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Sept. 30, 2021

227: Why Digital and Experimenting Go Hand in Hand

227: Why Digital and Experimenting Go Hand in Hand

Digital and social media are the field of dreams for every business. The problem is that you first need a roadmap to get started, but even with that roadmap you will have your successes and failures, new discoveries, and learn a lot both about your target audience as well as your product and branding.

This is why a mindset of never-ending experimentation is critical for success in digital and social media marketing as well as if you have a digital product or service. But its not just experimentation that is important: Equally important is understanding when you need to pivot and then actually making that alignment.

To me digital marketing is art, which is why the creative aspect excites me on a daily basis. I sincerely hope that you find some inspiration in this episode.

Key Highlights

[01:54] How Neal Created His Membership Community
The story of how Neal's membership community started and why it was now called the "mastermind of business leaders".

[05:29] Why I Like Setting Up Quarterly Flags

[06:55] When To Do Reassessment?

[08:57] The Importance of Building Library of Content
What does the library of content do in my business?

[11:53] What Did I Do To Promote My Book?

[13:27] What Do I Need To Do To Start Generating Results?

[14:00] Why You Need To Experiment NOW!

[16:14] The Critical Items On Influencer Marketing

[17:02] Read The Signals And Act On It!
Now that you know how to read the signals, what is the next step? Act on them!

[19:43] Experiment and Get the Data

[21:26] Conclusion

Notable Quotes

  • It's always you're only as good as your current quarter sales, not even your previous quarter sales.
  • When we launch a business, or we're working on behalf of an employer, or an entrepreneur, we want to make an impact. And I do too, in everything that I do. So if I see something not making the impact that I thought it would make, then it's time to reassess.
  • With digital, anything is possible. And you don't know what is possible until you have your tentacles out there.
  • A little tweak is sometimes all you need. with digital to start generating results.
  • But the key thing here is that number one, you got to be experimenting. That's obvious. Number two, you got to be listening for the signals.
  • Digital marketing is more about an analog way of thinking than a digital way of thinking
  • You want to excel in social media marketing, you need to be an active consumer of social media first.
  • Relationships are critical. You know this from those that read the age of influence, and my views on influencer marketing. But it also means to have critical thinking analytical skills, to be able to piece things together for me to go have that aha moment.

    Learn More:
  • Join My Digital First Mastermind: https://nealschaffer.com/membership/ 
  • Contact Me about My Fractional CMO Consulting Services: https://nealschaffer.com/contact/ 
  • The Age of Influence Free Preview: https://nealschaffer.com/age-of-influence-preview 
  • Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://youtube.com/nealschaffer 
  • Learn more about this podcast:  https://podcast.nealschaffer.com
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

