As I’ve been doing social media marketing for quite some time, people often ask me, how do I become more influential on social media? How do I monetize my influence? How do I monetize social media?
But the thing is, should you really make social media platforms your business?
In today’s episode, I share with you the difference between running a business and leveraging social media platforms to promote your business. And what’s more valuable than monetizing your social media presence.
[1:16] Monetizing Social Media
[1:38] My Social Media Marketing Journey
[5:31] The Importance of Having a Product When Monetizing Social Media Influence
When monetizing social media, you need to understand the difference between running a business and leveraging platforms. You need to have a product or business first, then use social media platforms to promote them, not making these platforms your business.
[07:08] Determining Your Content Medium
[08:38] What Platform Should I Create Based on My Content Medium?
[10:40] Creating a Platform While Leveraging it to Build Relationships
How can you create a platform and use your influence to build relationships with your potential customers and network?
[12:57] Which Social Media Platform Should I Spend More Time On?
[14:06] The New Digital First LinkedIn Group
[15:39] Content Creation Being a Team Effort
[18:05] Understand Social Media
[18:41] Building Relationships With Products and Services
Where and how can I get a return of investment from the relationship I have built?
Neal, not only how do I become more influential on social media, but how do I monetize my influence? How do I monetize social media? This is one of the most common questions that I get asked. And I want to give you a very, very clear and actionable answer on this episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, welcome to episode number 222. That's right, two to two of the maximize your social influence podcasts. My name is Neal Schaffer, I spark business growth through my uniquely innovative data driven and digital first approach to marketing. I am a fractional cmo, marketing consultant to many companies. And I also have for those that want just a little bit more help with their business, my digital first group coaching membership community. Today we're going to be talking about monetizing social media. Now, some of you that are listening are corporate marketers, or have your own businesses. Others might be bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, entrepreneurs, people that are just trying to figure out because so many people are on social media, how do I make money from it? What's really interesting is, I've been doing this for quite some time, this social media thing. since way back in 2008, when I launched a blog, I wrote my first book back in 2009, I had this podcast, although I haven't been publishing every year, most years since 2013. And there's always people trying to make money off of social media. I saw it back in LinkedIn back in the early days, I see it today. I saw it on Google Plus, I seen it on clubhouse. I see it all the time on Instagram. And it's this fascination that people have that there's just so many people there, there's got to be a great way to make money. And here's the thing, and I don't want to get to the conclusion before I go through the details. But you need to understand the difference between business and platform. Social media is not a business. I like everybody else. I wasn't in you know, social media for the money I, I joined LinkedIn, I ended up in between jobs, wrote a book and it launched my career. And I maybe I got lucky because I wasn't trying to sell something. And when you make social media, your business, that's your business, you're selling social media, you're selling social media training, you're selling social media classes, figure selling social media agency, that becomes the business. If you want to tie more and monetize social media, if you don't have a business to begin with. I remember early in my career, when I was giving local seminars about LinkedIn, and how to grow your network and what have you. And the senior consultant came up to me he goes, Well, why would a business want to hire you? And I went into the fact that I'm, you know, one of the few LinkedIn experts around the world, yada, yada, yada. But at the end of the day, what is the product or service that I'm selling? I thought well, I can be a consultant but without having any really firm understanding as to what I was going to be consulting on. Obviously, that changed soon thereafter, in 2010, when I launched my women's marketing, which is now called PDCA. Social my beginning as a social media marketing strategy consultancy, but like many I didn't know. So if you don't have a product or service to sell, you can't make money on social media, I think is really the logical way to look at it. It should be common sense. But I think too many people who still reach out to me the random DMS and stuff that I get on Instagram, they're still looking for this holy grail that that somehow social media generates money, it's not there. Now, what's interesting is you find a lot of people that build influence on various social media platforms, that becomes their product or service, like I said, so you have these people that amassed, you know, 10s of 1000s of followers on Instagram, what do they sell? They sell Instagram courses, which to me, it's like, well, how did you build your influence in the first place? But that's a whole other story. So that's the thing. If you want to monetize social media, and you don't have a product, you got to be really good at doing social media. You have to have case studies. You have to have experience means you have to have a clear way of guiding people that they can't get from all the other dozens, if not hundreds of experts that already out there, it is a very, very crowded space. And this is why you see, I think we've seen it most recently with clubhouse, where people flock to these new platforms say that they're an expert and try to monetize it before all the other people that say they're experts come to the platform. Pretty soon we'll probably have fireside experts or Twitter spaces experts or you know, name your social network. But that is the reality. Now, what's interesting is, you hear case studies of people that have done really well with social media, like how did this person make seven figures on LinkedIn or make six figures in Instagram, it's because they had a product, they ran a business, and social media was not the business, it was a platform for which they can promote their business. So if you think about it this way, if you're an entrepreneur listening, you have a product or a service. And you want to leverage digital marketing social media market as your growth engine. And this is pretty much what everybody in my digital first group coaching membership community is trying to do. You probably have tremendous