Today, I have social media strategist, Neal Schaffer, back on the show to talk about social media trends for 2022.
Neal writes books on social media and consults with large companies on their strategies. But what we talk about in this episode, is the advantage individual entrepreneurs have when it comes to promoting themselves.
Individual creators get to show up as real people and interact person to person on social media, something larger brands can’t do.
In this episode, we talk about the value of MiloTree Easy Payments to test ideas quickly, thank you, Neal, for the kind words. 🙂
We talk about the real value of social media, which is relationship building and how social media is top of your funnel, but is not your entire business. It’s one important piece of many, including SEO.
We talk about showing up live in short form video and how that’s only going to be more important in 2022. We talk about using social media to celebrate other people’s wins and how it’s no longer about blasting out your content.
Interaction is key and will only become more important as a way to rise above the noise.
Before we launch into the episode, please come to my new live training on December. 13th at 12:00pm CT on How to Pick a Topic for Your Paid Workshop and Set Up a Sale Page in Under 60 Minutes!
It’s only $10 and it might transform your business in 2022!
You’ll see how you can to test your ideas quickly using our free MiloTree Easy Payments sales pages.
This way, you only build out what your audience wants from you. No wasted time creating courses or memberships people don’t want to buy.
If you want to get creative and make money in 2022, definitely come to the workshop!!
Table of Contents
- Choose Your Workshop and Set Up a Sales Page in Less Than 60 Min
- MiloTree Easy Payments
- MiloTree Pop-Up App
- Neal Schaffer
- The Age of Influence
- Windmill Networking
- Blog Millionaire
- Catch My Party
- Become a Blogger Genius Facebook Group
- All Blogger Genius Podcast Episodes
Subscribe to the Blogger Genius Podcast:
Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. I was thinking today about what is making me happy.
And I have to tell you that it is the training, the live training I am going to do on December 13th, it is really jazzing me up. So, I’m doing a live training on “How To Pick a Topic For Your Paid Workshop and How To Set Up a Sales Page.”
And this one is going to be a lot more hands on because you will leave with three topics, three ideas, and you will learn how to set up a super fast sales page in MiloTree Easy Payments. AlI I want to do is help you monetize in 2022.
And I feel like I have found this way and it’s all about coming up with an idea and testing it quickly seeing where you get traction, that’s what we’re going to talk about at the workshop, it’s $10.
To sign up, there are two ways you could do it. One, just email me at email@example.com. And I will send you a link just say, “Please send the link.” And I’ll send it to you to sign up.
They’re going to be three ways message me on Instagram @milotree. Or you could go to the URL workshop2.milotreecart.com. So, I really want you to come. And I’m doing it before Christmas, because I want you to be able to hit the ground running come 2022.
In fact, I think you’ll be able to set all of this up during the holidays, even with a crazy holiday schedule. That’s how easy, I think this will be straightforward. So again, email me connect with me on Instagram, or go to workshop2.milotreecart.com.
And even if you came to the first workshop definitely come to this one. Again, it’s only $10. And if you didn’t come to the first one, then this one, we’ll get you up to speed. I hope to see you there.
For today’s episode. I have my friend Neal Schaffer back on the show. This is his second appearance. And he’s a social media expert. He’s really like a very talented digital marketer. And we talk about the role of social media today.
Remember, social media is not the be all end all. It’s not the end game. It’s just a piece of the way you grow your business. And I love that Neal talks about how it’s really a way to connect with other people.
Social Media Trends for 2022
But you have to know how all the pieces fit together. And I think Neal does such a great job of showing that. So, without further delay, here is my interview with Neal Schaffer. Neal, welcome back to the show.
Neal Schaffer 3:20
Jillian, I’m so excited and honored to be here on a second time.
Jillian Leslie 3:25
So, we were just reminiscing in the past about how the world has shifted, and conferences aren’t happening as much. And so, it’s really nice to show up on Zoom and see a familiar face.
And in fact, I led a workshop on setting up a paid workshop and you were there. And it was so nice to see you that even in the middle of the workshop, I stopped and said, “Neal, will you come back on my podcast?”
Neal Schaffer 3:53
And I’m like, if my mic on it was a weird moment. But Jillian, I really want to thank you. Because when I was on your podcast earlier as a guest, I just come out with The Age of Influence. And I was doing sort of a podcast tour.
And it was only about six months ago, my favorite blogging podcast is called The Blogging Millionaire. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but everybody should, that tunes into your Blogger Genius should listen to it.
The Blogger Genius Podcast Is About Educating Bloggers
But I was like, I want a second blogger related podcast. And I was going through all these podcasts and Apple Podcasts. And they said they were about blogging, but they were all over the place.
And they weren’t really talking about blogging, and then the Blogger Genius. And I reintroduce your podcast and realize that every episode is really actionable advice for bloggers, obviously a lot about blogging but also about related things.
