the school of influence podcast with Amanda Russell and Neal Schaffer

History of The School of Influence Podcast

I had a chance to get to know influencer marketing professor and author of The Influencer Code Amanda Russell as she was preparing for the launch of her book.

Amanda is an influencer-turned-influencer marketing professor, who, like many other influencers, originally built her platform on YouTube and more recently Instagram. However, if you listened to my interview with Amanda on my own Maximize Your Social Influence podcast, you’ll know that she is A LOT more than that!

I asked her what would be her “platform” to try to reach readers for The Influencer Code, which she was targeting business leaders and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) for. I mentioned the potential for doing something on YouTube or a blog, but when I mentioned launching a podcast she wanted to know more about it.

I basically explained to her the same process I used when I launched our podcast, which I literally filmed a video for and published on YouTube:

I then offered to join her as a co-host, and BOOM! The School of Influence podcast was born!

What The School of Influence Podcast is All About

While my Maximize Your Social Influence podcast is primarily a 1/2 solo, 1/2 interview show focused on helping marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses in digital marketing through the lens of influence, The School of Influence takes a different approach and is currently 100% interview-focused.

We bring in successful leaders in business and other experts to interview understand why some people or brands command cult-like followings while others struggle to stay afloat. Why do some people rise to social media stardom, while others can’t get anywhere?

The answer: Influence.

But is it a genetic trait or something you can learn?

What is their influence derived from?

And what are the takeaways that we can implement in our business and/or personal branding?

We aim, through our podcast, to bring you the answers with concise, no nonsense interviews of top influencers across categories. We aim to ask the tough questions, to get the real, raw answers that you can put into practice TODAY.

No fluff, no BS, just the real story!

Who We Have Interviewed

Although we just started out, we have been able to interview some amazing people, including:

  • Former #1 World Tennis Player Andy Roddick
  • New York Times Best Selling Author Jesse Itzler
  • Lamborghini CMO Katia Bassi
  • and many more who I will add here as we publish their episodes!

While Maximize Your Social Influence is still open for applications to speak (you can apply here), we are not currently not accepting applications for The School of Influence as we work through our list of people that WE want to interview. Check back here often for updates should we begin to accept applications sometime in the future…

Below is a listing of our latest podcast episodes which you can listen right here on this page or through your favorite podcast app. You can also subscribe to hear all of my episodes on the following platforms:

Maximize Your Social Influence Podcast on Apple Podcasts Maximize Your Social Influence podcast on Spotify Maximize Your Social Influence podcast on Google Podcasts

Table of Contents
  1. History of The School of Influence Podcast
  2. What The School of Influence Podcast is All About
  3. Who We Have Interviewed
  4. Newest Podcast Episodes
    1. 23: How an Olympic Athlete Took a Flywheel Approach to Building Influence Across Broadcasting Platforms and Social Media
    2. 22: Hollywood Entertainment Host and Reporter Jezlan Moyet on the Celebrity Influencer
    3. 21: How to Grow Your Audience: I Have a Great Idea, and All the Expertise, Now How Do I Get the World to Know?
    4. 20: The King of Hollywood’s Take on Influence with Founder of E! Entertainment Larry Namer
    5. 19: Ann Handley on Building Influence through Content
    6. 18: The Future of Online Influence: Virtual Influencers, Memes and what EVERY business needs to know about it
    7. 17: What is Influencer Management – and What Brands Need to Know About It!
    8. 16: Miri Rodriguez on Building Influence Company-Wide through Storytelling
    9. 15: Dave Kerpen on the Importance of Building Likeable Influence
    10. 14: Rand Fishkin, Founder of MOZ and CEO of SparkToro, on Building Influence through Building Technology to Help People
    11. 13: Serial Founder/Investor of PELOTON and ACTIVE, Dave Alberga, on Silent Influence and How to Leverage It for Astronomical Business Impact
    12. 12: How Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Layke Became an Entrepreneur and Industry Influencer
    13. 11: Founder of ‘Women in Influencer Marketing’ (WIIM) Gives Her Thoughts on Influencer Marketing
    14. 10: John Lee Dumas: The Common Path to Uncommon Success
    15. 09: Barry’s Bootcamp CEO Joey Gonzalez Explains the Human Science of Influence
    16. 08: Shane Vitaly, Founder, Vitaly: Breaking the Rules to Build a Mini Empire – and Influence a New Category of Brand
    17. 07: Jen Groover: Think You Know How to Influence? Think Again
    18. 06: Carmax Co-Founder Austin Ligon on The Gold Standard of Branding
    19. 05: Nigel Barker: America’s Next Top Influencer
    20. 04: Zico Coconut Water Founder Mark Rampolla on Deep and Narrow Influence
    21. 03: Lamborghini CMO Katia Bassi on the Brand as Influencer
    22. 02: Jesse Itzler on How to Build an Influential Life Resume
    23. 01: Andy Roddick on Influence
    24. 00: Introducing The School of Influence Podcast [Trailer]

