I Build Personal Brands

Life Skills That Matter Podcast Featuring Nicolas Cole

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Back in October, right after I released Confessions of a Teenage Gamer, I was invited onto an extremely well-known podcast called Life Skills That Matter.

The big theme of this podcast was focused around the way I have found to balance being both an artist and an entrepreneur. On the one hand, I am a writer and I enjoy sharing my story in creative ways, but on the other hand I have had to learn how to share my work with the world through mediums like digital marketing and personal branding, and so I also enjoy teaching others how to do the same. The world needs more artists who know how to own the success of their own work.

In this episode we talked about:

- Personal Branding.

- Lessons learned from playing competitive video games.

- Team-building and goal-setting.

- Understanding and refining your personal story.

- How I got started on Quora and what that platform taught me about thought leadership.

To listen to the podcast, click here.

I would love to hear what you think! Post your comment below. What should I talk about on the next podcast?

Setting Goals For 2017 & How To Measure Success | #CoffeeWithCole Episode 1

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Every year, I go way up north in Wisconsin to do some much needed relaxing and snowmobiling with my family. But along with this family tradition I have created a tradition of my own: a closing of one journal, and an opening of the next.


I posted this image on my Instagram and Facebook pages on New Year's Eve. On the right is my journal from 2016, and on the left is a fresh journal for 2017. 

I explain my process in detail in the video above, but this practice has become immensely valuable to me over the years. I look forward to NYE specifically for this reason, and consider it a cornerstone practice when it comes to self-development. 

This year, one of the things I really want to focus more on is video content. Reason being: I write a lot online (A LOT), and but at the same time I feel like everything that happens outside of the writing doesn't get seen or shared. This year, I really want to bring you (my readers) into my day to day life, so you can see what actually goes into building yourself, your daily habits, your work, your creative projects, and of course, your personal brand. 

To me, they all go hand in hand, and that's really what I want to teach people. It's not about building a false version of yourself. It's about taking the best parts of who you are and turning up the volume.

Each week, I will be doing a little recap vlog of what's been going on lately, where I am in the world (I'll be doing lots of traveling this upcoming year), what content you missed, and what's coming up next. These weekly vlogs are just the beginning: we (my team and I) have a whole list of other video content we're going to be putting out there, so stay tuned.

This weekly vlog series will be called #CoffeeWithCole. Why? Because I love coffee (and drink a lot of it), but also because coffee is what people share when they want to get to know each other—and I want you to get to know me. So, since we may not be able to have coffee together in person, I encourage you to pour yourself a cup and enjoy the vlogs. 

I will also be doing some interactive vlogs, answering people's questions on video. If you'd like your question answered, Tweet me, Instagram me, or ask the question on Quora by using #CoffeeWithCole, and I will answer your question! 

Now, here's all the content you missed this past week:

Inc Magazine

1. Want To Crush It On Social Media? Here's The Truth You Need To Hear

2. 9 Ways It Hurts To Stay In A Job You Don't Enjoy

3. Starting A Company In 2017? Here Are 7 Tools To Make Your Job A Whole Lot Easier 

4. Your 2017 Plan Is Going To Fail If You Can't Manage Your Time Like This (And It's So Simple)

5. Your 2017 Social Media Strategy: Don't Try To Be Everywhere At Once

6. 5 Easy But Highly Effective Ways To Improve The Emails You Send In 2017

7. 15 Powerful Truths About Life And Business Everyone Should Hear Before 2017 Begins

8. 5 Legendary Lessons To Turn What You Love Into A Business Empire


Q: What are the skills needed to become a successful blogger or content writer?

Q: How can I get the book, "Confessions of a Teenage Gamer," by Nicolas Cole, for free?

Q: What is your book about?

Q: What advice would you give to a 25-year-old man wanting to learn so many things?

Q: How does Nicolas Cole manage his time?

Q: What makes a woman or girl unattractive?


1. 4 Tips From An Uber Successful CEO To Help You Recalibrate For The New Year

What I'm Currently Reading


Right now, I am reading The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety.

I am a few chapters in, and really loving the perspective Watts shares in terms of self-awareness and "purpose." I have known of Alan Watts' work for a while now, but haven't quite taken the time to dive in. This was a Christmas present from my close friend Matthew Jones (who is getting ready to graduate with his doctorate in psychology!), so I'm glad I can finally get a better sense of what Watts is all about.  

