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Personal Branding for Creative Professionals

Lesson 18 of 20

Interviewing Powerful People

Dorie Clark

Personal Branding for Creative Professionals

Dorie Clark

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Lesson Info

18. Interviewing Powerful People

Lesson Info

Interviewing Powerful People

I want to talk about somebody first and then with somebody who can give us a lot of insight into this. He's done a great job with it. His name is John Corcoran, and he's here in the studio with us. He's a former White House writer. He is an attorney and for small businesses, and he runs a website, which I highly recommend. It's called Smart Business Revolution. Hey, Blog's and he has a podcast, which I've actually been a guest on and has, you know, tons of insights. So, John, I'm gonna welcome you up here. Now, let's give John a round. Thanks for having me. Absolutely. Thank you very much for coming to hang out with us. I'm excited to be here. Yeah. So, folks at home, please go ahead and type in your questions. For for John here. We You know, he's really an expert on connecting with powerful people. And if you have questions about this, please send him on in. John Marie and and Sally will be reading him for us. But I'll start out with some questions that I have. So one of my favorite s...

tories, John. And you're one of the folks that I'm profiling in my next book that I'm writing Stand Out, which is coming out in March of next year s. Oh, you know, you guys are getting a sneak preview of the good stuff in the book, but one of my favorite stories Susan and I were talking earlier about Can acting through and about, and by Dan Pink, the business writer. But you have your own Dan Pink story, and I love to hear that this Dan Pink very successful New York Times bestselling business author, someone who's, you know, not that easy Teoh get connected with because a lot of people really want to build relationships with him. But John was able to do it, and I love to hear how, yeah, he's a busy man. So I Dan wrote a number of books drive and to sell his human and ah, whole new mind, and I read his book drive, and I was just blown away. I just loved it. And as you mentioned, he's a best selling author, very busy, heavy online presence and everything. And so I read the book and I wanted to get to know him, and I'm not. I'm not a published author today, but I'd like to be one at some point in the future. And I'd love to write a book like Dan wrote. And so when I read that book, I was like, Well, I'd like to get to know him And so I thought, Well, let's research a little bit more about him. So I researched him online, follow him on social media and then eventually reach out to him and incentive an email, and he had to sell us human coming out, and he and I actually had a little bit of a connection because we both worked in the Clinton White House around the same time. But I don't think we've ever met before, so there's a little bit of a connection there. So when two sellers Human was coming out a little bit before him, I contacted them and said, Will you be a guest? My podcasts and he came on and I interviewed him, and this is a great tip. So I used Skype video. I was only going to use the audio, but I generally use Skype video for doing the interviews because it's like you're right across from the person you can really make a personal connection with them. And then the second reason I use it is because you can also have the visual cues. Like if Dori wants interrupt me right now, it's a lot easier than if we're doing audio. So I did that and got to know him over the interview and everything. And then afterwards he was coming through San Francisco a couple of months later for a book signing. So I got tickets for it, and I'm like, Great, this is great. I'm gonna go down from the intimate little gathering and get to know him. There'll be like 25 people in the room would be like this, you know, and go down there. There are hundreds of people there. I mean, it was just completely packed. Lots of people there. And so I'm like, Great. Okay, I'm not gonna get to know him, but, you know, I go through the speech and everything, and it was a good speech. And then there's a huge line afterwards. Get your book signed and I was like, OK, great. And waiting in line and get up near the front. Finally up near the front, there's a big guy in front of me. And then he finally steps aside. And I go to introduce myself to Dan and he says, Oh, hi, John. And it was just, like, so amazing. Here's this author that I really admired, that I really wanted to get to know and through this flat world, as you mentioned earlier through these powerful tools of social media and podcasting, which is incredibly cheap, cheap tool, I was ableto build a relationship with him. Really? That's fantastic school. And then, of course, you know, since then I've continued to follow up with him. I've introduced him to other podcasters who have much bigger podcast than I have, which is a value to him and a value to the podcaster, because then they get a great guest. I mean, I've introduced him to a number of podcasters. We're very excited to have Dan Pink on their show. So it is really a win win win all around for everyone. I love that. So how how do you get over the idea? Because some people might say Oh, but you know Dan Pink, so busy I don't want a father Dan Pink. So how do you know what would actually be of interest to him? And how often do you make a point of pinging him? Well, it's You want to remember that things go in cycles in life. So some people have periods where there may be too busy and other periods where they really invite that, especially if they're an author, especially if they own a business that they want to get customers or clients, no matter what level you're at. Even if you're a big movie star or a movie director, you got to get butts in the seats to come watch your movie. So whoever it is, they're gonna be periods of opportunity for you where you can work your way in now it's not gonna work with everyone is not gonna work with the huge names, but you work your way up the ladder. And so I looked at it and I said, He's you know, I didn't ask him to come on my podcast right away. I waited for the opportunity. In fact, actually, I had him on twice once was related to these workshops, which came out of Derive that he was unveiling, and the other time was related to the other book to sell this human. And so it was. It was something that he was looking for is an opportunity for him to get his word out. And it was actually pretty early in the promotion, so he might have even looked at it as this is an opportunity for me to practice my spiel a little bit. Before I go get interviewed by Oprah or something, you raise a really important point because I think a lot of people you know would would say, Oh, gosh, it's just universally hard to get in touch with prominent people. But you know, John is really saying There are moments when you know the veil kind of lifts and in those moments, if you seize them, the people actually really want to have connections, and that's when they're welcoming. Absolutely. I mean, the way I see it is, you know, if I called up like guy Kawasaki and damping and I said, Hey, you know, um, be in your area next Friday. You mind if we need it to Starbucks for, like, 45 minutes and then I want to pick your brain? Just pick your brand is that cool. You know, they'd be like, forget it. Who are you? You're weird. But if I were to say, I'd like to talk to you for 45 minutes over Skype, I'm gonna record it. And I'm later gonna posted on the Internet, and it's gonna be out there forever for people to listen. Teoh. And you can talk all about your book. And maybe I ask you some questions that are of interest to me in my audience. That's totally different. Dynamic. And yet it's really the modern modern version. You and I co authored a piece and Forbes on this topic about how that type of tool is really like the modern version of asking someone out to coffee. Yeah, absolutely. And so you were You were mentioning this a little bit, John. And I'm curious. Maybe you can expound upon it, but about kind of working your way up the ladder to more and more successful people. Can you talk about that idea? Sure. Yeah, so I mean, you know, obviously, when you if you're starting a podcast or even if it's not a podcast, that not even has a podcast. But you could you could do an interview and you can publish it on your blogging can transcribe it. You can email. It's all your friends. You can put it on a linked in blawg put on linked in, you know, mediums opened up their platform in. There are so many different ways you can do it and you obviously wanna work your way up. You know, you start doing something that's lower profile, and then you work your way up to something that's more and more prominent. That's that's what I've done with my writing is each step of the way you get a better opportunity, and then you use those opportunities to attract the other individuals. So, like, for example, Noah Kegan is someone that I really wanted to interview. He's the founder of Absolute. He's been here creativelive teaching, and I really wanted interview a couple of years ago, I when I had a very small block, I sent an email to like a press person or something. It was horrible and got rejected immediately. So flash word a couple years, and I still wanted to interview him, but I hadn't had a chance yet, so I ended up writing about him in a post that I'd done on the art of manliness. He actually ended up seeing it and sending a message to me on Twitter Oh, principle number to write about them and they will come to you. Absolutely. And so I said, Ah, here's my opportunity. So I waited a little bit. I don't want to seem too eager, right? So I waited a little bit. We exchanged messages on social media. And then finally, after ah week or so, I sent an email out to him. Ah, very succinct email saying that I wanted to interview him. And this is also another key point. I didn't just do like one of general, you know, when someone's really popular, are popular or well known, they get these interviews that are just on every topic under the sun. So I said, I want to interview you on the narrow topic of failure. He'd actually been employee number 30 at Facebook and then had been fired and written about this publicly. So in written about failure. So I wanted to interview him on that narrow topic and four art of manliness, which I already knew he liked. And Ban. He sent me an email back for the email said First line was Dude, you write a great cold email and said I'd love to do an interview. And so from that I did an interview, and then I got to know him and again continued to provide value. I introduced him to other podcasters who had bigger audiences in mind and other people and what? Not in Actually. Just yesterday before we got together, I went and met him for the first time, face to face, because he was in San Francisco and we emailed and we ended up going and getting a drink yesterday evening. So you can really build a relationship with someone by, you know, building those steps, stepping stones. But it doesn't. You know you're not going to start with someone who's who's world famous. So you know, to your question as faras how to start. I take start with your friends, start with people in your industry. Other professionals, you know, get your experience because it takes a while to get good at interviewing someone. It's it's a very distinct skill, and so I think, work on it for a while and then work your way up the ladder. And then you have a platform like you have Forbes or I write for Huffington Post from time to time, or are the manliest or whatever it is? I mean, it could be a ah horse industry newsletter that's well respected in your industry. Whatever it ISS, use that as an opening for you, then to go to someone else and say, I'd like to interview you for this publication and that might mean a lot to them. Yeah, that's that's fantastic. So I'm curious if there's online questions for for John or comments from folks out out in the ether. It wasn't one, and I'm not sure whether that completely, that may have answered it to a degree that there was a query about how many in order to have someone like pink on your podcast. What sort of audience do you need to have like until they're interested? You sort of touched on that with the Noah Kagan thing. But you know, what's funny is I really have anyone ask that question rarely and especially if you're gonna if you say that like what I sometimes do, and what Dorie sometimes often does is she'll be writing for different places, so she might be interviewing someone for the purpose of including it in future book, which boy everyone would like to be in the future book. You say you're working on a book and they will be thrilled or you might be writing for a publication. It doesn't have to be Forbes again. It could be a smaller, you know, newsletter in your industry or something like that. But, you know, I honestly have rarely ever had anyone asked me that. And then the other thing is, is once you get a few names that have been on their that they know and they respect, all you need to do is send an email to that person saying, I've had X, Y and Z on my podcast and I'd like to have you as well and they know those names band they'll be on in a heartbeat. And that John Lee do Miss Yvonne, the entrepreneur on Fire podcast, which is very popular now. He used that strategy early on in landing a few big names early on with his podcast, and then I was ableto land many other people after that of all Jeremy Hall wants to say hello, but he actually does have a question when reaching out to successful people. Do you work through mutual connections first? Oh, great question. So, um, I think you can, but you don't want to abuse that. You know you don't want Teoh. Um, you want to do it too frequently, and also that person might not be comfortable being in that position. But on the other hand, if if you're talking about reaching out to someone who's got, like, a book coming out or like a new business that they're launching or you've got something unique that you can offer them like, for example, let's say you saw these things. No Kegan as an example again, you. Let's say you saw a nap Sumo's website that they're hiring a chief marketing director, director, marketing. And you know someone else who's have really well qualified candidate is interested in that You could go to that person that you know, who knows Noah Kagan to say, Hey, um, I know you're friends with no Kegan. Maybe this would be an opportunity to be helpful to him because it could really be helpful. I mean, they get a great employee than that. It's very useful to them. So I think I think it's OK to Dio. On in particular is you do have a podcast or a platform or something and you want to interview them for the purpose of promoting something to give them publicity. Then I think that they're more likely People are more likely to make that introduction because I know it's a value to its Anita two way street. That's right, because, you know, going back to the to the power dynamic issue. If if there's no reason for the person to talk to you and your legal please be on my podcast, please let me interview you. Please let me have coffee with you. You're kind of begging. But if they need something, I publicity or, you know, whatever it ISS, then all of a sudden you're offering, it's you know it becomes a farm or equal transaction because even if Dan Pink is more famous than you were, have sold more books than you in that moment. He actually needs something from you because he needs to sell his book and you have a platform to help him reach new people. So it equalizes the relationship enough so that you can then build a real relationship. Yeah, and just follow up on that point. Another thing that I often say is that if you're having a conversation with someone who is very successful, like a while back, I asked a number of my readers about what would they say if they spoke to Oprah? That they an opportunity meet Oprah? And she's just a example of someone who's very successful. We all know who she is right now, But if you have that opportunity, what would you say? And a lot of the questions were like, How would you break into TV? How would you build a media empire? How did you who do you think is the new you today? It's like if you ask those questions in just a regular conversation, it's putting them on a pedestal, and it's separating the two of you. It's not really adding much value to them, and it's also like, How do we even answer this question versus if you try and make a personal connection? You know, like we've all heard of, keep it simple, stupid like, I think, keep it personal, stupid keep it as personal as possible, so I don't know a lot about Oprah. Okay, maybe I subscribed Oprah magazine or whatever. Okay, but the point is like What I do know about Oprah's a small thing. I know that you like Yellow Labs and I read that somewhere and she has had a number of yellow legs, and I personally, we had some relatives who had a really sweet dog named Sandy that we used a house it for dogs it for and passed away a couple years ago. And we love the stock. She was so friendly. So if I was talking to Oprah, that's what I would talk about. It be a way of making a personal connection with her and she probably turning around, start talking about some dog of hers. It she had that she was really passionate about. It's a lot better way to make a connection with someone a lot more human way. Yeah, that's such a good point. I love that. So are there also open it up in in studio here, Feel free to raise your hand if you If you have questions, we want to get yours. But is there anything coming in over the transom for John. How far in advance, John, do you try to reach out people pride of the road costing to be? What's your sort of timing on that part of doing the actual interview? Well, let's set up a schedule like it depends. I mean, like, I had Gary Vaynerchuk on Gary Vaynerchuk during 2013. He decided to do one interview a day the entire year long, and I found out about a think in February of 2013. And so I put in a request. I was booked for October. It doesn't always happen. Time ruminate on those questions. Yes, exactly. Your answers might be different around. Seriously, Yeah. I mean, he'd been by one book. He was like under the next book by that point, but yeah, I mean, I think most people, if your timing it like before they have something big coming out, then give them plenty of advance notice because they might have people working