Welcome to the site of Neal Schaffer. The purpose of this page is to give you an introduction to who I am, how I have been helping professionals and businesses, how I can help you, and some additional resources for your reference.
We all have a book to write about our life, and I am no different. I think it is especially important for businesses to understand those professionals that they engage with as speakers, consultants, or influencers, and that is why I want to be completely transparent as to who I am and why I do why I do. I hope that other speakers and influencers follow suit and become more transparent as to who they are as well.
If you want to fast forward to any particular section of this page, here are some shortcut links:
- Who is Neal Schaffer?
- My Professional Background before Social Media
- My Professional Background Since Social Media
- My First Book and Windmill Networking
- My First Speaking Engagements
- The Launch of My Social Media Strategy Consulting Business
- Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing
- Maximize Social Business
- Maximize Your Social
- University Educator
- Social Tools Summit
- My Social Media Agency PDCA Social
- The Rebranding of Neal Schaffer
- The Age of Influence
- Digital First Group Coaching Membership Community
- What’s Next?
- How I Help Businesses and Professionals Today
- Where to Get Started in Learning Digital and Social Media Marketing
- Professional Recognition
- What would you like to do now?
- Want to learn more about me? Check out some of these videos:
- Customer Testimonials
- Selected Mentions of Neal Schaffer in the Media
Let’s begin with who I am.
Who is Neal Schaffer?
For a quick summary of who I am you probably want to check out this video of mine which gives a snapshot summary of myself:
My official bio that I use when I speak at conferences looks like this:
Neal Schaffer’s Official Bio
Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular social media speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in March, 2020 will publish his 4th book, The Age of Influence – The Power of Influencers to Elevate Your Brand (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.
My official speaker’s reel gives you a feel for my presence on stage and what I talk about as a speaker:
That’s a LOT for a first-time visitor to digest! So let’s take a step back and let me introduce you to who I am as a person and how I got to be who I am and where I am today.
My Personal Background
We all have a story to tell, so this is mine. Part of why I will go into a thorough background of myself is not only to tell you why I am who I am and what are the past experiences I utilize when helping people and companies, but also to help connect my own dots, as made famous by Steve Jobs’ famous Stanford University speech:
My Early Days
I was born the 5th of 5 sons to my parents and grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. My father was a learning specialist in our local school district and soon became an elementary school teacher. When I was young I remember visiting my dad’s Kindergarten and 1st grade classes at the local elementary school.
Needless to say education was something that was top priority in our household.
Since my dad started by teaching children with reading disabilities, he came up with innovative ways to educate them by making reading FUN. He often created his own teaching materials for his classrooms, and other teachers thought they were so good that they borrowed them.
Then my father had an idea: Why not create a “textbook” filled with all of his best worksheets and bring them to the California Teacher’s Association annual conference to see how many he could sell? I still remember collating his first book, putting metal fasteners in the page holes to make it appear as a “book.” That weekend my father sold out of the 200 books he brought to the conference, and Frank Schaffer Publications was born.
I bring up this story to point out two things that you should know about me:
- Going back to my roots and connecting the dots, I have the DNA of an educator, someone who truly wants to help others succeed.
- I have an entrepreneurial bug that I caught looking at the role model of my father. This “bug” is what drives me to do more everyday, both for my own business as well as for all of the clients I work with.
Those two parts of me wouldn’t manifest themselves until later in life. Growing up I enjoyed sports and music, playing AYSO soccer in elementary school, joining a long-distance cycling club in middle school,. and running cross country in high school. I played the violin elementary and middle school and transformed my violin into an electric one in high school where I played in a band and even was featured on two tracks on a vinyl piece called “The Mighty Feeble.”
While visual social media has become an important part of my job today, I became fascinated with and a student of the original social media: art. More specifically I became intrigued by art history, and even in high school I was taking extension courses on art history at UCLA, had the school create an art history AP class for me, and after entering college actually did two internships at museums: The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York City) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles).
My College Days
I fast-forwarded a bit there, but after graduating from high school, while most of my friends stayed in California, I decided to take the road less traveled and attend a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts, Amherst College. It is from that college that I graduated, but it’s also the time when I had the most impactful event that would influence the direction of my life.
