February 12, 2014


Dan Pink: Author of 5 books. Father of 3 kids. Husband of 1 wife. Pink. Yes. Just like the color.
— Dan Pink,
Six word stories can say lots

When did you discover Daniel Pink? My introduction came from reading A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future a few years ago.

Have you noticed Dan’s solid, non-trendy approach to personal branding?  Let’s explore the steps.

1. Have A Solid Core

It’s easy to torture data to draw sensational but false conclusions. What’s flawed? What’s out-dated? What’s left out? What’s misinterpreted?

Dan uses research carefully. He even calls himself a “fan of double-blind studies” on his Twitter profile. His tweets and newsletter show the quality of content he’s reading. Two other Dan’s inspire similar confidence: Kahneman and Ariely.

Starting from a solid foundation, Dan Pink finds original and believable things to say.

Q: How good are you at detecting and telling the truth?

2. Publish Content

You need to create and publish original content to sustain a personal brand. The best ways depend on you and your market. Your approach can change. You don’t have to use all platforms. You don’t even have to be consistent (but consistency helps).
Dan writes well but stopped blogging. Perhaps the format didn’t suit his schedule.
“We’re going to shutter the blog and instead expand and deepen our collection of videos, articles, and guides on working smarter and living better”. 
— Dan Pink, Jul 17, 2013
Office Hours podcastDan has a series of audio interviews called Office Hours. Episodes used to be live but are now pre-recorded. That gives more flexibility for his guests and him. The frequency varies. There’s usually a new recording every month or two.

I recently stopped podcasting after 250 episodes to focus on creating short videos, including interviews.
Public Speaking
Dan does lots of speaking. I’ve seen him twice. His messages are simple, clear and memorable. Since he's honed his content, Dan has time to engage the audience and add a surprising amount of humor.

You might not do  much public speaking but can create video in the comfort of your office.
Click to access iDoneThisAdvance purchasers of To Sell Is Human were invited to a special New Year’s Day 2013 webcast (slides with a voiceover). The surprise? Dan didn't say much about his book. Maybe he wanted us to read it.

Dan talked mainly about about other things on his mind: books, apps like iDoneThis (which I now use daily) and gadgets (e.g., a bluetooth wireless speakerphone). He reminded us that he doesn’t use affiliate links when making recommendations.

Dan’s approach works because he’s interesting and credible. We want to know what he’s found for us.

3. Build A List

Dan uses a newsletter as his primary way to stay in touch with his followers. That’s a lasting gift with wide appeal. Dan’s frequency is irregular and the content irreverent. You never know what you’ll get or when. Dan’s personality oozes through each issue. Before subscribing, you can look at his latest issue.

Q: Do you have a newsletter with personality? [I use a similar approach to Dan but make all past issues accessible and publish monthly.]

4. Remain Accessible

how to contact Dan Pink
Dan is easy to contact. He doesn’t post his phone number but his website lets you email him. You’re not forced to use a web form either.

“During the month of February, I will be dealing with a bunch of travel that will make it difficult for me to respond to email. If you need to reach me urgently this month, please go here …”
Make your contact info prominentWhen Dan travels, he uses Awayfind to screen his emails. If you think yours is urgent, you fill out a form and he gets notified. This process manages our expectations, which strengthens his brand. He looks like he’s in control.

Q: Is your contact information prominently displayed? [My sites show phone numbers (local, toll-free), an email address and a way to book a meeting. No hunting required.]

5. Be Different

People of Dan's calibre rarely allow their live presentations to be recorded and posted. Dan doesn’t seem to mind. Here’s a recording for each recent book:
What does he lose? He reaches more people, which extends his brand. He’s still worth seeing live because that experience is different than reading a book or watching a recording.

Q: What makes you different? Where is this visible? [I blog and post live recordings — both unusual for an actuary.]

Yogi Berra said “You can observe a lot just by watching.” Dan Pink makes a worthy model.


PS Add generosity to Dan’s brand characteristics. He kindly donated books for Money 50/50.

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