Personal Branding For Graphic Designers – How-to Create & Rock One!


Your Personal brand as a Graphic Designer is like a fingerprint that sets you apart in the crazily competitive Graphic Design industry. We used to think that personal branding was nothing more than a buzzword – but the truth is, developing a strong personal brand can be a game-changer for your career!

Not only does it help you stand out from the crowd and attract kick-a** clients, it also allows you to inject your own authentic self into your work – something you NEED to do if you want to get ahead in this game.

Join the Angry Designers tomorrow as they pull back the curtain on personal brands and how embracing a personal brand helped Massimo shape zfactor into the successful agency it is today. In this episode, the guys will cover:

– What is a personal brand
– Differences between a personal brand & company brand
– 5 reasons why graphic designers NEED a personal brand
– Steps for a graphic designer to create a personal brand

Episode Transcript

Personal Branding for Graphic Designers

Shawn: [00:00:00] Be true to yourself. This is, this is what, you know, this, this is what gets you going. Absolutely Right. I'm not gonna play this shitty game anymore cuz it's not working because I'm not authentic. Yeah. You know what I mean? And ah, totally dude. And, and this is the kind of space where you, I think you have to be Yeah.

Shawn: You have to be true to yourself. I, 

Massimo: I think so. Yeah. Totally. And I think that's what makes you, makes you go the distance. Yes. Right? 

Shawn: If you didn't last that long, this is why, because you're legit, you're in this. For the greater good 

Massimo: of the clients. Dude, sometimes I, I am like, I, I look at certain customers and I have some customers.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And I look and I'm like, wow, you are so different than me, but you obviously appreciate this mess that I've got going on here, this hot mess. And whether I'm your comic relief every time you talk to me and, and whatever. And you, you know, the reg, the thing is it works. Yeah. And obviously I'm giving whether it's like I am that one unique eccentric friend, they don't have Yeah.

Massimo: Or you know, it's just like, no, I like your energy, or I like to creativity. Or [00:01:00] they're like, well, I'll put up with this because of the other stuff. Regardless, it works. Splash sale, you're listening to the Angry Designer where we cut through the industry bowl to help frustrated graphic designers survive and thrive.

Shawn: Let's get some of this. Bachelors, Sanu. Sanu. Nice. What do we got here? Today 

Massimo: we have a good old local whiskey by a company. Well, a company that everybody probably knows, but it's it's local. Not many people know this. Right. Sleeman is local. Right. To um, Guelph. Guelph, which is like half an hour from here.

Massimo: Yeah. Right. Yeah. And this is a John Sleeman whiskey. It's traditional straight whiskey. So it's crazy cuz this is like something local. Kind of shocked, handcrafted by this person. All right, give it a shot. Give it a shot. All right. So it's funny, there's such a difference between whiskey and bourbon and I don't [00:02:00] know how to actually describe 

Shawn: it.

Shawn: Yes. Like this kind of 

Massimo: whiskey I find bourbon smoother. Yes. This is good whiskey. That's good. But it definitely doesn't taste like bourbon. Nope. It's not as sweet is it? No, not at all. It doesn't. I kind of miss that caramelly, you know, burns type of flavor and taste. Right. Now, see, this to 

Shawn: me is the gray area between scotch and bourbon.

Shawn: Hmm. Interesting. Bourbon is very tasty. Scotch is very tasty. Mm-hmm. Whiskey is very, Uh, 

Massimo: well wi so true. You know what I mean? Like it's, it can go one way or another. It's, I 

Shawn: mean, this is good. This doesn't have the punch of scotch. No, it doesn't. This does not have the sweetness of bourbon. 

Massimo: But you know what?

Massimo: If somebody wanted a decent whiskey, if they wanted to try, I'd recommend this. It's good. Like, I mean, it's, would you recommend people jumping into whiskey or jumping into like bourbon scotch? No. You need to grow into scotch. I remember trying scotch for the first time, and you gave me a really good quality one, and I thought I was drinking like, Lighter fluid.

Massimo: Yeah. Remember I was like, dude, you've given me a taste. Said [00:03:00] gasoline now. I appreciate that gasoline. Now you like it, flavor. Yes, exactly. 

Shawn: Exactly. Yeah, you're right. It is an acquired taste. I w, to me, I would say bourbon. I think is the best way to 

Massimo: go, I think. Well, you think, I think I, I think bourbon offers a nice mix.

Massimo: It's a nicer entry. Entry. I think so too, right? Yeah. And again, all of a sudden bourbons just kicking an ass. All of a sudden, my friends surprise, surprise. They're all into bourbon now, right? Yes, yes. They used to be in their SCOs and they got expensive. They used to get in their whiskey, and then they, now all of a sudden I'm like, have you guys tried bourbon?

Massimo: Well, now they're looking for expensive bourbon. I'm like, dude, 

Shawn: why are you guys doing this? Yes. What was that stuff we had at your cousin's place? Oh, oh, uh, BLANs. Blanton's. Mm. 

Massimo: That was really good. That was fucking great. Yes. Yeah. See, when you start thinking about Blain's, then I kind of like, 

Shawn: really don't like this, John.

Shawn: Well, this is exactly it. I mean, 

Massimo: once you've had that, and that's great. Stuffs hard to come by. Yes. Like even down in this. States. However, I think we have a follower who has, who just got the cases of it and looked like he was shipping it out. Woohoo. I know. It would be cool to [00:04:00] just get a big case up here.

Massimo: Oh, 

Shawn: shit. Yeah. Oh yes. We're traveling soon, man. I've been to Memphis, Tennessee, which is a little. Further south and that was pretty awesome. But Nashville is like country music, baby. I, I heard, but it's all music. But this is the thing. Yeah, that's what what I know it is. Yes. But apparently that is not the case.

Shawn: Yeah, it is. Music 

Massimo: galore. I just, yeah, I just want to just get immersed in that whole culture, right? Yes. Yeah. Music. Fried chicken. Yep. Fried, spicy fried chicken. That's what I want. Hot Nashville. That's all I want. Okay. Spice it up, 

Shawn: baby. 

Massimo: Oh boy. But you know what's unique? So Nashville has got a personality all to its own, right?

Massimo: Right. And it's known for that, right? Like Nashville is known for, you know, it's got this whole mystique around it. Right? And certain cities have that. Yes. Other cities fantastic. Mm-hmm. Not really the. They don't really have this, their, the personality of the road. Yeah. Cincinnati, I'm looking at you. Yeah, I know, right.[00:05:00]

Massimo: Cincinnati's cool. I've been there, but it's like, it's like it's Cincinnati, it's nice. Right? Sure. Right. Even Atlanta, it's cool. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And, and I mean, it's known for conferences. Mm-hmm. But again, it doesn't have that personality. Yeah, yeah. Right. Which is funny. I don't know. So that's why I'm excited about 

Shawn: this.

Shawn: Yes, yes. This is a very, very. Personality driven, but a, there's all, yeah. And there's all kinds of big personalities left that, that are down there 

Massimo: too. Right. You know it, it's funny going, going, remember we did that podcast with Bruce Lee? Yes. And one of his big things, which totally we found the parallels to graphic design was mm-hmm.

Massimo: You know, the importance of self expression. He stressed it, you know, in his martial arts. Yes. Right. Which is how he became who he was and how he became that style. But then he, you know, we've. Found that parallel and the importance for graphic designers. Mm-hmm. Right? Mm-hmm. And, um, I think that's kind of a perfect topic to even just touch on today.

Massimo: Yeah. Not that it's a must. Yeah. But it's like, are you in Nashville? Yeah. Or are you in CI Cincinnati? Right. [00:06:00] And again, it's, it's, it's something that, you know, um, not that there's anything wrong with Cincinnati, anybody. It's freaking cool place if 

Shawn: anybody's living or listening from Cincinnati. We know what we love all you guys in Yeah.