Before attending Amherst, at high school most of my friends were Asian-American. My high school class was about 30% Asian-American, but that number was much higher in the classes I was taking. Most of my friends became Japanese-American, Chinese-American, and Korean-American, and I was already attending birthday parties in high school where I was the only non-Asian-American. In parallel with my journey in art history, I decided to also seek and learn more about the culture and history of my friends and their descendants. I decided that I would do this by learning an Asian language in college and then spending my Junior Year Abroad in an Asian country to further learn the language.
I mention this because in parallel to studying art history, I was also studying Mandarin Chinese. I took my first two years at Amherst with a teacher from Taiwan, and thus I was schooled in traditional Chinese characters, much more complex than the simplified Chinese characters introduced by Mao Ze Dong in mainland China. It is also why, although my junior year abroad exchange program was with Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China, I first did a summer school intensive Chinese program at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan.
That summer in Taiwan was one of the best of my life. The people, the culture, the food, the country … it was an amazing experience. I made many friends who I would visit after traveling to Beijing, and I learned very much how to study a foreign language by simply making many local friends and having as many local experiences as I could. This method of studying foreign language is exactly the same approach I take with social media: Like a foreign language, unless you become an avid user and passionate member of the community, you will never master it. Listen to my podcast on that very subject here:
My First Near-Death Experience (Taiwan)
While I had an awesome time, I did have my first near-death experience in Taiwan that summer. I went with friends to see the famous sunrise from Alishan Mountain, but due to a typhoon that hit the island, all transportation was stopped. We had to literally walk several miles down the mountain to the nearest town. While walking down the mountain road, we found one stretch of road that had been washed out. It was about a 30 meter stretch with the only way getting to the other side was by straddling the rain gutters to the side of the road which somehow survived the torrential rains.
As I was straddling the rain gutter trying not to look down at the 15 meter or so drop, all I could think was about getting to the other side safely. Amazingly all 10 or so of us got to the other side safely, but it was an experience that I still remember today that drives me to make the most out of every day I am here on this Earth.
That was until I had another, more terrifying near-death experience that Junior year in Beijing, China.
My Second Near-Death Experience (China)
My roommate and I decided to go to the beautiful city of Harbin in northeast China to see their famous ice lantern festival, where lights are placed inside of beautiful ice sculptures for an amazing site. If you have never heard of this check out this video below for highlights of a recent festival!
We got to Harbin early and decided to check out the city. Being close to the Russian border near Siberia, needless to say it was a cold city! That was where I saw, for the first time in my life, a huge river that was completely frozen by the icy temperatures: The Heilongjiang River!
To get a feel for how large this river is, check out this video which shows how they harvest ice from the river for the ice festival mentioned above:
I had a habit of taking selfies with my camera, long before selfies existed, so imagine being on a huge frozen river with my roommate looking for a location to place the camera for a self-timed photo! And then I saw some boats harbored in the frozen river, a perfect location to place my camera for the photo!
I still vividly remember placing my camera on the boat, running back to join my roommate in the photo, hearing the camera take the photo, and then walking back to get the camera.
With camera in hand I walked back to my roommate, and that is when I felt the ground below me start to fall.
It was as if I was in a slow-motion movie, but I distinctly remember the ice under me breaking, and I was slowly falling into a very deep river.
As I was waist deep in frozen water, I reached out at the ice surrounding me, trying to get a grasp and somehow protect myself from going any deeper into the frozen river.
Somehow – and to this day I still consider it a miracle – the ice around me did not break and I was able to pull myself out of the water with my own strength. My roommate cautioned me to walk around the hole so as not to further widen it, and I was able to get back to where my roommate was standing and back to ground for safety.
Life can flash by you in a second, and when I hear about children that die falling into ice holes on lakes and rivers, I shudder thinking that could have been me.
That was one more experience that taught me that every day should be lived to its fullest as if it might be your last.
Until that point I was still planning on being an art history major and working in an art museum after graduation – until a historic event happened in Beijing, China just a few months after my near-death experience in Harbin.
The Historical Event That Changed My Life
It all started on an average day in April of that school year, just a few weeks from finishing my Junior year abroad in Beijing: A high-ranking Communist Party official who was revered by college students because he was a fellow intellectual had died. People began going to Tian An Men Square to lay wreaths in mourning of the passing of this great man.
And then the demonstrations began.
