Interview: Mark Schaefer on Why Should You Be KNOWN

What does it mean to be KNOWN nowadays?

Being known is not the same as being famous. It’s not about having millions of fans and red carpet appearances. Being known is about approaching your web presence with an intent that creates the proper authority, reputation, and audience to realize your potential and achieve your goals … whatever they might be.

We’re living in a digital reality. Setting up a social media profile and publishing content seem to be easy for some. But there are so many people who struggle with standing out from the crowd. What would you recommend that they do in the first place?

One of the things I learned while writing this book was the importance of consistency. Just starting and persisting week after week may be more important than the angle or the big idea. I have many exercises in the book to explore the types of content that might be just right for you and to get over the hurdles that are keeping you from the beginning!

Do you think that for some people, brands or industries being known might be not important? Maybe for some of them, it might even be better to be unknown?

It’s a personal choice and I address this directly in the book. It is perfectly fine to not be known. It is perfectly fine to think that this is not the best time. In some ways, this is the weirdest self-help book in the world because I very honestly encourage people to examine their lives and determine if this is the right time and the right work for them. The WRONG reason to do it is because of pressure from others.

As you say in your book, being known brings value. A lot of value on many levels. How has this made things easier for you, as you’re definitely someone who is known?

There have been cases where I can absolutely point to examples where I got a consulting job or a speaking assignment because I am known. The ONLY reason people buy my books is because I am known and respected and liked. In fact, the only reason you are interviewing me is because I am known. So you can see in this little example how powerful a personal brand can be. I’m not famous. But I am known in my industry to the extent that it does create an advantage.

In your book, we’ll find contributions from many outstanding experts who share their stories about their journeys in becoming known. Which of these stories has moved you the most?

Oh my, that is such a hard question – there are so many! But perhaps a favorite is the man who grew up as a poor boy in a trailer park and is now a well-known fashion consultant. He did this entirely on his own, using the four steps in the book. I used this at the beginning of the book to inspire people to know that of this guy can do it, can’t you do it too?

Most of the people in the book started with NOTHING, and nobody is born an expert. Isn’t this a wonderful and miraculous time where we all have the ability to publish content and create our own voice, our own power on the web!

If you had to recommend one daily habit to add to your routine in order to become known and succeed, what would it be?

You need to schedule the time to create content, just as you would schedule an important meeting. You must have the discipline to start, to persist, and to learn and improve. It may be difficult creating content on a consistent basis, but six months from now it will be easier, at least if you take that first step and begin!