Shawn: But. It's very 

Massimo: cool, but it's funny, right? Cuz again, he's just like that. But it's true, right? These places have have brands of their own and just like, you know, some designers have got personal brands of their own. Yes. But it's not like a blanketed thing. Mm-hmm. It's not something that everybody talks about that everybody does.

Massimo: Yeah. I think is an important thing that all graphic designers should consider. But it's nothing, it's not like anything that's taught in school. Yes. And it's something that I guess not too many people talk about in general, right? Yes. And not everybody says you have to do it. Yes. But the ones that do do it, do it well, they're outstanding.

Massimo: They're outstanding in their fields. So it's just like, is this just that people just don't see the value in this kind of stuff? 

Shawn: It's funny. Uh, cuz I think it's awareness, like I wasn't a hundred percent aware of, of this kind of, [00:07:00] Personal brand until, until really getting into Draplin and guys like that.

Shawn: Right. Like that's, these are the guys that are just, they are the Nashvilles of design. Yeah, you're right. You're absolutely right. You know, these are the kind of guys that, they've got strong work. You could tell that they've got a very unique style. Yeah. And personal kind of brand. 

Massimo: I don't know. Like, I mean, is it, is it maybe, cuz we're so accustomed to thinking brands towards businesses.

Massimo: Yes, yes. Right. Not people. Yes. Not ourselves. Right. The reality is, you know, if we have one customer mm-hmm. Then we're a business. Yes. You know, as a graphic designer, like all you need is one client and you're a business. Yeah. So maybe we need to start. Thinking a little differently about the way we approach this kind of stuff, right?

Massimo: Yeah. Like Seth Godden. Yeah. I wrote, I got a great quote here. Right. And everybody knows the Seth Godan, but if you don't, marketing guy, right? Marketing genius guy, right? Yes. And again, he's, he's come up with so many amazing, you know, he came up with the ideas of tribes and, I mean, again, he's just, he's just really cool.

Massimo: Right? But, you know, he made it, he had [00:08:00] this quote and it said, many of us, Are taught to do our best and then let the world decide how to judge us. I think it's better to do your best and decide how you want to be judged and act that way 

Shawn: Now. That is awesome, right? Yes. And I think this is kind of something like we talked with Alan about, he was kind of like, I'm just gonna do my thing and.

Shawn: Right. Do you know what I mean? And I'm gonna get really good at this. And then the work will come. Like you build it will come. Exactly. I think you've even mentioned that. 

Massimo: Yeah. Great. It's true. Right? It's like, so Alan was a unique example because again, he, personality wise, good old American boy. Yep. Right?

Massimo: Yep. Um, you know, loves family, loves his church. Mm-hmm. Right? And he's just, you can just like, I mean, he's, he attracts, you know, he's got a, a brand to himself, right? Yes, yes. And he also has a unique. Look Yes. To his graphic design. So as a designer, he's got a personality. Yeah. And he's gotta look Yeah. To him.

Massimo: Right. And I mean, I mean, between those two, it's like, that is [00:09:00] his personal brand. He's a fucking business. Yep. Yeah. Right. And his business has it, you know, kind of stands stone, but you know, that is, His personal brand. Exactly. Okay. Let's talk about Joplin. Okay. Okay. Again, everybody loves, fuck, everybody knows Aaron Draplin.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Probably the biggest personality in this space, right? Yeah. Yep. So, I mean, work wise, he's known for his distinctive style, right? He often gets, you know, it's simple, but it's bold, right? He often gets vintage inspiration from, you know, old stuff, right? This is Aaron Draplin, right? This is his look, but he loves his.

Massimo: Big ass, bold type faces, right? Mm-hmm. Like, and again, you, you can close your eyes. I'm pretty much imagine him is cut. Everything is just saturated, you know? A hundred percent. And there you go. It's a draftin, right? It's a draftin, yep. Personality wise. Yeah. He's brash. Yep. He's bold, right? Mm-hmm. But he's also a really good speaker.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. You know, as soon as you start talking to him, he's like, he's like that big bear. Yeah. And you just, you can't stop Exactly. Not listening to him, right? Yes. So he's very engaging. Yes. So, again, Equally as good as Alan Peters. Mm-hmm. [00:10:00] Such different brands. Yes, totally. Yeah. Different clients. Mm-hmm. You know, different, different pull now.

Massimo: Completely different contrast. Mm-hmm. Let's talk about Michael Beirut. Okay. So again, other editor, he's completely other end of the spectrum, right? Yeah. Multidisciplinary designer, right? Yes. Yeah. Um, he does branding, identity typography, editorial, environmental graphics. So he's a little bit more broad versus, you know, Joplin and, um, Peters who, you know, tend to do more brand work and brand focus work, right?

Massimo: Yeah, yeah. So, you know, he's known for his clean, modern design aesthetic. He incorporates. Bold types, simple shapes, limited color palette. Mm-hmm. Right? Like, I mean, again, sex, that's a have, right? Yeah. Black and white, right? Yeah. I think M I D was also black and white. Right? Beautiful pieces. Personality wise, he's known as being an educator.

Massimo: Yeah. A thought leader, a mentor, right? So again, Equally good. Completely different planes, like completely opposite. They, those guys couldn't even be more opposite. Okay. Yes. So, and again, but [00:11:00] still equally strong brands. So this is kind of goes the importance of brand because think of the kind of clients that would reach out to one.

Massimo: Over the other. Mm-hmm. Both would probably be, you know, able to achieve, you know, the same kind of, you know, great results, great work, right? Yeah. But one has got a little bit more of a, a personality brand design Design-wise. Yeah. It's different, 

Shawn: uh, maybe different fields. Does that work? Yeah. 

Massimo: Well it's true.

Massimo: Yeah. Because the kind of people that would be looking for Michael be root, his personality. Yeah. His style generally probably wouldn't also get. Aaron, you know, Aaron Joplin or you know Alan Peters? Actually Alan Peters is in the middle of those two guys. He would be, yes. But Okay. But on opposite sides.

Massimo: Yeah. They probably wouldn't get Aaron Joplin to do an RFP for the exact same job. Right? Right. Yes. Because again, it's not the look, it's not the field. It's not the personality. Yeah. S Fifth Ave. Yeah. Aaron Joplin doesn't have the sex. Fifth a personality. No. Right. He certainly doesn't. Beirut does. Yeah. So this is why it's important to just kind of like, just by your own personal brand alone, you would work with different people.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And it's just like, It. It's like [00:12:00] the The law of the universe. Yeah. You know, you would put it out there and you attract it back to you. Yes. Right? Yes. Yes. Actually, I think it's called The Secret. That whole, that whole law. Oh yeah. The Law of Attraction. I think that was in The Secret. The Secret in case anybody to, it's called The Secret.

Massimo: Is that a book from the nineties or something? Yeah, I know it's pretty fucking cheesy, but I did read it. I do. It's. It was good. There was some legitimate shit in there. Yes. And I, I fully believe that what you put out in the universe Yep. You get back. Yes. And that includes, includes your personality, your own personal brand.

Massimo: Yeah. Shit man. We talk about like the power of personal brands. Yeah. Biggest companies in the world. Hmm. Right? Yes. The three of the biggest companies in the world. Tesla. Mm-hmm. Apple. Yep. And Amazon. Amazon. Those three brands are fucking massive. Yeah. Global, global brands, like everybody thinks of that and they just, that's it.

Massimo: Global domination, right? Yep. Even Microsoft shit, throw Microsoft in the why fine, why not now? Three huge corporate brands. Mm-hmm. They're founders. Completely different brands. Oh God, Elon [00:13:00] Musk. Yeah. Has his own brand different mm-hmm. Than Tesla? Yes. Okay. Both have got strong brands, but they're both very different.

Massimo: You know Jeff Bezos? Jeffrey Bezos, yeah. You know, he's got a very different brand than Amazon. But again, he's got his own good or bad. Mm-hmm. He's got his own, fuck. Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs, come on. Okay. And again, everybody, I, in fact, I think Steve Jobs brand, personal brand at a point was probably bigger than Apple's brand.

Massimo: I would think so, yes. Okay. And I mean, poor, you know, I feel bad for Tim Cook because again, nobody ever stops it. Tim Cook's brand is, and he's trying, he's great and he's awesome. But again, it's just like, you know, you're in the forever shadows. Oh, you 

Shawn: are? Donald Trump called him Tim Apple. Remember that? He thought that was his name.

Shawn: Oh. But yeah, you're right. Pretty buddy Jobs even had a, he had that, that look that, that 

Massimo: everybody, you know what I mean? Right. He really killed that brand thing. Right? Yes, totally. He, he, he knew his personal Yes. His personal brand was intact. Yes. And then of course, bill Gates to Microsoft. Yeah. Okay. And almost like the quintessential Bill Gates was that quintessential, you know, young, [00:14:00] you know, itd computer geek.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. You know, who was like crazy, I mean, He's the, he's the poster boy for that. Yeah. Right. Yeah. So it's incredible that, you know, we don't, and again, I'm guilty. By no means am I comparing myself to these guys, but the first 15, 18 years, I didn't work on Mamo Zino at all. Oh. It was pure Zed Factor. Yes.

Massimo: Zed Factor had a look. Mm-hmm. You know? Mm-hmm. We had a reputation locally. We had a style. Mm-hmm. The Zed Factor brand, I think I worked really hard on, but I never. Actually, you know, put anything on myself because I was always saying, well, I am the company, I am the brand and blah, blah, blah, blah. But I think it was a big mistake.

Massimo: Yeah. And in all fairness, I think, you know, a lot of things seem to kind of click together. The last, you know, Five, six years of business. Yeah. And, you know, a couple of those was, you know, started working on my personal brand. Yeah. Not just the company brand. Yeah. And then of course we did some other very smart, strategic, um, you know, directions, choices with the company itself.

Massimo: Yeah. But you know, I I, I don't think I ever gave the personal branding thing enough credit until, you know, later years. Yes. [00:15:00] And I remember hearing a customer from somebody else and they're like, oh yeah, so-and-so, you know, recommended you. And I was like, really? What did he say? Right. I was curious. And he's like, well, he said that you.

Massimo: You know, you were good at getting stuff done. Yeah. Quality was good. And you knew your stuff in the tech space. Yep. But you weren't the cheapest guy in town. Oh. And I was like, that's fucking perfect. Yeah. That's exactly 

Shawn: what you want. That's what I want. That's being on brand baby. 

Massimo: And that's what I mean.

Massimo: Right. And it changed everything. I was like, holy shit, cuz that's exactly what I wanna be known for. I wanna be known for the problem solver to get shit done. Yep. I want people to know that, you know? Um, I don't tech, I understand tech. Yep. I wouldn't have minded maybe. Putting some of that human aspect in there a little bit more.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And the fact that don't come to me for a deal. Yeah. Because, you know, I'm not the most expensive person in town, but don't come to me for a deal. Yeah. 

Shawn: That still makes you approachable. It's like, Hey, you know what? Exactly. He's not, oh yeah. I can't afford this guy 

Massimo: because the way, he don't want that.

Massimo: He didn't say, oh, they're expensive. Yeah, yeah. He said They're not cheap. There's not, because then, you know, that person would be like, well, I don't want. You know, I, [00:16:00] I've got money. I'm not looking for the cheapest guy in town. Yes. And it was, it was perfect. Cause I was like, that is exactly, that's what I mean.

Massimo: Yeah. Like, it was kind of flattering. I was like that, that was what I was aspiring to. Right. Yeah. Because it kind of checked and again, and I, I think that's when I was like, wow, I really should pay more actual attention to this. Yeah. So, and that's kind of when it started. So interesting. Um, I know. Weird, right?

Massimo: Yeah. That's 

Shawn: really good that, that is a great way to. If you got an elevator pitch, 

Massimo: that's the one right there, tiny, right. As a person. And, you know, I wish I had a little bit more of a wilding cri. Well, I think the personality wise, I, I did that too. Right. But yeah, so, alright. Alright. All, so when we talk about personal brand, yeah.

Massimo: Okay. Let's, let's let, let's just back up a little bit cuz we're kind of really going crazy here, right? There's really two parts to this. Mm-hmm. Okay. For your own personal brand, right? There's you as a designer, Mm-hmm. Okay. So this is who you are, your beliefs. You gotta establish what you believe in, what your personality is like, what your, you know, the, the things that actually matter to you.

Massimo: Cuz this is your personality, right? Yeah. Are [00:17:00] you, you know, are you into saving the whales? Mm-hmm. Are you, you know, uh, an eco warrior or are you a fitness nut, right? Yeah. Um, do you, you know, do you wanna change this? Do you want to change the world or are you happy with the way it is and you just wanna do good design?

Massimo: Yeah. The, your personal part, you know, is, is a huge component. Of your own personal brand because this is what attracts, you know, like to like Right. Kind of going back to that whole universe thing, right? Yeah. Yep. My personality definitely isn't for everybody. It isn't and I know that and sometimes don't understand that.

Massimo: No, that's good 

Shawn: cuz you're very approachable. 

Massimo: Well, well I think cuz I'm just, I'm. I, maybe I'm too much for people, maybe. Right. And sometimes I'm excitable and I laugh and I'm a little, but I think that's 

Shawn: good. I think that's kind of something 

Massimo: that, so again, this attractive Yes. Right. Totally. But some people would be like, no, no.

Massimo: We want somebody a little bit more professional. Oh, yes. And it's, and I, I know of, I know of lost. Gigs to that. I'm okay with that because Yeah, that's fine. Do you want them, do you know those people hurt me? Like they, they hurt me. Yeah. 

Shawn: Literally, they would crush your 

Massimo: spirit. They really would. [00:18:00] And it did in the first, you know, 10, 15 years we tried to do, I, I, that wasn't me.

Massimo: And it hurt, right? Mm-hmm. Yeah. So, of course your personal brand, so number one, you as a person's designer, Right. Yeah. So you need to, you know, flush that out. Yeah. But then number two, you know, your personal brand is also about your design style. Mm-hmm. Your own aesthetic. Right, right, right. Are you more of an illustrative person?

Massimo: Mm-hmm. You know, are you more big, bold imagery? You know, what about your, your, your font choice? Right. I've got a friend, like one of my friends who in my opinion is one of the best designers ever. His style bang on. I always know something's his, because it's always very, you know, very elegant. Yes. Very clean.

Massimo: Yes. You know, he uses very. Thin fonts. Right. It's always very, you know, beautiful and professional. Right? Yeah. And, and that's his style. Yeah. Right? And that's what he's known for. So again, if somebody's looking for, you know, a skateboard design, they probably wouldn't be going to him for that. Right. Right.

Massimo: And that's okay. Yeah. You know, I'm sure he'd think it'd be fun. Yeah. But, you know, it wouldn't probably come as natural to him. Right. You know, where, you know, you, you come to us for something like that, it'd be like, sure. We'd love to have that. Like, you know what, [00:19:00] do you want a cartoon on there? Do you like, what do you like?

Massimo: It's, it's, so, it's. So again, I think those are the two components Yes. That, you know, you need to flesh out when it comes to your personal brand, right? Mm-hmm. And there is something to this. Yeah. I do genuinely believe there 

Shawn: is something to this. Yeah, I, I would agree. And this is like, this is probably why, part of the reason why you want to get into this kind of thing in the beginning, right?