I want to thank you on behalf of all the listeners, hopefully they’re nodding their heads, helping educate, inspire and most importantly, help us take action. Because I definitely plan on taking action after going to that workshop as well.
Jillian Leslie 4:55
Oh, Neal. Oh my God. Thank you. Really. Thank you so much. That means a lot in terms of the way that I think about the podcast. The podcast, gosh, it’s the thing that I absolutely love the most in my business, because I get to talk to experts like you.
But also, then hopefully, I get to inspire others. And I get to help people who really want to take their fate in their own hands and like, go, do so thank you, that really means a lot.
Why You Want to Test Ideas and Fail Fast
And the thing that we were also talking about before I pressed record, was this idea like with MiloTree Easy Payments, my whole thing is use the platform to test and test more and test again.
And to fail fast, because ultimately you don’t know what’s going to hit. And so, you’ve got to have what I call lots of at bats to try different things.
Neal Schaffer 5:52
Totally, I’m sure a lot of other people because we’re all podcast listeners, Pat Flynn, Will It Fly? He outlines a really, really great process, same idea. But if you already have the audience, and you can do something like easy payments.
And Jillian from your workshop, hopefully you’ll do it again, for those that didn’t attend, I literally took your presentation template, and I’m creating my own workshop. And I’m going to put it up there.
And I think that, there’s a structured approach to take it, but there’s also you know what, I have this audience, and I have the content in my head, and let me spend an hour a weekend and put it on paper in a PowerPoint.
Because I do this all the time. I can teach anyone in an hour, and I’m just going to get out there and see how people resonate with it. And 90% of businesses fail, they say, what’s the number? 80%, 90%.
Jillian Leslie 6:38
Something like that. Yes.
Neal Schaffer 6:39
You need 10 of that to get your one business that doesn’t fail or your one continent idea that doesn’t fail, but I think we all need to do it. And with every iteration, we get better and better and get closer to that success.
Jillian Leslie 6:50
Absolutely. And we get to hear what people say in real time. So I always say, hopefully, you’ll have a recording of your workshop, go back and listen to it and listen to the questions. Because when your audience talks to you, that is gold.
People say to me all the time, “People don’t talk to me, my audience doesn’t talk to me, I feel like it’s crickets.” So, get in front of them and ask them.
Neal Schaffer 7:17
Here’s the thing. You can do survey after survey, would you like if I did a workshop on this, this and that, or you can just do it. You’ll have so many people say, “Oh, I’d love it if you have that workshop.”
But then when it comes down to actually publishing it, you find that a lot fewer people actually sign up for it, for instance, this is human nature. So instead of just asking, which is great.
If you’re totally an expert in something, you know that people tuned in to you for that, create something around that, which is obviously what you taught your workshop as well.
Why You Should Test with a MiloTree Easy Payments Free Sales Pages
Jillian Leslie 7:46
Absolutely. And here’s what I would say, with MiloTree Easy Payments, set up a product like a workshop, give it a price, I recommend somewhere between like $10 and $30 for your first one.
Create a sales page, and then go try and sell it before you even create the content. Then see, do people want this, do they want a workshop on Instagram? Like for you, Neal is like a social media expert.
Do they want Instagram, maybe they want LinkedIn, maybe they want TikTok, maybe they want a whole kind of perspective on how to sell stuff through social media? Like who knows what it is, but I say go create it, put it out, see if people will buy, they don’t.
Okay, go create another sales page with another idea. So in fact, I’m just going to plug this that I am doing a workshop, a second one for people to go to a deeper dive into coming up with what a topic should be.
And hopefully, you’ll come up with a variety of topics that you can then go test, because honestly, you will be surprised what hits and what doesn’t.
Neal Schaffer 8:53
And there’s no better way to test it than with a landing page. And there’s no easier way to create it. I’m not here, as an ambassador of Easy Payments, but the templates right there for you the integration is right there.
Tips on Creating a Membership Site
And Jillian I was telling you, I wrote this like got to create a membership sort of trend earlier this year. And it was not easy trying to put together a membership site. There were a lot of different pieces that I had to glue together.
That hopefully when people check out Easy Payments, they’ll appreciate the fact that it’s been well thought out and assuming you have one of the major, things like Stripe, which you should have anyway because it’s superior to PayPal.
And then obviously Mailchimp, ConvertKit, the major email providers that it just seamlessly handles all that. The whole objective is like, “Hey, don’t worry about the technical stuff. We have you covered.”
I think it’s a case of a product that truly does have you covered.
Jillian Leslie 9:46
Oh, thank you and our thinking is this and we were talking about this too before I press record that when you set up a membership, I think we get this feeling of like oh my God I have to over deliver when it comes to content.
And the truth is, there are two ways in which I would say you do need to over-deliver. One is to be available to your members. And I don’t mean in terms of like they can call you at 10 o’clock at night.
When you show up that you’re really present, that when let’s say they put a question in the Facebook group, you’re there to answer it and to help guide them.