There are many historical factors that go into what became know as the Tian An Men Demonstrations leading up to the Tian An Men Incident, but all I saw were demonstrations first by university students in Beijing – and later by average people in Beijing – growing with each day. My university happened to be the closest one to Tian An Men Square, so often student demonstrators would march by my university where our students would join them and then walk to Tian An Men Square, an 8 kilometer walk!
I frequented Tian An Men Square at this time and was always able to strike up a conversation with Chinese people around me. It was an incredible time to learn more about China but also teach about what it was like to grow up and live in the United States.
As it turns out, my memories of the demonstrations were all peaceful – my university ended up closing down early for the summer because of the demonstrations. I decided to go back to Taiwan for the summer, and it was on that 2-day train ride from Beijing to Guangzhou when the then Prime Minister of China announced martial law in Beijing. I had witnessed all of the peaceful and largest demonstrations, but after I left Beijing things had definitely turned violent…
Fast forward to a month after the Tian An Men Incident when I returned to Beijing to meet my roommate and friends for a pre-planned Silk Road Tour. I was the only one of the group to return, and I returned to a city where the military was marching on the train platform, the streets were empty, and gunshots could be heard at night.
I came back to a city that was void of life, where all of the incredible energy I had witnesses had been sapped from it. It was unreal. For those of you who might not remember what happened during those times, this is a good summary taken straight from interviews of those who participated as well as other historic footage:
It was at that point that I realized that art history was very much removed from what I had witnesses over the last several weeks. I wanted to have a mission in life where I could serve others on a daily basis, and in my own way contribute to world peace.
I vowed to return to China at some point, but since most foreign companies pulled their investments out of China, that wouldn’t happen for several years…
After that Silk Road Tour that I ended up going on a month later with my roommate and friends, I stopped off in a country on my way back to the United States that would forever change the course of my life.
The Japan Connection
A lot of people know that I do business in and travel frequently to Japan, but until now I’ve only mentioned China. It is true that I learned Mandarin Chinese before Japanese, but how, when, and where does Japan fit into the equation?
When I went to study Chinese in China, it was not a popular language to study as it is today. The Japanese class at Amherst College had a few times more students than the “niche” and at the time unpopular Chinese class did at the time. Why? Because it was the time of the “bubble” in Japan when Japanese companies were aggressively expanding globally and their economy was at a peak.
My Japan connection actually started in China, for my roommate – and a majority of the foreign exchange students living in the same dormitory – were from Japan. Through my roommate I was able to make friends with many of those Japanese foreign students, and some of these relationships remain to this day. It was in China where I was introduced to Japan and Japanese culture, and thus on my way back to the United States, I decided to pay my roommate a visit in Kawasaki, Japan, where he invited me to stay at his house for a week.
That week changed my perspective on life. While China was dark and gloomy at the time, Japan was booming – and was FUN! I thought to myself, “If China is the future of the global economy, Japan is one of the leaders in TODAY’s economy. So why not learn Japanese senior year at Amherst College and then start my career in Japan? After a few years in Japan I can move back to China and grow my career there.”
And that is EXACTLY what I did!
I went back to Amherst College, excelled at Japanese – probably due to the fact that learning Chinese had made it easier for me to learn foreign languages, especially those with Chinese characters – and then invested my Christmas break to see friends from Beijing in Japan.
At the same time I reached out to a number of Japanese companies that advertised in a magazine I found in my career center, letting them know that I would be in Japan over winter break and would love to meet with them.
Only one of the companies I reached out responded, and that would be the company I began my career with after graduating from college: ROHM Semiconductor, headquartered in the ancient capital city of Kyoto, Japan, where I would live for my first 9 years after graduating from Amherst.
After a summer at the International Christian University in Tokyo, I began my career in the Finance Division at the headquarters of ROHM Semiconductor in Kyoto, Japan.
My Professional Background before Social Media
Whenever you work with or hire someone with expertise in digital or social media marketing, it’s important to understand their professional background before social media, assuming they are old enough to have worked before the advent of social. The reason why is that this will paint a picture as to what their unique perspective to social is. You can only work based on your experiences, and these experiences influence how you will help businesses with their social media marketing.
This is my story as my professional experience before social media is what provides me to have the unique perspective on social that I have.