IP, tremendous expertise, a great product, but you lack the platform. So you need to build a platform. And the two messages I want to send you one is what I've already talked about, but maybe the more important messages. Well, Neil, what do you mean by platform. And what I mean by platform is, if you really want to have impact in social media, you can't be everywhere at once, you got to pick your battles. And there's one really, really easy way of looking at this. What are you passionate about? And I say that, yes, it's a business. It's not about your passions, but the platforms to be active on a daily basis. And sure, you could outsource or hire someone to do it. So maybe it comes down to not your passions, but those of your marketing people or the people that work for you. But it's gonna come down to a few choices. One of the most obvious choices, is the content medium. Are you a video person? Are you a photo person? Are you an audio person? Like a speaker? Or are you a writer? And very often that's going to determine the path that we take at least the first path we take. For me it was blogging, started my blog, July 2008. I haven't looked back. What did I do next? Well, you could say I started this podcast in 2013. January, actually. And video for me is something that I am really trying to work on strategically this year. Much of the fruit of my video efforts you're not going to see until the remainder of this year. But even I cannot do all this at once and photos. Yeah, Instagram for me is sort of like my photo social network. Does it have impacted my business? Probably not. Is it great for relationship building? Absolutely. So it comes highly recommended. But what is it that you're going to do, because if you can figure out I mean, if you love taking photos, and you're really good at it, Instagram is going to be a great place. But those photos can be leveraged in other networks, like Facebook like LinkedIn. If you love video, YouTube is going to be a natural but maybe you'll get involved with Tick Tock and Instagram reels. If you love to write well, the no brainers, the blog, and if you love audio, the no brainers, the podcast, if you have one platform, or I should say one content medium, you can begin to build your platform to promote that. Now, each one of these content mediums that I talked about, are going to build very, very different platforms for you. YouTube, obviously has huge videos huge, you want to get the most impressions on Instagram, create a real, you want to get the most impressions out of any social network, create a tick tock, you want to access the second largest search engine, obviously create a video on YouTube. So videos huge, but it does require some special skills. I mean, you can hire someone for the skills, but people search on YouTube for utility or entertainment. And sometimes your content may not be interesting to them. Or like I said, it is resource intensive, and you may not be able to invest in it. Or you just don't like being in front of a camera. I mean, there's a lot of different things we can think about here. But YouTube is definitely I mean, if you like video, man, this is your age, this is your time to shine. Because there's so much you can do. And we know on other social networks like LinkedIn, or Twitter or Facebook, we know that video outperforms and video gives you the ability to also do live streaming, which as you build your platform can become truly invaluable. Now audio is a really interesting one that a lot of people skip over, but obviously you're listening to his podcast he already converted, and I'm a podcaster as well. So I'm converted and what's special about podcast and you could say the same for some YouTube channels. A lot of podcasts revolve around interviews. Maybe it's because the audio format, you can't see people maybe because when we're used to listening to the radio or to, you know, news, we're used to multiple voices. I don't know what it is. But I would say a majority of podcasts are 100% interviews, you know, not all of them. And a lot of them have interviews mixed with solo episodes, like mine. But the fact that it is a tool for interviews means it is a great networking vehicle. You want to build customers, interview them for your podcast, you want to engage with influencers, interview them for your podcast, it is a no brainer method of creating a platform while leveraging it to build relationships. Because guess what, people love to be interviewed on podcasts. It is what it is. It's sexy, people love it. And you could request the interview on YouTube, a lot of people are shy to be on camera. You could do a blog interview, but it's not the same as a podcast. So that is why podcasting. Although it may not have the demand, that written content in Google or video content, YouTube or video content anywhere in social media has, but it still plays a special role. And we've seen places like Spotify, when I was at podcast movement. I know I owe you a complete report, Facebook was there saying that they were going to make it easy for you to share your podcasts on Facebook as well with news funk functionality there. So clearly all the big businesses and amazon music and I mean, I can go on and on all the big businesses realize that audio is for real, and it helps you build relationships. Now, blogging, I'm going to talk about on another episode, because I have really been doubling down on blogging and I have seen the results, I see the results for my clients, blogging is not dead, there is so much bad content out there on the internet, there is so much bad content out there, in the first page of Google search rankings, go into Google type strategic keywords for your industry, that you should be number one for, look at what comes up, if you find that a few of the top 10 are just bad, or they're outdated, or they're irrelevant, you have to block. So I'm still a big believer in blogging. And if you could do two, video plus blog, podcast plus blog, you know, either one, but you're going to need a website anyway. So why not use the blog to attract more people to the website, it's really as simple as that. And then we have the photo. So you know, Instagram sort of come and gone. It's all about reels now. And even Instagram recently said, we're not a photo sharing app, it's just not as sexy as video. It doesn't retain people, as long as video does. Not to say that you can't use photography. For anything that you do even on YouTube. You need to create thumbnails, blogs, need blog cover images, and so do podcasts. And you know, there's a way to leverage photos for all that even outside of Instagram. But social on its own as a platform is getting harder and harder, unless you really invest a lot of time. Inside that platform. You hear about these clubhouse moderators that are really influential, they're spending several hours a day in clubhouse. If you spend several hours a day in any given social network, that's the type of platform