And two, is to really be I’d like to call it like the camp counselor, who’s keeping everybody engaged, who’s making sure that nobody feels left out, who knows, somebody specifically and knows what they’re struggling with and can speak to that.
But then creates this environment where everybody feels comfortable, and like they are a community. So, I think it’s really about you being accessible and available, and the community that you create, and everything else is gravy.
Neal Schaffer 10:52
Yeah, without a doubt, and if you just let things go on its own, you’re going to find a dwindling community. So, outside of making yourself available, you do have to be proactive.
We do weekly Zooms; I’ve started to do quarterly one-on-ones. Like, hey, I want to make sure that every quarter, because I know you can’t make every Zoom. I want to make sure that you have a strategy for that for this next quarter.
And my background is b2b sales before all this, I’m very much quarter-to-quarter, what’s the strategy? How can the community help you? How can I help you? And I think it’s an example of how you have to be that camp counselor, as you said.
You have to be a little bit more proactive, to make sure thtat everybody is a part of it, if you really want to make it a success.
Giving Personal Feedback to Your Audience
Jillian Leslie 11:36
I love that idea, Neal, I really do. And that’s something that I like in the workshop, for example that you came to, and you took advantage of this. I said at the end, if you have an idea for a workshop, email it to me, and I’ll give you my feedback.
Now, I don’t necessarily know what the gods are going to say like, is this going to be a success or isn’t it? But I’ve done this enough times, and I’ve seen it from so many different people, that I do have possible feedback.
So, I was so excited when people emailed me and said, here’s what I’m thinking. And what are your thoughts and these are the three things I want to teach. And this is my big win. And that’s what I talked about.
And that I could go because I’m fresh eyes, I have no vested interest, I’m not on the inside of your business. So I get to go, “Oh, what about this? Or is there a way to think about it more from your customers’ perspective?”
Or, like how to, massage it or whatever. And so, I loved that you reached out to me and said, here’s what I’m thinking, what do you think so like, just by being that extra set of eyes, one can create a lot of value.
Neal Schaffer 12:41
And that was a great thing to offer to everybody, I’m glad that other people took advantage of that as well. And I hope everyone listening is going to be moved to some sort of action.
Jillian Leslie 12:49
That’s it make it ugly, make it down and dirty. I talk a lot about this idea of B- work, which is above average, but it gets stuff done. I was just looking at this.
Do B- Work to Get Your Offer Out
And it’s kind of embarrassing, I send emails, and there’s probably one typo in every single email I sent, but I send them. And I think to myself, if somebody is pissed at me, because I have typos. They’re not my people.
If they’re getting caught in that then and they unsubscribe, you know what, it’s a good parting of the ways. I want the people who go I’m getting value. And yeah, there’s a typo. And it’s all right.
Neal Schaffer 13:28
Totally. Life is just too short for little things like that. Your vibe attracts your tribe. If that vibe doesn’t attract them, they’re not going to convert anyway.
Jillian Leslie 13:38
Absolutely. So because you are this I call you a social media expert. Will you just briefly, I feel like we’ve already started but will you briefly just share your background in social media? And why I call you a social media expert?
Neal Schaffer 13:53
Well, I’m just someone that’s focused on social media marketing for a little bit over a decade. My background is, like I said, b2b sales, bizdev marketing. Actually, in Asia, I speak Japanese and Chinese. That’s a subject for a completely other podcast episode.
Learning to Use LinkedIn
But I started in job search for the first time in the United States back in 2008, where I learned a platform called LinkedIn and I became very active in it.
I realized how it could be used as a professional tool, not just for networking, but also for my sales job when I got my job.
So, the day I got this offer for this job, I launched a blog on wordpress.com, like your expert answers to your LinkedIn questions, not very branded. And that led to, we had a Lehman Brothers crash in late 2008. They pulled the plug in international sales.
So once again, I was unemployed. And my wife says, Neal, you should consider writing a book. And I said, aloft data. And then I realized that I already had 25% of the content for a book in my blog.
So in 2009, I published my first book, Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging & Maximizing LinkedIn and that really launched speaking consulting launch my consultants in January 2010. And since then, I’ve published a few books.
One more book on LinkedIn, one on social media marketing strategy called Maximize Your Social and then one on influencer marketing, which is very much related to social media marketing, obviously, last year called The Age of Influence.
I teach social media marketing a few universities, I consult speak. I’ve spoken at Social Media Marketing World every year, hopefully, they’ll have me back in 2022, knock on wood. And yeah, blog podcast the whole bit.
So, I tend to be very opinionated about social media marketing, because I see so many businesses, and people just do it wrong. And they don’t use it for what it was intended for, which is really relationship building.
Social Media is for Relationship Building
And therefore, Jillian, when you called me out in your workshop, it’s like, yeah, social media is not for promotion, it’s for relationship building. It’s possible to close business on social media, but it’s more important to meet people and develop relationships.