I began my career at ROHM as the first full-time foreign employee at this 2+ billon dollar global revenue company. Starting with two years of experience in finance, I moved over to business planning, helping establish a new logistical infrastructure for our sales office in Singapore as well as a new factory in Dalian, China while also navigating potential joint ventures in China.
I always wanted to move into sales, and finally had my chance, beginning with working to support our Singapore sales in the Asian Sales department and then chosen to launch our sales offices in China. At 27, I became the youngest person in company history to become a Team Leader (係長 in Japanese).
I flourished in China, being able to leverage both my language skills as well as understanding of Chinese culture and society. From zero brand recognition I established a sales presence for ROHM in China, creating 3 sales offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Dalian and managing a staff of over a dozen while generating tens of millions of dollars of sales from scratch.
My experience at ROHM deeply impacted my views on social media from the following two things:
- It was at ROHM where as part of my employee training I learned about the Deming Circle, or PDCA Cycle. This is the source of the framework that I would use to develop social media strategies later in life and become the centerpiece that I talk about in my Maximize Your Social book as well as how I run my marketing agency, which is appropriately named PDCA Social.
- Doing business in China without any previous brand recognition and zero marketing support meant that I had to take an extremely holistic perspective on business. There as no cookie-cutter formula for generating business in China; on the contrary, it really was based on relationships and partnerships, and when you helped other people there, they never forgot about you. This was where I got my first extremely holistic business experience that would impact my views on sales and marketing as well as digital and social media until today.
ROHM was never a household name in Japan, but their Christmas night-time illuminations became the talk of the town and are now the biggest in Kyoto. You can check them out here:
Proctor & Gamble
If you were to look at my LinkedIn profile, you would not see me having any work experience at P&G. This is true. But after working at ROHM for more than eight years and realizing that although I lived in Japan for that span, my track record at succeeding in business was in China and not Japan, I wanted to create a successful track record in Japan.
Due to different salary structures, I realized my best bet was to work with a foreign equity company, and I immediately had offers from a few different American companies.
One of those was Proctor & Gamble, who had their Asia headquarters in Kobe, Japan at the time. As P&G only traditionally took new employees straight out of university or with only a few years of work experience, I would have been exception to the rule. I got an offer to become a product marketer and help promote sales of their Bounce product for clothes drying.
While I did not take the offer on the table for various reasons, I did learn that consumer brands spent a lot of money on focus groups trying to understand the needs of people. Since the advent of social media, I have been arguing that social media is one big focus group, should you use it in such a way and have the right tools and talent to gather and analyze the data.
I ended up taking a new position to launch a Western Japan Sales Office for the embedded software company Wind River in Osaka. Previously at ROHM I had sold semiconductors and other hardware to consumer electronics, telecommunications, etc. manufacturers in China. This new role at Wind River would have me do the same thing but selling the software that runs on those chips and to companies in Japan.
My stint at Wind River ended up being a short one – shortly after entering the company we merged with our biggest competitor who had an equal size staff in Japan, and the organization and roles changed significantly.
Wind River, by the way, would end up being bought out by Intel.
However, being at Wind River did give me the opportunity to get exposed to many other companies in the industry, one of which, a partner company, became my new employer.
Espial was a startup out of Ottawa, Canada developing embedded Java software for consumer electronics devices and trying to get into that tornado of exponential growth that startups need to later cross the chasm. They were making headways in the United States and Europe but Asia had lagged behind. I was hired to be their Regional VP of Sales covering the Asia Pacific and, in essence, launching business from scratch for them as I had done for ROHM in China.
I flourished at Espial and over the next few years went from zero sales to generating more than 1/4 of global sales from Asia. I continued with my holistic way of doing business in Asia, often wearing many hats as well, and had new experiences in doing business not only in China and Japan but in Korea and Taiwan as well.
The seven years I spent at Espial further prepared me well for understanding how to generate business from scratch with zero brand recognition in competitive foreign markets. This is the professional experience and business acumen that I brought with me as social media as an industry found me.
Note that all of this professional experience before social media is primarily that of B2B sales, but having to wear many hats running sales offices means that I was also involved in marketing, business development, recruiting, customer support – pretty much everything we needed to do to launch and grow our business in Asia.
There was one more professional experience I had before relaunching my career in social media…
It was my role at DataPath that would be destined to bring me into social media.
