Dennis Yu

When I lived in Salt Lake City

In his new book “Zero to One” and in this awesome Stanford startup lecture, Peter Thiel talks about how companies need to differentiate such that they have no competitors.
That sounds ridiculous, if you’re a consultant, since there are so many other consultants out there beating their chests, all saying they’re knowledgeable, care for clients, and such.

And you could narrow the definition of “competition” by geography, but that’s artificial.
I live in Salt Lake City, so I might say I’m the best social analytics person in this town of 70,576 people.
No other people seem to rank for this search in Google, not even me, though it would be easy enough:

But that’s because there is nothing inherently special about social analytics in this town versus any other town.

A friend of mine is a well-traveled conference speaker, and he brings his book around wherever he goes.
He touts his book as a best-seller on Amazon. The credibility wins him, clients.
But his dirty secret is that his chosen category is so narrow that his meager dozen book sales are enough to put him at #1 on Amazon.

Choosing your differentiation by vertical versus geography is actually okay since the industry requires specialized expertise and contacts.
Thiel talks about how it’s better to be #1 in a small market instead of just another player in a big one.

In the former, you have passionate raving fans who are your biggest asset.
In the latter, you have to fight for every dollar.

And if you’re doing what you truly love, your deep passion will show through.
You won’t be intimidated by those who are more knowledgeable than you, since they’re partners in your cause, not enemies.
You’re generating enough inbound revenue that you’re not fighting others for dollars.

You hear a lot of people say “Follow your dreams”

Good advice, but how does someone who doesn’t yet have an established area of expertise build upon this?
What if you’re a student who is still in college and can’t see beyond local retail jobs in your hometown?
It all sounds good, in theory, especially when told by folks who are already successful and talented.

“But how does this apply to me?” they say, leading to false hope and inaction.

The answer is taking incremental steps in something we call “personal branding”.
Even if you don’t have a specialization, it’s the act of starting that will open up opportunities.
The small steps of setting up your profile on different networks, setting up Google Alerts on things you’re interested in, and writing short notes about what you observe are what counts.
Along the way, you’ll build a network, which will lead to the expertise when you need it.
You won’t be able to see in advance how this will unfold– you just need to get going.

Perhaps you’re self-conscious about your writing skills– then just blog for 5 minutes a day.
Sure, your initial blog posts will suck, but I promise you that you’ll get way better and faster.
Do this for 6 weeks straight and you’ll be surprised how far you’ve come.

Just 15 minutes a day

Don’t tell me how busy you are. We all are.
Spend 15 minutes a day doing this.

That’s 15 minutes less surfing the web, watching your favorite show, or whatever.
You have plenty of areas where you can find that time. Just don’t steal from sleep.

Of the people who say they’re busy, I notice they can cut 15 minutes a day of complaining time.
The same is true of people making New Year’s resolutions to do something– don’t be one of those people.

My favorite technique is to just act immediately instead of procrastinating later.
In the time you would have spent shuffling things around, you could have already done a couple of small things.

What no competition looks like

The “so-called” competitors you have are likely stuck in neutral in their content marketing and branding efforts.
And if they’re any good, you’ll want to reach out to them to partner, create content together, and work together on projects.

When you’re sharing your knowledge openly, then you create an atmosphere where others reciprocate.
Rather than being a pompous know-it-all, you’re admitting where you need help, actively soliciting feedback.
And this attracts empathy, creates conversation, and drives the sort of clients that you want.

You don’t need a sales team, since nobody has to cold call or bang on doors.
Clients come to you, they pay you what you ask, and you’re treated well.

You’re happy to work with them and they’re delighted with you, even when you screw up.
They’re so pleased that they create content with you as willing advocates of your techniques.
You’ve made them look good and they reciprocate.

This, in turn, draws in more people who want to work for you (which you tell them is “with you”, not “for you”).
The content that you’ve shared so freely also doubles as training material for new staff.
It becomes the process that all your people follow in how you execute projects in a checklist fashion.

All your people follow the learn-do-teach (LDT) triangle principle.
You lead by your knowledge (learn) and example (do) and others know leadership comes from learning and doing first.

“Stop, don’t!” versus “Don’t stop!”

If you’re at the stage where you don’t have something you’re known for, just get going.
You might have to drop a few clients or projects to free up the time to work on the good ones.
So fire those bad clients and drop those bad behaviors.

Make your mission so clear that if you were to ask someone who knows you what you do, their answer is clear.

Are all your people practicing personal branding?
If not, then, paradoxically, it’s in your interest to build up their attractiveness to other companies.
By making them more employable elsewhere, you’ll lose those who aren’t loyal, but generate so much more from those you keep.

People who are really good can go anywhere, anyway.
They’re not machines or inventory to manage, but athletes to be coached.
You’re not a boss or a manager, but a leader and inspirer.

If you’re a student, seek out folks who genuinely care about your personal success.
As they move up in the world, they’ll take you along with them.

So the question is not “Who are your competitors?’
Rather ask, “Who are your friends and allies?”

Do you have a list of these folks that you want to actively cultivate?

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. 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.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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