Don Schindler

Executive Reputation Coach & Digital Marketer

Category: Branding (page 2 of 3)

My Top 7 Top Marketing and Business Books from 2013

People are always asking me what kind of books I read (usually right after presentations) and I try and rattle off the ones I can remember in the moment.

So this post is mainly for me so I can remember which books I recently read and loved – then I can just direct people to the post so they can easily buy them.

I’ve also got a saying on my desk – I ripped it a long time ago and changed it slightly to meet my needs but it goes like this.

Learn From Everyone
Follow No One
Watch For Patterns
Work Harder Than Everybody

These books helped me learn. They also preach about “not following”, which to me means, don’t copy people. They gave me insights into the patterns and a lot of these guys work extremely hard.


The Age of Context


The Age of Context – Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Great book on what’s coming next.  Robert is also the guy you see all the time with Google Glass on. I’ve got my own but can’t seem to engage with it as much as he does.






Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary’s new book is great because of all the examples he gives. He takes the time to point out what works and what doesn’t in social media. Quick read. And I’m really into boxing right now so I love the metaphor.







Youtitlity – Jay Baer

Jay’s a good friend but I would still recommend Youtility even if he wasn’t. Marketing is changing dramatically and if you provide someone a benefit with your marketing it can last a long, long time. Great examples – it’s about help, not hype. I’m a firm believer in that type of communication.






Hierarchy of Contagiousness


Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness – The Science, Design and Engineering of Contagious Ideas – Dan Zarrella

Many people think that storytelling is strictly an art form. That there is no way to break it down so people can who don’t naturally get it can produce it. In Dan’s book, he breaks it down so normal people can produce great stories. It’s a very quick read as well.





The Story Factor

The Story Factor – Annette Simmons

I’ve been using Annette’s book for years – even since a boss made me read it back in my agency days. It’s really shows the depth at how stories can be recalled and how to produce them. Well worth the time.






Trust Me, I’m Lying

Trust Me, I’m Lying

The funny thing about Ryan’s book is that I think most people know they are being manipulated and they just don’t care. But Ryan does and he breaks down how the system works. It’s so fascinating yet frustrating to be in this marketing industry. I also love that he doesn’t really have answers on how to fix it.





Growth Hackers

Growth Hackers

Another great book from Ryan on how marketing is done in the tech world and how traditional marketers might learn from it. Good stuff.

So what have been your favorite business / marketing books of 2013?

Five Simple Steps on How to Set Up a Linkedin Profile


Connect with me on Linkedin

Originally,I put together six reasons why I believe you should in using Linkedin.

  • This is a business social network
  • Farmers are missing from Linkedin
  • Your network can benefit your family, friends and the industry
  • Your rolodex will automatically be updated
  • It becomes a strong part of your digital profile
  • Meet new people via groups and interest

You can check it out the post here (why you should be using linkedin) but now it’s time to get started using Linkedin. Things that you will need to prepare before you go over to Linkedin.

  • Résumé – do you still have that document lying around?
  • A good photo or headshot – this doesn’t have to be entirely professional. I use one that draws on one of my hobbies (my motorcycle) and people love it.
  • Any certifications or classes you’ve taken outside of normal education

1. Head over to


You’ll have to enter your name, email address, and a password. Try using an email address you use with colleagues. With your permission, LinkedIn will access contacts from that account and find them for you on LinkedIn. You don’t have to do this right away if you don’t want to – they will keep asking you.

2. Create a profile by adding your name, title and company


Remember that all of this is visible to search engines. Some people add their certifications like RD to their name, etc… Linkedin will send you a confirmation email link to verify you are who you say you are via the email you gave them.

3. Click through the email confirmation link


Once you click through, Linkedin will use your email contacts to find colleagues from your past and present job positions. Simply check the boxes next to their name and they will be invited to connect to your profile.



It will also encourage you to invite others to linkedin as well to help build your network. You can skip this step if you want.


4. Select the basic account


You probably won’t need the upgrade – this is more for people are starting companies or trying to sell through their network.

5. Adding your résumé


Linkedin is going to use simple fill-ins to get your profile in place. This is where your résumé will help you out with dates and companies.

They will start with your experience.

Followed by Education, your Photo, Skills & Expertise and Details.

This will take some time but remember a lot of this stuff you only have to do once and then it’s on the web forever.

The more information you can add the better it will look and more chances that someone will find you and network with you.

Be clear and concise but don’t be boring or use vague terms – industry terms can be fine but will limit your chances to be found. In future blog posts, I’ll show you how to use search and groups to network more effectively as well as adding a company page for your farm.

Did I miss anything on your profile? Is there anything you would like to see me add?