Before getting hired at DataPath, I found myself back from living in Asia for more than a decade and being in transition for the first time here in the United States. My professional network was either overseas or dispersed around the country, not based locally in Southern California. This is where I began to use LinkedIn religiously to help network both locally and within my industry.
While LinkedIn was not instrumental in helping me find my job back then as it was still early days for social media in general, after I found my job at DataPath I decided to launch a blog. During my few months in transition I had become an active member of many LinkedIn Groups as well as responded to many questions on the now-defunct LinkedIn Answers. I wanted to utilize my experience to help build my network, so I decided that putting my knowledge about LinkedIn into a blog would help me to efficiently network well into the future even after finding my job. It was when I got my job offer when I actually launched my blog on WordPress.com through a WordPress application inside LinkedIn that used to be supported inside the app.
I launched my blog on July 10, 2008, and it was called “Expert Answers to Your LinkedIn Questions.” As you can see, I entered social media without any career objective and just wanted to add value where I could. While not all of my blog posts have survived the times, my first three posts are still live on my site:
- How to Build My Network on LinkedIn? Here’s 15 Ways to Grow Your LinkedIn Network
- What is a LinkedIn LION?
- What is a LinkedIn IDK? And Why Should I Care?
3 1/2 months after I was hired at DataPath, the company went through a restructure and I was once again back in transition. This was the first time this has ever happened to me, and because I am passionate about what I do, it really stung. I realized that I had to create something that no one could ever take away from me. My answer to that was My Personal Brand.
My Professional Background Since Social Media
While in transition I continued to blog and found inspiration to do so while networking on LinkedIn. I also began to network more frequently offline locally in Orange County, California, and became known as the LinkedIn expert. All of these online and offline networking experiences fueled my blog content, which I was beginning to see increases in both web traffic from as well as comments and engagements online.
My First Book and Windmill Networking
As the author of 3 and soon-to-be 4 books, it may sound odd when I tell you that I never planned to become an author, and I certainly never thought that I would make a career out of social media. But that is the truth.
Being in transition for an extended time living outside of field of domain expertise here in the United States during a global economic meltdown meant that career opportunities were few to find. On the other hand, I began to regularly blog with the free time I had now in parallel to accelerating the online networking activities on LinkedIn as well as my local networking here in Southern California.
At one point I distinctly remember my wife asking me, “Why don’t you write a book?” At the time, ebooks were the rage in Japan (my wife is Japanese), but I never thought of myself as an author.
One day I went into my blogs and wrote an outline of a book on LinkedIn that I might write. It turns out that 25% of the chapters that I would write for the book were already published as part of my blog! Perhaps writing a book wouldn’t be so hard after all…
At that time, my only interest was to get the book published, so I decided to go the self-publishing route. Compared to those times, it was much harder to find services and resources to help self-published authors. Fortunately Amazon had bought had a firm called Booksurge which helped self-authors, and once I saw that it was easy to do, my new book, “Windmill Networking: Understanding, Leveraging and Maximizing LinkedIn.”
It was also at this time that I rebranded my blog and move from a WordPress.com domain to WordPress.org and my own domain. I wanted to build a brand bigger than who I was, and the concept of Windmill Networking that I had created made it a natural choice. Thus, my blog was reborn on windmillnetworking.com.
My First Speaking Engagements
I already had my first speaking engagement prior to the publication of my first book back in September of 2009, but it was the publication of that book which put me on the radar for a number of local speaking events here in Southern California.
The turning point was when I spoke on LinkedIn at the Gravity Summit at UCLA in front of hundreds of people in December of 2009.
The Launch of My Social Media Strategy Consulting Business
A combination of publishing my first book, local networking, and speaking led to the culmination of being asked for social media help by four different businesses over the span of two weeks in January, 2010. These four businesses were from a variety of industries and included:
- an asset management firm (financial services)
- one of the schools at the University of California at Irvine (education)
- a startup creating a new social search engine (information technology)
- a provider of landscaping hardware and services (gardening)
At that time I didn’t have a business model nor prior professional experience, and social media as well was very much in its infancy. However, after speaking with these four businesses, I came to the conclusion that these companies needed then what they still need now vis a vis social media marketing: Strategy and Education.
Since I never had an agency background, I never offered to “do” their social media for them. I also thought that any company’s social media should be done internally by themselves when possible. What would I put in a proposal and how much would I charge to help them?
