Neal Schaffer: An Inspiring Story of Overcoming Huge Challenges and reaching The Top of the Social Media Marketing Industry

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Neal Schaffer

Digital Marketing continues to be a challenging task for individuals, small business owners, and corporate entities alike.

Knowing the channels to use for marketing is an uphill journey, fraught with seemingly unsurmountable hurdles, and many fall by the wayside.

However, with the proper knowledge of what you need to do, Digital Marketing can be a pleasurable journey towards success.

Neal Schaffer has helped many business owners and marketers to learn how they can make their businesses, and those of their clients, successful.

Neal Schaffer is considered to be one of the top digital marketing experts in the world today, especially in the field of social media marketing, with a learning towards marketing on LinkedIn.

In this article, we explore the life and times of Neal and his journey to becoming a respected digital marketer.

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Neal Shaffer is one of the top experts out there, helping businesses overcome challenges they encounter in their digital marketing strategies and processes.

He offers consultation services, and training to help big and small businesses develop and implement their social media strategies, social selling exploits, and influencer marketing initiatives.

Neal is also a lecturer at Rutgers University, where he teaches executives the ins and outs of digital media.

Apart from Rutgers University, Neal also teaches at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, and the Irish Management Institute.

Neal is also the President of PDCA Social, a social media agency.

As a speaker, Neal has earned himself accolades, after having been invited to speak on the topic of digital marketing in a dozen countries spread across four continents.

He is an author of note, having written 4 books about social media:

Neal spent a lot of time in China and Japan and is fluent in Japanese and Mandarin. His permanent residence is in Irvine, California.

Neal has lived an eventful life both personally and professionally. These events have helped shape the kind of person that he is today.

Let us break it down and you will see the inspiring lifestyle that Neal has lived, and how it has turned him into one of the leading social media marketing gurus in the world today.

Neal Schaffer – Personal Life and Background

As mentioned earlier, Neal has had an eventful life. Everyone has a story, but Neal’s will amaze you. Life events make you who you are; they are the reason behind who you are, but few turn challenging events into successes and Neal is of those who have done so.

Neal’s Childhood and Early Education Days

Neal’s parents have five sons and he is the last-born son. He grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

His father started as a Learning Specialist in the local school district, before transitioning to being an elementary school teacher.

Neal remembers having visits with his father to the Kindergarten he was teaching in and the 1st-grade classes at their elementary school.

This tells you that education was a priority within the Schaffer family.

As a Learning Specialist, Neal’s father started by teaching children with learning disabilities. He came up with a unique teaching method, which made reading a fun activity.

He was known to come up with his own teaching materials for his own classes, and after realizing how successful his methods were, other teachers soon started using them in their own classes too.

Then his father had an “Aha!” moment.

Why not create a kind of textbook filled with his unique teaching methods, including his worksheets, and then present them at the California Teacher’s Association annual conference to see how many teachers would buy them.

Neal remembers working with his father on the book, adding metal clips in the holes of the pages so they could like a “Book”.

During the event, Neal’s father sold all the 200 books that he had prepared, and that is how his publishing company, Frank Schaffer Publications, came into being.

The full collection of 138 special and fun learning books can be found on Amazon here.

Now you are probably wondering why this particular progression of Neal’s life turned him into who he is today, right?

Well, there are two things that he got from this experience:

  • Thanks to his experience with his dad, who loved to help children with special learning needs, Neal grew a passion to be an educator, who truly wants to see other people succeed.
  • He also got the entrepreneurial bug when he saw how his father grew his publishing business. This is the same bug that is behind his passion to do the best, both for his business as well as for those clients he works with.

These are traits that did not develop until later in his life.

When growing up Neal loved sports and music.

He played AYSO soccer while in elementary school, was part of the long-distance cycling club in middle school, and joined the cross-country running team in high school.

While he was in elementary and middle school, he played the violin and later exchanged the violin for an electric guitar when he was in high school. He played the electric guitar in a band and his artistic prowess was featured on two tracks on a vinyl piece called “The Mighty Freebie.”

Although the visual aspect of social media is a core function of his work today, he became fascinated with it while he was still a student of the original Social media: Art.

To be specific, Meal was an ardent student of the history of art, and as a student in high school, he undertook extension courses on Art History at UCLA.

He also convinced the school to come up with an Art History class for him.

After he joined college, Neal undertook two internships at two different museums:

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Neal’s College Education Days

After graduating high school, most of Neal’s friends decided to pursue further education in California.

Neal broke off from the norm and decided to take another path and joined Amherst College, a small liberal arts institution in Massachusetts.

It was at this college that Neal experienced some of the most striking events in his life, which would play a huge impact on the direction that he followed in his life.

Before Neal joined Amherst College, most of his friends in high school were of Asian-American Origin: about 30% of the students in his class were Asian-Americans, and the number was even higher in the specific classes that he was studying in.

It was quite peculiar to the outside eye.

His friends were either Korean-American, Chinese-American, or Japanese-American.