Newest Podcast Episodes

23: How an Olympic Athlete Took a Flywheel Approach to Building Influence Across Broadcasting Platforms and Social Media

What does it take to become one of the most respected influencers in the highly competitive space of fitness? Caroline Pearce has done it all, from world class athlete to the host across some of the biggest broadcasting platforms for sports (ESPN and SKY), to being the face and chief educator of several top equipment and nutrition brands – and they all work and support each other. Caroline had to take a major pivot with the rise of social media. How was she to stay relevant in world where instagram followers was valued more than expertise, credentials and training? Well, she has mastered it! And been able to combine both traditional and social media, and forge partnerships worthy of ‘best of’ case studies. Find out how she did it, and how you can too. This episode is so inspiring, you won’t want to miss it!
For more information:

22: Hollywood Entertainment Host and Reporter Jezlan Moyet on the Celebrity Influencer

Host of good morning LA LA land and Fanvestor Report talks about the hustle to garner the mainstream spotlight in traditional media.
For more information:

21: How to Grow Your Audience: I Have a Great Idea, and All the Expertise, Now How Do I Get the World to Know?

This week Neal and Amanda do something a little different! They speak to renowned Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Stanford Continuing Studies Instructor Dr. Allan Mishra, who has been working to grow his side hustle into a full-fledged business. Dr Mishra asks Neal and Amanda for advice. If you are an entrepreneur, or just looking for guidance on how to grow your audience, this is the episode for you.
For more information:

20: The King of Hollywood’s Take on Influence with Founder of E! Entertainment Larry Namer

This is the man that created the $4 billion television network E! which pioneered the entertainment of mainstream celebrities. But what many don’t know are the bigger ventures he’s scaled all over the world, from China to Russia – there are few people that hold more influence than Larry Namer. In this candid interview, we ask Larry about what he’s learned about influence, who has it, how to achieve it, and his strategies for observing popular cultures anywhere in the world and then being able to create content that is relevant in that country.
For more information:

19: Ann Handley on Building Influence through Content

Ann Handley, co-founder of MarketingProfs, began her career as a journalist, and her roots in storytelling and understanding the needs of her audience helped her launch a media business which has since evolved into becoming the premiere destination for professionals and educators to learn and get training for marketing, The best-selling author of two books, The Content Code and Everybody Writes, Ann continues to trail blaze the path forward for enterprises and professionals on how to create content that connects in a deep way. Learn all about how Ann built her influence through and content and how you and your company can as well.
For more information:

18: The Future of Online Influence: Virtual Influencers, Memes and what EVERY business needs to know about it

When Mark Cuban calls YOU ask for an investment in your company, you know you have a pulse on influencer marketing, not to mention a truly influential company! But when you look at what Shep and his company have accomplished in just 3 short years, it’s no surprise. He has spearheaded the growth of cult-like communities for some of the world’s fastest-growing brands, known for creating the most unique and sought-after campaigns which have driven actionable engagement, billions of impressions, and sparked massive trends across social media. There is so much value in every minute of this interview you may want to grab a pen and takes notes. No matter what you are currently doing, you will benefit from this perspective because this future is already upon on.


For more information:

17: What is Influencer Management – and What Brands Need to Know About It!

The world of talent management is very confusing – even people who do it have trouble explaining it. And if you’ve ever reached out to a celebrity or social media star, chances are you may have been passed along to some agent or manager. In my experience, this is often where the buck stops, as many marketers get turned off. But having had a talent manager myself back when I (Amanda Russell) was in the fitness world, the power of a great one can be a game changer for both the brands and the influencer . It doesn’t necessarily mean the influencer is going to cost you a fortune, or that you cannot form a real and personal relationship, quite the opposite is true. The key comes to navigating how to get through what I like to call the golden gatekeeper. To do this you need to understand their role and how to connect with them first.

Johanna Voss represents a number of highly successful influencers ranging in categories from lifestyle to finance, and she gives perspective on how to navigate the waters of managers and agents, and what marketers need to know about working with them.

For more information:

16: Miri Rodriguez on Building Influence Company-Wide through Storytelling

Miri Rodriguez went from a Community Manager to becoming one of Microsoft’s top influencers and Storytellers. Now she is the author of Brand Storytelling and advises other companies how to bring out the stories from their employees. Listen in as Miri teaches you about the unique connection between storytelling and influence.

15: Dave Kerpen on the Importance of Building Likeable Influence

New York Times Best-Selling author Dave Kerpen emerged as a major marketing influencer out of nowhere with his Likeable brand, books, and successful agency. Dave explains the importance of branding and relationships in building and sustaining influence.

14: Rand Fishkin, Founder of MOZ and CEO of SparkToro, on Building Influence through Building Technology to Help People

Rand Fishkin did not wake up one day and decided he was going to build one of the leading SEO software platforms. He has been on a mission to help people, whether it is search engine optimization with MOZ or making market research accessible to everyone through SparkToro. Rand shares his incredible entrepreneurial journey and is a living testament that nice guys don’t always finish last.