That’s where I created my signature Social Media Strategy Consulting program. It’s also where, when looking for a framework for social media strategy that didn’t exist at the time, I went back and connected the dots to learning about PDCA, and thus that became the basis for every social media strategy I have written since.
It is also interesting that at this very same time, right when I received the draft contract for my first social media strategy customer from my lawyer,
I ended up selling this program to dozens of companies over the years, but it consisted of a few meetings where I learned about each company’s objectives and branding. It was also through these meetings where a lot of the education aspects that I was able to provide companies were implemented.
The meetings culminated in the creation of a comprehensive social media marketing strategy which was tens of pages long and customized in every aspect for each customer.
Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing
2010 was a busy year for my social media strategy consulting. It’s also the year where I decided to graduate from just being a LinkedIn expert and build up authority on other social networking sites. My clients needed me to advise them on which social networks were best for them to participate on, regardless of what expertise I might have. This is why I never wanted to become an expert on just one thing and stick to a particular niche. I thought it wasn’t aligned with customer demand.
On the other hand, as social media marketing became my career, I realized that “Windmill Networking” was not the ideal brand to build a business off of. As LinkedIn was still where I had my deepest expertise at the time, I wanted to write a LinkedIn book, but this time for business that would get my brand out there and be known for the expertise I possess.
The second book, Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing, was again self-published, but this time with Createspace, and Amazon subsidiary that had absorbed Booksurge. It became much easier to publish a book the second time around in 2011, and it literally ended the “LinkedIn chapter” of my career.
Even today I am still known as a LinkedIn expert and still conduct social selling trainings. In fact, this book was written well before the terms “social selling” and “employee advocacy”, two concepts that I talk about in my book, were even talked about! If I was to write another LinkedIn book, it would definitely be based on the concepts and framework I introduced in this book.
Maximize Social Business
Guest blogging has become a huge enterprise of its own, but when I had my first guest blogger reach out to me back in August of 2011, I had no idea how much it would transform my digital presence. I believe that the 2011-2012 era was a renaissance of professionals who wanted to blog more as well as publish on other sites, so within several months I quickly had a roster of several people who were blogging for me at windmillnetworking.com
After awhile I thought it made sense that a new digital entity be created to give respect to the guest bloggers and how my personal blog had been transformed into a media site, and that is when windmillnetworking.com became Maximize Social Business, a media entity which lasted for several years and had dozens of bloggers guest blog for it. It wasn’t until early 2019 when I would migrate to nealschaffercom.bigscoots-staging.com, but a lot happened during those several years…
Maximize Your Social
Social Tools Summit
My Social Media Agency PDCA Social
The Rebranding of Neal Schaffer
The Age of Influence
Digital First Group Coaching Membership Community
How I Help Businesses and Professionals Today
Neal works with clients seeking his social media expertise in the following ways:
Fractional CMO Marketing Consulting
You can find more details here.
Digital and Social Media Marketing Speaker
Whether it’s a keynote speech, presentation for a professional association or a hands-on workshop for an internal audience, Neal delivers customized content with concrete takeaways to meet your needs. For more details click here.
Group Digital Marketing Coaching
You can find more details here.
Social Media Educator
Neal is often called upon to help educate internal sales and marketing teams on a wide variety of social media-related topics, including Social Media Strategy, Social Selling, Employee Advocacy, Personal Branding, Influencer Marketing, Paid Social, Content Marketing, Social Media Tools, as well as the mechanics of how each social network works. In this respect, Neal offers private workshops as well as classes through the Rutgers University Business School Mini-MBA in Social Media Marketing as well as Social Selling in a Digital World programs, the Irish Management Institute Diploma in Digital Business program, and the University of Jyvaskyla Avance Executive Education program.
Where to Get Started in Learning Digital and Social Media Marketing
As digital and social media marketing is a vast land, I want to give you a roadmap to best learn
Top 10 Marketing Thought Leaders (CMO.com)
Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer (Forbes)
Forbes Top 5 Social Selling Influencer (Forbes)
Top 5 Marketing Thought Leader (Contact Monkey)
The 15 Most Influential Educators in Digital Marketing (Online Marketing Institute)
Top 20 Digital Marketing Strategists (Online Marketing Institute)
31 Influencers to Follow (Marketo)
Top 50 Social Media Influencers on Twitter (Cision)
103 Genuine Marketing Thought Leaders to Follow (Salesforce)
What would you like to do now?