He would attend birthday parties, where he was the only non-Asian-American kid there.

It is therefore understandable that in following his art history passion, he decided to look for and learn more about the history of his friends and their descendants.

Neal opted to start learning an Asian language in college, and then went on to spend his Junior Year Abroad in an Asian country, so he could improve his language and learn a lot more about their culture.

Neal was also studying Chinese together with his studies of art history.

The first two years at Amherst College were under the tutelage of a Taiwanese teacher, and he became fluent in traditional Chinese characters, which were much more complicated than the simplified ones which were introduced by Mao Ze Dong in mainland China.

This is the reason why he decided to undergo an intensive summer school Chinese program at Tung Hao University in Taichung, Taiwan, even when his Junior year Abroad Exchange Program had him enrolled at the Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China.

Neal professes that the summer he spent in Taiwan was one of the greatest times of his life. He was amazed by the people, culture, food, and the country as a whole.

He made very many friends and he would visit them every time he was in Beijing. It was through these friendships that he had an easy time when it came to learning a foreign language, He made sure that he took part in their local experiences too.

The way in which he got to learn a foreign language is the same way he approached social media. Like learning to speak a foreign language, you have to be a frequent and passionate member of any community on social media if you want to master it.

Neal has a fantastic podcast on this particular aspect of social media success, which you can listen to here.

Neal Schaffer – Challenging Near-Death Experiences

Although Neal had a lovely time in Asia, it was also at this time that he went through some very challenging experiences, which also had a huge impact on his life:

Taiwan: The First Near-Death Experience

Neal highlights the fact that he had a wonderful time in Taiwan, but it was during that first summer in the country that he had his first near-death experience.

He had accompanied his friends to the famous sunrise from Alishan Mountain. However, a typhoon struck the island and all means of transport were halted.

He and his friends had to trek several miles down the mountain to get to the nearest town.

While on their way down the mountain, they came across a stretch of road that had been obliterated by the water.

There was a 30-meter stretch that could only be crossed by straddling the rain gutters situated on the side of the road – the gutter had somehow been soared by the torrent.

As he was straddling the rain gutter, he tried his best not to look down the 15-meter drop that yeaned below him, all the time thinking about whether he would make it safely to the other side.

Amazingly, all of them, 10 in number, got to the other side safely.

It was an experience that Neal remembers to this day and it drives him to make the best of each day that he spends on this earth.

Well, as fate would have it, this was not the only scary event that Neal would experience. He had another one which was more terrifying than the first one.

China: The Second Near-Death Experience

Neal and his roommate decided to visit the amazing city of Harbin in Northeast China, to attend the popular Ice Lantern Festival. At the festival, lights are placed inside amazing ice sculptures to create an amazing site.

If you have never been to the Ice Lantern Festival, the video below will show you just how wonderful the festival is.

World’s largest: Harbin Ice and Snow Festival kicks off in China

Neal and his roommate got to Harbin quite early, and they decided to check out the sculpted city. The day was very cold, given that the area is situated close to the Russian Border, where Siberia lies.

This is where he got to see The Heilongjiang River. This is a huge river that is completely frozen over, thanks to the freezing temperatures.

The people harvest the ice from the river and then use it to sculpt the Harbin Ice City.

Neal had the habit of taking selfies with his camera, long before mobile devices existed and the selfie tradition blossomed.

He was looking for a wonderful place to take a selfie, his gaze landed on some small boats which had been harbored on the frozen river. This would be a perfect spot to take a photo.

He remembers that he quickly placed the camera on the boat, set the timer, and walked back to join his friend for the photo.

After the camera clicked, he walked back to the boat and picked it up. He stared on his way back to join his friend when it happened…!

The ground beneath his feet started to cave in and fall.

He remembers that it was like a slow-motion movie, but he can still hear the sound of the ice as it broke beneath his feet, and he started falling into the deep, freezing river.

He fell through and managed to hold himself to the sides of the ice around him. While he was waist deep in the water, he reached out around him, and thankfully the ice there did not give way.

He was able to stop himself from getting dragged down into the river and under the ice.

Somehow, and he still believes it was a miracle, Neal was able to support himself using the ice around him, and thankfully it did not break apart.

He was able to use his own strength and drag himself out of the freezing water.

His friend cautioned him and told him to walk around the hole, to avoid the ice next to it from crumbling and sending him back into the water.

He managed to get back to his roommate and together they got off the icy river and onto firm ground.

Neal says that life can indeed flash before your eyes. Today, when he hears of children and other people dying due to similar, ice-related accidents, he shudders and remembers when he almost suffered the same fate.

Once again, this experience made him realize that he had to live life to the fullest. To live every day like it was his last.

At this point, Neal was still planning on taking art history as his major subject and then working in an art museum after he graduated.

However, a major historic event happened in Beijing, than completely changed the course of his life. This event happened after his second near-death experience at Harbin.

