Can one conversation really influence where you are driven? Nat Schooler
Influence marketeer Nat Schooler joins Wendy as they chat about how important it is to produce strategic content online. Nat spends his time podcasting, writing, and driving across foreign continents for fun. However, their conversation quickly turns to the importance of building relationships with the people you want to work with. Nat places trust as the highest asset everyone should nurture.
You can connect with Nat here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanielschooler/
Check out his resources: https://natschooler.com/
Nat explains this pivotal moment with such clarity you can smell the soap and understand quickly why he was influenced to be driven on it…
TRANSCRIPT OF FULL EPISODE
Making Conversations Count – Episode 2
Wendy Harris & Nat Schooler
November 5th 2020
00:01:45: Importance of content relevance
00:04:22: Building an audience through relationships
00:08:12: Conversations lead to useful introductions
00:09:38: Nat’s pivotal moment
00:13:59: The joy of following your path
00:16:05: Developing the skills you need
00:18:05: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Welcome to Making Conversations Count, the podcast where business leaders come and share their pivotal moments to help aspiring entrepreneurs with their stories. Today on the show, I have Nat Schooler. Hello, Nat, thanks for joining us.
Nat Schooler: Hello, Wendy, it’s very nice of you to invite me.
Wendy Harris: So, Nat, tell everybody what you do and how we first met.
Nat Schooler: Well, my major focus is around influencing and marketing. So, I’m the Principal Consultant at The Influencer Marketing Company and we run a series, loads of different podcast shows. We mainly deal with technology businesses, software-as-a-service businesses, to create market exposure, understanding and presence. I do a bit of writing as well and I do a lot of podcasting.
Wendy Harris: I know that you are very active on social. That’s kind of where we met really, wasn’t it, through mutual friends online, and you have a very conversational style. So, I was naturally drawn to what you were chatting about on the different platforms on LinkedIn and I particularly like your Facebook, I have to say. That’s where you get to see the real Nat, I think?
Nat Schooler: Yeah, it’s quite funny, my Facebook; I forgot you were on there! Oh dear!
Wendy Harris: I am who I am, wherever I am, whatever the platform. I really don’t stick to any kind of protocol. LinkedIn is the business platform, but still I think people need to know who you are and I think that’s where what you are putting out there, in terms of conversational content, is what attracts people, and that’s the influence that you can have over people. Is that what you see in what you do?
Nat Schooler: Yeah, I agree completely. I mean, I think the content is the key; but also, the relevance of the content to the audience, right? So if, for example, I’m helping IBM with a software trial or something like this, then I want to be speaking to the right people. So, that piece of content needs to be a blog or a video or whatever, and it needs to actually have the right content so that particular job, the actual person, is relevant to the content; and the other way round.
So, if you’re getting a blog written that’s really technical, it’s going to appeal to a chief tech officer or a chief information officer or a chief security officer, or whatever, but it needs to be relevant and I think that’s the most important thing that I’ve learnt. I think, yes, you can build relationships and you can get closer to people but I think, if you want to sell something, then you need relevance, definitely, yeah.
Wendy Harris: With that, everybody has a different sort of absorption, don’t they? Some people like to read, some people like to watch, some people like to listen. So, I think it’s important as well that whatever that content is, that you have a mix and a myriad of the same content, but just delivered in different styles?
Nat Schooler: Yeah, well we’ve got to try. Then, that goes back to the specific job role, right? If you’re trying to hit executives, most executives read. All right, they will also listen to stuff and they will also watch it. If you’re like me, I’ll read stuff, I’ll listen to it, I’ll watch it, because that’s who I am. So, I will absorb content in many different ways. It’s just knowing your audience.
And yeah, of course, if money was no object and there was no budget, you’d create content on all channels all the time. You’d create a podcast, you’d turn that into videos, you’d cut them up, you’d turn them into audiograms and then, you’d put them into blogs. But the thing is that, in the real world, that actually takes a hell of a lot of resource.
