This is a little-known fact but I have a master’s degree in organizational development and for many years led technology change and adoption efforts at a Fortune 100 company. Leading change can be one of the most frustrating of all career challenges. Today I’d like to share my best lessons from dealing with the biggest obstacles to change.

1. There is no grassroots change effort

I can always expect this question in one of my college classes: “How do I convince my boss we need to change and adapt to …”

“Convince” is always a red flag word for me. Here’s the truth. There’s no such thing…


Since I wrote my book “KNOWN” a few years ago, I’ve continued to immerse myself in the best practices of … well, becoming known! We are in a period of business turmoil and marketing revolution. It’s more important than ever to mindfully, systematically, and urgently master the best practices and rules of personal branding.

I’m doing a ton of personal coaching right now with people who want to stand out in their field. There are certain themes I keep coming back to and I thought I would summarize some of those big ideas for you today.

Here are my 10 Golden Rules of Personal Branding:

1. Be clear on what you want to be known for.

This is the necessary…


I received the most significant business advice of my life more than 30 years ago and it continues to inform my approach to strategy, business, and content creation to this day.

When I moved to Los Angeles many years ago, I desperately wanted to attend the MBA program at Claremont Graduate University for one reason — Peter Drucker taught there (in fact, the school was named for him). If you’ve never heard of Peter Drucker, discovering his books and articles might be the most important thing you can do for your career!

I applied for entry to the college but…


Years ago, I saw a statistic that haunted me. It haunts me still:

The primary emotion people feel when engaging in social media is jealousy.

Our social media narratives largely feature nothing but our shiny best selves. A constant stream of the best vacations and the best meals and the most beautiful children. It can wear on you.

Jealousy. Yes, I can understand that.

Since the day I learned of that statistic, I’ve tried to present a more balanced view of my life. I’m never going to show my normal pandemic hobo state of grooming because it’s kind of gross…


One of the themes of this blog over the past few months has been that in marketing terms, the pandemic was a re-set. I choose this word carefully. It is not a change, an evolution, or an aberration. We are re-starting from a new base level of consumer changes in buying behavior and expectations.

There is NO WAY to look at historical trends and project what might be next. A new study from Facebook provides a glimpse of what I’m talking about.

The report, called Industry Perspective: The Evolving Customer Experience, features insights into how customers are shopping after the…


A good idea popped up in a recent conversation with Trent Dyrsmid, founder of the awesome Bright Ideas Business Podcast. We talked about how doing interviews with important business connections can be an excellent lead generation strategy.

Think about it.

You’re trying to get to know a potential customer. You invite them to a podcast/video/blog interview. For most people, this is a big deal … an honor. They’ll be excited to be on your show or blog and probably share it with their entire family.

In an interview process, you’ll spend 45 minutes or an hour chatting with them over…


I recently surveyed my readers to see how I can improve my blogging. I learned a lot from the feedback, and maybe you will, too. Here are some highlights.

The newbies and old content

Although I’ve been blogging for more than a decade, 75 percent of my readers have followed the blog for less than three years. Of course this makes sense as my audience continues to grow and some of the early readers fade away, change jobs, etc.

One takeaway for me (and you) is that it might be time to re-visit some older themes in my blogging. Many things I wrote about three…


The most important metric for any digital marketing effort is conversions. We all like money. But AFTER conversions, I have a radical idea of the most powerful metric for your content marketing: Social sharing.

Social sharing has been unfairly maligned as a “vanity metric” but I think it’s critical for most businesses because it drives the right behavior in a marketing department. Let’s dive into the majesty of social sharing today.

The business benefits of social sharing

There are three extraordinary benefits of social sharing (which simply means that somebody is sharing your content on their own social media channels):

First, when people share your content…


I have so much to say, and not enough time to say it.

I’ve collected a few ideas worthy of your attention but probably too short for a normal blog post. Here are some short takes for you today …

The crash of the influencer

I viewed a TikTok video of a young woman sitting in her car sobbing because she had just finished her first shift at her new 9–5 job. She’s devastated as she realizes that this could be the routine for the rest of her life. It makes me wonder … we have an entire generation that aspires to be full-time professional…


I recently vacationed in the lovely state of Maine and had dinner with an executive responsible for economic strategy development. He told me that some of the state’s traditional industries are in peril, and the worst is the paper industry. Maine once had 17 thriving paper mills but today there are seven.

What do they do with all those old facilities? What do they do with all those trees?

What does Maine’s paper industry have to do with you and your marketing? A lot. Because Maine needs a new way to look at its strategy development, and you probably do…

Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, strategy consultant, Rutgers University marketing faculty and author of 9 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Cumulative Advantage.

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