China: The Event That Changed Neal Schaffer’s Life

It was in April, just a normal day in the school calendar, just a few weeks before Neal was to finish his Junior High Abroad Exchange Program in Beijing. A high-ranking official of the Communist Party in China, who was revered by college students because of being a fellow intellectual, passed on.

People started congregating at Tian An Men Square to lay wreaths and mourn the passing of this great man.

Suddenly demonstrations sparked from all ends of the sure.

Several historical factors contributed to what was to become the “Tian An Men Demonstrations”, which led to the “Tian An Men Incident.”

As days went on, the demonstrations grew from being demonstrations held by university students in Beijing, to be huge demonstrations by average people, which grew larger as the days went by.

The university that Neal attended was the closest to Tian An Men Square, and many are the times that students would march from other universities to his, join up with his colleagues and then walk to Tian An Men Square, which was 8 kilometers away.

Neal was a frequent attendee of the demonstrations at this time, and he would meet up with other people and strike up a conversation with them.

It was an incredible time for him to learn more about China, and he was also able to teach people about what it felt like to grow up and live in the United States of America.

Well, suffice it to say that Neal has a memory of peaceful demonstrations during the time. The university closed down early in the summer due to these demonstrations.

He deiced to use his free time to go back to Taiwan for the summer, and during the 2-day train journey from Beijing to Guangzhou, the then Prime Minister of China imposed martial law in Beijing.

He had seen the peaceful demonstrations at Tian An Men Square, and when he left Beijing, things became violent.

A month after the Tian An Men Incident, Neal went back to Beijing to meet his roommate and other friends. They had planned to take the Silk Road Tour.

Neal was the only person in the group to return – he went back to a city where the military was marching onto the train platform, gunshots rang out every night, and the streets were empty all the time.

He had come back to a city that was devoid of life. A city that once had vibrant energy, and seemed to have become deflated. The feeling was surreal.

IT was at this time that Neal realized that the history of art was completely different from what he had witnessed over a few weeks.

He decided to make it his mission to serve others on a daily basis. He decided to make a significant contribution toward global peace.

After he came back from the Silk Road Tour, he stopped off in another country, and his experience there would further solidify the course that he had decided to pursue in his life.

Japan: The Final Lap

Many people who know Neal quite well are aware that he does business in Japan and travel there a lot.

True! Neal studied Mandarin Chinese before he got to learn Japanese, but there is a reason why, where, and how Japan fits into the equation.

When Neal went to China to learn the language, it was not as much a popular foreign language to study, as it is today.

At Amherst College, the Japanese class had more students enrolled than the Chinese class.

Why?

It was because the time, Japanese companies were aggressively moving into other markets all over the world, and their economy was at its peak; therefore, it made sense to learn Japanese rather than Chinese.

Neal started getting an interest in Japanese thanks to his roommate in China. Similarly, there were a lot of Japanese students living within the same dormitory.

Through his roommate, Neal was able to strike up friendships with foreign students from Japan, and some of these friendships are still thriving to this day.

It was during his time in China that Neal was intrigued by the Japanese language and culture.

As fate would have it, Meal decided to pay a visit to his roommate in Kawasaki, Japan, on his way back to the United States. He stayed with his roommate for a week.

That week, Neal’s perspective changed quite a bit.

Although China seemed dark and gloomy at that time, Japan was thriving, and he had a lot of fun when he was there.

Neal thought to himself – if China is the future of the global economy, Japan is one of the leaders of TODAY’s economy. So why not learn Japanese during his senior year at Amherst College, and then start his career in Japan?

He thought that it would be great to start his career in Japan, and after a few years, move back to China and grow his career there.

And that is exactly what Neal did.

Neal went back to Amherst College and Perfected his Japanese during his senior year. The fact that he had learned Chinese made it easy for him to learn Japanese as a foreign language, especially where the two languages shared similar characters.

He then took time during his Christmas break to visit some of his friends from Beijing, who were living in Japan.

During the same time, Neal contacted several Japanese companies that had advertised positions in a magazine that he discovered at the career center.

He let them know that he would be in Japan during his winter break, and would be excited to meet up with them.

Out of all the companies he contacted, only one responded to him.

This was the company where Neal would start his career after he graduated from college. The company was ROHM Semiconductor, which had its headquarters in the ancient capital city of Japan, Kyoto.

Neal lived in Kyoto for 9 years after he graduated from Amherst College.

After he spent a summer at the International Christian University in Tokyo, he started his career in the Finance Division, stationed at the ROHM Semiconductor headquarters in Kyoto, Japan.

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Neal Schaffer – Professional Life Before and After Social Media

Today, when you are looking for a professional to help you out with your Social Media Marketing exploits, you should not only look at his experience after discovering social media but also that before.

This is especially crucial for people who want to know how the expert performed before the advent of Social Media Marketing.

Knowing what a person did before he or she transferred to the digital world will help you understand the unique perspective that the person has about social media marketing.