That in the future might become business relationships might become relationships, where you get introduced to someone that becomes a business or what have you.
But I think a lot of people just think I’ll get 10,000 followers on Instagram, and I’ll become a millionaire. And it doesn’t work that way.
And Jillian, one thing that I want to leave people here with is that I am verified on Twitter, Facebook, I have like hundreds of thousands of followers on social media, I get 80% of my website traffic from Google.
Jillian Leslie 16:23
Neal Schaffer 16:26
And this is why, even though people follow me for social media, I’m always talking about blogging, and SEO. And that’s what I love. Every guest you have is saying the same thing. And it’s just a no brainer.
And it’s actually in many ways, I find it easier to compete on Google, than it is in social media, believe it or not, for certain keywords, for certain things.
Jillian Leslie 16:52
Let’s unpack this because I do think that so many people in my audience and kind of on the internet think it is all about, let’s say Instagram. Because Instagram still kind of the shiny thing, although TikTok now is kind of surpassing it or even more exciting.
And then you see these influencers who supposedly have built these big businesses on Instagram, or TikTok. And I always question that, because I think that people are getting good feelings from having lots of big followers.
But then it’s not necessarily translating into dollars. So of course, there are the Kim Kardashian’s of the world. And there are those influencers that are making millions of dollars.
Social Media Followers is Top of Your Funnel
But the truth of the matter is, your business building does not stop at the social media piece of it. We were talking about this that’s like top of your funnel. That is getting people to know, like and trust you
Like I’m interested in, I don’t know, like baseball, and somebody else is interested in baseball, and I’m interested in the Mets and they’re interested in the Mets, oh, my God, while we have this thing that by the way, I don’t know anything about the Mets.
But just like we have this commonality, hey, there’s like this relationship, but then it’s about nurturing this person, and showing up and showing up again, and providing more value, but then it’s about trying to get this person on your email list.
Because that’s where you really build the relationship. And then it’s about figuring out what you can offer to this person that would make their life better, and will make money for you. Now do you see that?
Neal Schaffer 18:47
Yes. Social media is a part of the picture. But so is blogging/SEO, and so is email, and they all play their unique roles.
I think once you have some authority in what you do, having a social media outlet is incredibly beneficial to cement that relationship where people are spending their time all the time.
TIP: Drive People to Your Website
But if I have a business, and I know if somebody puts in a certain keyword, that they have an intent of looking for a product or service related to that. And that can get them my website, then that’s sort of how it works.
And what’s really interesting Jillian, what I found with my own sort of SEO strategies and techniques and such. Let’s say I wrote a book on influencer marketing so I target influencer marketing related keywords.
There are hundreds of influencer marketing agencies, influencer marketing tools, influencer marketplaces that compete for the same keywords. But they only want to bring people back to their website. They don’t have blog content.
They’re not offering resourceful content. It’s all about them. And what I’m finding is Google is getting really smart at saying, why are we giving a top 10 result to just a company trying to bring people to the landing page?
When all this other content that’s unbiased. That doesn’t mention this product with every other paragraph is offering more value to the searcher.
And that’s how I found that I’ve been able to out compete a lot of these companies for certain terms, for instance, related influencer marketing. Now, if you’re going after Coca-Cola and Pepsi, talking about Cola, I’m not going to promise you those results.
But I do think with the way that businesses treat SEO and blogging, that there’s plenty of opportunities for us to get really good rankings by providing really resourceful content that these other businesses can’t or won’t do.
Jillian Leslie 20:35
I think that is so smart. In fact, I was talking to a guy who runs an ad agency today, and we were talking about, a variety of things, like MiloTree Easy Payments. And his thing is for me, that I need to be just blogging much more about the solution.
Because that’s where people who are searching for how to start a membership, or how to do a paid workshop or whatever. And on my blog, and go, oh, and the fact that it isn’t just sign up, sign up, sign up.
In fact, I was doing some research today. And it was like, I landed on a company’s website, and they said, here are some resources, we might not be the best solution for you. So if you’re looking for this, and this, you need a Shopify store, not us.
If you’re looking for this and this, you need, SendOwl, and then it was if you’re looking for this, this and this, we can do that for you. And we can do it great. And I was like, wow, it felt really interesting to me.
It wasn’t just sell, sell, sell, like, we’re everything it was so I don’t know, felt useful. And I thought I want to do a post like that.
Neal Schaffer 21:55
Refreshing isn’t it? It’s funny, I have a lot of businesses reach out, they want to become part of my blog. They want me to write a review of the product, reviews are not going to do well. Because the minute someone sees a review, they know it’s been influenced.
But if I was to blog about how this tool solve this problem, one of my best performing blog posts about how a tool can help you find fake followers on Instagram, or who has fake followers. That solves a problem.