You know, I do podcasts myself and creating transcriptions; all right, you’re going to get 90% accuracy, but there’s always going to be someone that’s going to get annoyed because it’s not accurate. So, you know, that takes extra resource. Everything’s a matter of resource, right?
Wendy Harris: Yeah, time or money or effort.
Nat Schooler: Yeah, it’s the same thing, because someone’s got to do it and if you were going to pay yourself to do it, you’d be doing a £10 an hour job, which is not really what I want to do with my time. But, it really just depends on who it’s for, if you’ve got a love and a passion for what you’re doing; if you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter much.
Wendy Harris: I think that’s why people go from doing to teaching. I would never run out of ideas for content; it’s bizarre, yet I don’t have the time to fashion exactly how I would want it. There’s a loose strategy around it, but then if I had more time to do it, I think that would be tighter and smarter. And it’s the old adage, “Don’t do as I do; do as I say”, as well.
Nat Schooler: Well, yeah. But, when you look at Gary Vaynerchuk, I mean some people don’t like him. I don’t care if they don’t like him. I went through a couple of years of totally disliking him because he swore all the time and I just got fed up with his attitude, but he’s right.
You can create 100 pieces of content a day and put that out there, then you’re going to get a load of eyeballs, then that is going to build your audience and then, that is going to, in essence, translate into money, providing you’ve got a business strategy. If you don’t have a business strategy and you don’t align content with your business strategy, then what’s the point of having content anyway?
I just try to keep up a constant level of awareness of me, right, and that’s it. And I’d like to do more, but I don’t, because I just get burnout. Everyone gets burnout. I spent nearly two years saying, “Well, can I really be bothered to do this?” Whatever, 26,000 Twitter followers went to 25,500. I think there’s too much obsession with creating content.
I think it’s really about personal relationships, and if you’ve got a business and you’ve got a business model and you can send someone a private message and say, “Hey, Wendy, I’m doing this, I noticed that you’re doing that, do you want to partner on this?” which is what I’ve been doing. I mean, I’m talking to an SEO strategy company today.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, collaboration’s really powerful.
Nat Schooler: Yeah, massive.
Wendy Harris: I mean, it is about the building of relationships, and I understand that content springboards the start of that. What I endorse is that you’ve got to show up as yourself and I think that’s even more important, that if you’re going to take what’s online into the real world, it has to match, it’s got to be consistent. You’ve got to be representing your true self, your true identity, your true values to the core. You don’t always see that translate, which is why I always say conversations count, on every level.
Nat Schooler: Authenticity is 100%. But, I think it depends on the kind of content you’re putting out there. Like, if I put out on LinkedIn all the pictures that I’ve been taking while I’ve been travelling across Europe, it would drive people insane right now; so, I just reserve that for my Instagram, for my friends on Facebook to drive them nuts, right, because they know me and it’s like, they don’t have to look at it.
But also, on LinkedIn it’s like, well actually, if you’ve got good content that’s sitting there on your profile and you go and connect with someone, then that is going to help you. If you don’t have any content on your profile, some people are going to connect with you, but are they the people that you want? No. So, you need something!
Wendy Harris: Yes. And the point there though, I think, is that whilst I am the same everywhere I go, there are some protocols where you know that, like you were saying, those images of you travelling are going to be more popular on Instagram than on LinkedIn, so it’s what you lead. The content’s going to be the same; it’s just going to be tweaked slightly differently.
But of course, if I’m going to start a conversation with somebody on LinkedIn, I would hope that I would get to know them well enough that then I do become their friend on Facebook; that then I do go and have a look at what they’re doing on Instagram, because they’ve put a Facebook post up going, “I’ve just stuck a load of stuff on Instagram”.
So, I think there’s just different levels of building up that relationship that all starts with a conversation at some point.
Nat Schooler: Very much so. And a lot of the time, those people are not your customers. They’re going to be people that might introduce you to other people that might be your customers, and that’s what people forget. You can say what you want to me, right, but you don’t know who I know and you don’t know; I could just introduce you to someone that could make you a millionaire in the next 24 months, right? So, my advice is to just best be polite!