What's Next?

This next week, my fellow creative Drew Reggie is coming to Chicago. We've got a whole bunch of things planned:

1. Speaking at MATTER Chicago on Friday, January 6th. If you're in Chicago, come! It's at the Merchandise Mart.

2. Shooting our first big video episode featuring some of Chicago's primary thought leaders within the digital marketing / personal branding / design spaces. (Check my Instagram stories to follow along while we shoot it.)

3. Flying to Atlanta on Sunday, January 8th for the following week. Shooting the next episode there, as well as going to start shooting the first round of video courses: How To Build A Personal Brand & How To Monetize Your Personal Brand.

Here we go!

Named By Forbes: Top 25 Marketing Influencers To Watch In 2017

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What a humbling experience.

Forbes recently released a list of 25 Marketing Influencers to watch in 2017.

Seeing my name next to the industry experts I look up to and study is amazing. These are the people I learn from, the ones I consider to be masters of their craft. 

In the past year, I feel like I have really found my stride as not just a digital marketer, but an artist, author, and thought leader.

What's funny is that I never set out to be a "digital marketing expert."

The whole reason I got interested in digital marketing was because I wanted to know how I could share my story with the world. How I could promote my book, Confessions of a Teenage Gamer, without selling out to a big publishing house. I wanted to know how I could get into public speaking, how I could build an audience for myself, how I could "go my own way," so to speak.

And of course, along the way, as I learned how to do it for myself, I realized I had learned the art of digital marketing.

Or, as I like to call it, the art of Personal Branding.

I truly believe the best digital marketers are the ones who do it for themselves, first. 

The real thought leaders aren't found at "social media networking events." They aren't the ones who put the word "expert" in their bios but haven't shared any new content in two years. 

The people who speak from experience and actually possess valuable knowledge are the ones who hustled their way, starting at the bottom.

I built an Instagram following of over 20,000, from scratch.

I became a Top Writer on Quora for two years straight by writing content every single day.

I have had work featured in every major publication because I grinded my face off. I studied every publication and what content they shared. I studied the best content writers. I wrote hundreds upon hundreds of blogs, for free. I chalked it all up as practice. 

So the fact that I now find myself on a list of Marketing Influencers is somewhat ironic, since it never really was my intention to be known as a "marketing influencer."

All I wanted was to share my story with the world.

I suppose that's just called marketing.

If you want to share your own unique story, if you want to build an audience, if you want to share your work, your passion, and become a true thought leader, then learn from the ones who have done it for themselves, first. 

To contact me directly, shoot me an e-mail:

Year Of Purpose Podcast Featuring Nicolas Cole

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A few weeks ago, I sat down with Zephan Moses, host of the popular "Year Of Purpose" podcast. 

We talked about my new book, Confessions of a Teenage Gamer, the online course I just launched with LVLUP Dojo around Personal Branding, entrepreneurship and how to make the leap from your desk job to your dream job, and touched on the importance and health, fitness, and taking care of yourself even with a busy schedule.

To listen to the podcast in full, click here.


How To Become A Top Writer On Quora

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Anytime someone asks me if they should start a blog, or how they should start a blog, I tell them not to.

Don't start a blog first.

Start with Quora.

I cannot stress enough the importance of starting to share your knowledge (or even just express yourself) on a platform that already has users. Quora, Medium, these places already have a community for you to tap into. If you start a blog with no audience, nobody is going to read what you write or share. Ever.

For me, Quora was the foundation for everything. It's how I built a very sizable audience. It's how I got into major publications. It's how I grew my network. It's how I expanded to other social platforms. And it's how I ultimately launched this blog you are reading right now.

For those new to Quora, I have put together a free e-mail course on why you should get started there first, and how you can become a thought leader in your individual niche.

What do we cover in this e-mail course?

  1. Of All The Social Platforms, Why Quora?
  2. "But what do I write on Quora?"
  3. The Value Of The Top Writer Badge
  4. How You Write Something Viral Worthy
  5. The Ultimate Guide To Quora

To sign up for our free e-mail course, submit below! It is a 5 Day course, and each day you will receive the next lesson.