A person can only work based on his or her experiences, and these experiences will affect how he or she helps businesses tackle their Social Media Marketing challenges.

So let us take a look at the professional life of Neal Schaffer, before and after he discovered soil media.

Professional Life BEFORE Social Media

Rohm Semiconductor

Neal Schaffer started his career at ROHM Semiconductor, and he was the first full-time foreign employee at the company.

He worked in the Finance Division of the company for a period of 2 years, before he was moved on to business planning. Here he helped establish a new logistical infrastructure for the sales office in Singapore, and a new factory in Dalian, China, as well.

He was looking for potential joint ventures for the company in China too.

Neal had a passion for sales, so he decided to move to the Sales Division, where he worked to support the Singapore sales arm of their Asian Sales Department.

Neal was then selected to launch their new sales offices in China.

At the professional tender age of 27, Neal was the youngest person in the history of the company to become a Team Leader.

Neal was able to bloom in China, thanks to the fact that he was fluent in the language, and had a deep understanding of their security and culture.

ROHM had zero brand recognition in China when Neal started working there. However, at the end of it all, ROHM had 3 sales offices in China, situated in Beijing, Shanghai ad Dalian. He was managing a staff of more than a dozen employees and helped generate tens of millions of dollars from sales in the region.

It was his experience at ROHM that made him have a deep love, respect, and understanding for social media:

  1. At ROHM, part of his employee training induced learning about the Deming Cycle, also known as the PDCA Cycle.
  2. This is the source of the framework that Neal would later use to develop social media strategies later in his life. It also became the centerpiece that he talks about in his book, “Maximizing Your Social”.

It is also how he runs his marketing agency, which he aptly named PDCA Social.

  1. Starting out in China, working for a company that had zero brand recognition, and no marketing support meant that Neal had to assume a holistic approach to conducting business.
  2. Neal did not have a preset formula on how to generate business in China.
  3. It was truly about how to generate partnerships ad relationships; when you helped people in China with their business problems, they never forgot about you.
  4. It was at this time that Neal learned a lot about having a holistic business approach to sales and marketing, as well as social and digital marketing.

Proctor & Gamble (Japan)

After working with ROHM for more than 8 years, and realizing that even if he had lived in Japan during this time, his business success track record was due to his work in China, and not in Japan.

He wanted to have a successful track record in Japan, too.

Since there was a different salary structure at the time, Neal realized that his best chance was to work in a foreign equity company, and he instantly had offers from a few different American companies in the region.

One of these companies was Proctor & Gamble 9Japan, with headquarters in Kobe, Japan at the time.

P&G traditionally hired employees straight from University, or those who only had a few years of experience; Neal was to become the exception to that rule.

Neal was offered the position of Product Marketer and helped in promoting sales of their Bounce product for drying clothes.

Although Neal had several reasons for declining to take the offer on the table. He did learn that consumer brands invested a lot of their resources in focus groups, trying to figure out what people wanted from them.

Since the start of social media, Neal is one person who has always said that social media is one huge focus group. Therefore, companies need to know how to use it as a focus group and have the proper tools and employees to collect and analyze the data.

Wind River

After working at ROHM, Neal landed a new position at Wind River, an embedded software company in Osaka, Japan. He was to launch a Western Japan Sales Office for the company.

While working at ROHM, Neal sold semiconductors and other hardware to telecommunications, consumer electronics, and other manufacturers in China.

While working at Wind River, Neal did the same thing, only that this time, he was selling the embedded software that runs the chips made at ROHM to the same kind of manufacturers, albeit situated in Japan.

Neal did not spend a lot of time at Wind River, because shortly after he joined, the company merged with its biggest competitor, who had an equally large size of staff members in Japan, so the organization and roles changed quite a bit.

In the long run, Wind River ended up being bought by Intel.

However, Neal’s stay at Wind River allowed him to get exposure to many other potential employers in the industry. One of these, which was also a partner of Wind River, ended up giving him a job.

Espial

Espial, which is now part of Enghouse Networks,  was a startup that began in Ottawa, Canada. It developed embedded Java software for electronic consumer devices. It was just trying to get across that deep ravine that startups all have to cross before they can become profitable.

They had a great market share in the United States and Europe but were performing poorly in the Asian markets.

Espial hired Neal to be their regional Vice President of Sales, overseeing Asia Pacific markets. He was basically launching their new business for them in the Asian markets as he had done for ROHM in China.

Neal did a spectacular job at Espial, and in a period of a few years had grown the company from zero sales in the region to more than 25% of the global sales coming from the Asian markets.

As he had learned before, Neal employed the holistic business model of doing business in Asia and had to wear a lot of business hats at the same time.

He learned how to do business not only in China and Japan but also in Taiwan and Korea too.

Neal spent 7 years at Espial, and he continued to build on his knowledge of how to generate business from nothing, with zero brand recognition in competitive foreign markets.

This is the same professional business knowledge and experience that Neal brought with him when the social media bloom found him.

