I decided to do a Google search of Danielle Morrill, CEO of Mattermark, tonight after learning that Mattermark was being acquired by FullContact. I’ve been a satisfied customer of Mattermark for the past six months and always enjoy keeping up with the latest startup news, so I decided to learn a little bit more about Danielle.
I’m still reading up on her, but I immediately found some great examples of personal branding that I want to share with our Praxis participants to check out as they start building their own.
She does an amazing job of telling her story in Y Combinator’s Female Founder Stories interview series. Here’s her opening paragraph in response to being asked about her background.
I have always been racing to go faster in life. I began working at 14 and by 18, I’d held jobs as a stable hand, receptionist, tennis instructor, barista, analyst for my father’s wealth management consulting business, McDonald’s crew member, building personal websites for authors and artists, and teaching older people how to use computers for the first time. I was making enough money by my senior year of high school to move out of my parents’ house. I also took an extra class every semester of high school so, by the time I was a senior, I was only required to attend part-time.
Praxis participants, take notice. The first thing this startup CEO mentions is the list of seemingly menial jobs she held during her teen years. I guarantee you everyone reading this interview is immediately impressed and intrigued. You can tell she has stood out from the crowd for most of her life in the best of ways. If this is what Founders are starting off their story with you can bet they’d love to hear about similar experiences if they’re interviewing you.
The rest of the interview is great as well. Danielle is very interesting and she puts together a strong narrative of how her interests led to where she is today. Check it out.
Before finding that interview, I checked out Danielle’s website. She keeps the design minimal by using one of the default WordPress themes. She clearly keeps busy and this is a great way for her to focus on what’s most important to her, the content.
The content is great.
Everything she writes about has purpose and adds to her brand as a startup Founder and someone who is particularly interested in VC investments. I love the fantasy VC picks content. It’s such a cool way to show your interest and competency in the area. I hope it gives you some inspiration for your own creative blog content!
Quick final note. Obviously, at this stage of her career, she has a much tighter focus on what she wants to be known for to the public. Don’t let this example make you feel like you need to pick a single niche interest to build a brand around. That’s ridiculous at this stage in your professional life and many people continue to share a much wider range of interests.