BOOK REVIEW: Being Known isn’t just for Public Relations pros
By Ariel Weihl
Facebook launched in 2006 and cemented social media as a critical marketing tool for all businesses. Now, twelve years later, I’m enrolled in a public relations class designed to give students hands-on experience in this dynamic field. Before taking the class, I spoke with my professor about my professional goals. I explained to her that I want to go into digital marketing with the end goal being to combine my expertise in digital and social media marketing with my passion for strategic communications and international business. One of the best recommendations that I got that day was to read the book: Known by Mark Schaefer.
Known is ostensibly about personal branding in the digital age, but there’s a deeper story than that. Throughout the book, Schaefer shares the stories of many entrepreneurs, including artist Lorraine Loots, construction industry consultant Shawn Van Dyke, and Diana Krahn, a former fashion industry executive who now dedicates her life to helping others. All of them have one thing in common: they had the courage to pursue their dream.
They didn’t simply, “do what they love,” though they all have a passion for their work. Instead, they all had an idea of something they wanted to do, some way they wanted to make an impact on the world and chased after it. They all had goals, strategies, and reasons for doing what they did, even if it was as simple as supporting their family.
These entrepreneurs achieved their goals by leveraging a tool that everyone has at their disposal: social media. For example, Lorraine Loots is known for her daily posts of miniature artwork on Instagram. Brazilian food star Isadora Becker got her start by posting YouTube videos of her dressed as characters from famous movies and TV shows and cooking recipes from them, like Marge Simpson and Homer’s favorite donuts. Of particular note is John Lee Dumas, who went from a US Army Officer to a millionaire thanks to his Entrepreneur on Fire podcasts.
Anyone can become known through social media, but no platform is perfect for everyone; this is something that Schaefer addresses. In his review of Known, Martin Bamford noted, “I also liked the recognition that different platforms suit different personalities; Mark lists the types of platforms which might best suit introverts and extroverts, which is helpful for anyone (like me) who would react with instant horror to the suggestion of a TV appearance or public speaking.”
But Known is not just for the person who wants to become a social media influencer or newest expert in whatever field. It’s for the person who wants to make a positive impact on the world but doesn’t quite know where to start. This book is for the person who is struggling to figure out what they really want to do with their life, other than pay bills and die. It’s for everyone.
It’s for you.