You can see that all his professional marketing experience was in the B2B niche, but having to play different roles allowed him to be involved in business development, marketing, customer support, recruiting, and many other aspects of running a successful business.

Neal was to work at one more company before he launched his social media career…

DataPath

It was Neal’s role and experience at DataPath that would finally propel Neal to his destiny to be a social media practitioner.

Before he was hired at the company, Neal found himself in a period of transition in the United States, after being busy working in Asia for more than a decade.

His professional network was either spread out around the United States or far away in Asia. None were based in his local community around Southern California.

It was at this time that Neal started using LinkedIn as the dominant tool for keeping in touch with his network, as well as building new connections within his niche.

At that time, LinkedIn was still in its early days and it was not the tool that helped him get the job at DataPath.

However, after getting hired by DataPath, he deiced to launch a blog. During his transition period, he had become an active member of several LinkedIn groups and would frequently answer questions on the LinkedIn Answers section, which is now defunct.

He wanted to use his experience to help build his network, so he thought that the best thing to do was to put his knowledge about LinkedIn into a blog, which would help him to network effectively well into the future, even though he already had a job at DataPath.

He launched the blog at the time using the WordPress plugin that used to run within LinkedIn.

So, in July 2008, Neal launched the blog and called it “Expert Anseres to Your LinkedIn Questions.”

Neal entered the social media world without really having a career objective in the field. All he wanted to do was to add value wherever and whenever he could.

Although many of his blog posts have been overtaken by the developments of social media, some of them are still relevant to this day:

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About three and a half months after he started working for DataPath, Neal found himself in a position of transition once more after the company went through a restructure.

This was the first time that Neal was finding himself in such a position, and it really hurt him since he was a person who was used to being busy with his work.

It was at this time that Neal decided to get involved in something that nobody would ever take away from him.

Neal decided to start his own personal brand.

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Professional Life AFTER Social Media

Neal continued to blog on LinkedIn during his period of transition. He also started developing an offline network of professionals in his industry within the local community of Orange County, California, leading to people calling him “The LinkedIn Expert.”

The offline and online experiences continued to be a source of content for his blog, and it soon got a high volume of traffic, and many people left comments on his posts. This led to a high level of engagement between him and his network.

Windmill Networking and Neal’s First Book

Although Neal Schaffer is the author of four books, it would be funny for you to know that he never planned to become an author.

He also had no intention of building a successful career in social media, but it happened anyway.

Neal was in transition for an extended period of time.

He was living outside of his main field of domain in the United States.

This was during a period when there was a global economic meltdown, and there were few career opportunities available.

So, Neal spent his time blogging regularly and accelerated his online networking activities on LinkedIn, as well as networking offline with people in Southern California.

At one point, Neal’s wife asked him why he could not just write a book.

It was at that time when eBooks had become the rave in Japan (Neal’s wife is Japanese), but he had never truly thought of writing an eBook.

So, one day, Neal went into his blog and laid out an outline of a book about LinkedIn that he had thought of writing.

As it may be, 25% of the chapters that Neal was thinking of writing about had already been covered within his blog.

So, he thought that writing a book would not be such a huge task after all…

Therefore, Neal decided to go through a self-publishing avenue. At that time, it was very hard to find resources and services that would help people to self-publish a book.

Amazon, at that time, had just bought a company called Booksurge, which helped people in self-publishing their books.

This is when Neal published his first book, “Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging and Maximizing LinkedIn.”

At the same time, Neal rebranded his blog and moved it to his own domain on the WordPress.org platform.

He wanted to come up with a brand that was bigger than he was. One that was built on the concept of windmill networking.

Therefore, he renamed his blog windmillnetworking.com.

Then Came The Public Speaking Jobs

Although Neal had already been involved in a public speaking gig before he published his first book in September 2009, it was the publication of the book that threw him into the limelight: Suddenly he was being invited to speak at many events in Southern California.

His most notable event, at the time, was when he spoke about LinkedIn at the Gravity Summit held at UCLA, where hundreds of people listened to him in December 2009.

Neal Launches His Social Media Strategy Consulting Business

The events Neal went through, publishing his first book, networking on a local level, and public speaking led to Neal being asked for help by four different businesses over a period of just 2 weeks in January 2010.

The four businesses came from varying industries:

  • Education – a school at the University of California, Irvine.
  • Financial Services – an asset management firm.
  • Infotech – a startup that was generating a new social search engine.
  • Gardening – a provider of landscape services and software.

At that time, Neal had never developed a business model. He did not have the requisite professional experience. Social media was also taking baby steps, so not much was known.

However, after meeting with these four business owners, Neal concluded that these companies, at that time, needed the same thing as many companies need o this day.

They needed Education and Strategy.

Now Neal did not have any background in developing an agency, so he never offered to provide outside social media services for these businesses. After all, at that time, Neal believed that every company should have in-house social media services, where possible.

Neal did now know what to put into a proposal or how much to charge them.

Therefore, Neal decided to create a signature program for sale; The Social Media Strategy Consulting Program.

