Neal Schaffer is a leading consultant, leader and coach. Neal has authored several popular social media books including Maximize Your Social, A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success. Forbes has named his a top social medial power influencer and top 5 social sales influencer. He regularly lectures at Rutgers University, writes for his company’s blog and hosts a podcast called Maximize Your Social.
I didn’t have a choice but to develop my own brand which no one can take away from me. — Neal Schaffer
Neal had noticed that what companies needed were not just social writers to tie into what their business does but they also needed education. When you do social media, graphics is so important. He credits a lot of his success from these resources. He sees e-books as big business cards rather than a revenue stream. Doing an e-book before the consulting or teaching as a better way to establish your credibility rather than the other way around. One can start building up a community that will help support their product. If you really want to get found, blogging is the best way to do it. It starts with content creation. Google Suggest; type in a key word will show you (key word space a, space b, space c) will give you ideas of that people are actually searching for. That will give you at least 50 editorials for the year. Invest an hour or two a week into doing this. Twitter or Google Plus are public communities where there are a lot of content creators. They seem to be a little bit more influential. Twitter has always been his number one choice.
Social signals in Twitter. If you want to build a fan base in Facebook, you need to pay for advertising. Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus are examples of social networks where you have user profiles and a company page. Twitter is a user account base, you can follow people and engage with them…a social signal.
Twitter is a huge search engine. The program director from Rutgers saw his tweet and called him to offer a teaching engagement there.
Content creation – share other people’s content. Things that your target users might be interested in and find important. Don’t just talk about yourself.
Time is your biggest asset. You need to leverage it.
Five moves to starting a new product:
1) Create a product tool.
2) Leverage outsourcing early.
3) Invite a trusted partner.
4) Aggressively launch a few revenue streams early.
5) Spend more time in personally reaching out to people. Invest in your network.
Neal’s One Idea
Neal’s family has always had the entrepreneurial bug. He has always had a mini company within a bigger company. He had been with a high tech company for a few months but they suddenly pulled the plug on him. He has moved around and has had a few offers. He had to re-invent himself. He started to network online and went on LinkedIn asking people if he could help them, often answered questions about LinkedIn, which turned into a blog. His wife was the one who encouraged him to write an e-book. In 2009 he developed his own brand. After publishing the book a lot more people started coming out to his events. By January of 2010 more companies had started reaching out to him for help with their social media. He started receiving offers for corporate jobs but decided to go fully on his own, signed his next two deals and next month will be 5th year anniversary of his company.
Neal is in the business of social media educating, coaching and consulting. He started with a book, which led to speaking and then consulting. The biggest part of his revenue stream is the speaking engagements (corporate training, speaking at professional association, corporate events). For solopreneurs, Neal coaches them on an hourly basis but he will be launching a new product for a community which will allow small business owners and solopreneurs can join in through a monthly subscription basis. This should launch sometime Q1 of next year.
Social Tools Summit will be launched next year as well. This will bring tools vendors, marketers, businesses and executives together to educate the industry the best use of social media tools to help automate and increase sales. This will be in Boston in May of next year.
Maximize Your Social is now re-branded with 20 unique contributing bloggers on a monthly basis. It is now considered to be in the top 30 global marketing blog by Inbound.org.
Lessons / Struggles
After being with a high tech company, he was let go from it and he had to re-invent himself.
His wife suggested for him to write an e-book and after publishing the book a lot more people started coming out to his events. By January of 2010 more companies had started reaching out to him for help with their social media.
The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss