Dennis Yu talks with Jason Barnard, the founder, and CEO of Kalicube SAS, a digital marketing agency specializing in Brand SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
In this podcast, Dennis Yu talks about personal branding strategies and how high-authority SEO helps you in personal branding. He also shares how search engines evaluate the links to your website. He also shares how he is helping young adults to excel in the area of digital marketing.
00:20 Introducing Dennis Yu
01:01 How do I rebuild a brand’s presence in Google’s Knowledge Graph?
02:42 The idea of mentoring young adults
06:32 Seizing opportunities and creating success
08:30 Sometimes, the experts don’t “know the best“
09:04 Dennis Yu’s experience as a digital marketing mentor
12:55 What is personal branding according to Dennis Yu?
16:49 What makes a successful personal brand?
19:40 Redefining personal branding
20:28 Using WordLift to push entities into the Knowledge Graph
20:58 Dennis Yu on Facebook Ads
24:12 Ranking in search and then driving sales
29:06 Google vs. Yahoo: How did Google win?
32:57 How does Dennis see personal branding and high authority SEO together?
Rebuilding a brand’s presence in Google’s Knowledge Graph
The Wikipedia editors deleted all the articles around me. You can see there that my presence in the knowledge graph completely disappeared. My knowledge panel disappeared for a few days, and it’s taken me a month and a half to build it back up. It’s been a really interesting experience to discover how important Wikipedia can be in the knowledge graph in the Google understanding space.
The rewards of mentoring young adults
It seems like that’s the way the world has always run the idea of an apprenticeship of learning from someone who’s an expert where the school system will take you to a certain point enough for you to be able to work in a profession that you’ve chosen in the United States.
That really hasn’t been the model because of business school, bro-preneurs, Gary Vaynerchuck, and this kind of thing. But my mentor, Al Casey, who was the CEO of American Airlines, took me under his wing and showed me what it really means to be in business.
My mentor opened so many doors for me. Everything that I’ve ever had was because he initiated it. Those mentors had opened up other doors, and I’ve always approached life that way. Any success I’ve ever had is because someone opened the door for me.
Jason Barnard says, “You made a move, made an effort, and took control of something of the situation. What would you say to that?”
I jumped through. Anything I could do to do a menial task, I was there to do that. Because I wanted to add as much value as possible. If he told me to read a book, I read that book. If he told me to look up somebody before we met them, that’s what I did. And it shortcuts a lot of things, where being able to spend time with him was something that other people were scared to do.
Through another mentor, Bill Harnish, who is a billionaire and runs one of the largest hedge funds on the planet. He bought 500,000 shares of Best Buy in front of me and he explained to me that there are different exercises, that we arithmetically calculate through, but no one told me,
“If you wanna buy a company, this is how you value them.”
Sometimes the experts do not know the best
Jason added, “I made a cartoon for kids. On everything, I was offering and I ended up making it on my own with my ex-wife, and it was a big success. We ended up with a worldwide TV series, with 5 million kids a month coming to the website. And that’s the point is that the experts don’t necessarily know. And somewhere along the line, what you are being taught is not necessarily what’s going to function.”
Dennis Yu’s experience as a digital marketing mentor
A few months ago, right before the pandemic thing and I remember speaking in a large auditorium with a whole bunch of professors, and I said,
“Raise your hand, if you would like to get a job if you have a job.”
All the students raised their hands. And I said,
“Okay, for those of you that have your hands up, how much do you need to make, or would you like to make, to consider yourself successful over there? 30,000 , 35,000, right?
So I said, “Everybody here graduating, if you made $3,000 a month would you consider that to be good?” And everyone agreed. This was Oklahoma, which is a little bit different. It’s not Los Angeles.
I said, “What if I told you that you could start a digital marketing agency and we’ll give you the clients and the clients are paying you a thousand dollars a month each, with three clients you’re already at $3,000 a month and that’s equivalent to that full-time income, but you don’t have to work full-time to serve three clients.
What if I told you that if you had a certification in digital marketing that is put on together with the university and with us and with GoDaddy and Infusionsoft and some of our other partners, we’ll teach you how to do it from other people who do search engine optimization, build landing pages or run ads on Instagram from the people at Instagram, we have built training together. Would you like to avail this opportunity”?
They’re willing to work hard as long as you can give them direction. Young adults of all ages face those similar kinds of situations. But you’ve to break the chicken and the egg cycle, which is to get some experience so that a business will hire you.
For example, Why would we hire anybody who doesn’t have any real training in digital marketing?
What does Dennis mean when he talks of personal branding?
“What do you mean by personal branding? And what do you mean by high authority SEO and then we can put them together? How does that sound as a neat package?”
That sounds good. Let me tell you a story. Six weeks ago, I spoke at a conference in Indianapolis in front of 300 doctors. So I’m there teaching at a conference of 300 chiropractors at a conference, and we’re talking about digital marketing and how to drive leads for chiropractors. Talking about how search engines work because I built the analytics at a search engine 20 years ago. That gives me some credit. And I tell some interesting stories.
I talk about mentorship and I talk about, how dollar-a-day works and one-minute videos. And at the end of my speech, 60 minutes later and make an offer from the stage saying, okay, anyone who signs up for my thing before the end of lunchtime, because we’re breaking for lunch and you can get this package valued at $8,600 for $2,500.