with them or they might have a really tight schedule. I interviewed Adam Grant recently, the author of Give and Take. That's a whole nother story. How he ended up getting him on, but I had requested way in advance, and I started building a relationship with him way in advance. But he'd been profiled by The New York Times, and he's a full time professor at Wharton. Very busy guy. And so I had to keep on building, keep on building, and I ended up writing about him again online. And then after that, I sent it to him. And then he was really impressed by that. And he put me in touch with his PR person, and it still was another, like, two months or so before it got scheduled. So it really depends on the person that you're trying to interview some of them, but it might take a while. Others will be like, Hey, I can do it tomorrow, right? So how did you get the Adam Grant interview? So I wrote a very long article about how to do introductions. That was again an art of manliness, which I write about which are right for regularly. Um, it was it was about. Specifically, he talks about weak ties and strong ties and and the difference between those in relationships. And so I wrote this really long article That was kind of using his theory and then applying it. And and then I just sent an email to him saying, Hey, I wrote this thing and and he liked it. And then he and I think I might have said that I'd love to interview you at some point. So he got me in touch with this PR person, and then and then it still wasn't happening. It's still was taking a long time. So then I was like, OK, I'm gonna have to, um, use Adam Grants own training on getting him as an interview because he talks about the power of giving. So I started sending introduction. So the PR person of different people that she could meet, which was really valuable to her because she represents book authors. So I was introducing her to other podcasters with very large audiences. And finally she broke down. She was like, Okay, just go away. You can You can interview Adam Grant finally. Well done. That's fantastic. Yeah, I I really I really like that a lot. And so you know, that's the other thing. When you write about people, you don't have to be passive. You don't have to just say, Oh, well, you know, maybe they will discover it online that I wrote about them. You can take the link and email it to them and say, By the way, I mentioned you in such and such. And when you do that, you know, sort of emblazon is itself in. I mean, you know, oftentimes the person will read it. They'll say thanks. And then the next time you approach them Oh, John Corcoran. Yes, he's that guy who you know, did that nice thing for me and it makes them far more likely to want to say yes because they've seen an example of your work. They know you do a good job and they feel a certain level of indebtedness because you've already gone out of your way for them. Another one I love to dio is, and this is so easy, so easy to do. Every laptop these days has got a built in camera. You literally flip open your laptop and maybe it's a book that they have out. Maybe it's an equal for equine photographer that you really admire. You just speak straight to the camera holding the book, or maybe holding like a photography book that they came out with and giving it a two minute review. Very easy to Dio saying, This is why you like the book and then you're done. You upload it to YouTube, and then you maybe stand a link to that person, and that's it. And I've done that a number of times. I did it, for example, with Carol Roth, the author of Entrepreneur Equation. She emailed me because she'd picked it up in a Google News alert before I could even even email her. So it's a great way to connect with people. And then you don't even need to have a blogging and even need data website. You've uploaded it to YouTube, where people confined it all the time, and YouTube is a channel in itself. So that's right and is and is a related thinks something that I often do. You don't even have to use technology if you don't want. You can write an Amazon review for the book or a good reads review and send the link to that. It's good to do it, but you know, it's like the tree falling in the forest. You don't get credit for it unless you email the person and let them know. Because particularly it's been a little while since your book came out, they might not be checking all the time about, you know, new reviews. So you let him know, and they are almost invariably very grateful because having a good review up on a site like that, it's an amazing public form form of social proof. And they're extremely appreciative for that. So great suggestion. And I also want to say is do it out of sincerity. I mean, do it for people that you admire, whose work you admire, people who you want to want to get to know. It's all about the power of the sincere compliment to someone. It's not about doing something that's insincere or because you're just trying to get something from them literally. It's just about like, this is someone whose work I like. This is someone who I admire, and this is someone who I'd like to give a little bit something back. I got such value out of their book. I'd like to give a little bit back to them. Yeah, that is the right attitude. Definitely. That's great. other questions that people have. I've just got a quick one here from time captured John. If you don't do podcast, do you think that interviews work as well in blog's Absolutely. Yeah, in fact, that before I had a podcast, I did that I would interview people and transcribe it or you don't even need transcribing and you can take notes. I know Dori is like the world's fastest type of summer here. She just doesn't really fast, but yeah, you could just take notes or you can usually little excerpts from it. You write an article about it, you know, absolutely. It's true. And blog's. You know there's another good strategy is if you can find ways toe sort of over deliver. It really is exciting for folks. Like, for instance, I can't do this is much anymore, because I'm writing for a lot of different publications now. But in my very early days, when I was first blogging for Forbes, I would, you know, set up an interview with somebody