I'll be honest with you, if you are not experimenting, you are not leveraging the potential that digital and digital marketing has for your business as we close out the year, and during q4 of 2021, I want to give you a little bit different advice for today but hopefully will inspire you to do more and experiment more in q4 and beyond. In this next episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast. Digital social media content influencer marketing, blogging, podcasting, blogging, tick tocking, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, SEO, sem, PPC, email marketing. There's a lot to cover. Whether you're a marketing professional entrepreneur, or business owner, you need someone you can rely on For expert advice. Good thing you've got Neil, on your side, because Neal Schaffer is your digital digital marketing marketing coach, helping you grow your business with digital first marketing one episode at a time. This is your digital marketing coach. And this is Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody. Welcome to the your digital marketing coach podcast. As the name implies, I am your digital marketing coach, Neal Schaffer, I am a fractional cmo, helping many companies on a one on one basis, as well as have a well what I used to call a group coaching membership community, I am now going to start calling it a mastermind of business leaders who want to better leverage digital not to learn how to do digital, but how to use it to grow their business. And you're going to hear me talk more about that. And that change that pivot. In this episode I sort of a case study of how I'm drinking my own medicine. And that community is called well, that mastermind community is called Digital first. Alright, so the topic of experimentation is something that is one of the themes that I've discussed in my podcast throughout the time. I'm going to point you to a few of these. But if we go back, actually, we begin with Episode Number 213, or more recent episode where I talk about business success begins by doing before that we can go back to episode number 60. And episode number 60. I talked about the only constant in your career is change. Learn to embrace it, and I'm going to talk about that importance of change momentarily. I also talked about in Episode Number 24. Are you taking Pinterest seriously. And I talked about my own experiment, and then episode number 11. Wow, this is really aging myself, Google Plus, we laugh about it now, versus Facebook versus Twitter versus LinkedIn, the grand experiment of really discovering the differences between those major platforms through experimentation. So here's the thing. If, well, obviously, you're listening to this podcast, because you want to learn how to better leverage digital marketing, sometimes, or I should say, some of you, you're actually offering a digital product or digital service. And this is going to be equally applicable to you. Because this is my experience in offering my own first digital product or service. Those of you that know me know, on April 1, I launched the digital first internal called the group coaching membership community. And it was my first digital product or service. I've had people reach out to me, Neil, do you have any courses? No. And I thought, after I did my will it fly? Pat Flynn, God bless him, you know, the serve by my audience, I realized that a lot of people were members of other memberships. And there was an interest in learning that my survey data pointed me towards creating a membership community compared to creating any singular course. But what happened as it created this community over the six months is, and I would offer things like creating, you know, training videos, and all sorts of things that went above and beyond just the weekly meetings that we had on zoom, but it's really the weekly meetings that we had in zoom, where all the education was taking place, because guess what, there wasn't one Neal Schaffer in the room. There are several, Neal Schaffer is in the room. There are others that have decades of professional experience. There are other marketing professors. There are others that are considered thought leaders in their industry that are also part of the group. So over time, as I sort of tinkered with, I told everybody that was joining you are my founding members, and you are getting in at the bottom price. But I want you to help mold this for me. After six months, on my last call. I said hey, I want to ask our question. Until now, I've been calling this a group coaching members or community. But I feel this is more like a mastermind. What do you think? And the unanimous response was Yes, it's a mastermind. In fact, one of my members, Ted Schachter, I'm gonna give you a shout out said, I've always called this group a mastermind. So why am I saying one thing and doing another when I should be aligning this digital product as digital service, with what it actually is. And this is something I wouldn't have known unless I did it for six months. And now, I like to set up quarterly, sort of, I don't know what you'd call them quarterly like flags, like when you have a running course you set up flags every 100 meters to guide you on the course, something like that. I'm a big quarterly person, probably because for those of you that know me, my background before, all of this was b2b sales. And it's always you're only as good as your current quarter sales, not even your previous quarter sales. Because once October 1 hits, right after this episode is published, it all starts over again, at least that was my world in sales. And I love that. And so in business, I do the same thing. And in my mastermind community, I said the same thing, hey, we're nearing