Shawn: Because, you know, everybody has a style Yes. In, in no matter what it, what it is that you do. Yeah. You know what I mean? So, absolutely. Yeah. So why not? Spend a little bit of extra time kind of fleshing it out to see I so, hey, fleshing 

Massimo: hate that word. Is it od really on the side note, why is it flesh out? Why isn't it flesh out an idea?

Massimo: Where did this flesh out? Wow. You know what I mean? Like, Flesh sounds so creepy to me, but you know, you're fleshing out stuff like you're flushing stuff. I would've flushing 

Shawn: out. Yeah. Maybe that's what it is. Maybe I just, or maybe, 

Massimo: no, no, no. It actually is flesh. Is it? Yeah. But I just thought that was creepy.

Massimo: It's always I know, I know. That's a, that's a mot thing. Nevermind. Let's not lose your accent. See, [00:20:00] that's okay. Yeah. 

Shawn: See 

Massimo: my fucking personal brain kicks in again and he's just like, Ooh. Pretty bird. Pretty bird. Squirrel. Squirrel, otherwise known 

Shawn: as a d d a d D. Yes. We, we all need a little bit of that, but yeah.

Shawn: Anyway, I mean, I think that's part of, part of the, the magic of this. You wanna get into this kind of thing and you, you've always liked big, big and bold. Right? It's, I think that's because it's always been the word, 

Massimo: your personality, right? So, ah, interesting. Actually, I never. Put that together. But you're right.

Massimo: I think that's, I think that's, and it always has been. Totally. Like I look back to some of the early stuff that I did and it was, you know, even early like Photoshop days, it would just be big bulls. Yes. Big. You know, like everything to me is saturation. Yes. You know, saturate. Lots of contrasts. Yes. Right.

Massimo: Don't you know, which is funny cuz my friend who I admire so much opposite. Right. Toned back, very elegant. Right? Yes. It was. Fun when we'd work together and stuff. Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. It's like cool. So yeah, it's fascinating. 

Shawn: I find, cause I think so that goes into my personal life too. My, my drumming Yeah.

Shawn: [00:21:00] Is exactly like my design. Oh, it's big. It's bold, it's simple. Nice. 

Massimo: You know what I mean? It's actually 

Shawn: cool. Yeah. It's, it's very, it's like that. I never thought about that. That works across everything. It's 

Massimo: so true. Yeah. Cause again, it's. You. Yes. And you're putting it into what you're doing. That's exactly, it's amazing.

Massimo: Yeah, totally. So it's like the process of creating, you know, a unique identity for yourself, you know, a, a reputation that you want to be known for, you know, as a designer, you know, so not, not a business, not a company, but you as a designer, right? Yeah. So it's about, and I guess it comes back to marketing yourself as a.

Massimo: Person. Hmm. Not as, so again, this was about the Muslim, not about Zed factor. Right. Right. And that was the difference. That took me a little while to get, you want people to recognize you for your personality. Yes. But also for, you know, your creative style. Yes. Right. And this is why it's like, you know, when we talk about some of the big names out there, you know, it's so easy to pinpoint their stuff.

Massimo: You know them without a doubt. And you're like, boom. You know? Exactly. Dropping boom, you know, iron Period. Period is, why can I speak [00:22:00] right now? The funny thing is it is. Different than nicheing. Mm-hmm. Okay. Okay. And this is, there is a fine line here cuz again, as I'm sure everybody knows, I'm a huge fan of nicheing.

Massimo: I recommend fucking, everybody should niche. I think it was the best thing we could have done. Yeah. And I think it's just every design, just so many reasons. Go see our nicheing episode. But again, there's so many ridges in the, in the. I hate saying it this way, but niches. Riches in the niches. Riches in the niches.

Massimo: But nicheing refers to narrowing down, you know, your focus to specialize in a specific industry, right? Or a specific skill set. And you know, in an area of expertise, right? That's what nicheing would be, right? Mm-hmm. I'm just gonna be a logo designer and that's it. Okay? Yep. That's a niche. That's fine. I'm just gonna be UX designer.

Massimo: I'm only gonna focus in on B2B tech and that's it. And that's what we've done. Right. Or health or this or that. Mm-hmm. So that's like nicheing down in your industry. Escape, right? Yeah. Where, when it comes to personal branding, this is about creating something unique and an identity and a [00:23:00] reputation. For yourself, right?

Massimo: This is for yourself as a designer, based on your skills, on your personality, on your personal beliefs. This is where this shit actually matters, right? This is where, you know, people like, like, I mean, I, I know Alan Beers joked about this, about, you know, saying it's like, um, he did a lot of religious stuff, but he didn't let a lot of people know about that cuz it wasn't broadly talked about.

Massimo: Yeah. But look at the clients he gets and they're drawn to him because of that. Yeah. But it's not because he's done work with. A church. Mm-hmm. And can do it with a second church or a third church or something along the lines. It's cuz they know that that's the personality. Yeah. You know, that that personality is what they're looking for to work with.

Massimo: Yes. Right? Yes. So that's where the difference is between, you know, like nicheing and the whole, you know, um, personal brand. Yes. Okay. So there is actually something. So what 

Shawn: about the differences between personal branding and company product branding? Like with your experience with Zed Factor and coming 

Massimo: up and all that kind of stuff?

Massimo: So, and it's funny cuz you know, when I was growing Zed Factor. Yeah. Throughout this, this whole, this whole process, Zed Factor was a channel for my [00:24:00] own personality. Yeah. And it really was. Yeah. And maybe this was imposter syndrome or what, but it's like I, I would channel my personality through the Zed Factor brand.

Massimo: Yeah. Because Zed Factor brand, very bold, very brash, very, you know, like a saturated, right. Yeah. It was very much like my personality. Yeah. In that case, in specific, I think the main differences wasn't necessarily because, I mean Okay. Obviously said Factor isn't a person. Yes. Okay. So people can like this Ed Factor brand Yes.

Massimo: But they don't have that personal connection to it. Right. So that's a huge difference, right? Yeah. But then ultimately you separate it even more, right? It's different in its intent. Mm-hmm. It's different in its channels that you're, you know, marketing and networking, letting people know about this. Yeah. In the messaging, right?

Massimo: Because again, Zed Factor was very much known for one thing. Right, and, and that's cool. And then again, I was kind of starting to get known for something else. Right. So it was, it was kind of a funny thing. Right. But like personal branding is about creating a unique identity for a person. Yes. Right. Where company product branding is about creating a unique identity for [00:25:00] a business.

Massimo: Yes. Okay. So there is a difference. Even though I had that very blurred for many years, I was just 

Shawn: gonna say, what's, it's a chicken in the egg kind of thing. Right. For me, 

Massimo: it's your brand was, yeah. Yeah. For me it was, and I think I, I think I, I grew my brand through the company, through the company first, right.

Massimo: But then I started pulling away and when I really started pulling away, funny enough, I. Feel was, you know, very much so when we started the podcast and I was like, dude, I'm pulling my, because again, locally I was known. Mm-hmm. Obviously, and I had a reputation locally amongst, you know, a lot for a lot of the tech people.

Massimo: Yeah. But I think it was when I started doing some of the YouTube videos and then started getting in the podcast, I was just like, no. You know what? This is my personality. Yeah. This is why I'm deal with it. Yeah. Right. And this is where the personal, I think I, I started putting more emphasis. Into it.

Massimo: Ah-huh. But I brought up my own personality. Right. Because again, you, even though zit factor, you know, had a very distinct look and feel and the clients knew it for something. Yeah. Not every client dealt with me personally, because not every client could deal with me personally. Mm-hmm. Right. Because I did have that brand.

