Careers: The Young Turks of Personal Branding

There must be something in the water. At least that’s this baby boomer’s answer to the 20-something whiz kids populating the Internet.


There must be something in the water. At least that’s this baby boomer’s answer to the 20-something whiz kids populating the Internet.


A few weeks ago I wrote about personal branding phenom Tim Ferriss and his best selling book, The Four Hour Work Week. Tim, at 29, is an old man next to personal branding maven Dan Schawbel. If you haven’t heard about 23-year old Schawbel, you will. Schawbel is a personal branding force of nature. And force of nature isn’t just meant metaphorically. Even though Schawbel works full-time in marketing for EMC, he manages to find time to comment on virtually every personal branding blog. In addition, he runs his own blog that has a Google page rank of five or six. That’s just for starters.

Flashing a personal press kit – yes a full-fledged press kit all about himself – that would put to shame most experienced marketers – Schawbel hasn’t left any stone unturned in his personal branding mission. His beautifully-done press kit runs 12 pages and includes testimonials from the likes of managers at Reebok, EMC and LoJack. Schwabel says he had eight internships in college, including working at Rebock and LoJack, and seven volunteer leadership positions in organizations.

Want more? Schawbel has created his own personal branding awards with this year’s Gold Winner (there are also silver and bronze winners) Rohit Bhargava, a vice president on interactive marketing Ogilvy Public Relations who also blogs.

Schawbel today launches a personal branding magazine, Personal Branding, with personal branding extraordinaire Donald Trump gracing the inaugural cover. With articles by Guy Kawasaki and other Web luminaries, along with sponsors, the magazine looks like the real deal. Recognizing that you often get more by giving, Schawbel is donating proceeds from the magazine to the American Cancer Society.

In between all of this, he somehow finds time to write about personal branding for outlets like and


Then there’s what he calls Personal Branding TV, video interviews with marketing professionals and students he coaches on personal branding.

Schawbel is by far the most determined and persistent 23-year-old I know. In fact, I wouldn’t be writing this post if he hadn’t sought me out in May to comment on my blog and introduce himself. Since then he has conducted an ongoing campaign to get me to write about him, and as you can see, he was successful.

Schawbel has also worked the Internet like a master. As he puts it, “Networking through blogging reigns supreme now. I’ve had two authors send me their best selling books with their signature and comment on the inside cover, just from a conversation and linkage between blogs.”

Later this month he plans to launch Having the confidence of a seasoned politician, Schawbel says the site will be “revolutionary because it breaks down my brand into the elements I preach on a recurring basis.”

Here is some advice from Schawbel:


• Remember it’s what you do that makes you who you are and how you project that to others that makes you memorable.
• Develop original content and use it as a talking point to network with other professionals to further your career.
• Become known by establishing a blog and use it to network with others. Take risks, reach out to new people and never quit. There are far too many opportunities and people out there to let roadblocks get in your way. Remember that you are the CEO of You, Inc (Tom Peters), so you need to make things happen and not rely on others.

Wendy Marx • Public Relations/Marketing Communications • President, Marx Communications, Inc. •

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About the author

Wendy Marx is the president of Thriving at 50+, a personal branding, and a career reinvention coach for people 50 and up. She's sought after for her ability to turn virtually unknown people into brands of distinction