An Interview with David Brier-All About Freelancer Branding

Show Notes:

Time to learn about freelancer branding
David Brier. Davids has been called the 007 of Branding, the slayer of the mundane, liberator of awesome, and crusher of mediocrity.

David and his work have been featured in ADWEEK, Fast Company, Forbes, INC, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Thrive Global, the New York Times and numerous blogs and podcasts around the world.

His videos on branding and innovation broke the million-view mark several times over.

1. Tell me about how you ended up being presented the Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship?
2. How does a freelancer brand themselves?
3. What mistakes do you see entrepreneurs and freelancers make when it comes to branding?
4. I see you’re active on LinkedIn, is that important for a freelancer?
5. You have a blog post titled how to make competitors irrelevant. Can you share with us some tips from that post?
6. How can our audience follow you online?

Raw Transcript

Get ready for freelancing strategies, hacks and tactics to help you skyrocket your success brought to you by Freelancer masterclass calm. You’re listening to freelancing school with your instructor Mike Volkin

alright hello everybody I am Mike Volkin, lead instructor Freelancer masterclass and host of Freelancer school Today we have with us David Briar David has been called the double oh seven of branding. He’s also been called the slayer of the mundane and the Liberator of awesome i love that title and the crusher of mediocrity, mediocrity. So David and his work has been featured in in Adweek and Fast Company and Forbes, Inc, Huffington Post, entrepreneur thrive global New York Times list goes on and on and numerous blogs podcasts like this one now. So his videos on branding and innovation broke the million view markets Several times over. Welcome to the show. David. Thank you so much for having me. I love it though. Tell me how you ended up being you know presented at the presidential on ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. I actually looked it up and I it even still is it active anymore because I don’t I didn’t see they awarded a recipient this year.

No, no, it’s it’s not it’s not it was it was actually in here. I’ll even I’ll even show you. Okay. This is like so you see. So let’s see. Oh, yeah, you can there is lettering. There you go there. That looks cool. And then and then, you know, here, here, here this little bad boy is right there. Wow. Very cool. You know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s like it was really really awesome. And basically basically, if for those that do follow me, they would know that that Damon john and i really we kind of established a good bond and a good relationship. Some years ago. Me and how That came about just to give a context. So people don’t think that I’m sort of, you know, oh, you know, he’s so lucky. So he knows the right people while he was cast, though, that basically my wife and I were We were early, early, early fans, so like, so shark tank is in just starting at the 11th season, right? So like, in the first couple years, I mean, we discovered it, and my wife and I, we’d love it, that was like our guilty pleasure. We’d love seeing the sharks and and how they, you know, county, they would make an offer, they would counter each other and the older negotiations, as well as what they would really ask of the different entrepreneurs who were coming to pitch stuff. And so being a fan of the show, after I don’t know, maybe after watching it for a year or a little more, at the time, I was writing articles for Fast Company magazine. And so I was like, you know, I want to look at what are the what are the qualities and traits that take one person from sort of being Thank you for coming, you’re dead to me get out of here, you know, it’s like you’re they don’t get a deal to those that actually get a deal with a shark. And so I did my own analysis and I forget exactly what I called it. I think I called the article somebody like, like how to swim with the sharks and come out alive and you know, whatever, like the fourth, one of the traits that actually make the ones that win versus the one to lose. Within a day or two of that being published. Damon john ended up tweeting. He literally tweeted out the best article written on Shark Tank ever, you know, and I needed it out. And I was like, holy crap, right. And so of course, I retweeted it. And I replied immediately to him saying, dude, thanks so much, and we did not know each other at the time. And, but being a shameless entrepreneur myself, besides being creative, and most of the staff to me Creativity and entrepreneurship are kind of really they’re, they’re

they’re two sides of the coin.

And so I said, Dude, you really need you deserve a slogan. And because my mind was going, I was like thinking of like, Wow, this is so cool. Damon’s like, really validated my thing here. And because I really thought, you know, what would be a cool slogan or phrase that might work for, let’s say, possibly a blog, you know, a blog post, and I came up with a Damon is a girl’s best friend. Right? Yeah. Sorry, sorry