the end of q3, What didn't you get done? What did you get done? And what are you going to do in q4, and I was very open about my own plans as well. And one of them is, I like to take a look at everything I'm doing, and see if it makes sense or not. Now, sometimes I do this annually, sometimes semi annually, sometimes every three months. But you know what? It's been six months, since I love the community, where are we at, and I don't like to do things half. You know what, I'm trying to keep this podcast rating clean. I don't, you know, we only live once, right? We're here to contribute to society to make an impact in whatever way we can. And when we launch a business, or we're working on behalf of an employer, or an entrepreneur, we want to make impact. And I do too, in everything that I do. So if I see something not making the impact that I thought it would make, then it's time to reassess. And after six months of digital first, it was time to reassess. And that was my reassessment. It's going to be a pivot, it's going to be a pivot from group coaching, to mastermind, and what that means, and aligning what we actually do to the actual product. So that to me, was not necessarily an aha moment. But a reminder of this never ending pivot, which is increasingly important. Like I said, if you have a digital product or digital service, and you do not know how to pivot, until you have data, until you have experience, until you have historical perspective, I always like to share Gmail was beta, I believe, for like a decade, right? It's crazy. But with the experimentation, and the pivoting in the aligning comes tremendous, tremendous opportunity. And I was thinking about this, as I prepared for this podcast, what are the amazing opportunities that have come my way? Well, I wrote the age of influence. The CEO of one of the top 10 real estate companies in the country, if not the world, through a colleague reached out to me read the book, we want to implement this other company. That one, contact that one reader. Now it could have been the digital book, it could have been that he found me by doing a search on Amazon. It could be that he listened my podcast, which he actually did. Hopefully, he still does hope give him a shout out if he's still out there. But that's all it took to generate a very, very important client of mine. And that's the thing you don't know. I like to tell the story of my blog post about influencer marketing. Yes, I wrote a book on influencer marketing. But in order to support the book, after I published the book, I began to write blog posts and build up what I call my library of content on influencer marketing. And now I can honestly say, and this is going to be the topic for another podcast. I am ranking number two, across what I believe are the 52 most important keyword search queries for influencer marketing, ranked number two only behind influencer marketing hub, who literally have influencer marketing in their name, and they're going to be a tough one to beat. But through that blogging, I've had people from the Associated Press that find my blog, reach out to me for an interview. I was recently interviewed by someone from GQ Magazine, Conde Nast, one of the, you know, biggest publishers globally from my blog. I know that when I launched digital first, a lot of you listening actually took me up on my offer to become a founding member. And I was surprised that so many people from my podcast, actually became my first digital first members. I had no idea that it's not like I'm here saying, well, I want to generate more business. I'm gonna launch a product. Cast, I believe that everything has to be part of something. For me, it's part of this modern digital infrastructure. And I love to teach and I love to coach. So to me, it's an I love to speak. So to me, this is sort of a natural, right? I'm very passionate about this, I recently start getting DMS and Instagram that are legit business deals, quotation requests. I mentioned a long time ago, Facebook was always much bigger in Japan, or I should say, Facebook was always been much bigger in Japan than LinkedIn has. So I would get quotation requests over Facebook Messenger. And this is several years ago, I recently listened to a podcast, where a YouTuber was getting 90% of her business. from Instagram, you have pro blogger, who is quoted as say, 90% of his business comes from his email list. So here's the thing. It may not be intended to result in that, but with digital, anything is possible. And you don't know what is possible until you have your tentacles out there. So on the flip side of this, there are some companies that don't really get it. There are some companies where and this is things that I can share with you without mentioning company names, but things that I am privy to information on some companies where, well, someone invited us to a podcast, but it doesn't look like they don't have that many shows published. So you know what, that just sounds like a waste of time, where I'm saying, when I published the age of influence, I have a podcast episode on this as well, why I went ahead and tried to get interviewed on 100 different episodes over the course of 90 days, and I was successful in getting an interview and 100 episodes. When I saw john Lee Dumas at podcast movement. I think he went through like 400 interviews, just he's he's crazy, but an amazing guy who had the most respect for, but I wanted to get the word out about my book, How can I get the word out about it? podcast is a great way to do it. So I look at this company who is trying to get the word out? Who is trying to build brand awareness? And what can it hurt you to spend 30 minutes, your time to be featured and just show up and