13: Serial Founder/Investor of PELOTON and ACTIVE, Dave Alberga, on Silent Influence and How to Leverage It for Astronomical Business Impact

Whether it’s A-list celebrities looking to launch their own brands or successful entrepreneurs looking for advice, there is one person they call: Dave Alberga. Dave is the silent and humble influence behind many of the biggest brands you know. It seems as if anything he touches turns to success, and for the first time ever, he opens up about the factors he believe have led to this. His answers will surprise and delight you.

12: How Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Layke Became an Entrepreneur and Industry Influencer

In business, ambitious people either aspire to become an influential leader in their industry, or grow a company into greatness, Dr John Layke managed to do both, and he is far from stopping. What has been his formula to translate influence across categories? Find out in this riveting interview.

11: Founder of ‘Women in Influencer Marketing’ (WIIM) Gives Her Thoughts on Influencer Marketing

Jessy Grossman not only manages influencer talent, she also founded the rapidly growing community of women marketers. Her view of influencer marketing comes from the lens of influencers as social media content creators.

10: John Lee Dumas: The Common Path to Uncommon Success

How does one become an influencer in a crowded online space and launch a successful business? John Lee Dumas began as a podcaster and now generates 7 figures from a variety of digital and physical products. His Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast is one of the most popular business podcasts of all time. JLD shares what he has learned on his entrepreneurial journey and a culmination of his analysis with his new book, The Common Path to Uncommon Success.

09: Barry’s Bootcamp CEO Joey Gonzalez Explains the Human Science of Influence

Barry’s Bootcamp CEO Joey Gonzalez explains the human science that enabled them to influence the way people work out, and got celebrities flocking to them!

Joey shares how Barry’s Bootcamp changed the game for fitness and created a cult-like following with an audience that includes Hollywood’s top A-list celebrities flocking to them and bragging about it. Not an easy feat, but Joey reveals exactly how they did it, starting with building the infrastructure.

08: Shane Vitaly, Founder, Vitaly: Breaking the Rules to Build a Mini Empire – and Influence a New Category of Brand

The motorcycle-driving, tattoo loving classic ‘bad boy look’ that Shane Vitaly had rocked since his anti-authoritarian childhood was not a likely candidate to create a global jewelry brand…for men! And yet by age 34 he boasts an 8 figure (and vastly growing) empire. In addition to the complete story of how he built his kingdom, he talks about identifying influencers early on and the role it has played in scaling his business.

07: Jen Groover: Think You Know How to Influence? Think Again

In the professional and private spheres, we are constantly searching for ways to maximize our influence. In this interview, Jen Groover challenges the old persuasion styles of marketing that hold most people and business back from actualizing their growth potential. She argues that influence is something that can be learned but it starts with a transformation in how we think.

06: Carmax Co-Founder Austin Ligon on The Gold Standard of Branding

Austin Ligon has demonstrated influence at the highest level, the ability to not simply launch a new product, but an entirely new concept, in an industry peppered with skepticism: buying cars. Our conversation with him covers his time as cofounder of CarMax from its inception to his retirement in 2006. Since then, we discuss his key roles in other ventures as director of Redfin, Rev.com, CarTrade and Startup Angels. He continues to influence aspiring leaders by serving on the board of St. John College, Yale School of Management and University of Texas, Plan II Honors Program. As one of the inaugural members of the UT Texas Fellows, 2018, he mentors others who aspire to new heights in their own roles as influencers. His perspective of leadership and active engagement is inspiring to all.

05: Nigel Barker: America’s Next Top Influencer

The man who literally broke the ‘model’ for what it means to be a fashion photographer. Having worked with every major iconic face of our time, Nigel not only understands influence, he has amassed what can be considered industry-changing influence – from prime time reality shows to furniture collections, clothing labels and gyms, the man knows what it takes to grow one’s brand, no matter the space.

04: Zico Coconut Water Founder Mark Rampolla on Deep and Narrow Influence

We often think of influence as being about individuals with large followings, but Rampolla makes the case for leveraging all stakeholders as strategic key influencers. Rather than large followings, he argues the value of going deep and narrow with influencer engagement.

03: Lamborghini CMO Katia Bassi on the Brand as Influencer

Lamborghini CMO Katia Bassi has paved a new way of defining influence from her leadership. Learn why “Brands should inspire to expand people’s cultural horizons”.

02: Jesse Itzler on How to Build an Influential Life Resume

Jesse Itzler on what it REALLY takes to achieve INFLUENCE (and it’s NOT experience).

01: Andy Roddick on Influence

Andy Roddick talks about no longer cringing at the word ‘influencer’, and how to leverage fame to create greater social good influence.

00: Introducing The School of Influence Podcast [Trailer]

Listen to influencer marketing authors and professors Amanda Russell and Neal Schaffer talk about why they are launching The School of Influence podcast and why you should be excited enough to hit the subscription button and listen in!

Maximize Your Social Influence Podcast on Apple Podcasts Maximize Your Social Influence podcast on Spotify Maximize Your Social Influence podcast on Google Podcasts