Since he was looking for a framework within which to create a social media strategy, which did not exist at the time, Neal went back and connected the dots for learning about PDCA.

in so doing, Neal created the basis that would soon become his signature for any social media strategy that he has written ever since.

Interestingly, this was at the same time that he got his first draft contract for his first social media strategy customer from his lawyer.

Over the years, Neal sold his program to dozens of companies, where he attended a few meetings with them to assess their individual branding and objectives.

It was in these meetings that the education aspect of the program that he provided was implemented.

The meetings resulted in the development of comprehensive social media strategies, unique to each of these companies, that were spread over tens of pages.

Neal Schaffer Maximizes LinkedIn for Social Media Marketing and Sales

Neal’s Social Media Marketing Consulting services kept him very busy during the year 2010.

During the same year, Neal Decided to move on from being a LinkedIn expert to being an expert on the other social media platforms too.

Neal’s clients wanted to know which were the best social media networking sites for their unique business niches.

So, he needed to become an expert on all the platforms to be able to give credible and fruitful advice.

As Neal progressed with his career, he realized that “Windmill Networking” was not the ideal strategy to expand his business.

At the time, LinkedIn was still his biggest area of expertise, so he decided to write a book about LinkedIn, but this time, it would be a book that would build his brand and build his authority as a LinkedIn expert.

This is how he ended up self-publishing his second book, “Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing.”

This time, Neal used Createspace, the Amazon subsidiary that took up Booksurge.

The book, which he easily self-published in 2011, marked the end of the LinkedIn chapter of his life.

To this day, Neal is still revered as a LinkedIn expert and he still offers training services in social selling.

Actually, Neal published this book and used the terms “social selling” and “employee advocacy” even before the two concepts became mainstream within the industry.

Neal Decides To Maximize Social Business

Guest Blogging was and still is a huge enterprise in its unique ways.

Before Neal accepted his first guest blogging outreach communication in August 2011, he had no idea just how much it would change his digital footprint.

During this period, 2011 to 2012, many professionals were looking for guest blogging opportunities all over.

Within several months after he started allowing people to write guest posts on his blog, he had a full roster of people who wanted to write for him.

After some time, Neal decided to create a new entity, so he could dedicate it to guest bloggers, and this is how his personal blog became a media entity.

This is when windmillnetworking.com turned into Maximize Social Business, a new media company that lasted for several years, and had dozens of bloggers writing for it.

It was later in 2019 when Neal decided to migrate to nealschaffercom.bigscoots-staging.com.

All in all, Neal Schaffer has had an interesting career before and after social media.

Neal Schaffer – The Inadvertent Author

Yes! Neal had never thought that he would be an author in his life, as we said before.

We have, however, already talked about the first two books that Neal write, and how they came into being.

Neal has also written two other books, which we shall talk about briefly.

Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success

This book is available in Kindle, Hardcover, and Audio CD formats.

The book talks about how to create and maintain a powerful social media strategy for your business.

Many companies today are lacking a comprehensive strategy when it comes to social media.

Others fail to analyze their current exploits when it comes to marketing on social media, which is a critical aspect of implementing a successful social media strategy.

It is important that when a company starts spending resources on social media efforts, it should have an internal plan that everyone in the business can understand.

Maximize Yor Social is a book that gives a clear picture of what a business needs to do to create and implement a business road map for their social media exploits.

The book goes through the evolution of social media and why it is critical to create a social media strategy.

It also guides you through the mechanics of, and maintenance of a successful social media strategy.

The book will take you through the steps toaster social media marketing strategies, which in turn saves you from wasting your resources on a social media consultant.

The Age of Influence: The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand

This book is available in Kindle, Paperback, and Audio CD formats.

This is a crucial book for business owners and marketers who want to develop and leverage a highly effective, sustainable marketing plan, that involves influencers, to propel their brand further.

Today, there is a huge, unprecedented digital revolution, and it is crucial for any brand, to tap into the climate.

Social media has turned authority and influence into a democracy. Information is crafted and consumed in ever-changing ways.

Meal Schaffer, in this book, explains how this shift plays a crucial role in online marketing, given that this is now an influencer era.

Influencer marketing is about establishing relationships that will turn fans into your influencers and then leveraging that influence to disseminate your message authentically and credibly.

The book covers the following topics, amongst others:

  • How to identify, approach, and engage the proper influencer for your brand or product.
  • How to determine the number of resources you need to place behind an influencer marketing campaign.
  • How to manage the business side of influencer marketing, including analytics tools to help you measure your ROI
  • How to develop your brand voice on social media so you can also become an influencer in the long run.

This is a book that will help you address the issues that are disrupting marketing trends. Issues such as declining television viewership, growing social media audience, digital dissemination of your brand message, and how to overcome the use of ad-blocking technology in the digital space.

Neal Schaffer – The Fractional CMO

Today, Neal Schaffer has consolidated all his services and expertise into one neat package, called “The Fractional CMO”.