And we sold 50 of them on the spot. Now, when I was done speaking, there was someone who came up to me, his name was Tristan Parmley and he said I’ve been preaching the same thing about chiropractors who need to make one-minute videos, a dollar a day and get their digital plumbing with the remarketing and all this. I’ve been preaching this for the last three years.
I’ve only been able to get a few clients, but you come here. You suck the oxygen out of the room. And wherever I go, people are saying, because this guy set up a booth in the exhibit hall called Chirorevenue. And people would come up and they’d say, “Chirorevenue, you do digital ads. How is that different than what Dennis Yu does?”
He was deflated. Because you spend money to go to a conference and you pay for a booth and you prepare all these materials and you’re ready to have all these conversations and generate leads. And your thing is called Chirorevenue and you’re ready to drive revenue.
What makes a successful personal brand?
You’re saying that you’ve got a personal brand and people are pulled along by your magnetic personality when you actually present, and the way you actually present what you are doing. And this guy was lacking that kind of branding that you have. Is that correct?
I don’t think it’s about a magnetic personality. I don’t have that magnetic hypnotic charismatic thing. I am not someone who is hustling from the stage. I am not this outgoing sort of personality, but what I did show was that I cared and I’ve published a number of articles. I have a reputation when people ask for help that I help them out.
Shawn Dill is the best-known chiropractor in this space and has an audience of several thousand chiropractors. There are 60,000 chiropractors in the United States. He invited me to be on his podcast and thousands of these chiropractors have tuned in to watch us chat about,
“If you’re a chiropractor, this is what you need to do. This is how you make one minute. This is how you store videos on your iPhone and you get them over to a virtual assistant in the Philippines to edit this video and how you take that video and transcribe it into a blog post.”
Here is all the training on how exactly you do that. If you’re a chiropractor and you don’t wanna do it yourself, but you’d love to just hire someone to do that. And if you like it here, it is free. Let me just give it to you.
Because I gave away all that content. that created more links for us because it influenced the social graph, which is Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn and other people talking about it, which then influenced SEO, which is the result of content, marketing, SEO, PR social media advertising. The thing I did was I gave out knowledge. And come back to that particular space.
You’re saying that the people within that conference already knew who you were because you had been on a famous chiropractor’s show, is that correct?
That’s right. And then at lunchtime people came up to me saying, “I bought your package, but can you tell me what I just bought?”
The majority of the people had no idea what it was that they bought, but they bought it because they, came in and I talked to Shawn Dill, who runs that conference yesterday. He told me, “Dennis when you showed up there, people were gonna buy”. They came in saying, “I know Dennis when he’s speaking, he’s gonna have something he’s gonna sell and I’m gonna buy that.” So they’ve already made that.
Redefining personal branding
I wanna redefine personal branding and then talk about how that ties into high-authority SEO. Personal Branding is not something you do or say, because you could claim that you’re an expert in whatever area and it doesn’t mean anything.
What matters is what other people say about you and when you have enough of this and not because you’re just trying to generate backlinks, but because people who actually have the knowledge who actually have the audience are talking about you, that is a signal that the search engines will pick up.
Using Word Lift to push entities into the Knowledge Graph
Basically, we use word lift, which is a semantic engine that creates schema markup that allows us to push this stuff into the knowledge graph. So we’re having fun right there. You’ve got a knowledge graph or a knowledge panel, which comes from the knowledge graph. That was our success with you. We failed on video and we succeeded in the knowledge graph.
Facebook ads and Dennis Yu
Let me give you another quick example. And then I’ll tell you, how I’m looking at high authority SEO. So when Facebook ads first came out in 2007, I wrote a number of articles. I had a number of case studies. I did a lot of speaking.
I made very few blog posts myself, but I was interviewed by other people, and those things got turned into blog posts and whatnot. And if you did a search for Facebook advertising, On Google back then I was the number two search result. Number one was facebook.com/ads, which obviously you’re not gonna unseat that one. So when I rank number two, when I rank number two on Facebook ads, I thought, wow, this is amazing.
Wouldn’t this be like a big SEO accomplishment? I got phone calls like crazy from people who were in weird places and wanted my consulting, and they were not our client type. I was so inundated with bad-quality leads that it actually was a curse.
Ranking in search and driving sales
I care about actually driving revenue or leads or whatever the business result I face. I don’t care about what I rank for on how many keywords. There are lots of tools that will do that and that might be good. But I wanna know, do those rankings result in traffic? And does that traffic result in a business result? Certainly, as a secondary indicator, how much traffic I’m getting or how I’m ranking on long tail keywords or keywords that I think I care about could be a good sign, but I wanna know, does it drive sales? I believe in actually getting engagement.
How do you bring personal branding and high-authority SEO together?
I spoke at this conference and this was just a month and a half ago. Drove all these sales because I built relationships with other people by sharing my knowledge. I was intentionally trying to do what I call “Inception” in the chiropractor space so that if you wanted to do anything with digital marketing for chiropractors, we would have the most authoritative content by all the other people that appear to be trusted by the chiropractors.
We’ve done it in 10 markets. When you build relationships, high authority is what brings inbound. Every client we’ve ever had. Every podcast we’ve ever been invited to, including this one has been other people reaching out to us.
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.