Massimo: They respected, they liked, you know, they knew I knew my shit, but you know, they didn't [00:26:00] necessarily. Always have to jive with my personal and that's fine. Yeah. And that's cool. That's why Mac took care of some, that's why Catherine took care of some. Yep. That's, that's why we have such awesome account managers, right?

Massimo: Yeah, yeah. Personal branding is a little bit more individual, you know, and personal. While, you know, company branding is more broad and focused for, you know, the business and the product as a whole, right. So it's one's very niche, one's very general, I think. Think, you know, one is to establish yourself as a thought leader, uh, you know, an expert in an industry where, you know, the other one well, I think, you know, um, I think we, we were very much also thought leaders in the space.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Said factor, but I think more so we wanted to be a leader in this space. Mm-hmm. Okay. So that was a difference. Uh, me personally, I wanted to be known as an expert that I knew my shit. Right. But as a company, like I said, I wanted our competitors to be like, oh shit. We're going up against them. Dammit.

Massimo: Like they really know their shit. Yes. Right. Yes. And that was, that was the difference. So, so there are some differences between the [00:27:00] two. Yeah. Um, even though I blurred those lines, I think that they're probably a lot more clear. Yeah. I just took the harder route. I think I fucked 

Shawn: up. Interesting. So you would say that, say guys like Beirut and Lin and guys like that, probably.

Shawn: When the personal brand 

Massimo: first Joplin almost for sure. Yes. I think his person, and again, I I, I could be wrong, I don't even actually think he sat down and was like, oh, this was my personal brand. I think he was authentic. Yeah, he's legit. Like, 

Shawn: and that's, he puts the, he puts the pencil down and bro, That's what came out 

Massimo: Exactly right.

Massimo: Yeah. He's like, this is who I am, this is my look, this is my field. Take it or leave it. He wasn't out to try to prove anything he was in, out to, to try to, you know, shine anybody else's, you know, um, car. Yeah. This is who he was. Yeah. And I think his brand was so damn authentic. It just became as natural.

Massimo: Life could have been his own Yeah. On its own. Yeah. Um, Michael Beirut, I think his brand. Probably came to be because of all the work he did. Mm-hmm. And all the speaking engagements and the thought leadership, and then again, a [00:28:00] lot of the stuff. Right. Like, you know, he was, he worked under VIN yelling for a little while.

Massimo: Yeah. Right. Like he, there was so much there for him that it's like a different path. Yeah. You know, I'm not saying that his, his was intentional either, but I think it was definitely a different path. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. So, yeah. I don't know. Yeah. Funny, right? It's so different. It's cool. Yeah. So, okay.

Massimo: So, all right. I did write down a couple things here. Okay. I actually did. Right. So let, let's just break this down. Five reasons why I think graphic designers should consider a personal brand. Mm-hmm. Okay. Like, absolutely, cuz I think I am now more of a believer that, especially after that, Bruce, the episode, you know, self-expression is so important.

Massimo: Yeah. And I think it. Also helps in our space. Mm-hmm. You know, get through those tough times. Yes. Right? Yes. Because then it's like, I find it was so, I struggled so hard, dude, during those early years when I was trying to be somebody I wasn't. Mm-hmm. And that definitely had a toll on my, like my, my, my stress, my mental health.

Massimo: Yep. My mental wellness. Absolutely. Yeah. Where, you know, it felt so [00:29:00] fucking liberating. I remember when it was just like a big. F you to the world. I took down our, our fucking corporate bullshit website that, that looked like everybody else's website. And I did the most outrageous in Your Face website. I don't know if you remember, this is when we were in the garage.

Massimo: Oh, okay. And, and I was like, you know what? This is gonna be outrageous. We were in the garage, so let's make a garage themed website. It was a giant garage. It had flames, it had like trucker, like the little, you know, the trucker girls on the mud flaps. Yes. Had those, it had a big rig in the corner. It's, you know, we had like, and it was just, it was outrageous.

Massimo: Yeah. And it was just, Fun. Yeah. And it was like, I was like, you know what? I don't fucking care anymore. I'm not, I'm tired of trying to be like everybody else. I ain't playing your game anymore. And the funny thing is, it was like within two weeks of launching it, I got a call and a customer's like, you know what I, and there's a customer and he had the most.

Massimo: Boring com company. He was a dry ice blasting company. Right. And [00:30:00] he was a startup and you know, he had just, you know, purchased this company and was, was piecing it out and now building it back up. And he's like, wow. I came across your website because, you know, I heard about, you know, you know, the work that you guys did with this other brand.

Massimo: Right. And again, B2B space. Wow. And like, I, I thought it was outrageous. I thought it was offensive, it was loud and obnoxious, and this is what I need. Because I'm starting my company and I need to make space. So he's like, he's almost like, wait, are you insulting me? Are you com Are you complimenting me? Wow.

Massimo: And that's, and he's like, he's like, you obviously have to be creative to create something like this, to do something like that. And we need creativity to make this work. So can you help me? That was a 12 year customer. Holy shit. That was, was that 

Shawn: Roger or everybody? Was it Was every buddy Roger? Yeah.

Massimo: Awesome guy. So again, was, it was just, that was a cold call That was a hundred percent cold call. Not even a re. Furl. Like he had, he had furled that crazy website. Somebody else didn't know who the company was. Just he did, he just, oh shit. Yeah. So that was crazy, dude. Right, dude, that's awesome. It was really, [00:31:00] so anyway, but, uh, just, just thanks the relief, you know, that I had when, you know, it was just, it was so liberating.

Massimo: It was just like, dude. Yeah. So there are reasons for this, okay. Yes. But if we want to get technical, besides. That part. Mm-hmm. About just the whole, um, stress relief. Throwing off the shackles. Throwing off the shackles, the man men. Okay. You know, if, if you embrace your personal brand, right? Yes. Obviously, you know, like there is huge, you know, stress relief or just, you know, the mental health benefits Yes.

Massimo: Of just being who you are. Yep. And, you know, attracting the kind of people, first and foremost, probably the most important reason. Right. The secret. Right. And then recognition. Yes. Okay. Personal brand, you know, you can help. It helps you get. Reco. Well, just like this, right? Yeah. It goddess recognition, it attracted us customers.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Because it brought that same energy back to us. Yeah, right. It builds trust because once you start developing this kind of reputation, once you start developing your own personal brand for something or another, people are like, That's the go-to guy. We've talked about this, right? Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. If you, [00:32:00] you know, if you were known because you were the music industry artist, the designer for the music industry, you did band posters, but you also did end to end from manufacturer to the, the music shop.

Massimo: People would be like, talk to that Sean Guy. Yep. He knows everything. He's, the graphic designer knows everything about space. That's right. He's, and he's also a fucking drummer. Yeah. 

Shawn: So there you go. Yeah, yeah. Right. Yeah, that's exactly, seriously, yeah. There's not just one aspect of this, of 

Massimo: this whole tech thing.

Massimo: Absolutely. Right. Absolutely. Yeah. Targeting clients. Yes. Okay. So again, you start developing your personal brand, it makes it easier to target customers. Right. And again, this, you know, similar in the sense of nicheing. Mm-hmm. Right? Because again, your pool gets smaller, but now it's like, you know, when you know, you start putting that energy out there, right?

Massimo: Those same types of people come back. Mm-hmm. And again, it goes back to just the best working relationship you can have, right? Mm-hmm. It just helps you attract the right clients for you, not necessarily for your business. But for you. Yeah. Which is equally important. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Gives you a [00:33:00] competitive edge.

Massimo: A hundred percent Totally. Over other designers. Yeah. Other businesses. Right? Yeah. And, and again, this isn't just, if you're self-employed, I mean, you can be employed, you can be just a graphic designer within a company mm-hmm. And still have that personal brand. Yep. Right. It's just, it, it attracts you to certain agencies.

