Influencer Marketing For E-com Businesses - Scale your Amazon Business With Social Media Marketing And Paid Influencers - Neal Schaffer (Part 1)
Influencer Marketing For E-com Businesses - Scale your Amazon Business With Social Media Marketing And Paid Influencers - Neal Schaffer (Part 1)
Join us every Tuesday at 1:00 PM PST for Live Q&A and Bonus Content at https://sellerroundtable.com
Try the greatest Amazon seller tools on the planet free for 30 days at https://sellerseo.com/
Episode 92 Transcription:
[00:00:01] spk_1: Welcome to the seller roundtable e commerce coaching and business
[00:00:05] spk_0: strategies with and er not and amy Wiis,
[00:00:08] spk_1: mm
[00:00:12] spk_0: Hey what's up with
[00:00:12] spk_1: brody? This is Andy or not with
[00:00:15] spk_0: anyways
[00:00:16] spk_1: And this is seller roundtable episode # 93 We have Neil Schaefer on Neal, thanks so much for being on today.
[00:00:22] spk_0: Hey, thanks for having me.
[00:00:24] spk_1: So today we're gonna talk about all things influencers, which I'm pretty excited about. Um, Amy and I of course have dabbled in this, have talked about this. You know, we have our own little ways of doing things, but I'd love to hear what, you know what you're up to. But before we do that, we always like to ask a little background on our guest. So if you can tell us, you know maybe where you're born and raised school, if you did any school, if you did any uh, you know, uh the college of hard knocks kind of any, anything that's uh, that's brought you to this point today.
[00:00:55] spk_0: Well I have been schooled, I grew up in, I was born in redondo beach, California. I grew up in rancho Palos verdes. My dad may rest in peace was a schoolteacher, so the importance of reading and you know, doing well in school was sort of uh I couldn't not do that growing up and I ended up going off to a place called Amherst College in massachusetts, like two hours west of boston, ended up doing a junior abroad in Beijing china. Was there during the Tiananmen demonstrations, ended up launching my career in uh in Japan, so I speak japanese and chinese. And it was really 2005 when I moved back to the U. S. After lunch my car in Asia and in 2000 and eight where I was in transition for the first time here. And I just got into social media beginning with a site called linkedin And that was the beginning of becoming a blogger and then writing a book and then getting all these companies reaching out to me for their help with social media. And I launched a social media strategy consultancy in January 2010. And really, I haven't looked back
[00:02:01] spk_1: awesome. Yeah, I think linked in is where I have my biggest audience as well, and it's so funny because I feel like it's one of the most undervalued social networks in terms of, you know, people giving it attention, a lot of people get on there and they don't spend enough time. So I think it's just like this weird, you know, cause you on linked in, you get these constant like spam messages right? Like usually your message through your messaging, you get a ton of like bot messages and stuff, so people are like, I was a waste of my time. I don't wanna, you know, I don't want to bother with this. But um really? Uh if you're, especially if you're in like the B two B market, right? But if you're selling to other businesses, like, like we do a lot um for our software, it's like, it's pretty much you can't beat it, right?
[00:02:41] spk_0: Oh yeah, it's the biggest no brainer, right? Um and, you know, yesterday I connect with a lot of uh I I wrote a book and influencer marketing, right? So I tend to connect with a lot of people in this space. I connect with influencers to I I connected with a 20 year old who has, you know, two million followers on Tiktok yesterday. And I'm thinking, man, she's really smart for like being here. And if you want to do, you know, brand collaborations, well, where are all the, you know, the marketing executives are all linked in, Right. And she has a competitive advantage by using that and and being able to find people just in a very different way than you can and other social networks. So, and I'd say, you know, for those amazon sellers out there, B to C. What about like distributors? What about collaborations with other brands? Are still, you know, there'd be to be aspects to B2C companies and and Lincoln is by far the best place for that.
[00:03:29] spk_1: Yeah, absolutely. And uh, and um, you know, I always love to tell people, you know, this used to be the same in uh, I used to do android app super early on. And, you know, my theory back then was is, you know, I got one app to over a million downloads pretty quickly, because back then it was like people were like what's android? You know? And I was like, well I know and I'm gonna get in there early. But the cool thing was is I had ads set up, you know all my my my apps for free. But they had pads, right? And in my ads, you know every like month or two I would launch a new app and then I would advertise on my first app that was popular, my new app and then I would grow it and then I go to the next one. I go to the next one that seemed kind of premise can be used for social social media, right? I mean if you have a massive Tiktok falling like you're talking about, you know why not push those people to linked in and to some of these other networks. I mean number one to to spread the message to grow your following on all platforms, but only, you know, not only that, but to just not put all your eggs in one basket. I've been banned off of facebook multiple times with no reason. No, you know, you know, nobody telling me why. Um, so that's when I start getting into Lincoln actually. So in retrospect it was a blessing because uh, you know, to me, I see Lincoln as a more valuable network now, even over facebook.