and say, Can I interview for my former bloc? And so we would do it and, you know, maybe we talked for 45 minutes or an hour or something like that should get a lot of material. And, uh and so what would happen is I do a vlog post and send it to them, send them the link and be like, Oh, this is great. Thank you. They really appreciate it. But, um, you know, if you really started comb through, you can often find multiple articles embedded in a 45 minute interview. So do a second piece and then send in the lake, And then I do 1/3 1 and they're like, Oh, my God, for 45 minutes I mean, I get written about in Forbes three times and you know, those people are very appreciative and they remember who you are. Yeah, maybe spread it out over time, so you don't look too stalker, if you know that's right. I'm curious about that when you do that interview and you guided that also it So it's it's interesting. Do you keep this? Sounds a bit store Krish, but as a professional, do you keep it as a file? Do you keep that thing is a file on the new delve into it and pull quotes out and do how do you actually file every all of those interviews that you've got. So you do that for me personally. I mean, just in terms of the the sort of technical element of it, you know, I'll keep I'll keep the raw interview, as you know, a word document. Basically, And, uh and so the first thing that will do is try to figure out what is the theme and how many pieces are there in it. So, you know, if there's if I think I get two articles out of it, three articles out of it, you know that all, uh, I'll keep the original document and then pull make copies of the relevant quotes and pull them into thea articles that I want to dio. But then, actually something that I did for for Adam Grant. As a matter of fact, I interviewed him for my Forbes. Blawg wrote to different posts about it, and actually, it's not sure I did one post for Forbes. But over the course of time, you know different little pieces, little nuggets of things that he said kind of stuck with me. And so is writing posts on kind of unrelated topics for Harvard Business Review. And so, in two different Harvard Business Review posts, I've quoted him on just some of the outlying things that we talked about. And you know where I thought the quote could make a contribution. And so I ended up writing about him in three different contexts as well over a period of time. But so, yes, sometimes even just a line or two, you can plunk in somewhere. And, you know, people are really appreciative for the mention. Yeah, that's great. Yeah. Any questions from our in studio audience? Yo, debt. So in in, like, more kind of like thought field, like us are in business and marketing and communications and stuff makes a lot of sense. And there are these figureheads that have a lot to say. So, Unterberg, you makes a ton of sense. I'm just thinking in terms of, um, like there aren't really a lot of like famous, um, body painters, makeup artists, necessarily that I want to like, have ah, traditional interview. So I have had an idea, which is kind of which is also a symbol. Easier to say yes to it. Just basically like maybe I come up with three really good questions, and I put it out to a big net of, like anybody who's making a living, a za human decor artist and, um, and and and basically get that their answers and then coagulate that into some kind of e book or a big master document that then I can give away if exchange for people joining the list. So something that's sort of how easier but it still gives gives them the honor of like, I see your doing well in your field. And I would love your answer. So I don't know if that's not really question, but it's sort of, I guess it's more like for people in more visual fields. Unless who, you know. Photographers maybe don't want to be interviewed. Maybe they don't. But is there some other models for still honoring them and collecting a little bit of them, too, Both promoting benefit them and yourself at the same time? Yeah, I think that there's a couple ways you go with that one is absolutely interviewing other people who do what you do is a great idea, and you can just take one discreet question and that you ask all of them. You could ask 20 or 30 or 10 or whatever it is. And you especially want to ask the people that are a little bit further ahead of you in their career because what I found in practicing law is that it's good to get to know those individuals who are further along more successful. Maybe they are more in demand than they charge mawr than you dio. And so if they get enquiries by people who can't afford them or they're too busy to do it, then they may refer it over to you, particularly if you've done something nice for them. Like quoting them in any book, recording them in a block post or something like that. The other thing is, I got contacted by someone a while back who sent me an email, and he had a band like a college band. And he wanted advice on how to, you know, get more gigs basically, and I said, Well, have you thought about How about what if you were to interview the owners of local clubs in your student newspaper at your college and just give them, like, a little profile or something like that? Because those people are booking your gigs, right? It's those people that book in case you want them to hire you. So that gives you an excuse to call them and then write a do a little interview than right up a thing on it, and maybe they'll start asking. So what's your band like? Yeah, you know, that worked well. Yeah, I think that's a brilliant idea, John. It's true. I mean, yes, you can. You can very much use the point that we want to make. I mean, it's it's great to connect with people for the sake of connecting with them, but it is a form of networking, and you can network with all kinds of people. You can network with people who are further along with you in your field. You can network with potential clients You can you can network with, you know, really wide variety folks. And you were just mentioning in the last segment on it that you are kind of looking for a mentor and that, you know, it's a little hard to find people to build relationships with them. And it turns out that for me, I actually going back