Wendy Harris: Noted! Be polite to Nat!
Nat Schooler: I’m not talking to you though, Wendy. I like your style; you’ve got a really good conversational style, and that’s who you are. You’re authentic; you’re the same person face-to-face as you are online.
Wendy Harris: And that’s important, because putting a mask on can be really draining. There are tools and tricks that you learn, but in terms of being able to be faceless on the phone, now there’s nowhere to hide. So, just be yourself, because it will come back on your tenfold, and not necessarily in a good way, if you are anything other.
I ask everybody that comes on the show to have a think about a pivotal moment, because I think that there are conversations that we have with different people on our journey, whether that be work or just generally in life, and we know when that moment was. So, I’m going to ask you to share what that moment was and how it affected you after?
Nat Schooler: All right. It’s a big one this. I’ve had so many different ones, but I think this is the most important one, because it wasn’t a conversation with a person; that’s what’s so crazy. I’ll give you a bit of background.
I’d had a podcast show and I did interviews with people, well since 2014, I think, I’d been interviewing people on YouTube and I didn’t really build a big following. It wasn’t about that; it was about building relationships and understanding other people’s knowledge and learning. So, I interviewed all sorts of people and for some reason, I launched a podcast show with a business partner and it didn’t work out.
So, I was like, “I love podcasting”, and I was umming and ahhing about this probably for about six months, maybe even longer. And, I heard these words in my head, like, this was September 2018. And these words in my head said, “You must start another podcast”. So, I was like, “What?!” It was like my dad or someone leaning into my head with a pipe and shouting in my head. So, it was just super-weird. So I was like, all right, I’ll start a podcast.
I basically launched a website, got some podcasts that I’d had in my archives; one of them was with Michael Tobin OBE. He basically merged two big cloud storage companies, data centres, and he sold them for like, well I think he sold them for nearly US$3 billion, which is like ten times a UK billion; so, a substantial amount of money. And, he’s been a supporter of mine since I started podcasting back on my first show. I’d connected with him on LinkedIn and we met up in London. I’ve interviewed him multiple times. He’s helped me to launch multiple shows.
I dug out this old episode of Michael Tobin and I put it on my website and I did the transcriptions and then I was like, “Oh, that’s a relief, I can relax now”. And then maybe half hour later, I heard these words in my head saying, “You can’t relax, you need to do more, you need to get going, you’ve got to get your [bleeped audio] into gear”.
Wendy Harris: There’s something a little familiar about this conversation in your head happening?
Nat Schooler: So then I was like, “All right, all right, I’ll do it”. So, I basically dug out a few more episodes, interviewed three or four people, got six episodes ready with full transcriptions, imagery, titles, everything, and I launched one per day for a week. So, I had six episodes launching per week on iTunes and, you know, all the platforms.
And then, I was like, “Oh, that’s a relief, I can relax now”. Christmas, I hear these words again in my head saying, “No, you can have three days off, you need to cook your dad some lunch and that’s it”. I got to the end of that and I was like, “All right, I’ll get back to work”. So, I dug out another few old episodes, interviewed a few more people, and I basically launched six episodes in a week during January 2019, based upon what I was told in my head. So, I launched one, two, three.
I got to the Wednesday, launched the third one, and then I had an email, or a LinkedIn connection request, from the world’s largest eBook publisher asking me to basically create some expert talks. So then they were like, “Well, this is what it pays”, and we had a long conversation and I said, “Well, I can’t say that figure really motivates me”. So, in my childish mind, I timesed that figure by 100 and I said, “All right, I’ll do 100 for you”, and I almost did 100. I think I did 97 or something.
We’ve reached 100 now, so I get paid every six months for my interviews. I mean, I’ve interviewed Stanley Tucci; I’ve interviewed Ed Vaizey, the politician; I’ve interviewed so many people, you just wouldn’t believe it. And you basically become the guardian of their brand. I’ve interviewed quite a few OBEs, MBEs. They’re trusting you with their brand, right, and that trust is what is so powerful. The relationships that you are building with these people are phenomenal and it propels you.
