Neal Shaffer - author, “The Age of Influence” discusses Influencer Marketing

In this episode, I speak with someone who probably has the strongest influence when it comes to influencers and leveraging them for social media.

Identified in CMO.com’s Top 10 Marketing Thought Leaders and Forbes’ Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers, Neal is a social media strategy consultant, speaker, and podcaster. He works with companies to audit their social media initiatives and creates effective social media strategies while hosting a show called the Maximize Your Social Influence Podcast. 

Considered a regular at Social Media Marketing World having been a speaker every year since its inception, Neal is also a published author of books on social media marketing.  His most recent book “The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand (2020)” received a stellar review from John Lee Dumas who calls it “the manifesto for influencer marketing”. 

We talk about:
  • His new book: “The Age of Influence” and what made him want to write it
  • The gap between what most people consider to be influencer marketing and what its reality and actual potential is
  • Why he highlights being an influencer yourself just as much as using influencers in his book
  • Leveraging employees and real people to become influencers because people want to do business with people
  • How to pick the right influencers for your brand and the number one thing to do if you want to become an influencer for a certain brand
  • Shifting from using celebrity influencers that don’t seem very authentic to nano-influencers that are actual users and already have brand affinity to your business
  • His career trajectory, the wake up call that convinced him it was time to start his personal brand, and his growing digital footprint today
  • The four content mediums that help with generating influence
  • The 90-9-1 rule that is seen across different social media platforms and how to make use of this pattern to your benefit
  • Why building your personal brand through content creation while you’re still employed is a good career insurance 
  • HIs trick for maximizing LinkedIn and getting people outside of your network to see your content
  • Why he attributes a training on the Deming Cycle and a former colleague as influences to the way he does his work now
  • His decision-making criteria in terms of where he puts his energy as a brand that seems to be doing well on various major platforms
  • Picking a platform and doing it well until you wield influence there VS spreading yourself too thinly
  • His two personal mantras that highlight showing up and not having any regrets about the past

Books Neal authored that were mentioned in this episode:
  • Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing: An Unofficial, Practical Guide to Selling & Developing B2B Business on LinkedIn (2011)
  • Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success (2013)
  • The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand (2020)

For more of Neal’s work, head on over to his channels:

Thanks for listening! If you enjoyed this episode of the podcast, head on over to the following links for more of my work and some valuable resources to get you started on your own branding initiatives. Until the next episode!

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The Brand Design Masters Podcast is targeted to entrepreneurs, designers, creative professionals and anyone interested in brand strategy, business planning, graphic design, personal branding, trends and marketing.

Philip VanDusen is the owner of Verhaal Brand Design, a brand strategy and design agency based in New Jersey. Philip is a highly accomplished creative executive and expert in brand strategy, graphic design, marketing and creative management. Philip provides design, branding, marketing, career and business advice to creative professionals, entrepreneurs and companies on how to build successful brands for themselves and for the clients and customers they serve.

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