And that’s sort of a source for information, if you show screenshots of a tool that helps give you that answer is a recipe for a perfect post. So, not every business is very savvy about this. And that’s what gives us those that are savvy and intelligent about it.
They give us I believe an advantage. And I tell people just go into the search results. If you think you can write better content, if you think the contents outdated or you’re like why the heck is this in the top 10.
Go out there and blog, you can beat them. If you do it strategically.
Target Other People’s Keywords to Rank on Google
Jillian Leslie 22:49
Absolutely. It’s so funny. And I’m going to say this, which is in our membership group, somebody said, because my membership group is predominantly women. She’s like, “Is it okay to go after somebody else’s keywords?” And I’m like, “Yes, it is okay.”
In fact, it’s a good strategy, because you see who your competition is. And you see how you can improve the post.
So, use that information, don’t think that this isn’t playing nice on the internet. This is the way and by the way, it is about then providing the best value to somebody who has a problem and you can solve it.
Neal Schaffer 23:31
I did a podcast episode several years ago about how it’s a war.
Jillian Leslie 23:34
Neal Schaffer 23:35
It’s a battlefield. And it’s always changing, always shifting. And you’re going to get up against some big countries that have a lot of resources, but you have a unique value.
And Jillian, when I wrote “The Age of Influence,” what I realized was that people cannot perform brands because we connect with other people, emotionally. We’re not a logo, we’re a person.
Social Media Gives Us a Way to Humanize Ourselves
And social media, gives us a great way to humanize ourselves in a way that businesses can’t, as does our blog and our website. And we should definitely take advantage of that.
Even if it means as you say doing B-work, or having a typo on your website. That’s okay because humans do that right.
Why You Need the MiloTree Pop-Up App to Grow Your Social Media Followers and Subscribers
I am taking a very quick break to tell you about the MiloTree pop-up app, which is the first piece of technology David and I build and you’ve probably seen it on a whole host of food blogs and craft blogs on the internet.
It is a pop-up app that you install on your blog and it pops up and asks people to follow you on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, join your list. And if you have traffic, it will work and it grows the best kinds of followers and subscribers.
So, head to milotree.com, sign-up you get your first 30 days free. It is worth the try and remember, it will not slow down your site one bit and now back to the show.
Jillian Leslie 25:03
Let’s talk about trends you predict or see coming into 2022? Where are people? Where are the best places to build relationships? Where’s the best place to get traction or to get yourself out there? What are you seeing in the landscape?
TREND for 2022: Show Up Live in Short-Form Video
Neal Schaffer 25:22
Well, we’ve known it’s always been about video. But these days, it’s really about, two different types of video, I’d say your educational video on YouTube, just as I think there’s plenty of opportunity for bloggers, there’s plenty of opportunities for YouTubers.
And it’s something that I’ve been trying to focus more and more on as well, with a similar strategy that I talked about blogging, but really applied to YouTube, I think that there’s a formula that a lot of YouTubers use.
And I think if you consume a lot of YouTube video, you can sort of figure out that formula that’s going to work best for you.
But there’s also with social media, the short form video, so it was really on your podcast, where I found out about how Google Web Stories can have such incredible impact. I know that you are impressed by that as well.
But also, obviously, Pinterest Idea Pins, which sort of fall into that category. But then the entertaining, the TikTok, the reels on Instagram and on Facebook, and Facebook is now heavily pushing reels as well.
So really, if you want to be seen, you have to be doing video. LinkedIn might be the only platform that you can still do social media the old way and be seen. But I do think with LinkedIn as well, obviously, the more video you can do, the better it can be.
So obviously, where you’re going to get the most organic impressions today is TikTok/ Instagram, or LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter for businesses is very, very hard. If you can adapt to this type of content.
Starting to Make Facebook Reels
And Jillian, I’ve spent the last month I started creating my first Facebook Reels on my Facebook page as a way to experiment. And I’m trying to do more of it, I really love doing it. But I also know it’s the format that the network’s want.
Because they know it brings people back for more and more and more people consume it. So, I really think that a lot of you may be on the sidelines, but I would just jump in and experiment and like YouTube videos, try to consume more of them.
And I’m starting to do little tutorials. So, I’ll just shoot a video of myself, like five or 10 seconds introducing it, and then I’ll just do a screenshot of me with the iPhone looking at my computer in the screenshot of showing what I’m doing.
And then the last five seconds, I’ll just, talk back in and it’s just three videos. And it actually isn’t as time consuming as you might think.
Jillian Leslie 27:39
What platform are you doing this for? Are these the reels that you’re doing on Facebook? Is this for your YouTube channel?
Neal Schaffer 27:46
Just Facebook. And my theory is if I can get impressions on my Facebook page, using reels. I’ve proven the theory that reels, even on a platform that people say is dead, if you can revive it through reels, it shows you how much potential value that may have.
So, this is purely on my facebook.com/nealschaffer page is where I’m doing these if you’re curious.