Massimo: It attracts you to certain environment. Right. Yes. If you think about it, if you have two resumes in front of you mm-hmm. You know, and one has got a screaming personal brand that loves music, and the other one is just a generic graphic designer. Mm-hmm. Well, again, if, if some of your clients are music, who are they gonna lean towards?

Massimo: Yeah. Right. Because again, it's just, it's, it's just perfect. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And most importantly, and this is kind of a bonus one, it's just, you know, the importance of the personal brand is it really does showcase, it allows you to showcase your personality. Yes. Yes. Which, Again goes back to Bruce Lee's Yep.

Massimo: Self-expression, the importance of self-expression. Yes. Right. I can't emphasize that enough, right? Yes. So I mean, again, I think those are just, if I had to just knock off the top of my head, like the five plus the bonus one reasons why I think it's important that, um, and, and it sucks cuz personal branding was such [00:34:00] a buzzword use a little while ago.

Massimo: And, and I mean, you know, when they went through it and I saw a lot of the how to develop your own personal brand, it was just like, dude, this is such fucking malarkey. It's such bullshit. Because it's like, treat 

Shawn: yourself like a company. 

Massimo: What would be your mission? And it's just like, dude, nobody would do this.

Massimo: Nobody thinks like that. Nobody, 


Shawn: I know, I 

Massimo: know. I hated it. Right, exactly. But once, once all the dust settles and you know, you kind of sit back and you, and you kind of reflect and you look at your journey versus journeys to some of these other people, you start realizing that maybe there is something to this.

Massimo: Just not in these bullshit ways. Not Yes. Of going about it. Right. 

Shawn: Well, yours, I think yours is the best way to, to summarize it. It's like, be true to yourself. This is, this is what, you know this, this is what gets you going. Absolutely right. I'm not gonna play this shitty game anymore cuz it's not working because I'm not authentic.

Shawn: Yeah. You know what I mean? And ah. Totally, dude. And, and this is the kind of space where I think you have to be Yeah. You have to be true 


Massimo: yourself and Well, I, I think so. Totally. And I think that's what [00:35:00] makes you, makes you go the distance. Yes. Right. If 

Shawn: you didn't last that long, this is why, because you're legit, you're in this for the greater good of the 

Massimo: clients.

Massimo: Dude, sometimes I, I am like, I, I look at certain customers and I have some customers. Mm-hmm. And I look and I'm like, wow, you are so different than me, but you obviously appreciate this mess that I've got going on here. This hot mess and whether I'm your comic relief every time you talk to me and, and whatever.

Massimo: And your, you know, the reg, the thing is it works. Yeah. And obviously I'm giving whether it's like I am that one unique eccentric friend, they don't have, or you know, it's just like, no, I like your energy, or I like to creativity, or Yeah. They're like, well, I'll put up with this because of the other. Stuff regardless.

Massimo: It works. But the thing is, it's like there's no hiding. It's, it's just the authenticity part. Yeah. You can only put up a 

Shawn: sham for so long. That's exactly it. See, for real, and I would think I would compare this to other, Design agencies that we know. Mm-hmm. Right? Where [00:36:00] they're as pretentious as fuck and they drive me mental.

Shawn: Mm-hmm. They, their work ethic is bizarre, ridiculous. Like, I don't understand why you would stretch something out for as long as I know. Like Jesus is just work. But that's the kind of stuff where I think because of this client Yeah. They. It's a yin and the yang kind of thing. They, yep, they've got that on the one side.

Shawn: But yeah. Hey, you know what? I'm going to get my greasy friend 

Massimo: over here. They're so greasy. They'll, and you know how greasy they are. This is when the Italian who's actually saying they're greasy. 

Shawn: That's right. Oh, shit. But no, I think that's, I think that's part of the, you know, and, and, and we, we are kind of bizarre and strange and, and eccentric maybe unless, but we, the important part is the job is done when 

Massimo: it's asked for.

Massimo: And again, I, I think that that's, you know, it's, it's so true, dude. Yes. I mean, again, when we went to Montreal mm-hmm. And that, that random person went up to us and they're like, We haven't [00:37:00] met, but you guys must be the age agency, aren't you? Right? You must be. I mean, you're the only two guys in with these giant beards.

Massimo: You must be. 

Shawn: Yeah. You look like designers. Like it's, I 

Massimo: was just like, who are you? But thank you. Who's cool? Exactly. I remember even this other customer, and it's like, I. I remember this was early on in our career and this was when we were, it's just, you know, they realized the personality. We were toying with that or not.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And we get fucked up on a job. Mm-hmm. And I felt bad. Like we were always joking with them and this and that and, and, and it was, you know, it was a good working relationship. But then we fucked up on a job. Yep. And I felt like a bag of shit. Yes I did. Cause again, don't forget, this was back in the print days.

Massimo: Yes. So, To rerun that job at, at the best was five days. Yeah. If you could beg your printer to get it back on press with the fixes and this and that, right? Yeah. Yeah. So I remember talking to God, I'm like, look, dude, I'm really sorry. I'm obviously you won't have to pay for this. Yeah. And I'll take it And you know, I, I just want you to know that, you know, like, we do take you serious and we don't like, you know, we, we, we joke around and this and that, but we, we [00:38:00] take you seriously.

Massimo: And, and I don't want you to think that, you know, that we're fucking around and being Yeah. It was, it was. And he was like, okay. And he was like, He was obviously upset. Yep. But I was making it. Right. And then he called back 10 minutes later. Mm-hmm. And I was just like, oh. I was like, oh fuck, here we go. We're losing them.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. Right. He's calling this a fucking gone. We're calling somebody else. Yeah. And he's like, you know what? He goes, I heard what you said and I appreciated it. Mm-hmm. But I want you to know that, you know, I do think you're professional. Oh, I do love your quality. Yes. And I appreciate what you just did to make it right.

Massimo: Yes. But the reason why I come back and stay with you is because you're fun and it's because. Of the working relationship. Yes. I enjoy working with you guys. Yes. And I was just like, wow. Like, yeah, it's okay to be you. Yeah. And that was just such a relief. Yes. You know, and again, it doesn't mean just because you're showcasing your personal, that doesn't mean that you're, you're all in a sudden a kid or you're unprofessional this or that.

Massimo: Yeah. Your work stands separate. Yep. Right. And this is why it's like you have to consider your personal brand being the designer. Yeah. And then the [00:39:00] work. Yes. And those two things are separate. Yes. Yes. Absolutely. 

Shawn: Oh, I felt so good. Yeah, that's good. That's a, 

Massimo: that's a one. I felt really good. That's a big win, man.

Massimo: That was, that was like a, holy shit. Okay, so steps to creating your own personal brand. Again, I, I went online, I tried to see what some of the o other people, cuz I was just like, well, where would you go with this? But so much of it that I found was bullshit. It really was bullshit. And like I said, I, I hated the way it read, it sounded.

Massimo: So, I was like, no, I'm just gonna try to figure out what, you know, how I went through this, right? Hmm. So, first and foremost, you gotta figure out, you know, who you want to be as a designer, right? You gotta, you know, figure out what makes you excited, what motivates you, you know, what parts of this space, you know, gets you excited, right?

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And again, if it is mountain biking or dirt biking or that cool, right? If it's, you know, If it's restaurants or food, fine. Yeah, yeah. Whatever, right? You gotta figure out first and foremost what excites you personally, right? Yeah. Yeah. And then of course, you know, once you figure that out, You have to figure out, and, and this [00:40:00] is kind of the journey that I talk how you want to be known in that circle, in that tribe.