Now you must be wondering what a fractional CMO is, right?

Well, a fractional CMO is a person who works as a marketing consultant for a client, on the client’s time, as if he or she was an employee of the company.

However, this is a kind of “outsourced” CMO.

What is the Process of Working with a Fractional CMO | Fractional CMO Scope of Work

A Fractional CMO has leading marketing expertise and will join your company in a part-time fashion.

He appears when and where you want him or her to be.

A Fractional CMO can share his expertise with several companies during the same period since he can vary his working hours, moving from one company to the next.

It is a new thing to invest in a Fractional CMO, so you can gain a lot from his experience as he works for you, which offers better benefits than attending a training session, which will introduce a learning curve.

If you want something done in your digital marketing strategy, you hire Neal and he will perform the necessary duties for you. You may also learn a thing or two in the process.

Neal Schaffer – Professional Awards and Accreditations Received

Apart from his professional accreditation in the art of history, Neal has received several awards due to his work. Here are some of them.

CMO.com – Neal was listed in the Top 10 Marketing Thought Leaders list

Forbes – Neal was listed in the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer list

Forbes – Neal was listed in the Forbes Top 30 Social Salespeople in the World list in 2014

Contact Monkey – Neal was listed in the Top 5 Marketing Thought Leader list

Online Marketing Institute – Neal was listed in The 15 Most Influential Educators in Digital Marketing in 2015

Online Marketing Institute – Neal was listed in the Top 20 Digital Marketing Strategists list in 2015

Marketo – Neal was listed in the 31 Influencers to Follow list in 2017

Cision – Neal was listed in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers on Twitter list

Salesforce – Neal was listed among the 103 genuine Marketing Thought Leaders to Follow list in 2016

Neal Schaffer – The Podcaster

Apart from running a profitable Digital Marketing Agency, Neal has gone on to develop a podcast in which he talks about many digital marketing topics that are relevant to marketers and business people today.

Neal gives advice and also hosts other experts on these podcasts, so you can learn how you can market your business properly in the digital space.

Here are some of them.

What is Employer Branding and Why Is It Important to Marketers?

When people go about marketing their brands on social media, it is common to be asked by colleagues if there was a way in which they could promote job openings on your channels.

Given that the job market today is very tight, social media provides marketers with a golden tool to leverage inbound marketing, not just for your main brand, but also for your employer’s brand as well.

This podcast goes through the concept of employer branding and why marketers need to understand it.

How to Grow Your Business through Networking – With Dave Delaney

As people are slowly coming out of the Pandemic, it is time to get back to doing things in person.

Networking is a crucial part of business, and it is high time that you got out and took advantage of the various opportunities available for you to engage other people on and off the Internet.

In this podcast, Neal Schaffer interviews Dave Delaney and teaches people how to grow their businesses through networking. Dave is a master networker and communicator and you can learn a lot from him.

11 Takeaways from Podcast Movement 2022

During the Podcast Movement 2022 event held in Dallas, Texas, Neal happened to have the time of his life discussing podcasting for business with other podcasters.

If you are a person who listens to podcasts, then you know how compelling the medium can be.

However, are you up to date on the newest trends and technology being used in the industry?

The podcasts share information on what is happening in the podcast industry in 2022, and how you can succeed as a content creator in this industry.

You need not look any further. Listen to Neal’s report and you will feel like you had attended the event as well.

My 15 Facebook Ads Strategy Tips to Implement TODAY!

It does not matter whether you personally love or hate Facebook, it is still one of the biggest social media platforms in the world and you cannot choose to ignore the opportunities it provides.

Although this episode goes through the organic Facebook marketing advice as well, most marketers and businesses use Facebook as a pay-to-play platform and are earning huge rewards from doing so.

If you are already running Facebook ad campaigns, then perhaps this episode will teach you unique things that you can focus on.

How to Easily Find Influencers for Your Business (Without Using Expensive Tools)

Influencer marketing is becoming an important part of marketing every single day. Many people still ask Neal how they can go and find influencers for their brand.

There are tools that you can use to find influencers in your niche, but in this episode, Neal talks about how you can quickly find influencers from the social networks themselves. No need to use expansive tools.

This episode is actually a small bite of a new class that Neal will be teaching at UCLA Extension on the topic of Influencer Marketing. Listen to it and learn to get influencers without spending a dime.

Neal Schaffer – Prominent People Who Recommend Him

Neal Schaffer has helped many individuals and businesses in their social media marketing strategies over the years.

There are very many people who recommend him, so we have curated a few of the best recommendations for you to see just how great he is at what he does.

Ryan Foland

Ryan Foland

Ryan is a speaker, sailor, and Singer, and loves to post about startups.

Ryan is also the Interim Director of the UCI ANTrepreneur Center in Irvine, California.

Ryan worked with Neal in the past, but in different teams.

Ryan says that he has followed Neal for several years. He has listened to him speaking on several occasions, and on one of these occasions, he had a chance to visit with him.