Jillian Leslie 28:09
And are you getting success? Are you seeing traction?
Neal Schaffer 28:12
Well, I just started a few days ago, like a week and a half ago. But for me it’s less about the traction and more of getting in the habit of doing this on a regular basis, so that I can up my game and do them more regularly on other platforms over time.
So, I have yet to come to the conclusion I am see more impressions than I do from my other link based posts that I normally publish there. But for me, it’s more of like an exercise that I know I need to create this type of content.
And I’m going to start and I’m going to commit to start doing it. And from there, I’m going to expand once I get my style, and I have some data behind it.
Jillian Leslie 28:46
And do you think that when you are creating, let’s say the reels or TikToks, that it is about entertainment first, is it about providing value?
Is it a combination of being goofy in some but also, let’s say teaching in others? How do you find that balance? And is it different for everybody?
Neal Schaffer 29:06
I think YouTube and Idea Pins, Google Web Stories. Well, Google Web Stories maybe a little bit different. Definitely Idea Pins and YouTube videos are definitely educational.
I think with the emergence of TikTok, kids go through TikTok, like we watch TV, it’s become entertainment for them. So, there is the entertainment aspect.
But then like, two weeks ago, I did an office hour for Rutgers Business School where I teach, and the teacher’s assistant was a guy in his 20s.
Using TikTok to Teach Skills
And he was talking about this guy on TikTok, who is basically an investor, but he teaches 20-something how to invest their money for people that don’t know how to invest it, and it’s all TikTok.
And he responds when people ask questions, and he posts new TikToks about the question. So, I think that we’re starting to see a new market open up even on TikTok it’s not just about dancers for educational content.
That’s something, I don’t have the data. But I know that more and more people are doing and finding success. And it’s just doing the same thing you would be with a blog, or with a YouTube video but in a new format.
It’s shortened, maybe a little bit more raw, a little bit of entertainment, you can have some music in the background, you can try to take advantage of some of the latest songs.
You don’t have to it could just be you speaking with background music. But I do think that the beauty of it is it’s raw.
It’s not like you’re using MeetEdgar or something where, you have something pre planned for a year and just publishing like link after link after link, it’s you showing up a video in a very, very raw way.
Which is very, very different than like a YouTube video, which sometimes you see in a studio. And I think like you said Jillian, people might find influencers, it’s almost too perfect. And we really crave the raw.
And I think at the end of the day, that type of short form video does display the raw. And I think that we should celebrate our rawness, because that’s what’s going to create that emotional tie with other people, and ideally with our customers.
Jillian Leslie 31:06
I love that I think that is absolutely true. I think that humans want to see humans, I think that before, let’s say 10, 15 years ago, we worshiped at the feet of the celebrity.
And I have a 14-year-old daughter, as I’ve mentioned. And to her some girls sitting on her bed, talking about what new makeup she bought at the mall is as engaging as whatever big superstar like there’s no difference.
And in fact, I think my daughter feels even more connected to some teen who’s like in her bedroom, just being a teen versus something perfect.
I think that we have these kind of BS detectors that we identify like, ooh, that feels really fake. And we just want to have a more human experience.
Neal Schaffer 31:58
And that was one of the main messages when I wrote The Age of Influence was it’s that people are always going to outperform brands and social media because of that.
And instead of looking at number of followers, look at actual content, look at actual engagement and relationships that these content creators have, because they’re creating content better than Brands can.
Better than the agencies that represent Brands can. And if I was a brand, I’d be thinking, how can I leverage these people to create all my content? I’m sure you heard about Lush just a few days ago, pulling out of social media.
Now, they said that social media is emotionally harming youth, which it probably is, to some extent, I think we can agree. But it also let people do the talking for us, we don’t have to be present there.
If it was never made for business, we can leverage 100% user generated content, which is my message to every brand. Now for the bloggers that listen to the Blogger Genius, you may not be able to do that.
Share Stories of the People Who Have Success
But you may be able to leverage the voices of people who take your courses who come to your website, I try to feature people in my mastermind community. One out of every four podcast episodes, I try to feature one of them.
I want them to share their story indirectly. Obviously, it helps promote the mastermind, but I’m also promoting them. And its sort of like a win win win thing where the listener learns, and I celebrate them and they feel good about it.
So, there are ways of celebrating those around us that might have a little bit of influence. They might touch circles that we don’t touch that we don’t intersect with and therefore help promote us.
And that’s influencer marketing. Being able to touch those outside networks that don’t know about us through a trusted entity.
How to Use Social Media for Relationship Building
Jillian Leslie 33:32
Now, when you talk about social media is for relationship building. What does that exactly mean? Meaning let’s say, I’m a food blogger?
Do I want to meet other food bloggers? Do I want to meet people who are creating my recipes? What am I doing with that relationship?
Neal Schaffer 33:54
If I’m a food blogger, and like everybody else. There’s a few different tiers of people that you could be meeting in social media for different objectives. Obviously, meeting with other food bloggers and getting to know them, is a very, very good thing.