Massimo: Yeah. Right. Do you want to be known as an educator? Do you want to be known as a, a leader, you know, as just like the creative person, you know, the, the, uh, the, the angle person. Like you have to figure out how you want to be positioned in that sense. Yeah. Right. And then, you know, with that being understand, right, you kind of start getting a picture of what works and what doesn't.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And it starts putting you in a direction. Yeah. Okay. Once you have those two things figured out, right, the next thing you do is you gotta, you gotta identify and understand what matters to that audience. Mm-hmm. Okay. So what we did is, of course, you know, I knew what I wanted, I knew the space, and I knew how I wanted to be, right?

Massimo: So again, I, I figured, you know, what parts make me excited and it's like that whole uncovering problems and, and, and, you know, like, and, and then I love tech and I understood tech. So then when I finally said, okay, you know what? This is who I am. This is the space that I need to be in. Cuz I like discovering problems, especially, you know, technical problems.

Massimo: Mm-hmm. You know, then it's like, well, the [00:41:00] audience, uh, my audience is like these tech leaders, these, these guys who start up companies, well they're all engineers. Mm-hmm. And although they're, they're really smart fucking people. Mm-hmm. You know, they don't know how to separate themselves from the product, from the marketing side of it.

Massimo: They talk like robots too. They literally, right. Yes. And so this is what. You know, matters to the audience, right? Mm-hmm. So you have to identify your audience and what matters to that audience, right? Yes. So you, you identify who they are, you know how to best talk to them, how to best find out where they are, you know, where they hang out, networking events online, on LinkedIn, you know, in Reddit, whatever, right?

Massimo: Mm-hmm. And then you have to figure out what's actually really important to them and would make. Their lives better. Yes. Right. So for us it was like, hey, these guys, they love talking about tech. There's no question. Mm-hmm. But they struggle with communicating with anybody outside of tech. Exactly. And that's where it worked for us.

Massimo: Yes. I was just like, look dude, I'm that bridge the liaison. 

Shawn: Yeah. To 

Massimo: in between them, I'm not an engineer. Yeah. But I understand. I get it. Shit. Yeah, I get it. I get it clear as day. Yes, I'm a [00:42:00] designer. Let me help translate that shit for you. Right, exactly. And then in this way, what happens is that then that's how you know I started establishing myself as somebody who was reliable, professionable.

Massimo: Trust, trustworthy, professional, professional, trustworthy. Right? That these people could, you know, constantly rely on it. So that's what I did, right? So first I figured out who I wanted to be, then you know what I wanted to be known for, which was that guy that, you know to, to that link, that bridge, right?

Massimo: Yeah. And then I had to find out who my people were. How to find them. Right? Yeah. Then again, my characteristics, right? What I want people to know, like this is kind of like those words you want people to know. So that moment in my career, when that guy said, quality's great. Yep. Understands tech, but he's 

Shawn: not cheap.

Shawn: He's not cheap. Yeah. Those are perfect. He like, those are perfect words. 

Massimo: Yes. That was like, I want those. That's exactly words it. Yeah. So, you know, try to figure out what you know. I mean, again, characteristics might be a little too deep. Um, The words figure out, as Alan put it. Yeah. What are the nouns Yes.

Massimo: That you want to be known for, right? Yes. He would [00:43:00] say, what are the nouns for the company? Yeah. Well, I'm saying in this sense, what are the nouns that you want to be known for? What are those, what are those key words that when people talk, you want them, you know, to say those words about you. Yeah. Right.

Massimo: And that's key. I think that's important because then you know, you, you put that out there, cement it in your mind, it gives you a direction to go, and it just, you just head that way, right? Yes. Yeah. And then, you know what we said, the authenticity part. You gotta be legit. Yeah. This worked for me because I genuinely was interested in tech.

Massimo: Yes. I was genuinely interested in how things were made, how things worked. Yep. You know, I love to, as a kid, I would love to take things apart. I could never put them back together, but I love to take them apart. Yes. Just to see how the inner workings were, right. Yes, yes. My parents got so pissed at me. I think that's why they bought me Lego.

Massimo: They were like, here, put it together and take it apart as much as you want. Now it's fine. 

Shawn: Yeah, you can't fuck 

Massimo: this up. But the thing is, you know, you have to be authentic and, and this is where it gets scary because, you know, this is, um, where social media really. Plays a big part. Mm-hmm. Because again, [00:44:00] authenticity, people can follow you everywhere.

Massimo: Yep. So you can pretend to be this show on your Instagram A account. Mm-hmm. But if you also have an Instagram B account that completely contradicts everything you say, but it's your fun party account, you know, and you're talking about you want to save the world and save this, but in this account you're.

Massimo: Ditching bottles, you know, off the edge of a pier cuz you're so drunk with your friends. Well, maybe not So cool. 

Shawn: Yeah, it's not really, uh, yeah. Yeah. 

Massimo: That's So you've gotta be very careful. Yes. Like you, you know those nouns that you want to be known for that person. You want to be the designer, you want to be known.

Massimo: You have to be authentic because it has to be, this is your personal brand. Yes. Isn't a company brand. Yes. So if you are a partier, Better to put that out front. You know? Yes. If you are, you know, into cars and this and that and the weekends, well then don't say, you know, you know, like critique people for carbon tax if you're driving around a big rig on the weekends cuz you think it's fucking cool.

Massimo: Right? And then last but not least, be known and be consistent. So again, you fi finally figured this [00:45:00] out. You gotta put that shit out there. Yeah. So now it's like, just like you, this is the part where it's like, it feels hokey, but it's like, you have to think of it like a, a customer. Mm-hmm. You gotta figure if, if I was a customer, this is what I would tell 'em to do.

Massimo: Well now if this is me and this is the, the image I wanna do, I gotta put it out there. Yeah. So I gotta put, you know, stuff out there on social, wherever I am. Mm-hmm. You know, I gotta put stuff out on blog posts and, and you know, some pieces. Reddit is a big place for me, of course. And I love, you know, answering questions, asking questions and stuff.

Massimo: You know, good interactions. So, you know, you gotta be, and you gotta be consistent. Yep. You know, you gotta make sure that the message is the same. Always. You can't be flippy floppy if you're flippy floppy. Yep. If you stand for everything, you stand for nothing. Yeah. Oh, that's true, drew, that's 

Shawn: good. Yeah, that's right.

Shawn: Oh 

Massimo: dude. That's absolutely right. So true. So again, shit, be consistent with that message. Yeah. This is the route that I took. Mm-hmm. But I didn't know I took who, yeah. I just kind of broke it down and took it. And this is kind of how I got there, but I think it's important. Yeah. And I do think I should probably work a little bit harder on some of my personal stuff, social postings and this and that.

Massimo: [00:46:00] But you know, I've had so much with this podcast, it's been so much fun. This has become our personalities, 

Shawn: I think. Totally. Totally. Yeah. But I think, like you said earlier, you were Zed Factor. And I think your stuff kind of formulated this look. Yeah. Do you know what I mean? Yeah. Like it's, I think that you were working on it without knowing you were, without 

Massimo: working, without knowing.

Massimo: I would, yeah. And maybe that's, it was, it was a very blurred line for me. It totally, yeah. Yeah, it was. Yeah. And I still struggle, even though, you know, we were. Required and this and that. I still struggle to separate myself from Dead Factor. Yeah. Sed Factor is the brand. Right. And again, everybody's like, no, you are Zed Factor.

Massimo: I'm like, well, not really. I want to be known for me. Yeah, exactly. But I think I waited too long to try to do that. Yes. And now I'm doing it. And I think that was the biggest, you know, I've done it in the more recent years, but um, yeah, I think people should. Probably, yeah. Think about this a little earlier on.