Want to learn more about me? Check out some of these videos:
Featured on Cox Business
LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Interview
LinkedIn Sales Solutions Interview
My Presentation at CeBit in Hanover, Germany
Lately Live Interview on Social Strategies for Business
Interview with the President of Diner’s Club
Social Media Week Copenhagen Interview
Neal brings his passion, experience and creativity to help us embrace social media for our company. Neal’s energy and expertise prove to be critical for us as we developed our comprehensive social media strategy in a collaborative meaningful endeavor. We continue to consult with Neal as we navigate this new frontier of social media. Thank you Neal. – Ed Aschoff, CEO, Dansure
Best investment I made this year was hiring Neal Schaffer as a Social Media Marketing consultant. He’s brilliant, and a really good guy to boot. – Joe Rogers, CEO, American Joe
About two years ago we launched our company based on a business model recommended by Neal in a consulting engagement. The results have been fantastic. Based on Neal’s recommended social media strategies we have grown from zero members to the point where thousands of the key decision-makers in our industry are members and visit our website each day. Our revenues have exceeded many times our original goals. I can’t say enough about how much Neal’s work helped us getting to where we are today. – Rusty Braziel, President, RBN Energy
Selected Mentions of Neal Schaffer in the Media
Cision “How to Generate Leads From Social Conversations“
LinkedIn “Will AR, VR, or AI Hold the Most Promise for B2B Marketers?“
Oracle “ABM Quickly Evolved from Latest Trend to What Felt Like Full Adoption“
Inc “41 Must-Read Books to Boost Your Social Media Skills“
University of Jyväskylä Executive MBA “Three Tweets – EMBA Event in the Twitter Era“
Convince & Convert “43 Expert Tips on How to Future-Proof Your Content Strategy“
Hubspot “How to Build a Memorable Personal Brand on Twitter“
LinkedIn “The Official Guide to Employee Advocacy“
Social Media Examiner “Twitter Ads: How to Advertise With Twitter“
AdWeek “Marketers Are Getting the Snapchat Targeting Data They Want. Will That Scare Off Users?“
Inc. “What Digital Marketing Resolutions Do You Have?”
Huffington Post “Plan for the Distribution of Your Content Appropriately“
Mashable “How to Nail Your LinkedIn Profile“
Christian Science Monitor “How Twitter is Crowdsourcing Its War on Trolls“
Huffington Post “33 Entrepreneurs Share Their Biggest Lessons Learned from Failure”
Forbes “Meet The Top 30 Social Salespeople In The World”
Huffington Post “6 Surprising Things That Turn Employers Off”
USA Today “How to write a professional bio for LinkedIn, Twitter & more”
Avance EMBA “Defining Social Business and Social Media throughout the Enterprise”
HootSuite “Solution Partner Spotlight: The Art of Selling a Social Media Solution”
Cox Business Blue “Neal Schaffer On What Goes Into a Successful Social Media Strategy”
Experian “Neal Schaffer: How to Create a Successful Social Media Strategy [Hangout]” (
Social Media Examiner “Social Strategy: How to Build a Sustainable Social Media Marketing Plan” [Podcast Interview]
Hootsuite “What Does It Take to Be One of the Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers?“
Diners Club “Diners Club | Social Media Marketing World | Interview with Neal Schaffer”
HR.com “The Best Career Advice You Aren’t Using“
[Japanese] 現代ビジネス ”2013年、ますます必要になる「ソーシャルメディア･リテラシー教育&研修」”
Content Marketing Institute “100+ Social Media and Content Marketing Predictions“
Marketo “Expert Tips for Optimizing LinkedIn for Lead Generation“
Forbes “How to Power Your Professional Networking Through LinkedIn”
Forbes “Who are the Social Media Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers”
Buffer “The 15 Top Blogs With The New Buffer Button, And Why Your Blog Needs One”
Wall Street Journal MarketWatch “Blogging All the Way to the Bank”
“USA-Japan Social Media Panel Report” [Japanese]
3rd Annual Axiom Business Book Awards Announcement
Social Media Strategist Neal Schaffer’s Book on LinkedIn Wins Ground Breaking Non-Fiction Award