DANNY DE HEK Entrepreneur Decision Maker Connector Podcaster EducatorI received a phone call from a salesperson saying that he wants to do a $3000 feature on my new, brand DANNY : DE HEK, at no cost to me.

With the amount of scams and telephone fraud going on at the moment, as you can imagine, I was a little bit dubious. The deal was that if I gave him a list of my clients they could advertise around my featured article in Canterbury Today.

As I own a business networking company, the effort for me to provide a list of my clients wasn’t actually that hard so I didn’t have much to lose. I thought it would be a good exercise for my members to see how the process worked.

I agreed to the process and gave them a link to my Members directory. I gave them consent to contact any of my members and ask if they want to advertise around the feature they are doing on myself.

There was a few surprises that I wasn’t ready for, three bottles of local wine delivered to my door! I’m already enjoying my featured article.

A few of my members also thought it was a good opportunity for them to support me and promote their businesses. Last but not least I had a young lady come and interview me and write an article about my new brand.

Claire Wright, she was brilliant. I didn’t need to edit any of the article, she nailed it in one go. Below is the article that featured in the July Canterbury Today magazine.

Building your personal brand

How serial entrepreneur Danny de Hek reinvents himself time and time again.

No matter what industry you’re in, there’s nothing more powerful than your personal brand. For Danny de Hek, this has been the key to his success no matter what new venture the entrepreneur wanted to delve into next.

From website development during the dot com boom to starting his own podcast, Danny de Hek is always on the lookout for a fresh take on how to do business in an ever-evolving digital world.

He was responsible for the first internet café in Christchurch – The Email Centre – in 1995; before Google, Danny travelled New Zealand as the country’s leading internet consultant.

These days, he runs ELITE : SIX business networking, as well as looking after a few loyal website clients.

He also runs a few drop shipping websites. If it’s anything internet and technology related, Danny is sure to be one of the first people to know about it in New Zealand.

Danny says the future of communication and business is online, and Covid has only accelerated this trend.

“I used to have [business networking groups] all around Christchurch. When Covid happened, I had to move everyone onto Zoom.

“Most people just started to go glary eyed and didn’t like it, so I lost about half my members at that time. Over the last six months, I’ve been trying to get it back – I don’t want to go back to how it was.

“I want them to embrace technology, and I want them to use the world where it’s going. At the moment there’s a lot of resistance, which is really unusual.”

That’s why Danny started introducing courses for people to take website development for their business into their own hands.

“A typical course may be as simple as trying to find a good domain name for your business. This includes how to register it, where to register it and what not to do. Like some people might go to GoDaddy, go through the whole process and then they’ve got a bill for $200 here.

“They don’t even know what they’re paying for it. They’ve got web hosting that they don’t need or isn’t going to suit their needs.

“People need to be cautious of big SEO companies. A lot of them will just take a whole pile of money from you.

“Then, people will be bitterly disappointed. A lot of people hate the SEO industry. My workshops are really focused on teaching people to get their head around it and do it themselves.”

Honesty and relatability

One of the qualities that draws people to Danny the most is how sincere and open he is about his past struggles.

Although Danny has a gift with words, he has lived with dyslexia all of his life. Through voice recognition technology, Danny was even able to write his own eBook.

Although he’s had to jump over additional hurdles because of it, dyslexia contributed to Danny’s empathetic nature that makes him extremely relatable.

While it is an aspect of his personality, he has been able to wield his relatability as part of his brand.

Since he is so open about himself and his past struggles – like the fact that he dropped out of school at 14 and yet has been a successful businessman – he’s been able to network with people all around the world.

“I’m focused on building personal relationships,” Danny says.

Part and parcel to Danny’s success as a serial entrepreneur has been his authenticity and the constant need to reinvent the wheel – to outpace his previous successes, so he can create something newer, bigger, better.

Lately, he’s been spending time on Clubhouse, the exclusive social networking app used by high profile figures such as Elon Musk.

It’s an audio chat-based social networking app that thrives on authenticity, where users can talk about topics that interest them such as business, books and tech.

“I live on that [Clubhouse], and we hang out in the podcasting communities. Everyone is on that is really great. It’s about your profile image and about how you portray yourself when you speak.”

Danny, who is constantly looking to reinvent himself, is part of a public speaking group that he participates in with his partner Helen. Beyond his natural talent at words, this group has really solidified his public speaking persona.

“People have gotten deep down and personal. It’s a real privilege to be part of a group like that, but it’s taken probably three or four months to build that up. It’s a new way of networking, which people are missing out on over.”

Before, the Clubhouse app was available just on iPhone. It was recently released for Android as well.

Part and parcel to Danny’s success as a serial entrepreneur has been his authenticity and the constant need to reinvent the wheel – to outpace his previous successes, so he can create something newer, bigger, better.

“What defines me, what drives me, is being a successful businessman that people would come to and ask for advice. I’d like to share my experience, knowledge and skills. I use that line all the time, but I really mean it,” Danny says.

“I think a lot of people don’t realise what they can do. They’re more focused on what they cannot do. I really like to drive into people that say, ‘Oh, I could never do that.’ And I go, ‘why?’

“Whatever is holding you back, it doesn’t matter – let’s get started. Let’s do something about it.”

Danny de Hek’s personal branding courses

Some of the courses available right now include:

Another course coming up soon called SEO 101+ covers the fundamentals of optimising content to be found in search engines.