[00:04:42] spk_0: Yeah. And I think that's great advice for anyone listening. You really want to build your empire across multiple platforms. So here's the thing, right? This is being broadcast on clubhouse live. For those of you that are listening in and with clubhouse obviously. Well for those that may not be obvious because it's only like five million people on it, but you need to or they recommend that you integrate your instagram and twitter accounts with and if you do so then people that follow you on twitter and instagram can find you on clubhouse and therefore build up your following similar to your facebook friends. You know, when they started to count on instagram or when they upload their friends, they're going to find you and when you do this over multiple social networks over time you just, it's a snowball fact, right? You build a bigger and bigger following, same goes with email addresses, so hopefully everyone listening is doing email marketing as well, but it all over time works to your benefit. Absolutely [00:05:30] spk_1: agree. And um I as you know, I do love social networking, but I um you know, I agree with you in terms of, I'd much rather own the audience. Right? So email is still a viable channel, even though it is getting much harder to get attention. I know my inbox is just overflowing every day, um and then text messaging is, is a kind of next level, but I know as a end user, I absolutely hate when I get marketed to over text messaging, but um you know, sometimes as as somebody who sells something and as a marketer, um you know, you have to get over that in terms of, if you feel like whatever you're selling or whatever you're giving is going to help the person that you're targeting. Um you know, you can't look at it that way, you can't you have to look at it as almost you're providing a service to those people and for me, that was a really hard concept to grasp, because, like I said, I'm not a hard sales person, um I'm not somebody who's, you know, really kind of pushing my stuff as much as I probably should. Um I'm starting to do that more, but um you know, how do people get over uh, you know, get over that kind of mentality?
[00:06:32] spk_0: Well, yeah, I mean, text messaging for me, I'm still a little husband to do that, right, email. I mean I recently started to do browser push notifications. Really surprised at how many people actually subscribe to those and click on links. So that's been a very pleasant surprise. But I think at the end of the day, you know, your business exists to serve people right? And you know, and I mentioned, I just interviewed john lee Duma's a little bit earlier today and he's an example of of someone who just provides for his community and gets all the business ideas for his community, so that when he comes out with something, it's serving people right from, you know, genuinely from from his heart, um, and from his brand. And I think if we all follow that as entrepreneurs, um, you know, whatever we're doing whatever business opportunity we see, we're helping someone, whether it's a better product, whether it's a less expensive price or a unique solution to a problem, and when you have that, you owe it to them to go out of your way to let them know. So I think we all have to get over that at some point and, and remember you're providing value, if you don't think you're providing enough value, will then take a step back. Maybe, you know, interview some people in your community or people, you know, and hey, what do you think about this? Right? And if they can confirm that you're offering the value, then go for it, man, Don't look back. I love that. You know, I think one of the biggest struggles of, I was just on clubhouse in another room before we started the show today and I think one of the biggest struggles that new e commerce sellers have, especially, you know, private label sellers have just started a brand. Maybe they, they don't really know what their brand is all about yet. They haven't gotten any customer feedback on their products yet. They're just working, uh, getting something going, right. What would you will be your piece of advice for somebody who's brand new, who's just dabbling, who's got their first product, right? Who doesn't have a social media presence yet? Outside of like maybe they put it, they slapped up a facebook page and you know, kind of put together a logo. There are so many new sellers in this position. How do we start from scratch? How do we get out there and tell people about our products, what's the easiest way to get it going? Well, first of all I want to say that obviously if you come up with the product and you know, it's easy these days for anybody to come up with a product, find the place in china and manufacturers, it, you know, selling on amazon and there have been many people have been very successful doing that, right? But it's harder. There's a lot of competition and the brand is what distinguishes yourself, right? So, you know, real brands like coca cola and all these iconic companies we think of, they've spent billions of dollars over decades to develop what they have now. So, a brand doesn't happen overnight because, you know, I'm not a branding expert by any means, but a brand is all about building this emotional attachment, right? Um it's it's, you know, everything about your product, the experience, the visuals, uh it showcases your strength, your differentiators and it makes you want to become part of it and if you're just starting out, you know, there's no emotional attachment between you and your audience, so really, you know, yeah, everyone's going to get started on social media, and this is where we come to, you know, influencers, and I think a lot of companies think, well what we're gonna do is, you know, we're gonna put up some facebook ads, some instagram ads will create some cool videos and they end up not looking branded at all that, it ends up looking like