be interviewed to be featured on something where we don't know what might happen. We don't know if their target customer might end up listening. Even if that podcast only has 100 downloads, we don't know who those 100 people are, I mean, coming from the b2b space. b2b is always about quality, not quantity. So the quality, the quantity might not be there. But if the quantity is there, you do not know what that potential might be. I have another client, getting lots working together, getting lots of traffic, but no conversions in terms of email subscribers, well guess what we didn't, there was no reason to subscribe. So we created a reason to subscribe, we create a lead magnet that instead of having a contact us for information, they could do sort of a self assessment. And therefore, we can actually not only get their email address before they phone us, but also get critical information to see whether or not they are a potential client of ours or not. And that has led to lots of people now going out of their way, downloading the form filling it out and send it in, in growing the list, growing potential clients and they're being vetted by the fact that they're filling out this form. A little tweak is sometimes all you need. with digital to start generating results. It reminds me of when I worked with a Grammy Award winning musician, and he was huge on Twitter. And he's also huge on Instagram. This is right before Instagram started taking off. And it's like, dude, you gotta get on Facebook. And he had a Facebook page that he would just basically post tweets onto his Facebook page. They were literally automated. I'm like, No, no, we got to treat each one special. Your Twitter community is gonna be very different your Facebook community, the first day he posted, get a little picture of himself. But he only showed his eyes. He said Facebook, I see you. And the reaction that he got from that one post really generated the success that he's had in that platform ever since one little thing. But because it's digital one little experiment. And you know, there's loads of experimental platforms out there. I've already talked about clubhouse I'll be very upfront with you. I do not spend any time in clubhouse right now. But there are others who have success at connecting with people and generating business there. On the other hand, there are people that are on a more niche site like jump rope, which I believe only has two or 3 million users, or two or 3 million monthly visitors where it is actually being the the stories that are created. They're actually being integrated with Google Web stories API, which means that a lot of them are being featured In Google discover, so some content on a niche network, like jump rope is getting massive visibility on the internet. Now the people who created these jump ropes and once again topic of an entire different podcast episode, it that's a whole different, you know, social network of its own, but you do not No. And even in my mastermind, give another shout out to Ted Shakira talking about his friend who generates tons of business from Reddit, where there's digital, there's opportunity, where there's experimentation is opportunity. But the key thing here is that, number one, you got to be experimenting. That's obvious. Number two, you got to be listening for the signals, you got to be able to, and this is why, in my upcoming book, which I will, I know, I promise you every week to release the ebook, but hey, this was my q2 goal that was delayed to q3. So I'm just waiting for a YouTube video introducing it to be done in the next week or two. And I promise you, it's gonna get out there. I don't want to be a hypocrite here. But I'll be vulnerable with you all. But you need to read those signals and understand in the book that I'm writing, I argue that digital marketing is more about an analog way of thinking than a digital way of thinking. And what I mean by that is, I mean, obviously, relationships are critical. You know this from those that read the age of influence, and my views on influencer marketing. But it also means to have critical thinking analytical skills, to be able to piece things together for me to go have that aha moment and say, Oh, my gosh, this is a mastermind. It's not a group coaching community, or whatever it might be. Or, man, I see opportunity with blogging, if I can get this much visibility and influencer marketing, maybe I can do an other subject matter that's critical to my business as well, in preparation for my next book, which is why you see a lot more content coming out from my blog about email marketing, about search engine optimization, I doubt I'm going to be able to beat out the hub spots and the people that have been doing this for a decade, but it helps me build up my content to support my upcoming book. But you got to be able to read the signals. And most importantly, you got to be able to act on it. You got to be able to tweak a line, pivot, whatever the wording is. That is the secret to being able to tap into the potential that digital marketing and digital as a product or service has for your business. It could be a lot of things. One of my clients, we were doing Instagram carousel photos. It's like, you know what, let's go into Canva. And now we're going to do videos instead of carousel photos. Well, the videos did really well on Instagram, the carousel photos, did really well, on their Facebook page actually generated a ton of shares, which on a Facebook business page in 2021 really shocked me. You don't know until you try. Right? Well next we can do a real Next let's take it over to LinkedIn. See how we do there. It's like when I made my only tic Tock the Neal Schaffer social if I can ever get my