Ryan speaks about one of Neal’s Books, The age of Influence, and says that reading the book is like having special access to Neal and his insights on Influence.

He says that what makes the book stand out from any of the others he has on his shelf is Neal’s ability to translate how to tap into influence, even when you are not a big brand with a budget of millions to send on marketing.

Helping to explain key aspects of influencer marketing, from the procedure to pricing, and even how to become an influencer yourself, Neal offers a one-stop-shop for really coming to grasp how to leverage influence in today’s world.

Ryan says that in a world where people are going to face a new reality post-COVID-19, the principles of the book are more relevant and important to understand than ever before.

Ryan recommends that you not only connect with Neal on LinkedIn, but also grab this book, and read it from the quiet of your room.

Charles Darwin

Charles. D

Charles is the Head of Marketing and Partnership at Designhill.

Charles has worked with Neal Schaffer in the past but in different companies.

Charles says that it was an absolute pleasure working with Neal.

The topic of “Digital Marketing during the economic pause and beyond: Trends, Tips and Best Practices” is of critical importance. It is crucial within the subject discussion especially when it comes to leveraging result-oriented digital marketing strategies by large enterprises and small businesses alike.

With the COVID-19 pandemic having impacted every business, marketers, and entrepreneurs are struggling to implement effective digital marketing tactics to increase their search visibility, cultivate authority, connect with new audiences and generate revenue.

He says that Neal’s expertise and knowledge on the topic helped those in attendance to discover how digital marketing is evolving, and how robust organizations should implement digital media to succeed in these tough times.

He says that Neal’s advice helped marketers and entrepreneurs in attendance in crafting exceptional digital marketing strategies as per the new norm to keep ahead of their competition.

Charles says that he is satisfied in saying that all of their attendees left the talk feeling excited, energized, and focused on the possibilities at Designhill.

Claudia Miller

Claudia Miller

Claudia is the owner of ADirections and has worked with Neal Schaffer in the past as his client.

Claudia starts f her recommendations with a comment that she found in an IABC-OC guest at a luncheon that was entitled “You Vote: The Social Media Insight You Requested”; and the comment went like this:

“Instead of simply evangelizing about social media, Neal provided examples of how networks can be utilized,”

Claudia says that when your audience gives you such feedback, then you know that you chose the right speaker to grace the event.

Neal was both engaging and informative when he spoke during the luncheon.

He gave the attendees practical tips on how to approach social media within the organization, and also provided specific recommendations.

Moreover, the wide range of knowledge that Neal has allowed the attendees to choose three specific areas of social media for Neal to pay attention to.

Neal’s presentation was who the time spent, and as one person put it, he was “…both knowledgeable and willing to share. He stayed to make sure all questions were answered.”

Mari Smith

Mari Smith

Mari Smith is a social media expert, particularly on Facebook, which has earned her the title, “The Queen of Facebook”.

She is also the owner of Mari Smith International, a social media marketing agency and learning center.

She says that Neal’s breadth and depth of knowledge around LinkedIn are exceptional.

She says that he is an informative and gracious speaker.

She continues to say that the cool thing with Neal is that although he is primarily involved with LinkedIn, he also has a lot of expertise in all of social media marketing, and the context in which LinkedIn fits for each type of industry.

Mari says that she was very impressed with Neal’s presentation for her group of social media professionals, and will definitely hire his services in a heartbeat.

Mari recommends that if you are seeking to maximize your measurable, profitable results on LinkedIn, then Neal is the excellent choice to pick, You can learn a lot through his speaking, training, and consulting services.

Mari Smith: Life and Times of the Acclaimed “Queen of Facebook”

Cliff Clive

Cliff Clive

Cliff is the CEO at MediNatura and was at one time a client of Neal’s.

Cliff says that he once had the good fortune to contract Neil to speak at the CEO Trust event in New York City.

Neal’s extensive knowledge of social media and how to use it for personal career and business purposes made the attendees consider his speech to be “the most entertaining and informative CEO Trust event in memory.”

Actually, as Cliff was writing the recommendation, he reiterated that they had already booked him to return to New York City for an encore performance.

On a personal note, Cliff says that in the casual conversations he had with Neal after the first event, he gained several terrific ideas, including the name of his new URL, EdgeDrivesGrowth.com. Cliff finishes off his recommendation by saying that “It pays to listen to Neal Schaffer!!”

In Conclusion

You will be making a very smart decision to engage Neal Schaffer if you want to take your marketing to the next level.

He is fast and focused, and hell-bent on helping you achieve your goals.

Neal has experience in very many areas and has a great perspective and vision to lead you through the full social and digital marketing landscape.

Neal is excellent at digging up trends and opportunities as they arise, and not just seeing them in the rearview mirror.

Neal has helped many people succeed, especially during the pandemic when normal ways of conducting business were disrupted. If you have ever engaged Neal as a consultant, kindly let us know more about your experience in the comments section below.

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