just another product. Another company that launched an instagram page is trying to sell product. So I think the way to get through this is to, first of all think of it as you need to have a community, and sometimes if people can't find your community, you need to help them find it. And the best way to do that is to reach out to people that you think would actually want, what you have and to develop relationships with them. And I think when you look at social media, it's gonna take a little bit of a different mindset, I think to really leverage influencers, but if you look at social media less is a way to promote what you do, and more as a way to build relationships with others that can naturally help promote what you do. I think you're going to be a lot more successful. So this is where you're, you know, people that are posting stuff that are added hashtags about the types of products that you're creating, go out, follow them comment on what they're doing. And ideally you want to create your own little community of people that you have found because you think they're target users, they have, you know, resonated with what you say because they have like responded back and hopefully followed you back and you take the conversation to the point where hey, we're coming out with a new product, love to send it to you no strings attached and we'd love to get your feedback. And I think God alone, you know, I once had an offer to work at Procter and Gamble to be the product market or for their bounce product and they used immense budgets to interview people as to how they would use the product. Do they like it what they don't like about it? So you're basically doing the same thing for free, right? It does cost a little time and a little effort to go in there and build these relationships, but you're going to get invaluable feedback assuming that they want to be shipped, the free thing if they really like it, um you know, it's human nature that a lot of them may go, oh my God, thank you so much. You know, what can I do for you? Can I post this on instagram? And and that's how you begin to build a true community. Now in parallel, you're going to continue doing all the other things that you're doing, but you need to see it, in other words, social media works not through advertisement, but when people talk about your brand and it's not going to happen if you're a new brand, unless you incite people, you get people to talk about it, and the best way to do that is the gifting product, but really doing it to the right people in developing the right relationships along the way. So, I think my follow up question is when you talk about finding these influencers, what you're, when you're talking about, when you're saying like, hey, find these people who would potentially be interested in your products, go find out where they hang out. So if you're selling a pet product, obviously people like for me, I sell cat products, So people who are hanging out in that, love to post pictures of their cats, like those are my people get to know what hashtags are posting stuff like that, connect with them become part of that community. And then when you're part of that community, they're not going to be upset about you reaching out to them saying, hey, I want to tell you about my product, I created this for Cat people, right? Um, I think a lot of people sell things that they aren't at all attached to, right? There's a lot of sellers that are just in it for the money and so they're not attached at all. And so they have trouble. And this is why I always recommend that people sell something that they at least know something about or somewhat passionate about because it's more like a job, you know, if you can't connect to people and do that. So what about finding the right influencers? There are so many influencer platforms out there and it just seems like we've got all these giant influencers that you've got to pay money and you have them, they post something for you, but it doesn't go anywhere and you're just like, man, how do you recommend that we both find and develop the right relationships with influencers. Okay, so this all starts and it's a great point. I agree with you. If you're not passionate about what you're doing, it's gonna be really hard, right? Because how do you create emotional attachment if you don't really care about the product you sell, it's gonna be really hard to, and when you listen to successful entrepreneurs, successful brands, it's because they've been passionate about the product, right about providing a solution, so we need to do a reset on like the concept of influencers. So I wrote this book called The Age of influence, published it last year and I that was my intent was to do a reset because so many people think of influence, I was like, oh, how am I going to reach out to charlie d'Amelio? Or or these people with like millions of followers and you know, Amy, you just mentioned that you're in clubhouse and you have 1000 followers, you're an influencer. Okay, There are not that many people that have 1000 followers and clubhouse, believe it or not. And when I look at a few 100 people that I follow, there's probably, you know very few. So what the influencer marketing industry itself has said over time is they began to sort of, well, you need to have a million followers to be an influence. Well, you need to have like five and over time. It's gone further and further down to the point where you have the concept of a nano influencer of someone having 1000 followers. Now, it's not easy to get 1000 followers by any means. But when you lower to that level, there are a lot more people out there that you can engage with. So when I talk about influencers, I'm talking about people that are active in social media, they have, you know, they post regularly or they engage in conversations about a certain topic and yeah, they have a few 100 followers, right? If they have over 1000 that's