Here’s what mine looks like below. You can connect to me at


Six Reasons on Why You Should be Using Linkedin for Yourself and Your Farm

Linkedin Chocolates courtesy of Nan Palmero

With over 259 million members and growing at rate of two new members per second, Linkedin is the premier business social network and there are many reasons that I believe it is in your best interest to set up a profile and get a company page for your farm and/or business.  If you want to link up with me, here’s my Linkedin Profile.


1. This social network is all about business

Most complaints I get about social networking is that most of the content seems silly like on Facebook (I don’t care what my high school classmate is doing right now) or on Twitter (I don’t care what you had for lunch or that Justin Beiber said).

Linkedin is mostly straight business talk – current headlines are issues effecting the economy or an article about how to retain employees.


2. Where are all the farmers?

There is a serious lack of farmers on Linkedin. Many thought leaders and business influencers are talking back and forth on the network but not with farmers. If you want to join their conversations, Linkedin is a great place to do it.


3. Your network can benefit your family, friends and the industry

You have your personal network of business associates but I’ll bet that no one besides yourself really knows who those people are. If you connect with them on Linkedin, you might open the door to someone you know to connect. For example: Linkedin is a great place for people to search for jobs. Maybe your son or daughter is looking to work at a business and has no idea that you know people that work there. But if you were connected in Linkedin, they would know for sure and would be able to work through you to get connected to the right people in that business.


4. Your rolodex will automatically be updated

Don’t you hate it when you go to find someone’s number off a business card and that number is no good anymore? If you connect with them on Linkedin, then they update their profile information and you can always be connected with them.


5. It becomes a strong part of your digital profile

When it comes to someone searching for your name or farm, you want the good stuff about you to show up first. When you set up a profile for yourself and your farm/business page, there’s a good chance it will pop up on the first page of your search results. This is a good way to control what people see when they look for you.


6. Meet people you don’t know via groups and interest

Sometimes you get busy doing work and don’t have the time to meet new business acquaintances – Linkedin is a great place to meet legitimate business people with likeminded interests. You can do this through joining groups and being a part of their conversations. You can even tailor your news settings and Linkedin will send you business news set up strictly to your tastes.

For example, you could connect to local chefs, foodies, registered dietitians, food industry researchers, Ag equipment providers, bankers, etc…

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to grow your influence and strengthen your business connections for the benefit of your business and your family. With my next post, I’ve gone through the step by step instructions on how to set up your Linkedin profile and company page.

Are there any reasons that you joined Linkedin that I missed? Let me know and I’ll add them.

Is your real personal life and digital professional life mixing?

Real life vs. Digital life.

Where should you spend more time?  Of course, real life.

What will last longer? Umm. That’s easy. Digital life.

How do you keep your personal life separate? Is that even possible nowadays.  You know the govt’s tracking you. And the credit card companies. And your local grocery with its reward card.  What difference does it make?

Where should you spend more time?  There’s a balancing act to it.

My wife and I do a lot of things.  Mud runs, motorcycles, beaches, drive-ins, etc…  It’s a busy real life and I don’t mind sharing it with the world because I get good feedback from it.  My extended family loves the photos and videos.

But it also helps enhance my professional life.  People know probably more than they want to know but that’s ok with me. You can see I’m real and have a life – not just a digital one.

I believe that your digital life can amplify and enhance your real life – but if you aren’t prepared to shape that digital life it can do some serious damage to you and your personal brand.

Of course, your real life will be over someday and hopefully you are leaving lasting memories with everyone you come into contact with – but your digital life will probably last forever so you should treat it like that.  A scrapbook that others will look through when you are gone.  Treat it accordingly.

How do you keep your personal life separate?  I honestly don’t think it’s possible right now.  Digital is so ingrained in our lives.  If you want to protect yourself, buy the right tools to do it.  What are those tools? I honestly don’t know. Everything I’ve heard of is related to scams like the Identity Theft stuff.  Here’s the PPT I shared with a group a little while back discussion your personal and professional brand and how they are blended together.

[slideshare id=15413219&sc=no]

How do you write an internal brand statement? Here’s a simple template.

We were working on doing a brand statement for a company when a colleague Scott Hamlin (currently with Leo Burnett) passed along some good information he received from an expert in the field.

Start with:

To (target audience), (your company) is the (blank) provider/service of (blank) delivered through (blank).

This helped us a ton to put together several brand statements.

If you want to do one for yourself, it’s as simple as filling it out this way:

To (target audience), (your name) is the (blank) provider/service of (blank) delivered through (blank).

Here’s my latest one.

To the dairy industry, Don Schindler is a thought leader for creative integrated marketing and communications solutions delivered by digital communications and educational training.

Do you have any favorites out there?

Older posts Newer posts

© 2023 Don Schindler

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