to the point about creating your own curriculum All. Sometimes when I think about interviewing people, I think about it is how. How do I learn from these folks? How do I get the questions answered that I am dying to know and then all right up because other people might like it, too. But really, at heart, I'm kind of doing It is a way of learning myself. It's almost like if I was ableto have a private coffee with this person, what would I want to know? And I just you know, I make it an article, but for anyone that you think might be a good mentor, you could actually use. This is the way of asking the question on behalf of you and then maybe all the other people out there who would like to learn from it. So this is so true. I call it having your professional like these interviews, I refer them as having a professional development. Double is marketing because, you know, in whatever industry you're in, there's some degree of professional development that you need to dio, which is ongoing learning for yourself. But this is like instead of spending an hour in a conference room absorbing something. Instead, you're spending an hour absorbing something, getting questions answered, and then you're recording it or you're taking notes and then you're turning it into a little piece of marketing that can help them and can also help you. Yeah, it's about and help the audience as well, I'd say as well, people who read that article, yeah, yeah, it's very much about having a win win mentality, how you can learn from you know yourself. You can build a relationship with someone and how you can help introduce them to new audiences and then help those audiences really get that information. It is putting putting a lot of good out into the world as you go through the process of of helping yourself. So that's That's what I really love about John's approach. And Sir John, I know it's about time for you to take off, but I really want to thank you. Get John Corcoran, go to smart business revolution dot com. That's his website, his blogging, his podcast. He's fantastic. He's got all kinds of good stuff there. He's on attorney and a great thinker, and I'm honored to have you on here. So thank you. That's fantastic. Thank you so much. So now we have all of this in, you know, kind of in our heads, twirling around, right? How do we how do we apply it? And so I wanted Teoh get you guys, Whoever here in the in the studio audience and at home If you have the workbook, it's page nine of the workbook making organised during the Making Connections exercise right now. And so what? I'd love Teoh ask all of you to do in the studio and at home is to think about these questions and maybe start filling these out. If you're if you're at home as well, you don't have to. You could write it on your sheet of paper. But in the spirit of John Corcoran's talking about, you can also share with the world by typing into the chat box and and sharing sharing your ideas here. But the questions to be thinking about here make a list of at least three people that you don't know or know very little, but who you would like Teoh. This kind of goes back to Audette's question that she asked earlier about, you know, Well, Gosh, I don't really have a, you know, a team of mentors, But maybe I have a wish list of mentors. And so who would be on your wish list? People that you either don't have any relationship with, Or maybe just a little tiny one. But it's one you'd like toe have grow. And the question then is to really begin to try to operationalize it. How will you connect with them or their things that, you know, opportunities that present themselves? I mean, maybe there's local organic ones that we, you know, might have. Maybe they're in an association locally, and you could go to association meetings and try to make a point of talking to them and engaging with them. Maybe it's somebody who's kind of a professional hero of yours from far away. And so maybe, you know, like John initially started with, you could interview them for your blawg and build that connection. Maybe it's, ah, it's somebody who is a potential client. And you could you could even his newspapers air really hungry for content these days? Maybe you could go to your weekly newspaper in your town, and so you know what I'd like to do a Siri's where I do profiles of local small businesses. Would you be interested in that? And then, you know, if they say yes, you've got this mandate and you can go around and you know it. Z total win win because you're not being sleazy. You go around and do profiles of the small businesses and you're not doing it where you know you secretly at the end, say, and I want you by graphic design services. You know, you do really doing it in a legitimate way where you want to learn about them. You want to write about their business, but in the process, you're really getting to know them and to build a relationship where at some point, it may actually be the case that they say, Oh, gosh, you know, I need I need some new graphic design help, you know? Hey, that woman, Barbara, she seemed really cool. I'm gonna call her and then, you know, really, I think the most important part of this equation a Zoe fill out this form on page nine of the workbook. Something that often gets for gotten is what are you gonna offer them. You know, this is a drum that I wanna really bang because whether it's, you know, mentors, whether it's relationships of any kind, you know, networking, peer to peer networking with mentors or quote unquote powerful people. You always have to think, What am I going to give this person? Otherwise, it really does become an unsavoury, transactional relationship where it's just, you know, scheming about what I can take from other people. That's not how we want to live. That's not how we want to do business. We want to find ways to really say okay for sure. They have things and they can offer me, but I can give back to this is gonna be a mutually beneficial relationship. And so thinking through exactly how you're gonna make sure it's mutually beneficial. So those are the three major categories there that I love for you guys toe to be thinking about. And, yeah, Barbara, a little bit difficult for people who are like a graphic designer