Formerly known as the green-haired “Oprah of LinkedIn,” Goldie Chan not only wears many hats in her multitude of roles throughout her career, but also many hairstyles; her tresses undergo a series of cool, vibrant hair color changes every three months.
But don’t let the hair color fool you — Goldie’s digital footprint is equally as impressive. Her LinkedIn video channel garnered 3 million views in under a year, she won LinkedIn Top Voice (the highest honor on the platform) and is the platform’s longest-running daily show with a global community, and, if that weren’t enough, she’s a top LinkedIn creator, digital strategist and personal branding expert, and a proud member of the Producer’s Guild of America, New Media Council.
Grit Daily: You had quite a different career before your current public roles with LinkedIn and consulting and speaking. Share those early ventures.
Goldie Chan: I began much earlier in my career when I had already graduated as a published geneticist from Stanford University. I ended up running a small fashion line for two years before having my first “big failure” where I ended up folding the brand and eating quite a bit of ramen and peanut butter sandwiches.
Through what I lovingly call a “friendtervention” I was not-so-gently nudged into applying for a regular job which ended up being a Marketing role where I was assigned to handle all social media. Learning how to manage everything as the tech industry grew was the best education I could ask for – I was able to see trends and platforms launch and rise or flop.
GD: Green hair. How did that transpire?
GC: I’ve had green hair for about a year and a half now. Prior to being known as the green-haired “Oprah of LinkedIn,” I would change my hair color every 3 months or so – from pink to red to white to blue to various shades of brown and blonde and pastel. One of my favorite colors is green – the color of growth, of new life and money.
When I had originally dyed my hair green, I thought I’d have it for another short three month cycle. This was in May of 2017.
Very suddenly, a few months later when I began LinkedIn videos in August of 2017, found myself with a personal brand tied to the green color – where even the green heart emoji symbol now represents me on the platform. I give out green heart stickers as a result of this to my fans and community members who recognize me “in the wild.”
GD: What gets you most jazzed each morning?
GC: One of the most exciting parts of my daily life — and the morning specifically — is waking up to see how I’ve helped connect people. Seeing the direct result of individuals connecting with new people in their community because I’ve hosted small in-person events all over the world has been incredibly helpful to me.
It validates that in-person community building matters and that the more events and group activities I host or co-host with other community builders, the stronger and happier the communities around me will be. I also am a big fan of a strong coffee in the morning!
GD: Who have been some of your bigger inspirations or mentors in your latest chapter?
GC: I have several mentors this year that I’ve tapped for advice and help. One of my inspirations that I always learn more from is Walt Disney. He built both a brand and an entire empire off his love off creative, divergent thinking.
The biggest lesson I took was to always bounce back from adversity with creativity. One of my favorite quotes is: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
If you can dream it, you can do it. All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Disney spoke constantly of moving forward (he went bankrupt several times in his early career) and also to accept failure as natural and expected.
GD: What’s one conventional wisdom about LinkedIn video that’s just plain wrong?
GC: I remember I was approached by a young lady who had just completed three videos and wanted to know how she could monetize moving forward and build a giant personal brand (from those three videos).
Unfortunately, quantity — and quality –matters and I had to let her down gently that she needed to create quite a larger base of content on LinkedIn before being able to negotiate deals similar to the ones I brokered with WeWork, Skype and more.
Becoming an instant celebrity — with the recent push by Gary Vee to his fan base to do so on LinkedIn — has resulted in a very fascinating rise of content creators who focus first on celebrity and second on quality of content.
My advice? Make strong, interesting content first – gain traction, then move onto other goals like monetization or brand deals.
GD: Where can people see you speak next?
GC: I’ll be speaking at various places all over the US – I’ve already spoken in London, SXSW, Social Media Marketing World and more. Later this year, it’s VidCon, New York and Romania — with stops and surprises all over the US.
There’s a few cities in the world that I hope I’ll be able to visit this year or next, and I’m excited to share more on LinkedIn, personal branding and brand reputation management with a global audience.