Listen to the show to discover how many years it takes to become known. Mark includes exercises in his book to help people find a sustainable interest and make sure enough people need what you want to offer. I mention that creating content seems essential to becoming known and when people think about whom they look up to, those inspiring people are likely all creating content. Because of the work involved in creating content, Mark also addresses whether it’s the right time to work toward becoming known. Mark emphasizes that your content needs to communicate your message well and that the time you put into becoming known through your content also helps you become better at creating that content. Mark finds that people who successfully build their audience have a strong commitment to that audience. Those who become known put their audience first, no matter how big they become. Known people put in the work and you’ll have to do that, too. Discovery of the Week Workfrom helps you find remote working spaces and connect with people who use them. Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how Workfrom works for you.
Do you want to be recognized as an expert in your field?
Wondering how to make a name for yourself?
To explore how to become known, I interview Mark Schaefer.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
In this episode, I interview Mark Schaefer, a prolific blogger, author, and speaker. He’s written Social Media Explained, The Content Code, and The Tao of Twitter. He’s also been a frequent guest on this podcast. His newest book is KNOWN: The Handbook for Building and Unleashing Your Personal Brand in the Digital Age.
Mark shares how to position yourself as a thought leader.
You’ll discover the four things it takes to become known.
Share your feedback, read the show notes, and get the links mentioned in this episode below.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
How Mark Became Known
Before Mark launched his business, he was a global director of ebusiness at a Fortune 100 company. He had won a bunch of awards and had seven patents, a big global team, stock options, and a company car. After he left that job to start his business, Mark realized everything that he was known for at his previous company no longer mattered. He thought he was known, but he wasn’t.
As Mark grappled with being the go-to guy for nothing, he learned the only thing that matters in terms of your online presence is to be known. Being known isn’t about being famous, but having an appropriate digital presence to help you achieve your goals.
Mark says that building expertise and becoming known is a process. Nine years ago, as Mark started to teach and write for his own business, he struggled. Like everyone else, he started at the bottom. For instance, when Mark started blogging, he didn’t know anything about it. Later on, Mark wrote a book about blogging. When he started consulting, he knew very little about it, but now he consults for big companies.
Mark emphasizes that to start, you don’t have to be an expert. You only need to be open and willing to learn continuously.
I ask Mark what helped him become known again in the second phase of his career as he was building his own business. Mark says his goals, one of which was speaking at Social Media Marketing World, helped, but enjoying the journey was also important because becoming known takes time.
Mark says some people set milestones that unknowingly let other people validate their work. However, as he was interviewing known people for his recent book, they often mentioned the positive impact they have on others. Mark believes this sense of mission is important because it defines who they are from within and motivates them as they put in the time necessary to become known.
Listen to the show to discover how many years it takes to become known.
What Prompted the Book
Mark explains the two seeds that led to him write KNOWN.
As research for his last book, The Content Code, Mark interviewed Jay Baer. They debated whether just anybody can become known or if you need a certain “it” factor. For three and a half years, this question stayed with Mark and he began wondering whether becoming known involved a process that he could define.
The other seed, Mark explains, came from his conversations with consulting clients. People from all over the world ask Mark questions like, “How do I get in a position where I can write a book someday?” “How do I get in a position where I can be a speaker someday?” “How do I get appointed to a board?” “How do I attract more clients in my industry?” “How do I become regarded as a voice of authority?”
Mark found himself giving the same answer over and over again: “To do that, you have to be known.” He didn’t want to give that answer without telling people how.
Although Mark had a framework for the answer, he spent 15 months elaborating on and refining it. As Mark interviewed inspirational authorities in all different fields (education, real estate, construction, banking, art, music, finance, etc.), he discovered everybody did the same four things.
Mark and I discuss why we both believe anyone is capable of becoming known. However, Mark emphasizes that you have to be disciplined, committed, and work hard to execute the path.
Listen to the show to hear Mark’s story of Dr. Alice Ackerman, who worked to become known in order to improve children’s health in her rural community.
The Four Common Elements
Mark shares the four things all known people do to become known.
1. Find a sustainable interest. Although most self-help books emphasize “finding your passion,” Mark says that research doesn’t support that idea. Georgetown University professor Cal Newport showed that the need to follow your passion is really a myth.
Mark’s findings show that whatever you do has to last a long time, affect a critical mass of people to make a difference, and be something you love. However, most successful entrepreneurs may or may not focus on their passion. Sometimes a hobby is just a hobby.