of photographers were not necessarily writers. So if I were to do a blood would probably be like, you know, um, about how to do a photo shop technique for the five things to look for in a good logo design, whereas I'm not sure I would be a good writer for some small business in the maybe. But yeah, well, that's That's why I also, you know, want to go back to the point about, you know, having millions of kinds of of different ways of doing things. Night Course not. Everybody's a writer. That's fine. But I bet pretty easily you could be a podcaster because all it takes to be a podcaster is your smartphone literally the voice memo function on your smartphone. I I once was asked to do a radio interview with a station in Austria, and I'm like, OK, I can do that but how do you want me to do that? And literally. But what they said to me is, you know what? We will email you the questions, and then you just turn on the voice memo function of your phone. Just you recite your answers to the questions with email, do and then send us the MP three files from your phone. And I did that. They were perfectly great quality. It's not like I had to go to a studio. I was just in my house and they literally aired them on the radio and they sounded great. So being a podcaster really involves no equipment other than your telephone and a you know, a reasonably quiet room. You couldn't do that in a noisy coffee shop, but if you're in a quiet office, you can do that and you know you're able to accomplish it. And there's free audio editing software. Sometimes you don't even need to do audio editing. But if you did audacity for for PCs and GarageBand for Max very, very easy and free and then you can upload it for free Teoh you know, to ITunes and their services, I use one called Automatic that makes it actually even mawr, simple and intuitive. To do that so really doesn't involve any technical skills. Sometimes people think that it's a really complicated thing to do video to do audio. It is not. It is both not complicated and also very cheap. So if you're not a writer, don't worry. There's other ways of doing it. Absolutely. I'm curious what we're hearing across the transom. Well, we have people that are like Mary W. And time capsule, who earlier was saying that they weren't even gonna take a break. They were losing weight, way hooked on the C l diet. That s so there's just there's a lot of commentary, just about, ah, lot of gratitude trying to figure out how to pull the platform together. And Carla Kano's one of them and says, My platform is coming together But you know, they're still not sure about how how to build the followers. But the intimidation is certainly shrinking that sea That's over the course of this to two days, two session, eight segment things. And it's amazing to see how that has changed online, that people have come in with all these questions. And now there's just a series of our how moments and a lot of people saying this is all making sense and the whole fear factor is removed. It's yeah, that's quite carbon because it's fantastic. That's great. And, yeah, I want to just address the question about followers because, you know, I think the point that the John raised is is really such a good one, because sometimes in our own heads were limiting ourselves, we're saying, Oh gosh, I couldn't possibly ask that person to be a guest on my podcast or, you know, to interview them for my blawg because I only have readers. You know, I need like, 100,000 readers for them to want to do it, but people don't ask literally. No one's ever asked John how many podcast listeners he has and people people never asked me how many blog's readers I have. It's just not a question that they ask. And so people are genuinely interested in doing it because they know. I mean, it would be wonderful. Of course they'd love it if you had 100,000 readers. But even if you have 10 readers, they know it's going on the Internet, and Google will put it there. And so if people are searching for things about that person, it will be found. And so it really does have a lot of power beyond it. So if you are able to do a good job and really help them, shine doesn't matter. If you have a small following now and of course it once you begin to get those people in produced regular content, it begins to snowball and you get more followers. So it's not like I can get. I get more followers and then I'll get famous guests. It's like, No, do them simultaneously, you know, do the latter strategy that John was talking about where you get incrementally mawr well known people on your program, and by the act of doing that, you get people excited and they see Oh, wow, you know, I discovered you because I, you know, I really like this person you interviewed. But now I see you did such a good job. I want to check out these other interviews, and that's that's how it grows. So it's a really exciting process overall, because when you are developing your personal brand, it's it's important to make sure that that you are building your network because these are the people that you know really are kind of your ambassadors in the world. They're helping to spread the brand just like Samantha was saying earlier, that you know, she had a mentor that she really liked and respected, that she agreed to, you know, to help out and work for free, and this woman was so impressed with her. She referred Samantha later to paying work she even wrote unsolicited a. A testimonial about. If you know if you want someone really great, you should hire Samantha. That's the kind of thing we all want in our world. And it's because of growing our network and tapping mentors and powerful connections, not out of a kind of, you know, craven transactional thing where it's like, What can you do for me? But it's about building genuine relationships, authentic relationships where we're always asking the question. How can I help to? How can I help be of value to you? And if we do that, that's building relationships the right way, which is something I talk about in my book Reinventing You. And it's available on on Amazon. In many real world bookstores and things like that, you could just click through and, you know, hey, check it out because it's hopefully you'll enjoy it

