Alexander Hamilton, Recognized Expert

How Alexander Hamilton built a reputation from nothing by networking, creating content, and building social proof.

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With the Disney Plus release of Hamilton, I am thinking of how Hamilton built his personal brand from nothing.

Expert at self-reinvention, Dorie Clark, promotes the use of three tools to become a recognized expert: networking, content creation, and social proof. Hamilton uses these strategies to transform himself from an orphan in the Caribbean to one of the most influential people in US history.

Networking – We succeed in becoming recognized by figuring out how to build relationships with folks who can help us get where we want to go. Hamilton introduces himself to well-known people, makes himself indispensable, and becomes Washington’s right hand man. Washington then makes him Secretary of the Treasury.

Content Creation – We can’t become recognized experts without getting our ideas out there. Hamilton “writes like he’s running out of time.” Of the Federalist papers, John Jay wrote 5, James Madison wrote 29, and Hamilton wrote 51. He wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote and became recognized in part because of the shear quantity of his writing.

Social Proof – Hamilton keeps asking Washington if he can lead a battalion because he knows having success on the battlefield is one way to transcend the rigid power structure of the day. Eventually he does get to serve and his credentials as a revolutionary contribute to the trust people put in him.

How will you use networking, content creation, and social proof to be recognized? Share your next steps in the comments.

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