those shifts. I shared that with him. It is all going back and forth on tweet. Right, right. And he goes, love it. I said, we should do it. We should do an interview man. I’ll interview you will do an article that ended up so we just kind of got to know each other and he was all into it. Then we, you know, be later than discovered. He was born in Brooklyn. I was born in Brooklyn. He was born. He was raised in Queens. I was raised in Queens. So we’re really literally You know, we’re, we’re 10 years apart in age, but we have a very similar where we grew up origins. So over the years, you know, I mean, I’ve always, always done things. I mean, I like what Damon stands for. I like his work ethic. I like his entrepreneurial ethic. He’s always very gracious to, he never forgets where he came from mean, he doesn’t have like, I breathe a different type of air than you, you know, there’s no division. Yeah. And I, and I recognize that so I’ll always do articles and stuff. So what ended up happening? I mean, I presume if you’ve seen my book where he wrote the foreword to it, yes. So that so that was a that was a I said, David, I said, this would really become coming out with it’s gonna be a killer book. And you’d be the perfect one the right before and he was like, I’m all in. I mean, he was just super gracious. And so we just had this kind of nice symbiotic relationship. And I was literally out of the country. This is how it came about. This is all the leader to answer your question. How did I get this thing happens is I I’m out of the country delivering a week long entrepreneurial masterclass to entrepreneurs from around the world, different continents around the world. And I fly back and my wife and I like whenever I’m flying I’m here My wife is was home. She, she’ll always be like, Hey, I’ll see you when you get home. No problem. But she like left me this message because I was going to do a sale, a quick little leg. One leg was going to leave me in Miami before I went home. She was calling me as soon as you get home. Call me students. Like what? So I call her up bad or good? Yeah, she goes, she goes, first. First of all, you got this thing from David at the time, had come out with with the power broke and he actually had that. And so he wrote to me, you know, he always he always is again. He wrote he said, you know, Thanks for always all the support you always given me Give me the whole thing. And then he said, you know, and appreciation for everything you’ve done because he’s an up he’s a, he’s a presidential Ambassador is a, you know, a global entrepreneurship. And he obviously was presented these. And he said, By the way, I want to give one of these to you. You deserve it. Nice. That’s how I got very cool.

Very cool. What year was that?

I would say about three years ago. Okay. Very good. Very good.

So so you’re an expert branding is your thing. Right? So how does a freelancer all freelancers are listening right now? How do they brand themselves? I mean, it’s just, it’s like a buzzword. You know, branding freelancers really don’t know how to go about doing it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.

Um, well, yeah, I’ll give you I’ll definitely give you my thoughts because you know, I was a freelancer when I first started. And, to me, if you’re a freelancer, I don’t consider it. This is my opinion and take And what I found is, I didn’t find being a freelancer was necessarily coming from a place of power. Like in terms of your position, it’s, you know that it’s like, it’s kind of like just like I wouldn’t ever want to consider myself or put myself in category being a vendor, which I don’t think is a strong position, like vendors have tried to change the dialogue where they are partnering right with their customers, right? I think freelancers similarly need to be they need to elevate themselves upwards to how are they going to be something more? How are they going to be, you know, whether it may be as is a consultant, or a specialist in this or that in the other? Because no one is looking say, you know what, no one wakes up in the morning goes, I really need a freelancer. But what they do wake up and say in the morning is, hey, especially if they’re a business that you’re serving, or they’re an agency, whatever, I need the right talent for. Right. They’ve got a nose. They’ve got a problem, or whether you some freelancers work directly with businesses, others work with agencies and such like that, but whoever what is the problem that one would need to know that they are solving and be associated with? Like, I like I solve blank, I eliminate blank. What What is it the thing that you do? So, it’s almost like, I did a video, maybe maybe nine months ago. And I said be the verb. The verb. Yeah. The words like don’t like, like, you know, it’s like what is like I, you know, what’s the thing that you do? Like, instead of like I am and, like, perfect example, essentially, I’m an actor. It’s like, I entertain people. You see, that moves it. So literally, like be the verb. It’s like, well said like, I am a freelancer. From a branding standpoint, I say, Well, like I, you know, you know, I attract new customers. I do this Do that I bring about the end result.

Yes. Yeah like that going right to the end result that’s why you talk to people right? So what mistakes Do you see entrepreneurs and freelancers make when it comes to branding? Is there some kind of like Deadly Sins out there for for branding that you say oh my god, I can’t believe this freelancers doing that talking about themselves. Yeah a lot of talking about themselves and thinking that they’re I’m it I’ll tell you I’ll tell you after after the first eight years

of when I first like got out of school and like was a freelancer and then I was like me to start my own businesses that the other probably after the first six to eight years, I never brought a portfolio with me over again to a meeting and my sales went up because my job was to find what’s the what what are you struggling with? You don’t need to find out more about me. I need to find out more about you.

Yeah, yeah, I have clients or prospects all the time asked me for samples of marketing strategies and like why that that doesn’t apply to your business at all other other business marketing strategies. What would you even need to see that for doesn’t make any sense? So you’re active on LinkedIn actually, was it? Do you find that important for freelancers to be very active on LinkedIn? I would say so.

Yeah, I’d say so. Yeah. Look, I mean, it’s it’s it’s the, it’s the only social now that it’s evolved to actually being a social platform. I would say 18 months ago, it was not a social platform. It still was. It still was, you know, I don’t know. Probably an advanced Rolodex. Yep, exactly. You know, and now and now it is, I mean, we just dropped we just dropped the video. I don’t know if you did you catch our most epic LinkedIn most epic music video.