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Positioning is a fundamental business practice that individuals looking to advance their own careers can apply to themselves and their small business. Learn how to position yourself in this introductory course to the must-have personal branding skills for all creative professionals.

This course will teach you the skills you need to build an online and offline brand, presence, and portfolio. You’ll learn exactly how to make a rock solid first impression and how to craft and convey the message you want others to hear about your style and your work. Dorie Clark will teach you how to make the most of interviews, introductions, webinars, and more. You’ll create strategies for connecting with the right people at the right time and learn how to use those connections to nurture and grow your brand.

The success of your creative endeavors depends on how well the world understands your professional vision and what you do best. With these core branding skills you’ll level up your prospects and your business.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Dorie Clark - Personal Branding Workbook

Dorie Clark - Syllabus

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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user Snaphappy

I took advantage of the free on-air broadcast. It was a marathon day jam-packed full of things that are rarely, if ever, included in branding discussions including business etiquette ( how to navigate awkward and uncomfortable situations) developing discernment regarding on your clients and associates, developing crucial relationships for clients, collaborators, mentors and sponsors, finding the appropriate social media channels for your business(es), and real-life examples from audience participation. Credit Dorie for my "aha" moment where it all came together resulting in focus and a clear idea of what my business is, my brand and a strategic plan I began implementing within hours after viewing the broadcast. This course is an absolute must for any creative with a business idea, a new business or an established business who wants to keep up with current business trends taught by a witty, intelligent, engaging, insightful, and inspiring instructor and equally informative guest speakers and who doesn't want to reinvent the wheel or spend a fortune going down rabbit holes. A very big shout out to Dorie and Creative Live - my creative go-to "peeps"!

Washeelah Youshreen Choomka

I came across Dorie Clark's work three days ago. I bought three of her online courses. I started with this course and I feel so grateful to her. She has done an amazing work and the course is awesome. I have been in politics before as a woman from a small island in the Indian Ocean and I wish I had done this course that time. The content is properly structured and Dorie's delivery is perfect! Thank you!


Dorie is awesome. If a teacher can get me fully engaged while I'm taking a class from home, they are a great teacher! After taking this class, I felt inspired about my future. I learned new things and was affirmed on some existing knowledge which is also a good feeling. I would definitely take another class from her and feel this is an important class to revisit.