There’s a lot of ways you can collaborate together with other food bloggers in a variety of ways. If you have a podcast, you can invite them on. If you do you know roundup posts, you can invite them for quote, what have you.
So, you can almost think of other food bloggers as influencers, as they are. They all have their own unique communities. Then we have like your fans, obviously, you want to celebrate your fans.
There’s an app that I often talk about, I don’t know if it’s still available. It was available in Japan; it was called Like Your Boss. And basically it was a rogue app where you told the app who your boss was on Facebook, the profile URL.
You had to be friends with them, but every time they posted within five minutes, it would like their post. It was like this automation hack, but whenever I talk about it, people laugh, but that’s it.
Celebrate People in Your Community on Social Media
You want to show up in the notification bubble of your fans as often as possible. You don’t want to automate it. You want to celebrate them. You want to let them know that you appreciate them and that you support them.
And that’s a huge thing you can do as far as those. And then you have, the people above the funnel. So, people that might be consuming other people’s recipes, or people that are cooking the types of foods that you write recipes about.
I would definitely connect with them and say, “Wow, that’s a great idea. I might use that in my next blog post about this recipe. Can I source you?” As where I found out about this repost recipe.
“Can you provide me a photo that I can use in a blog post, I’ll link back to you.” Those are the sorts of things it’s all about being inclusive with all of your content in your presence with everyone around you.
And social media gives you the ability to create, and really promote those connections. So it’s just a different way of thinking about it very, very hard for businesses to do, because they’re used to doing marketing the old way.
But a lot easier for bloggers, and solopreneurs to do, because we got a JV to be successful. Everybody I talked to they’re all about JV partnerships, promoting the program or creating a program.
And that’s what this is, to me, that’s all influencer marketing. It’s leveraging other people, your friends, your fans, influencers, potential customers, if they’re on Instagram posting about recipes, they’re a content creator at a minimum.
They’re one of the top few percent that are actually active in social media creating content, and they have influence. So it’s really about making your presence as inclusive, inclusive as possible, and bringing as many people as you can into your sphere.
And that’s what social media allows you to do. Where you take it from there depends on you have a podcast, a blog, a YouTube, but you want to try to bring people in to all the content you create, if that makes sense.
Social Media is No Longer About Blasting Out Your Content
Jillian Leslie 36:32
I think that is one of the best explanations of the power of social media. I think in the beginning, it was a microphone, perceived as a microphone. I have a new blog post. So guess what, I need to post it on Facebook.
And then I did a pin on Pinterest and I put it on Twitter in some sort of scheduler. And it’s like, I’m just yelling it out. And what you are saying is no, of course, you do want to promote your content.
But it’s much more about, hey, I see somebody with a need, I have a blog post that might be useful for them, I’m going to send it to them.
Neal Schaffer 37:13
Or I’m going to include them in my next blog post or revise it to include their recipe even better.
Jillian Leslie 37:20
Neal Schaffer 37:20
So, it also goes back to an episode that you have with Jenny Melrose, where she was talking about Instagram stories. Every day, she was just getting engagement from, polls and asking questions.
And that’s another thing you can do right, is to get feedback. It’s an awesome platform to get feedback on. So I do agree with you, I started with The Age of Influence, I’m working on my next book.
And I tell businesses, you should reimagine social media, and how you use it. Because if you just use it for the old promotion, it becomes pay-to-play, it becomes expensive, people distrust ads.
And there’s a much better, more viable way to use it, that’s much more people centric.
Jillian Leslie 37:58
And even in all these direct to consumer brands now, so much of it is their story and who’s behind it and what their point of view is. It’s no longer here’s a moisturizer, it’s like, this moisturizer has a whole story behind it and there are people behind this.
And so it’s like, you’re not just buying the moisturizer, you’re buying the story, and you’re buying into these people, and you’re supporting this small business, and it’s organic, or whatever it is.
And so the more of ourselves, we can share, I feel like the more powerful we are, and that’s where you can go compete with whatever, traditional moisturizer brand there is.
Neal Schaffer 38:47
And that’s what social media is perfect for sharing your story storytelling. I wouldn’t want you to do that in a blog, because the blog is for search intent for search engines. Feel free to do it on your web copy your landing pages.
But social media allows you to do that and in an extreme way, so that people can find you, and they can celebrate you and you can celebrate them as well.
Jillian Leslie 39:08
Oh, Neal. I feel like you’ve solidified it for me, in terms of the way that you’ve talked about it. Especially where your blog comes in, and where all of these other, let’s say spokes of your business come into play and where social media fits in.
In this kind of three dimensional rendering of your business and that you’re no longer just a blogger like you are a creator. You are a business owner, you’re multifaceted.