So, it might be that you hear these words in your head, but if you don’t listen to them, you’re never going to know what you’re going to achieve in your life.
Wendy Harris: Yes, it’s interesting, and you’re not only guest that has had the conversation with themselves.
Nat Schooler: Well, I think it was the man upstairs, but they can think it was themselves.
Wendy Harris: Well, yeah, whatever. But by saying, you know, I’ve not had a physical conversation. And I kind of get it because, as soon as I realised what I wanted to talk to my guests about, I’ve been so driven. It’s consuming. I’m actually asleep dreaming what the conversation’s going to go like, and it’s —
Nat Schooler: Yeah, it’s really fun.
Wendy Harris: It is; it’s a really powerful process. Like you say, it’s a gift and you are a guardian of something. It’s so precious. I do feel like it’s a blessing to be able to have guests that come on like you to share a story and, you know, even I’m going, “I get that; I totally understand that, that you were meant to do that, because that was waiting for you to happen”. If you hadn’t have done it, who knows?
Had that wine been a good bottle and you’d have had another bottle, would you have done the same thing the next day?
Nat Schooler: Yeah. I had to do what I was told. It was clear instructions. When you hear a voice that’s that loud in your head, you need to do something. If you don’t do it, then you’re basically just robbing yourself and you’re going to end up on that bed looking back over your whole life, and that might be one of your biggest regrets, when you see all the other people that have done what you wanted to do in your life.
Wendy Harris: Absolutely. I think that this year particularly, it’s been about not just bringing back the basic priorities, but our basic drive for life. What are we leaving behind? What are the footsteps that we’re walking for others that haven’t done that; or, are we following somebody else’s footsteps; are we making our own path; are we leading the way for somebody to follow and make their life easier? There are so many things about this year that have been a fascinating insight into people and relationships.
Nat Schooler: I think also the skills, I think, outlining what you really need to learn. A friend of mine, about ten years ago, told me, “Look, you need to learn how to do all this stuff yourself. Everything that you’re selling, you need to learn how to do yourself”. And, you know what; he’s right, because if you don’t know how to do something yourself, who’s going to finish it when someone messes it up.
Like, someone today came to me. I did some interviews for a company and they’re like, “Well, we need an image with this text on with a photo of the person for our blog which we’ll feature in three episodes that you did for us, and we need them”. And I was just like, “Oh”. And then I was like, “Oh, it will take me ten minutes”, and I just did it.
I sent it to her in half an hour and she was like, “Wow, that was fast!” and I was just like, “Yeah, fairly; not bothered”, because those skills, you need to hone the skills you need because then, you can pick up the pieces if you need to fix something. Certainly with writing, with video, with podcast, with imagery; you don’t have to be an expert, but you need to know how to use the tools that are so easy to use.
Wendy Harris: I agree so much with what you’re saying there, Nat, because it’s one of those that I say to all the delegates that come on my sales and marketing workshops, that I train on a one-to-one or in a team basis, is if you don’t know what is expected through that process, how can you then even instruct anybody else to do it the way that you want it? Because, at some point, you’re not going to want to be making the tea and sweeping the floor and cleaning the loo; you’re going to want somebody to make the tea you like it, sweep the floor the way you like it, and leave the bowl nice and shiny. It’s about understanding that process.
Nat Schooler: You can’t hire anyone to do anything if you don’t know how it works. You’re going to get ripped off, is another reason.
Wendy Harris: Yes. Be as invested in it as anything else that you really want to do, is the key message there. Nat, I could talk to you forever. Thank you so much for sharing that pivotal moment for us. If anybody wants to pick up the conversation with you from today’s episode, where can people find you?
Nat Schooler: My website’s fine. It’s natschooler.com.
Wendy Harris: Nice and simple; I like it! Well, thanks so much again, Nat, I really appreciate your time. And for the listeners, don’t forget to send us your comments. We do reply to them all. Make sure you share and subscribe. The place to be is makingconversationscount.studio/podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Take care.