doesn’t always win. You have to play the game. It all comes down to relationships and emotions.
  • Do more listening instead of talking. Understand the issues that people have and see how you or your company can help them.
New tools, old rules. There are no shortcuts. Just because you can connect with someone doesn't mean that it's going to be easy to sell to them. @NealSchaffer #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Neal’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the conversation to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Get into deeper relationships with your customers. Listen to them more. Innovation comes from providing solutions to the problems that people and businesses have. The only way to innovate is to unlock what those issues are.
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Keeping an open mind. Innovators understand where the problems are. They find opportunities and pivot. Be nimble and be agile.
  3. Favourite tool for innovation – Podcasts
  4. Keep project/client on track – Time management. Prioritise and manage the expectations of the client from the outset. 
  5. Differentiate – Connect the dots to your past and bring out the unique things about you. Bring them out into who you are when you describe yourself and the services that you provide.

To Be a Leader

Content is the most important piece of going digital. Publish content regularly. Bring all your content together and really take stock of all the content that you have and create a content strategy that you can implement over the next 3-6 months. Get your content out there so that when your prospective client is searching for that information, they are going to find you and not your competitor.

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Neal through his website

Suggested Guest

Neal suggested we have a conversation with Elon Musk. So, Elon, watch our for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz Podcast, courtesy of Neal Schaffer.



Cool Things About Neal

  • He’s fluent in both in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.
  • He frequently travels to Japan and throughout North America and Europe for speaking
  • He’s received numerous professional recognitions including CMO’s Top 10 Marketing Thought Leaders, Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer, and Online Marketing Institute’s Top 15 Most Influential Educators in Digital Marketing. 
Do more listening instead of talking. Understand the issues that people have and see how you or your company can help them. @NealSchaffer on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to build visibility, professional credibility and a deep connection with your ideal, dream clients, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. Jürgen's mantra is Let's Make Marketing Human again. He believes that marketing is the art and science of creating and sustaining exceptional, remarkable customer experiences and relationships. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.

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