even better. But, you know, if you try to reach out to people, which we would call, let's say, micro influencers, they have 10,000 or more, um often what's going to happen is how much you gonna pay me when you reach out to people that are more authentic and real and they're not in it for the money, they didn't buy fake followers to begin with, and they love cats. And if you were to offer them, you know, something for free to try out that's gonna, you know, help them love their cat even more, of course, you know, they're not going to ask for money on the product alone is going to be enough. And this is what brands are finding, right? They're finding that there's a lot of people out there that just for free product will give it a shot, will give you feedback If they like it, maybe they'll post about it, who knows? Right? But that's the sort of thing that I'm talking about here. So if you find people that are active participants, even if they only have like 500 followers, that's still, you know, people that are following them are probably following them for that topic. So, you know, if they can get 100 impressions for something about a cat And you spend all your time trying to build up an instagram following of 1000. And yet every time you post, you only get like 30 or 40 impressions because of the way the algorithms work. Yet these people with smaller followers are getting more impressions because they have a genuine engaging community. These are the people that I'm talking about. So there's a lot of influence or platforms out there. But the best platforms of the social networks themselves, if you're interested in cats, you should be able to do searches and find these people on social media. Right? And if you can't find them on social media, I don't know how influential they are. Let's put it that way. So, you know, start with whatever networks makes sense. I mean instagram is a no brainer. Uh, it's very, very easy to engage with people facebook. Um, if you have a lot of friends and you get introduced to friends or in facebook groups, that sort of a no brainer linked in, depending on the content or you know, depending on the product. Might be a no brainer. Um, you know, Pinterest maybe. Um it's not really, it's more of a search engine and a social network and I think Youtube is sort of the same, but you might be able to be exposed to people and you might be able to at least find out about them and then connect with them on another social network. And twitter is like instagram, it's very, very easy to find people And connect with them. So regardless of what you're selling, you know, try to make a hit list of like 20 1500 people that are that are actively talking about the subject that you're selling a product for start to, you know, follow them, see what they're talking about. Look for opportunities to, you know, comment, engaging conversation and go from there. I love that list of steps that you just gave you guys, anyone who's listening right now, that was gold because number one, go out there and look for those people that are talking about your topic of interest first, before you reach out to them, follow them and find out what they're talking about, engage. You know, get a little more info, a little more intel and then start to engage and then you're going to have a really good idea about how to reach out to them. So my next follow up question, which I know is a question I get all the time. It's like, what do I say? What do I say? Do I just say, you know, here's a free product. But I think that people as Andy mentioned earlier, they sell themselves short. You do have something of value to offer them, right? So to tell them like, hey, I noticed this is what I always do. I follow them a little bit and then I'm like, hey, I noticed that you always post the best stuff like you're really engaging and I love your tips about cats. You know, whatever it is that they're talking about, right? Um, and say, you know, I have this product that I would love to get your feedback on because you know, you seem like an expert that you seem like you really know cats, you know, whatever it is, I'm just giving an example. Um, I would just love to get your feedback and, you know, um, and then if you wouldn't mind, also, you know, if you love it, post and share with your community as well, tell other people about it, that would really help me out. Can I send you one? I don't know. That's how I usually started out. Do you have any tips for us? Yeah. So what's happened over time is that a lot more companies are doing this and maybe you've gotten pitches from other people, especially if you have a podcast, you probably get pitches for people to be on your podcast all the time. If you have a blog you probably get pitches for guest posts all the time. So I think you really need to cut through at the beginning and show that you really care. So mentioning, you know, being even more specific, really personalized and not just in first name, but how what they're doing really relates to the product that you have. You know, notice that you post all these pictures of you know, of cats on hamster wheels and you know, I I you know, I love to have I'd love to be able to build a huge hamster wheel for my cat and guess guess what? I did, right, And this is a product I just created, I think you really love it. Um and I think once you get past that personalization point where you get them hooked that says, hey, I'm a member of the same community as you are, Why I love cats. You know, I love seeing the picture of your cats. I have a Siamese cat to or you know, you're the only person I know that has more cats than I do and I have 14 and 17, whatever it is, just something that really creates that connection. And from there, it's really about Wi FM, which is what's in it for me because people get pitched all the time, especially if they're at that nano influencer level, so make it very clear, no strings attached. I