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  • Personal Branding Interview: Ben Huh

    Today, I spoke to Ben Huh, who is the CEO of Pet Holdings, Inc., the company behind the hugely popular blogs I Can Has Cheezburger?, FAIL Blog and others.  In this short but sweet interview, Ben talks to us about I Can Has Cheezburger?, how he got his book deal, how he marketed his website and his personal brand.

    What gave you the idea for LOL Cats? What was your inspiration to keep it going?

    I actually didn’t start the site, nor did the people who started the site start the lolcats concept. The Internet version of cats with captions started in the infamous 4chan. The very first photograph with captions was actually found in Seattle — it was produced in 1905.

    How did your website turn into a book deal? What made Gotham interested in turning it into a book?

    A bunch of publishers approached us in 2007. We decided to go with Gotham after a lengthy vetting process. We thought it’d be great to provide a portable, IRL companion to the site.

    When you first started your site, how did you market it?

    The site begin with just word of mouth. There was no marketing, no coordination, just emails to friends that spiraled (nicely) out of control.

    What is your take on personal branding and how have you leveraged the popularity of your site to build your career?

    I actually think I’ve done a poor job of personal branding. That’s okay with me since the site is more important than myself. The I Can Has Cheezburger? brand is strong and going well, so I am more than happy to see that.

    What do you want to be remembered for?

    Make the world laugh for 5 minutes a day.

    Ben Huh has always been a start up guy. His latest company, Pet Holdings, has been credited with bringing Internet memes to the mainstream and popularizing Internet culture. Ben founded Pet Holdings, Inc. in 2007 and grew it into one of the largest blog networks in the world in less than two years — while making a profit during one of the deepest recessions.   Ben is not shy about crediting the success of his company to the users and fans and those who started the sites he acquired, such as icanhascheezburger.com and failblog.org. His goal is to make the world happy for 5-minutes a day.  Ben graduated with a BSJ from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Interview, People, Personal Branding
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