Doyle has been involved in online & ecommerce businesses since 2002, leading one of his ecommerce companies to the Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada in 2008 and #1 Fastest in the Manitoba Province in 2009. Doyle also has recently won the Smart 100 Innovation Award, meaning it is ranked as among Australia’s 100 most innovative products, with his digital leadership methodology.
He is the author of multiple books on digital strategy, and regularly speaks on digital transformation, digital strategy and marketing.
Doyle is known for his strategic approach to selling through digital channels, aligning & building a company’s digital ecosystem, and empowering businesses by helping them develop their digital assets, gain clarity and develop their own digital genius.
He designs, develops & deploys high performing digital foundations for businesses to transform how they deliver their value in this disruptive, digital economy.
Hi guys, welcome to a new Influencer Talk. Today, I'm very glad to be with Doyle Buehler, a Canadian guy now living in Australia. How are you Doyle?
I'm doing fantastic, Frédéric. Thank you for having me.
Doyle, I think a lot of people don't know you. Could you introduce yourself?
My name is Doyle Buehler and I run a strategic digital marketing consultancy. So we help businesses find their digital strategy. Which then moves them into that what we call digital transformation - what everybody's familiar with - so using the pieces of digital transformation for marketing and sales and lead generation.
Sounds fantastic! And you've got a new book coming in the next week
Well, it's not brand new. It's been out for a bit. But yeah, it's quite popular and it's been around for like I said a little bit and it's called “#Breakthrough, Unleash Your Remarkable Brand Value Influence and Authority”. And in the book, I take people through a digital strategy, the seven different components that you actually need to be able to sort of harness that power of digital and online businesses as well.
So it's a seven step framework, from what I call the disciplines of digital leadership making sure that we know the different pieces and how to put them together and that sort of things because as you know online business can be a little bit complicated and challenging and confusing as well.
I've been in the industry for like over 18 years, and so in that time, I've kind of seen a lot and made some big mistakes and that sort of things as well learned a lot along the way.
What I found was that it really needed to be simplified for small businesses to say that these are the main components that you need to be able to have a really solid foundation and allow you to do your business right.
Fantastic! Doyle, I think we could say that your hot topics are digital marketing and more specifically personal branding, I think
Yeah, I think it's really important to sort of understand how your personal brand fits together because, you know, we're in an on-demand world and always on-demand world. So it's really important that you integrated into your business and your business has integrated into you. It doesn't matter if you're running an agency, you know a thousand people, a hundred people, 10 people or two people right? How you present yourself in today's day and age is how you grow your business.
So the two are integrated, there's no way that you can actually separate the two. Your personal brand is about your business and your business is about your personal brand as well.
That's why it's important to have, that strategy first to say "this is what my personal brand is about" and you really have to look at it from a value perspective. What is the value that you and your business are able to provide to your audience? And that's really then how you can stack that value to say "well my business, my brand value is about education entertainment and on-demand delivery", just as an example, right?
Could you give us some examples of collaboration you've made with brands or with people working on their personal branding?
Yeah, well a lot of it comes down to like a lot of collaborations that I do really are sort of more industry level type things. So I was working with this agency from Spain, who is looking at how we look at Big Data, how do we look at AI, how do we sort of look at these key pieces that we fit together.
So, I take a lot of interest and excitement and in terms of what we need to be doing better and differently. So again, it's a matter of assessing sort of what's out there and identifying the trends and what's happening and how we can put this together. And how we can apply them because at the end of the day that's what's really important.
So collaboration to me, is looking at how we actually gain more knowledge from the industry of online and digital and through AI and technology and you know, all these different factors - social media, marketing and everything. If you look at it really from that holistic level, that's really what can kind of help and put you in the right direction. "I need to focus on this, I need to focus on that", it really drives that discussion. I do like an annual state of digital type report every year where I basically outline what we need to look out for and things that we need to be aware of.
To me, collaboration is those partnerships where you're able to provide that knowledge and provide that expertise of what's going on and how we can actually shape it into a good strong business.
Okay, my next question is about influence. I know that you perhaps don't like the word, but in my opinion you are a digital influencer. A lot of people are looking at what you are saying about digital marketing and other things. So in my opinion, you are an influencer. Do you define yourself also as an influencer?
Not specifically, I don't sort of attach that as a title or anything like that. I think influence is an interesting concept. It comes from act to me, influence comes from actually doing.
So, are you creating the strategies? Are you creating the education? Are you creating those moments that people can learn. And to me, that is influence. It's like leadership, you can be sort of authoritarian, a leader, but you don't necessarily have a good following if you're doing that. So I think that's similar to I mean digital leadership, that whole concept of how can we advance? How can we gain more knowledge about what needs to be done in the whole big world of digital?
So, I wouldn't call myself an influencer, but I feel that's important to understand the foundations of influence and of digital and all these other factors. And just do it! Go out and do it, that's where really influence is about, creating those opportunities and doing them and acting upon them as well.
I don't want to give you an answer that doesn't make sense. To me that's what an influencer is. I do get a little bit annoyed sometimes where you know, “everybody is an influencer”. It's part of the words that we use, the vernacular and that sort of thing.
But I think you need to look at what you are actually doing. You can't just talk yourself as being an influencer, you have to actually do it, you know people have to see you doing it.
So if you're calling yourself one, then okay, make sure you're doing something to kind of back it off as well. Don't you just go and say yeah, like that's influencer.
I like the fact that you explain that you do not decide to be an influencer, but you built your influence through time and I think when we speak about B2B perspectives, it's really important to understand that for people, it's not easy to become an influencer. You have to work on your own authority, on your own expertise and share with a lot of people.
