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Author: Heidi Cohen



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What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing and why is it so important?

The most important thing you can do to enhance your marketing is to start creating content, whether it’s blog posts, a Twitter feed, a podcast, videos, etc.

The most powerful form of marketing is inbound, because people have already decided they like what you have to offer and are looking for more. But to get them coming to you, you first have to begin sharing your ideas.

What was the inspiration for your book?

My first book, Reinventing You, was inspired by my own experience changing careers many times in my first decade out of college – from being a newspaper reporter to a presidential campaign spokesperson to a nonprofit executive director.

The inspiration behind Stand Out, my new book, was the question: what’s next? Once you find the place where you’d like to make your mark – in my case, writing/speaking/consulting – you have to crack the code on how to get your work noticed and how you can break through.

I interviewed 50 top thought leaders in a variety of different fields, from business to technology to genomics, to figure out secrets that regular professionals could apply to their own lives to help them get noticed and stand out.

What is the key concept behind your book?

The key concept behind Stand Out is the fact that the best career insurance possible is making a name for yourself in your field. People will always want to work with you, even if it costs more, if you’re viewed as an expert in your company, community, or industry.

So it’s essential to take the time to develop that expertise and make sure you’re recognized for it.

What do you want readers to take away from your book or be different as a result of reading it?

I’d like readers to recognize that you don’t have to be a ‘special’ kind of person to develop ideas you’re known for.

Of course, most people can’t become world experts on a given topic. But anyone, with hard work, can become a ‘local expert’ in their company or their community, and we shouldn’t shy away from trying.

Becoming recognized for your knowledge and expertise is one of the best things you can do for your career.

How do you describe yourself professionally?

I describe myself as an author/speaker/consultant. If I have more time, I’ll mention my books – Stand Out and Reinventing Youand the fact that I teach for Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?

Some of my very favorite business books include:

They’ve taught me about power dynamics and how people work – things every professional needs to understand.

What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your life or career?

I’ve certainly been rejected a lot!

I had 3 book proposals turned down before Reinventing You was finally accepted, and ended up writing the book in part because all the jobs I had kept evaporating. (I was laid off from my journalism job and the gubernatorial and presidential candidates I worked for both lost.)

I reinvented myself purely out of necessity!

What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?

I used to do improv comedy in college –and consider it the best training for the business world I ever had!

Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?

In addition to my 2 books, I’m especially proud of a workbook I created based on Stand Out. It’s called “139 Questions to Help You Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It,” and it literally walks readers through a series of questions to help them apply the concepts to their own lives in order to develop their best ideas.

Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share?

I’m delighted for the opportunity to share ideas with your readers, and thanks!

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Dec. 3, 2014. Boston, MA. Portraits of Dorie Clark. © 2014 Marilyn Humphries

Portrait of Dorie Clark. © 2014 Marilyn Humphries