login information back, but I did a real I did and it's like, you know what? Well, since I created real why don't I just put it on Tick Tock. And then why don't I just put it on YouTube shorts, right? So YouTube shorts, it did terrible Instagram. We also did okay, tik tok. Actually, I didn't get any followers from it, but it definitely got a lot of views. And at traffic and conversion summit, just two weeks ago, in San Diego, there was someone speaking about Tick Tock and how it generated six figures for them. And I've heard some podcasts, interviews with others, where Tick Tock is generating six figures, it is possible, you don't know until you go out there. And for those of you that want to experiment in a new social network, I want to point you over to one of my favorite podcast episodes, because it was the one that I did when I was on a long break. And I came off it. So for those of you who have been a longtime listener, this is back in October 6 of 2019. Where I think this is about the time. Yeah, I had already submitted the manuscript of the age of influence to Harper Collins, and I was busy and starting to share the blog post. It's like, you know what, I need to get the podcast going again, but I became an avid listener podcast. So it's episode number 140. You want to excel in social media marketing, you need to be an active consumer of social media first, I'd say the same whether it's clubhouse whether it's jumper whether it's Tick tock, spend your time there, pretend that you are your target user, consume content like they would get the feel for because every one of these social networks is very, very different. There are a lot of people who Tick Tick Tock videos and put them on Pinterest as idea pins, and they look awkward. But there's a lot of people who put Tick Tock videos and Instagram reels and they look okay, now does the algorithm favor that or not is a whole other story. Once again, you need to experiment and get the data. But what's important is that you are experiment you have some sort of concept that just permeates your digital strategy. In fact, I have a client They just hired a new director of marketing in my advices. And she completely agrees, if you can have some budget set aside, just to do experimentations with, say Facebook ads, that's going to give you a ton of data, it's going to help you understand who your target, well, how your target customer might engage with you. But it's also going to give you a lot of advice on messaging on visuals, what have you, you should always have a portion of your budget for experimentation. People like Gary Vaynerchuk. I know Pat Flynn, I believe does this as well. They'll spend, you know, 20% of your time doing r&d, I like to do my Fridays. I like to devote as much, I won't say necessarily pure r&d, but also just content creation, Fridays of the days I tend not to, I really try not to schedule any interviews, any business, that's my creative day, creative slash r&d. So you don't necessarily have to budget 20% of your time or 20% of your budget to this. But I would definitely have a portion set away so that you can begin to do this and really make it a part of your digital strategy. Alright, everybody, I hope you enjoyed. It's a very, very different episode. But there are times to be tactical, there are times to be strategic. And there are times to hopefully be insightful and ideally inspire you inspire you to action. And I think this is a very, very important type of action. So that's it. for another episode of The your digital marketing coach podcast, I want to thank you all for listening. I know a lot of you have already rated this podcast on iTunes, etc. Every review really does make a difference. So if you got any value out of this, I really appreciate it. All of the show notes for this and all the other episodes including a way to search through all my past episodes is all on podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. I haven't done this in a while, but I wanted to give a shout out because I know that there are more and more people listening to this podcast on a weekly basis. I see it in my stats. So I want to thank all of you from my own United States. That's the biggest honor but you know what? I don't care where you're listening from. I love you all. The UK, Denmark, Netherlands, Austria, South Africa, Portugal, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Greece, Croatia, Ghana. This podcast has been climbing the marketing charts there. And I also want to thank you that right now This podcast is a top 500 USA business podcast, actually globally ranked number 605 for business podcasts. Yeah, there's a lot of podcasts in front of me, but I am just honored by your downloads, subscriptions. And hopefully you're telling your friends and colleagues about this podcast as well. That's all I got for you this week. Next week. Well, I'm actually going to be in Tokyo, Japan in quarantine for two weeks like I was one year ago. So make sure you're following me on instagram dot com slash Neal Schaffer. That's where I share all of my real life experiences. So be on the lookout for some cool stuff from Japan. And until next time, this is your digital marketing coach signing out. You've been listening to your digital marketing coach, questions, comments, requests, links, go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com. Get the show notes to this and 200 plus podcast episodes, and Neal Schaffer calm to tap into the 400 plus blog posts that Neil has published to support your business. While you're there, check out Neil's digital first group coaching membership community if you or your business needs a little helping hand. See you next time on your digital marketing coach.