I want to introduce you to Dan Schawbel. If you’ve never heard of him, then you probably haven’t read his book Me 2.0: 4 Steps To Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), either. If you haven’t engaged with this book, it worth a look, because in my opinion it’s a little bit of awesome. In 2010, Inc Magazine listed Dan as one of America’s Coolest 30 Under 30 Entrepreneurs. Now he’s an internet guru who is much sought after by both businesses and individuals who need creative branding solutions.
Dan is rocking social media with 213,000 Twitter followers and another 22,500 on Facebook. He was once referred to by Fast Company as a “personal branding force of nature”. He founded the Personal Branding Blog, which was ranked the #1 job blog by Careerbuilder two years in a row and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and many other big-name media outlets. Dan was one of the first bloggers to have his own iPhone app, fitting his brand futurist ethos.
Me 2.0 contains universally excellent advice, but Dan’s target audience is Millenials like him. His aim is to help them stand out from the masses and be successful in the job market. His mantra is, “You must be the commander of your career”. To help people do that, he outlines a strategy built on four pillars:
Discover: To be successful in your job search, you first must know who you are and what you want. Not just today, but where you want to be in the future.
Create: Build your personal branding toolkit and your personal marketing plan. Your kit will include a resume, cover letter, portfolio and website. It also needs to have a strong social media component – Facebook, Twitter and, of course, LinkedIn. You will need a strong, targeted online presence to promote and distribute your personal brand.
Communicate: You need to get your message across, so use every tool at your disposal (for me, the ones that work for me are Facebook, Linked In and Instagram). Network both in person and online, and make yourself known across social networks by getting involved in discussions and blogs. Use every opportunity to link back to your own online channels. It takes time and persistence, but it will pay off.
Maintain: Keep your online presence fresh and up to date. Interact with your visitors and respond to the comments they leave. Find yourself a Board of Directors – trusted friends and mentors who have experience – to help you work out what your goals are now, and at 5-year increments going forward.
These days the internet is the first place people turn for information, so you need to be on it, and you need to be found easily. Dan says, “You have to own your online presence before someone else does”. That means taking control of your personal brand and using it to secure a job that you love. If you’re ready to do that, Dan’s book is a fantastic place to start.