building that you need to do. But you need to ask yourself is my time better invested in other areas where such as blogging or YouTube or podcasting where for that same time, I could record for videos or for podcasts or write two blog posts in the same day that I'd be spending three or four hours on any given social network. Now, if there's one social network that you might want to double down on, it isn't always has been LinkedIn. Because LinkedIn is where the professionals are, where the business people are, where true business influencers are. It's why well, there's other reasons, but in case you were curious, my digital first group community, we just launched a freemium model. And you can now join us in a free LinkedIn group, not a Facebook group, but a LinkedIn group. Just do a search for digital first on LinkedIn, you'll find it I hope you'll join us you get some sneak peeks as to who our members are what we talk about in our group coaching sessions, hopefully, that'll convince you or persuade you to become a paid member to my community. But if not, hey, love to make new friends, new connections, new relationships that benefits us all. But LinkedIn, obviously loves video. They love polls, too. I digress. There's a lot you can do with LinkedIn with video. because so few people do it. I mean, there's fewer people that do photos, even fewer numbers of people to do video. And every social network likes to push the video more than any other type of content, because it's engaging and it keeps people on the platform longer. So I've given you a few choices, but don't say Neal How do I monetize social media, I will ask you what is your product or service, if you do not have a product or service, stay the heck off unless you want to invest the time to learn it so well that you can offer your own services as an expert in that network. To me, it's really easy. It's about business. And it's why I build a team outsourcing many tasks. It's why I talked about content creation being a team effort. Because you should not be working in your business, you should be working on your business. And social media tends to Trump, a lot of people. And I have learned, like I said, building a very nimble team of hiring experts around the world that are really good at what they're good at. They're not good at everything. But they're really good at what they're good at. You can create some scale, and build a platform, which allows you to focus on your business. And that is how you leverage all this for your business. You yourself spending several hours a day in social media isn't does not scale. your blog posts, which you wrote today, might end up six months from now generating 1000s of visitors to your website. Even more than that, I mean, obviously depends on your industry, how to client, they stopped blogging, and six months later, their traffic from Google increased like 5x, we hear about it on YouTube, where all the sudden people's channels just start going crazy with downloads, because they've been consistent over a while. And but what I mean by consistent there is not spending four hours a day there, but consistently creating one or two or three videos a week, which probably won't even take you as long as spending three or four hours in another social network. And we hear the same with podcasts, these spikes that come when people find out about your podcast, a little bit of word of mouth, you go up in the rankings, and then boom, you start just getting tons of downloads. Don't build social media influence, build business, build influence, to build your business. Without business, any influential status that you have, has no meaning. Zip, I know you want me to say well, if you do this, you can monetize Well, you know, you can try to monetize things, you can start a YouTube channel and do ads, you can do the same with a blog, you can try to find sponsors for podcasts. But until you build an up big enough, the money is nothing. In fact, you cannot even monetize on YouTube. Unless you have 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of total play time, there's actually a quality control there. I'm still like 525 subscribers, and I have monetized my blog before, it's not a lot of money, you're gonna make way more money representing a company or yourself with a product or service. So let's not go down that rabbit hole. Let's understand social media for what it is. We have SEO, digital marketing, right? We have SEO, we have content marketing, we have, you know, pay per click, we have all these different things. And then somehow when it comes to social media, we just think differently about it. Like, you know, let's just spend a lot of time there, and it's gonna make a lot of money. But let's get that out of our heads today. And let's focus on our business first and social second. And how do we leverage social to build those relationships without the product and service? Sure, there's an ROI from building relationships with the product and service. That's where the ROI comes in. And whether it's someone that becomes an affiliate of yours, they become your employee, they become a customer, they become an advocate. I mean, there's so many roles that people can play in the growth of your business. But that to me, and the money you can make from being able to sell more products and service has way more value than you trying to monetize your own presence. I really wanted to create an episode that I can point people to when they asked me, Neil, how do I go about monetizing social? How do I monetize clubhouse? How do I monetize Instagram? To me? The answer is really, really simple. And I hope after listening to this episode, it is simple for you as well. Before we depart a few announcements here. Number one really happy to announce that this podcast has a new website where you can find all the show notes for all the episodes as well as transcripts, as well as the ability for you to make a request not just to be on my show, but to request topics to hear on my show. Go to podcast dot Neal schaffer.com you can actually search through all of my episodes. You know this is too You're 22 there's a lot of episodes to go through and find the exact one that might be able to help you that might be able to take your business to the next level. I also want to remind you, I mentioned it, this digital first LinkedIn group will have the link in the show notes. You can also just go to LinkedIn, do a search in LinkedIn groups for digital first, and you should be able to find it, we'd love to have you there. And that's it for another episode of The Maximizer social influence podcast. I really appreciate you listening to the end, and all of your support. I hope if you enjoyed this podcast and if you haven't subscribed, you will press that subscribe button so that you do not miss any of our future episodes. Alright, everybody, that's a take for today. Until next time, make it a great virtual social day. Bye bye everybody and SEO nada