You need to do the job, you can't just enter the industry and say “Oh I've got you know, whatever 50,000 followers or 5,000 followers” you have to kind of demonstrate that you're doing something for the industry as well, because it can be very crowded. But you have to be smart about it as well.
Absolutely, and one important thing is that people are sometimes fed up with influence because everybody wants to be an influencer. I think we have a lack of authenticity and we need authenticity in social networks. And in my opinion, authenticity is a key to influence evolution. How do you see the influencer marketing business evolve in the next 10 years?
There is a little bit of a distinction between B2C and B2B. A B2B influencer is more looking at the trends and how they can help get businesses aligned.
So honestly, you don't see people tossing that word around influencer in the B2B space because honestly most businesses are connected and professional experts manners kind of thing. Where they all have always been experts and people who know what they're doing and that's what consulting is. Where you know business strategy, where you're really working on fundamentals of business. And that's very professional, it’s leadership.
Then we're talking about digital leadership here fundamentally, in the digital space obviously as well and comes down to knowledge.
A lot of people want to be called an influencer because it gives them whatever free hotels, free meals and all that kind of stuff. And, there are people out there that call themselves influencers that are doing some really good stuff.
But I think fundamentally, it has come back to a more foundational aspect. It doesn't matter if it's B2B or B2C. Whatever, it has to be what is that value that they're providing?
You are going to see a huge shift coming up, maybe in the next year or so where there's not a lot of value for influencers. And again, this is sort of the fly-by-night, you know, “I want to be a social media Superstar”. I'm not talking about the professionals who do, you know business-to-consumer leadership and that's why I don't really like the word influencer because it doesn't really capture what people need to be doing.
I'm not selling you influence, I'm selling you value. I'm selling you structure, I'm selling you experience.
But anyway, there are some people providing that value, that's fundamental to business and you know good about them. That's really what we need.
We've seen how it grows, you know in the last five years, it's grown significantly because of a lot of selling products and services to consumers continue but it's going to be I think more sort of ethical, more professional, more people who have built that foundation around that value.
Not just how I want to be an influencer because honestly, you have like these influencers who are like, 6 year old kids who are doing YouTube and Boxing videos and that's fantastic. They're doing some great things. But what happens when they hit 10 years old and they’re no longer the number one on YouTube? Like what's this kid going to do? It's kind of like landing on the moon, right? What did Neil Armstrong do after he landed on the moon? Like to me that's like the ultimate thing. So as a YouTube, you know kid unboxing star influencer, what do they do next? So you're going to get a lot of that just drop off because they haven't thought about it.
Again, strategically, they haven't said well, how do we actually leverage that? So the smart influencers are the ones who have built their strategy around value. The value that they're providing and the value that their customer sees and that's how they can build and continue to build that foundation.
And so when we do see, you know a bunch of them wash out because there's just too many and they're not really concentrating on that value.
Those are the ones that are going to still be able to do that through their branding, through their content, through their discoveries and through the things that they do as well.
So it's very important to build that super strong foundation now, so that in five years, if you want to be an influencer, great, but look at the knowledge aspect, the educational aspect, the foundation of the expertise side of things as well.
Not just, you know, wearing a suit and showing 10,000 people. To me, there's not a lot of value there and you can be replaced. Why the next person who has 20,000 followers and then the next steppers and replaced by the one who has 50,000 followers. So it's an unending game. It's a race to the bottom. It's like competing on price in the regular, you know in the consumer industry. You can't win competing on price. You can't win competing on your number of followers. You have to define that value properly.
If people want to work with you - you work as a digital agency - you help people working on their personal branding, to develop their awareness, to develop who they are, how can they do that?
Well, you can't. It's not that easy for you. Ahah... Just kidding. You can find me on LinkedIn Doyle Buelher. I'm the only one on the planet with that combination of names. So I'm easy to find there. But if you go to leadership.digital, it's actually a way to see where you are in terms of your digital capabilities as well. So those 7 criteria that I talk about in the book. You can also get the book as well on Amazon and a lot of book retailers around the world.
If you have just one last word, your last advice for people who are looking at this video.
Yeah, I think that we've seen a lot of change in the last year and a lot of it, obviously because of the pandemic, but look at what's happening in the world to see where you need to be focused as well. And that's what I think that's really important.
But anyway, businesses have seen a lot of success in 2020 and these are the businesses though that have fully embraced digital and fully embraced that online side of things and right now, businesses are only about 25% of businesses is around the world globally that actually allow for your customer to meet you there in a full digital experience.
So, what we really have to think about is, that's 25% where my business is and that leadership assessment and leadership.digital assessment, help you gage that but I think that it's really important to focus in on that because that's where the growth is going to happen over the next three to five years and throughout the rest of this decade is how you are creating that digital experience worth remembering. And how was it remarkable and you really sort of need to focus on that whole again creating a remarkable digital experience with remember because that's what people are looking for. That's what your consumers are looking for. That's what your business partners are looking for. How can you create that journey that really takes them on that mission that allows them to do what they want to do. Yes, it gives you money, but you know what you have to deliver your value as well. So my key is how can you sort of enhance that digital experience for your audience?
Thanks a lot Doyle for joining us for this Influencer Talk. It was a real pleasure talking with you and I hope you all enjoy this this Influencer Talk. We will be back very very soon with other influencers and other influencer’s insight. So stay tuned! See you soon guys.
Bye! Merci beaucoup.
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