Massimo: Yeah. Cause I think it's important whether you're self-employed Yeah. Or whether you're, you know, you own your own, like self-employed as a freelancer, own your own business. Mm-hmm. Or as an employee. Yeah. Dude. Like thi this, this applies just as much to [00:47:00] somebody who's like, you know, looking for jobs, trying to move up the job ladder, move up the corporate world.

Massimo: Yep. Just as a applies exactly the same. Yes. Right. Exactly. Because again, then people will come look for you. Yes. Right. So, um, And that's a huge importance. 

Shawn: The big time. Yeah. Yeah. Big time. And, and what is it? Uh, the, uh, you're, you're right at opportunity. And, and, mm. What is that? What is that saying? You know what 

Massimo: I mean?

Massimo: What is it? Luck is, yeah. Luck is when opportunity. Opportunity and preparation. Meat. Meat, yes. Right. That's right. Oh dude. And you know what? I can't agree. Oh, dude, that I love that quote because again, I. I've met so many people that are like, oh, I just, I just wish a bag of money fell outta the sky. And I'm like, but you know what?

Massimo: You're such a fucking idiot. Because even if it did fall outta the sky, yeah. You weren't looking up to catch it. You were just walking around doing your own thing. Right Thing girl. Yeah. They're walking around looking at the floor, looking in front, right? Yes. I'd like to [00:48:00] think of the people, you know, like us.

Massimo: We're walking around looking up and with every step we're looking forward, looking up, looking forward, looking up, and we're like, we're waiting. So if that, if that opportunity does fall from the sky, you've got your arms open and catching. 

Shawn: Exactly. Always be aware of your surroundings. Holy geez. Yeah, that's that's absolutely true.

Shawn: Like, geez, come on guys. And I think Alan said it when we talked to him, he was like, the journey is just as important as the destination. Oh, fuck. Yeah. Right. Like, I mean, holy shit. Yeah. Like this is, you don't, nothing is, nothing is is bequeath to us. Absolutely designed. Right. You gotta 

Massimo: put it in the work.

Massimo: This is, you have to. Right. This is, and the journey's the fun part. It totally is. And that's the self discovery, that's where Oh, it's so much, there's so much about the journey that I love, I really do love. And even 

Shawn: at our age still, it still the pa, that path. They're young, young, young. There's a lot of shit on that path in front of us.

Shawn: Yeah, I know. I know, right? A big, big young 24 year old guys. You know. 

Massimo: So true though. [00:49:00]

Shawn: Geez. Yeah. 24. Yeah. I wish. But yeah, like there's a, there's, there's still a lot of stuff that we haven't encountered yet. Absolutely. And I'm looking forward to it. Forward to it. Exactly. 

Massimo: Exactly. This is the kind of stuff I do love the journey.

Massimo: Yeah. Sometimes I wish I could do more of the parts that I love. And what I mean by this is, you know, I woke up in the middle of the night last night, like again, I little girl, she was so sick last night. Right. So again, I woke up, she was, you know, complaining this, that fever and, and, and I put her back to bed and, and I sat there and I was just staring at her.

Massimo: Right. Yeah. And just cuz she was just fucking, she's just so beautiful. Right. She's adorable. And um, you know, I couldn't go back to sleep. Yeah. So it was like two 30 and I'm like, well shit, you know, it's two 30. I can't go back to sleep. I got a lot of shit I gotta get done. I'm very stressed about. Yeah. I just went downstairs and I worked for two and a, it sounds crazy.

Massimo: I was awake anyway. Oh yeah. So I worked for two and a half hours in the middle of the night. Wow. I, I got shit. Done. Yeah. And you know what? I went and I know it sounds crazy cause I'm lacking [00:50:00] sleep, right guys. But getting that shit done, the release that I had. Yeah. The empowerment I felt. Mm-hmm. I was just like, fuck, I totally got this done.

Massimo: Yep. I'm not stressed anymore. Mm-hmm. I took care of all this stuff in the middle. The night I did eight hours worth of work in like two hours because I was like, so focused and it just, Felt, and again, it was that journey. It was, yeah. The, the, the thinking about it was stressing me out. Yep. But then it's like 

Shawn: doing, get down to it and do it.

Shawn: Yeah. It's like economy. I know. Yes, I know, I know. Standard you, yeah. That's, that's good. That was good. Yeah. 

Massimo: Yeah. These are, I did I, yeah, I woke up a different person. That's 

Shawn: what I said the least. Yeah, totally. And it's like that we got big jobs and stuff like that, you know, it's like, how do you eat an elephant?

Shawn: One bite at a time. This is the same time, same thing. Don't, don't stress about it. Get in there, get your fingers dirty. Totally. I'm doing it. Yeah, exactly. Cool. Interesting. What's a great topic? I think 

Massimo: this was a good topic. Yeah. And I think it's an important one, and again, one that I'm take, I'm treating a lot more with, with respect and I think, you know, I'm [00:51:00] more of a proponent of this than I was before.

Massimo: Yes. I always thought it was hokey before, but I think it was because of all, everything I saw out there made it hokey. Yes. But the reality is when I take, take a step back and think about, you know, like my 25 years doing this, your experience. Yep. Right. It was important. Yeah. And I wish I would've done it earlier.

Massimo: Yeah. And I think, you know, maybe things would be even more different than they are. I don't, I'm not complaining about my journey. I, I've loved every step so far. Mm-hmm. And I'm happy with where it's at. But if I would've done this earlier, I think I might be even in a different place right now. Yeah. At least personally, you know.

Massimo: But professionally, maybe the same, maybe better, I don't know. But, you know, not complaining. I think everybody should pay attention. 

Shawn: Yes, totally. I agree. Cool. Who knows? You'll be, you may be king of the podcasts before you know it. Oh, 

Massimo: that's our goal. Rain Joe 

Shawn: Rogan. Watch out, buddy. That's right. We're coming for you, man.

Massimo: All right, bud. Yeah. Good bud. Well, I think with that being said, yes, I hope everybody got something cool out of this episode. Mm-hmm. I mean, again, weird topic, different topic, probably forum for some, but let us know how you [00:52:00] felt. Let us know if you want to hear more of this kind of stuff. Reach out to us on Instagram.

Massimo: We have great community on there, and we're talking with so many people. Don't be scared to reach out personally on Instagram. Yeah. Our website's always got all of our podcasts, plus people are dropping notes on there. You know, we've got a list going where we're asking people for advice. We just sent out a, a, an email, an e-newsletter, asking people, you know, of their opinions of the podcast and we want to, you know, help us kind of like guide this, guide us in the future.

Massimo: Yes. So I mean, if you're on that list from our website, you'll have these opportunities to help. Us help you. Yeah. So, you know, don't be scared to visit the website. Yeah. And, um, yeah, we're also on YouTube right now, so Yes. Woo. Woo. 

Shawn: What is it? Uh, brands that almost made it. Oh my 

Massimo: God, that's so fun, man. We, we bursting.

Massimo: I'll play with some shorts. I hope you guys like this stuff. It's kind 

Shawn: of ridiculous, man. It was fun to do. Kind a Well, we got more coming buddy. 

Massimo: So again, more YouTube specific content, I think. For sure. Yeah. 

Shawn: Nice. All right. 

Massimo: Okay. Okay buddy. Stuff. I think these guys have listened to us enough. [00:53:00] That's right.

Massimo: With that 

Shawn: being said, Moss is going to bed 

Massimo: now. Oh my God. I'm so tired. I'm going to bed. I'm going to bed, and it's like seven o'clock. I'll be going to bed.

Shawn: All right, everybody. My name is Mossimo. No, my name is Sean. 

Massimo: Stay creative. Stay angry.

Massimo: I gotta be me.

Massimo: I want to live not purely survive, and I won't give up this dream of life that keeps me alive. I gotta be

Massimo: the [00:54:00] dream that I see.

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