Dan Schawbel Shows Torontonians How to Brand Themselves as Thought Leaders

Dan SchawbelDan Schawbel is recognized as a “personal branding guru” by The New York Times, is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, LLC, and a leading authority on personal branding. He is the author of the #1 international bestselling career book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan, Oct 2010), and the youngest columnist at BusinessWeek. Recently, Dan was named to the prestigious Inc. Magazine 30 Under 30 list.

I asked Dan 5 questions on common branding obstacles and actionable steps to overcome each obstacle.

In your book, ME 2.0, you mention “four steps to building your future”. What are these four steps and what are actionable steps professionals can take to build their personal brand?

The first step is to discover your brand. You need to figure out what you want to be known for, what skills you need to develop, what you’re passionate about, and then set both short-term and long-term goals. The second step is creating your brand, where you build your very own personal branding toolkit, which can consist of a website, blog, business card, social media profiles, resume, video resume, portfolio of work, cover letter, references document, and more. The third step is communicate, where you use your toolkit to get your name out there. This may involve tweeting, updating your Facebook status daily, attending networking events, starting your own event, becoming active in non-profits, pitching the media, etc. The fourth step is brand maintenance, where you have to constantly update and refresh your brand as you develop your career. Also, as more people talk about you, you need to enter those conversations and make sure you paint a positive portrait of yourself to people searching for your name.

Are there metrics that a job-seeker should know about their personal brand before going into their interview?

Job seekers should analyze the top ten results for their full name in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! You should write down how many are positive, negative, and neutral. Also, it’s important to note which results you control and which you do not. For instance, if one result is your website, that is something you can control. Before your interview, make sure the way others perceive you is how you want to be perceived. Make sure you prepare for your interview by conducting a full research analysis of the target company and person using LinkedIn and other tools.

Before getting that highly prized job, people do whatever they can to build a solid personal brand. Do you notice that people lose their edge once they’ve got the job? Should they stop after getting a job?

When people get a job, they stop blogging, and they stop networking because they feel as though they have security. Job security is a myth and I’ve even heard of people who have gotten laid off before their first day of work. The best thing you can do is build your brand and your network before you need it because you will always need it!

There is a lot of emphasis on building a personal brand online but are there ways to build it offline? Is it worth it?

The entire point of online branding is to capture and retain your audience so that you can connect with them offline. If you aren’t meeting people in person, you are really missing the boat because that’s where the real business get’s done and relationships get formed. Use these social networking tools to find people you would want to meet in person and then set up meetings accordingly. 

You will be presenting at the upcoming event, unGEEKED e’lite Toronto. What can people expect to learn from your presentation?

unGEEKEDPeople can expect to learn how to be a thought leader in their industry. I will paint a picture of what it takes to break through the noise and become known as a respected authority using the online medium. I will go over challenges, strategies, and outcomes with the audience in Toronto. I’m really looking forward to it!

unGEEKED e’lite Toronto is a “3-day retreat” held October 28-30, 2010 at the Atlantis Pavilion in Toronto, Ontario.  With 26 nationally known speakers as well as regional superstars in the lineup, the array of experience and opinions should make for interesting conversations. Jason Falls, Sally Hogshead, Marsha Collier and Jeffrey Willinger are just a few of the elites who will be there.

Receive 10% off unGEEEKED e’lite by using the code “TECHVIBES“. Register for unGEEKED e’lite Toronto here www.ungeekedelite.com/toronto.