want to send you this products. I, you know, I built it for people like you and I love to get your feedback And there's a lot of companies and, and you know, since Andy, you talked about developing software. I get pitched by all these tools. Companies like, hey, we'll give you a free seven day trial and it's like, dude, I can go to your website and get a free 30 day trial. Right? That's not anything special. But when companies say, hey, you know, you're such an influence in space, we're going to give you like free lifetime and if, if you ever get an expiration, let me know what, we'll reset it for you. And those are the companies that I give feedback for, Right? And then I end up talking about in my presentations and writing about them on my blogs and books because they've given me free access. So that's the same thing. I mean I have free access to Andy's software. I mean so many Softwares and I don't just mean I don't just pitch them like I use them every day on in coaching and everything else. And I genuinely get value from this software and I feel like you know, other people will get value to in various situations. So I sell a lot of anti software because I think it's literally the best listing optimization tool out there on the market and I've used all of them. So it's so great when you can offer something completely free just because you know that if they value it they're going to post about it. So you don't even have to ask them to review it or to post about it. You can just say I would love your feedback and then they get your feedback. They give you feedback and then let them do the work from there. Right? Yeah. So you're trying to build a relationship that has mutual benefits, right? You're going to give them free product. Hopefully they give you feedback if you love it, you know, would love if you post on social tag us, you know, we, we republish our fans photos on our own, so we can, we can promote you a lot on and I think, you know, take it one step further if they come back and say they love it, Hey, are there any of your friends that would really love this product to? We'll ship out a few to your community or hey, do you do affiliate marketing because we can get you set up and you hook you up with a really good commissioner or how can we promote what you do? Do you have any products that maybe we could cosell or that we can promote to our community? It's those companies that go above and beyond that say, hey, this is a partnership and we want to make it win win, and we're not looking at you just because we want your feedback, we'd love to be able to build something deeper, but let's start here, and if you like what you see, let's have more conversations, and this is where, you know, you you begin this process of creating a community where you're you're helping them in more ways than just giving them free product. And this is where brands um really, we talked about people that don't understand the value that they bring. So you as a brand bring tremendous value. You can give them free product. Maybe they thought about creating their own product and you know how to do it right? You know, the great listening app, you know how to do, you know, amazon FB, a you know how to source product from china. There's a lot of I. P. That you have that you might be able to provide others, right? And to them that might be invaluable, then you're really getting people in the partnership. So that's really the mindset is, you know, if I was presenting with my PowerPoint deck right now and I have a picture of the tea ceremony, of a woman in kimono giving U. T. And the idea about the tea ceremony is this once in a lifetime opportunity at this unique point in time between a unique set of people. So every chance you have to engage with someone like this, it is a unique opportunity to build this once in a lifetime relationship that might be able to propel your brand to, you know, levels you didn't know because if this person is really active, let's we're taking the community, for example, they may already be hooked up with brands. They may have a good friend that, you know, is a branch manager at peco that might want to source your product and I don't know right? But that's really the value here. When you are engaging with people that are more influential online, Um you never know what is going to come outside. It's really, I mean, think big, but thinking what you can provide them to really jump start that relationship. And if you could have those conversations with 10 2030, 40, 50 people over the course of a month, you can imagine the sort of activity that's going to happen. Not everyone is going to respond to you. So you're gonna do a follow up, right? And if they don't follow up after that, you'll you'll find new people and that's just it's it's if you're in sales you understand, right? It's it's a numbers game because not everyone is gonna be interested. Um and that's fine, you'll move on to other people. So that's why you wanna have a bigger list than a shorter list and you want to just, you know, if you could talk to someone like that on a daily basis, I mean, I guarantee you, after a month or two you're gonna start to see some activity, you're gonna get some great feedback, you might get some posts on instagram people talking about you and these are fairly influential people and hopefully it's going to start this, this word of mouth that's going to get people talking about your brand, other people coming up to you, you you know, seeing how you can carry these relationships forward. And that's that's the best market you can do today, I think. Thanks for tuning in to
[00:25:33] spk_1: Part One of this episode, join us every Tuesday at one PM pacific standard time for live Q and A. And bonus content after the recording at cellar round table dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller s c o dot com
[00:25:49] spk_0: and amazing at
[00:25:50] spk_1: home dot com.