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How To Be KNOWN –  Four Secrets from Industry Experts

Mark Schaefer is the author of 6 books, has consulted with some of the most recognizable companies  in the world and built an incredible marketing career with a Fortune 100 company as the Global Director of eBusiness. He left it to start his own marketing company.  

Mark’s latest book KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age, helps individuals meet their personal and professional goals. He believes in order for us to achieve many of these goals we must be KNOWN.

Recently, I talked with Mark about his new book and what people have to do if they want to become known. 

Mark told the story about  his friend Phil Mershon who is Director of Events at Social Media Examiner. Phil invited Mark to speak at Social Media Marketing World, but had no idea about Mark’s corporate background. He only knew Mark’s reputation as a digital marketer.

It wasn’t Mark’s vast experience in e Business or corporate marketing that got him invited to speak, it was the fact that people knew who he was. They were familiar with his blog and his books. He was KNOWN. Mark says when he challenged Phil on this point, Phil conceded that Mark was right.

If You Want To Be KNOWN, It’s Up to You

Now especially, we must self-advocate our expertise to the world. Gone are the days where someone will build an audience for you and wait for your talent to catch up. You have to build your audience as you build your expertise.

“No one helps you anymore. No book publisher is going to nurture you. No record company is going to build an audience for you. No one is going to say, “You know what, I’m going to take a chance on you and you’re going to be the keynote at our conference. No one is going to do that. You’ve got to do it yourself”  
~Mark Schaefer

Nobody starts as an expert.  When Mark wrote his book about Twitter, he wasn’t an expert. It was his research and commitment to learning the platform that gave him the expertise in Twitter so he could write that book.

In a similar way, Mark studied personal branding for fourteen months as he researched and wrote his latest book KNOWN. He didn’t consider himself to be an expert on personal branding when he started. Through research, interviews, conversations and meeting the people featured in this book, he began to understand the topic in way that allowed him to share the insights he gathered. He picked up the expertise as he went.

On Publishing and Being KNOWN

When Mark wrote his first book in 2012, he was fortunate enough to be backed by a publisher who was willing to coach him and help him establish himself as an author.  He didn’t know it at the time, but he was watching the publishing industry die before his eyes.  

Although he had a small  following and a good idea, the publisher was willing to take a chance on him.  In his opinion, deals like that don’t happen for many people today.  He says, now publishers want you to prove you have an audience before they will invest in you.

“It is excruciatingly hard to sell a book, once you get past your friends and family members” , he told me. That’s why  Mark is coaching some of his clients to start thinking in terms of writing three books instead of one.  He believes if you’re not known, your first book won’t make you known.  By the time you write your third book however, people may start knowing who you are.

About the Book KNOWN

There is a difference between being known and being famous.  Mark says this is NOT a book on how to be famous on YouTube or Instagram. It’s not about having a viral video or being on the BBC.  This book is about utilizing the free and inexpensive technologies we have to achieve your goals.

Mark told me KNOWN is about  being intentional and being organized. It’s about having a plan to build your online reputation and having a meaningful digital presence so that you are known to an audience big enough to matter.Whatever it is that you want to do, you’ll have an advantage when trying to achieve things if you are known.

To help you understand how to do that, Mark sought out people who were known in a wide variety of fields and studied how they became so widely known. He looked at several fields like banking, education, real-estate, the arts, construction, business and fashion. What he found was that every person, in every field in every region of the world did the same four things.

  1. Figured out what they wanted to be known for
  2. Found an uncontested space
  3. Figured out the right kind of content for their message
  4. Found an actionable audience

Mark goes into detail about what to do with these four strategies in his book.  On the next podcast I’ll continue my interview with Mark as we talk more about the process of being KNOWN.