Exclusive Interview With Personal Branding Expert Dan Schawbel

Posted on January 25, 2011, by , under Featured Interview.

Dan Schawbel, recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times, is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and the author of the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan, October 2010). Dan is the founder of the Personal Branding Blog®, which was the #1 job blog by CareerBuilder in 2008 & 2009, is an AdAge top 50 marketing blog, and has been visited by 2 million people since 2007. He is also the publisher of Personal Branding Magazine®, a syndicated columnist for Metro US, the youngest columnist at BusinessWeek, and has been featured in over 350 media outlets, such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Details Magazine, and ELLE Magazine. He is a keynote speaker at colleges and universities, such as Harvard Business School and MIT and at major companies such as Time Warner, IBM, and CitiGroup.

What are some basic/simple ways individuals can build their personal online brand if they are not extremely tech savvy?

There are no excuses anymore to get involved in new technologies online. You can read a book, ask a friend, view online tutorials, or spend money on training classes. Online technologies, including WordPress for blogging, and social networks like Facebook are easy to use. You really don’t need to know HTML coding anymore to be able to put together a website, blog or establish a social network profile. You should start with a blog and post at least once a week so that you can attract new followers of your work. You should also use social networks to reach out to your audience and form meaningful relationships with them.

When starting a personal branding blog, what are some basic questions you should ask yourself before starting?

When starting a blog, always ask yourself what purpose it serves and who it serves. If you can’t answer those questions, you shouldn’t waste your time because there are already way too many competing resources now. You need to select a niche that aligns your expertise with your passion if you want to be successful in the blogging world today.

Initial technical and content set up for a personal blog is relatively simple, but how do you gain readership traffic to your site?

In order to build your readership, you have to commit to writing and publishing blog posts on a weekly basis. Then, start guest posting on other blogs in your industry, contact the media and pitch yourself as a trusted source, write an eBook, and do some public speaking. Use social networking sites, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect to your audience and to get them interested in your work.

How is the setup and execution of personal branding vs. business branding online different or the same?

It’s one in the same because companies have to start acting more like people (by empowering their employees to engage online) and people need to start acting more like companies (in how they manage their careers). If you’re going to build your business, you need a direct relationship with the people who are going to use your product or service.

What is the ‘next social media’ outlet on the market that you think will be comparable to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn?

I don’t see any on the horizon to be honest. Facebook will eventually have a complete monopoly over online communities. They are our ID card on the web and Facebook is used to connect to many other communities and media sites. It’s important that we focus on making our profiles on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn best represent our true selves and communicate value to our audience. By concentrating your efforts on the most popular social networks, it will be a better use of your time than worrying about what’s next.

What is your favorite social media outlet? Which one do you use most? Why?

I enjoy blogging more than social networking. If I had to choose a social network it would be Facebook because the relationship I have with my audience is stronger and better organized. On Twitter, there’s just too many tweets and it’s hard to keep track of them. Blogging is critical to your career because you get to show your voice and thoughts as they relate to important topics in your industry.

Who has been your most interesting/successful interview?

That’s a really tough question because I’ve learned so much from a variety of business people over the years. I really liked speaking with George Foreman because she shared some great wisdom. He told me that the only way to establish a long-term business relationship is through win-win situations. This was a great reminder, especially as a young entrepreneur.

watch Schawbel’s Interview with George Foreman here

One Reply to "Exclusive Interview With Personal Branding Expert Dan Schawbel"


WhoIsBolaji.com | Personal Branding, Personal Development and Internet Marketing  on January 25, 2011

What’s up, JD!

Nice job getting the interview with Dan. He’s consistently done a great job of building his authority in the Personal Branding space… and he provides massive value as well.

I enjoyed the interview. Thanks!


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