Neal Schaffer 39:45
Yes. And some of these digital channels you want to be more serious on, be more strategic on social, don’t feel the need to have to create a piece of content every day. But get on there every day to meet people and to engage with people.
It just frees up your soul, I think, and allows you to really enjoy social media for what it was meant for. And I think it’s going to allow you to make more meaningful relationships that do have business value.
If you’re strategic as to who you’re developing those relationships with, that have some relationship to your business, but in an authentic way. So you don’t have to post every day, but go out there and comment every day and engage every day.
Make that part of your daily routine, focus your content creation on your blog podcast, YouTube videos. These are long form evergreen types of content that live forever in search engines.
Whereas the short form content does not, the lifespan is very short. And that’s where I think a lot of bloggers and entrepreneurs get really stuck on is that hamster wheel content, especially for social media, where all the time is spent.
And it’s like, what’s the ROI of this and may not be that much ROI, you need to have some content, but invest in this content that lives on for a long, more time.
And I was just looking at a post today a blog post I wrote in 2009, that still ranks number one, and still brings in lots of traffic to my site. You’re not going to create an Instagram reel today that’s going to bring in traffic 10 years from now.
First of all, Instagram doesn’t bring in traffic to begin with. But then you have the fact that it’s just one shot from video after another after another.
So really think strategically. And I’m glad we’re recording this now, Jillian. I don’t know when this is going to publish, but let’s start 2022 strong and strategic.
Jillian Leslie 41:25
I love that. So it’s almost as if you’re creating these big kind of pieces pillars, whether that be your blog, your podcast, YouTube, those kinds of things. But the sparkle, the kind of spice feels like that is social media.
Neal Schaffer 41:43
Yes, there’s a lot of different ways of looking at it. But yeah, that’s one way of looking at it. It could be getting feedback; it could be looking for ideas. Is it making friends, with your customers, with your fans?
There’s so many different ways, but just don’t think of it as just a one-way promotional channel. That’s what hopefully, we all agree we can get out of. And yes, it can generate business for you, it can generate web traffic.
But if you only think of it that way, it’s going to become more and more pay-to-play over time, because that’s what social media is. They’re for profit businesses. So you just got to get more and more strategic.
And I really think this last year or two has been a real eye opener with the emergence of TikTok and the popularity of this short form type of video content. If you’re going to create any content, I’d really try to focus on that.
Jillian Leslie 42:28
I love that. Neal, how can people reach out to you learn more about you find out about your books, your mastermind?
Neal Schaffer 42:37
I am the real Neal so it’s N-E-A-L and then Schaffer, S-C-H-A-F-F-E-R dot com my website. I’m Neal Schaffer everywhere on social media. I have my own podcast called Your Digital Marketing Coach. For those podcast listeners.
And my book, you know, The Age of Influence. My most recent one is available on Amazon wherever you buy books. And I can’t wait to run my first workshop using Easy Payments, hopefully sometime before the end of 2021.
So, make sure you sign up to my list anywhere on my website to get information about that when I publish it.
Jillian Leslie 43:08
Oh, well, Neal, I have to say I am so glad to reconnect with you. And thank you so much for coming on the show.
Neal Schaffer 43:16
Thank you for having me. It’s been an honor.
Jillian Leslie 43:18
I hope you guys like this episode. For me, my biggest takeaway is yes, you want to have those big pillars, like your blog, or your podcast or your YouTube channel where you’re continually putting out value.
But then you add the sparkle, you show up live, you do stuff that’s raw, you connect with people, you figure out ways of working together or just being creative. And that’s how you grow a business. It’s no longer these specific rules of how stuff works.
And I’m segueing into the fact that I am hosting this paid training on December 13th, at noon, if you can’t be there live, no problem I’m going to send you a recording.
But I think this is fitting with what Neal and I are talking about this is a new way to build your business put yourself out there in front of your audience to see what they want. To test stuff to not build until you are validated.
You know people want this from you. It’s a little bit like coming off of our perches, coming down and really interacting and really connecting.
So please, to sign up either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a link, connect with me on Instagram @milotree. Just DM me or go to here’s the URL workshop2.milotreecart.com.
And I don’t know let’s start 2022 with a whole different mindset of build fast test and put it out there. And I will see you. I’ll see some of you hopefully at the workshop, and I will see you here again next week.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes to listen to:
- How to Use Social Media to Grow Relationships and Engagement with Neal Schaffer
- Set Yourself Up For Successful Brand Work with Jenny Melrose
- How Google Web Stories Can Seriously Boost Your Traffic with Cheryl Norris
Imagine a world where growing your social media followers and email list was easy…
If you are looking for ways to grow your community whether that be email whether that be social media, right now head to Milotree.com install the MiloTree app on your blog and it will do the work for you. Let it do the heavy lifting for you.
Let it pop up in front of your visitors and ask them to follow you on Instagram Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, join your list, check out the exit intent but really get your community growing. And we’d love to help you with MiloTree. And I will see you here again next week.