Now I have to check it out. Was that posted? I haven’t checked out in like a week or so on LinkedIn. So

this was this is about about two and a half weeks ago that we dropped it. It’s it. I can send you the link when when we’re done. Okay, but that was we’re approaching 200,000 views. It went completely viral on LinkedIn. No kidding. It was insane. And it was fun. I did the beatboxing a buddy of mine that I met on LinkedIn from Sydney. He did the rapping and it’s just totally cool.

Come on out to check out what’s the title of it?

Well, we called it the most epic music video in LinkedIn history. Okay, but but my but my my buddy, who has was more followers and made more sense for us to actually do it on his thing. So I’ll end up on the beam. You just do afterward Will you tell me I’ll figure that Okay, good.

And all of you that are listening, just go to my freelancer, I’m sorry, my, my LinkedIn page and you’ll see it forwarded on my feed, so I’ll share it. So you have a blog post. It’s titled How to make competitors irrelevant. Can you share with us some tips from that? That post for those of us who haven’t read it yet?

Absolutely not know, the one thing I’m going to do real quick to make sure because I mean, I read, I read so many articles. I’m gonna I’m gonna look this one up real quick. Okay.

How to make competitors irrelevant. I think a lot of freelancers are always asking they’re always afraid of their competitors, because there’s so many of them out there, especially if you’re like a freelance writer. It’s like how do you differentiate your from all the other writers out there, right, exactly,

exactly. I mean, let me let me see what brilliants I actually I actually did that on this post here. Okay.

It was pretty good. I read through it, and I learned a lot from it. So I just want to make sure freelance audience can glean some of the tips from there.

Totally, totally. Yeah, I mean, so I mean, so, like, obviously, I mean, there’s a few things that I obviously touch upon, you know, find out I mean, the key thing that I punch up is like, basically, find out how to officially do more, provide more and transform your customer more. Yes. So so the whole thing is is the thing that I would say is that the difference between a winning Freelancer or entrepreneur and a losing Freelancer and entrepreneur is the one that’s losing is just doing what’s expected. And the most simple example that I that I give people, as I say, you know what, a store that opens up that says, You know what, we’re going to open it nine, or we’re going to close at five And when they open at nine and close at five, no one celebrates that particular fact. Yeah. You know, or if they say by the way we sell. We sell widgets. And when you go into store, they have widgets. Are you going to celebrate that? No.

memorable? Yeah, exactly.

So it’s like kind of like, to me, the basic thing is that meeting expectation is a death sentence. So you don’t want to just get like, how do you raise the bar? How do you ask more questions? How do you elevate your client more so that they get their own ability to go wow, this is really cool. And how do they use it more?

Yeah, you know why that is Davis because being regulars being comfortable, and I always tell my students at the master classes do always have something on your plate, some kind of marketing activity that makes you slightly uncomfortable and a little bit outside of your comfort zone. That way you’re always challenging yourself, right? And it doesn’t just have to be in freelancing could be in your personal life. Like every year I make a new year’s resolutions that makes that I kind of cringe at the thought that I do it like a few years ago I one of my resolutions was to go skydiving I did that this last year it was to do stand up comedy act so I created a stand up comedy actor one on stage and I did that so good.

I’ll make me feel uncomfortable that’s for sure.

How did you how did your comedy act go ahead the people will receive it well,

I thought it was funny. No, yeah. It was good people loved it. I actually posted on YouTube so if you want to just type in like Mike Volkin stand up comedy and you’ll see like it’s like a five minutes. It actually it was a they told me I’d have 10 minutes and right before I went on stage about 20 seconds they said oh, you only have time for four minutes. So for a new comic to have to adjust the flow of the of their brand new Act that they’ve never done before. I was quite nerve wracking that our last little twist on there that really took me forever.


So how does our audience follow you online?

Well, very simply mean what is they can definitely go to my website rising above the which is our is IMG rising above the noise calm You can subscribe there. I’ve got a free ebook that you could download. You could definitely I would definitely follow me on YouTube because I do one minute Wednesday will this coming week that I in fact, today’s episode 92. Nice. So and so that comes out weekly and that people love that literally, it’s a one minute. It’s like, How the hell do you jam that in? How do you get actually value in one minute? Check it out. And you’ll find out and of course, LinkedIn. It’s all about branding on that one minute Wednesday. It’s all about branding. It’s about entrepreneurship. It’s about it’s it branding is the anchor, but I look I look at it from a leadership standpoint, look at from an influence standpoint, a look from its social media standpoint. I look at it like what what a misconception standpoint, I touched upon many different facets, but it’s always about it always comes back to branding.

Good. And I love that. It’s one minute, so I know I have time for it. That’s great. I think we’re already connected on LinkedIn. But if we’re not one, just make really quick sure that we are so you can send me video so I can post it on my LinkedIn feed. And I look forward to talking to the future is very enlightening. Thank you.

Absolutely. My pleasure. Take care.

Thank you for joining us for freelancing school. Be sure to subscribe and get the latest updates on the show. Go to freelancing Master to become a master freelancer.

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