So, who is this Paul Skah guy anyway?
I’m not a big fan of official bios. I strongly encourage you to read the story of the three phone calls below. But if you need a short, concise description, here it goes.
My name is Paul Skah, and I make my living by telling stories. Sometimes I write them. I wrote three best-selling books, the first one, Brand Inside Out won the Marketing Book of The Year award back in 2011. My third book, Narratology, sells better than Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens (they were both published by the same publisher).
Sometimes I speak — during conferences and events in Berlin, London, Warsaw or Prague. Last May I shared the stage with Mark Schaefer and Sujan Patel during the Infoshare conference. 150 speakers, 5,500 attendees, my presentation was ranked top 3 of the event.
But most of the time I help my customers tell their stories. I’m a brand strategist and my clients include big, international corporations such as HBO, Google, Sony or Diners Club International, as well as smaller startups such as LiveChat or Brand24.
The display on my phone said it was my publisher’s Head of Marketing calling me. It was the second half of August 2011, a week before my first book, Brand Inside Out was scheduled to be published. I’m not the kind of person who always expects the worst but some dark thoughts have crossed the back of my head. A couple of weeks earlier my publisher had offered me to help with the promotion of my book. But since I grew up in a publishing house (my parents still own one), I decided to do it on my own. Did he call me to tell me I failed?
“Paul, I have a question for you” — the voice on the phone seemed somewhat worried. ”In the history of our publishing house, we had only one pre-sale that was almost as good as the pre-sale of Brand Inside Out. It was a textbook for elementary school, and the parents were given no choice, they had to buy it. And yet, your book sold even better. My question is: can you come over and train our marketing team?”
The Brand Strategist
Mike is a client of mine, started a driving school some time ago in the north-eastern part of the country. I started advising him on his marketing and social media strategy back in September of 2013, right after he’d launched. By March 2014 he owned over 70% of the market in his hometown. Mostly because he was very apt in implementing innovative ideas we came up with. And partly because his competitor did almost no marketing at all. After having grabbed everything there was to grab in his hometown, Mike started expanding his business: he now owned 9 driving schools in 9 towns and cities. And in every single one of them, he was either first or second market-wise. By the time he hit the seventh town, we came up with a proven method to sweep the competition. And now we were preparing to take over another city.
“Paul, we have a problem we haven’t dealt with before.” Mike’s tone was not echoing his words, he was not worried, I knew he was up to something. “I just received a visit, a delegation of the driving school owners. You’ll never guess what they said. The threatened to break my knees if I open a branch in their town!”